Jambavan asked the monkeys Nala and Nila to begin work on building the bridge across the sea. Nila and Nala accordingly constructed a bridge across the sea with the help of other monkeys.
(Nila and Nala, Vanars had a boon from their mother. In the childhood they used to throw playthings into water, only to see them floating. But they were all submerged. His mother then gave a boon to them saying that whatever article he throws in waters it would float, may they be toys or stones or boulders.)
Ram remembered his chosen God, Lord Shiva and decided to install a shrine for Rameswaram. Upon completion, the army of Ram began to cross the bridge and arrived at Lanka, taking camp on Mount Suvela. Ravan heard of the advance of Ram’s army. Mandodari requested her husband Ravan to return Sita to Ram as she feared for her husband’s life. Ravan’s son Prahadta attempted to reinforce his mothers sentiments, but all to no avail. Malyavan, Ravan’s maternal grandfather advised Ravan to conclude peace with Ram and return Sita to him .
Ram fired a warning shot from his retreat in Suvela. The arrow striked Ravan’s crown and royal umbrella. Mandodari once again attempted to convince Ravan of handing Sita back to Ram. Meanwhile Ram asked Jambavan what should be done. Jambavan suggested to send Angada, as envoy to give Ravan a chance to return Sita. As soon as Angad entered the city of Lanka he saw Ravan’s son playing. A quarrel broke out between them. Ravan’s son kicked Angad. Angad pulled his legs. All the Rakshas Rakshas ran away and gave the news to Ravan that the same monkey (Hanuman) had returned who had caused destruction in Lanka. People of Lanka mistook Angad for Hanuman. Angad reached the royal court of Ravan without any difficulty. On reaching Ravan’s court, Angad explained that he is the ambassador of Ram and son of Bali and told Ravan that he still had time to save himself from destruction. Angad tried to convince Ravan for submission and peaceful way. But Ravan was firm to face a battle instead of conceding his defeat. Angad then firmly planted his foot on the ground and threw a challenge that if anybody in Ravan’s court uprooted his foot; Ram would concede his defeat and return. All the mighty Rakshas commanders of Ravan’s army and even Meghanad tried their best to uproot Angad’s foot but none of them succeed.
Ravan ordered his men to kill Angad. But before anybody could touch Angad, he laughed aloud and escaped hurriedly.
Angad returned to Ram and narrated the whole story to Him.
Ravan called a meeting of his ministers and relatives invited suggestions from them in view of the latest situation of a probable attack of Ram and his army on the City of Lanka and to suggest ways and means how to kill Ram and Lakshman. All the Rakshas of Ravan present there (Prahadta, Durmukha, Vajradamshtra, Nikumbha and Vajrahanu) assured Ravan that they could individually kill Ram and his army within no time.
The Rakshas inspired Ravan with confidence and praised his army’s strength. They suggested that Indrajit alone was enough to kill the army of monkeys together with Ram within no time.
Restraining the Rakshas, who were boasting of their own strength, Vibhishan requested Ravan to return Sita to Ram. Indrajit criticised Vibhishan for underestimating the former`s strength. Vibhishan abused Indrajit for his immaturity of mind and for his rash nature in underscoring the power of Ram`s. Ravan refused to hear the words of Vibhishan and rebuked him with harsh words. He told Vibhishan he had no need for a weakling like him and that he was no longer needed. Vibhishan got angry and sets off to leave Ravan
Ravan instructed Prahadta, chief of his army to defend the city of Lanka carefully. Prahadta positioned the army for defense accordingly at suitable places both inside and outside the city.
VIBHISHAN REQUESTED FOR REFUGE
Vibhishan together with four of his companions reached Ram’s place. Halting in the sky itself, Vibhishan asked Ram to give a refuge to him. Sugriv told Ram that he could not trust Vibhishan the demon. Then Ram asked for opinion of the leaders in his group. Angada, sharabha, Jambavan and Mainda . They also expressed their apprehensions to accept Vibhishan. But Hanuman said that Vibhishan need not be doubted because he thought that Vibhishan understands the merits in Ram and demerits in Ravan. Hanuman further added that Vibhishan was approaching Ram for refuge. Hanuman requested Ram to take his final decision on the matter.
