Tag Archives: Laxman

Ram Navmi festival

Festival of Ram Navmi

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

Ram Navmi

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.

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

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)

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

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

Jayant , Rama and Sita

 

The Ramayana story in pictures – Kishkindha kand (4)

Kishkindha kand from The Ramayana

Searching for Sita, Rama and Laxman Shabri’s ashram. Shabri offers fruits which have been tested by her so the Lord does not get a bitter fruit.

Shabri and Rama

Shabri advises them to go further southwards to Pampa lake and to Kishkindha where they would get help.

Shabri advises Rama to go towards Kishkindha

On Shabri’s advise, Rama reached Kishkindha while looking for Sita. Sugriva was sceptical of the two brothers and he asked Hanuman to assess their intentions. Hanuman disguised himself as a brahmin but Rama identified him due to his chain around the neck.

Hanuman in the guise of brahmana, but Rama identifies him

Hanuman fell upon his feet.

Hanuman and Rama

 

 

He showed them the ornaments and jewels which were thrown by Sita while she was abducted. Rama recognises them of Sita’s.

Hanuman took them to Sugriva. Sugriva was driven out by Vali.  Vali also took Sugriva’s wife. Rama befriended Sugriva. Rama promised to help him.

Ram reached Sugriva

 

Vali had a boon which made him unconquerable. Sugriva promised that he will help in finding Sita. Ram asks Sugriva to invite Vali for a fight. He also asked him to wear a garland because both brothers looked identical.

Battle between Vali and Sugriva

Rama kills Vali by piercing an arrow through his heart

Vali accuses Rama of wrongdoing. Rama explains that he has committed the crime of abducting his brother’s wife. And Kishkindha, a state of Bharat’s kingdom, lies in his jurisdiction. His crime was unforgiveable, so he had to execute this task of killing him.

It is said that Rama promised Vali to give him a chance to avenge his unjust murder. Vali is believed to be born as Jara, the hunter, who became the cause of Shri Krishna’s death.

Vali humbled by Rama

Vali understood and Rama forgives him.

Tara (Vali’s wife) is inconsolable. Tara invokes the power of her chastity and curses Rama so that he will soon lose Sita after he regains her. She declares that Sita will return to the earth. Tara additionally curses Rama that in his next birth, he will be killed by Vali. Rama pacifies her.

 

Tara and Ram – The Ramayana story

Sugriva crowned as king. Angad (Vali’s son) was anointed as the heir.

Sugriva made king of Kishkindha

Rama also taught him nuances of statesmanship.

Rama anointed Sugriva as king of Kishkindha

He advised Sugreev to rule justly. Then Sri Rama along with Laxmana went to live at Pravarshan Mountain.

Ram and Laxman leaving from Kishkindha to caves

Few months passed. Sugriva forgot his promise. Rama gets restless and advises Laxman to visit Kishkindha.

Laxman threatens to destroy Kishkindha after Sugriva did not keep his promise.

Tara asks Sugriva to help Rama and Laxman.

Tara advises Sugriva to help Laxman

Sugriva instructed Hanumana to send the messenger in all directions and to bring the news of Sita within fifteen days. Angad told sugriva that Hanuman can only find Sita. Sugriva asks Hanuman to search. Hanumana then gathered all the monkeys and went to Sri Rama to seek his permission.

Hanuman, Ram and Laxman

Rama blessed them for successful accomplishment of their mission. He also gave his ring to Hanumana.

Rama giving ring to Hanuman

Now Hanuman and his army of monkeys moved in search of Sita.  They searched Sita in the caves of every mountain but did not find her.

Vanara searching Sita

Jambvant consoled Angad saying that Rama was not an ordinary human being. He also said him not to worry, as everything would be resolved by Sri Rama’s blessings.

They reach seashore. At the seashore Sampati ( brother of Jatayu) bumped into Hanuman. He told him about Sita and she is in Lanka.

