Ramayan is an ever inspiring epic which helps us what to do at each and every stage and age of life, which are the most important life lessons enabling us to learn and walk in the path of Dharma. It is often very intriguing to know the facts of Ramayan and one of such interesting timeline fact is what would be the real ages and lifespan of the characters according to Shrimad Valmiki Ramayan.
The age of Maharaj Dasarth during Shri Ram’s gurukul days is known in the Valmiki Ramayan. Rishi Valmiki mentions the age of Maharaj Dasarath during the visit of Rishi Vishwamitr to Ayodhya. When Rishi Vishwamitr asked Maharaj Dasarath to send along Shri Ram with him, Maharaj Dasarath mentions that in his age of sixty thousand years, and in this age it would be unfitting to be away from Shri Ram.
Shri Ram was born on the ninth day of the Chaitra month in the Punarvasu nakshatr and Bharat was born on the Pushya nakashtra and the twins Lakshman and Shatrughan were born in the Aslesha nakshatr, thus making Shri Ram elder to the other three brothers by one day.
The age of Shri Ram and Mata Sita during exile is mentioned in the conversation of Ravan and Mata Sita at Panchavati. Mata Sita mentions to Ravan that Shri Ram was of twenty five years when he was sent to exile and she was eighteen years of age. With this it can be assumed that Shri Ram was crowned as the king of Ayodhya, he would be thirty nine years of age.
The age of Ravan is a quite interesting one to study. It is written in the Uttar Kand of Ramayan that Ravan had fought with an ancestor of Shri Ram King Anaranya who ruled twenty seven generations before Shri Ram. Although the age of Ravan is not mentioned in the Ramayan, it is given a mention in the Skanda Puran that Ravan ruled for fifty six million years till he met his end with Shri Ram.
Uttar Kand also mentions the ages of Luv and Kush, the twin sons of Shri Ram and Mata Sita. This can be ascertained by the battle of Shatrughan with Lavanasur. It was during the way to Mathura that Shatrughan stops at Rishi Vlamiki’s ashram and blesses the just born twins. Later, Shatrughan returns to Ayodhya after twelve years which was in the time Shri Ram was conducting he Aswamedha Yagna, and the same time where Luv and Kush recited the Ramayan in Ayodhya. This makes us understand that Luv and Kush were of twelve years when they met Shri Ram for the first time.
Shri Ram with Mata Sita ruled over Ayodhya for a total ten thousand years. This is mentioned by Rishi Valmiki himself. Later, the rishi mentions that Mata Sita was sent away to exile and after twelve years rejoined her sons with Shri Ram and passed away into earth. Then Shri Ram ruled the kingdom for another thousand years, thus making his total incarnation span for eleven thousand years after which he left for Vaikunth Dham after his purpose of establishing Dharma was fulfilled and he got a call from Brahma ji to come back to his abode in the Vaikunth Dhaam.
This information mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayan is definetly a great soruce of information to understand the age spans, timelines of different Yugas proving the unending knowledge of our Sanatana Dharma flowing through times eternal.