(Written by Yerra Praggada).
Janamejaya asked Vaisampaayana "O Saint! Suyodhana, who was habituated to cause harm to Pandavas alwlays, was captured by Gandharvas and rescued by Pandavas. How could he withstand that insult and reach Hastinapura. Suyodhana always boast himself that he was a man of self-respect. How could he control his anger and agony? What was the subsequent behaviour of Suyodhana? Kindly tell me" asked Janamejaya. Vaisampaayana continued to say:
After the rescue operation, Suyodhana, along with his brothers, wife, other kings and army went back and stayed at another place in that forest. He was feeling restlessness. He was not getting sleep. He was lying on a bed and weeping. At that time Karna came there. Karna did not know all these developments.
"Suyodhana! You got a magnificent victory over Gandharvas which is not possible for others. Suyodhana! I also fought with Gandharvas to my might. But our army did not cooperate with me. My chariot was broken. Hence I boarded the chariot of Vikarna and left the batte field. I heard that you won the battle. I am very happy" said Karna in a cheerful voice.
Suyodhana thought that Karna did not know the further developments. With a shameful face he told Karna.
"Karna! Myself and my brothers attacked Gandharvas effectively. There was a battle between me and Chitrasena. He captured me, my wife, my brothers and their wives, and other companions. In the meanwhile, our people approached Dharmaja. He sent his brothers. They rescued us from Chitrasena.
Karna! Is it possible for me to live on this earth even after undergoing such an insult and agony? It is useless. How can I rule this country! Will the people laugh at me! Had I died in the battle with Gandhrvas, I would have gone to Svarga. Hence, I have to die. There is no other go. Dussaasana will be your king. You proceed along with him to Hastinapura. I cannot comeback to Hastina.
Karna! How can I show my face to my father Dhrutarashtra and Grand father Bheeshma and mingle with my friends as before. All this is of my own accord. I cannot blame others. After all, one Gandharva captured me. What an insult! When my self-respect is withered away, it is better to die. I will self immolate myself. My decision is final" said Suyodhana.
"Dussaasana! Come on. I will enthrone you as the King of Hastinapura. Rule this earth with the help of Sakuni and Karna. Respect elders. Honor Brahmins. Worship your Gurus. Rule the people" told Suyodhana.
Dussaasana was weeping aloud and fell on the feet of Suyodhana. “Brother Suyodhana! Whatever it may be, you are the king and emperor of Kuru Dynasty. I cannot rule this country” Dussasana went and fell on the feet of Suyodhana.
Karna consoled Dussasana “Suyodhana, Dussasana! what is this? Why you are weeping like children? Be Brave. If your enemies know about this they will enjoy your sorrow. Suyodhana! A king of Chandra Vamsa shall not weep like this. Your body is meant to enjoy all sensual pleasures but not for self-immolation. Please change your mind.
You are telling you were rescued by Pandavas. It is not correct. The people who are living in one country safely and securely are the servants of the king of that country. Whenever the king is in trouble, it is their duty to save their king. Pandavas are living in your country, under your rule. They are your servants. When you are in trouble, it is their duty to save you. They discharged their duty. That is all. Why you are feeling like this.
Besides that, Pandavas lost their wealth and kingdom and they are your slaves. All their treasures and wealth belong to you. They have to serve you always. They have done some help to you. For that you need not worry. Let us proceed to Hastinapura” said Karna. Suyodhana did not heed to the words of Karna.
Sakuni also tried to pacify Suyodhana “Suyodhana! What Karna says is correct. I played dice game with Dharmaja and grabbed all his wealth and kingdom and gave it to you. You have not acquired Indraprastha kingdom by your vigour and valour. If you leave the kingdom given by me and self immolate yourself , I will be unhappy.
Since your childhood, you were brought up in princely plealsures. You never cared for elders. Therefore you are lacking in worldly knowledge. That is the reason why your mind often gets perturbed. You will be angry always. You have to overcome them with your bravery.
King should not be a coward, soft and timid. Pandavas
did some help to you. In return you also can do some help to them. You
invite them and honor them. Pandavas are good, intelligent and brave.
If you wish, you can give back their kingdom. You will get eternal fame.
Pandavas are your brothers. You both rule this country and be happy.”
“Where can we go leaving you alone? We never leave you. We also follow you wherever you go.” told Karna, Sakuni and Dussaasana.
After sunset, Suyodhana did all rituals and sat on a grass mat.
During that night, Raakshasas who were defeated by Devatas and living in underground, came to know all these developments. They approached their Guru Sukraacaarya and sought his advise. Sukraacaarya created one demon called Krutya and ordered her to bring Suyodhana to underground. Accordingly Krutya brought Suyodhana to underground All the Danavas hugged him and asked about his welfare.