Sampati tells about Sita whereabouts

When Jambvant saw that there was nobody who could cross over the ocean, he praised and urged Hanumana  to cross the ocean. Hanuman had a curse that he would only realize his strength and capabilities when told by someone.

Jambvant urges Hanuman go to Lanka.

Jambvant praises Hanuman

 

When Hanumana listened to Jambvant he realized his latent strength. His body expanded like a mountain. Hanumana then sought Jambvant advice.

Hanuman taking viraat roopa (form)

Jambvant instructed him to just return back after seeing Sita in Lanka. He said that the rest would be accomplished by Sri Rama.

Hanuman departing for Lanka in search of Sita

 

 

The Ramayana story in pictures – Aranya Kand (3)

 The Ramayana – Aranya Kand

In exile, Rama, Sita and Laxman spent 13 adventurous years in the forest.While travelling, they met Sage Atri, Sage Sarbhang and Sage Agatsya before reaching Panchavati, where they stayed for most part of exile.

Jayant, son of Indra, took the form of  a crow and tested the lord. He suffered. Lord Rama used brahmastra on the crow.

Jayant , Rama and Sita

Rama, Sita and Laxman built cottages and they lived along the banks of Godavari. The place where they lived was called Panchavati.

In their 14th year of exile, a demoness Surpanakha, sister of Ravana, came to Panchavati. She got infatuated by Ram and his handsome appearance. She asked him to marry her, Ram refused saying that he was bound to Sita in wedlock, and asked her to approach Laxman instead.

Lakshmana also refused her, Surpanaka flew into a rage and rushed to kill Sita. Lakshama intervened and cut her nose and ears off.

Surpanakha, Rama, Sita and Laxmana in the Ramayana

Her brothers, Khar-Dushan marched towards Panchavati and attacked Ram. They were killed in the battle.

Khar and Dushan

The demon Akampan survived and told this story to Ravana in lanka.

Akampan narrating the story of death of Khar and Dushan

Ravan advises Mareecha to take the form of a deer. He wanted to abduct Sita.

Sita requests Rama to bring the deer for him. Rama initially rejects her appeal but subscribes later on. He asked Laxman to take care of Sita.

Maricha – golden deer

 

Sita asking Rama to fetch the deer

Ram follows and kills Maricha. Before being killed, He asks for help from Laxman in voice of Ram. Sita perplexed, sends Laxman for help. Laxman denies but yields to constant appeals from Sita.

Maricha’s killing by Rama

Laxman draws the Laxman rekha before following rama and advised Sita to do not cross in any eventuality.

Laxman draws Laxmanrekha

Ravana, disguised as a brahmin, came for alms. He says that he cannot receive alms unless she comes out of the line drawn by Laxman.  Sita crosses Laxmanrekha.

Ravana and Sita

Ravana abducts Sita

Jatayu, the friend of Dashrath, also living in Panchavati, dies while fighting with Ravana.

Jatayu and Ravana – Aranya Kanda

Ravana takes Sita to lanka. Sita throws her ornaments to leave trace of the route.

Ravana taking Sita on Pushpak vimana

Gods are rejoiced that end of Ravana is close though they are also worried for Sita.

This is the end of the Aranya kand from the Ramayana.

51 facts – The Ramayana

Interesting facts from the Ramayana

Some more facts added in 2015, July

Lord Hanuman is one of the 7 chiranjeevs. These immortals will live till the beginning of the next Satya Yuga.

The stripes on the back of squirrels is supposed to be Ram‘s caress for their dedication to help construct the bridge to Lanka.

Ravana once broke his arm to construct a musical instrument to sing songs of praise for Shiva. It was called the Ravan Hatta. While Ravan lay dying Ram asked Laxmana to go up to him to learn all that Ravana had to offer since Ravan was a Brahman.

Hanuman rejected a pearl necklace gifted by to him by Sita saying “I don’t accept anything that does not contain Ram.” To prove his point he ripped his chest to show the presence of Ram in his heart.

