Had it not been for the ultimate epic writers and sages such as Valmiki and Tulsidas who wrote Ramayan, and Ved Vyas who wrote Mahabharat. Hinduism would have remained incomplete and perhaps in the confines of God alone. It is only because of these great all time writers. The history of Hinduism has spread so comprehensively all across the world since inception.
Ramayan and Mahabharat are the two historical sagas referred as Itihas (history) in Hinduism. That serves as the eternal inspiration for humanity and is considered as the putative and exemplary realization of the four … purusharthas (efforts): Dharma (righteous and dutiful) Artha (wealth) Kama (desire and fulfillment) and Moksha (liberation).
Ramayan in the real sense is the ‘abode of Lord Ram’ and is smaller of the two great works. The tireless epic mirrors the highest ideals of Hindu tradition, culture and civilization. The story relates to Treta Yug (one of the four ages of the world) and centers on Ram. The prince of Ayodhya and the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and his wife Sita as the incarnation of Mother Lakshmi. Ramayan sings the glory of Lord Ram and advises humanity on how to lead a fulfilling life and attain the four purusharthas. The epic is profound and timeless in its popularity. It teaches with the analogy of symbolism. As to how an individual can evolve into greatness and perfection.
Sage Valmiki’s Ramayana has been translated into most Indian languages, as well as several foreign languages, including Russian. It consists of 24,000 stanzas in seven cantos, and depicts Rama as the ideal king, son, brother, friend, and husband. In Bharat, Lakshman, and Shatrughan, we see exemplified ideal brothers. In Sita, we have the purest flower of Indian womanhood. Who is devoted to her Lord in thought, word, and deed.
Ramayana is an ideal textbook of morals and values. That inspires nobler dimensions of character and conduct. Other noteworthy and famous versions of Ramayana include Sage Veda Vyasa’s Adhyatma Ramayana, Goswami Tulsidasa’s Shri Ramcharitamanas (Tulsi Ramayana), and Kambar’s Kamba Ramayana.
Mahabharat on the other hand is an epic. That is more than eight times the size of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey combined. In philosophical content it is unparalleled to any other literary work in the world. This grand book of knowledge contains more than 100,000 stanzas in 18 chapters and is the work of the renowned Sage Veda Vyasa.
The underlying theme of Mahabharata is yato dharma tato jayah, “where there is dharma, there is victory.” Indicating the ultimate triumph of good over evil and the establishment of righteousness.
The story unfolds toward the end of Dvapara Yuga and describes the genealogy and events leading up to, and after, the familial war between the royal cousins.
The story is used as a vehicle. To convey eternal philosophical truths of the highest order. It is said, “that which is in Mahabharata can be seen elsewhere, but that which is not there cannot be seen anywhere else.” This gives an idea of the comprehensiveness of subjects in the epic. Which is full of lofty instructions on all aspects of human life and endeavour—an inspiring saga of India’s past glory, portraying all that is great and noble in humanity.
The guiding spirit throughout the epic is the divine figure of Lord Krishna. Who brings the pure and the righteous to Himself, and destroys the evil and the evildoers. Shrimad Bhagwad Gita or the “Lord’s Song” is part of Mahabharata.
Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi
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