You are on page 1of 30

Ramayana, the Sanskrit epic of 24,000 stanzas was written by Valmiki and was taught to Lava and Kusha

, the twin sons of Rama who sang it before their father. It was then that Rama recognized them to be his own sons. Valmiki, who was a pirate called Ratnakara in his younger days, used to waylay people passing through the forests and rob them. Once the divine sage Narada passed by, and when assailed by the pirate, asked him why he was committing such sinful acts. Ratnakara said he had to support his family, and the sage told him to go home and ask his family if they would be willing partners in accepting the resulting fruits of his sins as well. Ratnakara tied the sage to a tree, and asked each of his family members. The family told him bluntly he was only doing his duty of feeding them, and they had nothing to do with any sin his profession entailed. Ratnakara repented his sins, and as advised by Narada, he sat meditating on Rama‘s name. Ages passed, but he moved not. The Time moved on, and an anthill formed around him, and that was how Narada found him when he returned years later.

Narada brought him out of trance saying he had now become a sage of the highest order, a Brahmarshi, and having come out of an ant hill (‘Valmika‘) would be known as Valmiki. Valmiki once asked if there was a perfect man on earth who never swerved from the path of righteousness. Narada narrated to him the story of Rama and left. Filled with the ennobling thoughts of Rama, Valmiki went to river Tamas for his morning ablutions. In the peaceful atmosphere prevailing there, two Krauncha birds were frolicking, when all of a sudden, the male bird fell prey to a hunter‘s arrow, and the female bird cried piteously. Moved and angered by this sight, Rishi Valmiki uttered a curse in Sanskrit that had taken the form of a verse or a Shloka.

As the sage brooded over his own words, it struck him that his impromptu words followed a meter, and that this had been never done by anyone before. Lord Brahma appeared before him and said the words he had spoken had been inspired by him, and following this metric pattern, he should compose the story of Rama as Ramayana. He also blessed him with a divine vision to see

Emboldened. Ravana had not cared to ask for security against mankind. Asuras. The Story of Ramayana King Ravana had become powerful because of the boon granted to him by Brahma that he would be unassailable by Devas. In his arrogance.the past. present and the future. It was decided that Vishnu be born as a man and kill Ravana. . Ravana persecuted the gods relentlessly. and said whatever Valmiki said in Ramayana would be regarded as an absolute truth. Gandharvas and other heavenly beings. and the gods supplicated to Brahma and Vishnu that they put an end to their miseries.

As advised by his Guru Vasishtha. Vishwamitra takes the royal children along to Mithila. has an amorous jaunt with Gautama‘s wife Ahalya in the disguise of her husband. the eldest queen Kausalya gets a major portion. and drive away the swarm of demons. where as Kaikeyi and Sumitra get the remaining. Dasharatha had three wives—Kausalya. Dasharatha is unwilling to send his 16-year old sons . the king of gods or devas. Fearing the sage‘s ire. and out of the sacrificial fire. instead. Gautama curses them both. as a result of severe penance done by King Bhageerata. Kaikeyi gets Bharata. The demons or the asuras often defiled the rituals. though Sumitra happens to get two shares of the apportioned ‗payasam‘. Rama and Lakshmana are inseparable. From the childhood. he ploughs the land. In the kingdom of Mithila. belonged to the Ikshvaku dynasty. Vishwamitra narrates the story of how Indra. In a somewhat quirky distribution of this ‗payasam‘. and Gautama declares her virtue would be restored when Rama steps on her in the future. Dasharatha. One day. Vishwamitra and other sages receive invitation from Janaka requesting attendance for a yagna at Mithila. As a part of the ritual. his ancestor. and finds a casket with a girl child whom he names Sita. Rama and Lakshmana kill Tataka and Subahu and hurl Mareecha into the sea. They also come across the deserted hermitage of Sage Gautama. King Janaka prepares to conduct a Yagna too. The result is Kausalya gets Rama. . and tormented the Rishis. a god appeared and gave a big bowl of sweet pudding or ‗payasam‘ to Dashratha. the king of Ayodhya. and Vishamitra tells them about the descent of Ganges from the heaven for the salvation of the sons of King Sagar. Kaikeyi and Sumitra—but no sons to succeed him. Vishwamitra is adamantly insistent that only the royal children will do. something that worried him no end. They cross the river Ganges. and twins named Lakshmana and Shatrughna are born to Sumitra. capital of the ancient kingdom of Kosala. King Sagar‘s great grandson. the grandson of Surya or Sun. stopping at various Ashrams (hermitages) along the way. he is prepared to send his entire army in Vishwamitra‘s aid. which was founded by Ikshvaku.On the banks of the Sarayu River stood the beautiful city of Ayodhya. Sage Vishwamitra comes to Ayodhya and asks Dasharatha to send Rama and Lakshmana to help him perform yagnas without fear of being disturbed by demoness Tataka and her sons Subahu and Maricha. Dasharatha’s children grow sufficiently trained in archery under the guidance of Guru Vasishtha. He turns Ahalya into a stone for the tacit support she gives to Indra. Dasharatha sends Rama and Lakshmana to accompany Vishwamitra to Dandakaranya forest. Dasharatha performed a fire sacrifice or Yagna. Ahalya repents. directing him to give it to his wives. Maricha plays an important role in abducting Rama‘s wife Sita later.

