Madhava Kandali Ramayana in Two Volumes

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Item Code: NAC440
Author: Sri Sadashiva Yogishwara
Publisher: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Language: (English Translation
Edition: 2000
ISBN: 8121509351
Pages: 580
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.4 Inch X 6.3 Inch
Weight 1.20 kg
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Book Description
From the Jacket

Though the scholars in the country have tried to trace the genesis of the Ramayana from the Vedic and post-Vedic literature, with the fragments of the story of Rama found scattered in these texts, but the most important job in the composition of the story of Rama was done by the sage Valmiki, who happened to be the foremost of the Indian Sanskrit poets. He composed the work on the basis of the brief of Rama’s story provided to him by the sage Narada, as well as the figments of the story collected by him with the extensive travelling of the country which immensely added to its popularity with the masses. After the sage Valmiki, several subsequent poets brought out Ramayana texts in Sanskrit as well as in the regional languages. The work composed by Madhava Kandali in Assamese language happens to be one of the earliest works of medieval period, having been composed in the fourteenth CCflttll3’ Al). The Ramayana of K4ttivasa was composed in the fifteenth century, while the Ramacaritamanasa by Tulasidasa in the sixteenth century AD. The work of Madhava Kandali was composed on the basis of the Valmiki Ramayana, though some variations are noticed here and there. The present work is an English translation of the Madhava Kandali Ramayana in Assamese.

Shanti Lal Nagar served in a curatorial capacity in the Central Asian Antiquities Museum, New Delhi and Archaeological section of Indian Museum, Calcutta. He has to his credit the scientific documentation of over fifty thousand antiquities. He was awarded a fellowship in 1987 by the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi for his monograph, The Temples of Himachal Pradesh. He has authored several works.


“Those who understand really that “I am myself” and also speak it out, they cannot be called the worldly people. Indeed they possess the form of Rama. There is no doubt about it. This is Upanisad. The one who knows about it, he achieves salvation. Thus spoke the sage Yajnavalkya.”

—Si Ramottaratapini Upanisad; Ramarahasyopanisad

HE story of Rama has been popular with the masses in the country from the time immemorial, the fragments of which have been traced by Nilakantha, the great Sanskrit scholar of his time from the Rgvedic texts.

The collection by him of Vedic hymns which are 157 in number points to the important events in the Ramayana, composed by the sage Valmiki at a considerably later stage of the Indian history. As to the Vedic origin of the Rñrnàya2a it may be pointed out that though the entire story of Rama could not be made out from the Vedic texts, duly supported by the conclusive evidence, but evidently the story of Rama was quite popular in fragments in the country, the germination of which could be available in the Vedic texts. In this connection, it may be pointed out that the correlation between the story of Rama and the Vedic literature cannot be completely ruled out be- cause according to the Valmiki Ramayana it was the great seer Narada who inspired the sage Valmiki to compose Ramayana on the basis of the brief of the story he conveyed to the sage. Now the sage Narada happened to be the son of Brahma, the custodian of the Vedas. It could, therefore, be inferred that Brahma, who was the reciter of the Vedas must have conveyed the brief of the story of Rama to Narada, in the full background of the Vedic hymns, which in turn was conveyed by Narada to Valmiki, who composed the Ramayana in the background of the brief of the story provided to him by Narada incorporating several fragments of the story in vogue in the contemporary society. But the number of such fragments was so large and widespread, that the sage Valmiki could take care of only a limited number of them and many fragments of the said story were still left out and some of them were patronised by the poets of the subsequent times, while composing their respective works. In this connection it may be kept in view that Nilakantha has tried to trace most of the characters and events of the Ramayana in the Rgveda.

