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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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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.

 

 

 

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