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Ramayana: 1 Paperback – 1 Dec 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 477 pages
  • Publisher: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (1 Dec. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8172763654
  • ISBN-13: 978-8172763657
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Arshia Sattar has a PhD from the department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations in the University of Chicago. Her areas of interest are Indian epics, mythology and the story traditions of the subcontinent. Her translation of Tales from the Kathasaritasagara was published as a Penguin Classic. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are many other versions of The Ramayana available, but this one, in its original Indian print translation is the one which touches the heart of the story. Rajagopalachari has written the story of Rama as it should be, as part of the oral tradition of Indian literature, not a westernised version to suit different literary tastes. It is not readily accessible, and not the easiest of reads for the novice, but if you want a true telling of the story, and one which includes intricate variations and additions, then this is the only version. Forget the more glossy editions entirely.
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Format: Paperback
I was searching for an unabridged translation of the Ramayana and after a lot of search I ordered this through amazon. It did not said that it was unabridged but as it was the only edition that did not mentioned being abridged or shortened (either on the cover or the book description) I ordered it.

It just arrived and I found my answer inside. It is abridged. In the back cover it says that is has 'bridged time and space to make it accessible to the present-day English reader. Now I don't know about you but I do not like the assumption that I am too thick to understand or too lazy to read an unabridged version.

I have nothing against the other editions that mention clearly on the description or the cover page that they are abridged but I am infuriated with Penguin's decision that readers wouldn't really care whether the book they buy is abridged or not so there is no need to clearly mention it on the cover. It is a dishonest marketing practice and it should be stopped. Particularly if you consider that the book I received was inside a plastic wrap so I could not read the introduction without opening it and that there is no preview available.

Penguin continuously exploits the fame of the classics it publishes by manipulating and misleading its public. Look at its 'great journeys' series where the works are so abridged you might as well read the review. People hardly ever read classics because they search for an easy quick read, there are enough tabloid and free newspapers in this country to cover that need. I read a classic expecting an insight to a different culture and a different narrating technique, I expect it to be a process and not a quick fix, classics that as culturally important as the Ramayana ought to be treated with greater respect.
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Format: Hardcover
Hi guys,
as most of you, when we are to buy an old classic, we generally tend to search for the best and most complete translation. Well, this versions is not the most complete, since it is abridged, so if you want to use it for investigation purposes and academic works, it wont be the best one. Anyway, this version, beeing translated directly from Sanscrit is very very accurate and most terms are in fact reporting to an old and wise language system. In this version, you will be able to understand the full Ramayana, without wasting much time with the common repetitions and most boring part of old scriptures. This is a clear book, easy to read.

I am enjoying every moment that i read it. I rather have this versions, since im not graduating in literature history and therefore dont need to hold the full versions with aprox. 1,5k pages.

Hope you can devide on what you want and make a wise choice. For me, this versions of The Ramayana is very suitable. Its not imcomplete, history wise, and its full of terms that you recognize belonging to another culture and language.
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Format: Hardcover
The Ramayana is the great Hindu epic poem (kavya) by Valmiki c 5-3c BC. But the story probably existed for centuries before it was composed by Valmiki, and enhanced by others subsequently. The Ramayana is older than the Mahabharata (which is considered the Hindu epic history - itihasa). These two books are well known to most Hindus, at least in part. These two books, considered holy, describe Hindu values and ethics (dharma) and I recommend all Hindus to read them and introduce them to their children.

Prof Sattar has taken great trouble to abridge and re-tell the story in an easy, flowing and simple language such that even a child can read and understand it without assistance. She has incorporated the first (Childhood) and the seventh (Epilogue) Books, considered by many as later additions, to provide the traditional "full story". However, the English although modern is not how it is spoken in the West, and children particularly in the West may find the expressions jarring. (By using modern English, the quaintness of old Sanskrit expressions is also lost.) The narrative style is very flat - almost devoid of any excitement, passion or human emotions. (You only have to see plays and films on the Ramayana or hear a Sanskrit [or other Indian language] recital to appreciate what a loss that is!) The story has been retold in such a (boring) way that even a committed Hindu adult will have difficulty maintaining interest, let alone a young reader. Had she written in an "unputdownable" style, given her easy story telling abilities, the book might have been a real hit, as a story book.

This book is not a scholarly "true to Sanskrit" translation, as acknowledged by the author. Nor does it bring out Hindu values or highlight their culture.
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