In the previous episode we witnessed that Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana seek guidance from Sutheeksna Maharishi and walk towards Sage Agasthya’s ashram. Upon meeting Agasthya Maharishi, Rama obtains important “Manthras” and powerful “Ashtras” from him. Agasthya Maharishi was very happy to bless Rama with all these important things and thus according to his guidance, Rama, Sita and Lakshmana proceed to Panchavati to spend the rest of their tenure in the forest. It’s not much now – Just around two years of tenure left! Thus Rama, Sita and Lakshmana are walking towards Panchavati in the western direction from the ashram of Agasthya Maharishi.
While the three were walking along, the king of eagles – Jataayu Maharaja sees Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana coming towards him. He feels so happy to see Rama and thus wants to meet and convey his respects to him. Thus, Jataayu Maharaja comes forward towards Rama and takes the human form to worship him. Rama receives him with equal respect and Jataayu Maharaja introduces himself to Rama. He says, “Oh Rama! I’m Jataayu, the king of the eagle bird community! I’m one of the best friends of your father, the great King Dasharata! You can reside in this beautiful place called Panchavati. Until the time you are here, I shall be of every possible service to you!”
Upon hearing this, Rama is extremely happy and acknowledges Jataayu Maharaja’s kind words. Jataayu Maharaja continues to narrate his historical background a little bit. Valmiki Maharishi gives a detailed account through the following slokas.
“Vinathaathu sukhee bhouthree thathruuscha sulasaaschasaa!
Kadhruun naaga sahasrandhu vidhagnyee dharanee dharaan!!
Dvou puthrou vinathaayaasthu varuno arunayevacha!
Tasmaan jaatho aham arunaan sampaathischa mahaagrajaha!!”
Thus, while introducing himself to Lord Rama, Jataayu Maharaja briefs his past history. I shall narrate it in brief – There was a woman by name Kadru. Garuda, Aadisesha, Jataayu and Aruna were all born at the same time period. Aruna had two sons – Sampaathi and Jataayu. Once upon a time, Sampaathi and Jataayu had a competition within each other as to who would fly and reach the sun first. Thus both of the eagles started flying towards the sun and as they approach closer, Sampaathi was scared that Jataayu’s wings would be damaged because of the sun’s heat. Hence, Sampaathi out of mercy towards his younger brother, covered him with his wings. But while doing this, unfortunately Sampaathi’s wings were damaged severely because of the heat from the sun. Atlast, Jataayu had to bring Sampaathi to safety back to the earth!
Thus, Jataayu Mahaaraaja narrates all this to Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana and assures them that he would be of immense help till the time they stayed at Panchavati. Jataayu Maharaja warns them that this area is often attacked by the Raakshasaas (Demons) and advised them to be vigilant and careful.
Rama acknowledges Jataayu Maharaja’s words and blesses him. Thus, Jataayu Maharaja was extremely happy to meet Rama and be in the vicinity of Him. Thus, Rama, Sita and Lakshmana proceed further and finally reach Panchavati. Now Rama calls Lakshmana and says, “Oh Lakshmana! Find a good and a suitable place around this area to build a small hamlet for all of us! Find a place wherein you would be happy! Find a place wherein Sita and I would be happy as well!”
Upon hearing this, Lakshmana immediately falls on Rama’s feet and starts to weep bitterly! Rama was surprised as to why is Lakshmana weeping! I’m sure that we are also curious as to why Lakshmana started to cry suddenly! Let’s wait till the next episode with this curiosity to find out the reason! 🙂