RAMAYAN BY VALMIKI WAS NOT JUST A MYTH OR A LEGENDWhen we were children our noted film maker Mr.Ramanand Sagar launched his opusmagnum Ramayana on Indian television and during those days color Television wasa novelty in every household and, though under strict government control, thetelevisions had a limited number of channels. This teleserial was aired in theevening prime time slot and we clearly remember that we would not shift anywhereduring that hour and would watch Ramayana with rapt attention. As a child Iremember reading the unabridged Ramayana and it had taken me about a month tofinish that epic. By the time I had reached the last chapters I had forgotten theintricate details of the earlier chapters.Every Indian either living in India or anywhere else in this world knows aboutRamayana and the Mahabharata. In India it is every fathers dream to have a sonlike Rama every brothers dream to have a brother like Lakshman, every wife’sdream to have a husband like Rama. This epic or the Legend has a profound effectin the Indian psyche. The other great epic is Mahabharata,( about which I havewritten in my earlier article titled “Dwarka and Mahabharata” ) where there is amention about Ramayana. Mahabharata was an event that had occurred about5300 years BC which means about 7000years before present. Therefore Ramayanais an event which precedes Mahabharata and that would also mean that Ramayanais 7000 years before present.Rich in its descriptions and poetic language, it consists of seven books or Kandasand 24,000 couplets and has been translated into many languages. The seven"kandas" of
", the boyhood section; "
",Rama's life in Ayodhya, until his banishment; "
", Rama's life in theforest and Sita's abduction by Ravana; "
", Rama's stay atKishkindha, the capital of his monkey ally, Sugriva; "
", Rama'spassage to Sri Lanka; "
" or "
", Rama's battle with Ravana,the recovery of Sita, and return to Ayodhya; and "
", the sectionnarrating Rama's life in Ayodhya as king, the birth of his two sons, Sita's test of innocence and return to her mother, and Rama's demise or "jala samadhi". TheRamayana tells of the birth and education of RAMA, (q.v.), a prince and the seventhincarnation of the god VISHNU, (q.v.), and recounts his winning of the hand of Sita inmarriage. Displaced as rightful heir to his father's throne, Rama goes into exile,accompanied by Sita and by his brother Lakshmana. Sita is carried off by the demonking Ravana. With the aid of the monkey general Hanuman and an army of monkeysand bears, Rama, after a long search, slays Ravana and rescues Sita. Rama regainshis throne and rules wisely. In the probable addition, Sita is accused in rumors of adultery during her captivity. Although innocent, she bears Rama's twin sons inexile, sheltered by the hermit Valmiki, said to be the author of the poem. After manyyears Rama and Sita are reunited. The first thing that sets us thinking about the legend ,not being a legend but couldbe a true story is the fact that Ravana abducts sita and takes her in an aerial vehicle