My Favorite Book
Reading books is my pastime. Books are my never-falling friends. When I am out of tune with myself, I take recourse to reading books by great writers and masterminds. I have read a number of books. Some books leave a profound influence upon our minds. The book which has appealed to me the most is “My Experiments With Truth”, written by Mahatma Gandhi. It throws a flood of light on his personality and thought. It is ideas and thoughts that have moved the world. This book centers round two things: Gandhiji’s patriotism and his struggle for India’s freedom. He fought against injustice and inequality with the weapons of truth and non-violence. The book brings out how Gandhiji awakened the sleeping Indians with his moral force and aroused in them a love for liberty. The book also points out Gandhiji’s own weaknesses. To him, God was truth and truth was God. He never tried to conceal anything about his life. He believed that politics should be tempered with morality. I like this book because it has proved a turning point in my life. I have learnt a lot from this great book. It remains one of the most precious treasures of mankind. It makes a very good reading. Every sentence of this book has a touch of sincerity. It is written in a simple but effective style. It is worth reading.
Essay No. 2
My Favorite Book
A book has a great power to make us good or bad. A good books may be very useful for us while a bad book may do great harm to us. It is very easy to read books but it is difficult to select a book for reading purpose. A book gives us company. A book increases our knowledge. It improves us mentally and spiritually. So a great care is needed in selecting a good book. The matter of the book affects the mid while reading the book.
I have read many books. If we gain nothing after reading the cheap type of book, it means we have wasted our time in reading useless book. It is only passing the time with no benefit. I have read Ramayana written by Tulsidas. I liked it most, still I like it and it would be liked by me in future also. It influenced me most. This is my favourite book. I love it most. The book has many charms of its own. It is more interesting than a novel. It is more philosophic than any book on philosophy. It is a complete moral code. Hence, it has influenced me most. It contains the life story of Rama who is thought to be an incarnation of God. Hence it is a religious book which helps us to make us good an pious.
The book is full of ideals. It presents every situation of life. from the examples given in this book, we learn how we should behave with our parents, brothers, sisters, friends, enemies, teachers, learned persons, strangers, husbands, wives , sons and even the low caste people. It teaches us to be brave and sons and even the low caste people. It teaches us to be brave and cheerful in all circumstances. Thus, we may call it the best book for character- building in the world.
Rama was the son of King Dashrath of Ayodhya. He was a wonderful man. To obey the orders of his father, he went into exile for 14 years. His wife Sita, and brother Lakshman went with him. Ravana the King of Lanka stole away Sita. Lord Rama invaded Lanka and defeated Ravana. He got his wife back. Rama protected Rishis and killed demons. Sita as an ideal wife, was the follower of Rama in all his joys and sorrows. Rama’s father Dashrath, died of grief without Rama but kept his word. Rama obeyed his father’s wish and brother, Lakshman went with him to serve him with heart and soul. Bharat too did not accept crown but ruled over Ayodhya as Rama’s Steward.
Ram loved the people and the people respected him. He treated the low caste boatman as his own brother. In the forest of Chitra Koot, he treated the Bhils as his own men. He became a true protector of all sages in trouble. His friendship with Sugriva is an example for us. Hanuman proved his true follower. Site lived the life of purity and devotion in Lanka.
Thus we see that victory comes to the good people. The wicked people suffer in the end. Ramayana gives us Consolation when we are in trouble.
Essay No. 3
My Favorite Book
Books are the best food for our mind. They give us a peculiar joy and we forget all the cares and worries of life. the serious books are intended for sober and thoughtful minds. They mold our thought and give us a proper direction. They are the best guides and philosophers. I an myself greatly influenced by Bhagwad Gita, the greatest book which India has produced so far. It has no rival. It teaches us the secrets of ideal life and duty.
Bhagawad Gita tells us that we should do our duty at all times whatever the duty is at the moment and forget everything else. When we do our duty, we should not look for any kind of reward. When our duty is done properly, it is its own reward. We should not do anything for our profits and we should not be afraid of losses. Whatever we do, it should be done out of a high sense of duty.
