Adhyathmaramayanam Kilippattu is the most popular Malayalam version of the Sanskrit epic Ramayana. Adhyathmaramayanam kilippattu is believed to have been written by Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan in the early 17th century,  and is considered to be a classic of Malayalam literature. It is a retelling of the Sanskrit work Adhyatma Ramayana in kilippattu bird song format. Recitation of Adhyathmaramayanam Kilippattu is very important in Hindu families in Kerala. Ramayana is recited in the houses and temples.
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Sethumadhavan Adhyathma Ramayanam , the spiritual version of Ramayanam finds a place in Brahmanda Puranam and its author is considered to be Veda Vyasa.
This is a much smaller work than Valmiki Ramayanam and contains 4, verses. Valmiki Ramayanam depicts Lord Rama in a living form of a human being with all its noble strengths and common weaknesses rarely referring to his divinity as the real God Vishnu.
But almost the entire Adhyatma Ramayanam portrays Rama as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu with many prayers and stotrams to Him and at the same time containing the essence of Brahma Vidya or the knowledge about Brahman through various dialogues without losing emphasis on Bhakti or devotion. Hence the greatness of Adhyatma Ramayanam lies in its fusion of Bhakti and Jnana into a single harmonious song providing melodious music to the ears and spiritually inspiring thoughts to the head and heart.
Ramayana serves as an excellent window through which the great panorama of the Indian civilization is opened. The story of Rama depicted in the Ramayana unlocks a gateway leading the readers in an any part of the globe to encounter with the world-view of a great civilization that both resembles, and markedly differs from current civilization and a process which enables them to realize that they should have a world view in the first place.
The Ramayana tradition has enjoyed a unique popularity throughout the subcontinent of South Asia comprising the modern states of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka and beyond - for versions of the tale have flourished in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Although the core story of the travails of Prince Rama and Princess Sita and their companions remains much the same everywhere, storytellers and poets in dozens of languages have chosen not simply to translate some "original" version, but instead have retold the saga in their own words, often modifying and embellishing it according to regional traditions or their own insights and interpretations.
Thus we have today different versions of Ramayana in various languages indicating the deep penetration and influence of the personalities of Rama and Sita in the hearts and minds of the people. India is very vast and has varied cultural and literary traditions. It has always maintained and nurtured plants and flowers of different kinds, colors and shapes. Therefore an assortment of varieties and traditions of Rama Katha has been flourishing here not only in Sanskrit but in many other languages over the centuries.
Sri Rama , even now, is the pet subject of poets, novelists, story writers, cartoonists, philosophers, thinkers, dramatists, film-makers and management consultants besides contemporary politicos of different hues. For all these works on the saga of Rama , Ramayana authored by Valmiki who is called Aadi Kavi has been the basis which is called Aadi Kavya. Tradition ascribes the authorship of Adhyatma Ramayana to Vedavyasa since it is said to be an integral part of Brahmanda Purana.
It is this work that provided Tulasidasa with the inspiration to compose his immortal work, the Ramacharitamanasa. Adhyatma Ramayana has about 4, verses and is popular amongst the devotees of Rama and also among the Vedantins. Written in Sanskrit , the work sums up the main events of the Valmiki Ramayana. Discussions pertaining to Advaita Vedanta philosophy, the path of Bhakti devotion in general and Ramabhakti in particular and several hymns in praise of Rama are the hallmarks of this work.
Adhyatma Ramayana demonstrates the inquisitiveness of Parvati and unambiguous expositions by Mahadeva. But in the orthodox circles of Rama devotees, the Adhyatama Ramayana is considered to be a Mantra -sastra, of which each stanza is revered as a Mantra mystic syllable and devoutly repeated in a ceremonial way.
A question naturally arises why Adhyatma Ramayana when Valmiki Ramayana is already there. The answer could be that the purpose behind the work was not to narrate Rama Katha but to propound ideological principles of Bhakti in co-ordination with Advaita Vedanta.
This is to be viewed against the picturisation of Sri Rama by Valmiki as a perfect human being, a maryada purushottama, with embodiment of Dharma. In Adhyatma Ramayana we see Rama as Brahman - omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, the cause without a cause and the One without a second. The factors that caused Him to incarnate Himself in a human form were, as stated in the Gita, to protect Dharma and destroy the evil. In a study of Adhyatma Ramayana it is essential to know where it differs from the Valmiki Ramayana.
This objective of Valmiki is made clear at the very beginning of the epic in verses 1 to 18 of Chapter 1 of Bala Kanda. Here Valmiki asks Narada the following questions:. In reply to this question, Sage Narada narrated in brief the entire Rama Katha which formed the basis for Valmiki to expand and make it a vast, beautiful and unique epic poem of great literary value which came to be called Valmiki Ramayana.
The object of an epic which begins with such a description of its hero is obviously to give us a picture of human perfection. But this does not mean that Valmiki did not recognize divinity in his hero. When a person is described as a Deity, it happens that ordinary human beings start worshiping him and are not inclined to treat him as a role-model to imitate and follow.
This probably must have been the reason for Valmiki to propound the divinity of Rama in subdued tones and paint him prominently as a great human being with all the human frailties and weaknesses so that the people at large may learn from his life.
In the former Rama is a great hero, in the latter he is a deity- Maha Vishnu , covered in thin apparel - held before all to worship. This is made clear in the very first chapter of the book entitled "Sri Rama Hridaya".
The text of Adhyatma Ramayana projects Rama as the Supreme Self; but while doing so it takes care to see that Rama is also a Personal Deity, the Supreme Isvara, who is to be prayed and sought after by all those who seek knowledge of non-duality. It teaches Bhakti of the most intensive type and stresses that through devotion to Rama alone the saving Jnana would arise in the Jiva. A few such instances are cited below.
Another feature which distinguishes the Adhyatma Ramayana from the Valmiki Ramayana is the large number of hymns sung by the various personages in the narrative and the many philosophical discourses that are spread in various parts of the text. Besides teaching intense devotion, these give us a very simple but profound exposition on non-dualism. Though the traditional origin of these two Ramayanas are different and though there are differences in the treatment of the subject - Rama Katha - one should not jump to the conclusion that there are contradictions between the two.
Both of them deal with the same history of Rama and what Adhyatma Ramayana has done is only to make explicit what Valmiki has taught us implicitly and indirectly in his epic. Toggle navigation. Jump to: navigation , search.
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The text consists of 7 books, 65 chapters and 4, verses in the form of a dialogue between Shiva and Parvati. Rama is presented as the supreme Brahman in the text, while the struggles of Sita and him are re-interpreted in an abstract spiritual form. Adhyatma Ramayana represents the story of Rama in a spiritual context. The text represents Rama as the Brahman metaphysical reality , mapping all saguna attributes of Rama to the nirguna nature ultimate unchanging attributeless virtues and ideals. The book is aimed to be used as a guide and a ready source of instruction for a spiritual seeker, as it presents the Ramayana as a divine allegory. The text influenced the popular Ramcharitmanas by Tulsidas.