Ayodhya, 18 November (HS). Rajiv Gandhi Central University is located at Doimukh on the Rono Hills, a little ahead of Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh. Dr. Kothen Lego, Chairman of the Hindi Department here, tells that in Manipur, the eastern border of the country, in 1467 AD, the idol of Lord Vishnu was presented by Pong King Khekhonbha of Myanmar to King Kiyamba of Manipur. The king of Manipur had widely propagated the Ramanandi sect. From that time onwards the practice of Ramkatha started in Manipur. Here the day of Dussehra is celebrated as Ramankappa i.e. the day of killing Ravana. The kings here have also issued coins in the name of Shri Ram.
The culture that sprouted, blossomed and flourished in Ayodhya spread across the country and the world, encroaching on Awadh. So much so that it became an important part of people’s lives and got ingrained in the culture. The ideals and rituals created by Ramlala of Ayodhya, Vanvasi Ram, Raja Ramchandra and Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram settled in the hearts of the people which included the philosophy of worldly and otherworldly life. It is due to the influence of Shri Ram’s culture that Ramlila is prevalent even today in different languages and dialects in all the provinces of the country.
Sushant Talukdar is a journalist in Guwahati. He says that the activities of the Church in the North-East have increased a lot in the last fifty years, but even after changing the religion, it has not been possible to change the deep imprint on the culture. It is absolutely true that Mother Teresa has caused a lot of damage to Sananat Dharma under the guise of service. Dr. Vishwajit Mishra, Professor of Hindi Department of Rajiv Gandhi Central University, says that there is a lack of hospitals even in the remote areas of the mountains. Mother Teresa and Christian missionaries took advantage of this. Under the guise of service, conversion was done by giving a paracetamol pill and a saree. On the other hand, the missionaries here have a huge contribution in pushing the North-East into the quagmire of drugs. Something has kept the North East in check, even today something is left and it is only the culture here. Religion changed but culture could not be changed. it was impossible. Even today, Ram and Krishna are present in the traditions and culture of the tribal society of the North-East. The influence of Ram Katha in Assam is present almost everywhere in the folk culture here, in poetry, folk drama and painting. The ideal of Shri Ram in the cultural life of Assam is a medium to be free from stress in the materialistic era. You will easily find many temples and pilgrimages related to Shri Ram across the state.
The matriarchal society of the North-East is called the umbilical cord of India, where India was born. Lord Krishna’s in-laws house is North-East. Even today there is Rukmand tribe here and there is a district named after Arjun’s wife Ulupi. Bhima’s in-laws house Hidimba which was later called Dimapur. Those round hills of Rajbari where Ghatotkach used to play. The influence of Ram and Ramayana is deeply prevalent here. It is also necessary to see how Ram is celebrated in different languages, dialects and local cultures from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Attock to Cuttack. In Orissa, more than half a dozen translations of Goswami Tulsidas’s Shri Ramcharit Manas will be found in Oriya language. Shri Ramlila is staged here with pomp and show, and the worship of Hanuman ji has special significance in the society here. A grand celebration is organized on Ram Navami in the main pilgrimage site Jagannath Puri. The Emaar Math of the Ramanuja sect is located here. In the folk art and painting here, Shri Ram has penetrated deeply into the minds of the people.
Regarding the influence of Ram in Bengal and Jharkhand, Saint Swami Aditya Anand says that the folk painting of Mithila is not only present in Madhubani, there is a clear influence of Ram Katha in the marriage tradition in Mithila region, which has been in practice since ages. Similarly, the area of Bundelkhand between Uttar Pradesh and Tezzbuzz is famous for Ram, here Chitrakoot is known because of Lord Ram and Goswami Tulsidas. God resided here for many years. Chandela kings have also established a huge statue of Hanuman in Khajuraho. The influence of Lord Shri Ram can be seen on the famous wall dance of Bundelkhand. Similarly, on the day of Diwali, weapons display is done here in Kamadgiri area, which is done to commemorate the return of Lord Rama from the victory of Lanka.
There is a famous temple of Rajaram in Orchha near Jhansi, whose glory cannot be said to be less than Ayodhya in any way. Great poet Kalidas in his work Meghdoot has called Ramgiri Ashram of Chitrakoot as the famous Ramtirtha. Panna district is adjacent to Bundelkhand, where the first sculpture related to Shri Ram has been made in Nachna village. Similarly, similar sculpture can be seen in the Vishnu temple of Devgarh in Jhansi. The fifth gate of Kalinjar fort is called Hanuman Gate.
Similarly, the amazing influence of Shri Ram will be seen in Rajasthani painting. The painting of Ramayana in Mewar style is worth seeing. Similarly, in Mewar, Kota, Bundi, Kishangarh, Alwar, Bikaner, Jaipur, wonderful paintings have been made on the basis of Shri Ram Charit Manas and Valmiki’s Ramayana. Apart from this, the character of Shri Ram is also sung in Rajasthani folk songs.
In Karnataka, names like Ramappa, Ramayappa, Ramachandraya, Ramachandrappa, Ramachandra Rao, Rama Rao will be found in almost every house. Only Rampriya and Ragupriya ragas are found in the folk music of Karnataka. The influence of Sri Ram’s culture can be seen in songs, folk traditions and festivals in Kannada language. Here only Ramkatha is staged in Yakshagana and dance. Apart from this, Ramlila is organized through puppets. Similarly, Bhadrachalam city in Andhra Pradesh was established in devotion to Shri Ram. You can call it Ayodhya of Andhra Pradesh.
Jatayu fought with Ravana in Guntur district. Panchavati is situated in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh on the banks of river Godavari. Shabari’s ashram is also located here. Apart from this, Kishkindha mountain is also in Andhra Pradesh where Sugriva and Ram became friends. It was here that Bali was killed. Jagdish Laxman, advocate and yoga teacher in Kerala High Court, says that just look at my name and you will get an idea of the influence of Shri Ram in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. I am from Kerala, Malayali but my name is Jagadish Laxman. In every house of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, people will be found whose names are after the characters of Ramayana. In our place, effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, Kumbhkaran are not burnt but Ramayana is recited during Dussehra. Hanuman ji’s worship and Sunderkand is done in every house. Who can forget the Nayanar saints in Tamil Nadu. The Nayanar, Alawar saint tradition is associated with Lord Vishnu, in which Ramavatar is worshipped. Apart from this, Kamba Ramayana in Tamil language is read with respect in entire South India including Tamil Nadu. Jagadish Laxman says that in Kerala, there is still a Pandaran caste which earns its living by singing Ramkatha and people respect them. There are places like Kachhu Raman, Kachuraman, Ramapuram, Ramnagari, Ramanatyapura. Whatever be the work, people do not forget to take the name of Shri Ram.