Episode 281 – Indrajith lures Lakshmana into a trap!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed a crucial event wherein Lord Rama is finally able to kill the powerful Kumbhakarna with his shrewdness and sharpness on the battlefield. Hearing the news of Kumbhakarna’s death, Ravana could not believe his ears! He almost faints down in grief and pain, unable to digest his dear brother’s death! What wrong did his brother do? Why should he be killed this way? On one side, Ravana’s anger knows no bounds and on the other side, he is inconsolable for what has happened to his dearest brother!

As Ravana mourns Kumbhakarna’s death, Indrajith fumes in anger. He has had enough. He fumes at his father to let him go once again and show his worth in front of Rama and Lakshmana. Accordingly Ravana who is also running out of options, gives permission to his son Indrajith to go ahead! As per his father’s order, Indrajith sets out once again. All of us know that Indrajith is an expert in illusionary warfare.

Having already been to the battlefield once before, Indrajith knows the valor and the powers of Rama and Lakshmana by now. He knows that both these people are not going to be bogged down if they are together! Now Indrajith plans a strategy – Rather than directly attacking Rama and Lakshmana together he decides to try something different. What does he do? He plans to tempt Lakshmana and draw him forward for a fight! Perhaps, things might be different if the two brothers are separated and thus he could easily capture and capitalize on the situation! How does Indrajith get this plan working on the ground?

The execution is simple – Indrajith spots the apt time when Lakshmana is away from Rama for a few minutes. He now comes alone to the battlefield in a horse and roams around the vicinity of Lakshmana’s movement and tempts him. Lakshmana hears a sound near him, turns around and finds Indrajith roaming around on top of a horse!

The trap is set! Is Lakshmana going to fall into this trap? He does! The moment he sees Indrajith roaming around, he sees this as an opportunity to finish him off! Accordingly, Lakshmana immediately sets out to chase Indrajith! The trap is working exactly as Indrajith had planned! As Lakshmana commences his chase, he does not care to inform his brother Rama about this! He starts giving Indrajith a chase! As Lakshmana is chasing from behind, Indrajith rides his horse faster and faster and takes him to a far off and an isolated place! Indrajith’s ploy is working beautifully! He is now making a strong statement that he is really an expert in luring the enemy into the fight!

As the chase continues, Lakshmana nears him and with his sharp arrows, pulls down the horse and Indrajith rolls on the floor. A fierce fight commences between Lakshmana and Indrajith! Clearly, Lakshmana is proving himself to be several notches higher than Indrajith in terms of extraordinary powers. At one stage, Indrajith is at the verge of losing – But all of a sudden the scenario changes completely!

Now Indrajith uses his illusionary power and disappears from that place all of a sudden! As Lakshmana is busy only on attacking Indrajith, he did not anticipate this strategy of Indrajith! Now it is going to be Indrajith’s time! He fires arrows after arrows on Lakshmana, and at a stage wherein Lakshmana started to get defensive, Indrajith waits for this golden opportunity and fires a powerful “Asthra” on Lakshmana and ties him up!

As Lakshmana gets tied up, the “Asthra” has the capacity to induce electric shock-like waves that start stinging his body and because of this, Lakshmana falls on the ground with a huge scream! Indrajith now has Lakshmana under complete control as he falls on the ground unconscious.

What has happened here in a split of a second? Nobody could even imagine! Is Indrajith capable of defeating Lakshmana this easily? The ploy has worked very well and clearly Lakshmana has fallen into the trap! What is going to happen next? Is Lakshmana going to be reviewed back to life? Who is going to do that? The action continues in the next episode!

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Episode 280 – Lord Rama grants “Moksha” to Kumbhakarna!!!

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In the previous episode we had commenced witnessing a cracker of a battle between two greats – Lord Rama on one side and the powerful Kumbhakarna on the other! As time passes by, the fight gets more and more intense! Kumbhakarna is unable to understand the technique with which he can defeat Rama. In turn, Lord Rama is also puzzled as to how to tackle Kumbhakarna’s might! As the fight intensifies, Kumbhakarna grows into an enormous size and creates fear amongst the opposition ranks! Nobody could strategise a plan against Kumbhakarna. Even Rama’s powerful and pointed arrows are being rendered useless! Kumbhakarna is continuing to swallow hundreds and hundreds of monkeys!

At this point, Lord Rama realizes that arrows would not work against this mighty Kumbhakarna. Perhaps “Asthras” might! Now the question comes as to how would be able to use those “Asthras” against a man who is this huge a size? It is now that Lord Rama’s able and trusted messenger Hanuman comes to the rescue – The plan is quickly made!