1. The Seers

First of all we consider the case of the seers, who frequently not only appear in the Ramayana but also play important roles in the development of the story. The seers commonly available in the Ramayana and Rgveda are listed hereunder:

Seers – Brief Vedic references
1. Agastya – Rgveda, VII.33-10
2. Atri – Ibid., fifth Mandala
3. Bharadvaja – Ibid., VI.13.3
4. Bhargava – Aitareya Brahmana, VII.21, Kausitaki Brahmana, XIII.4
5. Gautama – Satapatha Brahmana, IV.1.5.1
6. Narada – Atharvaveda, V.19.9
7. Rsyasrnga – Jaiminiya Upanisad Brahmana, III.48.1
8. Vasistha – Rgveda, seventh Mandala
9. Visvamitra – Ibid., III.35.5
10. Vibhandaka Kasyapa – Vimsa Brahmana
11. Ahalya – Satapatha Brahmana, III.B.4.18

Besides the countries like Kaikeya and Kosala are also found mentioned in the Vedic and post-Vedic literature.

2. Royal personalities

Some of the kings of the Ramayana are found mentioned in the Vedic texts, though it would not be that easy to fully re cognize them as the personages of the epic:

Name – Vedic texts
1. Rama – Rgveda, 1.93.14
2. Dasaratha – Ibid., I.126,4
3. Iksvaku – Ibid.
4. Janaka – Taittiriya Brahmana, 3.10.9, of Krsna Yajurveda; Satapatha Brahmana, XI.3.1-2
5. Laksmana – Atharvaveda, IV.141.2
6. Raghu – Rgveda, V.45.9
7. Bharata – Ibid., III.9.22, 24,33
8. Sita – Ibid., IV. 57.6-7
9. Hanuman – Ibid., X.79.1
10. Satru – Ibid., I.33.13

3. The Demons

1. Kabandha – Rgveda, V.85.3
2. Ravana – Though his name as such is not to be found in the Vedic literature but several events connected with him have been brought out by Nilakantha in Mantra Ramayana.

Though it has not been possible to trace the names of the demons like Ravana, Meghanada and Kumbhakarana in the Vedic literature in the true sense of the term, but Nilakantha has tried to interpret some of the Vedic hymns which indirectly mention about them. A few such events are quoted here:

1. The hymn VI11.33—1 6 of the Rgveda has been interpreted by Nilakanthha to project the scene where Surpanakha is desirous of possessing Laksmana, and Rama tells her that Laksmana neither moved according to the command of his brother nor her, and they were all under his command.
2. The hymn X.14.2 of the I5gveda has been interpreted to mean that the gods offer prayer to Rama after the killing of the demon Khara.
3. The hymn X.80.7 of the Rgveda, has been interpreted to project the prayer of the sages after the killing of Marica, the illusory deer by Rama.
4. The hymn X.34.12, of the Rgveda has been interpreted to mean that Sita issues a warning to Ravana (who had approached her for forcibly taking her away) that she would destroy the demon race.
5. The hymn X.34.12 of the Rgveda is interpreted to project the creation of illusory Sita, by the god Agni known as shadow Sita, taking the real Sita into his fold. The same hymn is believed to project the abduction of Sita by Ravana.
6. The hymn X.55.5 of the Rgveda projects, according to Nilakai3tl a, the scene in which Jatayu tries to create obstruction for Ravana while forcibly carrying Sita and killing of Jatayu at the hands of Ravana.
7. The hymn X.55.7 of the Rgveda is interpreted by Nilakantha to project that the gods like Indra and others were ordained to be born on earth in the form of animals for helping Rama.
8. The killing of the demon Kabandha by Rama has been visualised by Nilakantha in hymn V.85.3 of the Rgveda. The demon Kabandha is clearly mentioned there.
9. The friendship between Rama and Sugriva is believed to have been projected in the Vajasaneyisamhita (111.50) by Nilakantha.

