51 Ramayana facts

Ramayana is one of the most riveting epics from India. This story of Lord Rama has been told and retold in several languages from ancient India and is still relevant. The Ramayana is not only the story of Rama, but this is also a story of other people. For instance, Lakshman, Bharat and Hanuman. We can’t forget Sita, Urmila, Vibheeshana alongwith Kaikeyi and Manthra.

Lord Rama with his brothers, Sita and Hanumana

Following are some of the interesting facts from this epic.

1. Author of The Ramayana is Sage Valmiki. There are many more versions of this epic are available by various writers. Valmiki’s version is thus also known as Valmiki Ramayana. Another famous version is by Tulsidas, known as Ramcharitmanas.

2. This great epic is composed of rhyming couplets called ‘shlokas’, employing a complex meter called ‘anustup’. These verses are grouped into individual chapters called ‘sargas’, wherein a specific event or intent is told. The ‘sargas’ are again grouped into books called ‘kands’.

3 The whole story of the Ramayana is written in seven chapters, also known as kands. These are

Bal Kand – Rama’s boyhood.

Ayodhya Kand – Rama’s life in Ayodhya until his banishment.

Aranya Kand – Rama’s life in the forest and his abduction by Ravana.

Kishkindha Kand – Rama’s stay at Kishkindha, the capital of his monkey ally Sugriva.

Sundar Kand –  Rama’s journey to Sri Lanka

Yudh Kand or Lanka Kand – Rama’s battle with Ravana, the recovery of Sita and their return to Ayodhya.

Uttar Kand – Rama’s life as king in Ayodhya, the birth of his two sons, Sita’s test of innocence and return to her mother, and Rama’s demise. This kand completes the story of the ramayana.

4 Rama ( the principal character of the ramayana), and his brothers were born as the result of putra-kameshti yagya by Dashratha. At the end of the yagya, a bowl of dessert was given to Dashratha, which was distributed among his wives. Sumitra was fed twice, so she gave birth to twins. Dasharatha was born in the line of Ikshvaku (“the first king of the Ikshvaku dynasty and founder of the Solar Dynasty of Kshatriyas in Vedic civilization in ancient India”).

5. Rama is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, a dashavatar. Rama meets another incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who is Lord Parshurama, during the Sita Swayamvara.

6 In their childhood, Rama and Laxman helped Vishwamitra and took care of Maricha and Subahu. Rama points his bow at the two, and with one arrow kills Subahu, and with the other arrow flings Maricha thousands of miles away into the ocean.

7. Sita is considered to be an incarnation of Goddess Laxmi. She is also believed to be the daughter of Bhoomi devi (earth). Sita was also known as Vaidehi. An interesting fact about Sita is that she is also considered to be a reincarnation of Vedvati, whom Ravan had tried to molest while she was under penance, so as to become the consort of Lord Vishnu. She then cursed Ravana to become the cause of his destruction in her next birth.

Rama and Laxman
Rama and Laxman

8. Lakshman is an incarnation of Sheshnaag or Adi Shesha. He also accompanied Lord Vishnu as Balrama in the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

9. Laxman never slept during the Rama’s exile. He is also known as Gudakesh, meaning, the one who has defeated “sleep”.

10. Laxman killed three sons of Ravana. While his killing of Meghnaad is more popular, other sons of Ravana were Prahast and Atikay.

11. Lord Shiva explained that Laxman would have escaped Shakti easily, but to respect the weapon, he took this on his chest.

12. The laxmanrekha episode is not mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana. This is mentioned by Mandodri in Lanka kand in Ramcharitamanas.

Laxman draws Laxmanrekha
Laxman draws Laxmanrekha

13. Laxman was the twin brother of Shatrughana. Their mother was Sumitra.

14. Lord Rama left this earth by taking the Jal Samadhi in Sarayu river.

15. During Sita Swayamvara, Rama broken the bow of Shiva to win her hand. This was the condition of Swayamvara that someone who is able to lift the bow and string it, will win the hand of Sita. Many suitors, including Ravana, failed to do this.

Lord Rama breaking Shiva Dhanush (bow) – The Ramayana

16. Parshurama challenged Rama to string the bow of Vishnu. Which Lord Rama easily did and asked him to tell him to where he should release the arrow. Parshuram realized that Rama is no ordinary man. This is worth noting that both of these warriors were incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

17. The shiva dhanush was easily moved by Sita during her childhood.  King Janak observed this and this incident set the condition of Sita swayamvar in the Ramayana.

18. Lord Rama helped Sugriva to get back the kingdom of Kishkindha. He helped Sugriva to defeat his brother, Vali. He later married Tara, Vali’s wife. Tara is one of the Panchkanya. Mandodari, the wife of Ravana, is also a panchkanya from the Ramayana.

vali-sugriva-rama-the-ramayana-indian-mythology
Battle between Vali and Sugriva – Rama about to kill Vali

19  Rama, Laxman and Sita spent the vanvaas in Dandakaranya forests.

20 Laxman’s wife was Urmila. There is not much written about her, but she also made a supreme sacrifice while staying back in Ayodhya, while Laxman accompanied Rana and Sita for vanvaas. Urmila was Sita’s younger sister. Urmila slept both his and her shares of sleep so that Laxman remained awake protecting Rama and Sita. She slept for the whole period of exile (14 years) and only woke up when Laxmana returned to Ayodhya.

