There is hardly an Indian in the North, be he literate or
illiterate, who has not heard of the Ramayana of Tulasidas.
Among the illiterates in the villages and the emigrants to the
cities, long passages from the Ramayana have passed down
from generation to generation through oral recitations,
individual and collective.
My acquaintance with the Ramayana started in the early
1930's when I was a young boy. Every night after dinner I
joined my mother and elder sister as a part of the family
discipline in reading the Hindi Ramayana. It was a bulky
volume in large print and large size and there was a folding
wooden frame on which it was placed while reading, both
for the sake of better readability and of proper handling of
the book. We read this enlightening book joyfully in the light
of the lantern until electricity came to our place.
The daily readings of Ramacharitamanas in those days
must have' facilitated from my subconscious the task of
selection of pieces from the great epic, and the translations
in English seen by me must have helped me in the work of
translation for which I must acknowledge thanks and also
my gratitude to the saint poet Tulasidas for his immortal gift
of the Ramayana to humanity.
What is the significance of Rama and his life-story? For
that this Foreword is followed by a page of introduction in
the words of Sri Aurobindo.
The Ramayana is in its ethical intention the parable of
an enormous conflict between the Deva in human form
and the incarnate Rakshasa, between the representative
of a high culture and Dharma and a huge unbridled
force and gigantic civilization of the exaggerated Ego.
Life-work of Rama, the Avatar
To destroy Ravana and to establish the Ramarajya -
in other words, to fix for the future the possibility of an
order proper to the sattwic civilized human being who
governs his life by the reason, the finer emotions,
morality, or at least moral ideals, such as truth,
obedience, co-operation and harmony, the sense of
domestic and public order, - to establish this in a world
still occupied by anarchic forces, the Animal mind and
the powers of the vital Ego making its own satisfaction
the rule of life, in other words, the Vanara and Rakshasa
... this is the meaning of Rama and his life-work.
Rama, Friend of All
A faithful husband and lover, a loving and obedient
son, a tender and perfect brother, father, friend - he
is friend of all kinds of people, friend of the outcast
Guha, friend of the Animal leaders, Sugriva,
Hanuman, friend of the vulture Jatayu, friend of even
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
Children’s Books (81)
Brahma Sutras (85)
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