The Ramayana of the great sage Valmiki is an authorized presentation of Vedic knowledge. In fact, as we learn from the scriptures, it is an authentic summary of the original Ramayana composed by Lord Brahma. In this regard, Srila Madhvacarya, commenting on the aphorism drsyate to (Vedanta-sutra 2.1.6), quotes the Bhavisya Purana as follows:
rg-yajuh-samatharvas ca bharatam pancaratrakam
mula-ramayanam caiva veda ity eva sabditah
puranani ca yaniha vaisnavani vido viduh
svatah-pramanyam etesam natra kincid vicaryate
"The Rg Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda, Mahabharata, Pancaratra and original Ramayana are all considered Vedic literature. The Puranas that are especially meant for Vaisnavas (such as the Brahma-vaivarta Purana, Naradiya Purana, Visnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana) are also Vedic literature. Therefore, whatever is stated in such Puranas or in the Mahabharata and Ramayana is self-evident. There is no need for interpretation.”
The cardinal teachings of Sri Ramayana can be summarized thus:
(a) Lord Rama is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, nondifferent from Lord Visnu [who is Himself nondifferent from Lord Krsna], the eternal master of the living entities,
(b) one should surrender unto Him fully by:
(1) accepting things favorable for discharging devotional service unto Him,
(2) rejecting things unfavorable,
(3) firmly believing that the Lord will always protect His devotee,
(4) feeling exclusively dependent on the mercy of the Lord,
(5) having no interest separate from the interest of the Lord, and
(6) always feeling meek and humble.
In the Ramayana, like in the Bhagavad-gita, the Lord demands that one surrender unto Him by following these six guidelines and promises to liberate him from the miserable cycle of birth and rebirth. And at the end of the Ramayana, He even demonstrates that He fulfils His promise by publicly delivering His fully surrendered devotees residing in Ayodhya from the cycle of birth and rebirth. This is the central teaching of the Ramayana, as it has been understood in all of the authentic Vaisnava-sampradayas, and as it has been clarified in the Bhagavad-gita by the Lord Himself. This edition of Valmiki Ramayana aims at bringing out this central teaching of the Ramayana so that its readers can fully surrender unto the lotus feet of the Lord and attain an everlasting life of knowledge and bliss in pure devotional service to Him in the spiritual world.
Those who have read the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada would be most benefitted by this edition. And we strongly recommend those who haven't read his books to go ahead and read them, along with their reading of this immortal Ramayana, to better appreciate and understand its spiritual significance.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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