Immediately from nowhere Hanuman jumps in front of Kumbhakarna and starts to grow into the size that is equivalent of him. As Kumbhakarna looks on, Hanuman quickly bends down, takes Lord Rama in his palms and rises up! Now Rama is able to look at Kumbhakarna more closely and is trying quickly to spot out weaknesses if any! As Rama’s shrewdness plays a key role, he immediately senses Kumbhakarna’s weakness in certain parts of his body – He immediately takes a pointed arrow and directs it towards his shoulders! The arrow multiplies into two and fire up towards Kumbhakarna’s broad shoulders. Even before Kumbhakarna could react to Rama’s arrows, his hands are cut off one by one! The Celestial beings that are witnessing this intense battle are baffled beyond words, as Kumbhakarna suffers first major damage!

As Hanuman continues to hold Rama in his palms, Lord Rama’s next target was Kumbhakarna’s thighs and legs! He again points a series of arrows towards his lower position and blasts Kumbhakarna with surprise! All these are just happening within the split of a second and within a wink of an eye! Rama’s speed knows no bounds! Unable to bare the sudden blast from Lord Rama, Kumbhakarna’s thighs are cut off too and he falls on the ground, gasping for breath and with immense pain! Now both his hands and legs are cut off from his body and we can imagine what kind of a pain is he suffering from!

As Kumbhakarna falls on the ground helpless, Lord Rama showers his unending mercy on him! It is to be noted by the readers that both Ravana and Kumbhakarna were Lord Vishnu’s doorkeepers at Vaikunta, by names Jaya and Vijaya. It is because of a curse that these two are born as Raakshasas who are enemies of Lord Vishnu.

Now that Lord Rama has neutralised Kumbhakarna, he knows that this same Kumbhakarna is none other than Vijaya from Vaikunta. It is now time for Kumbhakarna to go back to Vaikunta as Vijaya! Hence, Lord Rama shows his true form of Lord Vishnu as Kumbhakarna looks on!

This is a beautiful and an emotional scene depicted by Vaalmiki Maharishi. As Kumbhakarna sets sight on his beloved Bhagawan in full dazzling beauty, his mind flashes back on how he was forced by Ravana to go to the battlefield to fight Rama. He realizes that it was all a ploy created by Bhagawan to bring him back to Vaikunta!

Kumbhakarna is in tears! He says to Rama, “Oh Bhagawan! You have come all the way to Lanka from Ayodhya, just to liberate me to Vaikunta? This is just phenomenal and it shows how gifted and blessed I am! I just could not thank you by my words for what you’ve done to your ardent devotee! However, my only problem at the moment is that I do not have hands in my body to fold and salute you! Please do not mistake me for this!”

Saying thus, Kumbhakarna breathes his last! Lord Rama has granted him the highest “Moksha”! As Kumbhakarna passes away, Lord Rama acknowledges his sincere prayers and thanksgiving! Kumbhakarna’s devotion moves Lord Rama to tears! Upon seeing his own brother pass away in front of his eyes, how would Vibhishana feel? He falls on the ground and sobs uncontrollably as Hanuman and Sugriva try to comfort him a little bit!

As Kumbhakarna passes away, grief spreads all over Lanka and Ravana is just stunned and speechless! The whole palace is doomed with grief! Now what does Ravana do? Does he change his stance atleast now? Does he realize that he is losing person after person just because of his arrogance? We shall wait to find out in the next episode!

Episode 279 – Rama vs. Kumbhakarna – Cracker of a battle begins!!!

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Today we are at an important juncture wherein a powerful battle is going to commence. Till now we’ve seen many Raakshasas meeting their end rather too quickly under the hands of Angadha and Hanuman. These two are currently dominating the war scene with their immense and invincible strength and power! The Vaanara army is currently running away with all the winning momentum. But will this momentum shift? Who is going to try and enable the momentum shift in favor of Ravana?

As the Ravana camp is pondering over, it is now time for Kumbhakarna to step into action! He is now fully awake, thanks to all the noisy drums and trumpets doing rounds in Kumbakarna’s chamber! He sits up slowly and upon seeing his brother Ravana with a tensed face asks the reason as to why is he woken up! Ravana now addresses Kumbhakarna, “Oh brother! I’m so happy to see you awake! You are an extremely powerful and an invincible person and your success stories are enormous! Now, I’m in a situation wherein the monkeys under Rama and Sugriva are currently dominating my army! Although our army is invincible, I don’t really understand what is going wrong! Hence, I want you to go to the battlefield and teach these monkeys a lesson! So please get ready!”

