The Social Conditions Of Ancient India Have To Be Patiently Reconstructed By Gathering Together The Data Available From Archaeology And Literature. It Is Impossible For One Individual, Even In A Lifetime, To Examine Critically All The Information At His Disposal .To The Archaeologist India Presents A Fund Of Sociological Data Covering, At Least, Five Thousand Years. And The Student Of Her Literature Finds More Elaborate And Informative Evidence In Literary Works, The Earliest Of Which Cannot Under Any Circumstances Be Dated Later Than 1000 B.C. A Careful Study Of The Facts So Available Is Absolutely Necessary If We Are To Have A Complete And Reliable Picture Of Ancient Indian Society. It Is For This Purpose That The Sociological Data Of The Ramayana Are Subjected To A Detailed Scrutiny In This Publication.Although The Ramayana Contains Very Valuable Information For The Study Of The Social Conditions Of India, It Had Been For Many Years Overshadowed By The Great Epic, The Mahabharata. There Are Fewer Works Dealing With The Sociological Data Of The Ramayana, Even Though The Scholars Who Worked On The Mahabharata Occasionally Referred To It.In This Publication, An Attempt Has Been Made To Discuss As Many Aspects Of The Ancient Indian Society As Practicable. While The First Chapter Has Been Devoted To Establish The History, The Date And The Historicity Of The Text, Which Is Our Source Book, The Other Eight Chapters Discuss The Evidence, Which Has Been Called From The Ramayana With Meticulous Care After Study Of All Three Recensions, Available Both In Printed Editions And Manuscripts. No Less Than Fifty-Five Different Aspects Are Dealt With In These Ten Chapters Ranging From Geographical Data To Religious And Philosophical Teaching. It Is Gratifying ,States One Of Its Critics, To Note That His Attitude In Respect Of The Problems Discussed By Him Is Quite Reasonable And Non-Dogmatic. The Society Of The Ramayana Contains The Results Of The Researches Conducted By Dr. Ananda Guruge During The Years 1951 And 1952 In Ceylon And India Under The Guidance Of Professor O.H.De A.Wijesekera, Professor Of Sanskrit, University Of Ceylon, Peradeniya. It Was Presented To The University Of Ceylon In 1953 Under The Title Social Conditions Of Ancient India As Reflected In The Ramayana And Was Accepted For The Ph.D. Degree.Since Its Publication In Sri Lanka In 1960, It Has Been Widely Used By Scholars Throughout The World, As Demonstrated By Scholars Throughout The World, As Demonstrated By Numerous References In Monographs And Articles. Referring To The Wealth Of Data In The Ramayana Translation, Describes In 1984 Dr. Guruge S Work As The Elaborate And Useful Treatment. In 1965. It Was Translated Into Tamil, As Ramayana Samudayam Dr. Guruge Is Currently Sri Lanka S Ambassador And Permanent Delegate To Unesco In Paris, France.
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The Ramayana Is Derived Basically From Valmiki'S Sanskrit Classics. The Epic Exemplifies Righteous Outlook And Action, Devotion To Duty, Fearlessness And Compassion. The Reading Of Saga Has Been Deemed, Through The Ages, To Bestow Merit, Besides Literary Joy. The Epic Is One Of The Most Widely Read Lore In Indian Homes, And Abroad. Rama'S Story Has, Through Generations, Influenced The Quality Of Human Beings, The Poet Himself Offering The Testament Of A Supreme Transformation.
Rama, the prince of Ayodha, is exiled to the forest, but after many adventures he discovers that his wife has been abducted by Ravana, the king of demons, and Rama needs the help of Hanuman and his army of monkeys to rescue her.
The fifth and most popular book of the Ramayana of Valmiki, the Sundarakanda, recounts the adventures of the monkey hero Hanuman in leaping across the ocean to the island citadel of Lanka. Once there, he scours the city for the abducted Princess Sita. The poet vividly describes the opulence of the court of the demon king, Ravana, the beauty of his harem, the splendors of the palace gardens, and the hideous deformity of Sita`s wardresses. After witnessing Sita`s pathetic state and her stern rejection of Ravana`s blandishments, Hanuman reveals himself to the princess and restores her hope of rescue. The great monkey then wreaks havoc on the royal park and fights a series of hair-raising battles with Ravana`s generals. Permitting himself to captured by the warrior Indrajit, Hanuman is led into the presence of Ravana, whom he admonishes for his lechery. His tail is set ableze, but he escapes his bonds and, leaping from rooftop to rooftop, sets fire to the city. Taking leave of Sita, Hanuman once more leaps the ocean to rejoin his monkey companions. Returning in triumph to report the news of Sita`s discovery to Rama, the monkeys pause for an interlude of drunken revelry in the pleasure grove of the monkey king. At last, Hanuman reports on his adventures to Prince Rama. This is the fifth volume translated from the critical edition of the Valmiki Ramayana. It contains an extensive introduction, exhaustive notes, and comprehensive bibliography.
India As Described In The Mahabharat And The Ramayana.
Contributed articles presented at First International Conference On Ramayana and Mahabharata, organized by the Department of Indian Studies, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.