Saturday, August 8, 2009


Babruvahana is one of the sons of Arjuna, begotten through Chitrangada, the princess of Manipur, during the period of his exile at Manipur.

Babruvahana was adopted as the son of his maternal grandfather, and reigned at Manipur as his successor. He dwelt there in a palace of great splendour, surrounded with wealth and signs of power.

When Arjuna went to Manipur with the horse intended for the Aswamedha, there was a quarrel between Arjuna and King Babhruvahana, and the latter killed his father with an arrow. Repenting of his deed, he determined to kill himself, but he obtained from his stepmother, the Naga princess Uloopi, a gem which restored Arjuna to life. He returned with his father to Hastinapura.[1]This was on account of a curse by the Vasus, on account of Arjuna's killing Bhishma (who is an incarnation of one of the Vasus) during the Mahabharatha war.


In the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Ashwatthama was the son of guru Dronacharya. He is one of the eight Chiranjeevins. Dronacharya loved him dearly. Rumours about his death in the Kurukshetra war led to the death of his father at the hands of Prince Dhrishtadyumna. A vengeful Ashwatthama obtained permission from the dying Duryodhana to brutally murder Dhrishtadhyumna after the war had officially ended. Ashwatthama at the end of the war promised Duryodhana that he would kill the Pandavas.

Ashwatthama was observing on the last day of the war, how an owl was attacked by crows in the day and how the owls attacked back in the night. So he surmised that under the laws of nature, a person can fight when he is strong. He, Kritavarma and Kripacharya tried to attack the camp of Pandavas and they were stopped by a demon kept by Krishna. However, Krishna also took the precaution of taking the Pandavas along with Satyaki to the river side of the Ganges.

Ashwatthama worshipped Shiva and offered his body as offering to Shiva. Shiva gave him the boon that whoever faces him that night shall die. Ashwatthama attacked the Pandava camp in the middle of the night, but by error ended up murdering the five sons of the Pandavas by Draupadi.

The Pandavas, incensed by this act, chased him resulting in his fight with Arjuna. During the fight, Ashwatthama invoked the extremely powerful Brahmashira weapon--which incidentally he had once tried to exchange with Krishna's discus without success--against Arjuna. Arjuna in response invoked the same weapon. Fearing the destruction of the world, the sages advised both to take back their weapons. While Arjuna could do so, Ashwatthama (presumably having less skill) could not and was given the option of choosing any single target to destroy. Out of spite, Ashwatthama directed the weapon to the wombs of Pandava women. Among them was Uttara, Arjuna's daughter-in-law.

At this time, Uttara was carrying the unborn Parikshit, son of Abhimanyu, who upon birth would be the future heir to all the Pandava brothers. The Brahmastra weapon was successful in fatally burning the foetus, but Krishna revived the stillborn child and cursed Ashwatthama with leprosy and to roam the world for 6,000 years as an unloved castaway. In another version, it is believed that he is cursed to remain alive till the end of the Kali Yuga. It is believed that Ashwatthama migrated to the land currently known as the Arabian Peninsula. Another version goes to say that he is still on Earth in the form of cyclones and typhoons. An old fort near Burhanpur, India called Asirgarh has a Lord Shiva temple on top where it is believed that Ashwatthama offers a red rose everyday to Lord Shiva early in the morning. Another story says that Ashwatthama is still roaming in the forest of Gir, Junagadh in the Gujarat state of India.

Ashwatthama also had to surrender a valuable gem, Mani, set on his forehead, the wearer of which ceases to have any fear from weapons or disease or hunger, and ceases to have any fear of gods, Danavas and Nagas.

Ashwatthama was one of the three survivors of the Kaurava army, along with Kritavarma and Kripacharya.


Ambika was the daughter of King of Kashi and wife of Vichitravirya, King of Hastinapur.

Along with her sisters Amba and Ambalika, she was taken by force by Bhishma from their Swayamvara. (Bhishma challenged the assembled Kings and Princes and defeated them.) He presented them to Satyavati for marriage to Vichitravirya.

After Vichitravirya's death his mother Satyavati sent for her first born, Rishi Veda Vyasa. According to his mother's wishes, both the wives of Vichitravirya to grant them each a son. When Vyasa visited Ambika, she saw his very dreadful and forbidding appearance with burning eyes. In her frightened state, she closed her eyes and dared not open them. Hence her son, Dhritarashtra, the father of the Kauravas, was born blind.

After Dhritarashtra's birth, when Satyavati requested Vyasa to visit Ambika for the 2nd time, she dared not go and sent her maid instead. So the maid gave birth to a son Vidura, who was raised as a brother of Dhritarashtra and Pandu.


Ambalika was the daughter of King of Kashi and the wife of Vichitravirya, King of Hastinapur.

Along with her sisters Amba and Ambika, she was taken by force by Bhishma from their Swayamvara. (Bhishma challenged the assembled kings and princes and defeated them.) He presented them to Satyavati for marriage to Vichitravirya.

After Vichitravirya's death, his mother Satyavati sent for her first born, Rishi Veda Vyasa. According to his mother's wishes, he visited both the wives of Vichitravirya to grant them a son. Ambalika was instructed by Satyavati to keep her eyes open lest she would bear a blind son like Ambika (Dhritarashtra). She did keep her eyes open but she became pale after seeing the formidable form of the Sage. Hence her son, Pandu the father of the Pandavas, was born sickly.


Amba was the eldest daughter of King of Kashi in the Hindu epic of the Mahabharata.

Along with her sisters Ambika and Ambalika, she was taken by force by Bhishma from their Swayamvara. (Bhishma challenged the assembled Kings and Princes and defeated them.) He presented them to Satyavati for marriage to Vichitravirya, the king of Hastinapura.

Vichitravirya married only her sisters and rejected Amba since she had already given her heart to another. When Amba went to see her beloved, he rejected her as well in shame of losing the combat against Bhishma at the Swayamvara. Amba then returned to Bhishma and demanded that he marry her. He declined since he had already taken a vow of bachelorhood. Enraged that she was going to be an unmarriageable women, she swore to kill him, at least in her next life, and died.

She was re-born as Shikhandi the son of Drupada. In the battle of Kurukshetra, Shikhandi was instrumental in Bhishma's death.


Ahilawati was a female character in the famous epic Mahabharata. She was a Nag Kanya meaning a snake girl and was married to Bhima's son Ghatotkacha. Prior to her marriage she was referred to as Maurvi. She was won by Ghatotkacha after passing a difficult exam. She asked him various questions but he succeeded in answering all of them. She was the mother of Barbareek who is better known as Khatushyamji. She taught the lesson to Barbareek to support the losers and because of that he got famous with name of Hare Ka Sahara


Abhimanyu is a brave and tragic hero in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. He is the son of Arjuna and Subhadra, the half-sister of Lord Krishna.

As an unborn child in his mother's womb, Abhimanyu learns the knowledge of entering the deadly and virtually impenetrable Chakravyuha (see Wars of Hindu Mythology) from Arjuna.The epic explains that he overheard Arjuna talking about this with his mother from the womb. Arjuna spoke about entering Chakravyuha and later Subhadra dozed to sleep. Arjuna stopped explaining Chakravyuha escape when he saw Subhadra slept while listening. As an effect, the baby Abhimanyu in womb didn't get a chance to know of coming out of it.

Abhimanyu spent his childhood in Dwaraka, his mother's city. He was trained by Pradyumna, the son of Sri Krishna and his great warrior father Arjuna and brought up under the guidance of Lord Krishna. His father arranged his marriage to Uttara, daughter of king Virata to seal an alliance between the Pandavas and the royal family of Virata, in lieu of the forthcoming Kurukshetra War. The Pandavas had been hiding in cognito to live through the final year of their exile without being discovered, in Virata's kingdom of Matsya.

Being the grandson of Lord Indra, god of mystical weapons and wars responsible for killing thousands of enemy heroes and hundreds of thousands of warriors, Abhimanyu was a courageous and dashing warrior. Considered equal to his father's level owing his prodigious feats, Abhimanyu was able to hold at bay, great heroes like Drona, Karna, Duryodhana and Dushasana. He was praised for his audacious bravery and absolute loyalty to his father, his uncles and to their cause.

Abhimanyu has taken part in the war of Mahabharat and killed important personalities such as Kumara Lakshmana, the son of Duryodhana and Brihadbala, the king of Kosala belonging to Ikshwaku dynasty.

On the 13th day of battle, the Kauravas challenge the Pandavas to break a circular battle formation known as the Chakravyuha (see Wars of Hindu Mythology).

The Pandavas accept the challenge since they know that the knowledge of how to defeat such a formation is known to Krishna and Arjuna.

However, on that day, Krishna and Arjuna are dragged into fighting a war on another front with the Samsaptakas. Since the Pandavas have accepted the challenge already, they have no choice but to attempt to use young lad Abhimanyu, who has knowledge on how to break into the formation but none whatsoever regarding how to break out of it. To make sure that Abhimanyu does not get trapped in this endeavour, the remaining Pandava brothers decide that they and their allies will also break into the formation along with Abhimanyu and assist the boy in breaking out of it. It is important to note that the plan is hatched well after Arjuna and Krishna have been distracted away by the Samsaptaka army led by Susarma.

On the fateful day, Abhimanyu uses his skills to successfully break into the formation. The Pandava brothers and allies attempt to follow him inside the formation, but they are effectively cut off by Jayadratha, the Sindhu king, who makes use of a boon from Shiva to hold off all Pandavas except Arjuna for one day only. Abhimanyu is left to fend for himself against the entire Kaurava army.

