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Read Ramayana Baala Kaanda - Sarga 4

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  • Read Ramayana Baala Kaanda - Sarga 4

    Baala Kaanda - Sarga 4

    Rāmāyaṇa is known as the first poem (Ādi Kāvya) in the world. It was composed eons ago. It is known over a large part of the world. It is adapted by people speaking multiple languages. It is handed down from generation to generation orally and through written versions on palm leaves.

    So, naturally, there bound to develop variations in the text over time, as it did. In the last couple of centuries, scholars (both Indians and others) grappled with all the variations they found and struggled to establish an 'authentic' version.

    As you can imagine, it is a complex and challenging exercise calling for tedious work and also judgment to some extent.

    By mid 20th century, two 'authentic' versions emerged out of those efforts. One came to be known as Baroda or Eastern Edition. The other came to be known as Southern Edition. The Eastern Edition seems to have taken the approach 'when the authenticity is in doubt, exclude it'. The Southern Edition seems to have taken the approach 'when the authenticity is in doubt, include it'. As a result, Southern Edition has more Sargas in each Kāṇḍa, and more Ṡlōkas in each Sarga, and hence also more repetition. The Ṡlōka numbers also differ between the Editions as a result.

    The second Ṡlōka in this Sarga says that there are a total of 500 Sargas in Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa excluding Uttara Kāṇḍa. But, Eastern Edition has 506 Sargas and Southern Edition has 534 Sargas. We may wish that we had one 'authentic' edition. But that is almost impossible given the thousands of years that passed between the time of the original poem was penned down and now.

    [ In the western world, Bible has gone through similar evolution of changes and variations. Contrary to what most people think, Bible is not a single book. It is a collection of books. Some versions of Bible contain as few as 50+ books in it. Some versions contain as many as 70+ books. The most popularly used version is known as King James version. But there are many denominations of Christianity that do not use this version. ]

    We know that History sometimes wipes out entire civilizations, cultures and languages. Given that, it is remarkable that Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa survived many millennia, many generations, and many historical changes, with only ~20% variation among the various versions.

    We must realize that we are greatly indebted to the many of our ancestors who preserved and passed this epic poem on to us. We must also be grateful to the many scholars from many countries outside of India, who did phenomenal work in the past couple of centuries, in collecting and sorting out the various versions with a scholarly zeal.

    For this Read Rāmāyaṇa initiative, I had to make a choice between the Eastern and Southern Editions of Rāmāyaṇa. I chose the Southern Edition, with the risk of reading some additional and, at times repetitive, Ṡlōkas. You will see it becoming evident to some extent in this Sarga.

    Please see with links to various editions of Rāmāyaṇa.
    ப்ராப்தராஜ்யஸ்ய ராமஸ்ய வால்மீகிர்பகவாந்ருஷி: ।
    சகார சரிதம் க்ருத்ஸ்நம் விசித்ரபதமாத்மவாந் ॥
    prāptarājyasya rāmasya vālmīkirbhagavānṛṣiḥ ।
    cakāra caritaṃ kṛtsnaṃ vicitrapadamātmavān ॥
    Bhagawān, Ṛshi and self-realized Vālmīki,
    wrote the entire story of Rāma, who thus regained Kingdom,
    with dramatic and enchanting narrative.

