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Ravana - Hindu FAQs

Ravana (रावण) is the main antagonist in Ramayana. He was a Rakshasa, King of Lanka and the greatest devotee of lord Shiva. He was a great schoar, capable ruler, mastero of Veena. He was described to have ten heads, Which represents his knowledge of four vedas and six shastras. His main ambition was to defeat and dominate all the devas. He kept Lord Shani as his prisoner. He kidnapped Lord Rama’s wife Sita as a revenge for having cut of his sisters Shurpanakha’s nose by Lakshmana.

Ravana - Hindu FAQs
Ravana Photo Credits: To the Owner

Ravana was a son of Vishrava (son of Pulastya) and Kaikesi (daughter of Sumali and Thataka).
He had six brothers and two sisters.

1. Lord Kubera – Vaishravana or Kuber was an older half brother of Ravana. He got a boon from Lord brahma to be a Guardian of Heavenly Wealth. He was the ruler of lanka before he was overthrown by Ravana.

2. Vibhishana – He was a younger brother of Ravana, and a noble character, spoe without fear and kind hearted brother who adviced Ravana to return Sita to Lord Rama uphold Dharma or get ready to bare the consequences. When his brother did not listen to his advice, Vibhishana joined Rama’s army. Later, when Rama defeated Ravana, Rama crowned Vibhishana as the king of Lanka. A great follower of Lord Ram and one of the most important characters in the Ramayana.

3. Kumbhakarna – He was a younger brother of Ravana, He was considered so pious, jovial, intelligent and unchallenged warrior in battle that Indra, the king of gods, was jealous of him and his strength. When he was asking for a from Lord Brahma, his tongue was tied by goddess Saraswati, who was acting on Indra’s request; because of which, he intended to ask for Nirdevatvam(annihilation of Devas) and instead asked for Nidravatvam(sleep). His request was granted. However, his brother Ravana asked Brahma to undo this boon as it was in reality a curse. Lord Brahma mitigated the power of the boon by making Kumbhakarna sleep for six months and being awake for rest six months of a year. During the war with Lord Ram, Kumbhakarna was untimely awakened from his sleep. He tried to persuade Lord Ravana to open negotiations with Lord Ram and return Sita to him. But he too failed to mend the ways of Lord Ravana. However, bound by a brother’s duty, he fought on the side of Lord Ravana and was killed in the battlefield.

kumbhakaran - HinduFAQs
Kumbhakaran, Photo Credits: To the owner

4. King Khara – Khara was a king of Janasthan, the northern kingdom of Lanka in the mainland. He had a son, Makaraksha, fought on his uncle, Ravana’s side, and was killed by Rama.

5. Dushana Who was killed by Rama.

6. King Ahiravan – King of the Underworld ruled by the rakshasas, Ahiravana was the son of sage Vishrava whi kidnapped Rama and Lakshmana to scarifice them to goddess Mahamaya. But Hanuman saved their life by killing Mahiravana and his army.

7. Kumbhini – Sister of Lord Ravana and the wife of the demon Madhu, King of Mathura, she was the mother of Lavanasura (an Asura who was killed by Shatrughna, the youngest brother of Lord Ram).

8. Surpanakha – Rishi Vishrava and his second wife, Kaikesi was the sister of Lord Ravana. She was beautiful as her mother and she also secretly married the Danava prince Vidyutjihva.

 

Ravana Had 7 sons from his 3 wives.
He had seven sons from his three wives:

1. Meghnaad who was also known as Indrajit because he defeated Lord Indra, He was the most powerful son of Ravana.

Indrajeet - Hindu FAQs
Indrajeet – Son of Ravana was a Atimaharati Credits : jubjubjedi.deviantart.com

2. Atikaya who was the younger brother of Indrajit and was extremely powerful. Once upon a time when he infuriated Lord Shiva atop Mount Kailasha, the deity hurled his Trishul at Atikaya, but Atikaya caught the Trishul in mid air and folded his hands before the lord in a humble manner. Lord Shiva was pleased at seeing this, and benevolently blessed Atikaya with the secrets of archery and divine weapons. Due to his extraordinary skills and superiority, he had to be slain by Lakshmana.

3. Akshayakumara the youngest son of Lord Ravana whofought valiantly with Lord Hanuman. Though highly impressed by the young Akshaykumara’s valor and skills, Lord Hanuman had to kill him in the war against adharma.

4. Devantaka who was killed by Lord Hanuman during the war.

5. Narantaka who as in charge of an army consisting of 720 million rakshas (demons). He with his army were eventually killed by the monkey prince Angada, Son of Bali.

6. Trishira He engaged Lord Ram in a fight and hit him with a number of arrows. At this Lord Ram told him that the arrows were nothing but like flowers being showered on his body. Thereafter, a duel ensued, in which Lord Ram killed Trishira.

7. Prahasta Chief Commander of Lord Ravana’s army in Lanka. He was killed by Lakshamana. Prahastha was reborn as Purochana in the Mahabharata as Duryodhana’s trusted aide and who was responsible for the Lakshagraha incident.

 

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Lord Rama - Hindu FAQs

King Dasharatha (दशरथ) was a decendant of King Raghu, son of King Aja and Indumati, King of Ayodhya of Ikshvaku Dynasty and Father of Lord Rama.
The The history of his dynasty is elaborated upon by Valmiki in Ramayana.

Dasharatha had three wives.
Kausalya was the eldest. She was the simplest, kndest and most understanding of all.
Kaikeyi was the second wife, The most beautiful and cunning. She was the one who convinced King Dasharatha to send lord Rama to forest for 14 years (Vanvasa)
Sumitra was the third wife. She was the most intelligent and wise of them all.

Dasharatha had 1 daughter and four sons.

1. Shanta: Shanta was a daughter of the Raja Dasharatha and sister of Lord Rama. She was later given in adoption to Raja Romapada, king of Anga. She was well educated in Veda knowledge, Art, Craft and warfare. She was married to Rishyasringa who also performed a putra kameshthi yajna for Dashratha after which Dasharatha was blessed by four sons: Rama, Bharata, and the twins Lakshmana and Shatrughna.

2. Rama: Rama or Ramachandra is a major Hindu diety and the seventh incarnation (Avatar) of lord Vishnu. Rama was born to Kaushalya. Rama was married to Sita, daughter of King Janaka of Videha. He slayed demon king Ravana, the king of Lanka and freed his wife Sita who was kdnapped. He had two sons, Lava and Kusha.

Lord Rama - Hindu FAQs
Lord Rama – Hindu FAQs

3. Bharat: Bharat or Bharata was born to Kaikeyi. Bharata was the younger brother of Rama, and a symbol of dharma and idealism. Some legends say that While Rama was incarnation of Vishnu, Bharata was an incarnation of Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra. Bharat was married to Mandavi,daughter of Kushadhwaja and Chandrabhaga, brother of King Janaka of Mithila and hence a cousin of Sita.

4. Lakshmana: Sumitra gave birth to Lakshmana and Shatrughna, the twins. Lakshman, also known as Lakhan or Soumitra was the closest companion of Lord Rama. When Rama is considered to be the incarnation of Vishnu and Bharat as Sudarshana Chakra, Lakshman is considered to be an avatar of Shesha or Sheshnaag, the 1000 headed serpent. Lakshmana was married to Urmila, Sita’s younger sister.They had two sons-Angad and Chandraketu. He also served Rama and Sita reverently during the exile.

5. Shatrughna: Shatrughna was the youngest brother of Lord Rama and a twin brother of Lakshmana. He was the slayer of Lavanasura the demon King of Mathura, who was a nephew of Ravana. He was married to Princess Shrutakirti, the third daughter of King Kusadhvaja.

 

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Rathi Maharathi - Hindu FAQs

According to Hindu mythology there are 5 classes of warrior excellence.

