Advertisement
Sunday, Sep 26, 2021
Outlook.com

One Man’s Many Lives In A God-Like Unknowing

Rama is shadowed by many deviations from the Valmiki Ramayana. This book reclaims his complex humanity.

One Man’s Many Lives In A God-Like Unknowing
One Man’s Many Lives In A God-Like Unknowing
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

What new insights into Rama’s actions and thoughts do we gain if we forget, as he himself forgot most of the time, that he is a god? This is the fruitful premise of Arshia Sattar’s profound and wise new book. She brings out important aspects of the Valmiki Ramayana that others have managed to overlook, partly because they have been blinkered by the heavily censored reading of the Ramayana that contemporary political factions broadcast everywhere. Sattar is steeped in the Ramayana (hers is by far the best single-volume English translation) and has the gift of noticing things that the rest of us tend to miss.

The great value that Hindus place on the most ancient, “original” texts has given Valmiki’s Sanskrit Ramayana a special status. When citing a particular detail of the story, people will say, “It’s in Valmiki”. Yet, since not everyone in India reads Sanskrit, other versions of the Ramayana are the ones that most people in India actually know—Tulsidas’s 16th century Awadhi...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

7 New Faces Likely In Punjab Cabinet; 5 Amarinder Singh Loyalists May Face Axe

7 New Faces Likely In Punjab Cabinet; 5 Amarinder Singh Loyalists May Face Axe

The new Punjab cabinet comprising 15 ministers will take oath on Sunday, the state’s Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi announced after having deliberations with the party high command.

Quad Not A Military Alliance, But Will Challenge China's Outreach In Indo-Pacific

Quad Not A Military Alliance, But Will Challenge China's Outreach In Indo-Pacific

Quad is to checkmate China’s growing profile as a nation giving humanitarian aid to nations across Asia and Pacific, and it wants to challenge China’s soft power bid in the region.

IPL 2021: Holder Heroics Not Enough For Sunrisers Hyderabad

IPL 2021: Holder Heroics Not Enough For Sunrisers Hyderabad

Holder took three wickets then scored an unbeaten 47 but still ended up on the losing side.

Police Reforms In India Are Long Overdue But No Government Has Made It A Priority

Police Reforms In India Are Long Overdue But No Government Has Made It A Priority

Several commissions were appointed from time to time at the state and central levels for reforms in the police, but their core recommendations were never accepted.

Advertisement