The Ramayan is the greatest text, the living teacher which enlightens the people nuances of leading life as a civilized human. It depicts the history of Tretayug teaching duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife, and the ideal king.
The Ramayan consists of 24,000 verses in seven sections (kāṇḍas) and 500 cantos (sargas), and tells the history of Ram (an avatar of Bhagwan Vishnu), whose dharmpatni Sita is abducted by Ravan, the king of Lanka. Incidentally the first letter of every 1000 verses (total 24) make the Gayatri mantra. The Ramayan most beautifully explores human values and the concept of Dharma.
- Rambhakt Hanuman is one of the 7 chiranjeevs (immortals). These immortals live till the beginning of the next Satya Yuga. Hanuman is alive and attends Ram Katha wherever it is recited in Bharat.
- The stripes on the back of squirrels occurred when Bhagwan Ram‘s caressed his hand on one of them for their dedication to help construct the bridge to Lanka. Squirrels were helping holding small pebbles and placing them between gaps of stones used to built bridges.
- Ravan broke his arm to construct a musical instrument to sing songs of praise for Bhagwan Shiv. It was called the Ravan Hatta. While Ravan lay dying Ram asked Laxman to go up to him to learn all that Ravan had to offer since Ravan was a Brahman and mastered Vedic teachings.
- Hanuman got necklace of pearls from Sita. Hanuman broke each pearl from the necklace and rejected the gifted necklace saying “I don’t accept anything that does not contain Ram.”
- Hanuman ripped his chest to show the presence of Ram in his heart.
- Sita’s name while in exile was Vaidehi.
- Vashishtha and Vishvamitra both were Ram’s gurus. And both hated each other at one point of time.
- Young brother of Ram, Lakshman is an incarnation of Sheshnaag or Adi Shesha. He also accompanied Bhagwan Vishnu as elder brother BalRam in the eighth incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu, Shree Krishna.
- The Ramayan is the historical compilation of incidents that occurred at the end of Tretayug. It is the most read epic among Hindus. The Ramayan is not only the history of Ram but also cover life incidences of Laxman, Bharat and Hanuman. We can’t forget Sita, Urmila, Vibheeshana alongwith Kaikeyi and Manthra.
- Original composer of The Ramayan is Sage Valmiki. There are many versions of this epic which were written by native and foreign writers. The understanding and interpretation was done according to the limited thinking abilities of these writers. Valmiki’s version is thus also known as Valmiki Ramayana. Another famous version is by Tulsidas, known as Ramcharitmanas.
- To make it easy and comprehensible for Kaligyugi readers, this great epic is composed of rhyming couplets called ‘shloka’, employing a complex meter called ‘anustup’. These verses are grouped into individual chapters called ‘sarga’, wherein a specific event or intent is told. The sarga’s are again grouped into sections called ‘kand’.
- The history of the Ramayan is written in seven sections, also known as kand. These are
Bal Kand – Ram’s boyhood.
Ayodhya Kand – Ram’s life in Ayodhya until his banishment.
Aranya Kand – Ram’s life in the forest and Sita’s abduction by Ravan.
Kishkindha Kand – Ram’s stay at Kishkindha, the capital of his monkey ally Sugriva.
Sundar Kand – Ram’s journey to Sri Lanka
Yudh Kand or Lanka Kand – Ram’s battle with Ravan, the freedom of Sita and their return to Ayodhya.
Uttar Kand – Ram’s life as king in Ayodhya, the birth of his two sons, Sita’s test of innocence and return to her mother, and Ram’s last days on earth. This kand completes the Ramayan. (It is said that Sita ‘s Agnipariksha and birth of two Sons of Ram were added later in Uttar Kand but was never a part of original Ramayan)
- Ram on whose name the history is referred as Ramayan, and his brothers were born as the result of Putra Kameshti Yagya by Dashratha. They were not born with the natural process of human reproduction. At the end of the yagya, a bowl of dessert was given to Dashratha, which was distributed among his wives. Sumitra was fed twice, so she gave birth to twins. Dasharatha belonged to the Ikshvaku lineage (Ikshvaku is the first king of the Ikshvaku dynasty and founder of the Solar Dynasty of Kshatriyas in Vedic civilization in ancient India).
- Ram is the seventh incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu, a Dashavatar.
- In their childhood, Ram and Laxman helped Vishwamitra and killed demons Maricha and Subahu. Ram points his bow at the two, and with one arrow kills Subahu, and with the other arrow flings Mareecha thousands of miles away into the ocean
- Sita is an incarnation of Devi Laxmi. She is also the daughter of Bhoomi devi (earth).
- Laxman never slept during the Ram’s exile. He is also known as Gudakesh, meaning, the one who has defeated “sleep”.
- Laxman killed three sons of Ravan. While his killing of Meghnaad is more popular, other sons of Ravan were Prahast and Atikay.
- Bhagwan Shiv explained that Laxman would have escaped Shakti easily, but to respect the weapon, he took this on his chest.
- Laxmanrekha incident is not mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana. This is mentioned by Mandodri in Lanka kand in Ramcharitamanas.