  1. Rathi: A warrior capable of attacking 5,000 warriors simultaneously.
  2. Atirathi: A warrior capable of contending with 12 Rathi class warriors or 60,000
  3. Maharathi’s: A warrior capable of fighting 12 Atirathi class warriors or 720,000
  4. Atimaharathi’s: A warrior capable of fighting 12 Maharathi warriors simultaneously
  5. Mahamaharathi’s: A warrior capable of fighting 24 Atimaharathi’s simultaneously

Famous Rathis in hindu mythology are

1. Somadatta – Father of Bhurishrava

2. Shakuni – Kaurava’s maternal uncle and a master mind behind Kurukshetra war.

shakuni - Hindu FAQs
Credits: www.nynjbengali.com

3. Shishupala – Shri Krishna’s cousin

4. Vrishasena – Son of Karna

Famous Atirathis in Hindu mythology are

1. ShalyaThe fourth commander-in-chief of the Kaurava alliance

2. Kripacharya – Teacher and family priest of Kuru dynasty.

3. Yuyutsu – The only son of Dhritarashtra who survived the Kurukshetra war.

4. Drishtadyumna – Commander of the Pandava army during the Kurukshetra War

5. Ghatotkacha – Son of Bhima

6. Angada – Most feared warrior in Ramayana, He was son of Bali and Tara and nephew of Sugriva.

angad - Son of Bali - Hindu FAQs
Angada – Son of Bali was an Atirathi

7. Duryodhana, Jayadhradha, Dusassana, Vikarna, all 97 brothers of Duryodhana, Yudhishtir, Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva

Bhima - The Hindu FAQs
Bhima – 2nd brother of pandavas was a Atirathi. Pic Credits : Molee arts

Famous Maharathis from Hindu mythology are:

1. Parshurama – Sixth incarnation of Lord vishnu.

2. Lord Rama – King of Ayodhya

3. Kumbhakarna -Brother of Ravana

4. Lakshmana – Brother of Lord Rama

5. Ravana – King of Lanka

6. ArjunaHe is the third of the five Pandava brothers

Arjuna - Hindu FAQs
Arjuna – 3rd brother of pandavas was a Maharathi PicCredits: Molee Art

7. Lava & Kusha – Sons of lord Rama

8. Hanuman, Sugriva, Jambavan, Vali, Bhishma, Drona, Ashwatthama, Abhimanyu, Lord Krishna, Balrama, Lord Narasimha.

Bhishma - Hindu FAQs
Bhishma was a Maharathi PicCredits: Molee Art

Famous Atimaharathis from Hindu mythology are:

1. Indrajeet – Son of Ravana

Indrajeet - Hindu FAQs
Indrajeet – Son of Ravana was a Atimaharati Credits : jubjubjedi.deviantart.com

Famous Mahamaharathis from Hindu mythology are:

1. Lord Brahma – The creator

Brahma - The creator | Hindu FAQs
Brahma – The creator

2. Vishnu – The preserver

3. Shiva – The destroyer

Shiva the Destroyer | Hindu FAQs
Shiva the Destroyer

4. Durga – The warrior goddess

Durga - Hindu FAQs
Durga

5. Ganesha & kartikeya – Sons of Shiva and Parvati

 

Disclaimer: All images, designs or videos in this page are copyright of their respective owners. We don’t own have these images/designs/videos. We collect them from search engine and other sources to be used as ideas for you. No copyright infringement is intended. If you have reason to believe that one of our content is violating your copyrights, please do not take any legal action as we are trying to spread the knowledge. You can contact us directly to be credited or have the item removed from the site.

 

12 common characters from Ramayana and Mahabharata

 

There are many characters who appears both in Ramayana and mahabharata. Here it the list of 12 such characters who appears in both Ramayana and Mahabharata.

1) Jambavanth: who was in Rama’s army wants to fight with Rama in Tretha yuga, fought with Krishna and asked Krishna to marry his daughter Jambhavathi.
the king of bears in Ramayan, who plays a major role, during the building of the bridge, appears in the Mahabharat, technically speaking the Bhagavatam I would say. Apparently, during Ramayan, Lord Ram, was pleased with Jambavanth’s devotion and told him to ask for a boon. Jambavan being of slow understanding, wished for a duel with Lord Ram, which he granted, saying that it would be done in his next avatar. And that is the entire story of Symanthaka Mani, where Krishna goes in search of it, meets Jambavan, and they have a duel, before Jambavan finally recognizes the truth.

jambavantha | Hindu FAQs
jambavantha

2) Maharishi Durvasa: who predicted the separation of Rama and Sita was the son of Maharishi Atri and Anasuya, visited the Pandavas in exile.. Durvasha gave a mantra to Kunti, the mother of eldest 3 Pandavas for getting children .

Maharishi Durvasa
Maharishi Durvasa

 

3) Narad Muni: Comes in many occasions in both stories. In Mahabharata he was one of the Rishis attended to Krishna’s peace talks in Hastinapur.

Narad Muni
Narad Muni

4) Vayu Dev: Vayu  is father of both Hanuman and Bheema.

Vayu Dev
Vayu Dev

5) Vasishtha’s son Shakthi: had a son called Parasara and Parasara’s son was Veda Vyasa, who wrote the Mahabharata .  So this means Vasishtha was the great grandfather of Vyasa.  Brahmarshi Vasishtha lived from the time of Satyavrata Manu, to the time of Sri Rama.  Sri Rama was Vasistha’s student.

6) Mayasura: the father of Mandodari and Ravan’s father in law, appears in the Mahabharat too, during the Khandava Dahana incident. Mayasura was the only one to survive the burning of the Khandava forest, and when Krishna finds this out, he lifts his Sudarshan Chakra to kill him. Mayasura however rushes to Arjun, who gives him refuge and tells Krishna, that he is now sworn to protect him. And so as a deal, Mayasura, himself an architect, designs the entire Maya Sabha for the Pandavas.

Mayasura
Mayasura

7) Maharishi Bharadwaja: Drona’s father was the Maharishi Bharadwaja, who was the pupil of Valmiki, who wrote Ramayana.

Maharishi Bharadwaja
Maharishi Bharadwaja

 

8) Kubera: Kubera, who is the elder half brother of Ravana, is also in Mahabharata.

Kubera
Kubera

9) Parshuram: Parushuram, who appeared in Ram and Sita marriage, is also Guru to Bhishma and Karna. Parshuram was in the Ramayan, when he challenged Lord Ram to break the Vishnu Dhanush, which also in  a way, quelled his anger. In the Mahabharat he initially has a duel with Bhishma, when Amba seeks his help in taking revenge, but loses to him. Karna later poses as a Brahmin in order to learn about weapons from Parashuram, before exposing himself, and being cursed by him, that his weapons would fail him when he needed them the most.

Parshuram
Parshuram

10) Hanuman: Hanuman being the Chiranjivi( blessed with eternal life), appears in the Mahabharat, he also happens to be Bhim’s brother, both of them son of Vayu. The tale of Hanuman quelling Bhim’s pride, by appearing as an old monkey, when he was on the journey to get the Kadamba flower. Also another tale in the Mahabharat, of  Hanuman and Arjun having a bet of who was stronger, and Hanuman losing the wager thanks to help of Lord Krishna, due to which he appears on Arjun’s flag during the Kurukshetra war.

Hanuman
Hanuman

11) Vibheeshana: Mahabharata mentions that Vibheeshana sent Jewell and Gems to Yudhisthira’s  Rajasuya sacrifice. That is the only mention about Vibheeshana in  Mahabharata.

Vibheeshana
Vibheeshana

12) Agastya Rishi: Agastya Rishi Met Rama before the war with Ravana. Mahabharata mentions that Agastya was the one who gave the weapon “Brahmashira” to Drona. (Arjuna and Aswatama had obtained this weapon from Drona)

Agastya Rishi
Agastya Rishi

Credits:
Image credits to the Original artists and Google Images. The hindu FAQs does not own any Images.

