January 2011
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Ramayana: A Love Story

Ramayana can be taken in many ways, but I think it’s also a love story. It’s a love story of a prince who had to be separated from his wife when already banished from his kingdom and then he fights with evil forces and hardships to find and regain his love. When Seeta was abducted by Ravana and Ram was gathering army of monkeys and bears, at one point of time he says something like this, “They say that with passage of time our love and pain of separation calms down, but I have not felt any such relief…” How could he, when his love for Seeta was purest and divine? Rishi Valmiki describes it well. At another point, the prince says, “Whenever I see a beautiful thing, I feel how much Seeta would have enjoyed this!” And then he cries… The prince, who could move mountains and dry up oceans by his mighty arrows, cries in the memory of his beloved wife… At many places throughout Ramayana, the distressed Rama is shown to be consoled by his younger brother Lakshamana. Often Rama starts lamenting wondering how princess Seeta, his beloved wife and daughter of the great king Janaka, would be surviving amidst dreadful Rakshashis and demons. He is shown neither be hiding his feelings from his followers, nor letting his sorrow carrying him away from his righteous  path. Seeta, on the other side, waits for her love every moment and spends every passing day in hope that that day would end her wait. Her love for Ram is so great and honourable that even for a moment she is not diverted.  

Rishi Valmiki who was the first person to write about Rama’s story and to introduce Ramayana to this world, doesn’t mention anything about Sita’s exile to the forest after she and Ram had reunited, so we can take this for granted that once Ram restored Sita, they spent years of happy life together. As they say at the end of love stories: “And they lived happily ever after.”  

After Ramayana, so many stories, poems, plays, and movies have been written and made, telling a love story in very similar lines: there are two lovers, and one villain; lovers get separated and hero fights to get back his love. In the end, they are reunited and live happily ever after… But no love story is as powerful, as divine and as elevating as the one between Ram and Seeta… It’s because Ramayana stands as a torch of light showing us the righteous way of life, and reminds us of the very high levels of moral standing that we should practice in life…  

- Rahul

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