“Suyodhana! you are a hero. You were born in Bharata Vamsa. Why have you taken such a mean decision? You know that a person who commits suicide will lose his name and fame. Is it proper on your part to resort to such heinous acts. Therefore, change your decision. Be brave and heroic. Fight with the enemies and defeat them.
You are not an ordinary human being. I will tell you your birth secret. Once we worshipped Lord Siva for his help, for our sake, Lord Sive created you on this earth. He made the upper portion of your body as hard as diamond. No weapon or arrow will harm the upper portion of your body. To help you, several Rakshasas were born as Kshatriyas. They are Bhagadatta etc. Though Bheeshma, Drona, Krupaacaarya were born with divine amsas, they are Raakshasas in their thinking. Therefore, they will mercilessly kill their kith and kin in the war.
We know that you are afraid of Arjuna.For that, We found a way out. Sri Krishna killed Narakasura. The Amsa of Narakasura is incarnated in Karna. Therefore, Karna is inimical towards Sri Krishna and Arjuna and will kill them in war. Because Devendra was afraid of Karna, he stole his Kavaca and Kundala in the form of a Brahmin, for the sake of his son Arjuna.
Besides that, lakhs of Rakshasas were born as Samsaptakas to kill Arjuna. Therefore, you will rule the entire universe. Leave sorrow and be brave” told all the Rakshasas to Suyodhana.
Then Krutya took him back and placed him in his cottage.
Next morning, Suyodhana woke up. He could not realise
whether it was true or dream. He does not want to reveal about his dream
to anybody. But he was self-confident about his victory over Pandavas.
“Suyodhana! Even if you die, what will you achieve? You cannot defeat your enemies after your death. Therefore, committing suicide is not a solution for the problem. If you are alive, you can defeat your enemies and enjoy the plealsures. It is not a time to feel sorrow and undergo mental agony. I know you are afraid of Arjuna. I am taking a vow On completion of 13 years, I will kill Arjuna in the war. This is my solemn promise on my sword” said Karna with firm voice.
The words of Rakshasas coupled with the promise of Karna, raised new hopes in the mind of Suyodhana. He gave up the idea of self immolation. He returned back to Hastinapura along with his brothers, Karna and Sakuni.
One Day Bheeshma told Suyodhana “Suyodhana! by
paying a deaf ear to our advise, you proceeded to Ghosha Yatra. You know
what had happened. With the grace of Dharmaja, you could return back to
Hastina otherwise you would have been in the prison of that Gandharva.
You blindly believed Karna. But what he has done. He fled away from the
battle field. When compared to Pandavas, he was not even 1/16th of their
strength. He talks more and acts less. Dont spoil your name and fame by
blindly believing him. Even now it is not too late. Mediate with Pandavas
and give back their kingdom and be happy.” said Bheeshma.
“Karna! Dharmaja performed Rajasuya Yaga. I also intend to perform one such Yaga. Make suitable arrange- ments.” said Suyodhana.
“Start it immediately, Suyodhana. Send invitations to all the kings on this earth. Send for Brahmins and honour them. Let us construct Yaga Salas. Make arrangements for catering of food to all invitees and poor.” said Karna with greatest enthusiasm.
Suyodhana sent for Purohits and asked them to make arrangements for Rajasooya Yaga. But they objected.
“O King Suyodhana! Pandavas are your enemies. Unless you conquer them, you cannot perform Rajasuya Yaga. But there is another Yaga called Vaishnava Yaga. It was performed previously by Vasudeva. You can perform that Yaga.” told Purohits.
Suyodhana agreed for that. Suyodhana sought the permission of his father Dhrutarashtra, grandfather Bheeshma, Guru Drona and Krupaacaarya. He sent invitations to all the kings in his kingdom.
He sent one virtuous Brahmin to Dvaitavana to invite
Dharmaja for the Yaga. He went to Dvaitavana and met Dharamaja.
Dharmaja politely replied: “I am very happy to hear that Suyodhana is performing a Yaga. But as per our previous agreement, we are undergoing 13years Aranya and Ajnata vasa. It is not proper on our part to come to Hastinapura and take part in the Yaga. Kindly convey this message to your King” said Dharmaja.
But Bheema who was standing by his said said “On compleltion of our Aranya and Ajnaata vaasa, we will set the sacred fire and in that we will offer Suyodhana and his brothers as offerings to Agni. Tell this to your King” said Bheemaa. That Brahmin conveyed those words to Suyodhana.
