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Indian Mythology Yuddha Kand

The Ramayana (Rama and Ravana) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (5)

Yuddha Kand (Rama and Ravana)- Part 5

In this part of Yuddha kand, Ravana loses his top commanders to Rama’s monkey commanders. The mighty warriors of Ravana meet death at the hands of Hanumana, Angada and Nila. This happens after Rama and Laxmana survived the attack of Indrajit. It was now Ravana’s turn to face the music.

Ravana knows about survival of Rama and Laxman

Ravana knows that Rama and Laxmana have survived

Ravana heard the rejoicing monkeys, and asks some demons to discover the cause of that rejoicing.  The demons came back with the information that Rama and Laxmana have been relieved of the shackle of arrows.  They added that the two brothers Rama and Laxmana are alive and appear like two strong elephants in the battle-field.

Ravana then calls Dhumraksha, a demons and asks him to go with an army and kill Rama, Laxmana and the monkeys. Dhumraksha along with his army enters the western gate of Lanka where the army-chief Hanumana is present. Dhumraksha notices several bad omens.

Hanumana kills Demons

Dhumraksha’s bad omens were not unfounded as Hanumana kills him

Dhumraksha along with army attacks the monkeys. A splendid battle ensued between the monkeye and the demons. The battle reached frightful proportions in that both the monkeys and demons were killed in large numbers. Hanumana shattered Dhumraksha’s chariot to pieces. Lifting his mace, Dhumraksha fights with Hanuman, who in turn hits him on his head and kills him. 

Several Demons killed by Hanumana

Another Ravana commander, Vajradamstra killed by Angada

Ravana then sends Vajradamstra, another demon to kill Rama, Sugreeva and his monkeys. Vajradamstra and his army emerge from the southern gate where Angada was positioned by Rama. The monkeys had a tough fight with the demons. Vali’s son Angada, the leader of the monkeys, strikes the terrible strong demons, chopping off their heads. The powerful demon Vajradamshtra penetrated the army of monkeys, sowing terror among them. The monkeys then sought refuge with Angada the monkey-leader. A fierce battle ensues between Vajradamshtra and Angada. Angada assaults Vajradamshtra with a sword and Vajradamshtra’s head falls on the ground.

Akampan meets death by the hands of Hanumana

Another great commander of Ravana, Akampana was sent for the battle. A fierce conflict ensued between monkeys and demons. Kumuda, Nala and Mainda the chiefs of monkeys creates a great carnage among demons. Akampana enters the battle-field and assails the monkeys with his bow and arrows. Then, Hanuman comes to the rescue of the monkeys. A great fight ensued between Akampana and Hanuman. Hanuman strikes the head of Akampana with a huge tree and Akampana dies. All the demons take to their heels and return to Lanka.

Prahasta also meets death, by Rama’s vailant commander, Nila

Ravana asks Prahasta to go to the battle. Prahasta sets out for the combat along with a huge army and enters the eastern gate. Bad omens appeared, as Prahasta enters the battle-field. The army of monkeys seized hold of trees and rocks, to attack the demons.On Rama’s enquiry, Vibhishana explains the prowess of Prahasta who entered the battle-field. The demons with their arrows and the monkeys with their stones combat each other. Both the monkeys and demons were killed in the battle. Prahasta the demon and Nila the monkey come face to face to fight. Prahasta hurls a volley of darts over Nila. Nila kills Prahasta’s horses by hurling a huge tree and breaks his bow. Finally a huge rock hurled by Nila breaks Prahasta’s head into myriad pieces and dies. All the other demons abandon the battle-field and return to Lanka.

Nila kills demons

 

 

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Indian Mythology The Ramayana Yuddha Kand

The Ramayana (Rama and Ravana) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (4)

Yuddha Kand from Ramayana – Part 4 (contd.)

In this article, events of the  first day of battle are described. High point of this battle was Rama and Laxmana were taken unconscious because of the designs of Indrajit, the son of Ravana. They were saved by Garuda, and vanara’s rejoiced.

Rama sends Angad one last time

Lord Rama, as a last resort, sends Angada to Ravana. He tries his best to convince Ravana, but in vain. Ravana commands his attendants to seize Angada. Angada shakes out those attendants who tried to seize him. He then ascended the roof of Ravana’’s palace, tramples and crushes it down by his strength. After this, He finally returns to Lord Rama.

Angad at Lanka

Vanaras take Lanka under siege

After this, on command of Lord Rama, vanaras take Lanka under seige. As per his advice, all commanders took the position assigned to them. Ravana was informed of this by demons. He assesses the situation and found that large number of monkeys have virtually taken over Lanka. They have started destroying the city of Lanka. Ravana issues command to start combat. Fights start – Demons with weapons and monkeys with trees, mountain tops, etc.

