Seven unknown facts of Lord Rama

Lord Rama with his brothers, Sita and Hanumana

Seven unknown and untold facts about Lord Rama

Happy new year 2015. Freeflow presents seven facts about Lord Rama to you to start your year. Have a great time ahead.

Lord Rama is one of the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. His incarnation was to end the life of Ravana, who had a boon which made him invincible. This incarnation of Lord Vishnu was in human form as Ravana did not have immunity against humans and monkeys and Lord Hanumana suitably assisted Lord Rama.

1. According to some belief, Rama Avatar is not considered to be a purna avatar. His incarnation was having 14 kalas and only Shri Krishna avatar has all 16 kalas. This was done on purpose because Ravana had a boon and he was not immune against humans. If Rama avatar had been the purna avatar, he would not have classified as a human. He is also called as Purna Purusha. The two missing kalas were Paripurna & Swarupavasthitha. This explains why he had to take help from monkeys and he cried as a normal human when Sita was abducted.

2.  Rama acknowledged the wisdom of Ravana. While Ravana was dying, Lord Ram asked Laxmana to go up to him to learn all that Ravan had to offer. At his behest, Ravana rendered a discourse in politics and dharma to Laxmana.

3. According to Vishnu Sahasranama, a list of thousand names of Lord Vishnu, Rama is the 394th name of Lord Vishnu.

Lord Rama with his brothers, Sita and Hanumana
Lord Rama with his brothers, Sita and Hanumana

4. This is really an eye opener. Lord Rama also had an elder sister, Shanta, daughter of Dasharatha and Kaushalya.

5. Ayodhya was ruled by Lord Rama for eleven thousand years. This golden period was adjudged as Ram Rajya.

6. Rama intended to use Brahma astra a couple of times. Once, on Jayanta and second time on Sagara, the god of sea.

7. He always admired his bhaktas. Once during the building of bridge to Lanka, Lord Hanumana was hefting huge mountain tops into the sea to build the bridge to Lanka. He noticed a tiny spider brushing small particles of dust into the water with its legs to assist Lord Rama. He was about to brush the spider out of the way of his own serious work, when Ramachandra admonished him, saying, “Give up your pride! This spider’s devotional service is just as satisfying to me as yours. You are serving me according to your capacity, and he is serving me according to his capacity.”

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 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
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
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
Nila kills demons

 

 

Mahavir Jayanti – birth of Lord Hanumana

lord Hanuman and Lord Rama

The festival of Mahavir (Hanumana) Jayanti

Hanuman Jayanti is an important festival for Hindus. Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated on the full moon day (poornima) of the Hindu lunar month of Chaitra. On this day, in a temple, spiritual discourses are started at dawn.  Lord Hanuman was born at sunrise.  At that time the spiritual discourse is stopped and the offering of food (Prasad) is distributed to all bhakts. At some parts in India, this festival is celebrated in the month of december.

Lord Hanumana’s childhood

Once when Hanumanji was young Surya deva (Sun deity) imbued him with knowledge of countless weapons and mantras. However, his hyperactive nature induced him to think of swallowing the `red, ripened fruit’ – the Sun! Before he succeeded, Indra hit him with his Vajra and persuaded him not to. On being hit by the Vajra, his beard – hanu-, became slanted. Therefore he also became known as Hanuman. The “ji” suffix after any name accords respect. Indra then blessed him that he will eternally remain undefeated, victorious. Hanumanji also obtained boons from Varuna deva (water deity) and Yama – deity of death, victory and immortality. From Brahma he obtained the power of inducing fear in enemies, of destroying fear in friends, to be able to change his form at will and to be able to easily travel wherever he wished. From Mahadevji he obtained the boons of longevity, scriptural wisdom and ability to cross the ocean.

Young Hanuman and Lord Surya
Young Hanuman and Lord Surya

Lord Hanumana’s devotion to Lord Rama

Lord Hanuman is known for its great strength, wisdom, power and his immortal devotion towards Lord Rama. He is considered to be a greatest follower of Lord Rama and played a crucial role in his life. He is also known as Sankat Mochan who people remember in both good and bad times. He is considered to be as one of the most powerful Hindu gods in India. According to Hindu mythology, as the son of ‘Pawan’, the God of Winds and ‘Anjanee’ often referred to as ‘Pawanputra,’ is blessed with immense physical and mental strength that is greatly inspiring.

