About Lord Rama :- Rama (or Ramachandra) is the Hindu god Vishnu’s seventh incarnation. His exploits, especially the demon king Ravana’s massacre, are recounted in the Mahabharata’s Vana Parva and in the Ramayana, the oldest Sanskrit epic, mostly written in the 5th century BCE but with some later additions.

Lord Rama, considered by many Hindus to be based on a historical figure, is perhaps the most virtuous character of Hindu mythology and is an image of innocence and marital devotion together with his wife Sita.

Therefore, Rama’s exploits above all reflect the value of performing one’s holy obligation or dharma and its rewards. Rama was born in Ayodhya, the ruler of Kosala Kingdom, to Kaushalya and Dasharatha.

There were Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna among his siblings. He was married to Sita. Though raised in a royal family, the Hindu texts depict their lives as one threatened by unexpected changes such as exile into poor and difficult circumstances, ethical issues, and moral dilemmas.

Of all their labors, the most noteworthy is the demon-king Ravana’s abduction for Sita, followed by Rama and Lakshmana’s determined and heroic efforts to obtain their liberation and destroy the evil Ravana against great odds.

Rama, Sita and their companions ‘ entire life story allegorically addresses an individual’s obligations, rights, and social responsibilities. This depicts dharma and dharmic life by the characters of the script.

To Vaishnavism, Rama is particularly important. He is the central figure of the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, a widely influential text in the cultures of South Asia and Southeast Asia.

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Bhasya (commentaries) and extensive secondary literature have attracted his ancient legends and influenced performance arts. For example, two such texts are the Adhyatma Ramayana, a spiritual and theological treatise that Ramanandi monasteries find to be foundational, and the Ramcharitmanas, a famous treatise that inspires thousands of Ramlila festival performances in India in the autumn of each year.

Rama legends are also present in Jainism and Buddhism scriptures; although in these texts he is sometimes referred to as Pauma or Padma, and their descriptions vary considerably from the Hindu versions.

About Lord Rama Birth

In the Balakhanda, the ancient epic Ramayana states that Rama and his brothers were born in Ayodhya, a town on the banks of the Sarayu River, to Kaushalya and Dasharatha. Ramayana’s Jain versions, such as Vimalasuri’s Paumacariya (literally Padma’s deeds), also list the specifics of Rama’s early life.

The Jain texts are dated in different ways, but typically pre-500 CE, most likely sometime within the modern era’s first five centuries. Dasharatha was Kosala’s ruler, and part of Iksvakus ‘ solar dynasty. The name of his mother Kaushalya literally means she came from Kosala.

Also mentioned in Buddhist and Jaina texts is the Kingdom of Kosala, as one of ancient India’s sixteen Maha janapadas, and as an important site of pilgrimage for Jains and Buddhists.

There is, however, a scholarly dispute as to whether the modern Ayodhya is indeed the same as the Ramayana and other ancient Indian texts described in the Ayodhya and Kosala.

Youth, family and friends

Rama is described as a benevolent person who cares for all living beings in Hindu arts and scriptures. According to the Ramayana portion of Balakhanda, Rama had three sisters.

These were Lakshmana, Shatrughna and Bharata. The remaining text manuscripts identify as young princes their education and training, but this is brief. Rama is depicted as a friendly, self-controlled, virtuous young person who is always willing to help others. His curriculum included the Vedas, the Vedangas, and the martial arts.

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Later Hindu scriptures, such as Tulsidas ‘ Ramavali, depict the years when Rama grew up in much more detail. The prototype is similar to those found for Krishna, but in Tulsidas ‘ poems, instead of Krishna’s prank-playing extrovert personality, Rama are milder and reserved introvert.

The Ramayana describes King Janaka’s archery match, where Sita and Rama meet. Rama wins the contest by which Janaka agrees with Sita and Rama’s marriage. Through Rama, Sita travels to the capital of his father Dashratha. Sita introduces her sister and her two cousins to the brothers of Rama, and they are all married.

When Rama and his brothers were abroad, Kaikeyi, Bharata’s mother and King Dasharatha’s second wife, tells the king that he had long vowed to do anything she asks for.

Dasharatha acknowledges this and decides to do so. She calls for Rama to be banished to the Dandaka forest for fourteen years. Dasharatha’s concerns about her submission. Her son Bharata and other members of her family are upset at her appeal.

