More than just an epic
, the Ramayana is a cultural phenomenon
. Orginally thought to be written in Sanskrit
, more and more scholars are becoming convinced that Valmiki was an oral poet and that it was composed and passed on orally.
A tale that reaches through every part of the Indian subcontinent you will find the Ramayana everywhere. Some of note are Kampan's Iramavataram, "Descent of Rama" written originally in Tamil; Adyaatma Ramayana, "Spiritual Ramayana" written is Sanskrit; and the Ramcaritmanas, "Sacred Lake of Rama's Acts" written by Tulsidas in hindi. (note: these are in order of how old they are thought to be, going from oldest to youngest.)
In 1987 a tv version was made in 78 episodes, and as of the summer of 2000 was still being played. This poem is still as much a part of people's lives today as it was when it was originally composed.