Sita’s name while in exile was Vaidehi.

Vashishtha and Vishvamitra both were Ram’s gurus. And both hated each other at one point of time.

Lakshman is the avatar of Shesha Naga. The mount of Vishnu.

The Ramayana, the most read epic in Hindu mythology contains some very interesting facts, known and unknown. The ramayana is not only the story of Rama, but this is also a story of other people also. For instance, Laxman, Bharat and Hanuman. We can’t forget Sita, Urmila, Vibheeshana alongwith Kaikeyi and Manthra.

Lord Rama

Lord Rama

1. Author of The Ramayana is Sage Valmiki. There are many more versions of this epic are available by various writers. Valmiki’s version is thus also known as Valmiki Ramayana. Another famous version is by Tulsidas, known as Ramcharitmanas.

2. This great epic is composed of rhyming couplets called ‘shlokas’, employing a complex meter called ‘anustup’. These verses are grouped into individual chapters called ‘sargas’, wherein a specific event or intent is told. The ‘sargas’ are again grouped into books called ‘kands’.

3 The whole story of the Ramayana is written in seven chapters, also known as kands. These are

Bal Kand – Rama’s boyhood.

Ayodhya Kand – Rama’s life in Ayodhya until his banishment.

Aranya Kand – Rama’s life in the forest and his abduction by Ravana.

Kishkindha Kand – Rama’s stay at Kishkindha, the capital of his monkey ally Sugriva.

Sundar Kand –  Rama’s journey to Sri Lanka

Yudh Kand or Lanka Kand – Rama’s battle with Ravana, the recovery of Sita and their return to Ayodhya.

Uttar Kand – Rama’s life as king in Ayodhya, the birth of his two sons, Sita’s test of innocence and return to her mother, and Rama’s demise. This kand completes the story of the ramayana.

4 Rama ( the principal character of the ramayana), and his brothers were born as the result of putra-kameshti yagya by Dashratha. At the end of the yagya, a bowl of dessert was given to Dashratha, which was distributed among his wives. Sumitra was fed twice, so she gave birth to twins. Dasharatha was born in the line of Ikshvaku (“the first king of the Ikshvaku dynasty and founder of the Solar Dynasty of Kshatriyas in Vedic civilization in ancient India”).

5. Rama is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, a dashavatar.

6 In their childhood, Rama and Laxman helped Vishwamitra and took care of Maricha and Subahu. Rama points his bow at the two, and with one arrow kills Subahu, and with the other arrow flings Mareecha thousands of miles away into the ocean

7. Sita is considered to be an incarnation of Goddess Laxmi. She is also believed to be the daughter of Bhoomi devi (earth).

8. Laxman or Lakshman is an incarnation of Sheshnaag or Adi Shesha. He also accompanied Lord Vishnu as Balrama in the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

9. Laxman never slept during the Rama’s exile. He is also known as Gudakesh, meaning, the one who has defeated “sleep”.

10. Laxman killed three sons of Ravana. While his killing of Meghnaad is more popular, other sons of Ravana were Prahast and Atikay.

11. Lord Shiva explained that Laxman would have escaped Shakti easily, but to respect the weapon, he took this on his chest.

12. The laxmanrekha episode is not mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana. This is mentioned by Mandodri in Lanka kand in Ramcharitamanas.

Laxman draws Laxmanrekha

Laxman draws Laxmanrekha

13. Laxman was the twin brother of Shatrughana. Their mother was Sumitra.

14. Lord Rama left this earth by taking the Jal Samadhi in Sarayu river.

15. During Sita Swayamvara, Rama broken the bow of Shiva to win her hand.

Lord Rama breaking Shiva Dhanush (bow) – The Ramayana

16. Parshurama challenged Rama to string the bow of Vishnu. Which Lord Rama easily did and asked him to tell him to where he should release the arrow. Parshuram realized that Rama is no ordinary man. This is worth noting that both of these warriors were incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

17. The shiva dhanush was easily moved by Sita during her childhood.  King Janak observed this and this incident set the condition of Sita swayamvar in the Ramayana.

