Ram Leela: A Great Indian Epic Story, at Skeeter’s Stadium on Oct. 19


By Dr. Nik Nikam 

 Part 2: AYODHYA KAND: After Ram’s marriage, King Dashrath had made plans to crown Shri Ram as the next King of Ayodhya. On the eve of the coronation, Kaikeyi’s wicked maid servant Manthara, ignites jealousy in Kaikeyi’s mind and convinces her that her son Bharat should be made the King of Ayodhya. She reminds Kaikeyi of the two boons that King Dashrath had made to her when she had saved his life in a battle. Intoxicated by the evil plans of Manthara, Kaikeyi demands from King Dashrath: first, Bharat be made the King of Ayodhya, and second, send Ram to forest for fourteen years. Shri Ram faithfully and with absolute submission accepts his step-mother’s demands to respect his father’s promise. He decides to leave for the forest the next morning. Both Sita and Lakshman (a devout brother of Shri Ram) follow Shri Ram to the forest.

After Shri Ram’s departure, grief stricken King Dashrath passes away. Meanwhile, Bharat, who is on a visit to his maternal uncle, is summonsed back to Ayodhya. Bharat, who is stunned by his mother Kaikeyi’s wicked plans, refuses to be crowned.  He goes to the forest to meet Shri Ram and begs him to return to Ayodhya and accept the throne. Shri Ram respectfully refuses to return to Ayodhya until his exile is over. Bharat requests Shri Ram to give his sandals, so he could place them on the throne and rule the country on Shri Ram’s behalf until he returns.

ARANYA KAND: Shri Ram, Sita, and Lakshman travel southward along the banks of River Godavari. They establish a cottage in the Panchavati forest.  Surpanakha, sister of Demon Ravan, spots Shri Ram in the forest. Infatuated by his beauty and grace, she tries to win his infatuation. Shri Ram points to Lakshman and says he is single in the forest, and she tries to approach him. Lakshman says that he is only Shri Ram’s servant and she should pursue the Master. When Surpanakha tries to harm Sita, Lakshman chops off her nose and mutilates her face. Enraged Surpanakha goes to her brother King Khar to punish the two brothers. King Khar attacks Panchavati and gets killed in the war. When Surpanakha demands that King Ravan take vengeance against the hermit brothers, Ravan demands Demon Mareech to entice Sita in the form of a golden deer. When Ram goes after the deer and kills the deer, the deer yells, “Oh! Sita. Oh! Lakshman!” Assuming Shri Ram is in danger, Sita demands Lakshman to assist Shri Ram, despite his steadfast reluctance to leave her. At that moment, Demon Ravan appears as a sage, before Sita’s cottage and abducts her. On his way to Lanka in his aerial chariot, Ravan faces Jatayu, a bird which puts up a gallant fight to rescue Sita. Demon Ravan cuts one of his wings, and Jatayu falls to the ground. Meanwhile, when Shri Ram and Lakshman meet, they realize they have been deceived. As they search for Sita, they come across Jatayu, who tells them about Demon Ravan. During their search for Sita, they meet Shabari, a woman ascetic, who directs them to Sugriv and Hanuman.

LANKA KAND: Shri Ram and Lakshman, along with Hanuman, Sugriv, and the ape-men army, attack Lanka to rescue Sita from Demon Ravan. The ape-men army builds a bridge across the sea to reach Lanka. There, Demon Ravan’s brother Vibhishan, a devout believer in Dharma, truth, and good deeds, rejects his brother’s actions and defects to Shri Ram’s camp and becomes a Shri Ram’s devotee. A brutal battle erupts between the demons, lead by Ravan and the ape-army lead by Shri Ram and Lakshman. All Ravan’s sons are killed by Lakshman and Ram. Finally, Shri Ram kills Ravan and liberates Lanka and Sita. When Sita returns, Shri Ram instructs her to pass the Agni Pariksha (Fire Test) to prove her chastity. She accepts her Lord’s wish and passes the Fire Test. Shri Ram, Sita and Lakshman return to Ayodhya and Ram’s coronation is performed in a grand scale.

UTTAR KAND: The Uttar Kaand covers the final years of Shri Ram, Sita, and his brothers. Despite the Agni Pariksha performed by Sita, rumors about her purity continue to plague the city of Ayodhya. Bowing to public opinion, as a King, Shri Ram does not hinder or object when pregnant Sita decides to live in the forest for the rest of her life. Sita comes to live incognito with Sage Valmiki in the forest, where she gives birth to twins: Luv and Kush. They grow-up to be as talented as their father, never knowing who their father is. They memorize the story of Sita and Ram as recited by Sage Valmiki to them. They walk around Ayodhya singing the story of Ram and Sita, which grips the citizens of Ayodhya. King Shri Ram invites the twins to sing to the King’s Court. Finally, here Shri Ram learns those two street children are his own.

The RAM LEELA-2013, a two-hour stage play at the Skeeter’s Stadium, on October 19, will be directed by internationally acclaimed Dr. Rathna Kumar. It will be one of the highlights of Dusshera/Diwali Mela 2013.

Mark your calendars for the Dusshera Mela on Oct. 19, at the Skeeter’s Stadium, in Sugar Land, Texas.

For further information visit www.shrisitaram.org