( 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:-
1.Samkshepa Ramayana - http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/ra1.htm
2,Ragothamashtakam - http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/ra2.htm
3.Nama Ramayanam - http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/ra4.htm
4.Rama Narayana Sthuthi (Malayalam ) - http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/ra19.htm
5.Sri Rama Keerthanam - http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/ra26.htm
6.Pasurappadi Ramayanam (Tamil)- http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/pm5.htm
7.Gayatri Ramayanam - http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/pm32.htm
8.Sri Ramodantham - http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/pm3.htm
9.Saptha rishi Ramayanam - http://stotrarathna.blogspot.in/2012/04/saptha-rishi-ramayanam.html
10.SAmkshepa Sundara Kandam - http://stotrarathna.blogspot.in/2009/07/samkshepa-sundara-kandam_20.html
11.Raghu Veera Gadhyam- http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/ra31.htm
12,Sri Rama Mangalasasanam - http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/ra14.htm
I had also earlier translated an Upanishad called Rama Rahsya Upanishad (http://www.celextel.org/upanishads/atharva_veda/ramarahasya.html ) 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. http://rajathathas.blogspot.in/. 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:-
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 .