Rama means one who is divinely blissful and who gives joy to others. Ramayana which is among the greatest epics of India is about life of Rama. The legend of Rama is deeply influential and popular in the societies of the Indian subcontinent and across South East Asia. Rama is revered for his compassion, courage, duty bound and devotion. He is worshipped as the ideal man and perfect role model for every human. Rama was married to Sita, who is the personification of perfect womanhood.
சிவனோ அல்லன், நான்முகன் அல்லன், திருமாலாம்
அவனோ அல்லன் மெய்வரம் எல்லாம் அடுகின்ன்
தவனோ என்னின் செய்து முடிக்கும் தரன் அல்லன்
இவனோதான் அவ்வேத முதல் காரணன் என்ன். (கம்பராமாயணம்)
After meeting rama at war,invincible Ravanan says that the man he fought with was not Sivan or PirAman or ThirumAl but someone above all of them, the Ultimate or Absolute Being.

Because of epics like Ramayana, India is a culturally unified land through pilgrimage and myths, despite huge political and regional differences.


Essence of Ramayana

ஏகஸ்லோக ராமாயணம்:
ஸ்ரீராமம் ரகுகுல திலகம் - சிவதனுசாக் ருஹீத சீதாஹஸ்தகரம் - அங்குல்யாபரண சோபிதம் - சூடாமணி தர்ஸன கரம் - ஆஞ்சநேய மாஸ்ரயம் – வைதேகி மனோகரம் - வானர தைன்ய சேவிதம் - சர்வ மங்கள கார்யானுகூலம் - சத்தம் ஸ்ரீராம சந்த்ர பாலய மாம்.
Rama's life and journey is one of perfect adherence to dharma despite harsh tests of life and time. Rama wins Sita by breaking Siva’s bow. For the sake of his father's honour, Rama abandons his claim to Kosala's throne to serve an exile of fourteen years in the forest. His wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, spend the fourteen years in exile together. Kidnapping of Sita by Ravana, leads to great war and Ravana’s death. With the help of Hanuman, Sita was located. Rama slays all enemies in battle with the help of Vanaras and liberates his wife. Having completed his exile, Rama returns to be crowned king in Ayodhya and rules with happiness, peace, prosperity and justice—a period known as Rama Rajya.

Background

Kosala King of Ayodhya, Raghava questioned Narada, the wise traveler about the qualities of a perfect King. He wanted an example of an ideal king who is virtuous, brave, gentle, and wise. Narada tells the story of Rama (or many Rams) known for nine (Nava) qualities: Protector of Dharma; Learned and intelligent; Virtuous and matchless beauty; an obedient son; kind brother; loving husband; faithful friend; an ideal strong king; and a merciful enemy loving all living beings. This is the concept behind Rama Navami.
  1. Narada started with Dasharatha Jataka story. Dasaratha had an ideal son Rama. Dasaratha married his second wife, who became cunning. When Dasaratha was sick, he sents rama to forest, to escape from plot by second wife. Dasaratha dies and the widowed queen tries to secure the throne for Bharata, younger brother. Bharata sternly refuses and goes to seek his eldest brother, to whom the throne by right belonged. Rama, however, is unwilling to come before the period of twelve years assigned to him by his father. He stays away another three years and then returns, and marries Sita, and rules as a model King.
  2. Narada then tells the story of a prince who leaves for forest to protect sages and establishes law and order in the forest. He lives among monks and forest dwellers and even animals love him. He helps many tribes to establish just rule. Once he clashes with representative of Southern country's emperor. He punishes the representative and replaced by native chief. When his wife was abducted by a King as a revenge, he kills a mighty enemy and rescues his wife with a small force.
  3. Then comes the story of Kabadapuram King who invades Lanka to rescue the princes.
  4. After few stories, Narada concludes with the story of Eko raman, a title given to a King who was a great scholar and best ruler. His son Rudra, expert on pure saivaism, did a lot of good things for his subjects and his rule is known as ideal Rajya.
Raghava used these stories as a role model and established a strong and peaceful rule. Kosala empire replaced Magadha and extended up to river Ganges in the south. Ayodya became an impregnable strong city. His rule was an example for Rama Rajya. All these stories are possible sources for Valmiki's Ramayana.

Realism of plot and epic themes

It is a factual cum historical story containing few main stories with numerous small stories. Analysis of Ramayana as a purely literary work, shows a complex story that weaves a web of heroism, adventure, romance, familial ties and Dharma (righteousness). Valmiki Ramayana too deals with Rama as a human or a mortal, called as Maryadapurusottam, the ultimate human being. Themes are:
(1) Rama sacrificing his right to rule, and bharatha’s greatness and return after a stipulated period to reunite again
(2) As a protector of forest tribes and protection to hermits, establishing proper dharmic systems at these places and punishing the unjust/demons
(3) Fighting a strong unjust king with smaller force and strategy
(4) Model story of an ideal ruler, Ramarajya.
Rama’s existence was an historical fact (based on all literature), but his divinity is a matter of faith. All places in Ramayana are identifiable, fitting it into local folklore. Ramayana belongs to a period when most of India was jungle with tribal forest-dwellers with Totemism belief (a clan or tribe having a spiritual connection or a kinship with another physical being, such as an animal or plant, often called a "spirit-being" or "totem). It is a historical story with a few inevitable scenes of divine intervention and a little artistic exaggeration necessary for effect. From this view point, Ramayana looks factual.
The Ramayana, may mean 'Rama's Way', or 'Rama's journey' also. Rama's route geographically links all places and traditions of Indian subcontinent. Tales of exotic Tribes of Ancient India Rakshasas, Yakshas, Vanaras, vidyadharas, Kinnaras, Kimpurushas, Salabhas and Valikhilyas, are included in every versions. There could be different species, like vanaras who coexisted with humans. There are many versions of Rama and many places in general where Ram lived.