When Abhimanyu commands his charioteer to lead his chariot towards Drona, the man is not happy to do so and raises objections. He requests the sixteen-year-old to take time to think about it before he begins the battle. He points out that Abhimanyu has grown up amidst great love and comforts and he is not a master of the battle arts as Drona is. Young Abhimanyu’s answer is disturbing to the reader of the epic and it speaks loudly of his underestimation of the mighty warriors on the Kaurava side and of his overestimation of himself, of his megalomania. Laughing aloud, he tells his charioteer: “What is this Drona or even the entire world of kshatriyas to me? I can fight Indra himself, mounted on his Airavata, along with all the gods! Why, I can fight in a battle even Lord Rudra himself, to whom the entire world of beings pays homage! This battle that I am going wage today does not bewilder me in the least.” Abhimanyu’s shocking words do not stop with these either. Continuing in the same vein he says: “This entire army of enemies is not equal to one sixteenth of my power. Why, even if I find in front of me in the battlefield my father Arjuna or my uncle himself, the mighty Vishnu who has conquered the whole universe, that wouldn’t frighten me.”

With no great joy in his mind, the poor charioteer takes his master forward. Abhimanyu breaks into the chakravyuha. In the mighty battle that follows with relentless ferocity for hours on end, he slaughters ordinary enemy warriors and mighty heroes alike, even as a whirlwind pulls up by their roots tiny bushes as well as mighty trees on its path

Abhimanyu fights valiantly single-handedly slaying several warriors who come his way including Duryodhana's son Laxman.Among the others who were killed are Karna’s younger brother, Ashmaka’s son, Shalya’s younger brother, Shalya’s son Rukmaratha, Drighalochana, Kundavedhi, Sushena, Vasatiya, Kratha and numerous other great warriors. He wounds Karna and makes him flee, makes Dushshasana faint in the battlefield so that he has to be carried off by others. Upon witnessing the death of his beloved son, Duryodhana is incensed and orders the entire Kaurava force to attack Abhimanyu. Continually frustrated in attempts to pierce Abhimanyu's armor, Karna on Dronacharya's advice shatters Abhimanyu's bow firing arrows from behind him. Thus disabled, his chariot breaks down shortly later, the charioteer and horses are killed, and all his weapons are laid to waste. He attempts then to fight off the bow wielding warriors sitting on horses, elephants at the same time with a sword and a chariot wheel as a shield. Dushasana's son engages in fierce hand to hand combat with Abhimanyu. Ignoring all codes of war, the Kauravas all fight simultaneously with him. He holds his own until his sword breaks and the remaining chariot wheel shatters into pieces. Abhimanyu gets killed shortly thereafter when Dushasana's son crushes his skull with a mace.

It is said that it is Abhimanyu's death that marks the end of the adherence to the rules of war. Krishna cites the despicable manner in which Abhimanyu was killed to incite Arjuna to kill Karna. This is cited as a reason to kill Duryodhana. Some say that this does not only apply to the particular war but marks the end of fair and nobly conducted wars.

News of the despicable acts committed on Abhimanyu reached his father Arjuna at the end of the day, who vows to kill Jayadratha the very next day by sunset, and failing to do so, commit suicide by self-immolation immediately.

The Kaurava army the next day places Jayadratha furthest away from Arjuna, and every warrior including the Samshaptakas (mercenaries to vow only to return from battle fields only upon victory else death) attempts to prevent Arjuna from reaching anywhere close to Jayadratha. Arjuna literally hacks through the Kaurava army and kills more than a hundred thousand soldiers and warriors in a single day. However, almost by sundown, Arjuna's chariot is still nowhere near Jayadratha's. Arjuna becomes despondent because he realizes that failure is imminent, and starts getting mentally prepared to self-immolate. Krishna being the almighty god uses his powers to temporarily to create an eclipse. The Kauravas and Pandavas alike believe that indeed the sun has set and the war stops according to the rules. Both sides come to watch Arjuna self-immolate. In his haste to see Arjuna's death, Jayadratha also comes to the front. Krishna sees the opportunity that he has effectively created, and the sun comes out again. Before the Kauravas can take corrective action, Krishna points out to Arjuna and asks him to pick up his Gandiva and behead Jayadratha. Arjuna's unerring arrows decapitate Jayadratha, and his vow to kill Jayadratha by sunset that day and avenge Abhimanyu's death is fulfilled. The reason for creating eclipse is also suggested at many places as a plot to save Arjuna from death, because Jayadratha had got a boon from his father that whoever would cause Jayadratha's head to fall onto earth would also die immediately. So Lord Krishna wanted everything to happen in this way so that Jayadratha would be on an easy aim. When Arjuna beheads Jayadratha, he does it so skillfully that the head falls straight into the lap of his father who was sitting under a tree. His father is shocked and stands up, causing Jayadratha's head to fall to earth. Thus his father is killed immediately.

Abhimanyu is the reincarnation of Varchas, the son of the moon god. When the moon god was asked to let his son incarnate himself on earth by the other devas, he made a pact that his son will only remain on earth for 16 years as he could not bear to be separated from him. Abhimanyu was 16 years old when he died in the war.

His son, Parikshita, born after his death, remains the sole survivor of the Kuru clan at the conclusion of the Mahābhārata war, and carries on the Pandava lineage.

Abhimanyu is often thought of as a very brave warrior on the Pandava side, willingly giving up his life in war at a very young age.


In ancient India, a king named Harischandra ruled over Kosala kingdom. This kingdom exemplified the adage: yathaa raajaa tathaa prajaah, which means: as the king, so are the subjects. The people of the kingdom were virtuous: they avoided anything evil; they did not drink nor did they gamble; they were not arrogant of their wealth; they were truthful and just in their dealings. As as result of these virtues, there was no famine, sickness or untimely death in the kingdom. People were healthy and strong; women were beautiful, cultured and all the people looked upon their king as their father and the queen as their mother. In an extraordinary quirk of fate, the very virtues brought trouble to the king and the kingdom.

Vasishta was the family priest of the king. He got into a dispute with sage Visvamitra on the possibility of finding a man of incorruptible virtue. Viswamitra contended that this was impossible; even a virtuous person can fail if put to rigorous tests. Vasishta's argument was that while Viswamitra had a point in general terms, there were indeed exceptional men in the world who cannot be tempted to give up their virtue. He cited Harischandra as one such man. Viswamitra laughed and said that Vasishta seemed to be carried away because Harischandra was the latter's patron. Viswamitra challenged that he will put Harischandra to such a rigorous testing that Vasishta would be proved wrong. Both the sages agreed to conduct the experiment with gods as witnesses.

Viswamitra forthwith proceeded to the capital of Harischandra's kingdom, Ayodhya and learnt that the king was proceeding on a hunting expedition. Viswamitra went ahead of the king and sat down in tapas in a wayside ashram. As the king's hunting party passed by, the sage created an illusion of female voices crying, 'O save us, save us from this man." The king replied, "I am coming to help. I will pierce with my arrows, the wretch molesting women" and ran towards the direction from which the cries were heard. The sage's tapas was disturbed with all the commotion. The king prostrated before the sage and apologized to him for the disturbance caused offering his kingdom and his wealth in reparation.

"What? Are these meaningless words?" Viswamitra questioned angrily.

"O Sage, I speak with all sincerity. I will keep my word."

"I take you at your word, then," responded the sage, "You are already indebted to me; you owe me the fees for the Rajasuya sacrifice which I had asked you to hold in trust for me."

"I will pay the fees whenever you demand, O Viswamitra."

"Okay; get back to your capital and arrange to hand over your kingdom and all your wealth."

Viswamitra held Harischandra to his words and went the next day to gain control of the kingdom and all the palace wealth. Harischandra gave up all that and also the ornaments of his queen.

"O sage, what more should I give you/"

"Who is the king of Kosala now," roared Viswamitra.

"Viswamitra," echoed Harischandra.

"Listen to my royal command, " repled Viswamitra, "You should leave my kingdom immediately with your wife only with the clothes you are wearing."

Harischandra observed with utmost devotion, "Your command will be obeyed." Accompanied by his wife, Chandramati and their boy Rohita, Harischandra started leaving the capital.

"Before you go, Harischandra, you have to pay me the fees for the Rajasuya which you owe me and which I had entrusted to you."

"I have now nothing which I call my own, except the clothing you have permitted me to retain. Please give me time to discharge the debt I owe you. In a month, I will pay back the sum."

"I agree; a month from now, I will come to collect the fees."

Harischandra took leave of his creditor amidst the cries of his subjects who got wind of the actions of the truthful king, "O king, how can a casually uttered word bind you? Your virtue is ruining us all. You cannot desert us. We will come with you."

Harischandra exhorted his subjects that their duty was to serve the new king. The troubles he had to face were of his own making and the subjects should not suffer on this account. Their new king was a royal sage, famous and possessed of marvellous powers. The new king's actions were prompted by some divine providence, which was inscrutable. It was the duty of the subjects never to swerve from virtue and the path of righteousness.

Viswamitra commanded his troops to tell Harischandra to stop this wasteful exhortation and to proceed forthwith out of the kingdom. Harischandra at once stopped talking and left the capital with his wife and son.

The threesome had to beg for their foot at the Dharmasalas on the way and to do manual work to earn their livelihood. They proceeded towards Kashi to wash away their sons in the sacred waters of the Ganga. As they entered the gates of the holy city of Kashi, Viswamitra was there to encounter them, "This is just to remind you: today is the day when you should repay the debt you owed me." Harischandra counted the days and realized that Viswamitra spoke the truth. Though dismayed, he immediately gained his courage and said to himself that he still had half-a-day before him during which time he should try to earn to repay the debt. Viswamitra said, "If you tell me that you would not pay me or even say that you do not owe me anything, I will not bother you any more. I can write off the debt." Harischandra replied vehemently, "O Sage, it is a fact that I owe you Rajasuya sacrifice fees. I will try to pay you before the end of the day."