Rama notes that his father will keep his word, adds that he does not pursue material pleasures on earth or in heaven, nor seeks power or anything else. He is talking to his wife about his decision and reminding everyone that time is passing fast. Sita leaves with him to live in the wood; they are joined by Brother Lakshmana as the loving next brother in their exile.

Rama’s father is King Dasaratha, a solar race prince, and Queen Kausalya is his mother. The great god Vishnu responded to the call of the gods and appeared in Dasaratha’s sacrificial stone. A pot of nectar was offered to the holy king, and he gave half of it to Kausalya, as a result of which he created half-divine Rama.

Rama had three half-brothers, Bharata, Lakshmana, and Shatrughna, all of whom had certain divine qualities, though less so. The favorite brother and great companion of Rama was Laksmana, Sumitra’s son, while the monkey warrior Hanuman (or Hanumat) was his loyal servant.

Rama Meets Sita

When the sage Visvamitra asked for help in battling a demon or raksasa, Rama’s first adventure happened. Rama and Laksmana, leaving their childhood home in the northern kingdom of Koshala’s capital of Ayodhya, pursued Visvamitra to his castle, killing Taraka, a horrible female witch. Divine arms were given to Rama in gratitude, and he set off for more adventures, finishing in Mithila.

There our hero was welcomed by Janaka the king of Videha, and he met the beautiful daughter of the king, Sita (also named Janaki or Maithili). The king had vowed to marry the princess to anyone who could bend a huge bow that was once the great god Shiva’s arm.

Rama did more than just bent the bow with his divine might, but cut it in half, winning Sita’s back, his first and most respected wife.

Rama’s Exile

The succession of Rama to Ayodhya’s throne was made difficult by the hunchback slave Manthara of his mother. Jealous of Rama, she sowed Kaikeyi’s mind, the second wife of Dasaratha, and persuaded her to convince her husband to make Bharata heir to the throne instead.

In top of that, for fourteen years, Rama was banished from the kingdom. So, in Citrakuta, deep in the Dandaka Mountains, accompanied by Sita and his ever-faithful friend Laksmana, Rama went to live in the far south. Meanwhile, Dasaratha died, but Bharata, seeing Rama’s treatment’s injustice, resolved not to become king, but instead to hunt for and restore Rama to his rightful home and birthright.

Rama obstinately refused to return to Ayodhya when the two brothers met again until he had fulfilled the wishes of his father and completed his fourteen years in exile. Bharata decided to serve as a regent until then after much thought, and to show the decision of Rama to his subjects, he took the shoes of his brother as a sign of Rama’s royal status.

Rama & Ravana Clash

Rama did not remain in the remainder of his exile, but he entertained several wise men. He eventually ended up in Pancavati along the Godavari River, a demon-plagued region. One in particular, Ravana’s sister Surpanakha fell in love with Rama, and she assaulted Sita in retaliation when her advances were resisted.

Laksmana was Surpanakha’s first to respond and cut off his ears and nose. The angered demoness assembled an army of demons to attack the pair, not best satisfied with this treatment. Rama defeated them all in an epic battle; however, Surpanakha was not done with the matter, and she persuaded Ravana that Sita was a worth fighting for child.

The demon king pursued Rama’s birthplace, and while Rama was lost in the search for a deer (which was actually Ravana’s magician Maricha in disguise), Sita was abducted and taken back to Lanka in his aerial chariot to be held captive in his beautiful Ashoka garden.

Rama followed in hot pursuit but encountered a variety of alarming obstacles along the way. The first was Kabandha’s headless beast. His departing spirit proved more helpful in destroying the beast and told Rama that our hero would enlist the help of Sugriva, the king of the monkeys, before confronting Ravana.

Learning that the king had lost his throne to his brother Balin when they arrived in Sugriva’s capital Kiskindha, Rama helped restore Sugriva to power. A grateful Sugriva offered Rama the use of an army and enlisted Hanuman’s help, who was the son of the wind in addition to being a capable general and capable of leaping huge distances and taking any form he desired.

It was he who transported Rama and his army magically to Lanka, crossing the rock bridge built by the professional general Nala, Visvakarma’s wife, who became known as Rama’s Bridge.

Ravana the Demon King

A series of titanic battles followed between the armies of Rama and the demons, but Ravana was finally slain, Lanka fell to the army of Rama, and our hero was reunited with his child.

