Valmiki Ramayana (The Book of Wilderness)

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About the Book

 

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. While it is impossible to establish conclusive dates for Valmiki’s life and there is nothing outside the Ramayana itself to prove that he was a historical figure, it is believed that this Sanskrit text was composed between 700 and 500 BC.

 

About the Author

 

Arshia Sattar has a PhD from the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Her areas of interest are Indian epics, mythology and the story traditions of the subcontinent. Her articles appear in various national newspapers and magazines. Her translation of Tales from the Kathasaritasagara was published by Penguin in 1995.

 

Sample Pages