21 Tara was an apsara produced from the churning of ocean. During the churning, Vali was from gods side.

Unknown facts from Mahabharata

22. Jambavantha was created by Brahma, to assist Rama in his struggle against Ravana. During a duel with Ravana, he hit Ravana and Ravana  became unconscious. He also reminded Hanuman of his prowess, so he could cross the ocean and visit Lanka.

Jambvant praises Hanuman
Jambvant praises Hanuman

23. Vali was famous for the boon that he had received, according to which anyone who came before him lost half his strength to Vali, thereby making Vali invulnerable to any enemy.

24. Vali had defeated Ravana as well. Once Ravana called Vali for a fight. He took Ravana in his tail and took him around all the world. Humbled, Ravana called for a truce.

25. Hanuman, because of boons from Surya, laghima and garima, could take various forms. He used them to defeat Sursa, Lankini, Cat in the Ramayana.

Hanuman and Sursa

26. Lord Hanuman is one of the 7 chiranjeevs. These immortals will live till the beginning of the next Satya Yuga. Hanuman slain the demon Kalanemi, while fetching sanjeevani herb. Kalanemi was sent by Ravana. Hanuman rejected a pearl necklace gifted by to him by Sita saying “I don’t accept anything that does not contain Ram.” To prove his point he ripped his chest to show the presence of Ram in his heart.

Ram, Lakshman and Hanumana
Ram, Lakshman and Hanumana

27. Hanuman also defied Sun from rising before time as it would have killed Lakshman. When he was returning back with the mountain containing Sanjeevani herb, the sun began to rise. So Hanuman decided to capture the sun under his arm so that he could arrive back before sunrise in time to save Lakshman. The healing herb was picked and given to Lakshman.  Lakshman was healed and filled with energy.

28. Hanuman was also shot by Bharat while flying over Ayodhya. Hanuman accepted the arrow as Lord Rama was written over it. Since he was shot on a leg, he had a limp.

29.  Shatrughan is supposed to be the incarnation of Vishnu’s conch. Shatrughna was married to Shrutakeerti, the daughter of King Kusadhbojan and his wife. Shrutakeerti was the cousin of Sita, daughter of King Janaka.

30 Shatrughana killed Lavanasura, a demon who was the son of Madhu. It is believed that Madhu is where Mathura is situated today.

31. Bharat was the husband to Mandavi, daughter of King Janaka’s brother Kushadhvaja and thus a cousin of Sita, who was wife of Rama. They had two sons, Taksha and Pushka. Thus, in the Ramayana, wives of all brothers were related.

32. Bharat is considered to be born in the aspect of the Sudarshana Chakra, the most famous of Vishnu’s Panchayudhas.

Sudarshan chakra
Sudarshan chakra

33. Ravana’s grandfather was Pulastya, one of the seven great sages or Saptarishis. His father was himself a great sage Vishrava. Ravana once broke his arm to construct a musical instrument to sing songs of praise for Shiva. It was called the Ravan Hatta. While Ravan lay dying Ram asked Laxmana to go up to him to learn all that Ravana had to offer since Ravan was a Brahman.

34. His mother was the princess of Daityas. Her name was Kaikesi. Kaikesi father was Sumali. Ravana was half Brahmin and half asura.

35. Kaikesi parents Sumali and Ketumathi heard of yogic powers of Vishrava. They wanted Vishrava as their son in law so that their powers could increase. They facilitated the meeting if Vishrava and Kaikesi. Later on Vishrava and Kaikesi became parents of five children – Kubera, Ravana, Kumbhkarna, Shoorpnakha and Vibheeshana.

36. Vishrava was the father of Kubera. Thus Ravana was the half brother of Kubera. Ravana conquered Sri Lanka from Kubera and became the King of Lanka.

37. Ravana was also an excellent veena player and the sign of his flag had a picture of veena on it.

38. Ravana had four brothers. Vibhishana, Kumbhakarna and Ahiravan and Mahiravan. Khara and Dushan are also believed to be his brothers.

39. Kumbhakarna was considered pious, intelligent and brave that Indra was jealous of him. Along with his brothers, Ravana and Vibhishana, he performed a major yajna and penance for Lord Brahma. When the time came for asking a boon (blessing) from Brahma, his tongue was tied by goddess Saraswati (acting on Indra’s request). So instead of asking “Indraasana” (seat of Indra), he asked for “Nidraasana” (bed for sleeping).

Kumbhakarna – The Ramayana

40. Kumbhakarna had two sons, Kumbha and Nikumbha, who too fought in the war against Rama and were killed.

41. Ravana also asked for absolute invulnerability from and supremacy over gods, heavenly spirits, other rakshas, serpents, and wild beasts. He did not ask for protection from mortal men, as he did not think that they would cause him any harm.

42. Rama and Laxman were abducted by Ahiravan. Ahiravan was the brother of Ravana and king of patala (netherworld).  The two brothers were saved by Hanuman.

43. Following the capture of Lanka, Ravana pleased Shiva with his penance. Shiva said to pinned Ravana with his toe, but he offered his ten heads to appease Shiva. Pleased with his resilience and devotion, Shiva gave to him the divine sword Chandrahas

44. Ravana was cursed by Nandi that Lanka would be destroyed by a monkey. Later Hanuman put Lanka into flames.

45 Hanuman defeated his son Makardhwaj when he was guarding Rama and Laxman and rescued the two brothers.

46. Hanuman killed Ahiravan and Mahiravan by taking his panchroopi form.

47. Ravana did severe penance to appease Brahma. Brahma blessed him with nectar which could keep him alive as long as it lasted.

