Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mama Ramayanayana

                                                                 Mama  Ramayanayana
                                                   ( My story   of  Ramayana- A three year saga. )
                                           A humble request   to  my  friends , fans  and admirers.

     I would like to jot a few  lines  regarding me   and the story of Rama. It was from my father that  I learnt  the Ekasloki Ramayana

Aadho Rama thapo vananu gamanam, Hathwa mrugam kanchanam,
Vaidehi haranam, jatayu maranam, Sugreeva sambhashanam,
Bali nigrahanam, samudhra tharanam, Lanka pureem dahanam,
Paschad Ravana Kumbha karna madanam, Ethat ithi Ramayanam

Once Rama went to forest,
He chased the deer,
Sitha was kidnapped,
Jatayu was killed,
There were talks with Sugreeva,
Bali was killed,
The sea was crossed,
Lanka was burnt,
And later Ravana and Kumbha karna,
Were also killed.
This in short is the story of Ramayanam.

    It was again from him as a baby that  I heard  the story of Ramayana .It was possibly in the fifth standard that  I learnt the Sri Ramodantham  , the story of Ramayana   which strangely started   from  the birth of   Ravana to Visravas and from then on I have been   reading   several Ramayana books  in several versions. I found  that the greatness  of Rama as a human being attracted me a lot  . In 2000  when I started   translating stotra rathnas  , I stumbled   on  several stotras(prayers) based  on this great story . Some of them  are:-

4.Rama Narayana Sthuthi (Malayalam ) -

                                                  I had also earlier translated  an Upanishad called  Rama Rahsya Upanishad ( )   which  is the part of the Vedas and which extols the greatness  of Rama , indicating that  the holy name “Rama”   was much ancient than  Ramayana itself. Recently  God Rama   wanted me    to translate   three versions of Ramayana.   They were:-

1.Translation of Adhyathma Ramayana   from Malayalam.
       It was  in April   2012   that one of my friends   requested  me to translate  Adhyathma  Ramayana  of Thunjathu Ezhuthachan from Malayalam , which was itself a translation from Sanskrit, so that  it can be read during the Karkidaga Masa.It had 6 Kandams , 119 chapters  and 4200   verses.  I took it up for translation and completed  it in  4  months. Later I found that  I was the  only   who has translated   this great book   in to English and put in the web .My search also indicates   that  though there is an English book translating   Adhyathma Ramayanam    from Sanskrit    to English, there was no translation of this  extremely popular  Malayalam book.This Ramayana is a transcreation of Valimiki Ramayana  supposed to be  authored by the great Veda Vyasa. Rama  by that time was considered as   full  Avathara of Vishnu    and there are more than ten prayers addressed  to Rama  by various characters of Rama including  Kousalya,  Khara, Khabanda, Sabari and so on  .  And the first great Malayalam poet translated   in to Malayalam  poem , as if  it was related by a parrot .Even today a copy of this   book is  preserved like a treasure   by every Hindu Malayali  in his home  . It is read every year   with great reverence in the Karkidaga montha fondly called by Malayalis as   the “Ramayana  month”.

2.Translation of Valmiki Ramayanam from Sanskrit.
   It was in the month of April 2013  that   my friend Sri Lakshmanan   of Celextel   who requested me to take up  the translation  of Valmiki Ramayanam in to English  . I was reluctant . I told him    that I may not live to see its completion but I started  translating  it and  completed it by August 2014. This great book had   24000 verses  in six Kandas with  534  chapters  ,  the great epic  already there were 6-7 translations   available in the web. Here are a few of them:-
THree volumes
Translation  verse by verse
Translation  by  Ralph T.H.Griffith
Another  great translation
Another great  translation
Another translation in English verse

      It is very important to note That    sage Valmiki was a contemporary of Rama ,In fact Rama met him while going to Dandakaranya.  When he was searching for a   suitable hero  for writing an epic , sage Narada    suggested Rama  as the suitable hero. The meter of what he wrote was  based on the  wailing of a female Krouncha bird when its mate    was killed by  a hunter .There is not a single instance of prayer   addressed to Rama in the entire book .People do respect him  but  they do not pray him.  The only prayer in that book is Adithya Hrudayam addressed to the Sun God  . No temples are indicated any where .There is a mention of Sandhya Vandana   being performed by Sita .  When Rama wants to do obsequies to his late father   , he offers fruits and meat available in the forest as the sacrificial offering   . A pooja of housewarming   was conducted by killing a deer  .I am telling all these things to indicate   that Rama was considered   as a  human being and the worship in temples had not  become popular at that time .This book also has a very detailed description of the geography of India   and very detailed listing of its flora.
My translation can be found in

3.Translation of Kamba Ramayana   from Tamil
   Kamban considered as the   emperor among poets in Tamil   is supposed to have lived in 8th centaury AD.  He was essentially a   poet rather than a story teller. His trancreation of Valmiki Ramayana  , which he preferred to call it as Ramavatharam (The incarnation of Rama)  was perhaps the first epic that   was translated  in to Tamil.  It has 10368 verses   in 95 chapters of six Kandas.Though he acknowledges the source of the story to Valmiki , he had almost rewritten the story. As a Tamil poet , he followed the  great traditions of Tamil Grammar  in writing an epic. A great philanthropist   called  THiruvennai  Nallur Chadayappa Vallal   financed his venture .The grateful Kamba mentions about him   in various places in the epic.In fact he is picturized as the one   who  handed over the crown to sage Vasishta  during carnation of Rama  .The great poet could never   leave out any chance for  pretty long descriptions in various places .He mentions that  Kausalya went to the temple of Ranganatha (the family deity of Dasaratha)   as soon as she heard   about Coronation of Rama  . He made   various changes in the story of Valmiki  . People believe that there    were various protests   when he wanted to dedicate it  Lord Ranganatha of  Sri Rangam   temple . There is a belief  that he was compelled    to get certificates from various learned people for doing that  , There is also a story that   the king   did not want Kamban to   use words which people do not commonly use. Kamban changed the names of  all the characters  of Ramayana to suit the limited alphabetical list in Tamil as well as to  suit the Tamil Grammar. Ofcourse he had  borrowed certain  meters of poem writing from Sanskrit in certain places  . My translation of Kamban’s   great epic  was started in the month of  January 2014  and had been completed   on !5th  January  2015 and this can be found in
    There are no on line references of English translation of Kamba Ramayanam available in the web   and  though many people have started doing it. Most of the prose translation available are  abridged versions of the original  . I found a reference saying that so far  only the first 4000   verses have been translated in to English.
     This journey of mine   in the great ocean of Ramayana    spanning for three long years had  almost changed my personality. Due to age whenever , I did not feel confidant  , I used to ask  my friends in the face  book and  in google plus to pray for me  .Not only they did but wrote to me  encouraging me  .My grateful thanks to all of them.
    I do not  guarantee   total freedom from mistakes  in these translations because I did all alone   and I again was the only one who proof read it . I request   that my future generation of youngsters to whom I wrote this , read it , correct  it  and further improve it .Here is the greatest wealth of India  which I am passing to you all with the hope and request that   you  would preserve  and improve the treasure further  and  pass it on to your next generation. I would like to thank God Rama and his  great devotee Hanuman  for choosing  an ordinary person like me to do this job.May God bless you all .

1 comment:

saraswathy said...

Thank you,sir, for your unstinting generosity in making these hidden gems freely available. Thank you so much.
May the Goddess continue to bless you in many ways.