(Last Updated on : 31/03/2010)
Uttara Kanda is the last episode of the great epic Ramayana and it deals with the return of Rama to Ayodhya and his coronation to the throne. The reign of Rama in Ayodhya has also been narrated in this episode along with the second ordeal of Sita. This Kanda or episode also gives a description of the birth of Lav and Kush, the two sons of Rama in the hermitage of Valmiki and the episode ends with the description of the last days of Rama in the world. After the furious war between Rama and Ravana, Ravana was ultimately killed by Rama and Vibhishana was made the king of Lanka. Then Rama met with Sita and Sita had to give an Agnipariksha before Rama could accept her since she stayed for long in another man's home. Sita went into the burning pyre but was left unhurt and thus her faithfulness to Rama was proved. Then Rama, along with Lakshmana and Sita return to Ayodhya.
Rama Returns to Ayodhya
With the rising Sun, Rama taking the car Pushpaka
, which was given to him by Vibhishana
, stood ready to depart. Self-moving was that car, and it was very fairly painted and large; two stories it had, and windows and flags and banners and many chambers, and it also gave a melodious sound as it coursed along the airy way. Then Vibhishana asked Rama if he could do anything else for him and Rama then told him to content the monkeys and bears who have accomplished his affair with jewels and wealth, so that they could fare to their homes. He also advised him to rule as a righteous, self-controlled, and compassionate and a just collector of revenues, so that all may be attached to him. Vibhishana bestowed wealth on all the host, and Rama was taking leave of all the bears and monkeys and of Vibhishana and at that time all of them cried out in a single voice that they also would like to go with him to Ayodhya
. Thus, Rama invited them gladly, and Sugriva
and Vibhishana and the entire host mounted the mighty car; and the car rose up into the sky, drawn by golden geese, and sailed on its airy way, while the monkeys, bears, and rakshasas took their ease.
Reign of Lord Rama
Rama reached the kingdom of Ayodhya along with Lakshmana
and the host of monkeys and bears. After he reached his kingdom, Bharata restored the kingdom to his brother. Then skilful barbers came, and Rama and Lakshmana
bathed and were shorn of their matted locks and dressed in shining robes; and Dasharatha's queens attended Sita and decked her in splendid jewels, while Kaushalya decked the wives of the monkeys, and the priests gave orders for the coronation.
Rama mounted a car driven by Bharata, and Shatrughna
held the umbrella, and Lakshmana waved a chowry and Vibhishana another. Sugriva rode on an elephant, and the other monkeys followed him riding on elephants to the number of nine thousand, and with music and the noise of conchs the lord of men entered their own city. Four golden jars were given to Hanuman and Jambavan and Vegadarshi and Rishabha to fetch pure water from the four oceans, and they rose into the sky and brought the holy water from the utmost bounds of ocean, north and south and east and west. Then Vashishta
, setting Rama and Sita upon their golden throne, sprinkled that first of men and consecrated him as king of Ayodhya.
Then, while Rama adorned the throne of Ayodhya, all the great hermits came to visit him who had regained his kingdom. They came from east and west and north and south, led by Agastya
, and Rama worshipped them and appointed for them splendid seats of sacrificial grass and gold-embroidered deer-skin. Then the sages praised the fortune of Rama, especially inasmuch as he had slain the sons of Ravana, mightier than Ravana himself, and had delivered men and gods from fear.
Hanuman is Rewarded
The monkeys stayed in the kingdom of Ayodhya more than a month, feasting on honey and well-cooked fruits and meats and roots, though it seemed to them but a moment, because of their devotion toward Rama. The time then came for them to go to their own city, and Rama embraced every one with affection and gave them goodly gifts. But Hanuman bowed and begged this boon, that he might ever be devoted to Rama alone, and that he might live on earth so long as the story of the deeds of Rama was told of amongst men. Hearing this request from Hanuman, Rama granted it and took from his own neck a jeweled chain and put it upon Hanuman. One by one the monkeys came and touched the feet of Rama, and then went their way; but they wept for sorrow of leaving him.
Ordeal of Sita
Then Rama governed Ayodhya for ten thousand years; and the news once came out that Sita had conceived. Then Rama asked her if she had any longing, and she replied that she would like to visit the hermitages of the sages by the River Ganga
. Rama thus granted her wish and the visit was scheduled for the next day. That very night Rama came to know from his ministers that his subjects were happy since he killed Ravana but were somewhat not pleased for he brought back Sita with him who stayed for long in the house of a different person other than her husband. At this, Rama got utterly shocked and ordered his brothers and told Lakshmana to leave Sita in the jungle and return to Ayodhya. Lakshmana thus left Sita in the hermitage of Valmiki
and returned to Ayodhya.
Lava and Kusha
Rama ruled his kingdom well and by that time Sita, dwelling at the hermitage of Valmiki, gave birth to two sons, and they were named Kusha and Lava
; and they grew up in the forest hermitage, and Valmiki trained them with great wisdom, and he made the book of Ramayana in slokas, and gave them skill in recitation.
Sita taken home by Earth
After Rama came to know that Lava and Kusha were his sons and that Sita was living in the hermitage of Valmiki, he send message to the saint enquiring about Sita. Rama asked if Sita would like to return to Ayodhya. Then Valmiki accompanied Sita to Ayodhya and then Rama again asked Sita to prove her faithfulness towards him again. With this Sita prayed to Vasundhara to accept her since he was ever faithful to Rama. Thus a heavenly throne rose up from within the earth, borne on the heads of mighty nagas, decked in shining jewels; and the Earth stretched out her arms and welcomed Sita and placed her on the throne, and the throne sank down again.
Last Days of Rama
Rama became heavy-hearted with the disappearance of Sita inside the earth before his very eyes, and the whole world seemed empty without her. He presented the monkeys and the kings and hermits gifts, and sent them back to their own homes, and he made Sita's golden image to share with him in the performance of sacred rites, and a thousand years passed, while all things prospered in the kingdom of Ayodhya. Then Kaushalya and Kaikeyi
died, and were united with King Dasaratha
in the Heaven. Bharata reigned in Kekaya, and Shatrughna was king of Madhu, while the sons of Lakshmana founded kingdoms of their own. Once came a yogi who called himself Time and told Rama that he was the avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu
and that he had accomplished his goal by killing Ravana and reigning in the earth for eleven thousand years. Then he advised Rama that the time has come for his return to heaven. Rama accepted his advice and along with his brothers and several rakshasas and monkeys he went to the river Sarayu, from where Rama reached the heaven.
Thus the Uttara Kanda ends with the renunciation of worldly life by Rama and this also ends the Ramayana, revered by Lord Brahma
and made by Valmiki. It is said that one who did not possess a sons shall attain a son by reading even a single verse of the Ramayana and all sin is washed away from those who read or hear it read. It is also said that who recites Ramayana would get rich gifts of cows and gold and would live long.