The sage departed leaving Harischandra to work out a strategy. He set to thinking of ways he can raise money: What if I sell myself as a slave to some rich merchant and discharge the sage's debt? Oh no, what will happen to his wife and his son if he parted from them? Chandramati suggested that she and her son could be sold instead so that Harischandra could repay the debt, earn some livelihood later and buy them back.

Harischandra saw the strength of Chandramati's arguments. He took the wife and son to the market-place of the city and loudly announced, choking with tears, that his son and wife were for sale. A brahman came to him and said that his young wife needed the services of a servant-maid and offered to by only Chandramati and said that he had no use for the boy. Chandramati pleaded with the brahman that she would teach her son to do menial work and make him useful in the master's household. Finally the deal was struck, the brahman bought both of them paying a small additional sum and took them to his house.

Instantly, Viswamitra appeared. Harischandra paid him the the entire amount which he had received from the brahman.

"This is not even half of what you owe me," noted Viswamitra, in anger.

"True, Sage. I will give you the balance in a short time," implored Harischandra.

"The day is coming to a close; you have not kept your promise. I see you are a promise-breaker. Just tell me you owe me nothing, I will set you free of your debt."

"I deserve your anger, Sage. I do owe you money and I have to discharge your debt. I have just sold my wife and my son and repayed your debt in part. Please give me one more hour, just before sunset; I will try to sell myself and repay your debt in full."

"How many times should I be coming to you? Anyway, it is only one hour before sunset. Let me see." So saying, the angry creditor sage went away.

Harischandra returned to the market and starting crying aloud to everyone's hearing: "I am available as a slave to be bought with money, while the sun is still shining in the west."

Nobody was prepared to pay the price he was quoting. An executioner, the head of the local cemetery stepped up to take a deep look at Harischandra. He was fould-smelling, disfigured, uncouth, with a long, repulsive face, projecting teeth and a beard, dark-complexioned, pendulous belly, tawny eyes. He carried some birds, he had a skull in his hand and adorned himself with the garlands taken from the corpses. He was surrounded by a pack of dogs and was heard cursing in harsh tones. He also a carried a long staff. In sum, his appearance created fear and was repulsive.

"Who are you?" asked Harischandra when the cemetery-keeper offered to buy him.

"My name is Pravira, an expert executioner of the city. I am the guard of the cemetery at the south-western end of the city. My job is to despatch those who are condemned to death, to gather clothes of the dead brought to my cemetery."

Harischandra was wondering if he should accept to be the slave of Pravira. Viswamitra appeared on the scene and prodded, "Why are you hesitant to be his slave when he is offering you money enough to repay my debt?"

Harischandra pleaded, "O Sage, make me your slave for the balance of the money I owe you. I will obey your commands. I belong to the race of solar ancestry among kings. Please save me from becoming a slave to a cemetery-keeper."

"Just tell me that you do not owwe me anything more and I will let you free as a free man."

"How can I say that? I still owe you money," Harischandra pointed out.

"So you want to be my slave?" asked the creditor.

"Yes, sir. I beg of you. Please take me as your slave," said the debtor Harischandra.

"I agree. Now that you are my slave, I discharge you from the debt. But I am selling you right now to this cemetery-keeper for the sum he has offered."

The executioner was happy that he got the slave he had bargained for. He paid the money to Viswamitra and led Harischandra away to his house near the cemetery.

Harischandra's job at the cemetery was to collect for his master the cemetery fees from those coming to bury or burn the dead and to gather the discarded clothes of the corpses.

"Stay on this burial ground night and day and watch out for the corpses to arrive. Collect the fees strictly from everyone. Divide the collection into six parts; one part is for the king, three parts are for me; two parts will be your wages. You are also to execute the criminals condemned to death."

Harischandra worked for 12 months in this job. He was loyal to his master. His appearance was slowly changing like his master; with dishevelled hair, shoddy beard, emaciated and with protruding bones from his chest. He heard the crackling sounds of the burning faggots on the funeral pyres and howling of the jackals. He was frequently reminding himself of his wife and son and would often join the lamenting funeral parties and join in the loud lamentations remembering the dead. He reassured himself that he had done the right thing to avoid being untruthful and to avoid being unfaithful. He reminded himself of his priest Vasishta's saying that Dharma was the only light that mortals had on earth and everything else was illusion caused by ajnaana (ignorance). He had to walk by this light wherever it led him. He had to do his duty by the light whether he was the king of solar ancestry or as the assistant keeper of the Varanasi cemetery. It was not for him to choose.

A year passed by. One night, a ragged and destitute woman brought to the burning ground her own arms the body of her son. He was a small boy. He had died of snake-bite. She had also brought with her a bundle of sticks for the funeral pyre. Harischandra demanded of her the prescribed fees for the cremation. She pleaded with him that she was a destitute and could not pay. Harischandra refused to prepare for the cremation. He said that he could exempt his own share but he had to collect at least the king's share and his master's share of the fees. He saw a little jewel of gold hanging from her neck, mostly hidden by her ragged clothes and suggested that this be sold to pay the reduced fees he was demanding. On hearing this, the woman started crying, "O gods, what sins have I committed that the sacred symbol of my marriage which till now was visible only to my husband should be seen my the cemetery assistant/"

Harischandra was startled. He peered into the face through the enveloping darkness and asked, "Who was your husband?" She replied, sobbing, "My husband was once a king, a cruel creditor had forced him to sell her and her their son in the market of Varanasi." Harischandra saw what he was upto and fell on the dead body, crying, "O Rohita, Rohita darling son, my son! I am your father here, come to me dear child. O my god what snake was it, what were you doing, how did it happen? O god, I can't bear this anymore."

It was indeed Chandramati, Harischandra's wife who had brought her son to the burning ground at the dead of night. They recognized each other and wept together, caressing the lifeless corpse of their son lying on their laps. They resolved not to outlive their child. They wanted to get into the pyre and put an end to their lives also. But then, the problem of the cremation of the boy had to be resolved. Harischandra had to collect his fees. He told Chandramati to get back to her master and beg of him the money needed for the cremation of the boy. Chandramati had no options, she had to leave the cemetery.

As she was returning home, groping through the darkness, a man with a small bundle in his hand accosted her, "Who are you? Why are you weeping? Why are you here in this dark hour of the night?" Chandramati related the story and asked the man to show her the way to the master's house. The man, hearing the heartrending story said, "You do not have to go all the way to your master's house. Take this bundle. It has some jewelw. You can use the jewels to pay the cremation fee." He thrust the bundle into her hands and ran away into the woods, in the darkness of the night. Chandramati was left alone in utter fright. She heard the oncoming sounds of horses' hoofs. Beams of penetrating light were also seen. They were the police of the city on horseback in pursuit of the thief who had burgled into a house, strangled a sleeping child and had stolen the jewels on the child's body. The police saw the woman with the bundle in her hands and thought that she was the thief. Her extreme poverty and ragged clothes made her look like a criminal in the eyes of the police.

She was taken prisoner and taken to the magistrate's court and a complaint was lodged against her. "Ogre, don't you have any children? How heartless can you be that you stole a child's jewels?" shouted the magistrate. Chandramati narrated her story and explained how the bundle had come to be in her hands. The magristrate did not believe her, "You are a murderer and a thief. Don't add another attribute of being a liar."

The magistrate condemned her to death before sunrise the next morning and she was led away to the chief executioner of the city. Harischandra was on vigil near the body of his son awaiting the arrival of his wife with the cremation fee. She was being led in chains to the block for being executed as a criminal. Harischandra saw this and could scarcely believe his eyes. He ran toward the place of execution. He was stopped on the way by a boy who brought the master's message: Pravira wanted Harischandra to at once fetch the axe and execute the criminal who was being led to the block. Harischandra was reeling under the impact of horror upon horror being heaped on him. He was rendered speechless, momentarily.

The execution had to go on. The orders of the master keeper of the cemetery were unequivocal and very clear. Harischandra brought the axe and proceeded to the place of execution. The guards read out the orders of the magistrate. It was not for Harischandra to question the orders nor to produce counter-evidence to prove the victim's innocence. He was only the slave of his master whose orders had to be carried out. Chandramati looked at Harischandra with a stony, cold stare. Her agony was too deep for tears. As though by mutual consent, the husband and wife refused to recognize each other, they didn'' say a word in the presence of the guards. They had to go through the final stages of their tragic lives and get on with it and meet on the other side of death.

Harischandra took the axe in both his hands, closed his eyes in speechless torment of prayer and started lifting the axe up over his head and as he was bringing down the axe, his hands were seized from behind by Viswamitra who had now appeared on the scene. Gods gathered aaround in heaven watching the ordeals of the king.

Viswamitra acknowledged his defeat to Vasishta and announced, "O Harischandra, your is now alive. You and your wife have a merited place in heaven by your adherence unswervingly to virtue in the most trying circumstances. All your troubles so far are merely illusion created by me."

Indra the king of the gods explained to Harischandra how his virtue was being put to test. He welcomed the couple to heaven and asked him to install the son on the throne of Kosala.


