The Ramayana

The Ramayana The Ramayana Is, Quite Simply, The Greatest Of Indian Epics And One Of The World S Supreme Masterpieces Of Storytelling Almost Every Individual Living In India, Writes R K Narayan In The Introduction To This New Interpretation, Is Aware Of The Story Of The Ramayana Everyone Of Whatever Age, Outlook, Education Or Station In Life Knows The Essential Part Of The Epic And Adores The Main Figures In It Rama And Sita Every Child Is Told The Story At Bedtime The Ramayana Pervades Our Cultural Life Although The Sanskrit Original Was Composed By Valmiki, Probably Around The Fourth Century BC, Poets Have Produced Countless Variant Versions In Different Languages Here, Drawing His Inspiration From The Work Of An Eleventh Century Tamil Poet Called Kamban, Narayan Has Used The Talents Of A Master Novelist To Recreate The Excitement And Joy He Has Found In The Original It Can Be Enjoyed And Appreciated, He Suggests, For Its Psychological Insight, Its Spiritual Depth And Its Practical Wisdom Or Just As A Thrilling Tale Of Abduction, Battle And Courtship Played Out In A Universe Thronged With Heroes, Deities And Demons Okay, first the consumer warning THIS IS NOT THE VALMIKI VERSION OF THE RAMAYANA, nor is it the Kamban version, which is referred to on the back cover description I was insufficiently attentive in the bookstore, when buying the Penguin Classics of this and the Mahabharata I did not realize that this was essentially a modern novel version of the Tamil version, reshaped by the Indian novelist R K Narayan.So what you get in this edition is part of the story of Ramayana, revised to modern tastes, and told in legendary sounding prose.Narayan does not like the part of the story in which Rama shoots and kills Hanuman, after Hanuman saves his bacon The solution is that Narayan tells us that Rama is known to have done that, but he leaves it out of the narrative Narayan also doesn t like the second ending of the Valmiki version, so in an epilogue we are told it exists, told about the doubts of authenticity, but not given anything but the slightest synopsis.In other places the flavor of the ancient originals is given by lines like, At this point Kamban begins to describe the preparations for the wedding of Rama and Sita It is one of the most fascinating sections of the epic The details of the wedding pavilion the decorations the arrival of guests from other countries the flowers in the bride s house and then at the bridegroom s and the preparation of the bride and bridegroom themselves their clothes and jewellery, the moods they were in all are described by Kamban in minute detail, running to several thousand lines of poetry That s an interesting way of boiling the story down while still giving a nod to the original versions, and despite being annoyed because I d thought I d bought an original version it works well enough.I enjoyed this easy reading version of Rama s story, and it makes for a good introduction to the complex mythology of the Hindu pantheon I can see why Narayan might have felt there was a need for this update Judged by the author s intention, it works. I happened to pick up this book when I went to New Delhi for work I didn t know about Indian mythology at all, because in Europe we read only Greek Mythology at school, but what I ve always like about India is that in this country, the animals seem to have equal rights as Man So, when I picked up this book in the bookstore, and read the back cover, I was immediately drawn to the efforts of the monkeys, in collaboration with man, to save a kidnapped woman.And I was touched by the book s deep wisdom and its keen insight into the human nature, coupled with a gripping narrative of action, in high tension What a powerful story telling I returned to the bookstore to buy the other Indian epic, Mahabharata , translated by the same author. This edition was published specially for Paper boat This version of Ramayan by R.K Narayan is excellent introduction to the Indian epic, specially for those who are short on time Narayan has used Kamban s version for writing this and not Valmiki s version Having read both versions, I could find one major difference the laxman rekha, or line of protection drawn by Laxman is missing in this version Overall a good quick and fascinating read This is one of those really entertaining but makes you want to smack someone But at least the gods in this version agree with me.It is nice to know that the Bible isn t the only work that screws women over.The amount of time that men in this epic, who keep telling you they are powerful dudes, blame women for everything is just maddening Even Sita who couldn t be raped because Ravena can t force her has to prove her virtue Hello Yeah, yeah, I know it was before feminism I get it But I am a modern lady I can still get upset by it But outside of the whole women are to blame for everything, it s actually really good and engrossing It s even fun.And if you are wondering, like the guy who commented below, where men say that here are some examples Finally the King burst out,Those cherry red lips I thought sustained me, but they have only been a source of the deadliest poison to finish me off52 True she is a evil woman, but no one forced you to do what you did The picture she Soorpanka conjured up was convincingSoorpanaka s words had lit an all consuming flame within him Ravana 81 When he heard of his son s death, Ravana shed bitter tears and swore, This is the time to kill that woman Sita, the cause of all this misery 149 You did kidnap her.As for Sita s virtue test I know that critics, both Western and Eastern have problems with it Even the epic seems to realize this for it says, Rama explained that he had to adopt this trial in order to demonstrate Sita s putiry beyond a shadow of a doubt to the whole world 163.Look, like all great epics, the work is a product of its time I understand that But I am not going to respond any differently simply because of that I have similar problems with the Bible, Homer, and so on I cannot turn off my feminisim completely I m sorry, I can t It doesn t stop me from enjoying the story And to be frank, do you really think modern women were the first to ask these questions or notice these problems

R K Narayan is among the best known and most widely read Indian novelists who wrote in English.R.K Narayan was born in Madras, South India, in 1906, and educated there and at Maharaja s College in Mysore His first novel, Swami and Friends and its successor, The Bachelor of Arts, are both set in the enchanting fictional territory of Malgudi and are only two out of the twelve novels he based

❴Reading❵ ➶ The Ramayana  Author R.K. Narayan –
  • Paperback
  • 157 pages
  • The Ramayana
  • R.K. Narayan
  • English
  • 25 September 2019
  • 9780143039679

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