Dhrutarashtra deputed Vidura to make arrangements for the Yaaga and also to receive all the Emperors, Kings, other dignatories arrived for the Yaga from the four corners of the earth and honour them. The yaga was completed successfully. Those who visisted the Yaga murmered that it is no match to the Rajasuya Yaga done by Dharmaja.
But Karna praised Suyodhana “Suyodhana! you have
done the Yaga successfully. In the same way, you also conquer Pandavas
and will perform RajasuyaYaga also. I wont wash my feet till I kill Arjuna
in the war. It is my promise” said Karna.
In Dvaita vana, Dharmaja got a dream. In that Dream, some of the wild animals appeared before Dharmaja “O King! you are killing all the animals in this forest for the sake of your food and pleasure. Day by day, the number of animals in this forest is decreasing. Kindly leave this forest and save us” requested all the animals.
Dharmaja woke up. He realised his mistake. He consulted his brothers and decided to leave that forest and move to Kaamyaka vana. There also they lived only by consuming fruits, leaves and roots, without killing any kind of animals. They completed eleven years. The twelfth year was running.
One day, Saint Veda Vyasa visited their cottage in Kaamyakavana. Dharmaja received the saint and offered him Arghyam and Paadyam. Then Dharmaja asked Veda vyasa “O Saint! Elders are saying that Tapassu and charity are great. But which is greater, either Tapassu or Charity. Kindly tell me” asked Dharmaja.
Vedavyasa said: “Dharmaja! Charity means giving your own money to others. People love their money more than their own life. Whatever they do, either good or bad, they will toil only for earning money. Is it not greater, giving away such a hardearned money to others as charity, than performing Tapassu. Therefore, charity is greater than tapassu.
Generally, foolish people, will be giving away their illegally earned money, as charity. But they will never get any Punya. By giving his hard earned money, even if it is of smallest value, he will get Punya. Such a charity of hard earned money, shall me made only to deserving persons, at proper time and place.
I will tell you one story. Long ago, in Kurukshetra, there lived a Brahmin called Mudgal. He was very poor but truthful and virtuous. He will be offering food to his guests with what he had. He used to live by collecting the fallen grain in the fields after harvest. One day, Saint Doorvaasa visited his house. Mudgal received him and offered him arghyam, paadyam and food. Doorvasa ate and went away. Nothing remained for Mudgal to eat.
Again he collected grain for the next 15 days. Again Doorvasa visited his house. Mudgal offered him food. He ate and went away. In this way, on every fortnight--Full moon day (Pournami) and No-moon day (amavaasya), Doorvaasa visited his house, ate food and went away. Mudgal observed fasting and serving food to Doorvasa. Doorvaasa was astonished for his patience.
“O Mudgal! you are great. I have never seen such a charitable person like you. You are a virtuous personality. Without feeling any evil or anger in your mind, you have been serving food to me. Your charity, truthfulness, courage, not aspiring for others property are no other than your wealth. Tapassu is nothing but controlling the sense organs. You have achieved that tapassu. I am very much satisfied with your hospitality. You will attain heavenly abode soon” said Doorvaasa and went away.
One Divine personality brought a divine chariot to Mudgal. “O saint Mudgal! by your virtuous deeds, charity, truthfulness, you attained the status to enjoy the heavenly pleasures in Svarga loka. Come on. board this chariot. We will go to Svarga loka."
Mudgal smiled and asked him “Kindly tell me how Devaloka is and who will stay there?”.
That heavenly body told thus: Those who did Tapassu and attained Siddhi, those who performed yajnas and Yagas, those who always speak truth, those who conquered their sense organs, charitable people, those died in war will be living in heaven. Besides them, Apsarasas, Siddhis, divine saints, Maruts also will be staying there. Mountain Meru, Nandana garden are there. There will be no hunger and thurst in heaven. No disease or death. All are celestial bodies with great shining. There are no sorrows. Eternal happiness and pleasures are there.
Above Svarga, there is Brahma Loka. Manuvus, Great Saints
will be living there. No rebirth. At the time of Pralaya, all the Lokas
will be destroyed except Brahmaloka.
Brahma Loka is eternal but Svargam is meant only for enjoyment of pleasures. Earth is Karma bhoomi to acquire punya or Paapa. I told you about heaven and earth. Come on letus go to heaven” invited the divine body.
“Sorry. I cannot come to heaven. I dont want those uncertain pleasures of heaven. I will try to attain the Loka from where I should not return back to earth. You can goback with your chariot” said Mudgal.
Then he became Jnaana Yogi. He shed Raaga and Dvesha. He attained Moksha. Therefore, Dharmaja, dont feel sorry for losing your kingdom. You will get it back at proper time” said Veda Vyasa and went away.
