About The Author
Dr. Nayak chaired two sessions in the European Association of Common wealth Language and Literature Studies, Austria in 1993. He is, at present, Director of the centrally sponsored Valmiki Ramayana Project under Rastriya Sanskrit University, Tirupati. Countries visited: Germany, UK, Switzerland and Austria.
With publications in national and international journals which include Common wealth Novel in English, Virginia, Indian writing in English, Karnataka, Orissa Review, Orissa Historical Research Journal, etc. Prof. Nayak’s voice of silence: Sonepur Durbar & Indian Cultural Traditions (Orissa Sahitya Academy) has elicited encomium from Donaldson, an American Orientalist. Some of his important translations include Pavanadutamby Kaviraj Dhoyi (EZCC, Kolkata and Orissa Sahitya Academy), Utkal Lazmi by Gngadhar Meher (Sambalpur University), The Prophet B Gibran, Ben Hur by Lewis Wallace (Vidyapuri, Cuttack), My Gipsy Life by Padmasri Ln Sahu Memorial Trust, Cuttack(, etc. The works he has edited are Celestial Infancy and other Essays on Words worth (Anmol, New Delhi), Feminism and Indian English Fiction (PBD, Bereilly), The Voyage Inward (Bahri, New Delhi), Confluence (Gyan Books, New Delhi), Tales of Our Times (Cambridge), Inscriptions of Sonepur (Roadworthy, New Delhi), Songs of the Soul (LN Sahu Memorial Trust, Cuttack), Sangita O Lokagit (EZCC, Kolkata), etc.
Prof. P. Geervani
Born in Tiruttani on 15th November, 1936 in a traditional family devoted to Sri Rama, completed B. Sc in 1955, M. Sc in 1960 and Ph. D in Foods and Nutrition in 1977 from Madras University.
Started career as lecturer in Sri Padmavathi Women’s College in 1957, moved to the post of dietitian in 1960, and to Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University in 1968 as Associate Professor. Held position of Professor and Dean in Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University, Hyderabad till 1994. Took up the position of Vice-Chancellor at Sri Padmavathi Mahila University , from 1994 and retired in 1997.
Received International prize for research ‘Technology for Child Nutrition’. Published over a hundred scientific papers in addition to few chapters in books. Selected as a Fellow of united Nations University, Tokyo, in 1991-94, and as Fellow of National Academy of Agriculture Science in 1999.
Inspired by the teachings of H.H. Swamy Chinmayananda, studied Bhagavat Gita and Upanishads and participated in discussions at spiritual camps of Chinmaya Mission. Awakened to the beauty of epics by the enlightening discourses on Ramayana and Bhagavatam of H.H. Swamy Tejomayananda, Global head at Chinmaya Mission, decided to study Ramayana of Valmiki I detail. Motivated by the wonderful presentation of Human values and Philosophy in the epic, decided to undertake translation of Valmiki Ramayana in 2000 and monitor the project ‘Valmiki Ramayana’ undertaken by Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati, A.P.
Ramayana is the oldest epic in world literature. It is a treasure house f knowledge and an inexhaustible mine for later poets and has a special place in Indian culture as well as Sanskrit literature. It is translated into all Indian languages and to several European languages along with English. It is also rendered with variations in many South and South-east countries since several centuries and they have adopted the epic in their music, dance, ballet, art and architecture.
It is believed that Valmiki Ramayana was put to writing around 500 AD. It was told and retold since several centuries orally in and around India. Maharshi Valmiki is confident of its circulation among people until mountains stay erect on the earth.
Ramayan is known as a treatise of dharma. The fur Purusharthas- values of life. Viz., dharman, artha, kama, and molkha are dealt here with utmost care. Kalidas the famous Sanskrit poet summarizes the values of life upheld by the kings of Ikshvaku dynasty as narrated by Valmiki. The Ramayana epic is strewn with exposition of values of life from great sages. The concept of dharma is depicted well through the conduct of various characters and more so by Rama. He deals with difficult situations with the ardent devotion to dharma. It gives a clear message that dharma will be victorious in the end. But those who want to stand by dharma may have to pay the price in order to achieve benefit for the entire society. The path of dharma is open for fearless and noble people.
