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The Ramayana consists of 24,000 verses in seven books. The Ramayana is one of the two great ancient Sanskrit epics of Indian literature.
Valmiki’s Ramayana (ca. 400 B.C.), the oldest version of Ramayana, is the basis of all the various versions of the Ramayana. However, the work as it is now known is believed of a much later date than this work.

The epic contains seven books:7 boeken:

Book 1 : Bala kandanda
Book of the Childhood of the four princes and marriage of Rama and Sita

Book 2 : Ayodhya Kanda
Book of Ayodhya. The life in Ayodhya as a prince after marriage to Sita.

Book 3: Aranya Kanda
Book of the Forrest. Life in exile in the forest, abduction of Sita en search for Sita.

Book 4: Kishkindha Kanda
Book of Kishkindha .Life in the kingdom of monkeys, Sugriva, the monkey god commands Hanuman to help Rama on their search for the captured Sita.

Book 5 : Sundara Kanda
Book of Auspiciousness .Hanuman’s journey to Lanka and his meeting with Sita

Book 6 : Yuddha Kanda
Book of the War. The battle between Rama’s armies and Ravana’s armies. Sita defends herself. She tells that Ravana did not touch her.

Book 7 : Uttara Kanda
Book of the Afterword. Rama’s life after returning to Ayodhya and Sita’s second exile. The death of Rama and Sita and their reunification in heaven.

The story is about Rama, a prince in the city of Ajodhya – the capital of Kosala kingdom. Dasaratha, was the king of Kosala, His three queens gave birth to four princes – Rama, Lakshmana and Shatrughna (twins), and Bharata . Rama, being the eldest, is naturally being groomed as the future king. At the time of Rama’s coronation, Kaikeyi (step mother of Rama) asked her husband to enthrone her son Bharata and to send Rama to the forest for fourteen years. Maharaja Dasaratha then ordered Rama to go to the forest.

Rama went to the forest with Laksmana and Sita. During his exile the demon, Ravana, kidnapped Sita and carried her to Lanka. As Rama and Laksmana searched the forest for Sita, they met Sugriva, the monkey king. Sugriva, the monkey god commands Hanuman to help Rama on their search for the captured Sita.
Hanuman, Rama’s eternal servant, found Sita in Ravana’s capital on the island of Lanka. With Laksmana’s help, along with the help of the monkey army, Rama was able to kill Ravana and his army.

Rama then returned to his own kingdom in Ajodhya to become king. He rules as a just king for several decades. However he has doubts of Sita’s fidelity during her stay with Ravana. He exiles Sita again to the forest. In the forest she gave birth to Rama’s twins. Some time later, when the sons are grown up, Sita decides that her time on the earth is nearing its end, and ends her life by asking mother earth to open and swallow her. Rama lives with a broken heart and cannot live without her. He walks in to the river and is taken into heaven again.

This epic shows us several human virtues:

Rama and Lakshmana were particularly close and their fraternal love is still upheld as an ideal among Hindus today. They did most of the fighting assisted in their efforts by Hanuman, the monkey hero, and an assorted army of animals like monkeys and bears. Also involved in the fray was Rama’s beloved wife Sita, who is still upheld as an epitome of wifely devotion by Hindu women today. Ultimately the demon-king Ravana was defeated and killed. Before dying he acknowledged his errors and was pardoned and gained entry into heaven.

Rama being the obedient son, loving husband, devoted brother and a good king.
Lakshmana stands for his loyal, fraternal love.
Sita is still upheld as an epitome of wifely devotion by Hindu women today.
Hanuman stands for the ideal eternal servant.
The demon-king Ravana was defeated and killed. And so Justice was honoured.

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