Saturday, October 30, 2010

#000B Why did Ramayana unnecessarily stretch into 24000 verses?

I agree that it is always the privilege and prerogative of the writer to decide the number of pages or verses , his work will spread into.

I am not here to judge the number of verses which the Valmiki Ramayana ought to have contained.

My object:

Many people do not read Valmiki Ramayana , because it is too lengthy with 24,000 verses.

People depend on second hand versions which are abridged and retold. The re-writers and translators may totally change the events to suit their own needs.

I am listing out here , the number of verses and their location in the book , which made the book heavy. This list is not exhaustive and I shall add new items whenever I am able to trace them:

* 35 verses.
Location : Book of Forests. (Aranya Kanda). Entire Chapter 14.
Context: Rama found the kite 'Jatayu' in the forest. Rama asks Jatayu who he was. Valmiki spent 35 verses in which Jatayu explained how people of different castes were born from the body of God. This was quite unnecessary. How does a bird know about the human caste system? Temple preachers and priests, obviously inserted it at the instance of landlords, to support their caste discrimination practices.

* 23 verses.
Location : Book 3 , Chapter 64 , Verses 54 to 77.
Context: Rama threatening Gods for their not saving Sita.

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