As the war progresses and Ravana keeps losing his warriors, the battle of Lanka seems to be heading towards its end. This article details about how Rama and Laxmana were helped by Vibheeshana in their quest of getting Sita back.
Ravana summons his mighty son Indrajit
Following the advice of Ravana, Indrajit joins the battle again. Indrajit was fighting behind the demons and was difficult to locate. Vibhishana advises to Hanumana to kill the demons so that Indrajit becomes visible.
Vibhishana takes Lakshmana to the place where indrajit is performing the sacrificial rite. He advises Lakshmana to destroy Indrajit even before he finishes the sacrificial rite at a banyan tree. Because if Indrajit had completed the ritual, he would become invincible.
Indrajit sees Vibhishana there and starts talking harsh words to him, saying that he has ditched him by bringing Lakshmana to that place. Vibhishana replies that because of Ravana’s vices, he has left him and joined Rama’s side. He further adds that Indrajit and his army will not survive under the range of Lakshmana’s arrows.
Indrajit becomes angry
Hearing these words from Vibheeshana, Ravana’ s son becomes red from anger and starts challenging Laxmana. Soon, a fierce battle between these two great warriors start.
The battle begins
Laxmana stretching five steel arrows upto the ear, dug them into the demon’s chest with a great speed. The arrows, blazing like serpents and feathered with fine plumes, shone like sun-rays in that demon’s chest. Struck with arrows by Laxmana, that enraged demon pierced in return three arrows well-directed towards Laxmana.
The fight continues
That fight between Laxmana, the foremost among men and Indrajit, the formost among demons, who wished to conquer one over the other in battle, was most terrific and tumultuous. Both were endowed with strength. Both were distinguished for their prowess. Both were exceedingly difficult to conquer and peerless in strength and courage.
Vibheeshana helps Laxmana
A lot of time lapsed in the meanwhile past the two warriors. They neither turned their back from the battle nor experienced any fatigue. Then, to provide some rest to Laxmana, Vibheeshana took his position in the battle field.
Vibheeshana kills many demons. He encouraged monkeys and urged them to carry on the combat. The monkeys started a furious attack on the demons. Hanumana also begins to destroy thousands of demons.
He rushes towards Laxmana and starts fighting. Rama’s younger brother kills his charioteer. Monkeys kill Indrajit’s horses and destroys his chariot.
Laxmana Kills Indrajit
The battle finally reaches its conclusion. After fighting for so many hours the end is nearer. After his chariot was destroyed, Indrajit brought new chariot. Riding atop this, he attacks the monkeys. Monkeys sought help from Laxmana. They again indulge in fierce battle and Laxmana again destroys his chariot.
Indrajit strikes three arrows in Lakshmana’s forehead and Lakshmana strikes five arrows on his face. When Indrajit strikes Vibhishana with arrows, Vibhishana kills his horses. Finally, using a missile presided over by Indra the lord of celestials, Laxmana addressed a prayer on Lord Rama and discharged it towards Indrajit.
Indrajit’s head gets chopped off and falls to the ground. Witnessing his death, all the monkey-chiefs, Vibheeshana, Hanuma and Jambavant applaud Laxmana.
Laxmana treated by Sushena
After killing of Indrajit, Laxmana was treated by Sushena. Rama becomes delighted by the news whereas Ravana gets saddened by hearing the loss of his great son. Rama further intensifies the battle and kills many demons. In Lanka, female lament the loss of monkeys. Finally, Ravana comes out to fight Rama.
In this article, death of Ravana’s sons is detailed. His mighty sons, Devantaka, Narantaka and Atikaya lose their lives for fighting their father’s cause. Ravana starts to worry.
Ravana comes to know about the death of his dear and mighty brother, Kumbhkarna. They tell him that Rama subdued him after a great battle and he became a mangled mass of flesh and blood in the end. Hearing this, Rama went into shock and lamented the demise of his great brother. He also thought that why he did not listen to the advice of his wise brother, Vibheeshana. Ravana’s sons and brothers all became full of sorrow and it was a difficult period for demon clan. Ravana was wondering, how his brother could have been killed by a human, who was capable of defeating the gods.
Ravana’s sons console him and vow to fight for their father’s cause
Following the death of Kumbhkarna, Ravana was consoled by his son Trishira. His other sons, Devantaka, Narantaka and Atikaya also come forward to fight for him. Ravana sends all them to the battle. He sends his brothers Mahodara and Mahaparshva to guard his sons. Another fighter Narantaka enters the battlefield and kills a lot of monkeys.
Angad finishes Narantaka
Soon, Sugriva sends his nephew Angad to fight Narantaka. Narantaka hurls his javelin towards Angadas chest, but the javelin breaks and falls down. Angada strikes Narantakas horse with his hand and the horse falls down dead. Then, Angada and Narantaka exchange the blows of their fists on each other in battle and finally, Narantaka dies.
