Ramayana

Topics: CultureTradition

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Last updated: November 25, 2019

When was the Ramayana written?
550 B.C.E

Into how many books is the Ramayana divided? What are these books called?
Book 1= Bala (Childhood) Book 2=Ayodhya Book 3=Aranya (The Forest) Book 4=Kiskindha (The Kingdom of the Monkeys Book 5=Sundara (The Beautiful) Book 6=Yuddha (The War) Book 7=Uttara (The Last Book)

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Is the Rama story popular today?
“The Ramayana is the one narrative common to all Indian literatures over time, and its popularity continues undiminished.”

“In the Indian tradition, Valmiki is celebrated as what? His Ramayana is called what?”
“The first poet. His Ramayana is known as “”the inaugural poem”” in Indian literature”

The classical Indian ideal is that the poet is the one who transforms the raw emotion and chaos of real life into what?
ordered work of art

The Ramayama is a blend of historical saga and what three other types of writing?
“adventure, love story, heroic epic”

Which books are generally agreed to be additions to the original text?
The first and last

What does Sita’s name mean? She is the daughter of whom? Who brought her up?
She is a child fo the goddess Earth but the foster daughter of that republic’s king

What is the principle on which the hierarchical relationships of the Indian family and society are based?
caste

“For Indians, Rama’s heroism lies in what two things?”
“The hero, Rama, lived his whole life by the rules of dharma; in fact, that was why Indian consider him heroic. When Rama was a young boy, he was the perfect son.

Later he was an ideal husband to his faithful wife, Sita, and a responsible ruler of Aydohya. “”Be as Rama,”” young Indians have been taught for 2,000 years; “”Be as Sita.”” “

Sita’s role as the exemplar for women is focused solely on what?
“Her role is focused on her conduct as wife: a woman’s dharma is to obey her husband. She is the exemplar of the good wife for Hindu culture, much as Penelope was for Greek culture. Women were men’s property; sexual fidelity to their husbands was the major virtue of women.

“In addition to perfect conduct, what endears Rama and Sita to traditional Indian audiences?”
they are relatable

“Finally, Valmiki’s Ramayana is a poem about dharma, but also about what?”
“Ramayana is a book of dharma and Rama is an embodiment of dharma and a paradigm of an ideal man. Ramayana clearly illustrates that artha and kama can be enjoyed with in the legitimate bounds of dharma.

Themes: The nature of heroism / Hero’s journey; Gender roles; Natural social hierarchies [Caste]; How to live a good life (according to dharma: right action, sacred duty according to one’s social role, status, and gender) “

What makes Ramayana an epic?
“Epics have been defined as foundational stories of a people. They center on great “historical events” that a culture wants to recall and retell and commemorate, to found its values on. The ideal of dharma, the defining principle of cosmic and social order in Hinduism, is the focus of the Ramayana.”

How are epic heros portrayed?
“larger than life; but even epic heroes who are sons of gods tend to be portrayed as mortals with human flaws, subject to human suffering.”

Rama is portrayed as combing what?
the attritubes of humanity and divinity

Rama is lonely and is idealized but at the same time is what?
“He represents the aspirations of the entire society. He achieves an impossible standard, yet he is the role model for all men.

What are epic motifs?
“(subjects/themes/ideas) include heroic challenges and combat, contests among suitors, contest of strength, exile, journeys, and initiatory experience.”

An epic text can have what kind of influence on a society?
“can have such power and influence only in a society in which traditional cultural values continue to be endorsed and shared by a majority of people, regardless of other differences.”

What are cultural values evoked in Ramayana?
“ideas of male and female behavior and roles, models of family, social and state hierarchies.”

What is Valmiki’s style?
“The alternation of elaborate description and dramatic speeches is typical of epic poetry. His descriptions rely heavily on similes.He uses frequent references to moon and mountain, to ocean and rain.

He consistently appeals to the animal world. His characters blend deep emotion with a sense of duty, a blend that Indian audiences find attractive.”

How do the demons act in this epic?
“as the antagonists and enemies of the central characters, but they also parody human behavior in entertaining and enlightening ways.”

Who is Hunaman the son of and why is he significant?
Hanuman is so popular and enduring a figure in Indian culture that many corporations and businesses use his name in theirs.

He is the son of the wind god.

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