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Term Paper for Online Education

In: English and Literature

Submitted By daphen
Words 4227
Pages 17
THE RAMAYANA (“The Deeds of Rama”)

Valmiki once was wandering through the forest along the bank of a river, when he noticed a pair of curlews hopping about on the grass, singing sweetly. Suddenly a hunter came along and killed the male bird with his arrow. As the bird was weltering in his blood and his mate mourning for him in pitiful tones, Valmiki was overcome with pity, and pronounced a curse on the hunter. But the words of the curse left his mouth in the form of a shloka-verse. Then the god Brahma appeared and bade the poet sing of the deeds of Rama in this very meter.

Book I: Bala-Kanda (The Chapter on Rama as a Youth)

In the land of the Kosalas (north of the Ganges), in the city of Ayodhya, there ruled a king named Dasharatha, who was mighty and wise, but still childless. The court advisor urged him to offer an imperial horse-sacrifice. The sage Rishyashringa, as the chief priest of this great sacrifice, includes an especially powerful offering rite that can cause the begetting of sons. When the offerings had been placed in the fire, the remnants were divided between the kings wives, who ate them. Just at that time the gods in heaven were much troubled by Ravana, the ten-headed demon king of Lanka. They therefore turned to Lord Vishnu, begging him to take human form in order to defeat Ravana. Vishnu agrees and resolves to be born on earth as the son of Dasharatha. So, after the horse-sacrifice was concluded, the three wives of King Dasharatha bore him four sons: Kausalya bore Rama (in whom Vishnu had incarnated himself), Kaikeyi bore Bharata, Sumitra bore Lakshmana and Shatrughna. Of these four princes Rama, the eldest, was his father’s favorite, and from his youth, Lakshmana was deeply devoted to his elder brother. He was like Rama’s second self, and fulfilled all his wishes even before they were uttered. As the grew up princes, were trained in all...

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