Content: Part I

Preface ix
1- Adikanda 1
1. Prayer 1
2. Reciting of Ramayana by Narada to Valmiki 2
3. Details about the demons 10
4. Description of Solar dynasty 12
5. Dasaratha marries Kausalya 14
6. Marriage of Kaikeyi with Dasaratha 15
7. Dasaratha with Sumitra and other seven hundred queens 18
8. Saturn’s evil eye over Ayodhya and friendship of Dasaratha with Jatayu 21
9. Dasaratha received a boon from Saturn 24
10. Killing of the sage Sindhu, unintentionally with the arrow of Dasaratha; sage Andhaka pronounces a curse on Dasaratha 26
11. Dasaratha’s visit to heaven and killing of the demon 29
12. Dasaratha promises Kaikeyi to grant two boons 31
13. Dasaratha’s anxiety for not begetting a son and the advice of Vasistha 33
14. The story of Rsyasrnga 34
15. Dasaratha’s visit to the king Lomapada; arrival of Rsyasrnga and performance of the yajna of Dasaratha by the sage 38
16. Details of the birth of Narayana in four amass in the house of Dasaratha 41
17. Consumption of payasa by Kausalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra and the birth of Rama, Laksmana and others 48
18. Birth of Laksmi in the house of Jnaka as Sita 55
19. The story of Guha Candala 56
20. Arrival of Visvamitra to get Rama and Laksmana for the killing of Marica and Subahu 60
21. Refusal of Dasaratha to part company of Rama and Laksmana; rage of Visvamitra and the sage ultimately returns accompanied with Rama and Laksmana 62
22. Killing of the demoness Tadaka 65
23. Killing of Marica and Subahu 67
24. Rama and Laksmana accompany Visvamitra to the svayamvara of Sita 69
25. The story of Kanyakubja 76
26. The story of the birth of forty-nine Pavanas 77
27. Redemption of Ahalya 78
28. Breaking of Siva’s bow by Rama 85
29. Battle between the kings and Rama, Laksmana90
30. Satananda is sent to Ayodhya to bring Dasaratha 96
31. Marriage of four brothers including Rama and Laksmana 96
32. Meeting of Rama with Parasurama on the way and defeat of Parasurama 102
2 – Ayodhyakanda 110
1. Return of Rama and others to Ayodhya; Bharata and Satrughna proceed to their maternal uncle’s abode 110
2. The king Dasaratha approached by the people for declaring Rama as the crown prince 112
3. Arrangement for the crowning of Rama as the king 112
4. Manthara tenders ill-advice to Kaikeyi 115
5. Kaikeyi asks for two boons from Dasaratha at the advice of Manthara117
6. Rama assures Dasaratha, knowing the cause of his agony123
7. Kaikeyi narrates the story of the boons and advices Rama to go to the forest 124
8. News of the getting of boons by Kaikeyi conveyed to Kausalya 125
9. Anger of Laksmana; Rama consoles Kausalya 127
10. The news of going to forest carried by Rama to Sita 132
11. Request of Sita to accompany Rama 134
12. Laksmana too gets permission to go to the forest 136
13. Rama seeks permission to leave from Dasaratha; agony of Dasaratha 138
14. Rama’s wearing of bark clothes and his consoling others 140
15. Rama proceeds to the forest 143
16. Rama consoles the people 145
17. Rama meets the king Guha 147
18. Departure of Sumantra 149
19. Rama’s entry in the forest and visit to the hermitage of Bharadvaja 150
20. Death of King Dasaratha 156
21. The queens lament at the death of Dasaratha 159
22. Kausalya humiliates Kaikeyi; consultations for the safety of the kingdom160
23. Deputing of a messenger to bring Bharata 161
24. Kaikeyi explains the entire situation; Bharata is filled with anger 163
