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Epics of All Religions

Epics of All Religions

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Published by: dwarkanath_g3075 on Feb 27, 2009
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01/29/2013

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“He who sings and hears this poem continually has attained to the
highest state of enjoyment, and will finally be equal to the gods.”

The Ramayana, the Hindu Iliad, is variously ascribed to the fifth, third, and first centuries B.C., its many
interpolations making it almost impossible to determine its age by internal evidence. Its authorship is
unknown, but according to legend it was sung by Kuca and Lava, the sons of Rama, to whom it was taught by
Valmiki. Of the three versions now extant, one is attributed to Valmiki, another to Tuli Das, and a third to
Vyasa.

Its historical basis, almost lost in the innumerable episodes and grotesque imaginings of the Hindu, is
probably the conquest of southern India and Ceylon by the Aryans.

The Ramayana is written in the Sanskrit language, is divided into seven books, or sections, and contains fifty
thousand lines, the English translation of which, by Griffith, occupies five volumes.

National Epics

NATIONAL EPICS.

6

The hero, Rama, is still an object of worship in India, the route of his wanderings being, each year, trodden by
devout pilgrims. The poem is not a mere literary monument,—it is a part of the actual religion of the Hindu,
and is held in such reverence that the mere reading or hearing of it, or certain passages of it, is believed to free
from sin and grant his every desire to the reader or hearer.

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