Ramopakhyana (रामोपाख्यानम्)

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Rama Upakhyana (Samskrit : रामोपाख्यानम्) is a short anaecdote (upakhyana) about the story of Shri Rama and Sitadevi (Ramayana) as described in Mahabharata Vanaparva in adhyayas 273 to 292. Ramopakhyana in Mahabharata gives us an insight about the tradition of verbal transmission practiced since ages and hence an important anecdote to reflect upon. It is a well known aspect that the events of Ramayana happened in Tretayuga while Mahabharata was in Dvapara Yuga. One may note that almost a complete recount of Ramayana has been discussed in Mahabharata in the Vanaparva even after a long period of time has elapsed.


Maharaja Yudhisthira while spending his time in the forests along with his brothers and wife Draupadi, once laments with Maharshi Markandeya about his distressing state. During that time Draupadi was abducted by Jayadratha and subsequent to releasing her from his captivity, Yudhisthira is deeply disturbed by such calamities that have befallen on him and his family. Yudhisthira exclaims that no one cannot escape from events due to time or his own deeds else how can Draupadi, born from the yajna, the respected daughter-in-law of Maharaja Pandu face such a humiliation of being abducted by Jayadratha. She has always followed dharma, and behaved respectfully towards elders, brahmanas and rshis and we are distressed that abduction of Draupadi has befallen on us. Yudhisthira asks Markandeya whether he has seen or heard about any person who is as ill-fated as us (with the abduction of wife) in this world?

हिंसा च मृगजातीनां वनौकोभिर्वनौकसाम्। ज्ञातिभिर्विप्रवासश्च मिथ्याव्यवसितैरय[रिय]म्॥ 3-273-12

अस्ति नूनं मया कश्चिदल्पभाग्यतरो नरः। भवता दृष्टपूर्वो वा श्रुतपूर्वोऽपि वा भवेत्॥ 3-273-13