Lord Rama is one of the most commonly adored gods of Hindus and is held as an ideal man and is the hero of the epic Ramayana. Lord Rama is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
He holds a bow and arrow to destroy evil. More commonly he is pictured in a family style, (Ram Parivar/Darbar) with his wife Sita, brother Lakshman and devotee Hanuman who is sitting near Lord Rama’s feet. They represent respectively the perfect man, wife, brother, and friend
Lord Rama is a very popular form of God in India as shown by the many temples to him.
Sri Sita is the embodiment of virtue, a devoted wife, and ideal of womanhood. She is also revered as an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, the divine consort of Lord Vishnu. The pair are often called Sri SitaRama in much the same way that Krishna and Radha are referred to as Sri RadhaKrishna
Sri Lakshmana exemplifies sacrifice. Leaving his wife behind in the palace, he accompanies his brother (Rama) in exile.
Sri Hanuman is monkey formed god. He is a noble hero and great devotee of Lord Rama of the Ramayana. He is also called Mahaveera (the great hero) or Pavan-suta (son of air). He is revered for his selfless courage, devotion and strength. He is represented holding a mace.
Sri Hanuman was born of Anjani from Pavana, the wind-god. He was named Hanuman after the name of the city of Hanumpur over which his maternal uncle Parti Surya ruled. Hanuman’s body was hard as a stone. So Anjani named him Vajranga. He is also known by the names “Mahavir” or mightiest hero (because he exhibited several heroic feats), Balibima and Maruti.
He was the wisest of the wise, strongest of the strong and bravest of the brave. He was the Sakti of Rudra. Those who meditate on him and repeat his name may attain power, strength, glory, prosperity and success in life. He is worshipped in all parts of India, particularly in Maharashtra.
He had the power to assume any form he liked; to swell his body to an enormous extent and to reduce it to the length of a thumb. His strength was superhuman. He was the terror of Rakshasas. He was well versed in the four Vedas and other sacred books. His valour, wisdom, knowledge of the scriptures and superhuman strength attracted everybody who came near him. He had extraordinary skill in warfare.
He was the chosen messenger, warrior and servant of Sri Rama. He lived to serve Rama.
Hanuman saw Sri Rama for the first time in Kishkindha. Sri Rama and Lakshmana came there in the course of their search of Sita whom Ravana had carried away.
A Rishi pronounced a curse on Hanuman for his wrong action, that he would remain unconscious of his great strength and prowess till he met Sri Rama and served him with devotion. As soon as Hanuman beheld Sri Rama he became conscious of his strength and power.
In Lanka, Hanuman exhibited his immense strength and extraordinary powers. He destroyed the beautiful grove which was a pleasure resort of Ravana. He uprooted many trees and killed many Rakshasas. Ravana was very much infuriated at this. He sent Jambumali to fight against Sri Hanuman who took the trunk of a tree and hurled it against Jambumali and killed him. Ravana sent his son Aksha to fight against Hanuman. He was also killed. Then he sent Indrajit. Hanuman threw a great tree upon Indrajit. Indrajit fell down senseless on the ground. After some time Indrajit recovered his consciousness. He threw the noose of Brahma on Hanuman. Hanuman allowed himself to be bound by the noose. He wanted to honour Brahma. Indrajit ordered the Rakshasas to carry the monkey to his father’s court. Even a hundred Rakshasas were not able to lift Hanuman.
Hanuman made himself as light as possible. The Rakshasas then lifted him up. When they placed him over their shoulders he suddenly became heavy and crushed them to death. Then Hanuman asked the Rakshasas to remove the rope. They removed the rope and Hanuman proceeded to the council hall of Ravana.
Ravana said, “O mischievous monkey, what will you say in your defence? I will put you to death.” Hanuman laughed and said, “O wicked Ravana, give back Sita to Lord Rama and ask his pardon; otherwise you will be ruined and the whole of Lanka will be destroyed.” These words of Hanuman made Ravana very furious. He asked the Rakshasas to cut off the head of Hanuman.
Vibhishana intervened and said, “O brother, it is not lawful and righteous to kill a messenger. You can inflict some punishment only.”
Ravana consented. He wanted to deprive Hanuman of his tail and make him ugly. He ordered the Rakshasas to wrap Hanuman’s tail with cloths soaked in oil and ghee. Hanuman extended his tail to such length and size that all the cloths in Lanka would not cover it. Then he reduced his tail of his own accord. The Rakshasas wrapped the tail with cloths soaked in oil and ghee and lighted the cloths. Hanuman expanded his body to an enormous size and began to jump from place to place. The whole of Lanka caught on fire. All the palatial buildings were burnt down to ashes.
Hanuman then jumped into the sea in order to cool and refresh himself. A drop of his perspiration fell into the mouth of a great fish which gave birth to a mighty hero named Makara Dhvaja. Makara Dhvaja is considered the son of Hanuman. Thereupon Hanuman went to the Asoka grove and told Sita all that he had done.
Then he crossed the sea through the air and came to the place where his army was placed. He told them all that had happened. Thereupon they all marched quickly to carry the good news to Sri Rama and Sugriva. They reached the city of Kishkindha. Hanuman gave Sita’s ring to Lord Rama. Sri Rama rejoiced heartily. He praised Hanuman and embraced him saying, “O mighty hero I cannot repay your debt.”
When all the brothers and sons of Ravana were killed, Ravana sent for his brother Ahi Ravana who was the king of the nether world. Ahi Ravana came to Lanka. Ravana asked his help to fight against Sri Rama and Lakshmana.
Ahi Ravana consented to help his brother. At the dead of night he assumed the form of Vibhishana, the brother of Ravana and an ally and devotee of Sri Rama. He reached the place where Rama and Lakshmana were sleeping. Hanuman was keeping watch. He thought that it was Vibhishana who was coming. Therefore he allowed him to enter the camp. Ahi Ravana quietly took the two brothers upon his shoulders and repaired to his kingdom.
When the day dawned, Hanuman found out that Sri Rama and Lakshmana were missing. He found out that Ahi Ravana had carried them to his kingdom. At once he proceeded to the nether world and received information that Ahi Ravana had made arrangements to kill the two brothers in sacrifice. Hanuman assumed a tiny form, entered the temple and sat over the image of the goddess. The image went down into the earth. Hanuman took her seat. When Ahi Ravana was about to sacrifice the two brothers, Hanuman appeared in his own form and killed him. He installed Makara Dhvaja, his own son on the throne, took the brothers on his shoulders and brought them to Lanka.
Hanuman killed many heroes in the great war. Dhumar, Vajro, Roshat, Ankhan and several other great warriors were killed by him.
He made untiring search to find Sita. At the time of danger he exhibited marvellous courage and presence of mind.
Hanuman, as the faithful devotee with great physical and magical powers, is one of the most beloved images in the Hindu pantheon with temples of his own throughout India. Aside from his superhuman strength and magical powers Hanuman was well versed in the Scriptures.
His crossing the sea of thirty miles in one leap, lifting the crest of a mountain in the palm of the hand, and his carrying of the brothers on his shoulders from the nether world to Lanka are some of the feats of Hanuman recorded in the Ramayana.
This is the story; of Lord Rama’s exile from his kingdom, and his exploits in southern India with his wife Sita, his younger brother Lakshman, and his faithful friend/devotee Hanuman.
The demon king Ravana abducts Sita and takes her to his fortress on the island of Lanka (Sri Lanka). A war starts, as Ram and his animal allies attacks the demons, destroys them, and return to North India to take back his lawful throne.
The festival of Dussehra commemorates Lord Rama’s adventures and includes the public burning of huge effigies of Ravana.
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