48 Vibheeshana told this about to Rama when in the battlefield, every time Rama cut his head, another head sprang up. On his advise, Rama first dried the nectar using Prasvapana and later killed him. This is important to know that the ramayana puts importance to Vibheeshana, who left his brother and helped the cause of Dharma.

Rama using Prasavapana on Ravana
Rama using Prasavapana on Ravana

49. Sita remained with Agni when Ravana abducted her. When Ravana came to kidnap mother Sita and she saw him, she took shelter of Agni. The fire-god covered the body of mother Sita, and in this way she was protected from the hands of Ravana. The fire-god, Agni, took away the real Sita and brought her to the place of Parvati, goddess Durga. An illusory form of mother Sita was then delivered to Ravana. The original Sita went to the abode of the fire-god. During Agnipariksha, illusory Sita entered the fire. At that time Agni brought the original Sita from his abode and delivered her to Lord Ramachandra.

50. Sita summoned Bhoomi devi to take her back after completing the Agni pariksha.

51. Rama and all his brothers left their abode by taking Jal samadhi in Sarayu river. This completes the story of the Ramayana.

52. The stripes on the back of squirrels is supposed to be Ram’s caress for their dedication to help construct the bridge to Lanka.

Reading suggestion – 51 facts from Mahabharat

32 thoughts on “51 Ramayana facts”

  1. Now we came to the Lakshman Rekha Theory was created by Tulsidas the woman hater. Becoz Valmiki can never write such nonsense to create limits for women kind. Rest is gr8 information.

    Reply
  2. Chitra ji the depiction you have taken is in another sense tadan ka matalab is not to humiliate its to get the best as the energy of women is very high and she shouldn't be tempted free because free mind will get to search many things and exposure to pollutant fact can took place and women should not exposed to those as her will and energy is very much stronger , it was written to keep women busy so she can nourish her child to a better person , and tulisada wasnt women hater that's the depiction people took from their own judgemental side side , please go through this page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bhagvad-Gita-Key-To-Life-Management-By-Shashank-Sharma/198348556955892

    Reply
  3. LOndon = Lav nandan

    Then we forget Lav nandan. Ram’s last wish to return to Mahavishnu Rupa. Only his sons can remember and fulfill his last Dream. Dear original name of London is Lav nandan and Britsh Royals are King of The world. Lav nandan has fulfilled last dream of Ram..but we deny to recognise Lav nandan who was after his father’s last wish. And unfortunately we people of India told quit India to Lav nandan..

    Reply
  4. Actually rama never break any bow ,please read it carefully ,that bow is not able to withstand rama’s pressure and it got broken ,
    Ultimately the mistake is on that bow ,it cud not withstand his load ,

    Thanks
    Hari

    Reply
  5. there is no where written in any of the Ramayanas that Vali defeated Raavana,if so give me proof if you can and if he did defeat Raavana then why did lord Ram came to The Earth,Vali was enough,Give me proof for ur fact

    Reply
  6. Nice article. Its quite amazing to know that there are so many stories of Ramayana that many are not aware of. These stories are a perfect example. Adding one more lesser known story from the Ramayana, a story of Hanuman dancing on the head of Ravana to demoralise him.

    Reply
  7. Its quite amazing to know that there are so many interesting facts of Ramayana that many are not aware of. Adding few rare facts from the Ramayana here.

    Reply
  8. We read Ramayan only in simple way. But there are so many interesting and amazing facts which general people do not know. these hidden facts have given more knowledge

    Reply
  9. SHODASI : SECRETS OF THE RAMAYANA :Seshendra Sharma
    षोडशी : रामायण के रहस्य : शेषेन्द्र शर्मा
    షోడశి రామాయణ రహస్యములు : శేషేంద శర్మ
    ENGLISH HINDI AND TELUGU ORIGINAL
    AUTHOR : SESHENDRA SHARMA
    Seshendra : Visionary Poet of the Millennium
    http://seshendrasharma.weebly.com
    Reviews :
    http://www.facebook.com/shodasi/
    Books :
    https://kinige.com/author/Gunturu+Seshendra+Sharma
    Contact : Saatyaki S/o Seshendra Sharma
    saatyaki@gmail.com , +91 9441070985 , 7702964402

    Ramayana, a replica of Vedas
    S. VARADARAJAN
    There are several versions of the Sri Ramayana, one of the two greatest epics. Following Sri Valmiki Ramayana several editions have been published in various languages, besides scores of commentaries written across centuries. Late. Gunturu Seshendra Sharma, scholar poet of 20th Century unearthed secrets of the Ramayana through his popular Telugu book “Shodasi”.
    The novelty of nomenclature Shodasi , called Sri Vidya is reflected , in the 16th Chapter . Sharma’s intellectual depth comes forth in analyzing Sundara Kanda specially through Kundalini Yoga . The author highlights hidden truth in Valmiki’s thought that is similar to Vedas and says that Trijata’s dream in Sundara Kanda reflects Gayatri Mantra of 32 Syllabi in 4 lines. Sharma pays rich encomiums in the description of Lanka surrounded by three impregnable borders. He compares these three borders with Trikuta viz… Shakti , Kaamaraaja , Vagbhava Kutas with those of Sri Vidya in Kundalini . A staunch believer of Vedas, the author feels that Ramayana is a replica of Vedas and oriented towards the character of Indra . He concludes that in Ramayana the mentioning of the supreme God is Indra and not Vishnu, as the presiding deity of valour in Vedas. Utterances of the word Vishnu were considered to be imaginary overstatements in the author’s view.
    This book lends a new perspective to the Ramayana by adding the dimension of Kundalini Yoga .
    The foreword by Vishwanatha Satyanarayana adds credibility to the book. The current work is an English translation of the original by Gurujada Suryanarayana Murthy , a scientist by profession . His proficiency in the subject is evident in the translation throughout that doesn’t swerve from the original’s purport.
    The Hindu
    (Friday Review: 2nd October 2015)
    A Resplendent Icon of all Arts

