Ramayana is an epic poem of ancient India. There are mainly two epic poems of ancient India. One is Ramayana and another is Mahabharata. Both have a very high importance in Hinduism.
- Rishi Valmiki was the author of Ramayana.
- Ramayana is one of the largest literature. It has 24,000 verses, divided into seven Kandas (books) and about 500 sargas (chapters). The Seven Kandas are – Bala kanda, Ayodhya kanda, Aranya kanda, Kishkindha kanda, Sundara kanda, Yuddha kanda, Uttara kanda.
- There is no clarity on when it was written. Though it is believed that it was written around 4th Century BCE. Sometimes it is reffered as Adi Kavya (adi =first; kavya = poem). It is considered that Ramayana was existed before the Mahabharata.
- The literal meaning of Ramayana is “Rama’s Journey”. Rama is the central character of Ramayana. Rama is portrayed as an ideal person in the epic.
- Many authors had written different versions of Ramayana in different languages. Some of them are - Kamban's Ramavataram in Tamil, Krittibas Ojha's Krittivasi Ramayan (also known as Shri Rama Panchali) in Bengali, Tulsidas' Ramcharitamanas in Awadhi, Sant Eknath's Bhavarth Ramayan in Marathi, Gona Budda Reddy's Ramayanam in Telugu.
- Ramayana has a great impact on Indian art and culture. Many characters and incidents depicted in Ramayana can be found on different Indian Temples and Art. Rama is worshiped as incarnation of God Vishnu. Different literatures still use characters of Ramayana. Many movies and TV series are made on Ramayana.
- Different characters described in the Ramayana are believed as incarnation of different gods. Like- Rama as incarnation of Vishnu, Sita as incarnation of Laxmi, Laxman as incarnation of Shesha Naga, Hanuman as incarnation of Shiva.