 

 

 

Panchamukhi Hanuman

Sri Hanuman assumed Panchamukhi or five-faced form to kill Ahiravana, a powerful rakshasa black-magician and practitioner of the dark arts during the Ramayana war.

Panchamukhi Hanuman
Panchamukhi Hanuman

In the Ramayana, during the battle between Rama and Ravana, when Ravana’s son Indrajit is killed, Ravana calls his brother Ahiravana for help. Ahiravana, the king of Patala (the Underworld), promises to help. Vibhishana somehow manages to hear about the plot and warns Rama about it. Hanuman is put on guard and told not to let anyone into the room where Rama and Lakshmana are. Ahiravana makes many attempts at entering the room but all of them are thwarted by Hanuman. Finally, Ahiravana takes the form of Vibhishana and Hanuman lets him enter. Ahiravana quickly enters and takes the “sleeping Rama and Lakshmana” away.

Makardhwaja, Hanuman's Son
Makardhwaja, Hanuman’s Son

When Hanuman realizes what has happened, he goes to Vibhishana. Vibhishana says, “Alas! They have been abducted by Ahiravana. If Hanuman does not rescue them fairly quickly, Ahiravana will sacrifice both Rama and Lakshman to Chandi.” Hanuman goes to Patala, the door to which is guarded by a creature, who is half Vanara and half reptile. Hanuman asks who he is and the creature says, “I am Makardhwaja, your son!” Hanuman is confused since he did not have any child, being an adept Brahmachari. The creature explains, “While you were jumping over the ocean, a drop of your semen(veeriya) fell to the ocean and into the mouth of a mighty crocodile. This is the origin of my birth.”

After defeating his son, Hanuman enters Patala and encounters Ahiravana and Mahiravana. They have a strong army and Hanuman is told by Chandrasena that the only way to vanquish them is by blowing out five different candles located in five different directions, all at the same time in return for a promise to be Lord Rama’s consort. Hanuman assumes his five-headed form (Panchmukhi Hanuman) and he quickly blows out the 5 different candles and thus kills Ahiravana and Mahiravana. Throughout the saga, both Rama and Lakshmana are rendered unconscious by a spell by the demons.

Bajrangbali Hanuman slaying Ahiravana
Bajrangbali Hanuman slaying Ahiravana

The five faces with their directions are

  • Sri Hanuman  – (Facing East)
    The significance of this face is this face removes all blemishes of sin and confers purity of mind.
  • Narsimha (Facing South)
    The significance of this face is this face removes fear of enemies and confers victory. Narasimha is the Lion-Man avatar of Lord Vishnu, who took the form to protect his devotee Prahlad from his evil father, Hiranyakashipu.
  • Garuda (Facing West)
    The significance of this face is this face drives away evil spells, black magic influences, negative spirits and removes all poisonous effects in one’s body. Garuda is Lord Vishnu’s vehcile, this bird knows the secrets of death and the beyond. The Garuda Purana is a Hindu text based on this knowledge.
  • Varaha (Facing North)
    The significance of this face is this face wards off the troubles caused by bad influences of the planets and confers all eight types prosperity (Ashta Aishwarya). Varaha is another Lord Vishnu avatar, he took this form and dug up land.
  • Hayagriva – (Facing Upwards)
    The significance of this face is this face confers knowledge, victory, good wife and progeny.
Panchamukhi Hanuman
Panchamukhi Hanuman

This form of Sri Hanuman is very popular, and is also known as Panchamukha Anjaneya and Panchamukhi Anjaneya. (Anjaneya, which means “son of Anjana”, is another name of Sri Hanuman). These faces show there is nothing in the world which does not come under any the influence of any of the five faces, symbolic of his all around security to all devotees. This also signifies vigilance and control over the five directions – north, south, east, west and the upward direction/zenith.

Sitting panchamukhi hanuman
Sitting panchamukhi hanuman

There are five ways of prayer, Naman, Smaran, Keerthanam, Yachanam and Arpanam. The five faces depict these five forms. Lord Sri Hanuman always used to Naman, Smaran and Keerthanam of Lord Sri Rama. He totally surrendered (Arpanam) to his Master Sri Rama. He also begged (yachanam) Sri Rama to bless him the undivided love.

The weapons are a parashu, a Khanda, a chakra, a dhaalam, a gada, a trishula, a kumbha, a Katar, a plate filled with blood and again a big Gada.

Shri Rama and Maa Sita

This question has bothered more and more people in ‘recent’ times, women in particular because they feel abandoning a pregnant wife makes Shri Ram a bad husband, sure they do have a valid point and hence the article.
But passing such grave judgments against any human let alone God cannot be without the totality of the Karta (Doer), Karm (Act) and Neeyat (Intention).
The Karta here is Shri Ram, the Karm here is that he abandoned Mata Sita, Neeyat is the one we would explore below. To consider the totality before passing judgments is important because killing someone (Act) becomes valid when done by a soldier (Karta) because of his Neeyat (Intention) but if done by a terrorist (Karta) the same act becomes horrendous.

Shri Rama and Maa Sita
Shri Rama and Maa Sita

So, let us explore in totality how Shri Ram chose to lead his life:
• He was the first King and God in the whole world, whose first promise to his wife was that all through his life, he would never even gaze at another woman with ill intent. Now, this is not a small thing, while many beliefs allow men of polygamy even today. Shri Ram had set this trend thousands of years ago when it was common to have more than one wife, his own father Raja Dashrath had 4 wives and I hope people do give him the credit for understanding pain of women when they have to share their husband with another woman, also the respect and love that he showed towards his wife by making this promise
• The promise was the starting point of their beautiful ‘real’ relationship and built a mutual love and respect for each other, for a woman the assurance from her Husband, a Prince that he is hers for the rest of his life is a very big thing, this might be one of the reason why Mata Sita chose to go along with Shri Ram to Vanvas (Exile), for he had become the world for her, and the comforts of the kingdom were pale in comparison to the companionship of Shri Ram
• They lived affectionately in the Vanvas (Exile) and Shri Ram tried to provide all the comforts he could to Mata Sita, he genuinely wanted her to be happy. How else would you justify God himself running like an ordinary man behind a deer to please his wife? Even then, he had asked his younger brother Lakshman to take care of her; this shows that though he was acting in love he still had the presence of mind to make sure his wife would be safe. It was Mata Sita who got worried out of genuine concern and insisted Lakshman to search for his brother and ultimately crossed the Lakshman rekha (despite having been requested not to) to be abducted by Ravan
• Shri Ram got worried and cried for the first time in his life, the man who didn’t feel an iota of remorse for leaving his own Kingdom behind, only to keep the words of his father, who was the only one in the world to not only tie Shivji’s bow but break it, was on his knees pleading like a mere mortal, because he loved. Such anguish and pain can come only of genuine love and concern for the one you are worrying about
• He then got ready to take on the most powerful person in the world in his own backyard. Supported by vanar-sena, he defeated the mighty Ravan (who by many till date is considered to be the greatest Pandit of all time, he was so powerful that the Navgrahas were totally under his control) and gifted the Lanka which he had fairly won to Vibhishan saying,
जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी
(Janani Janma-bhoomi-scha Swargadapi Gariyasi) Mother and Motherland are superior to heaven; this shows he was not interested in being a King only of the land
• Now, it is important to note here that once Shri Ram frees Mata Sita, he not even once questioned her “Why did you cross the Lakshman Rekha?” because he understood how much pain Mata Sita had been through in Ashok Vatika and how much faith and patience she had shown in Shri Ram when Ravan used all sorts of tricks to scare her. Shri Ram didn’t want to burden Mata Sita with guilt, he wanted to comfort her because he loved her
• Once they got back, Shri Ram became the undisputed king of Ayodhya, probably the first democratic King, who was a clear choice of the people, to set up RamRajya
• Unfortunately, like some people questions Shri Ram today, some very similar people questioned the sanctity of Mata Sita in those days. This hurt Shri Ram very deeply, especially because he believed “Na Bhitosmi Maranaadapi kevalam dushito yashah”, I fear dishonor more than death
• Now, Shri Ram had two options 1) To be called a great man and keep Mata Sita with him, but he would not be able to stop people from questioning the sanctity of Mata Sita 2) To be called a bad husband and put Mata Sita through Agnee-Pariksha but make sure that no questions would ever be raised on the sanctity of Mata Sita in future
• He chose option 2 (as we know this is not easy to do, once a person is accused of something, whether he committed that sin or not, the stigma would never leave that person), but Shri Ram managed to wipe that off Mata Sita’s character, he made sure that no one ever in future would dare to question Mata Sita, for him the honor of his wife was more important than him being called a “good husband” the honor of his wife was more important than his own honor. As we find today, there would be hardly any sane individual who would question Mata Sita’s character
• Shri Ram suffered as much as Mata Sita after the separation if not more. It would have been very easy for him to marry someone else and lead a family life; instead he chose to keep his promise to not marry again. He chose to stay away from the love of his life and his children. The sacrifices of both are exemplary, the love and respect they showed for each other is unparalleled.

