Srimad Ramayan/Bala Kanda !!

Jai Sriman Narayana !!
Srimad Ramayan written by Valmiki Maharishi narrates the birth of Lord Rama (Sarga 18) and his brothers Lakshman, Bharatha and Shatrunga in Bala Kanda.  King Dasaratha of Ayodhya, son of Vaivaswatha Manu righteous ruler from the lineage of Solar/ Ikshvaku Dynasty conducted a Ashwamedha Yaga followed by Putrakameshti Yaga  on the river banks of Sarayu under the guidance of Sage Vashishta, Sage Rishyasrunga, Sage Suyanjana,Sage Vamadeva, Sage Jabali and Sage Kashyapa in the presence of a large number of Vedic scholars and honorable Kings  of various Kingdom, King of Kaikeya, King Bhanumanta of Kingdom of Kosala, King of Magadha, King Romapada of Kingdom of Anga, King Janaka of Mithila, King of Kasi  were cordially invited by King Dasaratha at the instruction of family priest Sage Vashishta. 


King  Dasaratha, Kingdom of  Ayodhya  was  distressed at the thought of lack of progeny to rule his Kingdom.  King Dasaratha worriedly discussed the situation with their family priest Sage Vashishta.  Sage instructed King Dasaratha to invite Sage Rishyashrunga to conduct Puthrakameshti Yaga.  In the meantime, Lord Brahma and all the deities were approached Lord Vishnu and prayed to protect the world from the harassment of the demon King Ravana and reinstate peace in the Universe.  The compassionate Lord Vishnu decided to descend on Earth as son of the admirable couple King Dasaratha and Kousalya. 


At the end of successful completion of Yaga, Prajapathya Purusha/ Yajjya Purusha instigated from the sacrificial fire with a pot of divine dessert handed to King Dasaratha with an instruction to distribute amongst his wives for obtaining progeny.  King Dasaratha divided the same into two equal halves and offered to his two wives Kousalya and Kaikeyi.    In turn, Kousalya and Kaikeyi provided equal halves from them to Sumitra.  Thus, Sumitra had two equal portions from Kousalya and Kaikeyi. 


{ It is believed that King Dasaratha conducted worship at Thiruppulani Sri Kalyana Jagannatha Perumal temple,  one of the 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu for virtuous offspring. 


In due course of time, Kousalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi got pregnant with the child.   The presence of divine child in their womb gave out a brilliant appearance of mothers.   King Dasaratha performed austerities for the welfare of his pregnant wives and the unborn offspring.  Finally, the promising day has arrived Kousalya gave birth to a stunning boy child Rama  in the month Chaithra with the birth star Punarvasu on the Navami day so as Kaikeyi and Sumitra gave birth to Baratha, Lakshman  and Shatrugna respectively.    The arrival of divine child brought abundance of joy and peace in the Kingdom of Ayodhya.  King Dasaratha welcomed the bundles of joy with the distribution of wealth and food amongst the people in his Kingdom and the celebrations continued.



Rama, Lakshman, Bharatha and Shatrungna were brought up with great affection and lots of love.  In due course of time the children were sent to learn Astra Sastra Vidya under the guidance of Sage Vashishta.  Lakshman was drawn exceptionally close to Rama following like a shadow everywhere.  The four children were grown up into charming young adults and completed their course of study under the guidance of Sage Vashishta, eventually returned to their palace.  The four brothers undertook a journey throughout their Kingdom for an inspection.   After coming back from the tour, Rama turned out too detached and preferred to remain in solitude.  He lost interest in royal pleasures and lived a life of an ascetic.    Once, Sage Vishwamitra arrived at the assembly of King Dasaratha and brought to the notice of King about the continuous performances of Yagnas and Yagas in his Kingdom and the unfortunate conclusion of the same due to the impediments created by the demons.   King Dasaratha readily offered army of men to protect the rituals and Yaga of Sage Koushika, but Sage Vishwamithra was refused to accept any kind of help, instead advised King Dasaratha to assign the task of protecting the rituals to Rama and Lakshman.  Initially, King Dasaratha was not willing to send his children to perform the hazardous task to fight against the demon, Sage Vashishta intervened and convinced the King about the rewards and the abundance of wisdom and knowledge the children were supposed to receive from the honorable Sage Valmiki throughout their journey and also narrates the significance of assisting Sage Vishwamitra in this righteous task.


Rama revealed the reason for his dispassion towards the worldly life before the honorable sages in the assembly. During their journey Rama has noticed the mounting miseries and sorrows, illness and death, poverty and ignorance, lack of interest in acquiring knowledge and wisdom, excessive attachment towards material happiness amongst the people led them to perpetual sufferings caused him an extreme pain.    The members of the assembly were awe struck at the systematic knowledge and deepest concern of Rama towards the people of their Kingdom.  Listening to the intellectual speech of Rama, Sage Vishwamitra earnestly prayed Sage Vashishta who was a liberated soul capable to instruct Yoga Vashishta, the highest knowledge about the Brahmam and eternal bliss.  The lessons on Yoga Vashishta were parted with the intellectuals assembled and the Knower of All - Supreme Lord Rama.  As a result, Rama grown into an extraordinarily righteous and lived a life prescribed in the Veda Sastras. 


