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Hinduism – Tales from The Ramayana

We shall consider only three widely followed Hindu scriptures for our analysis. First is the Ramayana, which the story of the life of its hero Rama, his birth as the reincarnation of the god Vishnu and exploits as a young prince, his exile and destruction of the demon king Ravana. Nowhere in the Ramayana is there any claim that Rama is the creator God, though by claiming to be the reincarnation of Vishnu, he claims to be a god.

The second scripture is the epic Mahabharata, which is the story of the war between the group of brothers called the Pandavas and the brothers known as the Kauravas. In this epic, Krishna appears as the god, another reincarnation of the god Vishnu. 

The third scripture is the Gita, which is an account of the dialogues between Krishna and Arjuna, one of the main heroes of the Mahabharata. The Gita provides much information about Hindu concepts of creation, what is salvation and how to live one’s life to attain it. Only in the Gita does Krishna claim to be the Creator God Himself. 

For our analysis of Hinduism, we will use the Ramayana and Mahabharata as retold by C. Rajagopalachari, edited by Jay Mazo, American Gita Society. For The Bhagavad Gita, we will use the translation by Sir Purohit Swami. 

Here is how Krishna claims to be the Supreme God, the Creator [my comments in square brackets].

Chapter 3: “There is nothing in this universe, O Arjuna, that I am compelled to do, nor anything for Me to attain; yet I am persistently active. For were I not to act without ceasing, O prince, people would be glad to do likewise. And if I were to refrain from action, the human race would be ruined; I should lead the world to chaos, and destruction would follow.”

Chapter 5: “Knowing me as Him who gladly receives all offerings of austerity and sacrifice, as the Mighty Ruler of all the Worlds and the Friend of all beings, he passes to Eternal Peace.”

Chapter 7: “Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and personality; this is the eightfold division of My Manifested Nature.

“This is My inferior Nature; but distinct from this, O Valiant One, know thou that my Superior Nature is the very Life which sustains the universe. It is the womb of all being; for I am He by Whom the worlds were created and shall be dissolved. [Krishna leaves no doubt about his claim to be the creator of the universe. He claims to be the creator of all the worlds. These worlds are where other Hinduism’s gods and demi-gods live.]  

“O Arjuna! There is nothing higher than Me…”

Chapter 8: “Arjuna asked: O Lord of Lords! What is that which men call the Supreme Spirit, what is man’s Spiritual Nature, and what is the Law? What is Matter and what is Divinity? Who is it who rules the spirit sacrifice in many; and at the time of death how may those who have learned self-control come to the knowledge of Thee?

“The Lord Shri Krishna replied: The Supreme Spirit is the Highest Imperishable Self, and Its Nature is spiritual consciousness. The worlds have been created and are supported by an emanation from the Spirit which is called the Law.

“Matter consists of the forms that perish; Divinity is the Supreme Self; and He who inspires the spirit of sacrifice in man, O noblest of thy race, is I Myself, Who now stand in human form before thee.”

Chapter 9: “The whole world is pervaded by Me [thus Krishna claims to be omnipresent], yet My form is not seen. All living things have their being in Me, yet I am not limited by them. Nevertheless, they do not consciously abide in Me. Such is My Divine Sovereignty that though I, the Supreme Self, am the cause and upholder of all, yet I remain outside. As the mighty wind, though moving everywhere, has no resting place but space, so have all these beings no home but Me.

“All beings, O Arjuna, return at the close of every cosmic cycle into the realm of Nature, which is a part of Me, and at the beginning of the next I send them forth again. With the help of Nature, again and again I pour forth the whole multitude of beings, whether they will or not, for they are ruled by My Will. But these acts of mine do not bind Me. I remain outside and unattached. Under my guidance, Nature produces all things movable and immovable. Thus it is, O Arjuna, that this universe revolves

“Fools disregard Me, seeing Me clad in human form. They know not that in My higher nature I am the Lord-God of all.”

Chapter 10: “Neither the professors of divinity nor the great ascetics know My origin, for I am the source of them all. He who knows Me as the unborn, without beginning, the Lord of the universe, he, stripped of his delusion, becomes free from all conceivable sin…I am the source of all; from Me everything flows. Therefore, the wise worship Me with unchanging devotion.

“O Arjuna! I am the Self, seated in the hearts of all beings; I am the beginning and the life, and I am the end of them all. Of all the creative Powers I am the Creator, of luminaries the Sun; the Whirlwind among the winds, and the Moon among planets. [If this is the correct translation, this is an obvious error. It proves that Krishna was no god.] I am the Beginning, the Middle and the End in creation…I am Time inexhaustible; and I am the all-pervading Preserver. I am all-devouring Death; I am the Origin of all that shall happen…I am the Seed of all being, O Arjuna! No creature moving or unmoving can live without Me…O Arjuna! I sustain this universe with only small part of Myself.”

After seeing a vision of Krishna in a part of his form, in Chapter 10 Arjuna says: “Thou art the Supreme Spirit, the Eternal Home, the Holiest of the Holy, the Eternal Divine Self, the Primal God, the Unborn and the Omnipresent.”

Chapter 12: “Those who worship Me as the Indestructible, the Undefinable, the Omnipresent, the Unthinkable, the Primeval [Thus Krishna claims himself to be the primeval source of everything, meaning the original cause], the Immutable and the Eternal…”

Chapter 15: Krishna claims: “But higher than all am I, the Supreme God, the Absolute Self, the Eternal Lord, Who pervades the worlds and upholds them all. Beyond comparison of the Eternal with the non-eternal am I, Who am called by scriptures and sages the Supreme Personality, the Highest God.”

So in the Bhagavad Gita Krishna leaves no doubt about what he claims to be: The original primeval source of all life, creator and sustainer of the universe, the Lord-God of all.

These are very tall claims made by Krishna. However, Krishna has provided no demonstration of his Almighty power. The Mahabharata and the Gita are totally absent on any great events that Krishna foretold which came to pass unerringly. Therefore, Krishna has given us no reason to believe his claims. Similarly, the Ramayana is also totally absent on prophecies of any great events. Thus, Rama also provides us no proof at all that he is a god. Therefore, all the Hindu scriptures fail to provide proof that they are the word of God, based on our third criterion of foretelling numerous great events and bringing them to pass exactly a foretold.

Another way to prove that these scriptures are NOT the word of God if we find anything in them that is too fantastic to believe, except occurrences that could be classified as miracles. The problem with the Mahabharata and the Ramayana is that they are literally full of fantastic, completely unbelievable, huge lies from the beginning to the end. 

Here are some examples of fantastic tales in the Ramayana [with my comments in square brackets].

