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Ramayana

by
4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  8,538 Ratings  ·  499 Reviews
The Ramayana, a wondrous tale of cosmic adventure from India, immerses us in a world of heroes, gods, and demons.
Audio, Abridged, 0 pages
Published November 1st 1991 by Audio Literature (first published 1946)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Corinne
I happened to pick up this book when I went to New Delhi for work.

I didn't know about Indian mythology at all, because in Europe we read only Greek Mythology at school, but what I've always like about India is that in this country, the animals seem to have equal rights as Man. So, when I picked up this book in the bookstore, and read the back cover, I was immediately drawn to the efforts of the monkeys, in collaboration with man, to save a kidnapped woman.

And I was touched by the book's deep wi
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Robert
Jan 23, 2008 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up in India, and learned the story told in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, India's great epics, literally back in first and second grade. The Ramayana, in particular, is the basis for Diwali, one of my favorite Hindu festivals.

I already have an excellent copy of the Mahabharata (although one that I'm sure is utterly out of print) but I never got a full length version of the entire Ramayana while we lived there. So I recently treated myself to one.

The one I selected and am reviewing here is
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Fatin
I love readings Epics and old, old mythologies and really making the connections between them all over the world. Icarus burning his wings in Greek mythology to Sampati, the vulture, who burned his wings on account of protecting his brother when they both flew too close to the sun in Ramayana. There are some obvious parallels like this one, or another one between Hindu religion and the Abrahamic faiths that I discovered when talking to a friend. Krishna is carried across a river in a basket when ...more
Pramod Nair
Mar 06, 2015 Pramod Nair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Philippe Malzieu
Thanks to Lada who give me the courage to read this monument, this masterpiece.
Harish 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
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Josh
Oct 20, 2008 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Daren
This was a great read. This is a re-telling of the Ramayana, by William Buck. It is not in verse, although it remains in the original seven parts, and is considered one of the better modern re-tellings.
I must admit, the first of the seven parts almost had me putting this back on the self for another time. It was confusing with the number of characters, the timeframes and general confusion. I am so glad I persisted, as from the end of that part on, it was brilliant. To be fair it was the scene se
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فهد الفهد
الرامايانا

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
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umberto
Jan 18, 2010 umberto marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I used to study this epic in the Thai poem called "Ramakian" when I was in my teens, so it's my sheer delight to read this immortal Indian epic finely translated by a Sanskrit scholar.
Helmut
Sep 22, 2014 Helmut rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: india
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
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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
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woodshadows
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
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carlageek
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
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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
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Sabio
Jul 15, 2007 Sabio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
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
Christian
Apr 18, 2010 Christian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sciosarah
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
Krishna
The reason I picked up this book was that Aubrey Menen, an Irish-Indian satirist, used to live until his death in 1989 in Trivandrum, the city where I grew up. Though I never met him personally, he apparently was a regular visitor to the British Library, that I too used to frequent in the early 1980s. He at that time reportedly looked like a Biblical prophet, with flowing white hair and beard, as he pottered about in the library and the nearby coffee house. Hard to miss, but unfortunately, I nev ...more
Federico Trejos
Jul 03, 2013 Federico Trejos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
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
Maria
Oct 17, 2014 Maria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
3 and not 4 stars for the somewhat disappointing ending...
Poor Sita.
M a y a
While R K Narayan's version was a good intro to the Ramayana, this version has much more of an epic feel. Though the 700 pages are dense, the prose was engrossing and enjoyable, and a great source for learning more about Hinduism.

The author obviously put a lot of passion and devotion into this work (as this story is regarded as scripture to Hindus), and it shows in his descriptions of everything from the forest where Rama and Sita were banished to the gory details of the battle scenes.

Interleave
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Keith Willcock
May 06, 2012 Keith Willcock rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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SJ Loria
Jan 13, 2014 SJ Loria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Katie Pierce
The Ramayana is one of the oldest novels ever written, and quite possibly the oldest love story. It is a great and engaging story even today, and I really enjoy it. However, I think that I would like to read a version that is closer to the original epic written by Valmiki. This was the only version I could find at my college library, but it has been changed a lot from the original. For instance, all the parts about the gods and goddesses are removed from the storyline, making is a fully human st ...more
Bookish Dervish
May 23, 2016 Bookish Dervish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ولع شديد يربط الإنسان بملاحم الشعوب و قصصها الخالدة فمنها تستلهم العبر و الدروس و إليها تشرئب أعناق العامة و الخاصة.
الشاهنامة... الإلياذة و الأوديسة ... جلجامش ... تغريبة بني هلال.... الكوميديا الإلهية
هذه بعض نماذج الملاحم تضاف لها هنا في هذا السياق الرامايانا الهندية و التي يستشف منها القارئ النبيه ملامح من الديانة الهندية و تاريخ الشعوب الآرية في شبه الجزيرة بالإضافة الى أسس الثقافة الهندوكية...... لم أشاهد قط أي فيلم هندي و ساكتفي بهذا الكتاب الذي بين يدي.
أربع أنجم مستحقة
Sergio Rodríguez
Hi!
I loved the book. The story started up slowly but then after story on Rama's expelled from his father's kingdom things start to warm up. Towards the end on Rama vs Ravana confrontation storyline is very exciting.

During my jr. high school my Universal History teacher thought us about traditional triad on ancient India: Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva so therefore Ramayana became a book to reading after discovering Rama was an actual Vishnu avatar.

Everything that I heard before about Ramayana is true
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Ayman Zaaqoq
Dec 16, 2010 Ayman Zaaqoq rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
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David
Sep 14, 2007 David rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Sam
Aug 09, 2015 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WARNING: This version of the Ramayana is a SATIRE. If read as a satire, it is an enjoyable read with plenty of thought-provoking points throughout. This is my second reading, though admittedly it has been many years since the first time I read it. Surprisingly even after all these years I still remembered the story of the locust, the cow, and the sage that Valmiki tells to Rama.

One other point that I really appreciate in this version is the author giving Sita a stronger role. Instead of being ou
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Goodreads Librari...: Please Combine These Editions of "The Ramayana" (Aubrey Menen Version) 2 6 Jul 24, 2014 01:27PM  
Double Entry Journal 1 17 Mar 21, 2009 02:44PM  
  • The Mahabharata: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic
  • Mahabharata
  • The Recognition of 'Sakuntala: A Play in Seven Acts
  • The Rig Veda
  • The Mahabharata: A Modern Rendering, Vol. 1
  • بوستان سعدی
  • The Mahabharata: An English Version Based on Selected Verses
  • Diary of a Madman and Other Stories
  • Bhagavad-Gita As It Is
  • Canti
  • Records of the Grand Historian: Qin Dynasty
  • Panchatantra
  • Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God: Retracing the Ramayana Through India
  • Mencius
  • Jin Ping Mei (the Golden Lotus)
  • History
  • Mahabharata
  • The Dream of the Red Chamber (Selection)

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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.” 19 likes
“He lit the night he brought with the fire that puts out the planets when time ends.” 8 likes
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