The Jain Ramayana

The Jain Ramayana August 20, 2016

Who wrote Jain Ramayana?

Jain Ramayana was written by Acharya ” RAVISHEN” in the book ” PADAMPURAN ” approx. 1500 years ago. The book was written in sanskrit.

What is the history/lineage of Acharya Ravishen ?

The origination of all information/discription of the events related to the life of Shri Ram & Sita which constitutes Jain Ramyana is from Lord Mahavira. His surmons were convereted into words by his first disciple Gandhar ” Gautam “. The knowledge was carried on in verbal form by Acharyas in his lineage until it was wriiten down by Acharya “Ravishen”.

When did the events described in Jain Ramayana happen ?

Jain Ramayana happened approximately 9 lakh years ago. It was time after the nirvana of Lord ” Munisuvratnath ” the 20th Thirthankar of Jainism.
Who was Shri Ram ?

Shri Ram was the son of King Dashrath of Ayodhya. King Dashrath belonged to the “Ishvanku ” dynasty. He was born to King “Aranya” and his queen “Sumangla” of Ayodhya. King Dashrath had 4 queens named – Aprajita,Sumitra,Kekayi,Suprabha. He had 4 sons from these 4 queens respectively. Shri Ram whose other name was ” Padmnabh ” was the son of queen Aprajita. Lakshman was the son of queen Sumitra. Bharat was the son of queen Kekayi. Shatrughan was the son of queen Suprabha.

Who was Sita ?

Sita was the daughter of king ‘Janak’ and queen ‘Videha’ of ‘Mithalapuri’. She had a brother named ‘Bhamandal’ who was kidnapped soon after his birth by a deity due to animosity in previous life. He threw him in a garden of ‘Rathnupur’ where he dropped in the arms of the king ‘Chandravardhan’ of Rathnupur. The king and queen brought him up as their own son with lot of love and care. It turns out that Ram & Sita get married due to Bhamandal and in the course of events Bhamandal realises that Sita is his real sister. It is then that he meets his birthgiving parents.

How did Ram & Sita get married?

King ‘Chandravardhan’ of Rathnupur who was a Vidyadhar wanted Sita for his son ‘ Bhamandal’. Bhamandal was enamoured by a painting of Sita, not knowing that Sita is his real sister. King Chandravardhan challanged King ‘ Janak’ the father of sita who had already promised her for Shri Ram, that if Ram & Laxman hold the bows ‘ Sagarvart’ and ‘Vrajavart’ which are protected by dieties, then only he will consider them to be more powerful than Bhamandal and allow for thier marriage else he will forecfully take Sita for his son.
King ‘Janak’ organised a ‘svayamvar’ for her daughter and invited Ram & Laxman among many other princes. No one but only Ram and Laxman could hold the ‘ vrajavart’ and ‘Sagarvart’ bows respectively. Dieties acclaimed and greeted them by flower shower. Thier glory spread everywhere and even the Vidhyadars accepted thier prowess. Sita chose Shri Ram as her husband by putting a garland around his neck.

Why did Shri Ram got exile ?

Bharat, the younger brother of Shri Ram was contemplating Jain Diksha along with his father King Dashrath. His mother’ Kekayi’ understood his thoughts. Earlier, in a battlefield Kekayi had once saved the life of King Dashrath through her warfare skills, in return of which King Dashrath vowed to grant her one wish anytime in her life. At this time, to avoid Diksha by Bharat she asked in return of the vow from king Dashrath that the next King of Ayodhya be Bharat and not Ram. King Dashrath happily gave the wish to Kekayi as it was his promise.
She had not asked for exile for Shri Ram. Ram himself, to uphold the vow of father Dashrath decided to go in exile to forests so that the throne could be given away to the younger brother Bharat. Lakshman and Sita decided to accompany Shri Ram out of thier profound love and duty towards him.
What happened to King Dashrath after the exile of Shri Ram ?

King Dashrath declared son Bharat as the next heir to his throne and himself took Diksha from jain saint ” Sarvbuthhit” along with 72 other kings.
Bharat, also took a vow near jain saint “Dhyuti” to take jain diksha immediately upon seeing Shri Ram next.

Who was jatayu ?

During the exile among the many altruistic deeds of Shri Ram and Sita, they once got the opportunity to give ‘ahaar to two jain saints ‘Sugupti’ and ‘Gupti’. A vulture sitting on a nearby tree was watching the scene keenly which flashbacked its many past lives in its mind. The vulture became resstless and happened to fall from the tree in the utensil containing the sublime water used for washing jain saints feet. A miracle happened, as the vulture became such a beautiful and luminous bird with wings of gold and the body of precious stones. As it recalled its past lives of pain and sorrow due to its misdeeds tears fell from its eyes. It immediately yielded to the jain saints by becoming thier pupil who gave it five anuvrats of a jain shravak. Sita kept the transformed vulture with her and named it ‘Jatayu’. Jatayu became dear to her as she decorated , played with and took care of it for the rest of her exile .

