Comparative review of Bala Kandam from ramayanas May 23, 2014 20:48:06 GMT 5.5
Post by ramya475 on May 23, 2014 20:48:06 GMT 5.5
Two days back I completed the translation of Bala kandam of “Ramavatharamof Kamban” which is a book in Tamil. Though this was the original name given to the book, over years people preferred to call it Kamba Ramayanam. Earlier I have translated The entire Valmiki Ramayanam from Sanskrit and the Adhyathma Ramayana from Malayalam has already been translated by me. The original Adhyathma Ramayanam is in Sanskrit and is a part of Brahmanda Puranam. It is supposed to be written by Veda Vyasa himself.
The Ramayana of Valmiki is called the Aadhi kavya in Sanskrit i.e. the first epic. Sage Valmiki who wanted a great book about a great hero meets sage Narada who tells to him the story of Rama in a concise form. This is the first chapter of Valmiki Ramayana and is referred to as “SAmkriptha Ramayana”. Lord Rama was a contemporary of sage Valmiki . Possibly due to this Valmiki wrote the story “Rama the man” who was known to him. Except in two places Rama is not referred to as God in the entire epic. There are no prayers addressed to Rama in the entire book. No character including Hanuman refers to him as God. .There are no references to temples or prayers done in temples. The only prayer in the entire book is the Adhithya Hrudayam , taught to Lord Rama by sage Agasthya. There are many stories of several characters of Ramayana as well as other Gods in that great book.
Adhyathma Ramayana or the spiritual Ramayana is supposed to have been written by Veda Vyasa himself as a part of Brhahmanda Purana. . It seems he was greatly attracted by the divinity in the personality of Rama. Unlike the book by Valmiki, Veda Vyasa wrote about Rama , the God. . Almost every kandam (book) of the book has several prayers addressed to Rama .As soon as he is born , Kausalya his mother prays him . There are prayers of Rama in the book sung by Asura characters like Khara and Khabanda. The bird Jatayu prays to him. Sabari the woman saint prays him and so on. Apart from that Adhyathma Ramayana contains the famous “Rama Gita”, which are teaching of spirituality by Rama to Lakshmana.
Possibly one of the first books that was translated from Sanskrit to the different languages in India is the Valmiki Ramayana. Most of those who attempted the translation , did not translate verse by verse of the original book. Most of them were not in agreement with sage Valmiki because they were all writing about the God Rama and the Goddess Sita. Most of them were poets of great standing and wanted to re write the story using their own verse. One great scholar is of the opinion that they should be called as trans-creations rather than translations. As a layman I tend to agree with this. The most famous among these trans-creations of Valmiki Ramayana are Kamban’s Ramavathara Kathai in tamil and Thulasidas’s Ramacharitha Manasa in Hindi . Kamban , called Kavi Chakravarthi (Poet emperor) is a great poet. He starts with the premise that Rama is the incarnation of Vishnu and Sita incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Though he has mentioned in the introductory chapter , that his story is based on Vamiki’s Ramayana , he follows the rules of the grammar of Tamil in writing an epic. Because of this, the story that he presents appears different. I have not read Rama Charitha Manas and I do not know how it is different from Valmiki Ramayana.
Till today I have translated the Bala Kandam of Valmiki Ramayana, Adhyathma Ramayana as well as Kamba Ramayana. I am giving below the differences that I noticed IN Bala Kandam of these versions.. I have listed the major turn of events in the Bala Kandam of each of these and have given a summary of what is written in each of these great books
You can find it in