Arshia Sattar translates the Sage Valmiki’s epic story of the Prince Rama and his war with the Lord of Lanka in this new retelling of the Sanskrit epic, The Ramayana.
Summary of the Book
Long ago, the Kingdom of Ayodhya was ruled by a wise and just king, Dasharatha. He had three wives, the wise Kausalya, the patient Sumitra and the beautiful Kaikeyi. After a long and devout rite to invoke the God of Fire, Agni, for progeny, Dasharatha’s wives bore him four young and mighty sons: Rama, Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrughna. Of all his sons, Dasharatha loved Rama the most and so did the entire kingdom. When Rama came of age, Dasharatha naturally wanted to make him his heir and bestow the responsibility of the throne to him. However, dark forces were already in play in the background, aiming to take Rama’s heritage from him. The Divine Sage Vishvamitra appears in Ayodhya, and asks Dasharatha for a boon. Bound by Dharma, Dasharatha acquiesces, not realizing that Vishvamitra’s boon could cost him his most beloved son. This new retelling captures the magic and the immortal message of the Ramayana for a new generation.
Valmiki is a legendary sage and poet from Hindu mythology. Parts of the Ramayana speak of his beginnings as a highway robber named Ratnakar, who used to rob people after killing them. Legends speak of his attempt to rob the Sage Narada to feed his family. Narada asks him if his family would share in his sin, and Ratnakar assumes so. When he returns home to ask his family, he is shocked to discover that they want no share of his sins. He returns to Narada and seeks his forgiveness. Narada teaches Ratnakar an incantation for salvation, and asks him to meditate on the word “mara”. The former brigand meditates in one spot for many years, allowing an ant-hill to grow around him. When he awoke from his trance, he had become Valmiki, “one who is born out of ant-hills”.
About Arshia Sattar
Arshia Sattar is an Indian translator, author, facilitator and director. She completed her doctoral degree at the University of Chicago, studying South Asian Languages and Civilizations. She has also translated Somadeva’s Tales from the Kathasaritsagara into English.
Certified Buyer, Bengaluru
Wanted original transcript - disappointed
Certified Buyer, Trivandrum
Great story not so nice book
Certified Buyer, New Delhi
Good quality product
Certified Buyer, Bangalore