There are at least 300 different versions of the Ramayana that are known to exist, depending on how they are counted. The ancient story of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita, who were the human embodiments of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, is found in the Hindu epic.
The moral of the story is that good always triumphs over evil. Although the overall message is the same, the stories, characters, and relationships in various renditions are slightly different. The oldest version is the one that Valmiki wrote in Sanskrit.
But did you realise that the Ramayana also exists in Thai? It is known as Ramakien and is one of Thailand’s national epics. The phrase literally means “splendour of Rama.”
The Ramakien is one of Thailand’s national epics, derived from the Buddhist Dasaratha Jataka. Ramakien was first brought to public attention by King Rama VI. The story has origins in the Hanuman Nataka, the Ramayana by Valmiki, and the Vishnu Purana, all of which are revered by Hindus. When its sources were tracked down.
Diwali is quickly approaching, therefore now is the ideal moment to consider some unique facts about Ramakien. Let’s compare this narrative to the one we have all heard since we were children to determine how similar or different it is.
Ramakien Possesses Magical Qualities
People in Thailand think Ramakien possesses magical abilities based on old myths. Anyone who can read it continuously for seven days and nights has the power to order rain to fall for three days and nights.
Legends assert that the Ramayana by Valmiki also possessed magical abilities. Because the majority of our skewed society has always been sexist, people have long thought that if a person reads even one verse of the Ramayana, they will give birth to a male heir to the family. Many people also think that reading the epic can make someone richer and help the wicked purify their souls.
A Tale Of The Purification Of Evil Souls, Ramakien
Many Thai academics feel that Ramakien is a story whose actual meaning can only be understood by those with specialised understanding. It told the tale of Ram’s spiritual journey toward Nirvana (Sita).
Additionally, it mentions Tosakanth, as Ravana, and his siblings’ intellectual and bodily forms being purified. They were flawed beings that were passionately motivated by needs. The monkey fighters, on the other hand, were moral.
The Monkey Army Was Led By Hanuman
In the original tale, Lord Hanuman completely by himself set fire to the area surrounding Lanka. Ramakien claims, however, that Lord Hanuman used his army of monkeys to assault Krung Longka (Lanka).
It is thought that the river encircling the city prevented his troops from attacking at first. Because of this, Hanuman employed his magical abilities to transform into a giant that served as a bridge for monkeys to cross the river and engage in combat with Tosakanth’s army.
Ravan’s Persona Is More Human
Ramakien was first composed in the 18th century. While the Thai version of the Ramayana focuses more on the demon ruler Tosakanth, the Ramayana was a tale of Lord Ram and his qualities.
“The Ramakien admires Ravana’s resourcefulness and learning, while his abduction of Sita is seen as an act of love and is viewed with sympathy,” Indian poet A. K. Ramanujan stated in his article on 300 Ramayanas.
Thai people praise Tosakanth for giving up his kingdom, family, and even his life to protect the woman he loved. Ravana is completely evil in Valmiki’s Ramayana, whereas Tosakanth in Ramakien’s rendition is a person who possesses both good and evil traits. In contrast to Valmiki’s tale, when everyone celebrated when the villain was vanquished, people here are saddened by his demise.