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“Rama was a famous person from a royal family and he was described as a brave, wise and dutiful man, while Sita was beautiful and Saintly” (Das 6). This couple came to know each other at “Swayamvara” party which was organized by Janaka, who served as Mithila king. Janaka was the farther of Sita and his intention for organizing this party was to help his daughter get a good bridegroom. After the party, Rama was chosen as the best bride and he married Sita.
Dashratha was the farther of Rama and he was polygamous. The eldest son in this family was Rama and Kaushalya was his mother. The second son of Dashratha was Bharata and he was born by the second wife. The third wife of the king was called Sumitra and she had two children.
Trouble began in this family when Bharata’s mother made arrangements for him to take over the throne after his farther. This arrangement contradicted their tradition in the sense that Rama was the one to assume power after his farther because he was the eldest son. “Instead of being crowned king of Ayodhya, Rama was sent into exile in the forest for fourteen years by an intrigue in the palace and a quirk of fate”(Narayan 45).
Rama together with wife and brother went to stay in the forest where they lived with the Hermits. After some years Bharata went to see his brother in the forest in order to convince him to go back to their home in Ayodhya. However, Rama refused to accept his brother’s request and Bharata returned to Ayodhya with Rama’s pair of shoes. “He placed Rama’s shoes on the throne to act as the symbol of Rama’s continuing monarchy” (Das 7).
Abduction of Sita
Rama continued to live happily in the exile with his brother and Sita until one day they got a tragedy. In this case Sita was kidnapped by king Ravana who was the ruler of Lanka. Rama was really disturbed by this tragedy and he decided to get her back. Rama organized a powerful army which he used to attack Ravana’s soldiers and he finally killed Ravana, and he managed to rescue Sita.
Rama Becomes the King of Ayodhya
They went back to Ayondhya after staying away for several years. Upon their return, they were received back very happily. From that time Roma ruled his kingdom for a long period of time and they had two children called Kush and Luv. Nonetheless, “Sita’s chastity during her period of capture by Ravana came under scrutiny, and she had to go through trial by fire to prove her purity”(Narayan 67).
Rama’s trial of Sita was based on their tradition that if a woman ran away from her husband then she had to be tried by being put on a huge flame. Rama subjected his wife to this kind of punitive test because he felt that Sita had probably been cheating on him hence he wanted to check if she was truly kidnapped or if she ran way from him deliberately.
Trial of Sita
Sita cried bitterly saying that she had been forcefully kidnapped by Ravana’s agents. While crying she asked, “Was that my fault? The monster carried me away against my wishes. While in his residence, my mind and my heart were fixed on my Lord, Rama, alone” (Das 9).
Rama did not sympathize with her and he instead instructed Lakshmana to light the fire so that they could burn Sita. She prayed for God’s help while walking into the fire. Fortunately, “Agni, whom Sita invoked, arose from the flames and gently lifted Sita unharmed, and presented her to Rama” (Das 10).Rama’s sons killed Lakshmana because they felt that he was trying to kill their mother.
Das, Subhamoy. Hinduism: the story of Ramayan. New York: Wiley, 1999.
Narayan, Ramji. The Ramayana: a shortened modern prose version of the Indian epic. New York: Penguin Classics, 1998.