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Krittibasi Ramayana – Bengali Adaptation Of Valmiki Ramayana

The Krittibasi Ramayana, also known as the Krittivasi Ramayana, is a significant Bengali adaptation of the original Sanskrit epic, the Ramayana, attributed to the poet Krittibas Ojha, commonly referred to as Krittivasa. This version is notable for its distinct regional flavor and the incorporation of local cultural elements, making it a cherished literary work in Bengali literature.

Key Features of Krittibasi Ramayana:

Language and Style:

Language: Written in Middle Bengali, the Krittibasi Ramayana is accessible to Bengali-speaking audiences.

Verse Form: The epic is composed in the traditional Bengali verse form known as panchali.

Cultural Adaptations:

Krittibas adapted the original Sanskrit text to make it more relatable to the Bengali populace. This includes the introduction of local customs, traditions, and idiomatic expressions.

The narrative also reflects the social and cultural milieu of medieval Bengal, providing insights into the life and times during Krittibas's period.


While maintaining the core storyline of the Ramayana, the Krittibasi Ramayana diverges in certain episodes and character portrayals, offering unique interpretations and moral lessons.

Characters and Episodes:

Characters like Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, and Ravana are depicted with a mix of traditional and localized attributes.

Certain episodes might be elaborated differently or include additional details not found in the original Sanskrit version.

Religious and Philosophical Themes:

The text integrates Vaishnavism influences, reflecting the religious landscape of Bengal.

It emphasizes bhakti (devotion) and righteousness, aligning with the core themes of the Ramayana while also resonating with the devotional practices prevalent in Bengal.


Literary Contribution: The Krittibasi Ramayana is a cornerstone of Bengali literature, showcasing the linguistic and poetic prowess of Krittibas Ojha.

Cultural Heritage: It plays a crucial role in preserving and promoting Bengali culture, serving as a bridge between classical literature and regional folklore.

Religious Importance: The text is revered in Bengal, often recited and enacted in various religious and cultural ceremonies.

Historical Context:

Krittibas Ojha is believed to have composed this version in the 15th century. His work not only reflects the literary trends of medieval Bengal but also contributes to the regional adaptation of pan-Indian epics, highlighting the dynamic interplay between local and classical traditions.

Modern Relevance:

The Krittibasi Ramayana continues to be studied and celebrated in academic circles and by enthusiasts of Bengali literature.

It remains a source of inspiration for various forms of art, including theater, dance, and music, within the Bengali cultural sphere.

Overall, the Krittibasi Ramayana stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Ramayana and its ability to transcend linguistic and cultural boundaries, enriching the literary heritage of Bengal.