Ramayana or Ramayan (रामायण) is ancient Sanskrit literature. It is a great Hindu epic.
Ramayan was composed by the sage Valmiki. It is further translated into different languages by the other authors. Ramcharitmanas composed by Tulsidas in the Awadhi language is very famous in India. Ramayan is a very important religious text of the Hindu religion. It is the story of Lord Shri Ram, his wife Devi Sita, his brother Lakshman, his great devotee lord Hanuman and Ravana the demon king of Lanka.
According to the Hindu religion, Lord Rama appeared in the Tretayug. Lord Shri Ram is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He is considered an ideal man.
Ramayan consists of 24000 shlokas and is divided into 7 parts called kand (कांड), these are;
- Baal Kand
- Ayodhya Kand
- Aranya Kand
- Kishkindha Kand
- Yuddha Kand
- Uttara kand
Baal Kand contains the childhood story of Lord Shri Ram and his siblings. The king of Ayodhya Dashratha had three wives Kaushalya, kaikayi, and Sumitra. He had no son. So he did fire sacrifice Yagya and was blessed with four sons. Lord Shri Ram was born to Kaushalya, Bharat was born to kaikayi and Lakshman and Shatrughan were born to Sumitra. They studied in the Gurukul and learned archery. Lord Shri Ram and Lakshman killed several demons in their childhood who were disturbing the saints. Bala Kand also consists of the story of how Lord Shri Ram was married to Devi Sita, the daughter of Janak in a swayamvar by lifting a heavy bow.
Ayodhya Kand contains the story of how Lord Shri Ram was sent to an exile of 14 years in the forests. The king of Ayodhya Dashratha wanted to give his kingdom to his elder son Lord Shri Ram. but his wife kaikayi didn’t want this. Due to jealousy kaikayi demanded to send Lord Shri Ram to an exile of 14 years into the forests and second make her son Bharata, the King. Lord Shri ram accepted this because he was a devoted Son. Due to great love and dedication to the husband Devi Sita also decided to go into the forests. Lakshmana also joined them. Bharata took the sandals of Shri Ram and placed them on the throne and ruled on the behalf of Lord Shri Ram. There is a story of boatman Kevat who washed lord Shri Ram’s feet while crossing the river.
Aranya Kand is the story of the last years of life in the forest of Lord Shri Ram, Devi Sita, and Lakshmana. This kand explains how Lord Rama killed Khara, the brother of Surpanakha. She was trying to seduce Lord Shri Ram and Lakshman. after failing, she attempted to kill Sita. Lakshman cut her nose. Surpanakha was the sister of Ravana. after seeing this Ravana wanted to capture Sita. He took the form of a saint and appeared in front of Sita. He forced Sita to cross the line drawn by Lakshman for her protection called Lakshman Rekha. Sita got trapped in Ravana’s plan Ravana kidnapped Sita and took her to Lanka. There is also a story of how Jatayu, a vulture tried to save Sita from Ravana. It also contains the story of Shabari who was one of the greatest devotees of Lord Shri Ram.
Kishkindha Kand tells about how Lord Shri Ram met Sugriva and helped him defeat his elder brother ape king Bali. Lord Shri Ram meets his greatest devotee Lord Shri Hanuman in this part of Ramayana. Sugriva helped Lord Shri Ram to search Devi Sita. He sends ape armies all over the earth. after a big Search, Lord Shri Hanuman and Angad found that Sita was taken to Lanka.
Sunder kand is a very special and interesting part of the Ramayan. it explains the journey of Lord Hanuman to Lanka in the search of Devi Sita. Lord Hanuman crossed the sea and reached Lanka where he meets with vibhishan the younger brother of Ravana. he found Sita in Ashok Vatika he was captured by Ravan. he told Ravan to free Sita but Ravan refused and Burned Lord Hanuman’s tail. Lord Hanuman burned whole Lanka by his tail and returned to Lord Shri Ram with the news of Sita. Sunderkand shows the courage, strength, and intelligence of the great god Hanuman.
Yuddha Kand explains the details of the war between Lord Shri Ram and Ravana. it describes how the Ape Army made the bridge over the sea by floating stones written the name of Lord Sri Ram. it also explains the event of bringing Sanjeevani Booti by Lord Shri Hanuman to heal wounded Lakshman. after a big fight Lord Shri Ram defeated Ravan and returned to his state with Sita.
Uttara Kand is the story of the last years of Lord Shri Ram after returning from Lanka. Ram became king of Ayodhya. due to allegations from a washerman on Sita’s character, Ram banished Sita into the forests where she gave birth to the Twin children named Luv and Kush. Luv and Kush grew up under the guidance of sage Valmiki. Ramayan was sung by Luv and Kush in front of Lord Shri Ram’s assembly. Uttara Kand describes how Sita vanished into the mother earth where she came from. it also tells about the returning of Lord Shri Ram from the Earth.