    This is an exemplary book which elevated the status of Indian Literary Criticism to the peaks of the world literature. Shodasi is a name associated with a great hymn. The title suggests that it’s a book on spiritual discourse. A reading of this book suggests that the spirit of scientific temper is critical to comprehend Valmiki’s Srimad Ramayana. Besides this, command on Vedic or Scriptural knowledge is essential. What does a layman has to say when a towering personality like Viswanatha Satyanarayana himself extolled the critical acumen and serious scholarship of Seshendra Sharma.

    Sharma has made it crystal clear that unless one has an apparent understanding of the plot’s context, psyche of the characters, and the milieu of the bygone days supplemented by extraordinary scholarship, sound knowledge of phonetics and awareness on contemporary issues; one cannot easily comprehend the poetic diction of Valmiki. The debate on the phrase “Netraturaha” is a fitting example. The uniqueness of the title, Sundara kanda, Kundalini Yoga, Gayatri Mantra secretly hidden in Trijata’s dream sequence, considering The Bharatha as an image of The Ramayana…. this book is a repository of many such critical discourses. It is replete with inconceivable and unfathomable issues. This magnum opus is an invaluable gift to the Telugu literature.

    VIPULA, Viswa Katha Vedika: May 2014
    (An exclusive Telugu Monthly Magazine for stories)

    Valmiki Ramayana – Greatest Medicine for Mankind

    The story of Ramayana is prescribed as textbook for students. Sita and Rama are worshiped as prime couple. No need to mention about reciting it. Whether Valmiki was satisfied with simple narration of the story? Seshendra Sharma denies it.

    He analyzed it mentioning that to understand the inner meanings of Valmiki Ramayana, the scientific knowledge is essential.

    The underlying secret of the sage’s mind will be known through the knowledge of science.

    It is the firm opinion of Seshendra that the argument that “the sciences are for scholars only” is a conspiracy hatched by Selfish scholars and lazy uneducated persons.

    Seshendra who has democratic ideology and conviction on science and literature informs the public about the secrets of Ramayana expounded by Valmiki. He explains that Valmiki dedicated ambrosia (The Greatest Medicine) named “Kundalini Yoga” to the mankind. The poetry in the metre of Anushtup Sloka is the honey coating to the medicine. It was explained with great introspection and exemplary scholarship. He concludes that the Ramayana is older than the Maha Bharatha and it is another form of Veda. Valmiki introduced the system of meditation in Ramayana. The Introspection and research bent of mind of Seshendra are spread over in the book in two streams. The exuberant fragrance of scholarship is experienced throughout the book.

    The present generation can understand the scholarship of Seshendra in Vedas and Mantra Sastra. Seshendra is a poet who has composed unique Ruthu Ghosha (Cry of the Seasons: Metrical Poetry) and revolutionary free verse –Mande Suryudu (The Burning Sun).

    Andhra Prabha (Telugu Daily), 24th August 2014.

    Two Great Peaks in the world literary criticism and research

    Shodasi: Secrets of The Ramayana and Swarnahamsa Harshanaishada from the mighty pen of the great Telugu poet, Gunturu Seshendra Sharma are considered to be the two great peaks in the world literary criticism and research. This is a truth most contemporary Telugu writers and readers aren’t aware of. The way Seshendra could discover Kundalini Yoga, Gayathri Mantra in Shodasi, he could discern the treasure trove of mantra yoga, Sri Mahatripurasundari, Chintamani mantra in Swarnahamsa.

    At a time when our universities which are mere Degrees production Units, churn out “solid waste” in the name of research; Seshendra even while attending to his job as a Municipal Commissioner created research oriented critical volumes like a sage.

    Though Shodasi was published in 1967 and Swarnahamsa in 1968; Swarnahamsa was created by him much before Shodasi was conceived. The concepts that Srinatha, Nannayya and Mallanatha, the Telugu Classical poets couldn’t decipher,
    Seshendra could. He humbly submits that he is most fortunate that the triumvirate had left behind some pertinent concepts only to be discovered by him at a later stage.

    These two great kavyas were serialised under the editorship of late Neelamraju Venkata Seshaiah in Andhra Prabha Daily, Sunday Literary Supplements from 1963 to 1967 and Seshendra’s poems and non-fiction were published in the book forms (6) only after they appeared in serial form in Andhra Prabha.
    —————–
    Gunturu Seshendra Sarma, the well-known poet, critic and scholar of unfathomable depth, has to his credit quite a number of books in Telugu as well as English. A keen intellect and a lucid exponent of the intricacies in Samskrit literature, the author brought out a treatise on Ramayana. The book also reveals the symbolism in our epics and shows the spirit behind.

    According to the author, Sage Valmiki has observed Ramayana as though it is a story of a dynasty in its outward appearance. But when the story part is kept aside, the hidden secrets of the Mantrasastra come out. Valmiki’s Ramayana is full of Vedic literature, language and usages. Ramayana can be appreciated from three angles. The poetic beauty, the historicity and the secret meaning of mother Parasakti. Later Upanishads have taken Valmiki Ramayana as the way to the Mantrasastra. Rama’s wife Sita is considered as Parasakti. In Devi Bhagavatham Sita is described as Goddess Gayatri. The author has taken unusual pains and quoted Vedic dictations which are literally taken by Valmiki in his Ramayana. Thus it has been a product of Vedas and the usages in Ramayana and the words used therein and the similies adopted by Valmiki speak inexplicably the secret of Mother Lalita in his stories.

