The one who brightens up the heart and mind removing the darkness is called Agastya, and true to his name, Rishi Agastya was always like the light in times of dark and the saviour in times of need. Rishi Agastya’s greatness lied in dedicating his life to stabilise Dharma and his best role was when he guided Shri Ram in paving the way to the destruction of the demon post in Janasthan, which was the first warning call to Ravan.
The purpose of Shri Ram’s exile reached its true zenith, when he met Rishi Agastya. After visiting different ashrams for ten years in the Dandak forest, Shri Ram along with Mata Sita and Lakshman return back to Rishi Suteekshn’s ashram. He requests Rishi Suteekshn to take them to Rishi Agastya who is also his brother. Rishi Suteekshn gladly agrees and all set out to the meet the great sage.
During their journey, Shri Ram explains about the greatness of Rishi Agastya to Mata Sita and Lakshman how Rishi Agastya killed the demons Vatapi and Ilalva. In another incident, fearing Devraj Indr, the demons hid inside the ocean so that he could not find them. Rishi Agastya’s helped the devas by drinking the entire ocean with his austerity, thus aiding Devraj Indr to kill the demons in hiding. Shri Ram also mentions the incident during Bhagwan Shiv’s marriage, when all the spiritual people went to the North, Mother Earth lost her balance. At that time, Agastya alone moved down South and Mother Earth could regain her balance back. Agastya also subdued the arrogance of the Vindhya Mountain growing tall and obstructing the path of the Sun God. He was also the one who bought the pious River Kaveri as a boon from Brahma Ji to the South lands.
While mentioning all the wondrous deeds of Agastya Muni, the company reach his ashram where they are recived warmly by Rishi Agastya. Well aware of the future events of subduing evil demons, Rishi Agastya bestows Shri Ram the divine bow which was made by Vishwakarma. He also gives two inexhaustible quivers with arrows to both Shri Ram and Lakshman along with a powerful arrow called the Vaishnavastr to Shri Ram and a divine sword to Lakshman.
Rishi Agastya was the perfect guide knowing the future when he suggests that Panchavati would be a suitable palce for Shri Ram to spend his rest of the exile time, as he knew that Shri Ram’s real mission of eliminating the evil forces would start from Shoorpanakha.
Panchavati was on the borders of Janasthan, the outpost of demons. By sending Shri Ram, Rishi Agastya marked the annihilation of the 14000 demons residing in Janasthan in the hands of Shri Ram, thus making Dandak forest, totally free of evil forces.
It was not only during their exile time, But Rishi Agastya also comes in aid of Shri Ram during war with Ravan by teaching Shri Ram the Aditya Hrydayam hymn, an invocation of Surya Bhagwan which helped Shri Ram gain energy mentally and physically in the long strenuous war with Ravan and win over him.
Just as Shri Ram always mentions that his mission was successful because of the support of many, It is indeed true that the contribution of Rishi Agastya was the most vital one to Shri Ram as guru, guide and a mentor who strongly supported the mission of Shri Ram in the protection of Dharma which was the life motto of the noble revered sage.