The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic

The Ramayana A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic 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

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 epicThe 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.

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The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic

  1. 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 there In 1958 Narayan s work The Guide won him the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, his country s highest literary honor In addition to his novels, Narayan has authored five collections of short stories, including A Horse and Two Goats, Malguidi Days, and Under the Banyan Tree, two travel books, two volumes of essays, a volume of memoirs, and the re told legends Gods, Demons and Others, The Ramayana, and the Mahabharata In 1980 he was awarded the A.C Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature and in 1982 he was made an Honorary Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Most of Narayan s work, starting with his first novel Swami and Friends 1935 , captures many Indian traits while retaining a unique identity of its own He was sometimes compared to the American writer William Faulkner, whose novels were also grounded in a compassionate humanism and celebrated the humour and energy of ordinary life.Narayan who lived till age of ninety four, died in 2001 He wrote for than fifty years, and published until he was eighty seven He wrote fourteen novels, five volumes of short stories, a number of travelogues and collections of non fiction, condensed versions of Indian epics in English, and the memoir My Days.

774 Reply to “The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic”

  1. 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 wisd [...]

  2. 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 [...]

  3. 3.5 stars I couldn t belief that I actually enjoyed it despite being far removed from the cultural context of the work The moment I ascertained that I was required to read The Ramayana for my World Literature Module in university, I felt frightened and intimidated I had a strong feeling that I would not enjoy it because of its unfamiliarity and because of the fact that I had to step out of my comfort zone and read a book involving wars The first two chapters of the book was perplexing to me howe [...]

  4. I guess the whole world has heard of blue Rama and his beautiful Sita, but now that I m actually reading the story, I find their love not as amazing as I thought In the movie A Little Princess, Sarah was obsessed with the story, and I liked the scenes she imagined.Rama is not as amazing and dashing as all that, he even cheats on Sita and treats her badly Another book that encouraged me to read this book though it wasn t about it The Tiger s Curse by Colleen Houck, because I was obsessed with her [...]

  5. The Ramayana was an amazing book to read However, this book has so many names that are hard to remember and has some vocabulary words that you need to be able to understand At the begging of the book, it was boring However, as you read further on you would find the book interesting It deals with this main character named Rama and Sita and Rama s brothers They help Rama get to a surtain point were Rama comes face to Ravana Ravana is an evil monster that is ruler of all evil wanting to destroy Ra [...]

  6. This review can also be found on Snow White Hates Apples.After I ve finished reading this book, I m certain that mythology, fairy tales, folklore, legends and such all share common notions no matter which culture they are part of In The Ramayana A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic which I will shorten to The Ramayana from here onward , is a tale both familiar and unknown to me Although the Indians are one of the three main races in my country, I ve never really ventured into thei [...]

  7. 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, an [...]

  8. An incredibly pleasant read, with some interesting additional apologetic work by the translator that adds value to the criticism and understanding of the original text such as Sita s immolation and his murder of Vali This version is barebones, but with enough meat to really provide a great framework for diving into a deeper, lengthier version of the text, provided an English reader such as myself can find one If anything, this text reminds me how absurdly complex and rich this culture is and, co [...]

  9. Narayan s translation of The Ramayana is an entertaining and interesting read, especially in regards to the gender roles within the story I would recommend this book to anyone interested in classic Indian mythology, although it is worth looking into other translations of The Ramayana as well since Narayan has omitted and or simplified a few important scenes.

  10. An interesting shortened version of the Indian epic It has less lecturing than the Bhagavad Gita and ethical and moral dimensions to it I enjoyed it .It is about Rama, the son of a king in a fictitious kingdom in some forgotten time He is adored by his family and his people One day a sage comes by and requests Rama come with him to complete a ritual in a remote place During the journey Rama completes several great deeds even as a child, convincing the sage and others he is the reincarnation of [...]

  11. I love this book so far, The 4 stories told in the first chapter are really good stories I think a good proverb for all 4 stories can be We do sins to realize we are right in the end , or Everyone has a good and a bad side, people just see one side of the story I think this because the stories have a bad guy, that was a good guy before, but they had a reason to do what they did, for example in Ahalya s story, Indra can be taken as the bad guy since he cloned himself to make love to Ahalya, and h [...]