Hiranyakasipu was the king of Daityas. He performed tapas and got a boon from Brahma: he could not be slain by man or beast. He became arrogant with the boon. He thought he was so powerful that he could terrorize all the three worlds. He also thought that there was no need for an Almighty God to rule this universe. He hated all believers in God and treated them as his enemies. His tyranny was such that he asked his subjects to worship him as God and to give up all their current religious practices. All the temples in his kingdom were destroyed and the ancient scriptures were burnt. He decreed that religion was forbidden at home and at school. Any citizen could utter the name of God to his or her children only on pain of execution. All officers of his kingdom were asked to propagate the message that there was no one higher than Hiranyakasipu in the entire universe. Prahlada was Hiranyakasipu's son. He got his education in a gurukulam for some years and learnt all the arts befitting a prince. Prahlada visited Hiranyakasipu together with his teacher during Prahlada's stay in the gurukulam. Hiranyakasipu asked Prahlada, "What have you learnt so far, my son?" "Dear father, let me tell you the essence of all that I have learnt so far. I adore Him who is without beginning, middle or end; He is the imperishable Lord of the Universe and the First Cause." These words pierced Hiranyakasipu's heart like arrows and provoked the king in utter rage. Hiranyakasipu's eyes became red with anger and he was trembling with emotion. He turned towards the teacher and asked him what type of teaching he had been imparting to Prahlada. "O King!," replied the teacher politely, "I did not teach Prahlada what he has just told you. I am myself surprised by Prahlada's conviction and at what he said." Hiranyakasipu now turned towards Prahlada, "Who has taught you these vile lessons about the imperishable Lord? Your teacher denies it." "O father! The God of gods is the Supreme instructor of the entire universe. Can you not see His teaching on all material and natural objects of the world-on rocks and trees, in the sky and oceans and most importantly, in the face of man?" "Who is the God of gods you are talking about? I am the only sovereign of the three worlds!" Hiranyakasipu exclaimed. "Human beings are too frail to describe the glory of God. God is only to be meditated upon in utter devotion. All things emanate from the Supreme God and all things abide in Him." "You fool, my son! Do you want to die? How can you call someone else supreme while I am around?" "The Supreme God is the creator, protector and destroyer of everything in the universe. He is also your Lord, my father. Why do you feel offended by this truth?" "Evil spirits have entered your heart. Only a possessed person can utter such words." Hiranyakasipu tried hard to fathom the mind of his son. "Not only in my heart, God has entered into all hearts. God is all pervasive. We, you and I, live and move only because of Him." Hiranyakasipu had had enough of the wretched words, "Take this fool of Prahlada away to his teacher's house. I will speak to the teacher later." After some months, Prahlada was beckoned into the presence of Hiranyakasipu, "Now tell me, if you have learnt any good verses." "May He grace us! May He, who moves everything May He, who is the cause of creation, animate and inanimate May He, the God of gods bless us!" Hiranyakasipu was livid with anger, "Kill this wretched boy! He deserves to die. He is a disgrace to the clan of Hiranyakasipu." "God is present in the weapons of your soldiers and also in my body, so they cannot hurt me," said Prahlada exuding confidence. Hiranyakasipu drew his sword and struck at Prahlada. Prahlada felt no pain. The king's sword did not even leave a scratch. Hiranyakasipu struck repeatedly but with no impact. Hiranyakasipu got exasperated, "Chain up Prahlada and lodge him in the dungeon." Hiranyakasipu tried all types of tortures: throwing Prahlada among poisonous snakes, trampling by furious elephants, tricks of sorcery, and scorching with flames, but to no avail. None of these tortures could hurt Prahlada a bit. In one instance, Prahlada prayed to God to show mercy on the sorcerers and brought them back to life even though they had been consumed in the flames they tried to throw at Prahlada. As the magicians came back to life, they bowed to Prahlada and thanked him for his generosity. Hiranyakasipu was wondering how Prahlada was able to counter the magical arts of the sorcerers, "Wherefrom did you attain these magical powers?" "Father," replied Prahlada, "If we think of no evil to others, we have nothing to fear. I see the same God in all beings as in my own soul. One whose heart is filled with the Supreme Being sees the same Lord everywhere. Father, the power I possess is possessed by all whose hearts recognize the God of gods abiding in them." Hiranyakasipu was shaking with fury as he listened to the words of his son, Prahlada. He ordered his palace servants to throw the boy down from the palace tower so that his body will be smashed to pieces on the ground. The goddess earth received Prahlada gently in her lap as the guards of the palace hurled Prahlada down. Hiranyakasipu ordered that the boy be bound and thrown into the ocean. The Daityas who carried our the orders reported failure: "O King, the boy started floating in the waters. The ocean was in fury and threatened to submerge the earth with its waves." Hiranyakasipu ordered that rocks be tied on with Prahlada so that he and the rocks will sink to the bottom of the ocean.

Prahlada started praying: "Glory to thee, O Supreme Being". You as Brahma created this world; as Vishnu, You preserve this world; and as Rudra, You destroy it. Thou art everything, all things are only Your forms. Thou art everywhere, here at the bottom of the ocean as also in the sky high above. I am everlasting, imperishable and unchangeable because I am one with Thee." Thus meditating, Prahlada was lost in prayer and became one with the object of his meditations. At once, the bonds which bound him were burst asunder, the piles of rock crumbled into sand and he came up floating on the waves. As he floated on the tossing waves, Prahlada praised the Lord's glory: "Thou art perceptible and imperceptible; divisible and indivisible; definable and indefinable; mutable and immutable; Thou are both one and many. You are the First Cause of the Universe."

The Supreme Being now appeared before Prahlada, "Child, your trials are over now. I am pleased with your faithful devotion to me. What boon do you demand?"

Prahlada replied prayerfully, "In all my births, my faith in Thee should not decay!" "I know your devotion will be unwavering. Now choose another boon." "O Supreme Being! Pardon my father for punishing me just because I was praising Thee. Free him from ignorance and sin." "I grant the boon you desire. Now choose another boon for yourself." "All my desires are fulfilled by the boon you granted me that my devotion in You will not decay. I need no other boon." "Those shall live in me for ever." So saying, the Supreme Being vanished from Prahlada's sight. The king Hiranyakasipu was now a changed man. He embraced Prahlada, "Are you alive, my dear child? I repent for my cruelty. I now believe in the Supreme Being."

NOTES: This is the ending in story line of the Vishnu Purana. The Bhagavata Purana relates that Hiranyakasipu demanded his son Prahlada to prove that God existed everywhere and asked if He was in the pillar of the hall in the palace. Hiranyakasipu struck the pillar with his fist and God came out in the form of a man with a lion's head and tore the tyrant king into pieces. He was Narasimha who had to adopt this hybrid man-animal form because Hiranyakasipu had obtained a boon that he would be killed neither by man nor animal. The boon did not bar the king being killed by a hybrid form.


The two great epic works of the Hindus are Ramayan and Mahabharat. In modern terms the Mahabharat may be said to be realistic and the Ramayan idealistic, in their respective handling of human characters.

Sita in Ramayan is all that a woman could or should be. And is impressive by her sweetness and devotion. Draupadi in Mahabharat, on the other hand maybe any of the high spirited modern women with her anger and brooding for revenge and for that reason more human.

There is greater realistic truth in the full blooded characters of Mahabharat, higher passion, nobler resolve, fierce jealousy and more biting scorn and greater grandeur in many of it's scenes. Yet it is greater spiritual beauty, greater softness and tenderness of emotions in Ramayan. The subject of Mahabharat is men and war, while the subject of Ramayan is women and home.

These epics are regarded as the Vedas of the masses. People in sorrow, in joy and in daily toil turn to these epics for solace and inspiration. In Indian context norms of Epic are set by Ramayan and Mahabharat.

Many more topics were treated in great length by number of line verses or chapters but none equals these two. Interestingly, these two epics have provided canvas or theme for many forms of art, like paintings, sculpture, poems, plays and stories. This epic is written by Krishnadvaipayan Vyas. It was claimed that whatever that can exist in human life is all dealt with by Vyas in Mahabharat and conversely. Whatever that does not exist in Mahabharat can not exist in the world.

It is a story of a dynasty of Kuru that is Kaurav. Later on lineage assigned to Pandu that is dynasty of Pandava.And finally war between the two related families,which involved many small kingdoms throughout the nation.The final version of the epic was formed in the fourth century A.D.There are many Parvas having lacks of Shlokas. The most authentic version of Mahabharat was prepared in 20th century by many researchers under the guidance of Mr. Vaidya in Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute.

The story of Mahabharat has many substories, many plots and subplots hence by spread it is very wide. The epic has also inspired many artists like that by Ramayan. Many plays such as Abhidnyan Shakuntala, by Kallidasa, plays by Bhasa such as Venisamhara, Urubhanga etc. are based on the themes or plots from Mahabharat.The story is believed to have taken place around 1500 years BC.

Interestingly it was mentioned as history while the Ramayan was mentioned as a part of Purana. It was originally written as 'Jay'. It was later on revised as 'Bharata' and it was further expanded as 'Mahabharat'. It consists of story of Dushyant a king and Shakuntala a daughter of heavenly dancer Menaka. Her son was named as Bharat. He later on ascended the throne of Dushyant.

The name of the nation designated by foreigners as India bears his name to the subcontinent as Bharat. Hence the name of the nation is Bharat alias India. If Ramayan is symbolised as ideality and for setting up the norms and standards of ideality, Mahabharat can be considered as depiction of reality.

Ramayan has taught what it should be, whereas Mahabharat has bravely depicted what it generally is. It is story of lust, and renunciation, pious as well as crooks. It speaks of fearless warriors and cowardly behavior of some of them. Of obedience as well as rebels.

Though it is mainly a story of dynasties a character coming as a shepherd brought up as foster son of a chief in a village Mathura is raised to the height of God in the Indian minds. He is the one who is responsible for the final war between the two kingdoms to assert for righteous claim and only he is credited with the out come of the war, the victory of Pandavs.

