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Ramayana Story Summary
Dasharatha is the son of Aja, and a descendant of Raghu and Dilipa. He is the king of Ayodhya and has three wives – Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi. Kausalya gives birth to Rama, Dasharatha’s eldest son. Sumitra gives birth to Lakshmana and Shatrugana. Kaikeyi gives birth to Bharatha. The four sons grow up into fine young men and are tutored by the greatest rishis, including Vasishtha, the raja guru. Rama marries Sita, the daughter of Janaka, the king of Videha. In legend, Sita is said to be the daughter of Bhudevi or mother earth, and Janaka is said to have found her while tilling the land.
Once Rama comes of age, Dasharatha wishes to retire and hand over the kingdom to Rama, who is loved by all. Rama is made the crown prince and arrangements are set to crown him as king. Everyone looks forward to this event except Manthara, an old hunchback lady in the employ of queen Kaikeyi. She seeks to increase her influence in court through her mistress, and begins to poison Kaikeyi’s mind about Rama and Kausalya’s evil intentions. She plants the idea in Kaikeyi’s mind that unless Bharatha is made king, neither Bharatha nor Kaikeyi will be safe in Rama’s hands. Kaikeyi is hypnotized by these words and decides to use two boons she Dasharatha owes her, to get what she wants.
Kaikeyi had once saved Dasharatha’s life in battle as his charioteer, and he had granted her two boons to ask whenever she wished. Kaikeyi uses these two boons and asks Dasharatha to make Bharatha king and banish Rama for 14 years into the forest. Dasharatha is heart-broken and having given his word earlier, has no choice. Rama thus leaves Ayodhya and heads into the forest. Sita and Lakshmana accompany him, refusing to be parted from his company.
In the forest, the three meet many sages and ultimately settle down. There, Surphanaka, a female rakshasi or demoness is attracted to Rama and approaches him. She threatens and attacks Sita. Seeing this, Lakshmana cuts off her nose and drives her away. Surphanaka flees to her brother Khara, who arrives at Rama and Sita’s home with his army. But the two brothers destroy the entire force and only soldier escapes with is life. This soldier flees to Lanka, the island kingdom of Ravana, Surphanaka and Khara’s brother. There he tells Ravana of Surphanaka’s disfigurement, of Khara’s death, and Sita’s beauty. Ravana decides to abduct Sita and using trickery and magic arrives at the home of Rama and Sita.
He convinces his uncle Maricha to lure Rama and Lakshmana away, disguised as a beautiful deer. While they are away, he disguises himself as a hermit and asks for alms from Sita. Sita crosses the Lakshman Rekha, a boundary drawn by Lakshmana, within which Sita would stay safe no matter what. But once she is beyond the rekha, Ravana kidnaps her and flees in his vimana or flying chariot to Lanka.
When Rama and Lakshmana return, they search desperately for Sita far and wide. In their quest, they find Jatayu, the king of vultures lying with is two wings cut off. Jatayu had tried to save Sita from Ravana as he was carrying her away, but Ravana cut off his wings and speeded away. Jatayu tells Rama and Lakshmana that Ravana headed southwards and breathes his last. As the two brothers head south, they meet Sugriva and Hanuman, two vanars. They strike a mutual agreement that if Rama helps Sugriva win his kingdom from Vali, Sugriva’s brother, Sugriva will help Rama find Sita. After Rama kills Vali, Sugriva sends out his army to look for Sita. They come upon Sampati, Jatayu’s brother, who tells them of Ravana kidnapping Sita.
Hanuman then decides to leap across the ocean to search for Sita in Lanka. After a mighty leap, Hanuman lands in Lanka, and finds Sita imprisoned in a walled garden. There, he gives her a ring of Rama, and tells her that Rama will be here soon. He then has himself captured by Ravana’s forces, and very cleverly manages to set fire to the whole city with his tail. He then heads back and informs the vanar army and Rama of the news.
The entire army begins to build a bridge of rocks across the ocean and cross into Lanka. In Lanka, a terrible fight begins between the two armies. Indrajit, Ravana’s son injures Lakshmana, who falls into a coma. Thanks to Hanuman, who carries the whole mountain Dronagiri back to Lanka, Lakshmana is saved with the herbs on the mountain.
Finally, Rama kills Ravana and saves Sita. They return to Ayodhya, where Bharata, who was holding the throne waiting for Rama, returns the crown to him.