After some days, one day, Pandavas went into the forest for hunting. Droupadi along with her servant maids and Dhoumya remained in the cottage. At that time, Jayadhradha (popularly known as Saindhava), the King of Sindhu, along with his friends and Army, while going to marry the princess of King Salva, was passing through Kaamyaka vana. He saw Droupadi waiting for Pandavas at the door. He was amazed of her beauty. A lustful desire developed in his mind for her. He called his friend Kotikaasya
“My dear friend, look at her. Is she not beautiful and passionate. I want her. Go and find out her details” said Jayadhradha. Kotikaasya went near Droupadi.
“Oh beautiful lady! who are you? Why are you staying here in this thick forest? Are you Vanadevatha or Sachee Devi wife of Indra or Goddess Lakshmi? Who is your husband? What is your name? I am Kotikaasya, a heroic mighty poersonality. They are the Kings of Trigartha, Kalinga and Sindhu. Jayadhradha, the king of Sindhu wants you. He fell in love with you. Enjoy all pleasures with him” said Kotikaasya.
Droupadi was annoyed about his talking. “Brother Kotikasya! I am the daugher of Panchala King. My name is Krishna. I am the wife of Pandavas. I am living along with them in this forest. In a shortwhile my husbands will come and receive you. Till then you can wait here” she went inside the cottage.
Kotikasya went and reported the matter to Jayadhradha. Jayadhradha went inside the cottage.
“O Droupadi! Are you safe! Are pandavas happy?”
“Droupadi! I fell in love with you I lust you. I want you. Come on. Come along with me and board my golden chariot” asked Jayadhradha.
Droupadi was frightened with these words. She was eagerly waiting for the arrival of her husbands. Till their arrival, she wanted to whileaway time with him by talking some thing or other.
“Brother Jayadhradha! You are the husband of Dussala, daughter of Dhrutarashtra. Dussala is the sister of my husbands. Therefore, you are my brother. Is it proper on your part to speak like this.” requested Droupadi.
“Oh Droupadi! Kings need not observe such sentiments with regard to ladies. Kings can enjoy sensual plealsures as they like. It cannot be said that ladies are ones own property. Ladies are meant for enjoyment and enjoyable by all.” said Jayadhradha.
Droupadi grew angry. “You dirty fellow born in Kshatriya community! Knowing fully well about Pandavas and about their vigour and valour, you are insulting me. You will wreak the consequences severely. You know about Bheema. You are pulling the hair of lion lying in the den. You know about Arjuna and his Gandeevam. If he grew angry, you will not remain on this earth. Insulting Nakula and Sahadeva is nothing but crushing the cobras with your feet. Viewing from any angle, your life has come to an end.” said Droupadi in a firm voice.
Jayadhradha laughed at her. “I know much about your husbands and about their heroism. We are also heroes. Without saying any other word, come on board the chariot” asked Jayadhradha.
“Jayadhradha! I am the wife of great warriors. I need not speak to you any more. Again I am cautioning you. Pandavas are my husbands. Sri Krishna is my brother They will kill you. Take care” cautioned Droupadi.
Jayadhradha did not heed her words. He dragged her to the chariot by pulling her saree. He lifted her and kept her on the chariot and went away driving the chariot. His army and friends followed him. Dhoumya, on seeing this, followed the chariot of Jayadhradha crying aloud by saying “You are kshatriya. You should not act like this. Leave her” requested Dhoumya running after the chariot.
In the meanwhile, Pandavas arrived at the cottage. The servant maid told them what had happened. Pandavas chased the chariot of Jayadhradha. On the way, they found Dhoumya. They picked him up and followed Jayadhradha and found them. Jayadhradha asked Droupadi to identify Pandavas. “There is no use of identifying Pandavas now. Your fate is sealed. You are destined to die” told Droupadi.
. Jayadhradha instigated his army to fight against Pandavas. There was a big fight between them. Bheema attacked Kotikaasya and killed him. The kings of Trigartha, Sudhanva, and Suradha were killed in the battle. Arjuna killed Angaaraka, Kunjara, SRunjaya, Sukta, Satrunjaya, Suprabuddha, Subhamkara, Bhramankara, Soora, Radhi, Guhaka, Balaadhya in the battle.
On seeing this Jayadhradha pulled down Droupadi to ground and fled away on his chariot. Arjuna told Bheema “O Brother Bheema! Jayadhradha fled away. Stop killing these innocent persons. Let us catch Jayadhradha” said Arjuna.
All of them came to Droupadi. Droupadi requested Bheema not to leave Jayadhradha and kill him mercilessly. Arjuna requested Dharmaja, Nakula and Sahadeva to go back along with Droupadi and Dhoumya.