Credits:
This wonderful post is written by Mr.Vikram Singh

Lord Rama and Sita | Hindu FAQs

Rama (राम) is the seventh avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, and a king of Ayodhya. Rama is also the protagonist of the Hindu epic Ramayana, which narrates his supremacy. Rama is one of the many popular figures and deities in Hinduism, specifically Vaishnavism and Vaishnava religious scriptures in South and Southeast Asia. Along with Krishna, Rama is considered to be one of the most important avatars of Vishnu. In a few Rama-centric sects, he is considered the Supreme Being, rather than an avatar.

Lord Rama and Sita | Hindu FAQs
Lord Rama and Sita

Rama was the eldst son of Kausalya and Dasharatha, king of Ayodhya, Rama is referred to within Hinduism as Maryada Purushottama, literally the Perfect Man or Lord of Self-Control or Lord of Virtue. His wife Sita is considered by Hindus to be an avatar of Lakshmi and the embodiment of perfect womanhood.

Rama’s life and journey is one of adherence to dharma despite harsh tests and obstacles and many pains of life and time. He is pictured as the ideal man and the perfect human. For the sake of his father’s honour, Ram abandons his claim to Ayodhaya’s throne to serve an exile of fourteen years in the forest. His wife Sita and brother Lakshmana decide to join him, and all three spend the fourteen years in exile together. While in exile, Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, the Rakshasa monarch of Lanka. After a long and arduous search, Rama fights a colossal war against Ravana’s armies. In a war of powerful and magical beings, greatly destructive weaponry and battles, Rama slays Ravana in battle and liberates his wife. Having completed his exile, Rama returns to be crowned king in Ayodhya and eventually becomes emperor, rules with happiness, peace, duty, prosperity and justice a period known as Ram Rajya.
The Ramayana speaks of how the earth goddess Bhudevi, came to the creator-god Brahma begging to be rescued from evil kings who were plundering her resources and destroying life through bloody wars and evil conduct. The deva (gods) also came to Brahma fearful of the rule of Ravana, the ten-headed rakshasa emperor of Lanka. Ravana had overpowered the devas and now ruled the heavens, the earth and the netherworlds. Although a powerful and noble monarch, he was also arrogant, destructive and a patron of evil doers. He had boons that gave him immense strength and was invulnerable to all living and celestial beings, except man and animals.

Brahma, Bhumidevi and the gods worshipped Vishnu, the Preserver, for deliverance from Ravana’s tyrannical rule. Vishnu promised to kill Ravana by incarnating as a man the eldest son of Kosala’s king Dasharatha. Goddess Lakshmi took birth as Sita in order to accompany her consort Vishnu and was found by king Janaka of Mithila while he was ploughing a field. Vishnu’s eternal companion, the Shesha is said to have incarnated as Lakshmana to stay at his Lord’s side on earth. Throughout his life, no one, except a few select sages (among which are included Vasishta, Sharabhanga, Agastya and Vishwamitra) know of his destiny. Rama is continually revered by the many sages he encounters through his life, but only the most learned and exalted know of his true identity. At the end of the war between Rama and Ravana, just as Sita passes her Agni pariskha, Brahma, Indra and the gods, the celestial sages and Shiva appear out of the sky. They affirm Sita’s purity and ask him to end this terrible test. Thanking the avatar for delivering the universe from the grips of evil, they reveal Rama’s divine identity upon the culmination of his mission.

Another legend narrates that Jaya and Vijaya, the gatekeepers of Vishnu, were cursed by the Four Kumaras to be born on earth three lives; Vishnu took avatars each time to free them of their earthy existence. They as born as Ravana and his brother Kumbhakarna, who are both killed by Rama.

Also read: Some facts about Lord Rama

Initial days of Rama:
Sage Vishwamitra takes the two princes, Rama and Lakshmana, to his ashram, as he needs Rama’s help in slaying several Rakshasas that have been harassing him and several other sages living in the area. Rama’s first encounter is with a Rakshasi named Taataka, who is a celestial nymph cursed to take the form of a demoness. Vishwamitra explains that she has polluted much of the habitat where the sages reside and there will not be any contentment until she is destroyed. Rama has some reservations about killing a woman, but since Taataka poses such a big threat to the Rishis and he is expected to follow their word, he fights with Taataka and kills her with an arrow. After her death, the surrounding forest becomes greener and cleaner.

Killing Maricha and Subahu:
Vishwamitra presents Rama with several astras and sastras (divine weapons) that will be of use to him in the future, and Rama masters the knowledge of all the weapons and their uses. Vishwamitra then tells Rama and Lakshmana that soon, he along with some of his disciples, will perform a yagna for seven days and nights that will be of great benefit to the world, and the two princes must keep close watch for the two sons of Taadaka, Mareecha and Subahu, who will try to defile the yagna at all costs. The princes therefore keep a strong vigil for all of the days, and on the seventh day they spot Maricha and Subahu coming with a whole host of Raakshasas ready to pour bones and blood into the fire. Rama points his bow at the two, and with one arrow kills Subahu, and with the other arrow flings Mareecha thousands of miles away into the ocean. Rama deals with the rest of the demons. The yagna is completed successfully.

Sita Swayamwar:
Sage Vishwamitra then takes the two princes to the Swayamvara a wedding ceremony for Sita. The challenge is to string the bow of Shiva and shoot an arrow from it. This task is considered impossible for any ordinary king or living being, as this is the personal weapon of Shiva, more powerful, holy and of divine creation than conceivable. While attempting to string the bow, Rama breaks it in two. This feat of strength spreads his fame across the worlds and seals his marriage to Sita, celebrated as Vivaha Panchami.

14 years exile:
King Dasaratha announces to Ayodhya that he plans to crown Rama, his eldest child the Yuvaraja (crown prince). While the news is welcomed by everyone in the kingdom, the mind of queen Kaikeyi is poisoned by her wicked maid-servant, Manthara. Kaikeyi, who is initially pleased for Rama, is made to fear for the safety and future of her son Bharata. Fearing that Rama would ignore or possibly victimize his younger brother for the sake of power, Kaikeyi demands that Dasaratha banish Rama to a forest exile for fourteen years, and that Bharata be crowned in Rama’s place.
Rama being Maryada Purshottam, agreed to this and he leaves for 14 years exile. Lakshmana and Sita accompanied him.

Ravana kidnapped Sita:
Many pastimes took place while Lord Rama lived in the forest; however, nothing compared to when the Rakshasa king Ravana kidnapped His dear wife Sita Devi, whom He loved with all His heart. Laksman and Rama looked everywhere for Sita but could not find her. Rama thought of her constantly and His mind was distracted by grief due to her separation. He could not eat and hardly slept.

