The Ramayana  -  A Modern Translation

The Ramayana - A Modern Translation

Product ID: 25737

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Author: Ramesh Menon
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Ramesh Menon
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 890
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788172237110


The Ramayana is one of the world's oldest legends. Modern scholars claim that it was first composed around 300 BC. The epic is called the Adi Kavya, the world's first poem. Brahma himself is said to have inspired Valmiki to create his classic, in twenty-four thousand slokas.

The epic came down in the ancient oral tradition from guru to sishya before it was first written down. Along the way, numberless variations and embellishments were introduced into it by a host of now forgotten rishis, pauranikas and even grandmothers telling Rama’s story to their grandchildren-in many different language and folk traditions.

Ramesh Menon's Ramayana is a novelist's lush, imaginative rendering, rather than a scholar's translation. Yet, even if his language is modern, his book remains, a work of worship of bhakti. As he wrote and rewrote it for ten years, this was his offering to Rama.


‘A beautiful new rendering of an inexhaustible theme’.

‘This is a beautifully re-told Ramayana. Menon finds the perfect balance of detail and narrative excitement. It’s the best single volume version of the Ramayana.’
- ARIEL GLUCKLICH, Professor of Religion, Georgetown University.

‘Reverent lyrical, and engaging, Menon’s retelling is a impressive addition to the voluminous lore-oral, written, and performed-that collectively comprises the Rama story tradition of India and Southeast Asia. Combining the basic narrative of the ancient Sanskrit epic of Valmiki with stands from medieval devotional versions and hints of Western epic, folktale, and scripture, it brings this great story to life once more for an English-language audience.’
- PROE PHILIP LUTGENDORE, Chair, Asian Language and Literature, University of lowa.

‘One of the ancient world’s great verse epics is retold in energetic English prose in this sparkling volume, the work of an obviously accomplished Indian novelist…Nor is rousing adventure all that’s offered here. The characterizations of heroic Rama, stoical Sita, Rama’s stalwart brother Lakhmana, and especially the satanic Ravana are unusually full, complex, and preternaturally vivid. A masterpiece made new for a generation of readers who ought to be very grateful indeed to Menon’.
- KIRKUS REVIEWS (Starred review)


Foreword: The Demon’s boons
Prologue: In an Asokavana

BALA KANDA: The beginning
ARANYA KANDA: IN the forest
SUNDARA KANDA: Hanuman’s adventure
UTTARA KANDA: The book of the north