Author: Arshia Sattar
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780143418054
Now offered in paperback edition, a brilliant new translation of the timeless epic.
One of India's two greatest epics, the Ramayana pervades the country's moral and cultural consciousness. For generation it has served as a bedtime story for Indian children, while at the same time engaging the interest of philosophers and theologians. Now this magnificent translation makes the monumental work available to a new audience.
Believed to have been composed by Valmiki sometimes between the eighth and sixth century BC, the Ramayana tells the tragic and magical story of Rama, the prince of Ayodhya, an incarnation of lord Visnu, born to rid the earth of the terrible demon Ravana.
An idealized heroic tale ending with the inevitable triumph of good over evil, the Ramayna is also an intensely personal story of family relationships, love and loss, duty and honor, of harem intrigue, petty jealousies and destructive ambitions. All this played out in a universe populated by larger-than-life humans, gods and celestial beings, wondrous animals and terrifying demons.
In her translation Arshia Sattar has successfully bridged both time and space to make this ancient classic accessible to the present day English reader. An added attraction is her superb introduction which provides new insights and background information for both the general reader and scholar alike.
Valmiki is almost indisputably the author of the Sanskrit Ramayana even though it is quite likely that the story of Rama's life was in circulation before Valmiki gave it its present form. As a poet and composer, Valmiki acts within the story that he tells. Later legend has it that Valmiki was a bandit who was converted from his life of looting and pillaging by Rama's grace. His devotion then inspired him to compose and recite the story of Rama's adventures.