A Tale of Two Princes–Part 2
By Sam Jay Rawat
By Sam Jay Rawat
Manager, India House Restaurant
When both the princes returned to their hut after killing Marichi, the deer with golden skin, they were terribly shocked to find Sita missing. They searched for her in the forest, where they found the ornaments and soon learned that she had been kidnapped. They proceeded in the same direction, and on the way they met the King of Vultures, Jalaya, who fought Raavan in the sky trying to rescue Sita, but was interrupted by the mighty demon king. He told Raam and Laxman that it was Raavan, the king of Lanka, who kidnapped Sita.
After curing and caressing the wounds of Jatayu, both the princes proceeded in the direction of Lanka. On the way they met the ape king, Sugreeva, and mighty Hamumaan, the great, who flew to Lanka over the seas and reached the place where Sita was kept under tight security inside a garden under an Ashok tree. She was always meditating and chanting the name of her husband, Raam. Hanumaan returned safely, destroying and killing many of Raavans lieutentants who wanted to capture him. He told Raam and Laxman all about what was happening in Lanka.
Then they raised a huge army of apes and bears, and they built a bridge on the sea waters by putting the floating stones together. By hopping from stone to stone, they landed on the soil of Lanka to declare war on Raavan. This lasted for days, and they finally killed all Raavans men, and Raam got his queen back. Then they crowned Bibhishan, the younger brother of Raavan, who was a holy person and never liked by Raavan, the king of Lanka.
Raam and Chandra then returned to Ayodhya, accompanied by his wife, Princess Sita and Laxman, his younger brother. In Lanka his subjects and brother, King Bharat, were waiting for them. On reaching Ayodhya after 14 years of exile, Raam and Sita were greeted with great joy. The whole city was illuminated with earthen lamps, and the houses were decorated with flowers and lights. It was more the victory of righteousness over the evils, more than anything else, and this tradition has remained alive throughout the centuries.
This historical event, called Raamayana, is celebrated as Deepawali or Diwali, all over India and the Far EastIndonesia, Thailand, Malaya, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and other nations.
Happy Deepali, everybody!