The seventh and final book of the monumental R?m?ya?a of V?lm?ki, the Uttarak???a, brings the epic saga to a close with an account of the dramatic events of King R?ma's millennia-long reign. It opens with a colorful history of the demonic race of the r?k?asas and the violent career of R?ma's villainous foe R?va?a, and later recounts R?ma's grateful discharge of his allies in the great war at Lank? as well as his romantic reunion with his wife S?t?. But dark clouds gather as R?ma, confronted by scandal over S?t?'s time in captivity under the lustful R?va?a, makes the agonizing decision to banish his beloved wife, now pregnant. As R?ma continues as king, marvelous tales and events unfurl, illustrating the benefits of righteous rule and the perils that await monarchs who fail to address the needs of their subjects.
The Uttarak???a has long served as a point of social and religious controversy largely for its accounts of the banishment of S?t?, as well as of R?ma's killing of a low-caste ascetic. The translators' introduction provides a full discussion of these issues and the complex reception history of the Uttarak???a. This translation of the critical edition also includes exhaustive notes and a comprehensive bibliography.
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Robert P. Goldman is the William and Catherine Magistretti Distinguished Professor of Sanskrit and Indian studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and general editor of the R?m?ya?a Translation Project. Sally J. Sutherland Goldman is senior lecturer in Sanskrit at the University of California, Berkeley, and associate editor of the R?m?ya?a Translation Project.Review:
Winner of the 2017 World Sanskrit Award, Indian Council for Cultural Relations
"An 118-page scholarly introduction and 1,161 octavo pages of back-matter annotations, bibliography, glossary, and index support, but don't intrude upon, the body of the text. The introduction takes up matters of meaning, theme and character, style and structure, commentary and translation. There's even a discussion of Yuddhakdikanda's cinematic qualities. The extensive annotation considers variant passages. It clarifies such details as the identity of beings, weapons, and creatures that retain then Sanskrit names in the translation."--Laurance Wieder, Books & Culture
"[I]t is safe to say that this volume will stand for a very long time as the epitome of studies on the Yuddhakanda, indeed of the Ramayana itself."--Frederick M. Smith, Religious Studies Review
"The translation admirably succeeds in pursuing its 'twin goals of accuracy and readability.' . . . The volume opens up the epic battle book to new readers and gives them the closest thing they could get to what the original taste and texture of the text must have been, without making it inaccessible. To my mind, this is a remarkable achievement. Specialists will find in the annotations an endless mine of valuable information that will quickly become the foundation of any further research on the Yuddhakanda, and the rich and extremely useful index will facilitate access to this book. . . . A person's education cannot be complete until he or she reads how Rama kills Ravana, as vividly told in this volume."--Yigal Bronner, European Legacy
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