    சதுர்விம்ஸத்ஸஹஸ்ராணி ஸ்லோகாநாமுக்தவாந்ருஷி: ।
    ததா ஸர்கஸதாந் பஞ்ச ஷட்காண்டாநி ததோத்தரம் ॥
    caturviṃṡatsahasrāṇi ṡlōkānāmuktavānṛṣiḥ ।
    tathā sargaṡatān pa˝ca ṣatkāṇḍāni tathōttaram ॥
    The Ṛshi told it in 24,000 Ṡlōkas, spread over
    500 Sargas in 6 Kāndas plus Uttara Kāṇḍa.
    Some translations use the word Book for Kāṇḍa
    and the word Chapter for Sarga.
    க்ருத்வாபி தந்மஹாப்ராஜ்ஞ: ஸபவிஷ்யம் ஸஹோத்தரம் ।
    சிந்தயாமாஸ கோ ந்வேதத்ப்ரயுஞ்ஜீயாதிதி ப்ரபு: ॥
    kṛtvāpi tanmahāprāj˝aḥ sabhaviṣyaṃ sahōttaram ।
    cintayāmāsa kō nvētatprayu˝jīyāditi prabhuḥ ॥
    The great scholar Vālmīki wondered as to
    who could take this poem into the public at large in full
    including the portions after Rāma's coronation and beyond.
    தஸ்ய சிந்தயமாநஸ்ய மஹர்ஷேர்பாவிதாத்மந: ।
    அக்ருஹ்ணீதாம் தத: பாதௌ முநிவேஷௌ குஸீலவௌ ॥
    tasya cintayamānasya maharṣērbhāvitātmanaḥ ।
    agṛhṇītāṃ tataḥ pādau munivēṣau kuṡīlavau ॥
    Then Kuṡa and Lava, who are in their ascetic attire,
    touched the feet (in reverence) of the contemplating Maharshi.
    குஸீலவௌ து தர்மஜ்ஞௌ ராஜபுத்ரௌ யஸஸ்விநௌ ।
    ப்ராதரௌ ஸ்வரஸம்பந்நௌ ததர்ஸாஸ்ரமவாஸிநௌ ॥
    kuṡīlavau tu dharmaj˝au rājaputrau yaṡasvinau ।
    bhrātarau svarasampannau dadarṡāṡramavāsinau ॥
    Vālmīki greeted Kuṡa and Lava, the brothers,
    the princes, the Āṡrama dwellers, the knowers of Dharma,
    the well-estimated and endowed with musical voices.

    The biggest challenge in translating Sanskrit Ṡlōkas into English is in preserving the lyrical beauty from getting lost.

    There are multiple issues in translation. I would outline three primary ones here.

    1 ) Sanskrit is highly conducive for adding as many adjectives as needed, without disturbing the flow, and even enhancing the flow, if done well. It allows adding any number of adjectives to the subject, or object or to the activity in any order and anywhere in the Ṡlōka, well before, immediately before, immediately after or much later with little or no ambiguity. Where as it gets awkward in English, if we add too many adjectives. For example, "India, the largest democracy, ..." or "USA, the worlds largest economy, ...". have one adjective to the subject. But if more than one adjective is added, the readability gets compromised.

    2) English has positional grammar. If we take a sentence like 'Rāma quickly drank hot milk', and change the position of the words by transposing it to something like 'Milk drank quickly Rāma hot', the meaning changes and the sentence become absurd, as it happened in this case. Whereas Sanskrit is has position-free grammar by employing Vibhaktis (which is true with other Indian languages also, to some extent), and transposing words do not change the meaning.

    3) Active voice reads more straightforward and passive voice sounds a little bit convoluted, in English. Whereas in Sanskrit, both active and passive can be rendered with equal ease, equally readability and equal elegance. One can be substituted with the other to facilitate meter, melody and emphasis, as needed.