18. Lord Rama helped Sugriva to get back the kingdom of Kishkindha. He helped Sugriva to defeat his brother, Vali. He later married Tara, Vali’s wife. Tara is one of the Panchkanya. Mandodari, the wife of Ravana, is also a panchkanya from the Ramayana.

vali-sugriva-rama-the-ramayana-indian-mythology

Battle between Vali and Sugriva – Rama about to kill Vali

19  Rama, Laxman and Sita spent the vanvaas in Dandakaranya forests.

20 Laxman’s wife was Urmila. There is not much written about her, but she also made a supreme sacrifice while staying back in Ayodhya, while Laxman accompanied Rana and Sita for vanvaas. Urmila was Sita’s younger sister. Urmila slept both his and her shares of sleep so that Laxman remained awake protecting Rama and Sita. She slept for the whole period of exile (14 years) and only woke up when Laxmana returned to Ayodhya.

21 Tara was an apsara produced from the churning of ocean. During the churning, Vali was from gods side.

Reading suggestion

51 facts – Mahabharata

 

22. Jambavantha was created by Brahma, to assist Rama in his struggle against Ravana. During a duel with Ravana, he hit Ravana and Ravana  became unconscious. He also reminded Hanuman of his prowess, so he could cross the ocean and visit Lanka.

Jambvant praises Hanuman

Jambvant praises Hanuman

23. Vali was famous for the boon that he had received, according to which anyone who came before him lost half his strength to Vali, thereby making Vali invulnerable to any enemy.

24. Vali had defeated Ravana as well. Once Ravana called Vali for a fight. He took Ravana in his tail and took him around all the world. Humbled, Ravana called for a truce.

25. Hanuman, because of boons from Surya, laghima and garima, could take various forms. He used them to defeat Sursa, Lankini, Cat in the Ramayana.

Hanuman and Sursa

26. Hanuman slain the demon Kalanemi, while fetching sanjeevani herb. Kalanemi was sent by Ravana.

27. Hanuman also defied Sun from rising before time as it would have killed Laxman.

28. Hanuman was also shot by Bharat while flying over Ayodhya. Hanuman accepted the arrow as Lord Rama was written over it. Since he was shot on a leg, he had a limp.

29.  Shatrughan is supposed to be the incarnation of Vishnu’s conch. Shatrughna was married to Shrutakeerti, the daughter of King Kusadhbojan and his wife. Shrutakeerti was the cousin of Sita, daughter of King Janaka.

30 Shatrughana killed Lavanasura, a demon who was the son of Madhu. It is believed that Madhu is where Mathura is situated today.

31. Bharat was the husband to Mandavi, daughter of King Janaka’s brother Kushadhvaja and thus a cousin of Sita, who was wife of Rama. They had two sons, Taksha and Pushka. Thus, in the Ramayana, wives of all brothers were related.

32. Bharat is considered to be born in the aspect of the Sudarshana Chakra, the most famous of Vishnu’s Panchayudhas.

Sudarshan chakra

Sudarshan chakra

33. Ravana’s grandfather was Pulastya, one of the seven great sages or Saptarishis. His father was himself a great sage Vishrava.

34. His mother was the princess of Daityas. Her name was Kaikesi. Kaikesi father was Sumali. Ravana was half Brahmin and half asura.

35. Kaikesi chose Vishrava as her husband in quest to mother a son who was incomparable.

36. Vishrava was the father of Kubera. Thus Ravana was the half brother of Kubera. Ravana conquered Sri Lanka from Kubera and became the King of Lanka.

37. Ravana was also an excellent veena player and the sign of his flag had a picture of veena on it.

38. Ravana had four brothers. Vibhishana, Kumbhakarna and Ahiravan and Mahiravan. Khara and Dushan are also believed to be his brothers.

