In the last couple of episodes we witnessed the significance of performing our spiritual practices regularly. Now, we shall continue with what happened further at Ayodhya after the arrival of all the sages and kings from various kingdoms.
“Sambhaaraaha sampriyandhaanthe turakashcha vimuchyathaam!”
Thus, as the horse returned back successfully to Ayodhya, all the other kings and sages who were invited by King Dasharata arrived for the noble occasion.
“Yagnya vaatangadaa sarve yathaa shaastram yathaa vithi!
Shreemaanscha saha pathneebhi raajaa deekshaam upaavishath!!”
Thus, with the blessings of all the sages and the kings who have arrived at the occasion, King Dasharata along with his three wives sits at the “Yaaga Deeksham” (place where the ritual is performed). Thus the “Puthra-Kaameshti yaaga” commences in grand style.
“Saravyaascha utthare theere raaghnyo yagnaa bhavaththatha!”
Here, Valmiki Maharishi says, “Saravyaascha utthare theere”, which means, “The northern bank of the river Sarayu” is the place where the ritual is taking place currently. As Dasharata sits to perform the “Yaaga” (Offering), the ritual commences at Ayodhya.
Let’s leave this story here for sometime and come back to it a bit later. In the middle of all this, all the Devaas (Celestial beings) who were afraid of the wrath and atrocities of the demon king Ravana went and represented themselves to Lord Brahma. All the Devas expressed to Lord Brahma, their fear and distress that they have with Ravana. Lord Brahma was perplexed and he didn’t know how to help them come out of their problem. Hence, all of them approached Lord Vishnu together for a solution.
“Bhagawan thvapprasaadhena raavano naama raakshasaha!
Abhraveen loka karthaaram brahmaanam vachanam tathaha!!”
The above sloka highlights that all the Devas collectively represent their problems that they face with Raavana, to Lord Brahma. The Devas converse with Lord Brahma, “Oh Lord Brahma, it is you who granted the boons to Ravana and it is only because of that, he is torturing all of us. Hence, it can only be you who can suggest a relief out of him!” Upon hearing this, Lord Brahma was concerned. It may be noted here that all the “Raakshasaas” (Demons) including Ravana perform “Tapas” and obtain all their boons from Lord Brahma. However, Lord Brahma replies to the Devas by saying that he is also helpless at this point of time and hence all of them together went to Lord Vishnu for a solution.
“Yethasmin anthare vishnuhu upayaatho mahadhyuthihi!
Shanka chakra gadhaa paanihi peethavaasaa jagath pathihi!!”
As soon as this group arrives at the “Vaikunta”, Lord Vishnu comes in front of them. Vaalmiki Maharishi here gives a beautiful description about the appearance of Lord Vishnu in the above sloka – He is dressed in yellow-coloured attire with the “Shankam” (Shell) in one hand and the “Chakra” (Wheel) in the other. He also possesses the “Gatha” (A type of weapon that was used during a war in ancient times). He also has His two wives – Shree Devi and Bhooma Devi on either sides and He is sitting in his “Garuda Vaahana” (Vaahana means vehicle, Garuda means eagle. Hence, Lord Vishnu’s divine vehicle is the eagle). Upon seeing Lord Vishnu in this form, all the Devas and Lord Brahma worship him:
“Vainatheyam samaaruhya bhaaskarasthoyatham yathaa!
Taptha haataka keyuraha vandhyamaanaha surotthamaihi!!”
Valmiki Maharishi here gives a beautiful comparison on the appearance of Lord Vishnu. He compares this appearance with the “Meru” mountain and he further says that this “Meru” mountain catches hold of the Sun and the Moon. The Sun and the Moon are nothing but the “Sangam” and “Chakram” in either hand of Lord Vishnu. Hence, he says that, upon the “Garuda Vaahana” (Eagle) there sits the “Meru” Mountain and it holds both the Sun and the Moon together in itself. Thus with this beautiful appearance, Lord Vishnu asks the Devas the purpose of their visit. The Devas collectively put forth their request to Lord Vishnu:
“Vishno puthrarthamaagachha krithvaathmaanam chathurvitham!
Tathrathvam maanusho bhoodhvaa pravritham lokha kantakam!!”
The Devas request Lord Vishnu, “Oh Bhagawan! You are the only one who can destroy the demon by name Ravana. For this, you need to incarnate on the earth and take measures to control his atrocities and help us gain freedom from the clutches of this evil Ravana!”
What does Lord Vishnu have in store for the Devas now? What was His reply to them? Let’s look at it in the next episode!