The battle begins

A number of  duels arose between Rama’s army and demons, who ran up towards each other. Indrajit, the son of Ravana, fought with Angada. Sampati, who regained his wings after letting the vanara’s aware of Sita’s place, was fighting with Prajangha. Hanuman, the son of Pavan with Jambumali. Vibheeshana fought with the demon Shatrughna,  and so on. Laxman encountered Virupaksha and Agniketu and others with Rama. Blood flowed from both sides. In hand-to-hand encounters, the strong monkeys destroyed the Ravana’s demons.

Vanaras and Demons at Lanka

The battle intensifies and great demons were killed

During the battle, Sampati managed to kill PrajanghaSugriva, killed Praghasa after he was threatening to swallow the monkey-troops with a Saptaparna tree. Laxman killed Virupaksha with an arrow.  Rama was wounded by Agniketu, Rashmiketu, Mitrughna and Yajnakopa. Soon, Rama chopped the hands of those four demons in the battle by his four terrific arrows having fire-like points. From Rama’s army, Nila received some strong opposition from Nikumbha.

Vidyunmali, who was proving an outstanding warrior on that night, was finally killed by Sushena. The demons waited for the night.

The night which saw Rama and Laxmana captured

In night, battle commences again.The demons destroy some monkeys. The monkeys drag and kill elephants, chariots and their occupants. Rama and Laxman killed a number of demons. Angad made Indrajit ran away from battle field after striking him hard. Sugriva praises Angad. But Indrajit comes back to the battle field and uses magic and serpent arrows to secure Rama and Laxman. Gloom prevailed over Rama’s army as the great brother lay still on the ground.

Hanuman and Angada started grieving. Indrajit celebrated with demons. Indrajit also attacked other monkeys and monkeys started to run away from the battlefield.

Meghnaad used naga astra against Ram and Laxman

Vibhishana consoles everyone

Indrajit  informs Ravana that both Rama and Lakshmana have been killed. Ravana applauds his son for his great achievement. Everyone in the Rama’s camp was grieving. Seeing the plight of Vanaras, alongwith Nila, Hanumana, Angada and Jambavant, Vibhishana consoles and assures them that Rama and Laxmana will be alright. In Ashoka Vatika, Sita also receives this news and sank into sorrow. However, She was consoled by Trijata that nothing would happen to Rama. Meanwhile, because of his strength, Rama regains consciousness and thought that Laxmana is not well.

Garuda freed Rama and Laxmana

Garuda the King of Birds, makes his appearance on the scene and liberates Rama and Lakshmana from their bondage. It happened that all the snakes which bound Rama and Laxmana, fled away on appearance of this great bird, who was the son of Vinata. Thereupon, Garuda the eagle, coming into contact with Rama and Lakshmana  offering them his good wishes, with his hands caressly touched their faces that were radiant like the moon. The wounds of Rama and Laxmana healed after they came in contact with Garuda.

Ram and Laxman in nagpaash – revived by Garuda

Monkeys celebrate

Thereafter, gongs were beaten, drums resounded, and couches were blown amid jumping in joy of the monkeys as before. Some other strong monkeys who use trees as maces in battle, waving their arms and uprooting hundreds and thousands of various trees, stood there, ready for the battle. Uttering great noises, frightening the demons and desirous to fight, the monkeys reached the gates of Lanka.

 

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Indian Mythology The Ramayana Yuddha Kand

The Ramayana (Rama and Ravana) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (3)

Yuddha Kand (3) from Ramayana

In this article, events pertaining to final war are described. Ravana sends spies to Rama’s camp, and Rama makes his own strategies. He even devises that what would be the appearance of his army when fighting with Ravana’s might.

Ravana sends Shardula to assess Rama’s strength

The demon king, Ravana sent another spy to obtain information on Rama and his army. But Shardula was discovered by monkeys and after thoroughly beaten, he was taken to the court of Rama. He was eventually saved when Rama intervened. Shardula then advises Ravana to return Sita to Rama.

Ravana dwells

To this, Ravana becomes very angry and says that he will not return Sita, come what may be. He further details the strength of various warriors in Rama’s side, including Hanuman, Angad, Neela, Sugreeva, Jambavant and others.

Sarama tells Sita of Ravana intentions

Sita asks Sarama to go secretly to Ravana and get to know what he is doing as well as report to her back about Ravana’s decision about the matter of releasing her or continuing to keep her captive. Sarama secretly hears the conversation of Ravana with his ministers and reports to Sita that Ravana is not inclined to set her free. Sarama consoles Sita, saying that Rama with his sharp arrows will kill Ravana and take her back to Ayodhya.