25. Satrughna punishes Manthara 166
26. Conversation between Bharata and Kausalya 167
27. Arrival of Vasistha and others and arranging for the cremation of Dasaratha 168
28. Bharata’s effort to get back Rama 170
29. Bharata proceeds to get back Rama; becoming doubtful Guha tries to stop him 173
30. Guha meets Bharata; learning about the news of Rama, Bharata laments under the ingudi tree 174
31. Crossing of the Ganga by Bharata and others 177
32. Conversation between Bharadvaja and Bharata; entertainment of all by Bharadvaja179
33. Rama’s abode in Citrakuta; hearing of the noise of the marching of Bharata’s army 180
34. Meeting between Bharata and Rama 182
35. Grief of Rama at the death of his father 183
36. Tarpana performed by Rama for the sake of his father 184
37. Rama meets his mothers and sages; conversation with them 84
38. Description of dharma by Rama; return of Bharata with Rama’s sandals 186
39. Consecration of Rama’s sandals over the lion-throne at Nandigrama 188
3 – Aranyakanda 190
1. Bharata’s stay at Nandigrama; Rama’s visit to the abode of sage Atri; discussion between Sita and sage’s wife 190
2. Rama entered Dandaka forest, welcomed by ascetics and killing of Viradha 193
3. Rama’s assurance to Sita; meeting with the sage Sarabhanga; conversation with the sage Sutiksna 197
4. The sage Dharmabhrtya narrates the story of Mandakini; Rama again meets the sage Sutiksna 199
5. The story of Vatapi and Ilvala and entry into the hermitage of Agastya 199
6. Rama’s meeting with Jatayu on way to Pancavati and severing of the nose and ears of Surpanakha 201
7. Battle with fourteen demons and their end 206
8. Killing of Khara and Dusana; Ravana’s visit to Marica 207
9. Ravana’s discussion with Marica 217
10. Marica’s speaking harsh words to Ravana, Marica’s taking to the form of Mayamrga, Ravana approaches Sita in the form of a hermit 219
11. Introduction by Ravana and pronouncing of harsh words on him by Sita 225
12. The pride of Ravana227
13. Abduction of Sita by Ravana and fight with Jatayu 228
14. Deputing of warriors for the killing of Rama; talk between Ravana and Sita 232
15. Curse pronounced by Sita 234
16. Use of harsh words again by Sita; Indra’s visit Sita under advice from Brahma, offering her the payasa; Rama’s grief in the absence of Sita 234
17. Rama’s anger and Laksmana consoled him 237
18. Laksmana consoles Rama; search for Sita; meeting with Jatayu and his cremation 238
19. Rama and Laksmana meet Kabandha and advice of Kabandha 240
20. Rama and Laksmana reach the river Pampa 241
4 – Kiskindhakanda 243
1. Meeting between Rama and Sugriva 243
2. Rama’s grief at the sight of Sita’s ornaments 245
3. Battle between Bali and Dundubhi 246
4. Battle between Mayavanta and Bali 248
5. Battle between Bali and Sugriva 251
6. Killing of Bali by Rama 256
7. Bali denounces Rama 259
8. Tara laments at the death of Bali 262
9. The curse of Tara 263
10. Crowning of Sugriva 267
11. Rama gets annoyed with Sugriva 268
12. Collecting of the monkey army at the command of Sugriva 272
13. Arrival of Sugriva at Rama’s place with the monkey force 273
14. Angada kills a demon 277
15. Monkey army enters the abode of Svayamprabha 278
16. Monkey army reaches the seashore and meeting with sampati 280
17. Sampati’s grief at the death of his brother 284
18. Suparsava describes the sight of Sita 285
Index 288

