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The Story of Ramayana: A Timeless Tale of Lord Rama

The Ramayana is one of two epic poems from India, another one being Mahabharata. Penned in Sanskrit by poet Valmiki around 300 BCE and consisting of 24,000 couplets organized into seven volumes. Who precisely is Rama and why should the people love his story? Let's take a look at the incredible story of Ramayana which has been captivating people for a very long time.

The Story of Ramayana: A Timeless Tale of Lord Rama
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Every year on the 9th day of the special month of the Hindu calendar, people observe Rama Navami. It's a time of joy and celebration that celebrates Lord Rama who is incredibly important in Hinduism. People get together to share the love they have for Rama as they share stories of Rama and share stories with their communities. 

The Ramayana is one of two epic poems from India, another one being Mahabharata. Penned in Sanskrit by poet Valmiki around 300 BCE and consisting of 24,000 couplets organized into seven volumes. The story is primarily centered around Rama. However, there are other important characters that are crucial to the epic. The characters like Jatayu, the noble bird that sacrificed himself to rescue Sita from being abducted provide depth and a deeper meaning to the story.  Who precisely is Rama and why should the people love his story? Let's take a look at the incredible story of Ramayana which has been captivating people for a very long time.

A Prince of Ayodhya

A rich kingdom, Ayodhya was ruled by a noble King Dasharatha. While blessed with 3 queens the King was still in search of a successor. By a sacred ceremony, the gods gave him four children: Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. Rama was the oldest and was a prince who stood out from others. He had unbeatable strength and wisdom far beyond age. His younger brother, Lakshmana, was his loyal companion and supported him through thick and thin.

Putting a Promise to the Test

King Dasharatha intended to appoint Rama as his successor. the decision was greeted with joy across Ayodhya. Kaikeyi, one of the queens was granted a boon by the King a few years back. She now longed for her son, Bharata to become king. Disenchanted between his love of Rama and his commitment to Kaikeyi, King Dasharatha, he fell seriously sick. On his deathbed, he disclosed this unimaginable circumstance to Rama.

Into the Forest

While facing the challenge, Rama,  decided to honour his father's words. He was forced to go into exile for 14 years, leaving his comforts in the palace as well as the prospect of the crown. Lakshmana in a state of shock at the thought of separation by his father, pleaded to join his brother. Rama with his wife, Sita set off into the wilderness.

The Abduction

The forest brimming with dangers, also offered surprising beauty. Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana met wise sages and developed deep ties with the forest inhabitants. Yet, an unsettling shadow was threatening their peace. Ravana, the ten-headed demon-king of Lanka, was captivated by the beauty of Sita. He devised a clever plan to abduct Sita.

This ruse was part of an elaborate scheme that started with a confrontation between Rama and Surpanakha who was Ravana's sister. Surpanakha found Rama attractive and made advances towards him. The pursuit of her led to a confrontation where Lakshmana in defence of Rama's honour, disfigured her by cutting her nose. Driven by his love for Sita, Rama set off on a risky journey to save her after Ravana, disguised as a saint, abducted her while she was alone in the forest.

The Loyal, Hanuman

On their journey, Rama and Lakshmana befriended the brave monkey kingdom led by Sugriva. Among the monkeys, there was Hanuman who was a prime devotee of Rama. Hanuman was willing to travel to Lanka which was the stronghold of the demons in search of Sita. He bravely stood up to Ravana and his army by torching the city and returned with the good news that Sita was alive.

The Mighty Battle

With a renewed sense of optimism, Rama built a bridge across the ocean from Lanka using the assistance of the Vanara army (the monkey kingdom). There was a fierce fight between Rama's troops and demons. Lakshmana suffered a serious injury from Ravana's son. However, through the assistance of the vaidya, Hanuman lifted and brought mountain Dronagiri to help Lakshmana recover. Ultimately, goodness prevailed over evil. Rama was able to defeat Ravana with his divine bows and arrows and defeated the demon with ten heads.

The Reunion and the Return

Following a joyful reunion with Sita, Rama, along with Lakshmana and Sita returned to Ayodhya. They returned to Ayodhya and brought joy throughout the kingdom. Bharata, who never desired the throne, welcomed Rama with love. Rama, the rightful heir, finally took the throne and brought prosperity to Ayodhya.

Ram Navami marks a moment when families gather to share the story of Rama's courage as well as enjoy the festivities and customs. In keeping the tales of Rama alive, we make sure that the timeless story of the Ramayana remains a source of inspiration for hearts and minds for many years. Therefore, let the joyful singing fill the air and rejoice in the birthday of our Lord Rama with a new determination.

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