Chapter 14: Ravana killed and Sita recovered

In the area of Mahipuri, Nila the engineer of the Vanara armyreconstructed the city, and Mahi Ravana's nephew was established asthe king. Now the war started. This war was different from how theKuruksetra war was fought. Day and night the fighting was going on.Demons especially become more strong after sunset, and a lot ofdamage was done to the monkey army. Especially when Indrajit came tothe battlefield, and when Kumbhakarna came to the battlefield, a lotof damage was done to the monkeys. Indrajit used a lot of illusorytechniques. By becoming invisible he fought, and at one point hemade Rama and Laksmana unconscious by using some special snakeweapon. Then on the advice of one of the great doctors of the Vanaraarmy and Vibhisana, Hanuman flew to the Himalayas and brought thePuspa-Puspa-Puspa-samjivani mountain. Puspa-samjivani means, "Theflower of revitalisation." Actually they told him to bring thePuspa-samjivani leaf. But the Puspa-samjivani leaf had some sparkleor shine. Hanuman arrived in the Himalayan region and went to thatparticular mountain. The rishis who were meditating on the mountain,for them this Puspa-samjivani leaf was very valuable, because if youjust took one leaf you wouldn't have to eat for five years. No food,no thirst, no hunger, no sickness. It was very nice. They saw thatHanuman had come. They knew if anyone came there they only come forPuspa-samjivani. There was nothing else there, just Puspa-samjivaniplant and rishis closing their eyes and meditating for thousands ofyears. They knew that there was some danger, so they used theirmystic power and made all the leaves shine like Puspa-samjivani.Hanuman was looking. "Ah, this one! But that one is also shining."He saw the whole mountain was shining. Hanuman said, "Oh, now I havea problem. I don't know which one to take. I will take the wholemountain." So he put his hand under the mountain and he lifted itup. The rishis were alarmed. "What's going on?" He flew, andbefore Hanuman came wi th the mountain, Jambavan very cleverly usedthe monkey army to kick all the dead bodies of demons into the ocean.He cleaned the whole place. Only the monkey dead bodies were kept.Because otherwise, when Puspa-samjivani mountain comes, then everyonewill get up. They will be as before. So very cleverly Jambavanarranged that all the dead bodies of demons were kicked into theocean, and some stones put on their head that they wouldn't come tothe surface. Then the Puspa-samjivani mountain came, and all themonkeys got up. Now the demons were small and the Vanaras were more.Even when he was bringing the mountain, even before he had landedthey all got up, the power of Puspa-samjivani was so much. The fightwas going on and everyone had very powerful weapons. Indrajit means`the conqueror of Indra'. But he had a benediction that he would bekilled only if while he is performing a sacrifice someone stops himand fights with him. Because Indrajit was very powerful, he wasthinking, "Who would dare to stop me while I am performingsacrifice?" In between the war he disappeared and went to a verysecret place to perform a sacrifice. But Vibhisana knew the place,and he brought Hanuman and Angada there, and they contaminated thesacrifice and pulled him out. Then there was a big fight, andfinally Laksmana killed Indrajit. One by one everyone was killed,and only Ravana was left. The demigods helped a lot in the war, andIndra sent his chariot and his charioteer Matali there, whichRamacandra was using. He broke Ravana's chariot, killed hischarioteer and his horses, broke the bow, broke his club and flag.And then he said, "All right Ravana, I will give you some time. Yougo today, and you come back tomorrow, with the good decision ofgiving Sita back to Me. If you do that, everyone who is dead willcome back. You will get all your opulences. As if it has neverhappened, people will forget what they knew of you, and you will beknown as a noble king. I will go back to Ayo a good friendship."Ravana felt this a great insult that he was not killed, so he wentback to his palace. Then he remembered that Lord Siva once said tohim, "When your life is in danger, you call me. I will save you."There is a vina known as Rudra-vina, Lord Siva's personal instrument.That was with Ravana, so he took that vina and started singing songsin praise of Lord Siva. Lord Siva is easily pleased, so