THE STORY OF RAMA
based on Rama: a Legend
1. Dasaratha - King of Ayodhya
2. Rama - King´s first-born son
3. Sita - Rama´s wife
4. Lakshmana - Rama´s brother
5. Kausalya - Rama´s mother
6. Kaikeyi - king´s second wife
7. King Janaka - 'father´ of Sita
8. Hanuman - leader of monkey tribe
9. Ravana - 10-headed King of Lanka
10. Garuda - great bird (eagle)
11. Sugriva - king of monkey people
Once, long ago, there was a city called Ayodhya, that was
ruled by the great King Dasaratha. Dasaratha had two wives,
Kausalya and Kaikeyi, and two sons, Rama and Lakshmana. The two
brothers were Kausalya´s sons, and Rama was the oldest.
One day Rama was out in a field with some farmers. Rama found
a hand, which he thought must be attached to a dead body. He
started to uncover the rest of the body, and realized it was a
dead beautiful woman. For some reason, she had not been
There was an eclipse on the sun right then. When Rama found
the woman, the sun had disappeared completely. The Song of the
Earth started playing, causing a feeling of spring.
All of a sudden, the so thought dead woman reached up and
seized Rama. She pulled him to the ground, and he lay there,
Rama was taken to a special chamber in the palace. Everything
was quiet and still. Everybody was trying to heel him, but they
could not revive him from his semi-coma.
Queen Kausalya begged the king to let her take care of him.
She said, "I have the gift of love. Rama is the river that flows
from me, so please, let me help him!"
Younger Queen Kaikeyi was jealous of Queen Kausalya. She
started to leave the room, but King Dasaratha stopped her. He
wanted to hear what Queen Kausalya had to say.
Queen Kausalya said, "There is magic in the faraway kingdom of
Janaka. To get there you must travel past the Valley of the Moon,
across the Burning River, by the Mountain that Spits Fire,
through the land of Garuda, the eagle, and past the Evil Cave.
Then you will be at the palace of King Janaka."
"How do you know all of this?" King Dasaratha asked.
Queen Kausalya answered, "My old maid, Kara, told me about
this. She came from the kingdom of Janaka."
"But she has died a long time ago!" King Dasaratha
"No, she didn´t," Queen Kausalya told him. "She really
wanted to go back, so I set her free. All of this I heard from
her when she was sadly remembering her old home."
"She was the one who told me about King Janaka´s daughter
who has the power of life and death. Janaka´s daughter is
the one who can save Rama!"
"And who is his daughter?" King Dasaratha asked. "What is her
Queen Kausalya hesitated. She didn´t want to say her
name. King Dasaratha demanded her name again.
"Her name....." Queen Kausalya stammered. "Her
name........is....... is.......her name is.......SITA!!!"
Green light appeared in the chamber. Rama opened his eyes and
sat up. "HELP!!!!!" he shouted, and fell back down. The green
Soon the people in the palace of King Dasaratha started
carrying Rama to the kingdom of Janaka. Rama felt winter around
him, as though he was dead. But it was really spring time. All
along the road are animals: monkeys, snails, lizards, bats, and
all kinds of other creatures.
When Rama woke up, he found a hideous monster standing over
him. It had purple skin and a tiger´s eyes.
All of a sudden, he was alive and healthy again, as though he
had been reborn. He heard the grass growing and the flowers
When he looked up, he saw a beautiful woman. She quickly
Rama asked his family, "Who was that gorgeous woman?"
His brother, Lakshmana, told him that there was no woman.
Queen Kausalya, his mother, said, "It was just a sweet dream.
Maybe it was your spirit wife.
Rama´s father, King Dasaratha, told him about the
The entire family had a grand tour of the palace. Rama was so
obsessed with the woman, so he didn´t pay attention to
anything. He didn´t even notice the elephant fights that
were going on.
That evening they were going to see King Janaka. There was a
big celebration going on. Lots of music was playing.
Everyone bowed down to King Janaka when he entered. King
Janaka was bald, and extremely short! He was dressed in rags, and
holding a stem of wheat.
"Why, you´re just a dwarf!" King Dasaratha exclaimed.
"How could this short bald man, dresses in rags, be a mighty
king!" But then he realized that King Janaka´s feet did not
touch the ground. He was floating!