Quotes from the Ramayana

Chapter 2: Sage Viswamitra:

“One day as the King was contemplating his sons' matrimony, ushers rushed in to announce that the great Sage Viswamitra had arrived to see him. Viswamitra was held in awe by all as the most powerful among rishis. Viswamitra's arrival at Ayodhya was unexpected; and King Dasaratha stepped down from his throne and advanced a few paces respectfully to receive the sage. Viswamitra was a king who attained sainthood through terrible austerities. He had long ago exhibited his spiritual powers by starting to create another Brahma and a rival universe. He had gone as far as the creation of new constellations but was prevailed upon to stop by the entreaties of the alarmed gods. [Here a mere man who has supposedly attained sainthood is ready to create a universe. He is also supposedly creating another god, another creator.]

“Viswamitra, while he was king once went out with his army and chanced to visit Vasishtha’s ashrama. The rishi cordially welcomed his royal guest and his huge entourage and extended to them all hospitality so sumptuous that the King wondered where all the rich abundance came from in a forest hermitage. Questioned by him, Vasishtha called his cow Sabala and explained that she was the fountain of unfailing plenty. [A cow that produces rich abundance of everything. How can Hindu engineers, scientists, lawyers, business leaders and other professionals be so gullible as to believe this as holy scripture!] Expressing gratitude to the sage, King Viswamitra said: "You must give me this cow as she would be more useful with me than with you. Such things of power and wealth by right belong to the King." 

“Now Vasishtha could not part with the divine cow [So this cow is divine]. He gave many reasons and asked the King not to press his request. But the more unwilling Vasishtha was to give the cow, the more eager the king became to possess her. Failing in his efforts to tempt or persuade the sage to part with the cow, Viswamitra became angry and ordered his men to seize the cow by force. [Vasvamitra is supposed to be a saint but does not respect others’ right to property. There are such ‘holy men’ in abundance in all the Hindu scriptures. The gods in Hinduism are no different in their conduct, some committing vile acts.] Sabala could not understand why she was being roughly handled and she was unwilling to go away from the sage and his ashrama. Shedding tears, she wondered how she had offended Vasishtha that he should stand by and look on while she was being dragged away. The cow easily put to flight the soldiers and sought refuge at the feet of the sage. Moved by the piteous appeal of his beloved cow, who was like a younger sister to him, the sage said: "Bring forth soldiers to resist Viswamitra's men." Sabala instantaneously did so [So this ‘divine’ cow creates men, soldiers instantly], and the aggressors were soon worsted. Wild with rage, Viswamitra got into his chariot and, taking up his bow, rained arrows on the soldiers brought forth by the cow, but their strength was inexhaustible, and the royal forces suffered utter defeat. The sons of Viswamitra now chose Vasishtha himself as their target, only to be reduced to ashes. 

“Defeated and disgraced, Viswamitra then and there entrusted his kingdom to one of   his sons and proceeded to the Himalayas to perform tapas {Tapas, (Sanskrit: “heat,” or “ardour”), in Hinduism, ascetic practice voluntarily carried out to achieve spiritual power or purification. In the Vedas, tapas refers to the “inner heat” created by the practice of physical austerities and figured in the creation myths…In later Hinduism the practice of tapas was especially associated with yogic discipline as a way of purifying the body in preparation for the more exacting spiritual exercises leading to liberation (moksha). Among the austerities mentioned in the sacred literature are fasting, the holding of difficult and often painful bodily postures, vigils kept in the presence of fires or extreme cold, and breath control (}, directing his devotions to Lord Siva to gain power with which to subdue Vasishtha. So firm and steadfast was   Viswamitra in his austerities that Lord Siva [Hindu gods are pleased when their devotees go endure abnegation or rigorous, painful tortures of the body] was pleased and appeared before him. He asked the king what his object was in performing tapas. Viswamitra replied: "If you, Umapati, are satisfied with my tapas let me be blessed with divine arrows and be master of every weapon. "So be it," said Siva, and gave Viswamitra all the weapons available to the Devas, Gandharvas, Rishis, Yakshas and the Demons [hey presto, suddenly Viswamitra has every weapon that has ever been invented. If Shiva was a real god, could he have not known why Viswamitra wanted these weapons and rebuked him? Hindu gods give boons to people to use at whim to destroy other people, or anyone who gets in their way, or denies them something]. 

“Swelling with pride like the ocean, Viswamitra considered Vasishtha as already vanquished. He straightway made for the abode of the sage. Frightened at the fearful sight of the onrushing Viswamitra, Vasishtha's disciples and the animals in his ashrama ran helter-skelter. Hit by the fire-weapon of Viswamitra, Vasishtha's ashrama was reduced to cinders. Vasishtha regretted the turn of events but determined to end the haughtiness of the erstwhile king, he faced him calmly with his Brahmadanda (holy staff) in hand. Mad with rage, Viswamitra shot at him all the divine weapons he had   acquired, but they were quenched as they approached the rishi's staff and were absorbed by it [Vasishtha was a rishi. Viswamitra was supposed to have acquired all the weapons of even the rishis].

“Viswamitra had but one more weapon in his armory, and that was the most powerful of   all, the Brahmastra. As he hurled it against Vasishtha the world became wrapped in   gloom as in some huge eclipse, and the very immortals trembled with fear. [Wow! Even the immortals tremble in fear at the deeds of a rishi, a ‘saint.’] But the terrible astra itself was merged in the rishi's staff, making both it and the holy man glow with the glory they had absorbed. Viswamitra stood dazed. Openly accepting defeat, he said: "Of what use is the Kshatriya's might in arms? With but a staff in his hand, this Vasishtha has nullified all my weapons. Lord Siva has indeed fooled me. There is no alternative for me but to become a Brahma Rishi like Vasishtha." So saying, he withdrew from the field of battle and proceeded south for more rigorous tapas.”

Here are some deeds of Rama and his brother Lakshmana when they were mere youth:

Chapter 5 – Rama slays the Monsters

“The arrival of Viswamitra and the two princes [Rama and his brother Lakshmana] was a signal for rejoicing at the ashrama. The rishis offered water and fruits according to   custom. Rama told Viswamitra that he might begin the preparations for his yaga immediately and Viswamitra took the vows that very night. Getting up very early the next morning, the princes went to Viswamitra and asked when the Rakshasas [demons, who live on earth as human beings, have physical cities and houses, but can fly in the sky like birds. How come none of these things exist today. Surely, they have not all been destroyed. The reality is that these are figments of the imagination of the Hindu priests. What really happened is that priests made up these tales, supposedly hundreds of thousands of years ago. Then someone penned them a couple of thousand years ago, as not many people could write or read, the tales became accepted as everyone felt the need to worship the supernatural to receive help in times of distress] were expected so that they might hold themselves in readiness to receive them. Viswamitra was under a vow of silence [how foolish], and could not answer, but the rishis, his juniors, told the princes that they should be ceaselessly vigilant for six nights and days to safeguard the sacrifice. 

