What is the difference between Adhyatma Ramayana and Vashishta Ramayana ?


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Difference between "Adhyatma Ramayana" and "Valmiki Ramayan" : 

Valmiki Ramayana was written by "Maharshi Valmiki" and Adhyatma Ramayana was written by Sage Veda Vyasa. Valmiki Ramayana is one of the Itihasas while Adhyatma Ramayana forms part of 61st chapter of Brahmanda Purana. Both Valmiki and Adhyatma Ramayanas are depicting the story of Lord Raama in different angles. While Valmiki Ramayana portrays Lord Raama as an ideal person, Adhyatma Ramayana portrays Lord Raama as the incarnation of the Parabrahman, who knew who He was and even the Jnanis in Ramayana knew who Lord Raama was.

Many divine facts about Lord Raama have been set aside in Valmiki Ramayana in order to present the Lord as a human being. These facts are brought about clearly in Adhyatma Ramayana. The differences between Valmiki Ramayana and Adhyatma Ramayana bring out the secrets of incarnation of Lord Raama. To put it simply, in Adhyatma Ramayana, Raama was “God” and in Valmiki Ramayana, Raama was “Man.” The differences in each kandam of Ramayana are brought out.

Baala Kaandam

1.Valmiki Ramayana conceals the fact that Lord Raama is Sri Maha Vishnu and depicts Him to be a great person, while Adhyatma Ramayana from the beginning depicts Him as Avataara Purusha.

2. In Valmiki Ramayana, Lord Raama is born as a baby, while in Adhyatma Ramayana He is born as a Chathurbhuja and Kausalya praises Him with sthothras. Then Lord Vishnu reminds her of her earlier birth and tells her though He behaves as a human, she would remember His actual divine nature. Then He turns into a baby.

3. In Adhyatma Ramayana, Sage Vasishta reveals Dasharatha at the time of sending Raama with Vishwamithra that Lord Raama is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, unlike in Valmiki Ramayana.

4. Ahalya was cursed by Gautama Maharshi to exist and and meditate in the state of disappearance, as per Valmiki, but as per Adhyatma Ramayana, Gautama cursed her to become a stone and when Lord Raama’s foot touches her, she becomes normal, and praises Lord Raama as Parabrahmam. Therefore, the popular story from Raama Charitha Maanas about Ahalya becoming a stone, is actually correct, as it is taken from Adhyatma Ramayana.

5. During the meeting of Parashuraama  with Lord Raama, he praises Lord Raama with great philosophical verses and identifies His divya tattvam and avataara vishesham which was not described by Valmiki.

Ayodhya Kaandam

1. In the first adhyaya itself, Sage Naarada reminds Lord Raama, that He was born to kill Ravana, which He agrees and says that He remembers the reason for his incarnation, this was not described by Valmiki.

2. By taking permission from Lord Raama, the devathas go to Goddess Saraswathi and pray Her to do aavaahana of Manthara and Kaikeyi and force them to behave in such a way that Lord Raama goes to forest. This aspect was set aside by Valmiki.

3. Vasishta comes to the house of Raama and informs Him that the next day He will be crowned as per the decision of Dasharatha. This was not stated in Valmiki Ramayana, instead it is mentioned that Sumanthra informs Raama to go to forest as per the decision of His father.

4. When Lakshmana becomes angry against the unjust decision of Dasharatha, Lord Raama does a special Vedantha Upadesham, which is not found in Valmiki Ramayana. It is called “Adhyatma Raama Samhitha,” (which is similar to Bhagavad Gita in spirit). Instead consolation by Raama to Lakshmana can be found.

5. When people plummet into sorrow on knowing Lord Raama’s vanavaasam, Vaamadeva explains the secret to people that Lord Raama is Sri Maha Vishnu. This was not taken in Valmiki Ramayana by Valmiki.

6. Lakshmana does tattvopadesham to Guha in Adhyatma Ramayana, which is absent in Valmiki Ramayana.

7. Lord Raama grieves several times as human being for living in forest, as per Valmiki, but it is never found in Adhyatma Ramayana.

8. Sage Bharadwaja praises Lord Raama as the Lord of the Universe, which is absent in Valmiki Ramayana.

9. At Valmiki ashramam, Valmiki Maharshi gives a spiritual message which includes his description of his earlier birth and how he became a great Rishi by chanting Raama naamam, which is absent in Valmiki Ramayana.

10. In Adhyatma Ramayana, Bharatha tries to attempt Praayopavasham, i.e. dying by burning in sacrificial flames, in order to bring back Raama to Ayodhya. Then at the eye-signal of Raama, Vasishta Maharshi  takes Bharatha aside and explains everything about Lord Vishnu’s incarnation as Sri Raama to eliminate rakshasas. This depiction is not found in Valmiki Ramayana.

11. Kaikeyi repents and asks Raama for forgiveness and appeals to Him to explain His greatness as tattvopadesham, and Raama does a special tattvopadesham to her, which is not found in Valmiki Ramayana.