King Janaka smiled and handed the wheat to Queen Kausalya.
Instantly she became young and beautiful. Queen Kausalya was
"Welcome to my palace!" King Janaka said. "Here we live
happily and peacefully. My only child is Sita. She is the
daughter of Mother Earth. I found her while digging in a furrow
in the garden. Would you like to meet her?"
King Dasaratha nodded.
"Sita! Come and see our visitors from the faraway kingdom of
Dasaratha!" King Janaka shouted into the hallway.
Green mist came out of somewhere. A dark form appeared within
it. Slowly, the figure stepped out of the mist. It was the
beautiful woman that Rama had seen!
Rama was exited. He stepped forward and started to approach
her, but King Janaka stopped him.
"Unfortunately," he said. "Sita cannot speak. She will be mute
until she finds a husband worthy of her. Nobody has passed the
'test of the spirit´ yet, so she has no one. Only a person
who passes the 'test of the spirit´ can marry Sita."
"Might we be able to try the test?" Rama asked.
"Sure," King Janaka said. "But let me tell you something
"Nobody has been able to pass the test yet. Because they
don´t want to be ashamed when they go back home, they make
up stories of hideous creatures they had to battle, ones that
would be impossible to defeat. With their stories, they turned me
into a monster, so everybody in different kingdoms are afraid of
me. No one has come to try the test for a long time.
"So, now, are you ready to take the test?"
Rama and Lakshmana both answered, "Yes."
"Okay," King Janaka said to his servants, "Spread the news and
bring in the Tiger Bow!"
Five hundred strong men came in, pulling a huge box. King
Janaka pulled something out and laid it on the floor, but Rama
could not see it. It was invisible!
"In order to pass the test, you have to pick up the Tiger Bow
and string it," King Janaka told them.
Rama and Lakshmana stood there, staring at the blank spot on
the floor. How could they pick up something that they could not
"I give up," Lakshmana announced.
King Janaka nodded. "Rama, do you also give up?"
Rama shook his head, "Not yet." He tried to think of a way to
pick up the tiger bow, but he had no ideas. It would be
impossible grab it, let alone string it. But he would still not
give up this big opportunity.
Just then green mist came swirling into the room. It went over
to the Tiger Bow and hung around it. Rama could see where the
Tiger Bow was! He could tell where the green mist was not. It
outlined the shape of the bow.
Rama dashed up to it, picked it up, and he held it high in the
air. Everyone cheered. He put an invisible arrow up to it and
shot it into the heavens.
"Excellent!" King Janaka cried. "Now you shall get to marry my
The next week at the wedding, everybody in the kingdom of
Janaka was gathered. Birds were singing, flowers were booming. It
was a beautiful day.
Then Sita stepped forward. She saluted the sun, then walked up
"Sita came to you with free will, Rama," King Janaka told him.
"She finally gets to marry someone. But, unfortunately, she will
lose all of her powers as soon as she is wed."
Rama slipped a ring on Sita´s finger. Then she lost all
of her magic powers. She looked at Rama and asked, "Who is this
Rama answered her, "I am your husband, Rama."
Flowers started raining down from the clouds. The moon went
over and rested in the sun. That meant that the sun and the moon
Sita went back to Ayodhya with Rama and his family.
Queen Kausalya had mirrors banned from the palace, because she
didn´t like seeing herself as an old woman. Now, since King
Janaka made her young and beautiful again, she hung up mirrors
all over the palace.
King Dasaratha saw his old age in the mirrors. He started to
worry about his death. He thought, "I am very old and will
probably die really soon. One of my sons shall have to take my
place." Then he called for his two sons.
Rama and Lakshmana came obediently. "Sons," King Dasaratha
said to them, "I love you both very much. Unfortunately, I fear
that my death is near, for I have been having dreams of bad
fortune. One of you will have to take my place as king, but I
cannot decide who. Can you help me choose?"
"Rama should be the next king. He is most worthy. Also, Sita
would make a great queen."
King Dasaratha turned to Rama and said, "Rama, it is your duty
to be a wise and caring ruler. Treat all people with respect, and
make smart choices. That is the key to leading of good kingdom.
I´m sure everybody in Ayodhya will be happy with you as
their ruler. Also, promise to keep this a secret. You will be
"Yes, father," Rama said. "I promise, and I shall do my best
to be a wise and kind ruler of our kingdom."
