Wednesday, 8 July 2015

283. Rama was advised to build a bridge.

           Hearing those pacificatory words from both his dear bro as well as from the firmament above, Rama shouted at the ocean harshly "O, ocean! I will make you dry up now along with your nethermost subterranean region. A vast stretch of sand will appear, when your water gets consumed by my arrows. At the same time the creatures inhabiting you will get destroyed by the gush of arrows released by my bow. Then our vanaras will proceed to the other shore by foot. O, Sea! the abode of asuras! You seem to be unaware of my valor or prowess. You will now be made aware of the same."
              Rama then set ready to send the Brahma-Asthra to the ocean. Then suddenly both the heaven and earth seemed to be split asunder. Mountains also were shaken. Darkness enveloped the world. All the quarters were obscured. Lakes and rivers were soon agitated. The moon, sun and the stars moved obliquely and though the sun's rays lighted the sky, it was enveloped by darkness and shined with a blaze of hundreds of meteors while thunders reverberated with an unparalleled sound in the sky. Series of monstrous winds blew fiercely  sweeping away the clouds, tore up the trees, shattering the mountain peaks, broke off the points of the rocks, emitted flashes of radiance like lightning with a correspondingly great sound like great thunders. All the creatures cried out along with the thunders. The invisible beings too gave off a terrific noise. The creatures were overpowered, frightened, agitated, lied down and also very much anguished. They did not move out of fear. The great ocean with its waves and water, along with its living creatures including snakes and rakshashas soon became possessed of a terrific velocity. Due to that speed and swelling of waters, the ocean crossed beyond the other shore to the extent of a Yojana (eight miles). Rama born in Raghu dynasty and the annihilator of enemies, did not retreat before that ocean, which swelled and crossed its limits. Then, Sagara, the ocean god, himself rose from the middle of the ocean like the sun rises at dawn from the huge mountain of Meru. That ocean god  along with snakes of flaming jaws appeared with a hue of glossy emerald adorned with gold.
         The valiant ocean, the lord of rivers, wearing a wreath of pearls, with his eyes resembling lotus leaves, bearing a beautiful garland made of all kinds of flowers on his head, with ornaments of refined gold, adorned with excellent jewels made of pearls from his domain, decorated with different kinds of gems and metals, resembling Himavat mountain, wearing on his broad chest a locket radiating a white luster, resembling the Kaustubha gem, hanging in the middle of a single string of pearls, with a multitude of waves whirled around him, encircled by the clouds and winds, escorted by rivers mainly the Ganga and Sindhu, endowed with diverse forms resembling various deities, approached Rama with joined palms, who stood with his bow in hand all set to send the Brahma-Asthra. The ocean god addressed Rama first by shouting  'Rama!' and then reverently and politely said "O, beloved Rama! Let earth, wind, ether, water and light remain fixed in their own nature, resorting to their eternal path. I am fathomless and my nature is that it is impossible of being swum across. It becomes unnatural if I become shallow. Neither from desire nor ambition nor fear nor from affection, I am unable to solidify my waters inhabited by alligators, fishes etc.. I shall, however, make it possible to see that you are able to cross over. I will arrange a place for the vanaras to cross me and bear with it. As long as the army crosses me, the crocodiles will not bother them."
          Rama then replied "Thanks a lot. However, I now have a problem at hand. I already have set this BrahmaAsthra. It is not possible for me to just remove it from my bow. I have to send it to hit some target.  Please, therefore, suggest a target for it?"
           After thinking for a few moments the mighty ocean said "Towards my northern side, there is a holy place. It is well known as Drumakulya, just like the way you are well known to this world. Numerous robbers of fearful and ferocious deeds, with the sinful Abhiras as their chief, drink my waters there. I am not able to bear that touch of those wicked people, the evil doers. O, Rama! Let this fierce asthra without vain be released to hit them there."
           Rama did so. The place where that Astra, whose splendor was akin to that of a nuclear bomb, descended  is indeed famous as Maru* on this earth.

* Maru-Malwar in Rajastan (India)!?

