Tulsidas Rāmacaritamānasa – A Timeline Overview

Tulsidas Rāmacaritamānasa - A Timeline Overview

Rāmacaritamānasa is the abode of the virtues of Śrī Rāma and a storehouse of felicity for its reader.

Who is Śrī Rāma? He is the epitome of joy, bliss, and peace. He is that Supreme Reality who incarnated as an ideal human being (verily an embodiment of Dharma) to bless the Earth, Brāhmaṇa, and devotees and to uphold Dharma.
Tulasīdāsa has written the Rāmacaritamānasa which was composed in the heart of Śambhū (Mahādeva) and portrays the epic tale of Śrī Rāma across a storyline spanning seven kāṃḍas (chapters).

There are four primary ghāṭa (or banks) to this ‘Mānasarovara’ where perfectly suited speaker and listener pairs are seated.

Each of these offer a unique perspective to view, imbibe, or soak in the nectarine waters of this katha –

1. Karma Ghāṭa – Yagñavalkya ṛṣi & Bhāradvāja muni at Prayāga
2. Bhakti Ghāṭa – Kākabhuśuṇḍi & Garuḍa at Nīlakaṃṭha āśrama
3. Jñāna Ghāṭa – Śiva & Bhavānī at Kailāśa
4. Śaraṇāgati Ghāṭa – Gosvāmī Tulasīdāsa & Tulasīdāsa’s own mana at Kāśī

Whilst the appeal of each of these ghāṭa is as per each spiritual seeker’s aptitude (adhikāra), as with all forms of sādhanā, the perspectives may be many, but the ultimate goal (Truth) remains one!

A short overview of the timeline of the Rāmacaritamānasa provides a bird’s eye view of each kāṃḍa, outlining its commencement, conclusion, and key milestone moments.

May we be inspired to delve into reading this sacred text for ourselves!

(1) Bālā-kāṃḍa
Commences: Adoration of Śrī Rāma /Rāma’s name

  • Tale of Satī
  • Śiva Pārvatī marriage
  • Dialogue between Śiva Pārvatī
  • Nārada’s ego
  • Austerity of Manu Satarūpā
  • Brahmā’s boon to Rāvaṇa
  • Birth of Sītā
  • Birth of Śrī Rāma
  • Protection of sacrificial yajña of Viśvāmitra
  • Śrī Rāma Sītā marriage

Concludes: Śrī Rāma and brothers arrive in Avadha with their wives

(2) Ayodhyā-kāṃḍa
Commences: Preparations of Śrī Rāma’s coronation

  • Dialogue between Maṃtharā & Kaikaī
  • Kaikaī’s 2 boons
  • Śrī Rāma, Sītā, and Lakṣmaṇa’s departure for the forest
  • Kevaṭa’s love & devotion
  • Dialogues of Śrī Rāma with Bhāradvāja and Vālmikī
  • Stay at Citrakuṭā
  • Death of Daśaratha
  • Meeting of Śrī Rāma and Bhārata
  • Bhārata returned to Avadha with Śrī Rāma’s pādukā

Concludes: Bhārata’s stay at Naṃdīgrāma

(3) Aranyā-kāṃḍa
Commences: Episode of Jayaṃta

  • Stay at Paṃcavaṭī
  • Episode of Śūrpaṇakhā
  • Killing of Khara-Dūsana
  • Abduction of Sītā
  • Śrī Rāma’s meeting with Jaṭāyu in search of Sītā

Concludes: Śrī Rāma’s grace on Sābarī

(4) Kiṣkindhā-kāṃḍa
Commences: Meeting of Śrī Rāma and Hanumāna

  • Friendship of Śrī Rāma and Sugrīva
  • Killing of Valī
  • Departure of Monkeys to locate Sītā
  • Meeting of Monkeys with Sampātī

Concludes: Dialogue between Hanumāna and Jāmbavanta

(5) Suṃdara-kāṃḍa
Commences: Hanumāna’s entry in Laṃkā

  • Dialogue between Hanumāna and Vibhīṣaṇa
  • Meeting of Hanumāna and Sītā
  • Burning of Laṃkā
  • Hanumāna’s briefing to Śrī Rāma
  • Śrī Rāma’s departure for Laṃkā along with the Monkey army
  • Vibhīṣaṇa joined forces with Śrī Rāma

Concludes: Śrī Rāma’s fury against the ocean and ocean’s willingness to cooperate

(6) Laṃkā- kāṃḍa
Commences: Bridging of the ocean

  • Dialogue between Aṃgada and Rāvaṇa
  • Sri Rama and army attacked Laṃkā
  • Hanumāna brought saṃjīvanī to save Lakṣmaṇa
  • Killing of Kumbhakarṇa
  • Killing of Meghanāda
  • Episode of Ahirāvaṇa
  • Śrī Rāma- Rāvaṇa war
  • Killing of Rāvaṇa
  • Vibhīṣaṇa’s coronation
  • Sītā’s fire-tes

Concludes: Śrī Rāma’s departure for Avadha in puṣpaka vimāna

(7) Uttarā- kāṃḍa
Commences: Meeting of Hanumāna and Bhārata

  • Śrī Rāma met the family and residents of Avadha
  • Coronation of Śrī Rāma
  • Garuḍa’s seven questions to Kākabhuśuṇḍi
  • Timeless principles and guidelines for humanity across different yuga

Concludes: Greatness of Rāmāyaṇa explained

Divine bliss is realized upon the conclusion of the katha in all four ghāṭa.

pāyo parama biśrāmu rāma samāna prabhu nāhīṃ kahū~

(Rāmacaritamānasa Mahātmya)

Which milestone moment is the most meaningful for you in Śrī Rāma Katha? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.

Include hashtag #SVNRamKatha and tag @ppbhaishri on social media to enter a prize draw!

To learn more about the Foundation of Sanātana Dharma and the Classification of Vedic Literature register today to attend #SandipaniSadhanaRetreat Feb 24- Mar 2, 2024,

Article by: Mansi Pancholi (Canada), a graduate of Sandipani Sadhana Foundational Course (Class of 2022)

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