In my book – published long ago – I did bring out the resemblance of Wagner’s operas with the ancient Indian Philosophy of karma and reincarnation. The RING, a karmic story, was outlined therein page by page as a story based on the principles of Vedic philosophy. This is not at all admitted in the West, even after more than two hundred years things do get put on stage with all kind of confusions and misunderstandings.
In Wagner’s memoirs Das braune Buch we can read a most interesting quote about the Ramayana. Wagner and his wife Cosima did read frequently the Far Eastern Scriptures, as did Liszt, von Bülow and many other close friends, inspired as well by Arthur Schopenhauer, who owned hundreds of books about this topic. (Can be seen at Schopenhauer Archives in Frankfurt, Germany.)
On page 55 – 57/Aug 1863 we read: “I am disturbed about your (Cosima) visit in Pesth, will take a book: Ramayana! – Later: O what a beauty the Ramayana, what kind of a world is unfolding! An incredible piece of art, modern literature just seems insignificant. I am in book II: All is alive and does sound for me as real. – Rama is divine, a most beautiful drama is unfolding in my mind, but can I do it? – Rama and Sita and Lakshmana in the forest. A most beautiful poem, divine country of Ganga. – Good morning dear (Cosima), Rama is around me. All is going down, tears, pain. I do see the queen who did create this sorrow, I see Marantha the hunch back, who is coldly talking to me.”
Should be reprinted and refreshed. Time to see some news aspects about these operas!