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1. What is Vishnu's motivation to incarnate himself as a human being?

He wants to destroy Ravana, and it can only be destroyed by a human being

List the "five-fold evils."

Lust, anger, miserliness, egoism, envy

Why should Thataka not be considered a woman?

She was an evil demon and monster

What is Rama's life mission?

To rid the world of evil and demons

How did Vishnu defeat Mahabali in an earlier incarnation?

He asked for land and Mahabali gave him a drop of water and told him to take three steps. Once he received the water, he grew extra large and took one step to cover all of the earth, another for all of heaven, and the last to push mahabali to the netherworld

How does Rama use his arrows defensively during the demon attack on the yanga?

Rama uses the arrows and makes them an umbrella to block the sacrificial fire from the asuras' blood.

7. How did Shiva save the country from the deluge?

He received the impact on his head, and it got lost in his hair.

8. How does Indra's curse fit his crime?

Indra was covered in female organs because he slept with someone who was not his wife

9. After becoming lovesick for Rama, Sita curses a bird singing outside her window. On what does she blame her suffering?

The sins she has committed in previous lives

10. How does Janaka use Shiva's bow? What is Rama's reward for stringing it?

Janaka used the bow to find who would be a husband for Sita. It is used to ward off suitors. Whoever can bend it is suitable for Sita. He gets to marry Sita.

11. Describe the Brahmins during their procession into the city for the wedding.

They walked after the elephants and plugged their noses. They walked on their toes.

List the number of attendants for each of Dasaratha's wives:
• Kaikeyi (Bharatha's mother)
• Sumithra (Lakshmana's and Satrugna's mother)
• Kausalya (Rama's mother

1. 1,000
2. 2,000
3. 60,000+

13. Dasaratha and his advisors consult astrologers before the nuptials. What do the stars tell them?

They are meant to be married. Stars had to be aligned on the day they got married.

14. What is Dasaratha's motivation to retire?

He has gotten very old and wants to rest and relax while he is still alive.

15. What suddenly makes Dasaratha uneasy, forcing him to call Rama back to see him?

Frightening premonitions

16. Why does Kooni tell Kaikeyi that "beauty and youth are like a wild stream"?

They hold you in a spell and they don't last very long and when they are gone you are left with nothing.

17. What evidence does Kooni present to support her fears, accusations, and suspicions?

The king has cheated her. Tomorrow he is crowning Rama and she won't mean anything to him.

18. Who are Rama's five mothers?

The one who borne him, a stepmother, a father's sister, an elder brother's wife, and the wife of the guru

19. What had Dasaratha promised to Kaikeyi many years ago?

He promised to give her two boons (promises)

20. What two boons does Kaikeyi ask from Dasaratha?

Banish Rama and crown Bharatha instead

21. Rama tells Kausalya that his exile yields three blessings. List them

To make his brother a king, to carry out his father's commands and to live in the forests

22. What episode from Dasaratha's past does he attribute his current bad karma?

He shot an arrow at a boy, who he thought was an elephant. The boy died and the parents cursed Dasaratha.

23. Whom does Rama blame for his misfortunes?


24. How are words like arrows?

A word goes forward and you cannot take it back

25. According to Bharatha, what would happen if Rama committed a wrong act?

It would still be something to benefit humanity

26. What prevents Bharatha from killing his mother?

Rama would despise Bharatha if he killed his mother

27. How is Kausalya convinced that Bharatha is innocent and removed from these evils?

She hears him express his sorrow and determination to destroy himself instead of bearing the burden of separation

28. Why does Vasishta prevent Bharatha from lighting his father's funeral pyre?

His father's last injunction was disowning Kaikeyi and her son

29. How does Bharatha honor Rama during his exile?

He is going to rule for 14 years until Rama is back and rule for Rama. He is wearing Rama's shoes to represent Rama.

31. What is Kamavalli's real identity?

Ravana's sister, Soorpanaka

32. What arguments does she use to convince Rama that they are compatible? (Note: They continue throughout the chapter.)

Union with all castes is allowed. She used to be a slave until she saw him. If they are married then her brothers wont attack him. Sita is not really what she looks like; she is a demon. Rama will become the lord of several worlds. She will teach Rama magic and spells. She will teach him all her families weaknesses and strengths so Rama can get rid of them all.

30. What vow does Jatayu make to our heroes?


33. How does Lakshmana finally get rid of the demon woman?

He grabbed her hair and kicked her in the stomach. He cut off her ears, nose, and breasts.