In order to do our duties properly, Bhagawad Gita tells us, we should rise above the pains of opposites. Neither could nor heat should disturbed us. We should not care for gains and losses, pleasures and pains. We should keep our minds steady like a flame in a hurricane lamp which is not disturbed by the wind outside.
Bhagawad Gita embodies a message for Lord Krishna to Arjuna in the battle of Mahabharata, Arjuna was unwilling to fight because he would not like to kill his kith and kin. But Lord Krishna told him that was his duty at the moment because they were responsible for much evil in the world. Besides, the people whom he was to kill were already killed by God. He was only to lift his sword and they would fall. He was not the killer. True killer was God. The time for the death of Kurus had come. He was only an agent of the will go God.
Bhagawad Gita does not tell us to renounce the world for Godly pursuits but instructs to be more active in the worldly affairs but not be involved himself in the love of this world. The life here is all temporary and as such being attached to the world is the biggest blunder. We have to live this life temporarily and prepare for a larger life beyond this world. Love of the people is the actual love of God is what Bhagawad Gita teaches.
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This article is about the original Sanskrit version by Valmiki. For other uses, see Ramayana (disambiguation).
Ramayana (;Sanskrit: रामायणम्, Rāmāyaṇam[rɑːˈmɑːjəɳəm]) is an ancient Indian epic poem which narrates the struggle of the divine prince Rama to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana. Along with the Mahabharata, it forms the SanskritItihasa.
The epic, traditionally ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki, narrates the life of Rama, the legendary prince of the Kosala Kingdom. It follows his fourteen-year exile to the forest from the kingdom, by his father King Dasharatha, on request of his second wife Kaikeyi. His travels across forests in India with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, the kidnapping of his wife by Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, resulting in a war with him, and Rama's eventual return to Ayodhya to be crowned king.
The Ramayana is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature. It consists of nearly 24,000 verses (mostly set in the Shloka meter), divided into seven Kandas (books) and about 500 sargas (chapters). In Hindu tradition, it is considered to be the adi-kavya (first poem). It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king. Ramayana was an important influence on later Sanskrit poetry and Hindu life and culture. Like Mahabharata, Ramayana is not just a story: it presents the teachings of ancient Hindu sages in narrative allegory, interspersing philosophical and ethical elements. The characters Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata, Hanuman, Shatrughna, and Ravana are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and south-east Asian countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia.
There are many versions of Ramayana in Indian languages, besides Buddhist, Sikh and Jain adaptations. There are also Cambodian, Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, Lao, Burmese and Malaysian versions of the tale.
The name Ramayana is a tatpuruṣa compound of the name Rāma.
Textual history and structure
According to Hindu tradition – and according to the Ramayana itself – the epic belongs to the genre of itihasa like Mahabharata. The definition of itihāsa is a narrative of past events (purāvṛtta) which includes teachings on the goals of human life. According to Hindu tradition, Ramayana takes place during a period of time known as Treta Yuga.
In its extant form, Valmiki's Ramayana is an epic poem of some 24,000 verses. The text survives in several thousand partial and complete manuscripts, the oldest of which is a palm-leaf manuscript found in Nepal and dated to the 11th century CE. A Times of India report dated 18 December 2015 informs about the discovery of a 6th-century manuscript of the Ramayana at the Asiatic Society library, Kolkata. The Ramayana text has several regional renderings,recensions and sub recensions. Textual scholar Robert P. Goldman differentiates two major regional revisions: the northern (n) and the southern (s). Scholar Romesh Chunder Dutt writes that "the Ramayana, like the Mahabharata, is a growth of centuries, but the main story is more distinctly the creation of one mind."
There has been discussion as to whether the first and the last volumes (bala kandam and uttara kandam) of Valmiki's Ramayana were composed by the original author. Most Hindus still believe they are integral parts of the book, in spite of some style differences and narrative contradictions between these two volumes and the rest of the book.
Retellings include Gona Budda Reddy's Ramayanam in Telugu, Kamban's Ramavataram in Tamil (c. 11th–12th century), Madhava Kandali's Saptakanda Ramayana in Assamese (c. 14th century), Krittibas Ojha's Krittivasi Ramayan (also known as Shri Rama Panchali) in Bengali (c. 15th century), Sarala Das' Vilanka Ramayana (c. 15th century) and Balaram Das' Dandi Ramayana (also known as the Jagamohan Ramayana) (c. 16th century) both in Odia, santEknath's Bhavarth Ramayan (c. 16th century) in Marathi, Tulsidas' Ramcharitamanas (c. 16th century) in Awadhi (which is an eastern form of Hindi) and Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan's Adhyathmaramayanam in Malayalam.