- Laxman was the twin brother of Shatrughan. Their mother was Sumitra. Even today recitement of name Shatrughan (शत्रुघ्न) is enough to decimate strength of enemies.
- Bhagwan Ram left this earth by taking the Jal Samadhi in Sarayu river. Kewat Prasang also happened here.
- During Sita Swayamvar, Bhagwan had broken the bow (dhanush) of Shiv to win the Swayamvar. There is a reason behind this condition of Swayamvar. No one was able to move bow easily, the Shiv dhanush was easily moved by Sita during her childhood. King Janak observed and thought her daughter was brave and strong so only mutually stronger match should marry her. And Swayamvar was organized.
- Parshuram challenged Ram to string the bow of Vishnu. Which Ram easily did and asked him to tell him to where he should release the arrow. Parshuram realized that Ram is no ordinary man but incarnation in human form. It is important to notice here that both of these warriors were incarnations of Vishnu.
- Bhagwan Ram helped Sugriva to get back the kingdom of Kishkindha. He helped Sugriva to defeat his brother, (Baali) Vali. Tara, wife of Baali, is one of the Panchkanya. Mandodari, the wife of Ravana, is also a Panchkanya from the Ramayan.
- Ram, Laxman (Lakshman) and Sita spent the vanvaas in Dandakaranya forests, which is still a huge forest region surrounded by hills and vegetation.
- Laxman’s wife was Urmila. There is not much written about her, but she also made a supreme sacrifice of staying back in Ayodhya, while Laxman accompanied Ram and Sita for vanvaas. Urmila was Sita’s younger sister. Urmila slept, non-stop for 14 years, both his and her shares of sleep so that Laxman remained awake protecting Ram and Sita. She slept for the whole period of exile (14 years) and only woke up when Laxman returned to Ayodhya.
- Tara was an apsara produced from the churning of ocean. During the churning, (Baali) Vali was from gods side.
- Jambavantha was created by Brahma, to assist Ram in his struggle against Ravan. During a duel, he hit Ravan, who became unconscious. He also reminded Hanuman of his prowess, so he could cross the ocean and visit Lanka.
- Vali was famous for the boon that he had received, according to which anyone who came before him lost half his strength to Vali, thereby making Vali invulnerable to any enemy. That is why his death was possible due to divine intervention and therefore he was killed by Bhagwan Ram.
- Vali had defeated Ravan as well. Once Ravana called Vali for a fight. He took Ravan in his tail and took him around all the world. Humbled, Ravana called for a truce.
- Hanuman, because of boons from Surya, laghima and garima, could take various forms. He used them to defeat Sursa, Chaayagrahi, Lankini in the Ramayan.
- Hanuman slain the demon Kalanemi, while fetching Sanjeevani herb. Kalanemi was sent by Ravan. Sanjeevani herbs are still available in Himalayas and also from the mountain in Sri Lanka where it was kept by Hanuman.
- Hanuman also defied Sun from rising before time as it would have killed Laxman. In a way slowing the rotation of earth and Sun’s revolution.
- Hanuman was also shot by Bharat while flying over Ayodhya. Hanuman accepted the arrow as Bhagwan Ram was written over it. Since he was shot on a leg, he had a limp for some time.
- Shatrughan is the incarnation of Vishnu’s conch. Shatrughan was married to Shrutakeerti, the daughter of King Kusadhbojan and his wife. Shrutakeerti was the cousin of Sita, daughter of King Janaka.
- Shatrughan killed Lavanasura, a demon who was the son of Madhu. It is believed that Madhu is where Mathura is situated today.
- Bharat was the husband to Mandavi, daughter of King Janaka’s brother Kushadhvaja and thus a cousin of Sita, who was dharmpatni of Ram. They had two sons, Taksha and Pushka. Thus, in the Ramayana, wives of all brothers were related.
- Bharat is incarnation of the Sudarshana Chakra, the most famous of Vishnu’s Panchayudhas.
- Ravan’s grandfather was Pulastya, one of the seven great sages or Saptarishis. His father was himself a great sage Vishrava.
- Ravan’s mother was the princess of Daityas. Her name was Kaikesi. Kaikesi’s father was Sumali. Ravan was half Brahman and half Asura.
- Kaikesi chose Vishrava as her husband in quest to mother a son who was incomparable.
- Vishrava was the father of Kuber. Thus Ravan was the half brother of Kuber. Arrogant Ravan conquered Sri Lanka from Kuber and became the King of Lanka.
- Ravan was also an excellent Veena player and the sign of his flag had a picture of Veena on it.
- Ravan had four brothers. Vibhishana, Kumbhakarna and Ahiravan and Mahiravan. Khara and Dushan are also believed to be his brothers.
- Kumbhakarna was considered pious, intelligent and brave that made Indra jealous of him. Along with his brothers, Ravan and Vibhishan, he performed a major Yagnas and penance for Brahma. When the time came for asking a boon (blessing) from Brahma, his tongue was tied by goddess Saraswati (on Indra’s request). So instead of asking “Indraasana” (seat of Indra), he asked for “Nidraasana” (bed for sleeping). But Kumbhakarna was not the longest sleeper as popularly known.