Hearing Hanuman’s words, Ram said that he could not desert Vibhishan who was seeking a refuge in him. On Ram’s enquiry, Vibhishan explained about the strength of Ravan.
RAM ARRIVED LANKA FOR BATTLE
Agitated to learn that Ram had arrived Lanka and is stationed at Suvela mountain along with his army, Ravan approached Sita with Vidyujjuha, knower of conjuring tricks. Informing Sita that her husband along with his army had been killed in battle, he produced before her an elusive Ram’s head along with bow and arrows created with Vidyujjuha’s conjuring trick.
Sita was shocked, fell unconscious at the sight of Ram’s head and bow. She regained consciousness and asked Ravan to kill her also, so that she would join her husband in heaven. Meanwhile, Ravan was abruptly called away by an emissary and after consultation with his ministers, prepared his army for action against the forces of Ram.
An Rakshasny named Saram tassured Sita that Ram was still alive .
Ram, Sugriv, Hanuman and others were deliberating on the ways and means for the success of their mission, Vibhishan informed that his spies had returned after gathering the required information about Ravan’s arrangements at the four gates of theist. After hearing Vibhishan’s information, Ram ordered Nila, Angad Hanuman and others to storm the four gates and decided to stay on Suvela mountain with his army.
The Rakshas broke the news to Ravan about Lanka having been laid siege to by the monkeys. Ravan surveyed the innumerable troops of monkeys, occupying the entire city of Lanka. Meanwhile, Ram ordered to the monkeys to destroy the enemies forthwith. The monkeys started demolishing various important defensive structures of the city of Lanka and besiege all the city-gates. Ravan. also commanded his army to commence combat. Rakshas begin to strike the monkeys with their weapons and the monkeys responded the strike with trees, mountain-tops, nails and teeth
On the first day of his battle with Ram’s army, Indrajit, Ravan’s son used all his force to cast havoc on the armies of Sugriv. At this Lakshman appeared before him, and fought a fierce battle with Indrajit, When Indrajit realised that Lakshman could not be won over, he started using his supreme magical powers, darting across the clouds and skies like a bolt of lightning. He combined his skills of sorcery and deceptive warfare, repeatedly vanishing and reappearing. Indrajit used his fiercest and deadliest weapon, Shakti. Lakshman fell unconscious, poised to die precisely at the following sunrise.
BRING SANJIVANI BUTI TO SAVE LAKSMAN
Hanuman was asked to bring the doctor of Lanka called Sushena. Sushena told Ram that there existed a herb called Sanjivani which could only be found in the Himalayan mountains. It was the only hope to save Laksman. Hanuman was sent to bring the Sanjivani from Dunagiri mountain in the Himalayas, to revive Laksman. When Ravan came to know all about this, he instructed Kalnemi, the demon to block the path of Hanuman. Kalnemi replied that he cannot block the path of such a mighty being who had single handedly burnt Lanka. Why don’t you compromise with Sri Ram?” Ravan became furious. Kalnemi thought that it would be better to die at the hands of the messenger of Sri Ram, than to die facing the wrath of Ravan.
Kalnemi then created a beautiful temple and a pond with his illusionary powers. When Hanuman saw the temple and the pond, he decided to take some rest. Hanuman went to Kalnemi and greeted him. Kalnemi praised Ram and said-
“A battle is being fought between Ram and Ravan. I can foresee Ram’s victory.”
Hanuman was pleased. He asked for some water, as he was very thirsty. Kalnemi gave some water from his Kamandal. But Hanuman’s thirst was not quenched. He asked for some more. Kalnemi then showed him the pond. As soon as Hanuman entered the pond, a crocodile got hold of his legs but Hanuman killed the crocodile in no time. The crocodile was in fact an elf that had become a crocodile because of a curse. She revealed the real identity of Kalnemi. Hanuman then killed Kalnemi.
