Ramayana, considered part of Hindu Smriti, was written originally in Sanskrit by Sage Valmiki (3000 BC). Contained in 24,000 verses, this epic narrates Lord Ram of Ayodhya and his ayan (journey of life). Over a passage of time, Ramayana did not remain confined to just being a grand epic, it became a powerful symbol of India's social and cultural fabric. For centuries, its characters represented ideal role models - Ram as an ideal man, ideal husband, ideal son and a responsible ruler; Sita as an ideal wife, ideal daughter and Laxman as an ideal brother. Even today, the characters of Ramayana including Ravana (the enemy of the story) are fundamental to the grandeur cultural consciousness of India.
Long after Valmiki wrote Ramayana, Goswami Tulsidas (born 16th century) wrote Ramcharitamanas in his native language. With the passage of time, Tulsi's Ramcharitmanas, also known as Tulsi-krita Ramayana, became better known among Hindus in upper India than perhaps the Bible among the rustic population in England. As with the Bible and Shakespeare, Tulsi Ramayana’s phrases have passed into the common speech. Not only are his sayings proverbial: his doctrine actually forms the most powerful religious influence in present-day Hinduism; and, though he founded no school and was never known as a Guru or master, he is everywhere accepted as an authoritative guide in religion and conduct of life.
Tulsi Ramayana is a novel presentation of the great theme of Valmiki, but is in no sense a translation of the Sanskrit epic. It consists of seven books or chapters namely
containing tales of King Dasaratha's court, the birth and boyhood of Rama and his brethren, his marriage with Sita - daughter of Janaka, his voluntary exile, the result of Kaikeyi's guile and Dasaratha's rash vow, the dwelling together of Rama and Sita in the great central Indian forest, her abduction by Ravana, the expedition to Lanka and the overthrow of the ravisher, and the life at Ayodhya after the return of the reunited pair. All its characters are as lifelike and distinct as any in occidental literature. Ramcharitmanas is written in pure Avadhi or Eastern Hindi, in stanzas called chaupais, broken by 'dohas' or couplets, with an occasional sortha and chhand.
Shri Yogeshwarji, great Gujarati saint and literate dreamed of translating this epic poem in Gujarati during his youth in holy Himalayas but could only give it a shape during the later part of his life. He began translation in 1981 and completed in a record time of 15 months! The completed work was released in a book form amid much fanfare at the hands of Umashankar Joshi, father figure of modern Gujarati literature. Since then, many recitation of this Gujarati versions has taken place in India and abroad.
The only available Gujarati translation of Ramcharitmanas, this great poem is made available on this site for the first time. It should be noted that the original work of Yogeshwarji did NOT map Gujarati side-by-side original verses. It is a humble attempt made by webmaster to present it in this way to facilitate easy reference. One would derive great pleasure by just reading the Gujarati version as it keep intact the storyline. The tune and meters of poetry are also not exactly replicated in Gujarati yet, in their own they are pretty consistent. The Gujarati translation is also aided by Yogeshwarji's comments for better understanding.
Recently, we have also added Samarpan, a Gujarati novel based on Ramayan written by Yogeshwarji. We hope that you will like it. Your comments and suggestions are welcome as always.