Meanwhile, Queen Kaikeyi started getting a strange, evil
feeling. She didn´t like Rama and Sita very much, and she
really hated Queen Kausalya.
Something evil started flying in the air. It was Queen
Kaikeyi´s maid, Kooni. She told Queen Kaikeyi about
Queen Kaikeyi decided to do something about it. She went to
King Dasaratha´s room the next morning and knocked on the
door. He was getting dressed, and didn´t want to be
disturbed, but Queen Kaikeyi came in anyway.
"Remember the boon you promised me when we got married?" she
asked casually. "One of them was that my son would become king
when you passed on the throne."
King Dasaratha said, shocked, "But you have no son!"
Queen Kaikeyi told him, "This morning, I found out, I have
"How could that be?!" King Dasaratha exclaimed.
"Perhaps King Janaka did it with his magic," Queen Kaikeyi
"I suppose you are right. I´ll have to tell Rama. I hope
that he won´t mind," King Dasaratha replied.
"But remember, you promised me two vows, not one," Queen
Kaikeyi reminded King Dasaratha, smiling.
He was scared. What else would Kaikeyi do? "What vow was
that?" he asked, frightened.
"That you would grant me any wish I wanted," the queen
answered, slyly. "And I have decided what I want."
"What is that?" King Dasaratha asked, trembling.
"Rama might get angry and hurt my newborn child," Queen
Kaikeyi told him, trying to sound worried. "I want him sent into
exile for four seasons."
King Dasaratha was horrified. How could she do that to his
son? "No. That shouldn´t be. How could this be happening to
me? Isn´t there some other solution to this?" he asked Queen
"Sorry," she responded. "But Rama will only be gone for a
year, you know. Plus, this way we´ll be sure my baby son is
Dasaratha was very sad. He went to tell Rama about it.
Rama said, "Don´t worry. I´ll be okay and will
return in just a year."
Everybody and everything was sad and started crying. Rama told
them , "Do not cry for me. When in exile, I hope to discover the
unexpected. That gate is the door to my destiny.
"Be courageous. Look beyond your ordinary world. Don´t
Queen Kausalya came out. "Don´t go! It´s your
father´s fault. He made you leave!" she cried.
"Don´t blame him," Rama replied. "It was Queen Kaikeyi. I
must do as my father says."
"Then let me go with you," she pleaded. "Or at least let
Lakshmana go too."
Rama said to her, "Lakshmana may come. You need to stay and
comfort my father."
Then Lakshmana came out. "I shall go with you to protect you,"
he said to Rama.
Sita walked up to Rama. He saw that she was dressed like a
widow in mourning clothes. Rama asked her about it. She wanted to
So Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita left Ayodhya.
After a while a couple of horsemen came. They gave Rama and
Lakshmana the sad message that their father had died. "He was so
sad and full of grief from your departure, that he finally passed
away last night. Queen Kaikeyi seized the throne and power that
he had possessed. She did this with the powerful ruler of Lanka,
"It is best that you stay here," Sita said to Rama and
Lakshmana. They agreed, and decided to grieve for the four
seasons they spent in exile.
When they had been walking for a long time, they entered the
rain forest. Then they went to the Magic Mountain.
They heard a noise behind them and turned around. A great bird
was standing behind them!
"I am Garuda, the great eagle," It said to them. "Your father
sent me from the land of the dead to protect you."
Sita told Rama and Lakshmana that he was okay, not an enemy in
disguise. So they continued on.
After the three had trudged on for quite a while, they came
across the River of Dreams. It had small pools, quiet streams,
and lotus flowers growing all over.
This was where Lakshmana built a hut for them to sleep in.
Every-where that Rama looked, he saw Sita in the nature. He saw
her in the water, the sky, the flowers, and in all the
The stillness was interrupted when Garuda announced that there
was an intruder near by. Rama and Lakshmana went to see what it
It was a giant monster! When it saw Rama, it dropped its deer
and ran back into the bushes.
A little while later a beautiful woman came into the clearing.
She said to Rama, "I thought you were the god of love when I
first saw you. My name is Soorpanaka."
Rama wanted to know where she came from. She said that she was
the sister of Ravana, and that she wanted to marry Rama.