Ramayana Story – Table of Contents in PDF
Book 1 — Childhood and youth or Balakanda
Salutation to name
Praise of Rama’s story
Yajnavalkya and bharadvaja
Birth of Parvati
Marriage of siva and parvati
Conversation of siva and parvati
Penance of manu and shatrupa
Story of king pratapabhanu
Birth of Ravan
Deliverance promised to gods
Birth of Rama
Childhood of Rama
Protection to visvamitra’s sacrifice
Deliverance of ahalya
Rama and Lakshman in janakpur
Visit to flower-garden
Siva’s bow broken
Wrath of parsuram
Wedding of Rama
Return to Ayodhya
Saint visvamitra returns
Book 2 — Events in Ayodhya or Ayodhya kanda
Plans for Rama’s coronation
Kaikeyi’s enmity and Rama’s banishment
By the ganges
Meeting with guha
Lakshman and guha
Conversation with the boatman
With biiaradvaja in prayag
The journey resumed with valmiki
Living on hill chitrakuta
Return of sumant to Ayodhya
Death of king dasarath
Summons to bharat
Cremation of dasarath
Bharat’s journey o chitrakuta
Bharat with biiaradvaja
The journey resumed
Bharat meets Rama
Janak arrives at chitrakuta
Conversation of Rama and bharat
Bharat returns to Ayodhya
Book 3 — In the forest or Aranya kanda
In atri’s ashram
Rama and saint sarauha
In agastya’s ashram
Residence at panchavati
Conversation of Rama and Lakshman
Deformation of surpanakha
Khara and dushan slain
Surpanakha in Ravan’s court
Marich slain in deer-guise
Capture of Sita
Death of the vulture jatayu
With saint sabari
Rama and Lakshman at lake pampa
Conversation of Rama and narad
Book 4 – The monkey kingdom or Kishkinda kanda
Rama and hanuman
Rama and sugriva seal friendship
Rama waits on hill pravarshana
Search for Sita
The monkeys and sampati
Hanuman plans his leap to lanka
Book 5 — The beautiful or Sundara kanda
Hanuman reaches lanka
Ravan threatens Sita
Conversation of Sita and hanuman
Hanuman captured by mechnad
Hanuman before Ravan
The burning of lanka
Hanuman returns from lanka
Vibhishan counsels Ravan
Vibhishan received and blessed by Rama
The ocean submits to Rama
Book 6 — In Lanka or Yuddha kanda
Mandodari pleads with Ravan
Rama on mount suvela
Angad goes as envoy to Ravan
Conversation of ancad and Ravan
Mandodari reiterates her plea
Meghnad smites laksiiman with his spear
Hanuman brincs healing to Lakshman
Ravan enters the battle
Battle of Lakshman and Ravan
Ravan’s sacrifice foiled
Ravan employs magic
Battle of Rama and Ravan
Death of Ravan
Meeting of Rama and Sita
Gods praise Rama
Rama leaves for Ayodhya
Rama in Ayodhya
Book 7 – The finale or Uttara kanda
Rama re-united with his people
The enthronement or Rama
Vedas and gods praise Rama
Rama’s allies return home
Rama’s reign and kingdom
Sanak and other saints talk with Rama
Characteristics of the saintly and unsaintly
True religion and virtue expounded
Conversation of bhusundi and garuda
Rama’s illusive power
Bhusundi tells his life-story
Learning and love expounded
Greatness of Rama’s story
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Brief Story of Ramayana (As in the PDF)
The Tale of Rama’s Deeds
Sanskrit Invocation and Praise
Hail to Sarasvati and to Ganpati, the honoured authors of all letters and expression, moods and metres, and all blessings.
Hail to Parvati and Siva, faith and reverence incarnating,
Without whom not e’en the holiest ever can see the Lord Indwelling.
Hail to thee, all wise and deathless Master, Siva incarnating,
By whose favour e’en the crescent moon is rev’renced in all places.
Hail thou lord of bards, Valmiki, Hanuman too, lord of monkeys, Wandering with pure learning in the wood of Sita-Rama’s graces.
Hail to Rama’s own beloved Sita, victor over all suffering,
Mistress of birth, life and death, and of all happiness the giver.
