Today we are seeing a very rare sculpture which takes us back to the very beginning of the Ramayana. Its a subtle reminder that the you are accountable for your acts, irrespective of whether committed knowingly or unknowingly - the consequences have to be faced.

When Dasaratha (father of Rama) was a young Prince, he reveled in all sport. He is a charioteer unparalleled but so are his archery skills. His skill is so great that he could put an arrow from just the sound of an animal moving. But this very skill proved to be his undoing. Yes, we are going to see the legend of Shravana Kumara from a rare sculpture from the Hazara Rama temple in Hampi.

hazare rama temple - shravanakumara

updating with anotehr view ( thanks to Manju)


The story goes thus. In his youthful jest, Dasaratha is hunting in the forests adjoining the river Sarayu. But despite his best efforts, he is not able to bag anything till late in the evening. Just as the Sun, was setting, as he was hiding behind tree cover, he heard a familiar sound of elephants drinking water in the river. Impatient to get his prize, Dasartha relies purely on his skill and lets loose a deadly arrow, guided purely by the sound. But as it found its mark, he was shocked to hear a man scream in mortal pain.

Can you spot the above plot in the sculpture.

dasaratha aiming blind

As he rushed to the spot, he found that he had mistakenly shot a young boy filling water in a pot.

The boy is actually Shravana Kumaran, the dutiful son - who takes such good care of his aged and blind parents - that he transports them on a sling balancing on his shoulders. His parents are totally dependent on him. As he was passing through the forest they had asked him to fetch some water as they were thirsty and it was in this act that he was felled by the fateful arrow.

carrying his parents

The young boy, despite his mortal wound, is still thinking about his parents.Dasartha begs for his forgivness, but the boy requests him to take the water to his parents. He also tells him to disclose the bad news of their son’s death after their thirst is quenched! such a noble soul. So requesting he moves to realm of the heavens.

Dasartha is all remorse personified as he goes to the place where the aged couple are resting. Just as he approaches they realise from the sound of his footsteps that its not their son and insist Dasartha to tell them the truth. Dasartha tries his best to dampen the blow, by offering to be their Son - but on hearing from him that their dearest son is no more, the mother falls down dead. The father is filled with great anger that he curses Dasartha thus :

” you too will suffer this pain of separation from your loved son and die of that ”

The rest - well is history

dasaratha breaking the sad news and after

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Category: Sculpture

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 at 20:30 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Comments so far


Really surprised. My thanks to you.

March 3rd, 2009 at 20:44

அன்புள்ள விஜய் சாபமே வரமாய் ஆன கதை இது

ஆமாம் தசரதனுக்கு புத்திரன் இல்லை
புத்திரன் இல்லையென்றால் புத் தெனும் நரகத்துக்கு இடர்ப்பட நேருமே என்று வருந்திக் கொண்டிருந்தான் தசரதன்

ச்ரவணகுமாரனனின் கண் தெரியாத [எற்றோர் இட்ட சாபத்தினால் ஒரு கணம் அதிர்ந்தாலும் தனக்கு புத்திரன் பிறப்பான் , பிறந்துதானே அவனைப் பிரிந்து புத்திர சோகத்துக்கு ஆளாவோம் என்று மகிழ்ந்தானாம் தசரதன், அவனுக்கே தெரியாமல் விதி விளையாடிற்று
அருமையான சிற்பங்கள்


March 3rd, 2009 at 20:51
Kathie B.

Thanks for the story, Vijay.
I remember seeing that on Rama temple wall, Hampi a few weeks ago and wondered what its story was.

March 4th, 2009 at 1:04
Satish Kumar A

Vijay…these days…apart from feeding Peotries in Stone, you have started feeding us with poetries from Literature. I throughly enjoyed the Kamab Ramayanam. Thanks…

March 4th, 2009 at 4:43

>>>இது தான் விதி, என்றும் காரண காரியம் இல்லாமல் எதுவும் நடக்காது என்பதையும் புரிய வைக்கின்றது. ஏற்கெனவே தீர்மானிக்கப் பட்ட ஒன்று, அதனதன் காலத்தில் சற்றும் வழுவாமல் அப்படியே நடக்கின்றது.<<<

Highly matured words and most apt for the incidents depicted in the Hampi sculture


March 4th, 2009 at 11:01

On a lighter note…rest is not history but a popular epic!

March 5th, 2009 at 9:44

It is great to locate our epics finding expression in stone. I too have come across a temple dedicated to Shravanan in some remote village of Madhya Pradesh. Unfortunately we reached there late in the evening.

March 5th, 2009 at 18:22

hi vairam

good thing you mentioned lighter note, else both of us are in trouble.


March 5th, 2009 at 18:43

read this in amar chitra katha as a kid..sometimes the lines between history and epic is as blurring as the lines between religion and myth :)

March 9th, 2009 at 10:49

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