Arjuna and Bheema chased Jayadhradha and caught him. Bheema beat him indiscriminately. He lost consciousness.
“Bheemaa, dont beat him any more. He may die” said Arjuna. Bheema took out a sharp knife and shaved his head with five tufts. “Jayadhradha! whereever you go, you should tell ‘I am the slave of Pandavas’ otherwise you will die” ordered Bheema. Then Bheema and Arjuna tied him to the chariot and brought him before Dharmaja. Dharmaja chastised him and let him off. Droupadi laughed at him.
Jayadhradha went to the banks of Ganges and did penance about Lord Siva. Siva appeared before him. “O Lord Siva! I should conquer Pandavas and their army in the war. Please bless me with this boon” requested Jayadhradha.
“It is impossible. No one can defeat Pandavas. As you requested, I will bless you in this way. Only for one day, you will be able to defeat Pandavas except Arjuna” disappeared Lord Siva. Jayadhradha went back to his kingdom.
Later, on one day, Saint Markandeya came to Dharmaja. Dharmaja offered him Arghyam and Paadyam and while taking rest, he asked the saint “O Saint Markandeya! myself, my four brothers and our wife Droupadi are suffering a lot in these forests for a long time. Are there any body who also suffered like us in forests?” asked Dharmaja. Saint Markandeya started to tell the story of Rama.
"Dharmaja! in Ishvaaku Dynasty, there was a king called Aja. His son was Dasaradha. He married three wives. They are Kousalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra. He begot Rama through Kousalya, Bharata through Kaikeyi, and Lakshmana and Satrughna through Sumitra.
Pulastya was Bhramha Maanasa Putra. His son was Vaishravana. Without heeding the words of his father Pulastya, Vaishravana did Tapassu about Brahma. He desired to have a son called Nalakoobara, over all control on the entire treasures on this earth, Lanka kingdom, and friendship with Siva. Brahma blessed him with all the above desires.
His father Pulastya did not relish this. He created one Vishravasu from his body and directed him to do harm to Vaishravana. Knowing about this, Vaishravana approached Vishravasu “I am like your son. Kindly show mercy” so saying Vaishravana gave three girls who are wellversed in music and dance, by name Pushpotkata, Malini and Baka.
All the three girls were serving Vishravasu who blessed them with children. Pushpotkata gave birth to Ravana and Kumbha Karna, Malini gave birth to Visheeshana, Baka gave birth to twins, Khara and Soorpakhana. Of them Ravana was a brave hero with good valour. He got ten heads. Kumbha Karna was cruel hearted and proud. Vibheeshana was kind hearted, soft and virtuous. Khara and Soorpakhana were wicked unruly and sinful characters. They learned Vedas and Sastras, and archery from their father, Visravasu.
One day Vaishravana (also called as Kubera) came down to see Visravasu and his children. Ravana and others were amazed about his laxurious life and wealth. They came to know that Kubera acquired that wealth only by doing Tapassu.
Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibheeshana did Tapassu for thousand years. Soorphakhana and Khara were looking after their comforts during Tapassu. Still, Brahma did not appear. Ravana cut one of his heads and put it in the sacred fire. Brahma did not come down. For every thousand years, he cut one of his heads and sacrified it in the sacred fire. Thus ten thousand years completed. Nine heads of Ravana were sacrificed. Lord Brahma did not appear. Ravana was ready to sacrifice his tenth head also to sacred fire. Lord Brahma appeared before them.
“O Lord Brahma! I should not be killed either by divine bodies like Devatas, Pitaras, Gandharvas, Vidyaadharas, or by Yakshas Rakshasas, snakes. I should be blessed with power to go anywhere and everywhere, in any form as I wish, (Kama Roopa) in this universe.” prayed Ravana. Brahma blessed him with all the above desires except death at the hands of human beings.
Then he asked Kumbhakarna about his desire. Kumbhakarna, driven by fate, prayed for a sound sleep. Brahma readily blessed him with his desire.
Then he asked Vibheeshana about his desire. “O Lord! even under any untoward circumstances and ugly and worst situations, I should not react in any sinful manner or act against Dharma. Kindly bless me with Brahmaastra.” prayed Vibheeshana. Lord Brahma was very much satisfied with his virtuous character.
“Though you were born as Danava, you are virtuous. You are blessed with all the boons you have asked. Besides that, you will attain divinity.” Lord Brahma disappeared.
With the strength and power of the boons of Lord Brahma, Ravana attacked Lanka City. On hearing the power of Ravana, Kubera fled away with his Pushpakam (aeroplane). Ravana chased him, caught him and grabbed his Pushpakam. Then Ravana attacked Devaloka and conquered Indra and other Divine bodies.