    The author has given and attached a very great significance for Sundarakanda in Ramayana. The author has quoted numerous quotations from Smrithis and Srithis to establish that Sundara­kanda is beautiful because Anjaneya the Jeeva has seen Sita the Parasakti. Hence this canto is so styled as Sundara. According to the author “Sita” means “Kundalini.” Hanuman has seen Sita while she was sitting on the ground. Ground means Earth. Earth denotes Mooladharam. The serpent Kundalini stays in this. Thus it is symbolised as Sita sat on the ground. Hanuman the Yogi has the vision of Kundalini in Sita. With the aid of Ida and Pingala, Kundalini travels in Sushumna through spinal cord crossing the six fluxes, and finally reaching Sahasraram. This again speaks of “Shodasi.” Rama is a beautiful man. He is having a Sundari in Sita (a beautiful woman). The descriptions are beautiful in this canto. Thus it is synonymous with “Soundarya­lahari” of Sankaracharya.

    The author expressed that Mahabharata is a reflection of Ramayana in all the cause, origin and delivery. Innumerable similarities are quoted from both Valmiki and Vyasa to prove that the usages, style and similies are almost similar in both the epics. He compares Vyasa’s “Nalacharitam” with Sundarakanda of Valmiki in the vision of Srividya.

    The author further argues that Kalidasa’s “Meghasandesam” is only an imitation of Valmiki. The flight of Anjaneya in search of Sita is the basis for Kalidasa’s “Meghasandesam.” Both Sita and the Yaksha’s wife are described as “Syamas” – meaning in the middle of youth. The duration of separation is one year in both the cases. Ultimately the author said that “Meghasandesam” is the offspring of Ramayana, with yearning to see Parasakti.

    The author has taken the readers in his book to that sublime beauty where there is no further argument, than to enjoy the flow of citations with their intrinsic meaning and full of scientific vision. His unsurpassed knowledge in Mantrasastra has enabled him to pass dictums vivisecting the symbolic mysticisms into splinters and handing the kernel of truth under each word, usage, and application. He deserves all praise for this meritorious contribution to our literature.

    https://www.tributes.us/Seshendra-Seshendra-Sharma

    Reply
  10. There was an info given to kaikeyi that it will require 14 years for bharat to establish his power over the people( even though he didn’t do so) hence the time period.

    Reply
  11. Ramayana, a replica of Vedas
    S. VARADARAJAN
    There are several versions of the Sri Ramayana, one of the two greatest epics. Following Sri Valmiki Ramayana several editions have been published in various languages, besides scores of commentaries written across centuries. Late. Gunturu Seshendra Sharma, scholar poet of 20th Century unearthed secrets of the Ramayana through his popular Telugu book “Shodasi”.
    The novelty of nomenclature Shodasi , called Sri Vidya is reflected , in the 16th Chapter . Sharma’s intellectual depth comes forth in analyzing Sundara Kanda specially through Kundalini Yoga . The author highlights hidden truth in Valmiki’s thought that is similar to Vedas and says that Trijata’s dream in Sundara Kanda reflects Gayatri Mantra of 32 Syllabi in 4 lines. Sharma pays rich encomiums in the description of Lanka surrounded by three impregnable borders. He compares these three borders with Trikuta viz… Shakti , Kaamaraaja , Vagbhava Kutas with those of Sri Vidya in Kundalini . A staunch believer of Vedas, the author feels that Ramayana is a replica of Vedas and oriented towards the character of Indra . He concludes that in Ramayana the mentioning of the supreme God is Indra and not Vishnu, as the presiding deity of valour in Vedas. Utterances of the word Vishnu were considered to be imaginary overstatements in the author’s view.
    This book lends a new perspective to the Ramayana by adding the dimension of Kundalini Yoga .
    The foreword by Vishwanatha Satyanarayana adds credibility to the book. The current work is an English translation of the original by Gurujada Suryanarayana Murthy , a scientist by profession . His proficiency in the subject is evident in the translation throughout that doesn’t swerve from the original’s purport.
    The Hindu
    India’s National Newspaper
    (Friday Review: 2nd October 2015)

