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Electronic International Interdisciplinary Research Journal (EIIRJ) Electronic Bi-monthly Reviewed Journal Nov/Dec 2012

ISSN 2277-8721

A STUDY OF MYTHOLOGY OF RAMAYANA IN RAJA RAO’S KANTHAPURA
Dr. P.M. PATIL Member BOS in English, Shivaji University, Kolhapur Head, Department of English Arts, Commerce & Science College, Palus. Dist-Sangli . 416310.(M.S) ABSTRACT The most celebrated ancient heroic text of India is the ‘Ramayana’. It provided themes for important later literary works in Indian languages. The poet Valmiki, who lived around the 3rd century BC, put the Ramayana into form. This epic tells the story of the hero Rama, the prince of Ayodhya and incarnation of the god Vishnu. Rama willingly accepts exile in the forest to redeem a promise made by his father. Rama’s wife Sita is then kidnapped and Rama rescues her by slaying her abductor, the demon king Ravana. There was great impact of Ramayana on the work of the Indian English novelist and the winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award, Raja Rao. For him, literature is Sadhna, not a profession. Raja Rao first of introduced the elements of an epic breadth of vision, a metaphysical rigour, a philosophical depth and a symbolic richness in Indian English novel. He has learnt the art of narration from Valmiki. He has been influenced by Vedas. This research paper modestly attempts to study the mythology of Ramayana in Raja Rao’s ‘Kanthapura’.

KEYWORDS: Raja Rao, Kanthapura, Ramayana, myth, Mahatma. Introduction: The novel Kanthapura has been described as the „most satisfying of modern Indian novels‟. Dr. M. K. Naik considers Kanthapura is “…… a story of a small South Indian village caught in maelstrom of the freedom struggle of the 1930s and transformed so completely in the end that „there‟s neither man nor mosquito‟ left in it.”1 S.K. Srinivas Iyengar comments, “Gandhian politics, half poetical, half whimsical, sets the tone of Raja Rao‟s first novel Kanthapura”2 while C. D. Narasimha rightly observes, “There are at least three strands of experience in the novel: the political, the religious and social, and all there are woven inextricably into the one complex story of Kanthapura.”3 The opinions and remarks of eminent critics of Raja Rao mainly upholds Kanthapura as a classic of the Gandhian movement and struggle for independence and its impact on the Indian masses, or a novel of www.aarhat.com ISSN 2277-8721 Vol-I Issues -VI

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Electronic International Interdisciplinary Research Journal (EIIRJ) Electronic Bi-monthly Reviewed Journal Nov/Dec 2012

ISSN 2277-8721

village in the mainstream of national and international happenings or a saga of village life with its various facets like socio-economic divisions, superstitions, religious and caste prejudices, blind faith in gods and goddesses, poverty, petty jealousies, dirty lanes, shady gardens, snake-infested forests, dirty pools, hills, rivers and changing seasons. It is a story of how Gandhi‟s struggle for independence from the British came to a typical village, Kanthapura, in southern India. Kanthapura is an obscure, out-dated and slumbering South Indian village which comes suddenly to life due to Gandhian Movement in the twenties. It sketches the step by step social development of a south Indian village Kanthpura, and its people, who following Gandhiji becoming successful not only in forming a Swadeshi or anticolonial group and performing anti-colonial protests but also redeeming their village from the social evils of untouchablity, racial discrimination, women backwardness, dis-unity and toddy or wine drinking. It experiences a total reformation from place with a common term, „village‟ to village in a real sense of the term, in the end, where there is no caste distinction, backwardness and religious fanatism, but self-employment, women emancipation, love, and social awareness. The enthusiasm that Gandhiji generated, the expectations he aroused and the attack he launched on...
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