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Kausalya Supraja Rama: Vanam Vasudasa Valmiki Ramayana

Kausalya Supraja Rama: Vanam Vasudasa Valmiki Ramayana
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Highlights

At dawn after the night sage Vishvamitra came closer to Rama and Lakshmana and said, “Fortunate was Kausalya (Kausalya Supraja) to beget you as her son Rama! Get up. As the eastern sunlit is emerging it is time to perform the morning solemn activity towards gods like Sandhya Vandana get up soon”.

At dawn after the night sage Vishvamitra came closer to Rama and Lakshmana and said, "Fortunate was Kausalya (Kausalya Supraja) to beget you as her son Rama! Get up. As the eastern sunlit is emerging it is time to perform the morning solemn activity towards gods like Sandhya Vandana get up soon". When Vishvamitra said this, both the brothers Rama and Lakshmana woke up, bathed in the River Sarayu, observed -the Achamana, meditated upon the Gayatri Hymn and after completing all the dawn time related duties went to Vishvamitra and greeted him. All of them proceeded on their journey and on the way found with astonishment the confluence of River Ganga and River Sarayu. On seeing this Rama and Lakshmana asked Vishvamitra to brief them about the place and about the hermitage there.

Vishvamitra briefs Rama about the Vanga Province

Sage Vishvamitra said "In the good old ancient days when Lord Shiva was observing penance here, his wife Parvathi was taking care of him. Then the Love God Manmatha with his wicked intention attempted to terminate the penance of Shiva. Shiva roaring at Manmatha opened his third eye and trounced him, burnt him, making all his body parts fall down and converting the body into ashes. Since then Manmatha was known as Ananga-meaning without any body parts. This place where Manmatha's body was given up had come to be known as Anga Province. This is that hermitage. This hermitage belongs to Shiva. Let us stay tonight here and tomorrow we will cross the River Ganga".

Later Vishvamitra told pleasant stories to Rama and Lakshmana till they slept.

Vishvamitra tells about River Sarayu to Rama

Next day early in the morning Rama and Lakshmana accompanied by sage Vishvamitra after completing the morning dawn prayers, arrived at the bank of River Ganga. There the hermitage sages kept a boat ready for them to cross the River. While crossing the River on the boat, Vishvamitra told the brothers about the significance, the history, origin and evolution of River Sarayu.

"On Mount Kailas Lord Brahma created a spectacular lake at his will and named it as 'Manasa Lake'. The River that flows out of this lake is known as Sarayu. It touches the city Ayodhya and flows in to River Ganga at this junction. The remarkable noise is caused due to Sarayu coursing towards Ganga and due to the collision of two river waters. This is the reason why this place is called Ganga Sarayu confluence" said Vishvamitra.

Accompanying Vishvamitra, both Rama and Lakshmana reached the southern bank of the river. There they landed and started their journey through dreadful and dissolute forest. There Rama asked Vishvamitra as to whose habitat this wretched forest was? In fact, that was the forest occupied by Tataka, the monster.

Vishvamitra tells Malada, Karoosala story

Replying to Rama, sage Vishvamitra said, "This was designed by gods and the places were known as Malada and Karoosala. Long ago when Indra committed sin by killing monster Vritra son of Kashyap, he attained contamination known as 'Brahma Hatya'. This resulted in his foregoing defecation and hunger. To get rid of his suffering Indra was taken to sacred rivers for a holy dip and bathing. With this he was freed from the contamination of 'Brahma Hatya'. Since Indra lost both his hunger and excretion here, this was named as Malada and Karoosala. The people here lived happily. For a long time, these inhabitances were highly fertile, affluent with abundant wealth".

Vishvamitra describes Tataka episode

After a sometime a Yaksha female by name Tataka married Sunda and gave birth to a monster son Maricha who equaled in strength and valor to that of Indra. Maricha was famous for his inhuman activities terrifying people always. He along with his mother literally converted this area in to a burial ground. Tataka lives about one and half Yojana (12 miles or 20 kilometers) from here. You should destroy her by killing and make these areas again livable".

Sage Agastya cursing Tataka

Rama on hearing about Tataka from Vishvamitra expressed the doubt as to how ordinary Yaksha women could destroy the entire forest and was able to wield the strength of thousand elephants?

Replying to Rama sage Vishvamitra said, "Once upon a time there lived a formidable, righteous Yaksha with virtuous conduct by name Suketu. As he had no children, he performed great penance to appease Lord Brahma. Having fully satisfied and feeling enormously glad, Brahma awarded him with a boon to give birth to a daughter who will be able to exert thousand elephants' strength. She was Tataka. Brahma however did not concede his request for son. Suketu on seeing his daughter growing up into a youthful beauty got her married to Sunda.

The couple gave birth to an unconquerable son named Maricha who by curse became a monster. Maricha's father Sunda was also cursed by Agastya and died. In the process of revenge Tataka along with her son Maricha attempted to kill Agastya. On seeing them approaching him sage Agastya cursed Maricha first to attain monster hood and later cursed Tataka to become a man eater and her beauty to be distorted with a monstrous shape. Having left with no option Tataka has been destroying this gifted place in which sage Agastya once wandered.

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