Reddit Reddit reviews The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic (Penguin Classics)

We found 4 Reddit comments about The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic (Penguin Classics). Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic (Penguin Classics)
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4 Reddit comments about The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic (Penguin Classics):

u/deathofthevirgin · 30 pointsr/berkeley

This is the most famous Hindu epic, every Indian child knows it and most of the (PG parts, anyway) story. Very exciting story.

One of the core ideas, to me, is that everyone, including the most supreme gods, have their fatal flaws and personality weaknesses, and even the evilest demons have their good sides. Another one is that often in life there is no clear moral choice, and making the right choice seems impossible, even to a god, which brings up the question of what it means to be a moral person at all.

Featuring:

  • a jealous queen that gets the king-to-be, Rama, exiled from his city (turns out: Rama is the incarnation of one of the 3 supreme gods Vishnu), so her own son would be crowned king

  • a demon disgusing himself as a deer in an incredibly clever plot to kidnap Sita, Rama's wife

  • the demon Ravana taking Sita to his island kingdom fortress of Lanka (Sri Lanka)

  • how does Rama cross? He gets his army of monkeys to build a bridge of stones all the way from India to Lanka

  • an incredible and lengthy battle between Rama and Ravana, including Ravana's brother Kumbakarna, who only wakes up every 3 months and then eats everything in sight, and Hanuman, a monkey god (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanuman), lifting an entire mountain on his back all the way to the battleground because he couldn't find the herb he needed

  • Rama crowned king but the people of his city think his wife is impure (since Ravana kidnapped her), so by public opinion Rama is forced to exile his own wife. (being a good governor vs being a good person question here, Rama knew Sita was pure)

    Leaving out a ton of exciting details. Any translation should be fine [although Goldman's one is sure to be interesting!] (https://www.amazon.com/Ramayana-Shortened-Version-Penguin-Classics/dp/0143039679), but I do like illustrated versions (https://www.amazon.com/Illustrated-Ramayana-Children-India-Epic/dp/8184682425) as well.

    If you're looking for a story with more philosophical questions about good vs. evil, morality, and justice, check out the Mahabharata, an even more epic tale. At one point the "good guys" gamble away their wife during a dice game. This is where the famous Bhagvad Gita comes from, which is where Krishna and Arjuna talk about the justness of war.
u/faithfully · 2 pointsr/books

you can start by reading two of hinduim's epic tales - mahabharata and ramayana. the stories are LONG. RK Narayan has a concise version of it - Mahabharata and Ramayana.

for a fuller version, try ashok banker's series of ramayana.

u/rhubharb · 2 pointsr/books

For the ramayana I would recommend Narayan's translation.
Keep in mind it is a condensed version, so I don't know if that is a positive or negative for you.

I really would advise reading fully both of the introductions, which give some sense of the history of the different versions/translations of the Ramayana and how it has evolved from its origins as an oral story (as well as the reasoning behind some of Narayan's decisions about how to tell the story).