Upon hearing this from Ravana, Kumbhakarna is puzzled – “Why should I go to a battlefield? What’s wrong with my brother? Why should monkeys and Rama fight with him?” However, as Kumbhakarna comes to know the entire background behind this war, he is shocked! He did not expect Ravana to be such a villain and that too to Lord Rama! Hence, instead of preparing himself to go to the battlefield, Kumbhakarna rather advises Ravana.

Kumhakarna says thus, “Oh Ravana! Till today I was thinking that you are an extremely intelligent person but now you’re proving yourself to be the negative of that! Do you know with whom you are trying to fight and win over? Do you know that person’s power and capability? Don’t you realize that you are waging a war with the Supreme Divine? How will it be possible that you would win against Lord Rama? And what have you done to him? You’ve abducted his wife! Don’t you realize the seriousness of your blunder? Hence Ravana, I’m advising you now.. Rather than fighting a listless battle with Lord Rama, surrender to him and return back Sita! This would save our entire family and clan!”

As Kumbhakarna says thus, is Ravana prepared to listen? The answer is a BIG NO!! His arrogance only increases from minute to minute! He answers Kumbhakarna back, “Oh brother! I did not know that you were such a coward till date! I thought you would be the one who would immediately jump in and support this Ravana and Lanka, but little did I know that you would ditch me like this! Your brother Vibhishana did the same and he has met with disaster! I’m warning you – If you do not budge to my order, you would meet the same end as that of Vibhishana! Now get ready to go to the battlefield!”

Hearing this, Kumbhakarna is extremely sad! He is now sure that himself along with Ravana is going to meet his end – and that too from Lord Rama’s hands! The entire Raakshasa community is going to wiped out from Lanka! However due to Ravana’s strong orders, Kumbhakarna is left with no option but to fight Lord Rama! He thus prepares himself for the battle and starts from the palace!

As Kumbhakarna arrives at the battlefield there is a terrifying sound that takes the Vaanaras aback! They’re stunned! A huge form emerges from within Lanka city and is coming towards them! As Kumbhakarna advances towards the Vaanara army, he swallows the monkeys in bulk! Hundreds of monkeys get destroyed as Kumbhakarna nears the core of the group – Rama, Lakshmana, Sugriva, Hanuman and Angadha. As per Vibhishana’s advice, it is going to be Lord Rama himself who is directly going to take on the mighty Kumbakarna!

Thus the cracker of a battle begins! Both Lord Rama and Kumbhakarna are invincible in their own ways! The battle is extremely fierce and both of them fire arrows and blows at each other! Kumbhakarna is rendering Lord Rama’s pointed arrows useless and Lord Rama is rendering Kumbhakarna’s magical powers useless! People who are witnessing the cracker are awestruck! The battle continues for hours together!

At one stage, Kumbhakarna realizes that his magical powers would not work against Lord Rama and hence he decides to deal with him physically! Kumbhakarna thus enlarges his physical form to an enormous size and stands before Rama! He challenges Rama to come and attack his huge physical form if he had the guts! Upon seeing Kumbhakarna’s huge size, Rama gets stunned for a moment! He doesn’t know how to tackle him! Surely arrows wouldn’t work! The only way to win over Kumbhakarna is to use “Asthras”! But how would be use the “Asthras” if he is unable to match Kumbhakarna’s enormous size?

As Rama thinks thus, his able and ever-dependable messenger comes to the rescue. Who is that person? Who is going to win this cracker of a battle? The action continues in the next episode!

Episode 278 – Hanuman singlehandedly kills Athikaaya, Kumba and Nikumba!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed that the war has restarted successfully as Rama and Lakshmana recover from the “Naagaasthra” of Indrajith. As the Vaanara army makes victorious sounds, Ravana is surprised and sends two of his trusted men, Vajradamshtra and Jumaali to the battlefield. As the fight goes on fiercely, Angadha and Hanuman take the lead and kill both these Raakshasaas.

As this message reaches Ravana, he immediately looks for the next alternative! He calls up another of his army chief – Athikaaya to take on the Vaanara army. Athikaaya is one of the most powerful men amongst the entire Raakshasa army. He commences his journey immediately from the palace with a huge army. Meanwhile, Ravana sends his men to Kumbakarna’s chamber to wake him up from his deep slumber.

As Athikaaya comes with a huge roaring sound, Vibhishana realizes Ravana’s war plan. He immediately engages in an active consultation with Rama, Lakshmana and Sugriva on how to tackle Athikaaya. As Athikaaya nears the battlefield, he starts to exhibit his invincible power by swallowing hundreds of monkeys at one go! As this was happening, the Vaanara army is stunned! As discussed with Vibhishana, Sugriva deputes Hanuman for the duty.

