Mahaabhaarat | Stories
|3-Van Parv, 272-290|
|Stories-MBH - 4-Van - page 50|
|Story of Raam-1|
Story of Raam-1
Branched from G-4-Van-50;
Raam-1 Raam-2 Raam-3 Raam-4
There is beautiful Shlok - "Pushpeshu Champaa, Nagareshu Lankaa, Purusheshu Vishnu, Nripareshu Raam" - means among flowers Champaa flower is the best, among Nagar (cities) Lankaa is the best, among Purush (man) Vishnu is the best, and among kings Raam is the best.
[3-272] Maarkandeya Jee said - "There was a great king in Ikshwaaku Vansh, named Raajaa Aj. He had a son named Dasharath who was very religious. Dasharath had four sons with morality and profit, named - Raam, Lakshman, Shatrughn and Bharat. Raam's mother was Kaushalyaa, Bharat's mother was Kaikeyee, and Lakshman and Shatrughn were the sons of Sumitraa. And Janak was the King of Videh kingdom. he had a daughter named Seetaa. Tashtri himself created Her to make the wife of Raam. I have told you the story of both Raam and Seetaa's birth, now I will tell you the story of Raavan's birth.
Raavan's Birth and Boon
The self-created one, Lord of all creatures is the grandfather of Raavan. Pulastya Jee had a great mighty son Vaishravan begotten of a cow, but his son leaving his father, went to his grandfather. Pulastya Jee got very angry at this, so he created another self from himself and with half of his own self he was born to Vishravaa for wrecking the venegeance of Vaishravan, But the grandfather Brahmaa Jee was very pleased with Vaishravan, so he gave him immotality and the sovereignty of all the wealth and appointed him a Digpaal. He became the friend of Eeshaan (Shiv) and had son named Nalkuber. He gave him Lankaa too to live. It was guarded by many Raakshas. he gave him a Pushpak Vimaan also to roam about according to his will. He was made the King of Yaksh.
[3-373] Maarkandeya Jee said - "The Muni Vishravaa, who had got half the soul of Pulastya Jee in a fit of passion, began to look upon Vaishravan with anger, but Vaishravan (Kuber) knew this that his father was angry with him so he always tried to please him. Once that King of Lankaa sent three women in the service of his father Vishravaa, their names were Pushpotkataa, Raakaa and Maalinee. They were very good at singing and dancing and always tried to attract and satisfy Muni. After a while Muni got pleased with them and offered them to ask for any boon. They all asked princely sons. Among them two foremost sons - Kumbhkarn and 10-headed Raavan, were born to Pushpotkataa, and Maalinee had one son named Vibheeshan; and Raakaa had a twins - Khar and Shoorpanakhaa. Among all of them Vibheeshan was most handsome. he was very pious and ascetic natured too. The 10-headed Raavan was the foremost and the eldest among all. He had a lot of energy, strength and power. Kumbhkarn was most powerful in battle. he was a great Maayaavee (who use illusions). Khar was an excellent archer and enemy of Braahman. Shoorpanakhaa was a constant source of problem to Rishi and Muni. All these warriors were very learned and lived with their father on Gandhmaadan Parvat.
There they saw Vaishravan sitting with their father. They found him very rich, so out of jealousy, they decided to do Tap. They performed most severe kind of Tap and pleased Brahmaa Jee. The 10-headed Raavan lived on air alone surrounded by five sacred fires (Panchaagni), absorbed in meditation, standing on one leg for 1,000 years. Kumbhkarn with head downwards, with restricted diet was constantly busy in austerities. The wise Vibheeshan observed fasts, lived on dry leaves sat in meditation for long periods. And Khar and Shoorpamnakhaa attended on them happily. At the end of every 1,000 years Raavan offered his one head in the sacrificial fire. Brahmaa was very pleased with his this act. he appeared before them and granted everyone of them their desired boon. He said - O My Sons, I am very pleased with you. Stop doing this Tap and ask for any boon you desire, but the immortality. And O Raavan, Since you have offered your heads in the fire for me, they will adorn your body as before at your will. Your body will not be disfigured, you will be able to take any form you want, and you will win all your enemies in battle." At this Raavan said - "I should not be defeated by any Gandharv, Devtaa, Raakshas, Yaksh, celestial, Kinnar, Asur, serpents and all other creatures." Brahmaa Jee said - "Whatever names you have taken you will never be defeated by them, except for men, I bless you for this."
Maarkandeya Jee said - "Hearing this Raavan got very happy because he did not regard human beings as a danger for his life. Then Brahmaa Jee addressed Kumbhkarn. Kumbhkarn had lost reasoning, so he asked for long lasting sleep. Saying "So be it." Brahmaa Jee said to Vibheeshan - "I am very pleased with you, so ask what you want?" Vubheeshan said - "I sjhould never move from the path of righteousness even in the greatest danger; and although I am ignorant, but please give the Divine knowledge." Brahmaa Jee said - "Although you are born in Raakshas race, still you have asked me to be righteous all the time, I grant you immortality."