Ravan, on learning that Kalnemi had been killed by Hanuman, summoned Surya (Sun) to rise before its appointed time because the physician Sushena had said that Lakshman would die if untreated by daybreak. Hanuman realised the danger, and becoming many times his normal size, detained the Sun God to prevent the break of day. He then resumed his search for the precious herb Sanjivani, but, found himself unable to identify which herb it was, he lifted the entire mountain.
Hanuman made good speed towards Lanka, suddenly he was shot by an arrow as he approached Nandigram. Hanuman was mistaken to be a demon by Bharat. Hanuman fell to the ground together with the great hill. Hanuman regained consciousness and recognised Bharat is Ram’s brother and explained to Bharat that he was moving the mountain to save his own brother, Lakshman. Bharat, felt very sorry, offered to fire an arrow to Lanka, which Hanuman could ride in order to reach his destination more easily. But Hanuman declined the offer, preferring to fly on his own and he continued his journey with his injured leg. He continued on to Lanka and delivered it to the battlefield in Lanka. Sushena then identified and administered the herb, and Lakshman was saved. Ram embraced Hanuman, declaring him as dear to him as his own brother. Hanuman released Surya from his grip, and asked forgiveness, as the Sun was also his Guru.
KUMBHAKARAN IN THE BATTLE FRONT
Ravan took the news of Laksman’s recovery very badly and decided to awaken his sleeping brother Kumbhakarn, and requested him to come to him. Kumbhakarn saw his worried brother. Kumbhakarn asked Ravan about the nature of work to be done by him and whether he had to kill anyone. Ravan replied that Ram had come with troops of monkeys after crossing the ocean by a bridge, to wage a battle.
Kumbhakarn, first accused Ravan of his unworthy act but assured him that he would neutralise that dishonour by killing the enemies. Ravan asked him to proceed to the battle-front. Then, Kumbhakarn reassured and promised Ravan, saying that he would kill Ram in battle. Ravan got pleased and ordered Kumbhakarn to wipe off the monkeys together with Ram and Lakshman in battle.
Vibhishan apprised Ram about Kumbhakarn and narrated his story of his getting curse from Brahma that Kumbhakarn would keep sleeping for every six months and then waking up for a day in a year Hanuman striked Kumbhakarn with a large mountain-peak and injured him severely. In reply, Kumbhakarn striked on Hanuman’s chest with his spike. Then, Kumbhakarn striked other monkey-chiefs who attacked him. When Angada, the leader of the monkeys, attacked Kumbhakarn, the latter striked Angada violently and Angada fell unconscious. Then, Kumbhakarn began his attack on Sugriv. When Kumbhakarn threw his spike towards Sugriv in retaliation, Hanuman stopped it on the way and broke it off. Kumbhakarn thereafter took his hammer and began to attack the monkeys and bears. Lakshman started to attack Kumbhakarn with his arrows. But, Kumbhakarn appreciated the velour of Lakshman and proceeded towards Ram to fight with him. Ram released some arrows with ‘Roundra’ spell towards Kumbhakarn. Those arrows disappeared into Kumbhakarn’s chest and made him weapon-less. In retaliation, Kumbhakarn hurled a mountain-peak towards Ram and even before the mountain-peak reached Ram, it was split up into pieces by the arrows released by Ram. Ram employed a great missile and chopped off one arm of Kumbhakarn. When Kumbhakarn with an uprooted tree in his arm, retaliated by running towards Ram, Ram with an arrow, presided over by Indra, hurled it on Kumbhakarn and chopped off his second arm, Ram then chopped off the feet of Kumbhakarn with his arrows and finally slashed off his head.
Hearing the news of Kumbhakarn killed by Ram, Ravan thought that he had virtually lost his right arm. Ravan initially fainted on hearing the shocking news. As Ravan was mourning for the death of Kumbhakarn, Trishira (one of Ravan’s sons) consoled him and said that he would go to the battle-field and kill Ram. Hearing the words of Trishira, Ravan’s other sons (Devantaka, Narantaka and Atikaya) also came forward to join the fight. Then Ravan sent all them to the battle. He also sent Mahodara and Mahaparshva, his brothers to guard his sons. Mighty Rakshas accompanied them. The monkeys took huge rocks and trees to fight with the Rakshas. Seeing several Rakshas being killed in battle, Narantaka entered the field with his javelin and killed several monkeys. Narantaka hurled his javelin towards Angada’s chest, but the javelin broke and fell down. Angada striked Narantaka’s horse with his hand and the horse fell down dead. Then, Angada and Narantaka exchanged the blows on each other in battle and finally, Narantaka died.
