Angada

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This article is about the character from the Ramayana. For the Sikh Guru, see Guru Angad Dev.
The monkey prince Angad is first sent to give diplomacy one last chance (Ravi Varma studio, 1910's)

Angada (Sanskrit: अंगद, Malay: Seri Anggada, Indonesian: Anggada, Tamil: Ankatan, Thai: Ongkot, Khmer: អង្គទ), in the Indian Ramayana epic, is a vanara who helped Rama find his wife Sita and fight her abductor, Ravana. He was the son of Vaali and Tara and the nephew of Sugriva. Angada and Tara are instrumental in reconciling Rama and his brother, Lakshmana, with Sugriva after Sugriva fails to fulfill his promise to help Rama find and rescue his wife. Together they are able to convince Sugriva to honor his pledge to Rama instead of spending his time carousing and drinking. Sugriva then arranges for Hanuman to help Rama and organises the monkey army that will battle Ravana's demonic host.

In his efforts to seek a peaceful solution, Rama sent several messengers to Ravana; Angada was one of them. Angada explained to Ravana that Rama had sent him as messenger to seek the release of Sita and that Ravana ought to heed this last appeal so that war could be averted. Angada tried every means to convince Ravana, but the ruler was dogged and firm to face a battle instead of returning Sita to Rama peacefully.

A miniature panel capturing the scene of Ankathan(Angad) along with other Vanaras lamenting Vali's death in Pullamangai, Pasupathi Koil, Thanjavur

Challenge to Rakshasas[edit]

At Ravana's court, after Angada explained the divinity of lord Rama and the message he carried, Ravana paid no heed to it. Angada then planted his foot firmly on the ground and challenged anybody in the courtroom to uproot his foot. If anybody were to accept the challenge and was successful, Rama would concede defeat and return without Sita. All the rakshasa commanders of Ravana's army and even his son Indrajit tried to lift Angada's leg but none succeeded. Feeling humiliated by this failure, an infuriated Ravana slowly walked towards Angada's planted foot and just as he was about to hold Angada's leg to attempt the challenge, Angada moved away and Ravana fell down. Angada explained that the challenge was for Ravana's commanders and not for Ravana. He told that Ravana was prepared to fall on his feet but instead he should choose to fall on the lord Rama's feet, for those are the ones that remove fear of cycle of life & death. He then picked up Ravana's crown which fell down on the ground and threw it out of the palace. Ravana ordered his men to kill Angada but then Angada took a jump and flew back to the place where the army was congregating.

When the vanaras saw the flying crowns approaching, they got frightened. But Rama knew that it was the crown of Ravana. Hanuman caught the flying crown in the air and placed it at Rama's feet. In the war that followed, Angada killed Ravana's son Narantaka.

Demanding a seat in Ravana's court[edit]

Ravana and the entire court laughed which made Hanuman then to lengthen his tail and he coils it on the floor to form a tower like seat. Then he jumps to sit on it. Hanuman forcefully coils his tail to grow high than Ravana's seat to show strength of Sri Rama. This event is sometimes mixed up with Angad's presence in Ravan's court who challenges the court to uproot his strongly planted foot on the ground.

Angada in Javanese wayang[edit]

In Javanese wayang, Angada is depicted as a red-tail vanara. He is named "Jaya" (excellent) by Rama, so his name becomes Jaya Anggada. In Anggada Balik (Return of Angada) story, he is delegated to measure the strength of Lanka Army. Nevertheless, due to Ravana's provocation, who tells him that Rama is his father's murderer, Angada runs amok toward Rama and takes oath to assassinate him. Hanuman then makes Angada realize his fault. After invasion to Lanka, Angada presents the crown of Ravana.

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