Mumbai: Lord Rama was the eighth avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was born to Suryavanshi King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya in Ayodhya.
Rama ascended to the throne of Ayodhya after returning to his kingdom with his consort Sita and brother Lakshmana. He succeeded his father Dasharatha to the throne of Ayodhya to serve the masses. Under his leadership, his subjects were happy and content.
Nonetheless, TIME, which is the most powerful factor governing the universe, brought Rama’s tenure to an end by reminding him of the termination of his journey on earth.
On realising that it was time for him to transcend to his original abode – the Vaikuntha – Lord Rama immersed himself in the Sarayu River, which exists even today.
The sacred river in question flows through the state of modern day Uttar Pradesh.
What does the legend say?
One day, Kala Deva (The lord of Time) expressed his desire to meet Lord Rama in person. He sought an appointment requesting him that no one else but Rama should be present during the meet. Lord Rama agreed and instructed his brother – Lakshmana – to stand guard. A while later, Rishi Durvasa, known for his hot temper, asked Lakshmana to let him enter the court. Lakshmana initially refused to let him enter but subsequently realised that it was nothing but a plot cleverly hatched by TIME to remind him of his end.
Lakshmana immersed himself in the Sarayu to transform into his original form – the Shesha. On realising that his younger brother had left the earth for the heavenly adobe, Rama followed him and drowned himself in the Sarayu.
Interestingly, according to another legend, Lord Yama chose not to enter Ayodhya fearing Hanuman, who stood guard at Rama’s court. In order to prevent Hanuman from stopping him, Rama pretended to lose his finger ring. He asked Hanuman to help him find the ring that had disappeared after falling into a crack on the floor. Hanuman instantly reduced in size to enter the crack. On reaching the Nag Lok, Hanuman met the king of Nagas – Vasuki, who helped him reach heap of rings that resembled Rama’s ring.
Hanuman wondered how he could find Rama’s ring from the heap. That’s when Lord Vasuki answered Lord Hanuman’s question by talking about the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. He said that every time Lord Rama lost his ring, a monkey came searching for it. This is how Hanuman realised that death was invincible and no power on earth could claim victory over it.
In the meanwhile, Rama, took advantage of Hanuman’s absence and immersed himself in Sarayu to leave the earth for his heavenly abode.