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Article on Ramayana published in major journal
by Jim Karpen

The Review, Vol. 19, #16    Translate This Article
Fairfield, Iowa, United States
21 May 2004

Alum Michael Sternfeld (M.A. in SCI, 1989) and former faculty member Susan Andersen recently published a paper, titled 'Universal Views of the Ramayana: A Cross-Cultural Perspective,' in the Journal of Vaishnava Studies, a prestigious academic journal.

In this special issue of the journal focusing on the Ramayana, the editor also selected their paper as the lead article, saying, '[T]he article made a profound statement about the universality of the Ramayana, and for this reason it is an excellent starting point for our volume.' This issue of the journal also included articles by top Ramayana scholars throughout the world, including Philip Lutkendorf from the University of Iowa.

Mr. Sternfeld and Ms. Andersen wrote this article several years ago in the wake of the 9/11 event to bring out the unifying elements of the Ramayana for the cultures of the world. Mr. Sternfeld had the opportunity to deliver this paper at several major academic conferences, including the first International Ramayana Conference at Northern Illinois University in 2001 and at the World Association for Vedic Studies Conference at the University of Massachusetts in 2002.

The article explores the intrinsic universal values within the Ramayana that have sustained its universal appeal over centuries and across many cultures. Maharishi's principles of Vedic Science, as applied to the Ramayana, are given in-depth treatment in the article.

Consciousness-Based(SM) education is also highlighted in the article, since a course taught by the authors on the Ramayana in 2000 was used as a case study for the theories proposed in the paper.

'It's really a great honor to have this article published in such a major academic journal, and this honor has a special significance because we so boldly treated the Ramayana using Maharishi's principles of Vedic Science,' Mr. Sternfeld said. 'Being chosen as the lead article also indicates a great receptivity on the part of the academic community for our Consciousness-Based education programs here at Maharishi University of Management.'

Mr. Sternfeld recently finished the third and final volume of the Ramayana audio production, which was completed under a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. With the release of this final volume, the three-volume set of the first audio production of the unabridged Ramayana of Valmiki is complete, making it the world's longest audio book.

The grant also included funding for a series of public programs on the Ramayana that were delivered throughout the Midwest. Several of these events featured collaborations between Mr. Sternfeld and Ms. Andersen, including the final event that was broadcast by National Public Radio station WSUI in Iowa City.

Copyright 2004, Maharishi University of Management

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