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Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram Patit Pawan Sita Ram

Rama, the slayer of the demon king Ravan who held his wife captive, is regarded by millions of people today (not necessarily Indians) Ďas a deity, a subject for literature, and an example of moral excellence'. As an incarnation of Vishnu and as one of the most well-known protago-nists in Indian epic poetry (e.g. Valmiki's Ramayan and Tulsidas's Ramacharitamanas) he has almost become an integral part of the my-thology of countries beyond the frontiers of India, where he is regarded as the Universal Spirit as well as a Personal God who manifests himself in human form for the well-being of his devotees on earth. He is the compassionate lord of beauty, power, and virtue. The true nature and being of Rama, it is said, "transcends all utterance, wisdom, and knowl-edge." He is, according to Tulasidas, beginning less, endless, limitless, changeless, and beyond all description. He is pure consciousness and Pure Bliss; the Very light untouched by illusion. He is Creator, Sustainer, and Destroyer of the universe-Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh rolled into one - as well as an excellent man, Purusottam. Although chandra seems to connect him with the moon, he is not, like Krishna and Balaram, of the lunar but of the solar race of kings. He forms the seventh Avatar of Vishnu and is the hero of the Ramayan, who, to recover his faithful wife Sita, advanced southwards, killed the demon Ravan, and subjugated his followers, the Rakchases, poetical representa-tives of the barbarous aborigines of the south. Ravan is one of the worst of the many impersonations of evil common in Hindu mythology. He has ten heads and twenty arms, symbolizing strength. This power was, as usual, acquired by self inflicted austerities, which had obtained from Brahma a boon, by virtue of which Ravan was invulnerable by gods and divine beings of all kinds, though not by men or a god in human form. As Vishnu became incarnate in Ramachandra to destroy Ravan, so the other gods produced innumerable monkeys, bears, and various semi-divine animals to do battle with the legions of demons, his subjects, under Khara, Dusana, and his other generals.