Introduction

Hello! Welcome to my webpage, which is dedicated to some of the stories about the brothers in the two Indian epics: The Ramayana and The Mahabharata. Specifically, these stories will revolve around the lives and relationships between Rama, Lakshmana, and Bharata from The Ramayana, as well as the relationship between the Pandava brothers and the Kaurava brothers, who are cousins, from The Mahabharata. They will be telling their stories from the heaven of Indra, and you all will be taken there by the modern Hindi guru, Swami Maheshwarananda.

Through the stories I have chosen, you will see similarities and differences in how the brothers and the cousins treat each other. In Rama's family, a strong sense of brotherhood is evident and seen  throughout the brothers' interactions. On the other hand, the Pandava brothers have a rocky relationship with their cousins, the Kauravas, and it shows through their interactions. We will witness the loyalty that goes into a strong brotherhood and how having a strong brotherhood helps prevail over evil.

The first two stories will revolve around three of the four princes of Ayodhya: Rama, Lakshmana, and Bharata, who are the sons of King Dasaratha. Our first story shows how a strong and trustworthy brotherhood can trump evil. The second story emphasizes the loyalty in brotherhood, and shows that brothers will do anything to take care of each other.

Here is a little bit of background on the three princes. In the Ramayana, Rama is the most exemplary role model for all others. Although he is not perfect, he almost always makes morally just decisions. His brother Lakshmana is his closest and most loyal brother. He does everything for Rama and would give his life for him if he had to. Their younger brother, Bharata, is the son of Queen Kaikeyi. He is also a loyal and pure brother, but he gets put into a dilemma by his  mother and her manipulative servant, Kooni.

The last two stories will be about the Pandava and the Kaurava brothers, also known as the Pandavas and Kauravas. These cousins were raised together from childhood but always had their differences. The two final stories will demonstrate how jealousy and greed can ruin family ties. 

The Pandava brothers are the five sons of King Pandu, while the one-hundred sons of his brother, King Dhritarashtra, are known as the Kauravas. Although both sets of brothers trained together, the Pandavas always proved much more superior when it came to performing any task. This evoked jealousy in Duryodhana, the oldest of the Kauravas, and led him on a lifelong journey to ruin his cousins' lives. Throughout this journey he employed the help of several people, but in the end, good prevailed over evil.

For the stories themselves, I want you to hear them from the brothers themselves so you can gain insight into their thoughts.

The first brother who will tell you his story is Rama.

Rama: Welcome to Indra's heaven, people of earth! My name is Rama and I am the reincarnation of Vishnu - the ultimate power in this universe. For the next half hour or so, my brothers and I will be telling you our tales from the Ramayana.

Let me start out by saying that we are humbled to have your presence amongst us. We wish to be your most hospitable hosts and hope that you enjoy the beautiful music of the Gandharvas. Please do bear in mind that my brothers are kind creatures, but they do have a tendency to behave outside of their nature from time to time. If this does occur, be sure to refresh their pages a few times. This will teach them a lesson - they thoroughly dislike telling stories over and over again.

Also, when you all return to your wonderful planet, do remember that you all may be at ease now since I have defeated the terrible demon with ten heads, Ravana!

I will now put you in the hands of Bharata, one of my most caring brothers, who will be telling the first story.

Bharata: Hello, my name is Bharata! We are thrilled to have you!

This story is about how my mother, Kaikeyi, and her awful servant, Kooni, tried to break the bond between my brothers and myself through several bouts of manipulation. In the end, I chose my brothers over my mother, which shows that brotherhood can triumph over any other family ties. I hope that you decide to join me for my storytelling, and I do, indeed, hope that my story will keep you intrigued!

Before I tell you my story, though, here's my brother Lakshmana to introduce the story he will tell.

Lakshmana: Hello, I am Lakshmana. Thank you for joining us. I am here to tell you the story of how Sita got abducted by the evil Ravana, when she sends Rama out on a wild chase for a golden deer. Hopefully this introduction sparks your interest, and I will see you again soon, right after Bharata tells his story.

Without further ado, I now hand it off to the eldest of Pandava brothers, Yudhisthra.

Yudhisthra: Hello, wonderful earthlings. I am Yudhisthra and as Lakshmana said, I am the eldest of my brothers.

If you are so kind to join me, I will tell you a story about how I was tricked into gambling away everything I had by my cousin, Duryodhana. It will be a tough story to tell because of the emotion it brings with it but since you all have made such a long journey to visit us, I shall tell it to you. I hope to see you soon!

Now I will pass on the story telling duties to... [more to come later].


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