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Ramayana

Ramayana

AUTHOR’S PREFACE

    My involvement with poetry-writing, that has been dear to me, is almost for forty years by now – writing poems for children on a variety of topics and for elders on matters religious. I am happy to state that these have generally been well received by poetry-lovers. I am gratified by the encouragement given to me by the various websites, poemhunter.com, kavitanjali.com, hangtide.com, ndtv.com, and thepoetsroadhuse.com

   One day, I received a message from Mrs. Shanta Mohan of kavitanjali.com suggesting that I should write more on the wealth of ancient literature of India. This prompted me to take up first Ramayana, based on Poet Valimiki. Each episode was posted in kavitanjali.com website with a special coverage on my page “World of Rajaram.” I am deeply indebted to Mrs. Shanta Mohan (Chennai) and Mr.Jag Sastry (Canada), the Chief Architects of kavitanjali.com website.

   I have presented RAMAYANA in a quick and easily readable manner, omitting several detailed descriptions of the characters, their actions and thought processes and so on – interested readers must look elsewhere for these excellent features of the epic.

   There are a few minor deviations between Valmiki and other authors, for instance there is no mention of a Lakshman Rekha in Valmiki, but I have brought it in. There may be a few more such variations. By and large, however, I have kept the sequence of events as described by Valmiki. Readers will please bear with me for any omissions or other departures that may have inadvertently crept in. I would welcome any constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement in future.

   Sri Sri Sitaram Seva Trust printed 1000 copies of this book and distributed the same through the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Juhu, Mumbai, for which I am grateful to His Grace Bhima Das and His Grace Pancharatna Das

   I am also thankful to Shri P.V. Vasudevan, IRAS and Shri R, Ganesan, IPS (Postal), who gave finishing touch to this work, with their constructive suggestions.


Rajaram Ramachandran,
Dated, 25th June, 2004

 

Ramayana

READER'S VIEW

The President of India, Shri A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.

    Thank you for your letter and sending therewith a copy of your book of verses “The Essence of Ramayana”. I have gone through the book. The chapter “Bharata goes to the forest” is indeed moving and very well composed.

My best wishes to you.

H.H. GopalKrishna Goswami, GBC and BBT Trustee

   Your retelling of Ramayana in simple verses would become popular in course of time. Your long association in the services of Lord Krishna and Srila Prabhupada has made this possible and you should continue to serve like this for the advancement of your spiritual life. May He guide you to write more for the reading pleasure of generations to come.

His Grace Bhima Das, President, ISKCON-Mumbai

   I went through your poems on the Ramayan and I like it very much. I am wondering how you put so much time into this work. It is a nice engagement and whoever reads it I am sure will like it very much.

His Grace Brajhari Das, Temple President, ISKCON-Mumbai

   I am glad to go through the story of "Ramayana" written by shri Rajaram, ISKCON-Mumbai in simple poetry form. The verses have been written in simple words and can be easily understood by any reader. Each line is well composed and the role of each character is well defined. I would strongly advise every lover of Indian art and culture, particularly young school children, to read this book for its simplicity and fine presentation of the great epic story.

His Grace Pancharatna Das, President, ISKCON Berhampur,

   This compilation of poems on Ramayana is very good. The flow of the matter is very beautiful. Whoever reads this poetic Ramayana Book, he will definitely forget all the anxieties of this material world.

His Grace Kalakantha Das, Alachua, USA

   I have read the entire book with pleasure. I also reviewed some of your other poems on the websites mentioned (poemhunter.com, hangtide.com, kavitanjali.com). I especially enjoyed some of the humorous compositions. You are quite prolific! You have taken a very practical approach by summarizing lengthy prose sections of the Ramayana to pithy verses. This adds to the pleasure of reading, as one can gain a summary in relatively little time…..I am hardly in a position to comment on the work of such an accomplished poet as your goodself.

Her Grace Lalita Devi Dasi, B.A., B.Ed.

   It is not so easy to write Ramayan in poetry form and this is your grand achievement. The narration part of each character has been done in simple and strong words. The poems are rhythmic and meaningful.

Dr. U. Srinivasa Raghavan, Secretary, Postal Service Board, New Delhi.

   I have gone through the Ramayana written by you in English in verse form. I enjoyed reading your poetry thoroughly. You have brought out the entire essence of Ramayana in simple language, easily understandable by any one. I congratulate you for this great venture. I look forward for reading your new collections of poetry.

