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Dharma in Action Valmiki's Vision: Sanskrit Academy Granthamala- 134

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Item Code: HAT650
Author: Suraparaju Ramadevi
Publisher: Sanskrit Academy, Osmania University
Language: Sanskrit and English
Edition: 2023
ISBN: 9789380171937
Pages: 221
Other Details 8.5x5.5 inch
Weight 280 gm
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Book Description


The Greatness of Valmiki Ramayana

The Ramayana of Valmiki is called the Adi kavya and the emphasis has been on 'kavya' as much, if not more than, as it is on Adi. It has been the source and treasure house of all Indian literature. The gem of Sanskrit literature, Mahakavi Kalidasa, humbly confessed that he was but a dwarf compared to Valmiki. There is humility in his confession but there is also perfect truth. And his is a justifiable confession. Any poet, including the best, is but a dwarf in comparison with the creator of this epic poem. Theorists of literature, down from Anandavardhana, have based their theory of poetry on and formulated the principles of poetics from the Adi kavya. It remains the guiding star, itself unreachable but always helping one not to lose one's way in the wilderness of literary output. Valmiki Ramayana is not only a kavya par excellence but a holy text of unmatched reputation. We know that the work has been considered for ages as a spiritual text that could deliver a person from the bonds of sin Statements like these stand out as testimony if testimony is called for that the Ramayana of Valmiki has been considered as the religious text, not merely the first but the foremost, that has been worshiped by millions of people not only in India but all over the world.


As lasting as the hills and rivers:

Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, assured Valmiki, the creator of the poetic universe, namely the Ramayana, that his work would be as lasting as the hills and rivers.

What he meant was that the message of the Ramayana would be as solid as the rocks and as fluid as the flow, down the ages, of the river waters. This assurance was well founded on the indubitable merits of Valmiki's work: the brilliance of its poetry, before which the best of world's poetry pales, its structural solidity, its enduring moral influence, its everlasting religious inspiration and its abiding spiritual sustenance. Rama as a religious figure, has a rival in Krishna, who seems to claim sometimes a greater share of the people's admiration and adoration. But the VR has had no competitor. Its sway on the minds of millions continues through the ages.

However, it is necessary to examine what kind of sway it continues to have. It is also necessary not to ignore the fact that the VR is being criticized today by large sections of people as outdated and irrelevant. Lord Brahma's assurance seems to have expired. No wonder, since "hills and rivers" are no longer inviolable, and are no longer symbols of solidity or of fertility. Hills are being denuded and destroyed and rivers are damned and polluted. Lord Brahma anticipated this threat to the hills and the rivers. His anticipation is implicit in his corollary assurance to Valmiki. The verse... is widely quoted and quite well known. The verse immediately following it is not so often referred to. In that verse, Lord Brahma grants residential rights to the author in any of the world's of his creation, including the earth, "as long as" his work remains popular. The lord in his expression "as long as" was clearly anticipating times when there would be an assault on Nature and on the holistic message of the VR the message based on the realization of the essential oneness of "all existence", the message of "Man one with Nature" as against "Man versus Nature".

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