The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Rāmāyana, Volume 4. Uttara Kānda
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Title: The Rāmāyana, Volume 4. Uttara Kānda
Translator: Manmatha Nath Dutt
Release date: June 27, 2020 [eBook #62496]
Produced by James Simmons.
This file was produced from page images at the Internet Archive.
This book was transcribed from two scans of the original found at the Internet Archive. Words in italics in this etext were italicized in the original book. I have corrected obvious misspellings but I’ve left variant spellings alone. Inconsistent spellings of names and incorrect punctuation have been fixed.
TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH PROSE FROM THE ORIGINAL SANSKRIT OF
EDITED AND PUBLISHED BY
*MANMATHA NATH DUTT, M.A.*
SECTION I. SECTION II. SECTION III. SECTION IV. SECTION V. SECTION VI. SECTION VII. SECTION VIII. SECTION IX. SECTION X. SECTION XI. SECTION XII. SECTION XIII. SECTION XIV. SECTION XV. SECTION XVI. SECTION XVII. SECTION XVIII. SECTION XIX. SECTION XX. SECTION XX. SECTION XXII. SECTION XXIII. SECTION XXIV. SECTION XXV. SECTION XXVI. SECTION XXVII. SECTION XXVIII. SECTION XXIX. SECTION XXX. SECTION XXXI. SECTION XXXII. SECTION XXXIII. SECTION XXXIV. SECTION XXXV. SECTION XXXVI. SECTION XXXVII. SECTION XXXVIII. SECTION XXXIX. SECTION XL. SECTION XLI. SECTION XLIII. SECTION XLIV. SECTION XLV. SECTION XLVI. SECTION XLVII. SECTION XLVIII. SECTION XLIX. SECTION XLX. SECTION LI. SECTION LII. SECTION LIII. SECTION LIV. SECTION LV. SECTION LVI. SECTION LVII. SECTION LVIII. SECTION LIX. SECTION LX. SECTION LXI. SECTION LXII. SECTION LXIII. SECTION LXIV. SECTION LXV. SECTION LXVI. SECTION LXVII. SECTION LXVIII. SECTION LXIX. SECTION LXX. SECTION LXXI. SECTION LXXII. SECTION LXXIII. SECTION LXXXV. SECTION LXXVI. SECTION LXXVII. SECTION LIXVIII. SECTION LXXVIII. SECTION LXXIX. SECTION LXXX. SECTION LXXXI. SECTION LXXXII. SECTION LXXXIII. SECTION LXXXIV. SECTION LXXXV. SECTION LXXXVI. SECTION LXXXVII. SECTION LXXXVIII. SECTION LXXXV. SECTION XC. SECTION CXI. SECTION CXII. SECTION XCIII. SECTION XCIV. SECTION XCV. SECTION CXVI. SECTION CXVII. SECTION XCVIII. SECTION XCIX. SECTION C. SECTION CI. SECTION CII. SECTION CIII. SECTION CIV. SECTION CV. SECTION CVI. SECTION CVII. SECTION CVIII. SECTION CIX. SECTION CX. SECTION CXI. SECTION CXII. SECTION CXIII. SECTION ICXIV. SECTION CXV. SECTION CXVI. SECTION CXVII. SECTION CXIX. SECTION CXX. SECTION CXXI. SECTION CXXII. SECTION CXXIII. SECTION CXXIV.
SRI PATMANABHA DASA VYNCHI BALA SIR RAMA VARMA
KULASEKHARA KIRITAPATI MANNEY SULTAN
MAHARAJA RAJA RAMRAJA BAHABUR SHAMSHIR JUNG
KNIGHT GRAND COMMANDER OF MOST
EMINENT ORDER OF THE STAR OF INDIA.
*Maharaja of Travancore*
THIS WORK IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED
*MANMATHA NATH DUTT.*
_In testimony of his veneration for His Highness and in_
_Grateful acknowledgement of the distinction conferred upon_
_Him while in His Highness’ capital, and the great pecuniary_
_Help rendered by his Highness in publishing this work._
** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE RĀMĀYANA, VOLUME 4. UTTARA KĀNDA **
On the Rākshasas having been slain, all the ascetics, for the purpose of congratulating Rāghava, came to Rāma as he gained (back) his kingdom. Kauçika, and Yavakrita, and Gārgya, and Gālava, and Kanva—son unto Mādhālithi,—who dwelt in the east, (came thither); and the reverend Swastyāstreya, and Namuchi, and Pramuchi, and Agastya, and the worshipful Atri, and Sumukha, and Vimukha,—who dwelt in the south,—came in company with Agastya.¹ And Nrishadgu, and Kahashi, and Dhaumya, and that mighty sage—Kauçeya—who abode in the western quarter, came there accompanied by their disciples. And Vasishtha and Kaçyapa and Atri and Viçwamitra with Gautama and Jamadagni and Bharadwaja and also the seven sages,² who for aye resided in the northern quarter, (came there). And on arriving at the residence of Rāghava, those high-souled ones, resembling the fire in radiance, stopped at the gate, with the intention of communicating their arrival (to Rāma) through the warder. And that foremost of ascetics—the righteous Agastya—versed in various branches of learning and cognizant of the Vedas along with their branches,—addressed the warder, saying,—”Do thou say unto Daçaratha’s son that we—the sages—have come (here).” Then at the words of Agastya, the gate-keeper quick³ and swift presented himself with celerity before the high-souled Rāghava. And that one versed in polity and emotional expressions, of worthy ways, possessed of ability and endowed with patience, swiftly seeing Rāma resembling the full moon in brightness, communicated unto him the arrival of that supreme of saints—Agastya. Hearing of the arrival of the anchorets, possessed of the effulgence of the sun new-risen, he answered the warder, saying,—”Do thou usher them in, having regard to their comfort.” And seeing the ascetics before him, Rāma with joined hands worshipped their feet with arghyas, and with regard consecrated a cow unto each, and saluting them with a collected mind, he ordered seats (for the saints). And having, according to their rank, seated themselves on gorgeous and superb seats of Kuça or deer-skins embroidered with gold, those foremost of sages—those mighty saints, versed in the Vedas,—along with their disciples and leaders, having (previously) been asked as to their welfare, addressed Rāma, saying,—”O son of Raghu. O mighty-armed one, complete welfare is ours. By good luck it is that we see thee fortunate, with all thy foes finished. By good luck it is that, O king, Rāvana—destroyer of creatures—hath been slain by thee. Sure, O Rāma, it was no great matter for thee (to slay) Rāvana along with his sons and grandsons. Furnished with thy bow, thou canst, without doubt, destroy the three worlds themselves. By good fortune it is, O Rāma, that Rāvana along with his sons and grandsons hath been slain by thee. By good fortune it is that to-day we see thee victorious along with Sitā, and, O righteous-souled one, with thy brother, Lakshmana, (ever) compassing thy profit. (By good fortune it is) that, O king, to-day we behold (thee) in company with thy mothers and thy brothers. By good fortune it is that those night-rangers, Prahasta, and Vikata, and Virupāksha, and Mahodara, and the unconquerable Akampana, have all been slain (by thee). By good fortune it is, O Rāma, that he than whose proportions there are no other’s greater on earth,—even Kumbhakarna, was brought down (by thee). By good luck it is, O Rāma, that those highly powerful night-rangers. Triçiras and Atikāya and Devāntaka and Narāntaka, have been slain by thee. By good luck it is that thou hadst been encountered in a hand-to-hand combat with that foremost of Rākshasas, incapable of being slain by the celestials themselves; and achieved victory (ultimately). To defeat Rāvana in battle was (for thee) a small matter; but it is a piece of good fortune that Rāvana’s son, who had confronted thee for combat, hath been slain (by thee) in battle. By good fortune it is that thou, O mighty-armed one, hadst been liberated from (the bonds of) that foe of the celestials whose course resembled that of Time⁴;—and that thou also hadst secured victory. Hearing of the destruction of Indrajit, we congratulate thee (on thy success). He was incapable of being slain by all creatures, and in battle possessed mighty powers of illusion. Hearing that Indrajit slain, amazement hath seized us all. Having conferred on us this holy freedom from fear, O Kākutstha, O repressor of enemies, thou through good fortune, wilt grow in victory.” Hearing the speech of the ascetics of sacred souls, Rāma, coming under the influence of a mighty wonder, said with joined hands,—”Ye worshipful ones, wherefore, passing by those exceedingly powerful ones Kumbhakarna and the night-ranger, Rāvana—do ye praise Rāvana’s son? Wherefore, passing by Mahodara, and Prahasta, and the Rākshasa—Virupaksha—and Matta, and Unmatta, and the irrepressible Devāntaka and Narāntaka—redoubtable heroes all—do ye extoll Rāvana’s son? And wherefore, passing by Atikāya and Triçiras and Dhumrāksha,—that night-ranger—all endowed with exceeding prowess,—do you extoll Rāvana’s son? What was his prowess? And what his strength? And what his might? And by virtue of what cause did he surpass Rāvana? If I can well hear the same, (do ye tell it me). I by no means command you. If the thing can bear disclosure, I would hear it. Pray, speak out. How was Sakra vanquished by him, and how also did he obtain the boon? And how was the son powerful,—and not his sire—Rāvana? How could that Rākshasa, surpassing his sire, conquer Sakra in mighty encounter, and how did he obtain the boon? O foremost of anchorets, do thou to-day unfold all this unto me, who ask (for the same).”
¹ The name of Agastya had before been just specified among the
incomers; but so it is in the text.—T.
² _Ursa Major_, or the great bear, the seven stars of which are the
souls of as many saints,—Marichi, Atrai, Angiras, Pulastya,
Pulaha, Kratu and Vasistha.—T
³ _Turnam_—according to the commentator, is _mental celerity_, and
_drutam—physical_. This distinction, however, is seldom, if ever,
observed by Sanskrit authors.—T.
⁴ _i.e._ surpassing perception.—T.
Hearing those words of his, the exceedingly energetic Kumbhayoni spoke as follows,—”Having regard to his (Indrajit’s) energy and might, I shall relate unto thee the history of his race, in the light of which thou wilt perceive why Rāvana’s son had been capable of slaying his enemies, but could not himself be slain by them. I shall, O Rāghava, describe unto thee Rāvana’s race and birth, as well as the boon that had been conferred on him.
“Formerly in the Krita age, O Rāma, there was a Brahmarshi—lord (of creatures)—son unto Prajāpati, and like unto the very self of the great-father. His virtues, springing from righteousness and excellency of character, are past all delineation; I can only say that, forsooth, he went by the name of Prajāpati’s son. Verily on account of his being the son of Prajāpati, he was the darling of the deities; as by virtue of his spotless perfections, that magnanimous one was loved of all creatures. And on a religious mission that foremost of ascetics, repairing to the asylum of Trinavindu at the side of the mighty mountain, Meru, took up his abode there. And with his senses centered on the study of the Vedas, that righteous-souled one, going to the hermitage, carried on austerities; but his religious rites were disturbed by certain girls. And daughters of sages and Pannagas and those of Rājarshis,—as well as those of Apsarās, sporting, arrived at that quarter. And on account of every season being genial at that spot and also of the loveliness of the wood, the damsels, repairing to this place, ever disport there. And on account of the beauty of that region, those wenches, coming to where that twice-born one, Pulastya was, used to sing, to play on instruments, and to dance; and thus those blameless beauties disturbed the rites of that anchoret practising austerities. Thereat, the mighty ascetic, waxing wroth, said,—’She that comes within my kin, shall conceive.’ Hearing the words of the high-souled one, (the damsels), afraid of a Brāhmana’s curse, ceased to haunt that place. But Trinavindu’s daughter had not heard anything of all this; and, going to the asylum, she ranged it fearlessly. And she did not see there any of her associates come to that spot. And at that time that exceedingly energetic and mighty sage, Prajāpati’s son, with his soul sanctified through asceticism, was engaged in the study of the Veda. And, hearing the sounds of Vaidika recitation, and seeing that storehouse of asceticism, she had her body turned pale, and signs of pregnancy displayed themselves. And, seeing that evil befall her, she was wrought up with anxiety; and, understanding matters, she said,—’What is this?’ And, going to her father’s hermitage, stayed there. And, seeing her in this condition, Trinavindu said,—’Wherefore is the person that thou bearest unlike what it used to be?’ Thereat, in woe-begone guise, with joined hands, his daughter replied unto that one having asceticism for his riches,—’O father, cause know I none whereby I have come by this appearance. But, searching for my associates, I had ere this alone repaired to the noble asylum of the Maharshi Pulastya of a purified spirit. But associate found there I none, that had come thither. And seeing this change for the worse of my form, I from fear have come hither.’ Thereat the Rajarshi, Trinavindu, having a live effulgence through asceticism, entered into contemplation, and saw the consequence of the sage’s act. And coming to know that curse of the Maharshi of a purified spirit, he, taking his daughter, went to Pulastya and said,—’O worshipful one, O mighty sage, do thou accept this daughter of mine, adorned with her native perfections, who of herself hath come to thee as alms.⁵ She will, without doubt, constantly tend thee, practising asceticism, and having thy senses fatigued.’ When that virtuous (sage) had said this, the twice-born Rajarshi, desirous of accepting the girl (after due nuptial rites), said unto the former,—’Well!’ Having given away his daughter, the king went (back) to his asylum; and the girl stayed there, gratifying her husband with her virtues. And that best of ascetics was gratified with her character and behavior. And well pleased (with her), that highly energetic one said,—’O thou of shapely hips, well-pleased am I with thee with thy wealth of worth, and therefore, O exalted one, I will to-day confer on thee a son like unto thyself, who will perpetuate both the lines⁶—being celebrated as Paulastya. And as thou hadst heard the Veda recited by me, so, without doubt, he shall be named Viçravā.’⁷ Thus addressed, that noble damsel with her soul wrought up with delight, in a short time brought forth her son Viçravā famed over the three worlds and furnished with virtue and fame; versed in the Vedas, of an impartial spirit, and ever engaged in observing vows. And the ascetic, Viçravā, was furnished with asceticism even like his sire.”
⁵ Compare Lear:—’Let your study be to content your lord who hath
received you at fortune’s _alms_.’—Act I., Scene I., lines 67—69.
⁶ _i.e._ maternal and paternal lines.
⁷ From the root, _Sru—to hear_.
“And Pulastya’s son—that prime of ascetics—Viçravā—in a short time was engaged in asceticism like his father. And he was truthful, and of excellent character and controlled senses; was ever engaged in the study of the Vedas; and was of a sanctified spirit; and he was not addicted to any of the pleasures of life, and was always studious of religion. Learning of his ways, that mighty ascetic, Bharadwāja, gave unto Viçravā for his wife, his own daughter, Devavarnini. And having religiously wed Bharadwāja’s daughter, that foremost of ascetics, Viçravā, conceiving the highest delight, began to reflect on the welfare of his offspring with an intelligence concentrated on them. And on her that one cognizant of righteousness begot a child, exceedingly wonderful, endowed with energy, and adorned with all Brahmā⁸ qualities. On his having been born, his grand-father was rejoiced, and, marking the profitable intelligence (of the boy, he thought that) he would be the lord of riches. And well-pleased, (Pulastya) in company with the Devarshis (thought),—’Inasmuch as this is Viçravā’s offspring, and as he resembles Viçravā himself, so he should be known by the name of Vaiçravana. And then the exceedingly energetic Vaiçravana, repairing to the wood of asceticism, increased (in power) like unto a fire fed by sacrificial oblations. And as he was staying in the hermitage, that high-souled one thought,—’I shall practise prime righteousness: verily virtue is the supreme way.’ And for a thousand years, he, having his senses controlled, practised rigid austerities in that mighty forest, observing (all the while) the most rigorous restrictions. And on a thousand years having been numbered, he by turns observed the rules relative to each term; (at first) living on water, (then) on air, and (last) going absolutely without any fare. Thus passed away a thousand years like one. And then the highly energetic Brahmā along with Indra and the celestials, coming to that asylum, addressed (Vaiçravana), saying,—’O child, I am well-pleased with thee for this act of thine, O thou of excellent vows. Do thou, good betide thee, ask for the boon (that thou wouldst have), for, O magnanimous one, thou art worthy of a boon. 9 Then Vaiçravana said unto the great-father, who was present,—’O reverend one, I crave for the power of maintaining and protecting people.’ Thereat, Brahmā along with the deities gladly said in a gratified spirit,—’Very well! I am about to create the fourth of the Protectors of creatures—Yama, Indra and Varuna,—the position which is sought for by thee. Do thou, O thou cognizant of righteousness, attain the same; do thou receive the position of the lord of riches. Thou shalt be the fourth among Sakra, the lord of waters, etc. And do thou take for thy vehicle this car, named Pushpaka, resembling the Sun himself, and thus raise thyself to an equality with the celestials. Good betide thee! We shall (now) go whither we had come, having, my child, done my duty and bestowed on thee the couple of boons.’ Having said this, Brahmā along with the celestials went to his own quarters. On the deities with Brahmā at their head, having departed for the heavenly regions, the self-possessed lord of wealth of subdued senses with joined hands spoke unto his sire, saying,—’O reverend one, I have received the wished-for boon from the great-father, but the exalted lord of creatures hath not fixed any abode for me. Therefore, O lord, do thou seek out some dwelling for me, where no creature whatever can come by misfortune.’ Thus accosted by his son, that best of ascetics, Viçravā, spoke, O righteous one,—’Listen! O excellent one. On the shore of the Southern sea there is a mount named Trikuta. On its brow is a beautiful and broad city built by Viçwakarmā, named Lankā, resembling the city itself of Indra the great, designed for the abode of Rākshasas,—like unto the Amaravati of Indra. There in Lankā, do thou, forsooth, reside. That romantic city is surrounded with a golden wall and a moat, and is furnished with engines and weapons; and hath gateways of gold and lapises. Formerly she was renounced by the Rākshasas afflicted with the fear of Vishnu; and was empty of swarms of Rakshas, who had gone to the nethermost regions. Now Lankā is vacant,—and there is no one that lords it over her. Do thou, my child, for abode, at thine ease repair thither. Thy stay there shall meet with no rub, and no manner of disturbance shall occur there.’ Hearing the righteous speech of his sire, that virtuous-souled one along with thousands of delighted and joyous Rākshasas, began to reside in Lankā stationed on the top of the mount. In a short time (Lankā), through his sway, abounded (in wealth). And that foremost of Nairitas, the righteous son of Viçravā, well-pleased, abode in Lankā having the Ocean for her entrenchment. At times the righteous-souled lord of riches, mounted on Pushpaka, in humble guise visited his father and mother. And hymned by hosts of deities and Gandharvas, having his mansion graced with the dancing of Apsarās, and floating on rays like the sun himself, that ruler of riches went to his sire.”
⁸ Such as self-control, asceticism, purity, etc.
Hearing the words uttered by Agastya, Rāma wondered as to how formerly Rākshasas were generated in Lankā. And then shaking his head, he, struck with wonder, momentarily eying Agastya, addressed Agastya resembling fire, saying,—”O worshipful one, hearing thy words that formerly Lankā had been in the possession of the flesh-eaters, I have been seized with great amazement. We had heard that the Rākshasas had sprung in the race of Pulastya. But now thou hast said that they owe their origin to a different source. But were they more powerful than Rāvana and Kumbhakarna and Prahasta and Vikata and the sons of Rāvana? Who was their progenitor? And what was the name of that one of terrific strength? And through what transgression were they driven out by Vishnu? All this, O sinless one, do thou tell me in detail, and do thou dispell my curiosity even as the sun dispells darkness.”
Hearing Rāghava’s words, fair and fraught with polished phrase and period, Agastya, struck with surprise, said unto Rāghava,—”The lord of creatures sprung from water, first created water. And the lotus-born one generated creatures for protecting that element. And thereupon those creatures humbly presented themselves before the creator, saying,—’What shall we do? We are sore tried by hunger and thirst.’ The lord of creatures, laughing, addressed them, saying,—’Ye men, do ye carefully guard this (water).’ Thereat some said ’Rakshāma,’⁹ and others ’Yakshāma.’¹⁰ Thus accosted by those afflicted with hunger and thirst, the creator said,—’Those among you who have said ’Rakshāma,’ shall be Rākshasas; and those among you who have said ‘Yakshāma,’ shall be Yakshas. And there sprang the brothers—repressors of foes—Heti and Praheti—lords of Rākshasas, resembling Madhu Kaitava himself. Praheti, who was righteous, went to the wood of asceticism. And Heti exerted himself to the utmost to get himself wived. And that magnanimous one of immeasurable soul married the exceedingly terrific sister of Kāla, named Bhaya.¹¹ And on her Heti—foremost of Rākshasas and best of those having sons—begat a son, known as Vidyutkeça. And Heti’s son, the exceedingly energetic Vidyutkeça, possessed of the splendour of the sun, grew up even like a lotus in water. And when that night-ranger arrived at proper youth, his sire turned his attention towards his marriage. And that best of Rākshasas—Heti—in the interests of his son asked for the hand of Sandhyā’s daughter, like unto Sandhyā¹² herself in potency. Sandhyā, reflecting that she needs must have to be given away by her, bestowed her on Vidyutkeça, O Rāghava. Having obtained Sandhyā’s daughter, the night-ranger, Vidyutkeça, sports with her even as Maghavān doth with the daughter of Pulomā. And it came to pass that after a length of time, O Rāma, Sāla Katankatā was filled with child by Vidyutkeça, as the clouds are furnished with water by the Ocean. And then repairing to Mandara, the Rākshasi brought forth her child, having the splendour of rain-charged clouds; even as Gangā had delivered herself of the child begotten by Fire.¹³ And having delivered herself of her offspring, she again became bent on disporting with Vidyutkeça. And then forsaking her son, she began to sport with her husband; and the child having sounds resembling the rumbling of clouds, was renounced (by his mother). And forsaken by them both, the infant furnished with the brightness of the autumnal sun, entering his clenched fist into his mouth, began to cry slowly. And it so fell that, journeying with Pārvati, Siva, riding his bull through the aerial regions, heard the sounds of weeping. And along with Umā, he saw the Rākshasa’s son, as he was crying. And sent by Pārvati, whose heart was moved by compassion, Bhava—destroyer of Tripurā—made that Rākshasa’s offspring attain the age of his mother, and conferred on him immortality. And for compassing Pārvati’s pleasure, Mahādeva, indestructible and undeteriorating, granted (the Rākshasa) the power of ranging the air. And, O son of the king, Umā also bestowed a boon: ’Henceforth the Rākshasis shall conceive in a day, bring forth (child) in a day, and the child shall in a day be furnished with the age of its mother.’ And then the great and magnanimous Sukeça, puffed up with the receipt of the boons, having obtained auspiciousness at the hands of the lord, Hara, began to range everywhere, even as Purandara did on having obtained heaven.”
⁹ _i.e._ _We shall protect._
¹⁰ We shall worship.
¹² The evening Twilight, spouse of the Sun.
“Seeing Sukeça righteous and furnished with the boon, a virtuous Gandharva, named Grāmani, of the effulgence of fire, who had a daughter, called Devavati, like unto a second Sri herself, famed over the three worlds, and endowed with beauty and youth,—bestowed her on Sukega as if he had bestowed the goddess of fortune of the Rakshas. And like an indigent person on obtaining wealth, Devavati, on obtaining her beloved husband, affluent in consequence of having received the boon, was (greatly) delighted. And in her company, that night-ranger appeared graceful, even as a mighly elephant sprung from Anjana¹⁴ doth in the company of a she-elephant. In good time Sukeça, O Rāghava, begot (on her) three sons, resembling the three Fires, And that lord of Rākshasas begot (on her) three sons, resembling his three eyes—the Rākshasas Malyavān, Sumāli and that foremost of the strong—Māli; all resembling the three worlds possessing themselves in calmness; like unto the three Fires established; fierce like unto the three vinntras,—dreadful like three diseases springing respectively from morbid Air, Bile and Phlegm.¹⁵ And the sons of Sukeça, having the energy of the three Fires, grew up like a disease which hath been disregarded. And learning that their father had received a boon by virtue of his power proceeding from asceticism, the brothers, firmly resolved, went to Meru for practising penances. And adopting rigid restrictions, the Rākshasas, O best of kings, entered upon austerities, terrible, and capable of arousing the fear of all beings. And practising penances rare on earth with truth and candour and self-control, they afflicted the three worlds with gods, Asuras and human beings. Then that lord—the four-faced one—stationed on a superb car, addressed Sukeça’s sons, saying,—’I am for conferring boons (on you).’ Knowing that Brahmā surrounded by Indra and the other celestials was ready to bestow boons, they, with joined hands, said, trembling like trees, ‘O god that hast been adored through asceticism, if thou dost intend to confer on us a boon, let us be invincible, capable of slaying foes, immortal, lordly, and ever devoted to each other.’ Thereat, saying ‘So be it,’ unto the sons of Sukeça, the lord Brahmā, (ever) cherishing Brāhmanas with affection, went to the Brahmā regions. O Rāma, having obtained the boons, those night-rangers, rendered intrepid in consequence of having the boon conferred on them, began to disturb celestials and Asuras. And like unto men abiding in hell, the celestials, Charanas and hosts of sages, being harassed (by Rakshasas), did not find any deliverer. And then, O foremost of the Raghus, the Rakshasas, assembled together, joyfully said unto the undeteriorating Viçwakarmā—prince of artists,—‘Thou by thy own energy art the architect of the great gods, endowed with energy and prowess and strength. Do thou, O magnanimous one, construct a fabric for us after our heart hard by Himavān, or Meru, or Mandara. And do thou erect a magnificent mansion for us resembling the mansion itself of Maheçwara.’ Thereat Viçwakarmā—the mighty-arm of the Rakshasas—spoke of a building like the Amarāvati of Sakra, ‘On the shore of the Southern sea is a mountain named Trikuta. A second also is there called Suvela, ye lords of Rākshasas. On the midmost peak of that mountain resembling clouds, inaccessible even to the fowls of the air, all the four quarters have been hewn with bones.¹⁶ If I am desired by you, I can construct the city of Lankā (there), having an area of thirty Yojanas, and measuring an hundred in length; surrounded with a golden wall and furnished with golden gateways. In her do ye dwell, ye irrepressible ones, ye foremost of Rākshasas; even as do the celestials with Indra, approaching Amarāvati, And occupying the citadel of Lankā, backed by innumerable Rākshasas, ye will be invincible to foes and capable of destroying them.’ Hearing Viçwakarmā’s speech, those foremost of Rakshasas, accompanied by thousands of followers, went to the palace and set up in the same, having a strong wall and a moat, abounding in hundreds of golden edifices. And obtaining Lankā, the night-rangers, exceedingly delighted, began to dwell therein. At this time, O Rāghava, there lived at her pleasure a Gandharvi, named Narmadā. O son of Raghu, she had three daughters, resembling Sri, Hri, and Kirti in splendour. And albeit no Rākshasi herself, she, beginning with the eldest, gladly married to the Rākshasas her daughters having faces resembling the full moon. And under the influence of the star, Bhagadaivata, those three exalted daughters of a Gandharvi were respectively conferred by their mother on the three several Rākshasas of eminence. And having wedded, O Rāma, Sukeça’s sons began to sport with their wives, like celestials sporting with Apsarās. Malyavān’s beautiful spouse was named Sundari. On her he begot, do thou understand, whom;—Vajramusthi, and Virupāksha, and the Rākshasa—Burmukha,—and Suptaghna, and Yajnakopa, and Matta and Unmatta; and, O Rāma, there was also born a lovely daughter of Sundari, Analā. And Sumāli’s wife, of face like the full Moon, named Ketumati, was dearer to him than his life itself. O mighty king, do thou, gradually, know the offspring that were begot by Sumāli on Ketumati,—Prahasta, and Kampana, and Vikata, and Kālikāmukha, and Dhumrāksha, and Danda, and the redoubtable Supārcwa, and Sanhrādi, and Praghasa, and the Rākshasa, Bhāsakarna, and Rākā, and Pashpotkatā, and Kaikasi of luminous smiles, and Kumbhinasi—these are known as the offspring of Sumāli. Māli had for wife a graceful Gandharvi, having eyes resembling lotus-petals, of a lovely look, and like unto the most magnificent Yakshi of them all. Do thou, O master, listen to me as I mention to thee, O Rāghava, the offspring that Sumāli’s younger brother begat on her,—Anala, and Nila, and Sampāti. These night-rangers—sons unto Māli—were the courtiers of Bibhisana. And those three foremost of Rākshasas, accompanied by hundreds of sons—night-rangers all—elated on account of their measureless prowess, began to worry the sages and serpents and Yakshas, and celestials with Indra (at their head). And incapable of being confronted (in battle), these resembling Death himself in energy,—wondrous elated in consequence of the boon having been conferred on them, ranging the world like unto the Wind, were ever engaged in disturbing the sacrifices (of the sages).”
¹⁴ The designation of an elephant.
¹⁵ The entire edifice of Hindu Pathology is based on the three-fold division of the morbid humours into Air, Bile and Phlegm. This division, albeit it may appear crude and unscientific to Europeans, taken all, in all, wonderfully answers its purpose. The tact displayed by Hindu physicians in diagnosing diseases on this method is wonderful. From feeling the Pulse alone, a Hindu physician, getting at the predominance of one or more morbid humours of the system, can accurately ascertain a patient’s health. The infallibility with which predictions of death are generally made, attests the scientific soundness of the division in question, and renders superfluous any elaborate argument in its defense.—T.
¹⁶ Tanka—may also mean a hatchet or a sword.—T,
“Thus afflicted, the deities, sages, and ascetics, wrought up with fear, sought the protection of that god of gods—Maheçwara—creator and destroyer of the cosmos,—unborn, of an unmanifest form, the stay of all creatures, worthy of being adored,—and the supreme preceptor (of all). And coming to that enemy of Kāma¹⁷ and foe of Tripurā—the three-eyed (Deity), the gods, with their voices faltering through fear, represented with joined hands,—’O reverend one, the creatures of the lord of creatures are being (sorely) troubled by the sons of Sukeça, given to harassing their foes,—swollen with insolence on account of the boon conferred on them by the great-father, Our asylums,—constituting our refuges,—have been divested of their power of granting shelter; and driving off the deities from the etherial regions, they are sporting there like the immortals. ’I am Vishnu!’ ’I am Rudra!’ ’I am the king of the celestials!’ ’I am Yama!’ ’I am Varuna!’ ’I am the Moon!’ ’I am the Sun!’—flattering themselves in this fashion, Māli and Sumāli and the Rākshasa—Malyavān—as well as those going before them, are annoying (the gods), breathing exhilaration of martial spirits. Therefore, god, it behoveth thee to liberate us from fear, who have been greatly tormented by it. Do thou, assuming thy terrific form, slay the thorns of the celestials.” Thus addressed by the immortals in a body, that lord, Kaparddi of red-blue hue, reflecting that it would be wrong for him to destroy Sukeça (with his own hands), spoke unto the gods:—”I shall not slay them, ye gods; they are incapable of being slain by me. But I shall unfold unto you the way in which they will be destroyed. Do ye, ye Maharshis, in the heat of this affair, seek the shelter of Vishnu. That lord will slay them.” Thereat, saluting Maheçwara with the sounds of Jaya, (the celestials) afflicted with the fear of the night-rangers, presented themselves before Vishnu. And bowing down unto the god holding the conch, discus and mace, and paying him high homage, they, greatly flurried, addressed him about the sons of Sukeça, saying,—”O god, by virtue of the boon (that hath been bestowed on them), resembling the three fires, Sukeça’s three sons, assailing us, have deprived us of our abode. There is a city named Lankā, stationed on the top of Trikuta, (extremely) difficult of entrance. Taking up their station at that place, the night-rangers in a body pursue us. Do thou, O slayer of Madhu, destroy them for our welfare. We have sought thy shelter. Become our refuge, O foremost of celestials. Do thou dedicate to Yama the lotuses of their faces, severed (in pieces) with thy discus. Save thee, we have none who can, while tormented with fright, inspire us with courage. Slay in encounter the elated Rākshasas along with their adherents; and even as the sun drieth up dew, do thou dispell this fear of ours.” Thus accosted by the deities, that god of gods—Janārddana—who bringeth fear unto foes—cheering up the celestials, said unto them,—”I know the Rākshasa, Sukeça, as flushed with the boon bestowed by Içāna. And I also know his sons, of whom Malyavān is the eldest. Those worst of Rākshasas that have over-riden your dignity will I, wrought up with wrath, slay (in battle); therefore, ye gods, be of good cheer.” Thus addressed by the mighty Vishnu, the gods, highly rejoiced, went to their respective quarters, extolling Janārdana.
“And hearing of the activity of the celestials, the night-ranger—Malyavān—addressed his heroic brothers, saying,—’The immortals and sages, going to Sankara, spake these words, desirous of our destruction,—The terrific sons of Sukeça, puffed up, and swollen on account of their strength flowing from the boon, are crossing us at every step. We have been overpowered by the Rākshasas. And, O lord of creatures, from fear of those wicked-minded ones, we cannot remain in our own homes. Therefore, to do us good, do thou, O three-eyed one, destroy them; and, O best of consuming ones, do thou with thy roars, burn them up.—Thus addressed by the deities, the slayer of Andhaka, hearing their speech, said, shaking his head and hands,—Ye gods, Sukeça’s sons are incapable of being slain by me in battle. But I shall tell you the means whereby they may be slain. Do ye seek the shelter of him who holdeth the discus and mace in his hands, and who is clad in a yellow attire,—of Janārdana, Hari, even of the auspicious Nārāyana.—Having received this counsel of Hara, they, rendering reverence unto that enemy of Kāma, came to the abode of Nārāyana and communicated everything unto him. Then Nārāyana spoke unto the celestials with Indra at their head,—I will slay those foes of the celestials. Ye gods, cast off all fear!—O foremost of Rākshasas, Hari promised unto the frightened celestials that he would slay us. Therefore do ye think as to what is fit. Hiranyakaçipu hath met with death (at the hands of Hari), as also other enemies of the immortals. And Namuchi and Kālanemi, and that foremost of heroes,—Sanhrāda—and Rādheya, and Vahumāyi, and the virtuous Lokapāla, and Yāmala, and Arjuna, and Hārdikya, and Sumbha and Niçumbhaka,—Asuras and Dānavas endowed with strength and possessed of terrific prowess—all these, who, having come to the field, had never been heard of as worsted, who had performed hundreds of sacrifices, who had been well skilled in illusion, who had been versed in every branch of knowledge, and who were the terrors of their foes—have by hundreds and by thousands been destroyed by Nārāyana. Learning this, it behoveth you to do what would conduce to the behoof of all. It is a sore task to defeat Nārāyana, who wisheth to slay us.’ Thereat Sumāli and Māli, hearing the words of Mālyavān, said unto their eldest brother, like the Acwins addressing Vāsava,—’We have studied, performed sacrifices, practised charity, and obtained riches; and attaining long health and long life, we have established sterling righteousness in our path. And with arms plunging into the sea of celestials, we have conquered our unrivalled enemies. Therefore, we have no fear touching death. Even Nārāyana and Rudra, Sakra and Yama, ever fear to stay before us (in the field). And, O lord of Rākshasas, there is no occasion for Vishnu’s displeasure of us. The mind of Vishnu hath wavered in consequence of the evil caused by the celestials. Therefore will we even avenge ourselves on the gods, from whom hath sprung this wrong.’ Having taken counsel together, those powerful ones conciliated their forces. And proclaiming (their order) that preparations were to be made, all the foremost Nairitas sallied forth for battle, like unto those led by Jamva and Vritra. And, O Rāma, having thus taken counsel together, with all the preparations complete, those huge-bodied and redoubtable Rakshas marched forth for conflict, mounted on cars, and elephants, and horses resembling elephants, and mules, and kine, and camels, and purpoises,¹⁸ and serpents, makaras, and tortoises, and fishes, and fowls resembling Garuda himself, lions and tigers and boars and Srimaras¹⁹ and Chāmaras.²⁰ And puffed up with pride of prowess, the Rakshas march, leaving Lankā, and the enemies of the celestials went to the heavenly regions for battle. And perceiving the destruction of Lankā at hand, those deities that had taken up their quarters there, everywhere were struck with fear and felt their spirits depressed. And mounting the best of cars, the Rākshasas by hundreds and thousands with intent minds swiftly sallied forth for the celestial regions. And the deities (aforementioned) followed the tract of the Rākshasas. And at the command of Kāla, terrible evil omens foreshadowing the destruction of the Rākshasa-chiefs began to arise on the earth well as in the sky. The clouds showered down bones and hot blood. The oceans overleapt their continents;²¹ and the mountains shook. And jackals of terrific forms, having voices resembling the roaring of clouds,—bursting out into a horse-laugh, began to emit cries frightfully. Creatures were one after another seen to drop down; and mighty swarms of vultures, with mouths belching forth flames, began to wheel over the Rākshasa, like unto Kāla himself. And blood-footed pigeons and Sārikās²² darted off (around). And crows and two-legged cats began to cry in loud accents. But fast bound with the noose of Death, the Rākshasas, proud of their strength, disregarding these omens, march on, and do not stay their course,—Mālyavān and Sumāli possessed of prodigious strength, going before the Rākshasas, like flaming fires. And even as the gods take refuge under Dhata, the night-rangers take refuge under Malyavān resembling the mountain, Malyavān. And under the command of Māli, that host of Rākshasas, roaring like mighty clouds, inspired with the desire of victory, went to the celestial regions. And the lord Nārāyana, hearing of the preparations of the Rākshasas from a celestial messenger, set his heart on fight. And equipped with weapons and quivers, he mounted on Vinata’s offspring.²³ And donning on his mail furnished with the effulgence of a thousand suns, fastening his spotless quivers filled with shafts, being engirt with his waist-band and bright falchion, and equipped with his conch, discus, mace, Sārnga,²⁴ sword, and other superior weapons, that lotus-eyed lord, seated on Vinata’s offspring like a very mountain, set out speedily for compassing the destruction of the Rākshasas. And seated on Suparna’s²⁵ back, the blue-brown Hari clad in yellow attire resembled a mass of clouds on the crest of the golden mountain, with lightning playing through it. And hymned by Siddhas and celestials and sages and mighty (semi-divine) serpents and Gandharvas and Yakhas, the enemy of the Asura hosts presented himself, bearing in his hands the discus, sword, that weapon—Sārnga—and the conch. And the Rākshasa-hosts, struck by the wind produced by the wings of Suparna, with their pennons swinging to and fro and their weapons scattered about, quaked like the blue summit of a mountain with its crags tossed about. Then the night-rangers, hemming in Mādhava,²⁶ began to pierce him with thousands of excellent sharpened weapons dyed in flesh and blood, and resembling the fire of Doomsday.”
¹⁷ The Hindu Cupid. Mahādeva had burnt to ashes Kāma, when he had the fool-hardiness to disturb the contemplation of the former. By the way, Kālidāsa has reared his faery fabric, entitled Kumāra Sambhava, on the basis of this legend.—T.
¹⁸ How purpoises could be pressed into the service passes my conception, unless Siçumāra have any other meaning.—T.
¹⁹ Wilson gives the meanings: (i) ’a kind of animal’ and (2) ’a young deer’.—T.
²⁰ Bos Grunniens.
²¹ Used in the Shakesperean sense: Vide Macbeth.
²² A species of harlot.
²³ Garuda, Nārāyana’s vehicle.
²⁴ The bow of Vishnu is so named.
²⁵ Lit. fair-feathered—a name of Garuda.
²⁶ One of the many designations of Vishnu,
“And as clouds assail a mountain with showers, then the Rākshasas, representing clouds, setting up shouts, began to assail Nārāyana representing a mountain. And Vishnu of a bright brown-blue hue, being surrounded by the flower of the night-rangers with dark visages, resembled the mountain, Anjana, on which the clouds pour down. And as locusts (flood) a field, gnats (throng) about a flame, gad-flies (cluster) around a pot of honey, or makaras (range) the deep, so the shafts shot by the bows of the Rakhas, having (the energy of) the thunder-bolt and endowed with (the velocity of) the wind or thought, pierce Hari as if at the universal dissolution. And those mounted on cars (assailed him) with their cars, and those mounted on the backs of elephants (assailed him) with their elephants, and those riding horses (assailed him) with their horses, and the foot-soldiers attacked him, stationed in the sky; and the foremost of Rākshasas resembling mountains, by means of darts, rishtis and tomaras, suspended the respiration of Hari even as the prānāyāma²⁷ doth that of a twice-born one. On being sore tried by the night-rangers, like the great Ocean by the fishes (residing in it), that invincible one, taking his Sārnga, showered shafts among the Rākshasas. And with sharpened arrows resembling the thunder, and endowed with the velocity of the wind, shot from his bow drawn to its fullest stretch, Vishnu cut off (Rākshasas) by hundreds and by thousands. And dashing away (the Rākshasa ranks) with his arrowy shower, even as the wind aroused dasheth away a downpour, that best of male beings blew his mighty conch—Pānchajanya. And winded by Hari with his utmost might, that water-sprung king of conchs, endowed with terrific blares, roared, as if afflicting the three worlds. And the sounds of that king of conchs struck terror into the Rākshasas, even as in a mighty forest a lion (strikes terror into the hearts of) elephants in rut. And thereat the horses could not keep their ground, and the elephants were reft of their temporal flow, and shorn of their virtue at the roars of the conch, heroes began to topple down from their cars. And dight with dainty feathered parts having heads, the shafts discharged from the Sārnga, resembling thunder-bolts, riving those Rakshas, entered the earth. And in that conflict, pierced by the arrows discharged from Nārāyana’s arm, the Rākshasas began to drop to the ground like mountains struck with the thunder-bolt. And the wounds on the persons of the foes inflicted by the discus of Vishnu discharge blood in streams, like mountains discharging streams of red chalk. And the sounds of that king of conchs, as well as those of the Sārnga, combined with the roars emitted by Vishnu himself, swallowed up the roars of the Rākshasas. And Hari by means of his shafts cut off their necks, and arrows, and standards, and bows, and cars, and ensigns, and quivers. And like fierce rays streaming about from the sun, like torrents dashing from the ocean, like elephants coming down a mountain, or like showers descending from clouds, the shafts shot by Nārāyana pursue (the foes) by hundreds and by thousands. And even as an elephant pursueth a tiger, a tiger a wolf, a wolf a dog, a dog a cat, a cat a snake, or a snake a rat, so the mighty Vishnu pursueth the Rākshasa host; and others, (struck down by him), measure their lengths on the ground. Then, having despatched thousands of Rākshasas, the destroyer of Madhu blew his water-sprung (conch), even as the sovereign of the celestials filleth clouds (with rain). And agitated by the arrows of Nārāyana, with their senses bewildered by the blares of the conch, the broken Rākshasa forces made for Lankā. And on the Rākshasa army having been broken in consequence of the beating it got at the hands of Nārāyana, Sumāli with showers of shafts resisted Hari in the encounter; and as a mist envelopes the Sun, he enveloped him (with his arrows). Thereat, the Rākshasas again summoned up their fortitude. And fired with rage, that Rākshasa, inflated with insolence on account of his strength, setting up a tremendous roar, darted at his antagonist in the conflict, thereby seeming to revive the Rākshasas. And as an elephant flourishes its trunk, that Rākshasa, lifting up his arm adorned with ornaments, began to roar from rapture, like a mass of clouds lighted up with lightning. And (Vishnu) cut off the head flaming with ear-rings of the charioteer of the shouting Sumāli; and thereat the horses of that Rākshasa aimlessly strayed hither and thither. And with his bewildered steeds Sumāli wanders like a person deprived of patience, whose senses are under a hallucination. And on Sumāli’s car being drawn at random by his steeds, Māli, taking his bow and equipped therewith, darted at Vishnu’s car and assailed that mighty-armed one as he was descending on the field of fight. And like birds entering the Krauncha,²⁸ the arrows discharged from Māli’s bow, graced with gold, hit Hari and entered (into his body). And thereat, as a person holding his senses under subjection is not thrown out of his mental balance, Vishnu, assailed in that encounter with thousands of arrows shot by Māli, was not disturbed ever so little. And then that creator of all beings, the reverend Gadādhara,²⁹ twanging his bow-string, showered vollies of shafts on Māli. And getting at Māli’s body, the arrows furnished with the luminousness of lightning, drink his blood, like unto serpents drinking nectar. And baffling Māli, the holder of the conch, discus, and mace, brought down Māli’s crown, standard, bow and steeds. And then that foremost of night-rangers, on being deprived of his car, sprang forward, mace in hand, even as a lion bounds up from the brow of a hillock. And he with his mace smote at the forehead of that lord of birds, even as the Destroyer had smitten Içāna,³⁰ or as Indra smiteth a mountain with his thunder-bolt. On being severely struck by Māli with his mace, Garuda, writhing in torments, moved the god away from the field of battle. On the god having been removed from the field by Māli as well as Garuda, there arose a mighty din of Rakshas roaring (in chorus). And hearing the cheers of the Rakshas, Indra’s younger brother, the reverend Hari, sitting awry on that lord of birds, albeit moved off from the scene of conflict, waxing enraged, from a desire of slaying (Māli) hurled his disc at him. And thereat the disc, possessed of the splendour of the solar disc, and resembling the wheel³¹ itself of Kāla, flooding all the heavens with radiance, brought down Māli’s head to the ground. And that head of the lord of Rākshasas, terrific to behold, on being cut off (by Vishnu), vomitting blood, fell down before (the Rākshasas), as formerly Rāhu’s head’ had fallen. And then the deities experiencing excess of joy set up leonine cheers with might and main, crying,—’Excellent, O god.’ Seeing Māli slain, Sumāli and Malyavān, burning in grief, fled precipitately towards Lankā along with their forces. And Garuda, being cheered, turned round, and growing enraged, as before drove the Rākshasas with the wind of his wings. And (some) with their lotus-faces cut by the discus, (some) with their chests crushed with the mace, (some) with their necks torn off by the plough, (some) with their heads riven by the club, and some hewn by the sword, and others pierced by arrows, the Rākshasas began to drop fast from the sky into the waters of the ocean. And as the thunder-bolt with lightning (riveth) a mighty mass of clouds, Nārāyana by means of the thunder-bolts of his arrows discharged from his bow, rived the night-rangers with their hair dishevelled and streaming (in the wind). And the forces having their umbrellas rent, their arms falling off, their goodly garments scattered, their entrails coming out and their eyes rolling,—became incapable of distinguishing their own party from that of the foe. And even like (the roars and the vehemence) displayed by elephants on being attacked by lions, the roars and the vehemence of the night-rangers and their elephants, sore assailed by the Primaeval Lion,³² were equal. And driven by Hari’s networks of arrows, and discharging (all the while) their own showers of shafts, those night-rangers resembling the clouds of doom, are driven like the veritable clouds of the universal dissolution drifted by the wind. And hewn in twain with swords, the foremost Rākshasas fell like unto hills (toppling headlong). And the Earth was seen to be (covered) with night-rangers resembling dark clouds, adorned with jewelled necklaces and ear-rings,—falling down,—as if covered with dark mountains dropping down.”
²⁷ The practice of regulating respiration and finally suspending the same. This is practised by the Yogis of India, who attribute wonderful virtues to it.—T.
²⁸ The mountain so named.
²⁹ Lit. the holder of the mace, a name of Vishnu.
³⁰ There took place an encounter between Rudra and Yama in the Sweta forest, for the protection of Mārkandeya and a certain king. In this battle, Yama had smitten Rudra. This is narrated in the Purānas.—T.
³¹ The wheel of Kāla or Time, representing the Reaper consists, remarks Rāmānuja, of days, months, years, decades, centuries, aeons, etc.—T.
³² Vishnu as a man-lion had formerly taken the conceit out of Hiranyakaçipu—the Asura king—and slain him, to rid his devotee—Prahlāda—of his mortal foe in the form of a father.—T.
“On that host being sore pressed at its back by Padmanābha,³³ Mālyavān turned back even as the ocean doth on meeting with its shore. And with his eyes reddened, that night-ranger waxing wroth, shaking his head, addressed that prime of male persons—Padmanābha,—saying,—’O Nārāyana, thou art ignorant of the time-honored morality of Kshatriyas; and therefore like a base wight thou slayest us, desisting from fight and exercised with fear. O lord of the celestials, he that commits the crime of slaying one that desists from fight, cannot go to the celestial regions as the fruit of meritorious acts. If thou art bent upon battle, O holder of the conch, the discus and the mace, taking up my post (here), I shall see (thy strength). Do thou show (me) the same.’ Seeing Mālyavān resembling the mountain, Mālyavān, stay, the powerful younger brother of the sovereign of the celestials spoke unto him,—’I have removed the fear of the deities, affrighted at you, by promising that I will make root and branch work with the Rākshasas; and that same promise I am now fulfilling. I should always lay down my life for serving the celestials; and you I will slay even if ye should go to the nethermost regions.’ As that god of gods having eyes resembling red lotuses was speaking thus, the lord of Rākshasas in high wrath pierced his breast with a dart. And hurled by the hand of Mālyavān, the dart resonant with bells, appeared graceful on Hari’s breast like lightning embosomed in clouds. Thereat drawing out the same dart, that one dear unto the Wielder of the Dart,³⁴ having eyes resembling red lotuses, aiming at Mālyavān, hurled it at him. Thereat the dart discharged by the hand of Govinda like unto the Dart discharged by the hand of Skanda, rushing towards the Rākshasa like a meteor coursing towards the Anjana mountain, descended on the spacious chest of the lord of Rākshasas decked with the weight of a chain, even as the thunder-clap bursts at the summit of a mountain. And on having his mail rent, Mālyavān was utterly deprived of his senses; but (anon) reposing for a while, he again stood like a moveless hill. Then taking up a javelin made of black iron girt with many a thorn, he furiously smote that deity on the chest. And that night-ranger delighting in battle, dealing a box at Vāsava’s younger brother, moved away to a distance measuring a bow’s length. And now there arose a mighty tumult in the sky of ’Excellent!’ ’Excellent!’ And having struck Vishnu, the Rākshasa also hit Garuda. Thereat Vinatā’s son, growing enraged, drove the Rākshasas away with the wind of his wings, even as a lusty wind bloweth about sere leaves. And seeing his elder brother driven by the wind produced by the wing’s of that bird, Sumāli along with his forces, made for Lankā. And pushed off by the violence of the wind of (Garuda’s) wings, the Rākshasa Mālyavān also, joined by his own forces, departed for Lankā, covered with shame. Thus, O Rāma, O lotus-eyed one, (the Rākshasas) had innumerable warriors beaten down and their foremost leaders slain. And albeit inflated with pride, they, incapable of coping with Vishnu, leaving Lankā, went to the nether regions with their wives for dwelling there. O best of the Raghus, these Rākshasas of celebrated prowess, related to the race of Sālakantankatā, remained under the leadership of the Rākshasa Sumāli. All those exalted Rākshasas going under the name of Paulastya that had been headed by Sumāli, Malyavān and Māli, were stronger than Rāvana. No other than the god Nārāyana, holding the conch, the discus and the mace, could slay those Rākshasas—foes to the celestials and thorns in the side of the deities. And thou art that eternal god—the four armed Nārāyana,—the lord, undeteriorating and unconquerable, sprung to exterminate Rākshasas. The creator of beings—that one ever cherishing those seeking his refuge—appeareth at times to compass the destruction of marauders, bringing the religion of people to rack and ruin.³⁵ Thus, O lord of men, to-day I have truly related unto thee at length the origin of the Rākshasas. Again, foremost of the Raghus, do thou understand the matchless birth and potency of Rāvana and his sons related in detail. And that powerful Rākshasa, Sumāli, afflicted with the fear of Vishnu, along with his sons and grand-sons for a long time ranged the nether regions, and the lord of riches resided in Lankā.”
³³ Lit. the lotus-naveled—a name of Vishnu.
³⁴ A name of Kārtikeya—the celestial generalissimo.
³⁵ This tallies wonderfully with the corresponding view given in the Bible. Great men appear in the fullness of time to bring about reforms in religion, when, as was the case before the birth of Christ, men have wandered farthest from the true path.—T
“After a while the Rākshasa named Sumāli, coming up from the nether regions, began to range all over the earth. And resembling dark clouds, that lord of Rākshasas decked in ear-rings of burnished gold, taking his daughter like unto Sree herself without her lotus, and wandering over the earth, saw the lord of riches journeying in his Pushpaka, going to see his sire—that lord, the son of Pulastya. And seeing that one resembling an immortal and like unto fire, journeying on, (Sumāli) struck with amazement, entered the nether regions from the earth. And that mighty-minded one reflected thus,—’By adopting what measure may the welfare of the Rākshasas be brought about, and how can we increase (in power)?’ And that great-minded lord of Rākshasas, resembling dark clouds, decked in burnished ear-rings of gold, then began to reflect. And then the Raksha addressed his daughter, named Kaikasi, saying,—’O daughter, the time hath come when I should give thee away. Thy youth is about to be passed. (Kept back) by the fear of refusal, no suitor hath sought thee (up to this time). But desirous of acquiring religious merit, we are striving our best in thy interests. My daughter, thou art furnished with every perfection like unto Sree herself. The being father to a daughter is misery to every one that seeketh honor. O daughter, one doth not know who shall ask for one’s daughter. Wherever may a daughter be conferred, a daughter stayeth, placing in uncertainty the three races³⁶ to which she is related. Do thou, my daughter, seek for thy husband that best and foremost of ascetics sprung in the line of Prajapati—Pulastya’s son,—Viçrava, and of thyself accept him (for thy lord). And then, O daughter, even as is this lord of riches, so thou wilt, without doubt, have sons resembling the Sun himself in energy.’ Hearing that speech of his, the daughter for the sake of the dignity of her sire, going to where Viçrava was practising penances, stood there. In the meanwhile, O Rāma, that twice-born one—Pulastya’s son—was performing the Agnihotra, like the fourth Fire itself. And without minding that terrific time, (Kaikasi), having regard to the dignity of her sire, coming up before him, stood (there) hanging her head down towards his feet and throwing up the earth with her great foe. And seeing that one of shapely hips, having a face fair as the full Moon, (that exceedingly high-minded ascetic) flaming in energy accosted her thus,—’O gentle on, whose daughter art thou? And whence dost thou come hither? And what is thy errand? And for whom (dost thou come)? O beauteous (damsel), truly tell me this.’ Thus addressed, the girl, with joined hands, said,—’O ascetic, thou art competent to get at my intent by virtue of thy own power. Yet, O Brahmarshi, know me as having come here at the mandate of my sire. My name is Kaikasi. The rest do thou read thyself.’ And thereupon, the ascetic, entering into contemplation, said these words,—’O gentle lady, I have learnt the purpose that is in thy heart. O thou having the gait of a mad elephant, there reigns a powerful desire in thee for having offspring. Inasmuch as thou hast come to me at this fierce hour, hearken, thou amiable one, as to the kind of offspring that thou shalt bring forth. Thou shalt, O thou of graceful hips, bring forth terrible and grim-visaged Rākshasas delighting in frightful friends, and of cruel deeds.’ Hearing his speech, she, bowing down, said,—’O reverend (ascetic), such sons of terrific ways seek I not from thee that followest the Veda. Therefore it behoveth thee to favor me.’ On being thus besought by the girl, Viçrava—best of ascetics—again addressed Kaikasi, like the full Moon addressing Rohini,³⁷—’O fair-faced one, the son that thou bringest forth last, shall be like unto my line,—he shall, without doubt—be righteous-souled.’ Having been thus accosted, the girl, O Rāma, after a length of time brought forth a very terrible and hideous offspring having the form of a Raksha,—having ten necks, furnished with large teeth, and resembling a heap of collyrium, with coppery lips, twenty arms, huge faces, and flaming hair. On his having been born, jackals with flaming mouths and other ferocious beasts began to gyrate on the left. And that god showered down blood; and the clouds uttered forth harsh sounds. And the Sun was deprived of his splendour; and meteors began to dart to the earth. And the earth shook; and the wind swept away violently. And that lord of streams—the ocean, which was calm before, became agitated. And his sire resembling his grand-father named him, (saying),—’As this one hath been born with ten necks, he shall be called Ten-necked.’ After him was born Kumbhakarna endowed with prodigious strength, than whose proportions there are none other’s on earth. Then was born she that, having a frightful visage, goeth under the name of Surpanakhā; the righteous Bibhishana is the youngest son of Kaikasi. On that one endowed with great strength having been born, blossoms were showered down from heaven; and celestial kettle-drums were sounded in the heavenly regions. And then there arose the sounds of ’Excellent!’ ’Excellent!’ And in that extensive forest those exceedingly energetic ones—Kumbhakarna and the Ten-necked one grew up,—and became the sources of anxiety to people. And Kumbhakarna, maddened to the height, devouring mighty saints devoted to religion, constantly ranged the triune world in a dissatisfied spirit. But the righteous Bibhishana, ever intent on piety, dwelt there, studying the Veda, restraining his fare, and controlling his senses. And it came to pass that after a length of time the god, Vaiçravana—lord of riches—came to see his sire, mounted on Pushpaka. Seeing him, the Rākshasi—Kaikasi—flaming up in energy, coming to the Ten-necked one, represented to him,—’O son, behold thy brother, Vaiçravana, enfolded in effulgence; and, albeit of equal fraternity, behold thee in this plight! Therefore, O Ten-necked one, O thou of measureless prowess, do thou so strive that thou also, my son, may be like Vaiçravana himself. Hearing that speech of his mother, the powerful Ten-necked one was wrought up with exceeding great ill-will, and he vowed then,—’I truly promise unto thee that I will be equal to my brother (in energy), or excel him in it. Therefore do thou cast off this sorrow that is in thy heart.’ And influenced by that passion, the Ten-necked one with his younger brother began to perform rigid acts, with his mind fixed on asceticism. ’I must through austerities have my wish,’ thus fixed and resolved, he for compassing his end, came to the sacred asylum of Gokarna. And there the Rākshasa of unrivalled prowess along with his younger brother carried on austerities and thus gratified that lord—the great-father. And beings gratified (with him), he conferred on him boons bringing on victory.”
