Q:

What are the themes in the Ramayana?

A:

The Ramayana uses the story of Shri Rama to cover themes of human values, dharma and the duties of partners in varied relationships, such as the husband and wife, brother, servant and king. Rama's life story is separated into seven "Kandas," or sections, that cover his boyhood, his adulthood, his wife's abduction, her rescue and events occurring before his death.

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The main themes involves being a suitable husband for a worthy wife; the "Bala Kanda" or Book of Childhood covers Rama's heritage and discovery of wife Sita. The Ayodhya theme mainly covers Rama's faith and loving companionship with his wife until she is kidnapped in the next book, the Book of the Monkey Kingdom. The Sundara Kanda details the rescue of Sita by devoted servant Hanuman. The Book of War details the war of Sita's kidnappers and Rama and his armies. It symbolizes the valiance found with the help of faith. This is the reconciliatory book; here they return back to Ayodha to rule. The last book covers infidelity, trust and detail Rama's departure from the earthly realm. The Ramayana is considered by Hindus and others as a document reminiscent of the Bible; similar to Jesus, the book focuses on a man's spiritual and physical journey with embedded lessons that serve as guidelines for the reader.

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