39. Kumbhakarna was considered pious, intelligent and brave that Indra was jealous of him. Along with his brothers, Ravana andVibhishana, he performed a major yajnaand penance for Lord Brahma. When the time came for asking a boon (blessing) from Brahma, his tongue was tied by goddess Saraswati (acting on Indra’s request). So instead of asking “Indraasana” (seat of Indra), he asked for “Nidraasana” (bed for sleeping).

Kumbhakarna – The Ramayana

40. Kumbhakarna had two sons, Kumbha and Nikumbha, who too fought in the war against Rama and were killed.

41. Ravana also asked for absolute invulnerability from and supremacy over gods, heavenly spirits, other rakshas, serpents, and wild beasts. He did not ask for protection from mortal men, as he did not think that they would cause him any harm.

42. Rama and Laxman were abducted by Ahiravan. Ahiravan was the brother of Ravana and king of patala (netherworld).  The two brothers were saved by Hanuman.

43. Following the capture of Lanka, Ravana pleased Shiva with his penance. Shiva said to pinned Ravana with his toe, but he offered his ten heads to appease Shiva. Pleased with his resilience and devotion, Shiva gave to him the divine sword Chandrahas

44. Ravana was cursed by Nandi that Lanka would be destroyed by a monkey. Later Hanuman put Lanka into flames.

45 Hanuman defeated his son Makardhwaj when he was guarding Rama and Laxman and rescued the two brothers.

46. Hanuman killed Ahiravan and Mahiravan by taking his panchroopi form.

47. Ravana did severe penance to appease Brahma. Brahma blessed him with nectar which could keep him alive as long as it lasted.

48 Vibheeshana told this about to Rama when in the battlefield, everytime Rama cut his head, another head sprang up. On his advise, Rama first dried the nectar using Prasvapana and later killed him. This is important to know that the ramayana puts importance to Vibheeshana, who left his brother and helped the cause of Dharma.

Rama using Prasavapana on Ravana

Rama using Prasavapana on Ravana

49. Sita remained with Agni when Ravana abducted her. When Ravana came to kidnap mother Sita and she saw him, she took shelter of Agni. The fire-god covered the body of mother Sita, and in this way she was protected from the hands of Ravana. The fire-god, Agni, took away the real Sita and brought her to the place of Parvati, goddess Durga. An illusory form of mother Sita was then delivered to Ravana. The original Sita went to the abode of the fire-god. During Agnipariksha, illusory Sita entered the fire. At that time Agni brought the original Sita from his abode and delivered her to Lord Ramachandra.

50. Sita summoned Bhoomi devi to take her back after completing the Agni pariksha.

51. Rama and all his brothers left their abode by taking Jal samadhi in Sarayu river. This completes the story of the Ramayana.

Reading suggestion – 51 facts from Mahabharat

You may like to read the following excellent books:

The Ramayana story in pictures – Ayodhya Kand (2)

Ayodhya Kand – The Ramayana in pictures

The Ramayana story is told by sage Valmiki in various kandas. This is the story which is told in Ayodhya kand and is primarily around Rama’s vanvaas. Kaikeyi and Manthra were the central characters towards Rama’s vanvaas.

Manthra and Kaikeyi

Manthra advised Kaikeyi to ask for her boons from Dashrath

Manthra advising Kaikeyi to ask for Bharat’s ascendance to throne. Kaikeyi had two boons from Dashrath. Dashrath was the king of ayodhya and Kaikeyi’s husband.

 Kaikeyi in kopa bhavan

Kaikeyi in kopabhavan – asking for her two boons to Dashrath

She asks Dashrath for two boons. These boons have been given to her when Dashrath was helped by Kaikeyi in Dev Asur sangram. He was wounded in the battle field and Kaikeyi rode her to safety and later, tended him. Pleased with her, Dashrath asked her for two boons. She has now asked for Bharat’s coronation and Rama’s banishment.

