The Ramayana, Index

A scene From the Ramayana

A scene From the Ramayana, Rama with his brother and an army of monkeys and generals

Translated by Romesh C. Dutt

In condensing the Ramayana with its more than 24,000 Sanscrit couplets into 2,000 English couplets I have followed the same plan which was adopted in my translation of the Maha-Bharata. I have selected those sections or cantos which tell the leading incidents of the Epic, and have translated the whole or main portions of them, and these selected passages are linked together by short notes. The plan, as was explained before, has this advantage, that the story is told not by the translator in his own way, but by the poet himself the passages placed before the reader are not the translator's abridgment of a long poem, but selected passages from the poem itself. It is the ancient poet of India, and not the translator, who narrates the old story; but he narrates only such portions of it as describe the leading incidents. We are told that the sons of Rama recited the whole poem of 24,000 verses, divided into 500 cantos or sections, in twenty-five days. The modern reader has not the patience of the Hindu listener of the old school; but a selection of the leading portions of that immortal song, arranged in 2,000 verses and in 84 short sections, may possibly receive a hearing, even from the much-distracted modern reader. Romesh C. Dutt

Suggestions for Further Reading

Source: The Ramayana And The Mahabharata Condensed Into English Verse By Romesh C. Dutt (1899) Dedicated To The Right Hon. Professor F. Max M ller.

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