MAHIRAVANA(AHIRAVAN) ON BATTLE
In another incident during the war, Ram and Lakshman were captured by the rakshas Mahiravana (or Ahiravan), brother of Ravan, who held them captive in their palace in Patala (or Patalpuri)–the netherworld. Mahiravana kept them as offerings to his deity. Searching for them, Hanuman reached Patala, the gates of which were guarded by a young creature called Makardhwaja (known also as Makar-Dhwaja or Magar Dhwaja), who was part reptile and part Vanara.
The story of Makardhwaja’s birth is said to be that when Hanuman extinguished his burning tail in the ocean, a drop of his sweat fell into the waters, eventually becoming Makardhwaja, who perceived Hanuman as his father. When Hanuman introduced himself to Makardhwaja, the latter asked his blessings, but fought him to fulfill the task of guarding the gate. Hanuman defeated and imprisoned him to gain entry.
Upon entering Patala, Hanuman discovered that to kill Mahiravana, he must simultaneously extinguish five lamps burning in different directions. Hanuman assumed the Panchamukha or five-faced form of Sri Varaha facing north, Sri Narasimha facing south, Sri Garuda facing west, Sri Hayagriva facing the sky and his own facing the east, and blows out the lamps. Hanuman then rescued Ram and Lakshman. Afterwards, Ram asked Hanuman to crown Makardhwaja king of Patala. Hanuman then instructed Makardhwaja to rule Patala with justice and wisdom.
When Ravan was informed that Atikaya, Dhumraksha, Akampana, Prahadta, Kumbhakarn and other mighty Rakshas had been killed in battle, felt anxious. He felt that no demon was capable of defeating Ram, Lakshman.
INDRAJIT ON BATTLE
Seeing Ravan, in distress Indrajit promised to kill Ram and Lakshman. He set out for the battle, accompanied by his army. After reaching the battle-field, Indrajit challenged Ram and Lakshma, he fought fiercely, and arrested both the brothers using his most nefarious weapon Nagapash (a trap made of million snakes). Both the brothers fell on the ground breathless. The monkeys along with Hanuman and Angada began to grieve, on beholding the plight of Ram and Lakshman..
Indrajit informed Rakshas about his adventure of captivating both Ram and Lakshman by Nagapash his net work of serpentine arrows. Indrajit striked the other monkey-chiefs like . Nila, Mainda, Dvivida, Hanuman, Gavaksha and Angada as also Jambavan. Sugriv looked depressed on seeing the plight of Ram and Lakshman. Vibhishan also felt distressed on perceiving the bodies of Ram and Lakshman lying unconscious on the ground. Meanwhile, Garuda the King of Birds, who was also the enemy of the serpents and also the flying vehicle of Narayana made his appearance on the scene and liberated Ram and Lakshman from their bondage.
Indrajit, informed Ravan that both Ram and Lakshman had been killed. Ravan applauded his son for his daring act.
Ravan summoned some Rakshasnies including Trijata and instructed them to take Sita in Pushpaka-plane to the battle-front and show Ram and Lakshman had been killed by Indrajit. Accordingly, the Rakshasnies took Sita in Pushpaka-plane and show her Ram and Lakshman lying unconscious on a bed of arrows in the battle-field. Imagining Ram and Lakshman had been dead, Sita bursted into sobs. However, Rakshany Trijata reassured her, stating good reasons for Ram and Lakshman to be still alive and cheering her up, took her back to Ashoka vatika.