The Ramayana versions

An older version of the Ramayana, the mula-Ramayana, previously existed but no longer exists. Many oral versions of Rama's story circulated for centuries, and the epic was probably first written down during Mauryas. Maharishi Valmiki lived in Valmikinagar, ancient Bihar. He would have created first written version from oral versions using Prakrit language or Brahmi. Alternatively, it could have been expansion of Dashratha Jatak, a Jatak story popular during that period. Original few verses expanded to current 24,000 couplet Valmiki Ramayana over time.
There are about few hundred versions: Anandha; AdhyAtma; Kambha; Bhavabhuthi's MahAveera Charitham; Raghu Veera Gadhyam; Tulasi Das; Ramakien, Thai Version; Prambanan temple; Hikayat Sri Rama - malay; PatALa RamAyaNam; Yama Zatdaw - Burmese Ramayana; Reamker of Cambodia (Rama as Preah Ream);and Pra Lak Pra Lam of Laos.
The Rama Leela is performed across South East Asia in numerous local languages and the story has been the subject of art, architecture, music, folk dance and sculpture. The ancient city of Ayutthaya stands in Thailand. Many ancient and medieval era kings of India and South East Asia have adopted Rama as their name.

Dasharatha Jataka: Alternate Version

A Buddhist version of the tale is found in the Jataka stories, in the Dasharatha Jataka (Jataka Atthakatha) in the Pali vernacular. Here Rama is represented as a former life of the Buddha as a Bodhisatva and supreme Dharma King of great wisdom. In the Buddhist tale, he is the king of Varanasi and not Ayodhya, which is traditionally the capital of Kosala.
A great king named Dasaratha reigned in righteousness. His queen-consort bore him two sons Rama the Wise and Lakkhaṇa, or Lucky. In course of time, the queen-consort died. Urged by his courtiers he marries another lady as queen-consort, who brought forth a son, Prince Bharata. The king was once saved by the queen. So, he offered her a boon, but she put it off for the time. When Bharata was seven years old, she demanded kingdom for her son. He thought within himself: "Women are ungrateful and treacherous. This woman might get my other sons murdered." So he asked Rama and Lakkhaṇa to go to Himalayas, where they built a hermitage and lived. Dasaratha dies and the widowed queen tries to secure the throne for Bharata, but he sternly refuses and goes to seek his eldest brother, to whom the throne by right belonged.
Bharata approached Rama and told him of all that had happened in the kingdom, and falling at his feet along with the courtiers. Bharata was begging him to receive the kingdom. Rama refused telling that father commanded him to be in Himalayas for twelve years. Rama gave his slippers of straw to his brother, so that brother can rule on his behalf. He stays away another three years and then returns, and marries Sita, and rules in peace.

Valmiki story

Very little is known about the personal life of this sage except that before becoming a saint he was Mrigvyadha, earning his livelihood as a decoit. One day he was asked, why he committed such crimes. To support my family replied Mrigavyadha the decoit. Will they be sharing your sins also? Mrigvyadha was deeply disappointed when he received the reply in negative by his parents, his wife and the other members of his family.
Narada told Valmiki about Rama. Valmiki saw a pair of Kronch birds together and was a witness to the killing of the male bird by a hunter and the female’s cries of mourning. He was seized by deepest pity and uttered in that psychological state a shloka. Sorrow felt by Valmiki found perfect expression in his perfect shloka. It is said then Brahma appeared and asked him to compile the story he was told by Narada assuring him of a clear vision of all events outward and inward visible and invisible open and secret connected with Rama’s life.

Bala Kanda – Early life

Ravana had overpowered the Devas and now ruled the heavens, the earth and the netherworlds. Although a powerful and noble monarch, he was also arrogant, destructive and a patron of evil doers. Vishnu promised to kill Ravana by incarnating as son of Kosala's king Dasaratha. His eternal consort, Lakshmi took birth as Sita and was found by king Janaka of Mithila while he was ploughing a field.
Dasaratha performs a sacrifice to obtain offspring by pleasing the gods. On the night of the ninth day after Amavasya, under the asterism of Punarvasu and the cardinal sign of the Crab, Rama was born in the city of Ayodhya. He is the eldest brother to Bharata, son of Kaikeyi, and the twin sons of Sumitra, Lakshmana and Shatrughna.
Sage Vishwamitra takes the two princes, Rama and Lakshmana, to his ashram, as he needs Rama's help in slaying several Rakshasas that have been harassing him and several other sages living in the area. Rama has some reservations about killing a woman, but since Taataka poses such a big threat to the Rishis and he is expected to follow their word, he fights with Taataka and kills her. Vishwamitra teaches Rama the knowledge of all the weapons and their uses. Vishwamitra then tells Rama and Lakshmana to keep close watch for the two sons of Taataka, Mareecha and Subahu, who will try to defile the yagna at all costs. Rama points his bow at the two, and with one arrow kills Subahu, and with the other arrow flings Mareecha thousands of miles away into the ocean. Lakshmana deals with the rest of the demons. The yagna is completed successfully
Rama also frees Ahalya, the wife of Gautama Maharishi, who was cursed to turn into stone by her husband after a displeasing incident. Gautama Maharishi was gratified that everything was back to normal again.
Sage Vishwamitra then takes the two princes to the Swayamvara ceremony for Sita. The challenge is to string the bow of Shiva, and shoot an arrow with it. While attempting to string the bow, Rama breaks it in two. After Rama weds Sita and the entire royal family and the Ayodhya army begin their journey back, the great rishi Parashurama appears before them. Considering himself to still be the most powerful warrior-rishi on earth, he brings with them the bow of Vishnu, and intends to challenge Rama to prove his strength by stringing it. Rama snatches the bow of Vishnu, strings it, places an arrow and asks Parashurama what he will give as a target to the arrow. He accepts Rama's superiority, devotes his tapasya to Rama.

