Week 5

During this week, you will experience the Ramayana again, this time in a one-week version. This is so that you can review the plot and main characters, and it is also so that you can see how the Ramayana has been told in very different ways by very different storytellers in different times and places for their different audiences.

[If you did not finish the A-B-C-D parts of your first version of the Ramayana yet, then you can use the reading assignments this week to complete that version.]

Here are the different options:


Sita Sings the Blues: This animated film by Nina Paley is an incredibly creative retelling of the ancient epic in terms of modern themes; I've written up a detailed guide to help you navigate the film, and here is some more information about Nina Paley.


Divine Archer, by F. J. Gould. One of the online books you can read this week is Gould's retelling of the Ramayana, which is based on the Sanskrit version of Valmiki and also the Hindi version by Tulsidas. There is a detailed Reading Guide for this book, so it's a good choice if you enjoyed using the notes and links for the readings over the past two weeks.

Ramayana by Sister Nivedita. Another one of the online books you can read is Sister Nivedita's retelling of the Ramayana from her book Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists. Sister Nivedita is a key figure in Indian-European cultural relations; you can read more about her here: Sister Nivedita.

Sita, Promila, Shakuntala by Sunity Devee. This is another one of the online books you can read; it tells the story of two Ramayana heroines — Sita and also Promila (Indrajit's wife) — plus the story of another famous Indian heroine, Shakuntala. These three stories come from Sunity Devee's book Nine Ideal Indian Women; you can read more about the author here: Sunity Devee. If you like this book, maybe you will want to read about the other women later on in the semester! For this week, just read the chapters on Sita, Promila, and Shakuntala.

For additional free online book options, see the pages for Richard Wilson's Rama's Quest (part of his Indian Heroes book), W. D. Monro's Rama and Sita (part of his Indian Gods and Heroes book), and Geraldine Hodgson's Rama and the Monkeys.


Ramayana graphic novels. These books are available for check-out at the Bizzell Reserve desk, and you'd probably want to plan on doing both Reading Diary posts at the same time during the 3-hour check-out period to make sure you are able to finish the book before returning it to the Reserve Desk. There graphic novels about Ravana, about Hanuman, and about Sita.

Ramayana comic books. For a week of reading, you would choose TWO comic books: one comic book for Reading Diary A and another comic book for Reading Diary B. Some of the comic books review the main events of the epic as you know them already, while others include backstories and legends that will be new to you! Here is a random comic book; click the title link to learn more about each comic book:

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