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Religion In The Ramayana

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Religion in the Ramayana plays a key role in the plot. Religious principles such as Karma and Dharma, and the act of prayer all have an impact on the characters in the epic. In the Ramayana, religion influences the roles of the characters and the challenges they face throughout the story. Karma has an impact on the characters in the Ramayana as this principle in religion leads to the death of important characters; Karma not only has a negative impact, but it has a positive impact too. An example of bad karma causing death is Vali. Through a misunderstanding with his brother Sugreeva, Vali forces Sugreeva to leave while Vali takes his wife and kingship. Vali had "finally destroyed Mayavi and was now emerging victorious. He had tried…show more content…
Rama is the only character in the Ramayana who is solely created for one purpose; he is created to fulfill his dharma. The dharma he is created to fulfill is to kill Ravana. The epic begins showing this when Sita, Lakshmana, and Rama settle in Panchvati. Rama "never lost sight of his main purpose in settling down in this region- he had come here to encounter and destroy the asuras, the fiends who infested this area, causing suffering and hardship to all good souls who only wanted to be left alone to pursue their spiritual aims in peace. Rama's whole purpose of incarnation was ultimately to destroy Ravana, the chief of the asuras" (Narayan 63). As Rama's incarnation is for the purpose of destroying Ravana, this is the first step in his journey. Dharma and the impact it has is shown in the quote as it impacts Rama's decision to move to Panchvati. Dharma impacts his decision as he chooses to pursue it. If this were not his dharma, he would not move to Panchvati to get closer to Ravana. Without him moving here, the plot will not continue how it does, therefore creating significance in his following of dharma. This is only the beginning of his journey, and as he advances, he finally reaches Lanka to fulfill his dharma. Other than Rama, the character known as Hanuman is relevant to the story due to his dharma. Hanuman is the…show more content…
Ravana uses prayer to gain power; With this power, he attempts to destroy all worlds and enslave the gods. The ten-headed Ravana "and his brothers have acquired from us extraordinary powers through austerities and prayers, and now they threaten to destroy our worlds and enslave us'" (Narayan 4). Ravana is impacted by prayer as he uses this to gain powerful weapons from the gods. This impacts his life as he misuses the power and the gods need to stop him. This also impacts Rama as he incarnated because of this. Without the use of prayer to the gods in the Ramayana, Rama would not exist and Ravana would not have the powerful weapons he does. The gods need to stop Ravana before the worlds are destroyed and Vishnu creates a plan. The gods gather and create a plan to have Vishnu incarnate as Rama to kill Ravana. Whereupon "Vishnu promised, ‘Ravana can be destroyed only by a human being since he has never asked for protection against a human being. I shall incarnate as Dasaratha's son'" (Narayan 4). Ravana not only gains power through prayer, but the gods find a solution in what he does not pray for. If Ravana prays for protection from humans, Rama is not incarnated because Vishnu cannot kill him as a human. Therefore, without Ravana's prayer to the gods, Rama is not present in the epic. Characters are incarnated by the impact of
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