Story Title: Ramayana
Language: Various Languages
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One of greatest epics ever told. Here is Valmiki’s Ramayana.
This animated film was produced in Japan. Note the interesting visual rendition of the Ramayana characters in a very Japanese style. Watch with your children and discuss how culture affects and modifies visual expression. Does it affect the story and the narrative too?
The Ramayana or Rāmāyaṇa (/rɑːˈmɑːjənə/; Sanskrit: रामायणम्, Rāmāyaṇam, pronounced [rɑːˈmɑːjəɳəm]) is one of the great Hindu epics. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu literature (smṛti), considered to be itihāasa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of Hinduism, the other being the Mahabharata. It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife, and the ideal king. The name Ramayana is a tatpurusha compound of Rāma and ayana (“going, advancing”), translating to “Rama’s Journey”. The Ramayana consists of 24,000 verses in seven books (kāṇḍas) and 500 cantos (sargas), and tells the story of Rama (an avatar of the Hindu supreme-god Vishnu), whose wife Sita is abducted by Ravana, the king of Lanka (current day Sri Lanka). Incidentally the first letter of every 1000 verses (total 24) make the Gayatri mantra. Thematically, the Ramayana explores human values and the concept of dharma.
Verses in the Ramayana are written in a 32-syllable meter called anuṣṭubh. The Ramayana was an important influence on later Sanskrit poetry and Hindu life and culture. Like the Mahabharata, the Ramayana is not just a story: it presents the teachings of ancient Hindu sages (Vedas) in narrative allegory, interspersing philosophical and devotional elements. The characters Rama, Sita, Lakshman, Bharata, Hanuman, and Ravana are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of India, Nepal, and many south-east Asian countries such as Thailand and Indonesia.
There are other versions of the Ramayana in Indian languages, besides Buddhist and Jain adaptations; and also Cambodian, Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, Lao, Burmese, and Malaysian versions of the tale.
Source: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramayana)
Full Animated Marathi Movie
More Story Resources
Suggested activities: Find five ways in which Rama, Sita, Hanuman and Ravana are depicted across South Asian countries. What is similar and what is dissimilar? How did the story travel to these countries? Chart the sea and land routes that this story took to reach new countries.