AK Ramanujan How many Ramayanas! Three hundred? Three thousand? At the end of some Ramayanas, a question is sometimes asked. About two weeks ago, Delhi University voted to remove A.K. Ramanujan’s essay, “Three Hundred Ramayanas,” from its curriculum. The scholarly essay by A. K. Ramanujan. “Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation.’ appeared in The.

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How many Ramayanas have there been? Winter is a state of mind in Calcutta Opinion. He had for his master Nammalvar ninth century? Ramanujan’s word is not gospel and a student or teacher is free to agree or disagree with his essay. Now and then, as we have ramanjuan, Text 2 uses the plot and characters and names of Text 1 minimally and uses them to say entirely new things, often in an effort to subvert the predecessor by producing a counter-text.

Ramanujan & the Ramayana

The Shatakotipravistara —that is, the long, uncountable list of various Ramayanas have been subject to extensive discussions and debates in our Itihasas and Puranas over thousands of years. You can write the whole thing on two sides of an A-4 paper. Later, he is shaken to his roots when he hears from soothsayers that he will meet his end through a woman, Sita. Oral, written, and performance traditions, phrases, proverbs, and even sneers carry allusions to the Rama story.

Most of ramanuman versions are hearsay oral narratives and some like the Santhal version were falsified by Ramanujam in the essay and factually incorrect. Or these translation-relations between texts could be thought of in Peircean terms, at least in three ways. Then Ravula goes to astrologers, who tell him he is being punished for not keeping his ramayans to Siva and for eating the flesh of the fruit instead of giving it to his wife.

Raayana part also describes the banishment of Sita, the birth of her sons, their war with Rama, Sita’s descent into the earth, and the appearance of the gods to reunite Rama and Sita. The whole village went to this one-man performance as if it were a rare feast.


All this looks a bit fantastic and extreme. The black stone standing on a high place, waiting for Rama, is itself a very effective, vivid symbol. Singh, was a pro-Vice Chancellor of Delhi University. So why should I cut off your head?

The Santals, a tribe known for their extensive oral traditions, even conceive of Sita as unfaithful—to the shock and horror of any Hindu bred on Valmiki or Kampan, she is seduced both by Ravana and by Laksmana.

Nor can the vice-chancellor be trying to turn the clock back to his time in college when the essay was blissfully unwritten: Many of these tellings vary from, or even contrast with, the Valmiki Ramayana most Indians are familiar with.

Three hundred Ramayanas – Delhi University and the purging of Ramanujan

The essay was a required reading on Delhi University’s syllabus for history undergraduates from onward. Hanuman sat on the platter, wondering what to do.

Who can do that to Indra? Laksmana and Ravana are the eighth incarnations of this pair. Hindutva seeks to re-make the diversity of Hindu narratives and practices into a uniform faith based on standardized texts.

However, Ramanujan considers only five tellings of Ramayana, namely, the tellings by ValmikiKambanthe Jain telling, the Thai Ramakien and the South Indian folk tellings. For reference, the essay is available here. How can noble men and Jain worthies like Ravana eat flesh and drink blood?

Each of these two endings gives the whole work a different cast. Indra bears the mark of what he lusted for, while Ahalya is rendered incapable of responding to anything.

When he still resists the idea, she is furious. Here Rama does not even kill Ravana, as he does in the Hindu Ramayanas. Sita is like the seed and Rama with his cloud-dark body the rain: One day when Rama was sitting on his throne, his ring fell off. Kampan, writing in the twelfth century, composed his poem under the influence of Tamil bhakti. A moment later, he realises that his curse has taken the form of a line of verse—in a famous play on words, the rhythm of his grief soka has given rise to a metrical form sloka.


He is talking to some people. Even the structure and sequence of events may be the same, but the style, details, tone, and texture—and therefore the import—may be vastly different.

Our topic is one that is both personal to all of us and one from which we aim to bring about the notion that the presentation of history in a certain manner always has far reaching implications and hence should be done in a very responsible manner.

Drawn irresistibly by this immortal epic, they have in their own ways, for their own happiness or profit retold it, and in many cases, have enriched it in their own unique way. They have monkeys as emblems on their flags: Political Science syllabus at Delhi university Bangladesh: This valuable essay is being made available here at sacw. When it touched the earth, it made a hole in the ground and disappeared into it. Still, overcoming his despair after a last unsuccessful attempt at peace, he faces his destined enemy in battle with his most powerful magic weapons.

Though many incidents look the same as they do in Valmiki, many things look different as well. So he went right in. Even as Ravana carries her off, he is opposed by an ancient bird which he slays with his sword. Ramanujan says that in Kannada, the word sita means ‘he sneezed’, and thus Sita’s name is given its Kannada etymology in this version. Retrieved from ” https: So, we cannot claim anything definitely about the text.