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(Book 1, Sarga 2)
One of the founding epics and a masterpiece of Indian literature, the Ramayana tells the story of the exemplary life of Prince Rama. Rama’s profound wisdom, his generosity of heart and his supernatural power have made him into a legendary hero hallowed not only in India but throughout south Asia. Avatara of the god Visnu, endowed with all qualities and the highest virtues, he is the incarnation of the dharma and the protector of the world of the living.
This edition brings together for the first time the whole of the epic of the Ramayana illustrated with 660 Indian miniatures.
Amina Taha Hussein-Okada, Keeper of Indian Art at the Musée des Arts asiatiques Guimet, Paris, accompanies each miniature with a commentary on its narrative, art and symbolism to provide remarkable didactic and aesthetic insights into the most illustrated work of Indian culture. She also wrote the introduction of the book.
The thought-provoking preface by B. N. Goswamy, Emeritus Professor of History of Art at the Punjab University, Chandigarh, and leading specialist of the Pahari school of painting, sheds light on the fundamental place held by the Ramayana in Indian civilization and culture, and the importance of its message with respect to the laws of dharma. By bringing to the fore his own relationship to the holy text, he shows how even today, the Ramayana is a companion and guide at all times.