- Kumbhakarna had two sons, Kumbha and Nikumbha, who too fought in the war against Ram and were killed.
- Ravan also asked for absolute invulnerability from and supremacy over gods, heavenly spirits, other rakshas, serpents, and wild beasts. He did not ask for protection from mortal men, as he did not think that they would cause him any harm. And that was the reason that Vishnu took avatar in human form as a man.
- Ram and Laxman were abducted by Ahiravan. Ahiravan was the brother of Ravan and king of Paatal (netherworld). The two brothers were saved by Hanuman. Even today there are many tunnels found by archaeologists the world over, whose depth is immeasurable, they are inferred as the pathways to Paatal lok.
- Following the capture of Lanka, Ravan pleased Shiv with his penance. But he insisted Bhagwan Shiv to come to Sri Lanka as he is greatest devotee of Shiv. His insistence led to arrogance, wherein he tried to lift mount Kailash and take it to Lanka. Shiv mildly pinned Ravan with his pinky toe(smallest finger of the leg), seeing his hands beneath mount Kailash, Ravan roared in pain and recited Taandav Strotram
- Ravan offered his head ten times to show his selfless bhakti towards Shiv. Pleased with his resilience and devotion, Bhagwan Shiv gave to him the divine sword Chandrahas.
- Ravan was cursed by Nandi that Lanka would be destroyed by a monkey. Later Hanuman put Lanka into flames.
- Hanuman defeated his son Makardhwaj when he was guarding Ram and Laxman who were under captivity of Ahiravan and rescued the two brothers.
- Ahiravan and Mahiravan were very brave and skilled Asuras. Hanuman had to take Panchroopi form to kill Ahiravan and Mahiravan.
- Ravan did severe penance to appease Brahma. Brahma blessed him with nectar which could keep him alive as long as it lasted.
- Vibheeshana revealed the secret of nectar (gem) to Ram when in the battlefield, every time Ram cut Ravan’s head, another head sprang up. On his advise, Ram first dried the nectar using Prasvapana and later killed him. It is important to note that the Ramayan give importance to Vibheeshana more than other brothers, because he left his own brother for the cause of Dharma.
- Sita remained with Agni when Ravan abducted her. When Ravan came to kidnap mother Sita and she saw him, she took shelter of Agni. The fire-god covered the body of mother Sita, and in this way she was protected from the hands of Ravan. The fire-god, Agni, took away the real Sita and brought her to the place of Parvati, goddess Durga. An illusory form of mother Sita was then delivered to Ravan. The original Sita went to the abode of the fire-god. During Agnipariksha, illusory Sita entered the fire. At that time Agni brought the original Sita from his abode and arranged her meeting with Bhagwan Ramachandra. Some Sages inform that Uttar Kand did happened and Agni Pariksha was purposely organized so that original Sita can remain with Bhagwan Ram in Ayodhya.
- Following Ram, all his brothers left this world by taking Jal samadhi in Sarayu river. The Jal Samadhi ends the Vishnu leela in Tretayug. Samadhi is the only medium to travel to different planes and dimensions.
- Recent proofs validate the truth that Ramayan is one of the oldest recorded histories. Breath taking imagery proofs that suggest that history of Ramayan did happened in Tretayug. Other evidences also prove that Ramayan did actually occurred.Hanuman set lanka palace and nearby areas on fire, the melted remains of certain areas in Ussangoda.
Giant footprints of Hanuman in Ashok Vatika, when he took Bheem form to beat Demons who were guarding Vatika.
Ashok Vatika still exists as Ashokavanam in Sri Lanka.
When Ravan Abducted Mata Sita, he took her to this place, Kotuwa, which is today known as Sita Kotuwa a tourist place in Sri Lanka.
Kanniya hot wells nearby temples were constructed by Ravan to get fresh before doing Puja. These wells still exists in Sri Lanka.
Ravan prayed to Shiv and was one of the greatest Shiv Bhakts of his time, Koneshwaram temple was constructed to commemorate the bhakti of Ravan and still exists in Sri Lanka.
Ram Setu, built entirely with stones, now known as oldest bridge of mankind (Adam’s Bridge) actually exists and the occurrences, places in Ramayan congruent to the present structure correctly. Huge energy is felt nearby islands created as stopover places during the construction of Ram Setu.
A large foorprint of Hanuman can be seen in areas nearby Lepakshi temple.
The place where Jatayu (Vulture) fell when Ravan attacked him when he tried to free Maa Sita from Ravan, as they were flying in Pushpak Viman. Jatayu’s sacrifice earned him utmost respect of Bhagwan Ram. It never happened before. Ram performed last rites personally on his own hand for Jatayu and gave him moksha.
Tapovan still exists in Nashik where Ram, Sita and Laxman built Kutir, it is also the same place where Supranakha encountered with the two brothers. Supranakha had special powers with which she can make anyone dead as alive. She purposely came to make 14,000 Rakshas alive but they were burnt to ashes by Ram and Laxman, so she failed to use her special powers.
The birth place of Janaki (Maa Sita) still exists in the form of temple in Nepal.
The place where Hanuman was waiting patiently for the darshan during Ram’s exile leela.