The Ramayan is one of the most popular and widely read epics in the world. It is one of the longest epics in history. It consists of nearly 24,000 verses.
It has been translated into more than 200 languages and dialects, and its popularity gives it a unique position among the world’s epics.
The story of Rama has been retold in many different forms for centuries and across cultures. Some of these versions were written down centuries after the original work was composed, but others are much more recent.
This article covers 10 interesting facts about Ramayan.
10 Interesting Facts About Ramayan
Fact #1: Laxman Didn’t Sleep for 14 Years
When Ram left for exile, Urmila agreed – though reluctantly – to let Laxman follow the elder brother and wife into the jungle. But Laxman had also approached Goddess Nidra – the one who controls the sleep of an individual – to free him of the need to sleep for the exile period. He wanted to be vigilant and take care of the safety of Ram and Sita. So he struck a deal with Nidra Devi. Laxman doesn’t sleep at all for 14 years and his sleep quota is availed of or fulfilled by his wife Urmila who stayed at the palace in Ayodhya.
Hence, he is also known as “Gudakesh” which means ‘someone who has conquered sleep’.
Fact #2: Gayatri Mantra is the Essence of Epic Ramayan
The Gayatri Mantra is one of the oldest and most potent of Sanskrit mantras. It is the essence of this sacred epic, Ramayan. The Gayatri Mantra consists of 24 letters, the Valmiki Ramayan has 24,000 verses and each mantra has been derived from a verse that occurs after every 1000 verses. Just as the Valmiki Ramayan deals with all aspects of human life in his 24,000 verses, so does this mantra encapsulate in its 24 letters, whatever pertains to our world and beyond.
Fact #3: Lord Ram Also Had a Sister
You will often hear about Ram’s brothers but very few people have heard that Shri Ram also had a sister. Shanta was older than the four brothers. Kaushalya was his mother. Once Rompad’s king Angadesh and his queen Varshini came to Ayodhya, they had no children. During the conversation when King Dasharatha learned this and said I would give you Shanta, both Rompad and Varshani were very happy on hearing it. They took care of him with great affection and fulfilled all duties of his parents.
Fact #4: Lord Rama was the avatar of Lord Vishnu
Lord Rama was the avatar of Lord Vishnu. His brother Lakshmana is considered to be the incarnation of Sheshnag. But very few people know that Bharata and Shatrughna are believed to be the incarnation of Sudarshan-chakra and conch-shell respectively. These are carried by Lord Vishnu.
Fact #5: The Name of the Forest Where Lord Ram Spent Their Exile
Most of us know that Shri Ram, Sita, and Lakshaman wandered through the forest. But very few of us know the name of the forest where they spent their exile. The name of that forest was Dandakaranya. This forest was spread over 35,600 square miles (92,000 km2) and included parts of present-day Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh.
The name of that forest had been given due to the fact that it was considered to be the home of the fiercest of demons.
Dandakaranya’s name comes from the Sanskrit word “danda” which means punishment and “Aranya” which means forest.
Fact #6: Ram Setu
The Ram Setu was built by Rama, and Lakshaman and their Vanar Army, The Ram Setu is also known as Adams Bridge. Historians and Hindus always believed that Ram Setu is related to Ramayana.
In 2002, NASA officials confirmed that the Ramayana is related to an ancient Ram Setu “Adam’s Bridge” built between the Rameshwaram Island of India and Sri Lanka.
It is believed that this bridge is 1,750,000 years old and NASA officially accepted the same.
Fact #7: “Bajrang” Name Origin
We all know that Lord Hanuman is also known as Bajrang Bali. However, not many of us know the origin of this name. The name Bajrang comes from two words “baj” meaning force and rang meaning color. Thus, the name suggests that Lord Hanuman is mighty and brave.
In Hinduism, the practice of putting vermillion (aka Sindoor) on the forehead is deeply rooted. But, most of us don’t know that like all other Gods, Lord Hanuman also had a special relationship with Sindoor.
Once. While Mata Sita was putting sindoor on her forehead, Lord Hanuman asked the reason for putting Sindoor. Mata Sita replied that since she is the wife and companion of Lord Rama, Sindoor is a sign of unconditional love and respect. Lord Hanuman covered his entire body with sindoor to show his total devotion, love, and duty as protector of Lord Rama.
Lord Rama was really impressed by the devotion of Lord Hanuman and granted a boon that those who would worship Lord Hanuman with sindoor, their life would be filled with health, wealth, happiness, and protection from any problems or obstacles.
Fact #8: The Name of the Bow Broken by Lord Ram
When all the princes gathered to marry Sita by breaking Lord Shiva’s 1000-year-old bow, Lord Rama succeeded to break the bow to marry Mata Sita. “Pinak” was the name of the bow used in the swayamvar. The bow was gifted to Lord Shiva by Rishi Dadhichi.
Fact #9: Ravana Was a Devotee of Lord Shiva
From a very young age, Ravana was a devotee of Lord Shiva. He spent years in mount Kailash and pleased Lord Shiva with his Penance. Ravana demanded immortality but was refused by Lord Shiva because He cannot go against the Law of Karma. Instead, He offered him invincibility from Gods, Gandharvas (the celestial musicians), and Asuras (the demons); anything else that would be possible for Him to do for Ravana. Ravana also requested for ten heads as he wanted to sing and praise the name of Lord Shiva with his ten mouths, which was granted.
Fact #10: Mata Sita Plunged Inside Mother Earth
It is believed that when Mata Sita plunged inside mother earth, lord Ram abandoned the earth after taking water samadhi in the Holy River Saryu.
How many of these facts about Ramayan did you already know?