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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  3,002 ratings  ·  117 reviews
The Ramayana, a wondrous tale of cosmic adventure from India, immerses us in a world of heroes, gods, and demons.
Audio Cassette, Abridged, 0 pages
Published August 1st 1991 by Audio Literature (first published January 1st 1870)
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Some translations value accuracy and fidelity to the original text above all else. They work hard to preserve the meter and rhyme scheme (if any) and stay as close as possible to a word-for-word imitation, even if the result sounds a bit clumsy. I suspect that this book is not one of those translations. Buck is clearly a master storyteller in his own right, and his prose flows so well in English that it's hard to imagine he isn't taking some liberties. I would recommend this book to anyone who w ...more
Harish Kumar Sarma Challapalli
This is considered as one of the TRIO-Epics of Indian culture

The greatest book ever!! This indian historical epic is considered as a LEGEND in the punya bhoomi!! The book depits the life story of a greatest Prince Rama who is an embodiment of all good qualities a human can ever possess!! Sita, wife of Rama, is a perfect example of how a woman should be!

Each and every character in this book will teach us something and helps to live an untainted life!!

Personally, I feel i have no words to describ
hare rāma hare rāma, rāma rāma hare hare
Für mich war es immer klar: Wenn möglich, liest man den Volltext. Kurzfassungen, Nacherzählungen - bäh. Wenn etwas unleserlich wird, kann man diese Stellen immer noch selbst überspringen.

Nach dieser Lektüre erkenne ich, dass eine Nacherzählung, oder eine gut gemachte Kurzfassung, schon ihren Zweck haben kann. Das Ramayana ist keineswegs schwer zu lesen, aber es überfließt an Details und vor allem an endlosen Monologen, die im originalen Reim vielleicht ih
Sooraj Subramaniam
It is no doubt a human tale, but there is some sentiment it evokes that I cannot put into words. Some tug just behind the tear-producing glands ...

I found that this telling captured how I'd felt about the Ramayana, having grown up listening to all the stories as part of nightcaps or preludes to evening prayers, living both unashamedly indian and unconfusedly western lives. It was honest and plain, glorious and abundant, rich and telling, and yet so bizarrely mysterious.

I remember the first time
This is the only adaptation of the Ramayana I have read, and so I can't be sure how much of my poor rating is attributable to Buck's adaptation and how much is dissatisfaction with the epic itself. So, I will list the aspects I find lacking, and those better versed than I in the mythology can interpret accordingly.

Although there are a few memorable lines ("Raavana lay like a collection of wrongs") for the most part I find the language cloying, dumbed-down amateur poetry using hackneyed, not terr

بدأت العام الماضي بقراءة سفر ويل ديورانت الضخم (قصة الحضارة)، وهي تجربة مميزة ربما لا يمر بها أكثرنا إلا مع كتب قليلة جداً، وبما أن السلسلة موزعة على 47 جزءاً في طبعتها العربية، فلذا قراءتها مشروع ضخم، فالسلسلة عبارة عن 25 ألف صفحة مدججة بقرون من الحضارة الإنسانية، حينها تفتق ذهني عن فكرة جعلت المشروع أعقد مما هو، حيث قررت حينها دمج قراءات أخرى مع دوراته الحضارية لجعلها أكثر عمقاً، فعندما اقرأ عن الهند مثلاً، لا أكتفي بما كتبه ديورانت عنها، وإنما أضيف لقراءتي ما توافر لدي من كتب عن تا
PTS Books Club
A brilliant translation of the timeless epic, the Ramayana pervades the country’s moral and cultural consciousness. In her magnificent translation Arshia Sattar has successfully bridged both time and space to make this monumental ancient classic accessible to the present-day reader.

[Arshia Sattar (born 1960), an Indian translator, facilitator, author, and director, obtained her PhD in South Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 1990.She has also worked with documen
There are a few reasons I am giving this text just two stars. First and foremost among these reasons is for the quality and style of the translation. It is hard for me to believe that a translator could take the liberties that this one has with such an ancient and sacred text, and yet here we are. The translator made the decision to remove tens, if not a hundred or more cantos from this version of the Ramayana, for various reasons, including a personal feeling that certain content was not approp ...more
Oh ya.. I had written a nice long review and then I clicked somewhere on my screen and the entire review disintegrated before my very eyes. I meant to get back to it so let's see here..

