Kerala

A rare Ramayana finds a revered place in Salim’s hands

Treasured possession:  Abdul Salim P. with the rare Ramayana manuscript.

Treasured possession: Abdul Salim P. with the rare Ramayana manuscript.

Abdul Salim P. from Mullampara has spent his whole life collecting antiques. Unlike others who share the same hobby, Mr. Salim attaches immeasurable value to a palm-leaf manuscript of Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan’s Adhyatma Ramayana that he possesses.

A devout Muslim, Mr. Salim maintains immense respect for the Ramayana manuscript he owns. He took it out, brushed it, flipped through the 200-odd pages and put it on red velvet in a reverential position as the Ramayana month began on Thursday.

Mr. Salim got the rare Ramayana manuscript from P.N. Gopala Menon of Thrissur. He could learn about the rarity of the manuscript and decipher its content with the help of Santhosh Elayedath, a doctoral scholar at Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady.

“I got this invaluable Ramayana when I went for a rare manuscript of Kathakali Padangal,” said Mr. Salim, a medical shop owner at Manjeri.

For posterity

He believes it is his responsibility to preserve the manuscript for posterity. “I respect it as a book of reverence. People should learn all books. The problem we face today is because of our lack of interest in learning anything that is not considered ours,” said Mr. Salim.

Mr. Salim has been collecting antiques for 39 years. He has many rare items in his collection. But he considers the Ramayana manuscript as the most important among them.

It is believed to be more than 250 years old. “From the style of letters and the style of writing, it can be from the period of Ezhuthachan. Scholars have suggested its origin to such a period.”

Mr. Salim said the 15-inch-long palm leaf was of superior quality.


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Printable version | Oct 3, 2022 4:01:48 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-rare-ramayana-finds-a-revered-place-in-salims-hands/article32132980.ece