Rama and Lakshman followed Sage Vishwamitra through the woodlands to protect the Yagna.   All the way through their journey Sage Vishwamitra taught them invaluable Sastra Vidyas/Mantras/Bala and Athibala which helped them grow immensely stronger.  Sage Vishwamitra narrated the atrocities the demons Thataka who has the strength of 1000 elephants and her two sons Subahu and Maricha and their notorious acts causing several impediments to the fire sacrifices performed by pouring bones and unpolluted materials into the sacred fire.  Rama killed Thataka and Subahu at the shot of a single arrow and Maricha ran off from the field.  In this way, Rama and Lakshman safeguarded the Yagnas performed by Sage Vishwamitra.  All the sages were praised the valor of Rama and Lakshman, blessed them.


Sage Vishwamitra along with Rama and Lakshman proceeded to Mithila where the grand Swayamvara of the daughters of King Janaka was organized.  On their way, Sage Vishwamitra narrated his early life and the requirements of austerities, King Bhageeratha and his severe perseverance to bring river of life Ganga to Earth, the churning of Milky Ocean etc.  They stopped at the deserted hermitage of Sage Gautama.   At the touch of Rama’s feet the rock instantly turned into Ahalya, the chaste wife of Sage Gautama.   In this way, Ahalya was released from the curse and the pious couple Sage Gautama and Ahalya reunited once again.


As soon as Sage Vishnwamitra along with Rama and Lakshman entered the city of Mithila, they could sense the merriment all over the place.  The city was splendidly decorated, the people were jubilant and the Kings from neighboring cities were flown into the palace to take part in the challenge.   Sage Vishwamithra described the significance of the bow - Shivadanuss belonged to Lord Shiva that was impossible to lift.  On one occasion Sita was playing in their garden with her friends, the flower ball went beneath the Shivadanuss, she effortlessly lifted the bow and regained the flower ball.  After witnessing this miraculous incident King Janaka decided that whoever bend and split the glorious Shivadanuss would marry Sita.  As they  were entered into the majestic palace garden, Rama’s eyes fell on a gorgeous young girl who was immersed in her activities.  Soon, Sita’ attention turned towards the young charming prince, she got into the rapture of Rama’s captivating beauty.  Both of them were looked at each other’s eyes it created stirring waves in them.  Her eyes were so passionate, that was the moment the two of them yearned for each other’s company dearly. 



Sage Vishwamitra and the two princes were received with utmost reverence by King Janaka and they were led to the assembly hall where the Swayamvara was held.   The magnificent hall full of King of various cities were seated opulently dressed.   Sage Vishwamitra gracefully entered into the hall with the two charming princes of Ayodhya.  The Kings who were present in the hall took their turns and approached the bow with full of vitality and pride, shortly returned unsuccessful with lots of perspiration.  Subsequently, Rama elegantly walked towards the bow, lifted it effortlessly and the bow broken into two pieces with a thunderous noise.   It was the moment of triumph and ecstasy, the entire crowd praised the vigor and valor of Rama.  Soon, King of Ayodhya was invited with his family to Mithila, a grand wedding function was organized.    King Janaka offered his 4 daughters Sita, Urmila, Mandavi and Sukirti to King Dasaratha’s young and charming sons Rama, Lakshman, Bharatha and Shathrugna respectively.   Both the parents were decided to perform the wedding of their children on the same day.  The grand wedding took place according to the Vedic principle.



The wedded couples were resumed journey to their palace.  On their way to Ayodhya, there appeared Parasurama with all the vengeance to terminate the Kshatriya clan from the Earth.    Parasurama, the 6th incarnation of Lord Vishnu was born to Sage Jamadagni and his chaste wife Renuka.  Though Parasurama was born as a Brahmin he had the gallantry and mystic powers of a Kshatriya.   Sage Vashishta and King Dasaratha intervened and tried to appease his very intention to fight against Rama.  But all their efforts went in vain, Parasurama ferociously approached Rama, a distinct divine touch of Rama on the vicious weapon of  Parasurama compelled him to realize the presence of Lord Vishnu.  Instantly, Parasurama’s vitality to fight against the supreme Lord has turned into timid.  Sage Parasurama surrendered all the mystic powers to the Supreme Lord and proceeded to Mount Mahendra for further austerities.  The wedded couples reached Ayodhya and led a blissful married life. 

Jai Sriman Narayana !!

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