 

Malyavan, the maternal grandfather of Ravana, advises for peace

Hearing that Rama’s troops have reached lanka, the grandfather of Ravana, advises to return Sita to Ravana, but Ravana did not oblige. Malyavan indicates that Rama is not an ordinary human being, and he is surely going to defeat and kill Ravana, so this is the best course of action to return Sita. Ravana turns his deaf ear to the words of Malyavan and even abuses him that the latter exaggerating the strength of Rama. Ravana further says that he will not restore Seetha to Rama and that Rama and his army will not go back alive, having crossed the ocean and reached Lanka.

Malyavan advising Ravana

Ravana strategies for safety of Lanka

Ravana assigns Prahasta and others to guard the four main gates of Lanka against the inroads of the enemy. Vibheeshana provides this information to Rama and upon hearing Ravana’s plans, Rama makes his own plan to counter Raavana’s designs.

Rama plans to invade Lanka

Rama appoints commanders for performing various tasks once they decided to attack Lanka. Nila was asked to attack from the east. His task was to attack Prahasta. At the south, Vali’s strong son Angad was entrusted to oppose Mahaparshva and Mahodara. Hanuman to enter from the western gate. Rama decided than he alongwith Laxman will lead the aggression from northern gate. In the centre, he appointed Jambavant and Vibheeshana to take care of the army.

Rama startegises with his commanders

Rama’s another masterstroke

At this point of time, Rama advises his army to never take human form. Rama, Laxmana and Vibheeshana and his four companions will only fight in human form. Monkeys were instructed to remain in monkey’s form and it will serve as a sign of recognition. No demon will ever assume a form of monkey as it would be lowly for them to do so.

Rama and his commanders observe Lanka from Mount Suvela

Rama expresses his desire to Vibheeshana and Sugriva to halt on Suvela mountain for that night, and to envision the City of Lanka. Rama along with Laxman, Vibheeshana , Sugriva and his army ascend the mountain and witness the beauty of Lanka. They halt on that mountain-resort for the night.

Rama observes Lanka

Sugriva fights Ravana

Just then, Sugriva notices Ravana and he jumps from the summit of the mountain and then sprang to the top of the gate (where Ravana was). He then fights with Ravana for a long time. After that he comes back and joins his troops. Rama reprimandsSugriva not to repeat such reckless acts in future on the ground of he being a king.

 

Sugriva and Ravana
Categories
Indian Mythology The Ramayana Yuddha Kand

The Ramayana (Rama and Ravana) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (2)

Yuddha Kand from Ramayana – Part 2

This chapter details how Rama and his army reached Lanka, building of bridge on ocean and Ravana sends spies to check upon Rama’s army. Ravana played a trick when he showed severed head of Rama to her.

Hanuman Jee

The ocean throws the biggest challenge

After Vibheeshana was inducted into Rama’s side, time was now for look into the upcoming challenges. Greatest of them was how to cross the vast ocean. Vibheeshana assured that he would be helping Rama in all aspects in order to get Sita back from clutches of Ravana. Rama was delighted in hearing this.

Vibheeshana and Rama

Vibheeshana suggests to get help from Sagara

Having though over the problem on how to get to Lanka, Vibheeshana says – “It is apt if prince Rama seeks ocean as his refuge. This immeasurable great ocean was excavated by Sagara. Hence, this great ocean will be inclined to do the act for Rama, his kinsman. Sagara was an ancestor of Rama. Rama decides to ask for passage from Sagara.

The Ocean fails to listen, yields when Rama got angry

Rama requested the ocean and waited for it to come for three days and nights. Rama becoming angry with the ocean, having the outer corners of his eyes turned red, and says to Laxmana, I will dry this ocean with my arrows and all the creatures will die. Rama decides to use Brahmastra and this makes Ocean god to appear before him with folded hands. He advised him that Nala, is the son of Vishvakarma; who was given a boon by his father and is equal to Visvakarma. Let this greatly energetic monkey build a bridge across me. I can hold that bridge. He is just the same as his father.”

The bridge is constructed on the Ocean

Monkeys constructed the bridge with trees having blossom at the end of their boughs. On the first day, fourteen Yojanas of bridge were constructed by the monkeys speedily. In the same manner, on the second day, twenty Yojanas of bridge were constructed speedily by the monkeys of terrific bodies and of mighty strength.

Buidling bridge to Lanka – Rama Laxman Hanuman and Vanaras

On the third day twenty-one Yojanas of the bridge were constructed in the ocean speedily by the monkeys with their colossal bodies. On the fourth day, a further of twenty-two Yojanas were constructed by the dashing monkeys with a great speed. In that manner, on the fifth day, the monkeys working quickly constructed twenty-three yojanas of the bridge up to the other seashore.