Story of Forest prince: Alternate Version

Kosala prince was good at shooting arrows from sound. Once he accidentally kills an innocent person. So, as self punishment, the prince leaves for forest. There he establishes a community and establishes law and order in the forest. His two sons live among sages and forest dwellers. Eldest son Rama was liked by every one and even animals love him. After his father's death, two princes establishes a mini forest kingdom.
Hampi is associated with the rise and fall of the Vijayanagar Empire but the town of Anegundi on the opposite bank of the Tungabhadra is the oldest plateaus on the planet. Anegundi has their imprints in the form of cave paintings; homes of the vanaras - a blend of history and mythology. Borra Guhalu, caves in the Ananthagiri hills of the Araku Valley have several legends about the tribals (Jatapu, Porja, Kondadora, Nookadora, valmiki etc. who inhabit the villages around the caves).
Rama marries Vaidheki, an adopted daughter of the sage Vidheka. His brother serves him so well, he is called as Ramadasa. They adopt their forest territory and try to establish law and order in the forest. When his father dies, the prince continues in forst protecting sages and lives among monks and forest dwellers and even animals love him. His forest kingdom becomes very popular and there were clashes or conflicts with neighbouring ruler, who is representing southern empire ruled from Lanka. During one such clash, Prince kills representative of Lanka and hands over territories to rightful tribal chief. The King of Lanka hears about this and also about the princess.
The King of Lanka abducts the princess and takes her to Lanka. After getting enough details, prince assembles a small force and marches towards Lanka. Ram had an excellent friend/representative who knows many south Indian/Lankan languages. He goes before them and establishes the exact location where queen was kept and also makes alliances with some small local chiefs in Lanka. With good strategy and smart generals, Ram kills a mighty enemy and his army. After installing local chief as new King, Ram returns to main land with his wife.

Ayodhya-Kanda

King Dasaratha announces to Ayodhya that he plans to crown Rama, his eldest child the Yuvaraja (crown prince). While the news is welcomed by everyone in the kingdom, the mind of queen Kaikeyi is poisoned by her wicked maid-servant, Manthara. Kaikeyi, who is initially pleased for Rama, is made to fear for the safety and future of her son Bharata. Kaikeyi demands that Dasaratha banish Rama to a forest exile for fourteen years, and that Bharata be crowned in Rama's place. She had been granted two boons by the king when she had saved his life a long time ago in battle, and the queen now used them to serve her purpose. But Rama realizes that the king must not break a solemn promise at any time, and neither should a son disobey his father's command. Lakshmana and wife Sita follow him. Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita are entertained by Guha, a hunter-chief. They cross the Ganga and meet Rishi Bharadvaja. They go to Chitrakuta on the advice of the Rishi. They build a cottage made up of grass.
Dasaratha dies due to grief. Then Bharata goes to the forest and insists Rama to return to the country. Despite the reasoning of Vasishtha and the pleas of his brothers, Rama refuses to return. Rama does not bear any anger towards Kaikeyi, believing firmly in the power of destiny. Bharata finally takes Rama's sandals, places the sandals on the throne and rules the kingdom in the name of Sri Rama. Bharata himself lives at Nandigrama.

War of two Clans: Alternate Version

Tharaka, Surapadma and Sinha-Mukha were ruling Lanka. Surapadma had a dispute with a foreign king and takes prince into custody and brings him to Lanka. This triggers an event that shapes the history of the country. A prince named Kathira (Later renamed “Mahasena” because of bringing a great army), comes to Lanka. Mahasena from main land set his armies at Katharagama, rescues the abducted prince by killing Surapadma. Tharaka and Sinha-Mukha escape from the country and establishes kingdoms in south India. New Lankan king was Kuvera. Ravana overthrows his brother Kuvera and becomes a new King
Ravana, Kuvera's brother overthrows Kuvera and secures the country. Ravana's sister Surpankha marries Sinha-Mukha. Because of rivalry, Ravana killed Sinha-Mukha and make Tharaka his representative. Ravana was talented in all the fine arts and expert in music. Ravana had several wives, foremost of whom was Mandodari renowned for her wisdom and grace as well as beauty and chastity. Ravana's period was famous for woodcraft and Ravana's glider was also made of light wood. He uses technology to cross to south India and establishes nine more kingdom there. Ravana was talented in all the fine arts and expert in music. Ravana was the king of Lanka and another 9 kingdoms. He was known as Dasis (or Dasa Shirsha) meaning 10 heads, because he had ten crowns, one each for his ten kingdoms.
Two princes, Rama and his brother, leave for forest to protect sages and establishes law and order in the forest. They live among monks and forest dwellers and even animals love them. He helps many tribes to establish just rule. Rama marries vanadurga or Sita, a forest beauty.
Ravana's sister Surpanakha went to Jambudweepa and chanced to see Rama at his hermitage and became enamored with Rama. Rama being faithful to his wife Sita did not respond and asked Surpanakha to approach Lakshmana who was unmarried. Surpanakha was humiliated by Lakshmana also and tried to attack Sita. Lakshmana then intervened and cut off Surpanakha’s nose. Surpanakha terrified and went to Tharaka (Kara) for help. Tharaka attacks Rama and gets killed. She went to Lanka to seek help. Rāvana wanted to bring lovely Sita for himself. Thus Ravana wanted to take revenge for the insult his sister. Ravana using a golden deer as a decoy visited Sita when she was alone in the guise of an old sage, abducted and brought her to Lanka. Ravan's abduction of Sita was not driven only by lust, but also a way to punish Ram for attacking his sister Surpanakha and his representative.
Rama's friend Jatayu tries to rescue Sita on the way, but wounded by Ravana. So Jatayu asks Rama, to get help of Marut, who knows Lanka, Ravana's kingdom. With Marut help, Rama makes friendship with Vanaras, Hampi forest dwellers. Once that community was friend of Ravana and they know secrets of Lanka. Rama helps Vanara prince Sugriva to get his lost kingdom. Rama leaves with a small vanara force to rescue Sita. Marut and others who can go fast form an advanced team and go to Lanka to find exact location of Seeta.
Marut won Lankini, who was ruling Mannar, entrance to Lanka. He made arrangements for Vanara force to camp there. He located Sita, and informed her that vanara force will defeat Ravana and rescue her. He learnt that Ravana’s brother Vibishan was not happy and would like to leave and join Rama. He returns to mainland to meet Rama and brief on Lanka. Rama agrees to accept Vibishan and Vibishan joins them at Danushkodi. Vibishan, with his geographical knowledge and Nala with building skills, build temporary bridges and small boats and cross to other side. They attack many outposts and move towards the capital (may be Sigiraya). Meghanath try to attack them at night time. Ramadas, who can shoot arrows by sound location, was a good match for Meghanath. With important information from Vibishan, Indrajit was defeated. Ravana was easily killed after finishing most of his generals.
Rama and his team leaves with Sita, after making Vibishan, King of Lanka. They were all welcomed at their Kingdom at Vindhyas.