³⁶ The races respectively of her father, mother and husband.
Then Rāma spoke unto the ascetic,—”O Brāhmana, how did those exceedingly mighty brothers carry on austerities in that forest; and what kind of penances were theirs?” Thereat there Agastya said unto Rāma of a complacent mind,—”The brothers severally observed the morality proper to each. And Kumbhakarna, putting forth his best energies, constantly abode in the path of righteousness. And remaining in the midst of five fires in summer, he practised austerities, and in the rainy season, soaked in water (poured down) by clouds, he sat in the heroic attitude.³⁸ And in winter he always remained in the water. Thus passed away ten thousand years of that one putting forth exertions in behalf of religion, and established in the path of honesty. And the virtuous Bibhishana, ever intent on virtue and pure of spirit, remained standing on one leg for five thousand years. And when he had completed (his term of restriction), swarms of Apsarās danced, and blossoms showered, and the deities hymned (him). And for five thousand years, he adored the Sun, and with his mind concentrated in the study of the Veda, remained with his head and hands raised up. In this wise Bibhishana like a deity in Nandana passed away ten thousand years, observing restrictions. And the Ten-necked one passed ten thousand years without fare. On a thousand years being complete, he offered his own head as a sacrifice to Fire. In this way he passed away nine thousand years; and nine of his heads entered into Fire. And as in the tenth year he intended to strike off his tenth head, the Great-father presented himself at that place. And well-pleased, the Great-father came there along with the celestials. ’O Ten-necked one,’ said (the Great-father), ’I am well-pleased with thee. Do thou, O thou cognizant of righteousness, at once ask for the boon that thou wishest to have. What wish of thine shall I realize? Thy toil must not go for nothing.’ Thereat, the Ten-necked one, bowing down his head unto the deity, said with a delighted heart,—his words faltering with ecstacy,—’O Reverend one, creatures have no other fear than (that of) death; and enemy there is none that is like unto death. Therefore immortality is even what I crave for.’ Thus accosted, Brahmā spoke unto the Ten-necked one,—Thou canst not be immortal. Do thou therefore ask of me some other boon.’ Thus addressed by the creator, Brahmā, the Ten-necked one, O Rāma, standing before him with joined hands, said,—’O lord of creatures, I would, O eternal one, be incapable of being slain by birds and serpents, Yakshas, Daityas, Dānavas and Rākshasas, and the deities; for, O thou that art worshipped by the immortals, anxiety I have none from any other beings. Indeed, I deem as straw creatures such as men etc.’ Thus accosted by the Raksha—the Ten-necked one—that righteous-souled one, the Great-father, along with the celestials, said,—’O foremost of Rākshasas, what thou sayest shall come to pass.’ Having, O Rāma, said this unto the Ten-necked one, the Great-father (again spoke),—’Hear! I, having been gratified, will confer on thee a fresh boon. O Rākshasa, O sinless one, those heads of thine which have been offered as sacrifices and which have sunk into the fire, shall again be thine. And, O placid one, I shall also confer on thee another boon difficult of being obtained,—The form that thou shalt wish to wear, shall instantly be thine. As soon as the Ten-necked Raksha had spoken thus, the heads that had been offered as sacrifices into the fire, rose up again. Having said this unto the Ten-necked one, the Great-sire of all creatures addressed Bibhishana, saying,—’O Bibhishana, gratified have I been by thee, whose intelligence is established in righteousness. Therefore, my child, O righteous-souled one, O thou of excellent vows, ask for the boon that thou wouldst have.’ Thereat the virtuous Bibhishana spoke with joined hands,—’O reverend one, since the spiritual preceptor of all creatures himself (is pleased) with me,—I (deem myself) as furnished with every perfection, even as the Moon is environed with rays. If thou wilt bestow on me a boon with pleasure, then, thou of excellent vows, hear of the boon that I would have. May my mind remain fast fixed on righteousness, even when I shall happen to fall into high peril; and may I attain Brahmā knowledge without any instructions! And may every sense of mine sprung during the observance of particular modes of life, be in unison with righteousness,—so that I may practise the form of religion (in harmony with any particular mode of life!) O exceedingly noble one, this best of boons, is even what is sought for by me, for nothing in this world is incapable of being attained by those attached to righteousness.’ Then the lord of creatures, being again delighted, spoke unto Bibhishana,—’As thou art virtuous, so all this shall come to pass on thy behalf. And inasmuch as in spite of thy having been born in the Rākshasa race, thy thoughts, O destroyer of enemies, do not originate in sin, I confer on thee immortality.’ Having said this, he intended to grant boons unto Kumbhakarna. Thereat the celestials in a body represented to the lord of creatures with joined hands,—’On Kumbhakarna thou shouldst confer no boons, since thou knowest in what manner doth this wicked-minded one frighten people. And, O Brahman, seven Apsarās in Nandana, ten attendants of Mahendra, as well as sages and human beings, have been devoured by this one. Considering what this Rākshasa did when he had not obtained any boon whatever, if he obtain one now he shall eat up the three worlds. Do thou then, O lord having immeasurable prowess, pretending to give him a boon, give stupifaction (instead). Thereby the welfare of people would be secured, and the honor of this one too shall be maintained.’ Thus addressed by the celestials, Brahmā, the Lotus-sprung one, pondered. The goddess, Saraswati, who was by his side was also agitated with anxiety. And remaining by him, Saraswati with joined hands observed,—‘O god, I have come here. What work shall I accomplish?’ And the lord of creatures, on having her, spake unto ’Saraswati,—‘O Vāni!³⁹ be thou the goddess of speech of this foremost of Rākshasas,⁴⁰ favorable unto the deities. Having said,—‘So be it,’ she entered (within Kumbhakarna’s throat); and Prajāpati said,—‘O Kumbhakarna, O mighty-armed one, do thou ask for the boon that thou wouldst have. Hearing those words, Kumbhakarna said,—‘O god of gods, my wish is that I may sleep for a good many years.’ Thereupon, saying,—‘So be it,’ Brahmā along with the celestials went away; and the goddess, Saraswati, also again left the Rākshasa. And on Brahmā accompanied by the deities going to the celestial regions, he was renounced by Saraswati, and then he regained his consciousness. And then the wicked-minded Kumbhakarna sorrowfully thought,—‘What is this speech that has to-day come out from my lips? Meseems I had then been stupified by the deities that had come.’ Having thus obtained the boons, the brothers endowed with flaming energy, going to the Sleshmātaka wood, began to dwell there peacefully.”
³⁸ Hindu Yogis practise various attitudes, which are favorable to the regulation of respiration.—T.
³⁹ Lit. word, a designation of Saraswati.
⁴⁰ i.e. preside over Kumbhakarna’s speech while asking for the boon,—and let him, through thy power, ask for such a gift as may turn out profitable to the gods.—T.
“Learning that these night-rangers had obtained boons, Sumāli with his followers, casting off fear, rose up from the nether regions. And wrought up with exceeding great wrath, the counsellors of that Raksha—Māricha and Prahasta and Virupāksha and Mahodara—also rose up. And accompanied by his counsellors—foremost of Rākshasas—Sumāli presenting himself before the Ten-necked one and embracing him, addressed him, saying,—‘By good fortune it is, O child, that through thee we have had the wish that was in our heart, inasmuch as thou hast received the best of boons from him that is the foremost in all these three worlds. O mighty-armed one, that great fear arising from Vishnu, from which leaving Lankā, we had gone to the nethermost abysses, hath been removed. Full many a time, brought down by that fear, we, on being pursued (by our enemies), forsaking our homes, had gone to the nether regions along with all those (related to us). This Lankā was our city, inhabited by Rākshasas. (Now) it is inhabited by thy brother—the intelligent lord of riches. O mighty-armed one, if thou canst through self-control or charity or by a sudden display of prowess, repossess thyself of the same, a (great) thing shall have been achieved; and then, O child, thou shouldst, without doubt, be the lord of Lankā; and this Rākshasa race, which hath sunk, shall have been raised up by thee. And, O thou endowed with prodigious strength, thou shalt be the lord of all.’ Then the Ten-necked one addressed his maternal grand-father, who was present, saying,—‘The lord of riches is our superior; therefore thou ought not to speak thus.’ On that dignified Rākshasa-chief having through moderation thus passed it by, that Raksha, understanding his intent, did not then say anything more. And it came to pass that when Rāvana had resided there for a time, Prahasta addressed him in a humble speech,—’O Ten-necked one, O long-armed (hero), it doth not behove thee to speak thus. Fraternal feeling there is none among heroes. Listen to these words of mine! There were two sisters—Aditi and Diti. And mutually attached to each other, those (damsels) endowed with surpassing beauty, became the wives of that lord of creatures—Kaçyapa. And Aditi brought forth the gods,—who are the lords of the three worlds. And Diti gave birth to the Daityas,—offspring of Kaçyapa. O thou cognizant of righteousness, formerly this earth, O hero, having the ocean for her garment, and furnished with mountains, belonged to the Daityas; and (gradually) they grew very powerful. And then this undeteriorating triune world was brought under the dominion of the celestials. So that thou art not the only one that would act inimically (to thy brother); but this course had formerly been pursued by both the celestials and the Asuras. Therefore do thou act in conformity with my word.’ Thus exhorted, the Ten-necked one, with a delighted heart, reflecting for a moment, said, ‘Very well.’ And wrought up with delight, the Ten-necked one endowed with prowess the very same day went to the forest, accompanied by the night-rangers. And arriving at Trikuta, that one skilled in speech—the night-ranger, Rāvana—sent Prahasta in the capacity of an ambassador: ‘O Prahasta, hie thee; and tell the foremost of Nairitas—the lord of riches—in my words informed with mildness,—This city of Lankā, O king, belongs to the high-souled Rakshasas; but thou hast established thyself in her. This, O sinless one, is not proper for thee. Therefore, O thou of unrivalled prowess, if thou shouldst render the same (back), I shall be highly gratified; and righteousness also thou wilt maintain.—’ Thereupon, repairing to Lankā, well-protected by the giver of riches, Prahasta communicated these words unto the highly generous ruler of riches,—‘O thou of excellent vows, I have been sent to thee by thy brother, the Ten-necked one, O long-armed one, O foremost of those versed in all branches of learning, do thou listen to my words, O lord of wealth,—and what the Ten-faced one says,—This beautiful city, O thou furnished with expansive eyes, was formerly inhabited by Rākshasas of dreadful prowess headed by Sumāli; and for that reason, O son of Viçrava, he asks thee this. Do thou, my child, grant this unto him, who is humbly begging for it.’—Hearing these words from Prahasta, the god Vaiçravana, best of those skilled in speech, answered the former, saying,—‘My father had given this unto me, when it had been emptied of night-rangers; and, O Raksha, I have inhabited this place, furnished with charity, honor, and other virtues. Go and tell the Ten-necked one, as this city and this kingdom are mine, so they are thine, O mighty-armed one. Do thou enjoy this kingdom without a foe. May my kingdom and wealth never undergo division when thou art present!’ Having said this, the lord of riches sought the side of his sire,—and, paying him reverence, he communicated Rāvana’s wish unto him: ’My father, this Ten-necked one had sent a messenger to me, saying,—Give (back) the city of Lankā, which had before been inhabited by hosts of Rakshas.—Now, O thou of excellent vows, do thou tell me what I should do.’ Thus accosted, that foremost of ascetics, the Brahmarshi—Viçrava—spoke unto the lord of riches (standing) with joined hands,—‘O son, listen to my words. The mighty-armed Ten-necked one had (once) spoken in my presence (to that effect). Thereat I greatly rebuked that wicked-minded one; and I said again and again in anger,—Thou disregardest (thy religion and honor). Do thou listen to my words fraught with religion and profit. Of a wicked heart, thou, with thy understanding spoilt in consequence of the granting of the boon, canst not distinguish between those deserving honor and those not; and, further, through my curse, thou hast come by a fierce nature. Therefore, O mighty-armed one, go to the mountain, Kailaça. Do thou, along with thy retainers, for the purpose of dwelling there, take up thy quarters (there). There floweth the Mandākini—best of streams, with her water covered with golden lotuses resembling suns, as also with lilies and blue lotuses and various other fragrant flowers. And coming there frequently, celestials with Gandharvas and Apsarās and serpents and Kinnaras, ever sport there, O lord of riches, thou ought not to enter into hostilities with that Raksha. Thou knowest how he hath obtained a great boon.’ Thus addressed, Viçravana, for the sake of his father’s dignity, with his wives and sons, with his counsellors and his vehicles and wealth went (to Kailaça). And Prahasta, going (back), joyfully spoke unto the high-souled Ten-necked one, (seated) with his counsellors and his younger brothers,—’The city of Lankā is (now) empty. Renouncing her, the bestower of riches hath gone out of her. (Now) entering into her, along with us, do thou there maintain thine own religion.’ Thus addressed by Prahasta, the redoubtable Ten-necked one entered the city of Lankā with his brothers and forces and followers. And then even as the lord of the celestials ascends heaven, that foe of the immortals ascended Lankā well-divided by highways,—which had been forsaken by the lord of wealth. And having been installed, that night-ranger—the Ten-faced one—dwelt in that city; and that city teemed with night-rangers resembling dark clouds. And the lord of riches, for the sake of his father’s dignity, dwelt in a palace situated on the hill bright as moon-light, graced with ornamented superb piles; even as Purandara dwells in Amaravati.”
“The lord of Rākshasas was installed along with his brothers. And then he thought of the giving away in marriage of his Rākshasi sister. Then that Rākshasa bestowed his sister, the Rākshasi Surpanakhā, on that lord of the Dānavas and king of the Kālakas—Vidyujjibha. And having given her away, the Raksha was wandering about for the purpose of hunting, when, Rāma, he happened to see Diti’s son, named Maya. And seeing him accompanied by his daughter, that night-ranger—the Ten-necked one—asked him, saying,—’Who art thou that (wanderest) alone in this forest devoid of men as well as deer? And art thou accompanied by this one having the eyes of a young deer?’ Thereat Maya, O Rāma, answered that night-ranger, when he had asked this,—’Listen. I shall tell thee all about this. Thou mayst ere this have heard of an Apsarā named Hemā. She like unto the Paulomi of Satakratu was bestowed on me by the gods. And I passed a thousand years, being devoted to her. Thirteen years have passed away since she had gone on a business of the celestials, as also the fourteenth year. Then I through my extraordinary skill constructed a golden palace, adorned with diamonds and lapises. There I dwelt, aggrieved and sorrowful on account of her separation. From thence, taking my daughter, I have come to this wood. This, O king, is my daughter, grown in her womb. I have come hither with her, seeking for her husband. Verily being father to a daughter is misery to every one that seeketh one’s honour. A daughter, forsooth, stayeth, ever placing the two lines⁴¹ in uncertainty. And on this wife of mine I have also begat two sons;—the first is Māyāvi and the next Dundubhi. Thus have I truly related everything unto thee that hadst asked for it. But, my child, how can I know thee now? Who art thou?’ Thus addressed, the Raksha humbly said,—Ten-necked by name, I am the son of the ascetic, Paulastya, who was born as the third son of Brahmā.’ Thus accosted, O Rāma, by that lord of Rākshasas, that Dānava and foremost of Dānavas, Maya, learning that he was the son of the Maharshi, Paulastya, there desired in his heart to give away his daughter to him. And taking her hand with his own, Maya—lord of Daityas—laughing, said unto that lord of the Rlkshasas,—’This daughter of mine, O king, borne by the Apsarā, Hemā, this my daughter named Mandodari do thou accept as thy wife.’ ’Well’ thereupon the Ten-necked answered him, O Rāma. And lighting a fire, he took her hand. Maya, O Rāma, knew the curse of the sage touching him.⁴² Knowing this, he gave away his daughter, having regard to the race of Rāvana’s paternal grand-father; and he also conferred on him an exceedingly wonderful dart acquired through the most rigid austerities,—by which he wounded Lakshmana. Having thus wedded, that master—Lankā’s lord—going (back) to that city, married his brothers. And Rāvana married the grand-daughter of Virochana (on the maternal side) named Vajrajwālā, to Kumbhakarna.—And Bibhishana obtained for his wife the righteous (damsel) named Saramā—daughter unto the high-souled—Sailusha—sovereign of the Gandharvas. (Saramā) was born on the shores of the lake, Mānasa. And while the lake, Mānasa, was swollen with water on the arrival of the rains, her mother, hearing her cries, affectionately said,—Saromāvarddhata—’O lake, do not swell,’ and from this circumstance, her name became Saramā. Having thus wedded, those Rākshasas, taking each his wife, set about sporting there, like unto Gandharvas sporting in Nandana. And then was born Mandodari’s son—Meghanāda. Him ye call Indrajit. As soon as he was born, Rāvana’s son, formerly crying, emitted a tremendous roar resembling the rumbling of clouds. And, O Rāghava, Lankā was petrified at his voice; and (accordingly) his sire himself kept his name, Meghanāda. And, O Rāma, remaining hidden like a fire by fuel, Rāvana’s son, rejoicing (the bosoms of) his father and mother, grew up in Rāvana’s elegant inner apartments.”
⁴¹ The lines, namely, of her father and mother. The line of a mother as distinct from that of a father would be impossible under the present economy of Hindu society inasmuch as, as soon as a girl is married, she by that ceremony leaves her father’s line and becomes incorporated with that of her husband. But this seems to have been otherwise in ancient times. This opens up an interesting social problem for the research of orientalists.—T.
⁴² Respecting his birth.
“And once on a time it came to pass that, dispatched by the lord of creatures, Sleep in her (native) form powerfully overpowered Kumbhakarna. And then Kumbhakarna spoke unto his brother, who was seated,—’O king, Sleep obstructs me. Do thou, therefore, have my mansion made.’ And, thereupon, employed by the king, architects resembling Viçwakarmā constructed an edifice beautiful to behold, measuring the smooth space of a Yojana diagonally and two in area; graceful to the view, and having no obstruction (to hide its beauty). And the Rākshasa caused a splendid and delightful pile to be built, adorned all round with pillars decked with gold and crystal,—having stairs composed of lapises, furnished with networks of small bells, set with ivory gateways, and containing daises dight with diamonds and crystal,—elegant throughout, and enduring,—like unto a goodly cave of Maru. And there, overcome with slumber, the wondrous strong Kumbhakarna, lying down for many thousand years, did not wake up. And while Kumbhakarna was overpowered by sleep, Daçānana⁴³ without let began to destroy Devarshis, Yakshas and Gandharvas,—and going to graceful gardens, Nandana, etc., he devastated them (ruthlessly). And that Rākshasa spread destruction, even as an elephant sporting agitates a river, as the wind bringeth down trees, or as the thunder-bolt riveth mountain-peaks. Hearing of the doings of Daçagriva,⁴⁴ and remembering his conduct chiming in with his race, the righteous lord of riches—Vaiçravana—showing his fraternal affection, despatched a messenger to Lankā, seeking the welfare of Daçagriva. And going to the city of Lankā, he presented himself before Bibhishana. And having received him with honor, he asked him as to the cause of his visit. And having enquired after the welfare of the king as well as his kindred, Bibhishana, showed him unto Daçānana seated in his court. And seeing the king there flaming in his own energy, he (the messenger), saluting him (Rāvana) with the word—Jaya⁴⁵—stood silent. And the envoy addressed Dacagriva seated on a superb couch, graced with a costly coverlet,—’O king, I shall tell thee all that thy brother hath said, worthy of both the character and race of your father and mother,—Enough of wrong-doing. Now thou shouldst mend thy ways. If thou canst, stay in righteousness. I have seen Nandana ravaged; and I have heard of the sages slain, and O king, of the preparations the deities are making against thee. I have been utterly disregarded by thee; but even if a boy should transgress, he should for all that be protected by his friends. Self-restrained and controlling my senses, I, adopting a terrific vow, had gone to the breast of the Himavān for practising righteousness. There I saw that lord of the gods in company with Umā. There I happened to cast my left eye on the goddess, for knowing, O mighty king, who she was,—and not for any other reason. Rudrāni was staying then, wearing a surpassing form. Thereupon through the divine energy of the goddess my left eye was burnt and seemed to be covered with dust, and its lustre became tawny. Then I, going to another spacious peak of the mountain, became engaged in silently observing a mighty vow. On my term of restraint having been complete, that lord of the gods—Maheçwara—with a gratified heart addressed me, saying,—O righteous one, O thou of fair vows, I am well-pleased with this asceticism of thine. I also had observed this vow; and thou also, O lord of riches, hast done the same, A third person there is none that practiseth such a vow. This vow is hard to perform, and formerly it was I that introduced it. Therefore, O mild one, O lord of riches, do thou contract friendship with me. And thou hast conquered me by thy penances. Therefore, O sinless one, be thou my friend. And this thy left eye hath been burnt through the energy of the goddess, and hath turned tawny in consequence of having seen the grace of the goddess; so thy name shall ever be Ekākshipingali.—Then at Sankara’s command I have obtained the privilege of companionship (with him). Having come here I have heard of thy evil designs. Do thou then desist from this impious course, tending to sully thy line, The celestials along with the sages are pondering over the means of compassing thy death.—’ Thus addressed, the Ten-necked one, with his eyes reddened in wrath, rubbing his hands and knashing his teeth, said,—’O messenger, I have learnt what thou hast uttered. Neither thou nor this brother of mine by whom thou hast been despatched, (shall live); nor doth the keeper of riches say what is for my good. And the fool makes me hear the circumstance of his having made friends with Maheçwara. I shall never forgive what thou hast said. Up to this I had borne him, considering that he, being my elder brother and as such my superior should not be slain by me. But now hearing his (utterances), even this is my resolve. Depending upon the might of my arms, I shall conquer the three worlds. On his account solely I shall on the instant despatch the four Lokapālas to the abode of Death.’ Having said this, Lankā’s lord killed the emissary with his sword and made him over to the wicked Rākshasas for being eaten. Then, having performed Swastyāyana,⁴⁶ Rāvana, ascending his car, went to where the lord of riches was, bent on conquering the three worlds.”
⁴³ Henceforth we shall use this significant surname of Rāvana, meaning Ten-faced.
⁴⁵ Jaya may mean (1) victory and (2) all the deities of the Hindu pantheon.—T.
⁴⁶ A religious ceremony performed for propitiating any deity or malign star, and so warding off an impending disaster, or bringing luck to any undertaking. This has obtained to this day in Hindu society.—T.
“Accompanied by his six counsellors—Mahodara and Prahasta, Māricha, Suka and Sārana, and the heroic Dhumrāksha—eager for encounter—the graceful Rāvana, elated with his strength sallied out, as if consuming all creatures with his wrath. And leaving behind cities and streams and hills and woods and groves, he in a moment came to the mountain—Kailaça. And hearing that wicked-minded lord of Rākshasas, breathing high spirits, had arrived at the mount in company with his counsellors, the Yakshas could not stay before that Raksha,—and knowing ’This one is the king’s brother’—went to where the lord of riches was. Going to him they in full related all about the doings of his brother. And on being permitted by the bestower of treasures, they went out for battle. And then, like unto the agitation of the ocean, there took place a mighty ferment of the forces of the Nairita king, as if making the mountain tremble. And then there took place an encounter between the Yakshas and the Rākshasas; and therein the councillors of the Rākshasa were smitten fiercely. And finding his forces in that plight, Daçagriva set up full many a cheerful shout and in wrath began to speak. Of the councillors of the Rākshasa-chief, each coped with a thousand Yakshas. And then struck with maces and clubs and swords and darts and tomaras, the Ten-necked one dived into (that deep) of a host. And rendered inert and sore assailed, Daçānana was deprived of his movements with vollies of weapons remembling torrents of rain. And albeit drenched with blood streaming down in hundreds of torrents, he like a mountain flooded with a downpour, being wounded with the weapons of the Yakshas,—doth not betray any smart. And that high-souled one, raising up his mace resembling the rod itself of Time, entered into that army, despatching Yakshas to the abode of Yama. And as a flaming fire burneth up an extensive sward of grass stocked with dry fire-wood, he began to consume that Yaksha army. And as the wind scattereth clouds, the small remnant of Yaksha army was scattered by the redoubtable councillors (of Rāvana)—Mahodara, Suka, etc. And some were wounded, and (some) broken down, and (some) measured their lengths on the ground in the encounter, and other Yakshas deprived of their arms in the field, being fatigued, sank down, embracing each other, even as banks drop down, on being worn away by water. And no room was left (in the sky) in consequence of its being thronged by hosts of sages; and warriors, wounded and rushing for conflict, and (finally) ascending heaven.⁴⁷ And finding the foremost Yakshas endowed with great strength give way, the mighty-armed lord of riches dispatched (other) Yakshas. In the meantime, O Rāma, a Yaksha named Sanyodhakantaka, accompanied by an extensive force and a large number of vehicles,—on being despatched, rushed (on the foe). And wounded in the conflict (by Sanyodhakantaka) with his discus, as if by Vishnu himself, Māricha toppled down to the ground from the mountain, like unto a planet whose merit hath waned, And in a moment regaining his consciousness and resting (for a while), that night-ranger fought with the Yaksha; and thereat, on being defeated, he⁴⁸ fled. Then (Rāvana) entered within the gate-way (of the palace), garnished with gold, and decked with lapises and silver, And thereat, O king, the warder named Suryyabhānu prevented the night-ranger—Daçagriva—as he was entering. And albeit prevented, the night-ranger entered in. And when, O Rāma, that Rākshasa was prevented, he did not stay. And then struck by that Yaksha with the gate-way uprooted, he, discharging blood in streams, looked like a hill with minerals running on it. And hit with that gate-way resembling a mountain-summit in splendour, that hero did not sustain any injury, on account of the boon he had received from the Self-sprung. And on being struck by the same gate-way, the Yaksha ceased to be seen, his body having then been consumed to ashes. And witnessing the prowess of the Raksha, all began to flee; and then they afflicted with affright, fatigued, and with pale faces, entered into rivers and caves, leaving their arms behind.”
⁴⁷ The idea of the author is: “The welkin was thronged with sages as well as warriors, who swelled the ranks of the sages stationed in the sky, by ascending heaven after having fallen in fight.”—T.
⁴⁸ The Yaksha, that is.
“Seeing the foremost of the Yakshas by thousands undergoing trepidation, the lord of riches spoke unto a mighty Yaksha—Manichara,—’O foremost of Yakshas, slay the wicked Rāvana, set on sin; and do thou (thus) become the refuge of those heroic Yakshas, who are carrying on the conflict.’ Thus addressed, the mighty-armed and invincible Mānibhadra, surrounded by four thousand Yakshas began the fight. And attacking the Rākshasas with maces and clubs and bearded darts, and with darts tomoras and bludgeons, the Yakshas rushed at (their adversaries). And fast safely whirling about like hawks, they fought fiercely. And (some) said, ’Well, give me battle,’ and (others), ’I don’t want,’ and (others, again), ’Let me have (fight)’. And then the celestials and the Gandharvas and the sages studying the Vedas, beholding the great encounter, were filled with mighty amazement. And a thousand of the Yakshas were slain by Prahasta in the conflict; and another thousand of capable warriors were slain by Mahodara. And O king, in the twinkling of an eye Māricha, waxing wroth and eager for encounter brought down two thousand (of enemy’s soldiers). Where is the candid-coursing fight of the Yakshas and where the fight of the Rakshas by help of the power of illusion; and therefore in that battle the advantage was on the side of the Rākshasas. And Dhumrācksha, confronting Mānibhadra in the mighty conflict hit him at the chest with a bludgeon; but he did not move thereat. And then Mānibhadra dealt the Rākshasa a blow with his mace; and thereat Dhumrācksha smit at the head fell down senseless (on the ground). And seeing Dhumrāckhsa wounded and down, bathed in blood, the Ten-necked one rushed at Mānibhadra in the encounter. And then that foremost of Yakshas hit Daçānana with three darts as he was rushing in wrath. And on being thus hit, (Rāvana) struck at Mānibhadra’s head; and at that stroke his crown was depressed at one side. And from that day forth that Yaksha remained with his head hollow on one side. And on the high-souled Mānibhadra having been baffled, a great uproar, O king, rose in that mountain. And then at a distance, the lord of riches, mace in hand, accompanied by Sukra and Praushthapada and Padma and Sanka saw (Rāvana) in the field. And seeing his brother in the encounter with his glory obscured through the curse (he had ere this come by), the intelligent (lord of Yakshas) spoke in words worthy of the line of his grand-father,—’As, O wicked-minded one, thou desistest not, albeit forbidden by me, thou shalt, afterwards attaining the fruit of this, and repairing to hell, know (the fate that followeth thee). That perverse one, that through ignorance having drunk poison, neglects to adopt proper measures, knoweth the consequence of his act ultimately. The gods have set their face against thee on account of a certain misdeed of thine; and having for this, been reduced to this condition, thou dost not understand things. He that dishonoreth his father and mother⁴⁹ and spiritual preceptor, reapeth the fruit of his act on coming under the sway of the sovereign of the dead. Having regard that this body is uncertain, that foolish person, that doth not acquire asceticism, dying goeth the way that he deserveth. The mind of a perverse man doth not willingly incline towards good; and he reapeth as he soweth. In this world people, making their own good fortune and beauty, strength, sons, wealth and valor, gain these by virtue of their pious acts. Being given to such iniquitous acts, thou wilt go to hell; and thy designs being such, I will not hold parley with thee. Honest people should act carefully in connection with the wicked.’—Thus reprimanded by him, his (Rāvana’s) councillors, headed by Māricha, on being struck, took to their heels. Then Daçagriva on being struck in the head with the mace by the lord of Yakshas, did not move from his place. And then, O Rāma, the Yaksha and Rākshasa, smiting each other in mighty encounter, did not get bewildered or experience fatigue. And then the bestower of riches discharged a fiery weapon at him; and thereat the lord of Rākshasas resisted it with a Varuna weapon. And then the Rākshasa king entered upon Rākshasi-illusion; and began to assume a thousand shapes for compassing the destruction (of his adversary). And the Ten-necked one (successively) assumed the shapes of a tiger, a boar, a cloud, a hill, the ocean, a tree, a Yaksha and a Daitya. Thus he wore full many forms and he was not visible in his native shape. And then, O Rāma, seizing a mighty weapon the Ten-necked one, whirling the same, brought that redoubtable mace down on the head of the bestower of riches. Thus smitten by him, the lord of wealth, baffled, toppled down to the earth covered with blood like an açoka whose roots have been hewn away. Thereat Padma and other Nidhi deities, surrounding the granter of wealth, raised him up and brought him to the Nandana wood. Conquering the bestower of wealth, the lord of Rākshasas, with a delighted heart, possessed himself of his Pushpaka, the car, as a sign of victory; furnished with golden pillars, gateways set with lapises, covered with networks of pearls, having trees yielding the fruits of all seasons, endowed with the celerity of thought, ranging everywhere at will, wearing forms at pleasure, capable of coursing in the sky, with golden and jewelled stairs, and daises of polished gold,—the vehicle of the gods—undeteriorating, bringing delight to the mind and sight; wonderous exceedingly: painted with images designed to fill the mind with reverence,—constructed by Brahmā, containing all objects of desire, charming and nonpariel not cold and not yet hot, granting gratification in every season, and graceful to the view. And ascending that (car) coursing at will, won by his prowess, that utterly wicked one, out of swelling insolence, deemed himself master of the three worlds. And having vanquished the deity Vaiçravana, he descended from Kailāça. And having by his energy obtained the victory, the powerful night-ranger wearing a bright diadem and necklace, and seated on that superb car,—appeared radiant in his court like Fire himself.”
⁴⁹ Unless he serveth his parents, his heart doth not incline to piety.
“O Rāma, having vanquished his brother, the lord of riches, the king of Rākshasas went to the great wood of reeds, where Mahāsena was born. And the Ten-necked one saw the great golden wood of reeds. Furnished with networks of solar rays, and appearing like a second Sun, and ascending the mountain, he was surveying the heart of the forest, when, O Rāma, Pushpaka was (suddenly) deprived of its motion. And the lord of Rākshasas could not comprehend how the car which had been so made as to course in accordance with the wish of the rider, could have its course impeded; and thereat he in company with his councillors thought, ’Wherefore doth not this Pushpaka course at my desire over this mountain? Whose act is this?’ Thereat Māricha—foremost of intelligent ones—said,—That Pushpaka doth not course cannot, sire, be without cause; or it may be that in consequence of Pushpakā not having borne any other than the bestower of riches, it hath ceased its course not having the lord of wealth for its rider.’ As they were speaking thus, that attendant of Bhava, Nandi, terrific, of yellow black hue, dwarfish, frightful, with his head shaven, having short arms, and stout,—coming up to them, said (this). And the lordly Nandi, undaunted, addressed the sovereign of the Rākshasas, saying: ’Desist thou O Ten-necked one; Sankara sporteth in the mountain; and (now) He is incapable of being approached by every one—birds, serpents and Yakshas; gods, Gandharvas and Rakshas?’ Hearing Nandi’s speech, (Rāvana), wrought up with wrath, his eyes coppery, and his ear-rings shaking, leapt down from Pushpaka. And saying, ’Who is this Sankara?’ he came down to the base of the mount, and beheld there Nandi stationed at the side of that deity, supporting himself on his flaming dart, resembling a second Sankara. And seeing that one having the face of a monkey, the Rākshasa, deriding him, burst out into laughter, and seemed as if a mass of clouds were sending roars. Thereat, growing enraged, the reverend Nandi—Sankara’s other body—spoke unto that Raksha—The Ten-necked one—present there; ’As O Daçanana, deriding me for my monkey-form, thou hast indulged in a laughter resembling the bursting of thunder, so monkeys endowed with prowess, and possessed of my form and energy shall be born for compassing the destruction of thy race. And armed with teeth and claws, and fierce and furnished with the fleetness of thought, and mad for encounter, and bursting with vigor, and resembling moving mountains. And being born, they shall crush thy high pride and power along with thy courtiers and sons. But, O night-ranger, I can even now end thee quite; yet I must not slay thee for thou hast ere this been slain by thine acts.’ When that high-souled god had spoken thus celestial kettle-drums sounded and a blossomy shower rained from the sky. But without hefting Nandi’s speech, that highly powerful one—Daçanana—coming to the mountain, said,—’O Gopati, I will even uproot this mountain, for whom Pushpaka was deprived of its motion as I was journeying. It must be known by what influence Bhavaswara sporteth here king-like. He doth not know that an occasion of fear hath presented itself?’ Having said this, O Rāma, Rāvana seizing the mountain with his arms, lifted it up at once; and then the mountain trembled greatly. And in consequence of the mountain shaking the attendants of the deity (dwelling in it) also shook. And Pārvati also trembled and embraced Maheçwara. And then, O Rāma, Mahādeva—foremost of the deities—even Hara, as in sport pressed the mount with his great toe. And thereat his arms, resembling blocks of stone felt the shock and then there the councillors of that Raksha were struck with amaze. And the Raksha, from wrath and the pain felt in his arms, set up a shout that shook the entire triune world. And his councillors considered it as the concussion of the thunder at the universal disruption. And then the celestials with Indra at their head shook on their way; and the sea was wild and the mountains shook. And Yakshas and Vidyadharas and Siddhas asked, ’What is this.’ ’Do thou propitiate Umā’s lord—the blue-throated Mahādeva; for, O Daçanana, save him thy refuge see we none in this matter. Bowing thyself down, do thou seek him as thy shelter. Then the kind Sankara, on being gratified, will confer on thee his favor.’ Thus accosted by his councillors, the Ten-faced one, bowing down to him having the bull for his standard, began to hymn him with various soma hymns; and the Raksha passed away a good thousand years in lamentations. And thereat that Lord Mahadeva, pleased, set free the hands of Daçanana stationed at the top of the mount, and O Rāma, addressed him, saying, ’O Dacānana, pleased am I with thee on account of thy hymns. And as in consequence of thy arms having been hurt by the mountain, thou hast uttered a terrific yell, which struck horror unto the three worlds and put them shaking, therefore, O King, thy name shall be Rāvana. And deities and men and Yakshas and others living on earth shall call thee Rāvana—terror to creatures. So, O Paulastya, which way thou wishest, and permitted by me, O Lord of Rākshasas, go thou.’ Thus accosted by Sambhu, Lankā’s lord said of himself. ’If thou art pleased with me, grant me a boon, who ask thee for it. I have already obtained a boon, bestowing on me immunity from death at the hands of gods, Gandharvas and Dānavas; and Rākshasas and Guyhakas and Nagas; and others also that are of more than ordinary strength. Man count I not O god: they, I deem, are insignificant. I have also, O destroyer of Tripura, received a long lease of life from Brahmā. Now I wish to pass the remainder of my days in peace: and do thou grant me a weapon.’ Thus addressed by him, (Rāvana,) Sankara gave him an exceedingly effulgent sword, famed as Chandrahasa; and the master of spectres then also granted him peace for the rest of his life. And making (the sword) over to him, Sambhu said,—’Thou must not disregard this. If disregarded, it will for certain come (back) to me?’ Having thus received his name from Maheçwara, Rāvana, saluting Mahadeva, ascended Pushpaka. And then, O Rāma, Rāvana, began to go round the earth. And opposed at places, by the heroic Kshatriyas endowed with energy and irrepressible in fight, who refused submission, he exterminated them along with their retainers; while other men of wisdom, knowing the Raksha to be invincible, said unto the Rākshasa elated with strength,—’We have been conquered?’”
“And then, O King, the mighty-armed Rāvana ranging the earth, came to Himavān and began to go round it. And it came to pass that there he saw a damsel wearing a dark deer-skin and matted locks, leading the life of a saint, and flaming like a celestial. And seeing the girl observing high vows, endowed with beauty, he, with his soul overwhelmed with lust asked her, laughing, ’How is it, O amiable one that thou actest thus contrary to thy youth? This course of life surely doth not befit thy beauty. Thy loveliness, O timid one, is peerless, capable of maddening folk with desire. It doth not behove thee to lead an ascetic mode of life,—this would suit an old person. Whose daughter art thou, O gentle lady? And what is this (vow) that thou practisest? And O fair faced wrench, who is thy husband? He who hath thee for his wife, is, O timorous one, hath religious merit on earth. Tell all about this to me who ask for it. For whom dost thou put thyself to trouble?’ Thus accosted by Rāvana, that illustrious girl, having asceticism for wealth, having received him hospitably in due form, said, ’My sire is named Kuçodwaja—a Brahmarshi of immeasurable energy, son unto Vrihaspati, endowed with grace, and like unto Vrihaspati himself in intelligence. And while that high-souled one was engaged in the daily study of the Vedas, I was born as his word-impregnated daughter, named Vedavati. When the gods and the Gandharvas and the Yakshas, Rākshasas, and Pannagas, coming to my sire asked for me, O foremost of Rākshasas, my father did not bestow me on any one of them. And I shall tell thee the reason thereof; listen, O long-armed one. My father’s intended son-in-law was even Vishnu—sovereign of the celestials, and the lord of the triune world; and my father would not bestow me on any other. And hearing this, a certain king of the Daityas, named Sumbhu—proud, of his prowess was wrought up with wrath, and one night as my sire was on bed, that wicked one slew him. Thereat my forlorn mother, of exalted righteousness, embracing my father’s body entered into fire. Then wishing to realize my father’s wish touching Nārāyana, I have fixed my heart even upon him. Having made this promise, I have been carrying on rigid austerities. Thus, O foremost of Rākshasas. I have related unto thee everything. Nārāyana is my husband, and not any one else than that best of male beings; and desirous of having Nārāyana I have adopted severe restraints. I know thee, O king. Go thou O son of Paulastya. By virtue of my asceticism I know all that takes place in these three regions.’ Thereat descending from the front of his car, Rāvana, afflicted with the shafts of Kandarpa, again addressed that girl, observant of a mighty vow, ’O thou of shapely hips, in as much as such is thy intent, thou must be very proud. O thou having the eyes of a young antelope, accumulation of religious merit suits old people. Thou, furnished with every perfection, should not talk thus. Thou art the paragon in these three worlds. Thy youth waxeth away. I am the lord of Lankā, O gentle lady, known as Daçagriva. Be thou my wife, and enjoy pleasures according to thy desire. Who is he whom thou callest Vishnu? O mild one, neither in prowess, nor in asceticism, nor in enjoyment, nor in strength, is he my equal, whom, O damsel, thou seekest.’ Thus accosted, Vedavati said unto the night-ranger ’Do not say so’ in respect of Vishnu, lord of this triune sphere, bowed down unto by all creatures. Save and except thee alone, who, that is intelligent, crieth down (Nārāyana), O King of Rākshasas.’ Thus addressed there by Vedavati, the night-ranger seized the girl by the hair. Thereat Vedavati, wroth, cut off her hair with her hand transformed into a sword. And then, flaming up in ire and as if consuming the night-ranger, she, preparing a funeral pyre, hastened to make away with herself. ’Thou abject, having been outraged by thee I wish not to live. Therefore, O Raksha, I will enter into fire in thy very presence. And as I have in this world been dishonored by thee thou art nefarious. I shall again be born to compass thy destruction. It lieth not in a female to slay a male intent on sin; and if I utter a curse, it shall cost my asceticism. But if I have done anything, given away any thing, offered oblations unto the fire, then I shall be the chaste daughter of some virtuous person, albeit unborn of any female vessel.’ Having delivered herself thus, she entered into the flaming fire; and thereat a celestial shower of blossoms rained all around from heaven. O Lord, this is she that hath been born as the daughter of king Janaka,—thy wife, O mighty-armed one. Thou art the eternal Vishnu. The enemy, endowed with the splendour of a hill, formerly that had been slain through the wrath (of Vedavati), hath now been slain by her, by help of thine superhuman prowess. And this one of eminent righteousnesss would again spring up on earth like a flame from a field furrowed by the plough. This one named Vedavati was born in the Krita age; and in the Tretā age, for compassing the destruction of that Raksha, she was born in the Maithila line of the high-souled Janaka.”
“When Vedavati had entered into fire, Rāvana, ascending Pushpaka, began to range the earth. And coming to Uçiraviga, Rāvana saw a king (named) Marutta, sacrificing along with the deities. And a righteous Brahmarshi named Samvartta, the very brother of Vrihashpati, officiated at the sacrifice accompanied by the deities. And seeing that Raksha invincible by reason of the boon he had received, the deities, apprehensive of being worsted by him, assumed the forms of beasts. And Indra became a peacock and the king of righteousness, a crow, and the bestower of riches a lizard, and Varuna a swan; and, O slayer of foes, others also became other beasts. And then Rāvana entered into that sacrifice like an unclean dog. And then coming up to the king, Rāvana—lord of Rākshasas—said: ’Give me battle, or say,—I am defeated.’ Whereat king Marutta asked, him—’Who art thou?’ And Rāvana laughing in contempt said,—’O king, I am delighted, that lacking curiosity, thou dost not dishonour Rāvana, younger brother unto the bestower of riches. What other man is there in these three regions that knoweth not the might of me, who, conquering my brother, has got possession of this car.’ Thereat Marutta spoke unto Rāvana, saying,—’Blessed for sooth art thou, by whom thy elder brother hath been vanquished in fight; and a person so praiseworthy there is not in the three worlds. An act, that is divorced from righteousness and that is reprehended by people, can never be praiseworthy. Having committed a foul act, plumest thou upon thy having vanquished thy brother? And practising what piety hadst thou a-fortune received the boon? I had never before heard the like of what thou sayest. But O perverse one, stay now. Living thou shalt not back. To-day with my sharpened shafts shall I despatch thee to the abode of Yama.’ Then taking up his bow and arrows, that king of men went out for encounter; but Samavartta stood in the way. And that great sage said unto Marutta words informed with affection ’If thou hear my speech, thou shouldst not fight. If this Maheçwara-sacrifice should remain incomplete, it will burn up thy dynasty. Where is the fight of one initiated in a sacrifice? And where is the passion of one initiated in a sacrifice? And victory is ever uncertain; and the Rākshasa is difficult to vanquish. And thereupon, the lord of Earth—Marutta—desisted in consonance with the instructions of his spiritual preceptor; and composed addressed himself to completing the sacrifice, giving up his bow with the arrow set. And thereat considering him as defeated, Suka proclaimed this all round; and from delight cried aloud, ’Victory unto Rāvana!’ And then devouring the Maharshis that were present at the place of sacrifice, Rāvana, satiated with their blood, again went to the earth. On Rāvana having departed, the deities, inhabiting the etherial regions—Indra etc.—assuming their proper forms, addressed those creatures. And from joy Indra spoke unto the purple-plumed peacock,—’Pleased am I with thee thou righteous one. No fear shall spring to thee from serpents; and thy plumage shall be furnished with an hundred eyes. And when I shall shower, thou shalt be filled with glee as a token of my satisfaction with thee.’ Thus did Indra—chief of celestials, confer a boon on the peacock. Formerly, O king, the peacock’s wings had one unvaried blue. Having received the boon, the peacock departed. Then O Rāma, the king of righteousness said unto the crow, seated in front of the sacrificial apartment ’O bird, I am well pleased with thee. Listen to my words as I utter them. As I have been pleased with thee, thou shalt without doubt, enjoy immunity from the various ailments to which the birds are subject. And O bird, from my curse fear of death shall not approach thee; and thou shalt exist so long as people do not slay thee. And those men residing in my dominion, being smitten with hunger, shall be refreshed along with thy relations, when thou hast eaten and been refreshed.’ Then Varuna addressed that lord of birds the swan ranging the waters of the Gangā,—’Listen to my words fraught with joy, thy hue shall be charming, mild, and like unto the lunar disc; and it shall be beautiful, resembling the sheen of spotless foam. And approaching my person thou shalt ever be beautiful to behold; and thou shalt, as a sign of my gratification, attain unparalleled complacence.’ Formerly, O Rāma, swans had not a hue of one unvaried whiteness. Their wings ended in blue, and their breasts wore the spotless hue of tender grass. And then Vaiçravana addressed the chameleon as it was stationed at the mountain: ’Thy hue shall be gold-gleaming. Pleased am I with thee. Thy undeteriorating head shall be ever gold-hued. And this golden hue of thine shall proceed from my gratification?’ Having thus conferred boons on them at that festal place, the celestials, along with the king, (on the sacrifice) having ended, went to their abode.”
“Having vanquished Marutta, that lord of Rākshasas—the Ten-faced one—eager for encounter, began to range the capitals of the foremost monarchs (of the earth). And coming to the most powerful crowned heads (in the world) resembling Mahendra and Varuna, the Rākshasa king said: ’Give me battle; or declare—we have been defeated. This I am resolved upon. Otherewise there is no escape for you?’ Thereat those wise kings, possessed of great strength, and ever abiding by righteousness, being frightened (at Rāvana’s intimidation), took counsel of each other. And knowing the superior strength of the foe, they said,—’We have been defeated.’ Dushkanta, O child, and Suratha, and Gādhi, and Gaya and king Pururavā—all these kings said: ’We have been defeated.’ And then Rāvana—sovereign of the Rākshasas—presented himself before Ayodhyā, governed by Anaranya, like Amarāvati ruled by Sakra. And coming to that foremost of men—king like unto Purandara himself in prowess, Rāvana said,—’ Give me battle; or say I have been defeated. This is my mandate.’ The lord of Ayodhyā, on hearing the words of that wicked-minded one, Anaranya, enraged, addressed the Rākshasa-chief, saying,—’O king of Rākshasas, I will give thee combat, stay thou. At once prepare for fight, and I also shall go and prepare myself.’ And when he had heard everything (regarding Rāvana), the forces of that foremost of kings that had been intended for conquering (Rāvana), sallied forth ready for bringing about the destruction of the Raksha,—ten thousand elephants, a niyuta horse, and many thousands of cars and infantry, O best of men; and, that host consisting of infantry and cars, marched for encounter, covering up the earth. And then, O thou proficient in fight, there took place a mighty and wonderful encounter between king Anaranya and that lord of Rākshasas. And that host of the king encountering the forces of Rāvana, were extinguished like unto clarified butter thrown into the (sacrificial) fire. And having fought valorously for a long time, the remnant of the royal forces, suddenly coming in contact with the flaming Rākshasa ranks, were destroyed like unto swarms of locusts entering into fire. And he saw the mighty army of that powerful monarch destroyed by the (adversary), like unto a hundred streams absorbed by an approaching ocean. And then himself drawing his bow resembling the bow itself of Sakra, that foremost of sovereigns, beside himself with wrath, approached Rāvana. And brought down by Anaranya, his (Rāvana’s) councillors—Māricha, Suka, and Sārana with Prahasta,—took to their heels like unto dear. And then that son of the Ikshwāku race discharged eight hundred arrows at Rāvana’s head. And like unto showers pouring down on the top of a mountain, his shafts did not inflict any wound (on Rāvana). And then the king, smitten on the head with a slap by the enraged king of Rākshasas, dropped down from his car. And the king, deprived of his senses, fell down on the earth, with his body trembling all over; as falls in a forest a sāla scathed with heaven’s fire. And thereat the Raksha, laughing, spoke unto that Ikshwāku, lord of the earth,—’What is this that thou hast gathered as the fruit of thy encounter with me. O king, there is none in this triune sphere that can combat with me. Having hitherto been sunk in lunacy thou hast not heard of my strength.’ As he was speaking thus, the king, whose sounds were fast running out said: ’What can I do in this matter. Verily time is incapable of being controlled. I have been overcome by Time; thou art merely an instrument. What can I do now, when I am going to lose my life? I never turned away from fight; I have been slain fighting. But, O Rākshasa, I shall tell thee something in consequence of the disgrace that the Ikshwāku race has met with (to-day). If I have practised charity, if I have offered oblations into fire, if I have carried on pious penances, if I have governed my people well, then be my words verified! There shall spring in the line of the high-souled Ikshwāku, one named Rāma—son unto Daçaratha, who shall deprive thee of thy life.’ As he uttered this imprecation, the celestial kettle-drums sounded like the roaring of clouds; and blossoms showered down from the sky. And then that best of kings went to heaven; and when that king had gone to the celestial regions, the Rākshasa (also) went away.”
“As the lord of Rākshasas was ranging the earth frightening everyone, Nārada—foremost of ascetics, came to that wood mounted on a cloud. And thereupon saluting him, the night-ranger Ten-necked one—enquired after his welfare as well as the occasion of his visit. And that Devarshi—the exceedingly energetic Nārada of immeasurable splendour, seated on the back of the cloud, addressed Rāvana, who was stationed in Pushpaka, saying,—’O lord of Rākshasas, O placid one, O son of Viçravā, stay. I am well pleased with thy prowess and fame. And even as Vishnu had pleased me by destroying the Daityas, thou pleased me by harassing the Gandharvas and serpents. I will tell thee something. If thou wouldst hear what I have to say then, O child, listen heedfully as I unfold it. Why, my child, dost thou slay these;⁵⁰ thou art incapable of being slain by even the celestials. All these (men) are subject to death, they are verily slain. The world of man is unworthy of being afflicted by thee who art incapable of being destroyed by Deities, Dānavas, Daityas, Yakshas, Gandharvas and Rakshas. Who should slay creatures, who are ever stupid in respect of their welfare, environed by mighty dangers, and encompassed by decrepitude and hundreds o£ ailments? What sensible person can set his heart on slaying human beings who are everywhere beset with a perrennial stream of evils. Do not thou enfeeble those beings who are already enfeebled and smitten by Divinity with hunger, thirst, old age etc. and who are overwhelmed with sorrow, and grief. O mighty-armed one, O lord of Rākshasas, behold man, albeit having their sense stupified, engaged in the pursuit of various interests, and themselves not understanding their own ways;⁵¹ some pass their time merrily with dancing and playing on musical instruments while others weep distressfully with tears streaming from their eyes down their cheeks. And down fallen on account of their attachment for their mothers and fathers and sons, and of their desires touching their wives and friends they set small store by labours having the hereafter as their object. What then is the use of afflicting a race that is brought down ever by its own infatuation. O placid one, this world is verily conquered by thee. These for certain will have to repair to the abode of Yama. Therefore, O Paulastya, O captor of hostile capitals, do thou put down Yama. On him being conquered, all will doubtless be conquered by thee.’ Thus addressed Lankā’s lord, flaming in native energy, addressed Nārada, laughing and saluting him, ’O thou that delightest in the sport of gods and Gandharvas, and that takest pleasure in warfare, I am ready to go to the nethermost regions for the purpose of conquest. And conquering the three worlds, and bringing under subjection serpents and celestials I shall for ambrosia churn the nether regions.’ Then the reverend sage Nārada spoke Unto the Ten-necked one,—’Who save thee can forsooth go on that journey? Verily, O irrepressible one, O destroyer of foes, the way leading to the city of the lord of the dead is difficult of access.’ Thereat laughing, the Ten-faced one said to the saint resembling a mass of white clouds, ’This is done. Therefore,⁵² O great Brahman, intent upon slaying the Vaivaçwata’s son, I will go by this way which leadeth to the king—the offspring of the sun. And, O master, from wrath I have vowed that I will, eager for encounter, O reverend one, conquer the four Lokapālas. Then here go I to the city of the lord of the Pitris; and I am determined to compass the death of him that visiteth creatures with smart.’ Having delivered himself thus and saluted the sage, he, entering the southern way with his councillors, proceeded along. And the exceedingly energetic Nārada—best of Brahmans—resembling a smokeless fire, remaining rapt for a while, began to reflect;—’How can (Rāvana) conquer Time who, when its life waneth, righteously visiteth with affliction the time, sphere with Indra, fraught with mobile and immobile. How can this lord of Rākshasas, of himself, go to him who, resembling another fire, beareth to the gifts and acts (of persons),—that high-souled one of whom attaining consciousness, people put forth their activity; and afflicted with the fear of whom these three worlds fall away? How can (Rāvana) subdue him who ordaineth things both great and small, who meteth rewards and punishments for good and bad acts, and who himself hath conquered the three worlds? Resorting⁵³ to what other means shall Rāvana secure (victory)? I am curious about it: To Yama’s abode shall I go for witnessing the encounter between Yama and the Rākshasa.”
⁵⁰ i.e. human beings.
⁵¹ Gati—according to the commentator, means the time of employment and suffering.—I think the ordinary meaning answers, and give it accordingly.-T.
⁵² i.e. As thou hast commanded me.