Maarkandeya Jee continued - "After having this boon, Raavan defeated Kuber and took the kingdom of Lankaa. Kuber left his kingdom with his people (Yaksh, Raakshas, Kinnar etc) and started living on Gandhmaadan Parvat. Raavan took his Pushpak Vimaan also forcibily, so Kuber cursed him - "This chariot will never carry you, it will carry only who will kill you in the battle. Since you have insulted me, your elder brother, you will soon die." The pious Vibheeshan followed the path of Kuber. Kuber pleased him appointed the leader of Yaksh and Raksh people. On the other side Raakshas and Pishaach regarded Raavan their King. Because of his boon he won all Dvtaa, Daanav etc. Since he terrorized all, he was called Raavan."
Plans to Kill Raavan
[3-274] Maarkandeya Jee said - "Then all Brahmarshi, Siddh, Devarshi, Havyavaha (Agni) went to Brahmaa Jee, and Agni Dev said - "That powerful son of Vishravaa Raavan cannot be killed because of your boon, so please protect us. No other can protect us." Brahmaa Jee said - "O Agni, He cannot be won by anybody. I have already thought a way to deal with him and he will soon be dead. The 4-headed God has already incarnated, even Vishnu can do this job."
Maarkandeya Jee continued - "Brahmaa then said to Indra - "You all celestial go and be born on Earth and produce monkeys and bears capable of assuming any form at will as allies of Vishnu." So Gandharv and Daanav etc consulted among themselves as how they should take birth on Prithvi. Brahmaa Jee commanded a Gandharvee Dundubhee to go there and accomplish the task. So Dundubhee went to Earth as Mantharaa and Indra etc celestials were born as monkeys and bears. All those monkeys and bears were possessing great strength and were skilled in warfare. All were mighty equal to 1,000 elephants. Brahmaa Jee had explained Mantharaa as what she had to do.
Exile to Raam
[3-275] Yudhishthir said -
"You have told me the history of the birth of Raam and others, now I
wish to hear the reason of Raam's exile. tell me why Raam and Lakshman
went to forest with the famous princess of Mithilaa."
When Mantharaa (the maid of Kaikeyee) heard these words of the King, she went to Kaikeyee and talked to her according to the occasion. She said - "It is so bad luck that the King has announced this. I had been better if you have been by a venomous snake. Kaushalyaa is fortunate because her son is going to be installed on throne. You have lost all your prosperity because your son will not be king."
Hearing these words, Kaikeyee put on all her ornaments and decided to see him in private. She said to him with great affection and love - "You always keep your promises. Once you promised me to fulfill my desire, so fulfill that now, and save yourself from the sin of breaking your promise." The King replied - "I will grant you a boon, ask what do you want? What man who is not to killed will be killed today; and who is to be killed will be set free? To whom I should give wealth or from whom I should take his wealth? I am the King, so tell me quickly, what do you want me to do for you?" Hearing this Kaikeyee reminding him of his promise said to him - "I want that position for Bharat which you have given to Raam; and let Raam go to exile, live in Dandak Van for 14 years as an ascetic, with matted locks, robed in rags and deer skins."
Hearing these cruel words, the King remained utterly speechless, but when Raam came to know that His father was told thus went to forest, so that the King's truth would not violate. He was followed by Lakshman and His virtuous wife Seetaa. After Raam had gone to forest, Dasharath died. Knowing that Dasharath had died and Raam was not around, Kaikeyee immediately called Bharat and said to him - "Dasharath has gone to Heaven, both Raam and Lakshman are in forest, so you take care of the kingdom which is very extensive and you have no rival to oppose you." At this Bharat said - "You have done a very wicked deed. You have killed your husband because of the love of wealth; you have put a black spot on my head, you are a cursed woman." Having said thus Bharat wept aloud. To prove his innocence he set to forest to bring his brother back to the city. he took Kaushalyaa, Sumitraa and Kaikeyee in chariots and set out on his journey with a heavy heart with Shatrughn. Vashishth Jee, Vaaamdev, other Braahman and thousands of citizens were with him to bring Raam back.
Bharat saw Raam and Lakshman living in Chitrakoot wearing the attire of ascetic. Bharat, however, was dismissed by Raam who had decided to keep His father's words. Bharat came back and started ruling Ayodhyaa from Nandi Graam keeping before him his brothers wooden sandals. Raam feared that people might come again, so He moved to Sharabhang Rishi's Aashram and then to Dandak Van. There He resided on the banks of Godaavaree River. While living there He faced Khar's atrocities, then He came to Janasthaan and faced Shoorpanakhaa. To protect the ascetics He killed 14,000 Raakshas and then Khar and Dooshan. After killing them, Shoorpanakhaa with her mutilated nose and lips went to Lankaa and fell down on her brother's feet. Seeing her mutilated so horribly Raavan went out of senses. he talked to her in private - "Who did this to you? Who insulted me like this? Who has the courage to put his hand into the sleeping lion." And he became very angry. Shoorpanakhaa then described the prowess of Raam and killing of Raakshas Khar and Dooshan. hearing all this Raavan filled with rage and remembered Maareech to slay Raam.
Raavan had made his plans, so he handed over his capital, consoled his sister and set out by air. Crossing Trikoot Parvat and Kaal Mountains and ocean Raavan came to Gokarn where Shiv lives. There he met his old friend Maareech who had adopted an ascetic's life from the fear of Raam.
Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 02/09/12