The Ramayana Essay
The Ramayana by R.K. Narayan's is an epic story that provides insights into many aspects of Indian culture and still today influences the politics, religion and art of modern India. He based his novel on a poem from one of India's great Sanskrit epics also called "Ramayana." He revived this ancient story and condensed it and set in modern times. This is story of adventure and friendship as well as a story of psychological insight, spiritual meaning and of wisdom. R.K. Narayan does an excellent job of portraying all these aspects throughout his novel. The meanings of The Ramayana are found through the actions and personalities of its principal characters. It is part of the sacred literature for the Hindus because it speaks of the meaning of life. And how one should learn from this meaning and grow as a person and Hindu.
Rama's mission in life to fight evil begins when Viswamithra takes Rama and his brother Lakshmana from their home. He is taught by Viswamithra how to use divine weapons or deities of various weapons. Rama falls in love with Sita who because of a pledge is to be married only to somebody who can lift, bend and string the giant bow of Shiva. The task presents no problems for Rama. After the wedding of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana go back to Ayodhya, where the King Dasaratha (Rama's father) announces his resignation in favor for Rama as his successor.
Kaikeyi is Dasaratha's favorite wife and mother of Rama's half-brother Bharata. She uses a wish that was granted to her many years before that required Rama to be exiled into a forest for 14 years. Rama and Sita clothed in tree bark head off into the forest where they meet strange and wonderful creatures and beings. They meet Jatayu, the Great Eagle, and Kamavalli who really is the female demon Soorpanaka (the sister of Ravana) who madly falls in love with Rama. Soorpanaka is jealous of Sita but is chopped up by Lakshmana and flees to Ravana for help.
Ravana is the king Lanka; he has ten heads and twenty arms. Soorpanaka describes Sita in such graphic detail that Ravana immediately falls in love with her. Ravana tricks Sita while Rama is away and captures her and takes her away in a chariot.
Rama is upset to discover Sita's disappearance and he and Lakshmana head out to find her. On their travels through the forests they meet Sugreeva and Hanuman. Hanuman and Sugreeva promise to help Rama in his search for Sita. Sugreeva and Hanuman organizes a huge army of their own people. They cannot find her and Rama becomes so discouraged he thinks of suicide. Until Hanuman finds out he can be any size he wants so he travels to Lanka. There he talks to Sita but on his way out is caught by Ravana. Hanuman becomes big again and destroys Ravana's city.
Rama then builds a giant bridge to Lanka. Everyone helped in the construction of this bridge. And Rama finally reaches Lanka. He then fights Ravan himself and badly humiliates him and defeats him...