Ramayana – 10 Questions you didn’t know about.
The Ramayana is an ancient Indian epic, composed some time in the 5th century BCE, about the exile and then return of Rama, prince of Ayodhya. It was composed in Sanskrit by the sage Valmiki, who taught it to Rama’s sons, the twins Lava and Kush. At about 24000 verses, it is a rather long poem and, by tradition, is known as the Adi Kavya. While the basic story is about palace politics and battles with demon tribes, the narrative is interspersed with philosophy, ethics, and notes on duty. While in that other Indian epic, the Mahabharata, the characters are presented with all their human follies and failings, the Ramayana leans more towards an ideal state of things: Rama is the ideal son and king, Sita the ideal wife, Hanuman the ideal devotee, Lakshman and Bharat the ideal brothers, and even Ravana, the demon villain, is not entirely despicable.
Here are some unanswered questions from this epic.
Why did Rama attack Bali from behind?
The answer to this question comes from this verse in Kishkindha Kand of Ramayana:
अनुज बधू भगिनी सुत नारी।सुनु सठ कन्या सम ए चारी।
इन्हहि कुदृष्टि बिलाकइ जोई। ताहि बंधें कुछ पाप न होई।
Accordingly, the younger brother’s wife and daughter are equal. Whoever has a bad intention for them deserves to be punished and there is nothing wrong in killing him secretly. Bali had not only thrown his younger brother Sugreev from the kingdom, but also kept his wife with him. This is the reason why Rama punished him.Besides, Bali had a boon that in combat, he would get half of the strength of his opponent. This made him virtually invincible.
What is the story behind Ravana and his ten heads?
Raavan was the eldest of the four sons of his parents. According to Valmiki Ramayana, when Ravana was born, he had a huge head, long beard, full lips and powerful shoulders. When his father looked at him, he named him Dashgreev, which means 10 heads on neck.
What is the mystery behind the floating stones on Ram-Setu?
There were two monkey soldiers in Rama’s army – Nal and Neel. They were blessed by a rishi that whichever stone they touch, it could easily float in water. When Ram came to know about this, he made these two touch every stone they threw in the ocean.
Previous births of Indrajit and Meghdoot.
A muni, named Aprameyabala, who had four kinds of knowledge, came to the garden Kusumāyudha. In that same place at night his brilliant omniscience appeared and the gods held an omniscience-festival. At dawn Rāma and Saumitri, Kumbhakarṇa and others, went and paid homage to him and then listened to dharma. At the end of the sermon Śakrajit and Meghavāhana, who had reached extreme disgust with existence, asked about their former births. The muni said:
“In the city Kauśāmbī here in Bhārata you were two poor brothers, Prathama and Paścima. One day after hearing dharma from Muni Bhavadatta they took the vow and became mendicants, their passions subdued. Once upon a time they went to Kauśāmbī and saw King Nandighoṣa sporting with his wife Indumukhī in the spring festival. Seeing him, Paścima made a nidāna: ‘By this penance may I become their son, engaged in such sport.’ Though restrained by the monks, he did not retract the nidāna and after his death Paścima became their son, Rativardhana. In course of time having grown up, Rativardhana succeeded to the kingdom and, surrounded by his wives, engaged in numerous sports, like his father.
After his death the monk Prathama became a powerful god in the fifth heaven as a result of his penance free from a nidāna. Knowing by clairvoyance that his brother had become king there, the god went in the form of a muni to enlighten him. He sat down on a seat offered by King Rativardhana and related his former birth and his own friendship for his brother. Rativardhana became disgusted with existence from the recollection of his births which was produced, became a mendicant, and after death became a god in Brahmaloka. Then, having fallen, you became brothers, kings in Vibuddhanagara in the Videhas and went to Acyuta after becoming mendicants. After falling from Acyuta you became now the sons, Indrajit and Meghavāhana, of the Prativiṣṇu Daśāsya. Rativardhana’,s mother, Indumukhī, became your mother, Mandodarī, after wandering through births.”
What is the name of the bow that Lord Rama had to lift in order to marry Sita?
Pinaka is the bow of Lord Shiva and one of the many names of Shiva is Pinakapani, which means ‘one who wields Pinaka’.
What was the name of Ravana’s parents?
Ravana was the son of the sage Visharva and the demon princess Kaikesi. Though he was the son of a sage, he turned out to be a demon.
Ayodhya was the capital of which kingdom?
Ayodhya, also known as Saket, is an ancient city of India, believed to be the birthplace of Rama. Ayodhya used to be the capital of the ancient Kosala kingdom.
What was the curse that Ravana got which stopped him from marrying Sita against her wish?
Ravana raped Nalakubera’s wife Rambha and was therefore cursed by him to never be able to marry or touch a lady without her consent.
Ravan and Kumbkaran were killed 3 times by Ram?
Ravana and Kumbhakarana were the doorkeepers of Vaikuntha, Vishnu’s abode. A sage cursed them to be born as demons three times and be killed by various forms of Vishnu. First they were born as Hiranakhshya and Hiranyakashyap. Second they were born as Ravana and Kumbhakaran and lastly as Kansa and Shishupal.
What are the “7 Kands” of the Ramayana?
- Baal Kand
- Ayodhya Kand
- Aranya Kand
- Kishkindha Kand
- Sunder Kand
- Lanka Kand
- Uttara Kand
These are the answers to the questions you might not have known. If you enjoyed reading this and would like to know more, let us know.