Bridge to Lanka

The colossal bridge, which was broad, well-constructed, glorious, well postured and held together firmly, looked beautiful like a separating straight line in the ocean. Vibhishana, wielding a mace in his hand, stood up on the seashore along with his ministers, for the purpose of invading the enemies.

Rama’s army reaches Lanka

Rama released Shuka who was captured by the vanaras earlier. Shuka explains the strength of his army to Ravana. Ravana sends his spies to assess the strength of Rama’s army but they were identified by Vibheeshana and captured. Rama sets them free and asked him to tell Ravana to be prepared for the combat and destruction of his forces. Ravana enquires about the great monkeys such as Nila, Angada, Nala, Sweta, Kumuda, Rambha, Sarabha, Panasa, Vinata and Krathana.

Lord Rama army reaches Lanka

Ravana gets angry on Shuka and Sharana

When Ravana enquires about the strength of Rama’s army, they heaped praises. Ravana did not like this and he said in excited and harsh words, in a voice choked in anger to Shuka and Sarana who stood saluting with their faces bent down . “It is not befitting to utter unpleasant words by dependent ministers to their king who has the power to mete out any punishment or reward.

Ravana sends spies to check Rama’s army

Ravana then proceeds to send spies to Rama’s place. Vibheeshana recognizes them and they are imprisoned by monkeys. However, Rama allowed them to return back to Ravana. Those spies, who always wander outside and who were valiant rangers of the night, thereafter approached Ravana and informed him that Rama’s army was camping in the vicinity of the Suvela mountain.

Ravana plays a trick

Ravana informs Sia that her husband along with his army had been killed in battle, he produces before her Rama’s head along with bow and arrows created with Vidyujjuha’s conjuring trick. Thus, Ravana deceives Sita about the death of Rama. Sita was shocked, fell unconscious at the sight of Rama’s head and bow.

Ravana shows Rama’s head to Sita – Ramayana

Sita was comforted

When she regained consciousness and asked Ravana to kill her also, so that she would join her husband in heaven. Meanwhile, Ravana is called away by an emissary and after consultation with his ministers, prepares his army for action against the forces of Rama.Sita was comforted by Sarama that this was an illusion and Rama will soon defeat Ravana and win her back.

Ravana and Sita in Ashoka Vatika

 

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Indian Mythology The Ramayana Yuddha Kand

The Ramayana (Rama and Ravana) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (1)

Yuddha Kand (1) or Lanka Kand

This is the last and the longest chapter of Valmiki Ramayana which is the story of Lord Rama. This is also known as Lanka Kand. Since this is a long chapter, this story will be presented in a series of  articles. This is very interesting article where great demons were slain by Human and monkeys. Ravana, incidentally, did not seek immunity from these from his famous boon from Brahma

 

Rama and Ravana – The Ramayana

Rama welcomes Hanumana

After Hanumana succesfully locates Sita in Lanka and performed the act of burning the city of Lanka, He returns to Kishkindha. Rama listens to the whole story and praises Hanumana acknowledging the fact that this feat was not possible by ordinary people.

The seed of doubt

As Rama spoke about the enormity of the task which was performed by Hanumana, he gets worried that how his army of monkeys will reach Lanka, which was so difficult to reach. The vast ocean was the biggest hurdle. Sugriva comforts Rama  and he tells that the monkeys are efficient, strong and loyal to Rama. With help of the monkeys, surely they will be able to reach lanka and defeat Ravana.

 Rama gets the information on Lanka from Hanumana

He asks Hanumana to provide him with the information on Lanka. Hanumana, skilled in oratory skills, describes the city of Lanka in detail. This city was strongly defended and as the vast sea is between them, it becomes truly impregnable. He elaborates that this city is surrounded by water and built on a mountain, it has four fold defenses including forest and artificial fortification.  Lanka is abounding with horses and elephants and is extremely difficult to conquer. Deep trenches and Sataghnis too as well as engines of war of every kind adorn Lanka the city of wicked Ravana.

Rama in consultation with monkeys

Rama departs with army of monkeys for Lanka

 After getting the details form Hanumana, He chooses an auspicious hour to start his journey for his quest to take Sita back. They reach the seashore and Lord Rama confidently states that he will destroy the city of Lanka in no time. The time has now come to defeat Ravana and get Sita back. He also appoints generals for the army, notably Nila, Jambavant, Angad and others. They reached the seashore and faced the most pertinent question – How to cross the vast ocean?

Rama remembers Sita , Ravana had a meeting with his ministers

At this point, He remembers Sita as he longed for her companionship. While in Lanka, Ravana assembles his ministers and discusses the current situation. To this, the ministers respond that he should be thinking too much about Rama. The Rakshasas are a strong group and they can easily defeat anyone. Ravana, himself has the honour of defeating Kubera and Indra, should be able to defeat and kill Rama, if need arises. Thus, Ravana was made confident by his ministers.

