India’s Epic Ramayana at the Asia Media Summit
Ramayanais an ancient Indian epic poem that’s one of the most important in Hindu literature. Written in Sanskrit by sage Valmiki, it narrates the struggle of the divine prince Ram or Rama to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana. This epic has been performed throughout India and many parts of Asia for at least 2000 years.
Some episodes of Ramayana were performed for participants of the Asia Media Summit 2018 in New Delhi, India. The show in the dance form depicted the rich culture of the region that has been the source of compelling stories for radio, television, film and even new media.
Ramayana also reflected the theme of the Summit, ‘Telling our Stories- Asia and More’.
Here’ a synopsis of the various parts of Ramayana that were presented:
Khewat Samvad: Boatman and Ram
Ram, Sita and Lakshman search for a boatman to take them across the River Ganga. The boatman, who knows about the emancipation of Ahilya, refuses to allow Ram to touch the boat unless he is allowed to wash Ram’s feet.Once allowed, the boatman takes the charanamrit and gladly ferries them across the river. When Ram offers him money, he refuses to accept it.
Ram, Sita and Lakshman decide to pass the period of exile in the beautiful forest of Panchavati.
The sister of the demon king Ravan is enamoured by the youthful beauty of the two brothers. She approaches one and then the other for marriage, but is disappointed by both. Lakshman loses his temper and cuts off her nose.
Ravan, the king of Lanka is surrounded by courtiers who are intoxicated and are indulging in pleasures. The assembly is disturbed by the shrieks of Surpanakha. Ravan swears to take revenge and conceives a plan to abduct Sita.
SwarnaMriga: Gold Deer
Ravan sends Marich to Panchavati in the guise of a folder deer. Sita asks Ram to kill and bring its skin. After a short time Lakshman and Sita hear Ram’s cries for help, and Sita commands Lakshman to go. Lakshman leaves reluctantly, instructing Sita not to come out of the hut.
Sita Haran: Ravan abducts SIta
Ravan, seeing Sita alone, comes to her in the guise of a hermit. Sita comes out of the hut forgetting Lakshman’s instructions. Ravan appears in his true form and abducts Sita.
Jatayu Vadha: Jatayu is slain
Jatayu, the noble king of birds and Ram’s devotee, tries to rescue Sita, but is mortally wounded by Ravan.
On Meghnad’s death a furious battle takes place between the two armies and Ravan himself comes to fight Ram, and with the death of the great demon king ends a long reign of evil. Ram installs the righteous Vibhishan on the throne of Lanka, and thus peace is established once again.
Rajya-Abhishek: Ram’s coronation
The 14 years’ exile is over, and Ram, Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman return to Ayodhya where they are received by Bharat. Their return to Ayodhya is celebrated and Ram’s coronation takes place amidst great rejoicing.