Sanskrit Literature

Valmiki: Ramayana

Battle_at_Lanka _Ramayana _Udaipur _1649-53The Ramayana (Sanskrit: रामायणम्) is one of two great Itihasa or epics of ancient India, along with the Mahabharata. It tells the story of Rama, incarnation of Vishnu and heir to the king of Ayodhya. Following Rama's exile to the forest as a result of court intrigues, his wife Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, the ruler of Lanka. Rama seeks her out and rescues her with the aid of his brother Lakshmana and the monkey Hanuman.

The Ramayana is traditionally attributed to the poet Valmiki, a notable character in the poem itself. Assigning a definite to its composition is difficult, but it is thought to have been written between 500 and 100 BCE.

English translations in the public domain include those by Ralph T.H. Griffith and Romesh C. Dutt.

The Ramayana at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Ancient Buddhist Texts: The Ramayana, condensed English verse translation, by Romesh Dutt. PDF, EPUB and MOBI formats.

Bombay.indology.info: The Ramayana. Sanskrit text, TXT format.

GRETIL: Ramayana. Sanskrit text, HTML format.

Gutenberg: The Rámáyan of Válmíki, English verse translation by Ralph T. H. Griffith. Multiple formats.

IIT Kanpur: Valmiki Ramayana, Sanskrit text and Audio, with English translation and commentaries. HTML format.

Internet Archive: Ramayana Bala Kanda | Ayodhya Kanda | Aranya Kanda | Kishkindha Kanda | Sundara Kanda | Yuddha Kanda | Uttara Kanda. English translation, edited by M.N. Dutt. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Ramayana, condensed English verse translation, by Romesh Dutt. Multiple formats.

Liberty Library: The Ramayana and the Mahabharata, abridged verse translation by Romesh C. Dutt. Multiple formats.

Sacred texts: Rámáyan of Válmíki, translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith. HTML format.

Sacred Texts: The Ramayana and Mahabharata, abridged verse translation by Romesh C. Dutt (1899). HTML format.

Sanskrit Documents: Valmiki Ramayana. Sanskrit text. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: The Rámáyan of Válmíki, English verse translation by Ralph T. H. Griffith. Multiple formats.

ValmikiRamayan.net: Ramayana - Sanskrit text and Audio, with English translation and notes. HTML format.

Wikisource: Sanskrit text and English translation by Ralph T. H. Griffith. HTML and other formats.

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Vyasa: Mahabharata

Vyasa grants Sanjaya divine vision. Wikimedia CommonsThe Mahābhārata (Sanskrit: महाभारतम्, Mahābhāratam) is a Sanskrit epic, one of  the longest in world literature, and along with the Ramayana, one of two considered sacred texts of Hinduism.

Traditionally ascribed to the sage Vyāsa, the poem deals with the Kurukshetra war between two sets of cousins, the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The historical kernel of these events is thought to date back to Vedic India around 1000 BCE, although the Mahabharata itself is thought to have been written down in the period from 400 BCE.

Embedded within the Mahabharata is the Bhagavad Gita, a philosophical dialogue between the Pandava hero Arjuna and his charioteer, the god Krishna, taking place before the onset of the climactic battle with the Kauravas.

The Mahabharata at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Mahabharata. K.M. Ganguli translation. Multiple formats.

Holy Books.com: The Mahabharata - K.M Ganguli translation, PDF format.

Internet Archive: The Mahabharata, translated by K.M. Ganguli (1884-96). Multiple formats.

Online Library of Liberty: The Ramayana and the Mahabharata, verse translation by Romesh C. Dutt. Multiple formats.

Sacred Texts: The Mahabharata, Sanskrit text and English translation by K.M. Ganguli. HTML format.

Sacred Texts: The Ramayana and Mahabharata, abridged verse translation by Romesh C. Dutt (1899). HTML format.

Wikisource: Sanskrit text and partial text of the English translation, by K.M Ganguli. HTML and other formats.

Performances and Reviews

New York Times: Peter Brook transforms an Indian epic for the stage, by Margaret Croyden, 25 August 1985.

YouTube: Peter Brook's The Mahabharata. See also the IMDB page.

Other Resources

Ancient History Encyclopedia: Mahabharata.

Brown University: The Mahabharata, pages by Sanskrit scholar James L. Fitzgerald.

History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps: Grand Illusion - Dharma and Deception in the Mahabharata, podcast episode by Peter Adamson and Jonardon Ganeri.

The Independent: The Book of a Lifetime - The Mahabharata, by Alice Albinia, 9 June 2011.

Librivox: The Mahabharata by Vyasa: The epic of ancient India condensed into English verse, public domain audiobook.

London Review of Books, How to Escape the Curse, John's Smith's translation reviewed by Wendy Doniger.

UC Davis: Mahabharata, synopsis by V. Vemuri.

Wikipedia: Mahabharata.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Bhagavad Gita

Valmiki: Ramayana

Bloom's Western Canon - The Mahabharata is listed.