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"On the banks of the Sarayu River stood the beautiful city of Ayodhya, the capital of Kosala. In the city there were magnificent palaces decorated with precious stones. Spires of great temples rose above the city as if to touch the sky."
"Vasistha, I am growing old. I long for a son, a son who will take my place on the throne."
"Dasaratha, you will have sons. I shall perform a sacred rite to please the gods."
"At the same moment many of the gods were growing more and more angry with Ravana, the ruler of the rakshasas, or demons. Ravana was no ordinary looking demon. He had ten heads and twenty arms. He also had remarkable powers. But he was using his power to prevent the gods and holy men from performing sacred rituals. This was a terrible insult to all who were holy."
"Ravana, in his arrogance, protected himself only from those beings whom he thought could hurt him. He failed to protect himself from humans and monkeys."
Vishnu decided to be born as a human who could kill Ravana.
"The king gave each of his wives part of the drink. No sooner had his wives finished, than each shone with the glow of a divine being in their womb. There was great rejoicing in the city when four sons were born to their king. Their names were Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, and Satrughna."
"Give each of the three wives this drink. It is a boon that will bring sons."
"Then appearing out of between two trees, Rama saw a horrible sight. It was the hideous form of the demoness, Tataka. She was enormous. Around her neck was a human skull. She had sharp claws on her hands. She looked at Rama and made a growling noise. Lakshmana decided to wait no longer. He fired his arrow and gravely wounded the demoness."
Rama entered a long room filled with thousands of people. The bow was so heavy it took no less than five thousand exceptionally strong men to bring the bow and its casing into the room. Several princes who had tried to lift the bow looked on as Rama approached the weapon. "Rama looked at Shiva's bow. First he touched it. It was beautiful. Then with no effort whatsoever, he hoisted the bow from its casing and started to string it. As he did so, the bow snapped in two and fell to the palace floor."
"Rama looked at Sita. He had never seen a more beautiful woman. Sita looked at Rama. She had never seen a more handsome man...Following the wedding everyone returned to Ayodhya. All in the city cheered their arrival. Rama and Sita continued to serve their parents and delight the holy ones and gods. Sita and Rama were the perfect husband and wife. They were exceedingly devoted to each other."
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