Shri Rama And Hanumana | Hindu FAQs
Shri Rama And Hanumana

While searching for Sita, Rama and Laksman saved the life of Sugriva, a great monkey king who was being hunted by his demoniac brother Vali. After that, Lord Rama enlisted Sugriva along with his mighty monkey general Hanuman and all the monkey tribes, in the search for His missing Sita.

Also read: Did Ramayana Actually Happen? Ep I : Real places from Ramayana 1 – 7

Killing Ravana:
With building a bridge over the sea, Rama with his vanaar sena crossed the sea to reach Lanka. There was a fierced battle between Rama and the Demon King Ravana. The brutal battle went on for many days and nights. At one point Rama and Laksman were paralyzed by Ravana’s son Indrajit’s poisonous arrows. Hanuman was dispatched to retrieve a special herb to heal them, but when he flew to the Himalaya Mountains he found that the herbs had hidden themselves from view. Undeterred, Hanuman lifted the whole mountaintop into the sky and carried it to the battlefield. There the herbs were discovered and administered to Rama and Laksman, who recovered miraculously from all their wounds. Shortly thereafter, Ravana himself entered the battle and was defeated by Lord Rama.

Animation of Rama and Ravana | Hindu FAQs
Animation of Rama and Ravana

Finally Sita Devi was released and great celebrations followed. However, to prove her chastity, Sita Devi entered into fire. Agni Dev, the god of fire himself, carried Sita Devi from within the fire back to Lord Rama, proclaiming to everyone her purity and chastity. Now the fourteen years of exile had ended and they all returned to Ayodyha, where Lord Rama ruled for many, many years.

Rama as per Darwin’s Theory of Evolution:
Finally, a society is evolved out of needs of humans to live, eat and co-exist. The society has rules, and is God-fearing and abiding. It is important to follow rules, rage and unsocial behaviour is cut down. Fellow humans are respected and people abide to law and order.
Rama, the complete man would be the Avatar that could be called as the perfect social human being. Rama respected and followed rules of the society. He would also respect the saints and kill those who would torment the sages and the oppressed ones.

Credits: www.sevaashram.net

parashurama | Hindu FAQs

Parshuram a.k.a Parashurama, Parashuraman  is the sixth avatar of Vishnu. He is son of Renuka and the saptarishi Jamadagni. Parshurama is one of the seven Immortals. Lord Parashuram was the Great Grandson of Bhrugu Rishi, after whom the “Bhruguvansh” has been named. He lived during the last Dvapara Yuga, and is one of the seven immortals or Chiranjivi, of Hinduism. He received an parashu(axe) after undertaking terrible penance to please Shiva, who in turn taught him the martial arts.

parashurama | Hindu FAQs
parashurama

Parashurama is most known for ridding the world of kshatriyas twenty-one times over after the mighty king Kartavirya killed his father. He played important roles in the Mahabharata and Ramayana, serving as mentor to Bhishma, Karna and Drona. Parashurama also fought back the advancing seas to save the lands of Konkan, Malabar and Kerala.

Renuka devi and the clay pot
Parshurama’s parents were great spiritual achievers his Mother Renuka devi had  command over  the water elments and his father Jamadgani over fire. its even said that Renuka devi could fetch water in the even in a wet clay pot. Once Rishi Jamadgani asked Renuka Devi to fetch water in the clay pot, some how Renuka Devi was distracted from the thought of being a women and the clay pot broke. Seeing Renuka Devi wet the enraged Jamadgani  called his son Parshurama. He ordered Parshurama to cut Renuka devi’s head. Parshuram obeyed his father. Rishi Jamadgani was so pleased with his son that he asked him for a boon. Parshurama asked Rishi Jamadgani to restore the breaths of his mother, thus Rishi Jamadgani who was the owner of Divya Shakties (divine Powers) brought back the life of Renuka Devi.
Kamdhenu Cow

Parshurama | Hindu FAQs
Parshurama

Rishi Jamadgani and Renuka Devi both were blessed not only for having Parshuram as their son but they were also given the Kamdhenu Cow. Once Rishi Jamadgani went out from  his Ashram and in the mean while some Kshatriyas (worriers) arrived at their Ashram. They were in search of food, the Ashram Devies gave them food they were so surprised to see the magical cow Kaamdhenu, the cow would give any Dish she asked for.  They were so amused and they put up the purposal of buying the cow for their king Kartavirya Sahasrarjuna, but all the Ashram sahadus (sages) and Devies refused. they forcefuly took away the cow. Parshurama killed the entire army of King Kartavirya Sahasrarjun and restored the magical cow. In Revenge Kartavirya Sahasrarjun’s son killed Jamadgani. When ParshuRama returned to the ashram he saw his father’s body . He noticed the 21 scars on Jamadgani’s body and took the pledge to kill all unjust kshatriyas 21 time on this earth. he killed all the sons of king.

Shri Parashuram left home to do devout austerities to please Lord Shiva. Considering his extreme devotion, intense desire and unmoved and perpetual meditation, Lord Shiva was pleased with Shri Parashuram. He presented Shri Parashuram with Divine weapons. Included was His unconquerable and indestructible axe shaped weapon, Parashu. Lord Shiva advised him to go and liberate the Mother Earth from felons, ill-behaved people, extremists, demons and those blind with pride.

Lord Shiva and Parshuram
Once, Lord Shiva challenged Shri Parashuram to a battle to test his skills in warfare. The spiritual master Lord Shiva and the disciple Shri Parashuram were locked in a fierce battle. This dreadful duel lasted for twenty one days. While ducking to avoid being hit by the Trident (Trishul) of Lord Shiva, Shri Parashuram vigorously attacked Him with his Parashu. It struck Lord Shiva on the forehead creating a wound. Lord Shiva was very pleased to see the amazing warfare skills of His disciple. He passionately embraced Shri Parashuram. Lord Shiva preserved this wound as an ornament so that the reputation of his disciple remained imperishable and insurmountable. ‘Khanda-parshu’ (wounded by Parashu) is one of the thousand names (for the salutation) of Lord Shiva.

Parshurama and Shiva | Hindu FAQs
Parshurama and Shiva

Vijaya Bow
Shri Parashuram, clipped the thousand arms of Sahasrarjun, one by one, with his Parashu and killed him. He repelled his army by showering arrows on them. The whole country greatly welcomed the destruction of Sahasrarjun. The king of Deities, Indra was so pleased that he presented His most beloved bow named Vijaya to Shri Parashuram. Lord Indra had destroyed demon dynasties with this bow. By the fatal arrows shot with the help of this Vijaya bow, Shri Parashuram destroyed the miscreant Kshatriyas twenty one times. Later Shri Parashuram presented this bow to his disciple Karna when he was pleased with his intense devotion to the Guru. Karna became unconquerable with help of this bow Vijaya presented to him by Shri Parashuram

In Ramayana
In Valmiki Ramayana, Parashurama stops the journey of Sri Rama and his family after his marriage to Sita. He threatens to kill Sri Rama and his father, King Dasharatha, begs him to forgive his son and punish him instead. Parashurama neglects Dasharatha and invokes Sri Rama for a challenge. Sri Rama meets his challenge and tells him that he does not want to kill him because he is a Brahmin and related to his guru, Vishwamitra maharshi. But, he destroys his merit earned through penances. Thus, Parashurama’s arrogance gets diminished and he returns to his normal mind.