Then Soorpanaka caught sight of Sita. She rushed forward,
trying to destroy Rama´s first wife. While doing this, she
burst into flame.
Lakshmana dashed up and cut her ears and nose of. Soorpanaka
turned back into the monster Rama had seen, and ran away.
Soon after that, an army of demons approached. Garuda again
told Rama and Lakshmana about the intruders. Rama ran out with
his bow to defend Sita and Lakshmana.
The commander of the demons was named Kara. He wanted to take
Rama to his evil leader, Ravana.
Sita screamed. The yell awakened all of the forest animals.
They all came to help Rama battle the demon warriors.
Rama fought the army sent by King Ravana. The arrows that they
shot could not hurt Rama. He was like a mountain; everything
bounced off instead of going into him.
Sita yelled again. This time Garuda came to help. He fought
the demons with Rama.
Kara jumped up and sliced off Garuda´s wings. Garuda fell
down to the ground and died. This made Rama very angry.
Rama was so angry he shot the entire army down. Kara tried to
fight him by using "arrow serpents", but, like all of the other
arrows, they could not harm Rama.
"Surrender, Kara," Rama demanded, "Sita is watching over me.
You will never win." With that, he shot down Kara.
The sun and the moon came together again.
Rama and Sita relaxed in their little hut. Sita still was
worrying that Soorpanaka would get Rama.
"Ravana is dreaming right now," Sita whispered. "Dream about
what Ravana is doing."
Rama started dreaming about Ravana. In Ravana´s palace
someone was sitting on the throne. It´s Ravana! Ravana was
dreaming about Rama dreaming about Ravana that was having a dream
about Rama, and so on.
Lots of other kings were bowing to King Ravana. There were
many horrible things in there. Ravana had captured the god of
fire and the god of death.
Just then, Ravana woke up. He asked some magicians, "I had a
dream that there was a woman that would not adore me. Who is this
woman and what does my dream mean?"
His magicians answered him, "It´s Sita, the wife of
Ravana said to them, "Then kill Rama."
"How?" the magicians asked him.
"Send for Maricha. He will use his magic to lead Rama away
from Sita," he responded. Then he started to laugh. His evil
laughter echoed everywhere.
Instantly Rama woke up. He heard all that was said, but he
only remembered that they were in great danger.
The next morning, Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana were sitting
outside. A beautiful deer appeared. It shined with every color of
the rainbow. The deer seemed to be a phantom creature.
Sita immediately fell in love with it. She wanted to capture
it. Then she started chasing it.
Lakshmana called to her, "Stop chasing that deer! Certainly
that could not be a real creature."
"How can something so beautiful be evil?" Sita asked him. Then
she started to cry.
Rama said, "I will go after the deer for you, if you really
like it that much."
The deer ran a little while, then stopped and looked back.
Rama ran up to it. When Rama was just about to grab it, the deer
dashed back a little further into the woods. It was tricking Rama
to venture out even farther!
Finally Rama caught up to it. The beautiful deer could not run
Then all of a sudden, the deer turned into a monster. Rama
yelled in surprise. The creature tore at Rama´s
Lakshmana and Sita heard Rama´s cry. Sita told Lakshmana,
"Go after Rama and save him! He could be in big trouble!"
Lakshmana ran after Rama.
Meanwhile, Rama shot the monster with an arrow. The creature
fell down dead.
With both Rama and Lakshmana away, Ravana quickly ran up and
captured Sita. He took her away to Lanka in his celestial
Rama and Lakshmana returned and found out that Sita was
missing. They went out searching all over for her.
When they were looking, the two brothers came to the land of
the volcano. It was time of the great rain The monsoon came
gushing down upon them. Rama was melancholy in sadness. He felt
that he could not live without Sita. Every where that he looked
he saw Sita in the nature.
Finally the sun came out of the clouds. Lakshmana and Rama had
come to the Valley of the Monkeys. Rama greeted the birds. He
asked if they had seen Sita, but he could not understand
Then, after a little while, they entered scorched earth. It
was the trail of Ravana. Everywhere that he touched turned into a
Rama looked down at the ground and saw something shining. He
picked it up, and saw that it was Sita´s bracelet! "Look,
Lakshmana!" he shouted excitedly. "It´s a trail for us to
"Perhaps they are hiding down at that lake down there,"
Lakshmana suggested. Eagerly, they dashed down toward the lake in
the legendary Valley of the Monkeys. They spotted a pair of
yellow eyes watching them.