Hail, Lord Vishnu, known by name of Rama, thou above all causes the Supreme,
In whose power illusive lies the universe with Brahma and all heavenly ones
By whose being passing things appeal eternal, as the snake in place of rope,
By whose feet as boat may all who will pass safely over the changeful sea of life
Says Tulsi as in many ancient chronicles,
And other scriptures is recorded Rama’s fame,
And for my own delight in language choice and clear,
I write in song the full account of Raghunath
O Thou, whom remembering, success
Comes surely, Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed,
In mercy, Lord, me do thou bless,
Thou home of all good, to whom wisdom is wedded.
O Thou who makest dumb men to speak,
By whose power than mountains the lame can climb higher,
O Sharda, thy favour I seek
Who consumest the ills of this dark age as fire.
O Thou with the form lotus-blue,
And whose eyes like the new-budding lily are red,
Lord Vishnu in my heart dwell thou,
Who dost rest on the calm milky sea as thy bed.
Like the jasmine and moon, white and clear,
O Thou, Uma’s lord, homo of all graciousness,
Thou to whom the poor ever are dear,
Siva, Passion’s destroyer, poor me do thou bless.
My. own master’s feet I revere,
Sea of kindness, Lord Vishnu in man’s form below,
By whose words, than the sun’s rays more clear,
Error’s night is dispersed, as night always must go.
O honour the dust of my lord’s lotus feet,
So brilliant and fragrant, refreshing and sweet;
The substance and root of the life that is deathless, All evils allaying and rendering them harmless;
Like ashes on Lord Siva’s body divine,
It is the giver of joy ever glorious and fine;
It is the cleanser of filth from the mirror-like soul; Once applied it brings virtues within our control.
Recalling the nails of his feet, jewel-bright.
All my heart is illumined with heavenly light.
Like sun-rays the darkness of error dispelling;
How blessed is he in whose heart is its dwelling.
When heavenly glory I have lightens the heart All the night shades of evil and sorrow depart.
Then Rama’s deeds shine like a jewel’s clear ray,
To be found where the mine may conceal or display.
Whoever this salve shall apply to his eyes,
Shall be thereby enlightened and cheered,
And enabled to look on the pastimes of Rama
In woods and hills where he appeared.
The dust of his feet is a salve soft and pleasing,
For healing the eyes, giving sight and pam easing
With mind’s eye thus cleansed, all the deeds of Lord Rama I’ll tell as I know them, the world-saving drama
I first of all honour the feet of the sages,
Dispellers of error-born doubt in all ages
To the mines of all virtue nobility s throng,
Do I offer salute both with heart and with tongue
like the cotton tree’s fruit are the saint’s blessed deeds,
Though austere, pure and helpful in manifold needs,
Veil covering all faults, even those most severe,
honour the saints, those whom all men revere
Tie gathering of saints, giving joy all divine,
the meeting of waters at Prayag’s Ram shrine
Devotion to Rama is Ganges full swelling, Parvati is thought upon God and forth-telling,
Tradition and ritual, things bid and forbidden overcoming all evil, are Yamuna Sun-maiden,
The tales of the gods are these three streams uniting, the hearts of all hearers forever delighting,
The fig tree immortal is faith firm in duty, the holy assembly the shrine in its beauty
Upon reached is this shrine in all times and all places; who saves it with reverence, Its ills it effaces.
Heavenly shrine, of pure glory untold, l thy power is shown as thy blessings unfold,
The man who will hear and perceive, mind enthralled,
And will bathe with his whole heart and soul At this fair shrine of saints, in this happy concourse,
Shall find wealth, joy and heaven’s true goal
The fruit is immediate, you bathe and it is done
The crow becomes song-bird the stork becomes swan
Let no one at this be over whelmed with surprise,
For good company’s glory is clear to all eyes.
The low-born Agastya, Narad and Valmiki,
Each one tells of his rise from life’s depths to its peak.
Every creature that moves in air, water, or earth,
All things senseless or sentient, whatever their birth, whoever attains wisdom, fame, honour, salvation, virtue, in whatever manner or station,
which knows it is by means of good company alone,
or by man, nor by scripture is other means known.
True wisdom is found in such fellowship only;
Good company is found by Lord Rama’s grace only.
joy and true blessing good company’s the root; flower is perfection, good works are its fruit.
The rogue is reformed in good company’s mould, by touch of the magic-stone lead becomes gold.
