Lord Sri Rama, the Universal Master

Rama Lakshman Janaki in Exile no-watermark

Rama Lakshman Janaki in Exile no-watermark

Ramayana is a major epic in Hinduism and it is considered as a sacred text, which tells the greatness and holiness of Lord Rama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. It also tells the respect he has shown to his father, king Dasaratha and obeys his orders and went to the forest. He acts as an example for others with regard to his Guru Bhakti, love and affection towards his father, mother and wife. And his good characteristics like honesty, dedication and sincerity was mentioned in the epic Ramayana.

Maharshi Valmiki had written the life story of Lord Rama and the various incidents happening in his life, also known as “VALMIKI RAMAYANA”.

By reading this holy text, all of our unnecessary worries, tensions, miseries and sorrows would be permanently run away from our life, and we would get happiness and peacefulness throughout our life. By reading the divine text Ramayana, we can get a great sense of satisfaction, similar to consuming the divine nectar, Amirtha. By continuously chanting the Rama mantra, “JAI SRIRAM”, we would get salvation after our death.

Ramayana was read by ancient sages and saints, and they had asked their devotees to follow the practice of reading Ramayana regularly. Next to Rama, Lakshmana and Sita, Hanuman occupies the main role in Ramayana. We can learn lot of good things from him, like showing obedience to his master, welcoming the guests, maintaining strict discipline, and treating everyone in a humble manner etc.

Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna acts as an example for showing affection on their brother Rama, and they act as humble servants to him. Sita is a beautiful and chaste woman, and she maintained lot of patience, especially during the time of her stay at Srilanka, and we can also develop lot of patience by studying her role in Ramayana.

Ramayana teaches many important things, which is very useful to run our life in an easiest way. At this present situation, daily we are facing lot of troubles and turmoil, and by reading the divine epic Ramayana, we would get great mental satisfaction and enlightenment in our life.

During the Treta Yuga, King Dasaratha had ruled the kingdom of Ayodhya in a prosperous manner. Though he had three wives, he didn’t have children. And as per the advice of his Guru Sri Vasishta, he performed fire sacrifices to please the gods, and due to that, he had been blessed with four children. From his wife Kausalya, Lord Rama was born, from Sumitra, Lakshmana and Shatrughna were born, and from Kaikeyi, Bharata was born. All the four children had trained in all kinds of arts, and they have also undergone training under Sage Vasishta, and learned the Hindu scriptures, Vedas and other holy texts.

At his young age itself, as per the instructions of Sage Viswamitra, Rama had killed powerful demons, and pleased the great rishi Viswamitra. Then Viswamitra took Rama to Mithila, and as per the advice of Viswamitra, Rama had broken a powerful bow, also called as Shiva Dhanusu, and then he married with Sita, daughter of the Mithila king Janaka. Janaka’s another daughter Urmila was married with Lakshmana, and Janaka’s brother’s daughters were married with Bharata and Shatrughna.

When Dasaratha planned to crown Rama as the king, Kaikeyi had asked two boons from Dasaratha, and as per the first boon, Dasaratha has to crown his son Bharata as the king of Ayodhya, and as per the second boon, he has to send Rama to the forest for a period of 14 years. After Rama, Lakshmana and Sita left Ayodhya, Dasarata’s heart was broken, and he collapsed and died. Bharata took the form of a sage, ate only fruits and greens, and he kept the golden slippers of Lord Rama in the throne, and through his blessings, he ruled Ayodhya for the period of fourteen years in a prosperous manner.

Rama went to the forest along with Sita and Lakshmana. They stayed at various places in the forest, and once Ravana’s sister Surpanaka, visited their place, and she was attracted with the beauty of Rama, and wanted to marry him. Due to that, Lakshmana had become very angry with her, and hence he cut off the nose and ears of Surpanaka. The angry Surpanaka went to her brother Ravana’s palace at Sri Lanka, told about her sufferings, and asked him to punish Rama, by the way of kidnapping Sita to Sri Lanka. Ravana agreed, and immediately he sent the demon Maricha in the form of a deer, and asked him to wander in the forest in front of Sita.

Maricha had agreed, and he took the form of a beautiful golden deer, and stood in front of Sita. Sita wanted to capture the handsome deer, and hence she asked Rama to capture the deer. But the magic deer began to run away from that place, and after some time, Rama had shot an arrow on the deer, and killed him. Before dying, Maricha took his original form, and shouted in Rama’s voice, as “LAKSHMANA, please come immediately, and save me”.

On hearing the cries, Sita mistakenly thought that her consort Rama was in trouble, and sent Lakshmana to help him. Due to that, Lakshmana began to search Rama in the forest. During that time, Ravana took the form of a sage, and approached Sita to give alms to him. When Sita brought fruits and honey to offer him, Ravana took his original form, and kidnapped Sita to Lanka. During his journey to Lanka, the bird king Jatayu fought with Ravana. Ravana had cut off the feathers of Jatayu, and due to that, the poor bird was severely injured, but it waited for Rama to tell about the Kidnapping incident.

