C. L. RAMAKRISHNAN

KUNHUNNI RAMAYANAM: Poorna Publications, TBS Building, G.H. Road, Kozhikode-1. Rs. 90.THIS SHORT work deals with the epic Ramayana concisely. It opens with a conversation between Siva and Parvati in which the Divine Mother seeks to know the 'Rama tattva' from Her consort. In reply, Siva narrates the epic. This work deals with the first six cantos and omits the seventh - the Uttara Kanda. Perhaps, the author follows the tradition that it is a later addition, or that it contains unrelated episodes. The story unfolds chronologically in a lucid interesting style. Since the author has followed the Adhyatma Ramayana, he has given philosophical interpretations of some episodes. These explanations offer reasons for certain developments in the plot and portray the characters Dasaratha and Manthara as noble personages. The depiction of Dasaratha, torn between his love for Rama and his Dharma, is touching. Unlike the Valmiki Ramayana, where Rama's divinity has only been hinted at occasionally, this work offers more of these revelations. Instead of being a mere narrative, the author has made the work worthwhile by bringing in values that enable a purposeful life here and offer a peep into the equipment required for the hereafter.