The Ramayana is one of India's most well-loved epics, retaining the essence of the ancient Vedas and embodying lessons and truths of life that have moulded Indian sensibility.
This delightful companion takes the reader on a journey from Ayodhya to Lanka through forests, seas and skies. Along with an overview of the Ramayana and a synopsis, the epic is recounted, episode by episode, with analytical comments drawing a parity between the present and a bygone time. An elaborate who's who points to characters embodying values such as commitment to dharma, filial duty and loyalty, and evils like greed, lust and pride.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Some sample entries:
The king of a tribe whose main occupation was hunting. He helped Rama, Lakshmana and Sita cross the Ganga. When Bharata came rushing in search of Rama, he also helped Bharata and his soldiers cross the Ganga. Rama became his friend. At the end of his sojourn in the forest, when Rama was returning to Ayodhya, he stayed as a guest in Guha's home. He was the king of Sringaberpur (near present-day Mirzapur).
A famous river and lake in the Ramayana. Its source is in the Rishyamuk mountains. In its lower reaches it flows into the Tungabhadra. When Rama reached the banks of the Pampa, he was charmed by the lake and its surrounding scenic beauty. He told Lakshmana, `Lakshmana, if I can live here with Sita all my life, then I will never want Indra's stature nor Ayodhya.'
A special moment. If at this moment, someone loses something or something is stolen from someone, he will get it back. When Rama met Jatayu during his search for Sita, Jatayu told Rama, `Ravana has, unknowingly, abducted Sita at the vind muhurt. So you will get her back. Don't worry.'
Roshen Dalal was born in Mussoorie in 1952 and studied in various schools. After a BA (Hons.) in History she completed an MA and PhD in Ancient Indian History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has worked on various research projects in History, and has taught for two years at Jawaharlal Nehru University and for four years at Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh. Roshen Dalal is the author of the best-selling two-volume Puffin History of India for Children . She lives in New Delhi and is working on her next two books, The Penguin Dictionary of Hinduism and The Penguin Dictionary of Sikhism.
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