[BACK TO RAMAYANA] [CHARACTERS AND PLACES IN THE RAMAYANA] [LINK TO OTHER RAMAYANA SITES]

INTRODUCTION

by Dr. Henry Ferguson

                Learning is as much how we learn as what we learn. The pleasure of learning turns what is learned into well-remembered  truth. Thus the well-told tale or the fairy story or the lively anecdote from the past all enliven and enrich the learning of one's cultural and moral heritage.

                Nowhere is this more clearly defined than in the Ramayana, one of the world's most extraordinary teaching vehicles. Told by generations of grandmothers to the children on their laps and by bards to those clustered around them, told with a tune and told with a gesture, the story of Rama has brought home to Indian children the most basic values of their civilization. The Ramayana teaches that goodness and truth and love and duty could not rule throughout the land until Rama had done his duty in goodness, truth and love. Just so must each of us act in our own lives, each fulfilling his own destiny.

                For the child of another culture, these values can be seen in isolatino to be compared with his or her own values. So, too, the medium of the delightful story makes come to life one of the more subtle processes of the child's own education: how values and attitudes are learned. Why one learns values can then be understood in a context which is emothionally neutral and yet enriching and informative.

                The Ramayana, here excitingly retold and illustrated by Bapu, is offered that children of all the world may come to know themselves better.

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CHARACTERS AND PLACES IN THE RAMAYANA
In the order of their appearance

 

RAVANA, demon king of Lanka,
VISHNU, a Supreme God, God of Preservation
DASARATHA, King of Ayodhya, here "The Old King"
RAMA, incarnation of Vishnu, mortal son of Dasaratha
LAKSHMANA, Rama's half-brother
KAIKA, Dasaratha's third wife, mother of Bharata
BHARATA, son of Dasaratha and Kaika
LAKSHMI, consort (wife) of Vishnu
SIVA, a Supreme God, God of Destruction
JATAYU, a bird, friend of Dasaratha, the Old King
LANKA,island, formerly called Ceylon in English
INDRAJIT, son of Ravana

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LINK TO OTHER RAMAYANA SITES

http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/maxpages/special/ramayana/index.htm
http://www.kompas.com/9609/28/UTAMA/ohsri.htm
http://www.askasia.org/frclasrm/lessplan/l000054.htm
http://www.goloka.com/docs/rama

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