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Story Of Marutta And Ravana – Devas Taking Form Of Different Animals

Once upon a time, there lived a righteous and noble king named Marutta, who decided to perform a grand sacrificial ceremony (yajna). Marutta, renowned for his devotion and piety, invited numerous learned brahmins to chant from the sacred Vedas. The powerful and auspicious chanting resonated through the air, creating a divine atmosphere that attracted the attention of the gods themselves. They descended from their celestial abodes to partake in the offerings made during the ceremony.

As the gods began to accept their shares of the sacrificial offerings, a sudden disturbance occurred. Ravana, the mighty demon king of Lanka, infamous for his strength and tyranny, arrived at the site of the yajna. His presence struck fear and discomfort among the assembled deities. Unwilling to confront Ravana directly and disrupt the sacred ritual, the gods decided to retreat. They swiftly transformed themselves into various animals and fled the scene, hoping to avoid Ravana’s wrath.

Ravana, noticing the abrupt departure and transformations, was enraged. He challenged Marutta, calling for a confrontation. The king, startled by the intrusion but maintaining his composure, addressed Ravana, "Who are you, mighty one? Please identify yourself before you seek combat."

Ravana, proud and haughty, responded, "I am Dashanan, the ten-headed ruler of Lanka and the brother of Kubera, the god of wealth. I am known for defeating Kubera and seizing his magnificent kingdom."

Marutta, undeterred by Ravana’s arrogance, replied calmly, "You take pride in vanquishing Kubera and claiming his realm. But know this, I am committed to completing this sacred sacrifice, and leaving it unfinished would be a grievous sin."

Despite the looming threat, Marutta decided to prioritize the sanctity of his ritual over the confrontation. He accepted the possibility of defeat, understanding the higher purpose of his sacrifice.

Seeing the king’s unwavering dedication, Ravana eventually left the site, perhaps recognizing the futility of his aggression in the face of Marutta’s resolve.

With Ravana’s departure, the gods who had taken the forms of animals reappeared, grateful for the king’s steadfastness and the protection provided by the animals. In gratitude, they bestowed blessings upon the creatures that had aided them:

  • Indra, the king of gods, blessed the peacock, granting it the beautiful, eye-like patterns on its feathers, symbolizing watchfulness and divine beauty.
  • Kubera, who had once blessed the pheasant, endowed it with a golden hue and a crown-like crest, symbolizing prosperity and regality.
  • Chandra, the moon god, blessed the swan, granting it a luminous, moon-like hue, signifying purity and tranquility.
  • Yama, the god of death, blessed the crow, ensuring it would be free from illness, symbolizing resilience and longevity.

Thus, the animals who played a role in protecting the gods were eternally honored, and their blessings became evident in their unique and divine traits. The story of Marutta’s unwavering dedication and the gods’ gratitude serves as a timeless reminder of the virtues of piety, sacrifice, and the protection of the divine order.