Mahatma Gandhi dreamed that one day India would become a Ram-rajya. The Ramayan teaches Indians to perform their dharma. Originally, it was a 50,000 verse epic poem, seen to originate with Valmiki,the Sanskrit poet, around 1000 BCE. The hero, Rama, lived his life by the rules of dharma, the basis of his heroic consideration: the perfect son, ideal husband to his faithful wife, Sita, and a responsible ruler of Aydohya. “Be as Rama,” young Indians have been taught for 2,000 years; “Be as Sita.”
…Prince Rama was the eldest of four sons and was to become king when his father retired from ruling. His stepmother, however, wanted to see her son Bharata, Rama’s younger brother, become king. Remembering that the king had once promised to grant her any two wishes she desired, she demanded that Rama be banished and Bharata be crowned. The king had to keep his word to his wife and ordered Rama’s banishment. Rama accepted the decree unquestioningly. “I gladly obey father’s command,” he said to his stepmother. “Why, I would go even if you ordered it.”
When Sita, Rama’s wife, heard Rama was to be banished, she begged to accompany him to his forest retreat. “As shadow to substance, so wife to husband,” she reminded Rama. “Is not the wife’s dharma to be at her husband’s side? Let me walk ahead of you so that I may smooth the path for your feet,” she pleaded. Rama agreed, and Rama, Sita and his brother Lakshmana all went to the forest. Later in the story, Ravana, the evil King of Lanka, (what is probably present-day Sri Lanka) abducted Sita. Rama mustered the aid of a money army, built a causeway across to Lanka, released Sita and brought her safely back to Aydohya…. Read More:http://www.mythome.org/RamaSummary.html
We take up the action after Sita’s abduction by Ravana…
In this fabulous city, built mostly of gold and protected by wide moats and impregnable stone and metal walls, Ravan tries all the blandishments he can think of to soften Sita’s feelings toward him- jewelry, fine clothes, rare flowers to adorn her, handmaidens to serve her, pleasure gardens and tame animals to amuse her, musicians and dancers to perform for her. But she is adamant. Her marriage vows and her love for Rama are unassailable. She will accept none of Ravana’s gifts; she would rather go barefoot and wear the faded remnants of her own sari, without ornmanets, her hair hanging loose and untended, than be seduced by Lanka’s king or the luxury he offers.
Meanwhile, Rama and Lakshmana, realizing they have been deceived by a dem
8217;s strategem, set out on a long journey across India looking for clues to Sita’s whereabouts. Eventually, after countless adventures and feats of courage and endurance they find the dying king of the vultures, who lives only long enough to tell the brother’s of Sita’s fate and to identify her captor. Now the problem of how to rescue her.
The brothers overcome a series of hazards and obstacles and betrayals until they enlist as their allies Sugriva, the king of the monkeys, and his wise old general, Hanuman. Monkey scouts are sent out all over the country, but it is Hanumanwho actually penetrates Ravana’s fortress, finds Sita, and gives her Rama’s signet ring to prove his good faith and to assure that the rescue is on its way.
However, Hanunan, being a monkey, can’t resist taunting Ravana by larking about in the palace gardens pulling up plants. Finally he insults the king by raising himself up on his coiled tail to seat himself at the highest level than royalty. Ravana would like to kill him, but remembering that the code of battle forbids the execution of an emissary from the opposing side, he spares his life.
To avenge the insult however, has Hanunan’s tail wrapped in oily rags and set on fire. A most discourteous thing to do to a monkey. Hanunan, irrepressible still, uses his flaming tail to set fire to whatever is combustible in the fortress city, then flies back to the brothers to recount his deeds.
Now Sugriva’s great army of monkeys, led by Hanuman, mobilizes to build a causeway with colossal boulders from the Himalayas and massive uprooted trees, across the strait that separates India from Sri-Lanka. Remnants of the causeway, or at least of a causeway, apparently can still be seen. And it is called Rama’s Bridge.
to be continued….