“The princes, fully armed, kept vigil for six days and nights. On the morning of the sixth day Rama told Lakshmana: "Brother, now is the time for the enemies to come. Let us be wary.” Even as he was saying this, flames shot up from the sacrificial fire, for Agni, the god of Fire, knew that the Rakshasas had arrived. As the rites were being performed, there was heard from the sky a great roar. Rama looked up and saw Maricha and Subahu and their followers preparing to shower unclean things on the sacrificial fire. The army of Rakshasas covered the sky like a great black cloud. Rama said, “Look Lakshmana," and let go the Manavastra [a supernatural weapon, how ridiculous] at Maricha. As was intended, it did not kill Maricha, but wrapping him up in resistless force hurled him a full hundred yojanas [yojana is a unit of length equal to about 7.64 miles] near the sea. With the Agneyastra [a fire weapon] Rama killed Subahu; and then the two princes utterly destroyed the entire army of Rakshasas [while on earth, they destroyed the army of beings that could fly, because of their supernatural weapons]. The sky was bright again.” 

Here is another story from the Ramayana:

Chapter 36: The Good Bird Jatayu – Talks about the abduction of Sita by Ravana [My comments in square brackets].

The Rakshasa [Ravana] {“Rakshasa, Sanskrit (male) Rākṣasa, or (female) Rākṣasī, in Hindu mythology, a type of demon or goblin. Rakshasas have the power to change their shape at will and appear as animals, as monsters, or in the case of the female demons, as beautiful women… The term rakshasa, generally applies to those demons who haunt cemeteries, eat the flesh of men, and drink the milk of cows dry as if by magic.”} held her [Sita, wife of Rama] firmly down and drove on in the aerial car. [Here we have a flying chariot-like vehicle. What a fantastic lie. If they had flying vehicles before the Flood, the knowledge would have been passed down to us through Noah or his daughter-in-Law Naamah. If they had flying vehicles, some would have probably escaped Noah’s Flood, as there is no indication that these flying vehicles needed fuel of any kind to power them] Sita addressed the trees and plants down below and begged them to tell Rama of her fate. [Here a human is communicating with trees to convey a message to other humans or gods]. 

“It happened that old Jatayu, half-asleep upon a tree, saw the chariot flying past. Startled by a woman's cry of distress he was wide awake in a moment and recognized Sita by her voice. She also saw him and appealed to him for rescue. Jatayu's blood was fired by the sight of her piteous plight and he threw himself in the way of the aerial car crying: "Hold, hold! What is all this?" "The King of Lanka is carrying me away by force," wailed Sita, "but what can you do to prevent it, my poor old friend? O fly to Rama and Lakshmana and tell them my helpless plight!" But Jatayu's fighting blood, the blood of generations of lordly ancestors who ruled the air and knew not fear, was on fire.  He cared not for Ravana and his might. He only saw a princess in distress. He thought of his friend Dasaratha and his promise to Rama and he was resolved that this outrage should not occur while he lived to prevent it. Jatayu now addressed Ravana directly: "Oh king, I am Jatayu, king of the eagles, [So here we have an old eagle coming to Sita’s rescue. This bird can also talk, as most animals in the Hindu holy books can talk to humans, befriend humans and make promises to them] a king like you. Listen to me, brother king! Forbear from this wicked act. How can you call yourself a king and do this shameful wrong? Is it not the rule of kings to protect the honor of women? And Sita is a princess. I warn you, you shall surely perish unless you leave her and go. Her very look will reduce you to ashes. You are carrying a venomous cobra in your bosom. The noose of Yama [the god of death] is round your neck and dragging you to perdition. I am old and unarmed, and you are young, fully armed and seated in a chariot. Yet I cannot look on, while you carry off Sita.

“Why do you do this cowardly act behind Rama's back? If you have any grievance against him, meet him face to face. [This is also a righteous bird and can teach demons and humans righteousness]. O, you would fly away from me, would you? You shall not escape while I am alive!  I care not for your chariot or your ten heads, or your glittering arms! Your heads shall roll on the ground that you have polluted with your presence.  Get down from your car, and fight if you are not a coward as well as a thief!" 

“Ravana flared up in a rage. He attacked Jatayu. It was like a clash between a mighty wind and a massive rain-cloud. The battle raged in the sky above the forest. Jatayu fought like a winged mountain. Ravana aimed deadly darts at him. But the eagle intercepted them all and with his talons tore Ravana's flesh. The enraged Rakshasa despatched sharp, serpent-like missiles against the bird. The bird-hero was desperately wounded but fought on undauntedly while Sita watched the unequal combat with beating heart and tearful eyes. The sight of her made Jatayu all the fiercer in his attacks on Ravana. But his years were telling on him and he felt he must gather all his strength for a supreme attempt to conquer. Regardless of the wounds, he attacked Ravana fiercely and with his wings broke off and threw down his jeweled crown and deprived him of his bow. He attacked the chariot and killed the demon-faced mules and the charioteer and smashed the vehicle into a thousand pieces. Ravana fell on the ground, still clutching Sita. The elements rejoiced to see Ravana fall. The gallant old bird swooped down on Ravana's back and tore great chunks of flesh off it and tried to wrench off the arms which held Sita. But Ravana had twenty arms, [It’s a pity that Hindus cannot recognize these as mythical figures and not anything real. The Greeks, Romans and Egyptians long-ago recognized their myths as myths and turned to reality] and no sooner was one pulled off than another took its place and Sita was held in writhing helplessness. At last Ravana let go Sita and unsheathing his sword cut off the bird's wings and talons. The old bird was now helpless and fell on the ground unable to move.

Later Rama and Lakshmana were desperately searching for Sita. “They had not proceeded far when they came on Jatayu, bloody and mutilated, unrecognizable, lying on the ground…After a few moments Jatayu spoke again in a low voice: "Be not afraid, Rama. You will surely find Sita. No harm will come to her. Regaining the treasure you have lost, you will greatly rejoice." With these words, he spat out blood and gave up life.”

