The Ramayana
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Ramayana

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  2,205 ratings  ·  218 reviews
A sweeping tale of abduction, battle, and courtship played out in a universe of deities and demons, The Ramayana is familiar to virtually every Indian. Although the Sanskrit original was composed by Valmiki around the fourth century BC, poets have produced countless versions in different languages. Here, drawing on the work of an eleventh-century poet called Kamban, Naraya...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published August 29th 2006 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published October 27th 1972)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Christian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J Wesley
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 rein...more
Bookworm1858
The Ramayana by R. K. Narayan
Penguin, 1972
157 pages
Epic; Mythic
5/5 stars

Source: Bought and read for school

Summary: The epic of Rama, the god Vishnu in human form, and his quest to rid the world of Ravana.

I loved this book. I thought that I was vaguely familiar with the story as I read it and I think I may have seen parts of a filmed adaptation at some point. This is a shortened prose version so it has lost some of its embellishments; I imagine that this would be a very fun story to hear as the s...more
Ensiform
The ubiquitous Indian poem, condensed and retold in prose form by R.K. Narayan (based on the popular 11th century Tamil version by Kamban and not the 4th century Sanskrit original by Valmiki). Vishnu is reborn as a human prince, Rama, in order to destroy a demon (asura) called Ravan, who terrorizes the world with his awesome power. Unaware of Rama’s power, the ten-headed Ravana abducts his wife, Sita. That’s a handy excuse to wipe him and his entire clan off the face of Brahma’s clean earth, eh?...more
Bryce
I am currently reading several books to prepare for a trip to India. This is a prose retelling (in English) of the Ramayana by great Indian Author R.K. Narayan. It is also considerably condensed from the original epic poem. I thought Narayan did a great job of making the story very readable and understandable. Images of and references to Rama and Sita are plentiful in Indian culture, so it is great to now understand their story and its implications.
Brigdh
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...more
indri
Apr 16, 2010 indri marked it as wishlist  ·  review of another edition
dah punya yang Narayan juga yang lama, Ramayananya aja.
apa ini sama atau gabungan ya? lebih suka sih daripada yang versi Nyoman S. Pendit
Katie
I'm glad I'm done reading this for Ancient Civ!!!
Tori
This was quite an epic poem.The first I've ever read,acutally.It was very interesting.But I found several faults I found with older-written books that I disagree with,that even urged me,an avid reader,to abandon the poem.

The wording of sentances.I found some sentances run-ons that went on for three to four lines.These were hard to keep up to,and I found myself rereading whole paragraphs.While on the topic of rereading,I had to look up words as well,for they were pretty advanced.Though aided by a...more
Ka Min
There are many tales from around the world that describe a certain religion. "The Ramayana" is an epic poem that has been present since the times of the fourth century A.D, and had been revised in accordance to the storyteller. This version is by a man named R.K Narayan. He tells the story in a way that the world used to be this magical place with the presence of gods and other supernatural beings. From gods changing into monkeys to demons, Narayan makes the world in his book a paradise with som...more
Alliyah
"The Ramayana", by R. K. Narayan, is an amazing book that gives the reader insight into the large, diverse culture of India. Set back in history, it reflects a time and place where the gods and the mortals encountered one another, and the two worlds mix. The main character, Rama, is seen as the incarnation of the god Vishnu, the Supreme God. He is set with the task of destroying all evil and overcoming the demon, Ravana, who has set himself up agaist the gods and threatened to destroy all that h...more
Angel Cruz
I enjoyed this epic poem for various reasons found in the plot. This epic contains many life lessons and messages throughout its plot. There are also many proverbs found through this book that one can apply to their everyday life. Along with lessons one can also find great details and imagery about a certain setting or character. I enjoyed how the author, Narayan, used several details to describe one place, like in the beginning of the book where he describes Ayodhya. I always joined the effects...more
Monica Hernandez
The book was all right I guess, but it wasn’t to my liking. This book seemed to be more for people who enjoyed history more and who like reading about religions. I do not enjoy religious books unfortunately and this being a Hindu book didn’t help. The book itself could have been looked at from two perspectives, literal or figurative. I looked at it figuratively/symbolically. Some Hindu’s belief that everything in this book is true but I am not of that religion so I have chosen to look at it meta...more
Asiye
The book The Ramayana just like almost all the other books I have had to read in my short life was one of the exceptions to not being bad. Of course the beginning was so confusing and boring and did not really have any conclusions that made sense. I had to ask for help from various adult and teacher inside and outside of school for help. All the characters were described but like all epic poems it had high language standards so it was hard to understand. Until page 80 or so did I really start t...more
Afsana Islam
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 pe...more
Zumana
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Xing
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...more
Eliza Brittni
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sanum
I love this book so far, The 4 stories told in the first chapter are really good stories! I think a good proverb for all 4 stories can be "We do sins to realize we are right in the end”, or "Everyone has a good and a bad side, people just see one side of the story”. I think this because the stories have a bad guy, that was a good guy before, but they had a reason to do what they did, for example in Ahalya’s story, Indra can be taken as the bad guy since he cloned himself to make love to Ahalya,...more
Pgao
The great epic poem translated by R.K. Rarayan. Hanuman and Lakshmana are my favorite characters. Hanuman devoted himself into helping Rama, he worried about things bother Rama, he gave Rama advices, and he even got angry because the “fake” Sita he saw. One thing I don’t get is that why Hanuman hid his gigantic physical feature, when he sneaked into Lanka, it was rational to hide his gigantic physical feature. But when he informed Bharata about Rama’s return, why did he transform to a young Bra...more
Hana
"A word given is like an arrow, it goes forward. You cannot recall it midway.." (page 57)