It is an arduous and yet rewarding experience for academicians and scholars working under ‘Ramayana Project’ to give comprehensive view of the entire epic along with its five commentaries. The ideal of our attempt is to present translation of the text of Valmiki Ramayana with word order and meaning of each verse followed by translation of verse in English. It is our intention to introduce through electronic and print media Valimiki Ramayana and its commentaries in English to the modern youth interested in ancient scriptures, who have missed the traditional learning and Sanskrit language.
Although Valmiki Ramayana is in vogue all over the country three well-known versions namely the Northwest, East and Southern versions are more popular. The southern recension has been selected for ht present translation. The best of the commentaries of Valmiki Ramayana being written in Sanskrit is not to the understanding of many readers. Moreover the influence of English on the present generation handicaps one to understand the Sanskrit commentaries.
Considering the importance of highlighting the philosophical thoughts, values and social ideals internalized in the commentaries of Ramayana, it is also attempted to translate selected commentaries into English (though there are some more important commentaries). Several authors have written commentaries on Valmiki Ramayana which are difficult to understand for all. The authors represent different schools of Philosophy. These commentaries enriched Indian philosophy. The commentaries selected for translation for the present are Amrithakataka, Dhramakutam, Tattvadipika, Tilaka and Siromani. The English translation of commentaries has been give for important subjects on which commentary is given.
Indian literary tradition holds Valmiki as the first poet (Adikavi) and Ramayana as the first epic, Adikavya. Valmiki is the first path maker for the sweet expressions of poetry. He provided inspiration for all classical poets and his influence is seen in Sanskrit literature in Poems Plays and Kavyas. Even though Valmiki Ramayana has been composed in classical Sanskrit and not intelligible to the unlettered yet due to the efforts made by oral expounders it was made understandable to the masses in rural India. Lava and Kusa are the first expounders of Ramayana and great Valmiki himself trained them. This practice of popular exposition of Ramayana continued through centuries making illiteracy no bar for reading Ramayana. Keeping in view the melody of Ramayana an attempt is poems. There is a practice of reading Ramayana or part of Ramayana daily, particularly Sundara Kanda so that not only professional exponents of the epic but also large number of people know Valmiki Ramayana by heart. Many people know Valmiki Ranayana by heart. Many people know to repeat off-hand Sundara Kanda, thus the text is retained in its original form in India.
If a poem has contributed substantially to keeping in India culture alive it is Ramayana. Rama the warrior prince is a hero a likeable pleasing god-man later came to be looked upon by word. The social ideals, family relationships introduced by Valmiki made it popular over other stories of the past such as Savitri-Styavan, Nala-Damyanti, Tapti-Samvarana and Vasavadatta-Udayana. The description of human relationship in royal households of Ayodhya, Kishkinda and Lanka is unique. Ramayana is a book of dharma and Rama is an embodiment of dharma and a paradigm of an idea man. Ramayana is a book of dharma and Rama is an embodiment of dharma and a paradigm of an ideal man. Ramayana clearly illustrates that artha and kama can be enjoyed within the legitimate bounds of dharma.
The story of Rama and Sita, the dharma by which they lived and the adharma they shunned express a value system basic to much education in India. Hope this presentation produces firmer devotion to Rama and commitment to dharma which each of us is called o n to practice.
The Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati has already brought out the Balakanda of the Ramayana as a major project planned for preparation and publication of this great ancient Indian epic in all its six volumes with selected commentaries so that its purport goes home through its rare and reliable expositions. In response to its wide appreciation by readers and researchers, the Vidyapeetha now presents the second in the line, Ayodhakanda, divided in two parts for the convenience of scholars: Part I (1to 53 sargas) and Part II (54 to 119 sargas). The commentaries selected are by the same distinguished authors as in Balakanda. The running translation of 4316 verses and the summary of each sarga in English have been designed to draw the attention of the reads across the globe. Ayodhyakanda begins with the preparation for Sri Rama’s coronation and ends with his exile in the company of Sita and Lakshmana.
While conveying my profound thanks to the scholars including the coordinator of the project but for whom the edition could not have seen the light of day, I hope the volume will earn the same warm response for its message of universal brotherhood the great sage-poet of India, Valmiki, preaches from page to page.
Valmiki Ramyana is an ancient epic of India, highly valued for its contribution to human values since scenturies and has universal relevance. It consists of 24000 verses in seven Kandas, namely Bala Kanda, Ayodhya Kanda, Aranya Kanda, Kishikindha Kanda, Sundara Kanda, Yuddha Kanda followed by Uttara Kanda. Each Kanda is further subdivided into Sargas (Sections) and each Sarga is composed of few Slokas(verses).
