Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on R. K. Narayan's The Ramayana. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Ramayana: Introduction
The Ramayana: Plot Summary
The Ramayana: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Ramayana: Themes
The Ramayana: Quotes
The Ramayana: Characters
The Ramayana: Symbols
The Ramayana: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of R. K. Narayan
Historical Context of The Ramayana
Other Books Related to The Ramayana
- Full Title: The Ramayana (originally called Kaavyam Ramayanam Kritsnam Sitaayaas Charitham Mahat)
- When Written: Valmiki probably wrote the original Ramayana between 500 and 100 BCE
- Where Written: Kosala Kingdom
- When Published: The edition used in this LitChart was published in 1972
- Literary Period: Classical Sanskrit; Post-Vedic
- Genre: Epic Poem
- Setting: The Kosala Kingdom of ancient India and the island of Lanka
- Climax: When Rama kills Ravana
- Antagonist: Ravana, various other rashakas and demons
- Point of View: Third person, though the author occasionally addresses the reader directly.
Extra Credit for The Ramayana
The First Poet. Valmiki is credited with inventing the shloka meter of verse poetry, which is the most common meter in classical Sanskrit poetry. Legend has it that he uttered the first shloka in grief and anger when he saw someone suddenly shoot a mating duck.
Squirrel. R. K. Narayan only mentions squirrels in passing, but Valmiki's Ramayana states that Rama stroked a squirrel in thanks for his help building the bridge to Lanka. The path of Rama's three fingers formed the three white stripes that run down the backs of Indian palm squirrels.