I googled for the mini version of Ramayana and found this page: http://www.kerals.com/ramayanam/index.htm
There must be many more; Pick one of them and read through when you find time.
For non-Indians or people who have not had a chance to read the Ramayana completely, here are some details :
- Ramayana is the story of Lord Vishnu in the incarnation of King Rama, the ruler of Ayodhya.
- Ramayana was written by Valmiki with the blessings of the divine for the people of the world to learn life.
- Ramayana has innumerable sub stories and very interesting ones at that.
- There are some enthusiasts who have a thousand views ( both plus and minus) of the various segments of the story. Don't let them bother your flow of thoughts.
- Every step of the story has some message for you.
- You cannot master this epic at all in my opinion; if you do, you will never make mistakes and inspite of all difficulties you can still smile.
- During the course of the story, you will understand that 'Nothing happens by chance'.
Ravana is just about to leave his palace to the Swayamvara, when his wife Mandodhari comes to meet him. When she hears his plans, she suggests that he stays away from mortals. Mithila, Lord Janaka's kingdom is a place where mortal beings contest and that Ravana, being the demon king should stay away. When asked why, she explains: Lord Brahma has granted that Ravana will not face death because of Devas or Asuras. He never included mortals and so she was worried; if Ravana is going a step forward to invite troubles from human beings...
King Ravana never expected that his wife would think this way; a lot of times some wise words are left unheard. King Ravana told her that if Devas and Demons can't win him how will mere mortals cause troubles to him? He went his way leaving a trouble-stricken Mandodhari behind.
This scene from the Ramayana is the pivot point of the entire epic. Ravana goes to the Swayamvara inspite of the warning from his wife; doesn't win the match; abducts Seetha from her abode in the forest; invites Rama and his troop over to win over him and Lanka.
If only Ravana had listened or thought through the suggestion from Mandodhari once - just once!!.
As an aside, we all understand that if he had listened to her then there is no Ramayana at all..and there is no way the demon king would have seen death and his atrocious behaviour would have continued for a longer time. So , here we get to understand that 'Everything has a reason' and 'Things happen the way they are meant to happen'.
Still, the message for us here is: Consider what your spouse says. For all you know, may be that is exactly what you need to hear. It may be a complete surprise, but is surely worth considering for a minute before you proceed. This is one moment when you have to give rest to your ego levels.