Shatrughna : Brother of Rama

Shatrughna was born to the virtuous king of Ayodhya, Dasaratha, and his third wife, Queen Sumithra. The other two queens, Kaushalya and Kaikeyii, had sons as well. Kaushalya had Rama, and Kaikeyii had Bharat. They were Shatrughna’s half-brothers. Other than the half-brothers, Shatrughna had a brother, Lakshmana. Shatrughna’s name means “destroyer of enemies”. Shatrughna was married to Shrutukeerti, the daughter of Prince Kusadhbojan and his wife, and cousin of Sita, daughter of King Janaka and his wife. When Rama is exiled, Shatrughna drags Kaikeyī’s old nurse,Mantharā, who was responsible for poisoning the queen’s mind against Rāma, and makes an attack to kill her, but he is restrained by Bharata, who feels that Rāma would not encourage such an act.

Bharata goes to Rama and asks him to come back to Ayodhya, but Rama refuses. Bharata rules Ayodhya from Nandigramam, and is an excellent leader, often referred to as the avatar of dharma. Shatrughna is instructed to stay in the palace during this time.

Although he plays a relatively minor role in the Rāmāyaṇa, Shatrughna is important to the main story and goal of the epic. His chief exploit was the killing of Lavanasura, the demon King ofMathura, who was a nephew of Ravana, the King of Lanka who was slain by Rama.

Lavanasura was the son of Madhu, the pious demon-king after whom the city of Mathura was named. Madhu’s wife and Lavanusara’s mother was Kumbhini, a sister of Ravana. Lavanasura was the holder of the divine Trishula (Trident) of Lord Shiva, and nobody was able to kill him or prevent him from committing sinful activities.

Shatrughna begged Rama and his elder brothers to allow him the opportunity to serve them by killing Lavnasura. Shatrughna killed the great demon with an arrow imbibed with the power ofVishnu.

After Rama, the seventh Avatara of Vishnu completes 10,000 years of perfectly pious rule upon earth, he walks into the river Sarayu to return to his true and eternal Mahavishnu form.Bharata and Shatrughna follow him into the river, and merge into Mahavishnu.

The Shatrughna Temple is situated at Payammal, which is 6 km from the Koodalmanikyam temple at Irinjalakuda in Thrissur District of Kerala in India. This is one of the few temples in India that is dedicated to Lord Shatrughna.

The idol of Lord Shatrughna is housed in a squarish granite sanctum sanctorum in the Shatrughna temple. The original Panchaloha (Five Metals – Brass, Bronze, Copper, Gold and Silver) has been untracable though efforts have been made to retrieve it from the temple pond situated in the back yard of the temple complex. The existing idol made of granite exudes a rare kind of divinity. The temple is haven of peace and sanctity and a devotee experiences a unique sense of satisfaction after praying in this abode.

The Shatrughna Temple is the fourth temple which devotees visit when they embark on the Nalambalam (Four Temples) yatra or visit. Visiting nalambalam is considered to be a sacred event during the Malayalam month of Karkidakam. Nalambalam Yathra is a religious journey popular in Kerala. This journey is connected with the visit to four temples namely, Sree Rama Temple at Triprayar, Bharatha (Koodalmanikyam) Temple at Irinjalakuda, Lakshmana Temple at Moozhikkulam in Ernakulam District and Sree Shatrughna Temple at Payammel nearIrinjalakuda.

Nalambalam Yathra starts with the visit to Sree Rama temple at Triprayar and ends with the visit to Payammal Sree Shatrughna Temple. People use to visit a temple of Lord Krishna named Elambalakkattu at Edakulam while going to the Shathrugna temple.

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