Sunday, 15 June 2014

Untold Stories from Ramayan- part 11


Sri Lanka was built on top of a mountain called Tri-kuta Giri. This Tri-kuta was a piece of rock that broke from Mount Meru. Long ago, there was some discussion between two Gandharvas. One Gandharva said, "Vasuki is such a powerful strong snake, that when the Lord took incarnation as Matsya, he used Vasuki as a rope to tie the horn of that fish to the boat where Maharaja Satyavrata and the sapta-rishis were travelling. In the dissolution water, this boat was kept safe due to Vasuki binding Matsya and the boat." The other Gandharva said, "Maybe he is strong, but do you think he could be as strong as Vayu, Varuna or Agni?" The other said, "He must be stronger than them, otherwise why did the Lord select Vasuki?" While they were discussing in this way, Vayu, the god of air, who is present everywhere, he couldn't tolerate this discussion. He personally came in front of them and asked them, "What is this useless discussion?""Who are you?" they enquired. "I am Vayu," he replied. "Is there anyone as strong as me? Why do you even discuss these things?
Don't you know that I am everywhere and I am listening to these things?" One Gandharva said, "Well, I have seen Vasuki. I was the last one to creep into the water at that time. I've seen how strong he is." Vayu said, "Bring that Vasuki, and we can test." Then Vasuki was brought, and he challenged Vayu. "What do you mean? I am so strong! Every time the Lord selects me, so there must be some reason." Vayu said, "Then we can test our strength." Vasuki said, "I will coil around the Meru three times, and you blow and see if you can open my coils." But they never consulted Mount Meru whether they could do it. Around Mount Meru were so many insects and creatures. All the planetary systems were going around it. Vasuki went on there, and Meru did not mind. So many snakes were on there already. But he didn't know there was going to be some sports. Vasuki coiled around Meru three times and started getting tighter and tighter. And then Vayu started blowing against Mount Meru in full force. Mount Meru started moving back and forth, because Vayu was using all his strength, and Vasuki was not going to give up. So it was not just Vasuki, but Vayu had to work on both, the strength of Mount Meru and the strength of Vasuki. And then Mount Meru started complaining and screaming. "What is this? There are three parties involved in this, but I was never consulted. Why am I being given trouble like this? I am going to turn upside down and create trouble. All the planetary systems will fall." Brahma heard all this, and he appeared on the scene, telling Vayu and Vasuki, "You have your kind of strength, and he has his kind of strength. In your kind of strength, you are the most strong. And in his strength, blowing, that you cannot do. So in that way he is strong." When Vasuki uncoiled after the sports, one rock was broken from Mount Meru, and it fell in the salt ocean.
This rock had three peaks, so it was known as Tri-kuta. It was on the salty ocean for a long time. And then Visvakarma, for the purpose of making a nice palace for the pastimes of the demigods, he made this Sri Lanka city on top of Tri-kuta mountain. Later, Kuvera, the cousin brother of Ravana, took over this place. He also got an appointment as the treasurer of the demigods, so they didn't mind him using it. Kuvera was there for a long time. When Ravana, Vibhisana, Kumbhakarna and Surpanakha went there for performing austerities, Ravana's mother Kaikashi became very envious that Kuvera was sitting on this wonderful Sri Lanka city, so she told Ravana, "Why don't you perform some austerities so that you can get a benediction and kick him out of this place." Kaikashi was the wife of Vishravas, and Vishravas had another wife through whom Kuvera was born. These were co-wives, and they were rivals. Kaikashi was inciting Ravana, "You must perform some tapasya, some great austerities." Ravana performed austerities, Kumbhakarna performed austerities, Vibhisana performed austerities, and Surpanakha also performed austerities as well as Khara and Dusana. Each one was born with 1 hour 45 minutes difference between them. Ravana, then Kumbhakarna, then Vibhisana, then Surpanakha, then Khara and Dusana. So they were all in Himalayas performing austerities. When Brahma appeared before Ravana, he asked for all kinds of greedy benedictions, and he got them. Kumbhakarna was thinking to ask for a benediction by which he will live forever. The word in Sanskrit is "nitya-tvam." nitya means eternal and nitya-tvam means eternity. "I want eternity."
But somehow the material nature tricked Kumbhakarna. The word devata, the power of speech, came in his tongue, and tilted his tongue. Instead of nitya-tvam, he asked for "nidra-tvam." Nidra means "sleep", so he asked for sleep.Brahma said, "Tadastu, you can have it." Kumbhakarna said, "What? No! I wanted to live forever, not sleep! Please stop this benediction!" Brahma said, "No, I have given you this benediction, I cannot take itback." He begged, "This is not fair! It is a trick of the demigods! I did so much austerity, and now I am simply going to sleep. This is not proper! Why would a person ever perform austerities so that he can just sleep forever, and then die at the end?" So Brahma felt very compassionate. "All right, Kumbhakarna, you sleep for six months. And then you get up, and you eat for six months." So Kumbhakarna went to sleep. At the end of the sixth month, waking