Some cultural evidence, such as the presence of sati in Mahabharata but not in the main body of Ramayana, suggests that Ramayana predates Mahabharata. However, the general cultural background of Ramayana is one of the post-urbanization periods of the eastern part of north India and Nepal, while Mahabharata reflects the Kuru areas west of this, from the Rigvedic to the late Vedic period.
By tradition, the text belongs to the Treta Yuga, second of the four eons (yuga) of Hindu chronology. Rama is said to have been born in the Treta yuga to king Dasharatha in the Ikshvaku dynasty.
The names of the characters (Rama, Sita, Dasharatha, Janaka, Vashista, Vishwamitra) are all known in late Vedic literature. However, nowhere in the surviving Vedic poetry is there a story similar to the Ramayana of Valmiki. According to the modern academic view, Vishnu, who, according to bala kanda, was incarnated as Rama, first came into prominence with the epics themselves and further, during the puranic period of the later 1st millennium CE. Also, in the epic Mahabharata, there is a version of Ramayana known as Ramopakhyana. This version is depicted as a narration to Yudhishthira.
There is general consensus that books two to six form the oldest portion of the epic, while the first and last books (Bala Kanda and Uttara Kanda, respectively) are later additions, as some style differences and narrative contradictions between these two volumes and the rest of the book. The author or authors of Bala Kanda and Ayodhya Kanda appear to be familiar with the eastern Gangetic basin region of northern India and with the Kosala, Mithila and Magadha regions during the period of the sixteen Mahajanapadas, based on the fact that the geographical and geopolitical data accords with what is known about the region.
- Dasharatha is king of Ayodhya and father of Rama. He has three queens, Kausalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra and three other sons: Bharata, and twins Lakshmana and Shatrughna. Kaikeyi, Dasharatha's favourite queen, forces him to make their son Bharata crown prince and send Rama into exile. Dasharatha dies heartbroken after Rama goes into exile.
- Rama is the main protagonist of the tale. Portrayed as the seventh avatar of god Vishnu, he is the eldest and favourite son of Dasharatha, the king of Ayodhya and his Chief Queen, Kausalya. He is portrayed as the epitome of virtue. Dasharatha is forced by Kaikeyi to command Rama to relinquish his right to the throne for fourteen years and go into exile. Rama kills the evil demon Ravana, who abducted his wife Sita, and later returns to Ayodhya to form an ideal state.
- Sita is another of the tale's protagonists. She is a daughter of Mother Earth, adopted by King Janaka, and Rama's beloved wife. Rama went to Mithila and got a chance to marry her by breaking the Shiv Dhanush (bow) while trying to tie a knot to it in a competition organized by King Janaka of Mithila in Dhanusa. The competition was to find the most suitable husband for Sita and many princes from different states competed to win her. Sita is the avatara of goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu. Sita is portrayed as the epitome of female purity and virtue. She follows her husband into exile and is abducted by the demon king Ravana. She is imprisoned on the island of Lanka, until Rama rescues her by defeating Ravana. Later, she gives birth to twin boys Luv and Kusha.
- Bharata is the son of Dasharatha and Queen Kaikeyi. When he learns that his mother Kaikeyi has forced Rama into exile and caused Dasharatha to die brokenhearted, he storms out of the palace and goes in search of Rama in the forest. When Rama refuses to return from his exile to assume the throne, Bharata obtains Rama's sandals and places them on the throne as a gesture that Rama is the true king. Bharata then rules Ayodhya as the regent of Rama for the next fourteen years, staying outside the city of Ayodhya. He was married to Mandavi.
