The most purifying tale of Rama is world famous. King Dasharatha’s Putra Kameshthi Yajna, led to the birth of Sri Rama from his chief queen Kaushalya, Lakshmana and Shatrughana from his second queen Sumitra and Bharata from his third queen Kaikeyi. With the approval of King Dasharatha, Vishwamitra fetched Sri Rama and Lakshmana for the protection of his Yajna. Sri Rama killed the demons Tadaka and Subahu during this journey. On their way to Mithila, Sri Rama placed his foot on the stone statue of Sage Gautama’s wife, Ahilya and liberated her. Finally he broke Lord Shiva’s bow and married Sita devi. Likewise, His three brothers got married pompously in Mithila. When King Dasharatha wanted to crown his eldest son Rama as the King, Queen Kaikeyi conspired and secured the post for her son Bharat. She demanded a long exile of 14 years for Sri Rama. Sri Rama left for the forest taking his brother Lakshmana and wife Sita along with Him. Unable to bear separation from his son, Dasharatha left his mortal coils. Bharata had visited his maternal grandfathers so he was unaware of the tragic turn of events. On returning, he performed the last rites of his father and immediately left for the forest to coax his brother into accepting the throne. But Sri Rama was firm in His resolve. Bharata returned to Ayodhya taking the sandals of his revered brother Rama along. Placing the sandals on the throne, he led the austere life of a renunciant.
For a detailed rendering of the Ramayana check out the author’s (Sudarshan Singh Chakraji) book “Ram Charit” and Shatrughana ki aatmakatha”.
Sri Rama associated with elevated rishis and eliminated their miseries by killing demons like Kabandha. He headed towards Panchavati. He encountered Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana. She proposed Sri Rama and Lakshmana for marriage, but they shunned her offer. Furious at their denial, she stomped towards Sita to devour her. Lakshmana chopped off her ears and nose. To avenge her insult, she brought along an army of 14000 demons headed by her brave brothers Khara, Dushana and Trishara. They were consumed by the fiery arrows of Rama. Shurpanakha reached Lanka. On her instigation, Ravana reached Panchavati along with Maricha. Assuming the guise of a golden deer, Maricha drove Rama to a distant land. When Sita devi sent Lakshmana for the safety of her husband, Ravana assumed the guise of a mendicant and abducted her. He situated her in the groves of Ashoka Vatika in Lanka. When Sri Rama returned, he desperately searched for his wife. After redeeming the vulture Jatayu and having met his tribal devotee Shabri, he reached Pampa river. He became friends with Sugriva via Hanumanji. Sri Rama killed Bali and crowned Sugriva as the king of Kishkinda. Sugriva’s army hunted for Sita Devi. Finally Hanumanji discovered Sita Devi and sets Lanka ablaze. On knowing Sita devi’s whereabouts, Sri Rama left for Lanka with his army of monkeys and bears. He built a bridge across the mighty ocean aided by Nala and Neela. He killed the mighty demon Ravana, his innumerable sons and brother Kumbhakarna. He crowned Ravana’s younger brother Vibhishana as the king of Lanka. Sitting on the Pushpaka aircraft, He returned to Ayodha and was finally crowned as the king of Ayodhya. Once, a spy reported to Sri Rama about the abandonment of a woman. The woman had reported late at home since she stayed back at the residence of her relative for the night. Her washer man husband chastised her and said- “Sri Ram might have accepted Sita who stayed in Lanka but I cannot do as he did and accept you.” A king’s duty knows no emotion. His conduct shouldn’t adversely affect his subjects so he sent Sita to the forest. Sita was pregnant at the time. She resided in Sage Valmiki’s hermitage. She delivered two sons Luv and Kush. Lavanasura, the son of demon Madhu tortured the Rishis. At the appeal of the rishis, Sri Rama sent Shatrugana to kill the demon. Sri Rama was currently engaged in a Yajna. To fulfil the demands of the Yajna, he placed a golden idol of his cherished wife, Sita devi in place of a wife. Shri Rama unleashed his horse to conquer the lands. When it reached Valmiki Ashrama, Luv and Kush captured it. Luv ad Kush defeated Lakshmana, Bharat, Shatrughana and the entire kingly army. Sri Rama finally arrived, but didn’t fight them. Finally Valmiki introduced the children. Valimiki brought Sita devi, and Luv Kush along with him in the sacrificial hall. Shri Rama told Sita devi to prove herself in front of his subjects. Sitaji vowed- “If I have single pointedly worshipped my great lord Rama in my heart and have worshipped him from mind, action and deed, Oh mother earth take me in your womb” Instantly the earth tore apart and placed her daughter Sita on her lap. Shri Rama divided his province amongst his sons and the sons of his brothers. Ultimately he ascended to his planet taking his subjects along. Whoever contacted the Supreme Being, Sri Rama attained his planet be it a tiny creature, bird, beast or an insect. This is an extremely abridged narration of the Ramayana.
Vyasa deva’s full name is Sri Krishna Dvaipayana. Since he segregated the Vedas in a sequential order, he is known as Veda Vyasa. Maharishi Parashara was once crossing the Ganges, sitting on a boat. A boatman’s daughter named Matsya Gandha, also known as Satyavati was rowing the boat. Maharishi Parashara felt attracted to her. From their union, Vyasa was born. Since he was born on an island he is known as Dvaipayana and owing to his dark complexion he is known as Krishna. Hence comes the name Krishna Dvaipayana. Vyasadeva’s hermitage is situated above the peaks of Badrinatha, a serene hermitage in Shamyaprasa. Vyasa divided the Vedas into Rig, Yaju, Sama and Atharva for greater assimilation of our Vedic wisdom. Vyasa in an incarnation of Bhagavan. Depending on one’s innate quality, Vyasadeva wrote 18 Puranas. For women and shudras he encapsulated the essence of Dharma in the Mahabharata. To clearly explain the Shrutis or the words of Bhagavan, he created the Brahma Sutras. Satyavati married King Shantanu. The marriage resulted in two sons, Chitrangada and Vichitravirya. Chitrangada died battling with the Gandharvas. Vichitravirya ascended the throne and married the two princes of Kashi, Ambika and Amablika. However, he died before providing heirs to his kingdom. On Satyavati’s order Vyasadeva bore three sons. Dhritarashtra and Pandu from the wives of Vichitravirya and Vidur from the womb of their maid. Sukadeva is Vyasadeva’s own dear son. Sukadeva stayed in his mother’s womb for a whole span of 16-years. He renounced everything and retired to the forest at his very birth. Sukadeva inherited the transcendental science of Shrimad Bhagavatam from his father Vyasa. Both Vyasa and Suka are considered to be immortal.