Monday, September 2, 2013

Going Places - Ram Yatra

I am taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words from September 1 - 7. The theme for this festival is "7" and mine is:

Going Places -  7 journeys I would like to take.

Having "completed" my first journey with a Krishna Yatra, it's time for my second one and this time it's a Ram Yatra (pilgrimage or journey).

Ram and Sita
image source - google images

Lord Ram was the 7th avatar of Bhagwan (God) Vishnu and considered to be the most perfect human being that ever walked the earth. He was a paragon of virtue, a benevolent and merciful king, a dutiful son, a caring brother, husband and father, and a great warrior. Hence earned the title of Maryada Purushottama (the Perfect Man or Upholder of Limits and Morality or Lord of Virtue).

When I was little my grandmother would tell me stories of Lord Ram, Lord Krishna and of other Gods and Goddesses.  I would sit riveted and each story brought me great joy. But Lord Ram was always my epic hero, who has since then lived in my heart. My favourite moment was when she would describe the meeting of Ram and Sita in the Pushpa Vatika (Garden of flowers) and how he broke Lord Shiva's dhanush (bow) at Sita's Swayamvar (choosing of a groom).

As per my Krishna Yatra, the purpose of this journey is to trace the steps of my Beloved Lord Ram. To feel his presence in the holy places, to imagine the life that he led, to perhaps relive the moment when Ram and Sita first beheld each other and when Ram held the bow aloft. To also understand the hardships and anguish he faced and to feel the excitement of the magnificent feats he performed. To feel that moment when my God annihilated evil and brought peace back to Earth. And to live in joy of His every moment.

The Ramayana is an epic that delights me each time I read it or watch it or hear it - I never tire of it. So just the thought of a Ram Yatra brings me indescribable joy and would consist of - Ayodhya - Janakpur (Mithila) - Chitrakoot - Panchvati - Hampi (Kishkindha) - Rameshwaram.

google maps - all places are approximate

Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram is situated on the banks of the river Sarayu in Uttar Pradesh. Lord Ram was the son of King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya of the kingdom of Kosala.

Ayodhya, birthplace of Lord Ram 
picture source Wikipedia

Janakpur (Mithila), is the hometown of Sita, Ram's wife who is believed to be the avatar of Bhagwan Vishnu's consort Goddess Lakshmi. In her earthly form, Sita was considered the daughter of the Earth Goddess Bhudevi and was found in a furrow by King Janaka of Mithila.

Janki Mandir at Janakpur (Mithila), Sita's homeland
image source Wikipedia

Chitrakoot, situated on the banks of the Mandakini river, currently straddles both Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Lord Ram was exiled from his kingdom by his stepmother Queen Kaikeyki via 2 boons that were granted to her by King Dasharatha. Ram and his brother Lakshman, and Sita went into exile for 14 years and spent 11.5 years in Chitrakoot.

Anusuya Ashram that Ram, Sita and Lakshman visited during their stay in Chitrakoot
image source Wikipedia

Panchvati, situated on the banks of the Godavari River is in the Nashik district of Maharashtra. During their stay in Panchvati, Ravana, the Rakshasa (demon) king of Lanka kidnapped Sita and imprisoned her in the Ashok Vatika (garden) in his capital of Lanka (modern day Sri Lanka). Ram and Lakshman then travelled south in search of Sita.

Tapovan, Nashik 
image source: google images

Hampi (Kishkindha) situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river is the place where Ram met Hanuman, an ape-like humanoid, who helped him find Sita. Hanuman is considered to be the avatar of Lord Shiva and an ardent devotee of Lord Ram.

Kishkinda from Rishimyuk Parvat where Ram met Hanuman
image from Wikipedia

Rameshwaram, on the east coast of India in Tamilnadu, is the closest point to Sri Lanka. It is from here that Ram is believed to have built the Ram Setu (bridge) that connected India to Lanka. Ram, Lakshman, Hanuman and their vanar sena (monkey army) marched across the bridge to Lanka. Eventually Lord Ram killed Ravana, destroyed the Rakshasas and brought peace to the Earth.

Ram Setu 
Satellite image, Google maps

The festival of Diwali marks the end of Lord Ram's exile, the destruction of the Rakshasas and the beginning of the reign of King Ram known as Ram Rajya.

While Lord Krishna taught us the meaning of karma, Lord Ram through his life, taught us the meaning of dharma (right thought, speech and action, and duty).