⁵³ Explains the commentator: “Time hath every thing under its control. Like the all-enclosing space, time pervades all that is. This being so, resorting what transcending Time, shall Rāvana obtain victory over it.”
“Having reflected thus, that foremost of Vipras endowed with fleet vigor, bent his steps towards the abode of Yama, for the purpose of relating to him all that had taken place. And there (he) saw that god—Yama—sitting in front of fire and offering into it the good and evil fruits of their actions.⁵⁴
“And seeing the Maharshi Nārada arrive there, Yama offering him arghya according to the ordinance, addressed him saying, when he was seated at his ease: ’O Devarshi, is it well with thee? And doth virtue deteriorate.’⁵⁵ And, why, O thou honored of deities, and Gandharvas, dost thou come?’ Thereat the reverend sage, Nārada, said; Hearken. I shall tell (thee); and (after hearing me out) do thou what is fit. O king of the Pitris, here cometh the night-ranger named ten-necked, for bringing thee under his sway—thee who art incapable of being conquered. And, O master, for this reason it is that I have come hither hastily,—doubtful what shall befall thee who hast the rod for thy weapon. In the meanwhile they saw the Raksha’s car approach from afar, flaming and like unto the ray-furnished (one) risen. And dispelling the gloom of that region with the effulgence of Pushpaka, that exceedingly powerful (Rākshasa) came forward. And the mighty-armed ten-necked one all around saw creatures reaping the consequences of their fair and foul acts. And there he saw Yama’s soldiery along with Yama’s followers, fierce-forms, grim-visaged and terrific. And he saw corporeal beings undergoing torments and pain, and emitting loud cries and sharp shrieks; preyed on by worms and fell dogs: and uttering words capable of striking pain and terror into the heart (of the hearer): and people swimming in the Vaitaraini profusely running blood; and momentarily burning with hot sands; unrighteous wights pierced in a wood of asipatra, (plunged) in Raurava, in the river of borate of soda; and (cut) with razor-edges; asking for drinks; and afflicted with hunger and thirst; converted into corpses, lean, woe-begone, and pallid with hair flowing loosely; having dust and filth (on their bodies), and running about distressfully with dry forms;—on the way saw Rāvana by hundreds and by thousands. And Rāvana also saw some in front of houses engaged in merry-making with songs and strains of instruments,—as the fruit of their pious acts; and (saw) the giver of kine regailing themselves with milk; the dispenser of rice, feeding on the same, the bestower of abodes, enjoying mansions, as the fruit of their several acts; and persons living with damsels decked with gold and gems and jewels; and other pious folks, flaming in their native energy, all these saw Rāvana lord of Rākshasas. And by his might that mighty one delivered those that were being tormented by their wicked acts. And on being liberated by that Raksha—the ten-necked one, those creatures in a moment began to enjoy their release, that had come to them without thought or suspense. And on the dead being delivered by the magnanimous Rākshasa, the guards of the dead, getting enraged, rushed at the Rākshasa sovereign. And there arose a mighty tumult from all sides; from the heroic warriors of the king of righteousness rushing (all around.) And those heroes by hundreds and by thousands assailed (Pushpaka) with prāças, and bludgeons, and darts and maces, and spears and tomaras. And swiftly swarming like bees, they began to break the seats, blocks, daises and gateways (of the car.) And in that conflict Pushpaka presided over by divine energy, incapable of being destroyed by virtue of Brahmā power, being broken, resumed its former shape. Countless were the soldiers of that high-souled one consisting hundreds and thousands of heroic warriors, (ever) forward for fight. And according to the measure of their might his (Rāvana’s) councillors—great heroes all, as well as the ten-faced one himself with might and main, fought with trees and crags and hundreds of blocks of buildings. And those councillors of the lord of Rākshasas, assailed with every kind of weapons, with their persons bathed in blood, fought fiercely. And O large-armed one the exalted councillors of Yama and Rāvana sore assailed each other with arms. And leaving the councillors alone the highly powerful warriors of Yama rushed against Daçānana⁵⁶ with a shower of spears. And then pierced through and through by those weapons, with his person covered with blood, the Rākshasa king appeared like a flowering Kinçuka in Pushpaka.⁵⁷ And thereat that powerful one, by virtue of his mastery over weapons, began to hurl darts and maces, prāças and spears and tomaras and crags and trees. And that terrific shower of trees, rocks and arms, alighted on the army of Yama (fighting) on the earth. And snapping those weapons and resisting (those vollies of) arms, they smote at the Rākshasa fighting alone by hundreds and thousands. And encompassing him even as clouds encompass a mountain, they rendered (Rāvana) inert by means of Bhindipālas and darts. And with his mail torn open, his anger raging fiercely, and covered with blood streaming over his person, he, forsaking his car, stood upon the ground. And then furnished with his bow and holding his shafts, (Rāvana) regaining his senses in a short time, increased in energy and stood in the field like the finisher. And now fixing the divine Pāçupata on his bow, and saying unto them, ’Slay! Slay!’ he drew that bow. And enraged, (Rāvana) resembling Rudra himself, in fight drawing his bow to his car, discharged that shaft even as Sankara had discharged at Tripura. And the appearance of the shaft was like an extinguishing fire in summer with smoke with flames, burning up a forest. And garlanded with glory that shaft followed by ghosts,⁵⁸ in that encounter; rushed on, burning to ashes the loose bushes and trees lying in its way. And burnt up by its energy, the most of Vaivaswata fell down in the field like unto banners of Mahendra. And thereat the Rākshasa of terrific prowess along with his councillors began to set up tremendous shouts; as if making the earth tremble.”
⁵⁴ Ordaining happiness and misery to the lives of people according to their acts.—T.
⁵⁵ The original has: “Doth not virtue wane.” This in English would imply the very reverse what Nārada intends to say. He says: “Doth religion deteriorate?”—i.e. “I hope, religion doth not deteriorate.” This is an idiom and natural usage accounts for it, although that usage must in the nature of things be based on a subtle ground of reason.—T.
⁵⁷ This simile is peculiarly appropriate and beautiful. Pushpaka, the name of Rāvana’s car, means composed of flowers; and this signification shining askance, as it were, over the direct sense of the sentence, heightens the delight the reader feels on imagining the principal figure. ’Rāvana seated in Pushpaka, covered with blood, looked like a blossoming Kinsuka.’—T.
⁵⁸ The instrument being Siva’s, it naturally was followed by ghosts, as his attendants.—T.
“Hearing his mighty shouts, that lord Vaivaswata knew that his adversary had gained the day and that his own host had been destroyed. And knowing that his forces had been slain, he, with his eyes crimsoned with passion hastily spoke unto his charioteer, ’Bring thou my car.’ And thereat the charioteer brought the noble and mighty car and stood (there) and then that exceeding energetic one mounted the car. And in front (of his car) stood death, equipped with praças and maces in his hands, who makes nothing of this entire triune world; incapable of deterioration. And beside (him) was the rod of Time in its native from—the divine instrument of Yama like unto a flaming fire on account of its own energy. And then on beholding Time, infuriated, tending to strike terror into all creatures, was agitated the triune universe, and trembling over took the denizens of heaven. And the charioteer urged on the steeds possessed of graceful splendour; and arrived where the lord of Rākshasas was posted. And in a moment those horses like unto thought (in celerity,) and resembling the steeds themselves of Hari, took Yama where the warfare had already begun. And seeing the frightful car in that aspect with Death present in it, the ministers of the Rākshasa monarch at once took to their heels. And in consequence of their being comparatively inferior in point of strength they were deprived of their senses, and afflicted with fear; and saying, ’Here we are not equal to fighting’ they went their way. But seeing that car capable of striking terror into folks, the Ten-necked did not experience any agitation, nor did fear enter his heart. And approaching Rāvana, Yama, enraged, discharged spears and tomaras, and began to pierce Rāvana’s marrow. But Rāvana, without at all feeling any smart, began to shower arrows on Vaivaswata’s vehicle, resembling a downpour caused by clouds. And again at his spacious breast, that Rākshasa who had undergone slender injury, could not resist, (Yama’s arms) with hundreds of mighty darts hurled. And in this way that destroyer of foes—Yama fought for seven nights with various arms; until at length his enemy was driven back and deprived of his senses. And then, O hero, there took place mighty onset between Yama and the Rākshasa both eager for victory and both never tiring of fight. And celestials and Gandharvas and Siddhas, and the supreme saints, placing Prajapati at their head, presented themselves at the fight. And the encounter that then took place between that foremost of of Rākshasas and the lord of the Dead was like the universal upheaval. And stretching his bow resembling in spleandour the thunderbolt of Indra, he discharged arrows covering up the sky. And he smote Death with four, the (Yama’s) charioteer with seven, and swiftly struck Yama in the marrow with hundreds and thousands of shafts. And then from forth Yama’s mouth there issued darted flames with his teeth mixed with smoke, the fire of his fury. And witnessing this wonder in the presence of the deities and Dānavas, both Death and Time were fired with wrath and were filled with delight. And the Death, growing still more wroth, addressed Vaivaswata saying;—’Let me go. I shall slay this sinful Rākshasa. Even this is my native might this Rākshasa will be no more. Hiranyakaçipu, the graceful Nemuchi, and Shamvara, Nishandi and Dhumaketu and Virochana’s offspring Vāli, and the Daitya Shamvu that mighty monarchs, Vritra and Bāna; and Kājarshis versed in all branches of learnings and Grandharvas, and mighty serpents, and sages, and Pannagas and Yakshas, and swarms of Apsarās and the Earth herself containing vasty oceans and mountains and rivers and trees, at the unrolling of a Yuga—all these, O mighty monarch have I brought to dissolution. All these and many more endowed with strength and incapable of being overcome, were at the very sight of me compassed with peril,—and what is this ranger of the night? Let me go. O thou cognizant of righteousness,—I shall slay this one. There is none that, albeit strong, can survive after having been seen by me. Verily this is not mine strength,—this might pertaineth to me by nature. O Time, if seen by me, he won’t live for a moment.’ Hearing these words of his, the puissant king of righteousness spake there unto death,—’Do thou stay. I myself shall slay him.’ Then with his eyes reddened that lord, Vaivaswata, wielded with his hand the infallible dart of time; while by him lay the redoubtable noose of time and the mace in its native shape resembling fire and the thunderbolt. He, who by his very sight draweth away the lives of creatures,—what should be said of its touching and being hurled at people? And touched by that powerful one, that mighty weapon, engist with flames, attained access of energy, and seemed to consume the Rākshasa. And in the field of battle, every one afflicted with fear, ran away from it. And beholding Yama with his rod uplifted, the celestials were agitated. And on Yama being desirous of slaying Rāvana, the great-father manifesting himself spake unto Yama: ’O Vaivaswata, O mighty-armed one, O thou of immeasurable prowess, this certainly must not be; Thou shouldst not with thy rod slay the night-ranger; for, O foremost of celestials, I have conferred a boon on him; and thou shouldst not render false the words that I have uttered. Verily he, that, whether a god or a human being, shall falsify my words, shall render this triune universe false. There is no doubt about this. If this terrific weapon, capable of affrighting the three spheres, be discharged alike at friends and foes, it will destroy creatures. This rod of time, of immeasurable might and incapable of being resisted by creatures, was created by me as having the power of compassing the death of all beings. Therefore, O mild one, thou forsooth shouldst not bring it down on Rāvana’s head. If this alights on any one, he doth not live for a moment, Whether on this weapon allighting, the ten-necked does not die, or if he does do either way falsehood is the consequence, therefore do thou keep thy uplifted weapon off Lankā’s lord. If thou have any care for these worlds do thou establish my truth.’ Thus addressed, Yama then answered, ’I restrain this rod. Thou art our Lord. But as I can not slay this one who hath obtained a boon, what then shall I do now in the field? Therefore shall I disappear from the sight of this Raksha.’ Having said this, even there did he vanish with his car and horses. And having vanquished him and distinguished his name, he again ascended his Pushpaka and went out of the abode of Yama. And with a delighted heart Vaivaswata along with the deities headed by Brahmā—as well as that mighty ascetic-Nārada, went to the celestial regions.”
“Having vanquished Yama, the foremost of celestials, Rāvana delighting in warfare, saw his adherents. And seeing Rāvana, with his person bathed in blood, bettered by the weapon discharged at him, they were seized with surprise. And hailing him with victory, the councillors headed by Māricha, having been encouraged by Rāvana, ascended Pushpaka. And then the Raksha entered the region of waters—the abode of Daityas and serpents, well protected by Varuna. And arriving at Bhogavati—the city governed by Vāsuki, he brought the serpents under subjection and then, delighted, bent his course to the palace—Manimayi. There dwelt the Nivatakavachas, who had obtained boons. Those Daityas were possessed of prowess and endowed with strength,—carrying various weapons, breathing high spirits and invincible in battle. And the Dānavas and Rākshasas growing enraged fell to raving each other with darts and tridents, Kuliças and axes and pattiças. And as they fought one entire year passed away and neither side obtained victory or was worsted. And then that way of the triune sphere, that God, the undeteriorating Great-father, swiftly presented himself on the scene mounted on his excellent car. And making the Nivatakavachas desist from battle the ancient great-father spake in clear words—’Even the celestials and the Asuras are not able to vanquish this Rāvana in battle; nor can the Dānavas backed by the gods can destroy you. Do you therefore turn your minds to making friends with the Rākshasa. All interests are forsooth the common possession of friends.’ Thereat Rāvana made friends with the Nivatakavachas in the presence of Fire; and then rejoiced greatly. And duly honored (by them) Daçānana passed there a year, without any feeling of that place being different from his own home: and spent his time agreeably. And having learnt there an hundred sorts of illusion, he directed his course to Rasatala, searching for the city of the lord of waters. And then going to the city named Açma ruled by the Kalakayas, (Rāvana) slew the Kalakayas endowed with terrific strength; and then with his sword cut off his brother-in-law,⁵⁹ the husband of Surpanakhā, the mighty Vidyutjibha possessed of terrific strength; as that Rākshasa in the encounter was licking (the limbs of Rāvana’s followers).⁶⁰ Having vanquished him, he, in a moment, destroyed four hundred Daityas. And then the lord of Rākshasas saw the grand abode of Varuna resembling a mass of white clouds, and effulgent like unto Kailāça itself;—and also saw the milk-conserving Surabhi stationed there; from the streams of whose milk was produced the ocean named Kshiroda.⁶¹ And there Rāvana saw the mother of kine and the foremost of bulls; from whom springeth that maker of night the mild-beaming-moon; taking refuge under whom subsist the prime saints and those living on froth, the froth⁶² (of milk); and wherefrom sprang ambrosia as well as the Swadha of Swādhā-subsisting ones,⁶³ even her that goeth with human beings under the name of Surabhi. Having gone round this wonderful (cow), Rāvana entered the exceedingly dreadful abode of Varuna guarded by various kinds of forces. And then he beheld Varuna’s splendid mansion, streaming with hundreds of torrents, resembling a mass of autumnal clouds, and always wearing a delightful aspect. And killing the generals of the forces, after having been resisted by them, he addressed the warriors, saying,—’Do you speedily acquaint your king with this. Rāvana hath come here seeking battle. Do thou give him fight, or say with joined hands, “I have been defeated by thee,” and then thou hast no fear whatever.’ In the meantime the sons and grandsons of the high-souled Varuna, as well as those of Pushkara issued forth. And they, endowed with every virtue, accompanied by their own forces, yoked cars furnished with the effulgence of the rising Sun, and coursing at the desire of their riders. And then there took place a mighty encounter capable of making people’s down stand on end, between the sons of the lord of waters, and those of the intelligent Rāvana. And in a short while that entire host of Varuna was brought down by the highly powerful councillor of that Rākshasa Daçagriva. And seeing their own forces brought to straits in the conflict and driven back in the fight with networks of shafts, and down on the ground and seeing Rāvana in Pushpaka, Varuna’s sons swiftly shot into the welkin with their fleet-footing cars. And after they had attained a station of equal vantage (with Rāvana) in the sky,⁶⁴ great was the encounter that then took place in the sky, resembling the encounter of the deities and the Dānavas. And turning away Rāvana in the conflict by means of shafts resembling fire, they, exceedingly rejoiced, emitted various shouts. And then Mahodara, enraged on seeing the king sore pressed, casting off fear, and wrought up with rage, began to go around, eager for fight. And smit with his mace by Mahodara, Varuna’s sons coursing at will and resembling the wind (in velocity), dropped down to the ground. And having slain those warriors and also those horses of Varuna’s sons (Mahodara) seeing them lying down deprived of their cars swiftly sent up a tremendous cheer. And destroyed by Mahodara, their cars and horses together with their foremost charioteers, lay low on the earth. And then forsaking their cars, the sons of the high-souled Varuna, stationed in the sky, did not experience any pain⁶⁵ by virtue of their native power. And having stretched their bows they pierced Mahodara, and then, all together they greatly angered prevented Rāvana. As the clouds, with a thousand torrents cleave a mountain, so they, with dreadful shafts, resembling thunderbolts and discharged off the bows, pierced him. Thereupon the Ten-necked (demon), excited with wrath like the fire of dessolution, pierced them to their very vitals with highly dreadful arrows. And stationed above, he showered on them variegated maces, Vallās,⁶⁶ Pātticas, saktis and huge Sataghnis.
“Thereupon with the arrows the infantry were greatly exhausted like unto young elephants six years old, fallen in mire. Beholding Varuna’s sons thus worn out and overwhelmed the highly powerful Rāvana roared in delight like unto clouds. Thereupon emitting loud cries the Rākshaha, like unto a cloud, with a downpour of diverse shafts, destroyed the offspring of Varuna. Thereupon they were all defeated and fell dead on the ground and all their followers fled away from the field of battle to their homes. Rāvana spoke unto them.—’Do ye communicate this to Varuna.’ Whereto his minister Prahasta replied unto Rāvana saying—’O great king—Varuna’s sons are slain and the lord of waters, whom thou art inviting for battle, hath gone to the region of Brahmā, to hear songs. While the king is away, what is the use of taking trouble, O hero? And all these heroic sons (of Varuna) have been vanquished.’ Hearing these words and spreading his own name the lord of Rākshasas expressing sign of joy, issued out of Varuna’s abode. And returning by the way by which he had come, the Raksha, stationed in the welkin, proceeded towards Lankā.”
⁵⁹ Cyalā means a wife’s brother, Vidyujjibha was however, the husband of his sister.—T.
⁶⁰ This explanation is the commentator’s.
⁶¹ Lit. the sea of milk.
⁶² A typical instance of the lengths which the self-denial of the Hindu sages went is furnished by the case of a certain class of ascetics, who, abstaining from every other kind of food, lived solely on the froth of milk, falling off from the udders after the calf had drunk it. This froth-drinking, in preference to drinking the milk itself was dictated by a motive of charity—viz, not to deprive the calf of her legitimate fare.—T
⁶³ The ancestral manes.
⁶⁴ Ere this Rāvana was fighting on Pushpaka, while Varuna’s sous fought on the earth.
⁶⁵ By virtue of their immortal origin.
⁶⁶ An arrow with a crescent-shaped head.
“And again journeyed in the city of Açma (the followers of Rāvana) dreadful in fight. There the Ten-necked demon beheld a highly picturesque house—adorned with networks of pearls, having gateways crested with Vaidurjas, golden pillars and abounding in pavements. And the stairs, of that picturesque house resembling the abode of Mahendra, covered with girdles, were made of crystal. Beholding that excellent boost the highly powerful Rāvana thought within himself—’Whose is this beautiful house, resembling the summit of Meru? Go O Prahasta, and learn quickly whose house is this.’ Thus ordered, Prahasta entered that excellent house—and finding none in one appartment he entered another and thus entering seven apartments he at last saw a flame of fire. There was a man in that flame, who, when seen, laughed aloud. Hearing that dreadful laughter Prahasta’s down stood on their end. There was another man in that flame, as if in a swoon, engarlanded with golden lotuses, incapable of being looked at, like the sun, and resembling the Yama’s self. Beholding that the night-ranger speedily issued out of the house and communicated it unto Rāvana. Thereupon, O Rāma, having descended from Pushpaka, the Ten-necked demon, black as collyrium, entered that house. (Immediately) obstructing the door there stood a huge-bodied man, dreadful like Siva—his tongue was all flame, his eyes were red, rows of teeth beautiful, lips like Bimba, his form was handsome, nose dreadful, neck like a shell marked with three lines, jaws were spacious, beards thick, bone fleshy, teeth huge and his appearance was all dreadful. And taking up an iron mace he stood at the gate. Beholding him, Daçānana’s hairs stood on their end—his heart and body trembled. And seeing these bad omens, O Rāma, he began to think within himself. He thus meditating that man said—’What art thou thinking, O Rākshasa? Tell me all in confidence. I shall confer upon thee the hospitality of fighting, O hero, O night-ranger.’ Having said this he again spoke unto Rāvana, saying—’Dost thou wish to enter into conflict with Bali, or what else is thy intention?’ Rāvana was so overwhelmed that his hairs stood on their end; but resorting to calmness he said—’O thou foremost of those skilled in speech, who residest in this house? I shall fight with him; speak out what thou wishest.’ He again said (to Rāvana)—’The lord of Dānavas lives here—he is highly generous, heroic, and hath truth for his prowess. He is gifted with many qualities, resplendent like unto Yama with mace in his hand or the newly risen sun and incapable of being defeated in conflict, impetuous, invincible, victorious, powerful, a veritable ocean of accomplishments, sweet-speeched, supporter of the dependants, fond of preceptor and Brahmans, always waiting for opportune hours, gifted with high powers, truthful, of a handsome person, skilful, gifted with all accomplishments, heroic and engaged in the study of the Vedas. He sometimes walks on foot and moves about like the wind—he shines like fire and spreads heat like the sun. He travels with the gods, spirits, serpents and birds. He does not know fear; dost thou wish to fight with him? If thou dost wish to fight with Bali, O lord of Rākshasas, O thou gifted with great energy, do thou speedily enter (this house) and engage in the encounter.’ Being thus addressed the Ten-necked demon entered where Bali was. Beholding the lord of Lankā, the foremost of Dānavas, resembling the flaming fire, and hard to look at like the sun, laughed. And taking that Rākshasa by the hand and placing him on his lap he said. ’O Ten-necked lord of Rākshasas, O thou having long arms, what desire of thine may I satisfy? Do thou tell me what for thou hast come hither.’ Being thus addressed by Bali Rāvana said—’I have heard, O illustrious sir, that formerly thou wast bound by Vishnu. Forsooth I am capable of releasing thee from the bonds.’ Hearing that Bali laughed and said—’Hear, I shall relate to thee what thou hast asked, O Rāvana. The red-hued man, who stands always at the door—by him formerly all the leading Dānavas and other powerful lords were brought into subjection—by him I was also bound. He is invincible like unto death; who is there on this earth that can deceive him? He, who stands at the door, is the destroyer of all beings, creator and preserver and the lord of the three worlds. Thou dost not know him nor do I. He is identical with past, future and present and is the lord. He is Kali and he is Time—the destroyer of all beings. He is the destroyer and the creator of the three worlds—and he slays all beings mobile and immobile. And that lord of all gods again creates the universe without beginning or end. O night-ranger, he governs and preserves all sacrifices, gifts and oblations to fire. Forsooth he is the creator and the preserver of the universe—there is none so wonderful in the three worlds. O son of Pulasta, He hath been guiding the former Dānavas, myself, yourself like so many beasts bound with ropes. Vitra, Danu, Suka, Sambhu, Nishumbha, Sumbha, Kālanemi, Prahlada and others, Kuta, Vairochana, Mridu, Jamala, Arjuna, Kansa, Kaitabha, and Madhu used to impart heat like the sun, appear resplendant like the rays, move about like air and pour showers like Indra. All of them celebrated many a sacrifice and were engaged in austere penances. All of them were high-souled and considered the practice of Yoga as a great virtue. Having got by an immense accession of wealth they enjoyed many pleasures, made many gifts, celebrated many sacrifices, studied (many lores) and governed their subjects. They were all protectors of their own kith and kin and slayers of enemies; and in battle, there was none equal to them in the three worlds. They were all heroic, of a high pedigree, versed in all sacred writings, proficient in all branches of learning and indomitable in warfare. Having defeated thousands of celestials in conflict, the high-souled ones conquered the regions. They were always engaged in those works which were not liked by the celestials and used to maintain their own men. They were all inflated with pride and haughtiness and effulgent like the newly-risen sun. The glorious Hari, the lord Vishnu, knoweth only how to bring about their destruction who perpetually assail the celestials. He creates all these and He, bringing about their destruction, existeth in Himself at the time of dissolution. These highly powerful and high-souled Danava chiefs, assuming shapes at will, have been destroyed by the glorious God. Besides, all these heroes, who have been heard of as being irrepressible and invincible in warfare, have been discomfitted by the wondrous power of Kritānta.’ Having said this the lord of Dānavas again spoke unto the lord of Rākshsas—’O hero, O thou gifted with great strength, take that flaming discus which thou beholdest and come to my side. I shall then relate to thee the means of eternal liberation. Do what I have told thee, O thou having long arms. Delay not Rāvana.’ Hearing this the highly powerful Raksha proceeded, laughing, O descendant of Raghu, where that celestial kundala was. Rāvana, proud of his prowess, easily took it up but could not move it by any means. And being ashamed that highly powerful one again attempted. As soon as it was uplifted the Rākshasa dropped down on ground, bathed in a pool of blood, like unto an uprooted Sāla tree. In the meantime there arose a sound from Pushpaka, and the councillors of that lord of Rākshasas cried aloud. Regaining his sense that Raksha rose up in a moment and lowered his head in shame. Bali said to him—’Do thou come, O foremost of Rākshasas and hear my words. O hero, the kundala, crested with jewels, which thou didst assay to take up, is an ornament for the ear of one of my forefathers. This fell here on the ground, O thou gifted with great strength; another kundala was thrown on the summit of the mountain. Besides these kundalas his crown was also cast off on the ground before the altar during the encounter. Formerly none bore enmity towards my ancestor Hiranya Kasipu—Time death, or illness. He had no death during the day, night, evening or morning. O foremost of Rākshasas, he did not experience death from any weapon whatsoever. He created a dreadful enmity with Prahlada. This conflict having taken place with the high-souled and heroic Prahlada there rose up a dreadful figure of man-lion—a terror unto all, O foremost of Rākshasas. And that terrible figure casting his looks about, all the worlds were over-whelmed.
“’Thereupon taking him up with his arms he destroyed him with his nails. The person, who is standing at the door, is this supreme Yasudeva, void of passion. I shall now relate to thee the words of that supreme God; do thou hear, if thy heart is filled with spiritual thoughts. The person, who is standing at the door, hath brought into subjection, in thousands of years, a thousand of Indras, an Ayuta of gods and hundreds of great Rishis.’ Hearing these words Rāvana said—’(I have seen) Kritānta, the lord of spirits with Death himself, with hairs standing erect. Serpents and scorpions are his hairs—his tongue is hard as the lightning, his teeth are dreadful—his eyes are red and he is gifted with great velocity and a terror unto all beings. He is incapable of being looked at like unto the sun, unconquerable in battle and is the chastiser of the sinners. He even was defeated by me in conflict. There I did not feel the least pain or fear, O lord of Dānavas. I do not know (this person)—it behoveth thee to give me an account.’
“Hearing the words of Rāvana Bali said—’He is the lord Hari—Nārāyana—the protector of the three worlds. He is Ananta,⁶⁷ Kapila,⁶⁸ Jishnu,⁶⁹ and the highly effulgent Man-lion.⁷⁰ He is Kratudhāma,⁷¹ Sudhāma,⁷² and hath the dreadful mace in his hand. He is like unto the twelve Adityas, Purana and the excellent Purusha; he is like unto the red clouds—the lord of gods and the best god. O thou having long arms, he is encircled by flames, a great devotee and fond of devotees; this lord preserveth the universe and hath created it. And he, gifted with great strength, brought about destruction in the form of Time; and this Hari, with a discus in his hand, is sacrifice and is being worshipped in sacrifices. He is at one with all gods—all beings, all worlds and all knowledge. He is all forms, the great form, Baladeva and hath long arms; he slayeth heroes, hath heroic eyes, is imperishable and the preceptor of the three worlds. All these sages, who long for final liberation, meditate upon him—he, who can know this Purusha, is not sullied with sins. By remembering him, hearing of him and worshipping him, every thing can be obtained.’ Hearing these words of Bali, the highly powerful Rāvana, having his eyes reddened with ire, issued out with uplifted weapon. Beholding him thus excited, the lord Hari, with a club in his hand, thought within himself, O Rāma, ’I shall not slay this sinner for the satisfaction of Brahmā’ and assuming his own shape disappeared. And not beholding that Purusha there, the night-ranger issued out of the abode of Varuna, shouting with joy. He went away by the way he had come.”
⁶⁷ Lit, eternal, endless. Here it is the name of Vishnu.
⁶⁸ A celebrated Muni or saint, the founder of the Sankhya system of philosophy; the son of Kardama by Devahuti and according to some an incarnanation of Vishnu.
⁶⁹ Lit—victorious, or triumphant, a name of Vishnu.
⁷⁰ Narasinha—a. name of Vishnu. When prayed for by Prahlada to appear from a pillar Vishnu came out in the shape of man-lion and slew Hiranya-Kasipu—the king of Daityas and father of Prahlada.
⁷¹ Protector of sacrifices—a name of Vishnu.
⁷² Here it is evidently one of the names of Vishnu. In Vishnu Purana, Book I, Chapter X. we find another account, Vireyas, married to Gauri, had Sudaman, a Loka pala, or ruler of the east quarter, as his son.
“Thereupon meditating for sometime the lord of Lankā went to the region of the sun and spent the night upon the picturesque summit of the mount Meru. And ascending the car Pushpaka having the velocity of the sun’s steeds, he, by various courses, went on and beheld the glorious sun, gifted with all radiance, purifying all, wearing golden Keyuras and clothes crested with jewels. His beautiful countenance was adorned with a pair of excellent Kundalas; and his person was embellished with Keyuras, Nishkas and garlands of red lotuses. His body was annointed with red sandal and was radiant with a thousand rays. And beholding that foremost of gods—the sun—that primeval deity, without end or middle, having Uchaisravas as his carrier, the witness of the world and the lord of the universe, the foremost of Rākshasas, being overwhelmed with his rays, said to Prahasta—’O minister, do thou proceed at my behest and communicate unto him my orders—”Rāvana hath arrived here for battle—do thou offer him fight.” Or say “I have been defeated.” Do thou follow one of these extremes.’ Hearing those words that Rākshasa proceeded towards the sun and beheld two gate-keepers—Pingala and Dandi by name. And communicating unto them the resolution of Rāvana he stood there silent, being over-powered with the rays of the sun. And approaching the sun, Dandi communicated unto him all this. Hearing of Rāvana’s intention from Dandi the intelligent sun—the enemy of night—wisely said to him—’Do thou proceed, O Dandi; either defeat Rāvana or tell him “I have been defeated.” Do whatever thou wishest.’ Hearing those words he approached the high-souled Rākshasa and communicated unto him what the sun had said. Hearing the words of Dandi the lord of Rākshasas trumpeted his own victory and went away.”
“Having spent the night on the picturesque summit of the mount Meru and thinking (for some time) the powerful lord of Lankā went to the region of the moon. (And he saw a person) proceeding, seated on a car, sprinkled with heavenly unguents and attended upon by Apsarās. And worn out with the satisfaction of desire he was being kissed there. Seeing such a person his curiosity was greatly excited. And beholding a Rishi there he said to him—’Welcome thou art, O celestial saint. Indeed thou hast come at a proper season. Who is this shameless wight that is going seated on a car and attended by Apsarās? Does he not perceive his object of fear?’ Being thus addressed by Rāvana, Parvata said—’O my child, O thou gifted with great intellect—Hear I shall describe to thee the truth. By him all the worlds have been conquered and Brahmā hath been propitiated And he is now proceeding to that excellent region full of bliss for obtaining final liberation. As all the worlds have been conquered by thee by virtue of thy asceticism, O lord of Rākshasas, so is he going, undoubtedly performing many pious actions and drinking Soma juice. O foremost of Rākshasas, thou art heroic, and hast truth for thy prowess. The powerful are never offended with the pious.’ Thereupon he espied an excellent, huge car, filled with all radiance and effulgence and the sound of musical instruments and singing. (And Rāvana said)—’O great Rishi, who is that person, gifted with great effulgence, who goeth surrounded by charming songsters, dancing-girls and Kinnaras?’ Hearing his words Parvata, the foremost of saints, again said—’He is heroic and a great warrior—he never returneth unsuccessful from a battle-field. Having performed many heroic feats in battle, and slain many enemies, he hath been assailed with many wounds in fighting and hath renounced his life for his master. Having destroyed many in battle, he hath at last been slain by his enemies and is perhaps now going either to the region of Indra or to some such place. This best of men is now being entertained by these well-versed in the art of singing and dancing.’
“Rāvana again said—’Who goeth there effulgent like unto the sun?’ Hearing the words of Rāvana, Parvata said—’The person, resembling the full moon and wearing diverse ornaments and cloths, whom thou beholdest, O great king, in the golden car abounding in Apasaras, distributed gold. He, gifted with great effulgence, is now going in a swift-coursing car.’ Hearing the words of Parvata, Rāvana said—’O foremost of Rishis, do thou tell me, who, of these kings going, if prayed for, may offer me the hospitality of a battle? For sooth thou art my father; do thou point out (such a man to me) O thou conversant with piety.’ Being thus addressed, Parvata again said to Rāvana—’O great king, all these kings wish for heaven not for battle. I shall point out such a man, O great one, as shall enter into conflict with thee. There is a highly powerful king—the lord of seven islands, well known by the name of Māndhāta; he shall enter into an encounter with thee.’ Hearing the words of Parvata, Rāvana again said—’Do thou tell me, O thou of great devotion, where this king resides. I shall go where lives this foremost of men.’ Hearing the words of Rāvana, the sage again said—’The son of Yuvanaswha hath conquered the world consisting of seven islands begining with the sea; Māndhāta, the foremost of kings, is just coming to meet him.’ Thereupon (Rāvana) having long arms, proud of the boon conferred upon him in the three worlds, beheld the heroic Māndhāta, the lord of Ayodhyā and the foremost of kings. The king of seven islands proceeded in a golden and well-painted car resplendant like that of Mahendra, shining in his beauty and sprinkled with celestial unguents. The Ten-necked demon said to him—’Do thou give me battle.’ Being thus addressed, he, laughing, said to the ten-necked demon—’If thy life is not dear unto thee, do thou fight with me, O Rākshasa.’ Hearing the words of Māndhāta, Rāvana said—’Rāvana did not experience any affliction from Varuna Kuvera or Yama; why should he experience fear from thee, who art a man?’ Having said this, the lord of Rākshasas as if burning in ire, ordered the Rākshasas irrepressible in battle. Thereupon the ministers of the vicious-souled Rāvana, highly enraged and well-skilled in warfare, began to make a downpour of arrows. Thereupon the highly powerful king Māndhāta, with sharpened shafts, assailed Prahasta, Suka, Sārana, Mahodara, Birupaksha, Akampana and other foremost heroes. Prahasta covered the king with his arrows—but before they had approached him, that foremost of men shattered them into pieces. Like unto fire burning down grass, the host of Rākshasas were burnt down by the king Māndhāta by means of hundreds of Bhushundis, Vallas, Vindipālās and Tomaras. As Kartikeya, the son of fire, sundered the mount Krauncha with his shafts so Māndhāta, enraged, pierced Prahasta with five Tomaras gifted with great velocity. Then hurling his mace again and again resembling that of Yama, he struck, vehemently, Rāvana’s car therewith. That club, resembling the lightning, vehemently descended (upon Rāvana’s car) and Rāvana, like Sakra’s banner, was speedily upset by that. Like unto the rising of the waters of the salt ocean on the full moon, the king Māndhāta’s joy and strength were greatly increased. Thereupon the entire Rākshasa host, emitting loud cries, stood encircling on all sides the lord of Rākshasas. Thereat speedily regaining his sense, Rāvana, a terror unto all people, the lord of Lankā, greatly assailed the person of Māndhāta. And beholding that king in a swoon, the highly powerful night-rangers were greatly delighted and emitted leonine roars. Regaining his sense in a moment the king of Ayodhyā beheld his enemy worshipped by the courtiers and night-rangers. He was instantly worked up with ire; and assuming a person resplendant like that of the sun and the moon he began to slay the Rākshasa host with a dreadful downpour of shafts. With his arrows and the noise thereof the entire Rākshasa army were overwhelmed like the agitated deep. Thereupon there arose a dreadful conflict between men and demons. And those two heroic, high-souled and foremost of men and Rākshasas seated on warriors’ seats and holding bow and daggers entered (the field). And possessed by great anger they began to assail one another with shafts—Māndhāta Rāvana and he again the king. They, being assailed by one another, were both wounded. And setting the Raudra shaft upon his bow Rāvana discharged it and Māndhāta baffled it by means of his fiery shafts. The Ten-necked demon took up the Gandharva weapon and the king Māndhāta the Brahmā-weapon striking terror unto all. Rāvana then took up the celestial Pāsupata weapon, dreadful and increasing the fright of the three worlds, obtained by him from Rudra by virtue of his rigid penances. Seeing this all animals, mobile and immobile, were stricken with terror. Thereupon trembled all the three worlds consisting of mobile and immobile beings—the celestials and all the serpents became inert. Being apprised (of this conflict) by virtue of meditation the two foremost of ascetics Pulastya and Gālava remonstrated with them in many a way and prevented the king (Māndhāta) and the foremost of Rākshasas. Thereupon that man and demon being reconciled with one another went back by the ways they had respectively come.”
“Those two brahmans having departed, Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, proceeded, at first, by the aerial way, ten thousand leagues, He then went lo the excellent upper aerial region where live perpetually ganders gifted with many accomplishments. The extent thereof is also counted by ten thousand leagues and there are stationed closely three classes of clouds⁷³ namely Agneya, Pakshaja and Brahma. He, then proceeded to the third excellent aerial region where perpetually reside the high-minded Siddhas and Charanas and the extent whereof is also ten thousand leagues. O slayer of enemies, he then speedily proceeded to the fourth aerial region where perpetually dwelt the goblins and Vinayakas, He quickly went to the fifth aerial region which also extends over ten thousand yojanas where exist Ganga, the foremost of rivers, and the elephants headed by Kumuda, who pour down waters. They sport in the waters of the Ganges and pour down her holy waters. And those waters, parched by the rays of the sun and softened by the wind, pour down holy waters and dews, O Rāghava, Thereupon that Rākshasa went to the sixth aerial region, O thou gifted with high radiance, which also extends over ten thousand yojanas and where dwells Garuda perpetually respected of his kinsmen and friends. He then went to the seventh aerial region which is ten thousand leagues above and where dwell the seven Rishis. And again going up ten thousand leagues he reached the eighth aerial region where Ganga, known as the Ganges of the sky, having strong currents and sending high roars, and upheld by air, is situated on the sun’s way. I shall now describe the region higher than that where resides the moon, and the extent whereof is counted by eighty thousand leagues. There dwells the moon encircled by stars and planets from whom proceed hundreds and thousands of rays which light up the worlds and conduce to the pleasure of all animals. Thereupon beholding the Ten-necked demon the moon as if burnt (him) down speedily with his cold fiery rays. And stricken with the fear of those rays his councillors could not stand them. Thereupon exclaiming his victory Prahasta said to Rāvana—’O king, we are destroyed by cold, so we must go away from here. The Rākshasas have been terrified by the rays of the moon; O foremost of kings, the cold rays of the moon have the natural property of fire in them.’ Hearing the words of Prahasta, Rāvana, beside himself with wrath, having uplifted his bow and twanged it, began to assail him with Narachas. Thereupon Brahmā came speedily to the region of the moon and said—’O Ten-necked one, O thou having mighty arms, O direct son of Visravas, O gentle one, do thou repair hence speedily—do not oppress the moon—(for) this highly effulgent king of twice-born ones wisheth well-being unto all. I shall communicate to thee a mystical incantation; He who recollects it at the time of death, does not come by it.’ Being thus addressed the ten-necked demon, with folded hands, said—’If thou art pleased with me O god! O lord of the worlds, O thou of great penances, if dost thou wish to communicate that incantation, do thou impart it upon me, O thou of great piety; reciting which, O great one, I may be released of the fear of the celestials. Forsooth, by thy favour, O lord of the celestials, I shall be invincible by all the Asuras, Dānavas and birds.’ Being thus accosted Brahmā said to the ten-necked demon—’O lord of Rākshasas, do thou recite it at the time of death and not every day. Taking a string of beads, thou shouldst recite this holy incantation, on which, thou, O lord of Rashasas, shalt be invincible, And if dost thou not recite it thou shalt not meet with success. Hear, I shall communicate to thee the incantation, O foremost of Rākshasas, reciting which thou shalt obtain victory in the encounter, “Salutation unto thee, god, O lord of gods, O thou worshipped of the celestials and Asuras, O thou identical with past and future, great god, O thou having red eyes—thou art a boy at thou assumest the form of an old man; thou wearest tiger skin. O god, thou art worthy of being worshipped, and the lord of the three worlds. Thou art Hara, Haritanemi, Yugantadahaka and Valadeva. Thou art Ganesha, Loka-Sambhu, Lokapala, and of huge arms; thou art great, the holder of a huge dart, having dreadful teeth, and the greatest of gods. Thou art time, the strength and hast blue neck and a large belly; thou art the destroyer of the celestials—the foremost of the ascetics and the lord of all created beings. Thou art the holder of a dart and hast the bull as thy emblem, art the leader, protector, the destroyer and the preserver; thou hast beared locks, art Mundi, Sikhandi, hast a crown, and art greatly illustrious. Thou art the lord of sprites and goblins, the soul of all, the protector of all, omniscient, the destroyer of all, the creator and the eternal preceptor. Thou art lord, carriest a kamandalu⁷⁴ in thy hand, art the holder of a Pinaka⁷⁵ and Dhurjati⁷⁶ thou art, worthy of veneration, the most excellent OM, the first chanter of Saman, the death, the element of death, Parijātra⁷⁷ and observant of penances. Thou art an ascetic, livest in a cave and carriest a Vinā,⁷⁸ Panava,⁷⁹ and quiver in thy hands; thou art immortal and art like the newly-risen sun to behold. Thou livest in a cremation ground, art the illustrious lord of Umā, and above all blemishes Thou didst uproot-the eyes of Vagadeva and teeth of Pushā. Thou art the destroyer of fever, holdest mace in thy hand and art (the very) dissolution and time. Thou hast got a fire-brand in thy mouth, hast fire as thy emblem, art highly resplendent and lord of men. Thou art mad, makest people tremble, art the fourth, and most respected of men; thou art a dwarf, Vāmanadeva and the dwarf who circumambulates the east. Thou art a beggar, wearest the semblance of a beggar and art by nature crooked; thou didst assail Indra’s hands and the Vasus. Thou art the season, the maker of seasons, time, honey and hast honeyed eyes. Thou art a tree bearing fruits and blossoms, hast arrows as thy seat and worshipped by people of all conditions perpetually. Thou art the protector and the creator of the universe, the Purusha, eternal and certain; the lord of all religions, Virupāksha, the three qualities and the protector of all beings. Thou art three-eyed, assumest many forms and brilliant as the Ajuta suns; thou art the lord of all celestials, the foremost deity and wearest bearded locks having the impressions of the moon; thou art connected with Brahman, worthy of being resorted to and identical with all created beings. Thou blowest all bugles, severest all ties; thou dost charm and bind (all) and dost always bring about death. Thou hast flowery teeth, art a division, the foremost and the destroyer of all; thou hast dreadful beards, holdest a bow, art fearful and gifted with dreadful might.” These eight hundred holy and excellent names have been uttered by me which remove all iniquities, are holy and afford shelter to those who seek for it; if do thou recite them, O ten-necked one, thou shalt be able to destroy thy enemies.’”
⁷³ The three classes are (1) Agnija or produced from fire (2) Pakshaja or produced in a fortnight (3) Brāhma or produced from Brahma.
⁷⁴ An earthen or wooden water pot used by the ascetic and religious student.
⁷⁵ The bow of Siva, A trident or three-pronged spear.
⁷⁶ A name of Siva from dhur, a burden and Jati, a collection; who collects or bears the burthen of the three worlds.
⁷⁷ The name of a mountain, apparently the central or western portion of the Vindhya chain.
⁷⁸ A kind of stringed musical instrument.
⁷⁹ A sort of musical instrument; a small drum or tabor.
“Having conferred this boon upon Rāvana the father, sprung from lotus, speedily returned to the region of Brahman. And having obtained the boon Rāvana too came back. After a few days that Rākshasa Rāvana, the dread of all people, arrived at the banks of the western Ocean with his councillors. And on the island a person was seen bright as fire under the name of Mahajambunada, seated there alone. He had a dreadful figure and was like unto the fire at dissolution. And beholding that highly powerful person amongst men like unto the chief of gods amongst the celestials, the moon amongst the planets, the lion amongst the Sarabhas,⁸⁰ the Airavata amongst the elephants, the Meru amongst the mountains, and the Pārijāta amongst the trees, the ten-necked demon said—’Give me battle.’ Thereat his eyes became agitated like unto planets and from the clashing of his teeth there arose a sound like the clapping of thunder-bolts. And the highly powerful Dasānana too roared with his councillors. And with darts, Saktis, Rishtis and Patticas he again and again assailed that highly effulgent person, having long arms, a dreadful appearance, huge teeth, a grim figure, a conch-like neck, spacious breast, a belly like that of a frog, a countenance like that of a lion, legs like the mount Kailāsa, red palms, red hands, emitting dreadful roars, huge-bodied, gifted with the velocity of mind and air, dreadful, carrying quiver, bells and chowries, encircled by a burning flame and emitting a sweet note as a net-work of Kinkini does, having a garland of golden lotuses hung round his neck, appearing graceful like unto the Rig-Veda, be-decked with lotus garlands, resembling the Anjana and golden mountains. As the lion is not moved by the attack of a wolf, the elephant by that of a bull, the Sumeru by the king of serpents and the great Ocean by the current of a river, so that great person was not agitated and said to the ten-necked demon—’O vicious-minded night-ranger, I shall soon remove they desire for a battle.’ O Rāma, the might of that person was a thousand times greater than that of Rāvana which was dreadful unto all the worlds. Piety and asceticism, which are at the root of attaining to every thing in the world, are at his thighs; Cupid is his male organ, the Viswadevas are at his waist and the Maruts are at the sides of his Basti; the Vasus are in the middle portion of his body, the oceans are in his belly, the quarters are on his sides, the Maruts are at his joints—the manes are one his back and the grand-father has taken shelter in his heart; the pious acts of making gifts of kine, gold and lands are his downs; the mounts Himalaya, Hemkuta, Mandara, and Meru are his bones; the thunder-bolt is his palm, the sky his body; the evening and watery clouds are on his neck, the creator, the preserver and the Vidyadharas are on his two arms. Ananta, Vasuki, Visalaksha Iravat, Kamvala, Aswatara, Karkotaka, Dhananjaya the venomous Takshaka, and Upatakshaka, have taken shelter under the nails of his hands, in order to vomit forth their venom. The fire is in his mouth, the Rudras are on his shoulders, the fortnights, months, years and seasons are on the rows of his teeth; the lunar half and the dark half of the month are in his nostrils—and the airy currents are in pores of his body. Saraswati, the goddess of words, is his neck, the two Aswins are his ears, the sun and the moon are his two eyes, O Rāma, all the divisions of the Vedas, Yagmas, the whole host of stars, good words, energy, asceticism—all these are being supported by his body, assuming the shape of a man. Thereupon that Purusha easily struck Rāvana with his hands hard as thunder. Being assailed thereby Rāvana immediately fell on the ground. Beholding that Rākshasa fallen and having distressed others that huge person, like unto the Rig-Veda, resembling a mountain and be-decked with lotus garlands, entered the region under the earth. Rāvana addressed his councillors thus—’O Prahasta, O Sukasārana and other ministers, where hath that person suddenly gone? Do ye tell me this.’ Hearing those words of Rāvana the night-rangers said—’That man, who crusheth down the pride of the celestials and demons, hath entered hither.’
“As Garuda goes speedily taking a serpent so that vicious-minded Rāvana arrived quickly at the entrance of the den. And Rāvana, having no fear, entered therein. And having entered there he saw males resembling the red collyrium, wearing keyuras,⁸¹ heroic, be-decked with red garlands, pasted with red sandal and adorned with diverse golden ornaments and jewels. He saw there three millions of such high-minded persons, devoid of fear, pure, radiant like fire, dancing being mad after festivities. Beholding them the Ten-necked demon, of dreadful prowess, was not the least terrified, and rather saw their dance, standing at the gate. They were all like the male being he had seen before. They were all of the same colour, same dress, same figure and equally gifted with great energy. They were all gifted with four arms and great energy. Beholding them the down of the Ten-necked demon stood erect though a boon had been conferred upon him by the Self-born and he speedily issued out of that place. And he again saw another huge person lying down on a bed. His house, seat and bed were all white and valuable and he was sleeping enveloped by fire. And there sat gracefully with a fan in her lotus hands, the goddess Laksmi—most beautiful in the three worlds—(as if) the ornament thereof, chaste, adorned with celestial garlands, sprinkled with excellent sandal paste, be-decked with rich ornaments and clad in a precious raiment. Having entered there with out any councillor the vicious Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, on beholding that chaste damsel with sweet smiles seated on a royal seat, being possessed by desire, grew anxious to hold her by the hand, as one, under the influence of death, catches a sleeping serpent. Beholding that lord of Rākshasas with loose cloth and understanding him as desirous of holding (her) the deity, having huge arms, asleep and enveloped with flames, laughed aloud. And scorched suddenly by his energy, Rāvana, the dread of all people, fell down on earth like unto an up-rooted tree. Beholding that Rākshasa fallen he said the following words:—’Rise up, O foremost of Rākshasas, thou shalt not meet with death today; thou shalt live and be protected, O Rākshasa, by the great Patriarch’s boon. Do thou therefore go away, O Rāvana, with confidence—thou shalt not experience death just now.’ Regaining his sense instantly Rāvana was stricken with fear. And being thus addressed, that enemy, of the celestials, stood up and with his down erect, said to that highly resplendant deity—’Who art thou gifted with great energy and like unto the fire of dissolution? Tell me, who art thou, O deity and whence thou hast come hither.’ Being thus accosted by the vicious-souled Rāvana, the deity, smiling, replied in words deep as the muttering of clouds, saying—’What shalt thou do with me O ten-necked demon? Thou art not to be slain by me now.’ Being thus addressed the Ten-necked demon, with folded palms said—’By the words of the Patriarch (Brahmā) I shall not tread the path of death; there is none born amongst men, or the celestials who can equal me, and disregard; by virtue of his prowess, the great Patriarch’s boon. His words can never be falsified—every great exertion is weak before them; I do not behold any such man in the three worlds who can render that boon useless. O foremost of the deities, I am immortal—I do not fear thee; and even if I meet with death, I may have it from thee and no one else, O Lord. My death from thee is both glorious and praise-worthy.’ Thereupon Rāvana, gifted with dreadful prowess, beheld within the body of that deity, all the three worlds with mobile and immobile creations. The Adityas, the Maruts, the Sidhas, the two Aswins, Rudras, the manes, Yama, Kuvera, the oceans, mountains, rivers, all the divisions of the Veda and knowledge, fire, planets, stars, sky, Siddhas, Gandharvas, Chāranas, the ascetics conversant with the knowledge of Vedas, Garuda and the serpents, the other deities, Yakshas, Daityas and Rākshasas, were all seen in their incorporeal forms, on the person of that great Purusha, lying down.” Thereupon the virtuous-souled Rāma said to Agastya, the foremost of Munis—”Who is that male being stationed in the island? Who are those three kotis male beings? And who is this person who crusheth down the pride of the Daityās and Dānavas?” Hearing Rāma’s words Agastya said—”O thou existing eternally, O god of gods, hearken, I shall relate (it) unto thee. The person stationed in the island is the illustrious Kapila. All those dancing persons are the deities equalling that intelligent Kapila in energy and power. And that Rākshasa, bent on sin, was not seen by him with angry looks, and therefore, Rāma, Rāvana, was not there and then reduced to ashes. And he, resembling a mountain, with his person pierced, fell on the ground. As a wily wight goes through a secret so he pierced (Rāvana’s person) with his shaft-like words. Having regained his sense, however, after a long time, that Rākshasa, of great prowess, returned where his councillors were.”
⁸⁰ A fabulous animal supposed to have eight legs.
⁸¹ A kind of ornament used on arms.
“While thus returning the vicious-souled Rāvana, with delight, carried away stealthily, on his way, the daughters of the royal saints, celestials and Dānavas. And whatever beautiful damsel he saw, married or unmarried, that demon held them captive in his car, having slain all their friends and relatives. In this wise he got on his chariot many a female of the Nagas, Rakshas, Asuras, Yakshas, Dānavas and of men. And they, all afflicted, shed tears, hot as firey flames, caused by fear and fire of grief. As the ocean is filled with the currents of the rivers so that car was flooded with their tears originating from fear and sorrow. And wept there in the chariot, hundreds of the females of Nagas, Gandharvas, of great ascetics, Daityas and of Dānavas. They had long airs, graceful persons, countenances resembling the full-moon, rising breast, slender waist like that of a black-bee and were graceful with back like the pole of a car. They were like the females of the celestials and the burning gold and were all afflicted by grief, sorrow and terror and were young. And the car was ablaze on all sides with the sighings of those damsels and Pushpaka looked like the chamber where fire is kept perpetually. The countenance and eyes, of those beautiful damsels, brought under the subjection of the ten-necked demon, and afflicted with sorrow, looked poorly like a hind attacked by a lion. Some thought—’Will he eat me up?’ and another, stricken with sorrow, thought—’Will he destroy me?’ Thus remembering their mothers, fathers, husbands and brothers, all those females, overwhelmed with grief and sorrow, bewailed, some exclaiming—’What shall befall my son in my absence? Alas! into what ocean of grief my mother or brother is sunk? Alas! what shall my husband do in my absence? Therefore, O death, I propitiate thee, do thou take me, who am subject to miseries. Alas! what an iniquity did I perpetrate in my former birth in another body? Therefore, we all, overwhelmed with grief, are sunk in the ocean of sorrow—and I do not behold the end of my miseries. Oh! fie upon humanity; there is none more vile than a man for they are weak. As the stars disappear with the rising of the sun in time, so our husbands have been destroyed by the powerful Rāvana. Oh! highly powerful is this Raksha and he is mad after devising the means of destruction. Alas! being engaged in such vile actions, he does not consider himself cursed; he is as powerful as he is vicious. And though the ravishment of another’s wife is a greats sin, still that vile Rākshasa is enjoying us who belong to others. Therefore this vicious-minded one shall meet with death, by his own actions.’ As soon as these words were uttered by those chaste damsels, bugles were sounded in heaven and flowery showers fell on earth. Being thus imprecated by those chaste females, devoted to their husbands, he became shorn of energy and effulgence and appeared like one divested of mind. Hearing their lamentations thus and being honored by the night-rangers that foremost of Rākshasas entered his city Lankā. In the interval, Rāvana’s sister, a dreadful and grim-visaged she-demon, suddenly fell down on the ground. And having raised up his sister and consoled her Rāvana said—’Tell me speedily, O good sister, what you wish to say.’ Thereat that she-demon, having blood-red eyes, closed with tears, said:—’O king, by thee, powerful as thou art, I have forcibly been made a widow. Fourteen thousand demons, under the name of Kalakeyas, have been destroyed by thee, O king, in the battle and amongst them was my highly powerful husband—dearer than my life. He has been slain by thee, O dear one, an enemy—a brother only in name. I have been killed by thee, O king, who art my brother. For thee, king, I shall enjoy the word ’widow’!⁸² My husband⁸³ should have been saved by thee in the battle. But he was slain by thy ownself in the battle; art thou not ashamed of this?’ Being thus addressed by his bewailing sister, the Ten-necked demon, consoling her in sweet words, said:—’Of no avail is thy lamentation, dear sister; thou needst not be afraid of any of thy relatives. I shall please thee studiously by gifts, honors and favours. Being mad after war-fare and desirous of acquiring victory, I was continually making a downpour of shafts, so I could not distinguish in the conflict between my own men and enemies,—and thus unwittingly I did hurt thy husband. And thus, sister, thy husband was slain by me in the conflict; I shall now do whatever shall conduce to thy well-being. Do thou ever reside by the side of thy rich brother Khara and he shall be the lord of fourteen thousand Rākshasas. That highly powerful one shall give food and clothes to all those Rākshasas. He is thy cousin and that night-ranger shall always carry out thy orders. Let that hero now speedily go to protect the Dandaka forest and the highly powerful Dushana shall be the commander of his forces. And the heroic Khara shall always obey thy words and be the lord of Rākshasas assuming shapes at will.’ Having said this the Ten-necked demon issued orders to his army—fourteen thousand highly powerful Rākshasas. Being encircled by those grim-visaged Rākshasas, Khara, undaunted, speedily came to the Dandaka forest. There he governed without thorns and Surpanakha too also resided in the forest of Dandaka.”
