The Ramayana tells the story of Rama: his divine birth, his exile to the forest, and his journey to save his wife Sita from the mighty demon king of Lanka. Our retelling of one of the foundational works of Indian literature simplifies the language of the original while preserving its core narrative.
Our first three books introduce the Ramayana's characters, setting, and basic plot. Then, we simply tell the story from start to finish. By the end, you'll understand why readers the world over have fallen in love with this enchanting tale.
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The Ramayana tells the story of Rama. But who is Rama, and who are some of the people he knows?10
rāmaḥ kim icchati?
What does Rama want? What motivates him, and what motivates the people he knows?17
rāmaḥ kva gacchati?
What is the Ramayana about? Our book summarizes the Ramayana's main story. The last chapter summarizes a later addition called the Uttara Kanda.27
The main story
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Our story begins in Ayodhya. Ayodhya is a great and beautiful city, but King Dasharatha is an unhappy man. One day, he thinks of a way to realize his heart's desire.37
Rama and his brothers grow into strong young men. One day, the great sage Vishvamitra comes to Ayodhya to ask for an unusual and unwelcome favor.44
rāmo mithilāṃ gacchati
Rama, Lakshmana, and Vishvamitra arrive in Mithila and see King Janaka's divine bow.46
rāmo vivāhaṃ karoti
After proving his strength by breaking Shiva's bow, Rama marries Sita, the princess of Mithila.46
King Dasharatha observes his son Rama and makes an important decision.49
Manthara, Kaikeyi's loyal servant, hears that Rama will soon become the crown prince of Ayodhya.54
Kaikeyi requests her two boons from King Dasharatha: to appoint her son Bharata as crown prince and to exile Rama to the forest.63