Difference between Ramayana and Ramcharitmanas

The difference between Ramayana and Ramcharitmanas is explained here in detail. Ramayana was written by Sage Valmiki. Experts estimate that it may have been written anywhere between the 7th Century BCE to 4th Century BCE, whereas Ramcharitmanas was written in 16th Century by Indian Bhakti poet Tulsidas. The difference between Ramayana vs Ramcharitmanas given here can help in understanding the basics better and know their comparisons thoroughly.

Aspirants would find the related links provided in this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

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Difference between Ramayana and Ramcharitmanas

The major differences between Ramayana and Ramcharitmanas are:

Ramayana Ramcharitmanas
Ramayana was written by Sage Valmiki, who was a contemporary of Lord Rama.  Ramcharitmanas was written by Tulsidas.
Ramayana was written in the Sanskrit Language. Ramcharitmanas was written in Awadhi Language.
Ramayana was written in Treta Yuga. Ramcharitmanas was written Kaliyuga
Ramayana is composed of seven chapters – Balakandam, Ayodhyakandam, Aranyakandam, Kishkinda kandam, Sundara kandam, Yuddha kandam and Uttara kandam. Ramcharitmanas is composed of seven chapters with just one difference that Tulsidas changed Yuddha kandam to Lanka Kand.
Slokas format was used to write Ramayana Chaupais format was used to write Ramcharitmanas
As per Ramayana, King Dasaratha had 350 wives, out of which 3 main wives were Kausalya, Sumitra, and Kaikeyi. As per Ramcharitmanas, King Dasaratha had only 3 wives.
As per Ramayana, Lord Hanuman was a Human who belonged to the Vanara Tribe. As per Ramcharitmanas, Lord Hanuman is depicted as a Monkey
As per Ramayana, King Janaka did not organise any Swayamavara for Sita. When Rama visited Janaka along with Sage Vishwamitra, Rama was shown the Bow of Shiva, which was effortlessly lifted by Lord Rama. Hence Goddess Sita was married to Lord Rama.  As per Ramcharitmanas, King Janaka had organised a Swayamvar for the marriage of Sita. To win the hand of Sita, Rama had to break the bow of Lord Shiva. No other kings were able to even lift the bow, Lord Rama not only lifted the Bow of Lord Shiva effortlessly but also broke it by pulling the strings. Thus Lord Rama was married to Goddess Sita.
As per Valmiki’s Ramayana, the real Sita was kidnapped by Ravana. As per Tulsidas Ramayana, Ravana did not kidnap real Sita, rather the person kidnapped by Ravana was a clone of real Sita. The real Sita was handed over to Lord Agni by Lord Rama before the kidnapping event took place.
As per Valmiki’s Ramayana, Sita was asked to prove her purity to the world by Agni Pariksha. As per Tulsidas Ramcharitmanas, Agniparksha was simply an act to exchange real Sita with the Clone of Sita.
As per Valmiki’s Ramayana, Ravana faced Rama twice on the battlefield. In the first battle, Ravana was badly defeated in the battlefield, but he was allowed to retreat by Rama. In the second battle, Rama once again defeated Ravana and killed him on the battlefield. As per Tulsidas in Ramcharitmanas, Ravana fought with Rama only once on the battlefield, it was at the end of the War. Ravana was killed by Rama in the only battle that took place between the two of them.
In Valmiki’s Ramayana, Rama was depicted as a human with exceptional conduct and virtues. Hence Rama was called Maryada Purshottam. In Ramcharitmanas, Rama was depicted as an avatar or an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The actions of Rama were described as the right way to establish Dharma in the world by removing evil.
In Valmiki’s Ramayana, Rama drowned his mortal body in the River Sarayu after the loss of his wife Goddess Sita who had vanished into mother Earth, and the drowning of his brother Lakshmana in the River Sarayu. In Ramcharitmanas, Tulsidas does not mention anything about the death of Lakshmana or the disappearance of Sita. Ramayana ends with the birth of Lava and Kush, the twin sons of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita.

These are the main differences between Ramayana and Ramcharitmanas. The differences given in the above table can help anyone understand the major differences between Ramayana and Ramcharitmanas in a very short and crisp manner.

After learning about the Ramayana and Ramcharitmanas difference, it is better to know the details of the Origins, Saints, and Timelines of the Bhakti Movement, 4 different types of Vedas, major facts and importance of Rig Veda, and Vedic Literature thoroughly. Visit the below-given links to learn about the difference between History and Prehistory, the Difference between History and Mythology, the Difference between Bhakti and Sufi Movements, Difference between Nayanars and Alvars. Also visit the below-given link on NCERT Notes for Art, Culture, Literature & Architecture.

Difference between Ramayana and Ramcharitmanas:- Download PDF Here

UPSC Civil Service Exam aspirants should diligently study the NCERT Ancient Indian History Notes, as it is an extremely important component of the UPSC Civil Service Exam Syllabus.

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Multiple Choice Question

Consider the following statements

  1. There are many versions of Ramayana in Indian languages, besides Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain adaptations. There are also Cambodian, Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, Lao, Burmese and Malaysian versions of the tale.
  2. Suryavansha or Solar Dynasty is the one of the two major Aryan dynasties that finds reference in the ancient hindu text, the other being Chandravansha or the Lunar Dynasty. According to Harivamsa, Ikshvaku is considered the primogenitor of the dynasty of Surya and was granted the kingdom of Aryavarta by his father Vaivasvata Manu. 
  3. During the 12th century, Kamban wrote Ramavataram, known popularly as Kambaramayanam in Tamil, but references to Ramayana story appear in Tamil literature as early as 3rd century CE. A Telugu version, Ranganatha Ramayanam, was written by Gona Budda Reddy in the 14th century. 
  4. The alvars, (also spelt as alwars or azhwars) were Vaishnavite Tamil poets -saints of South India who composed literature preaching bhakti (devotion) to the god Vishnu or his avatar. Modern scholars place alvar literature between the 5th and 10th Centuries CE.Kulasekhara Alvar is the seventh in the line of the 12 Alvars. Kulasekhara Alvar ruled as the Chera king of Travancore, with scholars dating his period as the first half of the 9th century CE.

Choose the correct answer from the below-given options

  1. None of the above statements are true.
  2. Only statements 1, 3, and 4 are true.
  3. All the above statements are true.
  4. Only statements 1 and 4 are true.

Answer: C

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