Mahabharat as a pool of information mirrors society at that time, customs rites and rituals, value system and ethics of the time. It also speaks of political variation in the form of local democratic government to rural form of governance to kings and kingdom. It also reflects racial as well as cultural struggles amongst the different people of India. It has forged the Indian identity as unity in variety of races, languages, religious beliefs etc.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Bharata was the second brother of LordRama and the son of Dasaratha and Kaikeyi of the Solar Dynasty in the Hindu epic Ramayana .He is considered to be born in the aspect of the Sudarshana Chakra, the most famous of Vishnu`s Panchayudhas. Although the Ramayana describes all four brothers as loving and devoted to one another Shatrughna was close to Bharata and Lakshmana was close to Rama was the common notion. He was married to Mandavi daughter of King Janaka`s brother Kushadhvaja, and hence a cousin ofSita. They had two sons, Taksha and Pushkala.

The Ramayana is the story of how Rama was sent to exile in the forest for 14 years by Dasratha on the advice of Kaikeyi in order to put Bharata her own son on the throne of Ayodhya..Bharata was away from Ayodhya when Rama went to exile .When he returned and heard about Rama`s exile he declared his intention of bringing Rama back from the forests, and if need be, of serving out his exile for him. When the people of Ayodhya and the numerous allies of Rama heard of this, their scorn and hatred towards Bharata (born out the assumption that he had a role in Rama`s exile) dissolved, and he was immediately made immortal in fame to the world by his selflessness, honour for his family`s fame and tradition, adherence to truth and righteousness and last but not least, love for his older brother.Ayodhya`s guru Vasishta stated that no one had learned the lessons of dharma better than Bharata.

When Bharata met Rama and Lakshmana in the forest and delivered the painful news of their father`s death he pleaded Rama to return to Ayodhya as the new emperor .Rama refused this on the ground that such a deed would be unrighteous . Upon an explanation from King Janaka that since Bharata`s love for Rama was unparalleled it became his duty to enable Rama to live righteously,and therefore Bharata gave up his efforts to take Rama back to Ayodhya before the completion of the fourteen years .Before leaving he vowed to Rama that if Rama did not return immediately after the completion of fourteen years ,he would give his life up by immolation.He agreed to govern Ayodhya not as its ruler but only as Rama`s representative.The people supported Bharata, as he became the `king` of Kosala and Ayodhya, but Bharata himself placed Rama`s sandals at the foot of the royal throne, and neither sat upon the throne nor crowned himself. Bharata`s reign was righteous and the kingdom was safe and prosperous but Bharata waited for Rama`s return .During this time he diligently served Kousalya ,Rama`s mother and Sumitra ,Lakshmana`s mother.

Upon Rama`s return to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana ,Bharata led the procession to greet the rightful king and queen and his brother Lakshmana.When Rama decided to retire,Bharata and Shatrughna joined him. When Rama walked into the river Sarayu, he transformed into his eternal and original Mahavishnu form, which Bharata and Shatrughna walked into the river also and united with him.


Dasaratha was the great king in the epic Ramayana, who was the father of Rama, the hero of the epic and the avatar of Lord Vishnu. Dasaratha was the scion of Raghuvamsa and the king of Ayodhya. He had three wives namely Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra. The son of Kaushalya was Rama, son of Kaikeyi was Bharata and son of Sumitra were Lakshman and Shatrughna. Dasaratha and Kaushalya had one daughter, named Shanta, who was the wife of Ekashringa.

Four key events of Ramayana direct the entire tragedy of king Dasaratha`s life. The first story is about Dasaratha and Ravana. Hearing Dasaratha`s fame Ravana felt jealous and sent messengers to his court asking for his homage and regard otherwise threatened for the war. In reply Dasaratha shot off arrows and told the messengers that when they will return to Lanka they would found that main gates of Lanka to be shut closed by the arrows. Ravana felt humiliated at this defeat and took it as his insult. He also realized that king Dasaratha was superior to him. Then Ravana took a severe penance to pacify Lord Brahma. When Brahma appeared before Ravana, he asked him not to bless Dasaratha with the gift of child.

Dasaratha - the tragic king of RamayanaDasaratha was famous for his miraculous ability to hunt blind and shooting arrows by hearing the sound only. Once during one of his hunting expeditions, Dasaratha heard a noise resembling elephant drinking water and shot an arrow in the direction in quest of his prey. But to his astonish Dasaratha noticed that he had instead shot an young boy named as Sravana Kumar who was collecting water in a pitcher for his blind parents. Sravanakumar was the only child of his parents and his parents were totally dependent on him. Sravana used to carry his parents everywhere on two pans of balance supported on his shoulder and collect water to quench their thirst.

At his death Sravana was inconsolable at the thought that his parents would be without any support to protect them. As his dying wish, Sravana asked the king to carry water to his thirsty parents. Dasaratha carried the water to the old couple and they drank the water without knowing that it was not being offered by their son. The king then hesitantly narrated the death incident of Sravanakumar to his parents. The old couple was so distressed at the pathetic news of the death of their son that Sravana`s father cursed king Dasaratha that one day he too would suffer from `Putrasoka`(grief of separation from one`s son). The old couple then sacrificed their lives, as they did not want to live anymore after consuming water offered by their son`s killer.

Dasaratha also fought for the gods in the battle against Asuras and Kaikeyi acted as his charioteer. Kaikayi saved Dasaratha`s life during the battle. Dasaratha was so pleased with Kaikeyi that he asked her to wish two boons, on which Kaikeyi said that she would ask when she wished to avail them.

These three incidents played a significant role to make Dasaratha`s fate. By Ravana`s wish he had no sons, which he was able to overcome by performing the horse sacrifice to obtain children. Dasaratha was blessed with four sons. When the boys were grown up, Dasaratha decided to retire and embrocate his eldest son Rama to the throne of Ayodhya. Before the anoint ceremony took place Kaikeyi asked Dasaratha to grant him boons according to good old promise. She asked for the first boon her son Bharata`s enthronement instead of Rama and for the second boon she asked Rama`s exile to forest for fourteen years. Dasaratha was helpless and he must grant the boons to maintain the truth, which was `Kshatriya dharma`. After Rama left Ayodhya Dasaratha could not bear the pain of the seperation from his most beloved son. Unable to withstand the anguish, the dispirited king Dasaratha died out of grief and pain and thus Sravana`s blind parent`s curse came true.


Kaikasi was one of the daughters of Sumali and Ketumati, the Rakshasas. She was married to Muni Visravas and the mother of Ravana.
Sumali with his family lived for a long time in Patala, the Naraka. He once visited the earth and wanted his daughter Kaikasi to entice Visravas. Visravas was mesmerized by her beauty and married her. She gave birth to Ravana, the huge Kambhakarna who grew up in the forest.


In the Hindu mythology it is mentioned that Sumantra was the chief counselor Of Maharaja Dasaratha.

Sumatra once made a prophecy that Aswamedha was to be performed by the Rishi Sringa. He pacified the infant Rama with a mirror. Sumantra was sent by Vasishtha to summon the Maharaja to the ceremony of the crowning of Rama as the King. Kaikeyi, Dasarath`s wife intervened and desired Sumatra to bring Lord Rama into their presence, and on his arrival she informed him of a previous promise of Maharaja and stated that he should go into exile. Sumantra reproached Kaikeyi but all in vain. Sumantra then drove Rama and Sita out of Ayodhya in the royal chariot, and on his return to the palace delivered Rama`s parting message to Dasaratha


In the epic Ramayana it is said that Sarama is one of the female guardians placed over Sita when she was a captive in Lanka. Sarama is an elderly Rakshasi differed from the others, and was of a kind disposition. The beauty and misfortune of the gentle princess sita touched her with pity. In the extremity of Sita`s distress, when an attempt had been made to convince her that Rama was dead then Sarama took the fainting Sita in her arms. Sarama then bending tenderly over her whispered comforting words in her ears and said that Rama was not dead and that it was cruel trick of magic meant for her. Then Sarama told how she had heard, Ravana planning this scheme for persuading Sita to believe that her husband is dead. Sarama then kindly narrated to Sita the landing of a vast army of Rama that seemed to have sprung from the bosom of the sea.


Sita , Wife of Lord RamaIn Hindu mythology, Sita is the spouse of Rama the esteemed as an exemplarily of womanly and wifely virtue. She sprang from a furrow when king Janaka was plowing his field and Rama won her as his bride by bending Shiva`s bow.

Sita`s abduction by the demon king Ravana and subsequent rescue are described in the Ramayana. She kept herself chaste during her long imprisonment, and on her return she proved her purity by undergoing an ordeal by fire. A symbol of the sufferings and strengths of women, she is one of the most revered figures in the Hindu pantheon.


Thataka was a beautiful Yaksha princess who turned into demoness in the epic Ramayana. Thataka was the daughter and only child of the Yaksha king Suketu. Thataka had a romance with Asura king Sumali. She had two sons with Sumali, Subahu and Mareecha and a daughter Kaikesi. Thataka and Sumali decided to marry their daughter to the sage Vishrava so that she could have the progeny that would be omnipotent and ruler of the three worlds. They organized a meeting between Kaikesi and Vishrava , in a way that it seemed to be a `chance encounter` and the Rishi, who was already married could fell in love with Kaikesi. Kaikesi and Vishrava had three sons namely Ravana, Vibhishana and Kumbhakarna and a daughter named Soorpanakha.

Rishi Agastya cursed both Suketu and Sumali to death. Thataka took the curse on herself through her son Subahu to take revenge on the sage. As a result sage Agastya was enraged and cursed Thataka that she will lose her beautiful physique and both Thataka and her son Subahu would be transformed to horrific demonic creatures with cruel, cannibalistic nature.