Ravan was surprised as to how Ram and Lakshman got released from the bind of arrows, made by Indrajit, his son. Ravan called Dhumraksha, a demon and asked him to go with an army and kill Ram, Lakshman and the monkeys Dhumraksha along with his army entered the western gate of Lanka where the army-chief Hanuman was stationed. A tumultuous battle ensued between the Rakshas and the monkeys. Both the monkeys and Rakshas were killed in large numbers. When Dhumraksha pounced on Hanuman, who in turn hitted him on his head and killed him
Ravan sent Vajradamstra, another Rakshas to kill Ram, Sugriv and his monkeys. Vajradamstra and his army emerged from the southern gate where Angada, the General of the Monkeys was stationed. The monkeys had a tough fight with the Rakshas. Angada, the leader of the monkeys striked the terrible strong Rakshas, chopping off their heads. A fierce battle ensued between Vajradamshtra and Angada. Angada assaulted Vajradamshtra with a sword and his head fell on the ground.
Indrajit, while himself remaining invisible in the sky, with a network of arrows, Indrajit created darkness in the sky and showers a multitude of arrows. Struck by the arrows discharged by Indrajit, monkeys in hundreds fell down dead.
Placing an illusory live image of Sita in his chariot, Indrajit along with his army entered the battle-field. Hanuman with his army of monkeys march in front to face Indrajit in battle. While Hanuman and his army were watching, Indrajit pulled Sita by her hair and unsheathed his sword. Indrajit killed the illusory living image of Sita, with his sharp sword.
Hanuman, with his army, approached Ram and informed him that Indrajit had killed Sita. Ram fainted upon hearing that news. The monkeys sprinkle water on Ram, so that he regains consciousness. Vibhishan told Ram the secret of conjuring trick practiced by Indrajit in killing an illusory image of Sita.
Indrajit fought with Ram’s army for three days. On third day Indrajit went to his native deity’s secret temple to perform the yagna that would make him invincible. Vibhishan learned of his nephew Indrajit’s routine through his spies and suggested Ram to send Lakshman to kill Indrajit, even before Indrajit complete the sacrificial fire in the sanctuary of Nikumbhila. Ram then askd Lakshman to proceed with the armies of Sugriv, Hanuma, Jambavan and Vibhishan. Lakshman proceeded to Nikumbhila along with Hanuma, Vibhishan and Jambavan to kill Indrajit.
Vibhishan took Lakshman to the place where indrajit was performing the sacrificial rite.Lakshman and Vibhisana took the opportunity to face Indrajit in the “Yagnaagaar”, where Indrajit would not touch any weapons.
Hearing the terrible noise of the battle, Indrajit discontinued his sacrificial rite and entered the battle-field. Indrajit saw Vibhishan there and started talking harsh words to him, saying that he had ditched him by bringing Lakshman to that place. Vibhishan replied that because of Ravan’s vices, he had left him and joined Ram’s side.
Indrajit fought Lakshman with the utensils of the yagna and even managed to escape from there. But before Indrajit could get armed Lakshman chopped his head off his body. Upon his death his wife Sulochana became Sati on his funeral pyre
RAVAN ON BATTLE FIELD
Ravan felt distressed in hearing the news of his son’s death. He got enraged and decided to kill Sita, who was the root of all this trouble..Ravan with a sword in his hand, walked towards Ashoka vatika to kill Sita. Sita observed Ravan rushing towards her and lamented that after killing Ram and Lakshman, he was coming to her place to kill her. Suparshva, a good and upright minister of Ravan advised Ravan to divert his anger towards Ram in battle. Ravan accepted the advice of his minister and returned to his assembly-hall.
Ravan entered the battle-field and with his mystic missiles. Ram and Lakshman came and attacked Ravan.
The battle between Ram and Ravan started. Indra sent a chariot, an armour, some arrows and a powerful spear. A tumultuous battle broke between Ram and Ravan. A spear hurled by Ravan was thwarted by a powerful spear (sent by Indra) of Ram. Then, Ram striked Ravan’s horses with arrows. He also pierced the chest region and the forehead of Ravan with his fierce arrows. Ravan got severely hurt.
Ravan reproached the charioteer for having turned back his chariot away from the battle-field. The charioteer explained to Ravan, the various reasons as to why he had taken back the chariot. Satisfied with the explanation given by his charioteer, Ravan instructed him to take the chariot back to the battle-field. Thereupon, the charioteer brought the chariot in an instant before Ram on the battle-field.
