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MEGHNAD or Indrajeet – the powerful son of Ravan

Meghnad 0r Indrajeet, the powerful son of Ravan

 

Other names : Indrajit, Indrajeet, Meghanad

 

 

Ravana’s son Meghnad was a brave young man. When he was twenty years old, he had prayed and offered his devotion to Devi (goddess) so sincerely that She had appeared to him and offered him a boon. Meghnad asked for a celestial, divine chariot that could become invisible. “I should be able to see everyone and everything but no one should be able to see me. I should be able to kill whoever I please.”

 

Devi granted him such a chariot and said that, “Seated on this chariot, you will be able to overcome the gods, demons, humans in no time at all. But if you confront someone who has forsaken food, sleep and feminine company for twelve years, do not fight him, for in that case you will be killed.” Devi also told him to keep the chariot hidden away and keep it a secret, and disappeared. Meghnad then prayed to Lord Shiva and received a boon of always remaining fearless.

Devi granted him such a chariot and said that, “Seated on this chariot, you will be able to overcome the gods, demons, humans in no time at all. But if you confront someone who has forsaken food, sleep and feminine company for twelve years, do not fight him, for in that case you will be killed.”

Once Ravana attacked Indra (King of the gods who live in heaven) but Indra overpowered him and tied him up. Then Meghnad attacked Indra and defeated him. He not only freed Ravana, but also tied up Indra and brought him captive before Ravana at his court in Lanka. Seeing indra, the king of the gods in such a plight, the devas (celestial beings) began to protest. Brahma himself appeared to Meghnad and requested him to release Indra. “If you do so, I will give you an amogh (great) weapon, which if it strikes, and the wound is not treated overnight will be fatal in effect.”, said Brahma. Accepting this offer from Brahma, Meghnad released Indra. Because he had overpowered and captured Indra, he was also known as Indrajeet (victorious over Indra).

 

Meghnad went to Nagalok (where the Nagas (snakes) dwelt) and waged a battle with Vasuki, the king of Nagas (snakes). He tied Vasuki up and brought him to Lanka. Vasuki requested him to let him go. “I will give you my divine daughter as wife if you do so”, he said.

 

 

 

 

Seeing Indra, the king of the gods in such a plight, the devas (celestial beings) began to protest. Brahma himself appeared to Meghnad and requested him to release Indra. “If you do so, I will give you an amogh (great) weapon, which if it strikes, and the wound is not treated overnight will be fatal in effect.”, said Brahma. Accepting this offer from Brahma, Meghnad released Indra. Because he had overpowered and captured Indra, he was also known as Indrajeet (victorious over Indra).

On this condition, Meghnad released Vasuki. As promised, Vasuki gave his daughter Sulochana in marriage. Meghnad’s might was such that the Dev, Danava, Gandharva, Yaksha, and all lesser creatures feared him. In fact he became more powerful than Ravana. Ravana was very proud of his son Meghnad.

 

 

It was in this state of vanity over his accomplishments that Ravana stole away Sita from Dandaka forest. After befriending Sugreeva, under the leadership of Rama, Hanuman along with Angad, Jambvant and other warriors started marching southwards in search of Sita. Jatayu’s brother, Sampati, directed Hanuman to Lanka and he was able to locate Sita in the Ashokvatika (garden of Ashoka trees). With her permission, he uprooted the entire Ashokvatika and destroyed it and killed the guards along with Akshay kumar, Ravana’s son. Then Ravana sent Meghnad to capture Hanuman.

On this condition, Meghnad released Vasuki. As promised, Vasuki gave his daughter Sulochana in marriage. Meghnad’s might was such that the Dev, Danava, Gandharva, Yaksha, and all lesser creatures feared him. In fact he became more powerful than Ravana. Ravana was very proud of his son Meghnad.

He used the Brahmapash (noose weapon of Lord Brahma) to catch Hanuman and he got entangled in it. Meghnad took Hanuman to Ravana’s court. Hanuman said, “I am an envoy of Rama.” To which Vibheeshan said, “You must not kill an envoy though you may break a limb.” So instead of killing him, the tail of Hanuman was set on fire. Hanuman broke free at the moment his tail was aflame, leaped over the palace walls, and proceeded to set the entirety of Lanka on fire with that flaming appendage.

 

 

Shri Rama crossed the ocean over the bridge that had been built, and arrived at Lanka. A mighty battle commenced between the armies of Rama and Ravana. Many brave Rakshasa warriors were killed in battle. Then Meghnad was sent into battle by Ravana. Meghnad faced Lakshman at the battlefield. Recognizing the prowess of Lakshman, Meghnad used the Shakti weapon given to him by Brahma. As soon as he hurled it at Lakshman, he fell in a swoon on the ground. Ravana praised Meghnad for his prowess. Lakshman’s life was saved because Hanuman fetched the Sanjeevani herb for him, and he was treated before daybreak.

During the battle between Rama and Ravana, after the abduction of Sita, Sage Agastya went to Rama and gave him the “Aditya Hriday” (prayer for invoking the Sun God). It was this special invocation that helped Rama to overpower and kill Ravana.

The next day, Kumbhkarna fought in battle against Rama and was killed after a furious exchange. Ravana was inconsolable at the death of his brother and wept aloud. Meghnad came to the battlefield and put fear in the heart of Angad, Jambavat, and Hanuman by ensnaring Shri Rama and Lakshman in a Nagpash (serpent noose). It was on Narad’s instruction that Garuda (vehicle of Lord Vishnu), the mortal enemy of snakes, arrived and freed the two.

 

At night Meghnad set up a Vijay Yagna (victory sacrifice) before goddess Nikumbaika Devi. Vibhishana told Shri Rama that if Meghnad succeeds in completing the Yagna, then he will become invincible and no one will be able to kill him. Therefore Hanuman, Angad and other warriors successfully disrupted the Yagna. Meghnad was furious. He created an illusionary Sita, placed her before Rama in the battlefield and cut off her head. Shri Rama was devastated and cried aloud. As suggested by Jambavat, Hanuman hurried back to the Ashokvatika and found that the real Sita was alive and well. On being reassured of her wellbeing, Rama sent Lakshman to fight Meghnad and a fierce battle began between the two. In the end Lakshman killed Meghnad, the warrior who had once overpowered Indra.

 

While breathing his last, Meghnad cried out, “Hey Lakshman! Hey Rama!” Hanuman praised Meghnad for having uttered their auspicious names before he died. When Meghnad died, his arm fell in front of his wife Sulochana, his torso was placed at the gate of Lanka by Hanuman and his head at the feet of Shri Rama. Later, Sulochana sat with the head of Meghnad in her lap and became sati atop his funeral pyre. Such is the story of the mighty warrior, Meghnad.

 

 

 

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