Mentorship of Drona
At the end of his time in the Vedic period, Parashurama was renouncing his possessions to take sanyasi. As the day progressed, Drona, then a poor Brahmin, approached Parashurama asking for alms. By that time, the warrior-sage had already given the Brahmins his gold and Kasyapa his land, so all that was left were his body and weapons. Parushurama asked which Drona would have, to which the clever Brahmin responded:

“O son of Bhrigu, it behoveth thee to give me all thy weapons together with the mysteries of hurling and recalling them.”
—Mahabharata 7:131

Thus, Parashurama gave all his weapons unto Drona, making him supreme in the science of arms. This becomes crucial as Drona later became the guru to both the Pandavas and the Kauravas who fought against each other in the Kurukshetra War. It is said that Lord Parashurama carried Lord Vishnu’s “Sudharshana Chakra” and “Bow” and Lord Balram’s “Gadha” while they fulfill their education with Guru Sandeepani

Ekadanta
According to Puranas, Parashurama travelled to the Himalayas to pay respect to his teacher, Shiva. While travelling, his path was blocked by Ganesha, son of Shiva and Parvati. Parashurama threw his axe at the elephant-god. Ganesha, knowing the weapon had been given to Parashurama by his father, allowed it to sever his left tusk.

His mother Parvati was infuriated, and declared she would cut off the arms of Parashurama. She took the form of Durgama, becoming omnipotent, but at the last moment, Shiva was able to pacify her by making her see the avatar as her own son. Parashurama also asked her forgiveness, and she finally relented when Ganesha himself spoke on behalf of the warrior-saint. Parashurama then gave his divine axe to Ganesha and blessed him. Another name for Ganesha because of this encounter is Ekadanta, or ‘One Tooth’.

Beating back the Arabian Sea
Puranas write that the western coast of India was threatened by tumultuous waves and tempests, causing the land to be overcome by the sea. Parashurama fought back the advancing waters, demanding Varuna release the land of Konkan and Malabar. During their fight, Parashurama threw his axe into the sea. A mass of land rose up, but Varuna told him that because it was filled with salt, the land would be barren.

Parshurama Beating back the Arabian Sea | Hindu Faqs
Parshurama Beating back the Arabian Sea

Parashurama then did a tapasya for Nagaraja, the King of Snakes. Parashurama asked him to spread serpents throughout the land so their venom would neutralize the salt filled earth. Nagaraja agreed, and a lush and fertile land grew. Thus, Parashurama pushed back the coastline between the foothills of the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, creating modern day Kerala.

The coastal area of Kerala, Konkan, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, are today also known as Parashurama Kshetra or Land of Parashurama in homage. Puranas record that Parashurama placed statues of Shiva at 108 different locations throughout the reclaimed land, which still exist today. Shiva, is the source of kundalini, and it around his neck that Nagaraja is coiled, and so the statues were in gratitude for their baneful cleansing of the land.

Parshurama and Surya:
Parashurama once became annoyed with the sun god Surya for making too much heat. The warrior-sage shot several arrows into the sky, terrifying Surya. When Parashurama ran out of arrows and sent his wife Dharani to bring more, the sun god then focused his rays on her, causing her to collapse. Surya then appeared before Parashurama and gave him two inventions that have since been attributed to the avatar, sandals and an umbrella

Kalaripayattu The indian Martial Arts
Parashurama and the saptarishi Agastya are regarded as the founders of kalaripayattu, the oldest martial art in the world. Parashurama was a master of shastravidya, or the art of weaponry, as taught to him by Shiva. As such, he developed northern kalaripayattu, or vadakkan kalari, with more emphasis on weapons than striking and grappling. Southern kalaripayattu was developed by Agastya, and focuses more on weaponless combat. Kalaripayattu is known as the ‘mother of all martial arts’.
Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, also practiced kalaripayattu. When he traveled to China to spread Buddhism, he brought the martial art with him, which in turn was adapted to become the basis of Shaolin Kung Fu

Unlike other incarnations of Vishnu, Parashurama is a Chiranjivi, and is said to still be doing penance today in Mahendragiri. The Kalki Purana writes that he will reemerge at the end of Kali Yuga to be the martial and spiritual guru of Kalki, the tenth and final avatar of Vishnu. It is foretold that he will instruct Kalki to perform a difficult penance to Shiva, and receive the celestial weaponry needed to bring about end time.

Parashurama as per Theory Of Evolution:
The sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu was Parashuram, a rugged primitive warrior with a battle axe. This form could be a symbol of the cave-man stage of evolution and his usage of the axe could be seen as man’s evolution from the stone age to the iron age. Man had learnt the art of using tools and weapons and exploit the natural resources available to him.

Temples:
Parashurama is worshipped as mool purush, or founder, of the Bhumihar Brahmin, Chitpavan, Daivadnya, Mohyal, Tyagi, Shukla, Awasthi, saryupareen, Kothiyal, Anavil, Nambudiri bhardwaj and gaud Brahmin communities.

Parshurama Temple, Chiplun Maharashtra | Hindu FAQs
Parshurama Temple, Chiplun Maharashtra

Credits:
Image credits to the original Artist and Photographer

jagannath puri rath yatra - hindufaqs.com - 25 Amazing Facts about hinduism

Here are 25 Amazing facts about hinduism

1. Hinduism is the world’s 3rd largest religion closely following Christianity and Islam. However, unlike the top 2 religions, 95% of Hindus live in a single nation! Source

2. If you ask a religious Hindu, when did Krishna or Rama live – they will give an answer like 50 million years ago or some other random big number. Actually, it doesn’t matter. Because, Hindus believe in a circular time (rather than the linear time concept in the Western world).

3. Each of our time cycles has 4 main periods – the Satya yuga (golden age of innocence), Tretha Yuga, Dwapara yuga and Kali Yuga. In the last stage, people get so filthy that whole thing is cleaned up and the cycle starts all over again.

kalchakra in Hinduism | Hindu FAQs
kalchakra in Hinduism

4. Hinduism is the oldest of the major extant religions. Its fundamental book – Rig Veda was written over 3800 years ago.

5. Rig Veda was orally passed for 3500+ years in parallel. And yet, its current form has no major discrepancies. It is indeed a stupendous achievement that a major body of work can be orally passed between people in such a large nation with no loss in quality/content.

6. Unlike other major religions, Hinduism doesn’t consider the pursuit of wealth as a sin. In fact, we celebrate wealth in the form of many gods such as Lakshmi, Kubera and Vishnu. Hinduism has a 4 level hierarchy – Kama (pursuit of pleasures including sexual/sensual) – Artha (pursuit of livelihood , wealth and power), Dharma (pursuit of philosophy, religion and doing duties to society) and Moksha (liberation) and we progress from the top to bottom. This is very close to Maslow’s hierarchy and thus Hindus are natural capitalists.

GSB Seva Ganesh Ganpati near King Circle Mumbai is one of richest Mandals | Hindu FAQs
GSB Seva Ganesh Ganpati near King Circle Mumbai is one of Richest Mandals

7. Hinduism is the parent religion for 2 of the other major religions of South Asia – Buddhism and Sikhism. It is also closely associated with its sister religion – Jainism.

8. The holiest number for Hindus is 108. This is the ratio of Sun’s distance (from earth)/Sun’s diameter or Moon’s distance (from earth)/Moon’s diameter. Thus, most of our prayer beads have 108 beads.

9. Beyond India, Hinduism is the dominant religion of many exotic regions such as Nepal, Mauritius, Bali, second biggest religion of Fiji & Sri Lanka and at one point covered most of South east Asia – including Indonesia, Cambodia and Malaysia. Source

10. The Hindu epic of Mahabharatha – that is often used to teach the principles of Hinduism – is written in 1.8 million words long poem (10X the combined length of the Illiad and Odyssey)

11. Unlike all other major religions, we don’t have a founder or a prophet (like Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Mohammad or Buddha). According to Hindus, the religion has no origin (again coming back to the circular concept).

12. Unlike the popular Western conception, Yoga in Hinduism is not merely an exercise routine. It is one of the founding blocks of the religion.

13. The 4 most holiest animals for Hindus are the cow, elephant, snake and peacock (India’s national bird and a wagon of many Hindu gods) – 4 main animals of India.

14. The largest religious structures in the world – Angkor Vat in Cambodia were built by the Hindu kings of South East Asia.

