Ramayana is a famous Hindu epic loved by people of all age groups from all around the globe. It is renowned for its strong set of characters, the love saga between Lord Rama and Goddess Sita, morales, and values established in an individual, and the list goes longer. The freshness and relevance of the story are present even to date.
Here are some interesting facts about Ramayana that you’d like to know:
1. Lakshmana’s aggression
Not many people know that Lakshmana was extremely belligerent. Lakshmana was short-tempered and restless, while Rama’s calm and poised nature. Lakshmana is believed to be the avatar of Lord Shesha; hence by nature, he is impulsive, dedicated, and short-tempered. He could never bear anything wrong. When Lakshmana was born, he cried relentlessly and only calmed down when he was kept beside Rama. The only person that could calm him down was Rama, and he could never go against his brother’s words.
After Sugreev was appointed the king of Kishkindha, Sugreev was busy with his state responsibilities and didn’t pay heed in the search for Sita. This enraged Lakshmana, who decided to put matters into his own hands and threatened Sugreev. Later, after Jamumant and others consoled him, he finally calmed down. Later, when Bharat visited Rama in the forest, Lakshmana almost raised his bow as he felt Bharat came to harm him. He also threatened Parshuram during the Swayamvara of Goddess Sita.
2. The Birth of Sita
There was a severe drought in the Kingdom of Mithila at that time. Concerned, the farmers and the local people presented their sadness in front of King Janak. King Janak took this matter into his hands and decided to dig the barren land. While he dug the earth, he found Sita, who was formed by the collected blood of Rishimunis. Janak didn’t have children, so he accepted Sita as his daughter at once.
There are many different versions of the story regarding the birth of Sita.
3. Hanuman’s son – Makardhwaja
Lord Hanuman is believed to be a very dedicated Brahmachari. He devoted all his life to serving Sri Rama. Hanuman was sent as a messenger to Sita in Ashok Vatika, Lanka. Later, he lits the Kingdom in a fire with the help of his tail and creates havoc. While flying back from Lanka, he rested upon the humongous sea to calm himself down. Tears from his body ( reproductive fluid) fell and were swallowed by a waterly creature. That was how Makardhwaja, Hanuman’s son, was born.
Hanuman was unaware of this until he became acquainted with his son in Patal loka. Ahiraavan kidnapped Rama and Lakshamana in Patal loka, and in the meantime, Makardhwaja was designated as the same guard. Hanuman encountered Makardhwaja, who introduced himself as Hanuman’s son. Surprised, Hanuman doesn’t believe in this until Makardhwaja narrates the story of how he was born. Hanuman, loyal to his god, fights his son and ties him up. After rescuing Ram and Lakshmana, Makardhwaj is introduced to Rama. Makardhwaja is appointed as the king of Patal loka as Hanuman, along with Rama and Lakshmana, set off to their camp after giving blessings to Makardhwaja.
4. Hanuman is the form of Shiva
Hanuman is believed to be the eleventh Rudra avatar of Lord Shiva. When Lord Vishnu incarnated as Ram, Lord Brahma felt that Shiva should also be incarnated to help Rama in his conquest against evil. Hence, he was born as the son of Kesari and Anjana. After meeting Ram, he recognized him and set off to help him. The Gods already predestined this. The sole purpose of Hanuman was to devote himself to Rama. Hanuman symbolizes loyalty and devotion.
5. The story of Jatayu and Sampadik
Jatayu and Sampadik were the sons of Aruna and the nephews of Garuda. They have also played an important part in the incidents that took in the Ramayana. Jatayu was the first to witness Raavan abducting Sita. He couldn’t see this mishap before him and fought with Raavan and used all his might to save Sita. Raavan then cut off his wings, and Jatayu fell to the ground and breathed his last he was then cremated as per human funeral rites by Rama and Lakshmana.
During the time of the search for Sita, Jambvant, Hanuman and the Vaanar Sena found Sampadik, the younger brother of Jatayu. Sampadik was pleased to see a bunch of monkeys and thought he would now be able to suffice his hunger. The monkeys were terrified. It so happened that Angada exclaimed that not everyone was as lucky as Jatayu, who could give his life for Rama. Overhearing this conversation, Sampadik wanted to know what had happened to his beloved story. After hearing about how Jatayu had gallantly fought against Raavan and had pledged to support Rama, Sampadik did the same. He also offered tilanjali to Jatayu. Sampadik helped the Vaanar sena by guiding them in the direction where Raavan took Devi Sita in Lanka. He also added that Sita had been kept in Ashok Vatika.