When Ravan’s son Indrajit used his miraculous weapons, rendering Shri Ram and Lakshman unconscious, Hanumanji’s supreme devotion as the ideal devotee manifested. Advised by the Ayurvedic physician Sushena, to fetch the four types of herbs on mount Dronachal to revive the two, Hanumanji flew there. Not recognizing the herbs, he returned with the whole mountain! This miraculous power arose from his unalloyed devotion to Shri Ram and his brahmacharya.

lord Hanuman and Lord Rama
lord Hanuman and Lord Rama

Hanuman Jayanti is an occasion to remember his unbridled devotion to Lord Rama and his feats of daring. In their quest to fight against demon king Ravana, Lord Hanuman led a monkey army and built a bridge to Lanka.

 

A tale of two brothers – Bhima and Hanumana

 When Bhima was humbled

There is an interesting story from Mahabharata about Bhima and Hanumana. This may sound strange but Bhima and Lord Hanumana can be termed as brothers, as they both are born to Lord Pawan, the god of winds. While Hanumana was a constant companion of Lord Rama in treta yuga, Shri Krishna was in company of Arjuna, Bhima’s brother, in the Mahabharata.

When Arjuna was away

Arjuna, the third pandava, had gone to the Himalayas in quest of great weapons from Indra. In case of a war, he would have to face great warriors like Bhishma, Drona, Kripa, Aswatthama, Karna  many more. And it was necessary to acquire more skill and power. The other four pandavas and Draupadi found life devoid of joy in his absence. Desiring a change in life, they moved in search of  a more peaceful place.
At last they came to the Narayanasrama forest. They decided to take rest and stay there for some time.

The flower and request to Bhima by Draupadi

One day, the wind placed a flower near Draupadi. The sweet scent of the flower mesmerized Draupadi. Draupadi felt a deep desire to possess that flower known as Saugandhika. She requested Bhima to get her that flower.  Bhima agreed to to satisfy her desire. He set out in the direction from which  the  fragrance came.

Bhima meets the monkey

On way to the flower, Bhima found an old monkey resting on the path. He asked the monkey to give him way as he was obstructing his path. In reply, the monkey politely declines saying that he was old and weak. Bhima got angry and said that he was talking the greatest mace warrior and possesses great power.  The monkey replies that if he has such strength, why don’t he himself make way by moving the monkey.
Bhima and Hanumana
Bhima and Hanumana

Bhima humbled

Bhima, out of pride and confidence,  Bhima tried  to pull the monkey’s tail aside .But he could  not move it even  a little bit. He put all his might in the endeavor, but to no avail. He was all perspiration. In spite of his best efforts,  he  could not move the tail. As such the question of challenging this monkey for a show of strength did not arise. He felt very humiliated and subdued. He told  the monkey “You are no ordinary monkey. Please tell me who you are. I accept defeat  and bow to you”.

The monkey tells about himself

Now, smilingly, the old monkey tells that he is Hanuman, his brother, who crossed the ocean in search of Sita. He said –I am your brother. Your path  ahead is perilous. It is the path of the gods and is not safe for men. So I came to  caution  you. I knew you have come to collect the  Saugandhika flower. I shall show you the pond, where this  flower grows. You can  collect as many as you want and go back. Bhima was happy. He bowed to Hanumana and requested him  to show his huge form in which he jumped over the sea, one hundred yojanas wide, to land on Lanka.

