The popular epic Ramayana composed by the Rishi Valmiki is regarded as the main source of the life and journey of Lord Rama. He is mentioned as Vishnu’s seventh avatar in the Vishnu Purana, in the Bhagavata Purana, adhyayas 10 & 11 and ninth skandha. The story of the Ramayana is added with the slaying of Ravana and Rama’s successful return to Ayodhya.
In the epic Mahabharata, Prince Rama’s return with Sita and Lakshmana to Ayodhya is also mentioned as the tales of Rama. On the other hand, several versions are there in the epic. In other scriptures that are written in Sanskrit language, Ram’s life in Ramayana is reflected in grand manner.
It is to be noted that the older version of the Ramayana is known as mula-Ramayana but it doesn’t exist at present. This version was strongly believed by the followers of Madhvacharya.
Adhyatma Ramayana is written in Sanskrit language. It is another shortened version of the popular epic. “Bhatti’s Poem” that belonged to the seventh century CE has mention about Lord Rama. It is to be remembered that different versions of Ramayana are present in all the major and vernacular language of India.
The best examples are Ramavataram written by poet Kambar in Tamil who belonged to the 12th century and Ramcharitmanas (a Hindi version of the Ramayana) written by Tulsidas who belonged to the 16th century. The contemporary versions of the Ramayana are Ramayana Kalpavrikshamu written by Viswanatha Satyanarayana in Telugu language and Sri Ramayana Darshanam written by Kuvempu in Kannada language.