First off, the translation I was using omitted several passages due to "containing sentiments not popular or proper in our society", I think he means some people had sex, or maybe they worked on sunday or ate bread that was leavened, who knows! obviously something seemed to offend this particular translators ideas
This is the second Epic story from Ancient India -- The Mahabharata being the first. William Buck's condensed versions are delightful. The Ramayana is about Rama (an incarnation of Vishnu). The story is famous not only in India but also SE Asia -- even to China. Reading this book would be part of classic education in India but of course not part of Western. Western education gives books that just keep reinforcing each other. That is why everything seems like "common sense" to those who have not ...more
Federico Trejos
A transcendental epic tragedy of Divine sorts. A story with as much beauty and poetry as philosophy and truths.each character and situation reflects different things in both the spiritual realm as in our human condition. Decisions, consequences, tragedy, nobility of spirit, height of thought, duty and unflinching righteousness. It is as well a "fantastic" story, with things that can happen only in spiritual manifestations of the spiritual realm, such as flying giant monkeys which think and talk, ...more
This is a beautiful story. I read a simplified English translation with students in a Socratic Seminar, but the points made and the overall message warrant a quick nod of the head. It’s interesting to study a different culture’s ethical foundation. This tradition is vastly different from the Western tradition. Duty trumps individual desire time and again. The role of women is different. The role of gods, and their mischief and fighting is different. And all these topics are quite thought provoki ...more
Keith Willcock
May 06, 2012 Keith Willcock rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes fun
Anyone who wants to know how the gods and goddesses really live should read this. It's a rollicking tale of romance and intrigue that even after 2000 years of telling seems fresh and current. It's sheer humanity defrocks religious dogma that often seems oppressive, overbearing, and out of touch with the real world of human desires and emotions.

A good time is had by all including the bad guys and girls who, having been resoundingly defeated, just seem happy to have resolved some of their karma as
Pramod S Nair
This classic translation of the Ramayana is a complete and unabridged verse by verse translation of the great epic poem. This is not the Ramayana in the story format but the translation of the verses in the poetic form. The author reproduces the spirit of the ancient hymns with great flair. The lavishly added notes to the verses and appendix at the end of the book adds to the reference value of the title.
Ayman Zaaqoq
"ملحمة من الهند" .. وكفى. لايحتاج المرء الى توصية أو تزكية ليقرأ ملحمة أسطورية وُلِدتْ من رحم حضارة بهذه العظمة.
هي ليست مجرد ملحمة للبطولة و الحب والتضحية، وانما هي – بالاضافة الى ذلك – مجموعة من الدروس في فن الحكم تُظهر ان النزاهة والاستقامة والصدق ليسوا ضد نجاح الحاكم، بل هم على العكس، ضمانة لنجاحه و ازدهار عصره وحب رعيته.
والملحمة هي النسخة الهندية من "الإلياذة و الأوديسه". وهي خليط بين الأدب الشعبي الملحمي و التعاليم و العقائد الهندوسية.
ومما زاد استمتاعي بالقراءة – بالاضافة الى الصور العامرة
Sep 14, 2007 David rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: searchers for truth, lovers of mythology and legend
William Buck has distilled the beautiful essence of the Ramayana, one of India's greatest epics, into a single, compelling volume. This is the story of Prince Rama's dedication to dharma —the responsibilities that fall to him as a result of his status as human and prince— in the face of incredible misfortune. It is also the story of what people are willing to do for those they love (witness Rama's war against the demons of Lanka to recuperate his wife Sita) and the tragic twists that can undermi ...more
The Ramayana is a confusing book for those unfamiliar with the religious mythology involved (like the greek pantheon, it is extensive and convoluted), but William Buck, in choosing to drastically alter the form of the text and turn it into a novel makes it accessible to the casual reader. This is most certainly not anywhere near to a literal translation, but it is certainly the most accessible and readable. It is, essentially, the movie of the book.
I really enjoyed the Ramayana, but I can't decide whether I liked it more than the Mahabharata. I did get my extra credit from it, though, so that's something.
Okay...I only read the second book for my class on epic, but I am counting it! However, our lecture gave the overview, and I can't wait to read the entire thing!
Pratiwi Pratiwi
Mysogyny. That was my first impression of this story. Maybe this is how society is constructed at that age. I don't know why Rama is described like perfect protagonist. He married Sita because of a contest that ended up in arranged marriage. At the end of the story, he didn't believe Sita's purity (or virginity?) that makes her burn herself to proof it. Why did he try to safe her then? Op nope, hanuman did it. Meanwhile, I am still thinking about what bad things Ravana has been done to Sita. He ...more
Apr 03, 2008 Kevin marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Made it about 1/3 through. Back in '98, we didn't have the "internet" and I couldn't go to wikipedia to find out exactly WTF was going on.
As close to the real thing as you can get, without reading it in Sanskrit yourself. Some good stuff...
Sidharth Vardhan
Ramayana is considered by some to be the first poem ever written and Vālmīki is the first poet. I personally think of it as a tragedy of idealistic people - given that the hero and his wife suffer in trying to keep on ideal path.

