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[German Version]

̣The Rāmāyaṇa is one of Hinduism’s two most important Sanskrit epics; the other is the Mahābhārata. The oldest parts of the epic date from the 5th century bce; by the 3rd century ce, the text of the Rāmāyaṇa probably existed in a relatively complete form. It describes the life of Rāma, the hero after whom the text is named. For many Hindus the Rāmāyaṇa is a religious text; its main figures, Rāma, Sītā, and Hanumat (also known as Hanumān), have divine status. Sītā is considered the ideal of a faithful wife. Indian tradition lauds the metrical text, which comprises some 24,000 ¶…

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Mertens, Annemarie, “Rāmāyaṇa”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 15 November 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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