The best amongst the dignified, Lord Rama is the seventh incarnation of Vishnu. The various occurrences that took place during His descent on earth comprises His leela - Ramleela. Rama demonstrated by example the ideal qualities of a son, brother, husband, prince, king, friend and student. Ramleela is an enactment of the pastimes of this avatar during his descent in the age known as Treta Yuga. This enactment runs for ten days and usually terminates on the day of Vijayadasmi. On this day Rama defeated in battle Ravana the King of Lanka.

And it came to pass that Rama who is the son of Dasaratha who is none other than Vishnu himself appeared on this earth. Accompanied by his wife and brother this master bowman with the determination to fulfill His vow to His father, took up residence in the Dandaka forest. Ravana the demon king by use of strategy and force carried away Rama’s wife Sita after he deceitfully lured Rama and Lakshmana away by the demon Maricha who took the form of a golden deer. Searching for Sita with His brother they came upon a mountain and on the summit of that mountain they met with Sugriva a chief of the monkey tribe.

A friensdhip developed between them and Rama having slain Sugriva’s evil brother installed Sugriva as king of his tribesmen. Having obtained this kingdom, Sugriva sent monkeys by the thousands in search of Sita. Amongst them was the all-powerful Hanuman who went searching in the southern direction and Hanumana came upon the mighty vulture Sampati who told him Sita’s whereabouts.

...the conclusion


Bent on finding Sita, Hanuman leapt over the ocean and arrived in Lanka, Ravana’s kingdom. There he saw Sita sitting beneath a tree in an orchard and after meeting with her and as circumstances would have it, he was captured. Brought before Ravana, Hanuman was humiliated and his tail was set on fire. He burnt the city of Lanka to the ground and established himself as the messanger of Rama. Having returned to Rama, Hanuman related all that had happened and Rama determined what His course of action was going to be.

And it came to pass that His monkey followers built a bridge across the ocean and they all proceeded to Lanka to rescue Sita. A terrible battle ensued and many great warriors on both sides got slain and even Lakshmana was terribly wounded. Having ran out of top warriors to fight his battle, Ravana himself came to the battlefield and was vanquished by Rama. And having slain the ten-headed demon king Ravana, Rama installed Vibhishna the pious brother of Ravana as king of Lanka. Then Rama recovered Sita and returned to His city of Ayodhya and was established there as king.

For the many wise people who have seen and understood Ramleela and the Ramayan you will tell from this narrative that this is only a small part of the greater picture. Ramleela is therefore just a snapshot of something that is so huge that in a lifetime one cannot even grasp the fundamentals of it never mind the ten days of the actual festival.