The Ramayana, one of two great epics of India needs no fresh introduction. It was one of the two works through which India has revealed herself.
The Ramayana has four regional recensions. Though the Southern recension is believed to have retained the oldest text tradition, the Western, also called the Devanagari version is the most popular one as it stands in between the Southern and the Northwestern ones. The present edition is the most faithful and accurate representation of the last mentioned recension of the Ramayana. It contains three important commentaries mentioned above. The Tilaka Commentary by Rama, a medieval ruler of a small state in India, explains every stanza of the epic with great erudition. This commentary is sometimes, ascribed to Nagesabhatta, the versatile genius, well known for his works on Sanskrit grammar Siva-sahaya's Siromani has an original approach and at places displays noteworthy insight into textual criticism. Govindaraja's Bhusana is very popular in South India. It explains the epic from the Srivaisnava point of view.
The Ramayana of Valmiki along with these three commentaries forms a complete literature which any student of Indian civilization can read with interest and profit.
Mukhopadhyaya's exhaustive introduction which incorporates all the latest research material on the text, deals with many a textual and historical problems related to the Ramayana and critically judges the opinions of outstanding scholars.