There is more to the eagle’s story. He also had a brother. Here is that part of the story:

Chapter 46 – The Search Begins [Search for Sita’s whereabouts after her abduction by Ravana]

Swayamprabha, that was the name of the ascetic woman, said: "Alas! You cannot by yourselves go out of this cave. No stranger who enters it can go out of it with life. But yours is a great mission and I must, by my tapasya, transport you out. Now shut your eyes. "Accordingly, they shut their eyes. All at once they found themselves on the seashore.

“Listening to these lamentations, Sampati stared at the mention of Jatayu, who was his brother. Hearing him spoken of as dead, he naturally wished to hear the whole story. Sampati was very old. He and Jatayu were the children of Aruna, the god of Dawn and brother of Garuda, Hari's vehicle. Jatayu and Sampati in their youth competed with each other as to who could fly higher and rose in the sky. As they approached the sun the heat became intolerable and Jatayu was about to be burnt up. But Sampati spread his wings and protected his brother from the fury of the sun. Jatayu was saved, but Sampati's wings were burnt off. Unable to fly, he fell down on a hill. Since then he could not move but stayed in the same place ever hungry for meal and just alive. 

"Who brings sad news of my dear brother Jatayu?" he cried in agony. "Oh, Vanaras [monkeys who were searching for Sita], is beloved Jatayu dead indeed? Why did Rama son of King Dasaratha, go to the forest? Why did he lose his wife? Was Jatayu killed by Ravana? Tell me all." The Vanaras had resolved to end their lives. The wingless, old vulture had desired to make an easy meal of them. But now things turned out otherwise. The Vanaras got up, went to Sampati and gently led him down from the hill. Then they talked and exchanged information. Sampati recounted his story. Angada related all that had happened in Kishkindha [capitol of the kingdom of the monkeys] and asked old Sampati how Rama could be helped. 

“Sampati was old and weak, but his eyes had not lost their keenness. He could see things very far off. He could see Sita captive in Lanka and described in detail the wealth of Ravana's kingdom.  He saw and described how Sita sat surrounded by Rakshasis in Lanka. The Vanaras were wild with joy. They jumped about saying, "Now we know all about Sita. There is no need for us to die, Rama's purpose will be achieved.” Sampati's troubles were also over.  The boon he had received that when he helped Rama, he would get back his wings came true and even as they were talking, young feathers began to spring and grow on his sides. Sampati now shone with fresh beauty and he found satisfaction in performing the funeral obsequies of Jatayu.”

Here are some more deeds of Rama and Lakshmana.

Chapter 40 – Left Eyelid Throb

“Passing through the forest, the two princes were suddenly caught by a tremendously big Rakshasa of ugly form without head or feet. His mouth was in his great belly and he had two enormous arms which, without moving from his place, he would stretch out and clutch tiger, bear or any other living thing within reach, and swallow them. [How much more divorced from reality can it get?] He had only one eye which was placed in his chest, but which was terrible to behold. Caught by this monster, the princes were, for a while, bewildered and did not know what to do. Then Rama told Lakshmana: "Let us not be confused. You will cut off one arm, I shall cut off the other.” And so they did. The name of the monster was Kabandha, which means the barrel-shaped one. Once his arms were severed, he was helpless and began to explain: "On account of my evil deeds I was cursed by Indra to bear this form and this name. [Hindu gods impose curses on people to take various ugly forms, and grant boons for austerities which the recipients of the boons can use to any purpose they choose.] I believe you are Rama   and Lakshmana. Indra promised me freedom from the curse when you two should come and cut off my arms and commit this body of mine to the flames. [That’s why Hindus believe in fate, as if everything is already pre-written.] “The princes set fire to his body as desired by the unfortunate monster and there arose from the flames a lovely being which entered a heavenly chariot and ascended to the celestial world. Before going, he said to Rama: "You will assuredly regain Sita. Go to the beautiful banks of the Pampa and seek the help of Sugriva [a monkey] living there on the Rishyamuka hill. Driven out of the kingdom by his brother Vali, he lives in constant fear and danger. Gain his friendship, and you will succeed in your attempt." Saying this Kabandha disappeared.”

Here is where Rama uses deceit to kill Vali, the Vanara [monkey] king, brother of Sugriva:

“Sugriva assumed the form of a handsome man [in this Hindu epic, monkeys can assume the form of men and back to monkeys again] and had a long and heart-to-heart talk with the princes. Stretching forth his hand to Rama, he said: "Princes, if you care for the friendship of a Vanara, here is my hand, accept it. Hanuman has told me all about your virtue and greatness."

Then Sugriva tells Rama the story of how he and his brother became deadly enemies:

“Once a Rakshasa named Mayavi came at midnight to the gate of Kishkindha, their capital, and vauntingly challenged Vali to instant combat in pursuance of an ancient feud. Vali, who never refused a fight, rushed forth impetuously, followed by Sugriva; and seeing them, the Rakshasa fled. Pursuing him they saw him disappear into a great cave the mouth of which was overgrown with brushwood. Vali bade Sugriva, exacting an oath from him, to wait at the entrance for him and plunged into the darkness of the cave after the foe.

“Sugriva waited long, but Vali did not come out. As he stood racked with doubt, indistinct shouts and groans, which seemed to his horror-struck ears his brother's, issued from the cave. Presently there gushed out of it foaming blood which made him sure that Vali had perished in the struggle.

“To make sure that the victorious Rakshasa would not rush out in the elation of triumph and destroy Kishkindha, Sugriva blocked the entrance of the cave with a huge rock and returned to Kishkindha with his tale of Vali's death.

As a rulerless state invites disaster, he was persuaded by the ministers and elders to occupy the vacant throne. While he was enjoying the sweets of power, like a bolt from the blue, Vali burst on them. Haggard with wrath and wounds, and accusing him of treason and unnatural conduct towards one who was at once his brother and his king, Vali drove him out with scorn and contumely as a wretch too vile to live, but whom he forebore to slay only because he was unfortunately also his brother. So, by a cruel fate he had been deprived of his home, throne, and all, including even his wife, and had to seek asylum in the forest with a few faithful friends. Here at least he was safe, for Vali had been forbidden by a rishi from entering the precincts on pain of instant death.”

Sugriva concluded his story with a piteous appeal to Rama. "For fear of Vali I am a wanderer in the forest. I live concealing myself here. Could you, will you, kill Vali and restore to me my kingdom and my wife?" Rama answered: "Certainly I will. Vali cannot escape this now. Be assured."

Here is how Rama used deceit to kill Vali:

They [Rama, Lakshmana and Sugriva] talked how to set about and it was finally agreed that Sugriva should appear in Kishkindha and challenge Vali to single combat. Vali was sure to come out, and as the brothers were fighting, Rama would kill Vali with an arrow. They proceeded to Kishkindha. Sugriva went ahead. Rama followed him and stood away behind a tree in the dense forest.

