When devarshi Narada, the wisest of the wise, the master of the vedas, and the knower of the past, present, and future, stood in front of Valmiki, the sage-poet and ascetic, he was deep in thought. When Narada questioned Valmiki about the cause of his agitation, he responded as follows: “I’ve been thinking about the nature of things and wondering if there is anyone in this world who possesses all the traits of the ideal man. O Narada, master of vedic learning and messenger of the gods. Exists anyone who exemplifies goodness and righteousness, who is attractive and strong in physique, mind, and character, yet modest, kind, and benevolent? A person who adheres unwaveringly to their principles and commitments, who has studied and comprehended the Vedic precepts, and who lives their life in accordance with them? A person who is smart and learned, whose skill in battle even the gods fear, yet who possesses no hint of conceit? a person who is prone to thankfulness but has no concept of what envy is? a person who is free of rage and all other impure emotions, who is duty-bound and full of empathy, love, and compassion for all living things? a person who upholds truth and morality and who is deserving of comparison to the heavenly gods? Someone deserving of respect who yet displays humility in his or her acts of devotion and prayer? An individual who is admired and sought after by all for his transcendent qualities, a motivating leader who is cherished by friends and dreaded by foes? a person whose noble demeanour inspires peace and whose presence causes love to germinate and blossom? Whose face and limbs reflect the grace and beauty of his spirit, whose brow is as noble as his heart? O Narada, please answer; you are the only one who can. Have you come across somebody with these traits?
Narada, who had a profound and thorough understanding of the three worlds, replied as follows: “Undoubtedly, O great sage, it is difficult to find someone who possesses all the virtues you named. I can only think of one such person, though. He was born into the Ikshvaku family and is Rama. He has a fair face and a decent disposition. Although he has a lion-like tapering waist and hips and big shoulders, he is soft in speech and demeanour. Although he has a charming personality, his enemies are terrified of him. He uses a large bow and is a skilled archer. His walk is elegant and royal. He has a neck that is as exquisitely shaped as a conch, huge, limpid eyes, and a noble brow. He is knowledgeable and wise, well-versed in the sciences, arts, and crafts, and yet he is neither arrogant nor egotistical. He is the upholder of the dharma and its embodiment, possessing all the praiseworthy attributes. However, he does not show irritability or contempt towards people who are less gifted than he is. Despite being a servant and the adored of his subjects, he is a prince among men and rulers. He has the strength and bravery of Visnu, the integrity of Dharma, the generosity of Kubera, the tenacity of the Himalayas, and the tranquilly of the moon in his visage. No one can match him when it comes to respecting elders or performing parental duties. His person radiates love, and he has a depth that can only be compared to the ocean. His forbearance rivals that of the earth, yet if provoked, his anger is catastrophic. Indeed, no one can compare to him. He is Rama, the epitome of all virtues, and Kausalya, his mother, is delighted and proud of him. The king of Ayodhya, Dasaratha, also delighted in the excellence of his first-born and, appropriately, picked him to succeed him. However, as Rama was getting ready to become the crown prince, his stepmother Kaikeyi recalled the two blessings that the king had once given her but had since forgotten. She insisted that Rama be exiled for fourteen years in order to fulfil the first boon and that her own son Bharata be named the heir apparent in place of Rama in order to satisfy the second. Being trapped by his own words, Dasaratha was forced to submit to Kaikeyi’s demands and exile Rama, the love of his life, for fourteen years.
The obedient son accepted to his father’s demands and to spend fourteen years in exile out of respect for his stepmother and his father’s promise. Lakshmana, Rama’s faithful brother, made the decision to travel with him into exile. Like Rohini trailing the moon, Rama’s lovely consort Sita, the daughter of honourable Janaka, accompanied her lord into exile. Sita was a woman of unparalleled virtue, equal to Deva Maya herself. The citizens of Ayodhya gathered around the noble couple and Lakshmana as they left and followed the chariot that was pulling them. In order to stay close to his son, King Dasaratha travelled with the group.
Rama instructed his charioteer to return to Ayodhya at Sringiberapura, which is located on the banks of the Ganga. Rama spent his first night in exile with Guha, the king of Nishada, who helped the distinguished visitors cross the mighty Ganga the following morning. After travelling through several countries and fording numerous rivers, streams, and forests, they finally arrived at the mountain Chitrakuta on the advice of the wise man Bharadvaja and constructed a home there out of loam and leaves. They experienced ecstasy and happiness similar to the devas and gandharvas here in the midst of nature. Dasaratha passed away in grief after being unable to withstand the pain of losing his adored son.