⁸² This is the literal translation of the passage—i.e. for thee, I shall for ever be known as widow.
⁸³ The word in the text is Jāmata, which literally means son-in-law—but here perhaps it must mean husband for she was his sister.
“Having thus given the command of a huge and dreadful army to Khara and consoled his sister the Ten-necked demon was satisfied and freed from anxiety. Thereupon that highly powerful lord of Rākshasas with his followers entered an excellent garden in Lankā named Nikumbhilā. And there, he saw, filled with hundreds of sacrificial posts and altars, a sacrifice being celebrated, as if burning in its lustre. And he beheld his fearful son Meghnāda too, clad in an antelope skin and holding Sikhā and Kamandalu. Having seen him (there) and embraced him by his arms the lord of Lankā said:—’What are you after, O my child? Tell me the truth.’ Thereupon that foremost of twice-born ones Usanas⁸⁴ of austere penances, wishing the prosperity of the sacrifice, said to Rāvana—the Rākshasa chief:—’Hear, I shall relate to thee everything, O king; thy son hath met with the fruits of many a sacrifice—Agnistoma,⁸⁵ Asvamedha,⁸⁶ Bahusubarnaka,⁸⁷ Rajsuya,⁸⁸ Goinedha,⁸⁹ and Baisnaba.⁹⁰ And being engaged in this Mahesvvara sacrifice, which is incapable of being celebrated by men, thy son hath obtained boon from Pasupati⁹¹ himself.
“’He has also obtained illusory powers—which create darkness or ignorance—namely of ranging in the sky, of being eternal, of ascending a celestial car which courses at will and of creating darkness. O lord of Rākshasas, these illusory powers being used in a conflict, even the celestials and Asuras shall not be able to perceive his course. Besides he has obtained a quiver, the arrows whereof shall never be exhausted, a bow, which is hard of being got by and a dreadful weapon which destroys enemies in a conflict. Having obtained these boons thy son, O thou having ten faces, and myself, the sacrifice being finished, have been waiting to behold thee.’ Whereto the Ten-necked demon replied—’You have not done well as you have worshipped, with diverse articles my enemies—Indra and others. However, what is done is done; there is virtue in this—no doubt; come, O gentle one, we shall go to our house.’ Thereupon going there with his son and Bibhishana, the Ten-necked demon got down all those damsels, speechless with tears, gifted with auspicious marks, the precious females of the celestials, Dānavas and Raskshasas. Perceiving his vicious desire for those damsels, the virtuous-souled (Bibhishana) said:—’Thou dost (still) follow thy own whims, knowing that people are injured by these actions which destroy piety, wealth and fame. Having slain their kinsmen thou hast brought these beautiful damsels hither, but disregarding thee, O king, Madhu hath carried away Kumbhanasi.’ Rāvana said:—’I do not understand all this. Who is that Madhu, who has been named by thee?’ Worked up with ire Bibhishana said to his brother:—’Hear, the fruit of thy vicious actions hath arrived. There was an old Rākshasa, celebrated for his wisdom, named Malyavān, the elder brother of Sumālin, our maternal grandfather. His grand-daughter is Kumbhanashi and is born of our maternal aunt Analā; so she is virtually our sister. Thy son being engaged in the sacrifice and myself being under waters she was stolen away, O king, by the powerful Rākshasa Madhu. Kumbhakarna, O great king, was then asleep. Having slain all the powerful Rākshasas and thy councillors, he had stolen her away, O king, who was in thy inner apartments. Hearing this even, O great king, we have pardoned and not slain him: an unmarried girl should be given away to her husband by her brothers, but that has not been the case—this is merely the result of thy vicious actions—wicked-minded as thou art, And this thou hast met with instantly—so the people say.’ Hearing the words of Bibhishana, Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, became agitated like an ocean, by the recollection of his vicious deeds. And enraged, with blood-red eyes the ten-necked demon said—’Get my chariot ready soon and let all the heroes of our party be prepared. Let my brother Kumbhakarna and other leading night-rangers, armed with various weapons, ascend their conveyances. Having slain today in the encounter that Madhu, who is not afraid of Rāvana, I shall, encircled by my friends, and desirous of battle, proceed to the region of the celestials.’ Thereupon issued out for battle leading Rākshasas four thousand Akshauhini strong taking various weapons. Commanding them Indrajit preceded the army, Rāvana went in the middle and Kumbhakarna was in the rear; the virtuous-souled Bibhisana remained in Lankā, being engaged in pious observances. And the rest of the leading Rākshasas proceeded towards the city of Madhu. And all the Rākshasas went covering the sky, some on asses, some on camels, some on horses, some on quick-coursing porpoises and some on huge serpents. And beholding Rāvana proceed, hundreds of Daityas, inimical to the celestials, followed him. Having arrived at the city Of Madhu and entered there the ten-necked demon did not behold Madhu but espied his sister. Thereupon being afraid of the king of Rākshasas, Kumbheenashi, with folded palms, touched his feet with her crown. Having raised her up the Rākshasa-chief Rāvana said ’No fear, what can I do for you?’ Whereto she replied—’O king, O thou having long arms,—if thou art pleased with me, do not slay my husband to-day, O conferrer of honours. It is said there is no other fear like this for damsels of high pedigree. The greatest of fears is that of being a widow. Be thou truthful, O king of kings—do thou look towards me, who am thus begging; Thou hast thyself said, O king; “No fear.”’ Being thus addressed Rāvana said to his sister there:—’Do thou tell me speedily where is thy husband. I shall go with him for conquests to the region of the celestials. Out of pity and love for thee I refrain from slaying Madhu.’ Being thus accosted; that Rākshasi, being pleased, got her sleeping husband, the night-ranger, up and said:—’Here is my brother, the highly power Daçagriva. Being desirous of conquering the region of the celestials he prays for thy help. Do thou therefore proceed to his help, O Rākshasa, with all they friends; It behoves thee to help him, who out of affection for me, hath prayed for thy help.’ Hearing those words Madhu said:—’So be it.’ And approaching a little he beheld that foremost of Rākshasas and duly welcomed Rāvana. Being thus honoured the highly power Daçagriva spent one night in Madhu’s house and then, addressed himself for departure. Thereupon reaching the hill Kailāça, the abode of Baisravan, the lord of Rākshasas, resembling Mahendra, encamped his army.”
⁸⁴ Another name of Sukra. Indrajit took the vow of silence so he thought it improper to disturb him.
⁸⁵ A sacrifice or rather a series of offerings to fire for five days to be celebrated in the spring.
⁸⁶ The actual or emblematic sacrifice of a horse, this sacrifice is one of the highest order, and performed a hundred times, entitles the sacrificer to the dominion of Swarga or paradise.
⁸⁷ A sacrifice in which profuse gifts of gold are made.
⁸⁸ A sacrifice in which all the tributary chiefs pay homage to the Lord Paramount.
⁸⁹ The offering or sacrifice of a cow.
⁹⁰ A sacrifice relating to Vishnu.
⁹¹ A name of Siva.
“After sunset the highly power Rāvana encamped his army there. And the clear moon, brilliant as the mountain, having risen, that huge army, armed with diverse weapons, became asleep. And lying down on the summit of the mountain, the highly powerful Rāvana espied the caves beautified with the rays of the moon and the trees. And the interior of the forest was beautified with the brilliant groves of Karnikar, with Kadamba and Vakula trees, groves of full blown lotuses, the waters of Mandākini, with Champaka, Asoka, Punnaga, Mandāra, mangoe, Pātala, Lodra, Pryangu, Arjuna, Ketaka, Tagara, Coconut, Pyāla, Panasa and various other trees. And there sang the Kinnaras, possessed by desire, and having sweet voice, enhancing the delight of the mind. And there danced mirthfully, with their damsels, the Vidyadharas, inebriete and having their eyes reddened with drink. There was audible in the house of the lord of riches, the sweet music of the assembled Apsarās like unto the sound of the bell. And being shaken by the wind the nectar-smelling trees made the hill fragrance with the shower of flowers. And carrying the fragrance rendered salutary with honey and filaments of flowers, the excellent wind blew enhancing Rāvana’s desire. Being possessed by desire through songs, richness of flowers, coldness of air, beauty of the hills, and the rising of the moon in night, the highly powerful Rāvana espied again and again the moon with heavy sighs. At this time passed by that way the foremost of Apsarās, Rambhā, adorned with excellent ornaments and having a countenance like the full moon. Her person was sprinkled with excellent sandal paste—her hairs were decked with Mandāra flowers—her body was beautified with other flowers and her movements tended to increase desire. Her eyes were beautiful and her waist was high, adorned with Mekhala⁹² and was as if the refuge of Rati⁹³. Her forehead and other parts of the countenance were painted with the marks of red sandal and adorned with ornaments of flowers growing in six seasons. Rambhā appeared like second Sree, in grace and beauty, natural and artificial. She wore green clothes resembling the clouds; her face was like the moon, eye brows like excellent bows, thighs like the trunks of elephants and palms soft as leaves. She was seen by Rāvana as proceeding in the midst of soldiers. Having got up and been influenced by lust he took her, shameful as she was, by the hand and smiling said:—’Where art thou going, O beautiful damsel? Whom art thou going of thy own accord to satisfy? Whose prosperous time hath appeared, with whom thou shalt enjoy? Who shall be satisfied with drinking the nectar of thy mouth smelling like lotus? Whose breast, O fair damsel, thy rising breast beautiful like two golden pots closely placed, shall touch? Who is there so beautiful as I—Indra, Vishnu, or two Aswins that thou art passing by me? Do thou take rest upon this excellent rock, O thou having charming waist. There is no other lord, save me, in the three worlds. And Daçānana, the lord of the lords of the three worlds, thus begs thee, with folded palms. Do thou therefore seek me.’ Being thus addressed, Rambhā, trembling, with folded palms, said:—’Be thou propitiated; it doth not behove thee to speak thus, who art my superior. Rather shouldst thou protect me if any body else trieth to oppress me. Virtually I am thy daughter-in-law. I speak to thee the truth.’ Thereupon the Ten-necked demon said to her, standing with her face downwards, and her down standing erect at his very sight. ’Hadst thou been the wife of my son, thou wouldst have been my daughter-in-law.’ Whereto Rambhā replied:—’Truely it is; I am, by virtue, the wife of thy son, O foremost of Rākshasas. Thy brother Vaisrabana hath a son, dearer than his life, celebrated in the three worlds under the name of Nalakuvara, In virtue he is unto a Brahmin, in prowess he equals a Kshatriya, in anger he is very fire and in patience he is like the earth. I been thus directed by that Lokapāla’s son. For him I have adorned my person with these ornaments. I am not attached to any body else but him. O king, O slayer of foes, by virtue of (this relation) it behoveth thee to save me. And that virtuous-souled one is anxiously expecting me. Thou shouldst not put obstacle in that; it behoveth thee to let me go; do thou, O foremost of Rākshasas, wend the way treaded by the pious. Thou art worthy of being revered by me and I am an object of thy protection.’ Being thus addressed Daçagriva humbly replied:—’”I am daughter-in-law,” as thou hast said, is worthy of being said by one who is the only wife. This is the everlasting law of the celestials that the Apsarās have no husband; they cannot be the wife of one husband.’ Having said this, the Raksha ravished her. Being released from his grasp Rambhā became divested of her ornaments and garland and became like the river agitated by the elephants. Her hairs were dishevelled and her hands were trembling. Like unto a blossoming creeper shaken by the wind, she, trembling and bashful and with folded hands, went to Nalakuvara and fell down at his feet. Having seen her in that plight the high-souled Nalakuvara said—’O fair one, what is this? Why hast thou placed thyself at my feet?’ Sighing heavily and trembling she, with folded palms, related to him everything from the beginning to the end. ’O lord, on his way to heaven, Daçagriva hath arrived here and hath spent the night with his army. While I was coming to thee, O slayer of foes, I was seen by him. Then holding me he said—”Where art thou going?” I related to him everything truly. But being possessed by lust he did not pay heed to my words. He was again prayed by me, O lord, saying “I am thy daughter-in-law.” But neglecting that he ravished me. O thou of firm vows, it behoveh thee to forgive me for this folly. O gentle one, a woman’s strength can never equal that of a man.’ Hearing of this ravishment Vaisravana’s son was greatly enraged and entered into meditation. Having ascertained the truth within a moment Vaisravana’s son, with eyes reddened with ire, took water in his palms. Having taken this and rinsed his mouth duly, he imprecated a dreadful curse upon that lord of Rākshasas. ’O fair one, since thou hast been ravished by him despite thy unwillingness he shall never be able to get by an unwilling damsel. Whenever he shall, stricken by lust, ravish a reluctant damsel, his head shall be sundered into seven pieces’. As soon as this curse, like unto a burning flame, was uttered, the celestial bugles were sounded and a shower of flowers fell from heavens. Being apprised of the plight of people (brought about by him) and of the death of that Rākshasa the patriarch Brahmā and other gods were greatly delighted. Hearing of that curse capable of making the down erect, Daçagriva abstained from entertaining lust for unwilling females. And hearing of the curse imprecated by Nalakuvara all the chaste damsels, that were kept captive, attained to great delight.”
⁹² A kind of ornament used on the waist.
⁹³ Wife of Kama—the god of love in Hindu mythlogy.
“Having crossed the mount Kailāça, the highly powerful Ten-necked demon, with his army, reached the region of Indra. And there arose in the region of celestials an uproar from the Rākshasa army, like unto the sound of the agitated deep. Hearing of the arrival of Rāvana, Indra shook on his throne and said to the assembled gods, Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Sadhyas and Maruts—’Prepare yourselves, for fighting with the vicious-souled Rāvana.’ Being thus addressed by Sakra, the celestials, his equals in the encounter and gifted with great prowess, armed themselves for fight. And Mahendra, afraid of Rāvana, poorly went to Vishnu and gave vent to the following accents:—’How shall I, O Vishnu, withstand, the Rākshasa Rāvana? The highly powerful Rākshasa hath come here for battle. It is by virtue of the boon that he is powerful, not for anything else. It is proper to make the words uttered by Brahmā, truthful. As resorting to thy prowess I destroyed Namuchi, Yitra, Bali, Nānrin and Samvara, so do thou make some arrangements (for his destruction). There is no other excellent refuge but thee in the three worlds, mobile and immobile, O lord, O god of gods, O slayer of Madhu. Thou art the graceful, ever-existing Nārāyana, having a lotus navel. By thee the worlds have been settled and myself and Sakra, the lord of the celestials. Thou hast created the three worlds, the mobile and immobile and in thee all these shall, O glorious deity, end at the time of dissolution. Do thou tell me, the truth, O god of gods, that I may myself fight; or do thou, with thy sword and discus, vanquish Rāvana.’ Being thus addressed by Sakra the lord Nārāyana; said:—’Do not fear, hear what I say. He is invincible by virtue of the boon, and that vicious-souled one is incapable of being vanquished even by the celestials and Asuras. Irrepressible by virtue of his prowess, that Rākshasa, with his son, shall accomplish a mighty object. O lord of celestials, even if I am requested by thee, I shall not withstand the Rākshasa, Rāvana in the conflict. Without slaying the enemies in the encounter, Vishnu doth never go back—but it is hard to fulfill my desire from Rāvana, well protected by the boon. However I do promise before thee, O lord of the celestials, O performer of hundred sacrifices, I shall, soon become the cause of this Rākshasa’s death. I shall soon destroy Rāvana with his family in due time and afford delight unto the celestials. I speak the truth unto thee, O king of the celestials, O lord of Sachi; do thou divested of fear, fight, O thou gifted with great strength, along with the celestials.’ Thereupon having issued out of the city, Rudras, Adityas, Vusus, Maruts and Aswins well-armed with mails, appeared before the Rākshasas. Meanwhile at the latter part of the night there was audible the uproar of Rāvana’s army fighting on all sides. Having got up and cast their looks upon one another the highly powerful Rākshasas waited there for the battle, delighted. Thereupon beholding that inexhaustible huge army at the commencement of the battle the celestial host lost heart. Thereupon there ensued a conflict, setting up a terrible sound, with various weapons between the Rākshasas and gods. In the interval issued out for encounter the heroic and grim-visaged Rākshasas—Rāvana’s councillors. And encircled by Māricha, Prahasta, Mahāparswa, Mahodara, Akampana, Nikumbha, Suka, Sārana, Sanghrāda, Dhumaketu, Mahādangstra, Gathodara, Jāmbumāli, Mahāhrada, Virupāksha, Suptaghna, Yajnakopa, Durmukha, Khara, Trisirā, Karaveerāksha, Suryyasatru Mahākāya, Atikāya, Devāntaka, Narāntaka,—all those gifted with great prowess, there entered the battle-field, the highly powerful Sumālin, Rāvana’s maternal grandfather. And with various sharp-pointed weapons, he, highly angered, began to assail the celestial host like unto the winds scattering clouds. Being thus distressed by the night-rangers the host of the gods fled away into diverse directions like a herd of deer attacked by a lion. In the meantime, entered the battle-field, the heroic and brave Savitra, the eighth Vasu, encircled by soldiers and striking terror into the hearts of the enemies. And the two Adityas, the highly powerful Tushthā, and Pushā united and undaunted, entered the arena. Thereupon there arose with Rākshasas a terrible encounter of the celestials unable to bear their fame in battle. Then the Rākshasas, with thousands of terrible weapons, began to belabour the deities in the encounter. And the celestials, as well, began to send the redoubtable, powerful and terrific Rākshasas, with the stroke of blameless weapons, to the abode of Death. In the interim, O Rāma, a Rākshasa, Sumālin, by name, getting enraged and with diverse weapons, ran amock of the soldiery. As the winds scatter clouds, so, he, under the influence of rage, with various sharpened weapons, committed a havoc amongst the celestial soldiers. Thereupon being assailed by a downpour of huge shafts, maces, Prāsas and diverse dreadful weapons, the celestials could not keep their ground upon the field of warfare. The celestials being thus distressed by Sumālin the eighth Vasu Sāvitra stood there enraged. And encircled by his own car-warriors that highly powerful one, with his prowess, repulsed the striking night-rangers. Thereupon there arose a terrible encounter, capable of making down erect, between Sumālin and the Vasu, who did not retire from the field of battle. His chariot drawn by serpents was pulled down and destroyed by the high-souled Vasu by means of his huge shafts. Having taken up that car in the warfare with hundreds of arrows Vasu took up mace in his hands for his destruction. Having taken up that mace having a burning head and resembling the rod of Death Sāvitra struck Sumālin on his head therewith. Having failed on his head that mace shone like a fire-brand as the thunderbolt, discharged by Indra, falls roaring on the summit of a mountain. By the stroke of that mace his person was reduced to ashes and therefore there was not seen in the battle field either his bone, head or flesh. Having beheld him slain in the warfare the Rākshasas bewailing ran about on all sides and being distressed by Vasu they could not stay in the battle field.”
“Beholding Sumālin slain and reduced to ashes by Vasu and being assailed by the deities the Rākshasa host fled into diverse directions. And collecting all the Rākshasas stood there the highly powerful Meghanāda, enraged, the son of Rāvana. Like unto flaming fire approaching towards forest that great car-warrior encountered the enemies in a precious car coursing at will. And as soon as he, armed with various weapons, entered the field the celestials, at his very sight, fled away to all directions. None could stand before him, well-versed in war-fare. Thereupon beholding the deities terrified and pierced with shafts, Indra, the king of gods, said—’Be not afraid, O ye celestials; do not fly away; come back to the battle; this my son, who has never been vanquished, goes to battle.’ Thereupon Sakra’s son, known as divine Jayanta, proceeded towards the field of action in a wondrous car. And having encircled Sachi’s son and encountered Rāvana’s son the deities began to assail him. And the encounter between Mahendra’s son Jayanta and Rāvana’s son Meghanāda, and that between the deities and Rakshas was like one between gods and demons. Thereupon Rāvana’s son began to assail, with shafts feathered in gold, his (Jayanta’s) charioteer Gomukha, Mātali’s son. Sachis’ son too, enraged, assailed on all sides, Rāvana’s son and his charioteer. And the powerful Rāvani, stricken with ire and with eyes expanded, covered Sakra’s son with arrows. Thereupon Rāvana’s son struck the celestial host with thousands of huge mountain summits, Sataghnis, maces, Prasas, clubs, daggers, Parashus and various other sharp pointed weapons, Rāvana’s son thus striking Indra’s army the quarters were enshrouded with darkness by his illusory power. Being overpowered with arrows on all sides the celestial army, leaving aside Jayanta, became restless. The deities or the Rākshasa—they could not recognize one another—and being distressed they ran about on all sides. Being enveloped with darkness and having their senses bewildered the celestials killed their own kith and the Rākshasas their own men—and others fled away. In the interim a heroic and powerful Daitya-chief—Pulomā by name, taking Sachi’s son disappeared. And taking his own grand-son he entered into the ocean—Pulomā was his grand-father for by him Sachi was begotten. And thinking that Jayanta was slain all the deities greatly sorry and distressed fled away on all sides. Thereupon Rāvana’s son, enraged and encircled by his own powerful followers, pursued the celestials emitting loud cries. Not beholding his son and observing the flight of the deities the king of the celestials said to Mātali—’Bring my car.’ By Mātali was brought, the celestial, highly dreadful, huge and quick-coursing chariot, that was ready. (And he having) ascended the car, the huge clouds, with lightnings, being driven by winds, began to emit forth loud mutterings before the chariot. And the Gandharvas began to play on various instruments and the Apsarās began to dance. And taking up various weapons, Indra, the king of divinities, set out for the field of action, in the company of Rudras, Vasus, Adityas, the two Aswins and Maruts. He, having set out for battle, the wind began to blow high, the sun was divested of its brilliance and the huge fire-brands began to send out flames. In the interval the heroic and the highly powerful Daçagriva ascended the celestial car, constructed by the Architect of the deities, encircled by the huge-bodied serpents capable of making down erect and by whose breath the battle-field was ablaze. Surrounded by demons and night-rangers and with the celestial car he encountered Mahendra in the battle-field. And having desisted his son he himself stood there. And having come out from the field of action Rāvana’s son too stood silent. Thereupon there arose an encounter between the Rākshasas and the deities and there began a downpour of weapons in the conflict like clouds. And the vicious-souled Kumbhakarna armed with various weapons came there—but he did not know,⁹⁴ O king, with whom the conflict was going on. And by him enraged, the celestials were assailed with his teeth, feet, arms, hands, Saktis, Tomaras and clubs or any weapon whatsoever. Thereupon the night-ranger engaged with the highly powerful Rudras and was wounded, in the conflict, with incessant strokes of weapons. Thereupon the Rākshasa army began to fight with Maruts and they were overwhelmed in the encounter with the stroke of various weapons. Some fell down on earth slain and torn and others became insensible on the back of their carriers in the battle. And they all stood there in a half-sensible mood, some holding the car, some elephants, some asses, some camels, some serpents, some horses, some porpoises, some boars, some Pisaca-mouthed animals and some embracing the Pannagas. And other night-rangers, having their bodies sundered by the deities gave up their being. The Rākshasas being slain and lying down on earth the action appeared wondrous like a painting. And there issued out in the battle-field a river from weapons having blood for its silent waters and infested with crows and vultures. Having beheld his own army slain by the deities the highly powerful Daçānana, enraged, entered the ocean of celestial army and slaying the deities in the conflict confronted Sakra. Thereupon Sakra took up his huge bow by the twang where-of the ten quarters Were filled. Having unstrung his huge bow Indra struck Rāvana, on his head, with arrows resembling the flame of fire and the rays of the sun. And the Rākshasa-chief Daçānana, having long arms, also assailed Indra with hundreds of shafts discharged off his bow. They having been thus engaged with each other with the downpour of dreadful shafts, all the quarters were filled with darkness and in consequence thereof nothing was visible.”
⁹⁴ For he was asleep till then so he was not acquainted with the particulars of war-fare. He used to sleep for six months at a time.
“Whereupon darkness having set in all the celestials and Rākshasas, maddened with their strength, began to fight crushing one another. And in that darkness—Indra, Rāvana and Meghanāda—these three were not possessed by the influence of illusion. Beholding his whole army slain in a moment, Rāvana, worked up with dreadful ire, sent out terrible roars. And in anger, that irrepressible one said to the charioteer, stationed on the car—’Do thou take me to the other end of the enemies’ host. I shall soon with the stroke of various weapons despatch the deities to the abode of Death. I shall slay Indra, Kuvera, Varuna and Yama—what to speak of more—I shall soon destroy all the deities and place myself above them. Be not sorry; do thou soon drive my chariot. To-day I have told you twice to take me to the end of the enemy’s army. We are now waiting near the Nandana grove—do thou take me to the hill whence the sun rises.’ Hearing his words the charioteer drove the steeds, coursing at will through the enemies’ host. Thereupon being apprised of his intention, Sakra, the king of the celestials, stationed on car, said to the deities, in the field of battle—’O ye deities—hear my words, what appear to me best. This Ten-necked demon must be vanquished by us while alive. Ascending his car, gifted with the velocity of the wind, the highly powerful one is proceeding amongst the army like unto the deep with waves rising during Parva. It is not possible to slay him now—for he shall not meet with death in consequence of the boon. So let us make him captive—and we should all exert to that end. Bali being held captive I am enjoying the three worlds—and I think proper to obstruct the course of this vicious-souled one.’ Having said this and left aside Rāvana, Sakra went to another side, O King, and fought terrifying the Rākshasas in the conflict. Dacagriva, incapable of being thwarted, entered by the northern route and the performer of hundred sacrifices by the southern. Thereupon having entered into the army up to a hundred leagues—the lord of Rākshasas overpowered the celestial host with a downpour of shafts. Thereupon beholding his own army slain, Sakra returned fearlessly and obstructed the Ten-necked demon. In the interim beholding Rāvana brought under his grasp by Sakra the demons and Rākshasas cried aloud. ’Alas we are slain.’ Thereupon ascending his car Rāvana’s son, beside himself with rage, entered the dreadful flank. And having resorted to the illusory powers, conferred upon him in yore by Paçupati he entered into the enemies’ camp and belaboured them. Having left behind all other deities he pursued Indra and the highly effulgent Mahendra too espied his enemy’s son. And albeit assailed by the highly powerful deities, Rāvana’s son, divested of mail, entertained no fear. Having overpowered the approaching charioteer with many excellent arrows he covered Mahendra with a downpour of shafts. Thereat having left his car and charioteer Indra mounted his elephant Airavat and ran about in search of Rāvana’s son. Being invisible in the welkin by virtue of his illusory powers and having brought Indra under the influence thereof he struck him with hundreds of arrows. When Rāvana’s son came to know that Indra was exhausted he, having bound him up by virtue of illusion, proceeded towards his army. And having seen Mahendra carried away by force from the battle field the deities thought ’What is this?’ That conqueror of Sakra and subduer of enemies, conversant with illusory powers, was not visible, by whom, Indra, although master of many illusions, was carried away by force. In the meantime, the celestials, all enraged, covered Rāvana with a downpour of shafts and belaboured him. And being worn out in the encounter with the Adityas and Vasus he was not capable of fighting any more. Beholding his father thus distressed and assailed in warfare with strokes, Rāvana’s son, although invisible, said—’Do thou come O father, our work in the battle field is finished; know, we have achieved victory; be thou consoled and divested of agonies. By virtue of my illusory powers I have made Mahendra captive—the lord of the three worlds and of the celestial host and have crushed down the pride of the deities. Having subdued thy enemy by virtue of thy prowess do thou enjoy the three worlds at thy pleasure. What is the use of labouring again? And useless it is to fight again.’ Hearing the words of Rāvana’s son the deities retired from the battle field, and went away without Sakra. And hearing the sweet words of his son, the lord of the night-rangers, the enemy of the celestials, having great prowess and wide spread fame, desisted from fighting and affectionately said to his son—’Thou hast enhanced the glory of our race displaying thy prowess like a highly powerful man. Thou hast vanquished the celestials and their king of unequalled might. Do thou set out hence for the city, taking Indra on thy chariot and surrounded by soldiers. I shall, soon, delighted, follow thee with my councillors.’ Thereupon having returned home with his army and chariots and taking the king of the celestials, the powerful son of Rāvana dismissed the victorious warriors.”
“The highly powerful Mahendra being thus defeated by Rāvana’s son, all the celestials, taking the patriarch Brahmā before them, went to Lankā. Having obtained Rāvana encircled by his sons and brothers the Patriarch, stationed in the welkin, calmly said—’My son, Rāvana, I have been pleased with thy son in the conflict. Oh! what wonderful prowess, what strength—equal or greater than thine. Thou hast, by thy own prowess, conquered the three worlds—thy promise hath borne fruits—I have been pleased with you—both the father and son. O Rāvana, this thy son is highly powerful and gifted with great strength and he shall be celebrated in the world under the appellation of ’Indrajit’ or the conqueror of Indra. And that Rākshasa shall be powerful and irrepressible, by whose help, O king, the celestials have been brought under thy subjection. Do thou therefore, O thou having long arms, release Mahendra, the chastiser of Paka and for setting him free what do thou want from the celestials?’ Thereupon the highly powerful Indrajit—the subduer of enemies, said:—’If dost thou say so, O god, I pray for immortality.’ Thereat the highly powerful patriarch said to Meghanada—’There is none perfectly immortal on earth amongst created beings—birds, quadrupeds and other highly powerful beings.’ Hearing the words uttered by the grand-father—the highly powerful Meghanāda said to the eternal lord—’Hear, then, what I want in exchange for releasing Sakra. May a chariot with horses rise up from fire when I shall offer sacrifices unto it, being desirous of vanquishing my enemies in the conflict. And may I be immortal as long as I shall remain on that car. This is the boon I have resolved upon praying for. May I meet with destruction, O deity, whenever I shall engage in fight without finishing my offerings unto fire. All others, O god, attain to immortality by virtue of devout penances but I shall acquire that by dint of my own prowess.’ Whereto the grand-father replied saying ’So be it.’ Thereupon Meghanāda released Indra and the celestials returned to their own abode. In the interval, O Rāma, Indra became poorly, divested of his immortal brilliance, stricken with anxiety and pensive. Beholding him in that plight the grand-father of the deities said:—’O performer of hundred sacrifices, why didst thou formerly perpetrate that mighty iniquity? O Chief of the immortals! O lord! Some creatures were created by me by dint of my understanding—they were all of the same colour, same speech, and same appearance. There was no difference visible in their appearance or marks. Thereupon, with whole-minded-ness, I began to think of these created beings. And I created a female distinct from them. Collecting all those limbs that were most excellent amongst the created, I made a female under the name of Ahalyā. Hal means ugliness—one born from Hal is called Halya. That female was known as Ahalyā because she had nothing blameable in her. I gave her that name. Having created that female I was thinking, O king of the celestials! O foremost of the deities! On whom I should confer her. Being proud of dignity, O Sakra, O lord, O Purandara thou didst regard her in thy mind as thy spouse. I placed her under the care of the high-souled Gautama and he rendered her back after many long years. Thereupon considering the patience and accomplished asceticism of Gautama I married her with him. And that virtuous-souled, great ascetic enjoyed her company; and for my thus conferring her upon Gautama all the celestials were disappointed. But being enraged and possessed by lust thou didst repair to the hermitage of the ascetic and see her resplendant like the flaming fire. Maddened with lust and ire thou didst ravish her and thou wast seen in that hermitage by the great ascetic. Thou wast then imprecated by him, enraged and gifted with great effulgence saying, “O lord of the celestials, thou hast attained to a change of circumstances—for which, O Vasava, thou hast fearlessly ravished my spouse. Thou shalt, therefore, O Sakra, go under the arms of the enemies, in conflict. And this vile desire, O thou having a vicious intellect, which thou hast first created, shall undoubtedly spread in the world of mortals. Whoever shall commit this crime, shall be half responsible for it and the other half shall descend upon thee; and forsooth thy position shall not be permanent. And whoever shall be the lord of the celestials, shall not have his position secure. This is the curse I give, which I have communicated to thee.” And having remonstrated with his wife that one of devout penances said to her—”O vicious one, let thy beauty be spoiled in the vicinity of the hermitage. Thou art gifted with beauty and youth but thy mind is fickle; so thou shalt not continue as the single beautiful damsel in the world. All created beings shall participate thy beauty; thy matchless beauty has brought about this mischief.” Thenceforward all created beings were gifted with beauty. Thereupon she propitiated the ascetic Gautama saying, “O twice-born one, I was unwittingly ravished by Indra, assuming thy form. I have not committed this willingly, O ascetic—so do thou be propitiated with me.” Ahalyā having said this, Gautama replied:—”In the race of Ikshwākus, there shall be born a highly effulgent and mighty car-warrior, known in the world as Rāma; for performing the rites of a Brahman, the mighty-armed Vishnu, assuming a human form, shall repair to the forest. Thou shalt be purified when thou shalt behold him, O fair damsel. He shall be able to purify thee from the iniquity perpetrated. Having treated him as a guest when thou shalt come to me again, thou shalt live with me, O thou having a fair countenance.” Having said this that ascetic returned to his hermitage. And thenceforward the wife, of that ascetic chanting the themes of Brahman, engaged in austere penances. Thou hast met with all this in consequence of the imprecation of that ascetic. Therefore, O thou having long arms, do thou think of thy past iniquity. For that curse and nothing else, O Vasava, thou hast been brought under the grasp of enemies. Having controlled thy senses, do thou soon undertake a sacrifice in honor of Vishnu. Thou shalt be purified by that sacrifice and go to heaven; and thy son, O lord of celestials, hath not been destroyed in the conflict. He hath been taken into the ocean by his grand father.’ Hearing this and having celebrated the sacrifice in honor of Vishnu he again went to the region of celestials and reigned there as their king. I have thus described to thee the strength of Indrajit—what to speak of others he vanquished even Indra—the king of the celestials.” Hearing the words of Agastya, Rāma, Lakshmana, Vānaras and Rākshasas all said “Wonderful it is,” and Bibhishana, who was by the side of Rāma, said:—”After a long time, the old recollections have come to my mind.” Thereupon Rāma said to Agastya—”All, thou hast said, is true.” And Agastya said “Rāma, Rāvana, the thorn of people, then grew in power, by whom, in the company of his son, Indra, the lord of the celestials, was defeated.”
Thereupon having bowed unto Agastya the foremost of ascetics, the highly effulgent Rāma again surprisingly said:—”O Brahman, O foremost of twice-born ones, when that cruel Rāvana journeyed over the earth, was it void of people? Was there no king, or prince on earth to administer punishment unto him? Were all the kings then shorn of their strength and prowess? And many kings I (hear) were vanquished and driven out by him with various excellent weapons.” Hearing the words of Rāghava, the ascetic Agastya, having six sorts of wealth, laughing said, like unto Brahmā, speaking to Rudra—”O Rāma, O lord of earth, traversing the earth, Rāvana arrived at the city of Mahismati, resembling the city of the celestials, where lived perpetually the deity of fire. There reigned a king named Arjuna, effulgent like fire which was kept perpetually in a well covered with Sara. One day the highly powerful Arjuna, the king of Haihayas, repaired to the river Nerbuda, with his wives to sport. At the very same day, Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, arrived there and asked his councillors saying. ’Where is the king Arjuna? Do ye speedily tell me; I am Rāvana, I have come to fight with your king. Do ye, at first, communicate unto him the news of my arrival.’ Being thus addressed by Rāvana, the learned ministers informed the lord of Rākshasas, of the absence of the king. Hearing of the absence of the king from the citizens Visrasraba’s son came out of the city and reached the Vindhya mountain resembling the Himalayas. He espied the mountain extending over the welkin like unto clouds and rising up as if riving the earth and obstructing the sky. The mountain had a thousand summits and the lions were residing in the caves and hundreds of fountains were falling from it; the mountain was as if laughing aloud and the celestials, Gandharvas, Apsarās and Kinsaras were sporting there with their females; and it appeared (in consequence thereof) like the region of celestials; and rivers, with waters transparent like crystal, were flowing. And it therefore appeared like a thousand serpents having trembling tongues. And casting his looks upon Vindhya mountain, resembling the Himalayas and having huge caves, Rāvana, the king of Rākshasas, reached the river Nerbuda, of holy waters and going rapidly to the western ocean. Her waters were being agitated by buffaloes, deer, tigers, lions, bears and elephants distressed by heat. Having covered her, Chakrabakas, Kārandavas, swans, water-cocks and Sārasas, maddened, were emitting notes. The charming Nerbuda appeared like a beautiful damsel—having blossoming trees for her ornaments, Chakrabakas for her breast, wide spread forest for her waist, the row of swans for Mekhala, filaments of flowers for paste, watery foams for white silken cloth, the pleasure of descending into water for the pleasure of touch and full-blown lotuses for white eyes. Having descended from his car and bathed in the waters of Nerbuda, the foremost of streams, resembling a fair one, Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, with this councilors, sat on her coast resided by many an ascetic. Delighted at her beauty and having spoken highly of Nerbuda like unto Ganges he addressed his ministers Suka and Sārana with gestures, saying:—’Behold, having rendered the earth pale, with his many rays, the sun, emitting parching heat, is in the sky. But seeing me here seated, his rays have become cool like those of the moon. At my fear, even the wind is blowing carefully, being cold and fragrant by the touch of the waters of the Nerbuda and removing our toil. This charming Nerbuda, abounding in crocodiles, fishes and birds, though a natural stream, is standing still like a terrified damsel. Being wounded in conflicts with many a king your persons have been pasted with blood. Therefore like unto Sarvabhauma and other infuriated elephants going down into the water of the Ganges, do ye descend into the water of Nerbuda conferring auspiciousness and health. Bathing in this stream you shall be cleansed from sins. I shall, also on the coast of this river, like the rays of the autumnal moon, reverentially worship with flowers Mahādeva, holding Pināka in his hands.’ Hearing the words of Rāvana, Prahasta, Suka, Sārana, Mahodara, Dhrumākshya and other councillors descended into the waters of Nerbuda. And she was agitated by those elephant-like leading Rākshasas like unto the Ganges by Vamana, Anjana, Padma and other elephants, Thereupon having got up from the waters the highly powerful Rākshasas culled flowers for Rāvana’s offerings. And in a moment the Rākshasas collected heaps of flowers on the picturesque banks of Nerbuda, resembling the white clouds. Flowers being thus collected, Rāvana, the king of Rākshasas descended, into the Nerbuda for bathing like a huge elephant into the Ganges. And having bathed he got up, reciting excellent incantations. Thereupon having left off his wet cloth he put on a white one. And to find out place for worshipping, he, with folded hands, proceeded towards the banks. And the Rākshasas too, like unto so many moving mountains, followed him. And wherever Rāvana went the golden Siva Linga was brought. Thereupon Rāvana placed that upon a heap of sands and began to worship it with various nectar-smelling flowers and sandal. And having finished the worship of Siva, the foremost of deities, having the moon on his crown, the conferrer of boons and the remover of miseries, the night-ranger danced with uplifted hands and sang before it.”
“At no distance from where on the banks of the river Nerbuda, that dreadful lord of Rākshasas collected the flowers, Arjuna, the King of Mahismati, and the foremost of the victorous, was sporting with his wives in the water. And being encircled by them the king Arjuna appeared like a leading elephant surrounded by a thousands of she elephants. In order to measure the strength of his thousand arms the King of Haihayas obstructed the course of Nerbuda. Being obstructed by the arms of Kārtavirjarjuna and having flooded the banks with her pure waters, Nerbuda flowed in an opposite direction. And the currents, rising high as during the rainy season flowed with fishes, and crocodiles. And that stream, as if driven against Rāvana by Kārtavirjarjuna, carried away his collection of flowers. And having given up his worship which was half-finished Rāvana looked towards Nerbuda looking like an unwilling damsel and saw that she, with rising currents, was flowing towards the east from the west and the waters beyond that were in a natural state like a quiet lady and the birds were seated there without any anxiety. Thereupon being anxious to learn the cause of the rise of the river, the Ten-necked demon, with his right finger, hinted Suka and Sārana. Being commanded by Rāvana, the two brothers, the heroic Suka and Sārana proceeded towards the west by the aerial way. And going half a league, the two night-rangers espied a man sporting in the waters with some females. He was huge as a Sāla tree, his hairs were floating on the water, he was inebriete and his eyes were reddened in consequence thereof. Like unto Sumeru holding the earth with his thousand feet he obstructed the current of the river with his thousand arms. And he was surrounded by a thousands of beautiful damsels like an elephant by a thousands of she-elephants. Beholding that dreadful spectacle, the Rākshasas Suka and Sārana came back and approaching Rāvana communicated (all) unto him. ’O lord of Rākshasas, an unknown person, huge as a Sāla tree, is sporting with females obstructing the course of Nerbuda like unto a dam. And being withheld by the thousand arms of that man the waters of Nerbuda were continually throwing up high waves.’ Hearing the words of Suka and Sārana, Rāvana exclaimed ’This is Arjuna’ and proceeded to fight with him. Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, having set out with a hostile intention against Kārtavirjarjuna, the wind mixed with dust began to blow high with tumultuous sound. And the clouds began to mutter with a downpour of rain. And the lord of Rākshasas proceeded against Arjuna with Mahodara, Mahaparswa, Dhrumākshya, Suka and Sairana. Within a short time the dreadful Rākshasa, powerful as the elephant Arjuna, reached the banks of Nerbuda and espied there Arjuna encircled by females as an elephant surrounded by she-elephants. At the very sight the eyes of the lord of Rākshasas, proud of his prowess, grew red and addressing the councillors of the king Arjuna he said ’Do ye communicate unto the king of Haihayas that Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, hath come to fight with him.’ Hearing the words of Rāvana, the ministers of Arjuna stood up with arms and said ’O good Rāvana, thou art well cognizant of the proper time for fighting. Now our king is drunk and is sporting with the females in the waters. And now dost thou wish to fight with him. Therefore, O Ten-necked one, do thou spend the night here, if thou art bent upon fighting. Or even if thou art anxious to enter speedily into conflict with Arjuna do thou slay us all at first, and then fight with the king.’ Thereupon the hungry councillors of Rāvana slew some of the ministers of the king and devoured some. There arose a dreadful uproar on the banks of Nerbuda, of the councillors of Rāvana and Arjuna. The warriors of Arjuna assailed Rāvana and his ministers with hundreds of arrows, Praças, darts, Tomaras, thunder-bolts and Karpanas. The warriors of Arjijna became dreadfully furious and emitted cries like the roaring of the deep infested with crocodiles, fishes and other marine monsters. Thereupon being enraged and displaying their own prowess Suka, Sārana and other ministers of Rāvana began to destroy Arjuna’s soldiers. Thereupon the emissaries, stricken with fear, went to the sporting king and communicated unto him the proceedings of Rāvana and his ministers. Hearing those words and saying unto the females ’Do not fear’ he rose up from the waters like an elephant. The eyes of that fire-like Arjuna were reddened with ire and he shone dreadfully like the fire of dissolution. And taking up speedily his club, that one, always using golden clubs, pursued the Rākshasas like unto darkness following the sun. Holding up the huge club and hurling it with his arms, Arjuna, resorting to the velocity of Garuda, went on. Thereupon stood there obstructing his course the Rākshasa, worked up with anger and with a mace in his hand, like unto the Vindhya range standing in the way of the sun. And throwing down off his hand the iron mace, he, in anger, began to roar, like Yama. And the top of the mace was ablaze like the tips of Asoka flowers. Not the least agitated on beholding that mace, the king Arjuna, by his club, baffled its action. Thereupon uplifting the huge club, five hundred hands long, the king of Haihayas pursued Prahasta. And within a short time being struck down by that club gifted with great velocity Prahasta fell down on earth like unto the summit of a mountain clapped down by the thunder-bolt of Indra. Beholding Prahasta fallen, Māricha, Suka, Sārana, Mahodara and Dhrumākshya fled away from the battle-field. All the councillors having thus fled away and Prahasta being slain Rāvana speedily proceeded towards Arjuna, the foremost of kings. Thereupon there ensued a terrible encounter capable of making down erect between the thousand-armed Arjuna, the king of men, and the twenty-armed Rāvana, the king of Rākshasas. And taking up their clubs Arjuna and Rāvana began to fight with one another emitting cries like the mutterings of clouds, like unto two huge bulls fighting for a cow, two agitated oceans, two moving mountains, two effulgent Adityas, two burning flames, two proud elephants, two proud lions and like the very Rudra and Kāla. As the mountains suffer many clappings of thunder-bolts so did they bear many strokes. And all the quarters were resounded with the sound proceeding from the stroke of their clubs like unto the sound of thunder-bolts. Being placed against the breast of Rāvana Arjuna’s club rendered, for a moment, the welkin look like the burning gold as does the lightning. And striking again and again against Arjuna’s breast Rāvana’s club looked like a huge fire-brand. Arjuna was not worn out nor was Rāvana. And the conflict went on between them like the encounter between Bala and Vasava in the days of yore. The King of men and the King of Rakshasas assailed and wounded one another with their clubs like unto two bulls striking one another with their horns and two elephants with their tusks. Thereupon worked up with rage, Arjuna, with his full might, smote Rāvana on his breast, with his club. But Rāvana was well protected by the boon of the celestial, so the club fell on earth sundered into two pieces like one hurled by a weak wight. Still wounded by the mace of Arjuna, Rāvana, shedding tears, ran away at a distance of four feet and sat there. Beholding Rāvana thus over-whelmed Arjuna sprang up and caught him like Garuda holding a serpent and Vishnu binding Bali. Daçagriva being thus bound, the Siddhas, Charanas and the celestials exclaiming ’Well done! Well done!!’ showered flowers upon Arjuna. And the king emitted leonine roars again and again as a tiger joyous roars like a cloud, holding a deer under his grasp. Regaining his sense and beholding Rāvana bound, Prahasta, in great anger, pursued the King of Haihayas. And the Rakshasa force grew tempestuous like unto the rising of the ocean during rains. Thereupon exclaiming repeatedly ’Leave him off! Leave him off!! Wait! Wait!!’ The Rākshasa host hurled hundreds of Musalas and darts in the battle-field. Not the least moved thereby the king Arjuna, the slayer of enemies, bore those weapons of the enemies of the celestials. Thereupon baffling the weapons of the Rākshasas by means of many a dreadful and excellent one, Arjuna, the king of Haihayas, drove them away like winds scattering the clouds. Having thus struck terror unto the night-rangers, he, encircled by his own kinsmen, repaired to his own city with Rāvana, carrying him bound like unto Indra carrying Bali bound. Thereupon flowers and fried paddy were showered upon him by the Brāhmanas and citizens.”
“Thereupon Pulastya heard from the celestials of the capture of Rāvana like unto the holding of the wind.⁹⁵ And having been moved by the love for his son, the highly effulgent, great ascetic, proceeded to see the king of Mahishmati. Proceeding by the aerial way, that twice-born one, gifted with the velocity of wind and the flight of mind, reached the city of Mahishmati. Like unto Brahmā entering Indra’s Amaravati, he entered the city resembling the capital of Indra and filled with delighted and plump citizens. And beholding that dreadful Rishi approach like unto Adityā walking on foot, the warders communicated the intelligence unto the king Arjuna. Understanding from their words that Pulastya was coming, the king of Haihayas, placing his folded palms on his crown, proceeded to welcome him. Like, unto Vrihaspati preceeding Purandara, the royal priests went before him carrying Maduparka and water to wash feet. And beholding the ascetic resembling the rising sun arrived, the king Arjuna bowed unto him reverentially like Indra saluting Mahideva. Thereupon offering him Maduparka, cow and water to wash feet, the king of Haihayas in accents obstructed with delight, addressed the ascetic saying:—’Reverend Sir, thine visit, it is hard to obtain. On beholding thee my city Mahishmati hath been turned into Amaravati. To-day have I obtained all auspiciousness, O lord; to-day hath my religious observance been fruitful; to-day hath my birth proved blessed and to-day hath my devout penance been crowned with success, for I bow unto thy feet, which have been worshipped by the celestials. This my kingdom, these my sons, this my wife and myself are all at thy disposal—do thou order me, O Brahman, what I may do for thee.’ Thereupon having enquired of the king about his piety, offerings and the well-being of his sons, Pulastya said to Arjuna, the king of Haihayas:—’O foremost of kings, O thou having eyes like lotus-petals! O thou having a countenance like the full moon! When thou hast vanquished Rāvana, thy prowess is matchless in the triple world. Thou hast bound up my invincible son in the conflict at whose fear the wind and the ocean stand still. Having drunk up the glories of my son thou hast announced thine own; so I do say, O my son, do thou release Daçānana.’ Hearing this command of Pulastya, the king Arjuna did not utter a single word and set, most delightedly the king of Rākshasas, free. Having released that foe of the celestials, worshipped him with celestial ornaments and garlands and established friendship removing all enmities with Rāvana before fire, and bowed unto Pulastya, the son of Brahmā, he repaired to his own house. And being released by the influence of Pulastya, the highly powerful Daçānana, the king of Rākshasas, accepted his hospitality and being embraced by him, returned home ashamed. And having set Daçagriva at liberty Pulastya, the son of Brahmā and the foremost of Munis repaired to the celestial region. O Rāma, in this wise, the highly powerful Rāvana was defeated by Arjuna and released by Pulastya. Observe therefore, O descendant of Raghu, there is a mightier man than the mighty; therefore, one, desirous of his own well-being, should not disregard another. Having acquired friendship with the thousand-armed Arjuna, Dacānana, the king of Rākshasas, began again to journey over the world distressing the kings.”
⁹⁵ As it is impossible to hold the wind in a short compass so it was impossible to bind Rāvana and lead him captive.
“Released by Arjuna, and yet not conceiving any shame, Rāvana, the king of Rākshasas again began to traverse the earth. Rākshasas or men, of whom the proud Rāvana heard to be powerful he used to approach and summon them for fight. After some time he arrived at the city of Kishkindhā reared by Vāli and invited him, wearing golden garland, to fight. Thereat, Tāra, her father Sushena and the Prince Sugriva said to the king of Rākshasas—’O lord of Rākshasas, he is not present here, who shall be able to withstand thee. What monkey else is capable of standing before thee? However, O Rāvana, Vāli shall soon return after performing the Sandhyā rites at the confluence of the four oceans; therefore wait here for a moment. Behold, O Daçānana, there lie the bones of all those, like conch, who came ere this to fight with the powerful king of monkeys. O Rāvana, O Rākshasa, even if thou hast drunk nectar, thou shalt at this very moment loose thy life, when the encounter with Vāli shall take place. O Vaisravana, do thou observe the variegated universe now—wait for a moment after which it will be hard for thee to keep thy life. Or if thou dost wish to meet with death do thou speedily repair to the southern ocean and thou shalt behold there Vāli like unto fire placed on earth.’ Hearing those words, Rāvana, the aggrandiser of the triple world, remonstrated with Tārā and ascending his flowery car went to the southern ocean and espied Vāli, having red countenance like the rising sun, engaged in Sandhyā rites with whole-mindedness. Thereupon having descended from his Pushpaka car he with silent steps approached Vāli to bring him under his grasp. Casting his looks at pleasure, Vāli saw him. Albeit apprised of his evil intention, he was not the least moved. And he did not care for him as a lion is not moved on beholding a hare and Garuda on beholding a serpent. He then thought within himself—’This vicious-souled Rāvana is approaching to catch me; holding him under my arm pit I shall journey over the three great oceans. Everyone will behold the enemy Rāvana, under my arm pit as a serpent possessed by Garuda, with his thighs, arms and clothes loosened.’ Having thought thus Vāli remained silent for sometime and reciting incantations he waited there like a mountain. Thereupon the king of monkeys and the lord of Rakshasas, proud of strength, essayed to catch one another. Vāli was seated with his back (towards Rāvana); still from his footsteps he perceived that he had come within the grasp of Rāvana’s army and he at once caught hold of him like unto Garuda holding a serpent. Getting hold of Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, desirous of catching him, (Vāli) and placing him under his arm-pit Vāli vehemently rose high up in the welkin. And he went away carrying him, scratching him again and again with his nails like unto winds scattering clouds. The Ten-necked demon being thus carried away, his councillors, to release him, pursued, exclaiming, Vāli, in the welkin. They thus following him, Vāli, appeared in the sky like the sun in the midst of clouds. The Rākshasas could not catch Vāli but were rather exhausted by the stroke of his arms and thighs. What to speak of animals made of flesh and blood anxious for their lives even the mountains make way when Vāli goes. Rising high up into the sky where even the birds cannot reach, Vāli, the lord of monkeys and gifted with great velocity, by and by finished his Sandhyā rites above the oceans. Being worshipped by the aerials their lord, with Rāvana, first proceeded to the western ocean. And having finished there Sandhyā prayers and recited incantations he, with Daçānana, went to the northern ocean. And having journeyed over many thousand leagues that huge monkey, with his enemy, finished his prayers there and then proceeded to the eastern ocean. And having recited his prayers there also, Vāli, the son of Indra, and the king of monkeys, carrying Rāvana, returned to the city of Kishkindhā. Having gone through his Sandhyā rites at the four oceans and carrying Rāvana, that monkey-chief was greatly exhausted and (therefore) descended into the gardens of Kishkindhā. Having got out Rāvana from his arm-pit, the foremost of monkeys, laughing again and again said:—’Whence art thou coming?’ Thereupon being surprised greatly, Daçānana, the king of Rākshasas, with eyes shaking with exhaustion, said to the king of monkeys:—’O king of monkeys, resembling Mahendra, I am Rāvana, the king of Rākshasas; I came here to fight: but I have been defeated by thee. Alas! What strength is thine! what prowess!! What gravity!!! Holding me like a beast thou hast journeyed over the four oceans. O hero! What heroic wight is there who is not exhausted by carrying me so vehemently? O monkey, mind, wind and Garuda—these three are gifted with the velocity. Undoubtedly thou hast got the same velocity. Thy prowess hath been sufficiently displayed. But now I wish, O king of monkeys, to make friends with thee for ever before fire. O king of monkeys, from to-day, wife, sons, city, kingdom, enjoyment, cloth and food shall be our common.’ Thereupon having lighted up fire the king of monkeys and the king of Rakshasas, embracing each other, became friends. Thereupon holding each other by the arms they entered the city of Kishkindhā like unto two lions, entering delightedly a cave. There like Sugriva Rāvana spent a month. Afterwards his councillors, desirous of destroying the triple world, took him away. O lord Rāma, I have thus related to thee the previous history. Having thus belaboured Rāvana Vāli at last made friends with before fire. O Rāma, Vāli had unequalled and great strength, Like unto fire burning down locusts thou didst burn down Vāli.”