Sugriva shouted. Vali heard the shout and in great rage emerged from the fortress, radiant like the morning sun. The two brothers fought each other fiercely. But Rama, who was standing bow in hand behind a tree, was bewildered. As they wrestled together the brothers were so similar in form and feature, in equipment and method of fighting, that Rama could not distinguish Vali from Sugriva and was afraid to shoot lest he kill the wrong combatant.

Meantime Sugriva, having the worst of the fight, broke from his brother's grip with a desperate effort and, wounded and weary, disappointed and despondent, fled for life and reached Rishyamuka forest. Even this he was able to do because Vali did not wish to slay him and was not unwilling to give his brother another lease of life.

Rama and Lakshmana rejoined the woebegone Sugriva. He looked down at the ground without lifting his eyes. He was angry that Rama had broken his word and failed to help him. "If you did not like to kill Vali," said Sugriva, "you could have told me so earlier. In that case, I, who know Vali's might, would never have challenged him to fight. On the contrary, you made me believe you, and I have had such a drubbing that it is a wonder I am alive."

"Do not be angry, Sugriva, but listen," said Rama. "There was a good reason why I could not send forth my deadly arrow. You and Vali were alike in height and girth, in gait and shouts, in dress and ornaments. [Monkeys in dresses and ornaments?] Once the fight began, I could not tell you from Vali. And I stood bewildered and helpless. It would have been terrible if I killed you instead of Vali. Do not be angry. Challenge Vali once again. This time I shall surely slay him. Here, Lakshmana, fetch that flowering creeper. Tie it round Sugriva's neck as a garland. I shall then know who is our friend and who is Vali as they fight. Now, Sugriva, you shall see Vali rolling on the ground."

Sugriva was satisfied. His spirits recovered. Lakshmana tied the creeper round his neck. Once again, and handsomer than ever, Sugriva proceeded to Kishkindha. And Rama and Lakshmana followed him as before. [Story completed in the next Chapter].

Chapter 43. The Slaying Of Vali

Evening was approaching. Once more Sugriva roared at the gate of Kishkindha and challenged Vali to fight. Vali who was then resting happily was startled and for a moment paled with puzzled concern but was presently overwhelmed with rage and sprung stamping the earth as though he would split it.’’

After rejecting the advice of “Tara his queen… leaving [her] and her companions behind, Vali issued from the fort hissing like an angry cobra and went to meet Sugriva.

As he saw him standing there, radiant and courageous, he girt his loins and sprang on him. And Sugriva too ran forward to meet Vali. "If you love your life," warned Vali, "run away. Do not fall a victim to this fist of mine!"

Sugriva retorted angrily and the battle began. Fierce with remembered wrongs and keyed up above himself by the certainty of Rama's help, Sugriva maintained for long an equal combat. But presently Vali's greater might began to prevail and Sugriva was in such obvious distress that Rama who was watching with ready bow knew he could not hold out much longer.

It was now or never and placing a deadly arrow on the string and pulling it to his ear, Rama sped it at Vali's mighty chest. Pierced by that irresistible shaft Vali crashed down as falls a great forest tree cut asunder by the woodman's axe and lay stretched on the ground empurpled with blood as lies the festival flag-staff pulled down when the festival is ended.”

Here is part of the story of Hanuman, the monkey god, the Chief Minister of Sugriva. Rama’s side needed to locate where Sita was being held captive. For this purpose, someone had to cross the ocean to Lanka, the country of Sita’a captor Ravana. Here is how Hanuman is being praised to urge him to leap across the ocean to search out where Sita is being held captive:

Chapter 47 – The Son of Vayu [the wind god]

While the monkeys were discussing who should undertake the task of leaping across the ocean to Lanka, the conversation turned to Hanuman [the monkey god, son of the wind god. How much more ridiculous can Hinduism’s gods get]:

Then Jambavan cast an appraising and admiring look at Hanuman, who had sat apart, listening to the talk, but saying nothing. "I feel that the son of Vayu, sitting there in silence is the one best fitted by strength and skill to do this deed," said the old Vanara [monkey] and walked up to Hanuman and brought him to their midst.

“Addressing Hanuman in the hearing of the myriads of gloomy Vanaras, Jambavan said: "O warrior, learned in all branches of knowledge, why are you sitting silent and apart? You are the equal of King Sugriva, are you not? In strength and splendor do you not surpass all the rest of us? Why, are you not the equal of Rama and Lakshmana themselves? I have seen Garuda, the king of birds crossing the sea. The might of your shoulders is not less than that of Garuda's wings. You are not inferior to the son of Vinata in strength or speed, but you are not aware of your own prowess and intelligence. There is no equal to you in the whole world. 

“Anjana, your mother, was a maiden among the goddesses [only Hinduism and the Greek, Roman and Egyptian myths have goddesses] above. By the curse of a rishi [curses, lifting of curses by someone who has accumulated merits [merit points] by hard austerities] and specific boons to be able to do some specific acts, or protection of some kind is major part of Hinduism she was born as a Vanari [female monkey. But the only reality we observe in the universe of beings born are that they bear young after their kind as stated in the bible.] One day, while she was wandering carefree on a mountain slope, Vayu saw her beauty [the beauty of a female monkey] and fell in love with her and embraced her. She was wroth: 'Who are you, O wicked one' she asked, 'who dares insult me? [All the animals can communicate freely with humans and gods. Never observed in real life.] The Wind-God answered: 'Be not angry, your body is not tainted by my touch and loses not its virgin purity. Not in body but in my heart's desire did I embrace you and out of this ethereal embrace, a child will be born to you, equal to me in strength and vigor. He will be the mightiest and most intelligent amongst the Vanaras.' [The offspring of a monkey and a god would be born a monkey]. Thus, did the Wind-God pacify Anjana. 

“When you were a little child, O Hanuman, you imagined the rising sun to be a fruit and flew towards it in order to pluck it. Seeing your effortless and fearless flight Indra, king of the gods, became concerned for the sun's safety and hurled    his thunderbolt [This is how Indra can be identified as the same god Zeus of the Greeks and Jupiter of the Romans] at you. Struck down by it, you fell on a, mountain and your right jaw was broken. Enraged by this, your father the Wind-God stopped his movements and stood still. All living creatures became breathless and felt strangled in the stillness. The gods begged Vayu to lay aside his anger and showered blessings on you. Brahma and Indra gave you boons. No weapon can slay you. Death can only come to you at your will and not otherwise. You are immortal. [Do we see any evidence of Hanuman today? Has he given us any proof of his existence? No! None at all. Yet Hindus by the hundreds of millions worship him, the immortal monkey god.] 