The court priest Vasishta called Bharata, who had been at Ayodhya with his maternal uncle Yudhajit during this time, after he and the other Brahmins had pleaded with him to become king. However, Bharata was adamant in rejecting the position because he had no desire to be the monarch and believed Rama should have it exclusively by right. Then, this honourable prince travelled to Chritrakuta Mountain. When Bharata arrived at Rama’s home, he knelt at his feet, begged for forgiveness for the unforgivable evil done to him, and requested that he go back to Ayodhya and take the throne. Rama, who was honourable and bound by his father’s oath, turned down the crown and the throne. Instead, he pleaded with Bharata to keep the vow made to his mother by their father. Bharata, however, remained steadfast in his resolve, requested Rama’s sandals as a stand-in for his throne, and then went back to Ayodhya to establish Rama’s kingship. Bharata, who was disappointed at not being able to do what he had hoped to, yet touched his noble brother’s feet and gave in to his requests. He placed Rama’s sandals on the throne in Nandigrama, from where he governed in the name of his righteous and staunch brother, eagerly anticipating his return, after swearing to enter Ayodhya only with Rama. Rama made the decision to retreat deep into the rakshasa-infested Dandaka forest because of fear that even today, people from Ayodhya would swarm to him there in Chitrakuta. Rama killed the Rakshasa, Viradha, as his very first deed after entering the Dandaka forest. Then he encountered Sarabhanga, Sutikshna, and Agastya, three sages. Rama was ecstatic to receive from Agastya the powerful bow of Lord Indra, two quivers that could hold an endless supply of arrows, and a lovely sword.
The sages and Rishis came to Rama with a request as he was settling down in the lovely and abundant surroundings of Dandakaranya. They begged Rama to put an end to the rakshasas’ persecution of them. He gave them his promise that he would free them from the oppressive influence of these evil forces. The rakshasa woman Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana, who dwelt in Janasthana and had the ability to change her form and shape at will, was first deformed by Rama and Lakshmana. Surpanakha was furious at the treatment she received and convinced the rakshasas Khara, Dushana, and Trishira to march against Rama with armies of their demons. However, Rama destroyed them all and removed the 14,000 rakshasas from Janasthana.
When Ravana learned about the rakshasas’ murder, he was furious and determined to exact revenge. He enlisted the help of the rakshasa Maricha, who did his utmost to convince Ravana not to pursue his goal, claiming that going up against the powerful Rama would only be bad for him. But Ravana disregarded Maricha’s advice because he was angry and spurred on by his fate. With the aid of Maricha’s talent, Ravana was able to draw both noble brothers away from their home and accompany him to Rama’s hermitage. Maricha is a master of magic spells and illusions. Then they carried Sita away after killing Jatayu, the king of eagles. When Rama learned that his wife had been kidnapped by the dying Jatayu, he was overcome with grief and wept openly. After cremating Jatayu, he started looking for Sita. Rama came upon the rakshasa Kabandha, who was once Kubera’s son and had been cursed to become a rakshasa, while scouring the wilderness for Sita. In order for Kabandha’s soul to enter paradise, Rama killed him during a fight and then cremated him. Rama was told to meet Sabari, a rare ascetic woman who was Kabandha’s disciple, by Kabandha before he ascended to heaven. Rama, the dazzling slayer of his enemies, was always obedient to the devotion of his followers. When he went to Sabari’s hermitage, she treated him with all due respect and obeisance.
Rama met a monkey named Hanuman on the banks of the river Pampa after leaving Sabari’s ashram, and he promised to introduce Rama to Sugriva. Rama consented to meet and become friends with Sugriva, the king of monkeys, on the suggestion of Hanuman. Hanuman and he were given information by Rama regarding the kidnapping of his beloved wife Sita. Sugriva then made a friendship contract with Rama in the presence of the deity of fire and revealed to him the details of his conflict with his older brother Vali, the formidable ruler of the Vanaras. Rama promised to kill Vali, but Sugriva doubted Rama’s ability to do so and gave Rama a description of Vali’s power and might. He then pointed to the enormous pile of Dundubhi’s skeleton remains to put Rama to the test. Rama grinned and threw the remaining ten yojanas into the air with his big toe. Then he released an arrow, which went unhurt back into its quiver after slicing through seven Sala trees, cleaving a hill, and even reaching Rasatala.