      The earth hit by that asthra emitted a sound like piercing wailing. The waters of the penultimate subterranean region gushed forth from the mouth of that cleft. Then the hollow became known as Vrana. Water gushing forth from it looked and tasted like seawater. A terrific splitting sound was heard in that place. Water was dried up in those cavities, as a result of the asthra of Rama. That desert of Maru became famous in the three worlds. Rama, the son of Dasharatha, a wise  and a valiant man resembling a celestial, made that cavity dried up and gave a boon to that desert of Maru. Due to granting of a boon by Rama, that desert of Maru became the most congenial place for cattle rearing, a place without any disease, producing tasty fruits and roots, with a lot of clarified butter, a lot of milk and various kinds of sweet- smelling herbs. Thus it became an auspicious and suitable place, bestowing these merits. While that cavity was burning, Ocean, the lord of rivers pointing the vanara Nala, told Rama "O, excellent man! This one, named Nala, a glorious person, is the son of Vishvakarma. He was given a boon by his father and is equal to his dad, Visvakarma. Let this greatly energetic vanara build a bridge across me. I can hold that bridge. He is just the same as his father."
          Then the god of Ocean disappeared in the same way he appeared. Then Nala, one of the more distinguished vanaras stood up and said "As suggested by the Ocean, I will construct a bridge across this large Ocean, taking recourse to the skill and ability of my father. This Sagara, the formidable mass of water, in fear of punishment, gave a passage to Rama, wishing to see a bridge constructed on it. On the mountain of Mandara, the following boon was given by Visvakarma to my mother 'O, god like lady! A son equal to me will be born to you.' I am a son born of Visvakarma's own loins. I am equal to Visvakarma. As I never attempted anything like my papa earlier, I was not sure of my ability to construct a bridge on the ocean. I, therefore, did not volunteer earlier. Now I am very confident and feel very capable of constructing a bridge across the ocean. Hence, let us start to build the bridge now itself."
            Coming to know of the bridge across the ocean being built by one of their comrades, Nala, the entire lot of the vanara army jumped in joy on all sides to take part in that endeavour. The vanaras, who resembled mountains, broke the rocks from the nearby mountains and trees from the nearby forests and dragged them away towards the sea. Those vanaras filled the ocean with all types of trees like sala, asvakarna, dhava, bamboo, kutaja, arjuna, palmyra,tilaka, tinisa, bilva, saptaparna and karnika in blossom as also mango and asoka. The excellent and energetic vanaras lifted and brought, like Indra's flag posts, some trees with roots intact and some others without roots. From here and there the vanarass brought palmyra trees, pomegranate shrubs, coconut and vibhitaka, karira, bakula and neem trees. The huge bodied vanaras with  enormous strength uprooted elephant-sized rocks and mountains and transported them by mechanical contrivances contrived by Nala. The water, raised up due to sudden throwing of mountains, stones, etc. in the sea, soured upward towards the sky and from there again, gushed back. The rocks befalling on all sides perturbed the ocean. Some others drew up very long strings in order to keep the rocks in a straight line. Nala on his part initiated a monumental bridge in the middle of the ocean. Some vanaras were holding poles for measuring the bridge and some others collected the material. Reeds and logs resembling clouds and mountains brought by hundreds of vanaras fastened some parts of the bridge.
       Vanaras constructed the bridge with trees having blossom at the end of their boughs. Some vanaras looking like demons seized rocks resembling mountains and peaks of mountains. Then, a tumultuous sound occurred when the rocks were thrown into the sea and when mountains were caused to fall there. On the first day, fourteen Yojanas of the bridge were constructed by the vanaras. In the same manner, on the second day twenty Yojanas of bridge were constructed speedily by them with terrific bodies and mighty strength.
        Thus, on the third day twenty-one Yojanas of the bridge was constructed in the ocean speedily with their colossal bodies. On the fourth day, a further of twenty-two Yojanas were constructed by the dashing vanaras with a great speed. In that manner, on the fifth day, the vanaras working quickly constructed twenty-three yojanas of the bridge up to the other seashore. The proud Nala, the strong and illustrious son of Visvakarma  built the bridge across the sea as truly as his father would have built it. That beautiful and lovely bridge constructed by Nala across the ocean, the abode of alligators, shone brightly like a milky way of stars in the sky. With a desire to behold that marvel, devas along with gandharvas, siddhas and great rishis came  and stood up in the   firmament. The devas and gandharvas  openly appreciated the Nala's bridge, having a width of ten yojanas and a length of hundred yojanas and which was very difficult to be built. The vanaras taking long leaps and short leaps shouted in joy. All other beings seeing that bridge across the ocean felt their hair standing on end in amazement and deemed it as unimaginably wonderful. Those thousand crores of vanaras in a great spectacle reached the other shore of the great ocean soon after building that bridge across the sea. That colossal bridge, which was broad, well-constructed, glorious, well postured and held together firmly, looked beautiful like a separating straight line in the ocean. Vibhishana, wielding a mace in his hand, stood up on the seashore along with his ministers, was all ready for meeting any eventualities in invading the enemies.
        Sugreeva told Rama "O, valiant man! This ocean, the abode of alligators, is  vast. I do not want you to waste your energy crossing the ocean by walking over the bridge. Please ascend the shoulder of Hanuman and let Lakshmana ascend the shoulder of Angada. They can hold both of you while flying in the sky."
        Rama smilingly nodded his agreement. Then wielding his bow and Lakshmana and Sugreeva by his sides, went to the front of that army. Some vanaras went along the middle of the bridge. Some others went along the sides. Some others were jumping into water. Some others marched forward on the path. Some vanaras entered the sky and flew like Garuda, the eagle. The highly terrific sound of the ocean was surpassed by the great sounds of the terrific vanaras who were crossing the sea. That army of vanaras, which crossed the ocean by the bridge constructed by Nala, was encamped by Sugreeva at that location of the shore having many fruits, tubers and water. Seeing Rama's accomplishment, which was amazing and arduous, devas, Siddhas and Charanas (celestial bards) along with great sages, forthwith approached Rama and consecrated him with very splendid waters separately. The devas, Siddhas and others blessed Rama "O, king! Defeat your enemies. Rule the earth and ocean for years."

1 comment:

  1. It was very interesting to read the story behind the rama who built the bridge. I would also like to share this information with you all. Ravana has always been vilified by us due to his single act of kidnapping of Lord Ram's wife, Sita. But there is an interesting story when he aids Ram in his pursuit to rescue Sita and defeat him. God Ram wanted to build a bridge to reach Lanka from the shores of Rameshwaram. Before the work started, he decided to perform a yagna to God Shiva to defeat Ravana. But the Yagna required a very knowledgeable priest to conduct it and Ram had to have his wife by his side during the proceedings.

    Everyone is Ram's camp were aware of the fact that the only person qualified to the perform the Yagna was none other than Ravana himself. Ram desperate to conduct the Yagna invited Ravana to which he accepted. Ravana not only agreed to perform the Yagna, he was understanding enough to bring Sita along as well. Ravana successfully conducted the Yagna and in the end when Ram requested Ravana's blessings to defeat him, Ravana promptly replied “Tatasthu” (So be it). Read More