In the last couple of episodes we were witnessing that Sage Vishwaamithra is taking the two children Rama and Lakshmana along with him and during their way, they halt for a night at a place along the banks of the river Sarayu, where the famous sloka of “Kaushalyaa Suprajaa Raama..” was born. We also saw the in-depth meaning of this important sloka in due course of our discussion. Now moving forward, in today’s episode we are going to see that Sage Vishwaamithra takes the two children to his ashram located at a place called “Siddhaashramam”. This place can be worshipped today also. This “Siddhaashramam” in the modern day can be traced to the city of “Buxar” in the north Indian state of Bihar. How did the three reach Siddhaashramam? Which were the places that they passed through? We shall commence our discussion with the following slokas:
“Thou prayaanthou mahaaveeryou divyaanthri pathathaam nadhim!
Dadrushaade tathastathra saravyaa sangame shubhe!!
Tathra aashrama padam punyam rishinaam bhaavithaathmanaam!
Bahu varsha sahasraani Tapyathaam paramam tapaha!!
Tham drishtvaa paramafpreethou raaghavo punyamaashramam!”
The above slokas signify that Sage Vishwaamithra is taking along Rama and Lakshmana along the river Sarayu, and at one place there is a huge sound of fast-flowing water. Rama asks Sage Vishwaamithra as to why is there such a huge sound? Sage Vishwaamithra replies to the child that there is the point nearby wherein the River Sarayu joins the River Ganges (Dadrushaade tathastathra saravyaa sangame shubhe”). Here, “Sangamam” means “to join”. Thus, they are now at the meeting point of the two rivers Sarayu and the Ganges. They walk on further and reach the next point called “Punyaashramam”. This “Punyaashramam” is also known as “Kaamaashramam”, which was once the dwelling place of the famous “Anga Deva” or “Manmathan” (The most handsome man according to the Hindu Mythology). There is a small story behind this place and Sage Vishwaamtithra narrates it to the children. Let us also see the story in brief:
Once upon a time at this particular place, Lord Shiva was doing a deep penance. At that time, unknowingly, this Manmathan tried to induce a desire into the mind of Lord Shiva towards his wife Paarvathi Devi. Hence he tried to seduce Lord Shiva with the help of his arrow made of sweet smelling flowers and ended up disturbing Lord Shiva’s penance. Upon opening his eyes, Lord Shiva was extremely angry on Manmathan for disturbing his penance and thus he opened his “Third Eye” on his forehead and burnt Manmathan to death on the spot! Hence this is the place where the “Kaama Dahanam” (Destruction of desires) took place. Sage Vishwaamithra narrates this story to the children Rama and Lakshmana and shows them the place.
“Nyavatatsa sukham tathra kaamaashrama pathe tathaa!
Tathra vaabihiraaneethaa munibhir suvruthaissaha!!”
Sage Vishwaamithra continues his conversation with the two children and says, “Oh Rama! Since Lord Shiva himself has sat in this place in deep ‘Tapas’, this is a very holy and an auspicious place! This is the reason why there are numerous great saints and maharishis living around this spot. I want you to bow down to all of the maharishis and seek their blessings!” Immediately the two children bow down in all the directions shown by Sage Vishwaamithra and seek the blessings of all the saints who live there. Rama says, “Oh great Maharishis! I bow down to all of you and seek your blessings for all the events that are going to unfold from now on!”
After this episode at the “Kaamaashramam”, the three of them continue to walk through. Where did they go next? What did Rama do there? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out!