|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Shrimad Bhagavatam > Canto-9 > Lord Ramachandra|
The son of Maharaja Khatvanga was Dirghabahu, and his son was the celebrated King Raghu. Aja was the son of Raghu, and from Aja was born Maharaja Dasharatha. In response to King Dasharatha’s prayers to the demigods, the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly appeared as his son, Lord Rama, along with His expansion and expansions of His expansion- named Lakshman, Bharata and Shatrughna.
While at Vishvamitra’s sacrificial arena, Lord Ramachandra killed many demons, Rakshasas and uncivilized men who wandered about at night. At Sita’s svayamvara, in the midst of all the great heroes of the world, Lord Rama broke the bow of Lord Shiva, even though it was so heavy that three hundred men were needed to carry it. Indeed, after stringing the bow, the Lord easily broke it at the middle, just as a baby elephant breaks a stick of sugarcane.
In this way, Lord Rama won the hand of Sita, the goddess of fortune herself, who was equally endowed with transcendental qualities of form, beauty, behavior, age and nature. While returning to Ayodhya along with Sita, Lord Rama defeated Parashurama, who was very proud of having rid the earth of kshatriyas twenty-one times, and who had come to challenge Him.
Thereafter, Lord Rama left His kingdom, opulence, friends, and all else, to carry out the order of His father, who was bound by a promise that he had made to his wife. Along with Sita and Lakshman, Lord Rama wandered from forest to forest on His lotus feet, which were so delicate that they were unable to bear even the touch of His consort’s hands. While accepting a life of hardship in the forest, Lord Rama deformed Ravana’s sister, Shurpanakha, who had become very lusty. After cutting off her nose and ears, Lord Rama killed her 14,000 Rakshasa friends- headed by Khara, Trishira and Dushana.
When the ten-headed Ravana heard about Sita’s beautiful features, his mind became very agitated by lusty desires, and so he wickedly conspired to kidnap her. To lead Lord Rama away from His ashram, Ravana had Maricha take the form of a golden deer. After Lord Rama had entered the forest while chasing the wonderful deer, and Lakshman had also departed to help Him, the worst of the Rakshasas, Ravana kidnapped Sitadevi, just as a tiger seizes an unprotected sheep when the herdsman is absent.
After killing Maricha, when Rama returned home and found Sita missing, He began wandering about in search of her with a very distressed mind. By lamenting greatly in separation from His beloved wife, Lord Rama showed by His personal example the condition of a person who is attached to women.
While searching for Sita, Rama found the gigantic bird, Jatayu, whom Ravana had fatally wounded as he attempted to obstruct him from carrying away Sita. Before breathing his last, Jatayu informed Rama that it was Ravana, the King of the Rakshasas who had kidnapped His beloved wife, and thereafter, the Lord performed his funeral ceremony, just like a devoted son.
Lord Rama then made friends with the monkey chiefs, and after killing Vali, He came to the shore of the ocean on the way to Lanka. Lord Ramachandra fasted for three days on the beach, expecting the arrival of the ocean personified. However, when the Ocean did not comply, the Lord exhibited His anger, and simply by His glancing over the sea, all of the great aquatics became very perturbed.
The ocean personified then fearfully approached Lord Rama and worshiped Him with all kinds of paraphernalia. After falling at the Lord’s lotus feet, the personified ocean addressed Him as follows: “O Supreme Person, because we are dull-minded, we could not understand Your identity. However, now we can realize that You are the master of the entire universe and all of the demigods.”
“My Lord, You may use my water as You like, to cross over to the abode of Ravana, who, although the son of Vishrava, is condemned like urine. Please go and kill him and regain Your wife, Sitadevi. Although I know that my water cannot present an actual impediment to Your going to Lanka, please construct a bridge over it, just to spread Your transcendental fame.”
With the help of the great monkeys, who threw mountain peaks into the water that floated by His omnipotency, Lord Ramachandra constructed a bridge over the ocean. Then, with the help of Ravana’s brother, Vibhishana, He attacked Lanka, which had previously been burnt by Hanuman.
After entering Lanka, the monkey soldiers- led by Sugriva, Nila, Hanuman, and other chiefs- occupied the various pleasure grounds, city gates, assembly houses, and palace doorways. After the monkeys had destroyed its crossroads, platforms, domes and decorations, the entire city of Lanka appeared just like a river disturbed by a herd of elephants. In an attempt to counter the onslaught of monkeys, Ravana called upon Nikumbha, Kumbha, Dhumraksha, Durmukha, Surantaka, Narantaka, his own son Indrajit, Prahasta, Atikaya, Vikampana, and finally Kumbhakarna, to fight against them.