Ramayana was a really good book. I loved how most of the characters were unique and different so you could tell them apart quickly. For example, Ravana the evil demon is described as having 10 heads. The suspense in the story was soo good too! During the middle of the book, Rama is exiled to the forest and lives with his wife Sita. One day Soorpanaka,(Ravana's sister) spots Rama and falls madly in love with...more
Haewon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ling
This book is impressive.
To be honest, Rama is not my favorite character in the book, even though he was perfect. He had the respect of people, loyalty of brothers, the apple of his father and mothers' eye, and the good physical appearence; he was the symbol of justice, kind, forgiveness, well-temper, caring, and humanity. However, somehow his perfect personality was his shortcoming.
Rama was filial that made him accepted to exile without considering his relatives who loved him and people. This w...more
Karol
I enjoyed this epic poem for many reasons. It is jam-packed with adages and proverbial messages that can still be used in the present day. Also, one literary element that really stood out for me in this poem was imagery. The author, R.K. Narayan really wanted the readers to feel and imagine the setting. I felt as if the beginning of this poem had so much detail, it was almost like Narayan was preparing one for all the imagery that one was going to face while reading The Ramayana. Although I like...more
Gale
Before, I would honestly not pick up a book like Ramayana voluntarily. Unless it was required – which it is – then I will do so. For the first twenty pages or so, I got bored with it. Too many names were mentioned wherein each sounded similar and the spelling was confusing. Though there was the character list provided by the author, it was not really convenient to flip from the story to the poem. However, as I battled it out with high language standards and desire for sleep, a couple pages later...more
Rebecca
May 26, 2013 Rebecca is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rahman Elfath
Ramayana.

Kisah terpopuler sepanjang masa ini, dimulai di sebuah kerajaan bernama Kosala dan beribukota di Ayodya.

Negeri ini dianugerahi seorang raja yang adil dan bijaksana. Seluruh rakyatnya pun mendapatkan kesejahteraan dan kemakmuran di segala bidang.

Walaupun telah mampu memimpin dan memberikan kemakmuran di Kosala, raja yang bernama Dasarata merasa hidupnya sangat menyedihkan. Ketiadaan seorang anak laki-laki sebagai pewaris kerajaan menjadi buah pikiran sang Raja selama bertahun-tahun. Tern...more
Nathaniel
The operative word here is "shortened". I'm not a fan of abridgement in general, but abridging the most important epic tale of a religion adhered to by 1/7th of the Earth's population is really just...probably blasphemous to someone, but not doing it justice regardless, because it's one of the world's great stories. Really, it's like reading the Cliff's Notes version - you get all the major plot points with no expository detail. Only while Cliff's Notes are self-contained, between these portions...more
Sahir D'souza.
Probably one of my least favourite books, RK Narayan's version is, at best, mercifully short. The primary reason that I prefer the Mahabharat to the Ramayan is that the Ramayan portrays characters as wholly good or wholly evil. All of Ram's vices and mistakes and exhibited in a good light while all of Ravan's good deeds (such as his anger at the humiliation and attack on his sister: good brotherly love) are shown in a bad light. I have never understood the point.
Another reason that this book...more
Myth Girl
Fun read! This epic is translated here into a narrative, English form by a scholar deeply familiar with the original Indian text.
This is the story of Vishnu during his human incarnation as Rama. The story mostly revolves around his quest to get his beloved wife back after she is kidnapped during his 14 years of exile. Before that occurs, and then on his path to save her, he encounters other significant characters, always displaying his moral fiber and just ways and often departing great wisdom....more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Double Entry Journal 1 16 Mar 21, 2009 02:44PM  
  • The Rig Veda
  • Mahabharata
  • Mahabharata: The Greatest Spiritual Epic of All Time
  • Ramayana
  • Speaking of Siva
  • Darsan: Seeing the Divine Image in India
  • Armies of Hanuman (Ramayana, Book 4)
  • The Harvest Gypsies: On the Road to The Grapes of Wrath
  • Mahabharata
  • The Recognition of 'Sakuntala: A Play in Seven Acts
  • Myths to Live By
  • Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God: Retracing the Ramayana Through India
  • A Star Shall Fall (Onyx Court, #3)
  • Ramayana: Divine Loophole
  • Mencius
1305302
R. K. Narayan is among the best known and most widely read Indian novelists writing in English.

R.K. Narayan was born in Madras, South India, in 1906, and educated there and at Maharaja's College in Mysore. His first novel, Swami and Friends and its successor, The Bachelor of Arts, are both set in the enchanting fictional territory of Malgudi and are only two out of the twelve novels he based there...more
More about R.K. Narayan...
Malgudi Days Swami and Friends The Guide The English Teacher The Man-Eater of Malgudi

Share This Book

“I came in several times and spoke, but perhaps you were asleep when I thought you were awake.'
'You are very considerate to explain it this way,' Sugreeva said, 'but I was drunk”
5 likes
More quotes…