Ravana, the mighty king of the island of Lanka, abducted Rama’s consort in India. Rama with an army of monkeys finally freed Sita and killed Ravana and his entourage of demons.
In the 16th section of the Uttara Kanda, which is last book of the Ramayana, a back story is narrated, which shows that this final outcome of the battle of Lanka is the result of another misconduct of Ravana and a curse in response to his behaviour.
Ascending the mountain, Ravana’s flying charriot called Pushpaka suddenly stopped its motion. Ravana could not comprehend how the vehicle could have its course impeded. His uncle Maricha, who later on in the disguis of a deer kidnapped Sita, explained that there must be a cause for this deprivation.
While they were discussing, Nandi, the sacred bull of Shiva, in a dwarfish appearance, said, that the mountain cannot be approached, because Sankara was there. Ravana, enraged, asked: Who is this Sankara? Nandi transformed his appearance, he now had the face of a monkey, in order to resemble Sankara. Seeing this, Ravana burst out into laughter. Now Nandi was enraged himself and answered: For deriding me for my monkey-form, your high pride and power shall be crushed and your race be destroyed by monkeys of my form.
When Nandi had spoken this, celestial kettle-drums sounded and a blossomy shower rained from the sky.
But Ravana was not impressed. And what follows is one of the most famous episodes of Hindu mythology, ending with the Ravananugraha
to be continued next month...
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