Role of Shatrugna in Ramayana


Rama is Vishnu Himself, Lakshmana is Adi Sesha, Bharata is His disc and Shatrughna is the conch-shell. The conch is used rarely but to be accompanied!


1) Shatrughna:


Shatrughna and Laxman were sons of the second queen Sumitra, wife of Dashratha, the King of Ayodhya. Shatrughna mirrored many aspects of Lakshmana's personality and character.Lakshman followed the footsteps of the paragon of truth, Rama while Shatrughna was equally attached to the unworldly and devoted Bharat, son of Kaikey, and followed him everywhere for he knew that Bharat was a complete devotee of Rama. In Bharat's life, there was no other goal loftier than service to his brother.


During the Sita Swayamvar, when Sita was wedded to Rama, Raja Janak arranged for the wedding of Shatrughna to Shrutkirti, the daughter of his brother Kushadhvaja. Bharat was married to Mandavi and Urmila to Lakshman.


Shatrughna asks Bharata why even Lakshmana could not prevent Dasaratha from sending Rama to the forest. Meanwhile, when Manthara arrives at the scen, Shatrughna seizes her with his powerful hand, threatens to punish her and abuses Kaikeyi too. When Kaikeyi pleads for mercy with her son, Bharata intervenses and Shatrughna releases Manthara. (Valmiki Ramayana Ayodhya Kanda, Chapter 78).


When Bharat placed Rama's charan paduka (sandals), on the throne and went to live in far a away Nandigrama in a straw hut, he lived there for fourteen years, awaiting the arrival of Shri Rama. It was Shatrughna who assumed the mantle of royal duties and the running of the Kingdom.


For fourteen years he ruled, like an alert soldier and administrator. He made sure that the Queen mothers did not feel the absence of their sons. His guru had justly named him (as Shatrugna) for he very ably overpowered all evil forces and enemies of the state and the subjects.


After fourteen years, Rama Lakshman and Sita returned to Ayodhya. Guru Vashistha arranged for the coronation of Rama. In those days, Daityas Madhu's son Lavanasura was creating havoc in Madhuvan (forest called Madhu), making the subjects very unhappy. Shatrughna then told Rama, that the world knew the many ways in which Lakshman had served Him. Shatrughna requested Rama to give Shatrughna a chance to prove his Kshatriya (warrior caste) value by killing Lavanasura and serving Ayodhya.. Rama gave him the permission. Shatrughna killed Lavanasura and established the kingdom of Madhupur, which later came to be known as Mathura. Raja Rama made Shatrughna the king of Madhupur.


When Rama conducted the Ashwamegh Yagna (horse sacrifice where a horse is let loose and whichever kingdom that horse crosses into has to accept the owner of the horse as their lord or then fight with them), it was Shatrughna who leaded the horse Dig Vijay and made the yagna successful. Shatrughna was also a part incarnation of Vishnu.


By looking after the welfare of the family, the queens, the subjects and the kingdom, Shatrughna gave a stellar proof of his ideal character. He is equal to Bharat and Rama in his goodness and nobility.


2) Valmiki Ramayana, Bala Kanda, Chapter 18, Verse 16


"राज्ञः पुत्रा महात्मानः चत्वारो जज्ञिरे पृथक् |
गुणवंतः अनुरूपाः च रुच्या प्रोष्ठ पदोपमाः ||" १-१८-१६


Thus there are four great-souled sons of Dasharatha, born on separate instances, who are virtuous, charming, and by brilliance they are in similitude with two stars of each of the asterisms called puurva bhadra and uttara bhaadra. [1-18-16]


The word prosta is cow; pada feet; the feet of a cow. It is also the name for the asterisms Puurvaa Bhaadra, Uttara Baadra, containing stars in the wing of Pegasus, each of which will have two stars, and all the four stars make a perfect square.


Like the pairs of stars the brother also move in pairs - Rama, Lakshmana; Bharata, Shatrughna.


The epithet mahaa aatmanah high-souled ones is though negligible for peripheral reading, it is explained as: Rama is one such, as he undertakes sva dharma anusthaana ; Lakshmana by his shesatva jnaana ; Bharata by his bhagavat paara tantrya ; and Shatrughna by his bhaagavata paaratantrya.


Ramayana and Mahabharata are like oceans. One should go deep into the bottom of sea to know the pearls of the intricacies!


3) Naming Ceremony [1-18-21, 22]:


The word 'Rama' is defined as 'ramante sarve janaah gunaih asmin iti raamah 'in whom all the people take delight for his virtuousness, thus he is Rama.'


Bharata is defined as: bharata raajya bharanaat - bibharti iti bharata Bharata is because he bears the burden of the kingdom of Rama during Rama's exile.

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One who is endowed with favoured dedication, kainkarya lakshana lakshita Lakshmana is a hearty dedication to Rama and he always wishes to reside by the side of his brother.


Shatrughna is shatruun hanta iti shatrughnah. Or shatrughno nitya shatru-ghnahshatrughna is always an enemy destroyer.
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