INDIAN CIVILIZATION SEMINAR TOPIC: RAMAYANA IN INDIAN HISTORY, MYTH, AND CULTURE


Some Questions

What is most interesting about the ways in which the Ramayana is etched onto the landscape of India?

Why do you think the Ramayana has become such a central tale in the history of Indian civilization?  What is most distinctive about India's relationship with the Ramayana?

What are some ways in which the Ramayana and its stories and characters have featured in contemporary Indian news and culture?

To what extent is the Ramayana a "dangerous" story in today's India, a multi-religious nation with a secular constitution?

Some Terms

Ram, Sita, Hanuman, Lakshman, Ravana

Ayodhya

Lanka

Chitrakut, Panchavati, Kishkinda, Rameshvara

Dussehra Festival

Ramlilas

Valmiki

Mewar Ramayana

Babri Mosque

Ram Janmabhoomi Movement

Ram Mandir

Jai Shri Ram

Ram Setu

A.K. Ramanujon, "Three Hundred Ramayanas" (1987)


Starting Places

  Diana L, Eck, "Chapter 9, Following Rama -- The Ramayana On The Landscape Of India," India: A Sacred Geography (New York: Harmony Books, 2012): pp. 398-440.

  Rahul Verma, "The TV Show That Transformed Hinduism," BBC Culture, October 22, 2019.

  "How The Babri Mosque Destruction Shaped India," BBC News, December 6, 2017.

  Soutik Biswas, "Ramayana: An 'Epic' Controversy," BBC News, October 19, 2011.


Ramayana In The News

  "Dussehra: Covid-19 Forces Grand Hindu Festival To Go Online," BBC News, October 24, 2020.

  "Ayodhya Verdict: Indian Top Court Gives Holy Site To Hindus," BBC News, November 9, 2019.

Soutik Biswas, "Ayodhya Verdict: The Man Who Helped Lord Ram Win," BBC News, November 9, 2019.

  "Ayodhya Dispute: The Complex History Of India's Holy Site," BBC News, October 16, 2019.

"Ramayana Heritage Of Entire Mankind: Vice President Naidu," Outlook (September 29, 2019).

"Everyone Must Imbibe Values From Ramayan, Strive To Become Ideal Human Being: Amit Shah," Outlook (September 17, 2019).

  Akanksha Singh, "How India's Ancient Myths Are Being Rewritten," BBC Culture, September 2, 2019.

"Railways Plan To Reintroduce Ramayana Circuit," Outlook (August 23, 2019).

  "Jai Sri Ram: The Hindu Chant That Became A Murder Cry," BBC News, July 10, 2019.

  "Why Is A 2,500-Year-Old Epic Dominating Polls In Modern India?," BBC News, April 23, 2019.

"Characters From Ramayana Should Keep Caste Certificates Ready Now: Shiv Sena," Outlook (December 22, 2018).

Manik Sharma, "30 Years Of DD's Ramayana: The Back Story Of The Show That Changed Indian TV Forever," Hindustan Times, January 13, 2018.

  Murali Krishnan, "A Bridge That Lord Ram Built -- Myth Or Reality?," DW, December 14, 2017.

  Kai Schultz, "In India, A Ghost Town And A Mythological Bridge," New York Times, October 3, 2017.

Ariel Sophia Bardi, "God Or Geology?: The Genesis Of Ram's Bridge," Hakai Magazine (May 31, 2017).

  "Hindu God Issued With Court Summons In East Indian State," Guardian, February 18, 2016.

  Vikas Pandey, "Why An Indian Lawyer Tried To Sue God," BBC News, February 8, 2016.

  "Ramayana: Indian Children Playing God With Royal Patronage," BBC News, November 25, 2015.

  "In Pictures: Stunning Ramayana Manuscript Goes Digital," BBC News, March 21, 2014.

  "The Mewar Ramayana Epic -- In Pictures," Guardian, March 21, 2014.