Now Hanuman comes in front of Athikaaya and stands like a rock with his huge form! The fight begins and it is too fierce a fight between the two powerful people! As we know, Hanuman is too quick to adapt and change his strategies of fighting, Athikaaya is not able to predict Hanuman’s next move! This is the time when Hanuman decides to capitalize! The right moment to capitalize is when the enemy gets confused and starts to be defensive! Thus Hanuman looks for this apt minute and unleashes a powerful blow on Athikaaya. Unable to bare the heaviness of the blow, Athikaaya falls on the ground dead! There is a stream of blood running all over the battlefield and things started to look bleak for the Raakshasa army. The Vaanaras are dominating this battle now and chipping away with all their credits! Fearing the abilities of Hanuman and Co., the rest of the Raakshasa army retreats back into Lanka and into Ravana’s palace!

Upon hearing the news of Athikaaya’s death, Ravana is stunned! How could this happen? He couldn’t believe his ears! Are Rama, Lakshmana and Sugriva more powerful than him? Doubts started to cripple his thinking power. At this moment, two of Ravana’s able ministers, Kumba and Nikumba raise up their heads in approval to go and tackle Rama’s army! As they set out, the Vaanara army has finished rejoicing and is up for the next challenge! As Kumba and Nikumba are traversing through the Vaanara army, they inflict huge damage and are searching for Rama and Lakshmana in the battlefield.

As per the quick strategy by Vibhishana, Rama and Sugriva, Hanuman again comes forward to take on these two Raakshasas singlehandedly. Again, Hanuman’s valor is extremely unplayable with and it proves too costly for both Kumba and Nikumba! They did not realize Hanuman’s extraordinary powers! For a moment they look like as if they haven’t prepared themselves adequately before taking on the Vaanaras! Hanuman easily kills both of them and thus makes a strong statement to Ravana that he alone can take on the entire Raakshasa army singlehandedly! It is to be remembered that he had already made this strong statement during his previous visit to Lanka!

Hearing this news, Ravana speeds up the “awakening process” of Kumbakarna! He has had enough by now! He personally goes to Kumbakarna’s chamber to speed things up and awaken him as early as possible. Time is running out! However, Kumbakarna is still in deep slumber as there are loads of people rushing into his chamber with drums, trumpets, etc. to get him up from sleep! As the volume of the drums and trumpets increase minute by minute, Kumbakarna’s body shows signs of movement as his sleep gets disturbed! He is now waking up! The entire set of people including Ravana himself is all in smiles as they see Kumbakarna slowly waking up!

Kumbakarna is thus awake and is apprised of the situation in which his brother Ravana is currently in! What is Kumbakarna going to do now? Is Kumbakarna ready to go for the war?

The next episode is really going to be  an action-packed one!  Stay tuned!! 🙂

Episode 277 – The war restarts –Angadha and Hanuman kill Vajradamshtra and Jumaali!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed that Mother Sita prays ardently to all the celestial beings including Lord Shiva and Goddess Paarvathi Devi. So as to answer Mother Sita’s prayers, Garuda who is the vehicle of Lord Vishnu and also the king of eagles comes to the battlefield where Rama and Lakshmana have fainted on the ground! Garuda comes and sucks out all the poison from both of them and thus Rama and Lakshmana are up on their feet again!

As the two brothers get up from the ground, the entire Vaanara camp is up on its feet! Slogans of victory are being heard all around the place! This victorious sound somehow reaches Ravana’s palace. Immediately Ravana wants to know from where is this huge sound coming. The messengers come to Ravana with the news that Rama and Lakshmana have not died! They are up and alive and thus the whole Vanara camp is celebrating! Moreover, they are ready to attack Lanka anytime!

Hearing thus, Ravana is stunned! So is Indrajith! As his father looks on at him, Indrajith is embarrassed and his anger knows no bounds! He wants to take on Rama and Lakshmana immediately! However, Ravana stops him. He wants someone else to go for the war. Whom does he send next? It is going to be “Vajradamshtra” – One of the key army chiefs of Ravana. As Vajradamshtra starts out to the battlefield, a fierce war commences again and there are of dead bodies being thrown apart in every direction. There are heavy losses to both sides! Finally as Vajradamshtra nears the core Vaanara group, Angadha decides to take him head on. A fierce fight between the two commences. Here, Angadha proves too good for Vajradamshtra and at one stage, Angadha attacks him with his powerful “Gadha” (One of the main weapons used in warfare during those times) and Vajradamshtra is heavily wounded! Now Angadha picks him up single-handedly, tosses him up and throws him to the other side of the battlefield! Unable to bear the physical fractures, Vajradamshtra falls on the ground dead!

