What is RAMAYANA?

The Ramayana
The Ramayana, the Adi-Kavya or the first epic poem, relates the story of Sri Rama, the ideal
man. It is the history of the family of the solar race descended from Ikshvaku, in which was born Sri
Ramachandra, the Avatara of Lord Vishnu, and his three brothers. The ideal characters like Rama,
Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata and Sri Hanuman that we find in Ramayana firmly establish Hindu
Dharma in our minds. The story of the birth of Rama and his brothers, their education and
marriages, the exile of Sri Rama, the carrying off and recovery of Sita, his wife, the destruction of
Ravana, the Rakshasa King of Lanka, and the reign of Sri Rama, are described in detail in
Ramayana. How a man should behave towards his superiors, equals and inferiors, how a king ought
to rule his kingdom, how a man should lead his life in this world, how he can obtain his release,
freedom and perfection, may be learnt from this excellent epic. The Ramayana gives a vivid picture
of Indian life. Even today our domestic, social and national ideals are copied from the noble
characters in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The great national heroes stand even today as
beacon-lights to guide and inspire the people of the whole world. The lives of Rama, Bharata and
Lakshmana provide a model of fraternal affection and mutual service. Sri Hanuman stands as an
ideal unique Karma Yogin. The life of Sita is regarded as the most perfect example of womanly
fidelity, chastity and sweetness. The Ramayana is written in twenty-four thousand verses by Sri
Valmiki.

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