Meanwhile, Lakshmana met Rama in the forest, and both of them went to their Ashram in the forest, and then they came to know, that Mata Sita was unavailable in that place. Having lot of pain in their mind, they began to search for Sita in the entire forest, and finally they had seen Jatayu, and he had narrated the entire incident, and died in front of Rama. Rama gave salvation to the bird king Jatayu, and also performed funeral rites to the holy bird Jatayu, and then they started their journey, and as per the advice of one Kabanda, they went to Kishkinta, and there they met Hanuman and Sugriva.

Sugriva requested Rama to kill his brother Vali, who had thrown out Surgriva from the kingdom, and also tortured Sugriva’s wife Roma. After knowing about this, Rama had shot an arrow on Vali, and killed him, and crowned Sugriva as the king of Kishkinta.

Ravana had verbally tortured Sita, and kept her as a prisoner in a place called as Ashokavanam at Srilanka. Ravana’s brother Vibhishana had advised Ravana, to hand over Sita to Rama, in order to avoid the battle. But Ravana didn’t listened to Vibhishana, and tried his level best to marry Sita. But Sita didn’t agree for that, and she was very much worried to stay at that place.

Hanuman went to Lanka, and he tried to have peace talks with Ravana. But Ravana disobeyed him, and also set fire on his tail. Through the fire, Hanuman had destroyed half of the kingdom of Lanka, along with lot of demons.

Vibhishana, being a good person, didn’t want to stay with his brother Ravana, and hence, he had joined with Rama and Sugriva, and through the help of the ocean god, the great Lord Varuna Bhagavan, they went to Srilanka, by building a bridge, and after several days of fighting with the demons, with the help of Hanuman, Surgriva, and other Vanaras, Rama had killed Ravana, and rescued Sita from him, and both of them were united, and after the completion of fourteen years, they returned to Ayodhya, and Rama had become the king of Ayodhya. Rama has also crowned Vibhishana as the king of Lanka.

After some time, due to some rumours, Rama had sent Sita to the forest, and there she stayed in Rishi Valmiki’s ashram, and gave birth to Lava and Kusha. When Rama met Sita at the forest, she gave her sons, Lava and Kusha to Rama, and went inside the earth.

Rama felt very sad for losing Sita, and he never married again, and with her fond memories, he ruled the kingdom of Ayodhya for 11,000 years, and finally departed from the earth, and went to Vaikunta, and he took the Ayodhya people also along with him to the Vaikunta.

Those who read this wonderful story of Lord Rama would be relieved from their problems, and would get permanent happiness and peacefulness and they would prosper in their life.
SundaraKandam is one of the chapters in the great epic Ramayana. It was written in Sanskrit by Maharishi Valmiki, who has written the entire epic Ramayana. In SundaraKandam, the great tasks performed by Lord Hanuman were mentioned and also the various good qualities of Hanuman like his selflessness nature, obedience, confidence, great strength, and his Rama Bhakti is mentioned in the holy text.

He is the one who makes impossible things into possible. Since Hanuman contains beautiful face as well as he contains very good nature, he was fondly called as “Sundara” by Sage Valmiki. In the Sundara Kandam, Hanuman’s journey to Lanka is mentioned clearly.
The Sundara Kandam forms the main portion of Ramayana and it tells about the greatness of Hanuman, his involvement in searching for Mata Sita, and the interesting incidents happened during his travel to Lanka.

While he was on his journey to Lanka, he met the Mighty Mountain king Mainaka, and blessed him. He also won in the game kept by the Naga Devata Surasa, and received her blessings also. He flew in the sky like the divine bird Garuda, and after reaching Lanka, Hanuman defeated Lanka Devi, the goddess of Srilanka, and then Hanuman took the shape of a small person, and walked down in the streets of Lanka, and he finally found her in the Ashok Vana.

In the Ashok Vana, Sita was threatened by Ravana and she was guarded by various demons, and they insisted her to marry Ravana. When the demons were slept, Hanuman approached Mata Sita and narrated about the life history of Lord Rama to her, in order to bring confidence on him. Sita wept with tears, and gave one of her necklaces to Hanuman, and asked him to give it to Rama.

Hanuman then went inside the city of Lanka and fought with the demon soldiers and killed them. Finally, he met Ravana, and insisted him to set free Mata Sita from the AshokaVana. Due to that, Ravana had become very angry, and asked his soldiers to set fire on his tail. The soldiers tied clothes on his tail, and burnt the fire on his tail.

The angry Hanuman, with the fire on his tail, destroyed most of the houses of the demons and the buildings in Srilanka. And then he went to Kishkinta, and narrated the entire incidents happened in Srilanka to Lord Rama, Sugriva, Jambavan and to other Vanaras, and also he gave the necklace to Rama, which was given by Mata Sita to Hanuman in the Ashokavana.

It is an ancient practice to recite the story of Sundara Kandam, and a copy of SundaraKandam book must be kept in the puja room by each and every Ram devotee. Listening to divine discourses on Ramayana, and reciting SundaraKandam during Saturdays, would give us all kinds of prosperity in our life, and after our death, we would attain salvation.

In this present period, running our life is very difficult without the help of the almighty. We are suffering from lot of problems and from various kinds of diseases.

Let us chant the Rama Mantra, “JAI SRIRAM” throughout our life time, sing his divine songs, praise him with full of devotion, and let us be blessed.

“OM”
WRITTEN BY
R.HARISHANKAR

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