    This Ṡlōka 1.4.4 is a good example to illustrate the difficulty of translation. It has one verb, one object, and an implicit subjectand the rest are adjectives to the object. You can obviously feel that the flow of the translation into English would not be as good. Every translator struggles with this issue. I tried to do my best. May be, there comes someone over the time, who can do a better job.
    ஸ து மேதாவிநௌ த்ருஷ்ட்வா வேதேஷு பரிநிஷ்டிதௌ ।
    வேதோபப்ரும்ஹணார்தாய தாவக்ராஹயத ப்ரபு: ॥
    sa tu mēdhāvinau dṛṣtvā vēdēṣu pariniṣṭhitau ।
    vēdōpabṛṃhaṇārthāya tāvagrāhayata prabhuḥ ॥
    Seeing them to be intelligent, and eloquent in Vēdas
    he, the privileged one, passed it on to them
    in order to reinforce Vēdas.
    காவ்யம் ராமாயணம் க்ருத்ஸ்நம் ஸீதாயாஸ்சரிதம் மஹத் ।
    பௌலஸ்த்யவதமித்யேவ சகார சரிதவ்ரத: ॥
    kāvyaṃ rāmāyaṇaṃ kṛtsnaṃ sītāyāṡcaritaṃ mahat ।
    paulastyavadhamityēva cakāra caritavrataḥ ॥
    That beautiful poem, Rāmāyaṇa,
    composed by that accomplished soul
    also came to be known as
    Paulastya Vadha as well as Sītā Carita.
    Rāvaṇa is referred to as Paulastya, because he is a descendent of Paulastya Brahma.
    பாட்யே கேயே ச மதுரம் ப்ரமாணைஸ்த்ரிபிரந்விதம் ।
    ஜாதிபி: ஸப்தபிர்பத்தம் தந்த்ரீலயஸமந்விதம் ॥
    ரஸை: ஸ்ருங்காரகாருண்யஹாஸ்யவீரபயாநகை: ।
    ரௌத்ராதிபிஸ்ச ஸம்யுக்தம் காவ்யமேததகாயதாம் ॥
    தௌ து காந்தர்வதத்த்வஜ்ஞௌ மூர்ச்சநாஸ்தாநகோவிதௌ ।
    ப்ராதரௌ ஸ்வரஸம்பந்நௌ கந்தர்வாவிவ ரூபிணௌ ॥
    ரூபலக்ஷணஸம்பந்நௌ மதுரஸ்வரபாஷிணௌ ।
    பிம்பாதிவோத்திதௌ பிம்பௌ ராமதேஹாத்ததாபரௌ ॥
    pāṭhyē gēyē ca madhuraṃ pramāṇaistribhiranvitam ।
    jātibhiḥ saptabhirbaddhaṃ tantrīlayasamanvitam ॥
    rasaiḥ ṡṛṅgārakāruṇyahāsyavīrabhayānakaiḥ ।
    raudrādibhiṡca saṃyuktaṃ kāvyamētadagāyatām ॥
    tau tu gāndharvatattvaj˝au mūrcchanāsthānakōvidau ।
    bhrātarau svarasampannau gandharvāviva rūpiṇau ॥
    rūpalakṣaṇasampannau madhurasvarabhāṣiṇau ।
    bimbādivōtthitau bimbau rāmadēhāttathāparau ॥
    The brothers, whose features seem
    to be a perfect reflection of those of Rāma,
    who are gifted with melodious voices, sweet disposition,
    perfect features and great virtues,
    who remind everyone of Gandharvas,
    and who are well versed in music and the pitching
    sang that poem which is enthralling to recite and sing,
    set in Seven Jātis with three Prāmānas,
    in tune with the sounds of string instruments
    evoking multitude of emotions like
    romance, compassion, amusement, chivalry, fury and terror.
    Gandharvas are referred in Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata
    and other stories of India. Gandharvas are known for their
    prowess in music and for their invincible valor.

    Three Prāmānas - Dṛuta, Madhya, Vilambita.
    Seven Jātis - Sa, ni, da, pa, ma, ga, ri.
    தௌ ராஜபுத்ரௌ கார்த்ஸ்ந்யேந தர்ம்யமாக்யாநமுத்தமம் ।
    வாசோவிதேயம் தத்ஸர்வம் க்ருத்வா காவ்யமநிந்திதௌ ॥
    ருஷீணாம் ச த்விஜாதீநாம் ஸாதூநாம் ச ஸமாகமே ।
    யதோபதேஸம் தத்த்வஜ்ஞௌ ஜகதுஸ்தௌ ஸமாஹிதௌ ।
    tau rājaputrau kārtsnyēna dharmyamākhyānamuttamam ।
    vācōvidhēyaṃ tatsarvaṃ kṛtvā kāvyamaninditau ॥
    ṛṣīṇāṃ ca dvijātīnāṃ sādhūnāṃ ca samāgamē ।
    yathōpadēṡaṃ tattvaj˝au jagatustau samāhitau ।
    That duo of princes mastered the poem
    that is full of great aphorisms, in its entirety.
    They sang it, as they had been instructed,
    at the gatherings of Ṛshis, Brāhmaṇas and Sādhus,
    with full appreciation of its meaning.
    Sādhu is a person who is gentle in behavior and noble in thoughts.
    However, of late, this word is being used to denote an ascetic.
    மஹாத்மாநௌ மஹாபாகௌ ஸர்வலக்ஷணலக்ஷிதௌ ।
    தௌ கதாசித்ஸமேதாநாம்ருஷீணாம் பாவிதாத்மநாம் ।
    ஆஸீநாநாம் ஸமீபஸ்தாவிதம் காவ்யமகாயதாம் ॥
    mahātmānau mahābhāgau sarvalakṣaṇalakṣitau ।
    tau kadācitsamētānāmṛṣīṇāṃ bhāvitātmanām ।
    āsīnānāṃ samīpasthāvidaṃ kāvyamagāyatām ॥
    One day, those two great, virtuous and fortuitous souls,
    sang the poem to an assembly of contemplative Ṛshis.
    தச்ச்ருத்வா முநய: ஸர்வே பாஷ்பபர்யாகுலேக்ஷணா: ।
    ஸாது ஸாத்விதி தாவூசு: பரம் விஸ்மயமாகதா: ॥
    tacchrutvā munayaḥ sarvē bāṣpaparyākulēkṣaṇāḥ ।
    sādhu sādhviti tāvūcuḥ paraṃ vismayamāgatāḥ ॥
    All of the Munis were exhilarated at the rendition.
    Their eyes were filled with tears in rejoice.
    They showered plaudits and kudos.
    தே ப்ரீதமநஸ: ஸர்வே முநயோ தர்மவத்ஸலா: ।
    ப்ரஸஸம்ஸு: ப்ரஸஸ்தவ்யௌ காயமாநௌ குஸீலவௌ ॥
    tē prītamanasaḥ sarvē munayō dharmavatsalāḥ ।
    praṡaṡaṃsuḥ praṡastavyau gāyamānau kuṡīlavau ॥
    All of those pleased Munis,
    who has affection and love for the tender Dharma,
    showered praise on the praiseworthy singers, Kuṡa and Lava.