As Angadha emerges victorious, the entire Vaanara camp stands by him and appreciates him for his valour and courageous act! As the news of Vajradamshtra’s death reaches Ravana, he quickly sends the next person from his court – Jumaali. As Jumaali comes out, a huge army of Raakshasaas accompanies him to the battlefield. The war begins again and as Lord Rama and Lakshmana look on, Hanuman goes forward to tackle Jumaali. Since Hanuman has already visited Lanka before, he knows the strengths and particularly the weaknesses of Jumaali. Thus Hanuman knows where and how to attack him. Hanuman waits for Jumaali to inch closer towards him and as he nears him, Hanuman uses his immense and invincible strength to neutralize Jumaali and throws him to death! Unable to withstand the strength of the invincible Hanuman, Jumaali too loses his life!

As yet another Raakshasa loses his life Indrajith cannot stand this anymore. He looks up at his father and requests for another chance to prove his worth. However, Ravana is still not ready to send Indrajith to the battlefield. He now wants his brother Kumbakarna to be woken up!

According to Ravana’s instruction, a huge number of people march towards Kumbakarna’s chamber with the idea of waking him up from his long hibernation! It is a known fact that Kumbakarna is asleep most of the time and it requires a special effort to wake him up from his deep slumber! What happens next? What is Kumbakarna going to do if he wakes up? The action continues in the next episode!

Episode 276 – Mother Sita’s prayer to revive Rama & Lakshmana!!!

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We are currently at a crucial juncture wherein Rama and Lakshmana have fallen down unconscious to Indrajith’s “Naagaasthra”. The poison of the missile is too powerful and intense that it has started to trickle inside their bodies. Every minute is crucial now! If Rama and Lakshmana have to be reviewed, a miracle should happen from nowhere!

At this point, Ravana goes to Ashoka Vana to convey the news to Sita that Indrajith has successfully killed Rama and Lakshmana! He is roaring with laughter as he announces this to Sita! Hearing this, Mother Sita couldn’t believe her ears! She is stunned! How can such a thing ever happen? Is this Ravana way too powerful to accomplish this?

As Sita is coming back to her senses, Ravana proposes to her that he would show the dead bodies of Rama and Lakshmana and she can see it if she wishes to! He forcefully asks her to come with him to see the ghasty sight! Mother Sita at this point is in tears and she is sobbing bitterly! She shouts out helplessly “Oh my dear Rama! Look at what kind of an end has come to you! It is only because of me that you’ve reached such a ghasty end to your life! If you weren’t married to me, maybe you would have led a better life! I have just been a disgrace to your life! It is because of me you’ve suffered and finally how am I going to witness you in this deplorable condition?” At this point, Mother Sita gives in to Ravana’s words and believes that Rama is no more!

As Sita was crying bitterly thus, Ravana makes her to enter into the “Pushpaka Vimana”. Vibhishana’s daughter Trijadha (about whom we’ve already discussed in one of the episodes during Sundara-Kaanda) is accompanying Mother Sita in the “Pushpaka Vimana”. She now consoles Sita and says, “Oh Mother! Please do not believe in Ravana’s words! Rama is very much alive! I’m saying this because if you had become a widow, you would not be able to step into this Pushpaka Vimana at all! This is a divine thing and one cannot step inside this Vimaana if he or she is a widower or a widow!”

Listening to this, Mother Sita gets half of her breath back! Now she slowly gains confidence that her husband is very much alive. Now as she nears the battlefield, she sees Rama and Lakshmana lying on the floor and the entire Vaanara army including Hanuman around them. They are clueless as to what is going to happen next!

At this point, Mother Sita musters up her courage, anger and confidence and prays to Lord Shiva, Goddess Paarvathi (Lord Shiva’s consortium) and all the Celestial Beings! She prays thus – “If it is true that this Sita is a sincere “Pathi-Vrath” and if it true that Rama loves this Sita with all his heart, please protect my beloved husband and bring him back to his normalcy! If Rama has to win over the “Adharma” please make him get up from this state!”

As Mother Sita prays thus, immediately the king of eagles, Lord Garuda responds to her prayers! It is to be remembered that Garuda is the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. (Lord Rama is the incarnate of Lord Vishnu). Seeing his Lord in trouble, Garuda comes from nowhere! He rushes towards his Lord! As it is known that eagles are the enemies of snakes and the eagle has the capacity to neutralize the snake’s poison, Garuda comes near Lord Rama and Lakshmana, sucks out all the poison from their bodies, neutralizes the poison and flies away! What a miracle!

As the poison is getting neutralized, Lord Rama and Lakshmana slowly get back to their senses! They are up and running now! Upon seeing this, the entire Vaanara camp starts rejoicing! They shout slogans of victory upon seeing Rama and Lakshmana getting up from the ground! As Rama gets up, he acknowledges Garuda’s timely help and blesses him! Garuda returns to Vaikunta.

