MOBI Romesh Chunder Dutt Í MOBI The Ramayana and the Mahabharata Condensed into English Í

Like ancient Greece India claims two great epics the Ramayana recounting the adventures of a banished prince who wanders for years in the wilderness of southern India bears a resemblance to the Odyssey; the Mahabharata based on the legends surrounding a war in which all the warlike races of Northern India took part is the country's Iliad Together the two represent the epic literature of the ancient Hindus offering latter day readers the most realistic image of the civilization and culture of India 3000 years ago — its political and social life as well as its religion and philosophyThe Ramayana portrays domestic and religious life with vignettes of tenderness endurance and devotion The Mahabharata depicts the political climate of ancient India with tales of valor and heroism ambition and chivalry This condensed version of these extremely long tales features selection from cantos that convey the leading incidents of the epic linking them with short notes Readers seeking a practical knowledge of these magnificent works within a reasonable compass can do no better than this convenient and poetic translation

10 thoughts on “The Ramayana and the Mahabharata Condensed into English Verse

  1. says:

    The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are the Indian euivalents of the Iliad and the Odyssey — only far important and as presented by Romesh C Dutt far impressive Dutt captures a beauty to Indian culture and with the flowing couplets the reader is drawn from start through to finish without wanting to set it downThe Ramayana is a enjoyable read having only been condensed from 24000 couplets to 2000 and as the translator says in the epilogue the Ramayana demonstrates the domestic culture of Ancient India Meanwhile the Mahabharata which is condensed from over 90000 to 2000 loses some of its momentum but nevertheless makes for a most enjoyable read representing the pride and wartime wisdom of Ancient IndiaA classic presented in an infallible translation

  2. says:

    It's tough with modern reading tastes to get into a suitable frame of mind for ancient literature from a far distant culture The problem is compounded because the oldest texts of such literature are far younger than their origins filled with edits interpolations addenda and other violations of the original text that often represent the values and interests of those later dates Romesh Dutt an Indian scholar and official of the British occupation born in India and probably one of the best placed people to bridge the gap between Britain and India took upon himself the difficult task of translating the two great epics of ancient India into a form that would be acceptable to modern British readers modern being at the time 1900 and true as possible to the original What he has done therefore is to provide a verse translation of selections from each epic that convey either the main plot of the epic or a view of the culture of the period This reuired cutting out long redundant passages and side stories to get a version about 13 the length of the original text that still provides a complete story Dutt has also selected a verse form consisting of rhyming couplets in 16 syllable lines This effort is certainly worthy of praise since it probably gives a reader in English the closest approximation in style and syntax to the original poems What holds me back from a higher rated review are two things First Dutt is a merely adeuate versifier There may be some fault of this in the original but wherever the fault lies it still makes some of the reading a little tedious In his translation of the Mahabharata for example hardly a page goes by without a couplet rhyming car and war Second as is typical with much ancient literature large portions of the story are given to grand long speeches and descriptions of every major character as peerless perfect matchless superb and nothing less than the best Such passages especially in the Ramayana got a bit tedious for me These are matters of my enjoyment of the reading It is not to take anything away from great service that Dutt has done for the English reader and scholar in providing translations that are probably the closest to the experience of reading the originals in the original Sanskrit

  3. says:

    Prof Dutt did this Epic justice One of the better translated verses of the Bharata As enjoyable to read as Fagle's translation of the Illiad if not

  4. says:

    Giving this 4 stars for the Ramayana portion I couldn't finish the Mahabharata