Lord Ramachandra, surrounded by Lakshman, Sugriva, Hanuman, Gandhamadana, Nila, Angada, Jambavan, and Panasa attacked the Rakshasa army of four divisions, which was fully equipped with invincible weapons- by hurling trees, mountain peaks, clubs and arrows. Because Ravana had been condemned by Mother Sita’s anger, the Rakshasa warriors had also lost their good fortune, and thus were killed by Lord Rama’s soldiers.
Upon seeing the loss of his assistants, Ravana became furious, and so mounted upon his airplane and proceeded towards Rama, who sat upon Indra’s effulgent chariot, which had been brought for His use by Matali. As Ravana began attacking Him with sharp arrows, Lord Rama rebuked him by saying, “O most abominable of Rakshasas, you are like their stool. You resemble a dog that steals food from the kitchen when the householder is away, for in My absence you kidnapped My wife, Sitadevi. Because you are most abominable, sinful and shameless, I, whose attempt never fails, shall punish you.”
After speaking these harsh words, Rama released an arrow that pierced Ravana’s heart like a thunderbolt. As the Rakshasa king fell from his airplane, while vomiting blood from his ten mouths, his followers cried out, “Oh! What has happened?” making a tumultuous roar. Thereafter, all of the fallen Rakshasas’ wives came out from Lanka, and while striking their breasts and continuously crying, they embraced their dead husbands’ bodies.
In a very piteous voice, Mandodari lamented, “O my master, you epitomized trouble for others, and thus you were called Ravana. But now, since you have been defeated, we have also been vanquished. To whom shall we go for shelter?”
“Under the influence of lusty desires, you could not understand the prowess of Mother Sita. Now, because of her curse, you have been reduced to this state, having been killed by Lord Ramachandra’s arrow. By your own misdeeds, you have made your body suitable for being eaten by vultures and your soul fit for going to hell.”
Thereafter, under Lord Rama’s direction, the devotee brother of Ravana, Vibhishana performed the necessary funeral ceremonies for his family members, to save them from the path to hell. After Ravana’s death, Lord Rama found Sita sitting in a small cottage beneath the tree named Singshapa in a secluded ashoka grove. When Lord Rama saw how emaciated Sita had become, due to her grief born of separation, He became very compassionate toward her. Sitadevi was extremely happy to see her beloved Lord before her, and thus her lotus-like mouth displayed her great joy.
After installing Vibhishana upon the throne at Lanka and giving him the power to rule the Rakshasas until the end of the kalpa, Lord Ramachandra boarded an airplane decorated with flowers, and along with Sitadevi, Lakshman, Hanuman and Sugriva, returned to Ayodhya, His period of exile having ended. Upon His arrival, Lord Rama was jubilantly glorified by all of the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma, as they showered very fragrant flowers, covering His entire body. When Lord Rama heard how, in His absence, His brother Bharata had dressed Himself in tree bark, kept his hair matted, maintained his life simply by eating barley cooked in cow’s urine, and had slept upon a mat of kusha-grass, He became very aggrieved.
As soon as Bharata understood that Lord Ramachandra had returned home, He placed His elder brother’s wooden shoes on His head and came out from His camp, Nandigrama. Accompanied by His ministers, priests, and leading citizens, as well as professional musicians and brahmanas that recited the Vedic mantras, Bharata went to meet Lord Rama, followed by a great procession of decorated chariots, soldiers, servants bearing articles for worship, and many beautiful and well-known prostitutes.
His heart softened due to ecstatic love and His eyes filled with tears, Bharata fell at Lord Rama’s lotus feet. After presenting the wooden shoes, Bharata stood up with folded hands and Lord Rama lovingly embraced Him for a long time, bathing Him with His tears. Then, accompanied by Sita and Lakshman, Lord Rama offered His obeisances unto the learned brahmanas and elderly relatives, while all of the citizens of Ayodhya came and bowed down before Him. Upon seeing the return of their king after such a long absence, the subjects offered Lord Rama flower garlands, while waving their upper garments and dancing in great jubilation.
Thereafter, when Lord Ramachandra entered His capital, Bharata carried His wooden shoes, Sugriva and Vibhishana waved a chamara and a fan, Hanuman held a white umbrella over His head, and Shatrughna carried a bow and two quivers. Angada carried a sword, Jambavan carried a golden shield, and Sitadevi held a golden pot filled with water from holy places.
When He entered the royal palace, Lord Rama first offered His obeisances to His mothers- Kaikeyi, Sumitra, and especially Kaushalya, as well as his preceptor, Vasishtha. Upon seeing Rama and Lakshman, the three wives of Dasharatha placed Them upon their laps, and by bathing Them with their tears, they relieved themselves of the grief that had been caused by a long separation.
