Verbal and Visual Texts of the Rāma Narrative


  • John Brockington University of Oxford, UK



reliefs, recensions, manuscripts, Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, paintings


This article examines what we mean by a text: is it verbal (whether written or oral), mental, visual, or a combination? All of these forms are found within the various types of artistic expression centred on the Rāmāyaṇa tradition. I start with the relief sculptures, some of which are centuries early than any extant manuscripts. After a brief comment on the evolution of the Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa text, I then survey in turn some prestige illustrated Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa manuscripts, less notable Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa manuscripts, illustrated manuscripts of the Rāmcaritmānas and other vernacular versions, and sets or series of paintings illustrating the Rāma story (including some single paintings), showing the diverse range of forms it has taken over time and something of the adaptations it has undergone.


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How to Cite

Brockington, John. 2022. “Verbal and Visual Texts of the Rāma Narrative”. Cracow Indological Studies 24 (2):1-24.