Tulasidas left Kashi and went again to Ayodhya. While he was in
Kashi he seems to have composed two poems; 'Janaki Mangala' and 'Parvathi Mangala'. In
Ayodhya he did rigorous tapas in, utter solitude for some time. Then he' made up his mind
to write the 'Ramacharitamanasa'. He himself saw Sri Rama, Seetha and Lakshmana in this
epic; and he enabled the readers, too' to see them.
Tulasidas has depicted most effectively in his 'Ramacharitamanasa' how by his own
example Sri Rama, the God born as man, set an ideal before the people of this world. Just
as Sri Rama is sketched as an ideal leader and king, Seetha Devi is portrayed as a gem of
ideal womanhood. She shines as a bright lamp placed on the threshold, illuminating two
homes - that of her parents and that of her husband. She was dear not only to her parents
but also to her servants.
At the time of sending her to her husband's house, all the queens and their companions
were sad. The very parrots in golden cages cried, "O, where is Seetha?"
This is just one example to show how Tulasidas's picture of the simplicity and goodness
of Seetha Devi is different from Valmiki's picture. There are some very touching episodes
in the Ramacharita- manasa', which are not found in other Ramayanas.
These delicate flowers of the poet's imagination give forth a sweet fragrance of
One such episode reveals Guha's Bhakti. He is the chieftain of the boatmen and a
staunch devotee of Sri Rama.
When Sri Rama, Seetha and Lakshmana come to the forest Guha serves them in many ways.
The next day Guha is to ferry them across the river. Sri Rama is about to step into the
boat. Then Guha behaves n a way which at first seems stange. He says to Rama, 'My Lord,
pardon me; I Cannot allow you to get into the boat until I wash your feet. The mere touch
of the dust of your feet turned a stone into a woman, the wife of a sage. What am I to do
it my boat turns into a woman at the touch of the dust of your feet?" (Ahalya had
become a stone by a curse; the divine touch of Sri Rama made her again a woman).
Tulasidas has depicted this situation very touchingly. In the words of Guha, a fine
sense of humour, innocent devotion and Rama's divinity are all reflected at the same time.
Tulasidas has also brought out Bharatha's intense love for his brother, the affection
of Dasharatha for his son, the simplicity of Sumitra. Rama's magnanimity and grace in' his
treatment of Shabari and Jatayu and many other such virtues.
The scholars of Tulasidas's times thought that epics ought to be composed only in
Sanskrit. Tulasidas knew that scholars would object that his epic was in Hindi, the
language of the common man. But he believed that good poetry, like the sacred river Ganga,
should be accessible to one and all and should reach everyone.
On the whole, Tulasidas's 'Ramacharitamanasa' preaches the traditional values of truth
and righteousness, but presents them in greater splendour in a new context. When people
had lost courage and were groping in darkness, Tulasidas's 'Ramacharita manasa' appeared
as a guiding light of culture; it showed them the divine figure of Sri Rama in the bright
light of Bhakti.