34. Whom does Soorpanka recruit to enact revenge on Rama and Lakshmana?

Kara and asuras

35. Describe Ravana's court.

Bunch of kings who cater to his wants, gods held hostage, constantly flowers and beautiful women all over, gurus are also there

36. Comment on Ravana falling into extreme lust after hearing a verbal description of Sita, told to him by Soorpanka.

He didn't care about what happened to Soorpanka and fell madly in love with Sita after a one minute description of her. He became restless and unhappy. Every word spoken about Sita gave him pleasure and pain. He ignored his wives and locked himself in his room thinking about Sita. He had hallucinations about her.

37. Among other things, Ravana commands the seasons to change. How does this reflect his temperament?

The weather changes according to his moods. He is upset over Sita so he makes a monsoon come.

38. Why is Mareecha uneasy about assisting Ravana in his plan?

He had already been defeated by Rama twice. Rama killed his brother and mother.

39. Why does Mareecha tell Ravana, "You have the grace of Shiva on you"?

He doesn't want Ravana to do something immoral and lose his power and become a subject of gossip.

40. Why does Ravana say the following: "[...] let it be Rama's arrow that pierces my heart rather than the insidious, minute ones from the bow of the god of love"?

He would rather die trying to get Sita, than die by a broken heart from not being with Sita

41. How do Ravana and Soorpanka view Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana? What assumptions do these demons make about our heroes?

Rama-strong, powerful warrior
Sita- gulliable, easy to trick
They view them as humans, easy to trick/defeat

42. Why does Sita desire the golden deer so passionately?

He has a body of gold and feet made of gems. She wants to keep him as a pet

43. Why does Rama chase after it, ignoring his brother's advice and his own better judgment?

He felt sorry they had an argument over an innocent wish of his wife. He had a desire to please his wife, and he wanted a challenge and adventure.

44. How does Lakshmana know that Rama was not harmed, despite hearing cries of help in Rama's voice?

He has vanquished demons and would not be harmed by animals.

45. Why does Lakshmana eventually chase after Rama and the deer?

Sita threatens to harm herself. If he didn't go, Sita would kill herself.

46. At what point does Ravana begin to lose his disguise as a sanyasi (a hermit)?

He gets angry when Sita says Rama will destroy all the demons.

47. Which character comes to Sita's rescue, only to be defeated by Ravana?


48. Why does Ravana decide to kidnap Sita rather than fight Rama?

He knows that Rama can defeat him.

49. Who is Hanuman?

Sugreeva's ally, the greatest devotee of Rama, giant monkey

50. Who is Vali?

Ruler of Kiskinda

51. In what great feat did Vali participate? What was his reward?

He turned a churner until nectar was obtained. The gods gave him immeasurable strength.

52. Why does Vali hate his brother Sugreeva?

He thought his brother tried to trap him in a tomb so he could become a ruler.

53. Which character is the first to identify Rama as Vishnu? How does he know?


Rama shoots Vali with an arrow, but Vali protests the appropriateness of Rama's
actions. Summarize a few of his arguments

He had destroyed the basis of his own virtues.

55. Rama then responds to Vali, illuminating his mind and ensuring a better incarnation. Summarize a few of Rama's arguments.

Sugreeva sought his friendship, so he wanted to help. It is his duty to help the weak and destroy the evil.

56. What is Rama's advice to Sugreeva?

Gather around yourself those who have integrity, courage, and judgment; and with their help, govern your subjects. Whatever you do, let it be based on the sanction codes of conduct.

57. How does Rama justify "destroying evil"?

He says destroying evil is like destroying a poisonous insect

58. When Lakshmana arrives in Kiskinda, in what condition does he find Sugreeva?


59. After Sugreeva's apology, what is Rama's reaction?

He forgives him and is happy to see him.

60. How does Rama describe Sita to Hanuman?

Her toenails glow red like rubies, her feet are incomparable, Sita's waist is delicate and unseen

61. Where do Hanuman and Angada's searches take them?

Trapped in a cavern of complete darkness

62. What clue does Sampathi offer the group?

His redemption would come when he heard the word Rama

63. How has Hanuman been cursed, as explained by Jambavan?


64. When Hanuman sees Mandodari sleeping, how can he tell that she is not Sita?

She slept inelegantly

65. Where does Hanuman find Sita?

Asoka Vana

66. Ravana orders Hanuman killed. Which character intercedes and what is his argument?

Vibishana, Ravana's brother
It would be improper to kill a messenger

67. Who rebuilds Ravana's city? What is symbolic about this name?

A divine architect Maya, Maya refers to chaos and allusion. Demons are associated with chaos and gods are associated with order.

