There came once to the palace of Rama the mighty yogi, and Rama honoured him. The yogi named himself as Time, begotten by Narayana on Maya, and he reminded Rama of his godly self and all that he had achieved in Heaven and on earth. He told to Lord Rama that he was born on earth for the destruction of the Ten-necked rakshasa Ravana, and he lived on the earth for eleven thousand years. Then he told Rama that the time had come for him to return to his own place in the heaven and thus Rama consented to his advice and told him that he would renounce the world for his actual place in the abode.
Lakshmana had already left his home and gone to the banks of the river Sarayu to practice great austerities, and there the gods rained flowers upon him, and Indra lifted him from the earth and returned to his own city. All the gods were thus delighted after seeing the fourth part of Vishnu came back to them, were gladdened and began to worship him.
Then Rama prepared to follow the same path, and he sought to crown his brother Bharata as king of Ayodhya, but he refused and wished to put Rama's son Kusha and Lava over the throne of North and South Kosala; and Rama granted it, and they were installed upon the throne and ruled over the new cities of Kushavati and Sravanti; but Ayodhya was totally emptied of people, for the folk decided to follow Rama when he went away. News of these matters reached Shatrughna also, and he set his two sons on the throne of Mathura and hastened to return to Rama. Hearing that Rama was going away, the monkeys, born of the gods, went to Ayodhya. Sugriva told to Rama that he had set Angada upon the throne of Kishkindha, and would follow him. Then Rama granted the desire of all the monkeys to follow him. Hanuman, however determined to stay in the earth as long as the tale of Rama was told. Rama then appointed life to Jambavan and some others till the end of the Kali age, and to other monkeys and bears, he gave leave to follow him. To Vibhishana Rama gave good counsel regarding government, and told him to worship Jagannath, Lord of the World.
The next day Vashishta prepared all due rites for those who prepared themselves to go to the other world, and all men following Rama and the Brahminsset out for the river Sarayu. There went Bharata and Shatrughna and their wives, and the counselors and servants; and all the people of Ayodhya, with the beasts and birds and the least of breathing things; and the bears and rakshasas and monkeys followed Rama happily. When they came to Sarayu, Lord Brahma, the grandsire, came towards Rama with the godly folk and a hundred thousand goodly cars, and the wind of Heaven blew and flowers rained down from Heaven upon earth.
Brahma addressed Rama as Lord Vishnu and told him to return to his original place in the heaven along with his brothers. Then Vishnu entered Heaven in his own form, with his brothers, and all the gods bowed down to him and rejoiced. Then Vishnu told to the grandsire to give appropriate place to those people who had followed him, renouncing their self for him. Then Brahma appointed places in the heavens for them who came after Rama, and the monkeys and bears assumed their godly forms, after the likeness of those who had begotten them. Thus all beings assembled, entering the waters of Sarayu, and attained the heavenly state, and Brahma and the gods returned to their own abode.
Thus, with the renunciation of the material world by Rama and his brothers along with thousands of bears and monkeys and rakshasas, ends the Ramayana, revered by the Lord Brahma and made by the great sage Valmiki. There is a saying that the one who does not have a son shall attain a son by reading even a single verse of the Ramayana. Another belief is that, all sins are washed away from those who read or hear it read. The one who recites the epic of Ramayana should have rich gifts of cows and gold and shall live long, and shall be honoured, with his sons and grandsons, in this world and in Heaven.
(Last Updated on : 05-04-2010)
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