In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Maarkandeya’s narration to Yudishtra on how Bhagawan Rama’s divine “Paadhuka” ruled Ayodhya for the fourteen-year period and how Bharata discharged the duties of the kingdom on behalf of Bhagawan Rama. Subsequently after all the people of Ayodhya along with Bharata leave back to the city with heavy hearts, Bhagawan Rama decides that all three of them should move away from this place. This is because all the city residents now know that Bhagawan Rama is here and with this, everybody will start coming often to see Him. If such a thing happens, there is no point in being in exile. Hence, Bhagawan Rama, Lakshmana and Mother Sita slowly start moving southwards into the “Dhandakaranya” forest and they spend quality time in visiting various Maharishis and obtaining their divine “Anugraha”.
This is quite similar to the way how Yudishtra and Co. are also doing currently. Of course, in the Mahabharata text, as we’re witnessing, various sages come to visit Yudishtra. However, in the Ramayana text, it is quite the opposite – Bhagawan Rama goes in person to visit all the sages one after the other. Perhaps, this is the difference between the “Treta Yuga” and the “Dvaapara Yuga”! In the “Treta Yuga”, the disciple (Bhagawan Rama Himself) goes in search of the Guru (Each Maharishi). However, in the “Dvaapara Yuga”, the Guru (Maharishis) goes in search of the disciple (Yudishtra). If such is the case, we can imagine what will be the status in the current “Kali Yuga”! Nobody is going to go in search of anybody! 🙂 This is where we are today!
Thus, coming back to the context, Bhagawan Rama, along with Mother Sita and Lakshmana enter the “Dhandaka Vanam”, which is very dense in nature and full of wildlife habitat everywhere. It is at this place, all three of them spend a lot of time together – In fact, more than ten to eleven years. Along with getting the divine “Anugraha” of all the Maharishis in this zone, Bhagawan Rama also frees the forest area from the grip of the Raakshasas here and there. Subsequently, the news that the Raakshasas are getting destroyed by Bhagawan Rama reaches Kara and Dushana. Both of them plan to sabotage Bhagawan Rama and Lakshmana in some way or the other and this is the same time when Soorpanaka who is Ravana’s sister makes her way near Bhagawan Rama’s hamlet one fine day. Initially she did not know who Bhagawan Rama is, but upon seeing His charm and handsome nature, Soorpanaka immediately falls in love with Him! Hence, she decides to approach Bhagawan Rama.
For this, she takes the form of a beautiful young girl and approaches Bhagawan Rama. Upon introduction, Soorpanaka proposes that she desires to marry Bhagawan Rama somehow. However, Bhagawan Rama refuses Soorpanaka’s proposal and instead, points fingers towards Lakshmana! Soorpanaka approaches Lakshmana, only to be pointed back to Bhagawan Rama. Thus, both Bhagawan Rama and Lakshmana started passing the buck and Soorpanaka becomes a joker in the middle of both of them! Finally, Soorpanaka loses her cool and she decides to pounce upon Mother Sita in a bid to kill her. It is at this moment, Lakshmana, with the approval from Bhagawan Rama, chops off Soorpanaka’s nose and ears off her face! Insulted and wounded by Lakshmana, Soorpanaka straightaway runs to Kara and Dhushana and spreads the vengeance! Now Kara and Dhushana, along with some 14,000 Raakshasas try to invade Bhagawan Rama and Lakshmana. Even though Lakshmana wanted to help, Bhagawan Rama decides that He would take all of them down single handedly! Eventually, after a long war, Bhagawan Rama successfully destroys 13,999 Raakshasas, only to leave one Raakshasa by name “Akampana” alive! This Akampana is the person who runs all the way to Ravana to convey the news of the destruction of all the Raakshasas.
As Akampana explains how a person called Rama is destroying all the Raakshasas, Ravana gets furious and it is precisely at the same time, Soorpanaka arrives in Lanka to meet Ravana. Her ears and nose are hanging from her face and as Ravana sees this state of his sister, he gets angrier! Upon investigation, Soorpanaka reveals the plan – Mother Sita is a beautiful woman and Ravana should somehow abduct her. This will infuriate Rama and with this, Ravana can win over Rama! The plan is made! Now upon Soorpanaka’s motivation, Ravana gets interested in Mother Sita and decides to abduct and marry her.
So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode, we shall witness how Ravana executes his plan to perfection! Stay tuned for more updates! 🙂