Ankor Vat in Cambodia | Hindu FAQs
Angkor Vat in Cambodia

15. Hinduism has no formal Institution – no Pope, no Bible and no central body.

16. Unlike Christians or Muslims, we go to the temple at any time, any day. There are no special Sabbath, Sunday congregations or Friday prayers.

17. Hindu scriptures are organized into Vedas (poems that written in multiple levels from abstract rural level and going deeper into cosmic universe), Upanishads (scientific discourses and arguments about the world), Brahmanas (manuals for ritual performances), Aranyakas (experiments done on human mind and nature in the forests), Puranas (mythologies about Hindu gods) and Itihasas (notebooks on “historical” events”).

18. Hindus don’t mourn for anything and believe that happiness is the highest form of religious achievement. Thus, unlike most other religions there is no sad festivals for us where we are supposed to mourn.

19. Fire & Light are among the holiest of offerings for Hindus. The concept of Yajna – offering things to fire – is considered one of the highest forms of worships in Hinduism. It symbolizes the idea that everything meets its end.

Hindus Performing Yagna | Hindu FAQs
Hindus Performing Yagna

20. Hinduism’s holiest body of works – Rig Veda – talks of 33 main gods. Although most Hindus consider the Vedas as the holiest, none of those 33 gods are in mainstream worship now.  Also READ: 330Million Hindu Gods

21. Unlike other major religions, Hindu scriptures ask a number of philosophical questions and is ok with “don’t know” answer for some of them. One of the critical body of these questions is the Prashna Upanishad. unfortunately most of us cannot understand the answer to the fundamental questions posted there.

22. Hindus strongly believe in rebirth and karma. That means my next birth will be determined by my actions of this birth.

23. Hindus hold big chariot processions to carry their gods during special occasions. Some of these chariots can be huge and marauding – sometimes killing people in their path when they lose control. The biggest one of all – Jagannath – gave the English dictionary term Juggernaut -meaning the unstoppable one.

Jagannath Rath Yatra | Hindu FAQs
Jagannath Rath Yatra

24. Hindus hold Ganga as the purest of all waters and believe that bathing in it can purify them of their sins.

Holy River Ganga or Ganges | Hindu FAQs
Holy River Ganga or Ganges

25. Kumbh Mela. It is considered to be largest peaceful gathering in the world with over 100 million people visiting during the Maha Kumbh Mela in 2013. Most of the sadhus and saints are said to be in samadhi and appear only to kumbh mela.

kumbh Mela, Worlds biggest peaceful gathering | Hindu FAQs
kumbh Mela, Worlds biggest peaceful gathering

The holiest number for Hindus is 108. This is the ratio of Sun’s distance (from earth)/Sun’s diameter or Moon’s distance (from earth)/Moon’s diameter. Thus, most of our prayer beads have 108 beads.

Credits:
Post credits to the original Writter
Image credits to the original owner and Google Images

Who are the seven immortals of Hindu Mythology - hindufaqs.com

The seven Immortals (Chiranjivi) of Hindu Mythology are:

  1. Aswathama
  2. King Mahabali
  3. Veda Vyasa
  4. Hanuman
  5. Vibhishana
  6. Krupacharya
  7. Parashuram

Read the first part to know about the first two Immortals i.e. ‘Aswathama’ & ‘Mahabali’ Here:
Who are the seven immortals (Chiranjivi) of Hindu Mythology? Part 1

Read about the Third and forth Immortals i.e. ‘Veda Vyasa’ & ‘Hanuman’ Here:
Who are the seven immortals (Chiranjivi) of Hindu Mythology? Part 2

The seven immortals (Chiranjivi) of Hindu Mythology. Part 3

5.Vibhishana:
Vibhishana was the youngest son of Sage Vishrava, who was the son of Sage Pulatsya, one of the Heavenly Guardians. He (Vibhishana) was the younger brother of the Lord of Lanka, Ravana and King of Sleep, Kumbakarna. Even though he was born in the demon race, he was alert and pious and considered himself a Brahmin, since his father was intuitively such. Though a Rakshasa himself, Vibhishana was of a noble character and advised Ravana, who kidnapped and abducted Sita, to return her to her husband Rama in an orderly fashion and promptly. When his brother did not listen to his advice, Vibhishana joined Rama’s army. Later, when Rama defeated Ravana, Rama
crowned Vibhishana as the king of Lanka. In some period of history Sinhala people have considered Vibhishana as one of the Four Heavenly Kings (satara varam deviyo).

vibhishana | Hindu FAQs
vibhishana

Vibhishana had a sattvik (pure) mind and a sattvik heart. From his early childhood, he spent all his time meditating on the name of the Lord. Eventually, Brahma appeared and offered him any boon he wanted. Vibhishana, said that the only thing he wanted was to have his mind fixed at the feet of the Lord as pure as lotus leaves (charan kamal).
He prayed that he should be given the strength by which he would always be at the feet of the Lord, and that he would receive the darshan (holy sight) of Lord Vishnu. This prayer was fulfilled, and he was able to give up all his wealth and family, and join Rama, who was Avatar (God incarnate).

vibhishana joining Rama's Army | Hindu FAQs
vibhishana joining Rama’s Army

After defeat of Ravana, Vibhishana was declared as the King of Lanka [present day Sri Lanka] by Lord Rama and was said to have been given the blessing of a long life to take good care of his kingdom of Lanka. However, Vibhishana was not a Chiranjeevi in real sense. By which I mean that his lifetime was only as long as the end of one Kalpa. [which is still a pretty long long time.]

6) Krupacharya:
Kripa, also known as Kripacharya or Krupacharya is an important character in the Mahabharata. Kripa was an archer born to a sage and was a royal teacher of the Pandavas and Kauravas before Drona (the father of Ashwatthama).

Shardwan, Kripa’s Biological father, was born with arrows, making clear he was a born archer. He meditated and attained the art of all types of warfare. He was such a great archer that no one could defeat him.
This created panic amongst the gods. Especially Indra, the King of the Gods, felt the most threatened. He then sent a beautiful Apsara (divine nymph) from the Heaven to distract the celibate saint. The nymph, called Janapadi, came to the saint and tried to seduce him in various ways.
Shardwan was distracted and the sight of such a beautiful woman made him lose control. As he was a great saint, he still managed to resist the temptation and controlled his desires. But his concentration was lost, and he dropped his bow and arrows. His semen fell on some weeds by the wayside, dividing the weeds into two – from which a boy and a girl were born. The saint himself left the hermitage and his bow and arrow and went to the forest for penance.
Coincidentally, King Shantanu, the great-grandfather of the Pandavas, was crossing from there and saw the children by the wayside. One look at them was enough for him to realize that they were the children of a great Brahmin archer. He named them Kripa and Kripi and decided to take them back with him to his palace.

kripacharya | HinduFAQs
kripacharya

When Shardwan came to know of these children he came to the palace, revealed their identity and performed the various rituals which are performed for the children of Brahmins. He also taught the children archery, Vedas and other Shashtras and the secrets of the Universe. The children grew up to become experts in the art of warfare. The boy Kripa, who came to be known as Kripacharya, was now assigned the task of teaching the young princes all about warfare. On growing up Kripa was the chief priest at the court of Hastinapura. His twin sister Kripi married Drona, the weapons master to the court – who, like her and her brother, had not been gestated in a womb, but outside the human body.

He fought from the Kauravas during the war of Mahabharata and was one of the few surviving characters of post-war period. He later trained Parikshit, the grandson of Arjuna and son of Abhimanyu in the art of warfare. He was known for his impartiality and loyalty for his Kingdom. Lord Krishna granted him immortality.

Photo Credits: To the owners, Google Images

Please Visit our previous post Did Ramayana Actually Happen? Ep I : Real places from Ramayana 1 – 5 Before reading this post.

