Daljit Nagra was captivated by the versions his grandparents regaled him with as a child. Now an award-winning poet of dazzling gifts, he has chosen to bring the story to life in a vivid and enthralling version of his own. Accessible and engaging, and bursting with energy, Nagra's Ramayana is a distillation and an animation for readers of all ages, whether familiar with or entirely new to this remarkable tale.
Ravana, the ten-headed king of the Rakshasas, and his brothers had acquired extraordinary powers from the gods. Instead of using those powers for good, they had begun to practice tyranny and evil, suppressing virtue and goodness wherever they found it.
If something wasn’t done soon, the evil ones would destroy the worlds and make everyone slaves. They tell Vishnu that the two gods that granted Ravana and his brothers their power cannot withdraw it.
But Vishnu has a plan: Ravana can be killed by a human or animal because he never asked for protection from them, so he incarnates as the four sons of Dasaratha to destroy Ravana and all those who help him
Meanwhile, Vishnu’s wife, Lakshmi, also incarnates into human form, but the two gods will need to overcome many obstacles to discover each other on earth. Even if they do, they’ll need to use all the tools at their disposal to defeat the evil ones and save the world.
• Draws on the original Sanskrit poem of Valmiki, enhanced with tales from the oral tradition, to recount Rama’s complete life
• Details how Lord Rama rose above his human weaknesses, put his spiritual duty above all personal considerations, and perfected himself to become a super human capable of saving those he loved most
• Reveals the deepest spiritual lesson of the Ramayama: that however weak we may be, each of us is capable of amazing feats through devotion, loyalty, perseverance, and love
Drawing on the original Sanskrit words of the great poet Valmiki, enhanced with tales from the oral tradition, Vanamali retells the complete Ramayana, the ancient Indian tale of love, duty, and sacrifice, for a modern audience. Detailing the life and dharma of the seventh incarnation of Vishnu, Lord Ramachandra, she explains how Rama became divine through strict adherence to dharma, the law of cosmic righteousness. Considered one of the greatest love stories of all time, the Ramayana most famously recounts Rama’s heroic journey, with the help of his loyal friend the monkey god Hanuman and his devoted brother Lakshmana, to rescue his beloved wife Sita from the demon king Ravana. Rama’s battle with the forces of evil provides powerful examples of heroic strength and loyalty, the dangers of spiritual delusion and false attachment, and the power of love, both human and divine.
Capturing the mystical spirit and transcendental wisdom of this immortal story, Vanamali explains how the character of Rama has captivated devotees through the millennia because his story depicts eternal truths that appeal to the best in human nature. She reveals how even though Rama is an avatar of Vishnu, he still possesses many human weaknesses, such as attachments, desires, and anger. His greatness lies in the fact that he rose above these traits, put his spiritual duty above all personal considerations, and perfected himself to become a super human capable of saving those he loved most. Rama’s life shows that however weak we may be, each of us is capable of amazing feats through devotion, loyalty, perseverance, and love.
• Contains 36 of the most important Hanuman stories with commentary on spiritual lessons, yogic practices, and Vedic astrology
• Reveals how Hanuman symbolizes the human mind and the highest potential it can achieve
• Explains how Hanuman has the ability to bestow strength and devotion
Best known for his role in the Ramayana, Hanuman’s playful nature, amazing physical powers, and selfless devotion to Lord Rama have made him one of the most beloved gods in the Hindu pantheon. As a monkey, he symbolizes the ever-restless human mind. He teaches us that, though everyone is born an animal, anyone can attain the heights of spiritual evolution through perseverance and ardent discipline. Having perfected his mind through bhakti (selfless devotion) to obtain his powers, Hanuman embodies the highest potential we can achieve.
In this book, Vanamali recounts 36 legendary Hanuman stories--from his birth to his adventures in the Ramayana--and reveals the spiritual lessons, yogic practices, and Vedic astrology aspects they contain. Vanamali shows how Hanuman has the ability to bestow selfless devotion and strength to his devotees and that following his example is the surest path to attracting the blessing of Rama.
Here is one of the world's most hallowed works of sacred literature, the grand, sweeping epic of the divine bowman and warrior Rama and his struggles with evil, power, duplicity, and avarice. The Ramayana is one of the foundations of world literature and one of humanity's most ancient and treasured ethical and spiritual works. Includes an introduction by scholar Michael Sternfeld.
From the Trade Paperback edition.