Sugriva led Rama to the city of Kishkinda, which was located in a huge cave, after Rama had gained confidence and conviction in his abilities. Sugriva, the best monkey, screamed his challenge to Vali, the king, as soon as he arrived in the city. His golden coat was as brilliant as gold. While Vali and Sugriva engaged in battle, Tara, Vali’s wife, tried in vain to talk her husband out of accepting Sugriva’s challenge. Rama then released his arrow and killed Vali, keeping his promise to Sugriva.
Sugriva was then crowned king of the Vanaras by Rama. In order to locate Janaka’s daughter, Sugriva mobilised the vanaras and dispersed them in all directions. Hanuman turned toward Lanka, the kingdom of Ravana, which was a hundred yojanas across the ocean, on the advice of the eagle Sampati. He crossed the ocean in a single bound and landed in Lanka. He searched everywhere for Sita before finding her finally, imprisoned in Ravana’s pleasure garden, Ashokavana, when Rama was immersed in meditation. Hanuman dutifully presented Sita Rama’s ring as a sign of acknowledgement and informed her of everything that had occurred when she became aware of his presence. Hanuman departed the Ashokavana after consoling Vaidehi and restoring her faith. He broke the garden’s outside gate as he was leaving. Before allowing himself to be kidnapped by the astra given by Brahma to Indrajit, another son of Ravana, Hanuman engaged in a battle that resulted in the deaths of five leaders of Ravana’s army, the sons of seven ministers, and the valiant Akshaya Kumara. To achieve his goal of seeing Ravana, Hanuman allowed himself to be chained, put up with the taunts and jeers of the rakshasas, and endured humiliations at their hands. Additionally, he felt secure in the knowledge that he could liberate himself at any time thanks to a blessing bestowed upon him by his grandpa, Brahma.
Hanuman was brought before Ravana and his court after being safely trussed. In this location, he managed to shake himself free of his restraints and set fire to the entire city, sparing only Ashokavana, the location of Sita’s captivity under Ravana. From there, he hurried to inform Rama that he had seen Sita. After then, he described what had transpired during his voyage to Lanka.
Invading Lanka was the plan of Rama, Lakshmana, Hanuman, and Sugriva. Rama and his followers were unable to cross the ocean when they arrived at the seashore. Rama’s rage caused him to shoot arrow after arrow from his bow, which soared like the sun’s blazing rays and created a storm so violent that the vast ocean trembled in terror. Samudra, the ruler of the ocean and the master of rivers, was unable to withstand this assault and deferred to this great warrior by appearing before Rama. He then suggested to Rama to construct an ocean bridge. In response to Samudra’s advice, Rama ordered the building of a bridge. Then, crossing this bridge, Rama entered Lanka, engaged Ravana in a bloody battle, and freed Sita. He appointed Ravana’s brother Vibhishana to rule Lanka.
When Rama assumed the throne, the entire world cheered. Following the path of righteousness, the contented people grew in strength. The people of Ayodhya soon forgot about hunger, disease, or any other mental or physical ills that had previously afflicted them as adharma subsided and dharma blossomed. Rama’s leadership was devoid of droughts, floods, hunger, fatalities, theft, and pillage. Women were virginal, obedient, and never got divorced. In neither the towns nor the villages was there any sense of a lack of any type; the fields produced an excess of crop. Rama’s kingdom was renowned for its splendour.
Rama conducted a hundred ashvamedhas, gave hundreds of thousands of cows to the Brahmins in accordance with the scriptures, restored the royal dynasty a hundred times more, and assigned the four castes to their appropriate tasks, according to Narada, who finished his narrator’s account. After governing for 11,000 years and creating dharma on earth, Rama will depart for Brahmaloka.
Whoever reads or hears the Bhagwan Rama’s history will be absolved of his sins, live a long and happy life on earth, and be guaranteed a place in heaven. The history of Rama is as auspicious as the Vedas. A Vaisya will make enormous profits from his trade, a Brahmin will become eloquent, a Kshatriya will be able to rule the earth, and even a lowly Sudra will become great.