A white ape appeared. It called himself the "Great White
monkey." The name of it was Hanuman.
Hanuman said to Rama and Lakshmana, "Ravana flew by with Sita
in his celestial chariot. The swans flew up, hoping to rescue
Sita. Then, unfortunately, Ravana burnt them with his flames and
flew away. Then the swans fell down to the ground, dead.
"Sugriva, the king of the monkeys, will help you get Sita
The monkeys all met that evening. They arranged a search party
for Sita. All of the monkeys divided into four groups. One group
would search in the north, one would look in the west, one in the
east, and the one with Hanuman in it would search in the south.
Down south was where Sita was most likely to be.
The next day they all set out. A long time later, the monkeys
from the north returned. Rama was excited "Sita was nowhere to be
found in the north," the lead monkey said to Rama and
Then the groups from the east and west came back. Both Rama
and Lakshmana were hopeful, but the lead monkeys said, "Sorry. We
could not find Sita anywhere."
Finally, Hanuman and his bunch returned. Rama and Lakshmana
listened intently to what he had to say: "We searched all over,
looking in every possible place. Sita was not in any of those
places. After a long time of hard work trekking across the
terrain, we reached a great body of water. Perhaps Sita is on the
other side of this water."
"She probably is there, since she is nowhere else," Sugriva
agreed. "Hanuman, take us to this water."
Rama, Lakshmana, and all the rest of the monkeys traveled over
to the ocean that Hanuman had found. Then Rama asked the ocean
some-thing. The ocean would not respond.
Rama got angry at it. He tried to destroy it with his arrow.
The sea stood up and told him to stop. "Do not destroy me. All
creatures need water to live, so I am the cradle of life."
"Did you see Sita?" Rama asked her.
"A demon king carried her across the water in his chariot,"
She told him.
A poor ragged bird came over to the army of monkeys to see
what was going on. It´s name was Sampathy. Rama touched
Sampathy, and she turned into a glorious bird again. She flew
over the ocean to search for Sita.
"If you build a bridge, I will hold it up for you," the ocean
said to the army of monkeys.
So the monkeys built a bridge and, just as she had said, the
ocean helped hold it up. When the monkeys had been building for a
long time, the bridge stretched all the way to Lanka.
Just then Sampathy returned. "I have found Sita!" she
"Now we are all ready to go and save Sita from the eternal
winter!" Sugriva announced to the rest of the monkeys.
"We´ll attack Ravana and get her back!"
So the large group of monkeys crossed the giant bridge. After
a while, they saw destroyed land up ahead. It was called by some
people the "kingdom of death."
"I must search for Sita alone," Rama said to everyone.
Lakshmana and the monkeys went one direction, while Rama journeys
The whole city was ruined. All of the people were either
dying, or dead.
Rama faced Ravana´s demon warriors. He let out a battle
cry. The monkeys came to help fight the demons. The battle lasted
for a very long time. When all of the demons were finally killed,
Rama finally faced Ravana.
Lakshmana charged without thinking! Ravana took his sword and
plunged it into Lakshmana, and stomped on him.
Rama and Hanuman were very sad. They wept for Lakshmana´s
death. Also, Rama was extremely angry at Ravana.
Later that day Rama snuck into Ravana´s palace. He shot
Ravana with one of his arrows. Ravana cried out, "Who would ever
have thought that just a mortal could defeat such a powerful and
evil person?" Then he died.
Ravana´s blood flowed over the ground and fertilized it.
All kinds of plants started growing; grass, flowers, trees,
bushes, and other things. The song of eternal renewal filled the
Sita and Rama returned to Ayodhya. Rama asked for Kaikeyi. She
blew up when she heard that Ravana had died because she was his
"Now let there be spring time in our kingdom," Rama announced
to everyone of the land. "For Sita, the daughter of Mother Earth,
has been freed from the eternal winter!"
Sita stepped toward Rama. "Here is a special gift," she said
to him. She then dropped something into Rama´s hand. Rama
looked at it. It was a seed.
That seed was the start of life.