Dashrath and Kaikeyi

Rama is exiled for fourteen years and Bharat becomes the king of Ayodhya. Dashrath dies as he could not cope up with the parting of Rama. Dashrath had a curse earlier because of that he had to leave this world in this manner.

Once while hunting, he accidentally killed Shravan Kumar. Shravan kumar was a dedicated son who was serving his blind parents. When Dashrath told this unfortunate incident to them, they cursed him saying that he would also suffer for his son as they are suffering because of him.

Shravan kumar and his parents

Dashrath and Shravan Kumar

Dashrath and Shravan Kumar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dashrath’s was inconsolable when Rama, laxman and Sita were preparing to go to the forests.

Ram laxman preparing to go to vanvaas

Ram laxman preparing to go to vanvaas

Rama, alongwith Laxman and Sita go to forest to abide with their father orders.

Rama, Laxman and Sita

Bharat requests him to come back. But Rama refused as this was his duty to obey his father’s orders. Bharat then asks for his sandals and he put Rama’s sandals on the throne of Ayodhya. He then conducted the governance in the name of Lord Rama.

Rama and Bharat

Rama and Bharat

The Ramayana story in pictures – Bal Kand (1)

Story of the Ramayana – in pictures

In Indian mythology, there are two major epics. The Ramayana, and the Mahabharat. In Treta yuga, the story of Rama and his wife Sita, is the main story around which the Ramayana is written. This epic was written by Sage Valmiki, who himself was a robber, but later mended his ways to become a sage.

The Ramayana epic – written by Sage Valmiki

Ramcharitamanas is also written on Rama and Sita by Tulsidas.

King Dashrath, the king of Ayodhya organised yagna with a desire for son. Agni, the god of fire presented him with a bowl of kheer(sweet rice). Upon comsumption of kheer, Dashratha would beget sons.

Dashrath performing yagna and receiving prasad from Agni god

Dashrath performing yagna and receiving prasad from Agni god

The Kheer or payasam, thus obtained, was distributed among Dashrath’s three wives, Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra. Soon enough, these queens have been blessed with sons, Rama, Bharat, Laxman and Shatrughan.

Princes Rama, Laxmana, Bharat and Shatrughana as newborn.

in their childhood, sage Vasistha acted as their teacher. He taught them all the skills required by them as the princes.

Education of princes by sage Vasistha in the Ramayana

Helping Vishwamitra

Rama and Laksham helped sage Vishwamitra. Rakshasas were creating problems for him. Sages were unable to perform yagna. Sage asked Dashrath to give Rama and Lakshman to help him. Dashrath was initially worried. Persuaded by Vasistha, he agreed. This helped the princes as Vishwamitra trained them in warfare. Both brothers killed Taraka and Subahu among other demons.

Rama killing Taraka

Swayamvar of Sita and liberation of Ahalya

Vishwamitra received invitation from King Janak for Sita’s swayamvar. He asked  Rama and Lakshman to accompany him.

on the way, they came to a place where Ahilya was present in a form of stone. Rama liberated her on advise of sage. She was serving a curse of sage Gautam, who was her husband.

Liberating Ahilya by Rama

At Mithila, the challenge of Sita swayamvar was to tie the string of Shiva’s bow. Many warriors including Ravana has failed in even moving the bow. However, Rama could easily lift the bow. While trying to string the bow, it broken into two pieces. Sita got Rama as her husband.

Rama breaking Shiva’s bow during Sita Swayamvar

However, this brought Parshurama (vishnu dashavatar) to the ceremony. There was the classic confrontation between two avatars of Vishnu. Rama succeeded in pacifying parshurama.

Rama and Parshurama’s confrontation

Finally, the wedding of Rama and Sita took place. All four brother were married. Lakshman was married with Urmila, Janak’s second daughter and Bharat and Shatrughna with Mandavi and Shrutikirti, the daughters of Janak’s younger brother Kushadhwaj.

Wedding of Sita and Rama