12. Athri Maharashi identifies Lord Raama as avataara purusha, Lord Mahavishnu. This is absent in Valmiki Ramayana.

Aranya Kandam

1. As per Adhyatma Ramayana, Viradha was killed by Raama’s arrows, not by digging and burying as in Valmiki Ramayana.

2. Sarabhanga, Suteeshna and Agastya Maharshis identify Him as avataara purusha and pray Lord Raama as Lord Vishnu and praise Him. Agastya Maharshi even says, “you are the Lord of the universe,” and praises Him with great tattva slokas, but in Valmiki Ramayana, these Maharshis see Lord Raama only as a great king.

3. After making kuteeram in Panchavati, Lakshmana asks Raama to teach him the mukti-marga. Lord Raama explains the essence of Vedanta which is the summary of wisdom, devotion and yoga. This is absent in Valmiki Ramayana.

4. Many times Adhyatma Ramayana depicts Ravana as a dvesha-bhakta, who purposefully fights Raama to attain Moksha, unlike in Valmiki Ramayana. In Adhyatma Ramayana, Ravana makes a pre-meditative plan to use golden deer to promote Raama to kill him, as it is difficult for Ravana to attain mukti in sat-bhakti marga and easy to attain mukti by dying in His hands. (This point is more popular in North India).

5. According to Adhyatma Ramayana, Seeta apaharanam is not real. Lord Raama gives real Sita to Agnideva and asks him to take care of her until He wishes to take Her back and keeps a Maya-Sita in the ashramam for Sita-apaharanam. Ravana takes away the Maya-Sita thinking it is original Sita. (Sita devi being Sri Mahalakshmi Herself, cannot be touched by anyone at their own sweet will).

6. As per Valmiki Ramayana, Ravana takes away Sita by holding her hair in one hand and thighs in other hand, but in Adhyatma Ramayana, he takes away Maya-Sita without touching her, because Ravana was dvesha-bhakta of Raama and an adrushya-bhakta of Sitadevi! (The version that Ravana took away Sita without touching her is the most popular in our country).

7. In Adhyatma Ramayana, Raama makes a resolution to act as if He is in sorrow by losing Sita and pretends to be in sorrow so that everyone thinks He is just a human being, but Valmiki wrote many beautiful slokas describing the sorrow of Raama for Sita as true and real.

8. In Valmiki Ramayana, Jatayu gives information of Sita and dies peacefully  in Raama’s hands, but in Adhyatma Ramayana, Jatayu attains a divya roopam and does a great sthothra on Lord Raama containing great message. Those slokas contain summary of devotion and Vedanta.

9. In Adhyatma Ramayana, Kabandha attains a divya rupam after death and worships Lord Raama with great slokas, unlike in Valmiki Ramayana.

10. Sabari praises Raama as Paramaatma Swaroopa in Adhyatma Ramayana, and she tells Raama about Sugreeva and that Sita is taken captive by Ravana, unlike in Valmiki Ramayana.

Kishkindha Kandam

1. In Valmiki Ramayana Hanuman consoles Tara after Vali’s death and Raama speaks to her shortly. In Adhyatma Ramayana, Raama Himself consoles her and does upadesham and asks her to take Bhakti margam.

2. As per Adhyatma Ramayana, after Sugreeva pattaabhishekam when Raama resides in Pravarshana parvathas He teaches Lakshmana the Devathaarchana kramam of Maha Vishnu to Lakshmana in detail, while Valmiki describes beauty of nature, shoka rasam and viraha rasam of Lord Raama for Sita.

3. As per Adhyatma Ramayana Priyamvada comes to Lord Raama and worships Him with devotional slokas and realizes Paramaatman in Him. Her sthothras are filled with devotion, Vedanta and wisdom. As per Raama’s instruction, she goes to Badarivanam and attains mukti but in Valmiki Ramayana Priyamvada only treats monkeys as guests and does tapasya at her place.

4. One more great tattvic upadesha found only in Adhyatma Ramayana is that of Sampaathi to monkeys which he learnt from a Rishi called Chandramaa.

Sundara Kandam

1. Some unique events told only in Adhyatma Ramayana are Ravana feeling bad that Raama had not turned up even after he stole Sita and Ravana dreaming in the night that a Raama’s ambassador coming to Lanka in the form of a monkey and viewing Sita’s plight. Hence he immediately comes to Sita believing the dream is true and threatens her to change her mind towards him or else he would eat her in the morning, by doing like that in front of the monkey, he can provoke Raama to come soon to kill him, as the monkey would inform Raama all his threatening.

2. In Adhyatma Ramayana, Hanuman meets Ravana face to face and explains tattva jnana in detail and gives him upadesha to trod the path of dharma and attain mukti with bhakti. No such upadesham by Hanuman is found in Valmiki Ramayana.

