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Lao Ramayana: Gvay Dvorahbi

Sachchidanand Sahai (Author)
Synopsis The monograph offers a unique version of the Ramayana from Laos, considered as an "out-post" of Indian civilization in South-East Asia. The original palm leaf manuscript of the Gvay Dvorahbi which forms the basis of this study was preserved in the collection of the Royal Palace. Luang Prabang in 1970s. The title of the text pronounced as Khvay Thuaraphi, buffalo Dundabhi is a well-known character of the Valmiki Ramayana in its Kiskindha Kanda, with this title, however, the whole story of the Ramayana has been narrated by the Laotian author. In its introductory chapter, the reader rediscovers the interesting process of localization by which the events of the Ramayana have been placed in different parts of Laos. This section also explores the elements of Laotian folklore integrated into the Ramayana story. The following chapter (II), critically compares Gvay Dvorahbi with the Indian and extra Indian versions of the story of Rama. Chapter III offers an annotated English translation of the Laotian text, Chapter IV comments on the mural paintings of Vat Oup-Moung in Vientiane, (Laos) which describes the study of Ramayana in 33 panels as known to the Laotian painter. These panels assume greater importance today as the edifice whose walls they adorned have been recently demolished in course of reinnovation of the monasteries. Chapter V offers the text of the Gvay Dvorahbi in the Laotian language and script as copied from the original Yuan manuscript by the scribes of the royal palace. In an illuminating foreword, Professor Suniti Kumar Chatterjee, the renowned Indian linguist, highlights the importance of this publication in the study of Ramayana and the culture of Laos.
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About the author

Sachchidanand Sahai

Professor Sachchidanand Sahai (born 1941) served as Pro-Vice Chancellor, Magadh University, Bodh-Gaya in 2001. Currently he is Member, Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi. Professor Sahai obtained his M.A. degree in Ancient Indian History, culture and Archaeology from Banaras Hindu University, with the award of A.S. Altekar Gold Medal in 1962. His researches on ancient Cambodia under the guidance of eminent French savant George Coedes in the University of Paris (Sorbonne) during 1965-69 lead to a doctoral degree and the publication of a pioneering work Les institutions politiques et I’ organization administrative du Cambodge ancien, EFEO, Paris, 1971. Professor Sahai was offered a Fulbright post-doctoral fellowship at Cornell Fellowships at Australian National University and Maison de Science de I’Homme, Paris. Under the auspices of Indian Council for Cultural Relations Professor Sahai worked as Visiting Professor of Asian Civilization at Sisavangvong University, Vientiane, Laos. He also worked as Research Professor at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi. Professor Sahai is the author of a number of books and research papers on the cultural history of South East Asia. He is the founder of the South East Asian Review and the International Conference on Thai Studies.

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Bibliographic information

Title Lao Ramayana: Gvay Dvorahbi
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788176464031
length xx+148p., Figures; Plates; Bibliography; Index; 26cm.