Angad surrounded by demons
Angad starts to fight for the monkeys who were rendered unconscious earlier. He was then surrounded by Mahodara, Trishira and Devantaka and attacked by them. Soon Hanumana and Neela started to help Angada. Devantaka loses his life in the hands of Hanumana. Then Neela duly kills Mahodara. Hanumana finally kills Trishira, by chopping off his three heads by Trishiras sword itself. After this, Rishabh the monkey kills the demon Mahaparshva.
Atikaya, The mighty son of Ravana, meets his fate
Then Atikaya enters the battleground and proves to be a handful for the monkeys. He dares Rama for a fight. Soon, a fight between Laxmana and Atikaya ensues where Atikaya manages to hit Laxmana on his chest. Wind god advises Atikaya to send an arrow with a missile of Brahma. Laxmana follows the instructions and soon, Atikaya’s body loses his head.
Ravana is surprised on the loss of so many warriors
Having been informed that Atikaya, Dhumraksha, Akampana, Prahasta, Kumbhakarna and other mighty demons are killed in battle, Ravana felt anxious. He is surprised as to how Rama and Lakshmana got released from the bind of arrows, made by Indrajit, his son earlier. He feels that no demon is capable of defeating Rama, Lakshmana, Sugriva and Vibhishana. He enjoins demons to protect the City of Lanka and even Ashoka garden, where Seetha has been kept in capture. He asks the army not to be indifferent to the movements of the monkey-warriors. After issuing the necessary instruction to his army, he enters deep into his palace and remains brooding over the loss of Atikaya, his son.
King Janak was the ruler of the kingdom of Videha. Its capital city was Mithila. Janak was not only a brave king, but was also very well-versed in the Shastras and Vedas. His daughter was Sita who grew up to be a girl of unparalleled beauty and charm and possessed the greatest of womanly virtues.
The condition of Swayamvara
When Sita became of marriageable age, the king decided to have a Swayamvara, which included a contest. The king was in possession of an immensely heavy bow, presented to him by the God Shiva. Whoever could wield the bow and string it, could marry Sita.
Why the condition was chosen
In earlier part of her life, Sita while playing with her sisters had unknowingly lifted the table over which the “Shiva Dhanush” had been placed; which was something no one in the palace could do. This incident was however observed by King Janaka and he decided to make this incident as the backdrop for swayamvara.
Rama fulfils the condition
Rama, the Prince of Ayodhya, successfully broke Shiva’s bow as he picked it up. And with the breaking of the bow, Janak proposed Sita to Rama in marriage. On the approval of Sage Vishwamitra, Janak sent his messengers to Ayodhya to convey the message to Dasharatha. Upon hearing the story of how his son Rama not only lifted the bow of Shiva, but also broke it, Dasharatha was overjoyed. He gladly accepted the marriage proposal of Rama and Sita.
Angry Parshurama comes to the palace
At this point, Parshurama arrives at the palace and demanded to know that who has broken the bow of Shiva. He told Rama that Vishvakarma made two identical bows and gave them to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu and Rama has broken the former. Parshurama said if Rama could string the bow of Vishnu then only he will accept the greatness of Rama. Rama took it up and strung it and placed an arrow asking Parashurama to where to target the arrow now. Parshurama realized that this person is no ordinary person and he himself is an avatar of Vishnu. He silently retreated from the swayamvara place.
Marriage of Sita and Rama is solemnised
King Janak at that time gave lot money and other valuables that one can’t even imagine as dowry for Sita. As dowry, King Janak gave several lakh cows, expensive carpets and hundreds of silk clothes for Sita. The dowry also included elephants and horses covered with gold ornaments and chariots with many guards and servants. For Sita to not miss her friends, Janak also sent 100 female helpers as dowry with his daughter.Apart from all this, Janak also gave her daughter 1 crore gold coins, diamonds, pearls and ruby.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ramayana is one of the most riveting epics from India. This story of Lord Rama has been told and retold in several languages from ancient India and is still relevant. The Ramayana is not only the story of Rama, but this is also a story of other people. For instance, Lakshman, Bharat and Hanuman. We can’t forget Sita, Urmila, Vibheeshana alongwith Kaikeyi and Manthra.
Following are some of the interesting facts from this epic.
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
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). Sita was also known as Vaidehi. An interesting fact about Sita is that she is also considered to be a reincarnation of Vedvati, whom Ravan had tried to molest while she was under penance, so as to become the consort of Lord Vishnu. She then cursed Ravana to become the cause of his destruction in her next birth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
26. Lord Hanuman is one of the 7 chiranjeevs. These immortals will live till the beginning of the next Satya Yuga. Hanuman slain the demon Kalanemi, while fetching sanjeevani herb. Kalanemi was sent by Ravana. 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.
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.
33. Ravana’s grandfather was Pulastya, one of the seven great sages or Saptarishis. His father was himself a great sage Vishrava. 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.
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).
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, every time 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.
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.
52. The stripes on the back of squirrels is supposed to be Ram’s caress for their dedication to help construct the bridge to Lanka.