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The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version Of The Indian Epic (2006)

The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic (2006)
3.88 of 5 Votes: 1
0143039679 (ISBN13: 9780143039679)
penguin classics
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The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Pros...
The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version Of The Indian Epic (2006)

About book: An interesting shortened version of the Indian epic. It has less lecturing than the Bhagavad Gita and more ethical and moral dimensions to it. I enjoyed it more.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 a god, Vishnu. He finds a stunning bride, Sita, on the way back as well. On the eve of his coronation, his stepmother approaches his father, the king, and holds him to a promise he made when they first met long ago. He granted her two wishes or boons, that she could request at any time. She had her own ambitions for herself and her son, and so decided to cash in on his promise. He is to exile Rama and place her own son on the throne instead. It is a question of honor and so the king agrees.Rama is cast out into the forest, his wife is stolen by a demon, which leads to a great campaign to rescue her and destroy the demon hordes in the forests and frontiers of the world.Entertaining, great descriptions, and interesting characters make this story pretty easy to get through, even for a westerner. You get a glimpse of ancient Indian culture, especially the concepts of honor, duty, divinity, and romance. Polygamy is practiced as is the subjugation of women to an inferior status. The sexism in the story is pretty thick, but no more than the sexism from our own ancient and medieval western stories.I had serious problems with one particular part of the story: Rama's rejection of Sita once she is rescued from the demons. He is bothered by the fact that she's been living in a stranger's palace for months. Never mind that she was kidnapped and is held against her will by a vicious demon. If she relented in her defiance of the demon's advances, even once, he was ready to reject her. In other words, if she was raped, he didn't want her back as his wife. She wasn't raped and didn't relent, so the story could continue to its happy ending.The interesting twist is that several characters are incarnations of gods, but they don't know it. They are born with a blindspot to their true identity, only aware that they have gifts and must play a special role. Here, Vishnu is Rama but doesn't know it. He lives and acts as a mortal, granted one with some godlike powers. This is exactly interesting to see unfold, as Rama/Vishnu can fail in their destiny or quests on Earth. Gods and goddesses are capable of mistakes when in human or non-divine form, as Rama did when he let a demon trick him, lure him out of his home allowing the demon to kidnap his wife.It was enjoyable overall and didn't take long, thanks to its shortened modern prose.

I absolutely loved this book. When I first took a look at the cover, I thought it was a book on culture and I’ll most likely learn a lot from it. I opened the book and it I did not want to read it anymore. It was an assigned book so I HAD to read it. Later on, I started really liking it. I developed favorite characters and predictions as well as respect in Hindu culture. The book was about a reincarnation of Vishnu who is a God in Hinduism. Vishnu is reincarnated in human form as Rama to show people how to be more God-like. Rama is righteous and holds a form of humanity that plays a role in many lives today. Rama and Sita, who plays his beloved wife in the epic, are the ideal martial pair. People in the epic admire their pair and when their love-story encounters a twist Rama adds a new mission to his existence. Now it’s not only destroying the Rakshas (demon) clan, it’s also to save his beloved Sita from the wrath of the Rakshas leader, Ravana. Some minor characters that changed the plot dramatically were Kooni, the favorite servant of the 3rd wife of Rama’s father Dasaratha, who was able to twist the thoughts of the 3rd wife and get Rama to a dramatic point in life. Another minor character was Hanuman, who is from the monkey clan. He helps Rama throughout his search for Sita. Some literary elements that made the epic very enjoyable were dialogue and imagery. There were many others but these two elements made me cherish the story more. I respect the way the author describes the plot and setting, what’s happening and at how it happened. The author uses descriptions that many people would refer to as exaggerations but when the author says that Hanuman could take a form where he cannot even stand on Earth; this means the author actually means can’t take his form on Earth. One thing the author does that helps me in understanding the epic better is that he/she confirms their descriptions, for example, when Hanuman gains his large size the author says that he destroys a part of where the Rakshas clan lives. This makes me feel that it wasn’t an exaggeration; he actually can take a large form. I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it to everyone who enjoys literature and culture. I actually watched the series of Ramayana on TV and this show was in the perspective of Ravana. Now I know the perspective of Rama and Ravana and am able to conduct the conclusion and teachings of the Ramayana better.
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This ended up being a fairly straightforward telling of the story, without anything particularly new or different. If anyone is unfamiliar with the basic plot: there is an evil demon, Ravana, who has extracted a promise from the gods that he cannot be harmed by gods, demons, spirits, animals, etc. Therefore Vishnu gets himself incarnated as a young human prince (Ravana not having bothered to get a promise about humans, considering them too weak) named Ram (or Rama, depending on the language). As an adult, Rama, his wife Sita, and his brother Lakshmana are banished to the forest for 14 years. While there, Ravana hears about Sita's beauty and kidnaps her, taking her back to his kingdom of Lanka. Rama and Lakshmana team up with Hanuman and his army of monkeys to defeat Ravana and rescue Sita, there's a huge battle, blah blah good vs evil, blah symbolism, blah.I suppose this is a fine introduction to the story, if you don't happen to know it, but if you're already familiar with the basic outline, there are more interesting retellings.
In this epic poem, the Rama was the main character. Rama’s mission was to destroy Ravana. Rama was well known by his greatness and powerful strength. He was my favor character because even thought he was powerful, but he wasn’t full of hubris. Also when he made mistake, he didn’t feel ashamed to let other people know. When he noticed his mistake, he corrected himself. He gave advice to other people which came from the mistake he made. “Even when you realize that the one before you is an enemy and must be treated sternly, do not hurt with words. Even in jest, do not hurt anyone’s feelings, not even the lowliest.” This quote was what Rama said to Sugreeva as an advice for him. I like this quote very much, and I totally agree with that. In this epic poem, there were many evil characters, some of them were women. Women played an important role in this poem, some of them were good, and some were evil. There were two beautiful women; Sita and Soorpanaka. Their beauty was incapable express in words. Soorpanaka was very evil, even thought she had an extremely beautiful face, but her heart was ugly and dark. Sita was a positive character in this poem, but she was the cause of Ravana’s failing. Sometime, a women’s beauty can lead one to death, the most harmful weapon of women is their beauty!
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 more 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
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