Vibheeshana’s word of advice

Vibheeshana, the wise brother of Ravana, advises to return Sita to her husband, as this act was not justified. But Ravana could not listen to him, and he sends him away. Ravana goes back to his assembly and asks all his warriors to be present at once. He then asks Prahast to defend the city of Lanka with his warriors.

Kumbhkarna reprimands Ravana but remains on his side

Ravana talks about his infatuation to Sita, his powers of battlefield, his boon and yet again, he is thoughtful of the devastation done by a single monkey. Kumbhkarna reprimands that the time of thinking is lost. If this act of consultation with us was done at the beginning of this action itself (of bringing Sita here), it would have been worthy of you. A king who performs king’s functions with a mind duly ascertained by justice, will not repent thereafter. He then said that he will kill Rama and Lakshmana and ensure that the victory is of Ravana’s.

Vibheeshana praises Lord Rama

Vibheeshana praises Lord Rama and he tells everyone about the power and prowess of Rama. He tells that he is a great warrior and equally a great archer. His arrows never miss their mark and he is expert in warfare. He advocates that Sita should be returned to Rama with honour. He also says that  If the beloved wife of Rama is not given away of your own accord, the city of Lanka will indeed perish. All our valiant demons too will perish.

Vibheeshana is admonished by Ravana and Indrajit

After hearing these words from him, Indrajit, son of Ravana criticizes him for underestimating the power of Ravana. He also says that Why are you frightening us?  At one time, the competent Devendra, the lord of three worlds, was indeed tossed down on the floor by me. All the flocks of celestials were cast into fear and all of them fled to different quarters. Airavata (Indra`s elephant), which was making noise discordantly, was hurled down by me on the floor. Ravana also gets angry and humiliates him before everyone.

Ravana and Vibheeshana

Vibheeshana gets angry and leaves Lanka

Hearing a mouthful from Ravana and Indrajit, Vibheeshana loses his temper and flies wielding a mace in his hand, soared high into the sky, along with four other demons. Vibheeshana together with four of his companions reach Rama’’s place. Halting in the sky itself, Vibheeshana asks him to give refuge to him.

This was opposed by Sugriva, Angad, Jambavant and others. But Hanuman has different ideas. He trusted Vibheeshana and advocated his inclusion to Rama’s side. Finally, Rama says that he cannot refuse a person who has come to him, and there is merit in the person as he is speaking truth. Thus Vibheeshana is inducted into Rama’s side.

Categories
Festival Indian Mythology Navratri The Ramayana

Ram Navmi festival

Festival of Ram Navmi

Ram Navmi, is a Hindu festival celebrating birth of Lord Ram.

Lord Ram birth is celebrated in Rama Navmi festival
Lord Ram is believed to be seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Shri Ram Navmi is celebrated on ninth day(navmi) of chaitra month of hindu lunar year, in waxing moon (shukla paksha). This festival is celebrated with immense joy and enthusiasm all over India. In South India, this day is celebrated as wedding anniversary of Lord and Sita.

Legends around this festival

In Ramayan, Dasarath was king of Ayodhya. He had three wives, Kaushalya, Sumithra and Kaikeyi. King Dasarath was nat blessed with a child, so he and the people of Ayodhya were worried as they had no heir to their kingdom. Rishi Vasistha, suggested him to perform, Putra Kamesti Yagna, to get desired child.
King Dasarath agreed to this and went to meet Maharshi Rushya Shrungain, who gave his concent to solemanise the yagna. As a result of yagna, Fire God appeared and handed a bowl of payasam to king Dasarata, and asked him to give it to his wives. He gave one half to Kaushalya, other half to Kaikayi. And they two gave one half each of their payasam to Sumithra.
After few days all the three Queens conceived Dasratha’s child. On the ninth day (Navami) of Chaithra month of Hindu calendar , at noon Kaushlya gave birth to Lord Sri Ram, Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharath, and Sumithra gave birth to twins, Lakshman and Shatrughan.
This was a great day in Ayodhya and since then this day is calebrated as Ram Navmi festival.

