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The purpose of human life is to get out of the birth and death cycle, to know more about the Supreme Lord and to progress on the spiritual path.

The main questions in spirituality are: Who Am I?  Who is God? What is my relationship with God? We have to take shelter of guru, sadhu and shastra to get answers to our spiritual questions. For this we have to study our scriptures. Two epics of India are Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Today we are going to see one of the 2 great epics which is Ramayana. It has 24000 slokas and is divided into khandas. 

Bala Khanda which is Shri Rama’s birth(appearance) and early life. 

Ayodhya Khanda when he is sent to the forest on exile. 

Aranya Khanda which is when Sita is abducted and includes Rama’s search for her. 

Kishkinda Khanda where Lord Rama meets the Vanaras. 

Sundara Khanda which is Hanuman’s adventures in Lanka. 

Yuddha Khanda which is the war between Rama and Ravana and 

Uttara khanda which is the life of Rama later.

Bala Kanda

Long ago, the earth was ruled by the Surya vamsha (solar dynasty) kings. The foremost of these kings was Ishvaku. And then, there were Harishchandra, Dilipa, Bhagiratha, Aja and so on. Aja was Dasaratha’s father. We will start the story from the life of King Dasaratha.

In the kingdom of Ayodhya, there was a king called Dasaratha. King Dasaratha had 3 wives: Kaushalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi. King Dasaratha was very sad that he did not have a son. He wanted an heir to the throne. Someone who could take over the kingdom as king. On the advice of Sage Vashishta, King Dasaratha invited Rishyashrina and performed the Putra kameshti yagna. From the yagnya came a pot of kheer or payasam. King Dasaratha gave this kheer to his wives. Soon, King Dasaratha had 4 children. Kaushalya’s son was Ram. Sumitra’s children were Lakshman and Shatrughna. Kaikeyi’s son was Bharat.

The whole kingdom rejoiced. The four princes loved each other and lived very affectionately.  All the younger brothers would follow the instructions of their elder brother Ram.

Ram was an avatar of Lord Vishnu who had come to destroy evil people on earth, mainly Ravana.

Under the guidance of Guru Vashishta, the four princes learnt the scriptures, arts, martial arts, archery etc very well.

One day the sage Vishwamitra came to Ayodhya to see the king. The king had great respect for him. 

Sage Vishwamitra said that his ashram was being attacked by demons and they were not allowing to perform yagnyas. He wanted to take Rama with him so that he could fight the demons. At first, Dasaratha was hesitant to send his young boy to the jungle to fight demons. Later, on the advice of Sage Vashishta, he agreed.

Along with Rama, Lakshmana also went to the forest with Sage Vishwamitra. On the way,  Sage Vishwamitra taught them several new powerful mantras and techniques to fight demons. Both Rama and Lakshmana learnt them well. On the way to his hermitage, they came across a forest called Tadaka. A demoness called Tadaka used to live there and terrorize the people there. 

At first, Rama did not want to kill Tadaka because he had great respect for women and did not want to fight or kill a woman. But Vishwamitra explained to him that this was not an ordinary woman. She was a demoness and the duty of a kshatriya is to protect people from such demons. So, it is correct to kill this demoness. Then, Lord Ram obeying the orders of his guru, fought with Tadaka and killed her.

When they reached the hermitage of Vishwamitra, when the rishis were performing yagnya, several demons including Subahu and Maricha (the two sons of Tadaka) were attempting to spoil the yagnya by throwing dirty things like bones, flesh and blood. Lord Rama and Lakshmana fought these demons. They killed most of the demons including Subahu. Maricha was thrown into water. After this, the rishis were able to complete their yagnya successfully.


Vishwamitra then took the princes to Mithila. On the way they passed through Gautama Rishi’s ashram. A stone statue on the way, came to life after being touched by the dust from the lotus feet of Lord Rama.  Aho! The woman who came to life said that she was Ahalya, the wife of Gautama Rishi. She bowed down and thanked Lord Rama for releasing her from the curse.


In Mithila, King Janaka had announced the Swayamvar or bridegroom selection for his daughter Sita. Any person who could string the bow presented by Lord Shiva, could win Sita’s hand. Many princes tried, but failed.

Vishvamitra wanted Rama to participate in the Swayamvar and Rama did as he wished. Lord Rama, bowed down to the bow of Lord Shiva,  lifted the bow and while stringing the bow, broke it into two.  Sita, Janaka and all those present there were amazed and delighted. Lord Rama had done it! Lord Sri Ram ki jai!

After informing King Dasaratha in Ayodhya, Lord Rama and Sita’s wedding was conducted in Mithila in a grand manner.

Even to this day, several temples conduct Sita Rama Kalyanam as a festive event on Rama Navami.


On their way back, Lord Parashurama stopped them. Lord Parashurama is an avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He wanted to know who had broken the bow of Lord Shiva (his guru). He wanted to test if that person really capable enough to lift the bow. So, he challenged Lord Rama to a duel. While fighting Parashurama understood that Rama was very valiant and also realized that He was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu too. So He blessed them and let them go their way.

The whole party reached Ayodhya and they were given a warm welcome by the citizens of Ayodhya.

Ayodhya Kanda

Coming up…

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