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Valmiki Ramayana and Tulsidasa's Ram Charit Manas are 2 books containing the story of life of Lord Rama and other sub stories. While Valmiki Ramayana is considered to be the original source of Lord Rama's story, Ram Charit Manas is said to be written by Tulsidas, as heard from Lord Hanuman directly.

So, I wanted to know what are the major differences in main/sub stories between the 2 books. Also, if there are any stories, may be related or not related to Lord Rama, which are not covered in Valmiki's Ramayana, then please let me know the same.

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    One of the main differences is that Lord Rama, a kshatriya in Valamiki, is made into a brahmin in Tulsidasa. I seem to remember that there was a big difference in the marriage ceremony. I did a study on the differences some 20 years ago, and had extensive notes, but unfortunately cannot find the notes anymore. – Swami Vishwananda Jul 13 '15 at 11:04
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    Shree Rama is always mentioned as kshatriya – Friendy Jul 14 '15 at 7:16
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Your above information is partly wrong. Tulsidas Ramcharitmanas was not direct word of Hanuman . Tulsidas got darshan of Hanuman guided by a Pretatama and by the guide of Hanuman he received vision of Shri Ram and Lakshman. He then decided to write Ramayan. First he wanted to write in Sanskrit but after Lord Shivas vision in dream to write in local language and then he started to write in Avadhi, that which was given by his Guru when at the time of giving he wasnt fully conscious and intellectual to grasp story of Lord Rama....

Lord Shiva in Bhavisya Purana says:

" वाल्मिकी तुलसीदास कलौ देवी भविष्यती । रामचन्द्र कथामेतां भाषाबद्धां करिष्यती ।।"

Meaning Valmiki shall incarnate as Tulsidas in Kaliyuga Devi. He will write the story of Ramchandra in local language. Valmiki's partial incarnation may have taken place in Kali yuga remaining the major form in Satya Loka...

The Ramcharitmanas is the story of Lord Ram in the mind of Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva telling it to Goddess Parvati, the same story being told by Yajnavalkya to Bhardwaja and also the same story told by Kakbhusundi to Garuda..

Tulsidas when completed Ramcharitmanas was ridiculed and not accepted as religious scripture by the so-called Sanskrit Brahmin at that time... For its test it was kept in Kashi Temple below 4 vedas and 18 Purans.. The doors were locked and when opened in the morning Ramcharitmanas was found on top with the Lord Shiva's signature as "Satyam Shivam Sundaram". And then Ramcharitmanas was widely recognized and Akbar financially supported Tulsidas to print it.

Valmiki Ramayan portrays Ram in a human form without omniscience. But Ramcharitmanas portrays Ram as supreme omniscient Brahman displaying human nature as a part of Leela.

Parshuram comes after Sita's marriage while returning in Valmiki Ramayan. In Ramcharitmanas Parashuram entered immediately after Swyambara.

Ramcharitmanas mentions about Rameshwaram Shiva Linga in great detail. Valmiki Ramayan only hints about it in Lanka Kanda while Ram was returning in Pushpak he told Sita it was the place where Mahadev graced upon him.

Uttar Kanda of Valmiki Ramayan mentions about Ram abandoning Sita, Sita giving birth to twins in Valmiki ashram and other stories widely believed as interpolation. Uttarkanda of Ramcharitmanas is of Gudh Rahasya. It accounts for various secret Leela and Advaita theory. It doesn't mention about Sita abandoning and other..

Valmiki Ramayan doesn't mention about illusionary Sita ie.Maya Sita. As per Ramcharitmanas omniscient Ram already knowing about abduction made a Maya sita and kept Original Sita in Agni and that maya Sita was abducted by Ravana.

Ramcharitmanas mentions other stories like Shiva chanting Ram Naam , Sati testing Ram , Ganesh revolving inside Ram Naam, Shiva telling Raam 3 times is equivalent to Vishnu sahasranaam.