As the Vaanaras are up and excited, they are getting ready to face Ravana and Co. again! For today, we shall also rejoice the “almost re-birth” of Lord Rama and Lakshmana and keep praying for their victory over “Adharma”! Who is going to come to attack the Vaanara army next? What is the next set of events? The action continues in the next episode! 🙂

Episode 275 – Indrajith poisons Rama & Lakshmana with his “Naagaasthra”!!!

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In the previous episode we’ve seen that the war between Rama’s and Ravana’s troops have begun and is getting fiercer by the minute! Eventually we had also seen that this war chugs on for the next seven days and nights continuously without a break!

As the war begins, both the troops try to show their valor by fighting it out with each other. Ravana initially sends one of his able ministers, Brihsastha, who is neutralized by Hanuman and Co. Next comes one of Ravana’s major powerhouses – Indrajith. Also called by the name “Meghanaadha”, he is known for his expertise in illusionary warfare. This means that he can hide is physical form from the vision of the opponent and yet fight with the same amount of valor.

As Indrajith comes for the war, Rama and Lakshmana prepare to take him on. The fight begins and it is a fierce one! Indrajith fires arrows after arrows, which were completely neutralized by Rama and Lakshmana! At one point, Indrajith could not match the valor of Rama and Lakshmana. He starts to realize that he is going to be defeated by them in no time and thinks of a different strategy – Here comes the illusionary tactics!

As the fight is progressing at a brisk pace, Indrajith suddenly disappears from the spot! Upon seeing this, Rama and Lakshmana are taken aback! They did not expect such a cunning tactics! As Indrajith senses that Rama and Lakshmana are clueless, he starts firing powerful arrows towards them! However, given Lord Rama’s invincibility, he still manages to counter Indrajith’s powerful arrows somehow!

Now Indrajith strategizes – “Oh! It is not going to be possible for me to neutralize these two brothers with arrows! The only way to neutralize them is with “Asthras” (missiles)! Which is that “Asthra” that can be employed now? The best “Asthra” that can fit this situation is the “Naagaasthra”, which is extremely powerful and poisonous like that of a cobra!”

Thinking thus, Indrajith chants the manthra of the “Naagaasthra” and fires it at both Rama and Lakshmana! Unable to take it on, both Rama and Lakshmana are tied by this “Naagaasthra” and they fall on the ground! Not only do they fall on the ground, the poison of the missile starts entering into their bodies and it makes them unconscious! As mentioned before, this poison is extremely powerful that it spreads into Rama and Lakshmana rather too quickly before any remedial measure can be taken!

As the two brothers fall on the ground, the entire Vaanara camp rushes towards them! To their utter grief and disbelief, as Hanuman tries to wake up Rama, he doesn’t succeed! Rama and Lakshmana are now completely unconscious! The entire Vaanara army is in despair and clueless as to how to proceed further! They’ve started to taste defeat – That too, so easily!

On the other side, as Rama and Lakshmana fall on the ground unconscious, celebrations begin in the Raakshasa camp! Indrajith is full of victorious laughter! Even though Rama and Lakshmana are just unconscious, Indrajith quickly concludes that he has killed both of them with the “Naagaasthra” and thus straightaway goes to father Ravana to convey the “good news”!

Upon hearing this “good news” from his son, Ravana is overwhelmed! He feels relieved that atlast his enemy has been neutralized – And that too, so easily! The celebrations begin! The first thing that Ravana does now is to convey this news to Sita! He immediately rushes out to the Ashoka Vana and says to Sita, “Oh Sita! Now you have every reason to marry me and be my wife! Rama is no more! Lakshmana is dead! So what are you waiting for? If you want, I shall show you the dead bodies of Rama and Lakshmana lying on the battlefield!!”

Hearing this, Sita is stunned! This was the worst news that she could get at this testing time of her life! Is it true? Does she believe Ravana’s words? What happens next? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out!

Episode 274 – The fierce battle begins!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed that Lord Rama is sending Angadha as a messenger to Ravana as a final attempt to broker peace. However, Ravana is not willing to relent from his stance and thus this attempt too met with a deadlock! Now there is no other option other than fighting it out physically!

As Angadha comes back he conveys Ravana’s stance to Rama and thus the decision is made – The war is to commence!

“Gaganam gaganaakaaram saagarah saagaropamam!”

Thus from this point onwards, Vaalmiki Maharishi starts to give a step-by-step accord of the various events that happened during the war. He starts by exclaiming that the build up to the battle is so fierce that even the ocean and the earth and the sky cannot be equal to the magnitude of the battle!