Rama was not entirely convinced that his wife had remained loyal to him during her kidnapping, but Sita was determined to prove her honor by a fire check, not less than Agni’s divine fire. Rama realized that he had misjudged Sita, surviving the fire unscathed, and the couple went back to Ayodhya where Rama regained his throne and started a golden era of government.

The story continues with Rama still harboring doubts over the honesty of his wife during her imprisonment with Ravana, according to the Uttara Kanda. Rama then exiles Sita to stay with the sage Valmiki, and she bears him twin sons, Kusa and Lava, there.

The sons eventually return to Ayodhya where Rama acknowledges his offspring and recalls the wrong Sita in a fit of remorse. Everyone lives happily after at this stage in the Ramayana, but the story is not quite over in the Uttara Kanda. Sita now swears her righteousness on the world itself, still declaring her innocence, and then swallows her promptly by opening under her foot.

Rama, now even more confused, promises to take his wife to heaven, but Time appears to him as an ascetic, and asks him to live on earth and fulfill his duty. Nevertheless, Brahma welcomes Rama into the Sarayu River and from there into heaven.

Worship & Representation in Art

Rama remains a worship figure in India and South East Asia, but in Oude and Bihar in particular. For starters, he has a magnificent temple in Ramesvaram, notable for its columned corridor of the 17th century CE. The Ramanandis, meanwhile, are the largest and perhaps the most strict monastic community in Vaishnava.

Many Buddhists also see Rama as an incarnation of Buddha, and sometimes the hero’s sculptures appear on the outside of Buddhist temples. Rama is always young in painting, usually having green or blue eyes, carrying a bow and arrows, and wearing a yellow robe.

He is seen most often with Sita, Laksmana, and Hanuman — collectively known as Rama’s or Rama Parivara’s kin. To Hindu sculpture, wall paintings, and art in general, episodes from the Ramayana are particularly popular, mostly forest scenes with Rama hunting deer and the epic battle with Ravana.

Post-war rule and death

Rama’s return to Ayodhya with his coronation is celebrated. It is called Rama pattabhisheka, and its rule is defined as a just and fair law by Rama rajya itself. Some believe that people celebrated their joy with fireworks when Rama returned, and the Diwali festival is connected to the return of Rama.’

Rumors surface after Rama’s accession as king that when she was with Ravana, Sita might have gone willingly; Sita insists that her capture was coerced. By renouncing his wife and asking her to undergo a check before Agni (fire), Rama reacts to public gossip.

She’s doing it and passing the test. Rama and Sita live happily together in Ayodhya, in the Ramayana and other big texts have twin sons called Luv and Kush. The plot, however, is different and tragic in some revisions, with Sita dying of sorrow for her husband not trusting her, transforming Sita into a noble heroine and leaving the reader with moral questions about Rama.

Sita’s death causes Rama to drown himself in these revisions. He joins her in heaven via death. Rama dying through drowning himself is found in the Myanmar version of the life story of Rama called Thiri Rama.

Inconsistencies

The legends of Rama vary significantly throughout the world and manuscripts. While there is a common structure, story, grammar and an important core of values associated with a struggle between good and evil, there is neither a correct version nor an ancient one that can be checked.

There are hundreds of variations of “Rama’s story in India, Southeast Asia and beyond,” according to Paula Richman. According to scholars such as Richman and Ramanujan, the versions vary by region reflecting local concerns and histories, and these cannot be considered “divergences or separate narratives” from the “original” version, but all versions of Rama story are real and true to local cultural tradition in their own meanings.

The stories differ in detail, particularly when the moral question is clear, but there is unclear or contested the correct ethical answer. For instance, when demoness Shurpanakha disguises Rama as a woman to seduce, then stalks and harasses Rama’s wife Sita after Rama rejects her, Lakshmana faces the question of acceptable ethical answer.

The social value, says Richman, in the Indian tradition is that “a warrior must never injure a woman.”

There are many versions of the specifics of Rama and Lakshmana’s answer, and justifications for it. Likewise, as they return triumphant to Ayodhya, there are several and very different versions of how Rama deals with rumors against Sita provided that the rumors cannot be critically verified or summarily ignored.

Likewise, the stories differ in many other specific situations, such as how Rama, Sita and Lakshmana die. The variety and inconsistencies are not limited to the texts found in the scriptures of Hinduism.

The Rama tale in the tradition of Jainism often shows difference by author and area, in detail, in implied ethical prescriptions and even in names–the older versions use the name Padma instead of Rama, whereas the later Jain texts use Rama only.

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