(Photo credit: chooyutshing)

In case you couldn’t tell, I like to read.  And today, I’d like to share a book that I don’t often see recommended in the US: the Ramayana.

In case you’re not familiar with this book, it’s an epic tale not far removed from things like Beowulf and the storylines of RPG video games.  However, this one comes with a twist; the book jacket explains that the Ramayana is “essentially scripture.”

When one isn’t an adherent of the accompanying religion, one doesn’t usually think scripture will enthrall.   Enlighten perhaps, but not excite or enthrall.

The Ramayana is a gem for people who love fantasy and adventure books but want some brain food thrown in.  Since this is a Hindu work, there’s plenty of philosophy to feed on and, of course, a dose of intercultural understanding for those of you not from the Hindu world.

Not all of the great ancient epics come from the West.

And did I mention that this work runs as long as a Dostoyevsky novel?  Sometimes length is not a bad thing.

I think the missionizing religions would have a much easier time converting people if their sacred texts were as enjoyable to read.  But I suppose you don’t get to write your own holy books.

Go figure.  Some guilty pleasures are good for you… except for one minor detail.  I just wrote an “entertainment” post about scripture, which means I’m going to Hell.