Ramayana: Check 13 lesser known facts
On 5 August PM Modi will attend the much-awaited Bhoomi Pujan for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. As per the media reports, this temple will be about 161 feet tall 3 storey stone structure with pillars, domes and multiple multiple turrets.
In Hindu religion, Lord Ram and the epic ‘Ramayana’ holds a very special place. It is believed that the original Ramayan was composed by "Rishi Valmiki", but many other saints and Veda pandits like Tulsi Das, Sant Ek Nath etc. have also composed other versions of it. The story is described in the same way, but the basic outline is the same. It is believed that the event of Ramayan happened between the 4th and 5th century BC.
1. Gayatri Mantra is formed from the first letter that comes after every 1000 verses of Ramayan.
The Gayatri Mantra consists of 24 letters and the Valmiki Ramayan has 24,000 verses. The first letter that comes after every 1000 verses of the Ramayan forms the Gayatri Mantra. This mantra is the essence of this sacred epic. The Gayatri Mantra was first mentioned in the Rigveda.
2. Besides Ram and his brothers, King Dasharatha was also the father of a daughter
Almost everyone knows about Shri Ram's parents and brothers, but very few people know that Ram also had a sister named "Shanta".
She was much older than the four brothers. Kaushalya was her mother. It is believed that once Rompad’s king Angadesh and his queen Varshini came to Ayodhya, they had no children.
During the conversation when King Dasaratha learned about this and said that he will give his Shanta to them. On hearing this, Rompad and Varshini were very happy. They took care of him with great affection and performed all the duties of parents.
3. Ram is an avatar of Vishnu but do you know similar facts about his brothers?
Ram is considered an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, but do you know whose avatar his other brothers were? Lakshmana is considered to be the incarnation of Sheshnag. While Bharata and Shatrughna are believed to be the incarnation of Sudarshan-chakra and conch-shell respectively. These are carried by Lord Vishnu.
4. Name of Lord Shiva's bow used in swayamvar of Sita
Most of us know that Ram was married to Sita through a swayamvara. All the princes present in swayamvara needed to complete a task, a bow was used for that purpose. That Lord Shiva's bow was named "Pinak".
5. ‘Gudakesh’ is another name of Lakshman
It is believed that during the 14 years of exile, Lakshman never slept to protect his brother and sister-in-law, due to this he is also known as "Gudakesh".
On the first night of exile, when Ram and Sita were sleeping, Nidra Devi appeared to Laxman and Laxman asked her to give blessing so that he would never feel asleep. Devi Nidra asked her if anyone else can sleep instead of you? Laxman advised that her wife Urmila can sleep. After hearing this, Devi Nidra asked Urmila about this and Urmila happily accepted it.
6. Name of the forest where Ram, Laxman and Sita stayed during exile.
Most of us know that Ram, Lakshman and Sita had spent many years in the forest, but few people will know the name of that forest. The name of that forest was Dandakaranya, in which Ram, Sita and Lakshmana spent their exile. C was spread over 35,600 square miles which included parts of present-day Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. At that time this forest was considered to be the home of the most fierce demons. Hence its name Dandakaranya where "Dand" means "to punish" and "Aranya" means "forest".
7. The story of Laxman Rekha is not mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana
The most intriguing episode in the entire Ramayana story is the Laxman Rekha episode, in which Laxman draws a line around his hut in the forest. But this story is not mentioned in Valmiki's Ramayana.
8. Ravana was an excellent veena player
Ravana was the king of all demons. Everyone was afraid of him when he was a child as he had ten heads. He had a strong faith in Lord Shiva. There is strong knowledge that Ravana was a great scholar and he studied Vedas. But did you know what was the reason for Veena as a symbol in Ravana's flag? Ravana was an excellent veena player, due to which the veena was inscribed as a symbol in his flag. Although Ravana did not pay much attention to this art, he liked to play this instrument.
9. Kumbhakarna get the blessing of sleep because Indra was jealous of him
Kumbhakarna was the younger brother of Ravana, whose body was very huge and he was also a gourmet. It is mentioned in the Ramayana that Kumbhakarna sleeps for six consecutive months. He used to get up only one day and only to eat food and sleep again for six months. Do you know why Kumbhakarna was like this?
Once he conducted a Yagya and after the end of Yagya, Brahma appeared in front of this and asked him to make a wish. After listening to this Indra afraid that he might ask his position, Indra requested Saraswati to help. Saraswati sat on Kumbhakarna's tongue and while telling about his wish Kumbhakarna said 'Nindrasan' (Sleep) instead of 'Indrasan' (position of Indra).
10. According to NASA, the story of "Ramayana" and "Adam's Bridge" are related to each other.
The final phase of the Ramayana story describes that Rama and Lakshmana built a bridge to conquer Lanka with the help of the monkey army. It is believed that this story is about 1,750,000 years old. Recently NASA discovered a man-made ancient bridge connecting Sri Lanka and India.
11. Ravana knew that he would be killed by Rama.
After reading the full story of Ramayana, one can learn that Ravana was a cruel and most vile demon that everyone hated.
When Ravana's brothers heard about Rama's attack because of Sita's kidnapping, he asked his brother to surrender. Ravana refused to surrender and expressed his desire to attain salvation by dying at the hands of Rama.
He said that "If Rama and Lakshmana are two normal human beings then Sita will remain with me as I will easily defeat them. And if they are god then I'll get salvation.”
12. Why did Ram punish Laxman?
It is mentioned in the Ramayana that Shri Rama had given the death penalty to his younger brother Laxman, but do you why Lord Rama had given death sentence to Laxman?
This incident is about the time when Sri Ram returned to Ayodhya after Lanka victory and became the king of Ayodhya.
One day Yama Devta came to see Sri Rama and to discuss something important. Before starting the discussion he asked Lord Rama to promise him that nobody disrupts this conversation until it is over otherwise he has to give death penalty to that person.
Ram appointed Laxman as the gatekeeper so that no can disrupt the conversation.
Laxman stands as the gatekeeper. After a short time, Durvasa rishi visited the place and asked Lakshmana to inform Ram about his arrival, Lakshmana humbly denied.
After this, rishi Durvasa got angry on him and he said he will curse the entire Ayodhya. To save Ayodhya, Laxman decided to sacrifice himself. He went inside to inform Lord Ram about his arrival
Now Shri Rama got confused because he had to give death penalty to Lakshman according to his promise. In the event of this dilemma, Shri Ram remembered his Guru Vasishta and asked him to show the other way.
Guru Vasishta, you can leave Laxman and it is same as giving the death penalty. Laxman after listening to this told that he can't stay away from his brother for his whole life. Laxman decided to embrace death by obeying his brother’s word. After that, Lakshman took water samadhi.
13. Rama had abandoned earth by sinking into the river Saryu.
It is believed that when Sita abandoned her body after being absorbed in the earth, lord Ram abandoned the earth after taking water samadhi in the river Saryu.
This story is just an English translation of this story. All credit goes to the author who wrote it in Hindi.