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Adbhut Raamaayan

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Synopsis of Adbhut Raamaayan
Taken from  Wikipedia "Adbhut Raamaayan"

Sarg 1: The Rishi Bharadwaja approached Vaalmeeki and asked him to narrate the story of Raam, reminding him that the Raamyan includes hundreds of thousands of Shlok (verses), most of which have been unavailable. Bharadwaaj asked to hear one of those secret stories, to which Vaalmeeki acquiesced, noting that this version would emphasize the deeds of Seetaa, the incarnation of Prakriti (nature). Vaalmeeki emphasized, however, that Raam was the manifestation of the supreme, and that ultimately there is no distinction between Raam and Seetaa - they are one.

Sarg 2: King Ambareesh was a great devotee of Vishnu, and one day Vishnu granted him a boon. Ambareesh asked that he always remain absorbed in the supreme bliss of Vishnu (Twayee Vishno paraanande nityam me varttatam matih), vowing in return that he would defend all of Vishnu’s devotees. Lord Vishnu was pleased and granted him this boon, promising that his divine discus would always protect the king.

Sarg 3: Ambareesh had a daughter named Shreemati, beautiful and famous for her virtues and good qualities. The sages Naarad and Parvat each desired her for a wife, and so Ambareesh - unable to choose one and incur the wrath of the other - arranged her Swayamvar, so that she could decide who should be her husband. Both Muni Naarad and Parvat then independently approached Lord Vishnu, asking that the other be unknowingly appear in the disguise of a monkey, which only Shreemati could see. Lord Vishnu agreed to both, and the two sages proceeded to Shreemati’s Swayamvar.

Sarg 4: Naarad and Parvat attended the Swayamvar, both appearing to Shreemati as monkeys, but each imagining himself handsome and irresistible. Lord Vishnu then disguised himself as a human, and sat between them. Shreemati saw the monkey-faced sages before her but of course did not recognize them as Naarad and Parvat, and so was surprised when there was no sign of either sage. And so she chose the handsome youth between the two monkey-faced men.

Naarad and Parvat then realized what Vishnu had played all this game with them, and cursed Him to be born on Earth as a human, and to roam the forests searching for his wife Shreemati re-born, who would be abducted by an evil being. Lord Vishnu accepted the curse, saying that He would be born as Raam, the son of Dasharath.

Sarg 5: The Sage Kaushik (Vishwaamitra) became famous for his devotional songs, glorifying the greatness of Lord Vishnu. His reputation spread far and wide, and many devotees from every caste became his disciple. His fame spread to the King of Kaling, who demanded that Kaushik sing devotional songs to him rather than to Vishnu. Kaushik insisted that he could only praise Vishnu, and his disciples held that they could only listen to praises of Vishnu. The King became angry, took away their property, and banished them from the kingdom. When the end of their lives finally arrived, they departed to the world of Brahmaa, the creator, who took them to Vishnu Lok, the abode of Vishnu, where they lived eternally.

Sarg 6: Vishnu once organized a great festival in honor of Kaushik, featuring many beautiful songs. Millions of celestial maidens attended that festival, as well as Lakshmee, the consort of Vishnu, with Her retinue of maid servants. When the featured singer Tumburu (a Gandharv) was accorded great honor and praise, Naarad was offended; and when one of Lakshmee’s maids slighted Naarad, he cursed Lakshmee to be born on Earth from a Raakshasee (demoness). When Naarad’s anger subsided he became remorseful, and soon thereafter Vishnu and Lakshmee came to console his sorrow. Vishnu recommended to Naarad that if he wanted to be accorded the same respect as Tumburu, he should study singing with the great Ulook (a being with the form of an Owl) known as Ganabandhu, a master of devotional singing.

Sarg 7: This Sarg outlines the basic rules of expert singing. Naarad had learned the skill of singing, and imagining himself an expert in singing art proceeded to the abode of Tumburu to challenge him. At Tumburu’s home he was confronted by a group of beings with mutilated bodies, who explained that they were the embodiments of the musical notes that had been mutilated by Naarad’s inept singing. Naarad realized that he was the victim of his own inflated pride, and sought Vishnu's advice again.

Vishnu suggested that he wander as a Gandharv - a celestial musician, singing the praises of the Lord until the time of Vishnu’s incarnation as Krishn. At that time he should remind Vishnu (as Krishn) of the incident. When Vishnu came to Earth as Krishn and was reminded, He sent Naarad to various experts in music until his command of music was almost perfected. Then Krishn himself taught him the best forms of devotional music and song.

Sarg 8: Raavan performed great Tapas (austerities) to please Brahmaa Jee, the creator. When Brahmaa asked him to have a boon, he requested eternal life, but Brahma indicated that this was not possible. Raavan then asked that he be invulnerable to the Devataa, Raakshas, Yaksh, and many other celestial beings; but he did not include humans in the list as they were, in his view, of no consequence. He also asked that he perishes, should he make advances toward his own daughter. Emboldened by Brahma’s boon, Ravana began his attempts to conquer the three worlds, but his reckless behavior set in motion the events leading to the birth of Seetaa from his wife Mandodaree. The Sarg ends with Janak’s discovery of Seetaa in a field while preparing the ground for his Yagya.