Tathaka and Subahu became revengeful on sages and they attempted to harass as many rishis as they could by destroying their Yagnas (sacrifice) with rains of flesh and blood. Brahmarishi Vishwamitra was especially the goal of Thataka. Vishwamitra could bear no more Thataka`s harassment. He finally approached King Dasaratha and sought his help.The King send two of his four sons, sixteen years old Rama and Lakshman to the forest to protect both sage Vishwamitra and his Yajna.

When Thataka and Subahu attempted again to destroy the Yajna of Vishwamitra, rama first warned them not to do so. They did not listened to him and laughed at Rama by calling him a `mere boy`. Rama then killed both the mother and son. This act helped Thataka to gain the blessings of Vishwamitra and all other assembled sages.


Surpanakha is a Rakshasi (female demon) of Ramayana, who is the sister of Ravana. The word Surpanakha literally means the lady with sharp nails.

Once Surpankha saw Rama in the forest of Panchavati and immediately falls in love of him. She desired to have Rama and disguised herself as a beautiful woman by using the power of Maya. Surpanakha in the guise of young human lady appeared before Rama like a full moon. Her slender frame was like a golden creeper and her lovely lips and teeth perfectly matched with her fawn-like eyes. Her gait was that of a peacock and her anklets made music as she proceeded. Surpanakha came near Rama and bowed low to touch his feet. Rama enquired about her origin. Surpanakha replied that she was the daughter of grandson of Brahma and Kubera was her brother. After that Surpanakha praised Rama`s masculine beauty and asked him to marry her. Rama said that he is already married and is `Ekapatnivrata` meaning `loyal to one wife only`.

Cut off Surpanakha`s nose and ears Rama asked her to approach his brother Lakshman. But Lakshman enjoyed teasing her and said that he was his brother`s servant. Hence, it would be better for Surpanakha to be Rama`s second wife rather than his first wife. Surpanakha became angry and made abusive remark about Sita. Lakshman could not control his rage and cut off Surpanakha`s nose and ears. In some versions of Ramayana, Lakshman cut Surpanakha`s breasts too.

To avenge this insult, Surpanakha returned to the forest accompanied by his two brothers khara and Dushana. They had a battle with Rama and Lakshman but both Khara and Dushanas were defeated and killed in the war. Surpanakha then returned to Lanka and cried before his brother Ravana and pleaded to take revenge of her great insult. Ravana became vindictive and took Maricha with him and made plans to retaliate his sister surpanakha`s humiliation.


In Hindu mythology Sugreeva was the younger brother of Vali, and the ruler of the kingdom Kishkindha. In some legends Sugreeva is depicted as son of Surya, the sun God. As the leader of monkeys Sugriva helped Rama to search and liberate his wife, Sita from the captivity of Rakshasa king Ravana.

Another legend says that Sugreeva is the son of Ahalya and Indra. Ahalya was the beautiful wife of Sage Gautama. Lord Indra and Surya came in the guise of sage Gautama and they had union with Ahalya. Ahalya had two sons, Sugreeva and Vali, who came from Indra and Surya respectively. At first they both were human beings but as soon as sage Gautama came to know that they were not his sons he threw Vali and Sugreeva in oceans and cursed them to turn into monkeys.

Vali ruled the kingdom of Kishkindha to the subjects of Vanara or monkeys. Tara was his wife and Sugreeva was his brother. At first the two brothers were very closed to each other. One day, a raging demon came to the gate of the capital and challenged Vali in a fight. Vali accepted the challenge but as soon as he proceeded towards the demon it was afraid and flew away in a deep cave. Vali entered the cave chasing the demon and asked his younger brother Sugreeva to guard the entrance of the cave. Sugreeva waited there for a long time but nobody came out.

Instead Sugreeva could hear great roar of the demon and the blood oozed out from the mouth of the cave. Sugreeva with a heavy heart concluded that his bother Vali had died in the battle and sealed the mouth of the cave by rolling a boulder. He returned to the Kishkindha and gave the news to other monkeys. He then took the charge of the kingdom as the ruler. But Vali was alive and conquered the battle. When ultimately he could return home he found that Sugreeva had become the king of Kishkindha. Vali decided that his brother Sugreeva had betrayed him. Though Sugreeva humbly tried to explain everything but Vali was not ready to listen anything. As a result he banished Sugreeva from Kishkindha and the two brothers, who were once good friends, became enemies.

Sugriva met Shri Rama In exile, Sugriva met Shri Rama, who was the avatar of Vishnu. Rama was searching for his wife Sita who was kidnapped and captivated by Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. Sugreeva joined Rama in quest of Sita. Rama promised in return that he would kill Vali and would re-enthrone Sugreeva as the king of Kishkindha.

Rama and Sugreeva went for Vali. Rama stood back while Sugreeva accused Vali for taking over his wife and kingdom and challenged him in a fight. The two monkey brothers, Vali and Sugreeva rushed to each other, fighting with trees and stones and with fist, teeth and nails. They both look alike and indistinguishable in the eyes of the observer. So Sugreeva`s counceller Hanuman stepped forward and put a garland of flowers around Sugreeva`s neck. Rama then could easily distinguish Vali and killed him by driving an arrow through Vali`s heart. When Vali had expired Sugreeva married his widow Tara and anointed in the throne of Kishkindha.

Rama and Sugreeva went for ValiSugreeva sent his most trusted companion Hanuman to find Sita. Hanuman returned with the news that Ravana, the demon king had captivated Sita in his island fortress of Lanka. When Rama decided to set for Lanka, Sugreeva also joined him along with his monkey-army to help him. When the army reached the seashore they built a special bridge across the sea to reach Lanka. The army also protected Rama in his citadel. After the great battle, Rama killed Ravana and Sita was liberated.

During the battle Sugreeva almost died when he decided to face a Rakshasa Kumbhakarna, the brother of Ravana. Sugreeva attacked the demon with the trunk of the Sala tree. The tree merely broke over Kumbhakarna`s head. The demon then caught hold of Sugreeva and dragged him off. He was sure to kill him but Rama`s brother Lakshman interfered and saved Sugreeva`s life.


In the epic Ramayana, Satrughna was Rama`s half brother and Lakshman`s twin brother. He was son of Dasaratha, the king of Ayodhya and Sumitra. Satrughna was married to Sita`s sister Shrutakirthi. Satrughna literally means one who conquers his `Shatru` or enemies.

Like Lakshman, Satrughna was also easily perturbed. When Rama had to go to exile due to conspiracy of Kaikeyi and Manthara, satrughna`s anger fall upon old maid Manthara. He caught hold of her hair and pulled her to Bharatha. Satrughna even prepared to kill Manthara but Bharatha prevented him by saying Rama would not going to accept this.

When Rama became the king of Ayodhya and Bharatha was the prince, all people were happy under his rule. But suddenly Lavanasura, the son of Ravana,who was still alive became very powerful by acquiring the deadly weapon Trishula from lord Shiva and started giving a lot of trouble to the Rishis (sages) and other good people.

Satrughna killing LavanasuraThe Rishis could no longer bear the barbarities and prayed to King Rama to protect them by killing the demon. Rama put the responsibility of killing Lavanasura on Satrughna, who willingly accepted to go there and kill the terrible demon. Satrughna was a strong person and he had many good qualities including devotion and faith for Shri Rama.When Rama appointed Satrughna with the task of killing the demon, Satrughna touched Rama`s feet and asked Rama to put his grace on him so that he could destroy the enemy. Rama knew that Satrughna was a powerful person. So he smilingly blessed Satrughna and explained him the secrets of the weapon Trishula.

Rama told Satrughna that the Trishul was kept in the house of Lavanasura. The Rakshasa was away from his home every morning to gather his food, which primarily consisted of meat. Rama ordered that the Lavanasura should be killed before he returns home and takes his meal. Satrughna listened carefully Rama`s instruction and started, after taking his blessings. At night, satrughna rested in Valmiki`s ashram, where Sita had just given birth to Lava and Kusha.

Satrughna met Sita Devi and her twin sons. But he decided to suppress the news from Rama as he felt it would be not proper to meet Sita. As soon as Satrughna left the Ashram, he visualized Sita and Rama in his own mind and went to face Lavanasura, the frightful demon.Satrughna fought with Lavanasura and killed him. After this, Satrughna returned to Rama, touched his feet and prayed to spend the rest of his life in the feet of Rama. But Rama did not agree. He ordered Satrughna to be the king of the area where Lavanasura ruled earlier.

Lava and KushSatrughna obeyed Rama`s instruction and ruled the area for twelve years. He gave immense satisfaction to his subjects and protected the Sages as he ruled in an expert manner. After twelve years Satrughna could bear no more the separation from Rama and decided to return to Ayodhya. On his way back, Satrughna again spent the night in Valmiki`s ashrama. That time the two boys Lava and Kush were twelve years old and they sang beautifully the songs of Ramayana before Satrughna. Satrughna lost himself in joy and ecstasy. But he behaved in such a manner that they could not think that he was connected with them. Finally Satrughna returned to Ayodhya.

After returning to Ayodhya Satrughna described Rama his wonderful experience in Valmiki`s Ashrama. Rama being an incarnation of Vishnu, knew everything from before. But still he enjoyed the narration of Satrughna. Rama instructed Satrughna not to speak about his experience in Ayodhya at that moment.

Later, when Rama performed the Aswamedh Yajna (the horse sacrifice), Satrughna was the leader of the army following the horse.


