AUTHOR'S PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION
I am grateful to the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
which has brought out these fresh reprints of my Ramayana and Mahabharata books. The
Bhavan has achieved great work by the very wide distribution organised by it of these two
books, which seek to bring Valmiki and Vyasa near to those who have no access to the
unrivalled original classics. The characters and incidents of these two itihasas have come
to be the raw material for the works of numerous poets and saints that came later to write
dramas and sing poems and hymns to keep this nation in the straight path.
Oral discourses have further played with
them in order to entertain and instruct pious audiences and not a few variations and
additions have been made to the original. All the languages of India have the Ramayana and
Mahabharata retold by their poets, with additions and variations of their own. It is good
to have the narrative written up for young people as told in the original epics, and these
two books of mine seek to serve that object.