History of Literature Episode 28 – The Ramayana

history-of-literature-for-fb-dbIt’s been called “the greatest of all Indian epics – and one of the world’s supreme masterpieces of storytelling.” Nobody can deny the power of this ancient tale of Rama, a warrior king in exile, and his beloved wife Sita. Combining intense action scenes with keen insights into spiritual and psychological motivations, the Ramayana continues to delight and enchant readers around the world. But what does the story mean for us today? How do its values correspond with our own? Do we agree with its views of what it means to be a great ruler? A great husband? A great wife? Author Jacke Wilson takes a look at The Ramayana, one of two great Indian epic stories, on his journey through the history of literature.

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Coming Soon: The Ramayana!

I’m really enjoying the research on our next History of Literature episode…

“There is really no Western counterpart in the Hellenic or Hebraic tradition to the influence that this originally secular story, transmitted orally through many centuries, has exerted over millions of people. The Iliad and The Odyssey are, primarily, literary texts, but not even Aesop’s fables or the often intensely moral Greek myths shape the daily lives of present-day inhabitants of Greece. In contrast, The Ramayana continues to have a profound emotional and psychological resonance for Indians.” — From the Introduction by Pankaj Mishra

Stay tuned… episode should be available on Monday morning (weather permitting!)…

Indian Literature – A Cosmic Feast (History of Literature Episode 10)

Recalling his own long-ago transition from China to India, our host previews our journey’s next stop, where we will immerse ourselves in the literature of a spectacular culture. Marked by classics like the Rig Veda (1500 – 1200 B.C.) and the Upanishads (ca. 900 B.C.), the Ramayana (ca. 550 B.C.), and the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita (400 B.C. – 400), classic Indian literature is known for its deep engagement with universal questions like how the world was created, what our understanding of God is and can be, how we should treat one another, and what it means to be human. Jacke Wilson prepares our palate for a feast of Indian literature, one of the greatest achievements in the history of civilization.

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