Mr. Ray Hanger of hangtide.com, California

   A man’s belief is a man binding to the soul. I believe the more you know of other cultures, religion, the better you can get along with your neighbours. World peace will happen when all nations understand and hold no bias but respect each others beliefs. The world is filled with cultural illiteracy. You left a masterpiece that should be recognized. I loved reading your episodes.

Poetess Sandra Fowler, Litt.D, West Columbia, USA

   Ramayana is like a rich tapestry of heroic figures locked into an epic struggle between good and evil. R. Rajaram paints these vivid word pictures with skill and simplicity. His verses flow musically through the tastefully decorated pages of this elegant book. Even though I do not share the faith of the poet, I can appreciate the long creative hours involved in bringing these ancient stories to life with a clarity that has not only music but meaning for the average reader. R. Rajaram is an excellent artisan of letters. I congratulate him for his noble achievement.

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mysore

   I have browsed through the book and it seems interesting. People may write prose with ease, but writing poetry is a difficult but gifted job. You have achieved this difficult task with grace. The narration is rhythmic, simple and captivating. The apt phrases you have used with alliteration and metaphors make a deep impression on the mind of the readers. I just chanced to read p.26-27 where you have brought to our mind’s eye the unique character of Manthara. Your description of Ravana (p.142) is really poignant. Thus every page is highly meaningful. I enjoyed reading your poems and congratulate you on this unique Ramayana .

Shri Prakash Bhatambrekar, Regional Secretary, Sahitya Akademi, Mumbai

   To put an epic into a capsule is really a Herculean task which Sri Rajaram has done with dedicated efforts. His endeavour is praise worthy. I wish him success in other such creative projects too.

Mr. Paul L. Love, Director, Ph.D., Study Centre for Indian Literature in English and Translation (SCILET), The American College, Madurai

   This will acknowledge our receipt of your volume Ramayana (Simple Poems) which you have kindly sent to SCILET at American College in Madurai. This volume will find a place on the shelves of the library of our Study Circle, where it will be read and enjoyed by our library members. Thank you for your thoughtfulness in sending this good book of poems to us.

Mrs. Shanta Mohan, Team Member, Kavitanjali.com

   I feel your retelling of the Ramayana would become quite popular in course of time. May be when you have finished it, you will publish it in book form. This is another service you are doing to the Lord. May He guide you to write lots of more for the reading pleasure of generations to come.

Shri V.S. Sundara Rajan, Author of several Tamil Novels, Bangalore

   I found your “Ramayana” quite simple, like what we presently call ‘Vachana Kavithai’—simple sentences with well known words—needing no dictionary to find out the meaning—a mark of your work. Even primary school children will find it easy to go through and understand what is “Ramayana.” You have almost covered the important events—especially the ones which reveals the high qualities of Rama, Bharath etc. I agree with our President Shri Abdul Kalam’s comment in the Chapter—Bharata goes to the forest. The prayer song in the book is revealing.

Shri V. Sivswamy, a Retd. Railway Officer, Sportsman, and Well wisher, Hyderabad.

   I have read, that to make big story small is a tough job. You have taken up the challenge of shortening 24,000 slokas of Valmiki to a small number. What to omit would be the problem. In this situation you have taken some attention and pains to give details even in the smaller version. Poetical descriptions of Valmiki would have to be omitted, even then the task is huge.

Shri K Ganesan, B.E., A.M.I.E., (Ind), Retd. E.E., PWD, Pudukkottai

   I have gone through the book. The contents are excellent. You deserve all praises for having brought out this precious book.

Shri T.S. Sriraman, Head Master, The Hindu Higher Secondary School, Triplicane, Chennai.

   Your best work on Ramayana is an effective presentation of a great “Epic” in the verse form. An innovative effort indeed! I am sure divine inspiration and dedication have made your task look easy. Deserved to be kept in every school library. As an old student, we are proud of your progress in the chosen field.

Shri N. Balasubramanian, President, Shree Ram Satsang, Andheri (W), Mumbai

   We, as an Organization, is privileged and consider ourselves lucky to be in contact with such a noble person like you, whom Lord Rama has empowered with greatest mental strength to continue to serve Him in your own way. We pray to Lord Shree Ramachandra to give you greater strength to pursue your activities.

Namasankeerthana (Regd.), Dombivili (E), Dist. Thane

   We have hosted Shri R. Rajaram among 12 Bhagavathars chosen for our fourth Bhajanothsavam and felicitation function held on 23rd October 2005 to honour him for his mighty contribution to the cause of Namasankeerthana. He was awarded a shield and memento in recognition of his good work on Ramayana written in simple English verses, which has been published by Sri Sri Sitaram Seva Trust, Juhu, Mumbai and read by everyone with devotion and keen interest.


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