As a children's storyteller, Jumbaya strives to bring just the best stories to kids from all over the world. Stories that are abundant in lessons, values, cultures, emotions and every other hand picked aspect that will prime the kids for the world tomorrow.
And when talking about the best stories, Ramayana tops the charts. Ramayana, also known as Adikavya (the first poem), is the first story composed in a poetic form comprising 22,000 verses by Maharishi Valmiki who is also known as Adikavi, the first poet.
Ramayana is not just an epic, it teaches us the way of life. This timeless epic is the perfect mix of every emotion & virtue in right proportions - love, hatred, jealousy, friendship, loyalty, sacrifice, selflessness, righteousness, respect, valour, acceptance, forgiveness and a lot more. All these emotions are beautifully portrayed through numerous captivating characters in a high quality drama that is full of adventure and action never allowing for any dull moment.
The original Valmiki Ramayana is sung with different flavours or “rasas”, such as hasya, shringara, karunya, roudra, veera, bhayanaka, beebhasta and many more.1
Introducing this epic to children will expose them to all these emotions and virtues along with ancient Indian culture and belief systems. However, telling Ramayana to children encompassing all its facets and in a simplistic way that children can understand is no easy task.
We understand the responsibility and accept it humbly
Ramayana has over 300 different versions and it has been translated multiple times by many laureates in different languages with their own interpretations. It’s an ocean out there.
The Ramayana, or the path or journey of Rama as a narrative cycle has captured the imagination of people in India and across the world for centuries. Devotees revere it, scholars study it, and storytellers and readers find joy in the text.2
The most popular narrative and retelling of Ramayana in the modern times is the TV series by Mr. Ramanand Sagar comprising nearly 80 episodes which are 35-40 minutes each aired in 1987-88 . Entire India watched it together. Families would pray before the TV sets. They would touch the feet of Lord Ram and Sita and other gods on the TV itself. The actors portraying these characters became immortals. When the series was aired again during COVID, it broke all the OTT records. That is the power of Ramayana when told correctly even without any fancy VFX.
Ramayan is faith, an emotion and religion for over a billion people. The responsibility of telling it correctly is huge and we accept it humbly.
Why ‘The Journey of Sita and Rama’?
Maharishi Valmiki’s composition had three prospective titles:
Lord Rama is the foremost among those who delights others, however Sita is the one who delights Rama. Thus, she is even greater. Life story and greatness of Sita was the first objective of Valmiki’s composition.
Our undertaking of the Ramayana is a first of its kind. We adapted the Ramayana as a thoughtfully animated, read along and read aloud story with over 70 episodes.
‘Ramayana came to be a popularly accepted title of Valmiki’s composition. However, the story is as much a journey of Sita as it is of Rama. Some versions of the Ramayana also suggest that while Rama’s character was one of a man who accepted his fate, it was Sita who made certain choices that pushed the narrative forward. Our retelling of this epic is called “Ramayana - the Journey of Sita and Rama”.
1The Valmiki Ramayana Book 1, Translated by Bibek Debroy
2The Illustrated Ramayana, DK Books
Read about our approach here (Jumbaya's approach to Ramayana - The journey of Sita and Rama) in creating a kid-friendly version of the Ramayana that respects the essence of the original while making it accessible and engaging for children.
Our retelling of Ramayana releases on 16 September, 2023, only on the Jumbaya App!
Until then, download the app and browse through our diverse collection of amazing storybooks for children! :D
Available on iOS and Android.