Jai Sriman Narayana !!
Rama, Sita along with Lakshman walked through the woodlands of Dandaka, the forest Dandaka and Janasthanam was under the control of the demon King Ravana. They were excited at the tranquility and rich natural beauty of the forest. They come across number of sages and their hermitage and the pleasing aroma of fire sacrifices. They were amazed at the enchanting beauty and serenity of Dandaka Vanam. At once, all the Sages were assembled around Rama and eulogized his glories. They cordially invited Rama, Sit and Lakshman to accept their hospitality. The Sages were forgotten to blink their eyes; they behold the radiant sight of Lord Vishnu with Goddess Sri Mahalakshmi along with the serpent King Adishesha. Rama was pleased at the warmth of the learned scholars and Sages. The entire atmosphere in the Dandaka Vanam was captivating with the promising vibrations of Vedic Hymns, fire sacrifices and the presence of sagacious. Rama, Sita and Lakshman bade farewell to the sages of Dandakavanam, they preceded their journey towards the wild part of the forest.
The environment in Janasthanam and the surroundings were too intimidating, Sita walked in terror between the two valors. Shortly they listened to a horrendous voice; it was Viradha, huge and ugly looking demon, wearing skin of a tiger and dreadful hair dampened in blood. He scurried before them and threatened to swallow them alive, he approached Sita with a demonic voice frightening her to death. Lakshman was enraged at the devilish act of Viradha. Rama and Lakshmana had a fierce battle with the demon Viradha and vanquished him. Viradha who was the celestial Gandharva Thumburu in his previous birth was cursed by Lord Kubera, that his death would be in the hands of Rama. Thumburu was excessively drawn towards the beauty of the celestial dancer Rambha and forgot to perform his responsibility. This infuriated Lord Kubera and cursed him to be born as demon on Earth. Immediately after the hammering shot of arrows of Rama, Viradha was released from the curse and Thumburu advised Rama to visit Sage Sharabhanga. After, Thumburu left his mortal coil and his soul moved to the celestial world.
Rama, Sita and Lakshman proceeded to the hermitage of Sage Sharabhanga. As they approached the hermitage of the Sage, they could visualize a brilliant radiance of multitudes of Sun and Fire in the environment. They saw Lord Indra, the Lord of three worlds in a golden chariot on his celestial vehicle white elephant Airavatha. He was attired in grand sparkling clothes adorned with precious jewels and ornaments. He was accompanied by several celestial Gandharvas and Apsaras at his service and there were huge number or celestial attendants surrounded with various weapons. Lakshman stayed behind, Rama proceeded to the hermitage of Sage Sharabhanga. As Rama was approaching the hermitage, instantaneously Lord Indra bade farewell to Sage Sharabhanga and abruptly left the scene. The reason behind Lord Indra’s sudden action was he doesn’t want to create an impediment to the purpose of incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Rama. The principle objective of this incarnation of Lord Vishnu was to exterminate the demon Ravana and reinstate righteousness in the three worlds. Moreover, Ravana had attained several boons to protect himself, including he should not be killed by any deities, he was underestimated the power of humans and never bothered about the valor of human being. Shortly, Rama, Sita and Lakshman approached Sage Sharabhanga and offered salutations to him. Sage Sharabhanga enthusiastically received his guest with great honor. Rama enquired the reason for the arrival of Lord Indra. Sage Sharabhanga, a purified soul sincerely revealed that the purpose of Lord Indra’s visit was to take Sage to Brahma Loka. He respectfully refused to follow Lord Indra, because he was already known that Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu was on his way to visit him. Sage Sharabhanga advised Rama to meet Sage Sutheekshna who was living on the river banks of Mandakini. Immediately after Sage Sharabhanga left his mortal coil in eternal bliss and dissolved in the Brahmam with his yogic powers. On their way to the hermitage of Sutheekshna many Sages appealed to Rama to protect their rituals and fire sacrifices from the impediments caused by the demons. Rama benevolently promised to protect them from the demons. Sage Sutheekshna received Rama, Sita and Lakshman with generosity, Sage reveals his concern about Dandakaranya, once this forest was the abode of hermits turned out a place of homicide now. Rama compassionately talks his purpose of visit to Dandakaranya