Pavan K. Varma

The Greatest Ode to Lord Ram: Tulsidas’s Ramcharitmanas Selections & Commentaries

About the Book

AN EASY-TO-UNDERSTAND BUT LAYERED INTRODUCTION TO LORD RAM AS A GOD AND AS A MAN The Ramcharitmanas is undoubtedly one of the greatest lyrical compositions in Hindi literature. Writing in the sixteenth century, Tulsidas chose to pen verses in Awadhi rather than Sanskrit, thus breaking with literary tradition and importantly making Lord Ram more relatable to the layperson. Pavan K. Varma, author of the best-selling Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism’s Greatest Thinker has selected some of the most evocative stanzas—offering a succinct commentary for each—that capture the very core of the original.
While centring the philosophical aspect of the Ramcharitmanas—the immutability of the soul over the merely corporeal; the transience of worldly pleasures; the placing of wisdom above knowledge—The Greatest Ode to Lord Ram describes a devoted son, a loving sibling, a committed lover, an ideal ruler and also a human, almost bereft of divinity. Indeed, Ram is a god and a man; he is comprehensible.
Tulsidas’s seminal work employs a unique poetic linguistic tool that unravels even the most profound concepts with utmost simplicity, blending philosophy with breath taking verse. Varma’s compelling new selection and commentary achieves this effect by combining the aesthetics, romance and imagery of the original work with the unadulterated spirituality that sparkles through the conduct of a great god.

About the Author
Diplomat-writer Pavan K. Varma is the author of several bestselling books including the Great Indian Middle Class, Being Indian, Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism’s Greatest Thinker and his latest release The Great Hindu Civilisation. He was an MP in the Rajya Sabha between 2014 and 2016. Earlier, he was Advisor to the Chief Minister of Bihar, with the rank of Cabinet minister. He was India’s Ambassador in several countries including Bhutan, also Director of the Nehru Centre in London, Official Spokesperson of the MEA and Press Secretary to the President of India. He was conferred an Honorary Doctoral Degree for his contribution to the fields of diplomacy, literature, culture and aesthetics by the University of Indianapolis in 2005. He was also conferred the Druk Thuksey, Bhutan’s highest civilian award by His Majesty the King of Bhutan in 2012. In 2018, on the instructions of His Holiness the Shankaracharya of Sringeri he was conferred an Honorary Doctorate by Sri Sharada Institute of Indian Management. He is currently a Distinguished Professor at Symbiosis International University. He is also a well-known columnist and TV personality. Pavan K. Varma lives in Delhi and can be contacted at and on Twitter @PavanK_Varma.
310 printed pages
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