The specialties of different sages Shri Ram met during his exile

Shri Ram’s journey to the exile has many great purposes. It was not just a banishment on the order of his mother Queen Kaikeyi, but a journey which served the greater purpose of life in Shri Ram’s mission to re instate Dharma in the three worlds as the incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu.

Serving this purpose, Shri Ram visits the ashrams of many a sage in the pious Dandak forest making them feel blessed in his aura, receiving their blessings and also assuring their safety from the ferocious demons who were troubling them from performing their austerities. The revered sages whom he met were also the guiding factors for Shri Ram in defining his way to destroy the evil forces.

Apart from meeting the revered sages Rishi Bhardwaj, Rishi Valimiki, the great sage Atri and his chaste wife Mahasati Anasuya, the eternal devotees Rishi Sharabhang and rishi Suteekshna and finally Rishi Agastya who bestowed great weapons to Shri Ram in his mission, Shri Ram had the privilege to meet many sages who were special in their powers in many significant ways. However, with the mission of upholding peace and Dharma , they never utilised the powers for name,fame and power but instead used them for benefit of mankind and lead a peaceful, simple life in the Dandak forest. The various sages residing in the Dandak forest mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayanare

Vaikhanas : those born of the nails ofPrajapati

Valakhilyas : the sixty thousand sages born out of the hair of Brahma, they are the size of the thumb, they surround the chariot of the BhagwanSurya

Samprakṣala : those who keep on washing their bodyfrequently

Maricipa : those who drink the rays of Sun andMoon

Asmakuttas : those who bruise their bodies with stones or those who pound the grain and make their ownfood

Patraharaḥ : those who live onleaves

Dantolukhali :those who have teeth likemortar

Vayubhakṣa : those who live onair

Unmajjakaḥ :those who perform penance standing in neck deepwater

Gatraśayyaḥ : those who sleep on the skin of thetiger

Asayyaḥ : those who do penance without bending any part of thebody

Abhravakasakaḥ : those who live in the open in sun andrain

Salilaharaḥ : those who live on wateronly


Akaanilay :those who carry on their penance under the opensky

Sthaṇḍilasayina : those who sit and sleep on bareground

Vratopavasinaḥ : those who observe vows and fasts

Dantaḥ : those who areself-restrained

Ardrapaṭavasasaḥ : those who wear only wet clothes all thetime

Sajapa : those who repeat the names of godsalways

Taponiṣṭhaḥ : those who are steadfast in penance

Pancataponvitaḥ : those who do penance amidst five blazingfires



When Queen Kaikeyi mentions the fourteen year exile to Shri Ram, he takes the order with a smile and mentions that he is indeed blessed that his parents have given him a chance to visit and serve the great sages who stand as the pillars of Dharma in the world. True to his word, were the sages of the Dandak forest of such great austerities and devotion, who felt blessed by the presence of Shri Ram that their penance had borne fruit by the Almighty himself walking to their doorstep and saving them from the evilforces.