Thereupon Rāma, being stricken with curiosity, with folded palms and humbly accosted Agastya, residing in the southern quarter, with pregnant accents, saying;—”Thou sayest that Rāvana and Vāli had unequalled strength but methinks theirs can not equal that of Hanumān. Heroism, liberality, strength, patience, intellect, knowledge of laws and means, prowess and energy all exist together in Hanumān. When the monkey host lost heart on beholding the ocean, Hanumān, consoling crossed over the deep extending over a hundred leagues. Having desecrated the presiding goddess of Lankā and on beholding Sitā there, he consoled her. What to speak of more, Hanumān, single-handed, slew Rāvana’s commander-in-chief, the minister’s son, his servants and his one son. Being released from the Brahma weapon Hanumān remonstrated with Rāvana, and reduced Lankā into ashes like unto fire burning down earth. What I have seen myself performed by Hanumān in the conflict is above the power of Kāla, Vāsava and even the lord of riches. It is by the strength of the arms of that Wind-god’s son I have obtained Lankā, Sitā, Lakshrnana, Victory, kingdom and my friends. What more, had not Hanumān, the friend of the king of monkeys—Sugriva, been in my company who could have brought Sitā’s intelligence? Why did not Hanumān, although wishing welfare unto Sugriva, reduce Vāli to ashes like so many creepers on the occasion of his quarrel with Sugriva? Methinks, Hanumān was not cognisant of his own prowess then? And therefore he did stoop to witness the miseries of Sugriva—the king of monkeys who was dearer than his life. O thou worshipped of the immortals, do thou truly describe unto me this action of Hanumān.” Hearing those well-meaning words of Rāghava, the ascetic Agastya said to him in the presence of Hanumān. “O foremost of Raghus, what thou hast said regarding Hanumān is all true. As regards, strength, velocity and intellect there is none who can equal Hanumān. O represser of enemies, in the days of yore Hanumān was imprecated by the ascetics, whose curses never become fruitless, to the effect that he would never be conscious of his whole strength. I am not capable of describing to thee the wondrous childish feat which Hanumān did perform in his boyhood. But if thou art, O Rāghava, greatly anxious to hear it, I shall relate—do thou hear with a quiescent mind. Hanumān’s father Keshari reigned in the mountain Sumeru which resembles gold by the influence of the sun. Keshari had a well-known wife by the name of Anjanā to whom he was greatly attached. The deity Wind begot on Anjanā an excellent son. Repairing to a dense forest for collecting fruits, the excellent damsel gave birth to Hanumān resembling the tip of a Sāla tree and went away. Being distressed with hunger on account of the absence of the mother, Hanumān, just born, cried like Kartikeya, the commander-in-chief of the celestials, in the forest of Saras. At this time the sun resembling Yavā flowers, having risen, Hanumān, to get a fruit, sprang up. Being desirous of holding the newly risen sun, Hanumān, resembling it, began to leap in the middle of the welkin. The child Hanumān having thus ascended the sky, celestials, Dānavas and Yakshas surprisingly exclaimed ’The velocity, with which Marut’s son is going, is not possessed even by the Wind, Garuda and mind. If he has got such vehemence in his boyhood what great strength he shall have in his youth.’ His own son thus leaping, the wind, becoming cool by the touch of snow, began to follow him proceeding in the sky lest the rays of the sun might scorch him. Rising high up in the sky on account of childish freaks and traversed many thousand leagues by the help of his father Hanumān neared the sun. Considering that he was a mere child and therefore not tarnished by any sin and that a great divine work would be accomplished by him in future the sun did not burn Hanumān. At the every day when Hanumān sprang up to hold the sun, Rahu too essayed to possess him. Having reached the top of the sun’s car Hanumān touched Rahu; so he, the represser of the moon’s rays, accordingly went back on beholding the sun thus possessed. And repairing to the house of Indra, Sinhika’s son, in wrath and with frowns, said to him encircled by the celestials:—’O Vasava! O slayer of Bala and Vitra—to remove my hunger thou didst give me both the sun and moon; why thou hast then given them to another? On account of the Parva I came to devour the sun but another Rahu came and possessed him.’ Hearing the words of Rahu, the King of the deities, wearing a golden garland, having his understanding bewildered, proceeded, on the back of his elephant-chief Airavat, huge like the summit of the Kailasa hill, with temporal juice always trickling, having four tusks, roaring, and adorned with golden bells, towards Hanumān and the sun with Rahu before him. Having left behind Indra, Rahu quickly went there but fled away on beholding the huge-bodied Hanumān resembling a mountain summit. Thereupon leaving aside the sun and being desirous of holding Rāhu, the son of Sinhikā considering him as a fruit, Hanumān again sprang up into the sky. Beholding Hanumān approach renouncing the sun, Rahu with his countenance only visible, desisted and went back. And considering Indra as the saviour he again and again cried aloud ’Indra! Indra!!’ Understanding everything by the piteous accents of Rahu Indra said, ’No fear, I shall soon slay him.’ Thereupon beholding the huge-bodied Airavat and considering him as a bigger fruit Māruti ran towards him. Proceeding thus tempestuously when he rose above the head of Indra, Hanumān, looked in a moment dreadful like the fire of dissolution. But not greatly enraged the thousand-eyed lord of Sachi, with the thunder-bolt in his hand, struck the running Hanumān. Belaboured by the thunder-bolt of Indra Hanumān fell down and broke his left jaw. He being thus overwhelmed by the stroke of Indra’s thunder-bolt, the Wind-god became displeased with the king of celestials and was determined upon bringing about mischief unto all created beings. The all-comprehending wind, not spreading himself, entered into a cave with his son. Like unto Vāsava distressing all creatures by putting a stop to the showers, the wind too put all animals into unbearable suffering by obstructing all execrations. On account of the anger of the Wind-god their breath was completely obstructed, and the joints—as if pierced, became hard as wood. Sādhya Vasatkār and all the religious observances of the triple world were put a stop to by the anger of the Wind-god. So the three worlds appeared as if stricken with sorrow. Thereupon the afflicted celestials, Gandharvas, Asuras and men repaired to the Patriarch Brahmā with a view to bring about the well-being of created beings. And with their bellies swollen for the obstruction of the wind the celestials with folded hands said:—’O lord of created beings, thou hast created four classes of beings and thou hast given us wind to preserve our lives. But we do not know, why the wind, the lord of our beings, is distressing us, by obstructing our movements like unto females confined in an inner apartment. Being thus distressed by the wind we have come to seek thy shelter, O thou the remover of miseries—do thou remove our afflictions consequent upon the obstruction of the wind.’ Hearing those words of the created beings, their lord (the Patriarch Brahmā) again said ’Hear, why the wind, being enraged, has obstructed the course of all beings. Hearing the words of Rahu, Indra, the king of the celestials, hath belaboured the Wind-god’s son. It is for this that he hath been offended. Preserving the bodied, the wind, having no person, passes through them all. Without wind the body becomes like wood. Therefore the wind constitutes the life, the happiness and the whole universe. Renouncing the wind the world cannot attain to happiness. Being cast off by the wind and having their breaths obstructed, behold, the world, to-day appeareth like dried wood. Let us therefore go there where the wind, the giver of our afflictions, waiteth. If we do not please the son of Aditi we shall all meet with destruction.’ Thereupon the Patriarch Brahmā, the celestials, Gandharvas, serpents, Guhyakas and other created beings went where the wind was waiting with his own son belaboured by the king of the celestials. Thereupon beholding that boy, on the lap of the Wind-God, resembling gold and Baisvanar, the four-mouthed Brahmā, the celestials, Gandharvas, Rishis, Yakshas and Rākshasas were all moved with pity.”
Hearing the whole history, Rāma, the descendant of Raghu, said to Agastya “O Reverend Sir, Riksharaja is the name of the father of Vāli and Sugriva but thou hast not told me the name of their mother. However I am curious to learn who was their mother, where was their residence, and how they had been named so—do thou favour me with the account.” Rāma having said this Agastya said:—”O Rāma, I shall relate to thee everything in short of what I had heard from Nārada when he came to my hermitage. Once on a time whilst travelling that highly pious ascetic arrived at my hermitage; I duly worshipped and welcomed him; and when I asked him out of curiosity, he, seated at pleasure, said:—’Hear, O great ascetic, the foremost of the pious; there is a mountain named Meru, highly picturesque, made of gold and greatly charming. The middle peak is much liked by the celestials, on which is situate the beautiful assemblage hall of Brahmā extending over a hundred leagues. The four-mouthed deity, sprung from lotus, always resideth there. And from his eyes while going through the Yoga practices tears trickled down. No sooner the Patriarch Brahmā, with his hands, wiped them off into the ground than a monkey originated from those tears. O foremost of men, as soon as that monkey was produced, the high-souled Brahmā consoled him in sweet accents and said—”Do thou proceed to that leading mountain where the celestials perpetually reside. O foremost of monkeys, living upon many a fruit and root in that picturesque mountain thou shouldst always live by me. And while thou shall live in this wise for some time thou shalt be crowned with auspiciousness.” Brahmā having said this, O Rāghava, the foremost of monkeys saluted that god of gods, placing his head at his feet and said to that Primaeval deity, the creator of beings and the lord of the universe. “O god, thou art placing me under thy behests—verily I shall follow them.” Having said this to Patriarch that monkey immediately went to a forest abounding in fruits and flowers. There living on fruits and collecting honey and various flowers, he, every day, used to come to Brahmā in the evening. O Rāma, in this wise he used to make an offering of excellent fruits and flowers at the feet of Brahmā, the god of gods. Journeying in this way over the mountain he spent many long years. Some time having elapsed in this way, O Rāghava, Riksharaja, the foremost of monkeys, being distressed with thirst, repaired to the excellent mountain Meru. There is a pond of pure water, resonant with the notes of various birds. Having shaken his manes with a delighted heart, Riksharaja saw his reflection in the waters. Beholding his own image there that monkey-chief, stricken with anger and anxiety thought—”What arch-enemy of mine is living in the waters? I shall destroy the excellent abode of the vicious-souled one.” Thinking thus within himself, that monkey, out of fickleness, jumped down into the lake. And he again sprang up therefrom. And at the time of rising, O Rāma, that leading monkey found himself metamorphosed into a female form, which was highly charming, graceful and beautiful. Her waist was spacious, eye-brows beautiful and hairs were black and curling; her countenance was beautiful and smiling, breast high and beauty matchless. And there appeared charming on the banks of the lake, lighting up all quarters that female, agitating the mind of all, and beautiful in the triple world like unto simple Sastilatā, Ramā, without lotus, pure rays of the moon, Parvati more beautiful than even Lakshmi. At this time was returning by that way, Indra, the leader of the celestials after having worshipped the feet of Brahmā. And the sun too journeying arrived there. They both simultaneously espied that female form and were possessed by desire. What more, their whole body, as soon as they saw her, was moved and the firmness of the mind shaken. Thereupon Indra begot on her a son named Vāli for he originated from her hairs and the sun begot on her another son, who was named Sugriva for he originated from her neck. Thus the two highly powerful monkeys being born, Indra went back to his region having conferred upon Vāli an un-ending garland of gold. And having engaged Hanumān, the Wind-god’s son in the service of Sugriva, the sun too went back to the sky. O king, the sun having risen after, that night Riksharaja again obtained his own real monkey shape. Having thus regained his monkey form he made his two highly powerful sons,—leading monkeys, assuming shapes at will and having tawny eyes, drink honey, like nectar. Thereupon taking them, he came to the abode of Brahmā. Beholding his son Riksharaja with his sons, Brahmā, the grand-father of the celestials, consoled him in diverse ways. Then he ordered the celestial messenger saying—”At my behest, O emissary, do thou proceed to the highly picturesque city of Kishkindhā. That golden, big and charming city is worthy of Riksharajā. There live many thousand monkeys besides others assuming shapes at will. It abounds in various jewels, invincible, is inhabitbeforeXLXed by four Varnas, holy and sacred. At my command Visvvakarmā has constructed the celestial and picturesque city of Kishkindhā. Do thou place there Riksharāja, the foremost of monkeys, with his sons; and having invited the leading monkeys and others and received them courteously do thou install him on the throne. On beholding this monkey-chief, gifted with intelligence they shall be all subject to him.” Brahmā, having said this, the celestial emissary, with Riksharāja before him, proceeded to the highly picturesque city of Kishkindhā. And having entered there with the velocity of the wind, he, at the command of the Patriarch, crowned the leading monkey Riksharāja as king. And being sprinkled according to the ceremonies of installation, and adorned with a crown and various other ornaments he, with a delighted heart, engaged in governing the monkeys. All the monkeys, residing on earth consisting of seven insular continents and bounded by ocean, came under his subjection. Thus Riksharāja was both the father and mother of Vāli and Sugriva. May good betide thee. The learned who listen to and make others hear this story, conducing to the enhancement of their delight, get all their desires and objects accomplished. I have duty described to thee at length all events and have recounted the stories relating to the birth of the Kings of monkeys and Rākahsasas.’”
Hearing this excellent Paurānic theme in the company of his brothers, Rāghava was greatly surprised. Thereupon hearing the words of the Rishi he said:—”By thy favour I have listened to the highly sacred theme. O foremost of Munis. I was greatly worked up with curiosity in this matter. I am not the least surprised to learn, O twice-born one, that those two sons of the celestials would be two highly powerful leading monkeys since their origin is divine.” Rāma having said this Agastya said:—”O thou having long arms, thus in the days of yore the birth of Vāli and Sugriva was brought about. O king, I shall now again relate to thee another divine theme. O Rāma I shall now describe to thee why did Rāvana steal Sitā. Do thou hear it attentively. O Rāma, in the golden age, having bowed unto the Patriarch’s son, the truthful Rishi Sanatkumar, highly effulgent, resplendent like unto the sun, shining in his native brilliance and seated at his own place, Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, said:—’Who is now amongst the celestials brave and powerful, by whose help the celestials can vanquish their enemies and whom the twice-born ones daily worship and the devotees meditate upon. O thou having piety for wealth, O thou gifted with six sorts of wealth, do thou describe this to me kindly.’ Being apprised of Rāvana’s intention, the saint Sanatkumar, who saw every thing through his devotion, said to him out of love—’Hear my son. The learned duly, in their sacrifices, worship that Hari, respected of people and drinking nectar, who is the lord of the universe, whoso origin we do not know, who is daily worshipped by the celestials and Asuras, who is highly powerful Nārāyana from whose navel has sprung Brahmā, the creator of the world, and who has created the universe consisting of mobile and immobile beings. The Yogis meditate upon him and celebrate sacrifices in his honor according to the Purānas, Vedas, Pancharātra and other rituals. He always vanquisheth in encounter Daityas Danavas, Rakshasas and all other enemies of the celestials and every one of them worships him.’ Hearing those words of the great ascetic Sanatkumar, Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, bowing, replied:—’Being slain by Hari to what station do the Daityas, Danavas and Rākshasas attain? And why doth Hari destroy them?’ Whereto Sanatkumar replied:—’Whoever are slain by the celestials do eternally reside in their region. And being banished therefrom, they again take their birth on earth. Thus by the misery and happiness acquired in their pristine existence, they go through births and deaths. O king, all the monarchs, slain by Janarddana, holding discus and the lord of the triple world, attained to his own region; even his anger becometh like a boon.’ Hearing those words given vent to by the great ascetic Sanatkumar the night-ranger Rāvana, being worked up with delight and surprise, began to meditate how he should enter into conflict with Hari.”
“The vicious-souled Rāvana thinking thus the great ascetic again gave vent to accents. ’O thou having long arms, what thou hast desired in thy mind shall be encompassed in the great encounter. Be thou happy and wait for some time.’ Hearing this the long-armed (Rāvana) again said to the ascetic—’Do thou tell me at length what are his marks.’ Hearing the words of the lord of Rākshasas, the ascetic replied:—’Hearken, I shall relate to thee every thing, O foremost of Rākshasas. That great deity pervadeth all, is minute, invisible ever-existing, and manifest over the universe consisting of mobile and immobile creations. He is present in the celestial region, in the earth, in the region underneath the earth, on the mountains, in the forests, in all stationary objects, in all rivers and in all cities. He is Om, truth, Sābitri and earth. He is known as the deity Dharādhara (holder of earth) and Ananta. He is day, night, morning and evening, Yama, the moon, Kāla, the wind, Brahmā, Rudra, Indra and water. He makes the world manifest and shine; he creates them, destroys them and governs them. He sporteth, is eternal, the lord of men, Vishnu, Purana and the only destroyer of the world. What is the use of speaking more, O Dasānana, He comprehends the three worlds, the mobile and immobile. Wearing a yellow raiment like unto the filaments of lotus, Nārāyana, resembling dark-blue lotus in colour, is resplendant like unto clouds in the welkin accompanied by lightning. And covering his person, Lakshmi, in the shape of warfare, lies stationed in his body like unto lightning in the clouds. The celestials, Asuras or Nāgas—none is capable of casting his looks upon him. He alone can see him with whom he is pleased, O my son; neither by the fruits of sacrifices, asceticism, self-control, gifts, sacrifices, nor by anything else can one behold the Illustrious Deity. Those alone can see Him, who have devoted themselves, their life and being, unto Him and who, by virtue of discriminative knowledge, have got their sins burnt. If thou art willing to behold him, hear, if thou dost like, I shall describe everything at length. At the end of the golden age and the beginning of Tretā Yuga the deity Nārāyana shall assume a human form for the benefit of men and celestials. A son by the name of Rāma shall be born unto Dasaratha, of the Ikshwāku race who shall govern earth. Rāma shall be highly effulgent, highly powerful and in patience like unto earth—and the enemies in the encounter shall not be able to eye him as they cannot the sun. In this wise the lord Nārāyana shall appear in a human form. At the behest of his sire, the pious and the high-minded Rāma shall sojourn in the forest of Dandaka in the company of his brother. His spouse the gracious Lakshmi, shall be celebrated under the appellation of Sitā. She will be born as the daughter of Janaka, the king of Mithilā and will come out of earth. In beauty she shall be matchless on earth and be gifted with auspicious marks and shall always follow Rāma like a shadow as the rays follow the moon. She will be graced with a good conduct, chaste and patient; and Sitā and Rāma shall always appear together like the rays of the sun. Rāvana, I have thus related to you everything about the Nārāyana, the great Brahman, eternal and incomprehensible.’ O Rāghava, hearing those words, the highly powerful lord of Rākshasas began to concert plans for entering into conflict with thee. Meditating again and again over Sanatkumār’s words and delighted he began to journey for battle.” Hearing those words, Rāma, with his eyes expanded in surprise, was greatly wondered. And being delighted he again said to Agastya, the foremost of the wise:—”Do thou recount the ancient stories.”
The highly effulgent and illustrious Agastya, sprung from a vessel, again addressed the humble Rāma as the great Patriarch sprung from lotus spoke unto the Great Deity, he said to Rāma, having truth for his prowess:—”Do thou hear.” Saying this, the highly effulgent Agastya began to narrate the last portion of the story. The high-minded saint, with a delighted heart, described unto Rāma all he had heard and narrated. “O high-minded Rāma, having long arms, it is for this reason that the vicious-souled Rāvana stole away Janaki, the daughter of king Janaka. O thou having long arms! O thou of many glories! O thou invincible! Nārada recounted this story unto me on the summit of the mountain-chief Meru. O Rāghava, the highly effulgent one narrated unto me the last portion of this story in the presence of the celestials, Gandharvas, Siddhas, ascetics and other great men. O lord of kings, O conferrer of honors, do thou listen to that story which removeth monstrous iniquity. Hearing this, O thou having long arms, the Rishis, and the celestials with delighted hearts, said to the ascetic Nārada He who shall reverentially listen to this story every day, shall be blessed with sons and grandsons and be honored in the region of the celestials.”
“Thereupon being desirous of achieving victories, Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, proud of his strength, began to journey over the earth in the company of the heroic Rākshasas. Whoever, amongst the Daityas, Dānavas and Rākshasis was reported to him as being powerful he used to invite for battle. O king of earth, having thus traversed the whole world, the ten-necked demon saw the saint Nārada returning to his own region from Brahmaloka. Like the second sun he was proceeding through the clouds. Rāvana, with a delighted heart, neared him and addressed the celestial saint Nārada with folded palms, saying:—’O thou gifted with six sorts of wealth, thou hast seen many a time all creations from Brahmā down to an insect. Do thou tell me, O great one, the inhabitants of which world are more powerful? I wish to fight with them according to my desire.’ Whereto, thinking for a moment, the celestial saint Nārada replied:—’O king, there is an insular continent near the milky ocean. All the inhabitants that live there are gifted with strength—effulgent like the rays of the moon, huge-bodied, highly powerful and have a voice deep as the muttering of the clouds. They are all greatly beautiful, patient and have huge arms. O king of Rākshasas, I have seen in Swetadwipa such powerful men, as thou dost want to see on this earth.’ Hearing the words of Nārada, Rāvana said:—’O celestial saint, why are the inhabitants of Swetadwipa powerful? And how did those high-souled ones come to live there? O lord, do thou relate to me everything at length. Thou dost observe the whole universe like a myrobalam in thy palms.’ Hearing the words of Rāvana, the celestial saint said:—’O lord of Rākshasas, the inhabitants of Swetadwipa are perpetually devoted unto Nārāyana with whole-mindedness and earnestly worship Him. They have always their hearts and minds devoted unto Him and are all high-souled. Having rendered their lives and souls unto Nārāyana, they have been blessed with their abode in Swetadwipa. Those, who are slain in the encounter with his bow bent by Vishnu—the holder of discus and the preserver of the world, attain to the celestial region. Neither by sacrifice, devout penance, self-control nor excellent gifts may be obtained the celestial region full of bliss.’ Hearing the words of Nārada, the Ten necked demon was worked up with surprise and meditating for some time said ’I shall enter into conflict with him.’ Thereupon inviting Nārada he proceeded to Swetadwipa. Thinking for a long time and being curious to witness that wondrous encounter, Nārada speedily went there. He was ever fond of sport and warfare. Filling all the quarters with dreadful leonine roars Rāvana with all the Rākshasas moved towards the Swetadwipa. After Nārada had reached there, the illustrious Daçānana went to that insular continent beyond even the reach of the celestials. Being struck by the radiant heat of that insular continent, the Puspaka car, of the mighty Rāvana, could not stand there like clouds scattered by the wind. Having arrived at that dreadful insular continent the councillors of the lord of Rākshasas, fearfully said to Rāvana. ’O lord, we are all stupified and beside ourselves with fear. We cannot anyhow stand here; how shall we fight?’ Saying this the Rākshasas fled away into all directions. And Daçānana too sent away his golden car Pushpaka with them. Having thus sent away his chariot and assuming a dreadful figure he alone entered Swetadwipa. At the time of his entering he was seen by the females there. One of them holding him by the hand and smiling said ’Why hast thou come hither? Who art thou? Who is thy father? and what for hast thou come here? Do thou definitely say.’ Hearing those words, O king, Rāvana, in anger said:—’I am the son of the ascetic Visrava, I am Rāvana by name; I have come hither being desirous of fighting; but I do not behold anyone here.’ The vicious-souled Rāvana having said this all the young damsels laughed gently. But one of them, being enraged, took up Rāvana, like a child, as if in sport and hurled him amongst her companions. And addressing another she said:—’Behold, I have caught this black Rāvana, having twenty arms and ten faces, like a small insect.’ Thereupon Rāvana, being worn out with hurling, passed from one one hand to another. Being thus hurled the learned and powerful Rāvana, in anger, severely bit the palms of that fair one. Being overwhelmed with pain that damsel let him off. Thereupon, another, taking that Rākshasa-chief, rose up in the welkin. Rāvana, again waxing wroth tore her with his nails. And being left off by that damsel, the terrified night-ranger fell down into the waters of the deep. The females, inhabiting that insular continent again and again in this wise hurled Rāvana. Beholding him thus distressed the highly effulgent Nārada danced in joy and surprise. O thou having long arms, being apprised of this, the vicious-souled Rāvana stole away Sitā with a view to meet death at thy hands. Thou art Nārāyana, holding discus, conch and club; thou hast in thy hands the bow, a lotus, thunder-bolt and other weapons; thou art worshipped of all deities; thou art graced with the mystic mark Sribatsa, adored by all celestials, hast a lotus navel, art a great ascetic, and Hrishikesha declaring fearlessness unto all devotees. Thou hast assumed a human form to bring about the destruction of Rāvana. Dost thou not recognise thyself as Nārāyana? O great one, do not forget thyself; do thou recollect thy real self. The Patriarch Brahmā said that thou art subtler than the subtle. Thou art the the three qualities, the three Vedas and the regions—that of the celestials, of the mortals and the region under the earth. Thy work is manifest in time, past, present and future; thou art the observer of three Vedas and the destroyer of the enemies of the celestials. With thy three steps, thou didst, in the days of yore, traverse the three worlds. Thou wert born of Aditi, as the youngest brother of Indra for binding Bali. Thou art the eternal Vishnu. To extend thy favours unto humanity thou hast been born as man. O foremost of the celestials, the work of the deities hath been accomplished. The vicious Rāvana, with his sons and relatives, hath been slain. The Rishis, having piety for their wealth and all the deities have been pleased. O foremost of gods—all this hath been brought about by thy favours; and the whole universe hath been pacified. Sitā is the very personation of Lakshmi, sprung from earth. It is for thee that she hath been born in the race of Janaka. Bringing her into Lankā Rāvana protected her with care like his mother. Rāma, I have thus related to thee the entire story. Hearing this from the Rishi Sanatkumar, the long-lived Nārada described this unto me. Daçānana, to a letter I followed the instructions of Sanatkumar. Who ever listens to this story at the time of Sraddha, the rice, offered by him, becoming inexhaustible, reaches his manes.” Hearing this celestial theme, the lotus-eyed Rāma along with his brothers was greatly surprised. And having their eyes expanded with delight the monkeys, with Sugriva, the Rākshasas with Bibhishana, the kings with their councillors, and all other assembled pious Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras, delightedly espied Rāma. Thereupon the highly effulgent Agastya said to Rāma:—”O Rāma, we have all seen thee and been honoured; now we shall depart.” Saying this, they, being honored, repaired to their respective habitations. The sun set, Rāma, the foremost of men, gave farewell to monkeys and their king and duly went through the Sandhya rite. Gradually night set in and he entered the inner appartment.
Kakutstha, knowing himself, being thus duly installed, the first night, enhancing the delight of the citizens, was spent. At dawn, the prisoners, to wake up the king, arrived at the palace. And those songsters, well trained and having a musical voice like the Kinnaras, began to eulogize the heroic king, to the increase of his joy. “Awake, O gentle hero, increasing Kausalyā’s joy, O foremost of men. Thyself being asleep the whole universe will be laid up with sleep. In prowess thou art like Vishnu, in beauty thou art like two Aswins, in intellect thou art like Vrihaspati and in the capacity of governing thou art like the Patriarch Brahmā. Thy patience equals that of earth, thy effulgence equals that of the sun, thy velocity equals the wind and thy gravity resembles the deep. Thou art stable like a stake, gentle like the moon. No king like thee had flourished before—no other shall follow. O foremost of men, thou art irrepressible, ever pious and engaged in bringing about welfare unto thy subjects. Fame and wealth shall never renounce thee. O Kākutstha, in thee are perpetually stationed grace and wealth.” Thus did the panegyrists eulogise him in various sweet accents and Rāghava got up. Like unto Hari rising up from the bed of serpents Rāma, thus eulogized, rose up from his bed covered with a a white coverlet. Taking white vessels full of water, thousands of well-trained survitors stood waiting before the high-souled (Rāma). Washing his mouth, being purified and offering oblation unto fire, he entered the holy room of the tutelary deity much honored by the Ikshwākus. And there having worshipped duly the celestials, manes and the Brahmins, he, encircled by men, came to the outer apartment And there arrived the leading priests headed by Vasishtha and ministers all resplendant like unto fire. And there sat around Rāma the Kashatrya kings hailing from various provinces as the celestials sit encircling their lord Indra. The illustrious Bharata, Lakshmana and Satrughna began to worship him and he appeared like a sacrifice conducted by Vedic hymns. And the servants, with their eyes shut, sat around him. The twenty heroic monkeys headed by the highly powerful Sugriva also began to worship him. As the Guhyakas worship Kuvera so Bibhishana, accompanied by four Rākshasas, waited upon him. All those who were advanced in the study of Vedas, born in respectable families, and learned, bowed unto the king lowering their beads. Like unto the celestial-king Indra worshipped by the saints the king Rāma was being perpetually honored by the effulgent saints, kings, monkeys, and Rākshasas. He appeared more beautiful than Indra at that time. And religious themes were recited in that assembly by persons conversant with the knowledge of Puranas.
Thus did the long-armed Rāma spend his days looking into all administrative works relating to the city and provinces. Some days having elapsed, he, with folded hands, said to Janaka, the king of Mithilā, “Thou art our only refuge—we have been reared by thee and by the help of thy dreadful prowess we have been able to destroy Rāvana. O king, the relation between the families of Ikshwāku and Mithilā, is unequalled and delightful. Taking the jewel, do thou proceed to thy own city and Bharata as a help shall follow thee.” Saying “So be it,” the king Janaka bespoke Rāma “O king, I have been delighted with seeing thee and thy courteous manners. The jewels collected for me, I do confer upon my two daughters.” The royal saint Janaka having gone away, Rāma, with folded hands and humbly said to his maternal uncle Kaikeya—”O king, this kingdom, myself, Bharat and Lakshmana are all at thy disposal. The old king might have been grieved for thy long absence. It therefore behoveth thee, O king, to go there to-day. With immense wealth and various jewels let Lakshmana follow thee.” Agreeing with his request Yudhājit said, “O Rāghava, let jewels and wealth be be inexhaustible with thee.” Thereupon, Rāma, at first saluted and went round him and then Yudhājit, the son of Kekaya, went away to his kingdom in the company of Lakshmana like unto Indra (leaving for home) in the company of Vishnu on the destruction of the Asura Vitra. Having bade adieu unto his maternal uncle Rāma embraced his friend Pratardana, the undaunted king of Kashi and said:—”Thou hast displayed thy brotherly feelings and delight by making arrangements for my installation in the company of Bharata. O king, do thou now leave for thy city Baranushi, highly picturesque, well-guarded, girt by strong walls on all sides and having well-decorated gate-ways.” Saying this, Rāma, the descendant of Kākutstha rose up from his seat and embraced him cordially. Having taken farewell from Rāma enhancing Kausalya’s delight, the king of Kashi, with his followers, fearlessly and speedily proceeded to his own city. Having bade adieu to the king of Kashi, Rāma, with a smiling countenance and sweet accents, said to the three hundred assembled kings: “Being well protected by your own prowess, you have all displayed your great love for me. By your piety, truthfulness, sagacity and strength, the vicious-souled Rāvana hath been slain. Forsooth, I am merely the instrument in the destruction of Rāvana—he hath been slain by your strength. Hearing that Sitā, the daughter of Janaka, had been stolen away from the forest the high-minded Bharata did bring you all—but fortunately you were not constrained to go through miseries. High-minded as you are, you were all prepared for this work. Long since you have come here. I think it better that you should proceed to your respective habitations.” Whereto the kings, greatly delighted, replied: “O Rāma, it is by thy good fortune that thou hast come off victorious and been installed on the throne; it is by thy good luck that thou hast got back Sitā and the enemy Daçānana hath been vanquished. That we behold thee, O Rāma, victorious and freed from all enemies, is our great benefit and delight. The encomiums, thou hast showered upon us, are natural with thee. Thou art Rāma, who always pleases people. Thou art worthy of being praised but we do not know how to praise thee. With thy permission we shall now leave for our respective provinces but thou shalt always reside in our hearts. O thou having long arms, O great king, mayst thou have that love for us perpetually that we may find place in thy heart.” Whereto Rāma replied saying “So be it.” Thereupon the kings, highly delighted and desirous of going, bade farewell unto Rāma, with folded palms and being honored by him, left for their respective kingdoms.
Having agitated the earth with thousands of elephants and horses the kings proceeded to various quarters. And being prepared to help Rāma many Akshauhini soldiers with many steeds waited at Ayodhyā at the command of Bharata. Those kings, proud and powerful, spoke to one another—”We did not face Rāvana—the enemy of Rāma; Bharata did uselessly invite us after the destruction of Rāvana. Had they brought us earlier, we would, forsooth, have slain him. We would have, on the other side of the ocean, well protected by the prowess of Rāma and Lakshmana, and freed from all disturbances, fought at pleasure.” Being thus delighted, all those assembled princes proceeded to their respective kingdoms, dwelling on these and various other topics. And having arrived at their celebrated cities, unscathed, abounding in delighted people, wealth, crops and jewels they sent various presents of jems to Rāma for his satisfaction. Besides this they made over to him innumerable horses, conveyances, infuriated elephants, sandal, excellent ornamants, jewels, pearls, corals, beautiful female servants and various cars. And taking all those jewels, the highly powerful Bharata, Lakshmana and Satrughna returned to their own city. Having arrived at the picturesque city Ayodhyā those foremost of men, made presents of various jewels unto Rāma. Having delightedly accepted those gifts Rāma in return made presents of them unto the successful king Sugriva, Bibhishana and other Rākshasas and monkeys by whose help he had achieved victory. And those highly powerful monkeys and night-rangers wore on their heads and arms those jewels conferred on them by Rāma. Having placed on his lap the long-armed Angada and Hanumān, the mighty car-warrior—the lotus-eyed Rāma said to Sugriva “Angada is thy good son and Hanumān is thy wise councillor. O Sugriva, these are always engaged in my well-being and in giving me good counsels. For thee, therefore, O king of monkeys, I should honor them in various ways.” Having said this, the illustrious Rāma took off from his arms valuable ornaments and adorned Angada and Hanumān therewith. Thereupon having welcomed and casting loving looks upon the highly powerful and leading monkeys such as Neela, Kesarin, Kumuda, Gandhamādana, Sushena, Panasa, Mainda, Dwivida, Jāmbavān, Gabāksha, Dhumra, Baleemukha, Prajaghna, Saunāda, Dareemukha, Dadbimuka, Indrajānu and others, he addressed them all in sweet accents, saying:—”You are all my friends like unto my limbs and brothers. O ye inhabitants of forests, you have saved me from the ocean of danger. Blessed is the king Sugriva and blessed are the friends like yourselves.” Saying this Rāma, the foremost of men, conferred upon them duly many precious clothes and ornaments and embraced them all. The monkeys lived there all happily feasting on fragrant honey, well-cooked meat and various fruits and roots. In this way they spent more than a month—but it appeared to them as a moment on account of their devotion unto Rāma. He, too also spent his time happily with monkeys assuming shapes at will, the highly powerful Rākshasas and the mighty bears. In this way the delighted monkeys and Rākshasas spent the second winter month. Enjoying delight they thus spent their days happily in the city of Ayodhyā working to the welfare of Rāma.
In this wise, the monkeys, bears and Rākshasas spent their days in Ayodhyā. Thereupon the highly effulgent Rāma, the descendant of Raghu said to Sugriva:—”O gentle one, proceeding to the city of Kishkindhā, hard to be got at by the celestials and Asuras, do thou reign there undisturbed with thy councillors. O thou having long arms, always look towards Angada, with loving eyes. Do thou, O Sugriva, protect lovingly the highly powerful Hanumān, Nala, thy father-in-law Sushena, the mighty Tāra, irrepressible Kumada, the powerful Neela, the heroic Satabali, Mainda, Dwivida, Gaya, Gavaksha, Gavaya, Sarava, the irrepressible and powerful king of bears Jamvaban, Gandhamādana, valiant Rishava, Supatala, Keshan, Sarabha and Sumbha—these and other heroic monkeys who dedicated their lives to my service. Do thou never act to their displeasure.” Having said this and embraced Sugriva again and again Rāma addressed Bibhishana with sweet accents. “I know thou art cognizant of piety; the citizens, thy councillors and thy brother Kuvera also love thee; do thou therefore go and govern Lankā piously, O king; never cherish any vile intention; the honest kings always enjoy the earth. And my only request to thee, O king, is that thou mayst with love remember me and Sugriva. Do thou now proceed, divested of sorrow.” Hearing the words of Rāma, the bears, monkeys and Rākshasas repeatedly exclaimed glory unto Rāma and said “O Rāma, having long arms, thy understanding resembleth that of the Self-Sprung, thy prowess is equally wonderful and thy beauty is also par excellence.” The monkeys and Rākshasas having said this, Hanumān bowing, said unto Rāma “May my loving reverence be always in thee, O king; may my devotion unto thee remain unshaken, O hero; and may my mind be not attached unto any other thing. May my life remain in my body as long as the stories of Rāma shall be in currency on earth. Let not this prove otherwise. O foremost of men, O descendant of Raghu, may the Apsarās make me always hear of thy themes. O hero, as the winds scatter the clouds so I shall remove my anxiety by listening to thy nectar-like themes.” After Hanumān had said this, Rāma rose up from his throne and having embraced Hanumān affectionately said, “O foremost of monkeys, what thou hast said, shall undoubtedly be carried out into action. As long as my stories shall be current on earth thy fame shall exist and life shall be in thy body. And as long as the world shall exist my themes shall be related. I cannot, even at the sacrifice of my life, release myself from the debts of one good service out of the many, thou hast done for me, monkey; and I shall for ever remain indebted to thee for thy last benefaction. Or let them wear out in me, for men, at the time of danger, become worthy of having their benefits returned.” Having said this, Rāma took off from his neck a chain set with sapphires brilliant as the rays of the moon and placed it round the neck of Hanumān. Like unto the mountain Sumeru beautified by the rising of the moon on its summit, Hanumān, the foremost of monkeys, appeared graceful with the chain placed on his breast. And hearing the words of Rāghava, the highly powerful monkeys, one by one, saluted Rāma, touching his feet and went away. Both Sugriva and the virtuous-souled Bibhishana embraced Rāma and three of them were beside themselves with tears. And other monkeys and Rākshasas were all moved with tears and sorrow to take leave of Rāma. Having received favours thus from the high-souled Rāghava the monkeys went away to their own houses like-unto bodied creatures leaving off their bodies. Thereupon the Rākshasas, bears, monkeys, having bowed unto Rāma, the glory of the Raghu family and with their eyes full of tears consequent upon his separation, went away to the countries from which they had hailed.
Having bade adieu unto bears, monkeys and Rākshasas the long-armed Rāma began to live happily in the company of his brothers. Thereupon he and his brothers heard from the air the following sweet accents:—”O gentle Rāma, do thou with a delighted countenance behold me. O lord, know me as Pushpaka coming from the abode of Kuvera. O foremost of men, at thy command I did go there to carry him. But he said to me:—’Having slain the irrepressible Rāvana in battle the high-souled Rāma, the foremost of men, hath conquered thee. I have greatly been delighted on the destruction of the vicious-souled Rāvana, with his relatives, sons and friends. O gentle one, the great Rāma hath conquered thee in Lankā; I permit thee, therefore to convey him. Thou art the fit conveyance for traversing all regions. But my earnest desire is that thou shouldst take Rāma, the descendant of Raghu. Do, thou therefore go there at pleasure without any sorrow.’ Hearing this command of the high-souled Kuvera I have come to thee. Do thou fearlessly accept me. I am above the conquest of all the worlds. At the command of Kuvera I shall valiantly traverse all regions carrying out your behests.” Hearing the words of Pushpaka, the highly powerful Rāma said to the returning car stationed in the welkin:—”O foremost of cars, Pushpaka, if such be the case, do thou come here; while the lord of wealth hath commanded thus, I will not be blameable for bad character.” Having said this and worshipped it with dried paddy, fragrant flowers and incense, Rāma, having long arms, addressed Pushpaka—”Do thou go now and come here whenever I shall remember thee. While proceeding by the welkin, O gentle one, be not sorry for our separation. And be not obstructed in thy course whilst traversing all the quarters.” Having been adored by Rāma and saving ’So be it’ Pushpaka proceeded towards its wished-for direction. And the holy Pushpaka car having thus vanished, Bharata, with folded palms, said to Rāma, the delight of Raghus—”O hero, during thy divine administration, we have seen many inhuman creatures and objects speak like men. During all these months since thy installation subjects have not suffered from any disease. Even the most aged animals have not met with death. The female, without any risk, have been giving birth to children and all people are plump and delighted. The delight of the citizens hath been greatly increased, O king. Indra hath been pouring nectar-like showers in due time. The wind is always delightful and wholesome. O king of men, the inhabitants of the city and provinces are all saying ’We may have for ever such a king.’” Hearing those sweet accents given vent to by Bharata, Rāma, the foremost of kings was greatly delighted.
Having sent away the golden Pushpaka, the highly powerful Rāma entered the Asoka forest beautified by sandal, Aguru, Mangoe, dark sandal and Debadaru trees, and covered with Champaka, Aguru, Nāga, Kesara, Madhuka, Panasa, Sarja, Pārijāta, resembling smokeless fire, Sodhra, Neepa, Arjuna, Nāga, Saptaparna, Muktaka, Mandāra, Kadalee and various creepers, abounding in Priyanga, Kadamba, Vakula, Jambu, pomegranate, and Kadali trees, containing various flowers, picturesque, having many fruits, fragrant, decorated with new leaves and adorned with various other trees. There were many a tree, having profuse foliage and flowers and covered with maddened black bees as if constructed by architects. The forest-land was variegated and beautified by cuckoos, the ornaments of mangoe trees, black-bees and various birds of various colours. Amongst the trees beautifying the forest some were gold-hued, some were radiant as the flame of fire and some were like red collyrium. There were various flowers, spreading fragrance and making garlands. And there were various ponds filled with pure water. The stairs of those ponds were made of corals and the ground was of crystal. And they were all filled with lotuses and lilies. They were beautified with Chakrabakas and the banks were graced with variegated trees and flowers. And the forest was encompassed by stone walls and in the inside were dwelling many a Sārdula bird resembling Vaiduryas. All the trees in the forest were filled with flowers. And the rocks there, covered with flowers falling down from trees, appeared like welkin beautified with stars. And Rāma’s Asoka forest was like unto Indra’s Nandana and Kuvera’s Chitraratha made by Brahmā. Having entered the rich Asoka forest abounding in many seats and houses and creepers Rāma sat on an excellent seat, covered with a beautiful coverlet and well constructed. Like unto Purandara with Sachi he took Sitā by the hand, made her sit and drink the wine distilled in the province of Mira. And in no time the servants brought for him well-cooked meat and various fruits. Being inebriete the beautiful Apsarās, well-skilled in the art of singing and dancing, began to dance before Rāma in the company of Kinnaris. The virtuous-souled Rāma, the foremost of those who know how to please, satisfied those beautiful damsels adorned with various ornaments. And Sitā sitting by him, he appeared like the effulgent Vasishtha in the company of Arundhati. Being greatly delighted the celestial-like Rāma pleased every day Sitā resembling a celestial damsel. Sitā and Rāghava thus spent their days happily. And thus was spent the delightful winter giving all enjoyments. Enjoying various things the high-souled Rāma and Sitā spent ten thousand years. Once on a time, having performed all the religious ceremonies, in the fore part of the day, Rāma, to spend the evening, entered the inner apartment. Sitā, too, having performed all religious ceremonies, at first attended to the service of her mothers-in-law. Thereupon wearing a beautifully coloured cloth and being adorned with various ornaments Sitā appeared before Rāma like unto Sachi approaching the king of celestials in heaven. And beholding the auspicious signs of pregnancy in his spouse Rāma attained to excessive delight. Thereupon he said to the beautiful Sitā resembling a celestial damsel:—”O Vaidehi—signs of pregnancy are manifest in thee. What desires of thine can we satisfy?” Smiling a little the daughter of Janaka said:—”O Rāghava, I wish to behold the holy hermitages. I wish to salute the greatly effulgent Rishis living on fruits and roots and residing on the banks of the Ganges. I greatly desire, O Rāma, that I may spend even one night in the hermitage of the Rishis living on fruits and roots.” Whereto replied Rāma of unwearied actions, saying “So be it. Believe me, O Vaidehi, that thou shalt undoubtedly go there to-morrow.” Having thus addressed Maithili, the daughter of Janaka, Rāma, the descendant of Kākutstha, then issued out of the inner apartment and entered the middle one filled with his friends.
Rāma having taken his seat there, the experienced councillors encircling him began to dwell upon many amusing stories. Bijoya, Madhumatta, Kasyapa, Mangala, Kula, Surajni, Kalya, Vadra Dantavakta, Sumagadha—all delightedly began to introduce many amusings talks before the high-souled Rāma. Thereupon Rāma incidentally addressed them saying—”O Vadra, how do the inhabitants of the city and provinces talk about Sitā, Bharata, Lakshmana, Satrughna and the mother Kaikeyi? The kings, when they deviate from the paths of justice, become objects of censure in the houses of men and even in the forests as well.” Rāma having said this, Vadra with folded hands replied:—”O king, the citizens speak many good things about thee; besides they dilate upon many things in their own houses regarding thine conquest acquired by the destruction of the Ten-necked demon.” Hearing the words of Vadra, Rāma said:—”Without hiding any thing, do thou relate every thing from the beginning as they are; what good and bad things have been given vent to by the citizens. Hearing the good and bad opinions of the citizens I shall desist from bad actions and engage in good ones. Whatever vicious actions of mine are talked of by subjects in cities and provinces do thou relate unto me confidently and fearlessly.” Hearing the sweet accents of Rāma, Vadra, with a quiescent mind and folded palms, said:—”Hear, O king, I shall relate to thee all those unpleasant things frequently dwelt upon by people in court-yards, markets, public roads, forests and, gardens. Indeed Rāma hath accomplished a wonderfully hard work; our ancestors, the celestials, the Dānavas—none heard of constructing a bridge over the ocean? Rāma hath slain the irrepressible Rāvana with his army and brought over the monkeys, bears and Rakhasas to his own side. Having discomfitted Rāvana, in the encounter Rāma hath released Sitā, but not being the least enraged on account of her being touched by Rāvana he hath brought her to his own city. Rāvana did forcibly place Sitā on his lap; how can then Rāma enjoy delight in her company? Having taken her to the city of Lankā, Rāvana did keep her in the Asoka forest and Sitā was brought under the control of Rākshashes. Still Rāma hath not been worked up with hatred by Sitā. From now we shall also brooke the bad conduct of our wives—for the subjects always tread the footsteps of their King. O King, the subjects thus talk of many things in cities and provinces.” Hearing those words of Vadra, Rāghava was greatly sorry and asked his friends saying “Do the subjects thus talk about me?” Thereupon lowering their heads and saluting him they all said to Rāghava, of a depressed mind—”For sooth, the subjects thus talk about.” Thereupon Kākutstha, the slayer of enemies, hearing all those words, dismissed his friends.
Having sent away his friends and determined what to do, Rāma, the delight of the Rāghus, commanded the warder, who was seated hard by, saying:—”Do thou speedily bring here, Lakshmana the son of Sumitra and gifted with auspicious marks, the great Bharata and the irrepressible Satrughna.” Hearing the words of Rāma and placing his folded palms on his head the warder reached the house of Lakshmana and unobstructed entered therein. And having saluted him, with folded palms he said to the high-souled Lakshmana:—”The King wishes to behold thee—do thou soon go there.” Thereupon being apprised of Rāghava’s command and saying “So be it,” Saumitri ascended his car and went speedily towards Rāma’s abode. Having beheld Lakshmana’s departure the warder humbly went to Bharata and having blessed him with folded hands said:—”The King wishes to see thee.” Hearing of the command of Rāma from the warder, the highly powerful Bharata at once got up from his seat and proceeded on foot. Seeing Bharata’s departure the warder speedily went to Satrughna and with folded hands said:—”Do thou come, O foremost Raghus, the King wisheth to behold thee.” Hearing the words of the warder Satrughna lowered his head and rising up speedily proceeded to Rāma. Thereupon returning, the warder, with folded hands, communicated unto Rāma, the arrivals of his brothers. So long Rāma was engaged poorly in anxious meditation with his crown bent downwards. Informed of the princes’ arrival he commanded the warder, “Do thou soon bring the princes here. My life depends upon them. They are my dearest life.” Having obtained Rāma’s command, the princes, clothed in white raiment, entered there, with folded palms and quiescent mind. Having entered there they saw that Rāma’s countenance was shorn of beauty like unto the moon possessed by Rāhu, the setting sun and the withered lotus and his eyes were full of tears. Having approached him quickly, and saluted his feet they anxiously sat there. Thereupon having wiped off his tears and embraced them with his arms he raised up the princes and pressed them to take their seats. Thereupon he said—”You are mine all; you constitute my life; O princes, I am governing the kingdom gained by you; you are all learned, pious and intelligent. Do ye follow the duties I point out.” Rāma, the descendant of Kākustha having said this, they, with anxiety and attention, awaited the orders of the king.
The princes were all waiting with a poorly heart when Rāma, with a dried countenance, addressed them, saying:—”May good betide you—do not act against my desire. Hear, what the citizens have been talking about me and Sitā. The citizens as well as the inhabitants of provinces have been showering censures upon me. I have been pierced to the very vitals by those accusations. I have been born in the illustrious family of the high-souled Ikshwākus. Sitā hath been born also in the holy family of the great Janaka; gentle Lakshmana, thou knowest how in the solitary forest of Dandaka, Sitā was stolen away by Rāvana and how have I slain him. At that time even I was stricken with anxiety regarding Sitā that how I could take her home since she had resided in the house of the Rākshasas. To secure my confidence, Sitā, in your very presence, entered fire. At that time, O Saumitri, fire, carrying sacrificial oblations and the wind of the sky declared Sitā’s innocence before the celestials. In the presence of all the Rishis and gods, the Sun and Moon announced the innocence of the daughter of Janaka. Indra, the king of the celestials, himself handed over the chaste Sitā unto me in the island of Lankā. My mind knoweth Sitā as chaste for ever. So, at that time I came back to Ayodhyā with Sitā. But now a great sorrow consequent upon the censure of the citizens and villagers hath pierced my heart. He, who is notorious on this earth and as long as that notoriety remains current, is classed amongst the vile. Even the celestials speak ill of bad name—whereas fame is adored in all the regions. Therefore the high-souled exert their best to acquire reputation. O foremost of men, what to speak of the daughter of Janaka—I can even renounce my life and yourselves in fear of a bad name. Do ye therefore perceive into what great abyss of sorrow and ill-fame I have fallen. Up to this time I have never experienced such a mighty grief. Do thou, O Lakshmana, next morning, ascending the car driven by Sumantra, take away Sitā to another country. There is a picturesque hermitage of the high-souled Vālmiki situate on the Tamasā on the Other side of the river Ganges. Do thou, O delight of Raghus, soon come back, leaving behind Sitā in that lovely place; Do thou carry out my words. Do thou not speak anything regarding Sitā’s banishment, O Saumitri, if dost thou request me to desist from this, it shall be the more unpleasant unto me. For my life and arms, do ye not proffer any request unto me regarding this, If so, you shall only endanger my well-being and I shall ever regard you as my enemies. If you obey my behests, do ye honor my words now. Do ye take away Sitā from here. Ere this Sitā had communicated her intention of beholding the hermitages of ascetics on the banks of the Ganges. Let that desire of hers be now satisfied.” While saying this, the eyes of the virtuous-souled Rāma were covered with tears. Sighing hard like unto an elephant, he, with a heart stricken with grief, departed to his own quarter in the company of his brothers.
The night being over, Lakshmana, with a poor heart and dried countenance, addressed Sumantra, saying:—”O charioteer, do thou soon yoke quick-coursing steeds to an excellent chariot, and for Sitā place an excellent seat on the car. At the command of the King, I shall take Sitā to the hermitage of the ascetics ever engaged in pious actions. Do thou soon bring the chariot here.” Obeying the mandate, and bringing a beautiful and holy car drawn by first-rate steeds and having excellent seats, he said to Saumitri, the enhancer of friends’ honor “O lord, here is the chariot ready—do thou now satisfy thine desire.” Hearing the words of Sumantra, Lakshmana, the foremost of men, approached Sitā in the inner apartment and said:—”O queen, thou didst request the king to show thee the hermitage—the king too did promise—he hath now commanded me to take thee there. Do thou therefore follow me, at the command of the king. I shall, at his behest, take thee to the forest where dwell many an ascetic.” Hearing the words of the high-souled Lakshmana, Jānaki attained to excessive delight and became anxious to go. Taking various jewels and costly clothes she said to Lakshmana on the eve of her departure—”I shall confer these ornaments, these costly clothes and riches on the female ascetics.” Saying “We shall do the same,” he made Sitā ascend the car and remembering Rāma’s command proceeded, being carried by quick-coursing steeds. Thereupon Sitā said to Lakshmana, the enhancer of prosperity:—”O descendent of Raghu, I behold many inauspicious omens. My right eye and body are trembling. My mind is growing depressed. It is stricken with anxiety and I have accordingly grown restless. I behold the earth as void of all happiness. O thou fond of brothers—hath thy brother met with any calamity? Are all my mothers-in-law and subjects well?” Saying this Sitā, with folded hands, began to pray unto gods. Hearing this Lakshmana bowed unto her touching the ground with his crown, and though greatly sorry, said as if delighted “All well.” Thereupon having arrived at the hermitage situate on the banks of Gomati Lakshmana spent the night there. Thereupon at dawn he rose up and asked the charioteer to get the chariot ready, saying, “Like unto the powerful Mahādeva we shall hold the waters of the Bhāgirathi on our head.” Thereupon Sumantra yoked the horses, gifted with the fleet course of the mind, to the chariot and with folded hands said to Sitā. “Do thou ascend the car.” According to the request of the intelligent charioteer, Sitā, with Lakshmana, ascended that excellent conveyance. In no time the daughter of Janaka, having expansive eyes, arrived at the banks of the Ganges removing all sins, Reaching the currents of Bhāgirathi before noon Lakshmana, on beholding her, cried aloud. Thereupon beholding Lakshmana thus distressed, Sitā, conversant with piety, waxing anxious said. “Why art thou weeping, Lakshmana? I have reached the banks of Janhavi, for which I have so long desired. So this is the time for rejoicing and do not give me pain at this time. O foremost of men, thou dost spend thine days and nights in the company of Rāma, Thou hast left him for two days only—art thou sorry for this? Lakshmana—Rāma is also dearer than my life—but I am not so sorry—do thou not be therefore overwhelmed with grief. Do thou take me to the other side of the Ganges so that I may behold the ascetics and confer upon them clothes and ornaments. Thereupon saluting them duly and spending a night we shall return to the capital. I am also anxious to sec Rāma, having eyes like lotus petals, breast like that of a lion and foremost of men.” Hearing the words of Sitā and wiping his beautiful eyes, Lakshmana, the slayer of enemies, sent for boatmen. As soon as they were called, with folded hands they said. “The boat is ready.” Having then brought a boat to cross the holy Ganges Lakshmana, with a quiescent mind, took her to the other side.
Having at first conducted Sitā to the spacious and well decorated boat plied by fishermen Lakshmana himself got up. Thereupon he ordered Sumantra to wait there with the chariot, and being beside himself with sorrow ordered the sailors to move on. Thereupon having reached the other side of Bhāgirathi, Lakshmana, with subdued voice and folded palms, said to Sitā—”O daughter of the king of Videha, this hath pierced my heart like a dart, that my brother, by making me the instrumental of this action hath made me the object of censure in the world. The death and the pain consequent upon it are better than the action I am engaged in. Be thou propitiated, O beautiful damsel, do not hold me responsible for this.” Saying this, the humble Lakshmana began to weep and pray for death. Beholding him thus overwhelmed, Sitā said “What is the matter, Lakshmana? I do not understand anything, Do thou speak out everything plainly unto me. I find thee beside thyself (with grief); is it all well with the kingdom? In the name of the king, do thou give out unto me, the cause of thy sorrow.” Sitā having addressed him thus, Lakshmana, with a poorly heart and suppressed tone, said “O worshipful queen, I have kept within my heart all those words, which the king said, before he entered his palace, rendered sorry and impatient on hearing in the assembly the report of censure regarding thee, O daughter of king Janaka. All those words are indeed above description and so I desist. I only say so much, that afraid of the calumny of the citizens he hath renounced thee although thy purity was sufficiently proved before me. But for that, do not consider thyself in any way guilty. Rāma hath commanded me to leave thee near the hermitage on the pretext of satisfying thine desire as thou art big with a child. Do not uselessly give vent to sorrow any more. There is the holy hermitage of the saints on the banks of Jānhavi. There lives Vālmiki, the foremost of saints, a great friend of our sire Daçaratha. O daughter of Janaka, approaching that high-souled saint, do thou spend thy days happily keeping Rāma always in thy mind. Do thou satisfy the deities, O chaste damsel. This shall crown thee with auspiciousness.”