The two sides are getting ready to fight it out. Ravana instructs his troops to follow certain important protocols and similarly Rama and Lakshmana are strategizing their moves to counter Ravana’s troops. There are several gates that lead into Lanka city, as described by Vaalmiki Maharishi. Lord Rama and Sugriva are strategizing as to which gate should be attacked first and who would attack which gate!

As the strategy is planned out, the fierce battle commences. The war goes on for seven continuous days, irrespective of day and/or night! If we compare this with the war that took place in Mahabharata, the war doesn’t happen after sunset. However, the war that we are witnessing here in the Ramayana happens irrespective of day or night!

As the Vaanaras get ready and storm gate after gate, the Raakshasas give it back to them. There is heavy loss of lives on both sides. At one stage, Ravana’s army proves no match to the valor of the Vaanaras’. At this point, the seniors in the team in the likes of Sugriva, Angadha, Hanuman, Jaambhavaan step up their abilities and fight it out. Brihastha (Ravana’s able minister) comes and throws everything that he has got, on the Vaanara army. As the Vaanara army struggles to take him on, Hanuman intervenes and shows his immense strength during the fierce fight. Thus Hanuman’s strength proves no match for Brihastha and his army and thus eventually he gets killed!

As Ravana hears the news that Brihastha has perished, he calls out his son Indrajith to take over the war proceedings. Indrajith is known for his expertise in illusionary warfare. He can fool the enemy with his war tactics and take them on with ease! Indrajith now comes to the battlefield with a huge army to support him. A fierce battle commences between Indrajith and Lord Rama and Lakshmana! Lord Rama’s arrows are so pointed and powerful that Indrajith is unable to withstand it. At this point, it seems that Indrajith is clearly loosing the battle, but however he is now shrewd enough to employ his illusionary powers and suddenly disappears from the place!

As Indrajith disappears, Rama and Lakshmana are not able to trace him out – However, arrows kkeep coming towards them! They can hear Indrajith’s roar of laughter, but are uable to trace out from where is this laughter coming! What happened next? Is Indrajith able to win over Rama and Lakshmana? The action continues in the next episode!

Episode 280 – Lord Rama in Lanka – Sends Angadha as his messenger to Ravana!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed that the bridge is getting constructed in full swing, with the help of Nala and the other Vaanaras and squirrils. The work of building a bridge of 100 yojanas is completed within five days! Such was the speed at which the work took place! Not even a single minute was wasted!

As the bridge is complete, Lord Rama along with Lakshmana and the other Vaanaras march across and finally set their feet in Lanka’s soil! As the entire Vaanara army reaches Lanka, this signals alarm bells for Ravana and Co. Ravana is totally surprised and shocked for a moment that his Lanka is made accessible! Initially he was confident that nobody could access Lanka because of its geographical isolation. But now, this confidence has been breached!

As Lord Rama sets his feet in Lanka, he doesn’t intend to invade the place straight away. He again wants to test if Ravana is ready to broker peace with him. Hence he decides to give him another chance of respite – He again sends a messenger to Ravana. Who is that messenger this time? It’s none other than Angadha himself, who is Sugriva’s deputy!

As Lord Rama turns towards Angadha with this intention, Angadha immediately understands what Rama wants him to do! He immediately sets out for the task and hurries his way into Ravana’s magnificient palace. Thus Angadha presents himself in front of Ravana in his courtroom and starts his narration – He talks about his father, Vaali! As Ravana listens on, he thinks within himselves, “Oh wow! Just a few days back we had one monkey talking about this Vaali! Now there is another with the same story! What’s going on here?” 🙂

As Ravana is feeling the fear building within him, Angadha is now quick enough to change the story. He now talks about a person by name “Kaartha-Veerya”. Angadha narrates this story to Ravana – I shall keep it to a small brief for our readers!

Angadha says to Ravana, “Oh Ravana! There was once upon a time a person by name “Kaartha-Veerya” in the banks of the river Narmadha. He had a thousand hands! He once blocked the whole Narmadha river with his thousand hands! At that time you were offering your prayers to Lord Shiva on the riverbank. Because of Kaartha-Veerya’s blockage, the water in the river started to flow in the reverse direction towards you! You got angry because of this act and hence went to fight out this Kaartha-Veerya. At that time, Kaartha-Veerya held you hostage just like how an insect is held hostage by a human being! Moreover, Kaartha-Veerya ditched you into a cage and kept the cage as an “Exhibition piece” in front of his place and insulted you! I know this Kaartha-Veerya very well, however I wonder if this Ravana is the same guy who was caged by him!”:)

Now Ravana is totally puzzled! Previously Hanuman insulted him by taking Vaali’s name and now this Angadha is insulting him by taking Kaartha-Veerya’s name!

