Know that nature is but a magic theatre, and in the great mother's magic play, all of us perform our little roles.
Oh Lord of Lanka! I am Hanuman! I come to you with respect as a messenger of Lord Sugriva, the vanara King and devoted friend of Rama, Prince of Ayodhya! You know it was a cowardly act to carry off Princess Sita, totally contrary to Dharma! This will surely end in your destruction, and in the destruction of your race! Restore Sita to the Prince, and seek his forgiveness!
Vishvamitra: My Lord Vishnu, is there no-one who can save us from this torment?
Vishnu: His name is Rama, first-born prince of King Dasharatha of Ayodhya..
Dasharatha: Oh sage of sages, my court is indeed blessed by your presence. What is it that you desire of me? Let me fulfill your every command.
Vishvamitra: Oh Noble King of the Solar Dynasty, the demons ruined the sacred land, and we are in great trouble. I need your eldest son Rama to destroy them.
Dasharatha: Rama? He is but a mere boy! I myself shall wipe them off the face of this earth!
Vishvamitra: This is a command from the Gods! Oh King, do you dare reject it?
Vasistha: Dasharatha, send your sons Rama and Lakshmana. Vishvamitra is strong and wise and has mastery over every weapon. He will protect your sons.
Dasharatha: [pauses and considers] Rama, Lakshmana. Come here my sons. [turns to Vishvamitra] Oh sage Vishvamitra, I leave my sons with you. Give them guidance and courage.
Vishvamitra: Bless you, King Dasharatha! You have made a decision that shall save the world.
Rama: We will obey you like we obey our father.
Lakshmana: Your wishes will be our command.
Dasharatha: [addressing the court] My people, this morning, I awoke from a dream full of dreadful omens. Guru Vasistha sees in them the coming of troubled times. But my health is failing, I am getting old, and have no more power to resist those evil forces. I have therefore decided that Rama will succeed me. He will be the next King of Ayodhya. Rama, my son, come forward. [Rama approaches Dasharatha and kneels before him] Rama, try to live up to the people's expectations. I have faith in you.
Rama: I will do my utmost to live up to the ideals you have set for us.
Manthara: [angrily shooing the birds from the windowsill] Get away, get away! Noisy wretched things!!
Kaikeyi: Manthara, stop abusing the birds! [laughing]
Manthara: Kaikeyi, is this the time to beautify yourself, when great misfortune creeps upon the kingdom?!
Kaikeyi: Manthara, don't you understand? Our beloved Rama is to be anointed Crown Prince tomorrow!
Manthara: So I have said, it is a misfortune! [approaches Kaikeyi] Oh Kaikeyi, you are so innocent, so trusting! And look, look how King Dasharatha has betrayed your trust!
Kaikeyi: Hold your tongue, Manthara!! I will never allow you to speak of the King in this way!
Manthara: Why, why do you think the King sent Bharata away now, so conveniently before the Coronation? WHY?
Kaikeyi: Why? I wonder why he did that.
Manthara: Kausalya might have suggested it to the King. You know you are the King's favourite Queen, and Kausalya hates you for that! She's just jealous of your youth and beauty!
Kaikeyi: [gasps in worry] What can I do?
Manthara: Leave everything to this loyal and clever Manthara!
Lakshmana: [angry] Brother, can you not hear the peoples' voices?!
Rama: Lakshmana, this is part of my fate.
Lakshmana: But are we on that account to sit still and do nothing? This sword, is it only an ornament, just a plaything?!
Rama: Brother! You are part of my self, sharing the same soul with me! Please, try to understand me!
Sita: My Lord, I am coming with you.
Rama: But Sita, you...
Sita: A husband's duty is his wife's too. Your fate is equally mine.
Lakshmana: That's right! And the same soul should follow the same fate. And so brother, I too am coming with you. [breaks necklace]
Rama: [moved and touched] Thank you.
[Bharata returns to the Palace on hearing the news of his father's demise]
Bharata: Mother, mother what is this? What has happened?
Kaikeyi: Oh Bharata, you have come at last!
Bharata: Tell me mother, is it true? Father has passed away? [Kaikeyi looks away sadly] Oh God! Then it is true!
Kaikeyi: Yes, but he left us a great honour!
Bharata: What is it?
[Kaikeyi whispers the news in Bharata's ear]
Bharata: What have you done?! You depraved heartless woman! [pushes Kaikeyi to the floor] What perverse tongue poisoned your mind?!
Shatrughna: Brother, it is she! [drags Manthara into the room] It is this evil hag who has sown the seed of madness in our mother's heart!
Manthara: [cries out for mercy] Please, please forgive me! I was only thinking of you two, Kaikeyi and Bharata!
