The Ramayana

Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of The Ramayana published in 2006.
Prologue Quotes

Ravana can be destroyed only by a human being since he never asked for protection from a human being.

Related Characters: Vishnu (speaker), Rama, Ravana, Dasaratha, Brahma, Shiva
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Ramayana quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
1. Rama's Initiation Quotes

You cannot count on the physical proximity of someone you love, all the time. A seed that sprouts at the foot of its parent tree remains stunted until it is transplanted...Every human being, when the time comes, has to depart and seek his fulfillment in his own way.

Related Characters: Viswamithra (speaker), Rama, Dasaratha
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

You will learn the answer if you listen to this story—of a woman fierce, ruthless, eating and digesting all living creatures, possessing the strength of a thousand mad elephants.

Related Characters: Viswamithra (speaker), Rama, Lakshmana, Thataka
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Just as the presence of a little loba (meanness) dries up and disfigures a whole human personality, so does the presence of this monster turn into desert a region which was once fertile.

Related Characters: Viswamithra (speaker), Rama, Lakshmana, Thataka
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

A woman of demoniac tendencies loses all consideration to be treated as a woman.

Related Characters: Viswamithra (speaker), Rama, Lakshmana, Thataka
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
2. The Wedding Quotes

The sun set beyond the sea, so says the poet—and when a poet mentions a sea, we have to accept it. No harm in letting a poet describe his vision, no need to question his geography.

Related Characters: Rama, Sita, Kamban / The Poet
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

As time passed Janaka became anxious whether he would ever see his daughter married and settled—since the condition once made could not be withdrawn. No one on earth seemed worthy of approaching Shiva's bow. Janaka sighed. "I tremble when I think of Sita's future, and question my own judgment in linking her fate with this mighty, divine heirloom in our house."

Related Characters: King Janaka (speaker), Rama, Sita, Shiva, Viswamithra
Related Symbols: Bows and Arrows
Page Number: 26
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
3. Two Promises Revived Quotes

He is perfect and will be a perfect ruler. He has compassion, a sense of justice, and courage, and he makes no distinctions between human beings—old or young, prince or peasant; he has the same consideration for everyone. In courage, valor, and all the qualities—none to equal him.

Related Characters: Dasaratha (speaker), Rama
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

"My father's name is renowned for the steadfastness of his words. Would you rather that he spoke false? ... I am thrice blessed, to make my brother the King, to carry out my father's command, and to live in the forests. Do not let your heart grieve."

Related Characters: Rama (speaker), Dasaratha, Bharatha, Kaikeyi, Kausalya
Page Number: 46
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

"I'll be the fate to overpower fate itself," said Lakshmana, with martial arrogance. Rama argued with him further. "I'll change and alter fate itself, if necessary..."

Related Characters: Lakshmana (speaker), Rama, Dasaratha, Bharatha, Kaikeyi
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

"Oh, impossible thought—did he commit a wrong? But if Rama committed a seemingly wrong act, it would still be something to benefit humanity, like a mother forcibly administering a medicine to her child."

Related Characters: Bharatha (speaker), Rama, Kaikeyi
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
4. Encounters in Exile Quotes

Rama's whole purpose of incarnation was ultimately to destroy Ravana, the chief of the asuras, abolish fear from the hearts of men and gods, and establish peace, gentleness, and justice in the world.

Related Characters: Rama, Ravana, Vishnu
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
5. The Grand Tormentor Quotes

The kings of this earth whom he had reduced to vassal-dom stood about with their hands upraised in an attitude of perpetual salutation, lest at any moment Ravana should turn in their direction and think that they were not sufficiently servile.

Related Characters: Ravana
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

"You are the overlord of seven worlds, mightier than the mightiest. Why do you feel sad and unhappy? Go and get her; that is all. Take her. She is yours. Is there anything beyond your reach? Stir yourself. Leave this desolate mood. Go forth, snatch her, because she is yours, created for you and waiting for you."

Related Characters: Soorpanaka (speaker), Sita, Ravana
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
6. Vali Quotes

The perfect man takes a false step, apparently commits a moral slip, and we ordinary mortals stand puzzled before the incident. It may be less an actual error of commission on his part than a lack of understanding on ours; measured in Eternity, such an event might stand out differently.

Related Characters: Rama, Lakshmana, Sugreeva, Vali
Related Symbols: Bows and Arrows
Page Number: 90
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

"We should not become too analytical about a friend, nor look too deeply into original causes; but accept only what appears good to us in the first instance, and act on it."

Related Characters: Rama (speaker), Lakshmana, Sugreeva, Vali, Bharatha
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

"Creatures in human shape may be called animals if they display no knowledge of right and wrong and conversely so-called animals which display profundity cease to be animals and will have to be judged by the highest standards."

Related Characters: Rama (speaker), Vali
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

"In spite of my obstinacy you have helped me attain a profound understanding and opened my mind with your magic. While other gods confer boons after being asked, you confer them on the mere utterance of your name. Great sages have attempted, after eons of austerities, to obtain a vision of God, but you have bestowed it upon me unasked."

Related Characters: Vali (speaker), Rama
Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
7. When the Rains Cease Quotes

"Even in jest, do not hurt anyone's feelings, not even the lowliest," he said—remembering how he used to make fun of Kooni's deformity when he was young...

Related Characters: Rama (speaker), Sugreeva, Kooni
Page Number: Book Page 106
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
9. Ravana in Council Quotes

"You have done incompatible things. You have desired to appropriate another man's wife, which is against all codes of conduct, and now you are thinking of your prestige, reputation, fame, might, and eminence."

Related Characters: Kumbakarna (speaker), Rama, Sita, Ravana
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

"Is there anyone who has conquered the gods and lived continuously in that victory? Sooner or later retribution has always come."

Related Characters: Vibishana (speaker), Ravana
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
10. Across the Ocean Quotes

"After all, one who seeks asylum must be given protection. Whatever may happen later, it is our first duty to protect."

Related Characters: Rama (speaker), Hanuman, Vibishana
Page Number: 132
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
12. Rama and Ravana in Battle Quotes

Rama at once invoked a weapon called "Gnana"—which means "wisdom" or "perception."

Related Characters: Rama, Ravana
Related Symbols: Bows and Arrows
Page Number: 144
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

While he had prayed for indestructibility of his several heads and arms, he had forgotten to strengthen his heart, where the Brahmasthra entered and ended his career.

Related Characters: Rama, Ravana
Related Symbols: Bows and Arrows
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
14. The Coronation Quotes

The gods, who had watched this in suspense, were now profoundly relieved but also had an uneasy feeling that Rama had, perhaps, lost sight of his own identity. Again and again this seemed to happen. Rama displayed the tribulations and the limitations of the human frame and it was necessary from time to time to remind him of his divinity.

Related Characters: Rama, Ravana, Brahma, Shiva
Page Number: 151
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
No matches.