Vasishtha then had Lord Rama clean-shaven, and with the help of the elderly family members, he performed the abhisheka with water from the four seas, as well as other auspicious substances. Thereafter, when Lord Rama put on a royal dress and decorated Himself with a garland and ornaments, He shone very brightly while surrounded by His brother and wife. After being installed upon the throne, Lord Rama began ruling the kingdom, and while doing so He cared for His subjects just like an affectionate father. Indeed, even though Lord Ramachandra had appeared in Treta-yuga, because of His good government, it became just like Satya-yuga.
During the reign of Lord Ramachandra, the forests, the rivers, the hills and mountains, the seven islands and the seven seas supplied all of the necessities of life for everyone. Indeed, when Lord Rama, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was the king of this world, there were no bodily or mental sufferings, diseases, old age, bereavement, fear, fatigue, or even death for those how did not want it. By exhibiting ideal character as a saintly king, and taking the vow to accept only one wife, Lord Ramachandra taught good behavior to the people in general, especially householders. Mother Sita was very submissive, faithful, shy and chaste, and she always understood the attitude of her husband. Thus, by her character, love and service, she completely attracted the Lord’s mind.
After accepting the throne at the fervent request of Bharata, Lord Rama ordered His younger brothers to go and conquer the world, while He would remain at Ayodhya so that He could supervise governmental affairs and give audience to the citizens.
During the reign of Lord Ramachandra, the streets of Ayodhya were sprinkled with perfumed water and liquor that was showered from the trunks of elephants. The palaces, assembly houses, outdoor meeting places and temples were nicely decorated with golden water pots and various types of flags; and wherever Lord Ramachandra visited, auspicious welcome gates were constructed- using banana trees, betel-nut trees, and innumerable fruits and flowers. These gates were also decorated with colorful flags, tapestries, mirrors, and flower garlands; and when Lord Rama would tour the city, the people would approach Him with all kinds of paraphernalia for worship and beg for His blessings.
Having not seen the Lord for some time, the men and women very eagerly went onto the roofs of their houses, just to catch a glimpse of Him as He passed by. While showering flowers, they saw the face of the lotus-eyed Lord Ramachandra, but still, their eyes and hearts always remained unsatiated.
Lord Rama then returned to the palace of His forefathers, which was bedecked with valuable jewels that made it glow with a celestial effulgence. At the palace entrance were seats made of coral, and the courtyard was surrounded by pillars of vaidurya-mani. The floor was made of highly polished marakata-mani, and here and there were marble fountains.
The men and women within the palace resembled demigods, and the ornaments that decorated them seemed to become more beautiful because of being placed upon their bodies. Without transgressing religious principles, Lord Rama resided in that palace, along with His pleasure potency, Mother Sita- and thus He enjoyed life with all the paraphernalia of transcendental pleasure.
Lord Ramachandra performed various sacrifices whereby He worshiped Himself, the Supreme Lord of all the demigods. At the completion of the sacrificial performances, Lord Ramachandra gave away the entire earth to the brahmanas, retaining only His personal garments and ornaments. All of the brahmanas were exceedingly pleased with Lord Rama, and with melted hearts, they returned all that they had received from Him.
The brahmanas said, “O Lord, You are the master of the entire universe. Because You have entered the core of our hearts and dissipated the darkness of our ignorance, we consider this to be the supreme gift. Therefore, we do not require any material donation.”
“O Lord, who have accepted the brahmanas as Your worshipable deity, let us offer our respectful obeisances unto You.”
Once, as He was walking through the streets of Ayodhya at night, disguised so that He could ascertain the citizens’ real opinion of Himself, Lord Rama heard someone address his wife. That person said, “You go to another man’s house! Because you are unchaste, I shall not maintain you any longer! A henpecked husband like Lord Rama may accept a wife like Sita, who went to another man’s house. I am not like Him, however, and so I will never take you back!”
Fearing the nonsensical talk of such rascals, Lord Ramachandra abandoned His wife, even though she was pregnant. Thus it came to be that Sitadevi went to live at Valmiki Muni’s ashram. In due course of time, Sitadevi gave birth to twin sons, who were named Lava and Kusha, and Valmiki performed their birth ceremonies. Lakshman had two sons named Angada and Chitraketu, and Bharata had two sons named Taksha and Pushkala. Shatrughna also had two sons, named Subahu and Shrutasena, and after killing Lavana, the son of the Rakshasa, Madhu, He established the town of Mathura, in the forest of Madhuvana.
Because it was impossible for Sita to live in separation from her husband, she entrusted her two sons to the care of Valmiki Muni and then, while meditating upon the lotus feet of Lord Rama, she entered the earth. Lord Rama certainly became very aggrieved upon receiving this news, and thereafter, He performed an uninterrupted Agnihotra-yagya for 13,000 years. At the end of that period, Lord Rama placed His lotus feet in the hearts of those who always think of Him, and then entered His own abode, Vaikuntha, which is beyond the brahmajyoti. This is the place where all of the inhabitants of Ayodhya went, after serving the Lord in His manifest pastimes by accepting Him as their king.