The good man, though brought near bad company, retains 1 his good; though in snake’s head, the gem remains.
Telling the beauty of sainthood engages in full power of deities, poets and sages,
Then how can my feeble powers tell all its story? If greengrocers tell all a gem’s worth and glory?
It is saintly I hail, those of equable mind,
This is the same both to foe and to friend,
It is in the palms of the hands both to right
To left do their sweet fragrance lend.
saints single-hearted, ye true friends of all men, you my childlike plea; gracious, and knowing my heart, give devotion: Rama’s fair feet to me.
Once more, I salute the vile wretches who seek Without reason to trouble the good and the meek,
To whom a man s ill is then good, good is ill,
Who rejoice in his losses, his blessings bewail
They smother, eclipse-like the deities fame,
With a thousand hands work a man’s ruin and shame
By them faults are watched for with thousands of eyes, But the god is befouled as fresh butter by flies
Like Hell’s lord their anger, then temper like flame,
As high as wealth’s king but in evil and shame
Like portentous comets like things that men dread,
One is safe when they are like Kumbhakaran in bed?
Giving all if the harm of another it will yield,
Just as hail melts away in destroying a field
All hail to such rogues, to men’s faults adding spite,
Like a thousand-mouthed serpent with venomous bite
These men, Prithviraj-like, with ten thousand ears,
Do I hail, although other than evil none hears
These whom I implore are, like Indra, delighting Forever in demons, carousing and fighting
They’re fond of harsh words like a thunderbolt crashing; On hapless ones’ failings a thousand eyes flashing
I know that their manner on healing of stoics,
Who treat just the same foe and friend,
Is to burn with quick rage, and yet folding my hands,
As a suppliant to them I bend
I’ve offered on my part my humble petition,
But can one expect them to change their condition
You may feed a crow on the finest of fare,
But he’ll still be a meat-eating crow I declare
I bow at the feet both of saint and of sinner,
Both givers of pain, but in different manner;
The saint when he leaves us takes with him our life,
But to repeat with a sinner brings suffering and strife.
Although differing in life, of the same Mother Earth,
As both lotus and leech have in water their birth,
So from one world both good men and bad men are brought, As both nectar and poison in one sea were sought.
By good deeds and bad deeds, they both attain fame,
But the one in high honour, the other in shame.
The good are like nectar, the moon, Ganges water;
The bad like fire, poison, the river of slaughter
Both virtue and vice are by all men discerned,
But, as led by the mind, one is loved, one is spurned
The good man will cleave and aspire to the good, But the vicious man only to vice,
For long life there is nectar and poison for death, Both are sought for and sold at high price
Both their good and their ill therefore tell I, believing None gathers or spurns if no difference perceiving.
Divine power brought good and evil to birth;
The scriptures distinguish between faults and true worth.
The chronicles, scriptures and legends all tell How in God’s world together both good and ill dwell.
Joy and pain, right and wrong, night and day, all things dual;
The high caste and low caste, men kindly, men cruel,
Both demons and gods, men both high born and low,
The life-giving nectar, death-dealing drugs too,
Things passing, the eternal, the soul, Lord of all,
Both good fortune and ill, beggar, king, great and small;
Varanasi and Magadha, Ganges and Death’s water,
Dry deserts, rich plains, priests and butchers who slaughter;
Realms heavenly and hellish, hot passion, restraint.
Dark Magic and scripture, fair virtue, foul taint,
The lifeless, the living, things fair and things foul,
All were made by the Creator’s will,
The saint, like the swan, takes the milk of the good,
While rejecting the water will
When God to a man gives a mind so discerning,
He cleaves to the good, from the vile ever turning
Yet good men, by time, late, or temper overpowered,
In their goodness may fail, by illusion allured
Then God, to reform them, then body assuming,
Gives cleanness and glory, all evil consuming
Though when with good men good be done by the evil,
Their foul mind abides, still akin to the devil.
Impostors in fine clothes are hard to detect,
And they may for a time from the world gain respect,
But no good is achieved, in the end they’re unveiled,
As Rahu, Ravan and Kalanemi all failed
Although lowly in guise, the world honours the saint,
As the ape Hanuman and the bear Jambavant
Bad company is loss, but good company is gam,
This as truth is well-known to both scripture and men.