Who was Ravan ?

Ravan was a very powerful Vidhyadhar(humans who possesed many special powers) king. He was an ardhchakri which means that he ruled the 3 khands(parts) of Bharat Shetra. His capital was at “Lanka” which was on the “Triktuchal” mountain on “Rakshas” island in “Lavan ocean” of “Jambudweep”. Ravan belonged to “Rakshas” lineage which did not mean that he was a demon, he was rather a shalaka purush one of the most handsome and powerful king of this avaspirni era .

Why was Sita abducted ?

Once during exile, “Laxman” was roaming alone in the “Dandak” forest when he reached a place which had many bamboo pillars in front of which was a luminous trident. Laxman took it in his hands and with the aim of testing its sharpness cut the bamboo pillars with it. Dieties appeared and acclaimed him as thier master for acquiring the trident. That trident was no ordinary weapon, it was called the “Suryahass”.
“Sambuk” the son of “Suparnakaha” (sister of Ravan) and “Khardushan” was meditating for the last 12 years on those bamboo pillars for acquiring that Suryahass. He was killed immediately when Laxman acquired it, so was destined. When Chandranakha saw the dead body of his son, mixed fealings of deep sorrow and anger gushed through her. She saw Ram, Laxman & Sita in the forest and understood what had happened. At first sight, she was so enamoured by the beauty of Ram and Laxman that she forgot everything and approached them for marriage.But in the spirit of rightousness they politely refused to aceept her. Her anger intensified and she narrated the entire incident to her husband Khardushan and also lied that Ram & Laxman tried to molest her. Khardushan in great anguish with the help of his brother in law Ravan declared a war on Ram and Laxman.
Brave Laxman immediately went to confront the enemies alone. Ravan was arriving in his “Pushpak” Vimaan(air-plane) in the battle ground but when he saw Sita from the sky he was so enchanted by her beauty that he forgot about the war and started thinking about a way to get her. Using his special powers he learned that Sita was the wife of Ram, so he created a fake sound which led Ram to believe that Laxman is calling him for help in the battle. Ram left Sita in good faith to help Laxman. Ravan used this opportunity to abduct Sita forcefully and flew back to Lanka with her in his Pushpak Vimaan. “Zatayu” attempted to save her but was killed by him. On the other side Laxman killed Khardushan and won the battle.

Who helped Ram in getting information about Sita ?

Ram was very restless after the abduction of Sita. “Sugreev” the king of “Kishkundpur” came to seek help from Ram against his enemy who was decieving his people by using special powers to become his look alike. Ram and Laxman helped Sugreev by identifying his duplicate and killing him in the battlefield. In return Sugreev promised to help Ram find out the details of Sita within 7 days. He sent his people all around to find her whereabouts and informed “Bhamandal” (brother of Sita) too. He himself set out to find her and while travelling by air he came across another Vidhyadhar called “Ratanjati”.
Ratanjati came to Ram and informed that Ravaan abducted Sita in his Pushpak Vimaan. Upon hearing her loud cries when he tried to save her from Ravaan, he snatched all his powers and threw him on ground.

Why was Hanuman sent to Lanka for effecting a pact between Ram and Ravaan ?

Lord “Anantvirya” had told that the man who will lift the “Koti” mountain would put Ravaan to death. When Laxman heard of it, he went and lifted the mountain with his hands. Deities showered flowers and vidhyadhars acclaimed him. It pronounced that Ravaan will be killed by Laxman. But to save the lives of many who would be killed fighting in the battleground they decided to first try to solve the matter with peace, for which “Hanuman” was sent to Lanka.
Was Hanuman a celibate and monkey faced ?

“Hanuman” was the son of “Anjana” and “Pavanjay”. He belonged to the lineage which was called ” VanarVansh” means monkey clan. It did not mean he was monkey faced, on the contrary “Hanuman” was a “Kamdev” – one of the most handsome man on the earth. He also possessed many powers and qualities. He was not a celibate and married many princess. To give an example- On his way to Lanka, he destroyed the illusiory bulwark created by the army of Ravaan to prevent entry on the “Trikutachal” mountain. The king defending the bulwark was won by Hanuman in a deadly battle fought between the armies of the two. After the kings defeat, his daughter “LankaSundri” was first very furious on Hanuman and decided to fight him. But during the war with him, she lost her heart to him and eventually married him.

