Puraan | 8-Agni Puraan
8-Agni Puraan, Ch 5-6, p 7-11
Raam Avataar-Baal Kaand and Ayodhyaa Kaand
Raam Avataar-Baal Kaand
Agni Dev said - "Hey Vashishth Jee, Now I will tell you Raamaayan as Naarad Jee told it to Maharshi Vaalmeeki Jee. Its reading gives both pleasure and Moksh. Naarad Jee said - "Vaalmeeki Jee, Brahmaa Jee is born from the lotus flower from Vishnu's navel. Brahmaa Jee's son is Mareechi; Mareechis son is Kashyap Jee, Kashyap's son is Soorya, and Soorya's son is Vaivaswat Manu. Manu's son is Ikshwaaku and Ikshwaaku has Kakutsth as his descendent. Kakutsth had Raghu, Raghu's son was Aj and Aj's son was Dasharath (see Soorya Vansh). The same Raajaa Dashrath had Vishnu in four forms to kill Raavan etc Raakshas. His eldest queen Kaushalyaa had Raam, Kaikeyee had Bharat and Sumitraa had Lakshman and Shatrughn. Maharshi Rishya Shring gave Yagya Charu (Kheer) to these three queens and thus had these four sons.
Once Vishwaamitra Jee requested to send Raam and Lakshman to kill Raakshas who were disturbing him to do his Yagya. Raajaa Dashrath sent them with him. They got training in various weapons from Muni and killed Taadakaa and Subaahu. He used Maanav Astra at Maareech and threw him very far. They stayed with Muni for some time, then went to Mithilaa Nagaree to see Dhanush Yagya. There Shataanand Jee got very happy to hear his mother's account (Ahalyaa's Uddhaar) and described Muni's powers. Raajaa Janak worshipped Raam and Raam broke the Dhanush. So he gave his A-Yonijaa (unborn) daughter Seetaa to Raam, because this is what was decided for Her marriage. All the four princes were married there - Raam to Seetaa and Lakshman to Seetaa's younger sister Urmilaa. Janak's younger brother had two daughters - Maandavee and Shrutkeerti who were married to Bharat and Shatrughn respectively. On the way they won Parashuraam Jee and came to Ayodhyaa. From there Bharat and Shatrughn went to their Maamaa Yudhaajit."
Raam Avataar-Ayodhyaa Kaand
Naarad Jee said - "After Bharat and Shatrughn had left for their Maamaa's place, Raam and Lakshman served their parents. One day Dasharath said to Him - "Public wishes to appoint you as the Crown Prince, so tomorrow morning I will appoint you as the Crown Prince. Tonight you and Seetaa observe Brahmcharya. Raajaa's eight Ministers and Vashishth Jee also supported it. His eight Ministers' names are like this - Drishti, Jayant, Vijaya, Siddhaarth, Raajyavardhan, Ashok, Dharmpaal and Sumantra. (see also Dasharath's Ministers). Raghunaath obeyed him, informed Maa Kausalyaa about this and observed Brahmcharya. Raajaa ordered his Ministers to collect all the materials for Raam's coronation and went to Kaikeyee's palace.
Now Kaikeyee had a hunchback maid named Mantharaa. She was very wicked. She noticed that Ayodhyaa was being decorated for Raam's coronation, so she went to Kaikeyee and told her everything. Once Raam dragged her by foot, since that day she wished that He should go to forest. She said to Kaikeyee - "Kaikeyee, Raam is going to be the Crown Prince. This is like death for you, Bharat and me. There is no doubt about it." But, on the contrary Kaikeyee got very happy to hear this news. She gave one of her ornaments to her and said - "Raam is like Bharat for me. I don't see any way that Bharat can get kingdom." Hearing this Mantharaa threw her ornament and said angrily - "O Innocent, Save yourself and Bharat from Raam. Tomorrow Raam will be King, then Raam's children will be King and thus Bharat will not get any kingdom. Long before, when there was a war between Devtaa and Daitya, and Shambaraasur defeated Devtaa, and Dasharath also went in the war, then you protected him with your skills. Mahaaraaj promised to give you two Var, so you ask those two Var now - in one Var you ask for exile for Raam, and in another Var you ask for the throne for Bharat. Raajaa will give you both Var at this time."