“Born of Anjana and begotten of the spirit of the Wind-God, you are equal to him in splendor, intelligence and power. But, for all your strength, you are virtuous and modest. You alone can help us to fulfill Rama's purpose. Crossing the sea is no hard task to you. This great army of Vanaras, struggling in a sea of distress, you should rescue. You, who can cross the sea, should not leave your power unused. Increase your stature. [Here Hanuman is being asked to increase his size and assume the form of a huge monkey.] You are the equal of Garuda [the bird, a swan, that is the transport of the god Vishnu, whose reincarnation is Rama].

“The aged Jambavan thus praised Hanuman, reminded him of his strength and roused his dormant courage. At once Hanuman's form began to swell like the sea in high tide. Even as the Vanaras were watching him, the son of Vayu grew in size. The radiance of his body filled Angada and his companions with wonder and joy…

“Reminded of his might by Jambavan, Hanuman was now determined to fulfill Rama's purpose. And with fervor he uttered his faith: "May your words come true. Flying through the sky and alighting in Lanka, I shall see Janaki [Sita]. I have no doubt. I shall return and bring you good news. To take the jump I must press my foot hard against the earth. This hill may stand it," he said and climbed up the Mahendra hill. There, for a while he threw his whole strength into his foot and walked a few steps. The creatures in the hill could not endure it and came out.

“Standing on the hill, Hanuman looked at the sea and directed his yoga - concentrated mind towards Lanka. He said to himself: "I shall search and find Sita. I shall fly in the sky and cross the sea.

“With this resolve he offered worship and prayer to Surya [the sun god], Indra, Vayu, Brahma [the creator god, one of the Trinity of Hinduism, the others being Vishnu and Shiva], and all creation. Then facing east, he made obeisance to his father Vayu and, magnifying his frame still further [grew in bodily size], turned towards the south. He pressed the hill with his feet and struck it with his hands. At this impact the flowers fell from the trees and covered the hill. Squeezed irresistibly by the pressure of his feet the hill threw out springs of water, like the rut flowing down the cheeks of the elephant. Many colored veins of ore burst out of the rock. From the caves the beasts emerged with panic-stricken outcries. Hooded serpents emitting venom bit the rock and sparks flew out. The hair of Hanuman's body stood on end and he roared and lashed his tail on the ground. He contracted his hind parts, held his breath, pressed down his feet, folded his ears and stiffened his muscles. Then with a roar of triumph he rose into the sky and like Garuda flew with the speed of Rama's arrow. With the momentum of his speed, many trees were uprooted and followed in his wake. Like friends who speed a parting guest, they accompanied him a little way, showering down their flowers, and dropped. One by one the trees that followed Hanuman fell into the sea like the mountains which of old were pursued by Indra and denuded of their wings. Covered with bright-colored flowers the sea shone like the sky with its stars.

“Hanuman's arms with their outspread hands as he flew through the sky appeared like two five headed cobras. He seemed to swallow the sky as he flew forward. His eyes glistened like mountain forests on fire. His red nose shone like the evening sun. His huge frame spanned the sky like an enormous comet. The air roared as he sped fast. Beneath him his shadow traveled like a ship on the sea. It looked as though a huge mountain with wings was flying in the sky. Hidden at times by clouds and again emerging from them, he shone like the moon sailing across the sky. The Gandharvas showered flowers. The Devarishis blessed him.

“With courage equal to every occasion, with foresight, skill and resolution, Hanuman, met and survived the trials on the way. Shooting up suddenly from the sea, a mighty mountain rose and stood, in his way. Hanuman struck it with his chest and the Mynaka Mountain yielded, like a cloud struck by the wind. The mountain said: “My son, I am Mount Mynaka. My king Ocean bade me help Sri Rama, the descendant of the Sagara race. The Ocean is an old friend of that race. In honor of that ancient, association, stay here on me for a while. You will fill Rama's purpose all the better for this rest. When Indra struck with his thunder all the hills, I fled from his persecution and hid myself in the ocean and survived. The Ocean who gave me shelter now bids me help you. The sons of Sagara dug and deepened the ocean. Did not your father Vayu help me escape from Indra’s thunderbolt and find sanctuary in the sea? Both the Ocean and myself will be pleased if you will accept my hospitality and rest for a while.” 

“But Hanuman could not yield to Mynaka's importunity and said politely: "I cannot stop, my friend. I have no time to lose. My vow to fulfill Rama's purpose permits no delay. Your kind words are enough to please me." He stroked the mountain affectionately with his hand and took its leave.

“Later, a huge form stood in his way and said: "Enter my mouth. I have been without food for a long time and am eagerly waiting for you," and the monster opened its mouth wide like a cave. [This is supposed to be Hindu holy scripture. It just boggles the mind to understand how this can be accepted as the truth and worship such gods.] Hanuman answered: "I am bent on doing Rama's purpose. Do not stop me.”

“Impossible!” said the monster. "You must enter my mouth." Hanuman thought quickly and decided what to do. Step by step he made his body grow bigger and bigger. The Rakshasa form (which had been assumed by Surasa, the Naga [snake or cobra] maiden opened its mouth correspondingly wider and wider. When the mouth was thus enormously wide, all of a sudden Hanuman contracted his body into a speck and, darting through the demon’s mouth and body, came out again and resumed his former normal shape. He then laughed and said: "You have had your wish, mother. I have entered your mouth. What more do you need?" And the Naga goddess blessed him saying: “Your effort will be crowned with success. I did this at the bidding of the gods who wanted to test you. Rama’s purpose, which you seek to serve, will assuredly triumph.”

“This was not the last of his trials. As he was flying in the sky, for no reason which he could discover, he found his speed obstructed and he suffered like a ship against a contrary wind. Some mighty force, he felt, was holding him and dragging him down. He looked up and down and on all four sides. Then he discovered the cause. It was a huge she-demon in the sea holding him by his shadow below, arresting his speed, and dragging him down. The demon, holding him by his shadow said: “Come, come! Long have I been waiting for you. No longer can I bear my hunger,” and she opened her mouth like a cave. At once Hanuman entered her mouth and ripped a way out through her entrails and emerged. The demon died and sank down in the water. Like the full moon emerging from an eclipse, Hanuman shone in the sky and resumed his journey.