With the wind as companion, dust heavenward is borne,
But with water when mixed it is but mud which men scorn.
As taught by the house-folk, the parrot and jay May Lord Rama’s name utter, or swear hard all day.
In bad company smoke becomes nothing but soot, But in ink to the writing of stories it is put
That same smoke if with air, fire and water allied, In the clouds is to life-giving service applied
The planets, all medicines, air, water and clothing, In ill or auspicious conjunction,
Are counted as things either evil 01 helpful,
All men know and heed this distinction
The two lunar periods differing in name,
Are both equal in darkness and light,
But as may be waxing or waning the moon,
They are named with great honour or slight
Well knowing that on all things, lifeless or living, My Lord Rama’s power doth fall,
Forever with hands humbly folded I bow At the lotus-like feet of them all.
All monsters and deities, men, serpents, birds,
Forefathers, and seraphs, and ghosts,
All heavenly choristers, all night’s dark demons,
Be gracious to me all ye hosts.
From four different modes countless types have their birth, All the souls that inhabit air, water and earth.
In everything Sita and Rama beholding,
I offer obeisance, my hands humbly folding.
Give me as your servant a kindly reception,
And grant me your favour, forsaking deception.
Upon my own wisdom and strength ne’er relying,
To you do I come, for your aid meekly crying.
The Lord Raghupati’s fame would I explore;
Fathomless are his ways and my mind is but poor.
Seeing no other course, such my hapless condition;
A beggar my mind is, but king my ambition.
Base minded, my longings yet heavenward winding;
Though thirsting for nectar, not even skimmed milk finding.
All good folks will pardon my brazen offending,
My childish words heeding and all their mind lending
As to their child’s stutterings more than another Will listen delighted his father and mother
Harsh people will mock those perverse evil-minded,
And those choosing vices for jewels, so blinded
Everyone thinks his own poetry splendid Whether it is dull, or with interest blended,
Rare in this world the good man who rejoices In hearing from others good words and sweet voices
Many are like to the rivers upwelling
With every rainfall their own volume swelling,
But few are the noble ones like to the ocean That swells up on seeing the full-orbed moon’s motion
Though poor be my fortune and great be my longing,
Yet of this one thing I am sure,
That fair-minded people will hear and find joy,
Although base men may mock all the more
So with this assurance my heart is inspired,
As when in good company ambition is fired.
Smoke’s pungency is not unchangeably fixed,
It surrenders it if with sweet scent it is mixed.
So uncouth be the language, the theme is sublime, it is the story of Rama, bliss given for all time.
Sublime bliss bestowing, all evil overthrowing,
Says Tulsi, though tortuous its going,
The Lord Rama’s story is pure in its glory,
Like some sacred river on-flowing.
With his story blended, poor words are made splendid, The hearts of all good men delighting;
As the ash of the dead, when on Siva’s limbs spread,
Is made bright—with his glory uniting.
Thus my simple writing to all will be pleasing If with Rama’s glory it is blent;
The wood of all trees from the sandalwood forest Is highly esteemed for its scent;
Cow may be black, but its milk will be white, and wholesome to all who may share; e songs of the glory of Sita and Rama, are words, good men like to hear.
hid with the elephant, mountain, or snake, pearls and bright diamonds no glory can take;
fair maiden’s body, or king’s noble crown, will find their full lustre, great worth and renown.
It is skill may give his poetry birth, wise men will say, Else wise comes its true worth.
Over to prayer, from her heavenly station, goddess of speech quickly brings inspiration.
in our devices and all our endeavours led in the lake of the Lord Rama’s favours.
Poet and sage, in their heart this discerning; the Lord’s praise, ill of dark days overturning.
tearing one singing the common man’s praises, goddess, with wailing, her protest upraises.
Hid, like a shell on the soul’s ocean floor, wise men, awaits inspiration’s first shower;
And when falls a shower of high thought some fine morn, Then by each drop a pearl of word-music is born.
Praise for Rama and Ramayana from Tulsidas
Then skillful piercing and slanging these pearls On the head of the Lord Rama’s was,
The godly man makes them a rosary bright,
To be worn on his head all the days.
The men brought to birth in this age vile and low maybe look like the swan, but behave like the crow.
Forsaking the scriptures for ways of the devil,
They’re falsehood incarnate and vessels of evil;
They’re liars, professing for Rama devotion,
Slaves are they to gold, wrath and vilest emotion.