As Mantharaa encouraged her to adopt this way, Kaikeyee thought "Yes, this is the good way to get throne for Bharat." She said - "O Kubjaa, You have told me a good way, now I can have throne for my Bharat." So she went to Kop Bhavan and lay down there on the floor. When Raajaa came he asked her the reason to be there and promised to fulfill her wishes taking vow on Raam. Kaikeyee said - "Hey Raajan, If you want to give me something, then to maintain your truth, give me my two Var which you promised to give me before. I wish that Raams should live in forest with discipline and Bharat should be coronated today with the same material which you have collected for Raam's coronation. If you will not give me these two Var, I will die drinking poison." Hearing this Dasharath fell on the floor unconscious. When he came to his senses, he said - "O Sinful woman, What has Raam done bad to you, that you say things like that for Him. If I will act only for your happiness, I will get defamed in the world. You are not my wife, you are my Death. My son Bharat is not like that. When my son will go away then you rule the kingdom as a widow."
Raajaa was bound to truth, so he called Raam and said to Him - "O My son Raam, Kaikeyee has robbed me. You arrest me and take control of this kingdom, otherwise you will have to live in forest, and Kaikeyee's son Bharat will become king." Raam bent his head in his father and Kaikeyee's feet, and consoled Kaushalyaa; then He set off for the forest with Lakshman and Seetaa. At that time everybody was sad. That night, Raam took rest on the banks of Tamasaa River. Many people followed Him, so He left them sleeping and went forward on His journey. In the morning when the people did not see them, nor they could find them, they came back home disappointed. When Raam had left, Dasharath also got very sad, he came to Kaushalyaa's palace.
Raam went towards Shringverpur, there Guh Nishaad welcomed Him. They took rest under an Ingudee tree. Both Lakshman and Guh kept vigilance the whole night. In the morning Raam sent Sumantra back with the chariot and they all came to Prayaag after crossing Gangaa River. There He met Bharadwaaj, then He came to Chitrakoot. There they built a Kutee there on the banks of Mandaakinee River and started living there. Once Raam was showing Seetaa nature's beauty, that a crow hit on Seetaa's body. Seeing this Raam got angry, He picked up a Seenk (thin long stick) and released it aiming the crow. The crow had to come back to Raam for his life. Raam freed him with one eye pierced.
After Raam had left for forest, the sixth day, Dasharath told Kaushalyaa an incident which occurred long time ago. That when he was young, how Yagyadatt's son Shravan Kumaar was killed by him unknowingly on Sarayoo's bank. He came to take water and the sound of that filling of water was such that he mistook it as if any animal was drinking water there, and released a Shabd-Vedhee arrow at him. He died. Hearing about his death, his parents got very sad and they cursed me that "Raajan, As we are sad in the separation of our son and are dying, you will also die in the separation of your son. When you will die, none of your son will be with you. Kaushalyaa, Now I am remembering that Shaap. It seems that I will die from this grief only." After saying this Raajaa said "Haa Raam" and died. Kaushalyaa thought that Raajaa had slept in grief, so she also slept, but when he did not wake up the next morning, she started weeping.
Vashishth Jee put the dead body in an oil tank and called Bharat from his Maamaa's house. Bharat and Shatrughn immediately came to Ayodhyaa and were stricken with grief. They found Kaikeyee also in grief, but they abused her that she had put a black spot on their face. They performed the last rites of their father and said to Vashishth etc elderly people - "I regard Raam as the king of Ayodhyaa, so I go to bring Raam back to Ayodhyaa." So he set off with his people to bring Raam back to Ayodhyaa. He also passed through Shringverpur. There Bharadwaaj entertained them. Next day he came to Chitrakoot and met Raam. He said to Him - "Our father had died. Now you come to Ayodhyaa and take control of the throne."
Hearing this Raam performed Tarpan and asked Bharat to return to Ayodhyaa along with His shoes. He would not go back to Ayodhyaa and stay in the forest to obey His father's orders. Bharat went back to Ayodhyaa and started ruling Ayodhyaa from Nandi Graam worshipping Raam's shoes."
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 05/23/13