About This Book

The Ramayana — Rama-Ayana, “Rama’s Journey” — is the story of Rama and his wife Sita, avatars of the devas (gods) Vishnu and Lakshmi. Rama was born to vanquish Ravana, king of the fierce rakshasas (demons). There are many versions of the Ramayana in India, and Rama’s adventures are also famous throughout South Asia. In this book, you’ll see Rama’s story revealed in a series of vignettes from the ancient Sanskrit Ramayana composed by the poet Valmiki, along with other Ramayanas from India and beyond. For first-time Ramayana readers, I’ve included a list of characters and additional notes at Ramayana.LauraGibbs.net.

The paragraph you just read about the Ramayana is 100 words long, as is this paragraph, and that’s also the length of each episode in this book. The episodes go by fast, but you can slow down when you find one you like. Read it again. Let it sink in. You might even write your own versions of your favorite episodes, using your imagination to add details. Meanwhile, if you get confused by a particular episode, don’t get bogged down; just keep reading! You can find more 100-word stories from the Ramayana, along with more stories from India, at 100Words.LauraGibbs.net.

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