Purpose of the avatar

The Ramayana is also known as ‘Sitaayaa’s Charitam Mahat’, the magnificent life story of Sita, and Paulastya Vadam, the killing of the son of Pulastya, Ravana. The former title is the poet’s heartfelt tribute to the Divine Mother, who, as Sita, is a cut above in many respects, especially in Her compassion towards all. An embodiment of patience and penance, she, like Rama, is committed to the truth and dharma that is central to the epic. The other title refers to the direct purpose of Rama avatar, the killing of Ravana. Among the three births taken by Jaya and Vijaya to fulfill the curse of the Sanatkumaras, their second birth as Ravana and Kumbhakarna turns out to be most formidable even to the Lord, pointed out Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal in a discourse. This is owing to the fact Ravana’s death is ordained at the hands of man and so He cannot make use of His Paratva.

The boons granted by Brahma have made him so powerful and puffed up with arrogance that he always keeps the entire worlds under his control. Even the celestial beings, right from Brahma, Indra, and others as well as the elements, the ocean and so on are in dread of him. The gods discuss these matters with the Lord when they seek His help to find a solution to Ravana’s growing atrocities. The Lord broods over in His mind about a viable plan to ‘uproot the thorn’ of Ravana. To assist the Lord, Brahma commands the various celestial beings and gods to manifest on earth with powers to assume any form at will. Thus, even as the Lord descends as Rama on earth, the celestial beings are born as many valiant monkey chiefs, full of prowess and infinite strength. Valmiki describes this unique Rama Ravana battle where rocks, trees, etc., are used as missiles against the wily magic of the rakshasas.

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