Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama

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Episode Title:
Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama.
Episode Description:
After a brief introduction to some of the main characters of the story, the beginning sees a group of Rishis, led by Vishvamitra, performing a Yajna in a forest not far from Ayodhya, the Capital of the Kingdom of Kosala. This Yajna, like several before it, is interrupted and destroyed by a group of flying demons led by Ravana's relation Maricha. After seeing yet another Yajna destroyed, a despondent Vishvamitra appeals to Lord Vishnu for salvation. Vishnu appears in a spiritual blaze of light, informing him of his saviour- Prince Rama of Ayodhya, first-born of King Dasharatha. Vishvamitra travels to Ayodhya to meet the King and requests him to offer Rama's services to help destroy the demons in the forests. Although the Solar Dynasty King is reluctant at first to send the young lad, he is reassured by the resident Rishi that no harm will come to him and even encouraged to send his third son Lakshmana as an accompaniment. The three of them then journey into one of the affected forests where Vishvamitra tells them the story of how the once beautiful area was defiled and destroyed by an evil demoness Tataka, mother of Maricha. After informing Rama of his duty, namely to kill Tataka, he then starts to teach the boys some mantras which they repeat, drawing the large demoness out. A few initial arrows from the boys prove ineffectual at first and the demoness seems to be more menacing, but Rama slays her by reciting one of the Rishi's mantras and then shooting the arrow, which hits her in the head. She melts away into a burning fire. Following this deed, the boys are each handed sacred weapons, which Vishvamitra says he himself gained mastery over as a reward from the gods. The following morning, Maricha sees the boys from over a cliff and declares his intention to avenge his mother's death. But his attacks are dealt with by the boys, who slay the demon's compatriots while Maricha himself flies away. Further on in their travels, the three reach the kingdom of Mithila and witness a procession. During that procession Princess Sita, the King's daughter, catches sight of Rama and the two fall in love. The people are informed of a competition held by King Janaka; the man who could successfully lift and string the heavy bow of Shiva would be rewarded with the hand of Sita in marriage. After several failed attempts by the other princes, Rama wins the competition easily—albeit by breaking the bow—and marries Sita, returning with her to Ayodhya...

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