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A gist of Ramayana - Part XV
Rama kills Ravana and return of Rama from Lanka.
Ravana defeated and return of Rama to Ayodhya
Ravana prayed deeply to his chosen deity Lord Shiva, singing many songs to propitiate his god. After completing his prayers, he started for the battle field and took leave of his queen Mandodari. Even then she advised him, Sita is a very chaste woman. Never aspire for her instead surrender her to Rama with all respects. Ravana was in no mood to listen. His fate dragged him to the battle line. He gathered the remaining generals in the army, took all his weapons, started heading for the war field in his chariot. Rama and Lakshmana were aware that he is a wounded tiger and he won't rest until he plunge on them with all his might. The final war between Rama and Ravana was most terrible to look. Everywhere there was war cry and the sound of 'kill, hit, pounce, cut and all such orders. Every demon faced several monkeys and the monkeys plucked the head from the neck of the demon with their sharp nails. They hurt the demons with their deep bite. Many a times, the demons started running here and there. Ravana got very angry. He told them, "If you run for your life, you will be instantly killed. He killed many fleeing demons. Fearing death, many demons stayed put in the war ground.
Ravana was a mysterious enemy. His magical weapons plunged the battle field in utter darkness. Time and again, Rama and Lakshmana sent appropriate arrows to illumine the darkness that induce fear in the monkeys. It was just like the thunder and lightening during the time when the sky is over cast. When Ravana sent fire through his arrows, Rama drowsed the fire with his raining arrow. It seems that Ravana never got tired and he killed many monkeys and swallowed many monkeys alive. Vibhishana counselled Rama, "Oh Lord, the life of Ravana is near his stomach and it is preserved in a vessel of nectar. Hence if you shot an arrow to his stomach, he will fell down dying. Accordingly, a fierce arrow was shot by Rama to pierce his stomach and instantly Ravana fell on the ground with all his ten heads rolling everywhere. Ravana could sense that Rama was none other than Lord Mahavishnu came in this world to kill the demons and to restore righteousness. With his arms folded in a gesture of submission, Ravana prayed to the Lord and his life merged in Rama ultimately.
Hearing the tragic death of her husband, Mandodari, came wailing and crying. She was a noble woman. After seeing the body she cried, "You have never listened me. You should have handed over mother Sita to Rama. Now you have brought the infamy on your head. Rama consoled her with kind words and she realized the validity of fate.
All the monkeys hailed Rama's victory over the demon king Ravana! Rama embraced all the monkey chieftains. Everybody were rejoicing. Rama asked Lakshmana to anoint Vibhishana as the king of Srilanka. Though Vibhishana has no such wish, Rama convinced him that he should lead the country. Messangers were sent to Sita that Rama has vanquished his enemy. She took bath, wore flowers on her hair and wore auspicious cloths before coming in the presence of Rama. But Rama has not given permission for her to come near. He asked Lakshmana to develop huge fire. Lakshmana was aghast at the turn of events. But Rama persisted. He wanted her to pass through the fire unscathed. He knew about her chastity. But the world should believe her and hence he asked her to undergo the test. Immediately she obeyed his order and prayed to the god of fire! Oh God of Fire, I am virtuous as before and return me to Rama unscathed. The fire did not touch her. She emerged from the fire with more glow and splendor. She prostrated to Rama and she was seated beside him.
Rama thought about Baratha. He has promised to enter into fire if Rama did not return to Ayodhya after completion of fourteen years. Now only a day or two is left. Rama thanked all the monkeys, bear king, and others for the immense help they rendered. He thanked King Sugriva and Vibhishana, Nala and Neela for their contribution is great. How he can forget Hanuman who served Rama so faithfully? He embraced Hanuman and all of them started returning to Ayodhya by the Pushpak vimana(air borne chariot). Before that he called Hanuman to immediately fly to Ayodhya to give the glad news to Baratha or else he will immolate himself. Hanuman rushed like wind and reached in time to stop the immolation of Baratha. Finding that there is no trace of his brother Rama returning, Bharatha was circumbulating the fire before entering it. But Hanuman prevented the mishap in time. He was informed that Rama, Sita and Lakshmana are on their way. Rest in next part.