as to eradicate the atrocities of demons. Sita was extremely fretful about the wellbeing of her husband. Sage Dharmabhritha narrates the splendor of river Mandakini, formed with the ascetic powers of Sage Mandakarni. Rama and Sita were mesmerized at the promising look of the river Mandakini and its surroundings and resided with Sage Sutheekshna for nearly ten years. Later Rama revealed his desire to visit the great Sage Agastya. They preceded their journey to the hermitage of Sage Agastya. On the way, they visited brother of Sage Agastya and accepted his hospitality. The entire journey through the forest was thoroughly pleasurable for three of them. Rama reverentially narrates to Lakshman about the unparalleled devotion of great Sage Agastya. They were received utmost reverence to the hermitage of Sage Agastya. Rama received the divine bow and Arrows of Lord Vishnu and Sword, which was preserved by the Sage. As per the advice of Sage Agastya, they moved through the wildest part of the forest and met Jatayu/King of birds who was ready to offer any help them to proceed to Panchavati. Lakshman constructed a hermitage at Panchavati, on the river bank of Godavari for the comfortable stay of his brother and sister-in-law. Rama was pleased at the skills of Lakshman and embraced him with lots of affection. Rama, Sita and Lakshman took great pleasure in the rich natural beauty of Panchavati.
Shoorpanakha, the sister of the demon King Ravana approaches the hermitage of Rama. She was spellbound at the charisma of Rama and pleaded him to marry her. Rama frustratingly advises her to request Lakshman who was ready to provide answer to her request. Lakshmana cut her nose off, disfigured her face and she was shrieked out of crucial pain and ran off from the site with the bleeding nose. She reported this harsh problem with all melodrama to her brother Khara, eventually Khara assigned a few demons to fight against Rama and Lakshman. But they were defeated by Rama and Lakshman. Shoorpanakha remorsefully approaches Khara and provoked him to have vicious battle against Rama and Lakshman. Khara send Dushana with 14,000 demons on the war field, they had a fierce battle with Rama and finally Khara and Trishira were killed at the battle field. Sita rejoiced over the glorious victory of her brave husband.
Shoorpanakha haughtily approaches her elder brother Ravana and informs the death of Khara and several demons on the war against Rama. She blamed her brother for being aloof after witnessing her fate in the hands of Lakshman. Shoorpanakha urges Ravana to abduct Sita, she explains her captivating beauty to her brother. Shoorpanakha maintains modesty while explaining the charm and heroic nature of Rama. Finally, Ravana decided to follow the devious plan of his sister. He sneaked to the place where the ceremonial carriages were kept, because he wanted to keep the purpose of journey to Panchavati in top secret, he dearly loves his wife Mandodhari and vice versa so it was essential for him to keep the matter in under wraps He set off in his celestial vehicle Pushpaka Vimanam that was seized from his elder brother Kubera, Lord of wealth. After crossing several Yojanas/miles, he arrived at the place where Mareecha was settled. Mareecha received the demon King with reverence and enquired the reason for his urgent visit. Ravana narrates the insult to Shoorpanakha and the pitiful death of Khara, Dhushan, and Trishira in the hands of Rama and Lakshman at Janasthana. He shows vengeance in every statement and requests Mareecha to help him in abducting Sita, insists him to assume the form of a golden deer and lure Sita in such a way she would yearn to have the possession of the same. So that Rama and Lakshman will be driven out of sight, Ravana can make off with Sita. Mareecha was flabbergasted after listening to Ravana’s brutal plan. Mareecha who was already aware the valor of Rama when he was just 14 years of age, remembered the disastrous incident happened to Subhahu while causing impediments to the fire sacrifices of Sage Vishwamitra. Mareecha describes the above devastating incident to Ravana and persuade him not to commit such foolishness to Rama and Lakshman, who are great warriors capable to conquer any kind of obstacle. Mareecha advise Ravana that abduction of Sit would cause his death and the destruction of his Kingdom. In addition to this Mareecha describes the virtues of Rama with extreme reverence. Thus, Mareecha had an emotional conversation with Ravana to dissuade in his very own thought to capture Sita, concluding with the prediction that this act will lead to the ruin of demon race in the Universe. Ravana impertinently rebuffed the