India has many versions of the story of Rama composed in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and various vernaculars of the north & south. Yet the ancient Sanskrit version, attributed to the sage-poet Valmiki, by tradition the first work of true poetry, is the source revered throughout India as the original account of the career of Rama, ideal man and incarnation of the great god Visnu. This great Sanskrit epic of ancient India has profoundly affected the Literature, Art, Religions and Cultures of countless millions of people in South and Southeast Asia—an influence that is perhaps unparalleled in the history of World Literature. The volumes of this work will present the entire Ramayana for the first time translated on the basis of the critical edition, which is based on manuscripts representing all recensional traditions.
This is the first of seven volumes that will present a complete and fully annotated translation of the Valmiki Ramayana. This great sanskrit epic of ancient India has profoundly affected the literature, art, religions, and culture of countless millions of people in South and Southest Asia-an influence that is perhaps unparalleled in the history of world literature. For the first time it has here been translated on the basis of the critical edition which is based on manuscripts representing all recensional traditions. In this first volume Robert P. Goldman, general editor of the translation, has written a major scholarly introduction and, in collaboration with Sally J. Sutherland, assistant editor, has given copious annotations dealing with the poem's numerous textual and exigetial problems, drawing on the contributions of generations of Sanskrit commentators.
Second volume, the Ayodhyakanda is the most human, and it remains one of the best introductions to the social and political values of traditional India. This readable translation is accompanied by a commentary that elucidates the various problems of the text, whether philological, aesthetic, or cultural. Extensive use is made in the annotations of the numerous commentaries on the Ramayana composed in medieval India. The substantial introduction supplies a historical context for the poem and a critical reading that explores its literary and ideological components. The volumes of this work will present the entire Ramayana, translated here for the first time on the basis of the critical edition (Oriental Institute, baroda), which takes into account manuscripts representing all regional traditions.
Third volume carries forward the narrative by following the exiled hero Rama his wife and his brother on their wanderings. The book contains the narrative center of the epic the abduction of Sita by the demon king Ravana. It provides a profound meditaion on the paradox of the hero as both human and divine.
As befits its position at the center of the work, Volume IV presents the hero Rama at the turning point of his fortunes. Having previously lost first his kingship and then his wife , he now forms an alliance with the monkey prince, Sugriva. Rama needs the monkeys to help him find his abducted wife, Sita, and indeed, by the end of this book, they have at least discovered where her abductor has taken her. But first Rama must agree to secure for his new ally the throne of the monkey kingdom by eliminating the reigning king, wh is none other than Sugriva's detested elder brother, Valin. The tragic rivalry between the two monkey brothers is in sharp contrast to Rama's affectionate relationship with his own brothers and forms a self-contained episode within the larger story of Rama's adventures. This volume continues the translation of the critical edition of the Valmiki Ramayana, a version considerably reduced from the vulgate on which all previous translations were based. It is accompanied by extensive notes on the original Sanskrit text and on several untranslated early Sanskrit commentaries.
The fifth and most popular book of the Ramayana of Valmiki, the Sundarakanda, recounts the adventures of the monkey hero Hanuman in leaping across the ocean to the island citadel of Lanka. Once there, he scours the city for the abducted Princess Sita. The poet vividly describes the opulence of the court of the demon king, Ravana, the beauty of his harem, the splendors of the palace gardens, and the hideous deformity of Sita's wardresses. After witnessing Sita's pathetic state and her stern rejection of Ravana's blandishments, Hanuman reveals himself to the princess and restores her hope of rescue. The great monkey then wreaks havoc on the royal park and fights a series of hair-raising battles with Ravana's generals. Permitting himself to captured by the warrior Indrajit, Hanuman is led into the presence of Ravana, whom he admonishes for his lechery. His tail is set ableze, but he escapes his bonds and, leaping from rooftop to rooftop, sets fire to the city. Taking leave of Sita, Hanuman once more leaps the ocean to rejoin his monkey companions. Returning in triumph to report the news of Sita's discovery to Rama, the monkeys pause for an interlude of drunken revelry in the pleasure grove of the monkey king. At last, Hanuman reports on his adventures to Prince Rama. This is the fifth volume translated from the critical edition of the Valmiki Ramayana. It contains an extensive introduction, exhaustive notes, and comprehensive bibliography.
The sixth book of the Ramayana of Valmiki, the Yuddhakanda, recounts the final dramatic war between the forces of good led by the exiled prince Rama and the forces of evil commanded by the arch demon Ravana. The hero Rama's primary purpose in the battle is to rescue the abducted princess Sita and destroy the demon king. However, the confrontation also marks the turning point for the divine mission of the Ramavatara, the incarnation of Lord Visnu as a human prince, who will restore righteousness to a world on the brink of chaos. The book ends with the Gods' revelation to Rama of his true divine nature, his emotional reunion with his beloved wife, his long-delayed consecration as king of Kosala, and his restoration of a utopian age. The Yuddhakanda contains some of the most extraordinary events and larger-than-life characters to be found anywhere in world literature.
This sixth volume in the critical edition and translation of the Valmiki Ramayana, includes an extensive introduction, exhaustive notes, and a comprehensive bibliography.