|Values for Life:
Arrogance leads to destruction.
This eldest son of Ravan, Meghanada was the main cause of Ravan’s arrogance. Whatever wrong Ravan did , Meghanada came forward to support his father. Supporting one’s father is not a bad idea. But supporting one’s father even though he is committing unholy activities is pernicious. The unexpected news of the killing of Meghanada fell into Ravan’s ears as a poisonous spike. Ravan shouted:“My son was killed because of Janaki. I will cut her neck right now and drink her blood.” Uttering this loud cry Ravan drew his sword and ran towards where Sita was sitting. Seeing Ravan charging towards her drawing his sword, Sita got terribly frightened and started chanting Ram’s mantra.
Suparswa, the just and seasoned minister of Ravan came running behind him and prevented from further step forward. He told Ravan:“What is your intent? To kill a helpless lady, shame on you. You were born in an illustrious Brahmin lineage. Your fame, reputation and respect all over the world are widely acknowledged. You have many good qualities. You king of the Rakshasa race, come with me to the war-front and we will fight the enemy together. Kill them and enjoy your life the way you like.”
Hearing these words , Ravan became normal. He went back to the palace and summoned his ministers. The assembly decided to go for war. Ravan along with his army went to the battle field and opposed Ram. During the fight Ram disposed off most of the Rakshasas that challenged him. Hitting the continuous stream of arrows from Ram, Ravan’s body was pierced on many parts. He was bleeding profusely. Tired and disheartened, Ravan slowly withdrew from the battle field.
Ravan approached his preceptor Sukracharya:“I am your disciple, O great guru. I have undergone a great lot of turmoil that you have already known. I lost my dear sons, brothers, nephews, ministers, and generals. Ram and the vanar army will put an end to our lineage. Before that I wish to quell them. Please give me protection.”
Said the guru: “Now try to please all the gods. Select a secret place and dig a cave there. Build a sacrificial platform and do the yajna. Take the sacred mantra from me. If you can complete the yajna without disturbance, the gods will satisfy and will send to you a divine chariot, weapons and chest shield with which you can fight the vanars. No one will be able to defeat you.”
Taking the sacred mantra from the guru, Ravan very secretly made all arrangement in the cave. Many strong and armed guards were posted outside. Keeping body and mind completely pure, Ravan started the yajna, as per the strict direction of the scriptures.
Vibhishan saw this and told Ram:“Ravan has started his yajna as per the strict directions of the Rakshasa guru. If he completes it successfully, no force can defeat him. Destroy the yajna at once.”
All the veteran monkeys including Hanuman, Angada, Jambavan, Neela etc. flocked together and proceeded towards the sacrificial platform. At first they could not spot the exact spot of the yajna. Trijada, Vibhishan’s virtuous daughter gave signal to the vanars and they proceeded in that direction. With stones and rocks they damaged the cave and the platform. They thrashed and killed the armed guards that came to prevent them. Angada took all the yajna ingredients and poured it out. They distorted the dais. Hanuman, Angada and others thrashed Ravan, inflicted cuts on various parts of his body with their teeth and nails. But Ravan did not care to open his eyes or move slightly.
Some of the monkey leaders went inside the palace and dragged Mandodari to the sacrificial platform. As she was dragged holding around the tuft of her thick hair she became almost naked. She cried aloud and cursed Ravan for his deeds.
Ravan stopped his yajna and got up in haste and drew his sword. Seeing this Angad and others fled away and reported to Ram that they have thwarted Ravan’s yajna. Ravan tried to console Mandodari: “I shall with my remaining force go to Ram and fight and kill them.”Mandodari smiled and told her husband: “Ravan, remove your illusion. No one in these three worlds can fight or defeat Ram. He is Lord Narayan himself. It is better you return Sita and surrender before him.” Ravan said, “It is unfair now to go to the forest after causing the death of all our kinsmen. I have to fight bravely and if it becomes so, I shall die at the hands of Ram, who is as you say Lord Narayan.”
KK Shanmukhan ( To be concluded )