The Ramayana of Valmiki Audio Sampler
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For your listening enjoyment, we have included two sets of audio samples – short excerpts, and full-length scenes. The first group of audio samples is short excerpts designed to give you an initial flavor of the production. You will be able to experience each of the three different readers on each of the three volumes, as well as to evaluate the audio quality of the production. The second group of audio samples feature full-length scenes, which will allow you to settle in and appreciate the richness and depth of the Ramayana itself.
All of the samples are available as MP3 audio files. You have a choice of listening to "streaming audio" on your computer or you may download any selection for playback at a future time. Downloaded files may also be transfered to your MP3 player.
To hear a streaming audio file, just click on the Stream link, after a short pause your computer's media player will open. Note: once the media player is open on your computer screen, you may need to click the media player start button to begin hearing the audio stream, if it doesn't begin playing automatically.
To download right-click on the Download link and then choose "Save Target As."
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Volume I – Read by Richard Ross
The first seven verses of the Valmiki Ramayana in which the author, Valmiki, sets the stage by asking the great sage, Narada, "Who is the perfect hero?"
[Bala Kanda – 1.1]
By virtue of a boon given to Queen Kaikeyi by Rama's father (King Dasharatha), Kaikeyi has demanded that Rama be exiled to the forest on the eve of his coronation as crown prince. Here Rama gives his noble response to his step-mother's betrayal.
[Ayodhya Kanda – 1.19]
VOLUME II – Read by Stephen White
Ravana, King of the Rakshasas (demons) has decided to abduct Rama's wife, Sita, in order to humiliate Rama and for his own pleasure. Disguised as a wandering sage, he has entered Sita's forest retreat to seduce her. Rebuffed by Sita after he reveals his identity, he now assumes his own terrifying form.
[Aranya Kanda – 3.49]
Volume III – Read by Michael Sternfeld
After extraordinary trials and tribulations, Rama defeated Ravana, and recovered his beloved wife, Sita. Instead of rejoicing, Rama shocked his allies and friends by rejecting Sita. Sita responds to her husband with great purity, devotion, and courage.
[Yuddha Kanda – 6.19]
This famous section describes Rama Raj – the ideal rulership of Ram. During Rama’s long and peaceful reign, great abundance and fullness of life blessed the earth and all its inhabitants. This possibility is still an inspiration today.
[Yuddha Kanda – 6.131]
Full Length Scenes
Volume I – Bala Kanda Canto – 75, 76, & 77 (17:33 – 23MB)
In this fascinating scene, Rama meets Parashurama, his previous incarnation on earth. To win Sita’s hand in marriage, Rama has just accomplished the impossible, by lifting, stringing, and breaking Shiva’s bow. Now on his way home, Parashurama intercepts him and challenges him to a duel. As Rama vanquishes Parashurama, the stage is set for a whole new epoch on earth. The scene concludes with Rama’s return to Ayodhya and a description of the profound love between Rama and his wife, Sita.
Volume I – Ayodhya Kanda – Cantos 111 & 112 (12:56 – 17MB)
After Rama left for his exile into the forest, his brother, Bharat, learned of his mother’s treachery. Unwilling to accept the throne, Bharat journeyed into the forest to persuade Rama to return home. A great debate ensued between the two – with Bharat personifying the force of love, and Rama personifying the force of dharma.
Volume II – Aranya Kanda – Cantos 9 & 10 (11:26 – 15MB)
As Rama and Sita journey deeper into the forest during their exile, the sages ask Rama for his protection. Demonstrating her virtue, Sita counsels her husband to abide by the terms of his exile and not to bear weapons, but Rama insists on his duty to the oppressed. This beautiful dialog between Rama and Sita highlights the values of ideal relationship.
Volume II – Sundara Kanda – Cantos 42 & 43 (11:18 – 15MB)
After delivering Rama’s message to Sita and restoring her faith that she would be rescued, Hanuman demonstrates his power and prowess as the ideal messenger of Rama. By challenging and defeating the Rakshasas, he breaks down their confidence, thus furthering Rama’s mission. Hanuman, it seems, embodies the right use of ego, in service of the Self – embodied by Rama.
Volume III – Yuddha Kanda – Canto 107 (8:57 – 10MB)
The battle between Rama and Ravana went on for days, marveling all the beholders. Despite his power and prowess, Rama was unable to defeat Ravana until the great sage Agasthya visited Rama on the battlefield. Agasthya imparted to Rama the sacred “Aditya Hrdayam” (Heart of the Sun), and with this pure knowledge, Rama gained the invincibility to defeat Ravana. We have included this powerful hymn here in its entirety.
Volume III – Yuddha Kanda – Canto 131 (21:32 – 25MB)
Rama returns triumphantly home from
Ayodhya-home to the full
acknowledgement of the wholeness of his Being. After all the challenges of
the journey, this grand completion allows us to rejoice with the citizenry
of Rama's realm (at least until new challenges arise in the final
book-Uttara Kanda). This scene concludes with a description of the
benefits and blessings from listening to the Ramayana.
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