What We Are Reading Today: The Rāmāyaa of Vālmīki: An Epic of Ancient India

Updated 27 August 2018

What We Are Reading Today: The Rāmāyaa of Vālmīki: An Epic of Ancient India

The seventh and final book of the monumental Rāmāyaa of Vālmīki, the Uttarakāa, brings the epic saga to a close with an account of the dramatic events of King Rāma’s millennia-long reign.
It opens with a colorful history of the demonic race of the rākasas and the violent career of Rāma’s villainous foe Rāvaa, and later recounts Rāma’s grateful discharge of his allies in the great war at Lankā as well as his romantic reunion with his wife Sītā.
But dark clouds gather as Rāma, confronted by scandal over Sītā’s time in captivity under the lustful Rāvaa, makes the agonizing decision to banish his beloved wife, now pregnant. As Rāma 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 Uttarakāa has long served as a point of social and religious controversy largely for its accounts of the banishment of Sītā, as well as of Rāma’s killing of a low-caste ascetic. The translators’ introduction provides a full discussion of these issues and the complex reception history of the Uttarakāa. This translation of the critical edition also includes exhaustive notes and a comprehensive bibliography.

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 Rāmāyaa Translation Project. Sally J. Sutherland Goldman is senior lecturer in Sanskrit at the University of California, Berkeley, and associate editor of the Rāmāyaa Translation Project.

- Robert P. Goldman & Sally J. Sutherland Goldman


Award-winning writers coming to Dubai for Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

British author Nadiya Hussain among guests at the 2020 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. (Photo: AFP)
Updated 13 November 2019

Award-winning writers coming to Dubai for Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

  • The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is back, and it’s bigger than ever
  • The literature event will bring together an array of celebrated names in the literature world under one roof

DUBAI: The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is back, and it’s bigger than ever. Kicking off on Feb. 4 until 9 at the InterContinental, Dubai Festival City, the annual event has an exciting program lined up for the region’s bookworms.

The festival will bring together an array of celebrated names in the literature world under one roof, including TV presenter, cook and bestselling author Nadiya Hussain, explorer Ranulph Fiennes, visual artist and children’s book author, Oliver Jeffers and TV astronomer and space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock. What’s more, the UAE’s first Emirati astronaut Hazzaa AlMansouri will also make an appearance.

Ahlam Bolooki, the festival director for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature said in an official press statement: “With the stellar line-up for the 2020 Festival, there is no better place to search for the answers, whatever your question may be. We have writers to entertain, inspire, challenge and excite people from all walks of life and of all ages.”

Tickets will be on sale to the public from Nov. 14.