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Most of the gods portrayed on Xena are drawn from the epic Ramayana.

The most famous version of the tale is written by Valmiki over 2000 years ago, but like many treasured stories of Hinduism, the Ramayana has evolved through years of oral tradition. No matter what the version, the story's ethical themes remain.

Rama, one of the incarnations of Vishnu, is praised along with other leading figures in the Ramayana for living his life in accordance with dharma. (Simplistically, this means "obligation" or "duty," but it's a loaded word. The gist of it is that everyone has a role to play in life; if people decide to stray from their roles, society will fall apart, the universe will become disharmonious, etc.)

As well as being packed with philosophy, the story is entertaining. I had a storybook version of the Ramayana when I was little, and I used to love reading it. The story of how Rama, eldest son of the king of Ayodhya, endured his 14-year exile to the forest, fought a war with the rakshasa Ravana to rescue his kidnapped wife, and returned to assume his throne...

For a brief or long synopsis of the story (I'm not adventurous enough to try writing one myself), The Ramayana: An Enduring Tradition is one good place to look.

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Xena: Warrior Princess is MCA/Universal and whoever else legally owns it. This page is 1999 shilpa.