As to truth of the fact, I take to Rabindranath's opinion who saw it 'not as a historical fact' but as a 'marvelous parable of reconciliation'.

Although it may as well have been a children story if taken in its crudest form. A princess is kidnapped by a really bad guy and
May 29, 2011 Susan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who love to read about legends or myths
I read the shortened version in Lit class (really only 23 pages from the Mythology textbook), but I immediately took an interest to this story. I find it very interesting and, believe it or not, I think I would have really liked the full version. Some parts did feel too random, but that was simply because I did not read the full version. I thought this was an interesting and thoughtful read. (As always, strange gods and attacking monkeys interest me.) The only thing that ruined this story that I ...more
Robert Delikat
One of my most prized possessions is a hardcopy of the Ramayana retold by William Buck and forward done by Ram Dass. This is an incredible story that is often read and reread throughout one's life in the Far East. It has much to offer to those of all ages. It relates, among other things, the background and place in Hindu culture of some of its most important religious figures. But this is mostly the story of Prince Rama, his beautiful consort Sita, the monkey king Hanuman and their satanic arche ...more
Emy Jabran


الرامايانا احدى الملحمتين الهنديتين المشهورتين, واولى نماذج الادب والقصص في الادب السنسكريتي بل والهندي

يعود تاريخ تدوينها للقرن 5 ق,م اي بعد 1000 سنة من الاحداث المذكورة فيها, لكن يرى باحثون اخرون انها تعود للقرن الثاني ق,م عندما صارت السنكسريتية اللغة الادبية والرسمية, وبذلك تكون قد تناقلها الناس عن طريق الحفظ دهرا طويلا قبل ان يتم تدوينها في القرون الاخيرة قبل الميلاد,

تشكلت الرامايانا عبر قرون لكن الصيغة النهائية لها (عكس المحلمة الثانية "المها
Mohammad Ali Abedi
The ancient Indian epic, “Ramayana”, is, as far as I know, one of Indian’s most popular and loved epics, and it seems to have been composed around 500 to 750 BC, although there are many variations throughout the centuries. The gist of it is probably the same though.

The one I am talking about here is just an audiobook translation by William Buck, and I say translation, but I actually mean a retelling. It is not in poetic form, it is retold in simple modern English narrative, which means that it i
Tandava Brahmachari
[This review is specific to the William Buck edition.]

I'd read a different edition of the Ramayana before, but didn't feel that I could relate to it as I wanted to, or love it as much as I knew it deserved. Perhaps just a result of growing up in a culture that wasn't imbued with it. But whatever the reason, I was looking for more.

So I was intrigued when I found William Buck's retelling. He discovered the Mahabharata first, I think, as a young man, and was thrilled by it, but dissatisfied by the
Robert Sheppard

"Man is a slave to power..." says the Mahabharata,"...but power is a slave to no one." The puzzle of power in its acquisition, intrinsic contradictions, disillusionments and disappointments, transience, arbitrariness, loss and questionable legitimacy is one of the principal themes of this monumental
Karthik Ramesh
While many may see this as only a religious read, I can vouch that you will probably learn more about history and life from this book than you previously thought you would.
The story was depicted very well, and the tale was portrayed in a magnificent, yet casual manner. It was enlightening to read this book not only because I like religious tales, but also because of the morals I learned from this.
While it is a basic good vs. evil adventure, it probably is different from anything you have hea
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“You cannot count on the physical proximity of someone you love, all the time. A seed that sprouts at the foot of its parent tree remains stunted until it is transplanted. Rama will be in my care, and he will be quite well. But ultimately, he will leave me too. Every human being, when the time comes, has to depart to seek his fulfillment in his own way.” 13 likes
“He lit the night he brought with the fire that puts out the planets when time ends.” 7 likes
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