Lord Ram, Ayodhya
google source: google images

Mangal bhavan amangal haari 
Dravahu su Dasharatha ajir bihari 

Abode of all goodness and the destroyer of all evil
Who played in the courtyard of King Dasharatha. have compassion for me.

Join me tomorrow on my third journey.

My journey so far:
Journey 1 = Krishna Yatra


Day 1 posts I enjoyed:
Preetilata's Meraki - love the theme and a new word to learn
Suresh's Save This Sinner - love the humour.


Have a Blessed day and check out some other  day 2 posts

(my 7 journeys series can be viewed here )

Warm Regards
Photobucket



Write Tribe


38 comments:

  1. Wow, you have narrated the whole Ramayana here and its such a nice way to be acquainted with the story. Thanks Suzy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kajal. this is a story close to my heart. Glad you liked it.

      Delete
  2. Lovely way to retell Ramayana. It is said that (as seen in the map) that Ram Setu still exists under water. Looking forward to journey no.3!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jyothi. Yes, it sure does. My aunt recently went to Rameshwaram and she was fascinated by the setu. Glad you are enjoying my journeys.

      Delete
  3. Suzy after reading your description of Lord,I feel blessed. Mangal bhawan..... is my favourite doha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww thanks Usha, that's so sweet. Mangal bhawan is one of my favourites too.

      Delete
  4. powerful narration. Even i have not payed my visit to these places and your post tells me that i must.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pree. I hope you will visit these places too - feel Lord Ram's love.

      Delete
  5. Wow! Your posts are to be treasured for future references, Suzy. I have been yo Rameshwaram. It's a small and beautiful port city. Wishing you luck for this journey as well.

    Joy always,
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Susan. Yes I've heard that Rameshwaram is a beautiful and very spiritual place.

      Delete
  6. I liked the way you've narrated the post like a story with pictures. Good post with a lot of information Suzy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have been to Chitrakoot and it is one of the few travel posts on my blog. That's a wonderful place. Now the rest get added to my to-do list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will have to check your Chitrakoot post Suresh. I'm sure it must be an awesome place. Glad my post triggered a yatra in your mind :)

      Delete
  8. About Krishna, I knew the places. But this list was new. Wish you embark on these soon, Suzy!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This was an enlightening Ram-Yatra. Have never been to any of these places. Wishing you good luck for this journey, Suzy! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shilpa. I'm waiting for this dream to come true.

      Delete
  10. The whole Ramayana was played in front of my eyes. felt so divine. and thank you for such a lovely post dear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kalpana. I'm blessed that my post made you feel the Divinity.

      Delete
  11. What a fascinating story, I may have studied this in school, it rings a few bells!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sophie. Welcome to my blog. Glad you found this fascinating. It's a beautiful story.

      Delete
  12. Beautiful narration with beautiful pictures! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I can read Ramayana again n again.Indeed the story is so fascinating & you practically took us to all the holy places with your words.Thank you Suzy

    http://sailorswiferamblings.blogspot.com/2013/09/sizzling-seven.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anuymous dev - I love the Ramayana. And Lord Ram is so awesome. Thanks for visiting.

      Delete
  14. I must be thinking of taking these trips for a long time but have managed only a few nearby places.... your post has put my mind back in action :)

    Richa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you do make these trips Richa.

      Delete
  15. Thanks for the information, the photos, and your personal journey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Galen - trying to bring my personal twist into this. Thanks for dropping by.

      Delete
  16. Wow! I never knew this beautiful story until now. Thanks for sharing, Suzy! Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Martha. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. My Lord Ram is awesome. Blessings to you too.

      Delete
  17. Awesome post, the way you have drawn out modern day cities from the Ramayana is quite fascinating. And like some of the other commenters have mentioned, your travel posts are also carrying mini epics within them in the form of these information nuggets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mahabore. Glad you like my posts. Thanks for dropping by.

      Delete
  18. through your journey you imparted a lot of information and showed some beautiful sights...i'm waiting to accompany you on your third journey :)

    you can check out my post here:-
    Karan - Grand Mother

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karan. glad you joined me on these journeys and welcome to my blog.

      Delete
  19. What a fantastic journey to trace, Suzy. You've put in a lot of effort to provide information to others too. Great stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Corinne. This yatra is very close to my heart. I guess that showed in the post.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright Protection