Aranya-Kanda

Rama, Sita and Lakshmana pay a visit to the Rishis Sarabhanga, Sutikshna, and Atri. Anasuya, wife of Atri, gives an inspiring discourse on the duties of a wife to Sita. Then they meet Rishi Agastya. They encounter Surpanakha in the Panchavati forest, who tries to kill Sita and marry Rama. Lakshmana cuts her nose and ears. Khara and Trisiras, supporters of Surpanakha, are slain in the battle.
Surpanakha goes to Lanka and complains to her brother Ravana. Under Ravana's plan, Maricha, uncle of Ravana, assumes the form of a golden deer and appears before Sita, Rama, and Lakshmana. Sita requests Rama to get the deer for her. Rama proceeds to catch the deer and kills it. In the mean time, Ravana carries away Sita in the absence of Rama and Lakshmana. Jatayu, the king of vultures, challenges Ravana, but he is mortally wounded. Rama obtains all information about Sita from the dying Jatayu. He is very much afflicted at heart. Subsequently, Rama and Lakshmana kill Kabandha near the lake Pampa. Then they meet the pious Sabari. She offers them roots and fruits with great devotion.

Kishkindha-Kanda

Rama meets Hanuman on the banks of Pampa. They proceed to Mount Rishyamuka and make an alliance with Sugriva. Sugriva kills Vali with the help of Rama. Sugriva is crowned as the king of Kishkindha. Rama consoles Tara, wife of Vali. Thereupon, Hanuman with a party of monkeys proceeds in search of Sita. He takes with him the ring of Rama as token. He makes a vigorous search and is not able to find out Sita. Jambavan (chief of bears) finds out Sampati, brother of Jatayu, in a cave, who gives out facts. Hanuman climbs up the top of a hill by his direction and from there he leaps across the ocean to Lanka.

Sundara-Kanda

In Sundara-Kanda Hanuman's exploits are described. During his aerial journey, Mainaka, an island peak, invites Hanuman to rest on its top at the request of the ocean. Afterwards, Simhika, a monstress living in the ocean, drags him down by catching his shadow. Hanuman kills her. Then he gets a distant view of Lanka and enters the city at night. He finds out Sita in the Asoka grove. Hanuman hands Rama's ring to Sita, as a mark of Rama's love and his imminent intention of rescuing her.
Hanuman destroys the Asoka grove. Though captured, he candidly delivers Rama's message to Ravana to immediately release Sita. The Rakshasas imprison Hanuman and set fire to his tail. Hanuman frees himself and sets fire to Lanka. He returns back to the place where Rama is staying and gives Sita's gem to Rama. Rama is highly delighted when he receives Sita's token and her message.

Kabadapuram and Lanka: Ancient Pandya version

Early tamil country's capital was Thenmadurai (South Madurai), followed by Kabadapuram, and the third one was current Madurai. Kaveripattanam, Arikamedu and Koshai were major towns on the east coast, while Muziris, Tyndis, Bakare and Neleyndu were important trade centres on the west coast. The first Sangam at "the Madurai which was submerged by the sea", was started by Siva and Kubera. The second Sangam started by Murugan in Kapatapuram. The third Sangam by agasthiya and others in the current city of Madurai. There was a great mountain known as Mahendra Malai beond Kanyakumari and at the foot of the Mahendra mountain was the Srilanka (Illankai thesam). Kabadapuram was heavily trading with Gale and there were many islands between Island of Lanka and mainland. There were land beyond current Tuticorin and land disappeared during Tsunami or big storm responsible for destruction of Kabadapuram. There used to be lot of wars between Kabadapuram and Gale.
After Sea Land Slide the Srilanka became seperated. The king escaped the great disaster and moved more towards the north and built his new capital city at Kapaadapuram (Kavaadam) closer to the sea. With a view of preventing further sea disasters, people made Sea God as their deity. During this period king Ravana and their clan was ruling Sri Lanka and many islands nearby.
With gliders made of light wood, Some Lankans could glide from mountain to plains in mainland. They were causing lot of problems from main land people by attacking small kingdoms in main land. There is a glorius story of a King who invades Lanka to punish invading enemies and rescue the princes.
Kabadapuram was trading with Lanka. One Tamil or Pandya king had sent the younger prince to Lanka as ambassador and manage trade. Due to differences, prince was taken hostage. Lanka or Gale King demanded money and land in the main land. So Kabadapuram King decided to attack Lanka. During previous invasions, they used to have heavy casualties, as Gale forces will shoot sailing soldiers coming towards them.
தவம் இருந்து கடல் அறிந்து
அம்பு எய்தி திசை அறிந்து
களம் அழிக்க கலம் ஏறினான்
Above means: Pandya King (with ministers) prays to sea god, observes sea for 3 days and shoots arrows in water to find sea current and wind directions. Then they sailed, to destroy Gale or Singkalam (Lanka)
The King sent his eldest prince in the front. The eldest prince crosses the sea with the small force and fire bombs in the night. They captures some fort by the sea and sets fire to all fortifications. Kabadapuram forces could conquer the shore. So, a huge army sailed towards Lanka and invaded Lanka. After heavy fight, Kabadapuram the younger prince was rescued, but elder prince was killed in the battle. Bulk of the Lankan forces including Lankan King were killed. As a result of war, all glider technology and expertise was lost. They had to rebuilt Lanka and new dynasty was created. South of Lanks became the part of Kabadapuram empire.
After war, King became a sort of recluse and build monasteries and other communal residences.

