South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

Donald R Davis

Associate ProfessorPhD, University of Texas at Austin

Donald R Davis



Sanskrit; Dharmaśāstra; Law and Religion; Medieval India; Malayalam

Rāmāyaṇa Colloquium

In the interest of providing additional experience with and exposure to Sanskrit literature for students, staff, and faculty at UT, we have organized an informal Sanskrit reading group that will meet regularly (once per week) to read one of the two classical epics of India, the Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki.   The main purpose of the group is simply to read together a great and beautiful text in the original.  We use a bilingual edition so that anyone, including those with little or no Sanskrit, can participate, if desired, but we go through the original text.  All Sanskrit students, as well as the Sanskrit-curious, are invited to join us, because the second goal for the group will be to develop and strengthen the community of scholars and students interested in Sanskrit, Indian literature, and classical India.  We think that means everybody and hope you find time to join us regularly or from time to time.

As A.K. Ramanujan famously wrote, "In India and Southeast Asia, no one ever reads the Rāmāyaṇa or the Mahābhārata for the first time.  The stories are there, 'always already.'" ("Three Hundred Rāmāyaṇas," in Many Rāmāyaṇas, ed. Paula Richman, California, 1991, p.46).  Therefore, everyone should feel free to come at any time, no preparation required, and pick up the reading wherever we happen to be.  We are using the Clay Sanskrit Library edition, in this case the Ayodhyā Book translated by Sheldon Pollock.  If you need the reading or have other questions, please contact Don Davis.

The group meets most Fridays from 1-2pm during terms in the Meyerson Conference Room, WCH 4.118.

NEXT MEETING DATE: Friday, January 29, 2016 (tentative)

WHERE WE ARE AT: Ayodhyā 16.16

PDF of Chapters 6-22 from the Bilingual Clay Sanskrit Library edition (6.6 MB)

PDF of Chapters 10-14 of the Baroda Critical Edition

PDF of the Entire Ayodhyākāṇḍa in Devanāgarī with the commentary of Govindarāja