Linda Q. Green
Punahou School
The Ramayana, An Enduring Tradition
The story
Paintings and Audio Story
More about the Ramayana
About the author

The Ramayana is the Hindu epic story of the journey of Rama. It was thought to have been an oral tradition about 2500 years ago then set in poetry by the sage Valmiki in Sanskrit sometime in the few hundred years BCE. The Ramayana is told orally, has been written and rewritten by many, has been turned in to paintings, drama, sculpture, shadow puppets, and movies. The story here is told by miniature paintings created during the Moghul period in India. The paintings are by different artists, but all follow the painting style of the time. The Ramayana demonstrates the Hindu concept of dharma, the divinely instituted natural order of things including justice, social harmony, and human happiness.


The image here depicts the Monkey General Hanuman carrying the top of a Himalayan mountain to bring herbs to cure the injured Rama. Painted in the 16th century, from the Freer Ramayana, Freer-Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C.

This site was created by Linda Q. Green at the NEH Summer Institute "Literatures, Religions, and Arts of the Himalayan Region," held at the College of the Holy Cross, Summer 2011.