Yuddha-Kanda

Before the onset of war, Vibheeshana, Ravana's youngest brother fails in repeated efforts to make Ravana follow religious values and return Sita. Vibheeshana refuses to defend the evil of Ravana's ways and inspired by Rama's compassion and piety, leaves Lanka to join the Vanara Army. His knowledge of rakshasa ways and Ravana's mind help Rama and the Vanaras overcome black magic and mystical weapons.
Rama performs a penance tapasya, for ocean god to help them cross. As God did not respond, Rama shoots an astra at the ocean. Scared Saagara promises that he would keep the oceans still for all of Rama's army to pass, and Nala constructs a bridge across to Lanka. Large army of monkeys cross the ocean and reach Lanka.
Rama asserts his dedication to dharma when he undertakes to offer Ravana a final chance to make peace, despite his heinous actions and patronage of evil, by immediately returning Sita. In the war, Rama slays the most powerful rakshasa commanders, including Prahasta, Atikaya and with Ravana's brother, Kumbhakarna along with hundreds of thousands of rakshasa soldiers. He outfights Ravana in their first battle, destroying his chariot and weapons, and severely injuring him, but due to this, he allows him to live and return to fight another day. But as a human being, Rama also proves vulnerable on occasion to his enemies. He is put to a deep sleep with Lakshmana by Indrajit, but they recover when Hanuman obtains the magical medicine according to Vibheesana's advice.
In the grand finale of the battle, Rama and Ravana compete fiercely, inflicting severe injuries on one another. Rama worships Lord Aditya, the Sun, with the famous Aditya Hridayam prayer and then invokes the most powerful weapon, the Brahmastra. Rama fires the great arrow, finally killing him
Sita is rescued. Sita's honour is tested in the fire. She comes out more glorious and effulgent than ever. Vibhishana is then crowned as king in Lanka. Sri Rama with his party returns to Ayodhya in the flying car called Pushpaka. Rama is crowned as Emperor. The people of his kingdom feel extremely happy.

Coronation & Rule

The end of the war coincides with the end of Rama's tenure of exile. Flying home on the Pushpaka Vimana, Rama returns to a joyous Ayodhya. Rama is invested as the King of Ayodhya, and Emperor of the World. Rama performs the holy Ashwamedha sacrifice, purifying and establishing religion across earth.
During Rama's tenure as King, the people apparently had no locks on their doors as they feared no burglaries or other such misfortunes. There was perfect justice and freedom, peace and prosperity. There are no natural disasters, diseases, ailments or ill-fortune of any nature for any living being. There are no sins committed in the world by any of his people. Always attentive and accessible to his people, Rama is worshipped and hailed by all.

Uttara Kanda

In the Uttara Kanda, Rama banishes his wife Sita, even as she is pregnant, asking Lakshmana to deliver her safely to Rishi Valmiki's ashram. He does so when it is reported to him that some subjects of his in Ayodhya believed that Sita was not fit due to her long captivity in Ravana's city. As a king is expected to uphold moral principles, Rama reluctantly banished Sita in order to uphold his duty as a king. Some do not accept the authenticity of this story claiming that Sita was banished.
According to legend, Kusha and Lava are the twin sons of Lord Rama and Sita. Born in the forest after the banishment of Sita from Ayodhya, the twins were educated and trained in military skills as their mother took refuge in Sage Valmiki's ashram, located in a forest on the banks of the River Tamsa.
As Rama performed the Ashvamedha Yajna, a horse strayed into their forest, Rama sent Hanuman to retrieve the horses. Rama's sons Luv and Kush captured the horses. Hanuman, seeing Luv and Kush recognised that they were the son's of Rama. He let them capture him and tie him up. There Hanuman started meditating on the name Rama. Worried Rama sent his brothers to look for the horses. As they saw Hanuman tied up and two boys guarding him, they thought that the two boy had stolen the horses. So Ramas brothers started attacking Luv and Kush. Although Rama's brothers should have won, but Luv and Kush defeated them all, knocking them unconscious. The sage Valmiki then awoke the brothers and Hanuman, explaining to Rama that Luv and Kush were his sons.
When Devi Sita found out that Lava and Kusha had defeated Ayodhya's forces, she proudly revealed their/her identity. Once she had witnessed the acceptance of her children by Rama, Sita sought final refuge in the arms of her mother Bhumidevi, the Goddess Mother Earth.
In Uttara-Kanda, Sri Rama's reign is described as Rama-Rajya. There is righteousness everywhere. Everywhere there are plenty and prosperity. There is neither disease nor sorrow. There are neither dacoits nor thieves. Life and prosperity are quite safe.

Kampan on Rama

எண்ணிய சகாத்தம் எண்ணூற்று ஏழின்மேல் சடையன் வாழ்வு
நண்ணிய வெண்ணெய் நல்லூர் தன்னிலே கம்பநாடன்
பண்ணிய இராம காதை பங்குனி அத்தநாளில்
கண்ணிய அரங்கர் முன்னே கவி அரங் கேற்றினானே. -
[Kampan made his presentation in Thiruvarangam (திருவரங்கம்) on பங்குனி 807 Saka era before திருவெண்ணெய் நல்லூர் சடையப்ப வள்ளல்]

கல்லிடைப் பிறந்து போந்து, கடலிடைக் கலந்த நீத்தம்,
எல்லை இல் மறைகளாலும் இயம்ப அரும்பொருள் ஈது, என்னத்
தொல்லையில் ஒன்றே ஆகி, துறைதொறும் பரந்த சூழ்ச்சிப்
பல் பெருஞ் சமயம் சொல்லும் பொருளும் போல் பரந்தது அன்றே.
[ஆற்றுப்படலம் 19 - Kampan introduces river sarayu, arises as trickles from among the rocks, gathers more and more water all along before joining the sea. This resembles the Absolute Being, sought under different names, is ultimately only one]

வண்மை இல்லை ஓர் வறுமை இன்மையால் |
திண்மை இல்லை ஓர் செறுநர் [enemies] இன்மையால்|
உண்மை இல்லை பொய் உரை இலாமையால் |
வெண்மை இல்லை [ignorance] பல கேள்வி மேவலால்.
In ramarajya, there is no philanthropy because there is no one to accept; there is no heroism because there are no enemies, there is no such thing as truth because no one utters lies; there is no ignorance because everybody is well read:

