The re-run of 80s and 90s Ramayan by the Director, Producer and Writer Ramanand Sagar has been garnering a lot of praises and viewership in the country. The television series aired in Doordarshan National at present has covered a major part of the story and now we know various unknown details of the saga. In fact, many of you are probably surprised to come across certain incidents that contradict with beliefs and stories you have been hearing about Ramayan. Since Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan is based on the oldest source that is Valmiki’s Ramayan and Tulsidas’s Ramcharitramanas, we can safely bet on the facts shown in the television series. Also, check my previous post on Corona prevention app.
Let’s take a look at some of the Ramayan stories that you thought were right and what is the actual truth:
- The stones of Ram Setu could float because of the name ‘Shri Ram’ written on them
In order to reach Lanka, Ram along with his troop are required to build a bridge. Ram worships Varuna, the god of the ocean, for days to help them find a way. Varuna appears and acknowledges Ram about the power of Nal and Neel who can make stones float on the water. Nal and Neel as brothers belong to Vanar Sena (monkey army) who are present to support Ram achieve his aim. Both the brothers along with the monkey army write Shri Ram on stones and build a floating bridge or Ram Setu across the ocean.
- Kumbhakarna slept for 6 months and ate for six months
People often believe that Kumbhakarna was a demon who slept for six months and ate for six months. Kumbhakarna, as the younger brother of Ravan, in Ramayan pleases Lord Brahma with his yajna (a ritual sacrifice). During the time of asking a boon, he aims for the throne of Indra. However, Goddess Saraswati in request of Indra sits on his tongue and instead of asking for Indraasana, Kumbhakarna is tricked to pronounce Nidraasana (bed for sleeping). Lord Brahma grants his wish but both Ravan and Kumbhakarna request to undo the boon. Hearing upon their plea, Lord Brahma grants him another boon saying that Kumbhakarna would wake up after every six months only for a day to eat and shall fall back to sleep again for six months.
- Ravan goes to the battlefield to fight against Ram on the final day of the battle
Many believe that when the entire clan of demons die, Ravan then appears in the final day of the battlefield. However, many of the viewers must have been surprised to see in the ongoing Ramayan television series that Ravan does decide to go and fight during the initial stages of the war. Helpless he is with all his powerful weapons destroyed, Ram chooses not to kill Ravan and let him go. Ram directs Ravan to go back to his palace and come back when he is all set with his weapons and will.
- The abduction of Sita by Ravan, Ram’s struggle to find Sita and battle between Ram and Ravan happened for 14 years
Since the banishment to Ram, Sita and Lakshman was given for the period of 14 years, the followers of Ramayan believe that the moment three of them enter jungle and start living there, Sita is abducted. Contradictory to this widely believed knowledge, it was during the final year of their banishment when Ravan enters in the Ramayan story.
- The family of Ram meets him, Sita and Lakshman after the completion of their banishment
It is true that Ram, Sita and Lakshman returned to their Ayodhya palace only after completing their banishment of 14 years. However, the family makes a visit to the jungle they were living in. Shortly after King Dasharath’s demise and Bharat’s refusal to be the prince of Ayodhya, the entire family along with the ministers and army visit Chitrakoot. The effort by all to persuade Ram to leave the jungle and take charge of Ayodhya goes in vain and they go back feeling sad and agreeing to Ram’s words. Hence, the family meeting three of them after 14 years isn’t completely true.
6. Sita had to perform agni pariksha to prove her purity and loyalty towards Ram