The Ramayana (Rama and Ravana ) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (10)

Rama and Ravana - The Ramayana

The final battle of Lanka and end of Ravana

The end of Ravana is approaching fast. He has lost his brothers and son Indrajit  in the battle. As a true warrior, he turns up on the battle field. He starts to fight with monkeys with vigour and determination. Meanwhile Rama and Laxmana have gathered forces to subdue the final resistance from King of Lanka.

Ravana comes to battle field
Ravana comes to battle field
Rama and Ravana - The Ramayana
Rama and Ravana – The Ramayana

Commanders of Ravana killed

He approaches Rama. Meanwhile Sugriva kills Virupaksha, another trusted commander of demon king. Ravana instructs Mahodara to fight with Rama and army, but Sugriva kills him also. Angada soon ends the resistance of Mahaparsva, aided by Jambavant.

Rama Laxmana and Ravana
Rama Laxmana and Ravana

Ravana fights two brothers

Soon, King of Lanka attacks Rama and Laxmana and a great battle starts. Ravana uses his mystic missile, which was struck down by Rama. Soon Visbhishana also joins the two brothers. Laxmana was hurt by Ravana and becomes unconscious.

Hanuman bringing sanjeevani booti to revive Laxman
Hanuman bringing sanjeevani booti to revive Laxman

Laxmana unconsious

Rama gets worried of Laxmana’s condition. He asks Sushena to look at his brother. Sushena instructs Hanumana to bring the herbs. Hanumana brings the whole mountain when he could not locate the herbs. He was then treated by Sushena and regained consciousness.

Fight between Rama and Ravana

The battle between Rama and Demon king starts. Indra sends a chariot, an armour, some arrows and a powerful spear to help Rama. A tumultuous and thrilling battle ensues between two great warriors. A spear hurled by Ravana is thwarted by a powerful spear (sent by Indra) of Rama. Then, Rama strikes his opponent horses with arrows. He also pierces the chest region and the forehead of Ravana with his fierce arrows. The king of Lanka gets severely hurt.

Rama starts cutting his head

Slowly but surely, Ravana strength starts to diminish. When Rama begins to cut off demon’s head, another head starts to crop up in its place. The fierce encounter continues thus for seven days.

Matali provides the final piece of advice

Seeing this, Matali explains to Rama that end of Ravana has come. He says to Rama – “O lord! You can employ a mystic missile presided over by Brahma, the lord of creation. The time for his destruction has come now, as expressed by the celestials.” Then, the valiant Rama, who was reminded thus by Matali, took hold of a blazing arrow, which was given by Brahma and which in turn was given to him by the glorious sage, Agastya earlier in the battle-field and which looked like a hissing serpent. Having been made formerly for Indra, the lord of celestials by Brahma, the lord of creation of infinite strength, it was bestowed in the past on the ruler of gods, who was desirous of conquering the three worlds.

Rama releases the arrow and kills Ravana

That arrow, released with great speed and which was capable of destroying the body, tore off the heart of that evil-minded Ravana.

Rama using Prasavapana on Ravana
Rama using Prasavapana on Ravana

 

Vibheeshana laments the loss of his great brother

Ravana killed by Rama
Ravana killed by Rama

Vibheeshana laments a lot, after seeing his brother lying dead on the battle-field. Rama comforts him, saying that a warrior killed in battle, need not be mourned. Vibheeshana describes the personality of his slain brother and his qualities to Rama and seeks permission of Rama to perform funeral rites to Ravana. Rama directs Vibheeshana to perform the obsequies to Ravana, his deceased brother.

The Ramayana (Rama, Ravana and Akampan) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (7)

Vanaras and Demons at Lanka

 Yuddha Kand and Akampan – Part 7

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 faints

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
Ravana

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.

Ramayana Yuddha Kand
Ramayana Yuddha Kand

Angad finishes Narantaka

Soon, Sugriva sends his nephew Angad to fight Narantaka. Narantaka hurls his javelin towards Angada’s chest, but the javelin breaks and falls down. Angada strikes Narantaka’s 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 Trishira’s sword itself. After this, Rishabh the monkey kills the demon Mahaparshva.

Vanaras and Demons
Vanaras and Demons

 

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.

 

Laxmana kills Atikaya
Laxmana kills Atikaya

Ravana is surprised on the loss of so many warriors

Having been informed that Atikaya, DhumrakshaAkampanaPrahasta, 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.

Ravana dwells
Ravana dwells

 

 

The Ramayana (Rama, Ravana and Kumbhkarna) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (6)

Yuddha Kand and Kumbhkarna – Part 6

In this article, exploits of mighty demon Kumbhkarna , brother of Ravana are detailed. Although opposed the Ravana’s action of abduction of Sita, chose to side by his brother and died the death of a warrior.

