The sixth book of the Ramayana of Valmiki, the Yuddhakanda, recounts the final dramatic war between the forces of good led by the exiled prince Rama, and the forces of evil commanded by the arch demon Ravana. The hero Rama's primary purpose in the battle is to rescue the abducted princess Sita and destroy the demon king. However, the confrontation also marks the turning point for the divine mission of the Ramavatara, the incarnation of Lord Visnu as a human prince, who will restore righteousness to a world on the brink of chaos. The book ends with the gods' revelation to Rama of his true divine nature, his emotional reunion with his beloved wife, his long-delayed consecration as king of Kosala, and his restoration of a utopian age. The Yuddhakanda contains some of the most extraordinary events and larger-than-life characters to be found anywhere in world literature.
This sixth volume in the critical edition and translation of the Valmiki Ramayana includes an extensive introduction, exhaustive notes, and a comprehensive bibliography.
Robert P. Goldman is professor of Sanskrit and Indian studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and general editor of the Ramayana Translation Project. Sally J. Sutherland Goldman is lecturer in Sanskrit at the University of California, Berkeley, and associate editor of the Ramayana Translation Project. Barend A. van Nooten is professor emeritus of Sanskrit at the University of California, Berkeley.
"An 118-page scholarly introduction and 1,161 octavo pages of back-matter annotations, bibliography, glossary, and index support, but don't intrude upon, the body of the text. The introduction takes up matters of meaning, theme and character, style and structure, commentary and translation. There's even a discussion of Yuddhakdikanda's cinematic qualities. The extensive annotation considers variant passages. It clarifies such details as the identity of beings, weapons, and creatures that retain then Sanskrit names in the translation."--Laurance Wieder, Books & Culture
"[I]t is safe to say that this volume will stand for a very long time as the epitome of studies on the Yuddhakanda, indeed of the Ramayana itself."--Frederick M. Smith, Religious Studies Review
"The translation admirably succeeds in pursuing its 'twin goals of accuracy and readability.' . . . The volume opens up the epic battle book to new readers and gives them the closest thing they could get to what the original taste and texture of the text must have been, without making it inaccessible. To my mind, this is a remarkable achievement. Specialists will find in the annotations an endless mine of valuable information that will quickly become the foundation of any further research on the Yuddhakanda, and the rich and extremely useful index will facilitate access to this book. . . . A person's education cannot be complete until he or she reads how Rama kills Ravana, as vividly told in this volume."--Yigal Bronner, European Legacy
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