Rama, the crown prince of the City of Ayodhya, is a model son and warrior. He is sent by his father the king to rescue a sage from persecution by demons, but must first kill a fearsome ogress. That done, he drives out the demons, restores peace, and attends a tournament in the neighboring city of Mithila; here he bends the bow that no other warrior can handle, winning the prize and the hand of Sita, the princess of Mithila.
Valmiki's Ramayana is one of the two great national epics of India, the source revered throughout South Asia as the original account of the career of Rama, ideal man and incarnation of the great god Vishnu. The first book, "Boyhood," introduces the young hero Rama and sets the scene for the adventures ahead. It begins with a fascinating excursus on the origins and function of poetry itself.
Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC Foundation
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