Unable to bear his atrocities, all Saints, divine bodies approached Brahma and told him about Ravana.
“I have already discussed this matter with vishnu and taken a decision. Sri Maha Vishnu will born as human being and kill Ravana. Indra and other divine bodies will born as monkeys and bears to help him. One Yakshini by name Dundubhi will born as Mandhara and will execute this task.” said Brahma.
Accordingly, Maha Vishnu was born as Rama to the Ikshvaaku King, Dasaradha. All the divine bodies were born as monkeys and bears on earth with huge bodies and enormous strength and courage.
Rama and his brothers studied Vedas and Sastras, Archery. Dasaradha performed their marriages. Rama married Sita, daughter of Janaka, King of Midhila.
Dasaradha decided to enthrone Rama as future king and fixed Muhurat.
At that time Mandhara, the servant maid of Kaikeyi, the
second wife of Dasradha, went to Kaika and told her
On hearing these words of Mandhara, Kaika immediately went to Dasaradha. “O my beloved husband! Kindly remember that you have given me a word to ful ful my desire whenever I ask. Now I am asking you. Please keep up that word.”
Without knowing the background, Dasaradha readily agreed for it.
“My son Bharatha should be the future king of Ikshvaaku Kingdom. Rama should proceed to forests for a period of 14years. Kindly accept my proposal” asked Kaika.
On hearing these words, Dasaradha fainted and fell down and lost consciousness. Rama came to know about the desire of his step mother Kaika. Rama proceeded to forests along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana. Dasaradha regained consciousness and heard that Rama, Sita and Lakshmana went to forests. Unable to bear that mental agony, Daradha died.
Kaika sent for Bharatha who was staying in his grandfather’s house. On his arrival Kaika said: “My son Bharata! Your father, Dasaradha died. Your brothers went to forests. You are the sole heir of this kingdom. Therefore, proclaim yourself as King and rule this kingdom.” said Kaika.
Bharata could not control his anger. He cursed his mother Kaika. “Ammaa! You brought bad name to Soorya Vamsa. You sent my brothers and sister in law to forests and killed my father. Is there any end for your sinful ideas?
Bharata completed the funeral rituals to his father. Bharata proceeded to forest along with his mothers, ministers and brother Satrughna. He met Rama and fell on his feet and prayed for excuse.
“Brother Rama! The Ayodhya kingdom is yours. You come back to Ayodhya and rule this country.” requested Bharata.
Rama did not agree. At last Bharata requested for the footwear of Rama and brought it to Ayodhya. He kept the footwear of Rama on throne and ruling the country on behalf of Rama and was waiting for the arrival of Rama.
Rama, Sita and Lakshmana wento to Dandakaaranya and
were staying on the banks of River Godavari. At that time, Soorphakhana,
sister of Ravana arrived there and tried to do harm to Rama, Sita and
Lakshmana. Lakshmana cut her nose and ears and insulted her.
Ravana grew angry “Soorpakhana! Who cut your ears and nose. Tell me about him. His life will come to an end. I will kill him.” said Ravana. Soorpakhana told Ravana what had happened in detail.
Immediately, Raavana went to Gokarnam where Maareeca is living. Maareeca was once worked as Minister to Ravana. Earlier, he was defeated by Rama and at pesent staying at Gokarna and doing Tapassu about Siva..
“Maareeca! a human being called Rama killed Khara and Dooshana and his entire army. Now Rama is staying in Dandakaranya. We have to attack him and cause harm to him. You have to help me.” said Ravana.
On hearing these words, Maareeca betan to shiver. “Ravana! Rama is not an ordinary humanbeing. You might not have heard about his vigour and valour. Even Lord Siva cannot face the arrow of Rama. Bad time is ahead of you. That is why you are thinking like this. Kindly give up this idea. I am living peacefully doing Tapassu about Siva.” said Maareecha.
“What are you talking! If you dont heed my words,
I will kill you now itself” threatened Raavana.
“You transform into a golden deer and just wander before Rama’s wife Seeta and lure her. Seeta will ask Rama to bring that deer. Rama will go out to fetch you. Then I will abduct Seeta. Unable to bear the separation from his wife, Seeta, Rama will suffer mental agony. That is what I want” said Ravana.
Accordingly, Maareeca went to the place where Rama and Seeta are staying. In the form of a golden deer he was moving at the cottage of Rama. Seeta saw that deer. She requested Rama to bring that deer. Driven by fate, Rama went behind that deer. That deer ran away. Rama chased that deer for a long distance. Then he realized that it was a trap laid by Raakshasas. He shot that deer by his arrow. Maareecaa cried aloud “Haa Lakshmanaa! Haa Seetaa!” fell down and died.