In Uttar kanda it mentions a secret story about Kakbhusundi entering in mouth of child Ram and seeing multiple of universes in Rams abdomen with many Shiva Brahma Vishnu in each universe with different Ayodha Saryu ;different Bharat Lakshman and creatures in each universe and incarnation of lord Ram in those universes. ( प्रति ब्रह्मान्ड राम अवतारा । देखहुॅ बालविनोद अपारा ।।)

Full text goes like this;

I saw there all such marvels as I had never seen or heard of before and such as could not be conceived even by the mind; how, then, can I describe them? I stayed a full hundred year in each of those universes and in this manner I went round and beheld multitudinous universes having the shape of an egg. Each universe had its own Brahmå (Creator), its own Vishnu (Preserver), ›Shiva (Destroyer), Manu (lord of creation presiding over a single Manvantara, consisting of a little more than 74 rounds of the four Yugas), regents of the quarters, human beings,Gandharvas (celestial musicians), spectres and goblins, Ki≈naras (another class of heavenly musicians having a human figure with the head of a horse), Råk¶asas (giants), quadrupeds, birds, serpents, gods and demons of all classes, all the creatures having a shape peculiar to that universe. The earth with its multitudinous rivers, oceans, lakes and mountains, nay, the entire creation in each universe had a distinctive character. In all these universes I saw myself in every universe. Each universe had its own Ayodhyå with its own Sarayµu and its own men and women. And listen, dear Garuda : Ramas parents Dasaratha and Kausalya as well as ›Råmas brothers, Bharata and others, were all different in each universe. In each such universe I witnessed the descent of Råma as well as the infinite variety of His childish sports. >

Although Ramcharitmanas says Ram as the supreme Brahmn unlike other Vaishnav texts written by other in the similar era ( 15 16th century) which depicts only Shiva as only Tamasic and low, Ramcharitmanas gives a great respect to Lord Shiva. Several invocations of lord Shiva are done in the starting of various kanda.

Ram in Yuddha kanda says::::

" शड़्कर विमुख भगती चाह मोरी।
   सो नारकी मूढ मति थोरी ।। " 

meaning

"He who is opposed to Sankara and yet aspires for devotion to Me, is doomed to perdition, stupid and dull-witted as he is."

A uniqueness of Valmiki Ramayan is that every 1st letter of 1000th sloka of 24000 verses form Gayatri mantra thus forming Gayatri mantra.. A uniqueness of Ramcharitmanas is that every sentence of it contains at least one letter स त र म representing Sita Ram....

While reading the middle 5 kandas of Valmiki Ramayan you are confused that whether you are reading story of Lords incarnation or story of a mere prince of Ayodhya.. But every shloka of Ramcharitmanas depicts Ram as Brahmn.

Ramcharitmanas contains many stories of many Puran and identify supreme Brahmn as Ram.

Western commentars have told Ramcharitmanas as " living sum of indian culture" , "bible of india" etc.

The most important aboutRamcharitmanas is that contains the theory of karma, reincarnation, advaita vedanta ,brahmn, jeeva, maya, ishwara etc. terms in Laymans Language...

  • Very informative answer! Happy to learn of the Gayatri Mantra and Sita Rama related fact :) Let none show less respect to Ramacharitamanas just because it differs in its record of events from original Valmiki Ramayana. Both the poets were no ordinary mortal. They were great devotees of Sri Rama. God's story is not like any theatre movie where order of events is more important than the emotions; it is more about the emotions (bhava) that different characters entertain towards the God. – Jatin Apr 19 '16 at 6:42
  • What difference does it create whether Parashuram met Sri Rama on way to Ayodhya or inside Janaka's palace if we are able to feel the Lakshmana's determination of not to hear anything against His beloved brother and of how Sri Rama won over disastrous anger with His humility and politeness of highest degree. And therefore Tulasidas very rightly says, "Hari Anant Hari Katha Ananta Kahahi Sunahi Bahuvidhi Sab Santa" meaning "Infinite is the Lord and so is His story(leela), and many are the ways in which saints sing and listen to the God's story". – Jatin Apr 19 '16 at 6:42
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    @Jatin One can't show less respect to Ramcharitmanas as Tulsidas himself is incarnation of Valmiki and Lord Shiva himself signed in Ramcharitmanas as validation.. so there is no question of inauthenticity... some differences like Parashuram, War sequence difference etc. arise... I think it is because Ramcharitmanas tells Ramayana of previous Kalpas... I assume this.. Hence difference arises... Otherwise why would Tulsidas contradict with Valmiki Ramayan. – Tejaswee Apr 19 '16 at 6:52
  • Thanks a lot for the detailed answer. I'm not sure how I missed this. Maybe I was not receiving notifications or because I remained out of site for sometime. This is indeed descriptive answer and covering a lot of points. Thanks again for the answer. – Aby Aug 26 '18 at 4:38
  • Akbar provided financial support to print Ramcharitmanasa?So printing technology was available at that time?Are you sure?It sounds impossible to me. – user17294 Feb 17 at 7:17

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