The Ramayana of Valmiki

The Ramayana of Valmiki
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Translated by Makhan Lal Sen, 611 pages, Hard Cover.

Valmiki's Ramayana is something more than an epic. No one has built shrines in honor of Homer's heroes, to worship them as God. In contrast, from the time of its composition to this day, Valmiki's hero never lacked devotees. The reason for this strange phenomenon lies in this: in the Greek epics the cause is ambition, and the effect is the valor of its heroes; in the Ramayana the cause is the moral welfare of society and the effect is the ideal conduct of its heroes under the most trying circumstances that destiny can weave. Rama is a personification of all that is expected of an ideal son, ideal brother, ideal husband, ideal prince, ideal ally, ideal commander, and an ideal king.