Sarg 9: The re-telling of the traditional story of Raam begins with Raam’s confrontation with Parashuraam, while he was returning to Ayodhyaa from his marriage to Seetaa. Parashuraam had heard that Raam had broken Shiv’s bow (Pinaak), and had come to test Him. After strong words between them, Raam strung an arrow on ParashuRaam’s bow, and while shooting it in the direction of ParashuRaam, he showed his cosmic form as the supreme being. At that moment, the earth shook with great peals of thunder, and flashes of lighting lit the sky. ParashuRaam, recognizing that Raam was indeed the incarnation of Vishnu, bowed to him and returned to Mount Mahendra to perform Tapas.

Sarg 10: The story moves quickly forward to Seetaa’s abduction by Raavan, following Raam's exile into the Dandak forest. Upon meeting Hanumaan, Raam briefly showed him His cosmic form as Vishnu, with Lakshmee and Saraswatee on either side; Lakshman revealed his form as Shesh Naag, the cobra upon whom Vishnu rests; and in turn Hanumaan revealed his true nature, though the text does not elaborate upon his true nature (atmanam darshayamasa Hanuman Raamlakshmanau).

Sarg 11: Raam reveals to Hanumaan the fundamental tenets of Yog and Saankhya philosophies, emphasizing their fundamental unity. In his discussion of Aatmaa, which must be understood through the path of Gyaan as well as experienced through Yog, Raam revealed his own identity with Aatmaa.

Sarg 12: Raam continues his philosophical discourse.

Sarg 13: Raam continues his discourse, identifying Himself with that entity of which He has been speaking - that from which the entire creation emerges.

Sarg 14: Raam continues speaking to Hanumaan about Himself as the progenitor of creation, and all that is, was, and will be.

Sarg 15: Hanumaan, meditating upon the form of Raam in his heart, expresses his devotion to Raam as Aatmaa, Purush, Hiranyagarbh, the source of all creation, and then bows to him.

Sarg 16: In twenty verses, we see Raam explaining His need to find Raavan and Seetaa, His departure to Lankaa, His conquest of Raavan, and his triumphant return to Ayodhyaa.

Sarg 17: In the court of Ayodhyaa, in the presence of saints and seers, Seetaa noted that the slaying of Raavan was not that big a deal. When she was very young living in her father’s home in Janakpur, a Braahman had passed through and told her of Raavan’s older brother, also named Raavan - one thousand headed, living on an island named Pushkar, he was much more powerful than his younger brother.

Sarg 18: Raam collected his army of monkeys, men, and Raakshas, and set off to conquer the elder Raavan. Raavan was surprised to see Raam’s army deployed against him, but quickly assembled his hordes of Raakshas. This Sarg describes the Raakshas army commanders and their weapons in detail.

Sarg 19: A continuation, enumerating the participants in the forthcoming battle.

Sarg 20: The battle begins, a closely fought encounter in which the monkeys gain the upper hand.

Sarg 21: Raavan, seeing Raam’s army on the verge of victory, decided to participate. Employing the Vaayavyaastra weapon, he dispersed Raam’s army to the places from which they came: the men to Ayodhya, monkeys to Kishkindhaa, and the Raakshas to Lankaa. Raam was angry, and prepared for combating with Raavan.

Sarg 22: In their first one-on-one encounter, a fierce and unrelenting battle, Raam employed the Brahmaastra, given to him by Agastya Rishi. Raavan grabbed it with his hand and snapped it into two as though it were a straw, dismaying Raam. Raavan then shot his own arrow at Raam, rendering Him unconscious and bringing widespread consternation.

Sarg 23: Seeing Raam unconscious and helpless on the field, Seetaa laughed, and giving up Her human appearance She took on the exceedingly horrific form of Mahaa Kaalee. In less than a second, she severed Raavan’s 1000 heads and began destroying Raakshas everywhere. Innumerable mothers of every type came to the battlefield to sport with Mahaa Kaalee, playing games with the heads of Raakshas. The Earth shook and almost sank into the netherworlds, but was rescued by Shiv disguised as a corpse.

Sarg 24: Realizing that the earth might be destroyed if Seetaa as Maha Kaalee did not calm down, the Devtaa came to appease her. They exclaimed that only through Shakti does the Supreme Lord become accessible. She pointed to the unconscious Raam, making clear that because He was unconscious She could not consider the world's welfare. Brahmaa Jee restored Raam’s consciousness, but as He regained awareness he was frightened of Seetaa's horrific form. Brahmaa Jee explained to Raam that she had taken this form to highlight the fact that everything Raam does - the creation and destruction of the universe, and all other activities - can only be accomplished in association with Her, with Shakti. Raam was satisfied, and His fears allayed.

Sarg 25: Brahmaa Jee assured Raam that the horrific form before Him was indeed Seetaa, and so Raam asked Her who she really was. She explained that she was the entity within everyone, known as Shivaa (the Shakti of Shiv), who can take one across the ocean of Sansaar. She then gave Raam "celestial sight" so that He could perceive Her divine state. Seeing Her true nature, He was thrilled, and praised her by reciting her 1008 names.

Sarg 26: Raam continued to praise her, and at His request She changed her form to Seetaa. They then prepared to return to Ayodhyaa.

Sarg 27: Raam and Seetaa mounted the Vimaan (plane) known as Pushkpak Vimaan, and soon arrived in Ayodhyaa. Once there, He narrated the story of the elder Raavan’s defeat to everyone. They then bade farewell to Sugreev and his army of monkeys as well as to Vibheeshan and his army of Raakshas. The Sarg concludes with a brief re-counting of Raam’s story and an enumeration of the merits and benefits of hearing the story of the Adbhut Raamaayan (also known as the Adbhutottar Kandam).



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Created by Sushma Gupta on February 21, 2012
Modified on 06/13/12