Ramayana - The Epic
Rama, the hero of the Ramayana, is a popular deity worshipped in the Hindu religion. Each year, many devout pilgrims trace his journey through India, halting at each of the holy sites along the way. The poem is not seen as just a literary monument, but serves as an integral part of Hinduism, and is held in such reverence that the mere reading or hearing of it, or certain passages of it, is believed by Hindus to free them from sin and bless the reader or listener. According to Hindu (particularly the Vaishnava) tradition, Rama is an incarnation (Avatar) of the God Vishnu. The main purpose of this incarnation is to demonstrate the righteous path (dharma) for all living creatures on earth. Arshia Sattar states that the central theme of the Ramayana, as well as the Mahabharata, is respectively Ram's and Krishna's hidden divinity and its progressive revelation.