Most of us are aware about the major storyline of the Ramayana - who were Rama and Sita, Sita's abduction and the eventual slaying of the ten headed Ravana by Rama, and even how Sita leaves her mortal form to back back into the earth.
But ever wondered what happened to Rama towards the end of his mortal life?
Let's find out that in detail in this post...
There are two equally captivating stories associated with Rama's death.
The first one goes that Yama (god of death) wanted to visit Rama to take him away, but was scared of Hanuman who vigilantly guarded Rama. In order to divert Hanuman's attention, Rama purposely dropped his ring through a crevice in the floor. Hanuman at once took the form of a tiny bee to enter the crevice in search of the ring.
The second story involves the deaths of both Rama and Lakshmana.
Some say it was Yama, some say it was Kala (time) himself, who came to take Rama away. Before he did that, Yama / Kala first wanted to have a private discussion with him. Rama thus instructed Lakshmana to stand guard outside the door and not let anyone in, or else that person would be given the death sentence. At the same time, sage Durvasa came calling, to meet Rama. Lakshmana at first stopped him from entering. Durvasa (already known for his anger), threatened to curse the whole of Ayodhya if he wasn't allowed to meet Rama. To save Ayodhya and also avoid Rama to have the sin of killing a sage on his hands, Lakshmana intervened the meeting. After this incident, to fulfill Rama's promise, Lakshmana promptly walked in to the Sarayu river and gave up his mortal body. He was then followed by Rama himself.
Lakshmana was the incarnation of the Shesha Naga, the abode of Vishnu at Vaikuntha. It was therefore imperative that he died before Rama so that when Rama returned to Vaikuntha as Vishnu, his abode would be already be set and ready for him!