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Story Of Ashoka Tree In Ramayana

In the Ramayana, the Ashoka tree holds a significant place, serving as a symbol of hope and eventual liberation from sorrow. Here's the story behind the Ashoka tree as told in the legend:

Long ago, there lived a feared cannibal named Sashoka, who roamed the dense jungles preying upon unsuspecting travelers. He would attack and devour anyone who crossed his path, spreading fear and terror throughout the land. However, one fateful day, as he wandered through the forest, he came across a solitary hut nestled on the edge of the woods.

Outside the hut, a sage was deep in meditation, his serene demeanor contrasting starkly with Sashoka's restless existence. Intrigued by the sage's tranquil presence, Sashoka approached him and inquired about the secret to his inner peace. He expressed his desire to abandon his life of violence and turmoil, yearning to attain the same serenity as the sage.

Moved by Sashoka's plea, the sage revealed that achieving such a state of calmness had taken him many lifetimes of spiritual endeavor. However, he blessed Sashoka and prophesied that in his next life, he would be reborn as a tree in Ravana's garden. In that form, he would witness the events surrounding the abduction of Sita by Ravana and her subsequent captivity.

The sage further foretold that when Hanuman, the devoted disciple of Bhagavan Sri Rama, visits Sita in the Ashoka grove, her sorrow would dissipate, and she would find solace in his words. It was at that moment that Sashoka, now transformed into the Ashoka tree, would experience liberation from his own grief and anguish.

True to the sage's prophecy, Sita found refuge beneath the branches of the Ashoka tree during her captivity in Lanka. It was there that she encountered Hanuman, who brought her the reassuring news of Rama's impending rescue mission. In the presence of Hanuman and the Ashoka tree, Sita's despair turned to hope, marking the fulfillment of the sage's prophecy and the beginning of Sashoka's journey toward redemption as Ashoka, the remover of sorrow.