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Continued from part 2
Journey of Sri Raama during his exile
If we look at the travel path of Sri rama for his first 13 years, 6 months of exile, we see that he was simply roaming in the region between Narmada and Godavari basin. Killing an occasional rakshasa, asura; living with some rishi learning things, enjoying life. If he intended to kill Ravana, then why did he waste all his time in central India? The only explanation is, he wasn't supposed to do that.
The network of Ashramas spread across North and central India gave him instructions, counsel, advice and guidelines in his exile. They supported him with logistics, food etc. He is simply hopping from one ashrama to other ashrama, building his own ashrama in vicinity of some existing rishi-ashrama. The chain of gurukuls in central India is one of the backbone of this entire expedition. Something which should be thought upon in future.
He stayed at panchavati (near Nashik) for 3-4 years. This was adjoining or was perhaps in the territory of Rakshasa colony in Maharashtra. Khara and Dushan brothers were governers of this colony. The sister of Ravana encountered rama and got mutilated at the hands of lakshmana. This resulted in escalating order of warfare between Ravana controlled MH and Rama. Khara sent armies after armies to capture these "outlaws and bandits". Like our response to Kargil incursion. at first it was not taken seriously. But when we knew that intruders are professionals, well equipped, well supplied and well entrenched, it was a full scale mobilization. Similarly Khara-Dushana escalated the war as they understood that enemy was well entrenched.
The military genius of Rama is seen in his fight against these two. Like Shivaji, he takes refuge of a cave in Sahyadri mountain range. Just like Shivaji compelled Afzal Khan to enter his trap, Raama compels Khara Dushana to enter the hilly terrain full of forest and rocks. In such places, the military formations of armies break down into smaller units which were taken out by Rama's and Lakshamana's superior weapons one by one. In the end, when it becomes issue of Honor and Dignity, Khara and Dushana themselves enter the region and get killed. While this is a huge (and rather unexpected) victory for Rama (and his backers) one has to remember that this was not part of intended strategy. Rama was staying there for 3 years before this adventurism. He ordered Shurpanakha's mutilation to save his own wife. and He destroyed Rakshasa army of MH to save his own life.
This is a huge setback for Rakshasa's plan of northward expansion. One entire army lost in futile fight in mountains. This is the beginning of chain of events in last 6 months of Rama's exile where his valour peaked. All the 5 exalted planets in horoscope poured all their auspiciousness in these 6 months. Since Ravana comes to know about this defeat, he plans to abduct Seeta. There are many motivations apart from lust, behind this act of Ravana. One is to breakdown the man totally. Shurpanakha tells how beautiful Seeta is and how much raama loves her. Secondly ofcourse to possess such a beautiful lady whose beauty is being wasted in forest. And since they are in his territory, it is easy to set up the logistics required for abduction. Thus, Seeta is abducted and Rama vows revenge.
Continued to Part 4