AUTHOR'S PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
I am glad that the Bhavan has so soon found
a demand for bringing out a second impression of my Ramayana. It fills me not only with
pride but also with satisfaction. Greece-the Greece we all admire-is gone, but Homer's
'Iliad' and 'Odessey' remain and will remain forever, not only in Greek but in all the
languages of the civilized world. So also will Valmiki's Ramayana live in all the tongues
of civilized people whatever Way happen to India and its politics.
The Ramayana is not history or biography.
It is a part of Hindu mythology. We cannot understand Greek life and Greek civilisation
without knowing all about Zeus, Apollo, Hercules, Venus, Hector, Priam, Achilles, Ulysses
and others. So also one cannot understand Hindu dharma unless one knows Rama and Seeta,
Bharata, Lakshmana, Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Han an. Mythology cannot be dispensed with.
Philosophy alone or rituals alone or mythology alone cannot be sufficient. These are the
three stands of aJ1 ancient religions. The attitude towards things spiritual which belongs
to a particular people cannot be grasped or preserved or conveyed unless we have all these
three. Even an iconoclast like Bernard Shaw has acknowledged the essentiality of myths.
14th October, 1957.