Recently, Bihar Education Minister said the Ramcharitmanas “spreads hatred in society”, and that Goswami Tulsidas’s epic poem — along with the Manusmriti and M S Golwalkar’s Bunch of Thoughts — should be burned.
GS I: History
Dimensions of the Article:
- The Ramcharitmanas
- Goswami Tulsidas
- The poem was written in the 16th century in the Awadhi dialect that is mainly spoken in the areas that are today’s Lucknow, Prayagraj, and Ayodhya districts.
- It is divided into seven chapters (Kand) that tell the story of Lord Ram from birth to his becoming King of Ayodhya.
- The Ramcharitmanas is based on the Ramayana, sage Valmiki’s great epic.
- It is the holiest book of the Indo-Gangetic region, and among the world’s most read holy books — by one estimate, Geeta Press (Gorakhpur) has sold almost 7 crore copies.
- Across the Hindi heartland, a reference to “Ramayan” often actually means Ramcharitmanas.
- Tulsidas, a Brahmin whose original name was Ram Bola Dubey, is believed to have been born in Rajapur by the Yamuna in today’s Banda district.
- He composed the Ramcharitmanas on the bank of the Ganga in Varanasi — he is said to have begun writing on Ram Navami day in 1574, and completed the poem over the next few years.
- In the seventh shloka of the first chapter (Baal Kand), Tulsidas declares, “Swantah sukhay Tulsi Raghunathgatha…” — that is, he has written the “story of Raghunath (Lord Ram) for his own happiness”.
- Tulsidas lived in the time of Emperor Akbar, and some believe that he was in touch with Abdurrahim Khan-e-Khanan, the son of Akbar’s commander Bairam Khan, and they possibly exchanged some poetic communication as well.
- Tulsidas made the story of Lord Ram popular among the masses because he wrote in the regional dialect that most people understood.
-Source: Indian Express