BRIDGE ACROSS THE OCEAN
Rama looked at the mighty ocean before him and asked Lakshmana to bring his bow and arrow, As Rama fixed an arrow to his bow, Lakshmana was afraid of what the consequence would be, for the ocean,s waves one after the other rolled towards Rama’s feet as if praying for mercy. At that time, a Voice was heard as if from the sky, “Lord, there are two generals in the camp, Nala and Nila, who are under a curse pronounced by a sage. That curse can now be used as a blessing.” The Ocean then described the incident to Rama thus:?
At one time, when Nala and Nila were young, there lived many hermits in cottages on the riverbank. The two entered the hermitages and took the holy icons called ‘Saligrams’ and threw them into the water. The sages cursed them saying, “May all things you throw on water never sink, may they float instead. And may they remain just where you have thrown them, even if the water flow fast in floods.”
Gurus to explain to children that if they are naughty they will be reprimanded and even punished sometimes by elders. This is because the elders want them to realize the seriousness of their mistake. But when they feel sorry for their behavior, and promise not to repeat it, the punishment itself could work in their favour, which is what happened with Nala and Nila Values imbibed: Reverence to elders. Be good, do good and see good
The Ocean said that every rock they would throw would float with Rama’s Name inscribed on them. The Ocean further said, “Rama, your name is light, not heavy at all. Thus even huge mountain peaks when thrown would float and form a bridge.” Rama asked the Vanaras to construct the bridge across the ocean. Jambavan asked Nala and Nila to make use of the curse, to install Rama in their hearts and to throw hills and rocks into the sea.
Gurus to tell children that no work is difficult if we embark upon it, taking the name of the Lord as God?s name has great potency Value to be imbibed: The name of the Lord is more powerful than the form of the Lord .
The Vanaras ran in different directions to bring entire hills to Nala and Nila so that they could cast them into the water. Within 5 days a 100 yojana bridge was completed.
Rama praised the Vanaras for their dedicated service. Vibhishana told Rama that Ravana was a worshipper of Lord Shiva. At Vibhishana’s suggestion, Rama installed a Sivalinga to be known as Rama Lingeswara and performed ceremonial worship to it.
Gurus to tell the children that they should always pray to God before embarking upon any task. Here Lord Rama, although an Avatar, showed through example the significance of prayer and surrender Values to be imbibed: Action without prayer is blind groping; with prayer-it becomes honest and effective. The 3 W s are Work, Wisdom and Worship.
Then the Vanaras marched across the bridge with the name of Rama on their lips. Soon Rama, Lakshmana and Vibhishana crossed the bridge and reached the main gates of Lanka.