Ram navmi festival celebrations

Temples are decorated, special hawans are performed, along with the chanting of vedic mantras.
Image of baby Ram is placed on cradle and is rocked by devotees, with singing of bhajan and kirtan. Many Hindu keep fast for the day followed by feasting in the evening. Along with LOrd Ram people also worship Sita (his wife), Laxman (his brother) and Hanuman (his ardent devotee). In the evening a special Ram Navmi procession is taken on street.
In South India, Sitarama Kalyanam, i.e.ceremonial wedding of the Lord Ram and Sita are performed by the priests at the temple. At the end of the day the deity is taken to a procession on the streets, with great fanfare and accompanied by group chanting of name of Rama.
The important celebrations on this festival take place at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, Bhadrachalam in Andhra Pradesh and Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, thronged by thousands of devotees, and Rathayatras, the chariot processions, also known as Shobha yatras of Rama, his wife Sita, brother Lakshmana and devotee Hanuman, are taken out at several places, including Ayodhya where thousands of people take a dip in the sacred river Sarayu.
Categories
Indian Mythology The Ramayana

Quiz on the Ramayana

Ramayana Quiz

The Ramayana has been written many times. First instance of this was written by Sage Valmiki who was initially a robber. Later, he chronicled the life events of Rama, who is an incarnation of Vishnu, which is called Shrimad Valmiki Ramayana.

1. __________was the vaidya(doctor) who healed Lakshman.

2.  Meghnaad was performing yagna to please the goddess ___________.

3. How Rama identified Vali from Sugriva, when the two brothers were fighting?

4. Who saved Rama and Laxman from Naagpasha?

5. Sita was imprisoned in __________ vatika.

6. Ravana contained amrit in his navel. Rama evaporated this by using _____________ weapon.

7. Who was Ravana’s wife?

8.  How many Kanda’s or books are there in Srimad Valmiki Ramayana?

9. Hanuman is said to be Brahmachari. Yet, he had a son. Can you name his  son?

10. There is one character in the Ramayana, who is also present in Mahabharata. Who is he?

11. Laxman was an incarnation of ____________.

12. First shloka of The Ramayana written by Valmiki is Maa Nishada Pratistham… This happened when birds was killed by a hunter and Valmiki complained with above shloka. Which were those birds?

13. Hanuman had two siddhis, garima and __________. With the help of these two, he could get past Sursa.

14. Rama intended to use Brahmastra couple of times, first, on Indra’s son, Jayant. On whom, he wanted to use this weapon second time?

15. Who was the teacher of the four princes, Rama, Laxmana, Bharata and Shatrughan.

 

16.  Name the wife of Bali (or Vali).

17. Rama took help of Sugriva and monkeys because he was cursed to this effect. Who cursed him?

18. After rejected by Rama, Sita lived in the hermitage of sage __________?

19. Indra’s son, in a form of bird, was annoying Rama and Sita. Rama intended to use brahmastra on him. In what form he(Indra’s son) was in?

20. Who was the mother of Sita?

21. Rama, Sita and Laxman lived in ____________ forests during their exile.

22. While Jatayu lost his life trying to save Sita from cluthes of Ravana, his brother lived to tell the details of the abduction to Rama. Name him?

23. in Bal Kand, Rama let the wife of Sage Gautam come out of a curse. Who was she?

Categories
Indian Mythology Lord Hanumana The Ramayana

Sunder Kand – Lord Hanuman (Ramayana)

Sunder Kand is the story of Lord Hanumana finding Sita. The most important character for this chapter is of Hanuman’s. This is the fifth chapter of Ramayana, which was originally written by Sage Valmiki. This talks about exploits of Lord Hanumana, who finds the whereabouts of Devi Sita.

Jambavant praises Hanumana

In search of Sita, Hanumana was required to cross the ocean. Due to a curse on him, he was unable to do so despite having the powers within himself. Jambavant became the guide here and he sang praises for Lord Hanumana. This made him to realize his strength and complete the task of finding Devi Sita.

Lord Hanumana and Lord Jambavant

Journey to Lanka

After Jambvant praised and advised Hanuman, he started his journey to Lanka.  Mainak came forward to offer some rest, but he declined.

Hanuman and Mainak mountain

Sursa

On his way, first came Sursa. She was asked to test Hanuman’s skills and wisdom. She said that everyone has to pass through her mouth before one can resume its journey. Hanuman has Garima and Laghima skills which he applied. He first enlarged his size.

In reply, Sursa also increased her mouth. Suddenly he reduced his size and entered her mouth and came out of her nose. Sursa blessed him for his skills. By using his wisdom, he proceeded further.

Sinhika

Hanumana kills Sinhika/ Simhika

Soon, another hurdle appeared. A demon caught his shadow. The demon was  Sinhika. She got the boon from Brahma that she can control anyone’s shadow. Hanuman had to overcome her before he could proceed.  She managed to swallow  him, but soon enough, he killed her and restarted his journey towards  Lanka.

Meeting Lankini

Hanuman reaches the shores of Lanka. He found that many demons are guarding Lanka. He decides to enter lanka in night but ran into Lankini. Hanuman hit her hard. Lankini understands that end of Ravana is near as she was told by Brahma that when a monkey is cause of her pain, then it is time of end of Ravana. She praises his devotion towards Lord Rama.