Shatrughna: STOP IT! [puts his hand to his sword] I will cleave your filthy brain in two!
Bharata: That's enough! Do not let her blood defile our father's sword. [to Kaikeyi] You are no longer my mother. Let the world know it!
[Bharata meets Rama in the forest and relays the sad news of their father's demise]
Rama: [in shock] What? What are you saying, Bharata? Our father is dead?!
Bharata: [sadly] Brother, I share your grief.
Rama: [walks towards a tree, then kneels down in sorrow] Oh father, father! Forgive this poor Rama! Forgive your son!
Bharata: Rama, I appeal to you, absolve me of my mother's sin! Come back to Ayodhya, and accept the Kingdom which is yours by right!
Rama: [solemnly] Bharata, what your mother has done is not in question here. Remember, the great Emperor Dasharatha has commanded us: you to rule the Kingdom, and I to live in these forests for 14 years. It is our duty to abide by our father's wishes whether we like it or not.
Bharata: You have commanded me, it is enough. But one thing's certain-I will not accept the kingdom for myself, but for you. [kneels, accepts Rama's sandals and raises them in his hands] Please bless this brother of yours to rule the Kingdom with strength and courage.
[Rama agrees and recites a mantra, and the slippers glow with a light]
Bharata: I will rule for the next 14 years, but till you return.
Rama: He tricked me. He tricked me and abducted my wife during my absence! I swear, Lakshmana, I shall take revenge. I shall follow that fellow to the ends of the universe. I will seek him out, and I will DESTROY HIM!!
Lakshmana: Calm down, my brother Rama. You have always said that anger is not the path to justice. You who have only the good of the world at heart, must not allow anger to cloud your intellect.
Rama: Yes. Yes, you are right, Lakshmana. And now it is your turn to lead, my little brother, and I will follow.
Jatayu: Forgive me, Rama! I tried to stop him, but he cleaved away my own wings!
Rama: Oh, Jatayu! How can I blame you? You have given your life's blood for my beloved wife!
Jatayu: Do not lose heart, Rama! You will find her again! [Dies in Rama's arms]
Rama: Jatayu! Jatayu!
Kabandha: Thankyou. I was a heavenly creature, cursed to be an ugly demon, and no-one could lift the curse. Only if I were defeated by a man of justice I could regain my original self, and go back to the heavens. Thankyou Rama. But there's nothing I can do for you in return, except give you advice. Find Sugriva, now.
Rama: Sugriva? Who is he?
Jambavan: Are you not Jatayu's brother Sampati?
Sampati: [Lands on the sand and turns around] Yes, I am Sampati! Do you know my brother? How is my Jatayu? Is he well?
Jambavan: [solemnly] Jatayu has found a home in the heavens.
Sampati: Ohhh...ohhh...how sad! How sad! My brother should die, and I live on!
Jambavan: Old though he was, he fought a terrible battle with an evil demon, Ravana, and was slain as he tried to rescue Mother Sita from the demon's clutches!
Sampati: You said Ravana? Ravana is the name? If I knew he had killed my brother, I would never have let him fly over this land unharmed!!
Jambavan: He flew over here?
Sampati: Yes! Look! Look over there! Across the sea is Lanka! There you will find Ravana and his captive, the lady you seek!
Angada: If we cross the sea with all the troops, we will need thousands of boats!
Jambavan: And I am too old now, though in my youth I had circled the earth 21 times! Now there's only one among us who can handle this task! [turns to Hanuman] When you were a boy, believing the new-born sun to be a golden fruit, you once flew after it, meaning to swallow it up! You had great powers, but you did not know how to use them! [laughs] The world was afraid of you, and so you were put under a spell which sealed your powers. The time has now come for me to unseal these hidden powers! Only you can go across the sea with your divine power! Only you can reach Lanka and find Mother Sita! Om! Om!
[After Hanuman finds Sita and introduces himself to her]
Hanuman: Come with me, mother. I'll take you back to Rama.
Sita: I can't go with you. There are many people in Lanka, who have been abducted and enslaved by force. It is not only I who needs to be rescued.
Hanuman: Hmmm...I understand. I'm leaving now. But soon your beloved husband Rama will defeat Ravana, and release the people of Lanka. Take heart, be courageous, till the day of liberty comes.
Sita: [returns the ring] Tell Rama to come and rescue me quickly. I'll be hopeful till then.
Hanuman: I'll surely tell him. [pauses and stretches] Before I leave, I must teach Ravana and his friends a lesson! [laughs] Besides, I need the exercise!
[Hanuman comes face to face with Ravana in the King's Court]
Prahastha: You there! What is your name, and who has sent you to Lanka?