Seeta heard those cries of Maareeca “Lakshmanaa! It seems your brother is in danger. Go and save him” said Seeta.
“Ammaa Seetaa! Rama is a great hero. He will never be in trouble. Rama will return after killing the enemies” replied Lakshmana.
Seeta grew angry. She suspected Lakshmana. “Lakshmana! I could understand your bad intention. I will even die than to be seduced by you.” said Seeta.
Lakshmana closed his eyes and ears. He went in search of Rama. Ravana who was waiting for that opportunity, entered the Ashram in the attire of a Sanyasi.
Seeta received Ravana and offered him water and fruits. Ravana amazed about the beauty of Sita. He looked at her with lustful looks. He revealed himself.
“Sita! I am Ravana. I am the king of Lanka. Love me I will be your husband. You can enjoy all pleasures in this world. After all Rama is nothing before me. You cannot suffer all these troubles in this forest along with him. Love me. Come along with me” Ravana enticed Sita.
“You are a great king It is not proper on your part to speak like that. I will never think about any other person except Rama in my mind” said Seeta and tried to go away.
Ravana caught Sita, and flew away towards Lanka. Seeta raised hue and cry and requested all Divine bodies to save her.
One eagle heard her cries. His name was Jataayuvu. Jataayuvu attacked Ravana and fought with him. Ravana cut his two wings. Jataayuvu fell down on the ground. Ravana proceeded towards Lanka. In a helpless condition Seetaa was looking down. She saw some monkeys on a mountain peak. . She removed some of her ornaments, tied it in a cloth and dropped the bundle near those monkeys.
Ravana reached Lanka and kept her in Ashoka vana Ravana deputed some rakshasa ladies to guard her.
( “It appears that even in Tretayuga, it was a custom that whenever any lady was arrested and kept in prison, only ladies should be deputed to guard them. Though Ravana was a Rakshasa and an autocrat and a ruthless ruler, he followed that custom.
Now a days, that rule is not being followed. Lady police stations are for namesake. Only males are deputed to guard female prisoners also. Though there are provisions in several laws that ladies should not be arrested and kept in police stations during nights, only female constables shall be deputed to guard female prisoners, only lady police officers shall interrogate lady prisoners, none are following them. The worst is that even “Mahila Courts” are manned by Male Officers.”)
After killing Maareeca, Rama returned to his Ashram. On the way he saw Lakshmana. “Lakshmana! You know that Rakshasas are wondering in this forest. How you left Seeta alone? Let us go fast.”
They both went to Ashram and did not find Seeta They searched for Seeta but in vain. While they were going in forest in search of Seeta, they found Jataayuvu. “Rama! my name is Jataayuvu I am a friend of your father, Dasaradha. Ravana,the Rakshasa King, abducted your wife Sita and proceeded towards south. On hearing her cries, I attacked Ravana. But he cut my wings.” so saying, Jatayuvu died.
After performing the necessary funeral rites to Jatayuvu, Rama and Lakshmana proceeded towards south in search of Sita. On the way, they found one strange creature. He was Kabandha. His eyes were in his chest and his mouth was in his stomach. His hands were too long. With his hands, Kabandha caught Lakshmana and tried to eat him.
“O Rama! I am caught by this strange creature. Save me” cried Lakshmana. Rama cut the hands of Kabandha and rescued Lakshmana. Lakshmana stabbed Kabandha with a knife. That strange creature transformed into a divine male.
“I am a Gandharva. My name is Visvaavasa. I got this Rakshasa birth due to the curse of Brahma and renunciation by the appearance of Rama. Ravana, the King of Lanka abducted your wife Sita and kept her in Lanka. If you proceed further, you will reach Pampa river. After that, there is a hill called Rushyamooka. Sugreeva, brother of Vali is staying on the hill, Rushyamooka. Sugreeva will make friendship with you. Your task will be accomplished with his friendship.”said Gandharva and went away.
Rama and Lakshmana proceeded towards Pampa river. Rama remembered Sita and began to weep. “Brother Rama! Mighty and brave personalities like you should not weep like this. You have to face the troubles with brave and patience. I am your brother, your servant. You should not be depressed like this” consoled Lakshmana.
Rama and Lakshmana reached Rushyamooka Hill. Sugreeva and his ministers staying on the hill saw Rama and Lakshmana. Sugreeva sent Hanumanta to know their whereabouts. Hanumanta tactfully gathered entire information about Rama and reported to Sugreeva. Sugreeva offered his friendly hand to Rama. They both became friends. Sugreeva showed the bundle of jewellery dropped by Sita, to Rama. Rama identified all the jewellary.