Did Hanuman set Lanka on fire ?

Upon entering Lanka, Hanuman first visits Vibhishan ( brother of Ravaan) who was against the unethical abduction of Sita by his brother who informs Hanuman that Sita has been fasting for 11 days since being captured. Upon hearing this Hanuman immediately proceeds for the Pramad Van where Sita was held captive. When he meets Sita, he gives her the ring of Shri Ram as a token of identification and introduces himself. Sita is immediately filled with joy and finds a brother in him. Hanuman requests and tries to convince her to have food to which she ultimately agrees. She also hands over her bracelet as a token for Shri Ram of her meeting with Hanuman. When Hanuman is about to leave he is captured by Indrejeet ( son of Ravaan). Though Hanuman could have easily escaped his bondage, he allows himself to be taken to the palace of Ravaan with the motive of talking to him. He admonishes Ravaan in several ways to convince him to return Sita without war but when Ravaan disagrees in disdain, Hanuman breaks free from the bondage and devastates the gold bulwark of his palace and leaves to return back through sky. He doesn’t put Lanka on fire.

Who helped Ram and Laxman in the battle against Ravan.What weapons did they use ?

Sugriv, Hanuman,Vibhishan, Bhamandal,Nal, Neel and other vidhyadhars fought with their armies from the side of Shri Ram.
During their exile with Sita in the forest, Ram and Laxman had once purged an assault on saints Deshbhusan and Kulbhushan. Dieties acclaimed their good act and granted them a wish . Ram and Laxman kept the wish reserved for later use. In the battlefield Ram reclaimed that wish, in lieu of which they were granted many special powers and heavenly weapons by the deities for use in the battle.

Was Laxman saved by Sanjivini medicine brought by Hanuman?

Laxman was lethally attacked by Ravaan during the battle. When Laxman fell unconscious , the battle was temporarily rested on the request of Shri Ram. Ram became restless, as he thought Laxman had been killed. After some time, a vidhyadhar named “Chandrapratim” came there who told them that Laxman was alive and could be saved till dawn, by the touch of miraculous bath water of Princess “Vishalya”, daughter of King “Dhronmegh”. All deadly diseases in the world and wounds could be cured by the simple touch of the water from her bath. She had this special boon by birth because of her long, tough fasting for 3000 years in the forest during her past life. He also told that King Bharat (brother of Shri Ram and Laxman) can take them to king Dronmegh. Upon hearing this, Hanuman and Bhamandal immediately leave for King Bharat, who first faints upon hearing this news and then sends many of his ministers along with them to King Dronmegh. Mother Kekayi also accompanies them.
King Dronmegh having heard from a Jain Saint that his daughter Vishalya is destined to be married to Laxman allow her, along with 1000 other princess to personally visit Laxman. As soon as she reaches near him, the power which had attacked Laxman vitiates and he comes to life. With due permission of Shri Ram, the marriage of Laxman and Vishalaya is arranged with pomp and celebrations in the same camp.
It was not the Sanjivini medicine brought by Hanuman but Princess Vishalya who saved Laxman.

Who killed Ravaan ?

After, the attack on Laxman, the battle was temporarily stopped, Ravaan acquired the “ Bahurupani” power by meditating in the “Shantinath Jinanalya” in Lanka. With this power Ravaan became nearly unconquerable. When the battle started again, he fought ferociously and gave everyone a tough time. In the end he attacked Laxman with his “Chakra ratna” which was invincible except by the “Narayana” also called the “AradhChakri “. As the soon the Chakra reached Laxman, it stopped and automatically came in his hands. Laxman was destined to be the eighth narayana and Ravaan “Prati Narayana”. When Ravaan saw this, he could immediately recall the words of “ Anant virya kevali” who had foretold that Ravaan will be killed by Laxman. Laxman, attacked Ravaan with the same Chakra which slit his body and in no time put him to death.
It is destined that a Prati Narayana is always killed by a Narayana. Here Laxman was a Narayana who killed Ravaan who was a Prati Naryana.

When did Ram and Laxman returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravaan ?

After Ravaan was killed in the battle, his sons Meghnad, Khumbhkaran , Indrjeet were released from bondage, after which they took Jain Diksha from Jain Saint Anantvirya. Forty eight thousand queens of Ravaan including Mandodri also became Jain Aryikas. Ram and Laxman went to Lanka to meet Sita. Thier union was so emotional that dieties showered flowers from the sky. Ram handed over the rule of Lanka to Vibhishan ( brother of Ravaan ) and themselves stayed there for 9 years on his request.

Taken from the Jain Encyclopedia – CC-BY-SA.

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