The Ramayana is India’s priceless epic. It is the most absorbing story told in matchless verse. It contains the highest triumph of Sanskrit poetry. It is a book of all time. It is an immortal book.
In it, the author has recorded his deepest and sublimest thoughts and inspirations is a perpetual source of strength and inspiration to its reader. It is undoubtedly the best of companions.
It offers us all the balm we need when life has given us a rebuff and the world looks cold and uncharitable. It is a book to be digested. It is a book to be read with diligence and attention. It has been translated into almost all the languages of the world.
Rama is a model of moral perfection. How many sons are the – like him who would make such sacrifices for their parents. Rama not only an ideal son but also a devoted husband, a real brother true master, a skilled warrior, a noble foe and a great ruler who, deference to the wishes of his subjects, is capable of abandoning; even his dearest wife.
Rama was the eldest son of Raja Dasharatha. He was the crown prince and was just going to ascend the throne when his stepmother Kaikayee upset the whole plan. She, at the incitement of hump backed maid-servant, demanded from the king the two boons he had once promised her in a battle.
He was in a fix but the boons had to be anted. Rama was exiled for fourteen years. He went to the forest with his devoted wife Sita and his faithful youngest brother Lakshmana. Ravana kidnapped Sita during Ram’s absence from the forest hut.
Ravana was routed and killed in a war. Sita was recovered. Amidst universal rejoicing he ascended the throne, but further misfortune awaited him. To satisfy his subjects who doubted Sita’s chastity after her stay in Ravana’s captivity. He had to send Sita to the forest ashram of Valmiki. This was most tragic.
While Sita was living in Valmiki’s ashram, she gave birth to Lav and Kush, the twin sons of Rama. At the time of a great Yajna in Ayodhya, Sita with her two sons appeared in the court and was warmly welcomed by Rama.
But Sita, who was greatly wounded at heart, collapsed in the presence of all and passed away To crown all, his dear brother Lakshmana had been separated from him due to a misunderstanding. This was too much for him to bear. He flung himself into the torrential water of the river Sarayu and thus put an end to his life.
The moral significance of the Ramayana is very great. On one side is the ideal of truth, bravery, fidelity, ruler’s utter identification with the wishes of the ruled, cheerful acceptance of hardship and personal loss, uncompromising hostility, to the forces of evil, and on the other side, the picture of a wicked man’s evil intentions, the destructive consequences of lust, and pride of power. Destruction of Ravana, an evil-doer, is the over-riding theme of the Ramayana.