We all have grown up listening to different tales from Ramayana, the great Hindu epic. If you didn’t, well either you were deaf or way too ignorant! On those animated movies, from your Daadi-Naani, or a part of your school literature. Here’re some of Ramayana’s unheard and some commonly known stories:
1. No contribution is too short.
When the Vaanar sena was building a bridge to Lanka, a little squirrel was also contributing, by adding sand to the bridge which it carried in its tiny hands. The Vaanar sena laughed at it, saying that it was as good as nothing for the giant structure. Lord Rama on seeing this, took the little squirrel in his hands and caressed its fur-coat. It is believed that the three white strips on a squirrel’s back, are the signs of Lord Rama’s touch back then.
2. Ravana’s 10 head story.
If you’ve trouble doing your hair daily, thank the almighty, for not making you Ravana. Imagine, 10 heads to be combed into one hairstyle, 10 faces to be shaved and cleansed! Feew! Well, Ravana was one of the most learned Brahmans to ever live. Using this knowledge, Ravana got into an austerity and prayed to Lord Shiva day and night. He would cut his head, as an offering to the lord; but the head would re-generate, for he wanted to keep on with his prayers. Impressed with his devotion, and obvious consistency, Lord Shiva granted him the ‘Ten-Heads’.
3. Lakhmana didn’t sleep for 14 years.
This comes, when people are unable to stay awake for an hour in college for lectures! So, Lakshman had taken a vow to protect Rama and Sita day and night. But, to do so, he would be supposed to stay awake. So, Lakshmana asked Nindra (the Goddess of Sleep, seriously!), to allow him to stay awake for the next 14 years. Nindra stated, that someone will have to sleep in his place, to maintain the balance. So, to compensate for his sleep, his wife Urmila slept for a period of 14 years. A wife sleeping, and the husband working, it existed in those days too!
4. Class, Caste, Character- Love knows nothing but, love.
When Lord Rama and Lakshmana were passing through the Rishyamukh forest. This was when they met Shabri, who belonged to a ‘lower’ caste of Nishadh hunters. Shabri had waited all her life for Lord Rama to come. She would pluck the nicest of berries for him, every single day; hoping that today he would come. So one day, Lord Rama did come. In the anxiety of love she had for Lord Rama, she would taste each berry to make sure it was sweet and give Rama the sweeter ones, whilst throwing away the sour ones. Rama accepted all the ones she gave, with utmost pleasure and happiness. (It is also said that all the sour berries which were thrown, went on becoming vaanars of the Vaanar sena.)
5. Ek chutki sindoor ki kimat, tum kyajaano Bajrangbali!
This is the story of how Hanuman got the name ‘Bajrang bali’. After Lord Rama returned to the thrown, one day Sita was applying vermillion (Sindoor) to her forehead. Hanuman inquired, as to why was she doing it. To this, Sita replied that the Sindoor represented the love she had for Lord Rama. In the very next second, Hanuman went on covering his entire body in Sindoor, to show his love!
6. Bali, had a guest appearance in Mahabharata too.
On being shot from behind a tree, Bali called Lord Rama a cheat. Giving his justified reason, Rama stated that Bali’s death was result of his karma and what he had done with his own brother, Sugreev. That said, Rama gave Bali a boon that in his next life, Bali would be responsible for Vishnu’s death. And so it happened, Bali was reborn as Jara the hunter, who accidentally shot Lord Krishna in his foot, and became the reason of his demise.
7. Lord Rama is an ‘avtaar’ of Lord Vishnu. What about his brothers?
Lakshmana was a reincarnation of Shesh Naag, while Bharat was Sudarshan Chakra and Shatrughan Sankh (Conch-Shell). In Mahabharata, Lakshmana was reborn as the elder brother of Lord Krishna, Balarama.
8. Bali’s son was responsible for Ravana’s death. Logically.
Ravana was undergoing a yagna, which if succeeded would result in Ravana winning the battle. So Angad, Bali’s son, along with a task-force of monkeys went to distract Ravana from his yagna. When their initial attempts failed, Angad pulled Mandodari’s (Ravana’s wife) hair. When she cried out for help, Ravana had to get up and help her. Angad and his team succeeded, and fled away as their mission was accomplished.
9. Hanuman and Valmiki had some copyright issues!
When Hanuman went to the Himalayas, he inscribed the walls over there with Lord Rama’s tales. Valmiki reached there to show Hanuman, his very own Ramayana. But, on seeing Hanuman’s inscriptions, Valmiki felt inferior. Noticing this, Hanuman rubbed it all of the wall.
10. Death is inevitable. Even for the Gods!
After Sita got embed in Earth, Lord Rama felt his time here was over. But, he knew Hanuman won’t allow Yamaraj to come and take Lord Rama to Vaikunth dhaam. So, Rama threw his ring in the Paatal-lok and asked Hanuman to get it for him. On reaching the Paatal-lok, Hanuman asked Vasuki, the King of Paatal, for Lord-Rama’s ring. Vasuki gave him a bowl filled with rings, thereby explaining Lord Rama’s wish.