Of such blasé men count me the first in the row;
Here I wave my faith’s flag just to make a fine show;
But were I to start all my failings recounting,
It were endless, forever the list would be mounting.
I tell you, therefore, but a very small part;
From a little a wise man can well judge the heart.
If thinking of all these my prayers with my verses,
Then no one who hears me will answer with curses
But after all this, if by doubt a man’s harried,
Much more then than mine is his mind dull and arid.
A poet I am not, nor am I called clever,
But as my mind leads I sing Rama’s praise ever.
Unbounded the Lord Raghupati’s ways truly;
And narrow my mind caught in world’s ways unduly.
The wind by its force can set huge mountains swaying, But what would its worth be if tested by weighing?
So, thinking upon Rama’s greatness unbounded,
In telling his story my mind is confounded.
Even Sharada and Sheshnag, even Siva and Brahma, The sacred books, old ones and new,
All saying “Not thus and not thus is his nature,”
Sing ceaseless to him praises due.
All know that his greatness is far beyond telling,
And yet from all lips is his praise ever swelling.
Tis this that the scriptures have given as the reason For worship in varying manner and season.
One is he, Alone, without passion, form, name;
Without birth he; pure truth, thought and bliss, All-Supreme;
The worshipful One he, pervading,
Incarnate One too, sharing man’s ways and station,
The good does he seek of the faithful and holy,
All loving and kind to the humble and lowly;
The souls who in love’s bond are bound to him ever,
Upon them falls only his grace, his wrath never.
Lost things he restores, to the poor gives protection,
The Lord Raghuram, all power and perfection.
In this faith the wise praise the Lord and rejoice,
By this means making holy and fruitful their voice.
On this hope relying, I also adore him,
My head at his feet, being humbly before him.
My brother, to sing with the sages his praise Is a way I will walk in with ease all my days.
No matter how broad be the stream, if the ruler Has had a strong bridge thrown across,
Then even the most insignificant insect can over it easily pass.
By this way and means my own heart re-assuring I tell Raghupati’s tale always alluring.
The great bards of old, such as Vyasa the story With reverence tell of the Lord’s divine glory.
Low bowed at their feet I request of them, “Sires,
“Pray give me your aid to fulfil my desires.”
The bards of this evil age likewise I honour,
The virtuous men who uplift Rama’s banner,
The bards of the common folk, well-versed in song,
All who sing the Lord’s praise in their own common tongue.
The poets who have been, who are and who shall be,
By me, without guile, all such honoured may well be,
“Pray grant that by your gracious blessing these songs “May be well accepted in saintly men’s throngs,
“If wise men will not with their favour endow it,
“Then vain the endeavour and foolish the poet,
“Good only are such fame, such words and such power, “Which Ganges-like all men with goodness endear,
“Lord Rama’s high fame and my poor speech comparing, “There comes hesitation and doubt at my daring,
“But li blest by you ’twill be pleasing enough,
“Just as when silk-embroidered is cloth coarse and rough;
“I pray you then grant from the heart your good favour, “That fit for such theme be my voice and endeavour ”
“A style clear and simple, theme lofty and fine,
“High honour among good men begets,
“When listening to such, one by nature a too,
‘All his enmity quickly forgets
“Such style and such theme demand mind deal and strong, But in mind weak and feeble am 1,
“Again your assistance I therefore implore,
“As to tell the Lord’s glory I try.
“The bards great and gifted are like to swans sporting “In the deep lake of Lord Rama’s deeds,
“Childlike is my prayer, but believe it well-meaning,
“And grant me aid meeting my needs.”
I bow before the lotus-like feet
Of the sage who first told Rama’s story to men,
It is full of things harsh and things Sweet It is faultless although it is with many faults blent
With hands clasped I approach immortals and Brahmans The wise and those teaching was,
O grant me and help me fulfil my fair purpose to sing Rama’s praise
All hail, sister who is, all clearness and beauty, Thou sacred Ganges and thou hid Sarasvati,
Those watching, once drunk or once bathed in sin quelling, Names once heard, once spoken, all enough dispelling
All hail, Siva, Parvati, parents and teachers,
To all giving good, guarding all lowly creatures,
Friends, servants and masters of fair Sita’s fold,
Those of whom Tulsi’s good is in all ways assured,
Those who for man’s good in this age of alarms
Gave the knowledge to man of all strong spells and charms,
As sounds incoherent crude, meaningless letters,
Yet Siva’s strength blessing us, breaking our fetters
On me then may great Siva’s mercy alight,
It will make of my story a joy and delight
That lord and his spouse for their favour recalling,
The story of Rama will be most enthralling.