Ravana's commander-in-chief —

Abducting a woman is not something a hero does. Rama has killed many people and mutilated his sister. They must act, it is not time for brooding over the past

Mahodara —

A monkey's pranks should be ignored. Instead, let me go take care of it

The third speaker —

It is not against their power to put an end to their activated because they were made to be food

Kumbakarna —

He should keep Sita and fight for her because he has done so much already.


He should not bestir himself in this manner. He should let others fight for him.

Vibishana —

As long as he keeps Sita, that is as long as there will be turmoil for his subjects.

Sugreeva —

He was a traitor to his brother so why should they trust him

Jambavan —

They need to watch out for tricks and not take any chances


Vibishana should not be trusted


He thinks Vibishana is innocent and should be accepted

Rama —

He welcomed Vibishana in

70. How will the army cross the sea to fight Ravana in Lanka?

The sea god formed a bridge with mud, rocks, and pebbles that were brought to him.

71. List a few of Ravana's tactics.

Sent spies that looked like Rama's monkey army
Employed sorcerers to disturb the mind of Sita by creating a fake head of Rama to make it look like he had been defeated and killed

72. What does Rama send Angada to do?

Warn Ravana that his time is near and it is not too late to return Sita and beg Rama for forgiveness

73. After cracking one of Ravana's heads, what does Rama do next? Why?

He tells him he can leave and get fresh weapons and return the next day to embarrass him

74. Whom does Ravana blame as the "cause" of his "misery"?


75. Which side does Shiva assist in this battle between Rama and Ravana? Why?

Ravana because he gives Ravana the power to continue and fight

76. How do Ravana and Rama approach the battle differently?

Ravana wants to move quickly because he is angry, but Rama wants to take his time and wait until Ravana is exhausted

77. How does Ravana change his tactics?

He orders his chariot to be flown up to the sky to attack the army of monkeys

78. List some of the asthras (divine weapons) that Ravana and Rama use.

Danda, maya, gnana, thama, shivasthra, a trident given to Rama by the gods

79. After bringing Ravana to the brink of defeat, Rama's charioteer, matali, advises Rama to finish the demon off. Why does Rama refuse to do this?

"It is not fair to attack a man who is in a faint. I will wait. Let him recover"

80. Why is Rama so concerned about the scar on the back of Ravana's neck? How does Vibishana explain this scar?

He said he had attacked a man who had turned his back but Vibishana said it was an old scar with fresh blood flowing from it

81. Explain Rama's words to Sita.

They are not married anymore and she is free to leave him and marry someone else. He didn't trust her and wanted to test her virtues

82. Explain Sita's actions in response.

She jumped in a fire but she is returned by the god of fire because she passed her test of virtue. It showed that she stayed true to him.

83. What news does Brahma tell Rama?

He is the supreme God.

84. When given the opportunity to talk to his deceased father, what does Rama ask of him?

He asks his father to forgive Kaikeyi and Bharatha

85. How do Rama and his followers arrive back at Ayodhya so quickly?

He uses the Pushpak Vimana

86. What is Bharatha prepared to do to himself if Rama does not return?

He was prepared to throw himself into the fire and kill himself.


Born to a king, his mom had to eat rice to get pregnant with him, he was a god that was incarnated

Call to adventure

Taken out to the forest by a guru and discovers his call is to rid the world of all evil


Lakshmana, Sita

Crossing the Threshold

Father sends him out to the forest for 14 years


Defeating Bali, Soorpanka, stringing the bow to win Sita, golden deer


Jatayu, army of monkeys, Sugreeva, Hanuman

Climax/Final Battle

Battle with Ravana


Uses a chariot that has special powers to go anywhere at once


Talking with his father, riding chariot back to the kingdom


Sita, learns his true identity as a god, finally able to rule as king, gains wisdom and experience, vanquishes evil, talks to his father

Superhuman traits (Rama)

able to string Sita's bow
able to defeat demons

On a quest (Rama)

to destroy all evil and demons in the world

Journey (Rama)

Rama is exiled out of the kingdom for 14 years

Obstacles (Rama)

demons, stepmom because she prevents Rama from being king and banishes him to the forest

Upright Character (Rama)

listens to father
goal in life is to get rid of all demons
reluctant to kill people

distinctive weapons (Rama)

arrows that make an umbrella
sword that slices Soorpanka

leader (Rama)

acts as a guide for Sita while in forest
becomes a king
leads army in battle with Ravana

risks death (Rama)

in the forest, he is banished without food or housing

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