<%response.buffer = true %> RAMAYANA - LANKA KAND - CONSTRUCTION OF BRIDGE



    After the ocean conceeded to give way to Sri Rama and his army of the monkeys, Sri Rama instructed everyone to get into action. Jambvant called both the brothers - Nal and Neel and instructed them to construct the bridge after remembering the divinity and greatness of Sri Rama.

    All the monkeys went and uprooted large trees and mountains and brought them to Nal and Neel. Nal and Neel tried to construct a bridge with the help of those trees and mountains.

    When Sri Rama saw that the process of bridge construction was going smoothly, he felt pleased. He expressed his desire to establish an idol of Lord Shiva. Sugreev sent his envoys to call the sages.



    Sri Rama installed a Shivalinga in Rameshwaram at the seashore and narrated the greatness of Lord Shiva. He also said that one who has a darshan of that Shivalinga will attain to his abode.

    When the bridge was ready, Sri Rama and his army proceeded further on their mission. The bridge became to overcrowded with the army that some of the troops were forced to take an aerial route. This way the whole army crossed over the ocean.

    In Lanka, the monkeys started to eat the fruits and uproot the trees. They also thrashed and bit any demon they found.

    The demons hurriedly approached Ravan and informed him about the menace the monkeys were creating. Ravan was astonished that he could not believe that monkeys would ever cross the ocean. He had no idea even in his wildest of dreams that somebody could bridge the ocean.

    When Mandodari learnt that Sri Rama had arrived, she again requested Ravan to change his decision of retaining Sita.


    Trying to persuade Ravan to change his mind Mandodari said-

    "O lord! Sri Rama is very compassionate. You must take his refuge. You have accomplished all of your dreams by defeating the deities, human beings and the demons. There is nothing that remains undone for you. Saints say that a king in his old age should go to the forest and practice meditation."

    Ravan replied-
    'O Mandodari! There is no warrior like me in this whole world. I have defeated the Kuber, Varun and even Yama. I have full control over the deities, the demons and the human beings. What makes you fearful?"

    Ravan tried to persuade Mandodari then he went to consult with his ministers on further course of action. The sycophant ministers assured him that there was nothing to worry about. A minister named Prahasta said-

    "Lord, do not go by what all these people say. We have already witnessed the might of a single monkey. I feel that we should return Sita to Rama. If you accept my proposal then your fame will spread in all the directions. Ravan became very furious with him. He admonished him.

    Ravan's brother Vibhishan also tried to dissuade him from nurturing hostility against Sri Rama. But Ravan was so much blinded by arrogance that he would not listen to anybody. Indignantly, he kicked Vibhishan and drove him out of his court. Feeling intense humiliation, Vibhishan at once decided to desert Ravan's court and take shelter at Sri Rama. Thus, he approached Sri Rama and joined his camp. Many days later, Ravan was enjoying the dance and music in his palace, which was situated on the peak of a mountain.

    On the other hand, Sri Rama had reached the Sumeru Mountain with his army. He was busy working out strategies for war. Suddenly he heard the thundering of the clouds in the southern sky. He said to Vibhishan-

    "Look Vibhishan, it seems as if it is going to rain. Do you hear the thundering of the clouds."

    Vibhishan then replied-
    "Lord, this is neither the thunder of the clouds nor the lightning. These sounds are coming from the palace of Ravan where he is enjoying dance and music. It is the drums that sound like thundering clouds and the bright reflection of light comes from the ear-rings of Mandodari."

    Sri Rama smiled and shot an arrow in that direction. One shot of his arrow was enough to topple the crown of Ravan and remove the ear-rings of Mandadori. Accomplishing this, the arrow returned back to Sri Rama's quiver. Everybody in the assembly was frightened but nobody understood what had happened.

    When Ravan saw that all the assembled people had been terrified he boosted their morale. Mandodari then requested Ravan to stop opposing Sri Rama.

    Ravan was unrelenting.

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