The Ramayana, the older of the two major Sanskrit poems (the Mahabharata being the other) is a 50,000 line poem written by Sage Valmiki. The poem is separated into 7 different sections which are called khands. Rama becomes king of the solar race and reigns at Ayodhya. Rama is the seventh incarnation of Vishnu. King Dasaratha was childless until the gods saw his devotion to his kingdom and gave him a son. They decide to reincarnate Vishnu as Rama just for the purpose of killing the Ravana (demon).

Rama has three brothers; Lakshman, Bharatha and Shatrugan. While the four brothers were very young, a sage came to Rama and asked for his help in killing a rakshahas (demon). Rama kills the female demon and obtains flowers and greater powers from the sage. The sage takes Rama to the court of a King in a another kingdom, who gives Rama the opportunity to marry his young daughter Sita. To be permitted to marry, he has to bend a bow that supposedly belonged to Shiva. Rama not only bends the bow, he breaks it and thus is able to marry Sita. Dasaratha's second wife orders Bharatha to be king and Rama to be sent into exile for 14 years. When Dasaratha dies, Bharatha sets out to bring Rama back. Bharatha returns to Ayodhyah and puts Rama's sandals on the throne as a symbol that Rama should be the king. During his banishment, Rama meets a sage who advises him to go live near the base of the Panchavati Mountains because there were demons there. One demon, Surpanakha, falls in love with Rama but he always ignores her flirting. She then tries to kill Sita. This enrages Lakshman so much that he cuts of the demon's ears and nose. The demon then gets a whole band of her cousins, also demons, to try to kill Rama and Lakshman.

All of them are destroyed. Surpanakha convinces Ravana, the chief of the demons, to visit Sita by describing how beautiful she is. He kidnaps Sita, enraging both Rama and Lakshman. The brothers track down Ravana and on their way to his village, they kill another demon known as Kabandha. The king of the monkeys is very afraid of this demon and offers the services of Hunuman the monkey. Together, the three leaders, Rama, Lakshman and Hunuman, fight along with Hunuman's soldiers and kill Ravana and Rama's wife is returned to him..