The Ramayana is one of the great epics of India. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon (smṛti), considered to be itihāasa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India, the other being the Mahabharata. It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, 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 the king of Sri Lanka, Ravan. Thematically, the Ramayana explores human values and the concept of dharma.
The story’s original version in Sanskrit is known as Valmiki Ramayana, dating to approximately the 5th to 4th century BCE. [+more]