Content: Part II

5 – Sundarakanda 1
1. Prayer 1
2. Angada’s consultations with other monkeys on the southern seashore 1
3. Story relating to the birth of Hanuman 3
4. Travel of Hanuman to Lanka and meeting with the demonesses Surasa and Asarika; Asarika captures Hanuman’s shadow 4
5. Hanuman views Lanka 7
6. Hanuman’s entry in Lanka and description of Lanka 8
7. Disappointment of Hanuman and the sighting of Sita 12
8. Ravana tries to change the mind of Sita and the demonesses terrorise Sita 16
9. Conversation between Sita and Hanuman 21
10. Destruction of Madhubana of Ravana by Hanuman26
11. The demon army attacks Hanuman 28
12. Killing of Jambumali by Hanuman 30
13. Battle of Hanuman with Yupaksa and Virupaksa 31
14. Killing of Aksaya Kumara 32
15. Battle between Hanuman and Indrajit; Hanuman captured by Indrajit 34
16. Setting ablaze the tail of Hanuman and burning of Lanka 38
17. Rejoicing of monkeys on the return of Hanuman 42
18. The monkeys consume the sweet fruits; battle with Dadhimukha 47
19. Angada and others approach Rama; Hanuman conveys the news about Sita 49
20. The monkey army proceeds to Lanka with Rama 51
21. Beneficial advice of Vibhisana to Ravana 53
22. Ill-advice of Prahasta to Ravana 55
23. Having been kicked by Ravana, Vibhisana goes to Rama 57
6 – Lankakanda 64
1. Prayer 64
2. Ravana deputes Suka and Sarana in order to spy over the army of Sri Rama; their return and narration of the account of the army of Rama 64
3. Ravana displays the illusory head of Rama before Sita; Sarama consoles Sita 69
4. Malyavan’s advice to Ravana and selection of the army commanders of both the sides 73
5. Sri Rama and others have a look of Lanka; deputing of Angada as a messenger to Ravana 76
6. Start of the war; Laksmana bound by nagapasa by Indrajit in the battlefield 79
7. Rama and Laksmana freed from the fetters of nagapasa 90
8. The killing of Dhumraksa 91
9. Killing of Vajradamstra and Akampana 94
10. Killing of the four ministers of Prahasta 96
11. Killing of Prahasta, Prajangha, Suprataghna, and Bakasura 98
12. Ravana proceeds for the battle 99
13. Defeat of Ravana at the hands of Rama and Laksmana 101
14. Disturbing the sleep of Kumbhakarna and his march for the battlefield 108
15. Kumbhakarna’s battle and his return to Lanka carrying Sugriva 111
16. Fall of Kumbhakarna in battle with Rama and Laksmana 117
17. Killing of Atikaya and other demons 121
18. Encounter with Indrajit and Laksmana’s swoon 127
19. Hanuman brings the medicine and relieves the army of the swoon 129
20. Fresh attack of monkey army 131
21. Killing of Kumbha, Nikumbha, and Makaraksa133
22. Indrajit’s third march to the battlefield and killing of the illusory Sita 137
23. Vibhisana consoles Rama and his proceeding to the place of Nikumbhila Yajnasala 141
24. Killing of Indrajit 144
25. Ravana’s anger who tries to kill Sita 152
26. Ravana proceeds towards the battlefield 154
27. Shooting of Sakti at Laksmana 161
28. Hanuman proceeds for getting medi cine 166
29. Apsara Gandhakali achieves salvation 167
30. Killing of Kalanemi and three crores of gandharvas; bringing of Gandhamadana; Laksmana regains life 168
31. Hanuman restores Gandhamadana 172
32. Battle between Rama and Ravana and the end of Ravana 174
33. Crowing of Vibhisana as the king; Sita reaches before Rama 186
34. Fire-ordeal of Sita 188
35. Sri Rama’s journey to Ayodhya 194
36. Sri Rama’s entry in Ayodhya; arrangements for coronation196
37. Coronation of Rama 203
38. Return of Hanuman and others to their respective countries; Rule of Rama 204
7 – Uttarakanda 208
1. The welfare song 208
2. Sita’s exile 208
3. Valmiki takes Sita to his abode and birth of Lava and Kusa 210
4. Performing of the As vamedha sacrifice by Rama 211
5. Arrival of Lava and Kusa in Ayodhya 214
6. Lava and Kusa sing the poetry of the Ramayana in the court of Rama 216
7. Story of the birth of Hanuman224
8. Introduction of Lava and Kusa 227
9. Hanuman and others deputed to bring back Sita 229
10. Sita brought in the court of Rama and declaration of Valmiki 233
11. Sita’s anger and entry into nether world 235
12. Rama gets annoyed with Earth and consoling of Brahma to Rama 239
13. Story of Sita as told by the divine voice from the patala 241
14. Bharata’s victory after defeating many kings 243
15. Kala meets Rama in disguise 248
16. Disowning of Laksmana 249
17. Rama’s grief at disowning of Laksmana 255
18. Crowing of Lava and Kusa; search for Laksmana 256
19. Cremation of Laksmana and performing of his last rites 260
20. Rama’s departure to heaven 261
Index 268
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