they reached Mithila. On Sage Viswamitra‘s directive. Finally. however. The moment their eyes meet. Ahalya is returned to her earlier virtuous life.When Rama steps into the Ashram. King Janaka has also announced Sita‘s ‗Swayamvaram‘ – a process of self selection of groom by the bride. . the eternal consort of Lord Vishnu. The condition. Sita is considered the incarnation of the goddess Lakshmi. and reunited with Sage Gautama. is that Sita would marry one who can lift the bow Lord Shiva has gifted to Janaka. none of the kings can lift the bow. Rama seeks the sage‘s blessings and effortlessly picks up the colossal bow to string it and the bow snaps in two with a thunderous sound. Sita and Rama fall in love with each other instantly. Although there are many strong contenders to win the hand of Sita.

After the wedding Rama takes Sita to Ayodhya. .Janaka sends word to Dasharatha. and a wedding procession proceeds from Ayodhya and lands in Mithila.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

they come upon a mysterious cave. Flocks of birds carrying leaves and fruits in their beaks come out of the entrance of the cave. but the search isn‘t fruitful. Exhausted weak and thirsty. the chief of sloth bears.Hanuman proceeds in full earnest to search Sita with Vali‘s son Angada and their trusted adviser Jambhavan. . which is overgrown with exotic plants.

.

and she obliges. When they open their eyes again. Despair engulfs them when they realize they have spent nearly a month inside the cave and the deadline for finding Sita is very close.Refreshed. but after covering their eyes. . the search party find an emerald sea stretched before them. They talk despairingly of what brought them here: Rama‘s exile. Ravana‘s abduction of Sita. they ask her to lead them out of that place. and yet they have no clue how to proceed further. Sitting not far from them is a wingless. old vulture called Sampati who‘s eyeing the emaciated monkeys hungrily and loudly thanking God for providing a delicious treat for the coming days. Vali‘s defeat and Sugriva sending them on this mission. Jataayu‘s death. They decide it is better to die than be punished by Sugriva.

forcibly taking away Sita in his Pushpak Vimana. the king of Lanka.Everyone is too tired and too resigned to fight for survival. Jambhavan muses at the irony of one vulture waiting to gulp the very people who are in search of Sita. . Sampati then tells him about how he saw Ravana. who even gives up his life to save Sita. The vulture attention perks up as he hears of ―Jataayu‖ and asks them about who they are speaking about. Sampati is moved by his brother‘s death and would like to help those who brought him news about his dear brother whom he had once saved from the scorching rays of the sun with his own wings. The vanars are happy to get news on the whereabouts of Sita. They regain their cheer. and another vulture called Jataayu. Jambhavan tells him the brave story of Jataayu.

but Hanuman is silent. Every monkey boasts how far they can leap. .The question of crossing the sea looms large.

.

Hanuman also recalls Sita telling him that Ravana has given her a one-month deadline for her to consent to become his wife. . the fruits and honey-laden private garden of Sugreeva beckons them. ignoring the objections of the guard Dadhimukha and assaulting him. and with Angad‘s permission. As they near Kishkinda. because he has been cursed by Brahma that he would be destroyed by such an act. you know!‖ They now decide that they go to Kishkinda to give the happy tidings to Rama. ―Ravana cannot touch Sita against her wishes. the monkeys indulge in unrestrained revelry and ruin the beautiful park.

 .

 .

  .

  .

  .

 .

 .

 .