  12. The Ramayana by R K NarayanPenguin, 1972157 pagesEpic Mythic5 5 starsSource Bought and read for schoolSummary The epic of Rama, the god Vishnu in human form, and his quest to rid the world of Ravana.I loved this book I thought that I was vaguely familiar with the story as I read it and I think I may have seen parts of a filmed adaptation at some point This is a shortened prose version so it has lost some of its embellishments I imagine that this would be a very fun story to hear as the storytell [...]

  13. Narayan s The Ramayana is a nice modern prose retelling of the longer Indian epic originally written in verse It serves as a wonderful introduction to Indian culture, values, mythology, and spirituality However, it was extremely difficult to get into at first, but once I was engaged, it was difficult to put down There were so many vividly drawn battle scenes that successfully put this reader right into the middle of the action with all of the great accompanying visuals flaming serpents, battling [...]

  14. I am currently reading several books to prepare for a trip to India This is a prose retelling in English of the Ramayana by great Indian Author R.K Narayan It is also considerably condensed from the original epic poem I thought Narayan did a great job of making the story very readable and understandable Images of and references to Rama and Sita are plentiful in Indian culture, so it is great to now understand their story and its implications.

  15. A shortened version adapted from Kamban s Tamil version of the Ramayana From the excerpts of Kamban s Tamil that I have read and heard, this translation indeed perhaps any translation would fall woefully short That said, this was a wonderful translation and short enough to finish over morning coffee

  16. A beautiful translation of The Ramayana , with a wonderful narrative contextualising the aspects of the story edited out It is an abridged version, but Narayan does a lovely job bridging the gaps that exist in the story by telling you what you missed not only in terms of plot, but also in terms of literary style.

  17. Privilege, honor reading reliving this epic Simple precise writing by RKN I could not have expected anything .Cheers,

  18. Mr Ram was a gifted and brilliant undergraduate student at University of Ayodhya 10.0 10.0 GPA All the students, staff, and faculty loved worshipped him immensely and were really looking forward to his graduation It was an open secret that shortly after getting his Bachelor s degree, Mr Ram would be offered a permanent, full time job in the department In certain circles, there were even rumors that his position was going to be most senior position ever created, and he would become the kind and g [...]

  19. This was an entertaining story that gave great insight into a mythical, magical, and colorful culture of ancient India This is the story of King Rama, his wife Sita, and their adventures and conquests This book is particularly appealing due to its pull towards people with roots but no immediate connection to India The writing is very monotone, the point and style of the writing is to tell the story and that comes across, depending on your preferences this can be good or bad The plot is hard to f [...]

  20. Very well done translation of a unique and captivating story While the tale and its characters are clearly very foreign to a western audience, Narayan makes the story accesible to western readers I would recommend to all who want to read something different or would like a taste of Indian literature.

  21. One of the greatest hero of India and the most loved and worshipped While reading the book, i had a nostalgic feeling of my childhood, I had seen the television series when i was in school, i still remember watching it in my neighbors house as we didn t have tv that time My neighbor s house used to be full of neighbors.

  22. I really loved this it reminded me a lot of traditional Greek mythology the writing in this particular translation was wonderful and enjoyable The story itself was vibrant and lively I hope one day I can at least read parts of the whole Ramayana because I loved this story so much.

  23. Narayan perfectly narrates Indian epic in such a descriptive yet succint enough language to fit a relatively thin paperback.

  24. The Indian Epic A delight to read, it s no wonder Whatever the medium, the audience is always an eager one Everyone knows the story but lives to listen to it again.

  25. Women in the book Ramayana Positive Sons respected their mothers Sons treated their step mothers same as their real mother Women had the right to speak ex Kaikeyi told Dasaratha to exile Rama and crown Bharatha men couldn t kill women easily ex When Rama was learning from Viswamithra, he couldn t kill Thataka because she was a woman don t judge a book by its cover negative Men could marry then one wife Women couldn t chose who they wanted to marry with ex When Sita was in love with Rama, she di [...]

  26. A very short, yet enjoyable version of Ramayana in which the reader will experience the lucidity of R.K Narayan s narrative style.

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