Size : Price $9, 300 baht, soft cover, US$12, 480 baht hard cover

Condition : 101 pages, 12 colour plates.

History :
    The Ramayana, that world-renowned classic which originated as a great Indian epic 2,000 years ago, has long been an exotic piece of literature laden with all sorts of supernatural fantasies. Recently, a new version has been published which further underlines the fact that anything that's excitingly different can be used to motivate a novelist's creative forces.

    J.C.Shaw is that inspired author. His book - The Ramayana Through Western Eyes - is the product of the inspiration of a western writer who resides in the north of Thailand.

    Bangkok Post.


    Rama Wins The Hand Of Sita

    Once upon a time in the golden city of Siam lived a prince called Rama. Not only was he fair as a dawning day but he was also as strong and brave as a tiger; learned, too, and just, he was loved by all. One day King Dasaratha, Prince Rama's father, sent him on a mission of goodwill to the nearby kingdom of Angkor. As Rama rode into the courtyard of the palace he chanced to look up; standing on a balcony was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. Her long hair sparkled like a waterfall in the sunlight and her face was radiant with the joy of life. Their eyes met and at that instant they fell in love.

    Now the King of Angkor had a magic bow that had been given to his great-grangfather by the mighty God Indra. It was so large and was made of wood of such weight and hardness that no one could bend it. The king had decreed that the first man who could string the great bow should have the hand of his daughter in marriage.

    Princes and noblemen from far and near had attempted to bend the bow, but all had failed. "No man in the world is strong enough," they said as they turned sadly away. "Surely the king must want to keep his daughter with him for ever."

    That night the Princess, whose name was Sita, could not sleep for she thought only of the handsome man who had ridden by that morning. "Who can he be?" she sighed. "Why will no one tell me?" She tossed and turned in her bed and the silken sheets felt like sackcloth; she scolded her maidservants; the moonlight hurt her eyes; and the nightingale sang out of tune. For she was in love.

    On a sudden came a call from without. "The Prince has strung the bow! The Prince has strung the great bow of Indra!" Sita's heart stopped beating and she nearly swooned. "If this Prince is not he whom I saw this morning, I shall kill myself," she vowed.

    Hastily her maidens dressed her in a gown of white silk, then they brushed her long hair and placed diamonds around her neck. Through the door of the throne-room Sita went. Slowly she walked up the long length of the hall, not daring to raise her eyes until she stood before her father, the king, where he sat on his throne. Only then did she look up and, lo! beside him stood Rama, the bow in his hand, fairer to behold than she had dreamed in the restless hours of the night. They looked the one upon the other and knew that their love was blessed by the gods.

    "How is it," said the king, "that you, Prince Rama, of all men who walk the world have been able to string the bow of Indra?"

    Simply Rama replied, "I am that God. Know you not that I have been born as a human in order to rid the earth of the Prince of Darkness, Ravana? I come to destroy him and all the evil giants that dwell in the kingdom of Pagan. Should I fail, as maybe I shall,for Ravana has great powers and powerful allies, then the human race shall perish. The Princess Sita was born to help me in this task in ways that are not yet clear to me." Rama stood silent and with him all that great company.

    Then up stood the king and named the wedding day. Invitations were sent out to the king and people of Siam and to many other kings and princes who were friendly to Siam and Angkor.




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