Fun Facts About The Thai Ramakien

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If you are a Thailand lover, you certainly know the Thai Ramakien which is the National Epic of Thailand. In short, the Ramakien is about Rama who spends 14 years in exile after being banished by his stepmother. There he lives with his consort Sita and his brother Lakshman. When Sita is abducted by the Demon King Ravana (Tosakanth) to Lanka, Rama and his brother rescue her with the help of the monkey warriors. Well, there are also some entertaining facts about the ‘Story of Rama’ which I like to bring to you here 🙂

Thai Ramakien Trivia

  • Did you know that the Ramayana was written by the Hindu sage Valmiki and that it implies that the epic possesses magic properties? Merely reading one verse of the Ramayana is supposed to guarantee a son to everyone previously lacking a male heir and it also implies that poor readers of the epic will become rich and that errant readers are purified.
Scene from the Ramakien depicted on a mural at Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) (photo credit: Amporn Konglapumnuay)

Scene from the Thai Ramakien depicted on a mural at Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) (photo credit: Amporn Konglapumnuay)

  •  In the Rama Jataka, the Buddha is quoted as claiming he had been Rama in a previous life. The Rama Jataka is popular in Laos and some northeastern parts of Thailand where it is recited during ceremonies for the dead and crematations.
Scene from the Ramakien depicted on a mural at Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) (photo credit: Jpatokal, wikimedia.org)

Scene from the Ramakien depicted on a mural at Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) (photo credit: Jpatokal, wikimedia.org)

  • In the oldest version of Rama’s story which is probably the Dasaratha Jataka, Sita is featured as Rama’s sister.
Sita in captivity in Lanka being_tempted by Ravana. Chromoli Wellcome Library London, wikimedia.org

Sita in captivity in Lanka being tempted by Ravana. Chromoli Wellcome Library London, wikimedia.org

  •  According to an ancient Thai belief, the Ramakien has magic properties. Thus, anyone who is able to read the Story of Rama over seven days and seven nights could command from the heavens three days and three nights of rainfall.
A scene from the Ramakien

A scene from the Ramakien, illustration at Wat Phra Kaew (photo: Sirinya Pakditawan)

  • The 16th century Chinese classic Hsi-yu-chi (Monkey) incorporated together with other material, Hanuman’s travels in pursuit of Sita. What is more, as early as 251 AD, a Jataka form of the Ramayana was rendered into Chinese.
Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana at the Hermitage of Bharadvaja. Page from a dispersed Ramayana_(Story of King Rama),ca._1780, wikimedia.org

Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana at the Hermitage of Bharadvaja. Page from a dispersed Ramayana (Story of King Rama),ca. 1780, wikimedia.org

  • The Reamker which is the Cambodian version of the Ramayana takes about 50 hours to recite.
An episode from the Cambodian Reamker, Phnom Phen, photo. Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, wikimedia.org

An episode from the Cambodian Reamker, Phnom Phen, photo: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, wikimedia.org

  • The Ramakien can be called an esoteric allegory of man’s spiritual quest (Rama) for Nirvana (Sita). In this way, it is also a purification of physical and intellectual faculties in which Tosakanth (Ravana) and his brothers are coarse passions and imperfections while the monkey warriors stand for virtues.
Chin as Khon character Tosakanth (photo credit: pinterest.com)

Thai-French Singer Chin Chinawut as Khon (Ramayana) character Tosakanth (photo credit: pinterest.com)

Did you know about this trivia? I think the most entertaining fact is that the Thai Ramakien is supposed to possesss magic properties. Hence, maybe we should try to recite the Story of Rama and see what kind of magic we can work 😉

Yours, Sirinya

(Reference: Ramakien, The Thai Ramayana. Naga Books Bangkok, 1993)

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1 Response

  1. samir sardana says:

    Y is Ravana hated and Rama treated like a God ?

    As per the Valmiki Ramayana – Rama was an impotent gay pansy,a coward, a man who pimped his wife, an impotentica, a murderer and a man who was born out of bestaility ! dindooohindoo

    Case 1 – Sita called Rama an Impotent Pansy

    Book II : Ayodhya Kanda – Book Of Ayodhya Chapter[Sarga] 30

    किम् त्वा अमन्यत वैदेहः पिता मे मिथिला अधिपः | राम जामातरम् प्राप्य स्त्रियम् पुरुष विग्रहम् || २-३०-३

    “What my father, the king of Mithila belonging to the country of Videha, think of himself having got as so-in-law you, a woman having the form of a man?”