[Hanuman levitates on his tail, which increases in length so that he is at eye level with Ravana]
Hanuman:Oh Lord of Lanka! I am Hanuman! I come to you with respect as a messenger of Lord Sugriva, the vanara King and devoted friend of Rama, Prince of Ayodhya! You know it was a cowardly act to carry off Princess Sita, totally contrary to Dharma! This will surely end in your destruction, and in the destruction of your race! Restore Sita to the Prince, and seek his forgiveness!
Ravana: [after a pause] Kill him.
Vibhishana: Brother, according to the Law of Kings, you may mutilate, brand or whip a messenger. But kill him?
Ravana: Why, what's wrong with killing a creature such as this?
Vibhishana: If you slay him, what chance is there of our real enemies approaching us?
Ravana: Oh alright! But set fire to his tail first, then let him go home!
Ravana: Members of the Council, we are facing an outbreak of war. What do you have to say, Prahastha?
Prahastha: Your Majesty! You as the Great Lord of Lanka need not have called this Council just to discuss this ridiculous threat from a handful of men and monkeys! Just send a couple of my men who were not present at this meeting! They will surely wipe out Rama's army!
Ravana's Elder: Ravana! I have told you before but now I have to repeat it! Those who govern the Kingdom should never be swayed by flattery! The armies attacking us are no ordinary ones! Ravana, I'll tell you this for your own good! Return Sita! She is the wife of the Prince of Ayodhya!
Indrajit: Grandfather, why do we have to return her now? If we release her now, they would think that we are all afraid of fighting!
Ravana's Elder: It is not so! I cannot bear the sight of so many people injured, and even more dead, just for this one woman!
Indrajit: Grandfather, that means you are afraid of fighting! If you're scared of bloodshed, how can you fight?
Ravana's Elder: INDRAJIT! I'm no coward! But yes, I don't want to fight unnecessarily!
Lakshmana: Brother, how could you cremate the bodies of our enemies along with those of our own soldiers?
Rama: Lakshmana, they were our men and Ravana's men when they were alive. But in death, they are no longer enemies. Do they not, all of them, deserve a solemn cremation?
Lakshmana: It is not like a true warrior, a true kshatriya, to be moved by such emotion!
Rama: My brother, when we set out on this expedition, I too was full of anger and bitterness. But on our journey to Lanka, I have come to see that all of us have received the precious gift of life from the Gods, and that it is more important to be a good human being than to be just a good Kshatriya. Have we not, all of us, sprung from the same source? Rakshas, vanas, man, beast, the birds of the air, the fish of the ocean? Yet some of us, in ignorance, draw their bows and swords against their fellow creatures. Many have fallen on this battlefield today, and many more shall die before the war is done. And as a Kshatriya, I shall continue to fight my battles. But when I burn the dead, I will pray for a world free from all wars, where a man does not raise his hand in anger against his own brother.
Ravana: [grieving and angry] My beloved son slew an illusion of Sita. I shall now slay the real one! Anyone so devoted to Rama deserves to die!!
Ravana's Elder: Will you now add to your sins by killing Sita, an innocent woman?! Look at Prahasta! Look at Kumbha, Nikumbha, and Kumbhakarna! Each one fought bravely and died a hero's death! Even Indrajit died in battle! You who are brother, father, King to them all, do you want to disgrace their memory?! The time has come for both of us to go forth and avenge our kinsmen!!
Ravana: I understand. But you will stay to protect our women and children, do you hear? No power on earth can crush me! Not even Rama's!
Sugriva: He looks like Vishnu himself on his garuda!
Jambavana: You are right, he does!
Rama: This battle between you and I shall be the end of it all! [addresses the enemy soldiers] Soldiers of Lanka, take heed! Your King Ravana, whom you consider to be a symbol of eternal power, watch him die at the hands of a mere mortal!!
Ravana: Rama, tell me where your conceit comes from! Your boastful lips will never speak such words again!! [addresses his own soldiers] Brave soldiers of Lanka! You know only too well who's the mightiest of all here! [turns to Rama] Come on Rama! Fight!
Rama: So be it, Ravana! Fight!
Rama: It is all over. [addresses the enemy soldiers] Soldiers of Lanka, King Ravana has gone back to Mother Earth! Give up fighting! Lay down your arms, and devote yourselves to restoring the glory of your country with your new King, Vibhishana!
Sita: Thankyou all. But when I think of those people who died for me, I feel sad. I will meditate, and pray from now on, and beg their forgiveness.
Sugriva: You don't need to do that. All you need to do is live in peace with Rama, to make their death a glorious sacrifice.