Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Ramayana Paperback – 2000

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback, 2000
$25.00 $0.89

Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
Available from these sellers.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Review

"To say the "Ramayana is one of the great epics of India may be a misleading understatement, for it is of far greater importance to India than the Greek epics are to Western thought. The "Ramayana and the "Mahabharata make up the framework of the Hindu religious, cultural, and social imagination. . . . Buck has succeeded better than anyone else in conveying the spirit of the original."--"Choice

About the Author

William Buck died in 1970 at the age of 37 after more than 15 years of work on the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and the unfinished Harivamsa. Of the two finished books, he wrote, "My method in writing both Mahabharata and Ramayana was to begin with a literal translation from which to extract the story, and then to tell that story in an interesting way that would preserve the spirit and flavor of the original."
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 461 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520227034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520227033
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In this "retelling" of the Ramayana, Buck succeeds in shortening a lengthy epic into 432 pages. Buck's Ramayana is exciting, poetic, and inspiring, somehow maintaining the digressive narrative of the original without alienating its Western audience; Buck's version makes a good introduction to a work which has had immeasurable religious impact on various Asian cultures.
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Ramayana is an unimaginably ancient epic poem, translated here into beautiful English prose. It does not present Hindu theology-- to glimpse Hinduism's ancient essence, one must attempt to understand the more impenetrable Upanishads. Rather, Ramayana presents in a literary, or fictional, work all of the values of right conduct, or "dharma," that are essential to happiness in all the worlds. The story so remarkably resembles Homer's The Illiad that it is difficult to believe some ancient wandering poet did not export the story to the near eastern culture of ancient Greece, many centuries after it began being told amongst Indian poets. Consequently, the values of Ramayana reverberate throughout three millenia of Eastern as well as Western literature. Honoring your father, fogiveness, loyalty to wife and husband irrespective of the hardships, devotion to God, knowing God when you see him, rejection of earthly wealth, and reverence for all of nature. These are but a few of the values, dharma, that revisit the reader through one beautiful character after another. Ramayana is essential reading for any ersatz scholar or well-read mind.
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
In King Lear, a promise given by a foolish old man brings catastrophic changes to the world around him. Likewise, a foolish promise by an elderly king launches the epic Ramayana. Both stories bring forth the depth and strength of the human spirit. King Lear is a tragedy. The Ramayana is also; the author places his noble characters in harm's way to demonstrate their greatness. The Ramayana's chief purpose is to demonstrate the proper exercise of Dharma, the Hindu principle that is often loosely translated as "Law". The protagonist, Rama, his wife, Sita, his brothers and the army of animals they enlist show through their actions how life is to be spent in the service of truth.

Here's the plot (not to give away too much). Rama's father, King Dasratha promises two boons to his youngest wife Kaikeyi. Dasratha abdicates, intending to make Rama king, but Kaikeyi uses her boons on the eve of Rama's ascension to the throne, one to make her son Bharatha king in Rama's stead, the second to banish Rama for 15 years. The king wants to renege on his promises, but Rama refuses to let this happen. He leaves the kingdom willingly.

Rama, Sita and Rama's brother Lakshmana live in the jungle for 15 years, in the course of this time, Sita is kidnapped by daemons bent on destroying the world. Rama enlists the help of the bear and monkey kings to recapture her and this is the heart of the story.

Now, what makes this story is its characters and their courage. Rama will never break a promise, even when it may cost him his life. Sita and Lakshmana leave the palace for a life spent wearing the bark of trees. The animals, especially the immortal monkey, Hanuman, inspired by the love between Rama and Sita, fight ferociously against their much more powerful foes.
Read more ›
Comment 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
William Buck's Ramayana is beyond magnificent. He discovered Eastern mythology in 1955 through a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, set himself to learn Sanskrit, and devoted himself to a truly profound study of them. He captures, more than most Indian translators, the spirit of this epic, which (along with the Mahabharata) is the foundation of Indian culture. Buck truly loves the characters and the meaning of the story. He takes a few liberties with detail, but none of these changes alter his overall fidelity to the original composer's intent. He not only captures the wonder and magic of the story, but by his rendering, shows why it continues (unlike, say, the Greek myths which only educated elite in the West might concern themselves with) to enchant the population (even the illiterate) of India, and fill it with unshaken faith in the protagonist, Shri Rama. Nothing, not the Iliad or Odyssey, nor the Tolkien or Wagnerian Rings, can come close to the spiritual and mystical endurance of this tale.
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on July 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
Like Mr. Buck's other retelling - The Mahabharata - The Ramayana is a wonderfully boiled down version of a classic Indian tale. It's a great introduction. Also the illustrations are wonderful in the California Press reprints. I love Hanuman particularly as he is drawn most delicately.
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I was enthralled with this story years ago and continue to be. This condensed translation I think is excellent because it allows those who don't want to read an exhaustively long original version to experience this masterpiece of mythology. As an influencial piece in Hindu culture, understanding this writing is crucial for understanding human nature.

But I am appalled by the writer from October 2003 who ignorantly trashes the Ramayana and in doing so the whole Hindu culture. Sure there are parts of the Hindu culture that are hard to understand--but must I point out the Christianity is not the easiest to understand? A culture that promotes peace and loving thy brother only if they are Christian--if not kill them--is not one I find any easier to understand than culture that promotes turning away from a raped woman.

Oh, and let's not forget the Crusades. Christianity is chock-full of war, rape, and killing--it is called the Old Testament.

Importantly, if some readers are constantly turning their mind to their own lives while reading a delicious piece of historical art such as the Ramayana, maybe they should open their minds, realize that these were tales told to teach and build morals (like don't rape women or bad things will happen), and try to learn from other cultures--not to criticize everything your close mind cannot comprehend.

So, pick up a copy of this classic for a cultural experience that you'll be thinking about long after you have finished it.
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?