The Ramayana – Book II Summary BA English Notes BBMKU University

The Ramayana is an ancient Hindu epic that consists of about 24,000 verses and is attributed to the sage Valmiki. It tells the story of Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and their adventures in the kingdom of Ayodhya.

The Ramayana, an ancient Hindu epic, is as follows:

  1. Ramayana: The epic itself, composed by the sage Valmiki, which narrates the story of Lord Rama.
  2. Lord Rama: The protagonist of the Ramayana and the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu. He is revered as the ideal man and a symbol of righteousness.
  3. Sita: Lord Rama’s wife and an incarnation of the goddess Lakshmi. She is known for her purity, devotion, and strength.
  4. Hanuman: A monkey deity and Lord Rama’s most devoted devotee. He possesses immense strength, loyalty, and wisdom.
  5. Laxman: Lord Rama’s younger brother and his constant companion throughout the epic. He is known for his unwavering dedication and selflessness.
  6. Ravana: The primary antagonist of the Ramayana, a powerful demon king who abducts Sita and engages in a battle with Lord Rama.
  7. Ayodhya: The kingdom ruled by Lord Rama and his father, King Dasharatha. It is the birthplace of Lord Rama and serves as the starting point of his journey.
  8. Lanka: The kingdom ruled by Ravana and the place where Sita is held captive. It is the final destination of Lord Rama’s quest to rescue Sita.
  9. Vanara: A race of monkey-like beings who join Lord Rama in his quest to rescue Sita. Hanuman is the most prominent Vanara in the epic.
  10. Valmiki: The sage who composed the Ramayana and is considered its original author. He is also a character in the epic.
  11. Ayodhya Kanda: The first book of the Ramayana, which primarily focuses on Lord Rama’s early life, his exile, and his departure from Ayodhya.
  12. Aranya Kanda: The third book of the Ramayana, which describes Lord Rama’s life in the forest during his fourteen-year exile.
  13. Kishkindha Kanda: The fourth book of the Ramayana, which narrates the events that occur in the kingdom of Kishkindha, where Lord Rama meets Hanuman and forms an alliance with the Vanaras.
  14. Sundara Kanda: The fifth book of the Ramayana, which tells the story of Hanuman’s journey to Lanka in search of Sita.
  15. Yuddha Kanda: The sixth and final book of the Ramayana, which details the epic battle between Lord Rama and Ravana, leading to the ultimate victory of good over evil.

The Ramayana Summary

The epic begins with the birth of Rama, the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu, to King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya. Rama grows up to be a noble and righteous prince, admired by everyone in Ayodhya. He marries Sita, the daughter of King Janaka, after successfully stringing Lord Shiva’s divine bow.

However, due to the influence of his stepmother, Kaikeyi, Dasharatha is compelled to exile Rama to the forest for fourteen years and crown his younger half-brother, Bharata, as the king. Rama accepts his father’s decision and willingly goes into exile with his wife Sita and his loyal brother, Lakshmana.

Lord Rama during Vanvasha: The Ramayana

In the forest, Rama encounters various sages, hermits, and divine beings. One day, the demon king Ravana, who rules Lanka, becomes infatuated with Sita’s beauty and decides to abduct her. Disguised as a holy man, Ravana manages to deceive Sita and takes her to his kingdom.

Rama, devastated by Sita’s abduction, seeks the help of various allies, including the monkey king Sugriva and his general Hanuman. Together, they form an army of monkeys and bears to rescue Sita and defeat Ravana. Hanuman, with his extraordinary powers, crosses the ocean and finds Sita in Lanka. He reassures her and delivers Rama’s message.

The epic culminates in a grand battle between Rama’s army and Ravana’s forces. Rama, with the help of his divine weapons and the support of his allies, emerges victorious, killing Ravana and freeing Sita. Afterward, Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana return to Ayodhya, where they receive a joyous welcome.

Rama’s exile period and subsequent victory over evil symbolize the triumph of righteousness and the fulfillment of duties. His story has become an embodiment of dharma (moral duty) and serves as an inspiration for generations, highlighting the power of faith, devotion, and the importance of upholding truth and virtue. The Ramayana continues to be revered and retold across various cultures and has had a profound impact on Hindu philosophy and literature.

Returning to Ayodhya and Agni Pariksha

After Rama’s triumphant return to Ayodhya, he is crowned as the rightful king, and the kingdom flourishes under his just rule. Rama’s reign is characterized by peace, prosperity, and harmony. He governs with wisdom and compassion, always prioritizing the welfare of his subjects.

However, doubts begin to emerge among the people of Ayodhya regarding Sita’s purity during her captivity in Lanka. To address these doubts, Rama, despite his deep love for Sita, decides to test her purity through an Agni Pariksha (trial by fire). Sita willingly undergoes the test, and as she emerges unscathed from the flames, her purity is unquestionably established.

Sita After Agni Pariksha

Despite this vindication, Sita, hurt by the doubts cast upon her, makes a difficult decision. She chooses to return to the earth from which she was born, invoking Mother Earth to swallow her. As Sita disappears into the earth, Rama is left grief-stricken and mourns the loss of his beloved wife.

Rama continues to rule Ayodhya, upholding his duties as a king and maintaining righteousness in all aspects of his life. He is known for his unwavering devotion to dharma and his commitment to justice. He remains an ideal and revered figure, embodying the qualities of a noble king, a devoted husband, and a righteous individual.

Eventually, after ruling for several years, Rama decides to relinquish his earthly existence. He enters the Sarayu River, accompanied by his brothers Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. The gods themselves witness this divine departure, acknowledging Rama’s divine nature and the completion of his earthly journey.

The teaching of The Ramayana

The Ramayana not only narrates the life of Rama but also imparts profound spiritual and moral teachings. It emphasizes the importance of fulfilling one’s duties and upholding righteousness, even in the face of adversity. The epic serves as a guide for leading a virtuous life and demonstrates the power of devotion, loyalty, and love.

Through the ages, the Ramayana has been celebrated in various forms, including poetry, drama, art, and music. Its influence extends beyond religious boundaries, inspiring people of different cultures and backgrounds with its universal messages of integrity, resilience, and the triumph of good over evil. The Ramayana stands as a timeless tale that continues to captivate hearts and minds, teaching valuable lessons for generations to come.