ACTUAL QUESTION FROM A DEVOTEE: What are the teachings of Ramayana holy book? What is the difference between Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana? I hope u will help me! thank you!
Let me give all of you an important aspect about scriptures:
There are two types of scriptures: 1. Srutis 2. Smrutis.
Srutis are the oldest scriptures that CAN NOT BE CHANGED for any reasons. Smrutis are the scriptures written based on the Srutis and these smrutis are being slightly modified with the changing trends as decided by eminent acharyas/ scholars.
(A) The following are included in SRUTIS:
2. Vedanta Sutras (Brahma Sutra)
4. Bhagavad Gita is also considered as Sruti by scholars because its verses are unchanged so far.
(B) The following are included in SMRUTIS:
1. Ithikas – Ramayana and Mahabharatha.
2. Puranas – All the 18 puranas and newly added puranas such as Padma Purana.
There have been some changes from time to time in Puranas and Ithikas. The reason is, they have been spoken orally through Guru Disciple system. Some persons have added or skipped new verses in these scriptures. That is why , there are only one version of Vedas, Vedanta, Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads.
Whereas, there are many versions of Ramayana and Mahabharatha. You can find some changes in incidents in different versions of Ithikas. Similarly, Puranas have been more vulnerable to changes. Many changes have been made in puranas from time to time. Now a days, we have the printed versions. Therefore, atleast these printed versions may not be changed in future.
I am a balanced writer who is not seeing the trends with any coloured glass. Therefore, I have to write the above bitter fact that smrutis have been modified. Bhagavad Gita is also called Gitopanishad and it is unchanged for millions of years. Krishna preached it even to Suryadeva, before preaching to Arjuna. Bhagavad Gita is the clear cut description of how to uplift one to attain higher status, ie, to get Krishna Himself through stage by stage practices. It greatly simplifies the messages given in Vedas, Vedantas, Upanishads, etc.
RAMAYANA & MAHABHARATHA:
Ramayana and Mahabharatha explain the dharma explained in Vedas and Upanishads in the form of real stories during Lord Rama’s as well as Krishna’ avatar. Lord Rama lived here as a symbol of dharma.
The important message of Ramayana is that our dharma is more important than family. That is why, Lord Rama deserted Sita devi as a king when someone commented about Sita having been in the place of Ravana. Rama considered both his country and wife. Later, He chose his country as a king should give priority to his country than to his family.
Therefore, Bhagavad Gita is the preaching of dharma directly. Ramayana and Mahabharatha are the real stories meant to establish the dharma in different occasions when lord came as Rama and Krishna.