Author: P S Sundram
Translator: P S Sundaram
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143026154
This volume is a masterly translation of the Tamil version of Ramayana. Translated into English by P S Sundaram it retains the magic and poetry of the original.
Ramayana, the epic story of Rama has been told in many regional languages.Pre-eminent among the many vernacular retellings of the Ramayana is the twelfth-century Tamil version by Kamban. The son of a temple drummer, Kamban is reputed to have had an impressive mastery of Tamil and Sanskrit classics.
Though Kamban acknowledges his indebtedness to the Sanskrit version of the Ramayana by Valmiki, his is an independent work, enriched by various religious, philosophical and literary influences. The Kamba Ramayana differs from Valmiki's in significant ways. Though caste in the heroic mold of a Purushotam , Valmiki's Rama is still a man.
Kamban on the other hand, never allows the reader to forget the goodhood of Rama. His Ravana too, though flawed, is a heroic figure. While Valmiki's diction is sparse and direct, Kamban's exuberant prose sparkles with wit and inventiveness.
Though pared down from the original six volumes to a single one, this translation retains the magic and poetry of the original.
A Note on Translation