In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Maarkandeya playing down Yudishtra’s and Draupati’s suffering by making a strong comparison with whatever Bhagawan Rama and Mother Sita had to undergo, being a husband and a wife. As Yudishtra asks a question as to why is Draupati suffering because of my wrongdoing and as he casts a doubt over whether the suffering that a Jeevatma has to undergo is purely based out of one’s Karma or not, Sage Maarkandeya sorts to clarify Yudishtra’s doubt by explaining how Mother Sita had to undergo an ordeal of ten long months in separation from Bhagawan Rama. He explains how Mother Sita was held captive by Ravana at Lanka, and even after that, when Bhagawan Rama won over Ravana, Bhagawan Rama did not accept Mother Sita straightaway. He wanted Mother Sita to prove her chastity just because of the fact that Ravana allegedly touched her. Now this is one big thing that maybe Bhagawan Rama could have avoided doing, and even today we keep talking about it, isn’t it? Many people opine that by making Mother Sita go through the “Agni-Pravesham” to prove her chastity, Bhagawan Rama exhibited male chauvinism! Thus, the point here is that, even though Bhagawan Rama and Mother Sita are incarnations of Bhagawan Vishnu and Goddess Mahalakshmi, they too weren’t let off from undergoing ordeals in life!
As Yudishtra requests Sage Maarkandeya to detail the entire “Charitra” of Bhagawan Rama, Sage Maarkandeya explains the entire Ramayana text to Yudishtra. We shall keep it a bit brief for our discussion here, as we’ve already witnessed the entire Ramayana storyline in our previous project. Also, since most of us know it as well, we shall go a bit faster. As we know, Bhagawan Rama is the son of King Dasharata. King Dasharata was childless for a long time and with the help of Sage Rishyashringa, he performs the “Putra-Kaameshti Yaaga”. With this, the divine pot containing the “Paayasam” appears from the “Agni Kunda”, which was proportioned to the three wives of King Dasharata. With this, all the three wives, Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra started carrying and at the end of the twelfth month, Kaushalya delivers a baby by name Rama. Subsequently, Kaikeyi delivers Bharata and Sumitra delivers the twin children of Lakshmana and Shatrughna. Thus, King Dasharata now has four children.
Meanwhile on the other side, Ravana, Kumbakarna, Kara, Soorpanaka, etc. take birth at Lanka, and these people perform an intense “Tapas” towards Bhagawan Brahma. As Bhagawan Brahma appears in front of all them, each of them ask whatever they want from Him. Ravana asks thus, “Oh Bhagawan Brahma! I should not get a death knell from neither the Devas, Raakshasas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Kinnaras, etc. I should be immortal in this world in this way!” As Ravana asks thus, he forgets to mention “Nara” (Human being) and “Vaanara” (Monkey). As Ravana asks thus, Bhagawan Brahma grants the boon to Ravana. Subsequently, Kumbhakarana wants to ask Bhagawan Brahma that the Devas should completely be wiped out from this world (“Nir-Devathvam”). However, his tongue slips slightly and instead of pronouncing “Nir-Devathvam” correctly, he pronounces it as “Nidraavatvam”. As we know, “Nidra” means sleep and with this, Bhagawan Brahma grants whatever Kumbakarna asks for verbatim! Thus, Kumbhakarna started his long slumber then and there!
Thus, in this way, all the Raakshasas ask for their respective boons and the ordeal in the world starts. It is at this time, all the Devas including Indra are undergoing extreme torture and they run to Bhagawan Vishnu for help. Bhagawan Vishnu assures Indra that He would incarnate in this world to put an end to Ravana’s atrocities. It is at this same time, King Dasharata is performing the Putra-Kaameshti Yaaga and Bhagawan Vishnu decides that He would give King Dasharata the divine opportunity to incarnate as his sons. Bhagawan Vishnu splits Himself into four different parts and is thus born as four sons to King Dasharata!
So for today, let us understand up to this point and in the next episode, we shall continue the brief of how Bhagawan Rama and the others grew up, as per Sage Maarkandeya’s words! Stay tuned for an refreshing update! 🙂