Bhopal: International Ramayana Conference Begins At Manas Bhawan

Bhopal: International Ramayana Conference Begins At Manas Bhawan

Several Rams, many Ramayans: Countries remember Ayodhya prince in different ways

Staff ReporterUpdated: Sunday, March 10, 2024, 12:38 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The two-day international Ramayana conference organised by Tulsi Manas Pratishthan and Ramayana Kendra began at Manas Bhawan in the city on Saturday. More than 100 scholars from India and abroad are taking part. About 50 scholars presented research papers on Ramayana on the inaugural day. Free Press spoke to some of them. Excerpts:

12-year vanvas in Chinese Ramayana

Three versions of Ramayana have been found in China, two of which were translated from Sanskrit whereas the third one is named Lanka Sip Ho in Dai language, which means Dashanan. It is the oldest manuscript found in 14h century. In the Chinese Ramayana, Ram’s name is Rama who is Bodhisattva. Rama's mother eats divine banana instead of kheer to have son. His exile in forest is of 12 years instead of 14 years. He participates in Sita swayamvar as a poor Buddhist monk. Ram kills Meghnath whereas Laxman kills Kumbhakarna, which is just opposite of Valmiki's Ramayana. Ram kills Ravana with his bow and arrows.

- Irfan Ahmad , Assistant Professor , Sikkim University

Drones, choppers in Ramayana wars

When I retired, I had already served in Indian Air Force for 38 years. Having deep knowledge of air warfare, I realised that the wars described in Ramcharitmans were fought using drones, aircraft, electronic gadgets and tanks. We are told that the ground shook when Dashanan (Ravana) walked. The same happens when tanks approach a place. And then there is reference to sudden gusts of air. When a helicopter lands, a similar thing happens.

- Air Vice Marshal (retired) Pramod Shrivastava

‘Not God but great warrior, king’

The topic of my research was, Rama and Ramayana in Indonesia. Indonesia is a Muslim country. During the course of my research, I found that plays based on the story of Ram are staged in temples in Bali everyday by all-Muslim cast and crew. They do not see Ram as God but as an exemplary ruler and an excellent warrior. In their version of Ramayana, character of Sita and Hanuman overshadow that of Ram.

-Ajit Singh Chouhan, engineer, Indonesia

Cambodians knew Ram two millenia ago

The Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia is a testimony to the fact that Lord Ram and his legend was known in south-east Asia way back in the 12th century. You can find eight panels, extending up to 500 metres, depicting episodes of Ramayana in Angkor Wat. Their version of Ram’s life story is slightly different from our version. Ramayana was read in almost every home in Cambodia from the 1st century CE to 14th century CE.

-Dr Ujjawala Parsule, archaeologist, Pune

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