About The Book

Ramcharitmansa is composed in seven chapters or kaandas. A brief description of each chapter is given below.

The Chapter of the Childhood: 361 dohas
This is the first and the longest of the seven chapters of Ramacharitamanas. It begins with extensive invocations to various gods and goddesses. Events leading to the descent of the incarnation of Rama are described. These include, among other tales, the story of Shiva and Parvati. The chapter then describes the birth of Rama in Ayodhya, his childhood, the protection of the sage Vishwamitra’s yajna, entry into Janakpur, breaking of Lord Shiva’s bow, marriage to Sita and return to Ayodhya.

The Chapter of Ayodhya: 326 dohas
The second chapter of Ramacharitamanas begins with the preparations for Rama’s coronation in Ayodhya. Other events described in this chapter are the exile of Rama, Dasharatha’s death, Rama’s encounter with Nishaada and the Kevata (boatman), the return of Bharata to Ayodhya and his anger at his mother’s scheming, the meeting of Bharata and Rama in the forest and the installation of Rama’s padukas (sandals) on the throne of Ayodhya with Bharata as regent.

The Chapter of the Forest: 46 dohas
This brief but eventful chapter describes Rama’s life in the forest with Sita and Lakshmana, and his meeting with various sages (Atri, Anasuya, Agastya) who dwell there. The meeting with Shurpanakha, Ravana’s sister and her humiliation, battle with the demons Khara and Dushana, Ravana’s scheme for revenge -- Marichi’s impersonation of a golden deer and the abduction of Sita -- and Rama’s grief and the beginning of the search for Sita are some other episodes of this chapter.

The Chapter of Kishkindha: 30 dohas
This is the shortest chapter of Ramacharitamanas. It shows the meeting of Hanumana and Rama, Rama’s friendship with Sugreeva, the slaying of Vali and the beginning of the search for Sita by Sugreeva’s army.

The Chapter of Beauty: 60 dohas
This is the fifth chapter of Ramacharitamanas and is considered by many to be the heart of the whole text. It describes the exploits of Hanumana: his crossing over the ocean, entry into Lanka, his meeting with Vibhishana, his discovery of, and meeting with, Sita and his burning of Lanka. Other episodes described in this chapter are the defection of Vibhishana, the exchange of messages between Rama and Ravana and Rama’s taming of the ocean.

The Chapter of Lanka: 121 dohas
This chapter describes the whole period of Rama’s stay in Lanka, the island kingdom of Ravana. The episodes include the building of a bridge on the ocean and crossing over into Lanka and Angada’s fruitless peace mission to Ravana. Then follows the battle with the fall of various heroes, Lakshmana’s injury and recovery and finally the slaying of Ravana. The battle is followed by the crowning of Vibhishana as king of Lanka, the return of Sita and the journey back to Ayodhya.

The Chapter of Later Events or Epilogue: 130 dohas
This is the seventh and final chapter of Ramacharitamanas, which talks of events occurring after the battle of Lanka. Major events are the end of Rama’s exile and his return to Ayodhya, crowning of Rama as king of Ayodhya and the description of his exemplary governance (Ramarajya). This is followed by details of the departure of the incarnation of Lord Rama, the dialogue between Garuda and Kakbhushundi and the closing invocation of the text.