Skip to main content


Ramayana Symbolism - As Told By Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda Explains the symbolism of Ramayana

Sri Rama was the Parmatman (Supreme Reality) and that Sita was the Jivatman (embodied individual soul). Each man’s or woman’s body was the Lanka. The Jivatman which was enclosed in the body, or captured in the island of Lanka, always desired to be in affinity with the Paramatman, or Sri Rama.



But the Rakshasas would not allow it, and the Rakshasas represented certain traits of character.

For instance, Vibhishana represented Sattva Guna, Ravana represented Rajas Guna and Kumbhakarna represented Tamas Guna. Sattva Guna means goodness, Rajas means lust and passion and Tamas means darkness, stupor, avarice, malice, and its concomitants.

These Gunas keep back Sita, or Jivatman, which is in the body (Lanka) from joining Paramatman (Rama).

Sita, thus imprisoned and trying to unite with her Lord, receives a visit from Hanuman, the Guru or divine teacher, who shows her the Lord’s ring, which is Brahma-Jnana, the supreme wisdom that destroys all illusions.

Thus Sita finds the way to be at one with Sri Rama or in other words, the Jivatman finds itself one with the Paramatman.