The two epics of Hinduism
are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
According to Ramanuja,
the great scholar of Ramayana, there are more than 300 different types
of Ramayana: Tulsidas Ramayana, Kumbha Ramayana. Though the outline of
Ramayana is same, the details and contents differ.
Unlike the Mahabharata,
the Ramayana appears to be the work of one person – the sage Valmiki,
who probably composed it in the 3rd century BC. Its best-known recension
(by Tulsi Das, 1532-1623) consists of 24,000 rhymed couplets of
16-syllable lines organised into 7 books. The poem incorporates many
ancient legends and draws on the sacred books of the Vedas. It describes
the efforts of Kosala’s heir, Rama, to regain his throne and rescue his
wife, Sita, from the demon King of Lanka.
Valmiki's Ramayana is a
Hindu epic tradition whose earliest literary version is a Sanskrit poem
attributed to the sage Valmiki. Its principal characters are said to
present ideal models of personal, familial, and social behavior and
hence are considered to exemplify Dharma, the principle of moral
The nucleus of the
Mahabharata is the war of eighteen days fought between the Kauravas,
the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra and Pandavas, the five sons of
Pandu. The epic entails all the circumstances leading upto the war.
Involved in this Kurukshetra battle were almost all the kings of
India joining either of the two parties. The result of this war was the
total annihilation of Kauravas and their party. Yudhishthira, the head
of the Pandavas, became the sovereign monarch of Hastinapura. His
victory is supposed to symbolise the victory of good over evil. But with
the progress of years, new matters and episodes relating to the various
aspects of human life, social, economic, political, moral and religious
as also fragments of other heroic legends came to be added to the
aforesaid nucleus and this phenomenon continued for centuries until it
acquired the present shape. The Mahabharata represents a whole
literature rather than one single and unified work, and contains many
C. Bhagavad Gita:
Bhagavad Gita is a part
of Mahabharata. It is the advice given by Krishna to Arjun on the
battlefield of Kurukshetra. It contains the essence of the Vedas and is
the most popular of all the Hindu Scriptures. It contains 18 chapters.
The Bhagavad Gita is one
of the most widely read and revered of the works sacred to the Hindus.
It is their chief devotional book, and has been for centuries the
principal source of religious inspiration for many thousands of Hindus.
The Gita is a dramatic
poem, which forms a small part of the larger epic, the Mahabharata. It
is included in the sixth book (Bhismaparvan) of the Mahabaharata and
documents one tiny event in a huge epic tale.
The Bhagavad Gita tells a
story of a moral crisis faced by Arjuna, which is solved through the
interaction between Arjuna, a Pandava warrior hesitating before battle,
and Krishna, his charioteer and teacher. The Bhagavad Gita relates a
brief incident in the main story of a rivalry and eventually a war
between two branches of a royal family. In that brief incident - a pause
on the battlefield just as the battle is about to begin - Krishna, one
chief on one side (also believed to be the Lord incarnate), is presented
as responding to the doubts of Arjuna. The poem is the dialogue through
which Arjuna’s doubts were resolved by Krishna’s teachings.