Lord Hanumana shows his virata form

Hanumana increased his size till he seemed to occupy  the whole landscape, like a hill.  His form was dazzlingly white, so Bhima had to cover his eyes . Resuming his normal form, Hanuman embraced  Bhima and blessed him. He also assured him  “When you roar like a lion on the battle field, my voice shall join yours and strike terror in the hearts of your enemies. I will be there on the flag of the chariot of Arjuna .You will be victorious”. With Hanuman’s embrace, Bhima’s strength also increased. Hanuman wanted to free his brother Bhima from his ego and to give him greater  strength to fight his enemies.
Hanuman shows his true form
Hanuman shows his true form

 

 

Hanumanchatti
Hanumanchatti

Sankat Mochan temple (mandir)

Sankat Mochan Temple

The Sankat Mochan mandir is situated in the holy city of Varanasi. The legend is that this temple was established by Tulsidas, the great poet, who wrote Ramcharitramanas.

This temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman, whose other name is Sankar Mochak, which means reliever of troubles. As per the Vedic Astrology, Lord Hanuman defends and liberates human being from the wicked effects of ‘Shani’ (Planet Saturn). All those, who have ill-placed Saturn in their horoscope, should offer homage at this temple to get relief from the distress. In the earlier times, the temple was very small in its size. Later, the temple complex was extended attributable to the kind donations made by the devotees.

Sankat Mochan mandir
Sankat Mochan mandir

Every Tuesday and Saturday, thousands of devotees queue up in front of the Sankat Mochan temple to offer prayers to Lord Hanuman. According to Vedic Astrology, Hanuman protects human beings from the anger of planet Saturn and those who have ill placed Saturn in their horoscope visit the Sankat Mochan temple to get remedy. People put “Sindoor” on the statue and offer “laddoos” to Lord Hanuman. The “Sindoor” or Vermilion, from the statue of Lord Hanuman is put on the foreheads of devotees.

Festivals celebrated at Sankat Mochan Temple

On the day of  Kartik Krishna Chaturdashi, special prayers are made to the Lord Hanuman. An annual festival is also observed on the full moon night of the month of ‘Chaitra’, which is also known as Hanuman or Mahavir Jayanti. At this juncture, a procession is taken out in the streets of Varanasi. The festival too, attracts plenty of visitors to Sankat Mochan Temple.
Lord Hanuman
Lord Hanuman

Durga temple is very close to this temple and on the day of Mahavir Jayanti, a special procession which starts from the Sankat Mochan mandir ends at Durga mandir.

The current temple structure was built in early 1900s by the educationist and freedom fighter, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya.

 

Mahavir mandir (temple) at Patna

Mahavir Mandir or Hanuman temple

One of the most famous Hanuman temple in country. The unique fact is that this temple houses two statues of Hanuman, one is believed to protect the good souls (paritranay sudhunay) and the other to eliminate the bad ones ( Vinashayati cha dushkritam).

Mahavir idols
Mahavir idols

Historically, this temple belonged to ramanand sect but from 1900, it was in the control of gosain sanyasis. in 1948, Patna high court declared it as  a public temple.

The current beautiful and grand temple was constructed in mid 1980s under the patronage of Kishore Kunal. This temple is very close to patna railway station.

Mahavir temple at night, Patna
Mahavir temple at night, Patna

This temple has three floors, ground, first and second. The ground floor contains the idols of Hanuman jee.

First floor

First floor has Lord Rama’s temple. Shri Krishna’s delivering Shrimadbhagwadgita to Arjuna is also portrayed here. Goddess Durga is also present on this floor. Lord Shiva, Parvati and Nandi are also present here. Shiva linga is also available to enable Rudrabhishek.

The floating Ram-setu Shila is also placed on this floor only. It has been kept in a glass container and is revered by the people. The volume of this stone is 13,000 mm, while the weight is approx. 15kgs.

On the first floor, while crossing Dhyanmandap, to the left  Lord Ganesha and Lord Buddha are available and further on, Lord satyanarayan, Lord Rama accompanied by Mother Sita and Goddess Sarasvati seem to cast a benevolent look on the devotees. In front of this façade of deities, below the Pipal tree, is the temple of Shani-maharaj. This temple, designed in the style of cave architecture, looks beautiful.

Second Floor

On the second floor,this  floor is mainly used for ritual purposes. Sanskar mandap is located at this floor only. Chanting of mantras, japa, recitals of Holy Scriptures, Satyanarayan katha and various other rituals are practiced and performed here. The floor also has the pictographic representation of the scenes from the Ramayana.