Vibhishana is a significant character in the epic Ramayana, who served Rama during the fight of Rama and Ravana though he was the brother of Ravana, the king of Lanka. Although Vibhishana was born in Rakshasa dynasty he was a noble character. Vibhishana was against the kidnapping and abduction of Sita. He advised his elder brother Ravana to return Sita to her husband Rama. He was exiled by Ravana and joined Rama`s army.Later, when Rama defeated Ravana, he coroneted Vibhishana as the king of Lanka.

Vibhishana was a `Sattvic` person with pure heart and soul. From his early childhood he was a pious man and spent all his time in meditation on the name of Lord. Brahma was propitiated by his devotion. He appeared eventually and offered Vibhishan any boon he wanted. Vibhishana said that only thing he wanted was to fix his mind on the lotus feet of the Lord. He also prayed to have strength so that he could always remain in association with Lord Vishnu and also wanted a `Darshan` (holy sight) of the Lord. Vibhishana`s prayer was granted. He gave up his wealth and family and joined Rama, who was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Vibhishana was the youngest son of sage Vishrava, the son of sage Pulastya, who was one of the heavenly Guardians. The two elder brothers of Vibhishana were Ravana, the king of Lanka and Kumbhakarna. Although Vibhishana was a descendent of demon race, he was alert and pious and always considered him as a Brahmin, as his father was one.

Vibhishana had difference of opinion with his elder brother Ravana. He protested against the kidnapping of Sita. For this reason, Ravana exiled him from Lanka. Vibhishana`s mother Kaikesi advised him to seek the shelter of Rama and to serve him. Rama at that very moment was assembling an army to conquer Ravana and rescue Sita. Lord Rama accepted Vibhishana`s service and then on Vibhishana was his companion during the war.

In the Lanka war Vibhishana became a valuable asset to Rama and his army as he had many secret knowledge about Lanka. Vibhishana without any hesitation disclosed many secrets and thus became the key factor for Rama`s success in the war. Vibhishana revealed the secret path to the temple of Mata Nikumbala, the family deity of Pulastya clan, and Lakshman went there to destroy the Yajna of Indrajit before his fight with Indrajit. However, Vibhishana is also known as a great traitor for this act.

Vibhishana is a symbol of devotion to Shri Rama. He established the fact that a person from any birth and any clan can be the devotee of supreme lord in any circumstances of life.

After Ravana`s death in the war Rama anointed Vibhishana as the King of Lanka. Vibhishana transformed his subjects from the path of evil to the path of Darma (righteousness). His wife Queen Sharama was also a pious lady and helped Vibhishana in his effort.

When Shri Rama left Ayodhya at the end of his reign, he revealed his original form as Vishnu and asked Vibhishana to stay on earth to show people the path of truth and righteousness. Hence Vibhishana is said to be one among the eight immortals or Chiranjeevins. Lord Vishnu also ordered Vibhishana to worship Lord Ranganatha ,the family deity of Sun Dynasty, to which Shri Rama belonged.


Kumbhakarna is also an important character in the Hindu epic Ramayana. He is a Rakshas (demon) as well as brother of Ravana, king of Lanka. Kumbhakarna literally means the person with ears like a pot (Kumbha means pot and Karna means ear). Kumbhakarna was a giant in size and depicted as large as mountain. Despite his monstrous size and great hunger, Kumbhakarna had an innocent mind and good character though he killed many sages and ate them to show only his power.

Kumbhakarna undertook a penance to get the blessings of Lord Brahma. Brahma was pleased with Kumbhakarna and offered him a boon. But that time Saraswati tied his tongue firmly. So instead of asking for Indraasan (sit of Indra) Kumbhakarna uttered Nindraasan (bed for sleep). Brahma granted his request. Ravana realized that the boon was a curse in reality and so he asked Brahma to undo his boon. In another version of the story Kumbhakarna did another austerity to ask Brahma to take his boon back and make him alert always. Thus Brahma decided that Kumbhakarna would sleep for six months at a stretch and remain awake for another six consecutive months. However when Kumbhakarna woke up from six months sleep he felt very hungry and ate whatever he got in the vicinity including humans.

KumbhakarnaWhen Ravana was humiliated in the war with Rama he decided to seek his brother Kumbhakarna`s help. When Kumbhakarna was informed he was preparing to go for sleep. In the other version of the story Kumbhakarna was made awakened from the sleep with a great difficulty. However Kumbhakarna had no mood to fight. He tried to pursue Ravana to stop the war as he thought Ravana was wrong and was inviting unnecessary trouble by his useless insistence to marry Sita. He also advised Ravana to release Sita and put an end to the conflict with Rama.

But Ravana insisted Kumbhakarna to join the war. Kumbhakarna was very loyal and patriotic. He was also boastful about glory of demon rule and prosperity of Lanka. Ravana knew this weakness of Kumbhakarna and hence he appealed Kumbhakarna in the name and honor of the Rakshasa clan and dynasty. Kumbhakarna was charged and agreed to terminate Rama forever. He was full of enthusiasm and energy and drank before leading the Rakshasa army in the battlefield.

A fierce fight started between the Rakshasa and Vanara army. Kumbhakarna killed and ate many monkeys. Even he injured Hanuman, knocked Sugreeva down to unconsciousness and imprisoned him. Therefore Rama took the charge of the battle by himself. Kumbhakarna had magical power and he was adept with many illusive forms to confuse the enemy. It was difficult to hit Kumbhakarna`s true body as many Kumbhakarna appeared in front and all the missiles and arrow missed him.

Kumbhakarna engulfed a large portion of the monkey army and created `Rain of fire`. This resulted in confusion and chaos amongst the monkey battalion. Rama in turn created `rain of fire` to extinguish the fire. Kumbhakarna created `rain of stones` and Rama countered the attack by creating an appropriate protective cover. The battle continued for quite a long time. Finally Rama attacked Kyumbhakarna with his most powerful arrow strengthened with deadly divine missile. When this missile hit Kumbhakarna he was heavily injured and his life came to an end.

On the deathbed Kumbhakarna uttered the name of Rama and thus he was liberated from the instincts and tendency of mortal world.

Kumbhakarna had two sons Kumbha and Nikumbha who also fought in the battle against Rama and were killed.


Mandodari was the beautiful and pious wife of demon king Ravana in Ramayana. She was the daughter of Maya, the king of giants and the celestial dancer, Apsara Hema. Mandodari is also the mother of Indrajit, the courageous warrior of Ramayana.

Mandodari is one of the `Panch Kanyas` (five ladies) in Hindu mythology, the others being Ahalya, Draupadi, Kunti and Tara. The Pancha Kanyas are `Pancha Bhoota` or five elements of nature. Legends say that all the sins of an individual wash off with the uttering of the name of these Pancha Kanyas.

When Mandodari was born, her mother Hema deserted her as well as her father Maya and went to heaven. In the absence of his wife Maya showered all his love to Mandodari and brought her up with great care.

Once, Maya was wondering on earth with his daughter Mandodari. Mandodari was about fifteen years old that time and her beauty radiated like a fresh-blossomed flower. They were in a dense forest and Ravana, the demon king of Lanka met Maya. They came to each other and Maya gave her daughter`s hand to Ravana. They two were married in an auspicious moment and Maya gifted Ravana lot of divine and deadly weapons.

Mandodari always remained RavanaThough Ravana had many wives he always loved Mandodari most of all. Mandodari always remained Ravana`s favorite and most beloved. She always wished well for her husband and as she was a pious lady, she tried to bring Ravana in the path of piety. When Ravana captured Sita, Mandodari tried to convince him in a very humble way. She knew that Rama was not an ordinary man but was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and Sita also was the part of Jagadjanani( mother of all goddess) Yogamaya. Mandodari tried to pursue Ravana so that he returned Sita and asked for Rama`s friendship. Ravana neither listened to Mandodari`s word nor he scolded her, as he knew that she always wished him good.

But destiny had something else for Mandodari`s fate. When Ravana died at the end of the battle, Mandodari was mourning. Rama saw Mandodari and blessed her so that all her illusions disappears.


In the Hindu epic Ramayana, Kaikeyi was the youngest of King Dasratha`s three wives and was the queen of Ayodhya as well as mother of Bharata. The word `Kaikeyi` means `belonging to Kaikeya`, which is an ancient country.

Kaikeyi was a dear wife to King Dasaratha. Once, during a war Dasaratha`s chariot wheel broke. At that very moment of distress Kaikeyi was with Dasaratha. She helped Dasaratha by fixing the wheel of the chariot. Dasaratha aws so pleased by the service that he offered her two boons. Kaikeyi said that she will ask the boons when she will feel for.

Kaikeyi was perhaps a bit insecure in her heart as she was the youngest of the three queens and she feared that Dasaratha might not love her that much as he loved his two other queens. Kaikeyi`s maid Manthara suggested her to increase her status by making Bharata the King instead of Rama, which will make Kaikeyi the queen mother. She also convinced Kjaikeyi for the exile of the eldest prince Rama.

Kaikeyi and DasarathaJust before the crowning ceremony Kaikeyi asked Dasaratha for the two boons he promised before. By one boon Kaikeyi asked to anoint her son Bharata in the throne of Ayodhya and for second boon she asked for Rama`s exile from Ayodhya for fourteen years. Dasaratha granted the boon to keep the truth of his promise but he died of a broken heart as he was separated from his dear son Rama.

Kaikeyi came to repent her actions at Dasaratha`s death and she blamed herself for the whole incident. Her own son Bharata blamed her and said that he would never call her `mother` again. Manthara, though forgiven by Rama, killed by Shatrughna.

Though the popular legend portrays Kaikeyi in a villainous manner but the actual Ramayana written by Sage Valmiki depicts Kaikeyi as a great lady, who helped Lord Rama.