“Thus, surviving many trials with the help of his subtle wit, courage and strength, he flew across the ocean and approached the coast of Lanka covered plantain and coconut trees. On the shore of the island he saw groves and mountains and forests and the mouths of rivers. Hanuman saw the wealth of Ravana's kingdom and the beauty of the fortified city. "I have reached the destination," said Hanuman to himself."Now without letting the Rakshasas know who or what I am, I must search the place and find out where Sita is kept." He reduced his huge form to the size of a normal monkey and alighted on a hilltop in Lanka.”

Here are some descriptions of the actual battle to kill Ravana to free Sita:

Chapter 69 - Serpent Darts

RAVANA as duly informed that Rama's Vanara host surrounded Lanka like a tumultuous sea. In an angry mood he went up the tower of his mansion and surveyed the scene. On every side he saw Vanara warriors who had armed themselves with trees and boulders. He wondered how he could destroy this vast invading force.

At the same time, Rama saw the City of Lanka guarded by the Rakshasas. He could see with his mind's eye the sad figure of Sita held captive within those walls. He ordered an immediate assault. Shouting: "Victory to the Vanara king! Victory to Rama and Lakshmana! Polish off the Rakshasas," the Vanara army rushed on the doomed city. Some hurled big boulders against the fortress wall and on the city gates. Others armed with huge trees torn up by the roots rushed on the Rakshasas.

Then Ravana sent forth a big army. He commanded it to go out and slay at once all the Vanaras. They beat their drums and blew their trumpets till the sky resounded. They fell upon the Vanaras. The Vanaras used boulders and trees and their own nails and fists to oppose the Rakshasas. Thousands fell dead on either side. The field was covered with blood and mangled bodies.

Besides this gruesome engagement, there were many duels between individual warriors. Angada encountered Indrajit like Rudra against Yama. There was a duel between the Rakshasa Prajangha and Sampati, one of the companions of Vibhishana [brother of Ravana]. Hanuman fought a duel with Jambumali, Nila with Nikumbha, Lakshmana with Viroopaksha, and so on. The chariot and horses of Indrajit were
destroyed and Angada received a blow from the mace of Indrajit. Jambumali hit Hanuman with his weapon and Hanuman smashed his chariot to pieces. The Rakshasas concentrated their attack on Rama, and fell in thousands under his arrows. Vidyunmali aimed his darts at Sushena. The latter smashed with a rock the chariot of the Rakshasa. Vidyunmali jumped out with his mace and attacked Sushena who crushed him to death with a rock. In this way many warriors fought and many died.

“The battle raged throughout the day. And at night the Rakshasas would not stop fighting. The battle became fierce. Blood flowed in streams. There was terrible slaughter on both sides. Angada [son of the former monkey king Vali] attacked Indrajit [the son of Ravana], slew his horses and charioteer and smashed the chariot. The Vanaras admired the skill and strength of their prince and raised shouts of joy. All the warriors in the army praised the Vanara prince's prowess.

“Indrajit lost his temper along with his chariot and resorted to sorcery. Making himself invisible he aimed many darts at Rama and Lakshmana who were greatly harassed at this attack from a foe whose whereabouts no one could discover and who seemed to shower deadly missiles from all sides. Then Indrajit shot serpent darts at Rama and Lakshmana. Bound by them, they could not move and lay helpless on the battlefield. [Rama is supposed to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu. If he was so, nothing should be able to make him helpless.] They looked at one another, wondering what to do. Lakshmana's grief at Rama's plight was great. As for the Vanaras they stood round in mournful bewilderment.

“Indrajit congratulated the Rakshasa army and returned to the city. Exulting in his victory, he went to his father and announced that the story of Rama and Lakshmana was over. Ravana was beside himself with joy. He embraced his son and praised his prowess.

The Vanara warriors wounded and downcast, seeing Rama and Lakshmana laid low, concluded that all was over.

“Vibhishana [the brother of Ravana who had counseled him to honorably restore Sita to Rama but had now come to Rama’s camp after Ravana was wroth with him for giving such advice and said a brother is the worst enemy], who saw Sugriva standing helpless and forlorn, put courage in the Vanara king. "It is foolish to lose hope," he said. "Look at Rama and Lakshmana. Their faces are still bright. They are not dead. Be not afraid. Soon they will recover from this swoon and resume fighting."

“The chief took heart and did everything to save the army from panic. The ranks were reformed with their respective chiefs. Meanwhile Ravana had it proclaimed in Lanka that Rama and Lakshmana had been slain by Indrajit. He sent for his women and said to them: "Go at once and inform Sita that Rama is no more; that the two princes lie dead on the battlefield and the Vanara army is destroyed. Also, to convince her finally, take her in the Pushpaka Vimana [flying palace or chariot] and show her the battlefield from above. Let the obstinate one see for herself what has happened. Seeing that she has now no one to look to besides myself, she will turn to me."

“The Rakshasis [female Rakshas] did as they were told. From the Vimana Sita saw the field of battle. She saw Rama and Lakshmana lying motionless on the ground with their weapons scattered by their side. She was filled with grief. She thought that it was now all over and cried: "To this end has fate brought me, giving the lie to the predictions of saints and astrologers that I would live as a happy wife and mother and a glorious queen. Poor Kausalya! [Rama’s mother] Who shall console you now. Like one who, having, crossed the ocean, gets drowned in a little pond, these warriors, who had done so much, lie dead now. Oh princes! How did your divine weapons fail you. Alas, all-powerful is destiny!"

“When Sita was thus in the desperation of utter sorrow, Trijata, her Rakshasi companion, who was looking closely at the motionless figures of the princes, suddenly burst out: "Dear Sita, there is no cause for grief. Neither your husband nor Lakshmana is dead. Look at their faces. Is this how the dead look? They are bound by a charmed weapon and are unconscious for a while. Look at the orderly array of the army. Have courage. Be not frightened." Her words fell like nectar in Sita's ears. The Vimana returned to Lanka and Sita was taken back to the Asoka Vana [forest].

“In time the force of the arrows charged with sorcery weakened. Rama opened his eyes and sat up. Though sorely wounded, he recovered his strength by an exercise of will power and sat up. He looked at his brother lying on the ground and cried out: "Alas! What is the use of victory now for me? Why did I bring you, dear brother, with me to the forest and get you killed like this? How can I return without you to Ayodhya? You used ever to console me in my sorrow. You are silent now when I face the greatest sorrow. How can I survive you? Where in the world is a warrior like you? One can replace anything lost, but where can I find anyone to fill your place? Like Kartaviryarjuna with his thousand hands, you with your two hands discharged showers of arrows and slew the Rakshasas. How could death come to you? You came with me into the
forest, and now I shall repay my debt to you by joining with you to the abode of Yama [the god of the dead]. I confess defeat. The word I gave to Vibhishana cannot be fulfilled. Oh Vanara king! Return to Kishkindha [capital city of the monkey king] with all your warriors. You have worked hard for me. You have fulfilled all the duties of friendship. You have my gratitude. But there is no use in more of you dying. Go back to your city. Let me perish here."