Ravana is desparate after loss of so many great warriors

After the death of his great commander Prahasta, Ravana himself appears on the battle-front for an encounter, along with Indrajit, Atikaya, Mahodara, Pishacha, Trishiras, Kumbha, Nimkumbha and Narantaka the foremost of demons. After a tough fight with Sugriva, Lakshmana, Hanuma and Nila, Ravana encounters Rama in battle, and Rama ensures with his arrows that Ravana suffers an ignominious defeat.Thus, defeated and spared by Rama, Ravana returns to lanka.

 Ravana invokes Kumbhkarna

After losing so many warriors and himself subdued by Rama, Ravana invokes his illustrious brother Kumbhkarna. Kumbhkarna, due to a boon from Brahma, was in great sleep and could only get up in next six months. Ravana orders the demons to wake him up. The slumbering Kumbhkarna is roused by the demons under orders of their king. Kumbhkarna , giant in form, sets out on the high way to see Ravana and the monkeys get alarmed to see the giant demon.

Kumbhakarna in Ramayana

 

Rama inquires about Kumbhkarna

Seeing Kumbhkarna, Rama consulted Vibheeshana about him. His body was huge and his was a terrifying sight. Vibheeshana said that how he performed great penance for obtaining boon and due to slip of tongue, was in sleep for about six months and then wakes up.  Since Ravana has made Kumbhkarna to come out of his sleep, this must be an important moment of this war.

KumbhKarna

Ravana asks Kumbhkarna to kill enemies

Kumbhkarna comes to meet Ravana and sees his worried brother sitting in a flying chariot, called Pushpaka. Kumbhkarna asks Ravana about the work expected of him. Ravana replies that Rama has come with troops of monkeys including Sugriva, after crossing the ocean by a bridge, to wage a battle. Ravana requests Kumbhkarna to use his prowess and kill all the adversaries in battle.

 Rama’s army fights Kumbhkarna

Egged by Angada, monkeys start to fight with this mighty demon called Kumbhkarna. Dvivida fights with mountains and Hanumana injures him with another mountain peak. Kumbhkarna responds by hitting him with spikes. Thousands of monkeys climb his body and and fights him with their  nails, fists, teeth and arms.

Kumbhakarna - The Ramayana
Kumbhakarna – The Ramayana

Kumbhkarna fights back, Angada becomes unconscious

In response, Kumbhkarna destroys all those monkeys with his spike. When Angada, the leader of the monkeys, attacks Kumbhkarna , the latter strikes Angada violently and Angada falls unconscious.

Battle with Sugriva

After this, Kumbhkarna fights with Sugriva. Sugriva strikes Kumbhkarna with a mountain, but the mountain breaks into pieces. When Kumbhkarna throws his spike towards Sugriva in retaliation, Hanuma stops it on the way and breaks it off. Then, Kumbhakarna hurls a mountian-crust on Sugriva to make him unconscious and takes him away on his shoulders to Lanka. When Sugriva regains consciousness, he tears off the ears and nose of Kumbhakarna with his sharp nails and teeth. In reaction, Kumbhakarna thren Sugriva down and tried to crush him. Then Sugreeva bounces into the air and gets re united with Rama.

 

Kumbhkarna’s final battle with Laxmana  and Rama

Now, Laxmana starts to attack Kumbhkarna . He appreciates the bravery of Laxmana and proceeded towards Rama to fight with him. Rama fires some arrows with ‘Roundra’ spell towards the demon. Those arrows disappear into his chest and make him weapon-less. Kumbhakarna then hurls a mountain-peak towards Rama , but it was split up into pieces by the arrows released by Rama.

Laxmana advises monkeys and all of them climb straight upon Kumbhkarna’s body. But he manages to shake them off with violence. Then, Rama employs a great missile and chops off one arm of Kumbhakarna. Then Kumbhkarna with an uprooted tree in his arm, comes furiously towards Rama. Rama, with the help of an arrow, chops off the second arm of this mighty demon and then cuts off the feet with his arrows and finally slashes off his head.

 

Rama kills Kumbhkarna

 

This is how, the great brother of Ravana died while fighting for his brother.

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
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
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
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
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.

 

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
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
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 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
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
Sugriva and Ravana

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
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 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
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
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
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
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
Ravana and Sita in Ashoka Vatika

 

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

Rama and Ravana - The Ramayana

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 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 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
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.

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?