    The phrase 'Dharma Vatsalau' gives me goose bumps. I read Rāmāyaṇa, expecting and enjoying these kind of highs!

    Dharmaj˝a - to be fully aware of Dharma - is one thing. Dharmātmā - to be contemplative of it - is another thing. Dharma Vatsalau - to wish it well with the affection and love that we usually shower on a tender, dearer and young person - is quite another thing. Dharma is nuanced and hence 'tender' and can hence be easily overlooked.

    Phrases like these make Vālmīki a great poet, Sanskrit a great language and Indic culture a great civilization.
    அஹோ கீதஸ்ய மாதுர்யம் ஸ்லோகாநாம் ச விஸேஷத: ।
    சிரநிர்வ்ருத்தமப்யேதத்ப்ரத்யக்ஷமிவ தர்ஸிதம் ॥
    ahō gītasya mādhuryaṃ ṡlōkānāṃ ca viṡēṣataḥ ।
    ciranirvṛttamapyētatpratyakṣamiva darṡitam ॥
    "What a melodious rendering!
    And how mellifluous are the Ṡlōkas!
    What had happened quite a while ago,
    has been brought to life again!"
    ப்ரவிஸ்ய தாவுபௌ ஸுஷ்டு ததா பாவமகாயதாம் ।
    ஸஹிதௌ மதுரம் ரக்தம் ஸம்பந்நம் ஸ்வரஸம்பதா ॥
    praviṡya tāvubhau suṣṭhu tadā bhāvamagāyatām ।
    sahitau madhuraṃ raktaṃ sampannaṃ svarasampadā ॥
    "They rendered it in unison, with all the richness and melody
    imparting the full sense of its depth and meaning in it."
    ஏவம் ப்ரஸஸ்யமாநௌ தௌ தப:ஸ்லாக்யைர்மஹாத்மபி: ।
    ஸம்ரக்ததரமத்யர்தம் மதுரம் தாவகாயதாம் ॥
    ēvaṃ praṡasyamānau tau tapaḥṡlāghyairmahātmabhiḥ ।
    saṃraktataramatyarthaṃ madhuraṃ tāvagāyatām ॥
    The duo sang the poem in a captivating and entrancing manner.
    as the Mahātmas of laudable Tapa praised them.
    ப்ரீத: கஸ்சிந்முநிஸ்தாப்யாம் ஸம்ஸ்தித: கலஸம் ததௌ ।
    ப்ரஸந்நோ வல்கலே கஸ்சித்ததௌ தாப்யாம் மஹாயஸா: ॥
    prītaḥ kaṡcinmunistābhyāṃ saṃsthitaḥ kalaṡaṃ dadau ।
    prasannō valkalē kaṡciddadau tābhyāṃ mahāyaṡāḥ ॥
    One of the pleased Munis got up and gave a Kalaṡa to them.
    Another enchanted Muni, gave them a Valkalams in appreciation.
    ஆஸ்சர்யமிதமாக்யாநம் முநிநா ஸம்ப்ரகீர்திதம் ।
    பரம் கவீநாமாதாரம் ஸமாப்தம் ச யதாக்ரமம் ॥
    āṡcaryamidamākhyānaṃ muninā samprakīrtitam ।
    paraṃ kavīnāmādhāraṃ samāptaṃ ca yathākramam ॥
    Thus the illustrious rendition was properly concluded
    in a manner that the Muni Vālmīki intended.

    Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa should be sung and heard, but not read, as we are doing now. However, that is the best we can do and it is better than nothing.

    The emotional component of the story and narration gets accentuated when sung. The point of Rāmāyaṇa is not to think about Dharma using logic. It is about experiencing the commitment to Dharma.
    அபிகீதமிதம் கீதம் ஸர்வகீதேஷு கோவிதௌ ।
    ஆயுஷ்யம் புஷ்டிஜநகம் ஸர்வஸ்ருதிமநோஹரம் ॥
    ப்ரஸஸ்யமாநௌ ஸர்வத்ர கதாசித்தத்ர காயகௌ ।
    ரத்யாஸு ராஜமார்கேஷு ததர்ஸ பரதாக்ரஜ: ॥
    abhigītamidaṃ gītaṃ sarvagītēṣu kōvidau ।
    āyuṣyaṃ puṣtijanakaṃ sarvaṡrutimanōharam ॥
    praṡasyamānau sarvatra kadācittatra gāyakau ।
    rathyāsu rājamārgēṣu dadarṡa bharatāgrajaḥ ॥
    The praiseworthy singers,
    gifted with the skill to render all variations,
    sung this song everywhere,
    in the streets and in the main avenues.
    Rāma, the elder brother of Bharata
    happened to seen them one day.
    ஸ்வவேஸ்ம சாநீய ததோ ப்ராதரௌ ச குஸீலவௌ ।
    பூஜயாமாஸ பூஜார்ஹௌ ராம: ஸத்ருநிபர்ஹண: ॥
    svavēṡma cānīya tatō bhrātarau ca kuṡīlavau ।
    pūjayāmāsa pūjārhau rāmaḥ ṡatrunibarhaṇaḥ ॥
    Rāma, the destroyer of foes,
    brought the two honorable brothers , Kuṡa and Lava
    to his palace and paid due honors and respects.

    A Kshatriya, be it a manager, a leader or a king, sees his world in three segments. His party (supporters that are firmly behind him), opposition (people who are opposing him and ready to pounce to seize the power away from him)and the people at large who form his department or constituency or country.

    A successful and worthy Kshatriya, will be able to lead his supporters and keep their confidence, keep making moves to trounce the opposition and provide protection and justice for everyone of his subjects.

    The adjectives used for Rāma, and other Kshatriyas throughout Rāmāyaṇa, extol their prowess in doing all the three of them well.

    In this Ṡlōka 1.4.24, Rāma is referred to as Ṡatru Nibarhaṇa, alluding to his ability to destroy his enemies.

