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The Rama Story Origins and Growth

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Item Code: HAR420
Author: Camille Bulcke
Language: English
Edition: 2022
ISBN: 9789355481108
Pages: 1033
Other Details 8.5x5.5 inch
Weight 1.42 kg
Book Description
About the Book

The Rama Story: Origins and Growth (the Hindi original is Ramakathā: Utpatti aur Vikās) is a comprehensive study of all variations on the story of Rama in Indian languages and abroad. It is unique in the meticulous documentation of details regarding each character and every episode in the Ramayana along with analysis and discussion of its different recensions and all the interpolations, bringing to the fore facts that most people-the common reader as well as the learned scholar-are unaware of, particularly those not knowing Hindi.

About the Author

Padma Bhushan Camille Bulcke SJ (1909-1982) was a Belgian Jesuit priest who became an Indian citizen and for 29 years was head of the Department of Hindi and Sanskrit in the St. Xavier's College, Ranchi. A polyglot proficient in English, French, Flemish, Irish, German, Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, Prakrit and Apabhramśa, he was a member of the Bihar Rashtrabhasha Parishad from 1950 and of the Kendriya Hindi Samiti since 1970. In 1949 he was awarded D.Phil. by the Allahabad University for his thesis, "Ramakathā: Utpatti aur Vikās" and the Padma Bhushan in 1974 by the Government of India.


Indeed, like ancient India, medieval Europe has advanced in the area of seeking after knowledge. European scholars have constantly striven to reveal knowledge and the mysteries of science. The field of their enquiry has not remained limited to Europe. Rather, their vision has fallen upon all parts of the world. The author of this important book, Father Bulcke, can be placed by us in the group of these knowledge-seeking European researchers. For understanding the Indian way of thought, he studied Sanskrit and Hindi language and literature with total dedication. From Prayag University, after passing the M.A. (Hindi) examination, he selected for D.Phil. the subject with the title, "The Rama Story's Development". The instant book is that thesis of his for which he received the title of D.Phil. from Prayag University.

How much labour the worthy author has put into preparing this book can be understood only by studying this work. He has not left out any material at all having a link with the Rama Story. The book is divided into four parts. The first part contains discussion of ancient Rama Story literature. In its five chapters, material related to Vedic literature and the Rama Story, the Ramayana composed by Välmīki, the Rama- Story in the Mahabharata, the Buddhist Rama-Story and the Jain Rama-Story has been examined fully. The second part is concerned with the origin of the Rama-Story and in its four chapters the problem of the Daśaratha Jataka, the views of scholars about the original stream of the Rama-Story, the chief interpolations in the popular Valmiki Ramayana and the initial development of the Rama-Story have been deliberated upon.


In the literature of India and its neighbouring countries the unrivalled spread of the Rama Story is an extremely important fact in the literary history of Asia. Study of this Rama Story can be undertaken from many points of view. The instant essay has tried to sketch the outline of its origin and the development of the material of its story. From the viewpoint of this limited outlook, formulation and analysis of ancient and medieval Rama-Story-literature has been done in the first and third parts respectively.

Regarding the origin of the Rama Story and its original stream many erroneous ideas have been prevalent in learned circles. Their description and demolition is the subject of the second part. Although in this part of the essay there is no propounding of any entirely new conclusion, but all published material related to the subject under discussion had been classified originally and clarified.

In the fourth part according to the chronology of the narrative material of the Valmiki Ramayana, the development of the different parts of the story has been described separately. For this a comparative study was necessary of the ancient and the medieval Rama-Story-literature delineated in the first and third parts. This literature is extremely wide-ranging and this type of comparative study is perhaps entirely original. Therefore, errors are bound to persist here. For these, I humbly beg forgiveness from the learned.

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