The authoritative new translation of the epic Ramayana, as retold by the sixteenth-century poet Tulsidas and cherished by millions to this day.
The Epic of Ram presents a new translation of the Rāmcaritmānas of Tulsidas (1543–1623). Written in Avadhi, a literary dialect of classical Hindi, the poem has become the most beloved retelling of the ancient Ramayana story across northern India. A devotional work revered and recited by millions of Hindus today, it is also a magisterial compendium of philosophy and lore, and a literary masterpiece.
In the sixth volume, Ram and his devoted allies fight the army of Ravan in a climactic battle that ends with the death of the demon king. Ram reunites with Sita, and—after her fidelity is confirmed by the burning of an illusory double—they board a flying palace to return to the city of Ayodhya, where Bharat has been waiting anxiously as his brother Ram’s fourteen-year exile nears its end.
This new translation into free verse conveys the passion and momentum of the inspired poet and storyteller. It is accompanied by the most widely accepted edition of the Avadhi text, presented in the Devanagari script.
[A] cause for celebration—one of India’s most influential texts has been translated into contemporary English by a pivotal scholar who has devoted much of his career to the text, and its afterlives…Gives us a firm starting point for charting horizons and pathways into still-living traditions.
Lutgendorf manages a simplicity, elegance and dignity, whereas attempts to rhyme or alliterate by other translators have often resulted in bathos…If this graceful and eminently readable translation can win more readers for this great scripture, which is also the greatest poem ever written in Hindi, it would have served to reaffirm Tulsi’s belief in the countless multiplicity of Ramayans.
- 384 pages
- 5-1/4 x 8 inches
- Harvard University Press
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