By Siva’s great grace my poor song will be brightened,
As dark night by moon and by stars is enlightened
All they who this story receive and impart,
With true understanding and love in their heart,
All faithful to Rama in truth and simplicity,
Free from all sin, shall enjoy true felicity.
Dreaming or waking, if on me the favour Of these heavenly beings should rest,
Then all that I say will prove true and my language And writing will be greatly blest
I honour Ayodhya, all holy,
And the fair
All honour again to that town’s sons and daughters,
Whom Lord Rama loved with love deep as deep waters.
For their sake he Sita’s defamer forgave,
That a realm free from sorrow there always might have
I honour Kausalya, like eastern sky bright,
Whose fair fame has spread, to the world giving light
From whence Rama fan as the moon has arisen,
By whom the world’s blest, evil’s are all frozen
To Dasrath the king and his consorts, all hail
Good deeds incarnating, to all bringing wealth
I honour you humbly, with hand, voice and mind;
Pray, as your son’s servant, your grace may I find;
Creating whom, God His own glory advanced;
Rama’s parents, by whom is man’s glory enhanced.
I honour Ayodhya’s great king,
To Rama’s feet bound in complete devotion To whom Rama’s loss death did bring,
Who snapped like a straw duel in grief his life yielded
I honour Videha’s great king and his suite,
All deeply devoted to Lord Rama’s feet,
In royal state oft their emotion concealing,
But at the first sought love for Rama revealing.
I humbly hail Bharat also, brother royal,
He in every circumstance faithful and loyal;
Whose soul always hovered at Rama’s dear feet,
Like thirsty bees hovering close to things sweet.
Those feet fair and fragrant which blessing have brought
The one whose renown is a strong staff upholding Lord Rama’s fair fame like a banner unfolding,
O thou who to conquer the things by men dreaded,
Didst come in the form of the snake thousand-headed,
O son of Sumitra, give gracious’ protection.
Thou ocean of kindness and mine of perfection ”
Lowly at Shatrughna’s feet I bow
Follower ofTTT Bharat and hero benevolent
Hail Hanuman, chief in heroic fitness.
To whose prowess Rama himself gave his witness
All hail to thee. Son of the Wind,
A fire to the lowest of sin, stoic of knowledge,
Within the fair shone of hose mind Dwells Rama with arrow and bow in his hand
King of apes, king of bears, king of demons and ghosts, Angad also and with him the wild monkey hosts
Them all I salute, at their feet humbly bent,
For Rama they found, though in base body pent
All Rama’s true worshippers, however many,
Buds, beasts and immortals, men, demons and any
The lotus-like feet of them all I acclaim,
As Rama’s disciples with no selfish aim
I hail Sukadev, Narad, Sanatkumar,
All wise men and learned, renowned near and far,
“Ye lordly ones hail’ At four feet see me bowing, “And own me your servant, your kindness bestowing”
Fair Janki the daughter of Janak, world-mother, Beloved by the story choice of grace as no other,
I worship her feet like the lotus in beauty,
Whose mercy will make my mind pure for its duty
And once more I worship in thought word and deed At the feet of Lord Rama, feet worthy indeed,
Whose lotus eyes, snow-like with but one glance,
Give joy to men, scattering away mischance
As water and wave, as a word and its meaning,
Are one though divided when spoken,
So Sita and Rama as one do I worship,
Who love the man suffering and broken.
The name Rama, Raghuvar’s name, I acclaim,
The light-giving source of sun, moon and all flame,
The breath of the scriptures, divinity’s spirit,
Unmarked and unequalled, the mine of all merit;
As uttered by Siva, this charm best by far is,
For salvation needed; yes, even at Benares!
Ganesh knows its power arr on this relying,
He gained the first honour when with the gods vying.’
The poet Valmiki by power of this name,
Though he uttered it backwards, all holy became.
This name uttered once equals Vishnu’s a thousand,”
This learning, Lord Siva’s wife soon joined her husband,
Well-pleased Siva took the male-female form dual,
And named among women Parvati the jewel.