Our first 5 places were :

1. Lepakshi,  Andhra Pradesh

2. Ram Sethu/ Ram Setu

3. Koneswaram Temple in Sri Lanka

4. Sita Kotua and Ashoka Vatika, Sri Lanka

5. Divurumpola in Sri Lanka

Lets start Real places from Ramayana Place no 6

6. Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu
Rameswaram is the closest point to reach Sri Lanka and geological evidence suggests that the Ram Setu or Adam’s Bridge was a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka.

Rameswaram temple
Rameswaram temple

Rameswara means “Lord of Rama” in Sanskrit, an epithet of Shiva, the presiding deity of the Ramanathaswamy Temple.According to Ramayana, Rama prayed to Shiva here to absolve any sins that he might have committed during his war against the demon-king Ravana in Sri Lanka. According to the Puranas (Hindu scriptures), upon the advice of sages, Rama along with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana, installed and worshipped the lingam (an iconic symbol of Shiva) here to expiate the sin of Brahmahatya incurred while killing of the Brahmin Ravana. To worship Shiva, Rama wanted to have the largest lingam and directed his monkey lieutenant Hanuman to bring it from Himalayas. Since it took longer to bring the lingam, Sita built a small lingam, which is believed to be the one in the sanctum of the temple. Support for this account is found in some of the later versions of the Ramayana, such as the one penned by Tulasidas (15th century). Sethu Karai is a place 22 km before the island of Rameswaram from where Rama built Ram Setu, the Adam’s bridge, that further continued to Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram till Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. According to another version, as quoted in Adhyatma Ramayana, Rama installed the lingam before the construction of the bridge to Lanka.

Rameshwaram temple corridor
Rameshwaram temple corridor

7. Panchavati, Nashik
Panchavati is the place in the forest of Dandakaranya (Danda Kingdom), where Rama built his home along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman during their period of exile in the wilderness. Panchavati literally means “a garden of five banyan trees”. These trees are said to have been there during the exile of Lord Rama.
There is a place called Tapovan where Lakshmana, the brother of Rama, cut off the nose of Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana, when she attempted to kill Sita. The entire Aranya Kanda (book of the forest) of Ramayana is set in Panchavati.

Tapovan where Lakshman cut off the nose of Surpanakha
Tapovan where Lakshman cut off the nose of Surpanakha

Sita Gumpha (Sita Cave) is located near the five Banyan trees in Panchavati. The cave is So narrow that only one person can enter at a time. The cave has the idol of Shree Ram, Laxman and Sita. To the left, one can enter into the cave having the Shiva Linga. It’s believe that Ravan kidnapped Sita from the same place.

Narrow Stairs of sita gupha
Narrow Stairs of sita gupha
sita gupha
sita gupha

Ramkund near panchavati called so because Lord Rama is believed to have taken bath there. It is also called Asthi Vilaya Tirtha (bone immersion tank) because bones dropped here dissolve. Lord Rama is said to have performed funeral rites in memory of His father, King Dasaratha.

Kumbha Mela takes place here every 12 years
Kumbha Mela takes place here every 12 years

Credits:
Image Credits: VasudevaKutumbakam

Here are some images that tell us Ramayana might have actually happened.

1. Lepakshi,  Andhra Pradesh

When Sita was abducted by Raavan the Mighty ten headed demon, they bumped into Jatayu, a demi-god in vulture form, who tried his best to stop Raavan.

Jatayu was a great devotee of Rama. He could not keep quiet at the Jatayu fights with Ravanaplight of Sita, although the wise bird knew that he was no match for the mighty Ravana. But he was not afraid of Ravana’s strength even though he knew that he would get killed by obstructing the path of Ravana. Jatayu decided to save Sita from the clutches of Ravana at any cost. He stopped Ravana and ordered him to leave Sita, but Ravana threatened to kill him he interfered. Chanting Rama’s name, Jatayu attacked Ravana with his sharp claws and hooked beak.

His sharp nails and the beak tore flesh from the body of Ravana. Ravana took out his diamond-studded arrow and fired at Jatayu’s wings. As the arrow hit, the frail wing tore off and fell, but the brave bird continued fighting. With his other wing he bruised Ravana’s face and tried to pull Sita from the chariot. The fight went on for quite some time. Soon, Jatayu was bleeding from the wounds all over his body.

Finally, Ravana took out one huge arrow and shot Jatayu’s other wing as well. As it hit, the bird fell on the ground, bruised and battered.

Lepakshi
Lepakshi, in Andhra Pradesh, is said to be the place where Jatayu fell.

 

2. Ram Sethu/ Ram Setu
The bridge’s unique curvature and composition by age reveals that it is man made. The legends as well as Archeological studies reveal that the first signs of human inhabitants in Sri Lanka date back to the a primitive age, about 1,750,000 years ago and the bridge’s age is also almost equivalent.

Ram Setu
This information is a crucial aspect for an insight into the mysterious legend called Ramayana, which was supposed to have taken place in treta yuga (more than 1,700,000 years ago).

Ram setu2
In this epic, there is a mentioning about a bridge, which was built between Rameshwaram (India) and Srilankan coast under the supervision of a dynamic and invincible figure called Rama who is supposed to be the incarnation of the supreme.
Ram Setu 3
This information may not be of much importance to the archeologists who are interested in exploring the origins of man, but it is sure to open the spiritual gates of the people of the world to have come to know an ancient history linked to the Indian mythology.

Ram Setu
One of a rock from ram setu, its still floats on water.

3. Koneswaram Temple in Sri Lanka

Koneswaram temple of Trincomalee or Thirukonamalai Konesar Temple AKA The Temple of the Thousand Pillars and Dakshina-Then Kailasam is a classical-medieval Hindu temple complex in Trincomalee, a Hindu religious pilgrimage centre in Eastern Province, Sri Lanka.

Koneswaram temple1
According to one Hindu legend, Shiva at Koneswaram was worshipped by Indra, king of the gods.
King Ravana of the epic Ramayana and his mother are believed to have worshiped Lord Shiva in the sacred lingam form at Koneswaram circa 2000 BCE; the cleft of Swami Rock is attributed to Ravana’s great strength. According to this tradition, his father-in-law Maya built the Ketheeswaram temple in Mannar. Ravana is believed to have brought the swayambhu lingam in the temple to Koneswaram, one of 69 such lingams he carried from Mount Kailash.

Ravanas statue at Koneswaram temple
Ravana statue at Koneswaram temple
Shiva's Statue at Koneswaram
Shiva’s Statue at Koneswaram. Ravana was Shivas Greatest Devotee.

 

Kanniya hot wells near the temple. Built by Raavan
Kanniya hot wells near the temple. Built by Raavan

4. Sita Kotua and Ashoka Vatika, Sri Lanka

Sitadevi was kept in queen Mandothari’s palace until she was moved to Sita Kotua and then on to Ashoka Vatika. The remains that are found are the remnants of later civilizations. This place is now called Sita Kotuwa which means ‘Sita’s Fort’ and got its name because of Sitadevi’s stay here.

Sita Kotuwa
Sita Kotuwa

 

Ashokavanam in Sri Lanka. ' Ashok Vatika'
Ashokavanam in Sri Lanka. ‘ Ashok Vatika’
Lord Hanuman footprint at Ashok Vatika
Lord Hanuman footprint at Ashok Vatika
Lord Hanuman footprint, human for scale
Lord Hanuman footprint, human for scale

 

5. Divurumpola in Sri Lanka
Legend says This is the place where Seetha Devi underwent “Agni Pariksha” (test). It is a popular place of worship among locals in this area. Divurumpola means place of oath in Sinhala. The legal system permits and accepts the swearing done at this temple while settling disputes between parties.

Divurumpola in Sri Lanka
Divurumpola in Sri Lanka

 

Divurumpola in Sri Lanka
Divurumpola in Sri Lanka

Credits:
ramayanatours
ScoopWhoop
Image Credits: To the respective owners