- Lakshmana is a younger brother of Rama, who chose to go into exile with him. He is the son of King Dasharatha and Queen Sumitra and twin of Shatrughna. Lakshmana is portrayed as an avatar of Shesha, the nāga associated with the god Vishnu. He spends his time protecting Sita and Rama, during which time he fights the demoness Surpanakha. He is forced to leave Sita, who was deceived by the demon Maricha into believing that Rama was in trouble. Sita is abducted by Ravana upon his leaving her. He was married to Sita's younger sister Urmila.
- Shatrughna is a son of Dasharatha and his second wife Queen Sumitra. He is the youngest brother of Rama and also the twin brother of Lakshmana. He was married to Shrutakirti.
Allies of Rama
- Hanuman is a vanara belonging to the kingdom of Kishkindha. He is an ideal bhakta of Rama. He is born as son of Kesari, a Vanara king in Sumeru region and the goddess Añjanā. He plays an important part in locating Sita and in the ensuing battle. He is believed to live until our modern world.
- Sugriva, a vanara king who helped Rama regain Sita from Ravana. He had an agreement with Rama through which Vali – Sugriva's brother and king of Kishkindha – would be killed by Rama in exchange for Sugriva's help in finding Sita. Sugriva ultimately ascends the throne of Kishkindha after the slaying of Vali and fulfills his promise by putting the Vanara forces at Rama's disposal.
- Angada is a vanara who helped Rama find his wife Sita and fight her abductor, Ravana, in Ramayana. He was son of Vali and Tara and nephew of Sugriva. Angada and Tara are instrumental in reconciling Rama and his brother, Lakshmana, with Sugriva after Sugriva fails to fulfill his promise to help Rama find and rescue his wife. Together they are able to convince Sugriva to honour his pledge to Rama instead of spending his time carousing and drinking.
- Jambavan/Jamvanta is known as Riksharaj (King of the Rikshas). Rikshas are bears. In the epic Ramayana, Jambavantha helped Rama find his wife Sita and fight her abductor, Ravana. It is he who makes Hanuman realize his immense capabilities and encourages him to fly across the ocean to search for Sita in Lanka.
- Jatayu, son of Aruṇa and nephew of Garuda. A demi-god who has the form of a vulture that tries to rescue Sita from Ravana. Jatayu fought valiantly with Ravana, but as Jatayu was very old, Ravana soon got the better of him. As Rama and Lakshmana chanced upon the stricken and dying Jatayu in their search for Sita, he informs them of the direction in which Ravana had gone.
- Sampati, son of Aruna, brother of Jatayu. Sampati's role proved to be instrumental in the search for Sita.
- Vibhishana, youngest brother of Ravana. He was against the abduction of Sita and joined the forces of Rama when Ravana refused to return her. His intricate knowledge of Lanka was vital in the war and he was crowned king after the fall of Ravana.
Foes of Rama
- Ravana, a rakshasa, is the king of Lanka. He was son of a sage named Vishrava and daitya princess Kaikesi. After performing severe penance for ten thousand years he received a boon from the creator-god Brahma: he could henceforth not be killed by gods, demons, or spirits. He is portrayed as a powerful demon king who disturbs the penances of rishis. Vishnu incarnates as the human Rama to defeat him, thus circumventing the boon given by Brahma.
- Indrajit or Meghnadha, the eldest son of Ravana who twice defeated Rama and Lakshmana in battle, before succumbing to Lakshmana. An adept of the magical arts, he coupled his supreme fighting skills with various stratagems to inflict heavy losses on Vanara army before his death.
- Kumbhakarna, brother of Ravana, famous for his eating and sleeping. He would sleep for months at a time and would be extremely ravenous upon waking up, consuming anything set before him. His monstrous size and loyalty made him an important part of Ravana's army. During the war he decimated the Vanara army before Rama cut off his limbs and head.
- Surpanakha, Ravana's demoness sister who fell in love with Rama and had the magical power to take any form she wanted.
- Vali, was king of Kishkindha, husband of Tara, a son of Indra, elder brother of Sugriva and father of Angada. Vali was famous for the boon that he had received, according to which anyone who fought him in single-combat lost half his strength to Vali, thereby making Vali invulnerable to any enemy. He was killed by Lord Rama, an Avatar of Vishnu.