Seeing Ravan’s chariot coming, Ram asked Matali the charioteer to be on his guard. A fierce battle ensued between Ram and Ravan. Ram and Ravan used Astras charged with Mantras. The fierce encounter continued for seven days. Ram and Ravan made full use of the boons of Siva and Brahma, and the magical knowledge of warfare. Ram and Ravan compete fiercely, inflicting severe injuries on one another with the most powerful weapons Ravan discharged on Ram, Nagastra (arrow that becomes serpents full of poison). The arrows had their mouths like serpents and vomit forth fire all around. The Ram discharged Garudastra. The arrows became Garudas and cut off the serpent arrows on all sides. Garudas were the enemies of serpents. After a long and arduous battle, Ram successfully decapitated Ravan’s central head, but an ugly head, symbolic of all of Ravan’s evil powers arose in its place. After another long battle, Ram decapitated it, only to find another growing in its place. This cycle continues, and as darkness approaches, Ravan’s magical powers increase in force. Vibhishan , seeing this then told Ram that Ravan had obtained amrita, the nectar of immortality, from the Gods. Though he could not consume it, he nevertheless stored a vessel of it in his stomach. This amrit was causing his heads to regenerate as soon as they were cut off. Upon the advice of Agastya, Ram worshiped Lord Aditya, the Sun, with the famous Aditya Hridayam prayer and then invoked the most powerful weapon, the Brahmastra. Ram fired the great arrow that entered Ravan’s chest/stomach and destroyed the store of amrit, finally killing him.
Mandodari steered at the dead body of Ravan. She could not believe that Ravan, who had unconquerable powers had been killed by a mortal like Ram. But, she realised that Ram, who killed Ravan, was none other than Vishnu the lord of maintenance of the world. She admitted that Ravan had done a sinful deed in abducting Sita and that he had faced the consequence in the form of his death in the hands of Ram.
Following Ravana’s death, Vibhishan was crowned the king of Lanka. Ram asked the new king (Vibhishan) and the surviving rakshasas to properly cremate their dead king, who was a great being worthy of respect and admiration. Initially, Vibhishan refused to perform the last rites, but when Ram convinced him, he began to perform the funeral of Ravan.
SITA’S AGNI PARIKSHA
After Ram killed Ravan and won the war, Sita wanted to come before him in the state which over a year’s imprisonment had reduced her to, Ram arranged for Sita to be bathed and given beautiful garments before they were re-united. But even as Sita came before him in great excitement and happiness, Ram does not look at her, staring fixedly at the ground. He told her that he had fought the war only to avenge the dishonour that Ravan had inflicted on Raghuvnamsa and Sita. At this sudden turn of events, all the vanaras, rakshadas, Sugriv, Hanuman and Lakshman were deeply shocked.
Sita begged Lakshman to build her a pyre upon which she could end her life, as she could not live without Ram. At this point, Lakshman was angered at Ram but following Ram’s nod, he built a pyre for Sita. At the great shock and sorrow of the watchers, Sita walked into the sacrificial fire, Agni the lord of fire raised Sita, unharmed, to the throne, attesting to her purity. Immediately Ram ran to Sita and embraced her. He had never doubted her purity for a second, but, as he explained to Sita, the people of the world would not had accepted or honoured her as a queen or a woman if she had not passed this Agni pariksha before the eyes of hundreds, where Agni would destroy the impure and sinful, but not touch the pure and innocent. There was a version of Tulsidas’s Ramcharitamanasa, which was popular, which stated that Ram had Sita under the protection of Agni God. After Sita was released it was necessary to bring her out of security of Agni God. Another version of this was that Ram had known Sita was going to be abducted by Ravan ahead of time. So, he entrusted her to Agni Dev. Ram did this so that he, who in reality was Vishnu, could kill Ravan. Sita, in turn, left behind a “shadow”, or twin-like version of herself behind. The “shadow” Sita had been abducted by Ravan. Therefore, the lila of Agni Pariksha was to retrieve the genuine Sita from the temporary covered of Agni Dev. Ram explained this to Lakshman before the “Pariksha” was done. This version had also been written in the Ram Charit Manas.
