The Ramayana Tradition
The Ramayana Tradition fulfils one part of the two remarkable Indian epics; the other one being the Mahabharata. The roots of the tradition can be traced back to as early as the 4th century. The epic encompasses the life of Rama who was believed to be an Avatar, or reincarnation, of the Hindu god, Vishnu. In Hinduism, Rama is considered a deity, and many names, such as the Lord of Virtue, the Lord of Self-Control, and The Perfect Man, describes his character in the epic.
The story begins with the birth of Rama in the era of the Treta Yuga. He was the eldest son of King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya of the Ayodhya Kingdom. Rama later married Sita, who was also considered an Avatar of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, and she was a model of perfect womanhood and female purity. Later on, Rama was exiled to the forest after he was deceived by his stepmother to abandon his claim to the throne. At the time of exile, his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana were saddened by his absence, and they decided to join him in exile. They stayed in the forest for 14 years, and during that time, Sita was abducted by Ravana, who was a Rakshasa, or demon, as well as the King of Lanka.
The abduction of his wife proved to be a very trying moment in Rama’s life as he endured a long period of pain in his strenuous quest to search for his wife. His endurance and perseverance levels were put to the test. Soon, Hanuman, the son of Kesari, came to Rama’s aid, and they went in search of Sita together. They finally located her, and the stage was set for an epic battle. As fate would have it, Rama and the evil demon Ravana engaged in a fierce battle, which involved magical beings, heavy weapons, and machinery. Rama put up a fantastic battle to liberate his wife. In the end, he returned with his wife to their ancestral home of Ayodhya, and he was crowned as King. Rama’s virtues were rewarded by a long reign of more than 11,000 years of happiness, prosperity, and innermost peace.
In essence, the Ramayana epic is not only a story about Rama and his wife Sita, but it is also a story that teaches people how to overcome the harsh realities and challenges of life. It contains the teachings of Hindu experiences that have been passed down from generation to generation as a guideline for better living. The teachings of the Ramayana tradition show that good always overcomes evil. The story of Rama and the demon Ravana is a testament to this belief. Followers of the Ramayana tradition gather great inspiration from the virtues of Rama and Sita. Although the story may be regarded as a legend, there is a lot to learn from it. It is due to these reasons that the Ramayana Tradition cannot be ignored. It has become a part of the lifestyles of Indians as well as other Asian communities.