Main article: Bala Kanda
Dasharatha was the king of Ayodhya. He had three wives: Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra. He was childless for a long time and anxious to produce an heir, so he performs a fire sacrifice known as putra-kameshti yagya. As a consequence, Rama is first born to Kaushalya, Bharata is born to Kaikeyi, Lakshmana and Shatrughna are born to Sumitra. These sons are endowed, to various degrees, with the essence of the Supreme Trinity Entity Vishnu; Vishnu had opted to be born into mortality to combat the demon Ravana, who was oppressing the gods, and who could only be destroyed by a mortal. The boys are reared as the princes of the realm, receiving instructions from the scriptures and in warfare from Vashistha. When Rama is 16 years old, sage Vishwamitra comes to the court of Dasharatha in search of help against demons who were disturbing sacrificial rites. He chooses Rama, who is followed by Lakshmana, his constant companion throughout the story. Rama and Lakshmana receive instructions and supernatural weapons from Vishwamitra and proceed to destroy the demons.
Janaka was the king of Mithila. One day, a female child was found in the field by the king in the deep furrow dug by his plough. Overwhelmed with joy, the king regarded the child as a "miraculous gift of god". The child was named Sita, the Sanskrit word for furrow. Sita grew up to be a girl of unparalleled beauty and charm. The king had decided that who ever could lift and wield the heavy bow, presented to his ancestors by Shiva, could marry Sita. Sage Vishwamitra takes Rama and Lakshmana to Mithila to show the bow. Then Rama desires to lift it and goes on to wield the bow and when he draws the string, it breaks. Marriages are arranged between the sons of Dasharatha and daughters of Janaka. Rama gets married to Sita, Lakshmana to Urmila, Bharata to Mandavi and Shatrughna to Shrutakirti. The weddings are celebrated with great festivity in Mithila and the marriage party returns to Ayodhya.
After Rama and Sita have been married for twelve years, an elderly Dasharatha expresses his desire to crown Rama, to which the Kosala assembly and his subjects express their support. On the eve of the great event, Kaikeyi – her jealousy aroused by Manthara, a wicked maidservant – claims two boons that Dasharatha had long ago granted her. Kaikeyi demands Rama to be exiled into the wilderness for fourteen years, while the succession passes to her son Bharata. The heartbroken king, constrained by his rigid devotion to his given word, accedes to Kaikeyi's demands. Rama accepts his father's reluctant decree with absolute submission and calm self-control which characterises him throughout the story. He is joined by Sita and Lakshmana. When he asks Sita not to follow him, she says, "the forest where you dwell is Ayodhya for me and Ayodhya without you is a veritable hell for me." After Rama's departure, King Dasharatha, unable to bear the grief, passes away. Meanwhile, Bharata who was on a visit to his maternal uncle, learns about the events in Ayodhya. Bharata refuses to profit from his mother's wicked scheming and visits Rama in the forest. He requests Rama to return and rule. But Rama, determined to carry out his father's orders to the letter, refuses to return before the period of exile. However, Bharata carries Rama's sandals and keeps them on the throne, while he rules as Rama's regent.
Main article: Aranya Kanda
Thirteen years pass and in the last year of exile Rama, Sita and Lakshmana journey southward along the banks of river Godavari, where they build cottages and live off the land. At the Panchavati forest they are visited by a rakshasa (demon) woman, Surpanakha, sister of Ravana. She attempts to seduce the brothers and failing in this, attempts to kill Sita. Lakshmana stops her by cutting off her nose and ears. Hearing of this, her demon brother, Khara, organises an attack against the princes. Rama annihilates Khara and his demons.
When news of these events reaches Ravana, he resolves to destroy Rama by capturing Sita with the aid of the rakshasaMaricha. Maricha, assuming the form of a golden deer, captivates Sita's attention. Entranced by the beauty of the deer, Sita pleads with Rama to capture it. Lord Rama, aware that this is the ploy of the demons, cannot dissuade Sita from her desire and chases the deer into the forest, leaving Sita under Lakshmana's guard. After some time, Sita hears Rama calling out to her; afraid for his life, she insists that Lakshmana rush to his aid. Lakshmana tries to assure her that Rama is invincible and that it is best if he continues to follow Rama's orders to protect her. On the verge of hysterics, Sita insists that it is not she but Rama who needs Lakshmana's help. He obeys her wish but stipulates that she is not to leave the cottage or entertain any strangers. He draws a chalk outline, the Lakshmana rekha, around the cottage and casts a spell on it that prevents anyone from entering the boundary but allows people to exit. With the coast finally clear, Ravana appears in the guise of an ascetic requesting Sita's hospitality. Unaware of the devious plan of her guest, Sita is tricked into leaving the rekha and is then forcibly carried away by the evil Ravana.
