Aug 6, 2009

A little known story from Ramayana

There is a little known side-story in the Ramayana that very few people are aware of.

It happenned when Lord Rama was in exile. Living a peaceful life in the forest, with his lovely wife and devout brother. Away from cruel step-mothers and back bending maids.

Just when everything was quiet and nice, there appeared a terrible distraction.

Demon princess Surpanakha was roaming around in the forest, looking for some action. And she saw Rama, and she was smitten. “Wow, now that’s an ideal man”, she said to herself.

So she changed form, and appeared before Rama as an irresistible beauty. She tried to woo Rama, but he was not impressed. He was a perfect man, and a monogamous one at that (which firmly proves that the story is plain myth, but let’s not hurt religious sentiments here!).

Anyways, when Rama did not succumb to temptation, Surpanakha turned to Lakshmana. Who turned out to be even more of a perfect man and refused her saying he was a married man. (I mean, Rama at least could have been thinking Sita might sulk, but Lakshmana knew that Urmila won’t even come to know).

Anyways, to cut a long nose (oops, story) short, Surpanakha was humiliated and sent back. And perfect men though they were, they forgot one little detail: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!!!”

So, Surpanakha went back to Lanka, and cried her heart out to her dear brother, the almighty demon king Ravana. Ravana flew into a rage, and promised his little sister that he would make the people who did this to her pay dearly.

Now, Ravana was an all powerful king, conqueror of the three worlds, but he had one little weakness. You see, Ravana had ten heads, but as is the case with divided responsibility (also called group work in b-school lingo), every head used to assume that the other would take care of the all the brain work. So, he was a forgetful person.

So, to remind him of his promise, Surpanakha did what all women do when they need men to remember things. She tied a thread around his hand.

And in honour of that tradition, to this day, sisters tie a thread around their brothers’ hands. It is celebrated as Rakshas Bandhan, a symbol of the bond between a brother and a sister.


PS1: Inspired by recent posts of Naren. A person whom I have never met, but who has made me chuckle quite a bit.

PS2: Not intended to hurt any religious sentiments. So, please spare me the sermon about respecting our epics.


  1. Haha ... Good one :)

    Group works and Ravana's heads ... what analogy!!

  2. i dont think anyone`s going to be tying you rakhi anytime soon....

  3. one of the many explanations to rakshabandhan's origin.... in olden days, wives used to tie a thread to their husband's wrists before they set off to battle....

    so its said its not just restricted to sisters n bros... so all guys out thr... not to worry too much :)

  4. Anonymous12:32 PM

    hehe.. enjoyed reading this one!
    although dont believe raksha bandhan or the stories behind it!
    So how many Rakhis did u get this year? ;) :P


  5. Rakshas Bhandhan later became Raksha Bandhan eh???

    a new story to me...

  6. i dont know about epics.. but you should definitely respect the e-pics. in this day and age too.

  7. Gahaaahahaa! One more to inflict on my hapless family! Yippee!

  8. LOL!
    Rakshas Bandhan!
    Got any such strings lately?

  9. Rakshas bandhan! No, dude, I have it on good authority that it's Yaksha bandhan. :D

  10. This post shows you are from South India. :)

  11. You should have given the link of the post which inspired you :-)

    Secondly, the number of Rakhis you are going to get from next year is bound to go down, so may be you could have put another disclaimer on that :-)

  12. @ Everybody:
    Blogger was in Kolkata over the weekend savouring Ilish and Roshogollas! So, late replies :)

    @ Roshan:
    Group works and Ravana's heads... both perfect examples of the myth of "two heads (or ten) are better than one"

    @ Lipika:
    Suits me :)

    @ Kamal:
    They probably tied the thread as a reminder... "Don't forget to bring the diamond necklace and the pearl earrings"
    In any case, the threads are dangerous...

    @ Anon SS:
    Why don't you believe in Raksha Bandhan? After all, you get nice gifts for tying a thread...

    And no, I didn't get any rakhis this year... though my cousins are going to kill me the next time I meet them...

    @ Chiju:
    We always do original stories ;)

    @ RR:
    you mean, we shouldn't flickr them around carelessly?

    @ Naren:
    hehe... as if you needed any more... (I mean stories, not families)

    @ Vivek:
    When it comes to girls, I believe in 'no strings attached' relationships...

    @ Idling:
    That sounds right too! Our epics leave much scope for multiple interpretations :)

    @ Anjana:
    You mean, the Pudumozhi one didn't?

    @ Mustaf:
    The link is given... to the blog, not a specific post... there are so many there, that to link to one post would have been gross injustice

  13. Anonymous11:31 PM

    Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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