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Question 1: The essay discusses in detail the following tellings of Ramayana. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Valmikis Sanskrit Ramayana Kampans Iramavataram Thai tellings Ramakien or Ramakirti Vimalasuris Paumacariya Jain Ramayana Transcriptions of a complete telling of the story in Kannada by Rame Gowda, P.K. Rajasekara and S. Basavaiah

Question 2: Kampans Iramavataram and Valmikis Ramayana were compared. Kampans telling is more dramatic than Valmikis. Valmikis Ahalya willingly gets seduced by Indra whereas Kampans realizes the incorrect within the happenings however still couldn't resist herself-which adds a subtle flavor of psychology to Kampans telling. Kampan poetically explained that Indra was cursed what he lusted for-vaginas and Ahalya was turned into a stone-which cannot reply to anything, as a result of her unresponsiveness towards Indras wrongdoings. This explanation was missing in Valmikis telling. Kampans Rama is a Tamil hero and this image is carried on throughout the poem, whereas Valmikis avatar is a gods man who has got to endure his life among the bounds of a mortal. The Jain telling Paumacariya- leaves behind the idea of portraying Ravana as a villain from the Hindu tellings. The Jain telling opens, not with the birth story of Rama but with that of Ravana. It describes Ravana as a learned noble and has earned all his powers through austerities. It is Lakshmana who kills Ravana in Paumacariya unlike Rama in the Hindu tellings. Paumacariya also avoids the miraculous birth episodes which can be understood with the description of Rama and his brother being born in a normal way. The concept of Ravanas ten heads is also rationalized. The transcripts of the south Indian folk Ramayana open the telling with Ravana and his wifes sorrow of being childless and then discusses the birth of Sita. This depicts Sita as the daughter of Ravana. The telling later discusses Sitas swayamvar in which Rama triumphs Ravana. Ramanujan writes about this telling as the writer being very eager to return to Sita, from which we can understand that this is a Sita centric telling. The Thai tellings of Ramayana- Ramakein or Ramakirti differ from the Hindu tellings in many ways. For example, Surpanakhas daughter tricks Rama into order for the killing of Sita following which Lakshmana only leaves her in the forest. The reunion of Rama and Sita is also different here. Also, Rama is viewed as a subordinate to Shiva and the Thai telling glorifies the war episode Yuddhakanda

There is a similarity to the story of Oedipus regarding Sita. Sita was born to Ravanas wife by eating the rice sent by gods. Janaka finds Sita after Ravana tried to get rid of her due to the prophecy of his destruction due to his daughter. Question 3&4: Ravana was discussed extensively in Ramanujans account of the Jain tellings of Ramayana. They questioned the portrayal of Ravana as an evil villain in the Hindu tellings. A noble and learned devotee of Jain masters, Ravana earned his magical powers through sincere tapas. In this process he vows not to touch any unwilling woman. But with time, Ravana fell for Sita- the woman who would lead to his destruction, as per his prophecy. The Jain tellings portray Ravana in such a manner that the reader feels pity for him and admires him. A lot of emphasis has been put on Sita in the transcripts of south Indian folk tales. Sita was the daughter born to Ravana himself when he ate the fruit given by Lord Shiva instead of giving it to his wife, even after promising to do so. Ravana gives birth to Sita through a sneeze after 9 days(months) and then leaves her in a place to advise of his astrologers where Sita is eventually found by Janaka and is brought up as the princess of Mithila. Ravana fails to complete the challenge at Sitas swayamvar, and later on abducts Sita. Similarities can be drawn to the Oedipus myth from this story. Ravana gets rid of Sita because of the forecast of his destiny by his astrologers and later on there is an incest building up- Ravanas lust for Sita.

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