Till this point we’ve witnessed that Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana are walking deep inside the Dhandakaaranya forest towards the south-south western direction. They are now at Sutheekshna Maharishi’s ashram wherein they were guided to visit various ashrams of various great Maharishis situated around this particular area. Thus, Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana spend around ten years, visiting each of these ashrams and paying due respects to the great Maharishis who resided in and around this area.
“Pravishtasthu vanam ghoram bahu pushpa phaladhrumam!
Dadarsha aashramamekaanthe ksheera maala parishkrutham!!
Aakhyaatham sharabhangena gauthamena mahaathmanaa!
Imam aashramamaagamya mritha sangaa maheeyasaha!!”
Thus, Valmiki Maharishi explains with the above slokas that Rama spends quality time with each and every Maharishi in Dhandakaaranya, seeking their blessings and advice! Thus while visiting each of the ashrams, all the Maharishi’s bow down to Lord Rama and worship him! All of them put a request to Rama in one voice – “Oh Rama! We are delighted to receive you at our ashrams! However, we are greatly disturbed by the evil activities of the Raakshasaas (Demons) in this are for a while now! Hence we request you to destroy them and free us from the clutches of the Raakshasaas, as early as possible! Oh Rama! Please realize that we are to be protected by you! Thus we request you to take care of us and enable us to continue our regular penance!”
Upon hearing this from the great saints, Rama was moved and he replies back, “Oh Maharishis! I’m so ashamed with myself that till today I’ve failed in my duty to protect you from the clutches of these evil Raakshasaas! Anyway, now I’ll take immediate steps to destroy them and protect all of you!”
“Ethannimithham vachanam dhandakaayithi vishrutham!
Nahime rochathe veera gamanam dhandakaandathi!!
Kaaranam tathra vakshyaami vadamthaa suuyathaam mama!
Puraakila mahaabaaho tapasvi sathyavaan suchihi!!”
Saying thus, the great saints seek protection under Rama’s invincibility and in turn, Rama assures them relief from the cruel Raakshasaas very soon!
Hearing this from Rama, all the Maharishis were happy that atlast the time has come for the “Adharma” to be destroyed and the “Dharma” to be restored! They were contented with Rama’s reply and waited for the divine happening.
Now, what did Rama do? Did he fulfil the promise given to the Maharishis immediately? What was the next course of action that Rama undertook? Let’s wait till the next episode to witness a very interesting event! 🙂