The Ramcharitmanas 1
The most popular devotional text recounting the adventures of the Hindu god Ram
The Ramcharitmanas, composed by the poet-saint Tulsidas in the sixteenth century during a dynamic period of religious reform, was instrumental in making the story of Ram-and his divine feats against Ravan, the demon king of Lanka-widely accessible to the common people for the first time. Prior to that, this tale was exclusively the preserve of the priestly class who could read Valmiki's Sanskrit epic, The Ramayana. By reimagining Valmiki's text in the vernacular language, as a poem to be imbibed through recitation rather than reading, Tulsidas kindled a devotional revolution, forever changing the religious and social landscape of northern India.
Rohini Chowdhury's exquisite translation brings Tulsidas's magnum opus vividly to life, and her detailed introduction sheds crucial light on the poet and his work, placing them both in the wider context of Hindi literature.
Tulsidas, the most important of the saint-poets of the medieval Bhakti movement in northern India, is best remembered for his magnum opus, The Ramcharitmanas, regarded as one of the greatest achievements of Hindi literature.
CHOWDHURY, ROHINI (Translator)
Rohini Chowdhury is a renowned translator and writer. Her translations include, among others, Banarasidas's Ardhakathanak: A Half Story for Penguin Classics.