Hearing the ruthless words of Lakshmana, the daughter of Janaka, greatly sorry, fell down on earth. And remaining senseless for some time, Sitā, with her eyes full of tears said to Lakshmana:—”Forsooth, O Lakshmana, the great Dispenser hath created this body to suffer miseries; and all my afflictions are manifest in form to-day. Methinks; I committed a mighty iniquity in my pristine existence or brought about separation between a husband and wife and for that Rāma hath renounced me albeit I am pure and chaste. O son of Sumitrā, the affliction of residing in the forest appeared to me as pleasure ere this for I knew that I would be able to serve Rāma’s feet. But how shall I, O gentle one, live in the hermitage being divorced from all my kith and kin? And being afflicted to whom shall I express my sorrow? What reply shall I offer unto the ascetics when they shall ask me ’Child; why hath the high-souled Rāghava renounced thee? What sin hast thou committed?’ O Saumitri, shall I just renounce my life in the waters of Jāhnavi? But I desist from this for it shall bring about the termination of my husband’s race. O Saumitri, do thou carry out the orders thou hast received. By renouncing this wretched wight do thou satisfy the King’s orders. But hear, what I say. Without making any distinction, do thou, in my name, with folded hands, bow unto my mothers-in-law and then ask the well-being of the kingdom. Thereupon saluting the pious King do thou address him, in my name, saying:—’Thou knowest, O Rāghava, that Sitā is pure, ever devoted unto thee and engaged in thy well-being. She knows it full well, that afraid of a bad name thou hast renounced her. It is her duty to put a stop to thy ill-name and censure; for thou art her excellent refuge.’ Do thou tell further-more that king established in righteousness to treat the citizens as his brothers, to acquire piety by protecting his subjects duly—for this is the greatest morality and by this may be acquired excellent fame. Tell him that I am not sorry for my person—my greatest sorrow is that the citizens have vilified me. Husband is a woman’s god—her friend and spiritual guide. It is proper therefore to work out husband’s well-being even at the sacrifice of life. Do thou, O Lakshmana, communicate it in short unto Rāma, in my name; Do thou go now and behold the signs of pregnancy are manifest in me.” Sitā having said this, Lakshmana, with a bewildered heart, saluted her touching the ground with his head, he could not speak more. Thereupon bewailing aloud and circumambulating her, he, meditating a little, said. “What art thou speaking unto me, O worshipful dame? O thou having no sin, up to this time I have not seen any portion of thy beautiful person but feet. This is a solitary forest and besides the worshipful Rāma, is not present here—under these circumstances how can I cast looks upon thee?” Having addressed Sitā in this wise Lakshmana again sent for a boat and ascending it ordered the boatmen to go. Thereupon having reached the other side and being beside himself with sorrow and grief he speedily ascended the car. And casting his looks behind while proceeding he espied that Sitā, on the other side of the Ganges, was roving wildly like one having none to look after her. Looking again and again when Sitā saw that Lakshmana and the chariot have gone beyond the range of her vision, she became overwhelmed with anxiety and grief. Being sunk in grief and pressed down with the weight of sorrow on not beholding Rāma, the foremost of the illustrious, the chaste Sitā began to cry aloud in the forest resounded with the notes of peacocks.
Beholding Sitā thus wailing, the sons of the Rishis there speedily approached the great Vālmiki, well-established in asceticism. And saluting him they all communicated unto him Sitā’s bewailings and said, “O great sir, we do not know the wife of what great man, beautiful like the very Lakshmi, and not seen before, is crying aloud very poorly? It is better that thou shouldst see her once. That beautiful damsel, like a goddess falling from heaven being bewildered, is waiting on the banks of the river. We saw her alone crying aloud being overwhelmed with sorrow and grief as if she had none to look after her. A damsel like her should not be subject to such a condition. She did not appear to us to be a woman. Do thou receive her duly. She is near the hermitage and so hath come to seek thy shelter. O illustrious Sir, she is on the look out for a protector—do thou protect her.” The pious Vālmiki could perceive every thing by virtue of his asceticism; and ascertaining the truth of the words of the Rishi boys by the power of his understanding, he, with quick steps, approached Sitā. And the disciples followed that high-minded ascetic. Thereupon proceeding a little on foot with Arghya in his hands, the wise Vālmiki reached the banks of the river and saw that Rāghava’s spouse was bewailing like a helpless woman. Having gladdened a little the aggrieved Sitā by virtue of his own effulgence the great ascetic Vālmiki addressed her in following sweet accents. “O chaste damsel, thou art the daughter-in-law of Daçaratha, the beloved wife of Rāma and the daughter of Janaka; thy coming here is auspicious. I am apprized, by virtue of asceticism and meditation, of the object of thy coming here. O great lady, I am also fully aware that thou art by all means chaste. In fact I am conscious of all the incidents in the three worlds. By the eyes of asceticism, I perceive, O daughter of Janaka, that thou art innocent. Thou hast come under my shelter, O Vaidehi—be thou consoled. O child, the pious ascetics live around my hermitage. They shall daily take care of thee as their daughter. Do thou accept this Arghya now, and confiding in me do thou remove thy grief. Be not sorry for anything; consider that thou hast come to thy own home.” Hearing the wonderful words of the great ascetic, Sitā humbly touched his feet and said “Thy desire shall be fulfilled.” Saying this, she, with folded hands, followed the ascetic. Beholding the great ascetic and Sitā approach, the wives of the Rishis, delighted neared them and said:—” Do thou come, O foremost of Rishis, thou hast arrived here after a long time. We all bow unto thee—do thou order what we shall do.” Hearing their words the great Vālmiki replied in worthy accents—”This Sitā is the wife of the intelligent Rāma, the daughter-in-law of Daçaratha and the daughter of Janaka. She has now come to our hermitage. She is chaste and innocent, still her husband hath renounced her. So we should all protect her. She is worthy of your reverence—specially while such is the order of mine—your preceptor. So, do ye all take care of her with great affection.” Having consigned the charge of Sitā unto the hands of the female ascetics, the great and illustrious ascetic Vālmiki, followed by his disciples, speedily proceeded towards his holy hermitage.
Beholding the great ascetic Vālmiki thus conducting Sitā into his own hermitage Lakshmana’s heart was bewildered with grief. Thereupon he said to the expert charioteer Sumantra. “Do thou perceive Rāma’s grief consequent upon the separation from Sitā. His spouse—the daughter of Janaka, is perfectly pure; what can be more painful than that Rāma is living alone having renounced her? It is clear unto me, O Sumantra, that this separation of Rāma, hath been brought about by the influence of destiny—for it is hard to get over accident. Even that Rāma, who, when enraged, is capable of slaying the celestials, Gandharvas, Asuras and Rākshasas, hath been engaged in the worship of destiny. Formerly did Rāma go through miseries, residing in the forest of Dandaka, at the command of his sire for fourteen years. But this banishment of Sitā appears to me as exceedingly painful and most ruthless. O charioteer, the opinion of the citizens is by no means just; consequently what shall we gain by performing such a bad action for fame as the exile of Sitā?” Hearing those words of Lakshmana, the wise Sumantra reverentially replied:—”Be not aggrieved for Sitā, O Saumitri. Formerly in the presence of thy sire the Brahmananas related this account of Sitā’s exile. Rāma shall be deprived of all happiness and be separated from his dear wife; what more, the virtuous-souled Rāma, having long arms, shall, under the influence of time, renounce thee, Sitā, Satrughna and Bharata. O Lakshmana, when Durbasa was addressed by the king Daçaratha as to thy future he replied in the above way. I have told thee the same. Do thou not communicate this unto Satrughna, Bharata or any body. O foremost of men, Durbasa said this unto Daçaratha before me, Vasishtha and other great men. Hearing the words of Rishi, Daçaratha, the foremost of men, said unto me, ’O charioteer, do not reveal this secret to any body.’ O gentle one, it is not proper by any means to falsify the words of the king Daçaratha. I shall always, very carefully, carry out his orders. It is not proper to reveal this mystery before thee. Still I do so for thy curiosity hath been greatly excited. Though this mystery was communicated formerly by the king Daçaratha and though it is not proper to reveal it to any body, still I express it before thee that thou mayst not, on hearing it, be worked up with sorrow; for destiny is hard to be got over. And it is by the influence of that destiny that thou hast met with such a sorrow and grief. However, do thou not reveal this secret unto Satrughna and Bharata.” Hearing these grave and important words of Sumantra, Lakshmana ordered him to relate.
Being thus requested by the high-souled Lakshmana, Sumantra began to reveal the mystery of Durbāsā’s account “In the days of yore the great ascetic Durbāsā, the son of Atri, resided for a year in the holy hermitage of Vasishtha. At that time thy sire, the highly effulgent and illustrious Daçaratha, with a view to see his high-souled priest Vasishtha, repaired there. He saw the great ascetic Durbāsā, burning like the sun in his effulgence, seated on the right hand side of Vasishtha. Thereupon he humbly saluted those two leading ascetics. And they too, welcoming him, received him duly with seat, water to wash feet, Arghya, fruits and roots. Then he lived there in the company of the ascetics. Thereupon during the noon, all those ascetics, seated there, began to dwell upon various pleasant topics. During an interval Daçaratha, with folded hands and uplifted arms, said to the high-souled son of Atri—Durbāsā, having asceticism for his wealth. ’O illustrious Sir, how long shall my family remain in existence? What is the extent of the lease of life granted to Rāma and my other sons? How long shall the descendants of Rāma live? And what shall be the end of my race? Do thou relate all this unto me.’ Hearing the words of the king Daçaratha the highly effulgent Durbāsā, replied:—’Hear, the early history, O king. During the encounter between the celestials and Asuras, the demons, being remonstrated with by the celestials sought shelter of the wife of Vrigu—thy priest. Vrigu’s wife having promised them help they lived there fearlessly. Having beheld the demons thus helped by Vriju’s wife, Hari, the king of the celestials, enraged, chopped off her head with his sharp discus. And angry on beholding his wife slain, Vrigu, imprecated a curse on Vishnu, the slayer of enemies’ race, saying—”Being beside thyself with anger thou hast slain my wife, not worthy of being killed; therefore, O Janārddana, thou shalt be born in the region of mortals. And there thou shalt remain separated from thy spouse for many long years.” Having imprecated this curse, Vrigu was greatly pained and being propitiated by his adoration, Vishnu, fond of disciples, said: “Having slain Rāvana and others, I shall be, for the behoof of mankind, subject to this imprecation.” O bestower of kings, the highly effulgent Vishnu, thus imprecated by Vrigu in the days of yore, hath been born as thy son in this birth and hath been celebrated under the appellation of Rāma. O conferrer of honors, for sooth shall Rāma partake of the fruits of Vrigu’s curse. He shall reign in Ayodhyā for a long time. All his followers shall be happy and prosperous. Having reigned for eleven thousand years Rāma shall repair to the region of Brahmā. None shall be able to vanquish him. He shall celebrate many a horse-sacrifice with profuse gifts and shall establish many royal families. He shall beget on Sitā two sons.’ Having thus related unto Daçaratha the past and future of his family the highly effulgent great ascetic Durbāsā became silent. He being silent—the great King Daçaratha, having bowed unto the two high-souled ascetics, again returned to his city Ayodhyā. I had heard there all these words of the great ascetic Durbāsā. Up to this time they are lying in my heart. Rishis’ words shall never prove fruitless. According to the words of Rishi Rāma shall install two sons of Sitā in Ayodhyā, not anywhere else. Under these circumstances, O Lakshmana, thou shouldst not grieve for Sitā or Rāma; in their interest do thou become patient.” Hearing those wonderous words of the charioteer Sumantra, Lakshmana became greatly happy and eulogised him again and again. They thus conversing with one another on their way back, the sun set. They accordingly spent that night on the banks of Kesini.
Having spent the night on the banks of Kesini, the mighty car-warrior Lakshmana got up early in the morning and again proceeded on his journey (home). And reached in the noon the city of Ayodhyā, filled with various jewels and delighted and plump citizens. But the high-souled Lakshmana became greatly sorry stricken with the thought as to what he should relate on approaching the feet of Rāma. Whilst proceeding with this thought he saw the highly picturesque palace of Rāma resembling the rays of the moon. Having descended from his car at the palace-gate, Lakshmana, the foremost of men, with his face downwards and a distressed heart, unobstructed, entered the palace. Having entered there he saw his elder brother Rāma seated poorly on an excellent seat with his eyes full of tears. Being greatly pained at the sight, Saumitri touched his feet and with folded palms said:—”O worshipful sir, having obeyed thy behests I have left the daughter of Janaka at the holy hermitage of Vālmiki near the banks of the Ganges. Having left that illustrious pure lady at the skirt of the hermitage I have again dome to serve thy feet. Do thou not grieve, O foremost of men, for such is the course of time. The intelligent people like thee do not grieve. Where there is growth there is decay, where there is prosperity there is ruin, and where there is birth there is death. Therefore attachment unto wife, sons, friends and riches is not proper, for surely shall be brought about separation with them. Whilst thou canst control thyself and thy mind, shouldst thou not be able to bear this trifling pain of separation? Leading men like thyself are never overwhelmed by all these things. O Rāghava, thou shalt again be blamed by the people. In fear of this calumny, O sing that thou hast renounced Maithili. And if dost thou grieve for that spouse thy calumny shall undoubtedly be deep-rooted in the kingdom. Therefore do thou restore thyself patiently, O foremost of men. Do thou give up this weakness and be not sorry.” The intelligent Lakshmana, the son of Sumitrā, having said this, Rāma, the descendant of Kākutstha and fond of friends, with great delight said:—”Thou hast spoken the truth, O Lakshmana, O foremost of men. I have been greatly delighted, O hero for thy carrying out my orders. O gentle Saumitri, my grief and sorrow have been removed for those pleasant words of thine.”
Hearing those wondrous words of Lakshmana Rāma was greatly delighted and said “O thou having an auspicious look, thou art gifted with great intellect and after my heart; a friend like thee is rare at such a time. But O beautiful Saumitri, do thou, apprised of my intention, carry out my words. O gentle son of Sumitrā, for not looking to state business for these four days I have been pierced to the very vitals. Do thou therefore call here men, or women, priests or councillors who have come for business. For sooth do a king falls into the dreadful hell where the wind doth not blow, who does not daily look into his state affairs. I have heard, O foremost of men, that there lived in the days of yore a highly illustrious, truthful and pure-minded king, ever devoted unto the Brāhmanas, by the name of Nriga. Once on a time at the sacred pilgrimage of Pushpaka that king conferred upon the Brāhmanas one Koti of kine with calves adorned with golden ornaments. Accidentally on that occasion, a cow with calf belonging to a poor Brahman, living upon low means, was given away along with other kine. Undergoing hunger and thirst, the master of that lost cow travelled for a long time in many places in search of it. Thereupon having reached the province of Kanakhal he espied his own cow in the house of a Brāhmana. The cow was well kept and the young one was grown up. Thereupon the Brahman called the cow by the name given by him saying ’Savalā, come.’ The cow heard that and recognizing the voice of the Brahman followed him. And he preceded her burning like fire. And the Brāhmana, in whose house the cow so long remained, speedily pursued her and approaching the ascetic said. ’This cow is mine. The king Nriga conferred this upon me.’ So there arose a great quarrel between the two learned Brāhmanas. And thus quarreling they both approached him who had given away the cow. And though they waited for a long time at the gate they did not obtain permission to enter the palace. Thereat both of them were greatly engraged and imprecated dreadful curses, saying ’Since thou hast not granted us an interview though we have been waiting here for a long time, thou shalt, by our curse, remain invisible, being a lizard. Thou shalt in this state live in a den for many hundred and thousand years. When Vishnu assuming a human person shall be born in the Vasudeva family of Yadavas and enhance their glory he shall liberate thee from the curse. Immediately before the advent of the Kali Yuga the Rishi Nara Nārāyana gifted with great prowess shall descend upon earth to relieve her of the burden.’ Having thus imprecated the curse upon the king the Rishis became silent. The cow was old and weak so they both, with mutual consent, conferred that upon another Brahman. O Lakshmana, the king Nriga is still suffering from that dreadful curse. It is the king’s folly that is manifest from the mutual disagreement of the workers. Do thou bring them all speedily to me who have come for business. For, sooth shall the kings profit by the just administration. Do thou therefore go in person, O Lakshmana and see who hath come for business.”
Hearing the words of the highly effulgent Rāma, Lakshmana, conversant with discriminative knowledge, replied with folded hands, saying “O Kākutstha, it is for a very simple folly that the two Brāhmanas imprecated that Curse upon the king Nriga, dreadful as the rod of Yama. May I ask thee, O foremost of men, what did that King say unto the Brahmans when he was thus imprecated?” Whereto Rāma replied saying:—”O gentle one, hear, what the king Nriga said when imprecated. Hearing of the departure of the Brāhmanas he sent for his priest, minister, the citizens and subjects and filled with sorrow said:—’Do ye all hear attentively my words. Having imprecated a dreadful curse upon me the jolly saint Nārada and the ascetic Parvata have speedily, like the wind, repaired to the region of Brahmā. Do ye therefore, even today, place the prince Vasu on the throne, and let the architects prepare a pleasant den for me. Living therein I shall waste the curse of the Brahmans. Let the architects dig one den to protect me against the rains, one against the affliction of the winter and one against the distresses of summer. Let them enhance the picturesqueness of those dens by planting many trees having profuse branches and fruits and flowers. As long as time shall not change so long I shall spend my days happily in the den. For half a league on all sides around me let flower trees be planted.’ Having made those arrangements and placed Vasu on the throne the king Nriga said:—’Do not swerve from the path of morality, O my son, and do thou duly govern the subjects according to the custom of the Kshatryas. Thou hast seen, with thine own eyes, the curse that the Brāhmanas have given me being enraged for a very trifling folly of mine. Do thou not repent for me. My son, time is the lord of happiness and sorrow; it is by the influence of time that I have fallen into such a disaster. Creatures must meet with what is kept in store by destiny; they must go where they are bound for and they must acquire what is set apart for them. Pristine actions are the root of all these; so, be not sorry, O my son.’ O foremost of men, having given this advice unto his son, the highly illustrious king Nriga proceeded to live in the sweet fragrant den. Having entered the den filled with many jewels the high-souled king began to spend his days in the satisfaction of the curse imprecated by the two Brāhmanas.”
“I have thus given unto thee an account of the curse imprecated on Nriga. Listen, if dost thou wish to hear of any other theme.” Rāma having said this Lakshmana replied:—”I am not satiated with the account of those wonderful stories, O king.” Hearing the reply of Laksmana, Rāma, the descendant of Ikshwāku, began again with themes instinct with morality:—”There lived a highly pious and powerful king by the name of Nimi. He was the twelfth of Ikshwāku’s sons. That powerful king made a picturesque city like that of the celestials near the hermitage of Gautama. The name of that beautiful city was Vaijayanta and the highly illustrious royal saint used to live there. Having thus reared a highly picturesque city he thought of worshipping the deity by celebrating a sacrifice for the satisfaction of his sire. Having thus resolved and invited his sire Ikshwāku the son of Manu, he first welcomed the celestial saint. Nimi the descendant of Ikshwāku, then welcomed the saints Atri, Angiras and Vrigu having asceticism for their wealth. Thereupon Vasishtha said to Nimi, the foremost of royal saints—’I have already been engaged by Indra. Do thou therefore wait as long as his sacrifice is not finished there.’ After the departure of Vasishtha the great Gautama engaged in the satisfaction of Vasistha’s duties. And the high-souled Vasishtha too engaged in Indra’s sacrifice. On the other hand having united all the Brahmans the great king began to celebrate the sacrifice extending over five thousand years near his city by the side of the Himalaya. Thereupon having finished the sacrifice of Indra there came to the King, the blameless and the illustrious Rishi Vashishtha. Finding Gautama engaged in his room he was exceedingly enraged. Thereupon he waited there for some time to see the King. On that day the royal saint Nimi was deeply asleep. And not beholding the King the high-souled Vasishtha was greatly angry and said:—’Since thou hast, O King, engaged another neglecting me, thy body shall remain senseless.’ Thereupon hearing the curse of Vasishtha, the king got up. There beside himself with ire he said—’I was unconscious in sleep—still soiled with anger thou hast hurled the fiery curse against me like the second rod of Yama. Therefore, O ascetic, thy person shall remain senseless for a long time.’ That king and the ascetic having thus imprecated one another under the influence of anger, they immediately were deprived of their bodies.”
Hearing the words of the effulgent Rāma, Lakshmana, the slayer of enemies, said with folded hands:—”Having thus cast off their bodies how did that Brahman worshipped of the celestials and the king regain them?” Having been thus accosted by Lakshmana, Rāma, the descendant of Ikshwākus and the foremost of men, replied:—”Having renounced their persons both Nimi and the pious Vasishtha, having asceticism for their wealth, were metamorphosed into air. Thereupon being thus deprived of his body the highly effulgent and great ascetic Vasishtha went to the Patriarch Brahmā with the object of acquiring from him another. Being merged in the air, he, conversant with religion, bowed unto his father and said:—’O illustrious god of gods! O thou lotus-sprung! By the imprecation of Nimi I have been now deprived of my body and been converted into air. O lord, the state of being bodiless is highly painful to all. The bodiless cannot perform any work; do thou, therefore, by thy favour, grant me another body.’ Whereto the self-sprung Brahmā, of unmitigated prowess, replied. ’O great one, do thou enter into the vital energy of Mitra and Varuna; and even then, O foremost of twice-born ones, thou shalt not be born of a woman and being greatly pious shalt attain to the rank of a patriarch.’ The Patriarch Brahmā having said this, Vasishtha, saluting and circumambulating him, repaired to the region of Varuna. At that time Mitra in conjunction with Varuna was reigning in Varuna’s kingdom being worshipped by all celestials. Meanwhile encircled by her mates the leading Apsarā arrived there at her pleasure. Beholding the frolicsome and beautiful Urvasi, Varuna attained to an excess of delight. Thereupon he expressed his intention of living with that queen of Apsarās, having a moon-like countenance and lotus-eyes. Thereat Urvasi, with folded hands, said—’O lord of celestials, Mitra himself has already invited me for the same.’ Being stricken by desire Varuna said to Urvasi ’I shall discharge my vital energy into this pot if thou dost not wish to live with me.’ Hearing those sweet words of the Patriarch Varuna, Urvasi was highly pleased and said:—’Do what thou hast said. Now my body is under the possession of Mitra—but my mind is attached unto thine and thou art equally attached unto me.’ Urvasi having said this, Varuna discharged his vital energy into the pot. Thereupon Urvasi approached Mitra. And thereat highly enraged he said to her ’I invited thee first; O thou of vicious actions, why hast thou, renouncing me, secured another. For this vile action, thou shalt, by my curse live in the land of mortals for some time. The royal saint Puruvarā, the king of Kasi, is the son of Budha. Do thou go to him, thou of a vicious intellect; he shall be thy husband.’ Thereupon being thus placed under the influence of curse Urvasi went to Puruvarā, The king Puruvarā was the begotten son of Budha. He reigned in the foremost of cities Pratishtaro. He begot on Urvasi a highly powerful and beautiful son by the name of Ayu. Nahusha, powerful as Indra, was the son of Ayu. When Indra, the king of the celestials, was assailed with thunderbolt by the Asura Vitra, Nahusha governed his kingdom for a hundred thousand years. In this wise Urvasi, having beautiful teeth, eyes and brow, remained on earth for many years and then returned to the region of Indra after the period of curse had been over.”
Hearing this wonderful and heavenly theme Lakshmana was highly gratified and said to Rāma “O Kākuthstha, how did that twice-born one worshipped by the celestials and the king regain their bodies, after being bodiless?” Hearing the words of Lakshmana, Rāma, having truth for his prowess, began to relate the story of Vasishtha. “O foremost of Raghus, there sprang up two foremost Brahmin saints, from the vital energy discharged by the high-souled Mitra and Varuna into the pot. At first therefrom rose up the illustrious Rishi Agastya and saying ’I am not thine son’ went away leaving Mitra. Before the vital energy of Varuna was thrown into the pot Mitra discharged his own on Urvasi’s account which was the source of Agastya’s birth. Into the pot in which Mitra’s energy was discharged Varuna also put his own, and both the energies were mixed up. Thereupon after some time from the energies of both Mitra and Varuna sprang up the effulgent Vasishtha—the priest of Ikshwāku. O gentle one, the highly effulgent Ikshwāku appointed that blameless Rishi as the priest of out family as soon as he was born. I have thus described to you the story of Vasishtha’s birth possessing a wonderful body. Hear now what befell the king Nimi. And beholding the king Nimi bodiless the intelligent Rishi initiated him into the rites of sacrifice. And those leading twice-born ones, with assembled citizens and servants, began to protect that body with unguents, garlands and clothes. Thereupon at the end of the sacrifice Vrigu said ’O king, I am propitiated with thee; I shall restore thee to senses.’ Thereupon the celestials, highly pleased, addressed the consciousness of Nimi saying ’O royal saint, do thou accept boons; where shall we place thy consciousness?’ Thereupon being addressed by the celestials the consciousness said ’I may live in the eyes of the celestials.’ They agreed to it and said ’O lord of earth, for thee, their eyes shall be influenced within a moment, The exhaustion that their eyes shall experience on account of thy moving about as the air, shall be removed within this moment.’ Having said this the celestials repaired to their respective quarters and the high-souled Rishis having conveyed Nimi’s body to the sacrificial ground and dedicated it as an eddy began to churn it with great energy accompanied by incantations. They being thus engaged in churning the eddy for the purpose of having a son of Nimi there sprang up a son of devout austerities. He was called Mithi for he originated from Manthana; he was called Janma for his having sprung up from Janan and Vaideha from having been born from Videha. In this wise Janaka, the first king of Videhas, was born. His other name was Mithi and his family were celebrated as Maithilas. O gentle one, I have thus related unto thee the wondrous births, in consequence of the curse, of the great ascetic Vasishtha and the royal saint Nimi.”
Rāma having said this, Lakshmana, the slayer of enemies, burning in his native effulgence, said:—”O foremost of kings, this ancient account of the ascetic Vasishtha and the king Nimi is highly surprising and wonderful. But Nimi is a Kshatriya king and a hero—besides although initiated he did not forgive the high-souled Vasishtha.” Being thus accosted Rāma, the Kshatriya-chief, said to the effulgent Lakshmana conversant with all Sastras—”O hero, forgiveness is not to be seen in all men. O Sauinitri, do thou hear attentively, the unbearable anger which was forgiven by the king Yayāti resorting to the quality of goodness. Yayāti, the enhancer or the prosperity of cities, was the son of Nahusha. He had two beautiful wives, one of whom was Sarmishthā, grand daughter of Aditi, the daughter of Brishaparva. She was the more beloved of the two; his other spouse was Devajāni, grand daughter of Usanas. She was not liked by her husband. Both of them gave birth to a son each and both the sons were beautiful and attentive. Puru was born of Sarmishtha and Yadu of Devajāni. Puru was the favourite son of the king, both on account of his mother and of his personal graces. Thereat Yadu, greatly sorry, said to his mother:—’Born in the race of the illustrious Vargava of unwearied actions, thou art going through mental afflictions and unbearable insults; therefore, O mother, let us both enter into fire. Let the king spend many nights with Sarmishthā—the daughter of a demon. Thou mayst withstand the insults but I shall never brooke them. Permit me, I shall, in sooth, renounce my life.’ The son having, weepingly and distressingly, said this, Devajāni was greatly enraged and thought of her father. As soon as he was thought of by his daughter Vargava speedily came there and beholding her senseless and deprived from joy said ’Daughter, what is the matter?’ The effulgent father having addressed his daughter repeatedly in this wise, Devajāni, enraged, replied:—’O foremost of ascetics, I shall either enter into fire, water, or drink poison—by no means I shall preserve this life of mine. Thou dost not know of the miseries and insults I have been subject to. Brahman, when a tree is neglected, those who live thereon are also distressed. The king having disregarded me, forsooth thou hast also been neglected.’ Hearing the words of his daughter, Vargava, enraged said to the king Yayāti ’Thou art vicious-minded, O son of Nahusha; thou hast dishonored me and therefore in thy youth thou shalt be subject to decrepitude and infirmities of age.’ Having thus imprecated the curse and consoled his sorrowful daughter the highly illustrious rishi Vargava repaired to his own habitation. Having thus conferred solace unto his daughter, that leading Brahman, effulgent as the sun, returned therefrom.”
“Yayāti, the son of Nahusha, was greatly distressed on hearing of the ire of the preceptor Sukra. Thereupon meeting with the infirmities of age by the imprecation of the saint he said to his son Yadu:—’O Yadu, thou art cognizant of religion, do thou therefore take this decrepitude for me; I shall satisfy myself with various enjoyments. O foremost of men, I have not been yet satiated with worldly enjoyments—I shall therefore again take upon myself this decrepitude after having enjoyed all objects of sense.’ Hearing those words of Yayāti, the foremost of men, Yadu replied:—’Let thy most favourite son Puru take upon himself this decrepitude. O king, thou hast deprived me from all things—what more, thou dost not allow me to come near thee. Let that Puru take this, with whom thou dost eat and live.’ Hearing the words of Yadu, Yayāti said to Puru:—’O thou having large arms, do thou take the decrepitude for me.’ Hearing the words of Yayāti, Puru, with folded hands, said:—’I am always ready to satisfy thy commands; and I have been favoured and honored by this command of thine.’ Hearing those words of Puru Yayāti was highly pleased and attained to an excess of delight and then transferred his own decrepitude to him. Thereupon regaining his youth the king reigned in earth for many thousand years celebrating thousands of sacrifices. Thereupon after a long time Yayāti said to Puru ’O my son, do thou bring the decrepitude I have kept as deposit with thee—let it now assail me. I transferred it to you as a deposit. For this I shall take it back; be not sorry for this. I have been greatly pleased that thou hast satisfied my behests. I shall, now pleased, install thee on the royal throne.’ Having thus addressed his son Puru, the king Yayāti angrily said to Yadu, the son of Devayani:—’Thou, vicious Rākshasa, art born of me in the shape of a Kshatriya, or else why shouldst thou disobey my orders? For this thou shalt never be a king. I am thy father and preceptor and still thou hast disregarded me. Thou shalt be the father of dreadful Rākshasas, O vicious minded; thy descendants shall be degraded from the lunar race and thy children shall be equally vicious-minded like thee.’ Having thus imprecated Yadu, the royal saint Yayāti honored Puru, the enhancer of the prosperity of the kingdom, with installation and then retired to woods. Thereupon after a long time he breathed his last and went to the abode of the celestials. The highly illustrious Puru reigned piously in the foremost of cities Prathishtan. Yadu begot thousands and thousands of Rākhasas and being degraded from the royal family reigned in a city named Kraunchavana, hard to be got at. In this wise, according to the custom of the Kshatryas the king Yayāti took upon himself the imprecation of the preceptor Sukra, but he did not forgive him. I have thus related unto thee everything. O gentle one, we shall follow the examples of these illustrious men. And in that case we shall not be degraded like the king Nriga.” While Rāma, having a moon-like countenance, was speaking thus, the stars became fewer in the welkin, and east, stricken with the early rays of the sun, appeared like damsel, clothed in a raiment coloured with the dye of flowers.
Thereupon having performed the morning rites the lotus-eyed Rāma, in the early morning, sat on his royal throne and in the company of Brāhmanas and citizens engaged in looking into state affairs. The assembly consisted of the priest Vasishtha, the saint Kashyapa, ministers well versed in politics, other religious preceptors, moralists, members and kings. The assembly of Rāma, of unwearied, actions appeared like that of Mahendra, Yama and Varuna. Rāma said to Lakshmana, gifted with auspicious marks “O Saumitri having long arms, do thou proceed to the city-gate to receive those who have come here for business.” According to Rāma’s command Lakshmana, gifted with auspicious mark, arrived at the gate and called those who had come there for business. But none said that he had been brought there by any business. For there was neither disease nor poverty in the kingdom. During Rāma’s regime the earth was filled with corns and Asadhis. Children young men and middle-aged people did not meet with death. The earth was governed piously so there was no obstacle. Thus during the administration of Rāma none was seen who wanted justice. Lakshmana, with folded hands, said to Rāma, “None has come for business.” Thereat, Rāma, with a delighted heart, replied—”Do thou go, O Saumitri, and see if any one has come for business. Royal policy if properly adopted, impiety can stand nowhere. It is for the fear of the king that people protect one another. And although laws, instituted by me are protecting the subjects like so many arrows, still, O thou having long arms, do thou be engaged in governing the subjects.” Being thus addressed Lakshmana issued out of the house and saw that a dog was waiting at the gate. Casting its looks around it was again and again barking. Beholding it in that plight the valiant Lakshmana said “O generous sir, what business has brought thee hither—do thou relate it confidentially.” Hearing the words of Lakshmana the dog replied—”I wish to relate it unto Rāma, of unwearied actions, who is the refuge of all creatures and who declares fearlessness unto all.” Hearing the words of the dog Lakshmana entered the beautiful palace to relate it unto Rāma. And having communicated it unto Rāma he issued out and said to the dog:—”If thou hast anything true to speak thou mayst come and communicate it unto the king.” Hearing the words of Lakshmana the dog said—”We cannot enter into the houses of divinities, kings and Brāhmanas nor can we go there where is fire, Indra, the sun or the wind, for we are the vilest born; so I cannot enter there. For king is the personification of virtue and specially the king Rāma is truthful, well versed in the science of fighting and ever engaged in the welfare of all beings. He is perfectly cognizant of where the six qualities are to be applied—master of morality, knoweth all, seeth all and the best of beautiful. He is the moon, death, Yama, Kuvera, the giver of riches, fire, Indra, the sun and Varuna. O Saumitri, do thou go and communicate unto the king protecting his subjects that without his permission I do not wish to go there.” Thereupon the highly effulgent and noble-minded Lakshmana entered the palace and said to Rāma:—”O thou having long arms, O thou the enhancer of Kausalyā’s joy—I have communicated thine orders—I shall relate shortly everything regarding that; do thou hear. That dog, as a beggar, is waiting at the gate for thy commands.” Whereto Rāma replied:—”Bring him speedily here who is waiting at the gate for business.”
Hearing the words of Rāma the intelligent Lakshmana immediately sent for the dog and informed Rāma, who, on beholding it, said—”Do thou communicate thy desire unto me; be not afraid.” Thereupon beholding the king Rāma, the dog, having his head cut off, said “The king is the protector of animals and their lord. The king is awake when the subjects are asleep and he protects them. By administering the laws properly the king protects piety. Without his shelter the subjects meet with destruction. The king is the lord and father of the whole universe. He is time, he is Yuga and he is the creation, mobile and immobile. He is called Dharma because he holdeth all. It is Dharma (virtue) that upholdeth all mankind. It is by Dharma that the three worlds are being preserved. It is Dharma or virtue that thwarts the enemies. It is virtue that governs the subjects duly. It is for this that virtue is called Dhārana or the holder. The virtue of preservation is the greatest and confers fruits in after life. There is nothing like virtue hard to acquire in this world. Charity, kindness, honoring the pious and innocent conduct constitute the chief virtues; for by those the well-being of this life and the next is brought about. O Rāghava, O thou of firms vows—thou art an example of examples. Thou art cognizant of the conduct of the pious. Thou art like an ocean, the refuge of all virtues. O foremost of kings, out of ignorance, I have spoken unto thee so many things. With my head downwards, I beg for thy satisfaction. Be not offended with me.” Hearing those wise words of the dog, Rāma said—”What shall I do for thee? Do thou mention it confidentially.” Whereto the dog replied, saying:—”It is by piety that a king governs his kingdom—it is by virtue that a king protects his subjects, becomes a refuge unto all and removes the fear of his men. Keeping an eye on this, O Rāma do thou hear, what I say. In the house of a certain Brahman there lives a beggar by the name of Sarvarthasiddha (i.e., who has got all his desires satisfied). And although I am innocent, he has for nothing hurt me.” Hearing those words Rāma sent his messenger who brought Sarvarthasiddha, master of all subjects. Thereupon beholding Rāma in the assembly that effulgent and leading twice-born one said:—”O blameless Rāma, tell me what I shall do for thee.” Whereto Rāma said—”O twice-born one, thou hast hurt this dog. What offence did it commit by thee that thou didst strike it severely with a rod. Anger is an enemy which taketh away life. Anger is a sweet-speeched enemy in the garb of a friend. It is the foremost of passions and like unto a sharp dagger. And it is anger that stealeth away every thing. It pilfers all that is acquired by asceticism, sacrifices and gifts. It is proper therefore by every means to kill anger. Passions are running amock on all sides like so many exceedingly wicked steeds. Being satiated with of all objects of enjoyments it is better to govern them by patience. By mind, actions, words and eyes a man should engage in the well being of people. He should not injure any body and be not addicted to any thing. The harm, that a mind not under control, can accomplish, is beyond the range of a sharp dagger, trodden serpent and of an enemy always enraged. Even the nature of one, who has learnt humility, cannot be trusted. He, who hides his nature, himself reveals his true self.” Rāma, of unwearied actions, having said this, Sarvarthasiddha, the foremost of twice-born ones, said:—”Knocking about the whole day for alms I was highly enraged and struck this dog. It was sitting in the mid-way and I asked it again and again to move away. Thereupon, moving away and standing with reluctance, it stood fearfully on the road-side. O descendant of Raghu, I was at that time stricken with hunger, and struck it for its vicious conduct. O king of kings, I am guilty in this, and thou must punish me. O lord of kings, do thou administer punishment unto me,—I shall then be released from the fear of hell.” Thereupon, Rāma asked all the ministers, saying:—”What is to be done now? What punishment is to be inflicted on him? We can protect subjects, if we can administer punishment proportionate to crime.” Thereat, Vrigu, Angiras, Kutsa, Vasishtha, Kashya and other ascetics, the leading preachers, the ministers, the citizens, and other sages conversant with Sastras, present there, said:—”A Brāhmana should not be punished with death.” The sages conversant with laws having said this, the ascetics addressed Rāma, saying:—”O Rāghava, a king is the governor of all—specially thyself. Thou art the chastiser of the three worlds, the eternal Vishnu.” They all having said this, the dog began:—”Thou didst solemnly say ’What shall I do for thee?’ Therefore, if thou art gratified with me, and if thou dost wish to confer boons on me, do thou appoint this Brāhmana as the head of family.” Thereupon, having been thus honored and pleased and ascending an elephant, he proceeded to occupy his new dignified station. At this, the councillors of Rāma, surprised, said:—”O thou of great effulgence, he has not been punished. Rather thou hast conferred on him a boon.” Hearing the words of ministers, Rāma said:—”You do not know the real truth of the whole thing—the dog knows it well.” Being accosted by Rāma, the dog said:—”O Rāghava, I was the head of the family of Kālanjava. After the worship of the deities and Brāhmana and the feasting of the servants, male, and female, I used to take my food. I used to parcel out things duly, and my mind was not in the least attached to sin. I used to preserve with great care the articles belonging to the tutelary deities, was humble, good-natured and engaged in the well-being of all animals. Still I have fallen into this dreadful and wretched condition. O Rāghava, this Brāhmana is angry by nature, and impious, injures others, and is impatient, cruel, harsh in words and ignorant, and therefore shall degrade his seven generations up and down. He will by no means be able to discharge the duties of a head of a family. He, whom thou wishest to take to hell with her son, beasts and friends, should be engaged in the serving the Brāhmans and kine. For all his good actions, he is slain who steals the wealth of a Brāhmana, a deity, a woman, and a boy, and the riches given away by him. O Rāghava, one who pilfers the riches of a Brāhmana or a deity falls into a hell called Vichi. Even he who thinks in his mind of stealing it, goes once and again into hell.” Hearing the words of the dog, the eyes of the effulgent Rāma were expanded with surprise. The dog went back from where it had come. In its pristine birth the dog was high-minded—it is now cursed for being born in a degraded state of existence. Thereupon, repairing at last to Vārānasi the dog took the vow of fasting.
There lived for a long time a vulture and an owl on a mountain extending over the banks of a river, resonant with the notes of cuckoos and filled with lions, tigers and various birds, situated in a pleasant forest abounding in trees near the city of Ayodhyā. Once on a time the vicious vulture alleging that the nest of the owl was his own, began to quarrel with him. O worshipful Sir, thereupon they both said:—”The lotus-eyed Rāma is the king of all people; let us go to him and he will decide to whom the nest belongs.” Having thus settled the vulture and the owl, being impatient with rage, quarrelling with one another, appeared before Rāma and touched his feet. Beholding that lord of men, the vulture said: “O preserver of humanity, thou art the foremost of celestials and Asuras. O thou of great effulgence, thou art gifted with intelligence and learning more than Vrihaspati and Sukrachārya. Thou art cognisant of the good and bad conditions of creatures. In beauty thou art like the Moon and art irrepressible like the Sun. In glory thou art like Himalaya, in gravity like the Ocean, in prowess like the Patriarch, in patience like the Earth, and in velocity like the Wind. O Rāghava, thou art the preceptor of the mobile and immobile creation, gifted with all sorts of wealth, illustrious, devoid of a revengeful spirit, unconquerable, victorious, and master of all Sastras and laws. O foremost of men, hear. I have an application to thee. O Rāghava, I had built a nest for myself; this owl is now occupying it as his own; therefore, O king, do thou save me.” The vulture having said this, the owl began:—”True, it is, O king, that in him are the portions of the Moon, Indra, the Sun, Kuvera and Yama, but there is in him also a portion of man. But thou art thyself the omnipresent deity, Nārāyana. Thou, impelled by thine own self, dost judge all creatures impartially; therefore, a portion of gentleness is well manifest in thee and therefore do people call thee, a portion of the Moon. O patriarch, in anger, punishment, gift and fear, thou art our giver, destroyer and protector,—it is for this that thou art called Indra. In energy thou art like fire irrepressible unto all creatures, and because thou dost spread thy lusture upon all creatures, that thou art called the Sun. Thou art the very lord of riches or art even superior to Kuvera; like Padmā unto the lord of riches, Sri is always by thee. Because thou dost discharge the functions of Kuvera, thou art the giver of wealth unto us. O Rāghava, thou lookest upon all creatures, mobile and immobile, with an impartial eye—thou dost regard thy friends and foes with impartiality, and thou art duly protecting thy subjects. O Rāghava, death pursues him with whom thou art offended—and it is for this reason that thou art styled by people ’the highly powerful Yama.’ O foremost of kings, because thou art forgiving unto all creatures and a kind king that people sing thy glories as of a man on earth. The king is the strength of the weak and helpless and he is the eye of the blind and the refuge of those who have no shelter. Thou art also our king; therefore do thou listen to our petition. O king, entering into my nest, this vulture is oppressing me. Thou only, O foremost of men, art the divine chastiser of mankind.” Hearing those words, Rāma sent for his councillors. The ministers of Daçaratha and Rāma, Vrishthi, Yayanta, Vijaya, Siddhārtha, Rāshtravarddhana, Asoka, Darmapāla the highly powerful Sumantra and others were well versed in laws, high-minded, conversant with all the Sastras, intelligent, born in respectable families, and adepts in counsel. Having invited them all and ascending his Pushpaka car, he went to the place in question, and, descending there, asked the vulture, “How long has this nest been made? Tell me, if thou remember it.” Whereto the vulture replied:—”From the time mankind were first born and spread over the four quarters of the globe have I been living in this nest.” The owl said:—”At the time when the earth was (first) adorned with trees that this nest of mine was constructed.” Hearing these words, Rāma said to the councillors:—”That assembly is not an assembly where there are no friends—nor are they old men who do not dwell upon religious topics. That religion is not a religion where there is no truth and that truth is not the truth where there is hypocrisy. Those councillors are liars who do not give proper replies in time on the subjects they are well-informed on. He who does give reply to a question under the influence of passion, anger or fear, binds himself with a thousand nooses of Varuna, and at the expiration of full one year he is released from a single sin.” Hearing these words, the ministers said to Rāma:—”O thou having a large mind, what the owl has said is true—the vulture has not spoken the truth. Thou art the evidence this, O great king—for the king is the last refuge of all—the root of the subject and the eternal religion. He who is punished by the king, is not doomed to a degraded state. He is, in truth, saved from the fear of hell and reaches a better state.” Hearing the words of the ministers, Rāma said:—”Hear what is mentioned in the Puranas. Formerly the Sun, the Moon, the welkin with the stars, the earth with the mountains and forests—the three worlds, the mobile and the immobile, were under water. At that time only Nārāyana existed as the second Sumeru. In Nārāyana’s belly was stationed the earth with Lakshmi. Having destroyed the creation and entered water, the highly effulgent Vishnu, identical with the souls of creatures, lay asleep there for many long years. Beholding Vishnu asleep after the destruction of the universe and knowing Vishnu of obstructed breath, the great ascetic Brahmā entered his abdomen. Thereupon, when a golden lotus sprang from Vishnu’s navel. That great lord, ascetic Brahmā, originated therefrom and was engaged in austere penances for the purpose of creating earth, air, mountains, trees, men, reptiles and all animals born from womb or egg. At that time from the ears of Nārāyana originated two valiant and dreadful demons under the name of Madhu and Kaitabha. Beholding the Patriarch, there they were greatly enraged, and pursued him. Thereat, the self-born cried aloud hideously. Awakened by that sound, Nārāyana engaged in fighting with Madhu and Kaitabha, and slew them with his discus. And with their gore the whole earth was deluged. Thereupon, purifying the earth again, Hari, preserver of the world, covered it with trees. And various drugs were also created. And the earth was called Medini because it was filled with Medas marrow of Madhu and Kaitabha. It is for this that I hold, O ministers, that this house does not belong to the vulture, but to the owl. Therefore, this vicious vulture should be punished—for this wicked, vicious-minded one, robbing another’s nest, is oppressing him.” In the interval a voice was heard in the sky stating the true facts:—”O Rāma, do not slay the vulture,—for it has already been reduced to ashes by the force of Gautama’s asceticism. O lord of men, this vulture, in its pristine birth, was a heroic truthful and pure king by the name of Brahmadatta. Once on a time a Brāhamana, by the name of Gautama, the very personification of Kāla, came to the house of Brahmadatta for food and said:—’O king, I shall feed in thy house for more than a hundred years.’ Thereupon, offering that effulgent Brāhmana, with his own hands, water to wash his feet the king Brahmadatta, made arrangements for his meal. Accidentally flesh was mixed with the food of the high-souled Gautama. Being enraged thereat, the ascetic imprecated him with a dreadful curse and said:—’O king, thou become a vulture.’ The king said:—’Be propitiated, O thou of great vows; do not imprecate me thus. I have, out of ignorance committed this offence. O great one, O blameless one, do thou act so that this curse may find termination.’ Thereat understanding that this offence was committed by the king unwittingly, the ascetic said—’O king, in the race of Ikshwākus a king shall be born under the name of Rāma. O foremost of men, thou shalt be released from the curse when he shall touch thee.’” Hearing the voice in the sky, Rāma touched Brahmadatta. Thereupon renouncing his vulture from and assuming a beautiful body smeared with celestial perfumes, he praised Rāma and said:—”O thou conversant with piety, by thy Favour have I been saved from the dreadful hell—here hath ended my curse.”
As Rāma and Lakshmana were (daily) engaged in conversing thus, the vernal night, neither hot nor cold, came on. And it came to pass that one bright morning, after having performed his first diurnal rites, Kākutstha, understanding the ways of the citizens, became anxious to present himself at a spot whence he could observe the citizens. At this time Sumantra, entering, addressed him, saying,—”O king, stopped at the gate, some ascetics stay there,—Maharshis, led by Bhārgava and Chyavana. And, O mighty monarch, eager for a sight of thee, those dwellers on the banks of the Yamunā, well pleased, have despatched me (hither), O tiger among men.” Hearing his words, the righteous Rāma answered: “Let the exalted Dwijas enter.” Thereat, honoring the royal mandate, the warder with joined hands brought those ascetics difficult of being approached. And numbering over an hundred, flaming up in their native effulgence, those high-souled anchorets entered the royal residence. And they presented Rāma with various fruits in profusion and vessels filled with sanctified waters of all holy spots. Thereupon, accepting the waters of the holy places as well as the various kinds of fruit, that mighty-armed one spake to the mighty ascetics: “Do ye agreeably to desert take these seats.” Hearing Rāma’s speech, all the Maharshis sat down on those graceful and elegant golden seats. And seeing the saints seated there, that captor of hostile capitals, Rāghava, restraining himself, with joined hands, observed: “What is the reason of your visit? What shall I needfully perform for you? I am worthy of being commanded by the Maharshis; and I must without demur compass every pleasure of theirs. And this entire monarchy, and the life that is resident in my heart,—all these are for the regenerate ones. This I tell you in the name of truth.” Hearing his words, the sages of fierce austerities inhabiting the banks of the Yamunā, broke out into a peal of plaudits. And those high-souled ones, exceedingly rejoiced, said: “On earth, O crown of men, this can only be expected from thee and nobody else. Many kings wielding great power have passed away who, having regard to the (possible) gravity of the undertaking, could not bring themselves to promise anything beforehand. But, without knowing he task, thou hast bound thyself by a promise for the glory of the Brāhmanas. And thou, without doubt, wilt succeed in effecting the work; and it behoveth thee to deliver the sages from a mighty fright.”
When the sages had spoken thus, Kakutstha said: “O ascetics, tell me what is the work which I shall have to accomplish in your behalf. Your fear shall be removed.” As Kākutstha was speaking thus, Bhargava remarked: “O lord of men, do thou hear of the origin of the fear that threatens our country. O king, formerly in the Krita age, there was a magnanimous offspring of Diti, the mighty Asura, Madu, eldest son of Lotā. He was well disposed towards Brāhmanas, kind to those seeking his refuge, and gifted with high intelligence. The exceedingly generous deities delighted in him greatly. And by way of honoring him, Rudra conferred a wonderful boon upon Madhu endowed with prowess and ever intent on religion. And extracting a dart from his own, possessed of terrific energy, endowed with great force, and furnished with exceeding splendour, that high-souled one, well pleased, made it over (to Madhu) and spoke to him. Thou hast practised excellent and unrivalled righteousness, which hath won my good graces, and (therefore), I, highly gratified, bestow on thee this choice weapon. So long as thou, O mighty Asura, dost not assail celestials and Vipras, so long shall this be thine,—otherwise it shall come to naught. Reducing to cinders the person that shall rashly enter upon conflict with thee, this dart shall return to thy hand.” Having thus obtained the boon from Rudra, the mighty Asura, again bowing to Mahādeva, addressed him, saying: “O reverend one, may this excellent dart be the possession of my family. O god, thou art the lord of the immortals.’ Thereat the lord of all beings, the mighty deity Siva, answered Madhu, when he had spoken thus: ’This will not be. But in order that thy prayer may not go for nothing, I graciously say in thy behalf that one of thy sons shall sway this dart. So long that dart-handed one shall be incapable of being destroyed by any creature.’ Having obtained this wonderful boon from the god, Madhu—foremost of Asuras—caused a splendid city to be constructed. His beloved wife the exalted and majestic Kumbhinasi is the offspring of Viçwavasu by Analā. Her son, the highly powerful wicked, and fierce Lavana, ever since his boyhood, gave himself up to a sinful course of life. Seeing his son, committed to an impious course Madhu was overcome with grief, but he did not say anything to him. And forsaking this world, he entered the region of Varuna; and making over the dart unto Lavana, communicated to him all about the boon he had obtained. And by virtue of the power of the dart, he oppresseth the three worlds in especial the ascetics; such is the power of Lavana, and such is his dart. Hearing all this O Kākutstha, thou art capable (of righting our wrong.) Thou art our chief resource. O Rāma many a monarch hath been already sued by the sages, O hero, to deliver them from this fear,—but we have not yet found a deliverer. Hearing, O child, that Rāvana together with all his forces and vehicles hath been destroyed (by thee), we know that there breathes not another king on earth capable of delivering us. Therefore our prayer is that thou mayst deliver us afflicted with the fear of Lavana. Thus, O Rāma, have we acquainted thee with the occasion of fear that hath arisen. Thou art capable of coping with the same. Do thou of undeteriorated prowess, do the needful.”
Thus accosted (by the sages), Rāma answered them with joined hands: “What doth he live on? What are his ways? And where doth Lavana live?” Hearing Rāghava’s words, the sages informed him of the way in which Lavana increased in power. “His food is every creature specially ascetics; his manner of life is regulated by ferocity and his constant home is Madhuvana. Slaying constantly thousands on thousands of lions and tigers and deer, and birds and human beings, he provides his daily food (with their flesh.) And like the Destroyer on the occasion of the universal dissolution, that one possessed of gigantic strength feeds on other creatures as well.” Hearing this, Rāghava spoke to the mighty ascetics: “I will slay that Raksha. Let your fright depart.” Having thus bound himself with that promise to the ascetics of fierce energy, Raghu’s son along with his brothers spoke: “What hero shall slay Lavana? Do you decide this. On whom shall devolve this duty? Whether the mighty armed Bharata or the intelligent Satrughna shall (do this work?)” Thus addressed by Rāghava Bharata remarked: “I will slay this. Let this task be entrusted to me.” Hearing Bharata’s speech instinct with fortitude and valor, the younger brother of Lakshmana stood up, leaving his golden seat. And Satrughna, saluting the king represented: “The mighty-armed second son of Raghu hath already achieved a grand work: he formerly governed Ayodhyā empty of the noble one,⁹⁶ bearing in his heart the grief connected with his return. Undergoing many a hardship, king, that illustrious one passed his days, lying down on a bed of sorrow, and living on fruits and roots, and wearing rags. Having suffered such misery, Raghu’s son should not be suffered to undergo trouble, while, O king I his servant is by.” On Satrughna saying this, Rāghava again said: “Let this be so. Do thou do my bidding. I shall install thee on the graceful city of Madhu; or if thou wish without and entrust Bharata with this task, O long-armed one. Heroic, and accomplished, thou art competent to found a city on the Yamunā as well as flourishing provinces. He that, having people’s dominion, doth not furnish it with a king, goeth to hell. So if thou accept my words, then slaying Madhu’s son, the sinful Lavana, rule the kingdom righteously. O hero, thou must say anything after what I have spoken. Without doubt, a youthful younger brother must obey the injunctions of his elder brother. Do thou, O Kākutstha, accept the installation which I confer on thee, preluded by the prescribed religious formulae uttered by Vipras headed by Vasishtha.”
