The Ramayana is a story that has stood the test of time and captured the hearts of millions worldwide with its tale of heroism, love, and sacrifice. Yet, while the epic has been told and retold in numerous forms, its origins are still shrouded in mystery. Do you know Who Wrote Ramayana and how many versions of the Ramayana?
Did a single person write it, or was it the result of the contributions of many over time? In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into the history of the Ramayana and explore the different theories surrounding its authorship. From ancient sages to modern scholars, we will examine various perspectives on this iconic work and try to unravel the mystery behind its creation. So whether you are a fan of the Ramayana or simply curious about its origins, this post will offer you a fascinating insight into one of the most beloved epics in the world.
From the birth of Shri Rama, Goddess Sita, her marriage to Bhagwan Rama, Bhagwan Hanuman, and the epic battle between Bhagwan Ram and Ravana signifying the victory of good over evil, but do you know who wrote Ramayana?
Let us know more about the Ramayana’s writer, versions of the Ramayana, and the writer of Ramcharitmanas.
Who wrote Ramayana?
Traditionally the credit for writing the great epic Ramayana is given to Maharishi Valmiki.
Valmiki is a celebrated poet in Hinduism. It is believed that he was sent in advance to write the entire Ramayana even before any of that happened. The date of Ramayana varies from 100 to 500 BCE.
The Ramayana that Valmiki wrote had over 24000 shlokas, and the book was divided into seven Khandas (sections). Just like all the Puranas and texts, Ramayana too had undergone many changes, so tracing the precise date is hard.
Many scholars and researchers have claimed that Valmiki was a contemporary of Lord Rama.
Life of Valmiki
Valmiki had the name of Agni Sharma and was born to a Brahmin named Prachita. The legend says that Agni Sharma once met the great sage Narada and was touched by his words.
Then Agni Sharma started a great penance and chanted the word “MARA,” which meant death. But when he continuously started to chant the word, it automatically started to sound like “RAMA,” which is the name of Lord Vishnu.
He was so lost in meditation during penance that his entire body and surroundings were covered in an anthill. From here, Agni Sharma got a new name called, Valmiki.
He gained knowledge of scriptures from the great sage Narada and became the most renowned poet in Hindu culture.
But there are also many other legends about how Valmiki got his name and became the great sage. For example, in one of the sections of Narada Purana, it is written that Valmiki was a thief and was born to a Brahmin family named Lohajangha.
He was an obedient son and a faithful husband. But unfortunately, where he and his family lived, he suffered from a lack of rain for 12 years.
He, therefore, had to start stealing from people to feed his family. And one day, while he was in the forest, he came across the Seven Sages or the Saptrishi, and he even tried to rob them.
But upon looking at him, the sages felt pity, and one of them, named Pulaha, gave Lohajangha a mantra for meditation.
While meditating, Lohajangha indulged in it, and anthills grew all over his body. So when the Saptrishi came to the forest again, they were surprised by Lohajangha’s devotion. Therefore they said to him that since he meditated in anthills (Valmika), the entire world would know him with the mane of Valmiki.
But do you know there was someone who wrote the entire Ramayana before Maharishi Valmiki?
Who wrote Ramayana before Valmiki?
Do you know who wrote Ramayana first or before Valmiki Ji?
Bhagwan Hanuman wrote the Ramayana much before Valmiki, but Hanuman threw it into the sea.
According to the scriptures, the first Ramayana was written by Hanuman on the rocks with his fingernails. It came to be known as Hanuman Ramayana. This happened when Lord Rama started ruling Ayodhya after defeating Ravana.
During this time, Lord Hanuman went to the Himalayas and wrote the great Hanumad Ramayana there. But after some time, when Maharishi Valmiki wrote the entire Ramayana, he went to Lord Shiva’s abode to show Lord Hanuman the Ramayana he wrote. Still, when he reached there, he saw that Hanuman had already written the Ramayana. Therefore, there was no comparison of that Ramayan to the one Valmiki wrote.
Valmiki got sad and said to Bhagwan Hanuman that he had worked hard to write the Ramayana, but Hanuman had written it much better, and no one would read his Ramayana. Hearing Valmiki’s concerns, Lord Hanuman threw his Ramayana into the sea.
Version of Ramayana
Ramayana is a great Hindu epic; therefore, every culture wrote Ramayana in their language; hence, there is over 300 version of this great Hindu epic today.
The first Ramayana was written in Sanskrit, called Mula Ramayana. Sage Narada passed down his knowledge to Maharishi Valmiki, and he wrote the oldest available Ramayana. Ramayana has these many forms because many Asian countries have rewritten it in their language and theme.
But while writing it, the plots were also slightly changed, and the characters’ names were altered too.
Versions of Ramayana within India are:
- Sri Ranganatha Ramayanam from Andhra Pradesh
- Saptakanda Ramayana from Assam
- Krittivasi Ramayana from Bengal
- Tulsi-Krta Ramayana from Gujarat, and many more.
There are many versions of Ramayana outside India like the Sri Lankan version called Janakiharan, the Jainism version called Paumachariyam, the Chinese version called Langka Sip Hor, the Japanese version called Ramaenna, the Cambodian version called Reamker, the Indonesian version called Ramakavaca and Kakawin Ramayana, Laos’s version called Phra Lak Phra Lam and many more.
Who wrote Ramcharitmanas?
The great poet Tulsidas wrote Ramcharitmanas in the 16th century, which means the Kali Yuga. Tulsidas was, also known as Goswami Tulsidas, a renowned devotee of Lord Rama.
Tulsidas was born on the 7th day of Shukla Paksha in the Kasganj district of Uttar Pradesh. The legends say that Goswami Tulsidas was born after being inside his mother’s womb for 12 months. At birth, he looked like five years old, and the first thing he did was tried to say the name of Bhagwan Rama.
Due to a bad constellation during his birth, Tulsidas was abandoned by his parents. After this, he ended up as a poor orphan, but it is believed that Goddess Parvati took the form of an old lady and fed him daily.
After gaining knowledge, Goswami Tulsidas wrote many great Sanskrit texts and scriptures, but Hanuman Chalisa and the Ramcharitmanas are his best-known works.
Tulsidas wrote the Ramcharitmanas in the Awadhi language and spent most of his life in Ayodhya and Varanasi.
The Sankatmochan Temple, dedicated to Bhagwan Hanuman in Varanasi, was founded by Tulsidas. It is believed that the temple stands where he saw the god.
Tulsidas and his works have been very impactful on the society of India. He is the one who started the theater show Ramayan called Ramlila. His impact can still be seen in the vernacular languages, classical music, and many television shows.
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