Thursday, October 18, 2001

Overview: Rajagopalachari. Ramayana

Title: Ramayana
Author: Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari
Year: 1957

The author Rajagopalachari speaking with Gandhi, 1944;
Gandhi had enormous respect for Rajagopalachari,
and referred to him as "keeper of my conscience."

Comments: This is one of the most popular English-language versions of the Ramayana in India, and Rajagopalachari was one of the most important figures in the Indian Independence movement. You can read more about Rajagopalachari's extraordinary life and accomplishments at Wikipedia.

Length: The book is 440 pages long, and it is divided into four parts, A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H. Together, these eight parts are four weeks of reading. Because you already know the plot of the Ramayana, you can zoom in on the parts that are most interesting to you, or you can read the whole thing. So, that means you can read this book for one OR two OR three OR four weeks; it's up to you. If you want to do just a half-reading option, reading only one part for the week, that is fine too! You can also use this book for the extra credit reading option, choosing to read just one part for extra credit. You can see from the section titles below just what episodes of the story are included in each part.

Location. There are two Amazon Kindle editions: one is a very low-cost $1.50 edition, and the other is a $5.99 edition. The epic text is the same for both, but the more expensive version has a better layout and it also hs useful notes for each chapter.

Reading Part A:
The Conception
Sage Viswamitra
Rama Leaves Home
Rama Slays The Monsters
Bhagiratha and The Story of Ganga
Rama Wins Sita’s Hand
Parasurama’s Discomfiture
Festive Preparations

Reading Part B:
Manthara’s Evil Counsel
Kaikeyi Succumbs
Wife or Demon
Behold a Wonder
Storm and Calm
Sita’s Resolve
To The Forest
Alone by Themselves

Reading Part C:
A Mother’s Grief
Idle Sport and Terrible Result
Last Moments
Bharata Arrives
Intrigue Wasted
Bharata Suspected
The Brothers Meet
Bharata Becomes Rama’s Deputy

Reading Part D:
Viradha’s End
Ten Years Pass
The Surpanakha Episode
Kamban’s Surpanakha
Khara and His Army Liquidated
The Path of Ruin
The Golden Stag
The Good Bird Jatayu

Reading Part E:
Closely Guarded
Rama Disconsolate
A Second Father Dies
Left Eyelids Throb
He Sees Her Jewels
Sugriva’s Doubts Cleared
The Slaying of Vali
Tara’s Grief
Anger and Reconciliation

Reading Part F:
The Search Begins
Son of Vayu
The Search in Lanka
Sita in The Asoka Park
Ravana’s Solicitation
First Among The Astute
Sita Comforted
Sita and Hanuman
Inviting Battle
The Terrible Envoy

Reading Part G:
Hanuman Bound
Lanka in Flames
A Carnival
The Tidings Conveyed
The Army Moves Forward
Anxiety in Lanka
Ravana Calls a Council Again
The Vanara’s Doubt
Doctrine of Surrender and Grace
The Great Causeway

Reading Part H:
The Battle Begins
Sita’s Joy
Serpent Darts
Ravana’s Defeat
The Giant is Roused
Is This Narayana Himself
The Death of Indrajit
End of Ravana
The End

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