“What Rama says once he carries out; there is no looking back.” Rama to Kaikeyi “Only the timid and the weak leave things to destiny but the strong never bank on destiny or luck.” Lakshmana to Rama The epic poem, by Maharishi Valmiki Muni, narrates the life of Lord Rama, a legendary prince of Ayodhya city in the kingdom of Kosala. The epic follows his fourteen-year exile to the forest urged by his father King Dasharatha, on the request of Rama’s stepmother Kaikeyi. He traveled across forests in the Indian subcontinent with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana. Rama endured the kidnapping of Sita by Ravana – the demon king of Lanka, which resulted in a great war; and Rama’s eventual return to Ayodhya to be crowned king amidst jubilation and celebration. The Ramayana is one of the ancient epics in world literature consisting of nearly 24,000 verses. It is considered to be the Adi-kavya (first poem) depicting the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, ideal servant, ideal brother, ideal husband and ideal king. The Ramayana was an important influence on later Sanskrit poetry and Vedic life and culture.