Once Rama went to mother Kaikeyi and approached her for a discussion. He confessed to Kaikeyi that he was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and had come to the earth to save the mankind. Rama also added that he needed to leave Lanka for fourteen years in order to kill the king of Asuras, ravana, who stayed in Lanka. Rama asked mother Kaikeyi to do something so that Rama, Sita and Lakshmana could go to exile for fourteen years of `Vanavasa`(forest abode). He said that it would be greatest of all sacrifice as everybody would misunderstand Kaikeyi and she would be responsible for the whole thing. Rama also mentioned that Kaikeyi would be depicted as villainous character for the future generation forever. Kaikeyi was a bold, strong and wise woman. She felt that Lord Vishnu himself was asking for a favor to her. In comparison with that all her sacrifice seemed to be very trivial. Kaikeyi realized that one does not get such an opportunity to serve the lord in his/ her lifetime. Kaikeyi`s name was pronounced as a wicked and evil woman and shameful motherhood. But she sacrificed for the welfare of mankind. Thus Kaikeyi became the most beloved of lord Vishnu. He not only granted Kaikeyi the `Moksha` but also gave her a place in his abode at `Vaikuntha`.


In the Hindu epic Ramayana, Jatayu is a demigod in the form of a bird who tried to save Sita from the grip of Ravana when Ravana kidnapped Sita and headed towards Lanka. Jatayu was son of Aruna and nephew of Garuda. Jatayu fought with Ravana gallantly but as he grew old Ravana could defeat him very easily. He cut Jatayu`s wings and injured him fatally. When Rama and Lakshman came there searching for Sita, they found wounded Jatayu. Jatayu was dying but still he informed Rama about his battle with Ravana and also told them the direction in which Ravana had taken Sita.

Jatayu and Sampaati were two brothers. When they were young, they used to compete as to who could fly higher. One day when Jatayu and Sampaati were competing similar way,Jatayu flew so high that he was about to get scorched by sun`s flames. Sampaati saved Jatayu by spreading his wings and saved him from burning in hot flames. In this process, Sampaati himself got injured and lost his wings. After that Sampaati lived wingless for the rest of his life. In some other version of the story their role is reversed and the stories depict it was Jatayu who saved Sampati from sun.

The place where Lord Rama found wounded Jatayu was named as Jatayu Mangalam, now Chadaya Mangalam, located in the Kollam district of Kerala. A huge rock in this place is attributed to Jatayu as Jatayu Para.


In ancient India, Janaka was king of Mithila and the father of Sita, the beautiful central character of Ramayana. Janaka was remarkable for his great knowledge, good works and sanctity. Janaka is also known as Siradhwaja(one, who is plough banner). When king Janaka was ploughing the ground and preparing for a sacrifice to have offspring, Sita sprang up from the furrow and thus he got a child.

When Sita grew up, Janaka arranged a Swayambhara, where he proposed a test of strength to string the great bow of Shiva called `Haradhanu`. He decided that one, who will be able to do it, would be able to have Sita`s hand. Lord Rama passed the test and was married to Sita. Janaka had three other daughters namely Mandavi, Urmila and Shrutakirthi who were married to three brothers of Rama, Bharat, Lakshman and Shatrughna respectively.

Janaka was a brave king as well and was versed in all the Shastras and Vedas like a sage or Rishi. Janaka was the dearest student of Yaajnavakya, who was also a wise person. In Bhagavad Gita Srikrishna cites Janaka as an example of Karma Yoga.

King Janaka was also known as `Rajarshi` as he was a Raja (king ) and Rishi (sage) at the same time. He administered the kingdom of Mithila (Videha) and at the same time he attained the spiritual advanced state of a Rishi. Sage Ashtavakra instructed Janaka about the nature of `Atman`(self).This instruction together are written in the famous treatise of `Astavakra Gita`.


Indrajit or Meghnaada is a great warrior of Ramayana, who was son of Ravana, the king of Lanka and Mandodari, daughter of Mayasura. Indrajit was such a courageous warrior that he could rival Rama with a great fighting skill. Indrajit was an ideal son and citizen.

Indrajit was named as Meghnaada at his birth because when the child cried for the first time, thunder and lightening resounded, signifying the birth of a great warrior. Lord Brahma conferred his cognomen Indrajit upon him when he defeated and imprisoned Indra, the king of gods. Indrajit was neither a deva (god), nor a bhakta (devotee) but still he was so renowned because of his courage and efficiency in battle. Though Indrajit was a rakshasa, still his respect for his father Ravana paralleled Rama`s devotion to his father Dasaratha. Indrajit realized that Lakshman was the incarnation of a divine being and it was not easy to defeat him, still he chose to fight him till the end according to his father`s wish rather than selecting a disgrace of leaving the battle.

Indrajit was married to Sulochana (also known as Prameela). Prameela came from the nagas and was daughter of Adishesha, who was the incarnation of Lakshmana according to some sects.

IndrajitWhen Indrajit got his victory over Indra, he was granted with a Brahmastra. It is believed that Brahmastra was a great weapon having tremendous power and when it left the bow it could beat any arrow and kill any person at wish.

Indrajit took a significant role in the Great War between Rama and Ravana. He had access to all the divine weapons like Brahmastra, Pashupatastra etc. Indrajit even bound Rama and Lakshman under the `Nagpash` (serpent spell). The king of birds Garuda subsequently freed Rama and Lakshman from the Nagpash by killing the serpents.

Indrajit was unbeatable in any war as he carried out Yajna(sacrifice) before any battle, and could only be killed by enemy force who destroyed the Yajna. Lakshman attacked the Yajna with the help of Sugreeva and successfully destroyed it. Indrajit came out of the temple and had a terrible battle with Lakshman. He shot Brahmastrato kill Lakshman but the missile denied to kill him. He shot Pashupatastra, which Shiva bestowed him but it also denied to kill his enemy.

Finally Indrajit used the most powerful missile of the three worlds to slay Lakshman but it was also unsuccessful. After that Indrajit knew that it would be difficult to defeat Lakshman and used his magical power to transport himself to his father Ravana`s palace. He tried to pursue Ravana once again to bow before Rama and adapt the side of truth but Ravana was stubborn at his resolve and Indrajit`s efforts were all in vain. Indrajit then said goodbye to his mother Mandodari and his wife Sulochana for the last time.
Indrajit Frightful war
Finally Indrajit returned to the battlefield. Frightful war started between Indrajit and Lakshman and Lakshman pierced Indrajit`s neck with his arrows, which caused his death. The army of Rama was overjoyed with the success and wanted to celebrate the victory by desecrating Indrajit`s body. But Rama was a virtuous man and adhered to his `Dharma`. Rama said that Indrajit was his enemy when he was alive but now that He is dead he is no more their enemy. Rama took off his shawl and covered the body of the slain warrior and asked Hanuman to carry the body to the main entrance of Lanka so that royal family could carry out the funeral process of Indrajit.


Angada was a great Vanara (monkey) in the Hindu epic Ramayana, who helped Rama to search his wife Sita along with Sugriva and other monkeys. Angada was the son of monkey king Vali and his wife Tara. He was the nephew as well as stepson of Sugriva.

Vali at the time of his death requested Sugriva to take care of his son Angada and to protect him everyway, as Sugriva would have done in case of his own son. Vali stated that Angada was dearer than life to him and asked Sugriva to be his refuge in dangers and father, donor and protector to him.

Sugriva consecrated Angada as the prince of Kiskindhya and groomed him in such a manner that he was able to successfully execute any duty of higher responsibility. When Vanara task was formed for the search of Sita, Angada was assigned the post of assistant to Nila, one of the senior most deputies of Sugriva. Sugriva ordered Angada to approach the senior monkeys with his command. Sugriva made Angada the assistant of Nila to accomplish his training under an able hand. Once the youngster Angada learnt the intricate details of his job he was assigned with a more important duty that was heavy for a Vanara of his age. He was given the task to find Sita in every possible places of South India, as it was known that Sita was hidden in some place of South, either in mainland or in the island. Angada scoured every city of South up to the seashore, Rameshwaram, to fulfill his duty. When the battalion was formed to proceed further south, Angada was made the head of the team.

AngadaAngada led the Vanara team comprising of senior monkeys like Hanuman, Jambavan very efficiently. As a prince, Angada got loyalty and respect from other monkeys. But in some cases Vanaras gave in under stress and angada charged them up as the part of his duty.

When Sita was found in Lanka, Rama wanted to find out some peaceful solution of rescuing Sita and averting the war. The messengers sent to Ravana were again led by Angada. Angada explained Ravana what was Rama`s desire and said that if he released Sita the war could be avoided. Angada tried by every means to convince Ravana, but Ravana was firm at his resolution to face a battle instead of returning Sita peacefully.

At one point of the conversation Angada placed his foot firmly on the ground and threw a challenge that if anybody in the Ravana`s court was able to uproot his foot Rama would lose the battle and return without Sita. All the Rakshasa courtier of Ravana`s army and even his son Indrajit tried to lift Angada`s left foot but nobody succeeded. Ravana was angered as he felt humiliated and started insulting Rama with abusive words.

Angada was so furious that he hit the ground with enormous force with both his hands and it caused a minor tremor in earth. All the courtiers were frightened and flew away. Ravana fell down from his throne and his crowns rolled off from his heads. Before he could put them back on his heads Angada grabbed four of those and threw them towards the direction where rama was waiting with his brother Lakshmana. When Vanaras saw the flying crowns approaching them they got panicked. But Rama knew that those were crowns of Ravana. Hanuman caught the flying crowns and placed them in front of Rama.

Ravana ordered his men to catch and kill Angada but he laughed aloud and escaped. In the great war of Ramayana, Angada killed Ravana`s son Devantak.