    Shodasi
    Astounding scholarship of Sanskrit classics
    A product of deep research, intense intellectual labour
    And amazing scholarship
    The book under review which is an English translation by Dr. Gurajada Suryanarayana Murthy of the original Telugu Text represents a scholarly attempt by the erudite author to justify and prove the validity of certain radical propositions which he makes about the world – renowned Kavya – Valmiki Ramayana. The propositions that he makes are – 1. Sundara Kanda is an allegory of Kundalini Yoga 2. Sita is Kundalini Shakti 3. Hanuman’s search – mission of Sita symbolises Tantric Exercise of identifying the Kundalini Shakti and raising it from the Moola Dhara Chakra (denoted by Lanka) to Sahasrara Chakra 4. The descriptive terms employed about Sita hint at Sita being essentially a Kundalini Shakti 5. Trijata’s dream is nothing but Gayathri Mantra 6. Valmiki’s language has pronounced Vedic flavour 7. The phraseology employed by Valmiki corresponds largely to the terms employed in Lalitha Sahasra Nama , Durga Saptasati , Devi Bhagawatam etc.. 8. The aptness of the name Sundara Kanda is provable on Strong Grounds 9. Ramayana is anterior to Bharatha on various grounds such as the Vedic language employed in the former the reference of Valmiki and Ramayana in Mahabharata and absence of reference to Vyasa and Mahabharata episodes in Ramayana , Mention of Rama in Mahabharata and Rama’s greater antiquity than Pandavas and a host of other plausible evidences 10. Indra , the chief Vedic god more prominently featured and praised in Ramayana than Vishnu of the Puranic origin. 11. Megha Sandesham of Kalidasa originated out of the seed of Valmiki Ramayana and 12. The benedictory verse of Sakuntalam is eulogy of Devi.
    The brain – tickling propositions are not just of the cuff remarks made without basis but credible theories buttressed with profuse quotations of relevant Sanskrit Texts , wide and deep study of the relevant treatises unassailable arguments based on internal and external evidences and astounding scholarship of Sanskrit classics.
    On the flip side, there are a few errors in the transliteration of the Sanskrit texts. Had the Sanskrit passages from the treatises been provided in Devanagari Script also in addition to transliterated form in Roman Script value and appeal of this essentially Sanskrit oriented book would be much higher to the large and growing Sanskrit readership. The book is doubtless, a product of deep research, Intense intellectual labour and amazing scholarship.
    The Vedanta kesari : August 2016
    The Lion of Vedanta
    A Cultural and Spirtual Monthly of the of the Ramakrishna Order since 1944

    AN INTELLECTUAL FEAST
    Along With utmost devotion
    The author has clear understanding of not only of the Ramayana
    but also Mantra Sastra , Vedas and Kundalini Yoga
    His method is going deep into the subject and at the
    same time comparing the same with ideas of other branches of literature
    Shodasi , authored by Seshendra Sharma is a book of a special type . Though its purpose is to unfold secrets of the Ramayana many other aspects from different branches of knowledge also find a place there.
    The Ramayana is read in every household with devotion. It narrates not only story of Rama but it also spotlights very intricate and subtler points in other branches of knowledge, a point not even noticed by many.
    The author has clear understanding of not only of the Ramayana but also Mantra Sastra , Vedas and Kundalini Yoga . There are two approaches to understand the Sastras. One is vertical which is closely followed in Sanskrit Literature. It is reading a book with the help of commentary on it. In this method not only each word of the original analysed; its correct meaning and contextual purpose are also examined. The second is a horizontal method where in various ideas in the text are read not with one commentary but with many commentaries by different people. This gives total meaning of the text.
    Seshendra Sharma follows both methods. His method is going deep into the subject and at the same time comparing the same with ideas of other branches of literature.
    This needs a thorough understanding of various branches and ability to compare texts and spot new ideas and enjoy the same. For example , when Hanuman asks Sita who she is ,she replies ,“sama dvadasa tatraham raghavasya nivesane bhunjhana manushan bhogan sarva kama samrudhinee “ . Meaning “I enjoyed 12 years of mundane pleasure in the home of Rama”
    Though she is not an ordinary human being, she enjoyed mundane pleasures. “ you may mistake that I am a mortal woman , but understand I am Sri Maha Lakshmi” . That was the message. The most important clue is the statement “ Aham Sarva Kama Samridhinee “ . In Devi Bhagawatham we find “ Matah Sankaree Kamade “ In Sri Sukta “ Sarva Kamartha Siddhaye “ and in Lalitha Sahasra Nama “ too it is stated “ Om Kamyayai Namah” . If Sita were to be just an ordinary being all these statements would have been irrelevant.
    At another place she says “ Maya Ramasya Rajarshe Bharyayaya Paramatmanah” which means that she is wife of Paramatma. Hanuman , the devotee , recognized Sita to be none other than Jaganmata. Hence he could identify her easily as the divine mother and says “ tat sreemadyate tarat”. The word sreemat is used to mean brilliance Hanuman identifies Sita as Devi by the holy seed letter ( Sreem ) .
    The book is full of comparisons between different branches of learning and surely a feast for one who could enjoy the existence of similar ideas at various places. It only proves that ways may be different but the goal is one.
    Seshendra Sharma physically lifts the minds of the readers and offers an intellectual feast along with utmost devotion. Surely everyone should read this book and keep a copy of the same at home.
    Goda Venkateswara Sastry
    Tatvaloka : June 2016
    The Splendour of Truth
    ( Monthly Magazine)

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    Ramayan Through Kundalini Yoga
    Shodasi is an ideal read for Sanskrit-literate readers

