10 Lesser Known Facts on Ramayana: The Epic

10 Jun 2023  Read 12775 Views

The Epic Hindu text known as the "Ramayana" is believed to be several centuries old, with its origins dating back to ancient times, probably between 500 BCE to 100 BCE. Still, the exact age of the Ramayana cannot be determined as it has been passed down through generations orally before being written down. The composition of Ramayana is attributed to the sage Valmiki, who is considered its author.

The Ramayana holds immense cultural and religious significance in Hinduism & has had a profound influence on literature, art, and religious practices. But even if you know the whole story of this Epic, there are still some lesser-known mysteries that we bet you wouldn’t have heard of. Curious to know, right? So, let’s decode these in this article.  

10 Interesting Facts on Ramayana

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Source: wikipedia
  1. 100s of versions of Ramayana apart from the original version with different narratives

There are hundreds of versions of Ramayana apart from Valmiki’s original one spread to many Asian countries, such as Burma, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Japan etc. Few of these versions are drastically different from the original. Say, one of the earliest Dasaratha Jataka is the Buddhist version of the epic wherein Rama and Sita are depicted as brother and sister who were sent away to the Himalayas by King Dasaratha to protect them from their jealous stepmother. 

Shocking right? But it’s true similarly; there are a few other versions available.

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Source: TOI
  1. Forest where Ram, Lakshman & Sita stayed during their exile.

Many of us know that Ram, Lakshman & Sita stayed in a forest during their exile, but how many of us know the name of the forest? We can bet a very few of us. The name of that forest was Dandakaranya (home of many fierce demons at that time) which was spread over 35,600 square miles, now parts of present-day Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. 

"Dand" means "to punish", and "Aranya" means "forest".

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Source: Sanatana Dharma

 

  1. Gayatri Mantra is formed from the first letter coming after every 1000 verses of Ramayana

Who doesn’t know the famous Gayatri Mantra? It is the most well-known mantra among Hindus comprising of 24 letters. But did you know? The first letter after every 1000 verses of the Ramayan forms the Gayatri Mantra. This mantra is symbolically the essence of the epic Ramayana. The Gayatri Mantra is first mentioned in one of the oldest Vedas, the Rigveda.

The original Valmiki’s Ramayan has 24,000 verses.

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Source: Jagranjosh
  1. NASA believes the story of "Ramayana" and "Adam's Bridge" are interconnected.

The story of the epic Ramayana clearly describes that Rama and Lakshmana built a bridge to conquer Lanka with the assistance of their monkey army, and it is believed that this story is about 1,750,000 years old. But, if you have seen the Ram Setu movie, you probably would know that NASA recently discovered a man-made ancient bridge connecting Sri Lanka and India

Ram Setu movie follows an archaeologist who investigates the nature of Rama Setu, which relates to Adam's Bridge. 

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Source: Times Now
  1. Sita managed to lift the Lord Shiva’s bow (Dhanus) during her childhood; that’s why King Janak put the condition of breaking the bow at Sita’s Swayamvar

As we have seen in the movies or serials or read the epic Ramayana, Sita was known to lift Shiva’s bow during childhood; due to this, her father, Janak, proposed to find a groom who could at least match her ability. When Ram visited Mithila, there was no Swayamvar. It was Vishwamitra who, before going to Mithila, told Rama that he would be showing one insuperable bow of Lord Shiva kept over there. Do you know the name of the Shiva’s bow?

Pinaka was the name of the bow used by Lord Rama in Sita’s Swayamvar.

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Source: Free 3D
  1. While Lord Rama is known to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Lakshman is believed to be an incarnation of Sheshnag

Ram is considered an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, but have you ever wondered who were the brothers of Lord Rama? Lakshmana is considered to be the incarnation of Sheshnag. While Bharata and Shatrughna are believed to be the incarnation of Sudarshan-chakra and conch-shell respectively carried by Lord Vishnu. Interesting isn’t it?

Shesh naga is the king of all nagas

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Source: webdunia
  1. Lakshman Rekha is not part of the original Valmiki Ramayana

It is a very surprising fact that there is no mention of Lakshman Rekha in the original Valmiki Ramayana. The renowned word used as a metaphor for a line that can’t be crossed is actually a border drawn by Lakshman with his arrow to protect Sita. But even in Ramcharitmanas, written by Saint Tulsidas, doesn’t directly feature this story.

Seven parts of Ramcharitmanas are Bal Kanda, Ayodhya Kanda, Aranya Kanda, Kiskindha Kanda, Sundar Kanda, Lanka Kanda & Uttar Kanda. 

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Source: Etsy
  1. Laxman lived without sleeping for the whole span of 14 years

To safeguard Lord Rama and Sita, the beloved brother of lord Rama, lord Lakshman sacrificed his sleep to which his wife Urmila continued sleeping for 14 years to compensate for the sleep of her husband. When they returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana, Goddess Nidra promptly appeared before Lakshman & when he fell asleep, Urmila woke up.

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Source: Amazon
  1. Why is Lord Hanuman referred to as “Bajrang Bali”?

Lord Hanuman is popularly known as “Bajrang Bali” in several parts of India. But not everyone knows about the origin of the name. Once when Sita put sindoor on her forehead, Hanuman asked her why. She replied that since she was the wife, the sindoor was a sign of her unconditional love and respect. So, he went on to cover his entire body with sindoor as a sign of his devotion. Hence, he is known by this name.

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Source: Herzindagi
  1. Rama departed Earth by sinking into the river Saryu

It is believed that Sita abandoned her body after being absorbed into the Earth, just like she was born from Earth. So, even lord Rama abandoned the earth after taking water samadhi in the river Saryu.

Even, Lakshman took water samadhi.

Conclusion

The Epic Ramayana by Sage Valmiki holds immense significance in India, and it’s one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient Indian literature, with the other being Mahabharata. Due to this, it also forms part of the curriculum in schools and colleges, along with various competitive exams, such as civil services examinations, where knowledge of Indian literature and cultural heritage is required. Therefore, one should be aware of Ramayana's characters, events & teachings.

About the Author: Kakoli Nath | 275 Post(s)

She is a Legal Content Manager at Finology Legal! With a Masters in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), a BBA.LL.B from ITM University, and patent analyst training from IIPTA, she truly specializes in her field. Her passion for IPR and Criminal laws is evident from her advanced certification in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Profiling from IFS, Pune.

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