Dasavataram
Ramavataram
Maha Vishnu - the ideal human being

A Raja called Moolagan was saved from Parasurama and thus he was responsible for the continuance of the Kshatriya Vamsam. His descendant Raghu was a king of great valour. He had a son called Ajan. Ajan's son was Dasaratha.

Dasarathan's wives Kosalai, kaikeyi and Sumithirai gave birth to Rama, Lakshmana, Baratha and Shatrugunan. They grew up learning all the arts and enjoying great love and care.

At this stage, sage Viswamitrar asked Dasaratha's help in slaying the demons who were giving him hindrance in his yagnas. Sage Visvamitra asked for Rama to accompany him to the forest to fight the demons, refusing the assistance of the huge army of soldiers that Dasaratha was ready to place at his disposal. Rama was too young and Dasaratha was agonised about sending his young son to fight against mighty demons.

But at Sage Viswamitra's insistence, Rama and Lakshmana accompanied him to the forest and there stood guard and helped him in successful completion of his yagas, slaying Thadakai and all the demons who dared to interfere. The pleased Viswamitra took them to Mithilai, where Rama lifted the Siva Dhanusu which could not even be moved by anybody else and married Sita devi, daughter of King Janakar.

They returned to Ayodhya and king Dasarathar wanted to crown Rama king. Rama's stepmother, Kaikeyi listening to the cruel advice of her servant Mandarai (Kooni), asked Dasaratha to grant her the two boons which he had granted her earlier during the war with Sambasuran. She asked that by one boon, Rama should be sent to the forests for 14 years and by the other boon for her son Barathan to be crowned king. Rama, ever obedient, gladly left to the forests accompanied by his wife Sita and brother Lakshmanan. On hearing this shocking news Dasarathan died of grief.

In the forests, Rama gained a good friend Guhan, a tribal chieftain who helped him cross the Ganga. Rama built a parnasalai in Chitrakootam and lived happily in the peaceful surroundings.

Barathan, who had been at his grandparents' place during the whole proceedings, was extremely aggrieved to hear of his mother's doings. He reached the forest and pleaded with Rama to return to the kingdom and become king. But Rama refused to disobey his father's and mother's wishes. Thus Baratha returned to rule the kingdom on behalf of Rama, placing Rama's padukais (wooden sandals) on the throne. Rama reached the Dandakarunyam forest area and lived happily there. Surpanakai, sister of Ravanan, the asura king of Lanka, saw and fell in love with Rama. She begged Rama to marry her. Lakshmana angered, cut off her nose. Surpanakai rushed to complain to her brother Ravana and advised him to abduct and marry the beautiful Sita.

On Ravana's request Mareechan, his uncle took the form of a golden deer and roamed the forests near Sita's Parnasalai. One day Sita saw and fell in love with the golden deer and asked Rama to get it for her. Rama went behind the deer leaving Lakshmana behind with Sita. As Rama's arrow pierced it, Mareechan cunningly cried out to Lakshmana for help in Rama's voice. Hearing this, Sita ordered Lakshmana to rush to his brother's aid. While Sita was alone, Ravana in the guise of a sadhu came begging for alms. He grabbed Sita and flew off in his Pushpaka Vimana. Enroute Jadayu, the king of the birds fought valiantly with Ravana, but was hurt badly. He informed Rama and Lakshmana, who had come in search of Sita.

Rama set off in search of Sita. On the way he met Sabari, his arch devotee. He then met Sukreeva, the vanara (monkey) king, his minister Hanuman and Vali's son Angadhan. They agreed to help Rama rescue Sita. The mighty Hanuman flew across the ocean to reassure Sita that Rama was coming to rescue her. He gave her Rama's ring. Sita was overjoyed, blessed Hanuman and gave him her Choodamani (an ornament that adorned Sita's head) to give to Rama. Hanuman as a messenger conveyed Rama's wishes for Ravana to release Sita. Ravana laughed and insulted Hanuman. To teach Ravana a lesson and to prove the might of Rama, Hanuman set fire to the Ashokavanam and got back to Rama. They soon built a bridge of rocks across the ocean and reached Lanka. Vibeeshanan, Ravana's brother realising the might of Rama and ashamed of Ravana's misdeeds advised Ravana to release Sita. Ravana refused and prepared for war. The mighty army of Ravana was destroyed. Kumbakarna, Ravana's brother was killed. Indrajit, Ravana's son was killed next. Finally, Ravana himself came to fight with Rama. Rama killled him with his Ramabaanam. Vibeeshanan was crowned the king of Lanka. Rama thanked all his friends for their valuable help and returned to Ayodhya. Barathan welcomed him with great joy. Rama was crowned king and he ruled justly for a long time.


Dasavataram - The story of all the avatarams

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