Ramayana is one of the greatest Hindu epics, which was written by Rishi Valmiki. Rishi Valmiki gave Ramayana to the sons of Raja Ram and then the book was passed from generations to generations reaching to the present day, called- Kalyug.
Ramayana is said to be the window to the future. It is said that Valmiki wrote it in a way, that it had a seed of the future in every part of it. Though the story looks simple, like a calm lake, but has millions of undercurrents underneath. “No epic is simple”, they say, “and if it’s simple, it’s not an epic.”
“No epic is simple”, they say, “and if it’s simple,it’s not an epic.”
If it is really so then how can Ramayana be not having something complex in it. Well, here is a list of top 10 hidden facts about Ramayana, which even after knowing the whole of Ramayana, many of you have not come across.
(Note- Ramayana has got the privilage of being translated and revised into many languages and each of them have a little difference in the facts. This particular article is based on Valmiki’s Ramayana only)
1. King Dasratha had one more child other than the four brothers
Much before Lord Ram was born, King Dasratha and his first wife. Kaushalya had a daughter, named Shanta. Kaushalya’s elder sister, Vershini and his husband King Rompad,who was a good friend to King Dasratha, had no offspring. Once when Vershini was at Ayodhya,she got a promise from King Dasratha that he will give his daughter to her. Though that was not a serious one, still the promise of had to be kept and Shanta was adopted by Vershini and King Rompad.
2. The story behind the ten heads of Ravana
Ravana, factually, was a great scholars, an excellent ruler and the most intelligent among the rulers of that time. He was a great devotee and follower of Lord Shiva.
Once, while he was performing some acts to please Lord Shiva, he decided to axe his head. He axed his head once and, the very next moment, by the grace of Lord Shiva, another head grew there. He axed his head 10 times and got it back 10 times.
3. Lakshmana didn’t sleep the entire 14 years of Lord Ram’s exile
When Lord Ram and Sita were about to leave for their exile, Lakshmana (Lord Ram’s younger brother) too decided to accompany them because he found that its his duty to protect them from the troubles during the exile period.
For this, he had to stay awake for 24 hours a day, that means, always. He asked Nindra, the goddess of sleep to bless him no sleep till the next 14 years. Nindra commanded that if he needs to get his wish granted, then he must have to find someone who can sleep on his behalf, consequently Lakshmana asked his wife Urmilla for this and she agreed and slept for 14 years.
4. Lakshmana was the reincarnation of the Shesh- Naag
Lord Ram is considered an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Whose incarnation was Lakshmana then?
Lakshmana is considered the incarnation of the Adi-shesh naag, Vishnu’s seat in the Vaikunth. As earth sits on the Adi sesh’s head,it shakes whenever the naag gets angry.
There is a scene from the Ramayana where Sita’s swayamvar was going on and King Janak declared out of frustration that the earth is devoid of strong men, when nobody could lift the bow. This angered Lakshmana and the earth started trembling. This particular scene reveals Lakshmana’s part of being the incarnation of the Shesh naag.
5. How did Hanuman got the name ‘Bajrangbali’
After the Ramrajya got its establishment, once when Sita was applying kumkum on her forehead, Hanuman asked her the reason and to this Sita answered that it was a ritual for the longer and healthier life of Ram. Hanuman got enthusiastic and the Ram-bhakt Hanuman coloured his whole body with kumkum and hence turned completely orange. Bajrang means ‘orange’ and this bring out the name Bajrangbali.
6. Lakshman’s death was a result of Ram’s promise
Ram knew that his duties on the earth was completed and he decided to return to the Vaikunth, and for this he had to meet Yam. He had the idea that Hanuman would not let him go. So, in order to distract Hanuman, he dropped his ring into the Patal lok and asked him to get it back. While Hanuman was busy getting it, Ram invited Yam to meet him, to which Yam agreed, but in a condition that nobody should disturb them while their talk, and in any case if someone enters the place, Ram would kill him. Ram agreed to the condition and asked Lakshmana to guard the gate to ensure that no one disturbs them.
In the meantime, Durwasa Rishi(sage) came meet Ram and was stopped by Lakshmana. Angry Durwasa warned Lakshmana to let him go in, or else he would curse Ayodhya. Seeing the situation, Lakshmana decided to go to Ram and tell him about all this.
According to Yam, Lakshmana was the invader and had to be killed by Ram. To save Ram from the situation, Lakshmana went to the Surya and gave up his life. Lakshmana had to leave before Ram anyway, as the Sesh Naag (the seat of Vishnu) had to reach Vaikunth before the Lord arrives.
7. Surpnakha was the catalyst of the battle of Lanka
According to Valmiki’s Ramayana, Surpnekha had romantic interest on Ram. She even approached him once, but was rejected. She then approached Lakshmana but the angry Lakshmana cut her nose off. Seeking revenge, she reached Ravana and enticed him to capture Sita. This triggered the battle of Lanka.
8. How Ram affected the tail of squirrels
While the Ram-setu was being prepared, a squirrel was helping monkeys. Seeing the squirrel carrying stones, the monkeys started laughing. Disappointed by this, the little squirrel went and sat near Ram. Seeing the dedication of the little creature, Lord Ram cuddled his back, since then, the squirrels have got the permanent white strips on their backs.
The next time you see a squirrel,notice its mark. It’s the finger sign of Lord Ram after all.
9. Hanuman also wrote his version of Ramayana, but destroyed it afterwards
After the battle of Lanka was over, Hanuman went to the Himalayas and wrote his version of Ramayana on the walls of the Himalayas. When Maharshi Valmiki reached the Himalayas to show his version of Ramayana to Hanuman he became sad looking at the inscribed Ramayana on the Himalayan walls. Looking this, the compassionate Hanuman himself destroyed his Ramayana.
10. The emergence of the Gayatri Mantra
It is a hidden fact that Gayatri Mantra is emerged from the Ramayana. Ramayana has 24,000 Shlokas and the every 1000th shloka’s first letter makes the Gayatri Mantra.