    ஆஸீந: காஞ்சநே திவ்யே ஸ ச ஸிம்ஹாஸநே ப்ரபு: ।
    உபோபவிஷ்ட: ஸசிவைர்ப்ராத்ருபிஸ்ச பரந்தப: ॥
    āsīnaḥ kā˝canē divyē sa ca siṃhāsanē prabhuḥ ।
    upōpaviṣtaḥ sacivairbhrātṛbhiṡca parantapaḥ ॥
    The tormentor of foes,
    surrounded by his brothers and ministers,
    was seated on a splendid golden throne.
    த்ருஷ்ட்வா து ரூபஸம்பந்நௌ தாவுபௌ நியதஸ்ததா ।
    உவாச லக்ஷ்மணம் ராம: ஸத்ருக்நம் பரதம் ததா ॥
    dṛṣtvā tu rūpasampannau tāvubhau niyatastadā ।
    uvāca lakṣmaṇaṃ rāmaḥ ṡatrughnaṃ bharataṃ tathā ॥
    Rāma, completely in-charge of everything,
    saw the charming and well-endowed brothers
    and said to Lakshmaṇa, Bharata and Ṡatrughna:
    ஸ்ரூயதாமிதமாக்யாநமநயோர்தேவவர்சஸோ: ।
    விசித்ரார்தபதம் ஸம்யக்காயிநௌ தாவசோதயத் ॥
    ṡrūyatāmidamākhyānamanayōrdēvavarcasōḥ ।
    vicitrārthapadaṃ samyaggāyinau tāvacōdayat ॥
    "Please listen to the story
    with its intriguing style and meaning
    sung by these two splendid brothers".
    Then he asked the two brothers to sing.
    தௌ சாபி மதுரம் ரக்தம் ஸ்வஞ்சிதாயதநிஸ்வநம் ।
    தந்த்ரீலயவதத்யர்தம் விஸ்ருதார்தமகாயதாம் ॥
    tau cāpi madhuraṃ raktaṃ sva˝citāyatanisvanam ।
    tantrīlayavadatyarthaṃ viṡrutārthamagāyatām ॥
    Both of them rendered it engagingly
    with their melodious, full and ample voices
    well in tune with their string instruments
    echoing the distinct and deep meaning.
    ஹ்லாதயத் ஸர்வகாத்ராணி மநாம்ஸி ஹ்ருதயாநி ச ।
    ஸ்ரோத்ராஸ்ரயஸுகம் கேயம் தத்பபௌ ஜநஸம்ஸதி ॥
    hlādayat sarvagātrāṇi manāṃsi hṛdayāni ca ।
    ṡrōtrāṡrayasukhaṃ gēyaṃ tadbabhau janasaṃsadi ॥
    Their rendering illuminated the air,
    delightful and enchanting to the hearts and minds,
    comforting and pleasing to the ears and
    touching every inch of the body and soul.
    இமௌ முநீ பார்திவலக்ஷணாந்விதௌ
    குஸீலவௌ சைவ மஹாதபஸ்விநௌ ।
    மமாபி தத் பூதிகரம் ப்ரவக்ஷ்யதே
    மஹாநுபாவம் சரிதம் நிபோதத ॥
    imau munī pārthivalakṣaṇānvitau
    kuṡīlavau caiva mahātapasvinau ।
    mamāpi tad bhūtikaraṃ pravakṣyatē
    mahānubhāvaṃ caritaṃ nibōdhata ॥
    "Please enjoy this story, full of meaning
    that is also good for my welfare,
    from these great Tapasvis, Kuṡa and Lava
    who are shining with ascetic as well as princely qualities."
    ததஸ்து தௌ ராமவச: ப்ரசோதிதா
    வகாயதாம் மார்கவிதாநஸம்பதா ।
    ஸ சாபி ராம: பரிஷத்கத: ஸநை
    ர்புபூஷயா ஸக்தமநா பபூவ ஹ ॥
    tatastu tau rāmavacaḥ pracōditā
    vagāyatāṃ mārgavidhānasampadā ।
    sa cāpi rāmaḥ pariṣadgataḥ ṡanai
    rbubhūṣayā saktamanā babhūva ha ॥
    At the request of Rāma, they sang the poem, in the Mārga style.
    Rāma also listened to it intently to find peace of mind.
    Two styles of singing known as Mārga and Dēsi
    are mentioned in Indian literature over multiple periods of history.
    They can be interpreted as the
    'classical' and 'folk' styles, respectively.

    இத்யார்ஷே ஸ்ரீமத்ராமாயணே வால்மீகீயே ஆதிகாவ்யே
    ஸ்ரீமத்பாலகாண்டே சதுர்த: ஸர்க: ॥
    ityārṣē ṡrīmadrāmāyaṇē vālmīkīyē ādikāvyē
    ṡrīmadbālakāṇḍē caturthaḥ sargaḥ ॥
    Thus concludes the fourth Sarga
    in Bāla Kāṇḍa of the glorious Rāmāyaṇa,
    the first ever poem of humankind,
    composed by Vālmīki.

    We completed reading 212 Ṡlōkas out of ~24,000 Ṡlōkas of Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa
    Last edited by soundararajan50; 26-04-14, 12:24.