Ram’s seeing Pushpaka, the divine aircraft, and returning to Ayodhya in that aircraft, Ram showed to Sita, the whole City of Lanka, the battle-field where Ravan and other Rakshas were killed, Nala-Setu the bridge which was built across the ocean, Mount Mainka, Setu-bandha (where the construction of the bridge was started), Mount Rwashyamuka, Pampa River, Janasthana-forest, Panchavati, Godavari river, the hermitage of Rishi-Agastya, the hermitage of Atri and Anasuya, Mount Chitrakuta, Yamuna-river, the hermitage of Bharadwaj, Ganga-river, Sarayu-river . Ram met Rishi Bharadvaja on his way back. Ram had also sent Hanuman to Yodhya to inform Bharat .
It was now the day before Ram was to return to Ayodhya after serving his exile. Bharat was anxious that his brother still hadn’t arrived.. Hanuman met Bharat told him of the arrival of Ram, Sita and Laksman. Bharat, after hearing the good news from Hanuman called Shatrughna and asked him to make appropriate arrangements for the reception of Ram in the City of Ayodhya. Bharat departed with all others, for Nandigram to receive Ram. The Pushpak Viman landed at Nandigram. Bharat welcomed Ram and others, by embracing them and by greeting them joyously. Ram too offered his salutations to all his mothers, who came to receive him. Then, Bharat brought Ram’s wooden sandals and placed them below the feet of Ram. Ram, Sita and Laksman collectively touched the feet of the Rishi Vaswashta on arriving in Ayodhya and thereafter greet all that had gathered in the assembly.
Ram commands Pushpaka, the aerial car to return to Kubera to whom it originally belonged.
Ram’s coronation took place and he was finally crowned king of Ayodhya.
Shortly after Ram was crowned King of Ayodhya, Ram decided to ceremoniously reward all his well-wishers. At a grand ceremony in his court, all his friends and allies took turn being honoured at the throne. Hanuman approached without desiring a reward. Seeing Hanuman came up to him, an emotionally overwhelmed Ram embraced him warmly, declaring that he could never adequately honour or repay Hanuman for the help and services he received from the noble Vanara. Sita, however, insisted that Hanuman deserved honour more than anyone else, and Sita gave him a necklace of precious stones adorning her neck.
When he received it, Hanuman immediately took it apart, and peered into each stone. Taken aback, many of those present demanded to know why he was destroying the precious gift. Hanuman answered that he was looking into the stones to make sure that Ram and Sita were in them, because if they were not, the necklace was of no value to him. At this, a few mocked Hanuman, saying his reverence and love for Ram and Sita could not possibly be as deep as he implied. In response, Hanuman teared his chest open, and everyone was stunned to see Ram and Sita literally in his heart.
Valmiki Ramayana is divided in following Kanda’s :
• Bala Kanda – Childhood – Birth and training of the Princes and marriage of the Princes
• Ayodhya Kanda – Ayodhya – Preparations for Ram’s coronation as a prince, coronation and his exile into the forest. Raja Dasharath died due to grief.
• Aranya Kanda –Forest – Forest life of Ram, visit to the Rishis, Ram received celestial weapons from Rishi Agastya. Kidnapping of Sita by Ravan.
• Kishkindha Kanda –Kishkindha – Meeting of Hanuman with Ram, Sugriv killed Bali with the help of Ram. Sugriv was crowned as the king of Kishkindha search of Sita.
• Sundara Kanda – Auspiciousness – Hanuman’s journey to Lanka and his meeting with Sita, sets fire to Lanka.
• Yuddha Kanda – War – Battle between Ram and Ravan. Both used Astras charged with Mantra, Sita was rescued from Ravan. Sita’s honour was tested in the fire
• Uttara Kanda –Afterword – Ram’s life after returning to Ayodhya and Sita’s exile, the birth of Luv and Kusha to Sita, their coronation to the throne of Ayodhya,.