Late Sri V.V. Subba Rao, Former General Manger, IDBI initiated the project, with Prof. P. Geervami, Former Vice-Chancellor, Sri Padmavathi Mahila Viswavidyalayam Tirupati, to bring out translation of Valmiki Ramayana into English. Even though a few translations are available, this project is undertaken to give to the word order and meaning in English and also Summary of the sarga so that readers appreciate the literary and poetic beauty of Sanskrit in Ramayana. To keep up with the present times, it is presented through electronic media. It is hoped that readers will develop interest in Sanskrit language and appreciate literary beauty of the verses.
To bring out a translation of the original text of Ramayana of Sri Valmiki through Electronic and print media.
To bring out translation of selected Sanskrit commentaries on Valmiki Ramayana.
To propagate the text and commentaries all over the world through Electronic media in English and as many Indian languages as possible.
To protect and preserve the ancient literary works on Ramayana in Sanskrit.
To bring in cultural awareness and universal brotherhood among international community.
To bring in behavioral change towards establishing creedless and broad minded society.
To develop ability to appreciate the essence of Ramayana at cognitive and co native levels.
To prepare glossary of Ramayana in English Language.
There are several commentaries on Valmiki Ramayana. The authors have looked at the epic from various angles like lyrical beauty, grammar, dharma, culture and cultural practices that were prevailing during their time. Many commentaries still remain unpublished. A few of them that are published also do not carry translation is any language. We thought it is necessary to give a broader perspective of the epic Ramayana through these commentaries to our wide range of readers. We have selected five of the commentaries written during the period from 16th to 19th century for translation. The selected commentaries and the names of the translators are as fellows.
Shree Mdhava Yogi Pranita Amritakataka
Dharmakuta of Tryambakamakh
Shiva Sahaya Pranita Ramayana Siromani
Rama Pranit Ramayana tilaka
Tatvadipika of Maheswara Tirtha
In order to ensure good translation and edition of slokas and summary in English, the following committee was constituted :
1. Prof. P. Geervani former Vice Chancellor, Sri padmavathi Mahila University, Chairman.
2. Prof. K. Kamala, Professor of Sanskrit (Retd), Osmania University, Hyderabad (2001-2007).
3. Sri V. V. Subba Rao (2000-2002)
Summary of sargas and kandas:
Ms. Shamala Y. R. Reddy, Hyderabad authored the sarga summaries in English. Glossary, Sri Nathoola Pal (Professional Translator, South Central Railways, Secuderabad) translated the glossary.
Audio rendering of slokas:
Dr. Dwaram Lakshmi, reader in music, Sri Padmavati Mahila University, Tirupati.
Music composed by:
Sri K. Krishna Mohan, Artist, All India Radio
Translation of text of Bala Kanda and Ayodhya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana was carried out jointly by Late Sri V.V. Subba Rao (2000-2002) and Prof. P. Geervani. Prof. P. Geervani translation of other kandas with the assistance of Prof. K.Kamala since the demise of Sri V.V. Subba rao in 2002.
Translator of Commentaries:
Prof. Nalini Sadhale, Dr. Jayanti Manohar, Prof. C. Ramanathan , Prof. H. V. Nagaraja Rao, Dr. Shubra sarma, Dr. T.S. Krishnamoorthy and Prof. S. N. Joshi carried out translation of commentaries.
The completed work of data entry, word-to-word meaning, translation work Summary etc. are posted on Internet and can be viewed at websites, rspramayana.ac.in in and also valmiki.iitk.ac.in.
The project was coordinated by Prof. K. V. Ramakrishnamacharyulu and Prof. P. Geervani under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor-Vidyapeetha, from 2000-2003. Since Aug 2005, Prf. M.L. Narasimha Murthy and assisted by Dr. Srinivasa Varakhedi Coordinated the project.
Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetham gratefully acknowledges Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India, New Delhi for the financial support to execute the project, Shri M. S. Reddy (Managing Director), Sabdalaya studios, Hyderabad for generously providing the studio facilities free of cost for recording the slokas of Balakand and Prof. T. V. Prabkhakar for the assistance in processing the data end putting on Website.
Prof. Geervani evinced continued interest throughout the last eight years and also in completing the project despite the difficulties faced by her due to demise of Sri. V.V. SubbRao who initiated the idea, despite delay in financial assistance.