Anjan Pasricha, "Hindu Mythologies Rule Indian Television," Al Jazeera, January 30, 2014.

  Daljit Nagra, "The Ramayana's Epic Journey Into The Digital World," Guardian, March 1, 2013.

"Ramayana Essay: Teachers, Academics Protest," Outlook (October 24, 2011).

"Ramayana Essay Removal: Swamy Criticises Protests," Outlook (October 24, 2011).

S. N. Vijetha, "Ramayana Row: DU Council Ignored Opinion Of Three Experts," Hindu, October 19, 2011.

  "India's Delhi University In Row Over Ramayana Epic Essay," BBC News, October 18, 2011.

  William Dalrymple, "All Indian Life Is Here," Guardian, August 23, 2008.

  Amarnath Tewary, "Hindu Gods Get Summons From Court," BBC News, December 7, 2007.

  "Report On Hindu God Ram Withdrawn," BBC News, September 14, 2007.


Video Sources

  "Ramayana -- The Epic," Animation Movies, 2016.  (97 mins)

"Rama And The Ramayana," Crash Course World Mythology #27, September 22, 2017.  (13 mins)


Audio Sources

  "Greek Myth And The Indian Epic Ramayana," Start The Week, BBC Radio 4, September 30, 2013.

  "Ramayan -- India's TV Epic," Witness History, BBC World Service, August 1, 2013.

  "India's Epics, Ancient And Modern," On Point, NPR, December 27, 2010:  An audio feature on the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.

"Ancient Indian Tales Inspire A Modern Indian Art," Morning Edition, NPR, December 13, 2007.


Summaries

Anindita Basu, "Ramayana," Ancient History Encyclopedia, August 30, 2016.

  "Ramayana: An Introduction To The Great Indian Epic," Asia Society:

  "Ashrama, Dharma, Moksha: The Ramayana As A Metanarrative For Hindu Cosmology":


Websites

  Quick Guide To The Ramayana, British Library:

  Ramayana -- Wikipedia:

  Valmiki -- Wikipedia:

  Mewar Ramayana -- A Digital Reunification, British Library:

Jagat Singh Ramayana, British Library:

Sita And Rama -- The Ramayana In Indian Painting:  A small web-site associated with a 2019 exhibition at New York's Metropolitan Museum.

  Ramayana, Berkeley Orias:


Characters Of Ramayana

  Rama -- Wikipedia:

  Sita -- Wikipedia:

Saker Sumnan, "Sita Was Not Just An 'Adarsh Bhartiya Nari,' She Was A Warrior: Amish Tripathi," Hindustan Times, March 24, 2017.

  Hanuman -- Wikipedia:

  "India Probes Identity Card For Monkey God Hanuman," BBC News, September 12, 2014.

  Lakshmana -- Wikipedia:

  Ravana -- Wikipedia:

  Dasharatha -- Wikipedia:

  Bharata -- Wikipedia:

  Sugriva -- Wikipedia:

  Vali -- Wikipedia:


Geography Of Ramayana

  "Ramayana -- The Epic That Connects The Vast Geography Of India," True Picture, August 4, 2020.

  Lanka -- Wikipedia:

  Kishkhinda -- Wikipedia:

Ayodhya -- Wikipedia:


Articles

  Brinda Singh, "Ramayana: The Grand Epic Of Ancient India," Ancient Origins, August 30, 2020.

Aditi Shah, "The Ramayana: A Tibetan Retelling," Live History India, January 18, 2019.

Sugata Srinivasaraju, "How Many Ramayanas?," Outlook (March 5, 2008).


Miscellaneous

Valmiki's Ramayana:  An English translation of the most famous version of the epic.

Ramayana:  An audio reading of Valmiki's Ramayana in English.

  Richman, Paula, ed.  Many Ramayanas: The Diversity Of A Narrative Tradition In South Asia.  Berkeley: California, 1991: An e-text of an anthology of academic essays about the Ramayana.

Lessons Of The Indian Epics -- Following The Dharma:  Educational materials sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


 

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