Finding Mata Sita

Hanuman then searches for Sita in Lanka. He even checked Ravana’s palace.

Looking for Sita

Then he came to another palace, which was Vibhishan’s. He met him. Vibhishan told him about Sita whereabouts.

He goes to Ashok vatika and observes Sita. She was sitting alone under a tree.

Sita at Ashok vatika

At the same time, Ravana came there and threatened Sita with dire consequences, if she refuses to marry him. Trijata named demon consoles Sita. She said that she had seen in her dreams that end of Ravana is close. But Sita is still perturbed.

Hanuman then dropped the ring given by Lord Rama before Sita. Sita becomes happy by seeing and recognizing the ring of Lord Rama.
He then came before Sita and explained how he has come to Lanka and ashok vatika. He pacifies Sita that Lord will come soon and then it will be end of all the problems.

With permission of Sita, Hanuman then ate fruits from Ashok Vatika and uprooted many trees.
He killed many demons including Akshaykumara. They went to Ravana for help. Ravana sent his warriors but they were defeated by Hanuman. Finally, Meghnaad used Brahmastra and used Nagpaash to tie him.

Hanuman creating havoc in Ashok Vatika

Meghnaad and Hanuman (Brahmastra and Nagpaash)

Meghnaad then brought Hanuman to the Ravana’s court. Hanuman told Ravana to return Sita to Rama and live in peace. Instead, he asked to burn his tail so that a lesson can be taught to him. Hanuman made his tail become bigger. Lot of oil and clothes were required to cover the tail. Finally the tail was set to fire. Hanuman used laghima and became small. Lanka is thus burnt.

Hanuman returns to Sita and seeks permission to go back. Sita gives her ornaments and requests them to be presented before Lord Rama.

Hanuman heads back to Kishkindha.
He meets Rama and Lakshman and tells them the whole story.

he meets Rama and Laxman after returning from lanka.

Then, Rama, Laxman and Hanuman, meet Sugriva and decide future course of action.
After knowing the whereabouts of Sita, Rama sets out to free her. He is accompanied by Vanara Sena.

Mandodari and Ravana discussion

Demons report this to Mandodari.  Mandodari reasons with ravana as Hanuman, the messenger of Rama has done so much damage. Pregnant demons suffer from miscarriage when they think of Hanuman. So this is not wise to keep Sita. Ravana does not heed to the advice.

Mandodari persuades Ravana to release Sita

Even Vibheeshana, brother of Ravana, persuades Ravana. Ravana insults him.

Vibheeshana meets Rama and requests for his companionship. Rama accepts him as his friend.

Ravana sends his spy to Rama’s abode. Shuka, the messenger, was captured and Laxman releases him with a letter to Ravana.

Shuka and Ravana

Rama requests Sea to give him way. When the sea does not listen, Rama intends to use Brahmastra. The Sagar yields and advises to consult Nal and Neela to find a way to Lanka.

Sea god (Sagar) and Lord Rama

Recommended Reading:

Seven unknown facts about Karna

Unknown fact about Draupadi – Why she had five husbands

When incarnation of Lord Vishnu could not defeat his bhakta

Do you know that Jambavant has seen a number of avatars (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu. He even got his daughter married to Shri Krishna and there is an interesting story of his fight with Lord Krishna. You can find this story on this blog.

Categories
The Ramayana

When Lord Rama got angry

Lord Rama – The Maryadapurushottam

Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is normally associated with peace, calmness and patience, but there are instances where this incarnation of Lord Vishnu has been angered. At one hand, these present a message that though above mentioned virtues are sought after, but when it demands, anger should also be exercised.

With Parshurama

This incident is well known and documented, just happened after Sita swayamvar. After knowing that someone has broken Shiva’s bow, Parshurama stormed into the scene and demanded to know who has done this. This angered Rama a great deal and he shown his prowess by lifting the another bow and pointed the arrow towards Parshurama and demanded – Where should I release this arrow? Parshurama instantly understood and went away. This is a classic case of dealing with anger which was abated by anger.

Lord Rama and Lord Parshurama

With Sagar

In his quest of winning back Sita, Rama and his army of monkeys has to cross the ocean. For this, they wanted to made a bridge which could lead them to Lanka. But the problem was that the sea was not calm to allow such as endeavour. Rama requested Sagar (Sea god) for three days and when it did not relent,  Rama decided to dry the sea with the weapon Brahmastra. The Sea god then pleaded for mercy and Rama anger could be subdued.

