<i>Rāmāyaṇa</i> Textual Traditions in Eastern India

Mandakranta Bose

in The Ramayana Revisited

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780195168327
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835362 | DOI:
 Rāmāyaṇa Textual Traditions in Eastern India

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This chapter reviews the forms and versions in which the Rāmāyana has appeared in eastern India, specifically in Assam, Bengal, and Orissa, since medieval times. It shows that although these versions were derived from Valmiki's Sanskrit poem, they reflect local religious and social influences. Tracing both bhakti and and sakta sources, such as the Adhyatma Rāmāyana, Tulsidas's devotional Rāmāyana, and the Adbhuta Rāmāyana, in the eastern Rāmāyanas, it is argued that the story of Rāma thereby became the major and most widely accessible repository of religious and social ideas for mass audiences in eastern India.

Keywords: Valmiki; India; Assam; Bengal; Orissa; Rāmāyana

Chapter.  8880 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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