him up was very difficult. They had to bring a huge army. The army would march on his body. Elephants and camels would walk over him, and they would play bugles and put fire on his chest. Still he would be snoring and wouldn't get up. After all the army marched past shooting astras and creating a lot of noise, then slowly he will feel some pain somewhere and then he got up. When he got up he would smash half of the army. He was a huge big figure. As soon as he got up he would ask, "Where is food?" He hadn't eaten for such a long time, so he eats for six months. This is what he did before he went back to sleep again. While he ate, his education was done. Pandits would sit on both sides and read books to him. He would be simultaneously eating and listening to the shastras. In this way, he also became an expert archer. He got other benedictions also. He was a great yogi, and while sleeping he would come out of his body in his subtle body, and he would travel around and find out everything.
One body was asleep, but in his sukshma-sharira, Kumbhakarna visited Kailash, performed austerities and got astras from Lord Siva. Only his gross body couldn't be seen. Vibhisana was also praying, and when Brahma came, he said, "Give me devotion to the Supreme Lord." Ravana said, "Oh no! One more in the family. First Prahlad, and now him! What are you doing? Brahma is here, so get something worthwhile. But no, `devotion to the Supreme Lord.' What will you do with this? You have become a demon!" For the demons, a devotee is a demon. "You are not against Hari, you want to worship Him."sind him using it.  Kuvera was That was Vibhisana's benediction. And Surpanakha got a benediction for changing her form. Whatever form she wanted she could take. That was how she was trying to attract Laksmana and Ramacandra. She became a beautiful girl, and she was saying, "Ramacandra, I'm so attracted by you." Ramacandra said, "Yes, anyone will be attracted by me. The only problem is that my wife is here. If she was not here, I wouldn't mind. But look at my brother! He is also married, but his wife is not here. You check with him." Laksmana said, "How is it possible? When my elder brother is in front of me, how can I do it? You go to my elder brother, he is just jokingwith you." So she went back to Ramacandra, and said, "Your younger brother is not interested in these things. You are the older one, why aren't you interested?"
He replied, "Yes I am the elder, but the point is that my wife is very wild. If she ever finds out that I am talking to you, I don't know what will happen. He is free, an individual separate from his wife.Go to him." She went to him, but Laksmana said, "Yes his wife is wild, but she is not here now. You should be utilizing this opportunity. You go try with him, and if that doesn't work you just come back to me." So she went back to Ramacandra, saying, "See? Your wife is not here now." Ramacandra said, "Yes, my wife is not here, but this brother is very political. When she comes back, he will tell her. So you first go to him, and if he is happy then he won't tell." So she ran back to Laksmana. By that time Sita came. Surpanakha said, "All this trouble is because of you!" And she ran and picked Sita up. As soon as she did that, Laksmana came with his sword, and cut off the tips of her nose, ears and breasts, and the original Rakshasi form came out. She was crying, and then she disappeared into the sky. Then Khara and Dusana came with 14,000 able fighters from the demon dynasty. Ramacandra finished all of them with one arrow. Janasthan was a very strategical point. Janasthan was the last point in the mainland. If anyone could conquer the soldiers in Janasthan, then they could dare to cross the ocean and come to Sri Lanka. Ravana was so happy because Janasthan was there, and Khara, Dusana and Surpanakha were just exploiting the area, eating rishis every day. He was so happy. "Who can come to Sri Lanka?" But then, this so-called human being, Ramacandra, he told Laksmana, "Don't even move. I will do it." He killed 14,000 demon soldiers, and Khara and Dusana were destroyed. When the news reached Ravana, he was thinking, "No this is not true. It cannot be true. How can a human being kill 14,000 demons?" Always Ravana was thinking, "No, it's not true. It's not true." But it was true. Everything he heard seemed to him to be like it was not true. When he went to Marica and said, "Please go and become a deer,"
Marica said, "What? Become a deer and do what? What can a deer do to Rama? I still remember how he pushed me right across the mainland and threw me into the salty ocean with only a blade of grass. That is why I became a babaji, not for searching after the Absolute Truth. In fear of the blade of grass I became a babaji, an ascetic. Don't drive me in front of Ramacandra again." Ravana said, "If you don't go, I will kill you." Marica was thinking, "Ravana will kill me anyway. Ravana or Rama, but it's better to die in the hands of Rama. Why die in the hands of this demon?" So Marica said, "I will go." Ravana said, "Ahh! I always knew you had great affection for me." "No, I don't have any affection for you." "Then why do you want to go?" Ravana asked. "Well who wants to die in your hands?" Marica said. "I would rather die in the hands of Rama. And I know I will die, so I am going."... to be continued
[In the previous installation, Ravana has just dispatched Maricha to pose as a deer so that he could kidnap Sita.]

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