    who are open to eclectic yogarthas and connotative meanings

    So you thought Vyasa was before Valmiki, Mahabharat was before Ramayan, Rama a Vishnu avatar, and tantrism distinct from vedism? Think again. In Shodasi: Secrets of the Ramayana, Telugu poet Seshendra Sharma re-reads the Ramayan to come up with a number of new conclusions.
    Much of the book sets out to prove that Ramayan was written before the Mahabharat. Sharma discusses how Indra is cited more often than Vishnu, thus placing the context of the Ramayan closer to Vedic than Puranic thought. He quotes from the Mahabharat to show how it follows descriptions of hills, rivers from the Ramayan. The Mahabharat has some prose, and therefore, it must have been composed after Ramayan, which is entirely in poetry. These are only some of the numerous reasons that Sharma offers to suggest a new sequence of our itihasas.
    Sharma’s book is also an experimental reading of the Ramayan through the interpretive lens of what he calls Kundalini yoga. Hanuman’s flight to Sri Lanka gets a new interpretation. “Charana Charite Pathi” is interpreted as the path of Kundalini, and the first verse of the Sundara Kanda “Tatho Ravana Nithayah” is interpreted by Sharma to refer to Hanuman traversing the sushumna nadi of the Kundalini.
    Trijata’s dream becomes the Gayatri mantra through an imaginative recasting of words as numbers. Gaja (elephant) means eight, danta (teeth) means thirty-two, and maha-gaja-chaturdantam somehow also adds up to 32 syllables, which is the number of syllables in the Gayatri mantra. That Trijata’s dream is halfway through the Ramayan also becomes significant for Sharma, he calls it the ‘central bead’ in the Ramayan garland of 24,000 beads. Identifying 32-syllables as the Gayatri follows a convention, for mantras are referenced by the number of syllables; however, it is the “secret” yogartha—or mystical, anagogical translations—derived by Sharma that becomes problematic, unless he is considered an authority in his own right.
    conclude that the name Sundarakand is unrelated to any descriptions of beauty of any of the main characters in the Ramayan. However, Soundarya and Tripura-Sundari are well-known conventions in the tantric tradition and hence, Sharma concludes that Sundarakand derives its name from Shakti’s beauty, and “Sundara-Hanuman” means “Hanuman who is a devotee of Devi” (117).
    A coda in this book is about the benedictory verse in Kalidasa’s Sakuntalam which has traditionally been understood to refer to Ishwara. Sharma re-interprets this verse highlighting the “eight forms” of the last line as the eight forms of Devi that please Ishwara.
    This book is suitable for a reader who is Sanskrit-literate and open to eclectic yogarthas and connotative meanings. Sharma cites substantially from the Ramayan in roman but without diacritics, this is difficult to follow; and he does not always include translation. Sharma often cites commentators without citing names and sources. It is not clear why the book is called Shodasi—readers may note, this book is not about the Srividya tradition. Even if the reader is unconvinced by Sharma’s reasoning or methodology, the free flow of references may prove absorbing for a reader interested in the subject.
    This could also be an eclectic reference for a scholar researching tantric elements in the Ramayan.
    – Mani Rao

    The Sunday Standard Magazine
    The New Indian Express
    29th November 2015

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    Scholarly and deeply researched monograph
    Pearls of insightful ideas and truths
    Most of the ancient treatises like the Valmiki Ramayana and Bhagavatha lend themselves to allegorical interpretations. The book under review is scholarly and deeply researched monograph that formulates the startling theory that the immortal epic Valmiki Ramayana, particularly, Sundara Kanda, is nothing but the enunciation of the doctrine of Kundalini Shakthi Yoga. The very title of the book is bound to make the scholarly fraternity and even the common readership sit up and take notice. The radical propositions that the erudite author advances are on the basis of relentless logic and a mass of internal and external evidences are: Ramayana is rooted in Vedas, both in terms of ideas it disseminates and its verbal garb in those it is clothed. Many of the similes that Valmiki employs are inspired by vedic poetry and literature. Many of the expressions employed in the Valmiki Ramayana bear close resemblance to phraseology found in texts like Devi Bhagavatham, and Soundarya Lahari. Sita is none other than Divine Mother and Gayathri. As borne out by an analysis of similarity of names and words used in Valmiki Ramayana and Sri Vidya Literature. Sundara Kanda is nothing but delineation Kundalini Yoga. Hanuman’s aerial voyage in search of Sita represents allegorically the devi worshipper’s exercise in Kundalini Yoga. Sita is Kundalini Shakti. The episodes of mainaka, surasa and Simhika – representing satwa, rajas, tamas respectively –represent piercing of the triple knots by the spiritual aspirant. The Sanskrit phrase “Charana Charithe pathi” that occurs at the opening Canto of Sundara Kanda clearly implies Hanuman’s movement through the path of Sushumna. Lanka is the Mula Dhara Chakra, the seat of Kundalini implied in Valmiki’s graphic description of Lanka, the place of incarceration of Sita. Lanka is Muladhara also from the point of view of Yoga and it is Sri Chakra from the point of view of Spiritual practice. The burning of Lanka symbolises awakening of Swadhishthana. The aptness of name Sundara Kanda is explicable in the light of various evidences embedded in the epic. Trijata’s dream is nothing but the Gayathri Mantra as can be inferred from certain Sanskrit terms representing their numerical equivalents employed to describe dream – scenes of Trijata and also from Dramatis Personae appearing in her dream. Mahabharata is an image of Ramayana and many striking similarities may be found between Valmiki and Vyasa in their style of narrative. Valmiki’s Ramayana is the seed of Meghadootha and Valmiki reincarnates, as it were, as Kalidasa. The vedic god Indra , as the supreme deity dominates epic as a benchmark for all comparisons with Rama and dwarfs Vishnu, the Puranik God, in importance. Ramayana is anterior to Mahabharata. There are 2 annexures at the end of the book “benedictory verse of Sakunthalam is nothing but eulogy of Devi “and “All Humans have same destination” . Coming from the pen of the Telugu poet proficient in several languages, who was active in various disciplines ranging from Sanskrit studies to Cultural activism and who was given the Sahitya Akademi Award, this book is definitely of exceptional merit as the ingenious interpretations of various verses of the epic and also of allied hymnal literature to establish the novel but plausible propositions, come as a refreshing revelations. The book unmistakably bears imprints of an amazingly analytical, deeply erudite and marvellously nimble mind that effortlessly plumbs the oceanic epic and picks up and presents to the community of discerning readers pearls of insightful ideas and truths. One glaring drawback of this essentially Sanskrit-oriented book is the absence of Sanskrit quotations in Devanagari script as transliterations in roman script that are given are poor substitute sonorous Sanskrit words clothed in Devanagari script. The merits mentioned in a short review of this book packed with quaint and profound ideas constitute merely the proverbial tip of an iceberg. A fund of fruitful and lofty ideas awaits those who venture dive deep into this great book. In short this book is a riveting read for scholars and a strong stimulant for the general readers. –
    N. Hariharan
    Madurai
    Prabuddha Bharata
    March 2016
    A monthly journal of the Ramakrishna Order
    started by Swami Vivekananda in 1893