The Ramayana story in pictures – Sunder kand (5) – Hanuman

Lord Hanumana

Sunder Kand from The Ramayana (Hanuman)

Sunder Kand is the story of Hanuman finding Sita. The most important character for this chapter is of Hanuman’s.

Panchroopi bhagwan Hanuman
Panchroopi bhagwan Hanuman

Sunder Kand

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

 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 first enlarged his size.

Sursa and Hanuman

 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 and Hanuman

 Soon, another hurdle appeared. A demon caught his shadow. The demon was  Sinhika. 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.

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 about time. She praises his devotion towards Lord Rama.

  Hanuman hits Lankini

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.

Sita at Ashok vatika

At the same time, Ravana came there and threatened Sita with dire consequences, if she refuses to marry him.

Ravana in ashok vatika – threatening Sita

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.

Trijata and Sita in Ashok Vatika

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.

Hanuman meets Sita at Ashok Vatika

With permission of Sita, Hanuman then ate fruits from Ashok Vatika and uprooted many trees.

Hanuman creating havoc in Ashok Vatika

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.

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.

Lanka dahan by Hanuman

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

Hanuman departing from lanka after meeting Sita

Hanuman heads back to Kishkindha.

Hanuman returns from lanka
Hanuman returns from lanka

He meets Rama and Laxmana and tells them the whole story.

he meets Rama and Laxman after returning from lanka.
he meets Rama and Laxman after returning from lanka.

Then, Rama, Laxman and Hanuman, meet Sugriva and decide future course of action.

Meeting with Sugriva
Meeting with Sugriva

After knowing the whereabouts of Sita, Rama sets out to free her. He is accompanied by Vanara Sena.

Rama reaches with vanar sena at the sea shore
Rama reaches with vanar sena at the sea shore

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
Mandodari persuades Ravana to release Sita

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

Vibheeshana and Ravana
Vibheeshana and Ravana

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

Rama and Vibheeshana
Rama and Vibheeshana

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
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
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.

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
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 and Diwali
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

Ravana abducted Sita, fully knowing the consequences

Rama and Ravana - The Ramayana

Ravana – The great scholar

Ravana, mostly known as the person who kidnapped Sita and was later killed by Lord Rama.Lets look at other aspects of him and try to find out the exact reason behind the abduction of Sita.

Ravana was a great scholar, a devout devotee of Lord Shiva. He knew about the scriptures. He even wrote a book Ravana Samhita, which is on astrology.

Even Lord Rama had once addresed Ravana as a “Maha Brahmin” (Great Brahmin).

He did great penance to please Lord Shiva and offered to give him his all heads. His name Ravana came from the fact that once he was pinned down by Lord Shiva under the Mount Kailash and his cry was defeaning.

Baidyanath Jyotirlinga and Ravana
Baidyanath Jyotirlinga and Ravana

He also had the boon from Brahma which gave him immunity against everyone, save human and monkeys.

From these facts, this is clear that Ravana was a learned, scholar person, who believed in hindu gods, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. This facts becomes unfathomable that he decided to kidnap the wife of the trinity, Lord Vishnu’s avatar Lord Rama.

If we look more into this, Ravana did not chose to pray Lord Vishnu, when he prayed Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. Why? he could have chosen to pray lord Vishnu.

The reason for abduction

There is a reason. This reason comes from the fact of Ravana’s birth. Ravana was actually a devout follower of Lord Vishnu. Once he and his brother (Jaya and Vijaya) have caused some discomfort to a great Sage and they were subjected to his wrath. The events, which followed this incident ensured that Jaya and Vijaya will have to take three births and they need to killed by Lord Vishnu, before they can be closer to him.

So, in all probability, as he was a great scholar, he must knew that his salvation was in getting killed by Lord Vishnu’s avatara. That is sole reason, he did not ask from immunity from humans, because he knew this very well that Lord Rama has taken avatar in a human form.

Now again, he was a good ruler, there was no apparent reason that he would be under threat from anyone. After all, he was a great warrior as well. So how he could meet almighty. So, he created a reason, he did the unthinkable. He abducted Sita.

Ravana and Sita
Ravana and Sita

This was the masterstroke. Ravana first created rules, so that he could be only killed by a human. This human was an avatar of Lord Vishnu and capable of defeating him. Then he created a reason.

This way, he ensured that only Lord Vishnu will become the reason of his death. This was his ultimate wish, which he achieved.

Lord Rama first used Prasavapana for evaporating the nectar from his navel, and then decapacitated his head.

Rama and Ravana - The Ramayana
Rama and Ravana – The Ramayana

I would say, he was the great strategist and he executed his plans well, so that he achieved one more step towards unification with Lord Vishnu.

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

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