Ramayan

The Ramayana is a great Indian epic like Mahabharat, attributed to the Sanskrit poet Valmiki.The hero, Ram, lived his whole life by the rules of Dharma.Rama was a perfect son,an ideal husband and a responsible ruler of Aydohya. So he was called as Maryada Purushottam ie the limit of a perfect person.

Dasharath, the King of Ayodhya, had three wives and four sons. Rama was the eldest one born to Kaushalya.Bharat was from the second and favorite wife,Kaikayi. The other two are twins, Lakshman and Shatrughna.All the four children were taught the battle arts and archery by a sage.

Sita was the daughter of the king Janak,from the neighbouring kingdom.During the ceremony called a Swayamvara(Selection of bridrgromm for marriage), the princes were challenged to lift and string the giant bow called,Shiva Dhanushya(The Bow Of Lord Shiva).

All other prices except Ram failed to even lift the bow, but Ram not only stringed it but broke it in two pieces and Sita garlanded Ram as her husband. King Dasharath, Ram's father, decides retire as a king and give his throne to his eldest son Ram,as per the rules of dharma. All were happy with this decision since they loved Ram. However Rama's step-mother, the king's second wife, Kaikayi,was not convinced with the decision since she wanted her son, Bharat, to become the king.

As per the boon given to Kaikayi by Dasharath years before,to fulfill her any two wishes, she makes the king to agree to send Ram for fourteen years stay in the jungle and to crown Bharat as the king.The king,urged for taking back the condition laid by her but was in vain.

Rama,obeyed fathers command andset for banishment in the forest. Sita and brother Lakshman also decided to accompany him in the forest. Bharat, was very much annoyed with his mother's evil and was very upset for breaking the rules of dharma and becoming king in Ram's place. He follows Ram to his dwelling in the forest and begs him to return back and rule as a king.

Rama convinced him "We must obey father's orders," To this Bharat picked up Ram's sabots(sandals) saying, "I will keep this on the throne and I shall assume Ram as the king.

Ram, Sita and Lakshman happily stayed in the fores and destroyed the evil forces who disturbed the sages in their meditations. One day a demon princess,Shurpankha, tried to seduce Ram but angry Lakshman cut her nose and made her flee.

She was the sister of demon king Ravan, the ten-headed ruler of Lanka and told about her insult by Lakshmana and the beutiful Sita.

Ravan set up a plan to abduct Sita. He sent a charming golden deer to the forest where Sita dwelled.Sita was very much attracted with the deer and requested Ram to get it for her.

Soon Ram and Lakshman went to get the deer.Lakshman drew a protective circle around the dwelling and warned Sita not to step outside the circle for any reason. As they went away, Ravan came there in disguise of a holy man,Sadhu, begging alms. The moment Sita stepped outside the circle to offer him food, Ravan kidnapped her to his kingdom,Lanka.

Ram and Lakshman were upset when they returned to the empty hut and could not find Sita there.Ravan tried to convince Sita for marriage but she refused it for any of his offers.

Later on Ram deputed Hanuman,the son of wind,for this job and Hanuman flew to Lanka and found Sita cornered by Ravanas attendants.Hanuman promised her that Ram would come and save her from the clutches of Ravan.

Ravana's men arrested Hanuman and wrapped his tail in cloth and set it to fire. With the burning tail, Hanuman jumped on all the structures of the golden lanka palace, setting it on fire and flew back to Ram and told him the facts and whereabouts of Sita.

Rama, Lakshman and the monkey troop constructed a Setu(bridge)between India and Lanka and crossed over to Lanka.In the severe war,Ram killed many of Ravan's folks and finally Rama killed Ravan.

After Sita was freed she proved here purity by entering in to fire and then all of them returned to Ayodhya. The conditional fourteen years stay in the forest was also over and Rama took up to throne as the king of Ayodhya.The people of Ayodhya erected Gudhi(Coloured Sarees on a pole) and expressed their pleasure.

Dussera, a ten-days festival in October is a symbol of Rama's victory over Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. Divali, the October-November festival of Lights, celebrates Rama and Sita's return home to their kingdom of Ayodhya.

Ramayan Characters

Dasharath
The King of Ayodhya with three wives.

Kaushalya
The first wife of Dashrath and mother of Ram.

Kaikayi
The second and beloved wife of Dashrath and mother of Bharat

Sumitra
The third wife of Dashrath and mother of Lakshman and Shatrughna.

Hanuman
The son of Wind-God and the leader of monkey troop.

Janak
The king of neighbouring city and father of Sita.

Sita
The daughter of King Janak and wife of Ram.

Luv-Kush
The twin sons born to Ram-Sita.

Jatayu
The huge bird who died in fight with Ravan,to save Sita and informed Ram about Sita.

Ravan
The demon king of Lanka.

Mandodari
The wise wife of demon king Ravan.

Bibhishan
The wise brother of demon king Ravan.

Shurpanakha
The wicked sister of demon king Ravan.

Kumbhakarna
The huge brother of demon king Ravan who slept for six months.

Indrajeet
The son of demon king Ravan.