Jatayu, a vulture, tries to rescue Sita, but is mortally wounded. At Lanka, Sita is kept under the heavy guard of rakshasis. Ravana demands Sita marry him, but Sita, eternally devoted to Rama, refuses. Rama and Lakshmana learn about Sita's abduction from Jatayu and immediately set out to save her. During their search, they meet the demon Kabandha and the ascetic Shabari, who direct them towards Sugriva and Hanuman.
Kishkindha Kanda is set in the ape (Vanara) citadel Kishkindha. Rama and Lakshmana meet Hanuman, the biggest devotee of Rama, greatest of ape heroes and an adherent of Sugriva, the banished pretender to the throne of Kishkindha. Rama befriends Sugriva and helps him by killing his elder brother Vali thus regaining the kingdom of Kishkindha, in exchange for helping Rama to recover Sita. However Sugriva soon forgets his promise and spends his time in enjoying his powers. The clever former ape queen Tara (wife of Vali) calmly intervenes to prevent an enraged Lakshmana from destroying the ape citadel. She then eloquently convinces Sugriva to honour his pledge. Sugriva then sends search parties to the four corners of the earth, only to return without success from north, east and west. The southern search party under the leadership of Angada and Hanuman learns from a vulture named Sampati (elder brother of Jatayu), that Sita was taken to Lanka.
Main article: Sundara Kanda
Sundara Kanda forms the heart of Valmiki's Ramayana and consists of a detailed, vivid account of Hanuman's adventures. After learning about Sita, Hanuman assumes a gargantuan form and makes a colossal leap across the sea to Lanka. On the way he meets with many challenges like facing a Gandharva kanya who comes in the form of a demon to test his abilities. He encounters a mountain named Mainakudu who offers Lord Hanuman assistance and offers him rest. Lord Hanuman refuses because there is little time remaining to complete the search for Sita.
After entering into Lanka, he finds a demon, Lankini, who protects all of Lanka. Hanuman fights with her and subjugates her in order to get into Lanka. In the process Lankini, who had an earlier vision/warning from the gods that the end of Lanka nears if someone defeats Lankini. Here, Hanuman explores the demons' kingdom and spies on Ravana. He locates Sita in Ashoka grove, where she is being wooed and threatened by Ravana and his rakshasis to marry Ravana. Hanuman reassures Sita, giving Rama's signet ring as a sign of good faith. He offers to carry Sita back to Rama; however, she refuses and says that it is not the dharma, stating that Ramayana will not have significance if Hanuman carries her to Rama – "When Rama is not there Ravana carried Sita forcibly and when Ravana was not there, Hanuman carried Sita back to Rama". She says that Rama himself must come and avenge the insult of her abduction.
Hanuman then wreaks havoc in Lanka by destroying trees and buildings and killing Ravana's warriors. He allows himself to be captured and delivered to Ravana. He gives a bold lecture to Ravana to release Sita. He is condemned and his tail is set on fire, but he escapes his bonds and leaping from roof to roof, sets fire to Ravana's citadel and makes the giant leap back from the island. The joyous search party returns to Kishkindha with the news.
Also known as Lanka Kanda, this book describes the Ramayana War between the army of Rama and the army of Ravana. Having received Hanuman's report on Sita, Rama and Lakshmana proceed with their allies towards the shore of the southern sea. There they are joined by Ravana's renegade brother Vibhishana. The apes named Nala and Nila construct a floating bridge (known as Rama Setu) across the sea, using stones that floated on water because they had Rama's name written on them. The princes and their army cross over to Lanka. A lengthy war ensues. During a battle, Ravana's son Indrajit hurls a powerful weapon at Lakshmana, who is badly wounded and is nearly killed.