One of India's two greatest epics, the Ramayana pervades the country's moral and cultural consciousness. For generations it has served as a bedtime story for Indian children, while at the same time emgaging the interest of philosophers and theologians. Now this magnificent new translation makes the monumental work available to a new audience. Believed to have been composed by Valmiki sometime between the eighth and sixth centuries BC, the Ramayana tells the tragic and magical story of Rama, the prince of Ayodhya, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, born to rid the earth of the terrible demon Ravana. An idealized heroic tale ending with the inevitable triumph of good over evil, the Ramayana is also an intensely personal story of family relationships, love and loss, duty and honour, of harem intrigue, petty jealousies and destructive ambitions. All this played out in a universe populated by larger-than-life humans, gods and celestial beings, wondrous animals and terrifying demons. In her translation Arshia Sattar has successfully bridged both time and space to make this ancient classic accessible to the present-day English reader.An added attraction is her superb introduction which provides new insights and background information for both the general reader and scholar alike.