advice of Mareecha and threatened to kill him. Mareecha hysterically praised the righteousness and courage of Rama and the destruction of Ravana and his Kingdom. Finally, Mareecha realized that it was his foolishness to discourage Ravana who was threatening to take away his life; instead he preferred to have death from the hands of Rama. Ravana and Mareecha arrived at Dandakavanam/Janasthanam in Pushpaka Vimanam. Mareecha assumed the form a stunning golden deer and performed his act very well. Sita was ecstatic at the sight of a marvelous golden deer; she compels Rama and Lakshman to capture the same. Lakshman at once realized that the golden deer was nothing other than the unscrupulous act of the demons. Sita was irrepressible, she heartily wish to have the possession of the same. Rama pacifies her and chased the deer; it was scurried to the dense forest far from their hermitage. At one point, Rama shot an arrow to get the deer alive or dead. At the shot of the arrow the deer shrieked out calling the name of Lakshman who was in the hermitage at the strict order of his brother to protect Sita. Sita was alarmed at the turn of events and commanded Lakshman to save his brother from the danger. Lakshmana who was well aware of the braveness of his brother and knows the treacherous deeds of demons, tries to calm down his sister-in-law who was traumatized at this happening. Sita accused Lakshman as an immoral and he wanted to have custody of her. Lakshman was horrified listening to those harsh words from Sita who was capable for veneration and mother like to him. Lakshman pleaded her to let him remain with her till Rama returns, because he does not want to break the promise given to his brother to take care of Sita, moreover he has no heart to leave her alone amidst the dangers. Shortly, Lakshman with folded palms left the hermitage with utter guilt and grief.
Instantly, there appeared a saintly person begging for alms. Sita received him with reverence, but the saintly person insists to stay out of the hermitage. At one point, while serving alms the saintly person grabbed her hand with an alluring smile in his original form. Sita was dismayed and shrieked for help calling out the names. Ravana haul her into his celestial vehicle and dived into the sky. He was profusely admiring his strength, valor, wealth, power, etc….Sita was panic-stricken at the demonic act of Ravana, cries her heart out to all the visible things on her way to inform her dearest husband about her abduction. Jatayu, the King of Birds who has the penetrating eyes happened to see Sita crying out for help. He dashed to the celestial vehicle of Ravana with his huge wings held high, with his entire strength Jatayu swirled the vehicle with his body with an intention to get Sita out of the vehicle. Ravana was annoyed at the act of Jatayu, he cut off his huge wing. Soon, Jatayu turned powerless to fight against him, plunged down to earth with a thud. Sita wept loudly looking at the vulnerable state of Jatayu. On their way to Lanka, Sita drops some her Jewels in Kishkinda, the Kingdom of monkey King Vali. The heated argument continues between Sita and Ravana, she pronounces the destruction of his Kingdom and his death in the hands of his valorous husband Rama.
Lakshman desperately continues search for his brother, finally they met each other with great anguish. Rama expresses his nervousness about the welfare of Sita. They both dashed to the hermitage and found no sign of Sita. Rama was inconsolable; he enquires each and every bird, animals and trees on his sight abou Sita and grieves over the absence of her. They both continued rigorous search through the dense forest and come across the jewels of Sita scattered all over at one place. Further, they found Jatayu who was badly wounded struggling to have breath, he informs Rama about the abduction of Sita by the demon King Ravana and took his last breath. Rama performed the last rite for the King of Bird Jatayu and proceeds to search for Sita. On their way Rama chopped off the hands of the demon Kabandha, he realized the divinity of Rama, at the time of death Kabandha narrates the plight of Sugriva who was also going through the same grief and advice Rama to meet the monkey King Sugriva. He describes the route to Pampa Lake which leads to Mount Rishyamukha, also mention the hermitage of Sage Mathanga and Shabari, a zealous devotee of Rama. Rama and Lakshman proceed to Mount Rishyamukha, met Shabari. Shabari receives them with utmost reverence, reveals her earnest desire to get liberation from the cycles of birth and death, Rama benevolently provides her salvation at the lotus feet of Lord.
Jai Sriman Narayana !!