Hanuman before Rama and Lakshmana: Folio from the dispersed “Mankot” Ramayana series, ca. 1710–25. Courtesy of Seymour Fund, 1976
How do we relate to a story about a monkey that flies and speaks Sanskrit, another story in which a daughter is publicly sacrificed to ensure victory in a war? How do we relate to a story that is 2500 years old? The stories persist but what meaning do we find in grand narratives that come to us from a time and a place that were never ours? But we do, because epics are, ultimately, about the questions that make us human.