The Ramayana: The Epic Journey of Rama

The Ramayana: The Epic Journey of Rama

 

The Ramayana is one of the most significant works of Indian literature, alongside the Mahabharata, and also very significant in Hinduism. The epic poem was the work of Maharishi Valmiki, who wrote it in Sanskrit. While the exact year it was written is unknown, many scholars believe that it was likely not written any earlier than 300 BCE. Not much is also known about Valmiki himself. However, it is believed that he may have been a thief who was named Ratnakara. He then evolved into a sage and become known as Valmiki, the poet who is renowned for his epic work creating the Ramayana.

The Story Of Rama Are Creation Based On Valmiki Ramayana

The ancient epic tells the story of Prince Rama. In fact, the title Ramayana itself translates to “Rama’s journey”.

The tale begins with the birth of the god Rama in the kingdom of Ayodha in Kosala. Rama grows up in the guidance of the sage Vishvamitra. Later on, Rama participates in a bridegroom tournament, where he wins the hand of Sita. Sita, the daughter of King Janaka, then becomes the wife of Rama.

Rama Darbar Tanjore Painting | Traditional Colors With 24K Gold | Teakwood Frame | Gold & Wood | Handmade | Made In India

After marrying Sita, Rama’s stepmother, Kaikeyi, evilly schemes and convinces King Dasharatha, Rama’s father, to exile the couple from the kingdom. Rama is then forced to abandon his position as the heir to his father’s kingdom and is banished from Ayodha. Rama, Sita, and Rama’s favorite stepbrother, Lakshmana, leave and find refuge in the forest where they spend the next fourteen years in exile.

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The Ramayana narrates their long time away, exiled in the forest, facing many adventures and misadventures. While in the forest, Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, who is the wicked king of Lanka. Ravana takes Sita and brings her to his kingdom. War ensues and Rama, together with Lakshmana, make their way to follow and rescue Sita. Meanwhile, Sita staunchly rejects all of Ravana’s attentions, remaining true and faithful to Rama.

Ram Darbar

Rama and Lakshmana establish an alliance with Sugriva, who is the king of the monkeys. With the support from Sugriva, his army of monkeys, and Vibhishana, who is Ravana’s very own brother, they breach Lanka to rescue Sita. Rama defeats Ravana, killing him and successfully saving Sita. However, doubt is cast on Sita’s faithfulness to Rama. Sita then subjects herself to an ordeal by fire to prove her devotion to Rama.

Rama Durbar (Wall Hanging)

Rama and Sita are eventually able to make their way back to Ayodha, where the people welcome them with joy and celebration. Rama is then crowned the rightful king of Ayodha. However, the people of Ayodha still doubt Sita’s chastity and whether she remained faithful to Rama while she was kidnapped. Upon learning of his people’s doubt, Rama sends Sita to the forest. Back in the forest, Sita comes across Valmiki, the very author of Ramayana who is also a character in the tale. At Valmiki’s forest sanctuary, Sita gives birth to two boys, who are Rama’s sons. Rama, Sita and their children are finally reunited when the two sons come of age.

Rama Darbar Tanjore Painting | Traditional Colors With 24K Gold | Teakwood Frame | Gold & Wood | Handmade | Made In India

Throughout the centuries, this legendary story has been retold countless of times and in numerous languages. In fact, there are also different religious adaptations of the story with Buddhist, Sikh and Jain versions. In its present form, the Ramayana has twenty-four thousand verses that is divided into seven books. It is one of the longest ancient epics in world literature. While it is a narrative of past events, classifying it in the itihasa genre, it includes universal teachings about human life. It emphasizes, in particular, the importance of virtue. It is no surprise that the Ramayana has had a large influence, not only on Hindu life and culture, but in Indian and Asian culture as a whole. 



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