Rings of The Ramayana

Epic/ Belief/ History, April 30th, 2023
illustration by Manish

In the Indian epic Ramayana, there are two significant rings that play important roles in the story. The first is the ring of King Janaka, which is a symbol of his power and authority. The second is the ring of Lord Rama, which becomes a critical plot device in the later parts of the story.

The story of the first ring begins when King Janaka decides to hold a Swayamvara, a ceremony where eligible princesses are invited to choose their own husband. Janaka places his ring on a pedestal, and the princess who can lift the bow of Lord Shiva and string it with an arrow will win his hand in marriage. Many princes come to participate, but none can succeed in lifting the bow until Rama, the hero of the story, arrives. Rama not only lifts the bow but also breaks it, winning the hand of Janaka’s daughter, Sita. The ring of King Janaka thus becomes a symbol of Rama’s triumph and the beginning of his love story with Sita.

The second ring in the story appears later, during Rama’s exile in the forest. Sita is kidnapped by the demon king Ravana, and Rama embarks on a long and perilous journey to rescue her. Along the way, he meets the monkey king Hanuman, who becomes his ally and helps him in his quest. When Hanuman reaches the city of Lanka, where Sita is held captive, he finds her in despair, longing for Rama. To prove his identity and give her hope, Hanuman gives her Rama’s ring, which Rama had given him as a token of their friendship.

When Sita sees the ring, she is overjoyed and regains her faith in Rama. She sends a message to him, telling him of her location and that she is waiting for him to rescue her. The ring thus becomes a crucial element in the story’s climax, as Rama uses it to identify Sita and prove her innocence after he rescues her from Ravana.

In conclusion, the two rings in Ramayana play significant roles in the story, symbolizing the triumph of love and the power of faith. They are reminders that even the smallest objects can hold great significance and have the power to change the course of events.

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