“Thus, did Rama lament in helpless grief. Then Vibhishana arrived there, mace in hand. Seeing his huge dark form, the Vanaras imagined it was Indrajit again and started to fly.

In another part of the battlefield Sugriva and Angada were discussing. "Why are the Vanaras thus beginning to scatter in fear? What has happened?" asked Sugriva. Angada [Sugriva’s nephew, son of his brother Vali] answered, "Do you not know that Rama and Lakshmana are lying wounded?"

“Sugriva said: "It is not that. Look at the way they are running helter-skelter. There must be some other reason for it." Then he learnt that the Vanaras, who had suffered at the hands of Indrajit, mistook Vibhishana for him and were frightened. He sent Jambavan to rally the troops by disabusing them of this fear.

“Vibhishana looked at Rama and Lakshmana. When he saw them wounded, covered with arrows all over, and unable to fight, he broke down crying: "It is all over. What more is there to do?" Sugriva turned to Sushena, his uncle, and said: "Take Rama and Lakshmana to Kishkindha. I shall kill Ravana, redeem Sita, and bring her there." Sushena answered: "There are herbs which can heal the wounds of the princes and restore them to health. Some of us know where these herbs are to be found. Here is Hanuman. If you send him, he will fetch the herbs."

“As they were speaking, the sea and air were churned up by a mighty wind and the great bird Garuda burst into view. When Garuda arrived, the serpent darts that covered Rama and Lakshmana disappeared instantaneously. They were all venomous serpents which had become arrows through the magic of Indrajit and had bound the princes' bodies. When their inveterate and dreaded enemy Garuda appeared, they took flight. Then Garuda gently stroked the bodies of Rama and Lakshmana and restored to them their full strength. The wounds were all healed and they rose up, stronger and more radiant than before. And Rama asked: "Who are you, my benefactor?" He did not know that he was Vishnu and Garuda was his own bird on which he always rode. Garuda answered, "I am your good friend, and old companion. Glory is yours! Let me go now. When the battle is ended, we shall know each other better."

“Saying thus Hamsa bird [swan] flew away. Seeing Rama and Lakshmana fully recovered and ready for battle, the Vanaras were enthusiastic once again and resumed attacking Ravana's fortress.”

The entire Ramayana is full of more such ridiculous, fantastic tales. The story continues and Rama and the Vanara army finally defeats Ravana and his force and Ravana is slain by Rama. Next is a description of the meeting between Rama and Sita.

Chapter 75 – The End

Rama's face showed a strange transformation of mind. None of those around him, not even Lakshmana could understand. Alighting from the palanquin, Sita, with downcast eyes, proceeded towards Rama. "Aryaputra," she said and sobbed, unable to speak more. Aryaputra in Sanskrit means beloved and noble one and is an intimate form of address of wife to husband.

"I have slain the enemy," said Rama. I have recovered you. I have done my duty as a Kshatriya. My vow is now fulfilled." Incomprehensible and wholly unexpected were these words that he uttered. His face darkened for some reason. Then he spoke even harsher words.

"It was not for mere attachment to you that I waged this grim battle but in the discharge of duty as a Kshatriya. It gives me no joy now to get you back, for doubtfulness envelopes you like a dark cloud of smoke." "What do you wish to do now?" he continued. "You must live alone, for we cannot live together. You can stay under the protection of any of our kinsmen or friends. How can a Kshatriya take back a wife who has lived so long in a stranger's house?"

“Sita looked at Rama. Her eyes flashed fire. "Unworthy words have you spoken!" she said. "My ears have heard them and my heart is broken. The uncultured may speak such words but not one nobly born and brought up like you. Your anger, it seems, has destroyed your understanding. My lord does not remember the family from which I come. Janaka, the great seer, was my father and he brought me up. Is it my fault that the wicked Rakshasa seized me by force and imprisoned me? But since this is how you look at it, there is but one course open to me."

“Then turning to Lakshmana, "Fetch the faggots, Lakshmana, and kindle a fire," she said. Lakshmana, who had been watching Rama's behavior in dismay and indignation turned to look at Rama's face seeking his orders, but Rama did not say 'No' to Sita's request nor show any sign of softening. Obeying Sita, Lakshmana kindled a big fire and the princess, with eyes fixed on the ground, circumambulated her lord and exclaimed:

"Ye Gods, I bow before you. Oh rishis, I bow to you. Oh Agni, you at least know my purity and will take me as your own!"

“With these words she jumped into the flames. And wonder of wonders! The lambent flames were crowded with celestial figures, for all the gods came and assembled there. Brahma spoke: "Narayana! Mighty God that took human form to slay Ravana! Is not this your own Lakshmi?"

Agni, God of fire, rose in his own body out of the flames and lifting Sita in his arms with all her clothes and jewels untouched and intact, presented her to Rama.

Rama said to Brahma: "Who am I? All that I know and can tell is that I am Rama, son of Dasaratha. You know who I am and whence I came and more. It is you who must inform me." Saying this to Brahma, Rama accepted Sita fire-proved.

"Think you that I did not know your irreproachable purity? This ordeal was to satisfy the people. Without it, they would say that Rama, blinded by love, behaved with a strange weakness and broke the rule of well-brought-up men." So saying he drew her to his side.

“Then Dasaratha descended from above and, placing the prince on his lap blessed him.

"My child!" he said to Sita. "Forgive my son. Forgive him for the wrong he did you to preserve the dharma of the world. God bless you!"

 “Indra gave his boon, and the Vanaras who died in battle for Rama regained their lives. [Foolishness and purely fictional aspect of all this is self-evident. One really has to be gullible to believe all this as truth. If a man like Rama allowed this to happen today, he surely deserves to be burnt alive.] Rama and Sita, now reunited, ascended the Pushpaka which carried them swiftly in the air with their friends, the Vanara warriors and Vibhishana, to Ayodhya. As they travelled in the sky, he said: "Look there! That is the causeway built by Nala." Again, "Look there, that is Kishkindha," he said, "where I met and made friends with Hanuman and Sugriva." And Rama pointed out to Sita the spots where he and Lakshmana had wandered disconsolate and related to her all his unforgettable experiences.”

No wonder Sati was so ingrained into the Indian psyche and needed an outside force, the British, to root it out of India.Type your paragraph here.

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