BYU Asian Studies Journal


BYU Asian Studies, Valmiki, Hesse, poetry


The Vedic poet Valmiki could hardly have imagined that, with his discovery of shloka, or poetic meter, and the subsequent advent of literature as a separate aesthetic genre, Hindu notions of reality would lend expression of outrage to war-weary Germans thousands of years later. Or perhaps he did: Brahma’s benediction provided that, “so long as the mountains and rivers . . . stay on the face of the earth / So long will the story of Rama endure / So long will your fame remain.”1