The Ramayana of Valmiki: An Appraisal


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To The Reader

If you are a scholar looking for a scholastic treat here, you are sure to be disappointed; because this is not a learned treatise written by a scholar for the benefit of other scholars.

If you are a researcher interested in unearthing new facts or discovering new theories, you will find nothing here that can excite you or whet your appetite for a deeper understanding of Ramalogy.

If you are a 'lively as a lark' sort of person, seeking entertainment here, thinking that it contains the exploits of monkeys, bears and hideous demons, you are in for a shock, since this booklet contains more serious things that can make you do some self-introspection.

However, if you are a simple devotee of Rama, believing in the Hindu scriptures as a source of strength and inspiration for life, and the Ramayana of Valmiki as such a scripture, we can assure you that you will not be disappointed.

If this brochure can induce you and inspire you to read Valmiki's original work, we deem that our task is done! -S. H.




  To the Reader iii
  Key to Transliteration and Pronunciation iv
1. Introduction 1
2. Historicity of the Rama Story 2
3. Valmiki and His Work 4
4. Date of the Composition 7
5. The Text 8
6. The Story in Brief 10
  Balakanda 10
  Ayodhyakanda 12
  Aranyakanda 14
  Kiskindhakanda 17
  Sundarakanda 17
  Yuddhakanda 18
  Uttarakanda 20
7. The Characters of the Ramayana 23
  Rama 25
  Laksmana 35
  Bharata 39
  Dasaratha 40
  Sugriva 41
  Hanuman 43
  Vibhisana 50
  Ravana 53
  Kumbhakarna 56
  Vali 59
  Sita 61
  Kausalya 66
  Sumitra 68
  Kaikeyi 68
  Sabari 71
  Tara 73
  Mandodari 74
8. Civilization and Culture as Depicted in the Ramayana 76
9. Ramarajya - the Ideal State 82
10. Literary Grace 84
11. Ramayana Literature 85
12. Ramayana Outside India 88
13. Conclusion 88

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