Good morning friends,
Happy Ramnavami to all. This very special day is dedicated to the celebration of the birth anniversary of Lord Shri Ram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who appeared in several forms on the earth to slay demons and save the world from the clutches of the evil. Lord Vishnu reincarnated ten times on the earth called Dashavatara. Lord Rama was one of his avatars.
Lord Rama was the eldest of the four sons born to King Dashrath of Ayodhya. King Dashrath had three queens, Kaushalya, Kaikeyi, and Sumitra but was heirless for quite some time. Guru Vashishtha advised him to perform a ritual (yagya) ( offering to God of Fire). The God, pleased with his devotion, came up with a cup of porridge and asked him to distribute it amongst his queens. Kaushalya and Kaikeyi had their share and fed a portion each to Sumitra because of which she was blessed with twins, Laxman and Shatrughan. Rama was born to Kaushalya while Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharat.
The four princes grew up together. They all loved and adored each other. They went to Guru Vashishtha for their education. They became well versed in the subjects like archery, religious scriptures and administration of the kingdom.
King Dashrath and his queens were delighted to find their sons returning home after completing their education. Guru Vishwamitra asked for Rama and Laxman to accompany him towards the ashram of the sages who were performing sacrificial rituals and guard them against the demons who disrupted their rituals. Ram killed Subahu and sent away Mareech, this freeing the ashram from the demons. Vishwamitra, Rama, and Laxman went to Mithila. There was a contest for seeking the hand of the Princess of Mithila, Sita, in marriage. There were many kings and princess taking part in the contest. They had to lift and string the bow gifted by Lord Shiva. Most of them failed until Lord Rama broke the bow and married Devi Sita. Her sisters, Urmila, Mandavi, and Shrutkirti got married to Laxman, Bharat, and Shatrughan.
It was time for King Dashrath to step down as the King of Ayodhya and hand over the reins to his eldest son, which was the usual norms.
Kaikeyi adored Rama and was very happy to know that Dashrath was planning to hand over the throne of Ayodhya to Him. Unfortunately, she had an evil maid with a hump on her back, called Manthara who poisoned Kaikeyi’s ears against Rama. Kaikeyi’s love for Rama quickly got replaced with her hatred. Manthara reminded her of seeking the two boons offered to her by King Dashrath when she saved from being killed by demons.
Kaikeyi revealed her true colors to Dashrath by asking for fourteen years’ exile for Rama and the Kingdom of Ayodhya to Bharat. Dashrath was furious but helpless. He felt heart broken. Lord Rama asked His father the reason for his sadness and when Dashrath told Him about Kaikeyi’s cruel demand, He willingly went to the forest With Sita and Laxman. Dashrath died shortly.
During their exile, a demoness Shurpanakha, the sister of King Ravan of Lanka, happened to see Rama and fell in love with Him. She asked him to marry her but He refused saying that he had taken a vow to remain faithful to His wife only. Shurpanakha saw Sita and she was stunned by her beauty. The demoness approached Laxman but he too rejected her.
She tried to attack Sita but Laxman cut off her nose. She went crying to Ravan to seek revenge by kidnapping Sita. Ravan sent his demon, Mareech, to disguise him as a golden deer to lure away Rama. Sita saw the deer and asked Rama to get it for her. He went away leaving behind Laxman to guard her. Rama aimed his arrow at Mareech and the demon was killed but cried out for help in Rama’s voice. Sita forced Laxman to help his brother. He drew a circle around the hut and forbid her from stepping out of the circle.
Sometimes later, Ravan disguised as a mendicant seeking alms forced her to step out and carried her away in his air-chariot. Rama and Laxman were shocked to find Sita missing. She had dropped her ornaments on the way to let them know where she went. They saw a dying vulture called Jatayu who informed them that Ravan had abducted her and taken her to Lanka. They went through the dense forests and reached Kishkindha where they met Hanuman , The Monkey God and an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. He took them to King Sugriv. They ( Rama and Laxman) offered their help to win back Sugriv’s lost kingdom from his evil brother, Bali, in exchange for his services in finding the location of Sita and rescuing her from Ravan. Rama killed Bali. Hanuman flew to Lanka and saw Sitadevi brooding under a tree.
He gave her Lord Rama’s ring to prove that he was a trusted confidante of Lord Rama. Sita was pleased with him and gave her hair ornament called Chudamani to confirm that He ( Hanuman) had indeed met Her. Hanuman was captured by the demon army and Ravan wanted to kill Him but his wise brother Vibhishan advised him against it. Ravan ordered to set his tail on fire. Hanuman burned Lanka before returning to His Lord and giving Him the good news about meeting Sita.
Sugriv and his army with the help of Hanuman built a bridge across the sea and crossed Lanka. They had a fierce battle and Ravan’s brother Vibhishan, joined Rama’s army and planning their strategy to defeat Ravan.
Meanwhile, Ravan’s son Indrajeet hurt Laxman. Laxman could only be revived with the help of Sanjeevani, a herb growing in Dronagiri mountain. Hanuman went on to fetch Sanjeevani but carried the entire mountain on his way back. Laxman got a new lease of life as the herbal doctor Sushen administered the drug. Laxman killed Indrajeet while Rama slayed Kumbhkarn, Ravan’s brother. The battle continued for ten days. Vibhishan advised Rama to aim his arrow at Ravan’s navel to dislodge the pot of elixir that he had hidden and hit him. Finally, Lord Rama emerged victorious after killing Ravan and rescued Devi Sita from Lanka. He crowned Vibhishan as the new King of Lanka before returning home to Ayodhya and became the King.
Jai Shri Rama!
I have summarized the story above. Here’s the animated version.
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