    Unearthing secrets of Ramayana Ramayana
    A sea-bed of secrets
    A great boon to Devi Upasakas and Practioners of Sri Vidya
    The Ramayana popular as the Adi Kavya (first work of poetry) the world over is not just beautiful poetry . It is a sea bed of secrets – containing the methods of Kundalini yoga and mantra sastra . This is the heart of Shodasi : Secrets of the Ramayana authored by Seshendra Sharma , one of the towering personalities of Telugu Poetry . This book, a collection 16 articles with one article added on from this edition appeared in Telugu Original in 1967. Mr. N.Ramesan IAS , the then Principal Secretary to Education Dept , the then AP Govt observed feelingly in his preface , that this work is a boon for Devi Upasakas and merits to be translated into English and other Indian Languages. This advice has fructified after 48 Years. Dr. Suryanarayana Murthy , a physicist (retired : Baba Atomic Research Centre ) has translated Shodasi into English with commendable clarity of grasp over the subject and felicity of thought process and flow of reading. The story of Rama narrated in enchanting poetry, according to Seshendra is a honey supplement to the bitter medicine called Kundalini Yoga. Valmiki Maharshi chose the Story of Rama to propagate Kundalini Yoga and systems of meditation in the society, among the masses of his era. This is the fulcrum of this Research work. What is of significance is that the author , in order to buttress his analysis and arguments cites extensively and conclusively from the Original Text of Ramayana itself. This Translation introduces this seminal work to wider sections of readers in other parts of our multilingual nation and to scholars engaged in research in Indian scriptures in the west. As the reader goes through the pages of Shodasi it gradually becomes clear that , the story that Valmiki was a Hunter , after viewing the pair of birds dying for each other renounced hunting and became a Rishi is an episode woven around him to make him and his epic the Ramayana popular and that Valmiki belongs to the pantheon of Vedic Rishis . Seshendra at every point of analysis cites from the Vedas and sruthis. His own introduction to this work “one word to begin with “ he discusses elaborately on the significance of Valmiki’s Style of expression of phrases . This chapter is the gateway to the entire work. While analysing one stanza of he touches upon a simile Which compares moon in the night sky wit vrishabham in Goshtam (cowshed). Seshendra goes deeper into shruthi and Vedas and concludes that go means in Sanskrit speech and “goshte vrishabham mattamiva bhramantam “ implies that like Omkara moves at the throat the divine personality of moon is moving in the sky. That intricate and deep is the analysis of the author. Seshendra , then discusses why sundara kanda was chosen as the name of a chapter . He observes incisively and proves conclusively that Sita is the main character of this Kanda and Sita is none other than Adi Shakti ( The Divine Mother ) Sri Maha Tripura Sundari.This is the reason why Maharshi named it Sundara Kanda. Sundara Kanda is the heart of the Ramayana and Trijata Swapna (Demoness Trijata’s Dream) is its heart. Sundara Kanda is nothing but Kundalini Yoga . Right from the 1st stanza of the chapter Maharshi starts unfolding the path of Kundalini Yoga in a suggestive manner garbed in enchanting poetry teaming with breath taking similes. Hanuman is SriVidyopasaka. The author discusses the 1st stanza “Chaaranaa Charithe pathi “ with intrinsic evidence from the Ramayana itself. Charanas are Divine Singers and their path is the sky . In other words in Kundalini Yoga “Sushumna “. The entire chapter elaborates each stanza in a captivating tone and concludes with Lanka Dahana ( Burning of Lanka ) as piercing of the Sahasrara seated in the head. First hand reading alone will give the unnerving feel of this chapter. Another important chapter is “ Trijata’s dream is nothing but Gayathri mantra “. In this , Seshendra views Trijata’s Dream, one of the demonesses guarding Sita in Ashoka Vana as Gayathri mantra. He dwelves deep into each Sloka of this episode and proves convincingly that Valmiki created this episode in order to embed the mantra in Ramayana. Till this point this book is a cluster of revelations. “The later part is both revelation and research. Seshendra in the chapter “ Indra is the Supreme Deity of Ramayana “ discusses each stanza of the Ramayana and goes on to reveal that at the time when Valmiki was writing the Ramayana the concepts of Vishnu and incarnation (Avatar ) were non– existent . Indra is the supreme deity of the Ramayana. In other 2 chapters the author‘s exhaustive study and Incisive analysis are all pervasive. Seshendra explodes the myth sought to be propagated by some of the Western Scholars that the Bharatha precedes the Ramayana . Shodasi , as rightly pointed out in one preface, is a great boon to Devi Upasakas and Practioners of Sri Vidya. All these ages this Adi Kavya is seen only as the Story of Rama. Here is a path breaking work which reveals the hidden treasure of spiritual secrets which Valmiki Maharshi embedded them in his epic.
    Insight ( Sunday Magazine )
    The Hitavada ( English Daily ) 1st November 2015

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