Ignatiev A. A. Ramayana Version in Mahabhagavata Purana

Andrei A. Ignatiev
Independent researcher
Kaliningrad, Russia 

E-mail: ali-kgd@mail.ru


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ABSTRACT. The article deals with the version of the Ramayana contained in the Maha Bhagavata Purana, a text believed to have been created in Bengal between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. This version is regarded as an attempt to incorporate the popular mythological plot into the framework of Shaktism. Both Ravana and Rama are depicted as devotees of Durga; furthermore, Ravana in this version is the father of Sita, who acts as an embodiment of the goddess (while Hanuman is an embodiment of Shiva). Rama only triumphs over Ravana after Durga has deprived the king of her patronage, and Rama, in turn, has repeatedly worshipped the goddess. Brahma, who describes the greatness of the goddess’s world and awakens her from her sleep, acts as Rama’s advisor and assistant. Besides, the Maha Bhagavata Purana version of the Ramayana proves to be a mythological justifi cation for the popular Bengali holiday of Navaratri, the establishment of which is attributed to Durga; it also describes the main rites performed during this holiday. The article compares this version of the legend of Rama with those from other Shakti Puranas, i.e. Devibhagavata and Kalika, which also assert the supremacy of the Great Goddess over the highest male deities of Hinduism and, above all, Vishnu. The complex and often confl ictual relationship between Vaishnavas and Shaktists, including in Bengal, appears to be hidden here.


KEYWORDS: Ramayana, Maha Bhagavata Purana, Bengal, Rama, Sita, Ravana, Durga, Hanuman, Brahma, Shiva, Navaratri


УДК 233-265.32
DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2020-3(9)-27-33



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