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Ramcharitmanas , is an epic poem in the Awadhi dialect of Hindi, composed by the 16th-century Indian bhakti poet Goswami Tulsidas . Ramcharitmanas literally means "Lake of the deeds of Rama". Ramcharitmanas is considered as one of the greatest works of Hindi literature. The work has variously been acclaimed as "the living sum of Indian culture", "the tallest tree in the magic garden of medieval Indian poetry", "the greatest book of all devotional literature" and "the best and most trustworthy guide to the popular living faith of the Indian people".

Ramcharitmanas
Ramcharitmanas
Sri Sita Rama, Laksman and Hanuman
Information
Religion Hinduism
A Ramlila actor playing Ravana in traditional attire.

Ramcharitmanas (Devanāgarī: श्रीरामचरितमानस, IAST: ŚrīRāmacaritamānasa), is an epic poem in the Awadhi dialect of Hindi, composed by the 16th-century Indian bhakti poet Goswami Tulsidas (c.1532–1623). Ramcharitmanas literally means "Lake of the deeds of Rama". Ramcharitmanas is considered as one of the greatest works of Hindi literature. The work has variously been acclaimed as "the living sum of Indian culture", "the tallest tree in the magic garden of medieval Indian poetry", "the greatest book of all devotional literature" and "the best and most trustworthy guide to the popular living faith of the Indian people".

Tulsidas (the Sanskrit name of Tulsidas can be transliterated in two ways. Using the IAST transliteration scheme, the name is written as Tulasīdāsa, as pronounced in Sanskrit. Using the Hunterian transliteration scheme, it is written as Tulsidas or Tulsīdās, as pronounced in Hindi). Tulsidas was a great scholar of Sanskrit. However, he wanted the story of Rama to be accessible to the general masses and not just the Sanskrit-speaking elite. In order to make the story of Rama as accessible to the layman as to the scholar, Tulsidas chose to write in Awadhi, a local dialect of Hindi which was in vogue as the language of general parlance in large parts of north India during the composition of the work. Tradition has it that Tulsidas had to face a lot of criticism from the sanskrit scholars of Varanasi for being a bhasha(vernacular) poet. However, Tulsidas remained steadfast in his resolve for simplifying the knowledge contained in the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Puranas to the common people. Subsequently, his work was accepted by all.

Ramcharitmanas, for the first time in the history of North India, made available the story of Rama to the common man to sing, meditate and perform on. The writing of Ramcharitmanas also heralded many a cultural tradition, most significantly that of the tradition of Ramlila, the dramatic enactment of the text. Ramcharitmanas is considered by many as a work belonging to the Saguna school of the Bhakti movement in Hindi literature.