Jatayu And Pushpak Viman In Ramayana

Ramayana has become an interesting story due to the wonderful references with respect to air travel. The role of Sampati has been narrated in detail in the past article. To remind a few facts, it is better to memorize them.

On hearing the prayer of Garuda, God Vishnu has blessed two healthy children to him. The elder one is Sampati and the younger is Jatayu. Both of them have performed their services towards Shree Rama, the incarnation of God Vishnu, in sincere devotion.

Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and other flying back to Ayodhya in the Pushpak Viman
Pushpaka Viman

Sampati was eating fish on the beaches and dead bodies floating on the rivers near the delta regions as he could not fly. Somehow, he was managing and after the birth of Suparshva, his son, life had become slightly comfortable for him.

Life of Jatayu

Jatayu could fly very high in the sky. He is a holy vulture but according to the assignments of the nature for his life, he should find out dead bodies of animals daily for eating. Then, the king Dasharatha was ruling Ayodhya and most of the regions, up to Kailasa Mountain in the north and Cape Comarin (Kanyakumari) in the south, called as Bharata Khanda under his control. Later, his empire had grown to all the ten directions due to his love towards the people. He used to be ride in his chariot, to all the ten directions according to mythology. In olden days, people desired the protection of stronger kings to be secured from the nuisance of demons.

Jatayu searched for his food but he could not get sufficiently. Initially, he went to Lanka but then Ravana was ruling there. In Lanka, he never found a single dead body. There were two reasons for this. When the demons liked some animals, they caught them up and ate them fully, swallowing as their food. Also, the king Ravana had protected all his kinsmen and his favorable animals with punctual attention and hence there was no death to them. Later, Jatayu thought to approach Dasharatha to solve his food problem. He arrived at Ayodhya and then heard people speaking of Vishwamitra Rishi and education of Rama and Lakshmana. Jatayu visited Dasharatha and got advised by him to follow his children with Vishwamitra.  

Jatayu at first was fully perplexed but followed them silently. The classes and teachings by Vishwamitra started and Rama and Lakshmana very carefully started studying the lessons. Jatayu felt hungry and secretly enquired with Lakshmana about the food procedures. But Lakshmana told him to bear the hunger for a long time as his teacher also taught him do the same. Jatayu then started to keep an eye over Rama.

Alas! When Vishwamitra Rishi started to teach the fire rituals to Rama, a demon from elsewhere, called Tataka who was hiding there, started to throw drops of wines over the fire he ignited. Vishwamitra Rishi signaled Rama to be ready with his bow and arrows. Then, there were only practical lessons for Rama. Again, a few more demons appeared there as the servants of Tataka and caused more disturbances, throwing soil dusts, to the rituals. Vishwamitra Rishi ordered charging as punishment to the unruly demon. Rama aimed arrow with his bow and the servant demon of Tataka fell down with a loud scream.

For the time being, Tataka with her other servant demons flew away. Jatayu felt very happy and thanked Rama for providing his food, the dead body of the demon fallen there. Incidents like this happened frequently and Jatayu got his food there and one day, Jatayu got the dead body of the monster demon, Tataka. Later, he became the friend of Dasharatha and also of Janaka and remained near Ayodhya town till the exile of Rama into forest. He could not forget Rama since Rama has provided him food frequently, by killing the asuras of Dandakaranya, while in Panchavati also.

रामं च यो वै स्मरति प्रभाते ।
तस्यर्थ लाभो विजयस्च हस्ते ॥

The meaning is, ‘One who is memorizing the name of Rama in the morning gets assets on his hand and victory also falls up on his hand’. Jatayu was chanting Rama manthra when Rama had aimed an arrow on Maricha, the uncle of Ravana, just previous to kidnap of Sita. After the death of Maricha, Jatayu had finished eating his dead body and heard the screaming noise of Sita and he hurried to the direction of that alarming sound. Before reaching the spot, Ravana managed to drive away his chariot with Sita and immediately, seated her in his Pushpaka Vimana, suddenly, sprang into the sky towards Lanka.

Ravana killing the bird Jatayu
Jatayu trying to protect Sita

Jatayu intercepted Ravana on his journey in the sky. Ravana had a large sword called Chandrahasa. With his sword, he cut off the wings of Jatayu and continued his journey to Lanka. Sita felt sorry and gave him a boon, to be alive till Rama meets him. Jatayu remained there chanting the Rama manthra. He suffered with pain. When Rama and Lakshmana arrived there searching for Sita, he could inform them that it was Ravana who has carried her away, the mother Goddess Sita, to Lanka. Jatayu then died and Rama with Lakshmana conducted the funerals and final rituals for Jatayu.

Pushpaka Vimana

Initially, the Pushpaka Vimana was allotted to Kubera, who is an angel, and in charge of the wealth, housed in the north direction of Kailasa Mountain, the abode of God Shiva. Ravana is a bad demon and grabbed it from him and had forcefully taken it to Lanka. Pushpaka Vimana is a flight designed by Vishwakarma which was very precise and comfortable for the air mode of journey.  Ravana passed over the head of Sampati and reached Lanka. Sita was seated in Ashoka Vana. 

Rama waged war against Ravana. After defeating Ravana, he killed him and wished to go back to Ayodhya at the earliest. Then, Vibhishana being crowned the king, inherited the Pushpaka Vimana and offered it for the return journey of Rama with Sita and Lakshmana to Ayodhya. Rama invited Vibhishana and his kinsmen also to Ayodhya and they all were accommodated in the Pushpaka Vimana, keeping only one front seat vacant. After starting from Lanka, the next boarding station was at Nandi Gram where Bharata was waiting and performing penance. The vacant seat was occupied by Bharata and the journey continued to Ayodhya.

When Hanuman visited Lanka in search of Sita, he has described in his report to Rama, how Lanka was shining and how even in late nights, herds of demon students used to by heart the Vedic shrutis, which show the advancement of intellectual levels of the Lanka people then. During the war, the scholars were disbursing away to save life. Some scholars possessing youth participated in the war and embraced their death. The aero plane built by Vishwakarma, the Pushpaka Vimana, then could not be repeated again as the technical knowledge had not been passed over to any of his disciple. Thus, wars make loss of many things to the country, or say, to the entire world.

It is humbly prayed for the blessings of God Rama upon us.

Readers may provide feedback and share this story to friends and family.

Share this article:

1 Comment

  1. Ganesh Prasad A

    Thank you very much

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2024 Gomangala

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