தாய் ஒக்கும் அன்பின், தவம் ஒக்கும் நலம் பயப்பின் சேய் ஒக்கும்
முன் நின்று ஒரு செல்கதி உய்க்கும் நீரால்
நோய் ஒக்கும் என்னின் மருந்து ஒக்கும் நுணங்கு கேள்வி
ஆயப்புகுங்கால் அறிவு ஒக்கும் - எவர்க்கும் அன்னான்.
Kampan on concept of the ideal society by stating the attributes of King:

எண்ண அரு நலத்தினாள் இனையள் நின்றுழி | கண்ணொடு கண் இணை கவ்வி, ஒன்றை ஒன்று
உண்ணவும், நிலைபெது உணர்வும் ஒன்றிட |அண்ணலும் நோக்கினான், அவளும் நோக்கினாள்.
பருகிய நோக்கு எனும் பாசத்தால் பிணித்து |ஒருவரை ஒருவர்தம் உள்ளம் ஈர்த்தலால்
வரி சிலை அண்ணலும் வாள்கண் நங்கையும் |இருவரும் மாறிப் புக்கு, இதயம் எய்தினார்.
Concept of love and chastity between man and woman using rAman and SIthai as the ideal couple;

கண்டனென், கற்பினுக்கு அணியை, கண்களால் |தெண்திரை அலைகடல் இலங்கைத் தென் நகர்
அண்டர் நாயக இனீ துறத்தி, ஐயமும் | பண்டு உள துயரும், என்று அனுமன் பன்னுவான்.
Hanuman sees SIthai, the embodiment of chastity.

உன்பெருந் தேவி என்னும் உரிமைக்கும், உன்னைப்பெற்ற
மன் பெரு மருகி என்னும் வாய்மைக்கும், மிதிலை மன்னன்
தன்பெருந் தனயை என்னும் தகைமைக்கும் தலைமை சான்ள்
என்பெருந் தெய்வம் ஐயா இன்னமும் கேட்டி என்பான்.

rAman's friendship knew no boundaries and did not discriminate between friends or enemies.
குகனொடும் ஐவர் ஆனேம் முன்பு, பின் குன்று சூழ்வான்
மகனொடும் அறுவர் ஆனேம், எம்முழை அன்பின் வந்த
அகன் அமர் காதல் ஐய நின்னொடும் எழுவர் ஆனேம்
புகல் அரும் கானம் தந்து புதல்வரால் பொலிந்தான் நுந்தை.

ஆள் ஐயா உனக்கு அமைந்தன மாருதம் அறைந்த
பூ ளை ஆயின கண்டனை, இன்று போய், போர்க்கு
நாளை வா என நல்கினன் நாகு இளங் கமுகின்
வாளை தாவுறு கோசல நாடுடைய வள்ளல்
Rama is known for forgiveness which had been described as 'divine'. rAman's found rAvaNan exhausted and said, " You are shattered like the petals of the pULai flower; you better go away today and come back tomorrow to resume our fight."

ஆகுவது ஆகும், காலத்து, அழிவதும் அழிந்து சிந்திப்
போகுவது, அயலே நின்று போற்றினும், போதல் திண்ணம்
சேகு அறத் தெளிந்தோர் நின்னில் யார் உளர்? வருத்தம் செய்யாது
ஏகுதி எம்மை நோக்கி இரங்கலை, என்றும் உள்ளாய்.
Philosophical note " When the time comes, everything has to come to an end

வேய்புனர் பூசமும் விண்ணுளோர்களும் | தூயகற் கடகமும் எழுந்து துள்ளவே.
சித்தரும் இயக்கரும் தெரிவைமார்களும் | வித்தக முனிவரும் விண்ணு ளோர்களும்
நித்தரும் முறைமுறை நெருங்கி யார்ப்புறத் | தத்துறல் ஒழிந்துநீள் தருமம் ஒங்கவே.
ஒருபகல் உலகெல்லாம் உதரத்துட் பொதிந்தருமறைக் குணர்வரும் அவனை யஞ்சனக்
கருமுகிற் கொழுந்தெழில் காட்டுஞ் சோதியைத் திருவுறப் பயந்தனள் திறங்ககொள் கோசலை.
[கம்ப ராமாயணம் : பாலகாண்டம் - திரு அவதாரப் படலம்]

Looking from Lanka and other countries

Sri Lanka was inhabited by tribes of Yakkhas, Nagas and devas. Ravana was the son of Vishrava and Kaikesi daughter of Sumali of the Daityas. Ravana had two brothers, Vibhishana and Kumbhakarna and one sister, Meenakshi or Shoorpanakha.
There were many Ravanas such as Nala Ravana, Manu ravana, Punu ravana and Dasis Ravana. Dasis Ravana means the king with 10 great talents. Ravana is also mentioned as a great scholar, a capable ruler and a devoted follower of Shiva. Rāvana was the king of Lanka and another 9 kingdoms. He was known as Dasis (or Dasa Shirsha) meaning 10 heads, because he had ten crowns, one each for his ten kingdoms. Raavan, was the poet of style and class and the musician and a very passionate of Rudra Veena, an instrument he was really good at. He had invented the ancestor of bow violin called the Raavanhatha which is played widely in Rajasthan even today. The Kumara Tantra is a complete health guide to pregnancy and child medicine of the ancient times. It has an elaborate description of causes, symptoms and treatments of over 100 diseases pertaining to motherhood and pediatrics. It’s interesting to know that the Thai version of Ramayana, known as the Ramakien, accounts Sita as the daughter of the Lankan ruler, Raavan. It is said that Sita was born to Raavan and his wife Mandodari but after a prophecy that said the daughter would be the cause of Raavan’s death, the Lankan King threw her away in the water and she was finally rescued by Janak. It does make an elfin bit of sense when we wonder why Raavan never tried to sexually exploit Sita when she was in his captivity. The Ramakirti admires Ravana's resourcefulness and learning. The Thais are moved by Ravana's sacrifice of family, kingdom, and life itself for the sake of a woman. His dying words later provide the theme of a famous love poem of the nineteenth century, an inscription of a Wat of Bangkok.