Thus accosted by Rāma, the exceedingly energetic Satrughna was powerfully wrought up with bashfulness, and replied slowly: “O lord of men, this doth not appear to be in consonance with morality. Wherefore, an elder brother existing, wouldst thou install a younger one? I must, O best of men, do thy behest; for, O exalted one, thy mandate can never be passed by me. O hero, I have heard from thee as well as from the Sruti (touching the morality concerned).⁹⁷ When my second brother had already vowed (that he would slay Lavana), I ought not to have returned the answer I actually have. I saying,—‘I will in battle slay the dreadful Lavana,’ I have been guilty of an unrighteous speech. And it is for this transgression that, O powerful one, I shall have to undergo this improper process. But, albeit this course is unrighteous and entails perdition, yet desired by my eldest brother, I certainly ought not to make any answer. And, O Kākutstha, a second answer I would not return; so that, O bestower of honor, I may not, by a second reply, render myself liable to a fresh punishment. In this matter, O chief of men, I will even do thy desire. Do thou, O descendant of Raghu, so order that sin may not be mine (in having obeyed thy mandate.)” Thus addressed by the heroic and high-souled Satrughna, Rāma, delighted, spoke unto Bharata and Lakshmana,—”Do you carefully provide the things necessary for the coronation: this very day shall I install that foremost of men, the descendant of Raghu. And by my order do you summon the Purodhasas, O Kākutstha, and the citizens and the Ritwijas, and the councillors.” Having received the royal behest, the mighty car-warriors did accordingly. And the Kshatriyas and the Brāhmanas entered the royal mansion with the priest as well as the requisite things for the installation. And then commenced the auspicious sprinkling of the high-souled Satrughna, gladdening (the hearts of all in) the palace of Rāghava. And on being installed Kākutstha resembled the Sun; and he like Skanda formerly installed by the celestials led by Indra. And when Satrughna had been installed by Rāma of untiring deeds, the citizens as well as the Brāhmanas of vast Vedic attainments experienced excess of joy. And Kausalyā and Sumitra and Kaikeyi and the other wives of the king set up festal salutation in the palace. And on Satrughna having been installed the high-souled sages dwelling on the banks of the Jamunā, thought that Lavana had been slain. Then placing the installed Satrughna on his lap, Rāghava, extolling his prowess, addressed him sweet words: “O captor of hostile capitals, this divine arrow never missing is thine. With this, O son of Raghu, thou, O placid one, wilt slay Lavana. O Kākutstha, this shaft was forged when invisible by celestials and Asuras the divine self-sprung and invincible (deity) reposed on the mighty main, and when creation was oppressed by Madhu and Kaitabha as well as other Rākshasas. He, overwhelmed with rage desirous of creating the three worlds, created this best of arrows invincible to all beings, for the destruction of the wicked ones; and destroyed them in battle by means of this very arrow. And having with this foremost of shafts finished Madhu and Kaitabha, they set about creating the worlds. When, O Satrughna, formerly I sought to slay Rāvana, I did not discharge this arrow, thinking that if discharged, it would inflict great havoc on creatures. Keeping in his abode that great and redoubted which had been bestowed on Madhu by the high-souled Tryamvaka, for the destruction of foes,—and worshipping the same ever, Lavana goeth about and secureth excellent fare (for himself) when one challenged him, desirous of reducing him (his antagonist) to ashes. Therefore, O foremost of men, thou shouldst, before entering the city, stand at the gate obstructing his course. O thou having long arms, thou shouldst invite him for battle when he shall be weaponless and in that way wouldst be able to destroy him. And by no other means he is to be slain. If thou canst encompass this, he shall forsooth be slain. O my son, I have thus told thee the way in which the dart should be thwarted. It is impossible to surpass the prowess of the graceful Nilkantha.”
⁹⁷ i.e. of being installed as a king during the life of my elder brother.
Having thus addressed Satrughna, Rāma again and again praised him and said:—”O foremost of men, let four thousand horses, two thousand chariots, one hundred excellent elephants, shops with various articles and songsters follow thee. O foremost of men, O Satrughna, do thou proceed with Nijuta gold and silver coins and necessary riches and conveyances. Do thou so act, O hero, that soldiers might be well-fed and delighted and be not annoyed with thee. Do thou please them with sweet words, for the servants, when they face enemies, have not with them friends or wives—and so they are pleased, O Rāghava when they receive sufficient food and presents, O Satrughna, having sent before a huge and well contented army do thou proceed afterwards to Madhuvana. Thou shouldst proceed so fearlessly that Madhu’s son Lavana might not know that thou wert going for encounter. O foremost of men, he shall not be slain by any other expedient than that I have acquainted thyself with. If he can perceive before, whoever that enemy might be, Lavana shall forsooth destroy him. When rains shall set in after the expiration of the present summer thou shouldst slay him for that is the proper time for destroying that vicious-minded one. For he shall then fearlessly move about leaving off his dart understanding that no one would come to fight with him during rains. Let the soldiers only now proceed with ascetics before them; the summer hath not as yet fully expired and this is the time, when they shall, without any trouble, be able to cross the Ganges. Afterwards having encamped thy army on the other side of the Ganges thou shouldst alone proceed speedily with thy bow.” Hearing those words of Rāma and summoning his highly powerful and leading warriors Satrughna said “Do ye all proceed and halt at those places which are well known to you. Do not oppress any body.” Having thus ordered the powerful warriors the highly powerful Satrughna bowed unto Kauçalyā, Sumitrā and Kaikeyi. Thereupon having circumambulated with folded hands Rāma, Lakshmana and Bharata he reverentially saluted the feet of the priests. And then with Rāma’s permission and having gone round him the highly powerful Satrughna issued out. Having thus depatched before a huge army consisting of selected elephants and horses, Satrughna, the enhancer of the glory of Raghu’s race, took farewell from Rāma. And all showed him proper respect.
Having thus despatched his army and waited at Ayodhyā for a month Satrughna, the slayer of enemies, proceeded alone. Having spent two nights on his way he arrived at the holy and picturesque hermitage of the great ascetic Valmiki. And having bowed unto that high-souled Muni he, with folded palms, said:—”O illustrious Sir, I wish to wait here this day; I have come here for some business of our master Rāma. To-morrow morning I shall proceed to the dreadful West.” Hearing the words of the high-souled Satrughna, Vālmiki, the foremost of ascetics, replied saying:—”O thou of great renown, do thou wait here without any hesitation. O gentle one, this hermitage belongs to the descendants of the Raghu race. Do thou fearlessly take thy seat and water to wash thy feet.” Thereupon taking water to wash his feet and feeding upon fruits and roots Satrughna attained to great delight. And afterwards he asked the great ascetic Vālmiki saying:—”O great ascetic, to whom belong the articles of sacrifice in the cast near this hermitage?” Whereto Vālmiki replied “Satrughna, hear I shall tell thee, whose sacrificial ground was this in the days of yore. There was a king by the name of Saudāsa—one of thy ancestors. His son Virjashaha was a highly powerful and pious king. The heroic Saudāsa was fond of hunting from his boyhood. Once on a time while a-hunting, he espied two Rakshasas in the forest. He had heard about them many times before; they were in the shape of tigers and of a dreadful figure and were not satiated with devouring many thousand deer. King Saudāsa saw those two Rākshasas and found the forest divested of all creatures. And enraged in consequence thereof he slew one of them. Having slain him and been at ease, Saudāsa, the foremost of men, began to eye that Rākshasa. His mate, greatly aggrieved, said to him:—’O vicious one, thou hast, without any fault, slain my companion—I shall therefore mete out becoming punishment unto thee.’ Having said this the Rākshasa vanished therefrom. Thereupon in time the prince Virjashaha became king. Saudāsa engaged in celebrating a mighty horse-sacrifice in the vicinity of this hermitage. Vasishtha officiated as a priest at that sacrifice. It continued for many Ayuta years. For immense riches the sacrifice appeared like one performed by the celestials. Thereupon when the sacrifice was about to be finished the aforesaid Rākshasa, remembering his former enmity, assumed the shape of Vasishtha and said to the king Saudāsa:—’O king, to-day the sacrifice shall end; do therefore, without any delay, feed me with meat.’ Hearing the words of the Rākshasa in the guise of a Brahman, the king ordered his expert cooks, saying:—’Do ye soon prepare such dishes of meat as may satisfy my preceptor Vasishtha.’ Having been ordered by the king the cooks reverentially went away and the Rākshasa assuming their shape brought before the king dishes. The king and queen offered those dishes unto the ascetic Vasishtha, who, after being treated to them, perceived that they were of human flesh and, terribly enraged, said:—’O king, let this be thy food which thou hast offered me; this shall not prove otherwise.’ Being enraged on hearing it the king Saudāsa took water in his palms and was about to imprecate Vasishtha, when his queen, preventing him said:—’O king, the illustrious great ascetic Vasishtha is our preceptor and priest and so thou shouldst not imprecate him.’ Hearing those words of his queen, the king Saudāsa, threw off that powerful water on his own feet which at once became dark. From that time the illustrious king Saudāsa became also known by the name of Kalasmpāda. Thereupon the king with his spouse again and again bowed unto Vasishtha’s feet and informed him of what the Rākshasa had done under the guise of a Brāhmana. Hearing the words of the king and being apprised that this vile act had been done by the Rākshasa, Vasishtha said, ’O king, even what I have said angrily shall not prove futile. However I confer upon thee this boon that after twelve years thou shalt be freed from this curse, and by my favour thou shalt cherish no recollection of thy condition extending over those twelve years.’ Having thus suffered the consequences of the curse, Saudāsa, the slayer of enemies, again obtained his kingdom and governed his subjects. O descendant of Rāghu, the sacrificial ground of which thou hast asked me, belongs to the king Saudasa.” Having thus heard the dreadful story of the king Saudāsa and saluted the ascetic Vālmiki, Satrughna entered a thatched cottage.
On the same night Satrughna housed himself in a thatched cottage Sitā gave birth to twin sons. In the midnight the Muni boys came to Vālmiki and communicated unto him this auspicious intelligence, saying “O illustrious Sir, the beloved spouse of Rāma hath given birth to two sons; do thou so protect them that evil spirits might not injure them.” Hearing those words the highly effulgent Vālmiki went there and attained to great delight on beholding those two highly effulgent sons, resembling the newly risen sun and the celestials. Thereupon he made arrangements against the oppression of ghosts and goblins. Thereupon taking Kusa (the upper part of the grass) and Lava (the lower part) the great ascetic Vālmiki made those arrangements. And giving Kusa sanctified by Mantras unto the hands of elderly women he said, “Do ye rub the person of the elder boy with these,” and giving them Lava he said “Do ye rub the person of the younger brother with this. And according to this I shall name the first Son Kusa and the second Lava; and by those names they shall be celebrated on earth.” Thereupon reverentially taking from the hands of Vālmiki and Kusa Lava, the means of protection, the elderly ladies engaged in guarding them. Hearing that Sitā without any trouble had given birth to two sons and elderly female ascetics had been engaged in protecting them and hearing the chanting of Rāma’s glories in the midnight, Satrughna thought within himself. “Blessed it is that Sitā hath given birth to two sons.” And with this joy the live long night of Srābana passed away in no time. Having performed the morning rites after the expiration of the night and taken farewell from the ascetic Vālmiki, Lakshmana proceeded towards the west. And having spent seven nights he at last arrived at the hermitage of the pious Rishis living on the banks of the Yamunā. Taking shelter there he engaged in pleasant conversation with Chābanya and other ascetics. Having remained there for the night and talked with those ascetics the high-souled, heroic Raghu prince Satrughna was greatly delighted.
Thereupon when the night set in Satrughna accosted Vrigu’s son Chābanya saying, “O Brahman, how powerful is Lavana? And what is the strength of his dart? What persons before had been destroyed by this dart in conflict?” Hearing the words of the high-souled descendant of Raghu,—Satrughna, the highly effulgent Chābanya replied saying.—”O descendant of Raghu, Lavana hath accomplished many works by this dart; amongst them, hear what Māndhāta, born in the race of Ikshwāku, did. The early king of Ayodhyā was known over the three worlds under the name of Māndhāta. He was the son of Yavanāshwa, highly powerful and strong. Having brought the whole world under his subjection the king Māndhāta engaged in the conquest of the celestial region. He having been engaged in making preparations to conquer the world of gods—the celestial chief Indra with other immortals was greatly terrified. With this promise, the king Māndhāta went up into the celestial region that he would occupy the half of Indra’s throne and kingdom and the celestials would adore him. Being apprised of this vicious intention of his, Indra, the slayer of Paka, consoled him in sweet words, saying;—’O foremost of men, even in the land of men, thou hast not been able to become the real king. Without perfectly subjugating the earth how dost thou wish to lord over the celestial kingdom? If the whole world is under thy subjection, O hero, be thou, with the whole host of thy servants and soldiers, installed on the celestial throne.’ Indra having said this, the high-souled Māndhāta replied:—’O Sakra, who on this earth, hath disobeyed my commands?’ Whereto Indra replied ’O sinless one, the night-ranger, Lavana, Madhu’s son, living in Madhuvana, is not under thy control.’ Hearing those dreadful and unpleasant words from Indra, the king lowered his head in shame and became silent. Thereupon, having welcomed Indra in that way, he left there and returned to earth. O slayer of enemies, with an angry heart, army and conveyance he went to subjugate Madhu’s son Lavana and sent an emissary inviting him to battle. The ambassador, having gone there, addressed many unpleasant words unto Lavana and the night-ranger devoured him. On the other hand finding the delay of his return the king Māndhāta, enraged, began to assail the Rākshasa Lavana with arrows from all sides. Laughing wildly Lavana took up the dart in his hand and discharged it to destroy the king with his followers. Thereupon growing powerful the dart reduced the king with his servants and army into ashes and returned to Lavana. In this wise the high-souled king Māndhāta, with his huge army, was slain. O gentle hero, incomparable and great is the strength of the dart. Forsooth thou shalt slay Lavana next morning. Certain is thy victory if Lavana cannot take up his dart. People shall be at ease if thou canst bring about the destruction of Lavana. O foremost of men, I shall then describe unto thee the incomparable and dreadful prowess of the vicious-souled Lavana and his dart. O king, with great exertions did Lavana slay Māndhāta and not easily. O high-minded one, next morning thou shalt surely destroy Lavana. He shall issue out for flesh without taking his dart. And at that time, O lord of men, thou shalt, for sooth, be crowned will victory.”
They being thus engaged in conversation regarding his achieving victory without any danger Satrughna in no time passed the night. The clear morning having arrived, the heroic Lavana issued out of his city to collect food. In the meantime having crossed the river Yamunā, the heroic Satrughna, with bow in his hands, stood at the gate of Madhu’s city. Thereupon returning in the noon with many thousand animals, the night-ranger Lavana, of dreadful actions, espied Satrughna standing at the gate with a weapon in his hand. Thereupon he said:—”What shall thou do with this weapon? O vile wight, enraged I have devoured many thousand persons holding weapons like thee. I now perceive thou hast also been possessed by Kāla. O vile man, I am fully fed. How shall thou, of thy own accord, enter into my mouth?” Lavana having said this again and again laughing the great hero Satrughna shed tears in anger. The high-minded Satrughna being beside himself with rage, from all his person issued burning lustre. Greatly enraged he said to the night-ranger “O thou of a vicious intellect, I wish to enter into a duel encounter with thee. I am the son of the great king Daçaratha, brother of the intelligent Rāma and my name is Satrughna. I slay all my enemies and have come here to destroy thee. I wish now to fight with thee—do thou enter into a duel conflict. Thou art the enemy of all animals. Thou shall not be able to survive at my hands.” He having said this, the Rākshasa, laughing aloud, replied unto that foremost of men;—”Thy understanding is bewildered. By the influence of destiny thou hast come under my control. The Rākshasa Rāvana was the brother of my aunts, o thou of vicious understanding, O vile wight, it is for his wife that Rāma did slay him. It is out of hatred that I have tolerated the destruction of Rāvana’s family and have pardoned you all. You are all vile men; I have slain and defeated all of your family that have passed away and shall destroy all that are living and shall come into existence. O thou of vicious intellect, if thou wishest I shall fight with thee. Do thou wait here so long I do not bring my weapon. Do thou remain here as long as I with that shall not kill thee.” Whereto Satrughna immediately replied “Where shalt thou go while I am alive? The practical men should never let off the enemies who come out of their own accord. He, who inviteth an enemy into battle under the influence of perverted understanding is slain like a coward. Do thou behold this world of creatures to thy hearts’ content for I shall by various sharp weapons despatch thee to Yama’s abode who is the enemy of the three worlds and Rāghava.”
Hearing the words of the high-souled Satrughna Lavana was greatly enraged and again and again asked him to wait. And clashing his hands and grinding his teeth he invited that foremost of Raghus, Satrughna, to fight. And Satrughna, the slayer of celestial’s enemies, said to the dreadful Lavana, giving vent to those words:—”Satrughna was not born when thou didst defeat other kings; do thou therefore proceed to Death’s abode being assailed by shafts. O thou of a vicious soul, as did the celestials behold Rāvana slain so shall the Rishis and learned Brahmans behold thee, destroyed by me. O Rākshasa, forsooth shall good crown cities and villages when thou shalt fall down burnt by my arrows. As the rays of the sun enter into lotus so shall arrows, hard as lightning, discharged by my hands, shall enter into thy heart.” Being beside himself with ire on hearing those words of Satrughna, Lavana threw a huge tree against his breast. And Satrughna too sundered it into a hundred pieces. Beholding his own action baffled the Rākshasa again took up many trees and hurled them at Satrughna, who, with three or four hundred bent arrows, cut them all, one by one, into pieces. Thereupon when the powerful Satrughna assailed him with arrows the Rākshasa was not the least pained. Rather laughing aloud the valiant Rākshasa uprooted a tree and struck him with that on the head. With that stroke he was wounded and slain. And that hero falling there arose a terrible uproar amongst the Rishis, celestials, Gandharvas and Apsarās. Thereupon considering Satrughna slain the night-ranger did not enter his house albeit he got the opportunity; and moreover beholding him fallen and destroyed he did not take up his dart. He then began to carry his collected food. Regaining his sense within a moment, Satrughna, with a weapon in his hand, stood at the city gate and the Rishis began to praise him. Thereupon, he having taken up an excellent arrow of unfailing aim the ten quarters were filled with its native brilliance. Its face was like lightning and its velocity the same and it looked like Meru and Mandara; its joints were all bent. None could defeat it in battle. It was pasted with red sandal resembling blood and its feathers were beautiful. Beholding that dart like unto the fire of dissolution, and dreadful like unto the lords of Dānavas, mountains and Asuras, the creatures were greatly terrified. What more, being disturbed, the celestials, Asuras, Gandharvas, saints and Apsarās and all other creatures of the world approached the Great Patriarch, the conferrer of boons and said;—”The fear of the celestials and the destruction of the creatures hath arrived.” Hearing those words the Patriarch Brahma replied “Although it is a source of great fear still it is not dreadful unto the celestials.” Thereupon with sweet accents he said:—”Hear, O ye celestials, Satrughna hath taken up this arrow for the destruction of Lavana. By the energy thereof we have all been overwhelmed. This effulgent, ever-existing arrow was made by the Primeval Deity Vishnu—the lord of creatures. My children, the burning arrow, of which you are afraid, was made by the high-minded Vishnu for slaying the demons Madhu and Kaitabha. And Vishnu alone is cognizant of its energy. This Satrughna is the first portion of Vishnu’s person; do ye all go hence and behold the destruction of the foremost Rākshasa, Lavana, by the high-souled, heroic Satrughna, the younger brother of Rāma.” Hearing the words of the Patriarch Brahmā, the celestials arrived at the battle-field of Satrughna and Lavana and saw that the arrow, held by Satrughna’s hands, was burning like the fire of dissolution. Beholding the welkin covered by the celestials, Satrughna, the descendant of Raghu, emitting leonine roars, again and again looked towards Lavana. And being again excited by the high-souled Satrughna and enraged Lavana arrived for encounter. Thereupon expanding his bow up to ears, Satrughna, the most accomplished archer, discharged his arrow against the spacious breast of Lavana. And piercing his heart that arrow entered speedily into Rasātala And having entered Rasātala that arrow, honored by the celestials, again came to the descendant of Raghu. And being pierced by that shaft the night-ranger Lavana fell down on earth like a mountain clapped by a thunder-bolt. The Rākshasa being slain that celestial, huge arrow came into the possession of Rudra before the gods. Having removed the fear of the three worlds with one shaft, that heroic Raghu, Satrughna—younger brother of Lakshmana, holding excellent bow and arrow, appeared like the Sun of thousand rays removing darkness. Thereupon chanting the glories of Satrughna, the celestials, Rishis, Pannagas, Apsarās, said “O son of Daçaratha, it is really fortunate, that thou, renouncing fear, hast acquired victory and that the Rākshasa Lavana hath been vanquished like a serpent.”
Lavana being slain the celestials headed by Agni and Indra said in sweet accents to Satrughna the represser of enemies:—”O child, fortunate it is that thou hast been crowned with success after slaying the Rākshasa Lavana. Do thou, therefore, O foremost of men, O thou of firm vows, accept boons. O thou having long arms, all those who can confer boons have arrived here; they all wish for thy victory; seeing us doth not go without fruits.” Hearing the words of the celestials the large-armed and self-controlled Satrughna placed his hands on his head and said.—”Let this picturesque and charming city of Madhu, built by the celestials, be my capital; this is the only excellent boon I can beg.” The celestials, with a delighted heart, said to the descendant of Raghu:—”Thy desire shall be fulfilled and forsooth shall thy city be turned into a picturesque capital under the name of Surashena.” The high-souled celestials having ascended the welkin saying this, the highly effulgent Satrughna brought the soldiers there, that were encamped on the banks of the Ganges. When the soldiers arrived there on hearing the commands of Satrughna he engaged in making encampments in the month of Srāban. In this wise the fearlessness of the celestial host, taking the shape of a country, that beautiful and picturesque city was reared in the course of twelve years. All the fields there were filled with crops and Indra began to pour showers in due season. And being protected by the strength of Satrughna’s arms all men there became valiant and were freed from diseases. That city on the banks of Yamunā appeared beautiful like the half moon and was filled with yards, shops, streets beautiful houses, men of four orders and various articles of trade. Satrughna now engaged in beautifying the spacious, white houses that were made by Lavana before, with various ornamental works. Beholding the city interspersed with various excellent gardens, pleasure grounds and prosperously filled with celestials and men and diverse articles of trade and merchants hailing from various countries, Satrughna, the younger brother of Bharata, attained to the satisfaction of desire and excess of delight. Having thus reared the beautiful city he resolved within himself “The twelfth year has come. I shall now behold the feet of Rāma.” Thereupon having set up the city resembling the region of the celestials and filled with various men, the king Satrughna, the enhancer of Raghu’s race, determined on beholding Rāma’s feet.
Thereupon on the completion of the twelfth year, Satrughna, with few servants, soldiers and followers, desired to proceed to Ayodhyā protected by Rāma. Having prevented his minister and leading generals he proceeded with one hundred chariots and cavalry. And having counted seven halting stations on his way, the highly illustrious descendant of Raghu—Satrughna, arrived at the hermitage of Vālmiki. And having bowed unto the feet of the leading Muni, that foremost of men took from his hands water to wash feet and Arghya and accepted his hospitality. The great ascetic Vālmiki addressed to the high-souled Satrughna many sweet words. Having referred at first to Lavana’s destruction, he said:—”Having slain Lavana thou hast performed a very hard work. O gentle one, O foremost of men, Lavana had slain in conflict many hundred highly powerful kings with their army and conveyances. And thou hast easily slain that vicious-souled Rākshasa, Lavana. By thy prowess the whole world hath been divested of fear. With great difficulty Rāma had slain Rāvana—but without any trouble whatsoever thou hast accomplished this mighty work. Lavana being slain, the celestials have been greatly delighted—what more the well-being of the whole universe and all creatures has been brought about. O Rāghava, O foremost of men, being present in the assemblage of Vasava—I duly witnessed your combat. O Satrughna, I too have been greatly delighted—I therefore smell thy crown for this is the best expression of love.” Saying this the high-minded Vālmiki smelled his crown and made arrangements for his reception as well as that of his followers. After meals, Satrughna, the foremost of men, listened to themes relating to Rāma and set in musical notes. Those themes were composed describing the early actions of Rāma. They were composed in Sanskrit, set to the tune of a musical instrument, adorned with all the marks of vocal music and arranged in accompaniment with notes. Satrughna, the foremost of men, heard them from the beginning to the end, pregnant with truth and composed of those words. And on hearing it he was beside himself with joy and his eyes were full of tears. And remaining stunned for some time and regaining his sense afterwards he began to breathe hard out of excess of surprise. He heard, in that song, of past events as things passing on. And hearing it, his followers, with their heads down and sorrowfully said:—”Wonder,” and saying this they began to converse with one another:—”Alas! Where are we? Is this a dream? We have been hearing at this hermitage what we had not seen before. What wonder, that in a dream we hear such an excellent song.” Being in this wise greatly surprised they said to Satrughna:—”O foremost of men, do thou ask particularly, about this, Vālmiki, the foremost of ascetics.” They being all thus struck with curiosity, Satrughna said:—”It is not proper for us, O Ye soldiers, to question him in this way. There are many such wonders in the hermitage of this ascetic. It is not therefore becoming to ask him about this out of curiosity.” Having thus addressed the soldiers and bowed unto the ascetic, Satrughna, the desendant of Raghu, entered his own quarter.
Thereupon going to bed, Satrughna began to meditate upon that excellent theme relating to Rāma and treating of diverse subjects and did not enter into sleep. In sooth the high-minded Satrughna spent the night in no time listening to that charming song set in musical notes. The night being over, he first went through the morning rites and then with folded hands addressed the foremost of ascetics, Vālmiki, saying:—”O illustrious Sir, I am anxious to see Rāma, the enhancer of the delight of the Raghu race. And my desire is that thou mayst with other illustrious Rishis, grant me permission on this.” Satrughna, the slayer of enemies, having said this, the great ascetic Vālmiki embraced and bade him farewell. He was greatly anxious to behold Rāma and saluting the foremost of Munis he speedily proceeded to Ayodhyā. Thereupon having entered the highly picturesque city Ayodhyā, the graceful descendant of Ikshwākus, Satrughna reached where the long-armed and the highly effulgent Rāma was waiting. He espied there Rāma in the midst of the councillors like Indra amongst the immortals burning in his own effulgence. And having bowed with folded hands unto Rāma, having truth for his prowess, Satrughna said:—”O great king, I have carried out all thine behests; I have slain the vicious Lavana and filled his city with subjects. O descendant of Raghu, twelve years have passed away without thee—I do not wish to live any longer separated from thee. Do thou therefore, O Kākuthstha of unmitigated prowess, have compassion on me. Without thee, I cannot live for ever in a foreign province like a motherless child.” He having said this, Rāma embraced him and said:—”Be not sorry, O hero. This is not a becoming action for Kshatriyas. The kings, O Rāghava, are never tired of living in a foreign land. According to the morality of the Kshatriyas, their greatest duty consists in governing the subjects. O heroic and foremost of men, do thou, at intervals, come to Ayodhyā to see me and return to thy own city. Forsooth thou art dearer than my life. But it is an incumbent duty to govern the kingdom. Do thou therefore, O Kākutstha, live with me for seven nights, and afterwards return to thy city with thy servants, army and conveyances.” Hearing those moral and charming words of Rāma, Satrughna poorly replied, saying:—”Thy command shall be carried out.” Thereupon Satrughna, well-skilled in the use of bows, remained with Rāma for seven nights and then addressed himself for departure. Thereupon having invited Bharata and Lakshmana, the high-souled Rāma, having truth for his prowess, speedily went for his city in a huge chariot. The high-souled Lakshmana and Bharata followed him on foot for some distance.
Having bade adieu unto Satrughna, Rāma, the descendant of Raghu, was greatly delighted by governing his subjects piously in the company of Bharata and Lakshmana. Some days having passed in this wise—a villager, an old Brahman, arrived at the palace gate with a dead body. That Brahman, stricken with affection, again and again bewailed in various piteous accents, exclaiming “What heinous crime had I committed in my pristine birth that I have been constrained to witness the death of my son. My son, thou hast not as yet completed fourteen years. To my misery thou hast met with untimely death. Forsooth, for thy grief, O my son, myself and thy mother shall soon be snatched away by death. I do not remember to have ever uttered a falsehood, or injured an animal or perpetrated any other crime. Therefore for some other sinful action, this boy, without performing the son’s duties towards his parents, has gone to the abode of death. Save under the regime of Rāma, I have never seen or heard of the dreadful death of such a boy who hath not attained the age. Forsooth, Rāma hath perpetrated a mighty iniquity for which boys, during his administration, have been meeting with untimely death. In other governments boys have no fear of such an untimely death. Therefore, O king confer life upon this dead child. Or else with my spouse I shall renounce my life at this gate like one having no lord. O Rāma, soiled by the sin consequent upon the destruction of a Brāhmana, do thou live long happily with brothers. O thou of great prowess, up to this time we have lived happily in thy kingdom. And now, O Rāma, under thy subjection we are being troubled with the sorrow of our son’s death. We have been brought under the influence of Kāla; so in thy kingdom there is not the least happiness for us. Having attained Rāma as its lord, the kingdom, of the high-souled Ikshwākus, hath attained to the condition of one having no master, where during Rāma’s regime the death of a boy hath been brought about. For being impiously governed by a king, for his sin, the subjects meet with calamities. And a king following evil tracks and not governing the subjects righteously people meet with untimely death. Therefore, when a king doth not suppress the crimes committed by people either in cities or provinces the fear, of untimely death, comes in. Evident it is therefore that undoubtedly the sin of the king hath appeared in cities and provinces. And for that reason this boy hath met with death.” Being overwhelmed with sorrow that old Brahman again and again remonstrated with the king in these piteous words and afterwards covered the death body (of his son).
Hearing those sorrowful words of the Brahman, Rāma was greatly sorry and sent for Vasishtha, Bāmadeva, his brothers, citizens and councillors. Thereupon having entered the apartment in the company of Vasishtha, eight Brahmans blessed the king Rāma, resembling a celestial, saying “May victory crown thee.” Mārkandeya, Maudgalya, Bāmadeva, Kashyapa, Kātyāyana, Javali, Gautama, and Narada—these eight leading Brāhmanas having taken their seats, Rāma, with folded hands, saluted them. And he showed due civilities towards his minister, citizens, Rishis and all others. Thereupon all the highly effulgent Rishis being accomodated with seats Rāma narrated duly before them the account of the Brāhmana and said. “This Brahman is waiting at the Palace-gate.” Hearing those words of the poorly king, Nārada, in the presence of all other Rishis, replied:—”Hear, king, why this boy hath met with untimely death. And hearing this, O descendant of Raghu, do thou settle what thou thinkest proper. O king, in the golden age, only the Brahmans used to engage in asceticism. At that age, save the Brāhmanas no other caste used to lead the life of an anchoret. And for this, the Brahmans were the highest caste, effulgent in asceticism, shorn of ignorance, above death and conversant with three ages. Thereupon at the end of the golden age, Brāhmana’s understanding became loose and the Tretā Yuga set in. At this age Kshatryas, gifted with the power acquired by pristine asceticism, were born. And those men, intent upon austere penances, that were born in the Tretā age, were more powerful and greater devotees than those in the former age. In the golden age the Brāhmanas were more powerful than the Kshatryas. But in the Tretā age the Brāhmanas and the Kshatryas were equally powerful. Thus in the Tretā age, not beholding prominence of the Brāhmanas greater than that of the Kshatryas, Manu and other religious leaders of the time composed the Sastra describing and setting in the four divisions of castes. In this wise the Tretā age was prolific with virtues of the four Varnas, and many pious sacrifices and was shorn of iniquities. But being attacked a little with iniquity, one portion of sin appeared on earth. And growing impious people lost their strength. And for houses and farms that were the property of the former age, people of the Tretā Yuga were possessed by envy, the outcome of the quality of darkness. And with the fading of impiety on earth during Tretā, the soiled sin of untruth appeared. And this iniquity stretching one footstep, the lease of people’s lives, for sins, became limited. And the sin of untruth descending on earth, people, to avoid the extinction of life in consequence thereof, became truthful and engaged in many pious observances. During the Tretā age the Brāhmanas and Kshatryas engaged in austere penances and the Vaisyas and Sudras engaged in serving them. And the greatest piety of the Vaisyas and Sudras at that time consisted of serving the Brāhmanas and Kshatryas and specially for the Sudras the highest religion was to serve people of all Varnas. O foremost of kings, at the end of the Tretā age, Vaisyas and Sudras being fully overpowered by the sin of untruth, the Brāhmanas and the Kshatryas also grew feeble. And the second foot of impiety being ushered into the world the Dwāpara age set in. O foremost of men, during this age two legs of piety being cut off, impiety and untruth multiplied. And in Yuga named Dwāpara the Vaisyas engaged in devout penances. In this wise in three ages the three Varnas gradually engaged in ascetic performances. The piety of asceticism by Yugas gradually became established in three Varnas. But, O foremost of men, in these three Yugas the Sudras were not entitled to the virtues of devout penances. O foremost of men, the degraded caste—the Sudras, during thy regime, have engaged in austere penances. And in the Kali Yuga asceticism shall be established in the Sudras. O king, even in the Dwāpara, devout penances for Sudras were considered as impiety, what to speak of the Tretā age. O king, one Sudra, under the influence of vicious understanding has begun devout penances within thy kingdom. And for that reason this boy hath met with death. Calamity sets in that kingdom where a vicious-minded person commits an iniquity and that vicious wight and the king forsooth speedily repair to hell. The king, who piously governeth his subjects, receiveth the sixth portion of their study, asceticism and good actions. While the king is entitled to the sixth portion of everything why should he not fully protect his subjects? Therefore, O chief of men, do thou bring all informations of thy kingdom. And be then studious to repress vices wherever thou shalt find them. And by that, O foremost of men, the piety of the subjects shall be increased, the lease of their life shall be prolonged and this boy shall regain his life.”
Hearing the sweet words of the celestial saint Nārada Rāma was greatly delighted and addressing Lakshmana said:—”O gentle one, do thou console that foremost of twice-born ones and place the dead body of the boy in a jar full of oil. Let this body be protected by sweet-scented oil so that it might not be soiled by any means. See that it is not disfigured, its joints are not loosened and the hairs do not fall off.” The highly illustrious Rāma, the descendant of Ikshwākus, thus commanded Lakshmana, gifted with auspicious marks, and thought of his car and desired it to come soon. Understanding his intention the golden car appeared before him in no time and saluting him said:—”O thou of long arms, thine chariot hath come.” Hearing the sweet words of Pushpaka the king Rāma saluted the great ascetics, ascended the car with his burning bow, quiver and dagger and left Bharata and Lakshmana in charge of the city. And searching that Sudra devotee here and there Rāghava proceeded towards the west. And not beholding him there he went to the North bounded by the Himalayas. And even there he did not espy the Sudra ascetic and even the smallest iniquity was not seen there. Thereupon returning from that quarter the king journeyed the whole of east. And having sat on the Pushpaka car he saw that the eastern quarter was transparent like a looking glass and there was not the best touch of sin. From the east Rāghava proceeded towards the south and espied a big tank by the side of the Saivala mountain. On the banks of that pond one ascetic was performing the most austere penances with his legs upwards and head downwards. Thereupon approaching him, Rāma said—”O thou of good vows, blessed art thou; I do ask thee, now, O thou highly effulgent and grown old old in asceticism, in what Varna thou art born. I put this question out of curiosity. I am the son of king Daçaratha and my name is Rāma. For what art thou going through such hard austerities? Is it heaven or anything else that thou prayest for? O ascetic, I wish to hear of the purpose for which thou art performing such hard penances. Art thou a Brahman, or an irrepresible Kshatriya or the third caste Vaisya or a Sudra? Do thou speak the truth and thou shaft be crowned with auspiciousness.” Hearing the words of Rāma, the ascetic, whose face was downwards, gave out his degraded birth and communicated unto him for what he was performing ascetic observances.
Hearing the words of Rāma of unwearied actions, the ascetic, with his face downwards, said:—”O highly illustrious Rāma, I am born in the race of Sudras; and with a view to reach the region of the celestials with my body I am going through these austere penances. O Kākuthstha, I shall never utter a falsehood since I am willing to conquer the the region of gods. I am a Sudra and my name is Sambuka.” The Sudra ascetic having said this, Rāma took out of scabbard a beautiful sharp sword and chopped off his head therewith. And that Sudra being slain, Indra, Agni and other celestials praised him again and again and showered flowers. And being greatly delighted, the celestials said to Rāma, having truth for his prowess:—”O thou of a great mind, thou hast nicely performed this god-like work. O slayer of foes, do thou now crave a boon. O descendant of Raghu, being slain by thee this Sudra hath been able to attain to the abode of the celestials.” Hearing the words of the deities, Rāma, having truth for his prowess, said with folded hands to Purandara, of a thousand eyes:—”If the celestials are pleased, I beg for this boon that the son of the twice-born one may be restored to life. Do ye confer upon me this boon; this is my wished-for object. It is for my iniquitous conduct that this only son of the Brahman hath met with untimely death. Do ye restore him to life. I have promised before that leading twice-born one that I would restore his son to life—do ye therefore, make not me a liar.” Hearing the words of Rāma the leading celestials delightedly said:—”Do thou return, O Kākutstha. The Brahmin boy shall immediately gain back his life and be united with his father, mother and friends. O Rāghava, with the death of the Sudra the boy has regained his life. Be thou at ease; may good betide thee. O foremost of men, we, too, return with delighted hearts. O Rāghava, we desire to behold the hermitage of the great saint Agastya. Having been initiated, that highly effulgent Brahman saint hath lived within waters for twelve years; his vow hath now terminated. O Kākuthstha, we shall now go to welcome that Muni. Do thou also follow us to see that saint.” Saying “So be it!” to the words of the celestials that descendant of Raghu ascended his golden car Pushpaka. And having ascended spacious cars the celestials proceeded to the hermitage of Agastya born of a Kumbha. Rāma too also followed them. Thereupon beholding the celestials present the virtuous-souled Agastya, the jewel of asceticism, welcomed them particularly. Having accepted his worship and adored in return that great Muni, the immortals, delighted, proceeded to their abodes with their followers. The celestials having departed Rāma descended from Pushpaka and saluted that effulgent and foremost of Rishis Agastya. And having received due hospitality he sat there. Thereupon the highly effulgent and leading ascetic Kumbhajoni said:—”O Rāghava, I have been greatly delighted with thy coming. By my good fortune I have seen thee to-day. O Rāma, I love thee because thou art gifted with many qualities. O king, thou art my worshipful guest. I was thinking of thee. The celestials informed me that thou wert coming having slain the Sudra ascetic. Thou hast observed piety and hast given back life unto the dead child of the Brahman. Do thou spend this night with me, O Rāghava. Thou art the graceful Nārāyana. In thee the whole universe is established. Thou art the lord of all creatures and the eternal Purusha. Thou shalt go to thy city next morning in thy Pushpaka car. This ornament, O gentle one, hath been made by the architect of the celestials; its make is very beautiful and it is dazzling by its own lustre. By accepting this, O Kākutstha, do thou satisfy my desire. It is said that one attains to best fruits if he makes present unto his deity, of best articles he gets from another. Thou art the only worthy person to use this ornament. Thou art alone capable of conferring best fruits. Thou dost protect Indra and other celestials. Therefore I do duly present thee with this ornament. O king, do thou accept it.” Thereupon meditating upon the duties of the Kshatryas, the heroic Rāma, the foremost of the intelligent, said:—”O illustrious Sir, the Brāhmanas only can accept presents—how can the Kshatryas do? To take gifts is the function of the Brāhmanas—for Kshatryas it is a source of censure. Besides, to receive presents from a Brāhmana, is highly culpable. Do thou therefore tell me, how I may accept this ornament.” Hearing the words of Rāma, the great saint Agastya replied saying:—”O Rāma, O son of Daçaratha, at the beginning of the golden age, people had no king; but Vāsava was the ruler of the celestials. Therefore to obtain a king, men approached Brahmā, the god of gods and said ’O deity thou hast placed Indra as ruler over the celestials; therefore, O lord of creatures, do thou also confer upon us a king who shall be foremost among men; by worshipping him we shall be freed from all sins. We shall not live without the king—even this is our firm resolution.’ Thereupon the Patriarch Brahmā sent for Indra and other deities and said:—’Do ye all give a portion of your respective energies.’ Thereupon the deities gave each a portion of their own energies. Thereupon Brahma made a Khshupa or sound and therefrom originated a king under the name of Khshupa. And in his person Brahmā placed in equal proportions the energies of the deities. Thereafter he made Khshupa the foremost king of men. By virtue of the portion of Indra’s energy the king Khshupa brought the earth under his control; by that of Varuna’s energy he fostered his own body; by Kuvera’s portion he conferred riches upon his subjects; and by that of Yama he governed them. Therefore, O Rāma, by virtue of Indra’s portion, do thou accept this ornament and confer upon me the salvation.” Hearing the words of the Muni, Rāma took from him that brilliant celestial ornament burning like the rays of the Sun. And having taken that excellent ornament, Dāçarathi asked the great saint Kumbhayoni, saying:—”Whence hast thou obtained this celestial ornament of a wondrous make? Who hast given thee this? Brahman, I do accost thee thus out of curiosity. Thou art the mine of many wonders.” Whereto Agastya replied, saying “Hearken, O Rāma, how I did obtain this ornament in the Tretā age.”
“O Rāma, in Tretā age, there was a huge forest extending over a hundred Yojanas divested of animals and men. In that forest I used to perform my austere penances. Once on a time I began to roam all over the forest being willing to see well every nook and corner of it. And I saw that it was impossible to ascertain how very pleasant that forest was. In every place there were trees with profuse sweet fruits and roots. In the middle I espied a pond extending over a Yojana. There was no moss in that deep, calm, clear and sweet water; there were lotuses and lilies and swans, Kārandāvas, Chakravakas and many other water fowls were playing in the waters. O lord of creatures, at no distance from that pond I saw an old, holy hermitage but there was no creature or animal around it. It was summer and I spent that night in that hermitage. Next morning leaving my bed I arrived at the banks of the pond and saw a plump dead body in the waters. None of its limbs was pale and its beauty was not spoiled. Beholding it and standing on the banks I began to meditate upon it. And thought I ’What is this?’ In a moment I espied a beautiful car, swift-coursing like the mind and drawn by ganders. And I saw in that chariot a celestial person. He was being attended by Apasaras adorned with celestial ornaments and having lotus-eyes. Some of them were singing, some dancing and some playing on Mridanga, Vina and other musical instruments and some were fanning his lotus-like countenance with valuable, golden chowries, dazzling like the rays of the moon. O Rāma, the foremost of Raghu’s race, like unto the moon renouncing the summit of the Sumeru mount that celestial wight got down from his seat in the car and engaged in devouring the dead body. And having taken enough flesh he got down into waters and duly performed ablution. And thereafter that heavenly being again addressed himself for ascending the car. O foremost of men, beholding that heavenly being about to get up I accosted him, saying ‘Who art thou? I see, thou hast a celestial form, then why hast thou taken such an abominable food? O thou adored of the immortals, persons like thee should not take such meals. O gentle one, I have been striken with great curiosity and wish to hear all. Thine living upon dead body doth not appear agreeable unto me.’ O king, plainly and out of curiosity I put to him these questions. And hearing them, the celestial being related everything unto me.”
“O Rāma, hearing my words pregnant with sound reasoning, that heavenly being, with folded hands, said ’Hear, O Brahman, from what unavoidable cause hath proceeded this happy and again painful incident. There flourished in the days of yore a highly illustrious and powerful Vidarbha king under the name of Sudeva known over three worlds. He was my father. His two queens gave birth to two sons. My name is Sweta and the name of my youngest brother was Suratha. After the decease of my sire the subjects installed me on the throne and I governed them piously and carefully for a thousand years. By some reason I was informed of the extent of my life. And when I perceived that the lease of my life had well-nigh expired I entered into the life of Banaprasta. And having placed my brother Suratha on the throne I entered into a dense forest devoid of men and animals at no distance from this pond to perform devout penances. And I performed austerities for a long time near this pond. Having performed hard penances in this forest, for three thousand years I at last attained to the region of Brahmā. And albeit I had reached the Brahmā region I was still being assailed by hunger and thirst. And gradually I grew tired therewith. Thereupon approaching the patriarch Brahmā, the lord of three worlds, I said:—”O Brahmā, here there is no hunger or thirst; still why have I been brought to their control? Of what iniquity of mine is this fruit? O deity, tell me upon what I shall live?” Whereto the patriarch replied;—”O son of Sudeva, do thou live upon sweet savoured meat everyday? O Sweta, thou didst only look to the growth of thy person when thou didst perform rigid penances. O thou of a great mind, nothing grows, when nothing is sown. Thou didst only perform ascetic penances, but thou didst not make any gift of charity. It is for that reason, O my son, that thou art, even in heaven, being assailed by hunger and thirst. Thereupon do thou now live upon thine own dead body fostered by various food. By this thou shalt keep up thy being. O Sweta, thou shalt be relieved from this affliction when the irrepressible, great Saint Agastya shall reach that forest. O gentle one, even unto the immortals he can give salvation; what wonder it is that he shall relieve thee from the miseries of hunger and thirst.” O foremost of twice-born ones, from the time of hearing those words of the great Brahmā, the god of gods, I have been engaged in this cursed work of feeding upon my own dead body. O Brahman, for many long years I have been living upon this corpse still I have not done with it. O Saint, I, too, derive satisfaction from it; I now understand that thou art the illustrious Agastya born of a Kumbha; for none else is capable of coming here; do thou therefore save me from this pain, who am afflicted with great miseries. O foremost of twice-born ones, O gentle one, do thou take this ornament; may good betide thee. Do thou be propitiated with me. O Brahman, I do confer upon thee, gold, riches various clothes, eatables, excellent ornaments and diverse other objects of desire and enjoyment. O foremost of Munis, do thou with compassion save me.’ Hearing those words of the heavenly being, exciting pity, I accepted this ornament for saving him. And as soon as I took this ornament that human body of the royal saint disappeared. And the body being dissolved, the royal saint Sweta, greatly delighted, happily went to the land of immortals. It is for this reason, O Kākutstha, that royal saint, resembling Indra, conferred upon me this wondrous, celestial ornament.”
Hearing the wondrous words of the great saint Kumbhayoni, Rāma, out of great curiosity and importance of the subject, again asked him, saying:—”O Brahman, why was that dense forest, in which the king Sweta used to perform hard penances, divested of birds and animals? And how did he proceed to that forest devoid of men and animals for undergoing penances? I wish to hear the truth.” Hearing the words of Rāma stricken with curiosity, the highly effulgent saint Agastya said:—”O Rāma, formerly in the golden age, Manu was the king. His son was Ikshwāku. Having installed the irrepressible Ikshwāku, Manu said: ’Be thou the lord over creatures.’ Saying ’So be it’ Ikshwāku accepted the command. Thereupon greatly delighted Manu said to his son:—’I have been highly pleased with thee. For sooth thou shalt become a very liberal prince. Thou shalt govern the subjects meting out proper punishment unto them, but do not punish them without any fault. If the punishment, which a king inflicts upon the guilty, be just it becomes the instrumental in taking the giver to heaven. Therefore, O my son having large arms, be particularly studious as regards punishment for thereby thou shalt acquire great piety.’ Having in this wise advised Ikshwāku Manu delightedly repaired to the region of Brahmā. After Manu’s departure, the effulgent Ikshwāku thought of the means for creating progeny. Thereupon performing many pious rites Manu’s son engendered a hundred sons. O descendant of Raghu, the youngest of all those sons became stupid and ignorant and did not respect his elder brothers. And thinking that he should therefore be punished he named this son ’Danda.’ Thereupon finding no other province worthy of Danda he allotted the region between Vindhya and Saivala to him. Danda became king of that picturesque valley. And having reared a fine city there he named it as Madhumanta and appointed Sukracharja of firm vows as his priest. Having thus established his kingdom, Danda, with his priest, began to lord over it filled with healthy and delighted people like unto the lord of celestials in their region. O Rāma, like unto Mahendra governing his kingdom of heaven under the guidance of Vrihaspati, the preceptor of celestials, Danda, the grand-son of Manu, governed his own kingdom with the help of Usanās.”
Having related this story unto Rāma the great saint Agastya again said:—”O Kākutstha, having subdued his passions, the king Danda, reigned undisturbed in this wise for many long years. Thereupon during spring, in the month of Chaitra the king arrived at the picturesque hermitage of the preceptor Sukra. At that time, Sukra’s daughter, matchless in beauty and grace, was walking in the forest. The king saw that jewel of a girl, and being stricken with lust and growing restless he approached her and said:—’O thou having a beautiful waist, O fair lady, whose daughter art thou? O thou having a moonlike countenance, I have been assailed by the arrows of Cupid and hence I do accost thee thus.’ Hearing the words of the vicious-souled Danda, maddened with lust, Sukra’s daughter humbly said:—’O king of kings I am the daughter of the preceptor Sukra of unwearied actions and my name is Arajās. I am living in this hermitage—king, do not touch me forcibly for I am a maid and hence under the guardianship of my father. Besides my father is my preceptor, and thou art also his disciple. Being enraged he shall imprecate thee with a curse. O foremost of men, if thou dost cherish any desire for me, do thou honestly and piously pray for it unto my sire. Or else thou shalt suffer dreadful consequences in the long run. When worked up with ire, my father can reduce even the three worlds to ashes. O thou of a blameless person, if thou dost pray, my father may make me over unto thy hands.’ Arajās having said this, the king Danda, maddened with lust, placing folded palms on his head, said:—’Be thou propitiated with me, O thou having a graceful person; do not tarry even for a moment. My heart bursts out for thee, O thou having a moon-like countenance. For acquiring thee I can even take upon myself my own destruction or dreadful iniquity. Do thou seek me, O fair lady—I am beside myself for thee.’ Having said this the king forcibly ravished her. Having perpetrated such a mighty iniquity he speedily returned to his own city Madhumanta. Arajās cried aloud in forest at no distance from the hermitage and waited for her sire who had been away on visiting the celestials.”
“Thereupon having heard everything about Arajās from a disciple, he, surrounded by his pupils, arrived at his own hermitage and beheld her there poorly, soiled with dust and like unto the morning rays of the moon possessed by a planet. He was stricken with hunger and was greatly incensed on beholding his daughter in that wretched plight, as if burning the three worlds with rage. Addressing his pupils he said:—’Do ye witness today the dreadful calamity, arising out of my flaming ire, of the vicious Danda treading the path of immorality. This vicious wight hath placed his hands in the burning flame so he shall, along with followers, meet with destruction. Since that vile being hath perpetrated such a dreadful crime he shall forsooth suffer the consequence thereof. Within seven nights, the wicked and vicious Danda, with his son, soldiers and retinue, shall meet with death. Showering dust Indra shall destroy, to the extent of a hundred Yojana, the territory of this vicious king. And all creatures mobile and immobile, wherever they might be, shall be destroyed with this downpour of dust. All animals as far as this Dandas’ territory extends, shall be destroyed within seven nights.’ Having said this, with eyes reddened with ire, Usanās, Vrigu’s son, said to the inmates of his hermitage:—’Do ye all go and wait outside this kingdom.’ Hearing the words of the preceptor Sukra, the inmates left the hermitage and lived at a place beyond the limit of Danda’s territories. Having thus addressed the inmates of the hermitage the great saint, said to Arajas. ’O unfortunate girl, with a devoted mind do thou wait at this hermitage. Without any anxiety, O Arajās, do thou wait for the time at the picturesque banks of this pond extending over a Yojana. Within seven nights whoever shall approach thee, shall be destroyed with this downpour of dust.’ Hearing the words of the Brāhmana saint and preceptor Sukra, Arajās sorrowfully said to her father ’It shall be done.’ Thereupon Sukracharjya went away and lived elsewhere. According to the words of the saint, the entire kingdom of Danda, with servants, army, and conveyances, was destroyed within seven nights. Rāma, in the golden age, the province between the mountains Vindhya and Saivala comprising Danda’s territories, imprecated by the Brahman saint, in consequence of the iniquity of the vicious souled, was reduced into a desert. From that time it passes by the name of Dandaka forest. And it is otherwise called Janasthāna because the ascetics used to perform austerities there. O Rāghava, I have thus related unto thee, all thou didst ask of me. O hero, the time for performing evening rites hath come. Behold foremost of men, having performed ablution, the great saints, on all sides, with jars full of water, are worshipping the sun. Having accepted adoration in the shape of Vedic hymns chanted by Brahmans, well-versed in Vedas, the illustrious Aditya is about to be set. Therefore, O Rāma, do thou perform the ceremony.”
Hearing the words of the great saint, Rāma, to perform the evening adoration, went to the pond filled with Apsarās; and having performed the worship he again returned to the hermitage of the high-souled Agastya. Thereupon the great ascetic offered him as food many substantial Kanda, roots, Oshadis and the holy Sāli rice. And taking that nectar-like cooked rice, Rāma, the foremost of men, was greatly delighted and spent the night there. Having got up in the morning and performed the necessary ceremonies he approached the ascetic to bid farewell, and saluting him said:—”O great Rishi, I do crave for thy permission to go to my own habitation. Do thou permit me. O high-souled one, I have been highly favoured and blessed by beholding thee. I shall come again some other time to free myself from sins.” Hearing those wondrous words of Rāma, Agastya having asceticism for his wealth, delightedly said:—”O Rāma these words, set in charming letters, are highly wonderful. O descendant of Raghu, thou art the purifier of all creatures. O Rāma, one, who beholds thee, even for a moment, becomes pure and worthy of repairing to heaven. Even the leading deities worship him. Those on earth, who cast dreadful looks on thee, are immediately brought under the control of Yama and are constrained to go to hell. O foremost of Raghus, thou art the purifier of all creatures; people become perfect even if they only chant thy glories. Kākutstha, do thou now go with ease and fearlessly, and govern thy kingdom righteously. O Rāma thou art the refuge of the world.” Hearing the words of the great and truthful Rishi the wise Rāma, with folded hands, saluted him and other Rishis, and with serene air ascended the golden car Pushpaka. Like unto the immortals welcoming the Chief of the deities, the Rishis showered blessings, upon Rāma from all sides while he was proceeding. And seated on car, he appeared like the moon, after the expiry of the rainy season. Thereupon being welcomed by the villagers on his way he reached Ayodhyā at noon and descended at the middle apartment. And having permitted the charming chariot coursing at will to go away he said:—”Do thou now go; may good betide thee.” Thereupon he said to the warder, “Do thou speedily go and having communicated my arrival unto Lakshmana and Bharata bring them here.”
According to the command of Rāma of unwearied actions, the warders went to the princes and communicated unto them (the arrival). Beholding Bharata and Lakshmana present, Rāma embraced them and said:—”I have, as promised, performed the work of the excellent twice-born one. I wish now to perform a Rajshuya sacrifice, the source of religious glory, the destroyer of all sins, inexhaustible and un-ending. Therefore, with you like my own self, I wish to engage in the most excellent and eternal Rajshuya sacrifice. O slayer of foes, by celebrating Rajshuya, Mitra attained to the dignity of Varuna. And having celebrated the same sacrifice, Soma, conversant with piety, established eternal fame in the three worlds. Do ye therefore consult with me even today as to what is proper. Do ye consider carefully and tell me what is auspicious and productive of well-being in the long run.” Hearing the words of Rāghava, Bharata, well-skilled in the art of speech, with folded hands, said “O pious Sir in thee are established piety, earth and fame. O thou of unmitigated prowess, as the deities honor the patriarch so other kings hold thee in reverence. O king, all creatures mobile and immobile consider thee as their father. O thou of great strength, thou art the refuge of all animals and of the universe. Therefore of what use is such a sacrifice unto thee? In such a sacrifice all the royal families meet with ruin. All those kings, who are proud of manliness, being incensed with great ire on the occasion of this sacrifice, shall bring ruin upon all. O foremost of men, the whole earth has been brought under thy subjection so it is not proper to devastate it.” Hearing those sweet accents of Bharata, Rāma, having truth for his prowess, attained to incomparable delight, and addressed the enhancer of Kaikeyi’s delight with kind words, saying:—”O thou freed from sins, I have been greatly delighted with thee. O foremost of men, for the preservation of earth, thou hast given vent to words, without any hesitation, pregnant with manliness and piety. O thou conversant with piety, according to thy wise counsels, I refrain from celebrating this Rajshuya sacrifice. The wise should never undertake all those works which give affliction unto people. O elder brother of Lakshmana, it is proper to take wise counsels even from a boy.”
After the conversation between Rāma and Bharata had been over, Lakshmana, with reasonable words, said to the former:—”O worshipful Sir, amongst sacrifices Aswamedha is the best and the remover of all sins; it is my prayer therefore that thy desire might be turned towards this great and highly purifying sacrifice. It is said in this Purānas, that Purandara, sullied by the sin consequent upon slaying a Brāhmana, was again purified by celebrating a horse sacrifice. O thou having long arms, formerly, during the war between gods and demons there flourished a highly honored Asura under the name of Vitra. The breadth of his body was a hundred Yojanas and the height thereof was three hundred Yojanas. Considering all under his subjection he used to regard them with affection. He was pious, grateful and used to perform nothing without proper deliberation. And treading pious tracks he used to govern his subjects very carefully. During his administration earth produced all wished-for objects; roots and fruits were tasteful and flowers were fragrant. Without being cultivated earth used to yield crops. In this wise for many long years he governed a prosperous and wonderful kingdom. Thereupon he determined upon performing a hard penance. He considered asceticism as the best of all and regarded all other things as mere illusions. Having resolved thus and placed his son Madhureswara on the throne Vitra engaged in austerities creating terror unto all deities. He being thus engaged in asceticism, Indra, greatly terrified, approached Vishnu and said:—’O thou having long arms, by virtue of his asceticism Vitra is about to conquer all the worlds. He is pious, so I cannot subdue him. O illustrious Sir, if his ascetic powers grow more we shall be constrained to live under his control for ever from the creation. Do thou therefore not neglect any longer this highly generous Asura. Thyself being enraged, O lord of deities, Vitra shall not live even for a moment. O Vishnu, from the time he succeeded in propitiating thee, he hath obtained the sovereignty of the three worlds. Do thou, therefore, be propitiated now; save thee none can free this world from thorns and bring it at rest. O Vishnu, all the deities are waiting for thee; do thou help them by slaying Vitra. O thou having a large mind, thou art always the help of these high-souled deities. It is impossible for any one else to accomplish the present work. Thou art the refuge of the helpless.’”