6. Nandi’s curse to Ravana
Ramayana did not only happen because Raavan abducted Sita. A lot of incidents are believed to have happened that predestined the occurrence. Once Raavan tried to visit Lord Shiva, who he was very fond of. Nandi, the bull-faced attendant of Shiva, was in charge and didn’t allow him to enter as Shiva and Parvati were spending time in dalliance.
Raavan started mocking Nandi and speaking ill about Shiva, which made Nandi furious. Hence, Nandi cursed Raavan that monkeys would be the reason for his death. This outraged Raavan, who attempted to lift Mount Kailash and, as a result, got trapped by lord Shiva beneath the mountain. He performed different hymns and penances to please Shiva for thousands of years. Later, Shiva was pleased by his devotion and gave him a powerful sword.
7. The story of Shabari
Lord Rama had a lot of devotees. We have all heard about the loyalty and devotion of Hanuman towards Ram. There is yet another character in the Hindu epic whose devotion stands out, Shabari. Shabari belonged to a lower cast, and she resided in an ashram. She was visually unstable and the wait for the arrival of Ram to get Moksha. All the years, she collects berries for her beloved Ram with the help of her stick. She tastes each of the berries and separates the good ones for Ram. Such is her everyday routine for a long period. Hence, Shabari is also regarded as an epitome of the endless wait.
Many other Rama devotees were in the ashrams, but Ram only chose to pay a visit to Shabari, now an older woman. Shabari was extremely blessed to have her wait come to an end and thanked God for his visit. Irrespective of caste, Ram, a Kshetriya, visited her and tasted her berries.
Lakshmana objected a little at first as the berries were pre-tasted by the lady herself; Ram explained how all the food he had eaten had never come close to the berries the woman offered him. The pure devotion reflected in her berries. Not only that, but Rama also blesses her with vision and a tree that naturally grows leaves into bowls. Shabari then suggests Rama take help from Sugreev and guides him to Kiskindha. Shabari, as written in the Ramayana, was a very knowledgeable saint.
8. Different versions of Ramayana
There are said to be almost three hundred versions of Ramayana. The oldest Ramayana is the Sanskrit version attributed to Narada Muni, whose knowledge was further passed down to Maharishi Valmiki, who later penned the presently available epic version. As the Hindu epic has spread all over the world, different versions are available.
9. The story of Vali
Vali and Sugreev were brothers and the sons of the Sun god – Surya. Vali was extremely strong and had been blessed by Brahma that in a fight, he would get half of his opponent’s strength. So, it was quite impossible to defeat him. He had won over Raavan and had carried him in his armpit for days. When Vali and Sugreev went against each other, Rama supported Sugreev. Vali and Sugreev fought, and Rama hid and killed Vali with his bow. While breathing his last, Vali tells his son, Angad, to support Ram and follow in his uncle’s footsteps. Ram also promised that he could be able to avenge his unjust murder. Later, Vali gets born as a hunter, Jara, who kills Lord Krishna, mistaking him for a deer in Dwapara Yuga.
10. Narada’s curse on Lord Vishnu
Narada was a holy sage and devoted most of his time to penance. This frightened Indra, and he appealed to Vishnu to break his holiness. Vishnu then took the form of Mohini, who happened to lure Narada. Shortly, a Swayamvara of the beautiful lass was organized, and Narada was determined to participate. He went to Lord Vishnu, requesting to give the lord’s good looks for that particular day. Vishnu nodded and said that whatever he shall do would be in favor of Narada. Unaware of the fact that Vishnu had indeed given him a hideous avatar of a monkey-like face, he reached the place where the Swayamvara was meant to happen.
Narada in monkey-face is ridiculed in the ceremony, and as he sees himself in the mirror, he gets agitated. He curses Vishnu that the monkey face will only be able to help him in his human life form and that just like how he got separated from his love, Mohini, he too has to be separated from his love. Soon after that, Mohini comes in the real form of Vishnu, and Narada repents his curse, but Vishnu happily accepts it.