When Rama invoked Brahmastra on Sagar (Sea God)

With Sugriva

This is not exactly Rama who got angry with Sugriva, rather Laxman. After getting the throne of Kishkindha back, Sugriva apparently forgotten about his promise to help Rama to search Sita. Rama send Laxman as his messenger to Sugriva. After Laxman gave him a mouthful and Tara also told Sugriva that it is the time to fulfill his promise, Sugriva sends out his most trusted lieutenant Hanumana to search Sita.

Ram reached Sugriva

With son of Indra

During their stay at Chitrakoota, Kakasura, Indra’s son in disguise, had committed an outrage on Sita’s modesty. When Rama came to know of it his anger knew no bounds and he used a blade of grass as the Brahmastra. The offending crow now fled from pillar to post and found that in all the three worlds there was none who could protect it. It came back to Rama and fell at his feet. Rama told the crow that the effect of the Brahmastra could not be taken away and in accordance to the crow’s plea, the right eye became the target to save its life.

Jayant , Rama and Sita

 

Categories
Festival Indian Mythology The Ramayana

Diwali festival

The festival of Diwali

Diwali or Deepawali is one of the most celebrated and important festivals of Hindus. This festival is celebrated across india on the day of Amavasya (no moon). Series of festivals are celebrated during diwali. The festival starts with Dhanteras on which most business communities begin their financial year. The second day of the festival is called the Naraka Chaturdasi.  Amavasya, the third day of Diwali, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. The fourth day of Diwali is known as Kartika Shudda Padyami. The fifth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya, and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes. This is also known as Bhai Dooj.

Each day has its own tale, legend and myth to tell. The first day of the festival Naraka Chaturdasi marks the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama. Amavasya, the second day of Deepawali, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth in her most benevolent mood, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees.

Amavasya also tells the story of Lord Vishnu, who in his dwarf incarnation vanquished the tyrant Bali, and banished him to hell. Bali was allowed to return to earth once a year, to light millions of lamps to dispel the darkness and ignorance, and spread the radiance of love and wisdom. It is on the third day of Deepawali — Kartika Shudda Padyami that Bali steps out of hell and rules the earth according to the boon given by Lord Vishnu. The fourth day is referred to as Yama Dwitiya (also called Bhai Dooj) and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes.

Diwali marks the end of the harvest season in most of India. Farmers give thanks for the bounty of the year gone by, and pray for a good harvest for the year to come. Traditionally this marked the closing of accounts for businesses dependent on the agrarian cycle, and is the last major celebration before winter. Lakshmi symbolises wealth and prosperity, and her blessings are invoked for a good year ahead.

Legends behind worship of Goddess Lakshmi

There are two legends that associate the worship of Lakshmi on this day. According to the first legend, on this day, Lakshmi emerged from Kshira Sagar, the Ocean of Milk, during the great churning of the oceans, which is also known as  Samudra manthan.

Devi Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu

The second legend (more popular in western India) relates to the Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu, the incarnation he assumed to neutralise the king Bali. On this day, Vishnu came back to his abode the Vaikuntha; so those who worship Lakshmi receive the benefit of her benevolent mood, and are blessed with mental, physical and material well-being.

Story from Ramayana behind the Diwali festival

The Ramayana is one of the two most important epics in Indian Mythology, other being The Mahabharat. There are various stories behind the festival of Diwali, but the most popular and the one which we have grown up listening to, is the story of Ram, Sita and Ravana.

Rama and Ravana

Ram, the king of Ayodhya, was living in exile for fourteen years. This was because Manthara, a royal maid, plotted against him. Ram was accompanied by his brother, Laxman during the exile. Demon king Ravana took her away to lanka. Ravana was the king of lanka.

Ram defeated Ravana on the day of dusshera. He was helped by his friends, Sugriva and Hanuman. Hanuman was the true disciple of Lord Ram and he served Ram, Laxman and Sita with full devotion. Hanuman saved Laxman’s life during the battle between Ram and Ravana. After defeating Ravana, Vibheeshana was made the king of lanka.

After that, they returned to Ayodhya in the chariot named Pushpak Vimana. This chariot was owned by Ravana. It took them to reach twenty days to Ayodhya, and this day was observed by people of Ayodhya as Diwali. In this day diyas are lit, people wear new clothes. This day falls exactly after twenty days of Dusshera. Diwali represents the victory of good over evil, light over darkness. This day is observed on Amavyasya. This night is enveloped by darkness. But this darkness is dispelled by the Diyas and other lighting which we light to steer away the darkness.

In world mythology, many fascinating stories are available, but Mahabharat and The Ramayana are the epics from Indian mythology, can be included anywhere. Such is the diversity and range of these epics. The Ramayana is written by the sage valmiki, who was a thief. Tulsidas has also written Ramcharitramans in recent times, which is written in a different language than The Ramayana written by Sage Valmiki.

Further Reading: The Navratri Festival