The Academy of Yoga and Oriental Studies organised a lecture on ?Impact of Rama Story on the Thai way of life? in Bhubaneswar on May 10. The lecture was delivered by eminent Sanskrit scholar Dr Radhamadhab Dash who is a professor in PG Department of Sanskrit in Utkal University and also a visiting professor to Bangkok for three years. The function was presided over by Sri S. Sundar Rajan, I.A.S (retd.) who is an eminent scholar of Sanskrit and is the recipient of President'shonour for his outstanding contribution to Sanskrit. Eminent citizens and scholars like Dr Chandra Sekhar Sadangi, Dr Pratibha Manjari Ratha and Dr Siddheswara Jena were among the audiences.
Dr A.B. Ota, director of SC SC RTI delivered the welcome address. The monthly news letter was also released by the speaker Dr Radha Madhab Dash.
Speaking on the topic, Dr Dash said the story of Rama is famous throughout the whole Asia. With the spread of Buddhism and Hinduism to Thailand the Rama story entered Thailand too. Being influenced by the story of Ramayana, the king of Thailand, Rama-1 composed the great work Rama Kirti which is pronounced as Ramakien in Thai language. The Ramakien is not a translation of the original Ramayana of Valmiki. Many alterations to the original story of Ramayana have been done in the work. Since 1902, Ramakien has been prescribed in the school curriculum of Thailand. The story of Rama has influenced the life style and culture of Thailand. It has literary, linguistic, political, social and philosophical impacts on the Thai people. Names of many people and places have been designed after the story of Ramakien. Innumerable Sanskrit words have been incorporated into the Thai language. The Thai literature abounds with stories related to the Rama story. It has great political influence in the country. The respect and honour, the royal dynasty enjoys in Thailand, is due to the impact of the Rama story on the mind of the people. The king is considered to be the incarnation of Rama. The story has a great philosophical impact on the Thai mind also. The theory that one has to consume the results of his past deeds has been well accepted by the people. Many official insignia, official honours, posts, products and many companies are related to the story of Rama. It has been deep-rooted in many ways to the culture of Thailand, Shri Dash said.
At the end of the lecture there was an interactive session in which many scholars participated and expressed their views.
In his presidential address Sri S. Sundar Rajan said there is something in the Ramayana which has fascinated the whole world. It is dharma which occupies the central place in Ramayana. Since Buddhist philosophy attaches maximum importance to dharma, therefore Ramayana is greatly appreciated by the Buddhist country Thailand.