heimmediately came before Ravana and said, "Why did you call me?"Ravana said, "My life is in danger." Siva said, "How is your life indanger? You tell me." Ravana said, "I took the wife of the son ofDasaratha, and he came here with his army of monkeys, and they havekilled everybody. Even Kumbhakarna, Indrajit, everyone is gone. Iam the only one left. And that king insulted me by telling me, "Yougo. I won't kill you today. Come back tomorrow." So over and aboveeverything, I am insulted. Please save my prestige and my life."Siva said, "Yes, I must save your life. I will save your life.Here, I am saving your life. Give Sita back." Ravana said, "No!Oh, the same thing again! You are cheating me! You promised me youwould save my life, but you are not doing it." Siva said, "No, I amsaving your life. Did I say that to save your life I would go andfight with someone? I have my own method of saving your life. Justtake this small piece of advice: Give back Sita. Everything will bewonderful." Ravana said, "No, I expected that you would go and fightwith Rama and finish Him." Siva said, "I don't mind. I can go andfight with Rama, but I will be finished." Ravana said, "No, I am notgoing to give back Sita." Siva said, "All right, then you will die.Who can protect you?" Then Ravana came the next day. When he came,Ramacandra was standing there holding His bow. Even to carry thatbow was very difficult. It was much bigger than His body, and veryheavy. He used to hold it like he was holding some grass. WhenRavana cam ana and Laksmana said, "Jaya! Finally, he issurrendering!" Then the next moment Ravana said, "What am I doing?No, I am here to fight with you." Then Rama fired His arrow, and hefinished Ravana. Then all of Ravana's queens came, and they werecrying. Then Vibhisana and Hanuman came to Ramacandra, and theysaid, "So the war is over, and we are arranging for the cremation ofRavana. We are performing sraddha for all the ones who are dead.Please instruct us about bringing Sita." Ramacandra said, "Yes, youboth go and tell Sita that Ravana is killed, and you bring herhere." So they went there, and Sitadevi had already got all thenews from Vibhisana's daughter. Hanuman told her, "Mother, you arebeing called by Ramacandra, so you must come." So she dressed inthe same cloth in which she was taken away by Ravana, and which washanging on the tree. She dressed herself up, and she came. Whenshe came, Hanuman and Vibhisana came and said to Ramacandra, "Hereis your wife, Sita." Ramacandra said, "Tell her that she can doanything she likes and go anywhere she likes. I have killed Ravana,and she has no fear now. She can go where she likes." Hanumancried, and he was looking at Vibhisana saying, "What is this? Crossthe ocean, build a bridge, kill the demons, bring a mountain, andthen, `You go wherever you like.' Did He actually say this?"Vibhisana said, "Yes, he did. I am also confused." So then theywent to Laksmana, and asked him, "What is this?" Laksmana said,"That's what I am also wondering. What is this?" So then they allcame back to Rama, and Vibhisana was leading the party. "O LordRamacandra, can You please repeat what You have said?" Ramacandrasaid, "Didn't you hear Me? Now our work is done. You have killedthe demons, so we will go back. You can tell this lady to dowhatever she wants." So then Hanuman came to Sita devi, and he waslooking at her face. Sita said, "Did you hear what He said?"Hanuman said, "Yes, He said you can do whatever you like." Sita to"You tell this king, my husband, that in going anywhere I liked, Idid not have to wait all this time. I could have gone anywhere Iliked. I was only waiting for Him to come. Now why is He rejectingme?" Then she prayed to all the demigods, and they all appearedthere. Even Janaka and Dasaratha came. They were all present, andthey said, "Ramacandra, this is Your wife, Sita. This whole programYou did was to get her back. Now You take her back." Ramacandrasaid, "No. I don't have to take her back." Dasaratha and Janakacame and said to Him, "No, no. This will be too hard for her.Please take her back." Ramacandra said, "How will I take her back?She is not My wife." And then everyone became confused. Brahma camethere and said, "This is Your lila. You just take an avatar tofinish the demons and protect the devotees. But You don't do toomuch lila, because we will get confused. Lila is all right, but nottoo much lila. So