Angadha continues.. “Oh Ravana! Lord Parasuraama destroyed this Kaartha-Veerya with a single arrow! And it was this Parasuraama who was neutralized by our Lord Rama with just a single arrow! And it is with this Lord Rama that you are intending to mess up with! I’ve come here as the second messenger from Rama! I warn you again! Please bring back Sita to Rama! If you don’t follow what I say, you shall meet the same end as what Kaartha-Veerya and Parasurama met with!”

Does Ravana relent atleast now? Does he realize that he is committing blunder after blunder of all sorts? Does he realize that just because of his desire, he is going to hold the entire Lanka as a hostage and destroy the whole city? Let’s wait to find out in the following episodes!

Episode 272 – The bridge construction begins!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed that Samudra Raaja makes his appearance in front of Lord Rama and seeks apology for his delay! In turn, Rama too accepts his apology and asks him for a solution to cross over the ocean to reach Lanka. Accordingly Samudra Raaja gives some important tips as to how to build a bridge across the ocean to cross over. What are those tips? Let us witness them today!

Now Samudra Raaja says,

“Ugra darshana karmaanaha bhavasthathra dasyavaha!

Ayam soumya nalo naama tanayo vishwa karmanaha!!

Yesha sethum mahothsaahaha karothumayi vaanaraha!

Pithraa datthavarasshreemaan preethimaan vishwa karmanaha!!”

From the above two slokas, Samudr Raaja instructs the important technique: “Oh Rama and Sugriva! Amongst your huge group of monkeys, there is one by name “Nala”. If this Nala touches each stone that is to be used to build the bridge, these stones would be able to float in the water and not sink down! Hence oh Lord! Please call upon Nala and you may start the work immediately!”

Now that the technique is loud and clear, all the Vaanaras gear up to explore the places nearby from where they would get hard rocks. They go about in different directions to explore through mountains, cliffs and hills to unearth huge rocks from there to build the bridge. There is now a huge chain of monkeys aligned one after the other, passing all the stones one by one from the source to the destination. Since innumerable monkeys are involved in the task, the job gets done in a jiffy! Nala stands at the edge of the shore near the water, and as each of the stone passes through him, he touches them with his hands and passes it by! As per the words of “Samudra Raaja” and to their utter amazement, as Nala touches each stone and gives, every stone starts to float in the water!

Thus, one set of monkeys start breaking down cliffs and mountains to unearth the stones. Another group of monkeys start to pass each stone to the shore through the “monkey-chain” 🙂 One set of monkeys started to assemble the stones over the water. As the monkeys are busy building the bridge, the squirrels that are present in the vicinity start to think within themselves, “Oh wow! These monkeys are doing a lethargic work! The stones are here, but who will pave them on the water together? Let’s all do it together!” Thus the squirrels also involve themselves in the “Raama-Kainkarya” (Service to Bhagawan). It is very important to note here that even animals are actively involving themselves in the service to the Lord! Where are we? What are we human beings doing today?

Thus the squirrels enter into the water, wet their backs, go into the sand, roll over and comes in between each stone and spreads the sand from their backs! What a service! As the squirrels do this, they look up to the monkeys and say, Oh Monkeys! You are all doing the job very slow! Push through all the stones quickly!” Hearing this, Hanuman is surprised and he asks back, “Who is asking whom? Look who is commanding us!”

Upon this, one of the squirrels lifts its head up and replies Hanuman, “Oh Monkey! What you’re saying is wrong! The one who paves is the boss and the ones who transport the materials are the subordinates! It is for this reason that we are pressurising you! Here, you monkeys are the subordinates of us because you are transporting all the rocks and stones and we are the bosses here because we are paving the stones! Hence, bring all the stones quickly without wasting even a minute!” Hearing this from these small squirrels Hanuman is heart-touched! “This is what is Bhakthi! My Bhakthi towards Rama is never going to be equal to these innocent squirrls’!” Thus, the squirrels’ level of devotion overwhelms Hanuman!

Now Vaalmiki Maharishi explains the time taken for the construction to be completed – Day 1: 14 Yojanas, Day 2: 20 Yojanas, Day 3: 21 Yojanas, Day 4: 22 Yojanas and Day 5: 23 Yojanas! Thus a total of 100 Yojanas are covered within just five days!

As the bridge is complete, Lord Rama and Lakshmana are extremely happy with the wonderful efforts from the Vaanaras! Now all of them are ready to cross the ocean through the newly constructed bridge! For today, let us also travel along with Rama, Lakshmana and the Vaanaras across the bridge to reach Lanka! The action continues further in the next episode! 🙂