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TELUGU

Epic in translation

PAPPU VENUGOPALA RAO

VYASAKRUTA ADHYATMA RAMAYANAM: Translation by Goteti Srirama Rao; Ramaraj Publications, 64, Thambaiah Reddy Street, West Mabalam, Chennai-600033. Rs. 120.

THE RAMAYANA represents the cultural ethos of the Indian subcontinent. The story of Rama has travelled beyond the Indian shores and the ones in vogue in countries such as Indonesia and Cambodia had their own variations. Even in India, there are different versions of the epic. Besides the Valmiki Ramayana (hailed as the Aadi Kaavya) and the ones in regional languages based on it, there are Adhyatma Ramayana, Ananda Ramayana, Vasista Ramayana and so on.

Tradition ascribes the authorship of Adhyatma Ramayana to Veda Vyasa, since it is an integral part of the Brahmanda Purana. This work in Sanskrit, which has more than 4,000 verses, presents the story as told by Siva to Parvati. In fact, Tulsidas' Ramacharita Manas is based on it. If the style of narration sounds more puranic, with Siva responding to Parvati's questions, there is a greater accent on philosophy of the Advaita school and on Bhakti.

Noted writer, Goteti Rama Rao has translated all the seven cantos with remarkable commitment and devotion. Off and on, he has cited verses from the Bhagavata Purana and these quotations have served to enrich the quality of his work.

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