Lord Siva himself of its virtue has learned,
By this name for him poison to nectar was turned.
Says Tulsi a pure love for Rama is like to The rain-season for the rice held,
The letters of this name are Savan and Bhadav The months when with hope for good yield
Delightful and blessed these syllables two
Are like shoes to the soul of man, dealing his view,
Yet as the Supreme Soul and man’s in one knitted
Like Nara-Narayan, the twin divine brothers,
They are this world’s preservers and saviours of others
Like gems in a fair maiden’s ears, faith adorning,
Bliss bringing like moon at night, like sun at morning
Like nectar in taste and contentment imparting; Tortoise-like and serpent-like this earth supporting;
To pure souls like bees to the lotus; and dear As both Bair am and Krishna to Yashoda were.
Says Tulsi, among other letters and signs,
These two from our Lord Rama’s name Shine out, as the canopy jewelled and crown Reflect a levered monarch’s tame.
Benefits of Reading the Ramayana Story
The name and the named in close oneness are found,
As both master and follower in true love are bound.
In name and in form the Lord’s shadows arc thrown,
beyond word and time, to the simple He’s known;
it is wrong to call either one small and one great;
But the wise understand when distinctions I state.
See now that the form must depend on the name,
For without it no knowledge of form can one claim.
Just what a thing is, though the forms in one’s hand, Without knowing the name one cannot understand,
But though out of sight be the form, if the name Is recalled then the heart is with feeling aflame
This name and form are beyond tongue and pen,
Is an untold delight when it is once grasped by men.
Infinite and finite are both names divine,
As witness and light does the name on them shine
Just place Rama’s name at the two lips
As a lamp all be-jeweled and
Both within and without his pure light
Repeating this name, into life wakes the saint,
Now released from all passion and error and taint,
He shares the ineffable bliss of the Lord,
Him beyond name and form, beyond blame, beyond word.
He who would to deep secret knowledge attain,
Should repeat oft this name, thus his goal he will gain.
A mystic this name uttering, mind set and still,
Magic powers acquires, comes and goes as he will
Repeating this name when in suffering and grief.
Will all sorrows disperse, bringing joy and relief,
Four types all devoted to Rama we find,
And alike all are virtuous sinless and kind
To the Lord he’s most deal of these devotees four Who will trust in his name as the world’s truest love
Four scriptures long ages—this name suspicion reigns,
But in this Dark Age Kali Yuga, this one hope remains
The man who has conquered all passion and lives In his true love for Rama
His mind, as a fish, in the stream of this name is Purest heavenly nectar is nurse
Infinite, finite, God in two forms is here,
Beyond word, beyond thought, without bath, without peer
Far greater than these is the name I dare say,
For both forms does the name gather under its sway
The wise man and good knows the common mind well, Here it is my own love and him faith that I tell
Like two fires one hid and one seen in the fuel These lamps die both found in nature dual,
The One Lord Supreme deathless all things indwelling, Full knowledge full truth and full bliss upwelling
The name—is greater than in the Supreme,
And infinite thus I have shown
Now greater the name is than Rama the man,
This thought of mine too I must own
Lord Rama for sake of his own shared man’s lot,
And the faithful to bliss by his suffering has brought.
This dear name repeating with loyal devotion,
His Flowers dwell by felicity’s ocean.
Himself lie saved one; ’twas the saint’s wife But his name countless sinners has brought to new life.
For sake of the Brahman revered did he slaughter,
With army and son, Suketu’s demon daughter;
His name for his servants has put to full flight
All their suffering and shame, as the sun routs the night.
Himself Rama broke the Lord Siva’s great bow,
But his name breaks life’s bondage and fear and vain show.
One forest, Dandaka, the Lord beautified,
But many hearts has his name sanctified.
Himself Rama wiped out the dark demon host,
But his name kills all evils this Dark Age can boast.
To faithful ones such as Jatayu the vulture,
Gave Rama in grace life immortal;
The tale of Suketu and Vibhishan has shown How Rama protects them
By Rama a bridge over the ocean was laid it was a hard task for monkeys and bears
Ravan and all his host Rama beat and destroyed And with Sita returned to his home overjoyed
As king in the kingdom of Ayodhya he reigned
While the gods and the saints his praises unfeigned