Reading Notes: Ramayana, Part A

First off, the vocabulary used in these sections can be very confusing (since I know nothing about Indian Epics). I really wanted to focus mainly on King Dasharatha in these notes, because he has such an interesting/confusing life. I found it very interesting to learn new vocabulary, and I’d like to use some of the vocabulary if possible when writing my own story. Although it will be confusing until I learn more, I’m trying to fully understand the story. The amount of characters and twists make it hard to follow.  Below are some vocabulary words that I’d like to use:

Maharajah- “great king”

Rajah- Ruler in the south

Homa- sacrifice ritual

Rakshasas- demons

King Dasharatha contained amazing imagery. I felt as if I was Ayodhya, the capital of Koshala, an Indian kingdom. It seemed like such a wonderful place to be. I want to re-create this kingdom in my own story. Dasharatha was a sad man because he hadn’t had any sons from one of his 3 queens (Kaushalya, Kaikeyi, Sumitra). After undergoing ritual, he was promised 4 sons (though he only needed 1 to carry on royalty, which later causes problems). It would be interesting to write a story from Kaushalya’s point of view, or even the animals that they used for sacrifice (horse, reptiles). Ravana seems to be the king of Lanka. Yama was the god of death, so that could also be an interesting story to retell. King Dasharatha’s four sons were as followed: Kaushalya (Rama), Kaikeyi (Bharata), Sumitra (Lakshmana and Shatrughna). He wanted both Lakshmana and Rama to help battle the demons, or rakshasas. In battle (with a woman-Thataka), Rama cut off both her arms with arrows, and Lakshmana her nose and ears. After the death and win, he receives some crazy weapons that speak to him. Ahalya is such an interesting character, I would love to incorporate her into a story of her own. In Sita, I feel like the love between Rama and Sita could go into so much more detail. They could potentially have a storybook created just about them, or a story written about them at least. But the love isn’t won so easily, Rama has to fight for Sita. The families are so intertwined, as Rama’s brothers end up finding love within Janaka’s family as well. Kaikeyi has a very interesting plot here, and later decides that Dasharatha must make Bharata his heir and exile Rama. The story goes on, and I find the karma version of Dashartha’s death very interesting.

Bibliography:

Ramayana Online: Public Domain Edition with sources used from M. Dutt, R. Dutt, Gould, Griffith, Hodgson, Mackenzie, Nivedita, Oman, Richardson, and Ryder.

Image One: Ravena being attacked by the three sons by Wikimedia Commons accessed online here.

 

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