The Ramayana As our National Epic
The Ramayana has been the eternal source of the inspiration to all Indians and all Centeral and South Asians. Our National Ideals, our concepts of state and good governance, our standards of interpersonal behaviour and our attitude to the world's natural flora and fauna have been influenced by the Ramayana.
Our Samskirt and regional literatures bear the stamp of Ramkatha. The history of our freedom movement which was the forerunner of freedom movements everywhere, was inspired by the ideals of Ramayana. Our great men and women, our art forms including literature, theatre, music, dance, puppetry, sculpture, architecture and painting owe a lot to the Ramayana. The oral tradition of telling Ramkatha is as old as the Ramayana itself.
Many religious sects and philosophical movments have evolved around Sri Rama's personality. Unity in diversity is best exemplified in how our various states, languages and cultures have adapted the Ramkatha keeping the central motifs intact.
Each generation of Indians have rediscovered its own Ramayana for finding solutions to its problems. Sri Rama, Sita, Bharat, Lakshmana and Hanuman are companions in our life's jounerys sharing our sorrows and enhancing our joys. Like Akash, Vayu, Agni, Jal and Prithvi, the Ramayana is also a part of our PRAKRITI as one poet has remarked.
From the stone inscriptions to modern computers, each medium has adapted the Ramakatha to suit it creativity. For the rural and the tribal people of India, the Ramakatha is their Atmakatha (autobiography).
Monks, pilgrims, traders and soldiers took the Ramayana and its culture expressions to South and Central Asia, binding all the national together with strands of Tyaga and Seva. The Ramakatha is verily the story of India, the tale of Asia, nay, the very life-throb of all human beings.