Are your children familiar with the Ramayana? Introduce them to India's favourite legend, one step at a time. After letting them know a little of the story, have a discussion centered around the Ramayana to find out how much they have learned, and the qualities they have imbibed. The Ramayana is rich with examples of model behavior such as devotion to parents, love for siblings, the importance of
keeping a promise and the ultimate triumph of good over evil. In our Ramayana
series we will be providing you with snippets of information to brush
up your own memory and help you better narrate the story to your children.
Rama was born to King Dashratha, ruler of Ayodhya. The King, who had
three wives, was issueless for many, many years. He sought the advice
of Sage Vashishtha, who counseled the King to perform a Yagya.
Dashratha performed a huge Yagya under the guidance of the learned Sage
Shringi. Lord Agni, the god of fire, appeared in the sacred fire with a
bowl of kheer in his hand, and gave it to Dashratha, telling him to
feed the kheer to his wives and they will bear children.
King Dashratha's wives
King Dashratha had three wives: Kaushalya, Kaikayee, and Sumitra. The
King gave half the kheer to Kaushalya and half to Kaikayee, each of who
gave half of their share to Sumitra. Months later, Kaushalya gave birth
to Rama, Kaikayee gave birth to Bharat and Sumitra gave birth to the
twins, Lakshman and Shatrughan.
The brothers were very close and loved each other a lot. In
fact, their love was so strong that they could even sacrifice their
lives for each other.
Once, when King Dashratha was in the battlefield with Kaikayee
by his side, a nail fitted in the axis of his chariot wheel, came off.
Kaikayee saw this and inserted her little finger in the space to make
sure the wheel does not fall off. As a result, Dashratha could continue
the battle uninterrupted, and emerged victorious. When he saw how
Kaikayee had aided him, he promised to grant her any two boons she
Ravana, the demon king with the ten heads, had been
persecuting humanity for a long time. As a result of years of rigorous
penance, Sage Vishwamitra had acquired divine weapons which could be
used by the incarnation of Vishnu to kill Ravana. It had been
prophesised that Ravana would die by the hands of the firstborn of
Dashratha. Sage Vishwamitra thus set out to bestow Rama with the
weapons. When he reached Ayodhya, Dashratha welcomed him and sent Rama
and Lakshman, although with much hesitation, to accompany Vishwamitra into the forest to fight some demons who were disturbing Vishwamitra's presence.
Vishwamitra requested that Rama accompany him because he wanted to
first ensure that Rama was indeed the savior, before handing the
weapons over to him.
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- The Indiaparenting Team