Ramayana(The Conception) | RAMAYAN




 

Contents

 

1. The Conception

2. Sage Viswamitra

3. Trisanku

4. Rama Leaves Home

5. Rama Slays The Monsters

6. Sita

7. Bhagiratha And The Story Of

8. Ahalya

9. Rama Wins Sita's Hand

10. Parasurama's Discomfiture

11. Festive Preparations

12. Manthara's Evil Counsel

13. Kaikeyi Succumbs

14. Wife Or Demon?

15. Behold A Wonder!

16. Storm And Calm

17. Sita's Resolve

18. To The Forest

19. Alone By Themselves

20. Chitrakuta

21. A Mother's Grief

22. Idle Sport And Terrible Result 61. Anxiety In Lanka

23. Last Moments

25. Intrigue wasted

26. Bharata Suspected

27. The Brothers Meet

28. Bharata Becomes Rama's Deputy 67. The Battle Begins

29. Viradha's End

30. Ten Years Pass

31. The Surpanakha Episode

32. Kamban's Surpanakha

33. Khara And His Army Liquidated 72. Is This Narayana Himself?

34. The Path Of Ruin

35. The Golden Stag

36. The Good Bird Jatayu

37. Closely Guarded

38. Rama Disconsolate

39. A Second Father Dies

40. Left Eyelids Throb

41. He Sees Her Jewels

42. Sugriva's Doubts Cleared

43. The Slaying Of Vali

44. Tara's Grief

45. Anger And Reconciliation Ganga

46. The Search Begins

47. Son Of Vayu

48. The Search In Lanka

49. Sita In The Asoka Park

50. Ravana's Solicitation

51. First Among The Astute

52. Sita Comforted

53. Sita And Hanuman

54. Inviting Battle

55. The Terrible Envoy

56. Hanuman Bound

57. Lanka In Flames

58. A Carnival

59. The Tidings Conveyed

60. The Army Moves Forward

61. Anxiety in Lanka

62. Ravana Calls A Council Again 24. Bharata Arrives

63. Vibhishana

64. The Vanara's Doubt

65. Doctrine Of Surrender And Grace 27. The Brothers Meet

66. The Great Causeway

67. The Battle Begins

68. Sita's Joy

69. Serpent Darts

70. Ravana's Defeat

71. The Giant Is Roused

72. Is This Narayana Himself?

73. The Death Of Indrajit

74. End Of Ravana

75. The End



1. THE CONCEPTION

To the north of the Ganga was the great kingdom Kosala, made fertile by the river Sarayu. Its capital was Ayodhya, built by Manu, the famous ruler of the Solar dynasty. From Valmiki's description of the capital Kosala, it is clear that ancient Ayodhya was not inferior to our modern cities. Even in ancient India city civilization had reached a high level. 

King Dasaratha ruled the kingdom from the capital city of Ayodhya. He had fought on the side of the Devas, and his fame spread in the three worlds. He was the equal of Indra and Kubera. The people of Kosala were happy, contented, and virtuous. The land was protected by a mighty army, and no enemy could come anywhere near.

It contained forts with moats around them as well as many defensive installations, and true to its name, Ayodhya defied all enemies. (Ayodhya means that which cannot be subdued by war). Dasaratha had eight wise ministers, ever ready to advise him and execute his orders. Great sages like Vasishtha and Vamadeva and other Brahmanas taught the dharma and performed rituals and sacrifices.

Taxes were light and punishment for the crime was just inflicted according to the capacity of the wrong-doer. Surrounded by the best counselors and statesmen, the king's splendor shone like the rising sun. Many years rolled smoothly by. In the midst of all this prosperity, Dasaratha had one regret; he had no son. 

One day in early summer he thought of performing a horse sacrifice for progeny. He consulted his religious masters and on their advice, got sage Rishyasringa to perform the Yaga. The Yaga was a grand affair and the invitees included many of the kings of the day. It was no easy thing to perform yagas(Yagg). The location and erection of the sacrificial platform had to be attended to in detail strictly according to prescribed rules. There were experts whose guidance was sought in arranging things. 

It meant the building of a new capacity, capable of accommodating tens of thousands and providing hospitality and entertainment for the invitees who included the princes and sages of the land. In short, yagas in those days were something like our present-day State-sponsored big-scale conferences and exhibitions. 

When all arrangements were complete the ceremonies were set in motion strictly as enjoined by the Shastras. 

Contemporaneously with the yaga in Ayodhya, there was a conference of the Devas in heaven. The Devas complained to Lord Brahma that Ravana, king of the demons, drunk with the power acquired by the boon granted to him by Brahma, was causing them untold misery and hardship. They represented Brahma: "It is beyond our capacity to subdue, conquer or kill Ravana. In the security of your boon, he has grown wicked and insolent and ill-treats all, even women. His desire is to dethrone Indra. You are our only refuge and it is for you to devise a method by which Ravana can be slain and his despotism ended." 

Brahma knew that he had granted to Ravana the boon prayed for by him that he should be invulnerable and invincible against Devas, Asuras, Gandharvas, and other such beings. In his arrogance, Ravana did not care to ask for security against mankind. As Brahma revealed this fateful omission all the Gods rejoiced and turned to Vishnu. 

Absolutely surrendering themselves to Hari, the Devas begged him to be born as a man and put an end to Ravana and his atrocities. Hari agreed and assured the Devas that he would be born as four sons of King Dasaratha who was then performing a sacrifice for progeny. As the ghee was poured into the fire and the flames shot up to meet it, from out of the flames came a majestic figure, resplendent like the noonday sun, holding a bowl of gold. 

Calling King Dasaratha by his name, the figure said: "The Devas are pleased with you and are answering your prayer. Here is payasam(Kheer) sent by the gods for your wives. You will be blessed with sons if they drink this divine beverage." With joy unbounded, Dasaratha received the bowl as he would receive a child and distributed the payasam to his three wives, Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi. 

He asked Kausalya to drink a half of the payasam and he gave a half of what remained to Sumitra. Half of what was then lift was drunk by Kaikeyi, and what remained was given to Sumitra again. Dasaratha's wives were happy, even as a beggar suddenly coming upon buried treasure. And in due course all of them were expectant mothers.  




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