Unknown versions of Ramayana


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Ravana’s version of the Ramayana, 'Asura : The Tale of the Vanquished' by Anand Neelakantan.
About the book: The epic tale of victory and defeat… The story of the Ramayana had been told innumerable times. The enthralling story of Rama, the incarnation of God, who slew Ravana, the evil demon of darkness, is known to every Indian. And in the pages of history, as always, it is the version told by the victors, that lives on. The voice of the vanquished remains lost in silence. But what if Ravana and his people had a different story to tell? The story of the Ravanayana had never been told. Asura is the epic tale of the vanquished Asura people, a story that has been cherished by the oppressed outcastes of India for 3000 years. Until now, no Asura has dared to tell the tale. But perhaps the time has come for the dead and the defeated to speak. “For thousands of years, I have been vilified and my death is celebrated year after year in every corner of India. Why? Was it because I challenged the Gods for the sake of my daughter? Was it because I freed a race from the yoke of caste-based Deva rule? You have heard the victor’s tale, the Ramayana. Now hear the Ravanayana, for I am Ravana, the Asura, and my story is the tale of the vanquished.” “I am a non-entity – invisible, powerless and negligible. No epics will ever be written about me. I have suffered both Ravana and Rama – the hero and the villain or the villain and the hero. When the stories of great men are told, my voice maybe too feeble to be heard. Yet, spare me a moment and hear my story, for I am Bhadra, the Asura, and my life is the tale of the loser.” The ancient Asura empire lay shattered into many warring petty kingdoms reeling under the heel of the Devas. In desperation, the Asuras look up to a young saviour – Ravana. Believing that a better world awaits them under Ravana, common men like Bhadra decide to follow the young leader. With a will of iron and a fiery ambition to succeed, Ravana leads his people from victory to victory and carves out a vast empire from the Devas. But even when Ravana succeeds spectacularly, the poor Asuras find that nothing much has changed for them. It is when that Ravana, by one action, changes the history of the world.

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Unknown versions of Ramayana

  1. 1. Did you know there are over 300versions of the greatest Epic - Ramayana Here are some of them!
  2. 2. Muslim (Mappilla) Ramayan Mappillapattu is a song genre popular among the Muslims inSouth India especially from Kerala and Lakshwadeep. These Muslimsincorporated episodes of Ramayana in these songs. These songs cameto be known as Mappila Ramayana and has been handed down fromone generation to the next orally. In Mappila Ramayana, the story of the Ramayana has beenchanged into that of a Sultan and there are no major changes in thenames of characters except for that of Rama which is `Laman in manyplaces.
  3. 3. Jain Ramayana In the Jain epic, Lakshamana kills Ravana. Rama ischaracterized an upright person who at the end sacrifices hiskingdom, becomes a Jain monk and attains Moksha. Lakshamanakills Ravana and they both go to hell. According to the epic, one daythey will be reborn as upright characters and will attain Moksha intheir future births. Jains believe that Ravana will be reborn as Jain Tirthankara(the omniscient teacher).
  4. 4. Buddhist Version In this version of Ramayana, Dasaratha was the king of Varanasiand not Ayodhya. Rama, Sita and Lakshmana were the siblings born tothe first wife of Dasaratha. To protect his children from his second wife,the king sent the three in exile to the Himalayas. Twelve years later, the trio came back to the kingdom with Ramaand Sita ruling as consorts. The abduction of Sita did not find a place inthis version.
  5. 5. Malaysian Ramayana According to this version of Ramayana, Dasaratha is a great grand son of prophet Adam. Ravana receives boons from ALLAH and not Brahma. Lakshmana is the hero in this story and Rama is not at all heroic. Thai Ramayana Thai version of Ramayana is known as Ramakien in the locallanguage. In this version, Sita is the daughter of Ravana and Mandodari.Hanuman is the hero in this story and not Rama.
  6. 6. And the most recent… Ravana’s Ramayana Yes you read that right! In the Ramayana that we have beenhearing and reading, Rama has been the hero. He triumphed overRavana and emerged victorious. Today 5000 years later, the villian isback to narrate his version of Ramayana. The devil, the dead and thedefeated rises back to tell the story of his people. Ravana has another side. He was known to be a complete manwhich is why he came to be known as “Dasamukha”. His kingdom wasknown to be the most advanced kingdom of his times. He freed a racefrom the oppression of the Devas. And yet Ravana’s death is the mostcelebrated death of the mankind. Why?Read More in the ‘Look Inside Section’ : click here