here is Your wife, just take her." Rama said,"She is not My wife." Brahma said, "Why?" "How can she be My wife?She stayed in Ravana's garden for so long, four months. I may takeher as my wife, but when I go back to Ayodhya, what will I say to Mycitizens? They will say, "Rama, You went to the forest. How waseverything?" "Everything was all right except that My wife stayedwith Ravana for four months." What will they think? Will I be ableto keep this lady on the throne as my queen? On the simhasana, thegreat seat of the Iksvaku dynasty, some woman who left her husbandand stayed somewhere else for four months? They will complain toMe." Hanuman asked Ramacandra, "Then what are You supposed to do?"Rama said, "You ask Sita." So Hanuman came back with Sita and said,"You solve the problem." Sita said, "Ask Him. If He wants I can goto the fire, and prove that I am pure." Vibhisana came and toldRamacandra, and Ramacandra said, "Yes, that's a good idea. TellLaksmana to make a fire." S ita would walk into the fire, after allthat trouble. So he left that place. And Vibhisana also left thatplace. They couldn't tolerate. Laksmana was a thankless person allthe time. He was always given the thankless jobs. So he went toMother Sita and told her, "Please come, and go into the fire."Sitadevi climbed into the fire. She was sitting on the fire and thefire was glowing. Nothing happened to her. That's all there inRamayana. But something did happen. What happened was that Agnicame there and brought the original Sita. Sita was actually never inSri Lanka. This was a big scandal. This scandal was arranged byLaksmana. When Marica got the arrow of Ramacandra in his heart, heshouted, "Oh Laksmana! Oh Sitadevi!" Sitadevi told Laksmana, "Yourbrother is in trouble! You must go and save Him!" Laksmana wassmiling. Sita said, "What kind of a demoniac person are you? Howcan you smile and laugh when your brother is getting killed by thedemons?" Laksmana said, "What problem is there? When people get aproblem they chant Rama's name. How can He have problem? Anyone whois afraid of an enemy, they chant Rama's name and they get protected.How can He have any enemy? He is protecting everyone in this world.How can he have a problem?" Sitadevi said, "Now I know your plan!You always wanted to have me as your wife. Now that Rama will bedead you will be happy." Laksmana closed his ears. "Oh no! What isthis?" Then she said, "If not, then you must go now." So he said,"All right, I will go." But then he thought, "I'm not just going toleave like this." So he took his Agni astra, the astra of fire, andhe drew a line in front of the ashrama. He said, "You be beyond thisline. Don't cross this line." So then Ravana came as a sannyasi,and he was trying to first enter the house. When he came, he touchedthe line and the fire came, and he couldn't go in. Then he called,"Is there anyone in the house?" Sita devi came, and Ravana asked,"Whose ho is is the son of Dasaratha's house. He is in exile.Nobody who comes to this house goes without getting something. So Iwll give you something." Then she brought some fruits. Ravana said,"I don't enter houses. I am a naisthika sannyasa. You have to comeoutside and bring it to me." She said, "I have been told by myprotectors not to cross this line." He said, "All right, I won'ttake. I'm going, and I'm angry." She said, "No, no, don't goangry." He said, "Yes, all these Dasaratha and Rama, they are alljust misers. They don't give any charity. I'm going, and I'll telleveryone, `This is Rama'." So Sitadevi thought, "Oh, this is verybad. I have to protect the name of my husband." So she crossed theline. When she crossed the line, the fire came again and Agni tookher to his palace. He produced a Sita who was illusory, and that wasthe Sita Ravana took. One may say, "If she is illusory then what isthe whole problem with this scene?" No, even that Sita belongs tothe Lord only. She's not supposed to be in Ravana's garden. Butthen Ramacandra had a vow that He only married one Laksmi in thatincarnation. He was not going to take the other Laksmi. He toldher, "You can go wherever you like." He was not cruel, he just toldher what she is supposed to be told. But this happened in a verysecret manner, not many people knew. At least in the Ramayana, it isnot stated. In the Kurma Purana, the story is mentioned. Agnibrought the original Sita and handed her over to Ramacandra.