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The Story of Indrajit | AstroVed

August 24, 2023 | Total Views : 659
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Who Was Indrajit?

In the epic, Ramayana, there are many characters apart from Rama, Sita, Hanuman, and Ravana. But not many people know many things about them, as they are not major characters. One such little-known personality is Prince Indrajit, the son of the demon king of Lanka, Ravana, who is the main antagonist of the Ramayana. He was also called Meghanad, as his cry, soon after birth, was like the sound of thunder! Meghanad means ‘thunderous’ in Sanskrit.

The story goes that Ravana, who was a powerful demon, wanted a perfect son. So he ordered the planets to be in the perfect constellation, so that his son would have a fortunate and auspicious birth. At the time of Indrajit’s birth, Ravana had conquered almost everything there was to conquer. The planets, which did not want to attract Ravana’s anger, obliged. Due to Ravana’s efforts, Indrajit was born at a very auspicious time, which augured a successful life for him.

It is said that Ravana wanted his son to be an ardent Shiva devotee. Indrajit was a great warrior and played an active role in the war between Rama and Ravana. He was the only warrior (apart from Parashurama) who possessed the 3 weapons of the Trimurti (Brahmanda Astra, Vaishnava Astra, and Pashupatastra). He also received many divine weapons from mentors Brahma, Shukra, Vishnu, and Shiva. After defeating the gods, he took their weapons. This is how he came to own the celestial weapons. His prowess was such that he defeated Rama and Lakshmana twice.

The Story of Indrajit

Indrajit’s Birth

Indrajit/Meghnad was the eldest son of Ravana. His mother was Mandodari. Ravana wanted his son to be invincible., and a skilled and knowledgeable warrior.

Ravana was also a great astrologer, thanks to the presence of exalted Jupiter in the Moon, the conjunction of the Moon and Saturn in his birth chart, and also the Sun’s aspects. When all these planets are in the same house, the native will have great knowledge of astrology.

After defeating the gods, Ravana was looking forward to the birth of his son. When the gods heard that Ravana’s son was about to be born, they became very worried. They felt that Ravana and his son would unleash havoc on the world.

So, the gods urged the Navagrahas, or nine planets, to move into astrologically unfavorable positions to ensure that Ravana’s son would not become powerful. But Ravana got wind of this, and he captured all the 9 planets. He kept them under his feet ‘with their head facing downwards’, so that the planets couldn’t shift to unfavorable positions.

The planets became aligned in such a way that they fell in the 11th house of Meghnad’s horoscope. However, Shani was the outlier. It settled in the 12th house of Meghnad's horoscope. Ravana was furious. Due to Shani’s position, Meghanad was destined to die at Lakshmana’s hands.

Meghanad, the Warrior

Shukra, the guru of the Asuras, taught Meghanad all the secrets of warfare. He learned and mastered all the weapons and war strategies. Besides conventional warfare, he also learned the art of sorcery and magic and mastered it. While he was still young, Indrajit came to possess many celestial weapons under Shukra’s guidance. He also performed severe penance to attain knowledge of celestial weapons. Meghnad’s wife was Sulochana, daughter of the Serpent King Shesha Naga.

During a battle between the Devas and Ravana, Indra managed to capture Ravana. Meghanad then attacked Indra and defeated all the gods. Meghanad took Indra to Ravana in Lanka. They decided to kill Indra. But Brahma intervened and requested Meghanad to free Indra. Brahma was very impressed by Meghnad's feats, and it was he who named him Indrajit (meaning "the conqueror of Indra"). Meghanad agreed and was rewarded with a boon from Brahma. Meghanada sought immortality, but Brahma refused, saying that it went against the law of nature.

But Brahma gave him another boon which made him invincible. According to the boon, if he went to battle after performing a Yajna for his local goddess, Pratyangira Devi, he would be undefeated. But if the Yajna was foiled by anyone, he would be killed.

Indrajit’s Feats on the Battlefield

Indrajit was called to fight only after Ravana’s defeat. Kumbhakarna was also dead. So were his brothers and cousins. But when he entered the battlefield, he went through Rama’s army like an efficient killing machine. He defeated Hanuman, one of the strongest beings on Earth, using the Brahmastra. Rama, who was Vishnu’s avatar, was defeated using a very powerful weapon – the Nagapash. It unleashed a million snakes that wrapped themselves around Rama’s and Lakshmana’s bodies. They fell down, completely exhausted. It was Garuda who saved them.

Indrajit also used his sorcery skills in the war. Rama and Lakshmana found it very hard to kill him because Indrajit would appear and disappear at will. He also unleashed the Brahmanda Astra, which was the most terrible weapon in creation. It rendered Rama, Lakshmana, and the entire Vanara army unconscious. For this reason, Hanuman went to the Himalayas to get the Sanjivani herb to revive everyone.

Frustrated to find that Rama and Lakshmana were still alive, decided to demoralize the entire army. He created an illusion of Sita and killed it before the Vanara army. This had the desired effect as Rama collapsed in shock.

Finally, realizing that he could not win the war with his existing abilities, he decided to perform the Yagna for Goddess Pratyangira and then return to battle.

But Vibhishana, Ravana’s brother, who believed that the abduction of Sita was wrong, revealed the secret of Indrajit’s power to Rama and Lakshmana. Then, Hanuman and Lakshmana interrupted the Yagna. At the time, Indrajit had no weapons, as one of the rules of doing the Yagna was that there should be no weapons in the place of worship. Still, Indrajit somehow escaped his foes using pots and pans in place of weapons.

Enraged at the insult to his favorite deity, Indrajit unleashed the three most powerful weapons in all the worlds – Brahmanda Astra, Pashupatastra, and Vaishnavastra. But they did not harm Lakshmana.

Realization Dawns

Finally, Indrajit realized that Laxmana and Rama were divine beings and beseeched Ravana to return Sita or face defeat. But Ravana refused and called his son a coward. Indrajit told Ravana that he would not abandon his father, come what may. Reconciled to the prospect of his death, he returned to battle and fought bravely. He was killed by Lakshmana. In this manner, the life of the most powerful warrior on Earth came to an end.

Indrajit, the Atimaharathi

Indrajit was the only person in the entire universe who held the three ultimate weapons – Brahmanda Astra, Pashupatastra, and Vaishnavastra together. He killed millions of Vanaras during the 3 days that he fought, a feat that was beyond even Ravana and Kumbhakarana.

He was an Atimaharathi who could engage 12 Maharathis simultaneously. Arjuna, Hanuman, Karna, Rama, Krishna, and Lakshmana were Maharathis. He could have fought them all at the same time and conquered all of them.

To conclude, one could say that Indrajit, aka Meghanad, is a classic case of a son who had to pay a huge price for his father’s sins!

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