Controversies

Controversy is part of the nature of art and creativity. So a Good story will always have some Controversies.

Rama's promise to Kausalya
Kausalya tells Rama about her sufferings due to younger queens like Kaikeyi. She says that Rama should be monogamous like Vashishta.

The Golden Deer
- Mareecha who takes on the shape of a beautiful golden deer. Sita is absolutely fascinated with it and starts craving for it. Rama in his desire to please his wife, goes off to hunt the deer and ultimately kills it. Lakshmana remains the voice of reason. His reasoned arguments suggesting to Rama not to pursue an apparent illusion, or to Sita to not get worked up over what he felt was a mischievous ploy, all fell on deaf ears.
வம்பு இழை கொங்கை வஞ்சி வனத்திடைத் தமியள் வைக,
கொம்பு இழை மானின் பின் போய், குலப் பழி கூட்டிக் கொண்டீர்;
அம்பு இழை வரி வில் செங் கை ஐயன்மீர்! ஆயும் காலை,
உம் பிழை என்பது அல்லால், உலகம் செய் பிழையும் உண்டோ?
சீதையை கவர்ந்து சென்றபின், குற்றுயிராக கிடக்கும் ஜடாயுவை ராமன் காண்கிறான். சீதையை கவரும்போது, ஜடாயுவிற்கு துனையாக, ராவணனுடன் போரிடாமல் வேடிக்கை பார்த்ததற்காக, தேவர்களையும், முனிவர்களையும் முனிந்து அவர்களை தண்டிக்கப்போகிறேன் என்கிறான் ராமன். ஜடாயு, ராமனிடம், தேவர்களோ, முனிவர்களோ ராவணனை எதிர்த்திருந்தால், தனக்கு ஏற்பட்ட நிலையே ஏற்பட்டிருக்கும். தவறு தேவர்களிடமோ, முனிவர்களிடமோ இல்லை. சீதையை வனத்தில் தனியே விட்டுவிட்டு மானின் பின்போன உன்னிடத்தில். ஆகவே, உலகை பழிசொல்லவேண்டாம் என்று ராமனுக்கு அறிவுரை வழங்குகிறார்.
When Rama blames all surrouding things for not protecting Seetha from ravan, Jadayu points out his error in leaving her alone and going behind illusory deer. If others have attacked Ravana, they would have been dead like Jatayu.

Killing Vali
Vali was the king of the monkeys at Kishkindha. He was a renowned warrior of great valor who had bested even the mighty Ravana at one point. His feud with Sugreeva started after his brother had sealed the entrance to a cave in which Vali was fighting a rakshasa named Mayavi. Sugriva had mistaken the blood flowing out of the cave to be his brother’s, blocked the entrance to the cave with a boulder and left for Kishkindha, assuming that his brother was dead. When Vali had emerged victorious over the rakshasa, and had then discovered Sugriva ruling in his place. Vali then takes back his kingdom and exiles Sugreeva who takes refuge in the forest, where he met and formed an alliance with Rama. Sugreeva challenged Vali to a fight. Rama got involved in a fair fight and blindsided Vali and killed him was an act uncalled for and showcases his moral and ethical grey areas.
தார் குலாம் அலங்கல் மார்பன், தாயரை நினைந்து நைந்தான். 50
மங்கல அணியை நீக்கி, மணி அணி துறந்து, வாசக்
கொங்கு அலர் கோதை மாற்றி, குங்குமம் சாந்தம் கொட்டாப்
பொங்கு வெம் முலைகள், பூகக் கழுத்தொடு மறையப் போர்த்த
நங்கையைக் கண்ட வள்ளல், நயனங்கள் பனிப்ப நைந்தான். 51
‘ஆண்டு போர் வாலி ஆற்றல் மாற்றியது அம்பு ஒன்று ஆயின்,
வேண்டுமோ, துணையும் நும்பால்? வில்லுனும் மிக்கது உண்டோ ?
தேண்டுவார்த் தேடுகின்றீர், தேவியை; அதனைச் செவ்வே
பூண்டு நின்று உய்த்தற்பாலார், நும் கழல் புகுந்துளோரும்.’ 58
என்று அவள் உரைத்த மாற்றம் யாவையும் இனிது கேட்டு,
நன்று உணர் கேள்வியாளன், அருள்வர, நாண் உட்கொண்டான்,
நின்றனன்;…59
[கம்பன்] குறைந்த ஆடைகள் அணிந்த வானர பெண்கள் சூழ தாரை வருகிறார். வாலி இறந்ததால், மங்கல அணி, நகைகள் அணியாமல், குங்கும சந்தன குழம்புகள் பூசப்படாத மார்புகளும், பாக்குமரம் போன்ற கழுத்தும் மறையும்படி மேலாடை போர்த்தி வந்த தாரையை கண்டவுடன், லட்சுமணனுக்கு கணவனை இழந்த தன் தாய் சுமித்திரை நினைவுக்கு வர கண்கள் பனிக்கிறான். சுக்ரீவனின் பிழை பொறுக்குமாறு வேண்டியபின், லட்சுமணனிடம், “சீதையை தேடுவதற்கு, வாலியை கொன்ற அம்பும், வில்லும் போதாதோ? வேறு துணையும் வேண்டுமோ? தேவியை தேடுவதற்கு ஆட்கள் தேடுகிறீர்களே” என்று சொல்வதை கேட்டும் லட்சுமணண் நாணுகிறான்.