“My brother, Vali invaded my kingdom and drove me away. I am taking shelter on this hill. I request you to kill Vali and restore my kingdom. I will help you in searching your wife, Sita." said Sugreeva.
Rama agreed for this proposal. All have gone to the capital, Kishkindha. Sugreeva invited Vali for dual battle. While Vali was going to fight with Sugreeva, his wife Tara stopped him. “It appears that Sugreeva got help from others. I heard that Rama and Lakshmana sons of Dasaradha made friendship with Sugreeva. It seems that wife of Rama was abducted by Lanka king Ravana. Rama sought the help of Sugreeva. In return Rama agreed to help Rama. Besides that, mighty personalities like Mainda, Hanuma, Jambavanta are his ministers. At this juncture, it is not proper for you to fight with Sugreeva. I do not like it” said Tara wisely.
But Vaali did not heed the words of Taara. He went upon Sugreeva for a battle. “Sugreeva! I chased you many times and drove you away. Why you have again come for battle? asked Vali.
“You have taken away my kingdom, my wife and my pleasures. What is the use of my remaining alone. Hence I want to fight with you” said Sugreeva.
Vaali and Sugeeva were fighting with each other fiercely. To identify Sugreeva, Hanuma put a garland in the neck of Sugreeva. Rama killed Vaali by hiding behind a tree. Rama made Sugreeva as the King of Kishkindha.
“Rama! you kept your word. I will also keep my word. Now it is monsoon. After monsoon, I will send all my army in search of Sita.” said Sugreevaa.
In Lanka, Sita was spending time with the thoughts of Rama. Rakshasa ladies Tryakshi, Tristani, Ekapaada, Deerghajihva, Ajihva, Trijata, Ekalocana were sitting around Sita and guarding her. They are instigating Sita to marry Ravana otherwise they will kill her and eat her.
Sita was requesting them time and again that she will never thought about another man except Rama in her mind and requested them to kill her and relieve her from this agony. All the Rakshasa ladies except Trijata went to Ravana about this.
“Sita! You are not alone here. One Rakshasa called Avindhya likes your husband, Rama very much. He sent me here to look after your comforts. Rama and Lakshmana knew that Ravana abducted you. They met Sugreeva and made friendship with him. Sugreeva is making arrangements for your search. On account of Rambha, Nala koobara cursed Ravana that he should not touch any other lady against her will. Hence Ravana will never molest you.
Last night, I got a dream. In that dream, Ravana, applied oil to his body, with disturbed hair, was proceeding southwards, on a chariot driven by donkeys. He was surrounded by Kumbhakarna and other Rakshasas, with disturbed hair, and without clothes. All are proceeding towards south. Vibheeshana, decorated with white flowers, with a white umbrella, was sitting on a white hill with his ministers.
I also saw Rama in my dream. Rama was going on a big elephant along with Lakshmana consuming sweet milk. My dream will become true. You will join your husband soon” said Trijata. On hearing the consoling words of Trijata, the agony of Sita subsided to some extent.
Ravana continued his trials to win the favour of Sita. In the early morning, Ravana came down to Asoka Vana. “O Sita! I like you I fell in love with you. Why you are depressing and spoiling your health like this. I am yours. You rule me. I obey your orders. I conquered all Devatas, yakshas, Rakshasas. Several ladies are under my control. But I am under your control. It is your fortune. Tell me who is Rama? A human being wandering in forests, leaving his kingdom. A tiny personality. It is silly even now to think about him. What pleasure you enjoy with him? But I am the king of Kings. 14 crore rakshasas are serving me. 86 crores Yakshasa are under my thumb. The Great Trasurer of this Universe, Kubera, is my brother. Visravasa is my father. All Gandharva ladies and Apsarasas are seving me always. All the treasures and pleasures in the house of Devendra are readily in my palace. Be a Queen of all these riches and pleasures. Enjoy yourself” said Ravana.
On hearing all these words patiently, Sita kept a grass piece in between her and Ravana and said “O Ravana! I am another’s wife, thinking about my husband always. I am a human being. You are Rakshasa. I never love you. How can you enjoy sensual plealsures with a woman who do not love you. You told me that you are the grandson of Lord Brahma and the brother of Kubera. Such a great man like you should know about Dharma. You should not shamessly talk like this.” told Sita in a sobbing voice.
Ravana went back with great disappointment.” said Saint Markandeya to Dharmaja, the story of Ramayana.
MAHA BHARAT - ARANYA PARVA –