    अनृतम् बल लोको अयम् अज्ञानात् यद्द् हि वक्ष्यति | तेजो न अस्ति परम् रामे तपति इव दिवा करे || २-३०-४

    Case 2 – Rama told Sita to whore herself- this is in the Valmiki Ramayana

    Chapter [Sarga] 115

    तद्गच्छ त्वानुजानेऽद्य यथेष्टं जनकात्मजे |
    एता दश दिशो भद्रे कार्यमस्ति न मे त्वया || ६-११५-१८

    “O Seetha! That is why, I am permitting you now. Go wherever you like. All these ten directions are open to you, my dear lady! There is no work to be done to me, by you.”

    तदद्य व्याहृतं भद्रे मयैतत् कृतबुद्धिना |
    लक्ष्मणे वाथ भरते कुरु बुद्धिं यथासुखम् || ६-११५-२२

    “O gracious lady! Therefore, this has been spoken by me today, with a resolved mind. Set you mind on Lakshmana or Bharata, as per your ease.”

    įatrughne vätha sugréve räkņase vä vibhéņaëe |
    niveįaya manaų séte yathä vä sukhamätmanaų || 6-115-23

    “O Seetha! Otherwise, set your mind either on Shatrughna or on Sugreeva or on Vibhishana the demon; or according to your own comfort.”

    Case 3 – Rama killed a Sudra to save the son of a Brahmin ! Also because the Sudra was studying the Vedas

    Book 7, the ‘Uttarakanda’ [Final Chapter], sargas 73-76, in the Adhyatma Ramayana version of Ramayana.

    When Rama is reigning as a virtuous king, a humble aged Brahmin comes to him, weeping, with his dead son in his arms. He says that Rama must have committed some sin, or else his son would not have died.

    (74) The sage Narada explains to Rama that a Shudra is practicing penances, and this is the cause of the child’s death.

    (75) Rama goes on a tour of inspection in his flying chariot, and finds an ascetic doing austerities, and asks who he is. ”

    (76) Hearing the [inquiring] words of Rama of imperishable exploits, that ascetic, his head still hanging downwards [as part of his austerities] answered:— ‘O Rama, I was born of a Shudra
    alliance and I am performing this rigorous penance in order to Conquer the heavens with this body. Lord Rama killed him due to his bad intentions and there by giving Shambuka his Moksha.

    Case 4- Rama;s mother had sex with a Horse !

    Book I : Bala Kanda – The Youthful Majesties

    Chapter [Sarga] 14
    Queen Kausalya desiring the results of ritual disconcertedly resided one night with that horse that flew away like a bird. [1-14-34]

    Case 5 – Was Rama a Gay Monkey ?

    Book VI : Yuddha Kanda – Book Of War

    Chapter [Sarga] 128

    आजानुलम्बिबाहुश्च महास्कन्धः प्रतापवान् |
    लक्ष्मणानुचरो रामः पृथिवीमन्वपालयत् || ६-१२८-९७

    That Rama, having his long arms reaching down his knees, having a broad chest and glorious, ruled this earth with Lakshmana as his companion.

    No humans has arms reaching to the knees ! Is Rama an Ape ?

    Rama ruled for 10000 years with Lakshmana – as HIS COMPANION ? What about Seeta Maiya ? What do have here ? A Gay Monkey !
    Rama spent 12 years with Lakshmana and Apes, with no sex with a woman – so he became Gay –so what – it is all evolution !
    As per Ramayana – Rama ruled happily ever after for 1000 years, with Lakshmana by his side (not Seeta) – it is all the Gay Thing (although Uttarakandam says that Rama and Seeta made merry for 10000 years – as miya bibi – but that was to neuter the Gay Theory of the Valmiki Ramayana)
    Also, the Ramayana says that Rama had hands till his knees, and that explains his love and fondness for all apes and monkeys
    Rama the Limpdick spent 12 years with Lakshmana, in a jungle, with no sex – and was sexually frustrated , and then Vali was banging his brother’s wife – and so, Rama the Limpdick killed Vali –
    it is all OK La !

    Case 6 – And the proof is the limpdick of Rama !

    This is Hanooman describing the UNDERSIZED LIMPDICK VIRILE MEMBRANE OF RAMA ! (Don’t ask how did Hanooman know)

    Book V : Sundara Kanda – Book Of Beauty
    Chapter [Sarga] 35
    18.
    “He has three folds in the skin of his neck and belly. He is depressed at three places (viz. the middle of his soles, the lines on his soles and the nipples).

    He is undersized at four places (viz. the neck, membran virile, the back and the shanks). He is endowed with three spirals in the hair of his head.

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