Lakshmana complains that Sugriva forgets his promise to rama and he is enjoying. Tara replies, "Why Rama is not using bow and arrow used to kill Vali, to find Seetha? She makes fun of killing Vali behind the back

Sugriva forgets his promise
When Rama in his despair fears that Sugriva has forgotten his promise to help him trace Sita, Lakshmana goes to Kishkindha to remind the complacent monarch of his promise to help. Lakshmana is unable to tolerate Sugriva breaking his vow to Rama while enjoying material and sensual pleasures while Rama suffers alone. It is only through the diplomatic intervention of Queen Tara, that Lakshmana is pacified.
In another poem, Tara replies, "All human beings are ruled by Kama. If Dasaratha had gone to Kausalya instead of Kaikeyi to announce Rama's coronation, there would not have been opportunity to ask for boons.

Agnipravasam by Seeta
At the end of the war, Sita comes before him in great excitement and happiness. He tells her that he had fought the war only to avenge the dishonour that Ravana had inflicted on Raghuvamsa, and now Sita was free to go where she pleased. Sita walks into the flames, but she is completely unharmed, proving her purity. This section of the Ramayana has been used often by feminists to highlight the traditional mistreatment of women in the classic literature. There is a version of Tulsidas's Ramacharitamanasa, which states that Rama had Sita under the protection of Agni God. After Sita was released it was necessary to bring her out of security of Agni god.
Rama goes to dandakaranya forest to look for places, he lived. But the forest was missing. Then sages say that women have used all wood in the forest to make fire, to prove their chastity. So, no more forest left.

Caste Issues: Found in later additions
Sometime into his reign, the death of a child occurs in the kingdom. He is told that calamities such as this occur when Dharma is not followed in a kingdom. Rama tries to find out the reason and comes to know that a person of the lower caste, called Shambuka is performing penance which he is strictly not supposed to do. He is executed, by beheading, personally by Rama.
Rama banishes his wife Sita, even as she is pregnant, when it is reported to him that some subjects of his in Ayodhya believed that Sita was unchaste due to her long captivity in Ravana’s city. One would also expect the noble king to not be swayed by mere public opinion when he knew the truth of the matter.

Places

Rama was born in Ayodhya and married in Mithila. Sita was found in Sitamarhi. Ashoka erected a pillar in Lumbini with an inscription referring to the visits by both Rama and Buddha to Lumbini.
At Sringverpurthey crossed the River Ganga and went to Chitrakoot hill or Dandak-Aranya in Central India
Nasik, on the River Godavari, with sites such as Tapovan, Ramkund and several caves in the area associated with their lives in the forest. Panchavati is near Bhadrachalam (AP)
Kishkinda, near Hampi, Anjanadri, near Hospet, Rishyamukha on the banks of the Pampa (Tungabhadra) are places of vanara tribes
Different folk tales are popular in Ramayana related places Sigiriya, Raavana Cave, Galle, Rhumassala Kanda hills for medicinal herb, Ravana Kotte, Asoka Aramaya, Nuwara Eliya, Ravana Ella falls, Maligawa Tenna and Ganakamadhana Hill.
Other places are: Dhanushkodi to Talaimannar in Sri Lanka; Munneswaram Temple dedicated to lord Shiva; Sitha Amman Kovilin Nuwaraeliya; Hakgala Botanical Garden (Asoka Vatika); Sita Kotuwa or Sita’s Fort; DeviDolu Kanda – Sanjeevani drops; Divurumpola (place of oath or “Agni” test); Kelaniya (Vibishana Temple); Ravana Cave & tunnels for the architectural brilliance; and Rama Temple at Rattota.
Ravanagoda Temple is for Ravana. Locals believe Rāvana’s mummified body is hidden within the mountain range of Harasbedda, Ragala and Walapane.

Iswaku or Suryavamsa

63 Kings before rama: 1. Manu 2. Iksvaku 3. Vikuksi-Sasada 4. Kakutstha 5. Anenas 6. Prithu 7. Vistarasva 8. Ardra 9. Yuvanasva 10. Sravasta 11. Brihadasva 12. Kuvalasva 13. Drdhasva 14. Pramoda 15. Haryasva 16. Nikumba 17. Samhatasva 18. Akrsasva 19. Prasenajit 20. Yuvanasva 21. Mandhatr 22. Purukutsa 23. Trasadsyu 24. Sambhuta 25. Anaranya 26. Trasadsva 27. Haryasva II 28. Vasumata 29. Tridhanvan 30. Trayyaruna 31. Trishanku 32. Satyavrata 33. Hariscandra 34. Rohita 35. Harita, Cancu 36. Vijaya 37. Ruruka 38. Vrka 39. Bahu (Asita) 40. Sagara 41. Asamanjas 42. Amsumant 43. Dilipa I 44. Bhagiratha 45. Sruta 46. Nabhaga 47. Amabarisa 48. Sindhudvipa 49. Ayutayus 50. Rtuparna 51. Sarvakama 52. Sudasa 53. Mitrasaha 54. Asmaka 55. Mulaka 56. Sataratha 57. Aidavida 58. Visvasaha I 59. Dilipa II 60. Dirghabahu 61. Raghu 62. Aja 63. Dasaratha 64. Rama

After Rama: 65. Kusa 66. Atithi 67. Nisadha 68. Nala 69. Nabhas 70. Pundarika 71. Ksemadhanvan 72. Devanika 73. Ahinagu 74. Paripatra 75. Bala 76. Uktha 77. Vajranabha 78. Sankhan 79. Vyusitasva 80. Visvasaha II 81. Hiranyabha 82. Pusya 83. Dhruvasandhi 84. Sudarsana 85. Agnivarna 86. Sighra 87. Maru 88. Prasusruta 89. Susandhi 90. Amarsa 91. Mahashwat 92. Visrutavant 93. Brihadbala 94. Brihatksaya


Rama Geeta: Birth and Death are universal. It is the universal law of nature, yet the human mind does not want to accept this truth.
Rama’s memory lives on because of his extraordinary life and his reign, which was obviously a period of great peace and prosperity, making Ramarajya a reference point.
நன்மையும் செல்வமும் நாளும் நல்குமே
தின்மையும் பாவமும் சிதைத்து தேயுமே
சென்மமும் மரணமும் இன்றித் தீருமே
இம்மையே இராமவென் றிரண்டெழுத்தினால்
(கம்பராமாயணம் - சிறப்புப் பாயிரம் 14)