The meaning of Agastya is the one who brightens. True to his name, Rishi Agastya was always like the light in times of dark and the saviour in times of need. He was born in an earthen pot, and was also called kumbhayoni. He was married to Lopamudra, a princess, who left all her comforts and luxuries and sincerely served her husband as she believed that Rishi Agastya had the greatest wealth of virtue. Rishi Agastya is also one of the Sapta Rishis in the star constellation.
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. Agastya requests the mountain to grow short and give him way to go South and takes a promise from the mountain to grow back only after he returns. But, Agastya never returns back from the South and henceforth the Vindhya stopped growing. 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. Agastya rushes to receive Shri Ram and his retinue. Shri Ram bows to him calling him the personification of Bhagwan Shiv. 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. When
Shri Ram asks him a suitable place to reside, Rishi Agastya advises them to go to Panchavati. There is a great reasoning of Rishi Agastya behind this advice. 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.
Rishi Agastya also played a significant role during war of Shri Ram with Ravan. Rishi Agastya comes to the aid of Shri Ram and teaches him the Aditya Hrydayam hymn. An invocation on Sun God, this hymn helps Shri Ram gain energy mentally and physically in the long strenuous war with Ravan and win over him. The bond of Shri Ram with Rishi Agastya was indeed special. Shri Ram respected him as his Guru and he continued to take counsel from him even after he became the King of Ayodhya.