Yuddha Kandam

1. As per Adhyatma Ramayana, Lord Raama does prathishtaapana of a Shiva Linga for ensuring successful conquest of Lanka and explains that this Linga will become a great pilgrimage center in future where pilgrims come to see the Linga (Rameshwara) and the Setu built by Him. This detail does not exist in Valmiki Ramayana.

2. When Vibheeshana did sharanaagathi to Lord Raama, he praises Him a devotional and  philosophical sthothram, which is not mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana.

3. For Sethu bandhanam, Raama prays to Sagara for 3 days according to Valmiki before threatening him, but He does not wait for 3 days according to Adhyatma Ramayana, He directly warns Sagara. Sagara takes refuge at Sri Raama’s feet and worships Him.

4. Shuka, a spy of Ravana does tattvopadesham to Ravana and Shuka’s history is also told only in Adhyatma Ramayana. In Valmiki Ramayana, Shuka only tells Raama’s strength and valour in detail.

5. Malyavantha praises Raama in front of Ravana, which was not mentioned by Valmiki.

6. The story of Kaalanemi obstructing Anjaneya when he goes to fetch Sanjeevini aushadham exists only in Adhyatma Ramayana. The story of Garuthman coming to Raama’s help exists only in Valmiki Ramayana.

7. Only in Adhyatma Ramayana Kumbhakarna explains Ravana that Raama is avataara purusha and instead of going for war with Him, it is better to worship Him.

8. After Kumbhakarna was slayed and before Indrajit was slayed, Naarada Maharshi comes and has darshanam of Lord Raama and praises Him with great philosophical sthothram, which is present only in Adhyatma Ramayana.

9. As per Adhyatma Ramayana, Indrajit has a boon that only a person who stays away from food and sleep for 12 years as a vratham can kill him. Only Lakshmana performed it, so he alone had the eligibility to kill Indrajit. This aspect is not discussed in Valmiki Ramayana.

10. A maya-Sita is created by Indrajit and he creates an illusion that he slays her in front of Raama and His army and Raama starts weeping. Vibheeshana explains that it is maya and not real. This story is not found in Adhyatma Ramayana.

11. A story found only in Adhyatam Ramayana is that Ravana starts a great homam for invincibility before his war with Raama as per the advise of Sukra the rakshasa guru, and the monkeys try to disturb it. As they remain unsuccessful in disturbing it by all possible means, they trouble the women folk of Ravana including Mandodhari and when they start shouting for help desparately, Ravana gives up homa deeksha and comes to war with them. With that Ravana’s homam is spoiled.

12. After the above incident, Mandodhari explains in detail to Ravana that Raama is Sriman Narayana’s incarnation. Ravana agrees the greatness of Raama and replies he is facing Raama with dvesha-bhakti and that if he dies in Raama’s hands he will certainly attain mukti, this conversation is not provided in Valmiki Ramayana.

13. In Adhyatma Ramayana, Lord Raama chops off the 10 heads of Ravana 100 times but still they reappear. Then Vibheeshana explains Raama that Ravana has amrutha bhaandam at his navel area and it has to be broken to kill him. Then Raama destroys it and then Ravana’s hands and heads. Then He kills him with Brahmaastharam. Valmiki Ramayana does not speak about any of this, but says that Raama is given upadesha of Aditya Hrudayam by Agastya Maharshi and Raama does the manthropaasana deeksha and increase His strength and kills Ravana with Brahmaasthram.

14. As per Adhyatma Ramayana after Ravana’s death, his soul glows like a lightening and immerses in Lord Raama. When deva and rishi ganas get shocked upon seeing this, Naarada Maharshi explains them that Ravana was a devotee of Raama who worshipped Raama with dvesha-bhakti, hence he attains mukti. This story is not found in Valmiki Ramayana.

15. The most surprising scene in Adhyatma Ramayana is Agni Pravesham of Sita. In Aranya Kandam, the real Sita goes resides in Agnideva as per the order of Lord Raama and Maya-Sita created in her place is stolen by Ravana. In Yuddha Kandam, when Raama asks Sita to prove her chastity, the Maya-Sita enters Agni and vanishes and real Sita comes out from Agni. Therefore real Sita was never taken away by Ravana and she never suffered in Lanka.  This secret is known only to Sri Raama. Therefore the Agni-pareeksha of Adhyatma Ramayana is not a real one, but in Valmiki Ramayana it is portrayed as real pareeksha.

16. While going back to Ayodhya with Sita after the war, Raama stops at Bharadwaja Maharshi Ashramam. Then Bharadwaja Maharshi does sthuthi of Lord Raama as per Adhyatma Ramayana. This sthuthi is absent in Valmiki Ramayana.

These are the differences between both the Ramayanas which Bhagavatas may have enjoyed reading. Both the works are great and blissful and they beautifully serve different purposes, Valmiki Ramayana the material and spiritual upliftment of man in the society and Adhyatma Ramayana the attainment of salvation through complete and unconditional surrender to God. Jai Sriman Narayana.





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