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Epic traditions themes and recensions

An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary doings of the extra ordinary men and women who, in dealings with the gods or other superhuman forces, gave shape to the mortal universe for their descendants, the poet and their audience to understand themselves as a people or nation.


Epic tradition were to a large extent the traditions of the aristocratic families the old French word geste, used for a form of epic that flourished in the middle ages, means not only a story of famous deeds but also a genealogy. The passing of a heroic age does not necessarily mean the end of its heroic oral poetry.


Hero worship is a central aspect of India culture and thus readily lent itself to a literary tradition that abounded in epic poetry and literature. The Puranas, a massive collection of verse form histories of India’s many Hindu Gods and Goddesses followed in this tradition.


The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are two great Indian epic that have deeply influenced the Indian religious and cultural ethos. These performances form a significant part of the epic tradition as they connect the stories in the epics with material realities of the Indian religious and cultural life. India has its two great and ancient Hindu epics – The Mahabharata and The Ramayana. They are big rip-roaring tales of chariots, kidnappings, gods and demons, love and war. Epic or a Mahakavya, are know as the specialist of Sanskrit and are also the earliest forms of literature. Indian literature is thought to be the earliest literature of the world. Literature during this time largely incorporated art. In this art the gods portrayed in the story were detailed and including humans, animals’ scenery, color and much more.


The most important epics of India are listed below: -

1. Mahabharata – It narrates the struggle between two groups of cousins in the Kurukshetra war and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pandava Princes and their successors

2. Ramayana: The epic traditionally described to the Maharishi Valmiki, narrates the life of Rama, a legendary price of Ayodhya City in the kingdom of Kosala.


Indian epic written in the Indian subcontinent, traditionally called Kavya. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata which were originally composed in Sanskrit and later translated into many other Indian Languages and the five great epics of Tamil literature and Sangam literature are some of the oldest surviving epic poems ever written.


If these epics were not written we would never get to know about our history or about how the happenings in the past formed the world in which we are living now. Epics depict what happened in the past. They tell us about the happenings that shaped our culture. Epics are the recordings of the milestone achieved by our ancestors. The epics like Mahabharata tells us about the very famous battle fought in our country Ramayana contains the reason behind celebrating festivals like Dussehra and Diwali. By reading this we get to know why our culture is like this or why we consider something very special and sacred or why some days are celebrated differently than others. Ten very famous epics include the Mahabharata , the Ramayana, the Raghuvamsa, the Budhacharita, the Shishupalavadha,the Kiratarjuniya, the Manimekalai, the Silapadikaram, the Kunarasambava and shri Ramacharitmanas. All of them contains stories which leave a very peaceful impact on life.



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