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The shift has not been arbitary or prompted by a desire for novelty but the result of the conviction that in India ‘godhead has always been identified with the Eternal Feminine’ and that it is time to make a “conscious return to ancient verities”. The theme of this work which has been based on a number of sources other than Valmiki and Kamban too, is the inevitable Raina-Sita-Ravana theme but the ‘telling’ and the structure and organisation are different. The story begins with the “birth” of Sita and ends with the book Ashrama which in the author’s own words, “unfolds the supreme irony and supreme tragedy of the noon-time eclipse in Sita’s life, her twelve years in Muni Valmiki’s ashrama, the climactic second vindication and definitive withdrawal to her Earth-Mother, Madhavi”.

It should be said that Sitayana with all its other merits, makes a bid to take Indian English poetry to the Aurobindonian tradition in which poetry was ‘dhyanamantra’, a prayer and a fulfilment of one’s spiritual needs. To this extent it may be personal but the spiritual ecstasy offered by it is something which everyone can share.

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