The retelling of {r}Ama's story in Sanskrit literature

  • UG101.
  • The epic {r}AmAyaRa is one of the two most celebrated epics in Indian tradition. It was composed by {v}AlmIki and consists of 24,000 verses. However, {v}AlmIki's {r}AmAyaRa is not the only version of the story of {r}Ama. The story appears in several versions in Sanskrit as well as in the regional language of India. The story of {r}Ama is told as episodes in the {m}ahABArata and in {p}urARas. There are also independent compositions that retell the story in Sanskrit. There are Jain and Buddhist versions of the {r}AmAyaRa in Prakrit and Pali too. The story of {r}Ama spread not only throughout India but also across South-east Asia. Taking into consideration the vast number of retellings of the story of {r}Ama, we will study only the Sanskrit versions in this course. It is important to study the various narrations of the story of {r}Ama with reference to the original Sanskrit texts rather than translations and secondary sources. Doing so will help us re-examine popular opinions about the story and reveal the complexity of the transmission of this story and texts in general in Sanskrit. This will also help us understand the importance of and need to undertake philological analysis of Sanskrit literature.

    The duration of the course will be twelve weeks. Two live classes per week. There will be fourteen topics for discussion in the course followed by a review at the end. Each topic will be given adequate time and attention.

  • Instructor: Anuja Ajotikar and Tanuja Ajotikar.
  • Prerequisite: familiarity with Sanskrit would be good. Familiarity with Sanskrit literature will also be sufficient.
  • Schedule: 17th January 2021--8th April 2021
  • Course meeting times: Sunday and Thursday 9:00-10.30 am U.S. Central Time (IST 8.30pm-10.00pm).
  • Course fee: $2000.
  • Express interest.
    1. Course materials:
    2. {v}AlmIki {r}AmAyaRa {b}AlakARqa critically edited by G. H. Bhatta. Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1960.
    3. {a}yoDyAkARqa critically edited by P. L. Vaidya. Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1962.
    4. {a}raRyakARqa critically edited by P. C. Divanji. Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1963.
    5. kizkinDAkARqa critically edited by D. R. Mankad. Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1965.
    6. sundarakARqa critically edited by G. C. Jhala. Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1966.
    7. yudDakARqa critically edited by P. L. Vaidya. Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1971.
    8. uttarakARqa critically edited by U. P. Bhatta. Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1975.
    9. {a}dButarAmAyaRa Sanskrit text with transliteration, English commentary along with explanatory notes, relevant appendices etc. compiled and translated by Sri. Ajai Kumar Chhawchharia. Reprint: Varanasi: Chaukhamba Surbharati Prakashan, 2018.
    10. {a}DyAtmarAmAyaRa original Sanskrit stanzas with Hindi translation. Gorakhpur: Gita press.
    11. {A}nandarAmAyaRa Sanskrit Text, English Translation and introduction, vols. 1 and 2, translated into English by Shashilal Nagar. Delhi: Parimal Publications, 2006.
    12. {c}ampurAmAyaRa of king Boja (1--5 kARqas) and lakzmaRasUri (6th kARqa) with the commentary of {r}Amacandra {b}uDendra, edited by {k}ASinATa {p}ARquraNga {p}araba. Bombay: Nirnaya Sagar Press, 1898.
    13. {B}uSuRqIrAmAyaRa, vols. 1--3, edited by B. P. Singh. Varanasi: Vishvavidyalaya Prakashan, 1975.
    14. {S}rInIlakaRWacaturDarakftaM {m}antrarAmAyaRam svopajYamantrarahasyaprakASikAvyAKyAyutam, edited and translated in Hindi by Prabhunath Dvivedi. Lukhnow: Uttara Pradesh Sanskrit Sansthan, 1998.
    15. {r}AmopAKyAna: The story of rAma in the {m}ahABArata, an independent study reader in Sanskrit, by Peter M. Scharf. Richmond, England, U.K.: Curzon Press, 2001.
    16. {v}izRu {p}urARa of {m}aharzi {v}edavyAsa with Sanskrit commentary, {A}tmaprakASa of {S}rIDarAcArya, 4 to 6 aMSas, Vol. II, edited by Thaneshacandra Upreti. Delhi: Parimal Prakashan, 2011.
    17. {p}adma {p}urARa, Vol. II, {b}rahmaKaRqa and {p}AtAlaKaRqa, edited by {r}AvasAheba {m}aRqalika and {v}iSvanATa {n}ArAyaRa. Pune: {A}nandASrama, 1894.
    18. {g}aruqa {p}urARa, edited by Ramatej Pandey. Reprint edition. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Vidyabhavan.
    19. {a}gnipurARam. Pune: {A}nandASrama, 1900.
    20. {B}Agavata {p}urARa of {k}fzRa-dvEpAyanavyAsa with Sanskrit commentary {B}AvArTaboDinI of {S}rIDarasvAmin, edited by J. L. Shastri. Delhi: Motilal Banarasidas.
    21. {d}evIBagavata, {d}vitIya {K}aRqa. Gorakhpur: Geeta Press, 1889.
    22. .
Lecture Topic
1 Introduction
2 Birth of {r}Ama
3 Birth of {s}ItA
4 Marriage of {r}Ama and {s}ItA
5 Coronation of {r}Ama and {k}EkeyI's conditions
6 {r}Ama and {B}arata's meeting
7 Abduction of {s}ItA
8 {v}AlivaDa: slaying of {v}Alin
9 {h}anUmat's finding of {s}ItA and burning of {l}aNkA
10 War between {r}Ama and {r}AvaRa
11 {a}gniparIkzA: test of {s}ItA in fire
12 The abandonment of {s}ItA
13 Subordinate episodes in the {r}AmAyaRa
14 Philosophical interpretation of the {r}AmAyaRa