Hearing the words of Lakshmana, Rāma, the slayer of enemies, said:—”O thou of firm vows, do thou at length, describe the destruction of Vitra.” Hearing the words of Rāghava, Lakshmana, the enhancer of Sumitrā’s delight, again took up that theme. “Hearing the words of Indra and other deities Vishnu replied:—’From before I am bound with the high-souled Vitra by the ties of friendship. For this, even for your satisfaction, I shall not (myself) slay him. Again I am to afford excellent felicity unto you. I shall myself divide you into three classes and then forsooth your king shall be able to destroy Vitra. Of those three portions the first shall be able to slay him.’ Vishnu, the god of gods, having said this, the deities replied, saying:—’O slayer of demons, undoubtedly what thou hast said, shall prove true; may victory crown thee; we proceed now to slay Vitra. O highly generous deity, do thou now make Vāsava powerly by infusing thy own energy.’ Thereupon the highly powerful immortals headed by Indra entered the forest where the great Asura Vitra was performing austerities. Arriving there they observed that the leading Asura was spreading rays all over—the outcome of his own effulgence, as if devouring the three worlds and burning down the quarters. Beholding that foremost of Asuras, the deities were greatly terrified and began to think of plans by which they would be able to slay him and not be defeated. While they were thus thinking, Indra, of thousand eyes, taking up a thunderbolt, hurled it against Vitra’s head. That dreadful burning thunderbolt, like unto the fire of dissolution, falling on Vitra’s head, the three Worlds were agitated. Thereupon thinking that he has perpetrated an iniquity by slaying Vitra engaged in asceticism, Indra, out of fear, fled to the other side of Lokaloka, perpetually enshrowded with darkness. And the sin, consequent upon the destruction of a Brahman, pursuing him vehemently, entered into his person. In this wise Indra became subject to dreadful afflictions. Beholding the enemy slain and Indra fled, the deities headed by fire again and again chanted the glories of Vishnu—the lord of three worlds, saying ’O great god, thou art the refuge of the three worlds. Thou art the first-born and the father of the universe. For protecting all creatures thou hast assumed this Vishnu form. Thou hast slain this Vitra but the sin of slaying a Brahman has visited Indra. Therefore, O excellent Purusha, do thou so arrange that he may be freed from sins.’ Hearing the words of the celestials Vishnu said—’Let your Chief celebrate a sacrifice in my honor—and by that he shall be cleansed of the sin. If the slayer of Pāka celebrates a horse sacrifice, he shall again fearlessly be installed as the chief of deities.’ Having addressed these nectar-like words to the deities and being glorified by them, Vishnu, the god of gods, returned to his abode.”
Having thus described at length and finished the story of Vitra’s destruction Lakshmana said:—”The mighty Vitra, the terror of the deities, being slain, and the slayer Indra, being assailed by the sin of Brahmanicide, was bewildered and at a loss to ascertain his duty. Being at his wit’s end he repaired to the other side of the Lokaloka mountain and remained there for some time like a coiled serpent. And again in consequence of Indra’s separation, the whole world was agitated, the forests grew dried and the earth was devoid of water. On account of the rivers being dried up and want of rain all creatures grew impatient. In this wise, the time of the destruction of creatures having arrived, the celestials being stricken with anxiety, according to the previous command of Vishnu, engaged in celebrating the sacrifice With Rishis and Ritwikas they fearfully approached Purandara; and beholding him assailed by the sin of Brahmanicide, they with him, at their head, engaged in celebrating a horse-sacrifice. After the sacrifice the sin issued out of Indra’s person and addressing the high-souled deities said ’Do ye all ascertain, where I shall go now.’ Thereupon highly pleased the deities replied:—’Do thou divide thyself into four portions.’ Hearing the words of the high-souled celestials she divided herself into four parts, and wishing for a separate habitation said:—’By one portion, I shall at my pleasure, live in rivers full of water during rains and shall obstruct people from going there. By my second portion I shall live perpetually on lands as Ushara;⁹⁸ I tell you the truth. By my third portion I shall for three nights every month live in youthful women proud of their youth—so that men might not live with them. And by my fourth portion I shall enter into the persons of those who shall slay innocent Brāhmanas.’ Hearing those words the deities said ’What thou hast said shall be carried out. Do what thou wishest.’ Thereupon the celestials, delighted, adored their Chief divested of sins and crowned with victory. And Vāsava being installed again on the throne, the whole universe was at rest. Thereupon Indra worshipped Vishnu in the shape of that wonderful sacrifice. O descendant of Raghu, such is the power of a horse-sacrifice.” Hearing the charming words of Lakshmana, the energetic and high-souled king, Rāma, powerful like Indra, was greatly delighted.
⁹⁸ A spot with saline soil.
Hearing the words of Lakshmana and smiling, the highly effulgent descendant of Raghu, Rāma, skilled in the art of speech, replied:—”Lakshmana, O foremost of men, thou hast truly related the story of Vitra’s destruction and the fruits of horse-sacrifice. O gentle one, I have heard, that formerly in the province of Valheeka, the graceful king Ila, the son of the patriarch Kardama, was highly pious. O foremost of men, having brought the entire earth under his control, the highly illustrious king Ila used to govern his subjects like unto his own sons. O descendant of Raghu, being terrified, the generous deities, the rich Daityas, the highly powerful Nāgas, the irrepressible Rākshasas, Gandharvas and Yakshas used to adore him perpetually. The high-souled Ila being enraged, the three worlds used to be convulsed with terror. And albeit so very powerful the highly illustrious king of Valheeka never swerved from the path of morality nor neglected his deities and rather intelligently used to administer all business. Once on a time in the picturesque season of spring the mighty-armed Ila, with his army and conveyances, entered into a charming forest, and on the pretext of hunting, slew hundreds and thousands of deer. With slaying deer only the high-souled king was not satisfied. He slew millions of diverse other animals. In this way being engaged in hunting the king Ila arrived where Kartikeya was born. At that time, in that hilly fountain there was sporting in the company of his followers, the irrepressible god of gods, the three-eyed deity with the daughter of the Chief of mountains. Being desirous of satisfying the goddess Umā, her lord, whose emblem is bull, was sporting under the guise of a female. In that forest land, all male animals or trees were metamorphosed into the other sex at that time. A-hunting, the king Ila, the son of Kardama, arrived at that place and saw all animals and trees changed into female forms. And immediately the king, and his army were changed into similar forms. Finding himself in that plight the king Ila was greatly sorry, and thinking that the misfortune was owing to the influence of the god of gods—Umā’s lord, he was greatly terrified. Thereupon with his followers and army the king took shelter of the high-souled and red-throated deity. Thereupon the great god, the conferrer of boons, with the goddess, smiling said:—’Rise up, O son of Kardama, O thou of great strength, O gentle one, do thou beg of me any other boon than that of obtaining thy manhood.’ Being thus disappointed by the great deity, the king Ila, metamorposed into a female, became greatly sorry and did not pray for any other boon. Being stricken with great sorrow, the king, with whole heart, saluted the daughter of the mountain-chief and said:—’O goddess, thou art the protectress of all—thou dost confer boons on all; seeing thee doth not become fruitless. Do thou therefore have compassion on me.’ Thereupon, cognizant of that king’s intention, the goddess, with Hara’s consent, said:—’Half of the boon, that thou shalt beg of us both, shall be granted by Mahadeva, and the other half shall be granted by me. Do thou therefore beg of me the half.’ Hearing of that excellent and wondrous boon the king became greatly delighted and said:—’If thou art pleased with me, O goddess, do thou confer upon me this boon, that I may be for one month, a female gifted with wonderful beauty in the three worlds and for another month I may be a male.’ Thereupon understanding king’s desire, the beautiful goddess Pārvati, mercifully said:—’The boon, according to thy desire, shall be granted. O king, when thou shalt attain to the male figure, thou shalt not remember anything of thy female form. And when thou shalt assume the charming female figure thou shalt forget everything of thy male state.’ O Lakshmana, by virtue of this boon, the king Ila for one month used to become a man and for the next used to become a female, charming in the three worlds under the name of Ilā.”
Having heard of the story of the king Ila from Rāma, Lakshmana and Bharata were greatly surprised. And with folded hands they, requesting the noble king Rāma for further particulars, said:—”How could the king Ila subject himself to those afflictions in the shape of a female? And how did he use to behave himself in his male form?” Hearing those words begotten of curiosity, Rāma engaged in relating the whole story as he had heard before, saying:—”In the first month, assuming his female form having lotus-eyes and charming the three world, he used to sport in the forest abounding in groves, in the company of his companions metamorphosed into the same form. Having sent away all his conveyances he used to sport in the mountain vale. Thus roaming, Ilā one day espied Budha, a bundle of rays, resembling the full moon in a picturesque pond filled with birds at some distance from the mountain. Having compassion for all creatures Budha, at that time, was performing, hard, glorious and wished-for austerities within waters. O son of Raghu, on beholding him Ilā was greatly surprised, and with her female companions began to agitate waters. As soon as Budha saw her he was assailed by the arrows of Cupid. Not being able to control himself he grew impatient within waters and thought “This damsel is far more beautiful even than the celestial girls. I have never seen before a like beauty amongst the celestials, Nāgas, Asuras and Apsarās. If she has not been married before then she is my worthy spouse.” With this resolution Budha got up from the waters, and repairing to his hermitage, sent for the fair ones. They all saluted him. Thereupon the virtuous-souled Budha accosted them saying:—”Whose daughter is this graceful girl amongst you and for what she has come here? Do not delay—tell me soon.” Hearing those sweet words of his, the females said:—”This fair damsel is our supreme lady. She has no husband. Journeying she has come here with us.” Hearing those plain words, Budha thought of the learning by which one can perceive everything. And being informed of all regarding the king Ila thereby he said—”Do ye all live in this mountain being Kimpurusas; do ye make your respective habitations here. I shall give you always fruits and roots. O ye females, you shall have all Kimpurusas as your husbands.” According to the words of Budha they lived in that mountain as Kimpurusas. In this wise many Kimpurusa-Budhas were procreated.
Having heard of the origin of Kimpurushas, both Bharata and Lakshmana said to Rāma:—”This is a wonderful story.” Thereupon the highly illustrious Rāma, the foremost of the pious, again began with the story of Ila, the son of the patriarch. “Beholding the Kinnaris repairing to a distance, Budha the foremost of ascetics, smiling said, to the beautiful Ilā:—”O thou of a graceful presence, I am the most favourite son of the moon; O fair one, do thou, with delight, cast looks upon me,” Hearing the words of the highly effulgent and beautiful Budha in the picturesque forest land divested of men and animals, Ilā said:—”O gentle one, I am not subject to any body; I surrender myself unto thee out of my own accord. O son of Soma, thou mayst command me whatever thou wishest.” Hearing those wondrous words, the son of moon, possessed by lust, began to live with her. And living in the company of Ilā, having a graceful countenance, Budha, possessed by desire, spent the entire month of Madhu like a moment. Thereupon after the expiry of a month, the graceful king Ila, son of the pariarch, awoke from sleep and beholding Budha, the son of Soma, engaged in austerities with uplifted hands in the midst of waters, said:—”O illustrious Sir, with my followers I entered this dense forest—I do not see them now anywhere. Where have they gone?” Hearing the words of the royal saint, who had lost all recollection, Budha, with sweet words consoled him and said:—”All thy followers have been destroyed by a downpour of huge rocks; thyself, being afraid of the storm, was also asleep in the hermitage. Thou hast no fear now. Therefore, O hero, being consoled and renouncing all anxiety do thou live here happily living upon fruits and roots.” Being comforted by those words, the high-minded king Ila, striken with distress in consequence of the destruction of his servants, poorly replied:—”O Brahman, I shall renounce my own kingdom. Separated from my servants, I shall not be able to live, even for a moment. Do thou give me permission in this. O Brahman, my eldest son, the highly illustrious Sasabindu, the foremost of the pious, shall be the owner of my kingdom. O Brahman, renouncing my servants and wives of the country I shall not be able to wait here. Therefore, O highly effulgent one, do thou not give me such an unpleasant command of remaining here.” Hearing those wonderful words of the king Ila, Budha consoling him, said:—”Do thou wait here. Be not aggrieved, O highly powerful son of Kardama. If thou dost live here for a year, I shall render thy well-being.” Hearing the words of Budha, of unwearied actions, the king Ila desired to live there. Thereupon becoming a man for the next month he began to perform ascetic penances. Thereupon in the ninth month, Ilā, having a beautiful waist, gave birth to a highly effulgent son, under the name of Pururavā, born of the loins of Budha, and equally graceful like him. And she handed over the highly powerful son unto his father Budha. Thereupon after a year Ila having regained the male form, Budha by means of various words afforded delight unto him.
Rāma having thus described the wonderful birth of Pururava, the illustrious Bharata and Lakshmana asked him again saying:—”O foremost of men, tell us what did Ila afterwards do after living in the company of Soma’s son for a year.” Hearing their sweet words Rāma again began with the story of Kardama’s son and said:—”In turn, the heroic Ila, having regained his manhood, the highly illustrious and intelligent Budha, well-informed of birth and well-skilled in the art of speech, sent for the highly liberal Sangbarta, Vrigu’s son Chyavana, Aristhanemi, the foremost of Munis, Durvasa, capable of affording delight, and other friends gifted with patience and said:—’Ye all know well, how this mighty-armed Ila, Kardama’s son, attained to this peculiar condition.’ Thereupon while those high-souled ones were conversing upon this subject, the highly effulgent Kardama arrived at the hermitage. Pulastya, Kratu, Vashatkar and the highly effulgent Omkāra came there following him. Being greatly delighted for their arrival they all gave out their individual opinion for bringing about the well-being of the king of Vālhakee. For the welfare of his son, the patriarch Kardama said:—’Hear, O twice-born ones, how the well-being of the king Ila may be secured. For this disease I do not find any other good medicine but Umā’s lord. And save Aswamedha there is no other sacrifice more favourite unto the high-souled deity. Let us all therefore celebrate that hard sacrifice on behalf of this king.’ Thereupon Sambarta’s disciple, the royal saint Marutha, the conqueror of enemies’ cities, collected all articles for the sacrifice. Thereupon in the vicinity of Budha’s hermitage that mighty sacrifice was celebrated. And by that the Great Rudra attained to delight and said to the twice-born ones, in the presence of the king Ila:—’O foremost of twice-born ones, I have been greatly delighted with this sacrifice and your devotion. Tell me now, what I can do for this king of Valheeka.’ Hearing the words of Mahādeva, the Brāhmanas, having propitiated him with great devotion, prayed for Ila’s manhood. Thereupon delighted the highly effulgent Mahādeva, having conferred upon him manhood, disappeared. In this wise the horse-sacrifice being finished and Mahādeva having disappeared, the far-seeing and leading twice-born ones repaired to their respective hermitages. And having placed his eldest son Sasavindu as the king of the country of Vālheeka, the king Ila reared another city in the middle country. In time Ila attained to the excellent Brahmā region and his son Pururāva obtained that Pratishthāna kingdom. O foremost of men, such is the power of the horse-sacrifice, that the king Ila, though converted into a female, regained manhood by virtue thereof.”
Having thus addressed his both brothers, Rāma, the descendant of Kakuthstha of unmitigated prowess, again said to Lakshmana, in words pregnant with morality:—”O Lakshmana, having invited Vasishtha, the foremost of twice-born ones, conversant with all the rites of Aswamedha, Vamadeva, Javali, and Kashyapa and consulted with them duly I shall set free a horse gifted with all marks.” Hearing the words of Rāma, Lakshmana, of unmitigated prowess, invited all those Brāhmanas and approached Rāma. Seeing them, Rāma saluted them touching their feet. And the Brāhmanas too, beholding the irrepressible celestial, like Rāghava, welcomed him with blessings. Thereupon Rāma, with folded hands, asked of those leading twice-born ones, questions regarding the Aswamedha sacrifice. And hearing the words of Rāma, they, too, saluting the deity Rudra, began to speak highly of the ceremony of horse-sacrifice. And being informed from the Brāhmanas of many unheard of virtues of Ashwamedha, Rāma was greatly delighted. And according to their desire he said to Lakshmana:—”O thou having long arms, do thou soon send an emissary to the high-souled Sugriva, communicating unto him ’Do thou come here to enjoy festivities in the company of all those highly powerful monkeys and bears, under thee; may good betide thee.’ See that Bhibhishana of unequalled prowess, the king of Rākshasas, encircled by his followers, coursing at will, may be present at the horse sacrifice. Let the great kings, wishing my welfare with their followers, be present at the sacrifice. O Lakshmana, do thou also invite carefully, for witnessing the ceremony, other pious foreign kings who are friendly unto me. O thou having long arms, do thou also invite the Rishis, having asceticism for their wealth and other pious Brāhmanas living in various provinces. Do thou also invite actors and songsters. Do thou order that a spacious, sacrificial ground may be made on the banks of the river Gomoti in the Naimisha forest. O thou having long arms, that part of the country is best suited and holy. And let ceremonies, invoking peace, be celebrated everywhere. O thou conversant with piety, do thou soon invite hundreds of subjects, so that they all, having witnessed the ceremony in the Naimisha forest, may return delighted and honored. O thou having long arms, let Bharata go before with a million of beasts carrying rice, sessamun seed, Kidneybean, Chickpea, pulse, Masha (a sort of Kidney bean) salt, oil, clarified butter and a hundred koti of silver and golden coins. Let merchants, to set up shops on the way, actors, dancers, cooks, and many youthful females follow Bharata. Let soldiers go before him. And let the highly illustrious Bharata, with children, old men, Brāhmanas, citizens, servants, cashiers, mothers, wives and the golden image of my wife to be initiated at the sacrifice, go before.” According to the command of Rāma, Bharata, with Satrughna, made arrangements for highly valuable quarters, food, drink and clothes. And the highly powerful monkeys with Sugriva and Brāhmanas engaged in the work of distribution. And Bibhishana surrounded by various Rakshas and females, engaged in service of the high-souled Rishis intent on hard penances.
Having speedily despatched before all articles of sacrifice, Bharata’s elder brother Rāma set free a black horse, gifted with all marks and worthy of the sacrifice and placed Lakshmana with Rittwigas in charge of it. Thereupon the mighty-armed Kākuthstha, in the company of his soldiers, proceeded to the Naimisha forest and beholding the wonderful sacrificial ground attained to an excess of delight and said:—”It has become highly charming.” And while he remained in the Naimisha forest, all the kings sent him presents and Rāma also made returns. And diverse food, drink and clothes were offered to the kings when they arrived there with profuse presents. Bharata, with Satrughna, engaged in attending upon the kings. The high-souled monkeys, with Sugriva, being self-controlled engaged in attending upon the Brāhmanas. Bibhishana, in the company of many Rākshasas, with a collected mind, began to serve the Rishis, having asceticism for their wealth. And the highly powerful Rāma, the foremost of men, set aside valuable houses for the accomodation of the high-souled kings. Under these proper arrangements the horse-sacrifice commenced. Lakshmana engaged in looking after the sacrificial horse. In this wise Rāma, a lion amongst the kings, undertook the celebration of the horse-sacrifice. And in that Ashwamedha of Rāma presents were given unto people as long as they were not satisfied. There was no other sound audible at that time save that of “Give! Give!!” In sooth at the horse-sacrifice of the high-souled Rāma, to their fullest satisfaction, sweets and other things were distributed unto people. Indeed before words came out from the lips of the beggars, monkeys and Rākshasas satisfied them with gifts. And all the ascetics living for ever and having asceticism for wealth that were present there, could not think of any other sacrifice, accompanied by so profuse presents, they had seen before. In that sacrifice, those, who wished for gold, obtained it, those who wished for property got it and those, who longed for jewels, received them. In this wise before all, enough of gold, jewels, and clothes were given away. The ascetics said:—”We have never seen before a sacrifice like this, Indra’s, Soma’s, Yama’s or Varuna’s.” And being present everywhere the Rākshasas and Vānaras gave away enough of riches and clothes even unto them who did not want. And though this sacrifice, gifted with all marks, of Rāma, a lion among kings, continued for a year still his accumulated treasure was not exhausted, but rather was increased.
That sacrifice, the like of which was never seen before, having been undertaken the illustrious ascetic Vālmiki, with his disciples, came there. And beholding this wonderful sacrifice resembling that of the celestials, his followers, the Rishis, made charming cottages in a solitary corner and at no distance. Inside the highly charming cottage of Vālmiki they placed his picturesque car full of fruits and roots. Thereupon Vālmiki said to his disciples, Lava and Kusa:—”Do ye carefully and delightedly sing the whole of Rāmāyana in the highly holy hermitages, of the Rishis, in the homes where perpetual fire is kept up by the Brāhmanas, in streets and palaces, at the gate of Rāma’s house, in the sacrificial arena and before all Ritwigas. And eating all those sweet fruits that are on the summit of the mountain near our hermitage, do ye engage in chanting the sweet Rāmāyana. If you begin singing after taking all those sweet fruits you not experience exhaustion in singing nor you shall measure. If Rāma, the lord of earth, invites you to sing the Rāmāyana, you may fearlessly sing it there in due and measures before the assembled ascetics. During the day do ye sing, in your sweet voice, twenty sections out of many I have laid in the Rāmāyana consisting of many slokas. Do not cherish the least longing for riches, what avail is wealth unto ascetics living perpetually on fruits and roots? If Rāma asks you about your father you may say, ’We are both disciples of the high souled Vālmiki.’ O Kusa and Lava, in your proper mood do you sing the sweet song with charming Murchanā accompanied by the sweet notes of Vina. Before you begin with the song, without disregarding the king, do you bow unto him reverentially. Morally the king is the father of all. Do you therefore both, delightedly and with a collected mind, early in the morning, sing the theme in a sweet voice and accompanied by the music of the stringed instrument.” Having in this wise given counsels, the highly generous and great ascetic Vālmiki, son of Pracheta, became silent. Being thus commanded by the ascetic, Janakis’ sons, Lava and Kusa, the slayers of enemies, issued out therefrom saying. “So we shall do.” Like unto the two Aswins following the moral precepts of Sukra, the two princes, placing those wonderful counsels of Vālmiki in their minds, spent the night with a heart stricken with curiosity.
Thereupon the night being over, having bathed and performed the Homa, both Lava and Kusa, in consonance with Rishi’s command, began the song. That song was composed by the first preceptor (Vālmiki) never heard of before, consisting of sounds originating from six places, containing all metres, many proofs and set in accompaniment with the music of a stringed instrument. Hearing such a song from the boys Rāma was striken with curiosity. Thereupon taking leave from business for some time and inviting the great ascetic Vālmiki, kings, learned men, persons well-versed in Nyaya, Puranas and science of words, all old men, twice-born ones, those conversant with the signs of music, Brāhmanas desirous of hearing the Rāmāyana, persons deep read in palmistry, Gandharvas, citizens, all those who have mastered the use of words, letters and Samasas, those who have studied well metres, those well informed in the science of music, those well-versed in astronomy, those who are well up in the knowledge of rites and ceremonies, those expert in the patch of business, logicians whose fame has spread far and wide, those well-versed in reasonings and arguments, poets, historians, Vedic Brāhmanas, painters, and songsters Rāma requested Lava and Kusa lovingly to sing the song before the assembly. The audience being seated there and engaged in conversation with one another those two Muni boys began with the song enhancing the delight of all. Wondrous and charming was their song and the audience were not by any means satiated with the hearing thereof. Greatly delighted the highly effulgent ascetics and kings again and again looked towards them as if drinking them up with their eyes. And they all attentively said to one another—“Both of them take after Rāma, like unto a bubble resembling the one it rises from. There would not have been perceived the least difference between them and Rāma had they not been clothed in bark and used clotted hair.” The citizens and villagers speaking thus with one another Kusa and Lava chanted twenty sections beginning from the first, pointed out by Nārada. Having heard up to twentieth section, Rāma, fond of his brothers, said to Lakshmana in the afternoon. “O Kākutstha, do thou soon confer upon these two high-souled ones eighteen thousand gold coins and all other things they wish for.” Thereupon when Lakshmana addressed himself in no time to give them gold coins separately Kusa and Lava, not accepting them and surprisingly said:—“We are dwellers of a forest, living upon roots and fruits—what shall we do with them (coins)? Therefore living in the forest what shall we do with the gold?” Hearing those words Rāma and the audience were greatly worked up with curiosity and surprise. Thereupon being anxious to learn of the origin of the poem, the highly effulgent Rāma asked the two Muni boys, saying. “What is the proof of the story of this poem? How great is his fame who has composed it? What leading ascetic is the author of this great poem?” Rāma having thus asked them those two Muni boys said:—”The illustrious Vālmiki is the author of this poem. He has described in this poem thine endless story. He has of late come to thy sacrifice. The great ascetic Vālmiki has composed this poem consisting of a hundred stories and twenty four thousand slokas. O king, that high-minded ascetic is our preceptor. He has described thy actions in six books beginning with the first consisting of five hundred sections. All good actions performed by thee since thy birth have been recorded in this, O mighty car-warrior, O king, if thou dost wish to hear the whole of it, do thou, at thy leisure, hear it delightedly in the company of thy younger brothers.” Saying “So it shall be,” Rāma bade them adieu and they too, delighted, repaired to where Vālmiki, the foremost of Munis was. Thereupon having heard that charming song in the company of ascetics and kings the high-minded Rāma repaired to the place of business. He heard the Rāmāyana sung by Kusa and Lava, gifted with musical characteristics, consisting of sections, vowels, and consonant and enchanted in accompaniment with the music of a stringed instrument.
Rāma heard that highly sacred theme for many long days in the company of ascetics, kings and Vanaras. And understanding from the story that Kusa and Lava were Jānaki’s sons, Rāma mentioning her name said before the assembly:—”Send a good emissary unto the illustrious Vālmiki and let him communicate unto the ascetics that if Jānaki is sinless and has lead a pure life in the forest; let her give proof of purity by the great ascetic’s permission. Let the emissaries learn well the intention of the ascetic in this and if Sitā is at heart willing to bring in proofs. To uphold her as well as mine purity, let Maithili, the daughter of Jānaka, swear before the assembly.” Hearing those wonderful words of Rāma, the emissaries speedily went to Vālmiki and saluting the high-souled (ascetic) burning in his effulgence and of incomparable lustre, communicated unto him, in sweet words all what Rāma had said. Hearing the words of the messengers and understanding Rāma’s intention the ascetic said:—”What Rāma has said shall be satisfied. May good betide you. Husband is the greatest god for women. So Sitā shall carry out his behests.” The great ascetic having said this, the highly powerful emissaries, approaching Rāma, communicated unto him what the Muni had said. Hearing the words of the high-souled Vālmiki, Rāma was greatly delighted. Having addressed the assembled Rishis and kings he said:—”The Rishis with their disciples, and the kings with their followers and all others willing shall see Sitā swear here.” Hearing the words of the high-souled Rāma, all the high-souled Rishis began to speak of him in high terms and said: “O foremost of men, such an action becomes thee not any one else.” Thereupon having settled that Sitā would swear next day, Rāma, the slayer of enemies, dismissed them all. And having made arrangements that Sitā would go through the trial next day, the high-minded, generous king Rāma bade adieu unto all kings and Rishis.
Next morning Rāma, being present in the sacrificial ground and having sent for the Rishis, Vasishtha, Vamadeva Javali, Kashyapa, Viswamitra, carrying on penances for a long time, Durvasa, Pulastya of hard austerities, Salastri, Vargava, Markandaya living long, the highly illustrious Madgalya, Gargya, Chyavana, Satananda, conversant with religions, effulgent Varadwāyā, Agnis’ son Vasuprava, Nārada, Parvata, the great Gautama and other ascetics of firm vows, assembled with minds possessed by curiosity. The highly powerful Rākshasas and monkeys also came there out of curiosity. Besides thousands and thousands of Kshatryas, Vaisyas, Sudras and Brahmans of firm penances, also hailed there from various parts to witness Sitā’s trial. Having arrived there they all sat down motionless like mountains. Thereupon, Vālmiki, the foremost of ascetics, speedily came there accompanied by Sitā. With her face downwards, folded palms, eyes full of tears and meditating upon Rāma in her mind, Sitā, following the Rishi, came before the assembly. There arose a great uproar of eulogy from the assembly when they saw Sitā following Vālmiki like unto Sruti following Brahmā. Thereupon members, stricken with sorrow, made a tumultuous sound. Amongst the visitors some praised Rāma, some praised Sitā and others eulogised both of them. Thereupon having entered that huge assemblage in company of Sitā, the great ascetic Vālmiki addressed Rāma, saying:—”O son of Daçaratha, in fear of calumny, thou didst renounce her near my hermitage, albeit Sitā is pure and follows the ways of morality. O Rāma of firm vows, thou art afraid of the censure of the people. Sitā has becoming willing to give testimony (of her purity) for removing the calumny of the public; do thou mercifully give her permission in this. I tell you the truth, O Rāma, that these irrepressible twin brothers are your sons, O descendant of Raghu. I am the tenth son of Pracheta, so, far from speaking untruth it does not even spring up in my mind. I therefore know the truth that these twins are thy sons. I have performed austere penances for many thousand years; I now swear before thee, that if this Maithili is found touched by any sin I shall not reap the fruit of my ascetic observances extending over many thousand years. I have never perpetrated before a crime, either in my mind, body, or speech. If Maithili is found divested of sin I may then partake of the fruits of piety. O descendant of Raghu, finding Sitā pure in mind and five elements of body I took her near the spring in the forest. Besides this Sitā, of pure ways, divested of sins and ever considering her husband as deity, shall give testimony this day. Thou hast been afraid of the public calumny. O son of a king, thy mind being possessed by the fear of public scandal, thou didst renounce this Sitā of a pure character and always regarding her husband as a god; I came to know this by virtue of my discriminative knowledge.”
After the great Rishi Vālmiki had said this, Rāma, on beholding the daughter of Janaka resembling a celestial, in the midst of the assembly, with folded hands, said:—”O great one, thou art conversant with piety. By thy words shorn of sin, I have been convinced that Jānaki is of pure ways. Still, O Brahman, what thou hast commanded shall be carried out; let Sitā produce testimony of the purity of her character. Because Vaidehi formerly underwent a trial in the city of Lanka before the celestials I brought her home. O Brahman, vilification of the people is very powerful. Although I know that Jānaki has not been touched by any sin still I have renounced her. Do thou therefore forgive me. I know that these twin brothers Kusa and Lava are my sons. Yet if Jānaki gives evidence of her own purity before the assembly I shall be greatly satisfied.” Being apprised of Rāma’s intention as to Sitā’s trial the celestials all came there on the occasion. The Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Viswadevas, Maruts, Sadhyas, Siddhas, Nagas and Rishis placing Brahmā before them, all came there. And beholding the celestials and Rishis assembled there Rāma again said to Vālmiki:—”O foremost of Munis, the words of the high-souled Rishis, are divested of sin; therefore on thy words only I shall consider Sitā as having pure ways. Still all have come here being anxious to witness Sitā’s trial. I shall therefore be greatly delighted if Jānaki gives in before them any testimony of her pure character.” As soon as those words were uttered, sweet, fragrant, cold air, the witness of virtue and vice, blowing mildly, excited the joy of the assembly. People, hailing from various countries, with all attention began to witness this wondrous and unthought of event. In the golden age only the celestial wind used to blow—and it now blew even in the Treta Yuga and forsooth it was a matter of exceeding surprise. Thereupon beholding all people assembled there, Janaka’s daughter, wearing a red cloth, with her face and looks downwards and folded palms said:—”I have never thought of any other person in my mind but Rāma; by the strength of this virtue let the goddess Vasundharā give me room. I have always with my mind, body and words prayed for Rāma’s well-being and by virtue hereof may the goddess Vasundharā give me room in her womb.” As soon as Sitā swore in this wise a wonderful incident took place. From inside the earth a celestial and excellent throne rose up. It was carried on head by the Nāgas of unmitigated prowess, having celestial persons and adorned with celestial jewels and ornaments. Having stretched out her arms and taken Maithili, the goddess earth welcomed her and placed her on the throne. And while seated on the throne she was entering the earth, she was covered with the continued showers of celestial flowers. Eulogising her at that time, the celestials said “Oh! highly praiseworthy is thy conduct, O Sitā.” Being present in the welkin and beholding Sitā enter into the Earth, the celestials again and again eulogised her in various words. The Rishis, kings and other leading men present in the sacrificial arena repeatedly expressed their surprise. Beholding Sitā’s censure thus removed all animals, animate or inanimate, either on earth or in the sky, were greatly delighted. Some cried aloud in joy, some remained silent, and some motionless espied Rāma or Sitā. In this wise beholding Sitā’s entrance into the Earth the ascetics were greatly delighted. They all attaining to the same state of mind, the whole universe, for a moment, was possessed with the state of equality.
Sitā having entered Rasātala, all the monkeys and Rishis repeatedly eulogised her before Rāma. Stricken with sorrow and grief and lowering down his head, Rāma, with eyes full of tears, face downwards, and a dejected mind, sat down. And being possessed by grief and anger and shedding tears he wept for some time and then said:—”My mind is about to be possessed by grief, which I had never experienced before, for in the very presence of mine the graceful Jānaki, like Lakshmi herself, hath disappeared from view. Formerly, in my absence, Jānaki was once carried away into the city of Lankā, on the other side of the great ocean and I brought her back; what wonder it is that I shall get her back from Patāla? O goddess Vasudha, do thou soon bring Sitā in my view, or else, worked up with ire I shall give thee the fruits of thy negligence. Thou art my mother-in-law, since the royal saint Janaka obtained Sitā from thy womb while cultivating thee with plough share. Do thou therefore bring back my Sitā or give me a region of the celestials, I wish to live with Sitā. I am beside myself for her: do thou therefore bring back Sitā. If thou dost not render back Sitā unto me O Vasudha, I shall deluge the earth with waters, having assailed, destroyed and drowned into water thy huge compass with mountains and forests.” Rāma, having given vent to those accents under the influence of ire, the patriarch Brahmā, with the consent of the celestials, said:—”O Rāma of firm vows, O slayer of enemies, thou shouldst not grieve thus. Recollect thy former state of Vishnu and the counsels. I would not have reminded thee of this secret but for the present necessity. Do thou now once more remember thy birth from Vishnu. By nature, Sitā is pure, chaste and ever dependent upon thee. And by virtue of her ascetic dependance upon thee she has gone to the region of Nāgas. Thou shalt again meet her in heaven. Hear, what I communicate unto thee before the assembly. Thou shalt be informed of everything by listening to this excellent poem describing thy own actions, O hero. Vālmiki has described herein all miseries and joys thou hast experienced since thy birth and what shall happen in future after Sitā’s entrance into Patala. O Rāma, this first epic poem, Rāmayan, has been composed describing thy works. None but thee is worthy of the fame of this poem. O Rāghava, O highly illustrious one, do thou hear with the Rishis, Uttarakandam, the last portion of this poem. O descendant of Raghu, this is not worthy of being heard by any but those who art the foremost of the royal saints.” Having said this, the deity Brahmā, the lord of the three worlds, with other deities, repaired to the region of immortals. The high-souled and the highly effulgent ascetics, living in Brahmā’s region, who were present in the assembly, obtaining Brahmā’s permission, waited there, to hear Rāma’s future career in the Uttarakandam. Hearing the words of the great Patriarch instinct with well-being, the highly effulgent Rāma said to Vālmiki:—”O illustrious sir, the Rishis living in Brahmā’s region have grown desirous of hearing my future history. So let it be taken up next morning.” Having thus settled and taken with him Kusa and Lava and sent away the assembled people he entered his palace and spent the night mourning for Sitā.
The night being over and having invited the leading ascetics, Rāma told his sons to sing the poem fearlessly. Thereupon the high-souled Rishis having taken their seats Kusa and Lava began the last portion of the Uttarakāndam. Sitā having entered Patala by the strength of her vow, and the sacrifice having terminated, Rāma grew poorly in spirit. In Jānaki’s absence the whole world appeared to him as blank. Now being overwhelmed with grief he lost all mental peace. Having conferred various gifts upon the kings, Rākshasas, monkeys, and leading Brāhmanas, Rāma sent them away and meditating upon Sitā’s absence entered Ayodhyā. And from the time of Sitā’s entering into Patala he did not take any other spouse. And having made a golden image of Sitā he engaged in the performance of various sacrifices. In this wise for thousand years he celebrated many Horse-sacrifices, many Bajpeyas with profuse gold, Agnisomas, Atirātras, numberless Gomedhas and various other sacrifices, Rāma being engaged in governing the kingdom and performing many pious rites long time passed away. And being under his subjection, bears, monkeys, Rākshasas and kings always afforded delight unto him. On account of showers in proper time there was enough of food in his kingdom. The quarters were pure and delightful. The citizens and villagers were happy and healthy. None met with premature death. In fact, in his regime all calamities were removed. Thereupon after many years, the illustrious Kausalya, Rāma’s mother, surrounded by her sons and grand-sons, breathed her last. Performing many pious observances Kakeyi followed her and obtained peace in the land of immortals. Those noble ladies, being united with the king Daçaratha, in heaven, were greatly delighted and obtained all virtues. Besides, having worshipped the deities and manes on the occasion of his father’s Srādha ceremony the high-souled Rāma distributed many jewels and engaged in the performance of a very difficult sacrifice. In this wise having performed many sacrifices and multiplied pieties he spent many thousand years in happiness.
Once on a time Yudhajit, the king of Kekaya, sent unto the high-souled Rāma, Gargya—son of his own preceptor Angeras—a Brāhmin saint of unmitigated prowess; and with him he sent, as tokens of affections, gifts of ten thousand horses, numberless blankets, various jewels, diverse clothes and well washed coverlets. Hearing of the arrival of the great saint Gargya with above valuable presents sent by his material uncle Yudhajit, the intelligent Rāma, with his brothers, proceeded about a Krosa to receive him and adored him particularly likely unto the lord of celestials honoring Vrihaspati. Having thus welcomed that foremost of Rishis and accepted the valuable presents sent by his maternal uncle he asked the ascetic about his welfare in every thing. Thereupon the great Rishi being seated, he said:—”Thou art the foremost of those skilled in the art of speech like the very preceptor of the celestials. Since thine own self hath come here my uncle must have commissioned thee with a very important message.” Hearing those words of Rāma the great saint communicated unto him the object of his coming, saying.—”O thou having long arms, if thou dost like, hear what loving words thy maternal uncle Yudhajit, the foremost of men, has said. The Gandharvas, holding weapons and expert in warfare, guard that beautiful province abounding in fruits and roots on the banks of the river Sindhu. O hero, those Gandharvas are Sailuskā’s sons—highly powerful and three kotis in number. Having hoisted thy flag of victory and conquered that highly picturesque city of Gandharvas do thou include that kingdom within thine well-established territories. None can enter there. O thou having long arms, I do not request thee for any harm of thine. Let that highly charming country be liked by thee.” Hearing the words of the maternal uncle communicated by the great saint, Rāma, with delight, said:—”What you have commanded shall be satisfied.” Saying this he looked towards Bharta and delightedly and with folded hands said to the Rishi “O Brahmarshi, these two princes are Bharata’s sons and their names are Taksha and Pushkala. Being well protected by uncle Yudhajit and preceded by Bharata with army and followers they shall subjugate the Gandharvas and divide the kingdom between them. Having established two kingdoms and installed his two sons there Bharata, the foremost of the pious, shall come back to me.”
Having thus said to the Brahmarshi, Rāma commanded Bharata and welcomed the two princes. Thereupon under the auspices of favourable stars, having placed Gargya before them, Bharata with the princes and army, issued out of the city of Ayodhyā. And Rāma’s army unconquerable even by the celestials went on for a month, from the city like a celestial host under the command of Indra. Animals, living upon flesh and huge-bodied Rākshasas longing for blood followed Bharata. Besides many thousand birds, moving in the sky, lions, tigers and boars went before the army. The army, consisting of delighted and healthy subjects spending half a month in the way, arrived at the Kekaya kingdom in good health.
Hearing of the arrival of the Bharata with the army Gargya and Yudhajit, the king of Kekayas, were greatly delighted. And with a huge army they speedily went out for conquering the Gandharvas. Thereupon the highly powerful and light-armed Bharata and Yudhajit, with the soldiers and followers, arrived at the city of Gandharvas. Having heard of the coming of Bharata the highly powerful Gandharvas gathered round and sent up leonine roars. Thereupon began the battle capable of making down erect and continued for a week. On neither side there was victory or defeat. On all sides there flowed streams of blood and there were afloat human bodies. Daggers, Saktis and bows were like the banks of the river. Thereupon enraged Bharata, Rāma’s younger brother, discharged a dreadful arrow named Sangharata resembling the fire of dissolution against Gandharvas. Having bound them all with the noose of death and sundered them with Sangharata, Bharata despatched all the Gandharvas to the abode of death. Even the celestials could not recollect if such a dreadful encounter had happened before. In a moment the huge Gandharva host was slain. After the destruction of the Gandharvas, Kaikeyi’s son Bharata set up two excellent and prosperous cities in the province of Gandharva. And he placed Taksha in Takshasila and Pushkala in Pushkalabati. Both the cities were filled with profuse riches and jewels and covered with various gardens. As for many ornaments both of them as if vied with one another. By just purchases and sales, and by the conduct of the people the cities grew highly charming. Both of them were filled with gardens and conveyances. Rows of shops were well arranged by the streets in both the cities. Both of them were adorned with many excellent fancy articles, picturesque houses, charming palaces and many beautiful and high Tāla, Tamāla, Tilaka and Vakula trees. Having reared up those two cities within five years, Rāma’s younger brother, the mighty armed Bharata, son of Kaikeyi, returned to Ayodhyā. And like unto Vāsava saluting Brahmā he adored the high-souled Rāghava the very personation of virtue and communicated unto him duly the destruction of the Gandharvas and the establishment of the two cities. And hearing the words of Bharata, Rāma attained to an excess of delight.
Hearing the wonderful words of Bharata both Rāma and Lakshmana were greatly delighted. And then Rāma said to Lakshmana:—”O Saumitri, thy two sons, Angada and Chandraketu are well-versed in religions, perfectly qualified in governing the kingdom and highly powerful. I shall therefore install them on throne. O gentle one, do thou find out such a country where these two skillful archers may unobstructed roam about. And where if a kingdom is established it might not disturb the peace and happiness of other kings.” Rāma, having finished his speech Bharata replied:—”The country of Karupada is highly picturesque and freed from all thorns. Let the city for Angada be established there. And let the beautiful country of Chandradyuti be the kingdom of Chandraketu.” Rāma approved of the words of Bharata and having brought the country of Karupada under his subjection gave it to Angada. He reared a beautiful and well-protected city for Angada. And in the country of Mallya he reared a city for Chandraketu, named Chandrakānti highly picturesque and like unto the city of celestials. Thereupon greatly delighted Rāma, irrepressible in battle, Lakshmana and Bharata, having performed the ceremony of installation ordered them to go their respective cities. Angada started towards the West and Chandraketu towards the North. Sumitra’s son Lakshmana went with Angada and Bharata accompanied Chandraketu. Having spent a year in Angada’s city and finding his son well established in the kingdom Lakshmana returned to Ayodhyā. And Bharata, according to his desire, having spent more than a year in the city of Chandrakānti, came back to Ayodhyā and saluted Rāma’s feet. The pious Lakshmana and Bharata—both the brothers, were greatly attached unto Rāma; and though they spent their days in another place they did not experience any pain in consequence of separation from their sons. Observing all virtues in this way, Rāma, the foremost of the pious, Bharata and Lakshmana governed the subjects for ten thousand years. Having spent their days in the city of Ayodhyā, the very city of virtue, the three brothers, appearing graceful like the burning fire receiving oblations in a great sacrifice, attained to joy in the fullness of time.
In this wise the virtuous Rāma having spent some time at Kāla, assuming the shape of an ascetic, arrived at the palace gate. And beholding the intelligent Lakshmana at the door he said: “Do thou communicate (unto Rāma) that for some important business I have come here. I am the messenger of the great saint Atibala of incomparable effulgence. O thou of great strength, for a particular business, I have come here to see Rāma.” Hearing the words of the great saint, Saumitri speedily went to Rāghava and communicated unto him the arrival of the ascetic, saying:—”O thou of great effulgence, observing the royal duties, mayst thou acquire victory in both the worlds; one ambassador radiant like the sun by virtue of his asceticism, has come here to visit thee.” Hearing the words of Lakshmana Rāma said:—”Do thou speedily bring here the highly effulgent ascetic bringing in a message.” Thereupon saying “So be it,” Saumitri conducted the effulgent ascetic unto Rāma’s house. And having approached Rāma the foremost of Raghus, the ascetic, burning in his own energy, said to him, in sweet accents:—”O great king, may prosperity crown thee.” And having welcomed him with water and Argya the highly effulgent Rāma asked him about his well-being. Being asked by Rāma as to his welfare, that foremost of ascetics, skilled in the art of speech, sat on a golden seat. Thereupon welcoming him Rāma said:—”Do thou communicate unto me his words by whom thou hast been sent.” Being thus addressed by Rāma, a lion amongst kings, the ascetic said:—”If dost thou wish to bring about the well-being of the celestials, my earnest desire is that we may talk over it in a solitary; place. And if thou hast any regard for the words of that foremost of ascetics, do thou so order that whoever shall hear or see us, when we shall converse in a solitary place, shall be slain by thee.” Thereupon Rāma promised that it should be done and said to Lakshmana:—”O thou having long arms, sending away the warder do thou wait at the gate. When I shall talk with this ascetic in this solitary room whoever, shall hear or see us, shall be slain by me.” Having thus placed Lakshmana at the gate Rāma said to that Rishi:—”O great saint, tell me what he has communicated unto thee. O Muni, what is thy intention and by what high-souled Rishi thou hast been sent here. Tell me all this without any fear. I have become anxious to hear it.”
Thereupon the great saint said:—”Hear, O king, O thou gifted with great energy, for what I have come here. O thou of great strength, the great Patriarch has sent me to thee. O hero, I am thy son. Thou didst, in thy pristine birth, beget me on Māyā—I am Kāla, the destroyer of all. Lord Brahmā, the father of all creatures, has said that thou didst promise to preserve the three worlds. Formerly when having slain all animals by thy Māyā thou wert asleep in the waters of the mighty deep I was born. Thereafter thou didst create the huge-bodied Ananta, living in the waters as the king of serpents. Then thou didst create two highly powerful Asuras named Madhu and Kaithabha. At that time the bones of those two Asuras having been scattered far and wide this earth containing many mountains was named Medini. Having procreated me in thy lotus navel, dazzling in celestial brilliance thou didst employ me in the work of generation. I took the charge and procreated men; but finding no other means to preserve them I worshipped thee, the lord of the universe and said:—O lord, thou shouldst protect the creatures, for thou art my father and giver of energy and therefore irrepressible. Thereupon for concerting means for the preservation of creatures, thou didst renounce thy irrepressible shape and assume Vishnu form. And taking thy birth from Aditi’s powerful son, thou wert engaged in enhancing the delight of my brothers. Thou didst use to protect the deities whenever they were assailed by any calamity. O lord of the universe, it is for that reason, on beholding the destruction of creatures thou wert born on earth to slay the Ten-necked demon. And at that time thou didst promise that thou wouldst live in the land of mortals for eleven thousand years. Thereupon thou didst assume a human form to carry out thine desire. Now that period is ripe and this is the proper time to inform thee of it. O great king, do thou wait in this land of mortals if dost thou wish to govern people for some time more. And if dost thou wish to repair to the region of immortals, do thou again lord over the deities in thy Vishnu form and let them be freed from anxiety. O Hero, the Patriarch hath sent this intelligence unto thee.” Hearing those unequalled words of the Patriarch from the mouth of Kāla, the destroyer of all, Rāma smiling said:—”I have been greatly pleased and happy for thy coming here, O my son. I descended on earth to bring about the well-being of the three worlds. May good betide thee. I shall now repair to from where I have come here. I was thinking of this when thou didst come here. Therefore, I have no doubt in this. O lord of destruction, the immortals are dependent on me, so I shall be with them in all works. The Great Patriarch has said the truth.”
While Rāma and Kāla were thus conversing with one another, the great ascetic Durvāsā arrived at the gate for seeing Rāma and approaching Lakshmana said:—”O Saumitri, do thou soon take me to Rāma; my time goes away, so do thou take me first.” Hearing the words of the ascetic, Lakshmana, the slayer of enemies worshipping the feet of that high-souled one, said:—”O illustrious Sir, kindly mention thy business. What is thy object? Order me what I am to do. Rāma is engaged in some business so kindly wait here for some time.” Hearing those words that foremost of Rishis, Durvāsā, impatient with rage, said with blood-red eyes:—”O Saumitri, if dost thou not go even this very moment and communicate unto Rāma my arrival, I shall impricate thee, Rāma, Bharata, Sutrughana, your sons and grand-sons. I shall curse also thy kingdom and cities. I cannot any longer restrain my growing ire.” Hearing those dreadful and resolute words of the Rishi, Lakshmana thought within himself:—”My own destruction is far more desirable than that of all.” Having thus resolved Lakshmana approached Rāma and communicated unto him the intelligence. Hearing the words of Lakshmana and having bade adieu unto Kāla, Rāma soon came out and saw Atri’s son. And having saluted that great and powerful ascetic he with folded hands, said “What is thine business?” Hearing the words of Rāma, the highly powerful Durvāsā, the foremost of Munis, said. “Hear, O Rāma fond of virtue. For a thousand years I have carried on the vow of fasting. It has terminated to-day, so do thou give me food as much as possible.” Hearing those words Rāma was greatly delighted and gave proper food unto that ascetic. And feasting on that nectar-like sweet food, Durvāsā, the foremost of Rishis, thanked Rāma and repaired to his own hermitage. Thereupon remembering the words of Kāla, Rāma was greatly sorry. And thinking of those dreadful words he was overwhelmed with grief. And with a poorly heart, and face downwards he remained silent for some time. Thereupon thinking of Kāla’s words and determining that every calamity would befall him, that highly illustrious descendant, of Raghus, summoned patience.
Thereupon beholding Rāma with his head downwards and poorly like unto the moon possessed by Rāhu, Lakshmana, delightedly and with sweet words, said:—”Be not aggrieved for me, O thou having mighty arms. Such is the course of time; the movements of creatures are destined by their pristine actions, good or bad. O gentle one, do thou satisfy thy promise slaying me without any hesitation. O Kākuthstha, those, who cannot carry out their promises, repair to hell. O great king, if thou hast any love or affection for me, do thou satisfy thy promise by fearlessly slaying me.” Hearing those words of Lakshmana Rāma’s mind was greatly moved. Thereupon having invited his priests and ministers there he communicated unto them his promise and Durvāsā’s arrival. Hearing it the ministers and priests remained silent. Thereupon Vasishtha, of unmitigated effulgence, said:—”O highly illustrious and mighty armed Rāma, I knew before by virtue of my asceticism, of this thy present destruction and separation from Lakshmana. Time is powerful; do not falsify thy promise. Promises not carried out bring on the destruction of virtue. And on the wane of virtue, forsooth, the three worlds, with celestials, saints, mobile and immobile creations, shall be destroyed. Therefore, O foremost of men, do thou protect, the universe by suffering separation from Lakshmana, in the interest of the preservation of the three worlds.” All other ministers and priests agreed with Vasishtha’s words. Thereupon hearing their moral counsels, Rāma said to Lakshmana before the assembly:—”O Lakshmana, it is not proper to act against morality, I do therefore renounce thee; for the pious hold that destruction and renounciation are all the same.” Rāma saying this, Lakshmana did not go to his own house, but with eyes full of tears specially repaired therefrom. Having reached the banks of Saraju and rinsed his mouth he stood there with folded palms. And having obstructed all passages he did not breathe any more. Lakshmana, the younger brother of Rāma, being thus engaged in penances, having obstructed his breath, Apsarās, Indra and other deities and Rishis showered flowers on him. Thereupon beyond the sight of men, having taken the highly powerful Lakshmana within his body, the king of celestials entered his own city. Thereupon beholding Lakshmana, the fourth portion of Vishnu arrived at their city the celestials were greatly delighted and engaged in his worship.
Having forsaken Lakshmana and being stricken with sorrow and grief Rāma said to his citizens and ministers:—”Having placed the pious and heroic Bharata on the throne of Ayodhyā, I shall to-day repair to woods. Do ye, without any delay collect there all articles of installation. I shall follow the way which has been wended by Lakshmana.” Hearing the words of Rāghava, the subjects with their heads downwards remained motionless like so many dead bodies. Hearing Rāma’s words Bharata was also stupified and speaking ill of the kingdom, said:—”O King, I swear by truth, that far from kingdom I do not wish to live in heaven even without thee: O King, of these two princes, Kusi and Lava do thou place Kusi in Kosala and Lava in North Kosala. And let quick-moving emissaries go to Satrughna and communicate unto him the intelligence of our going there.” Hearing those words of Bharata and beholding the subjects stricken with sorrow having their heads downwards, Vasishtha said:—”Behold, O Rāma, the subjects have placed themselves on the ground. Do thou, therefore; apprised of their intention, satisfy their desire.” Raising up the subjects according to the words of Vasishtha Rāma said:—”What good can I do for you!” Hearing Rāma’s words they said:—”O King, we shall follow thee wherever thou shalt go. If thou hast any love or affection for the citizens do thou permit them that they may follow thy good path with their wives and children. O lord, if thou dost not forsake us, let us all go wherever thou wilt,—be it a forest, an intractable tract, a river or an ocean. O great king, by this we shall be greatly delighted. We pray for this boon only. Our delight consists in following thee in everything.” Observing such a firm devotion of the citizens Rāma agreed to that. Thereupon having gone through his duties he installed Kusi in the kingdom of Kosala and Lava in the northern country. Having thus installed the high-souled and heroic Kusi and Lava and conferred upon each of them thousand chariots, Ajuta Nāgas, Ajuta horses and various jewels and riches he established them in their respective kingdoms. Having thus settled the princes he despatched an emissary to Satrughna.
Having been despatched by Rāma, quick-moving emissaries speedily arrived at Mathura. Continually travelling for three nights and days, they arrived there and communicated unto Satrughna the intelligence. Having informed him of the renouncing of Lakshmana, Rāma’s promise and the following of the citizens they said:—”The intelligent Rāma has reared for Kusi the spacious city of Kusavati at the foot of the Vindhya range. The city of Sravanti has been reared for Lava, and the mighty car-warriors Rāma and Bharata, making Ayodhyā void of men, have addressed themselves for repairing to heaven.” Having speedily communicated unto him this intelligence the emissaries took rest. Thereupon they asked Satrughna to proceed soon. Observing the dreadful destruction of his race, Satrughna sent for his subjects and priests and informed them of everything. He also communicated unto them his own destruction with his brothers. Thereupon the king Satrughna determined upon installing his two sons in the kingdom. Suvahu was placed on the throne of Mathura and Satrughati became the king of Vidisha. Having thus established Suvahu in Mathura, and Satrughati in Vidisha, the great hero Satrughna ascended his car and went to Ayodhyā. And there he saw the great Rāma, clothed in silk raiment burning like fire in the midst of the ascetics. Thereupon remembering his duty he saluted Rāma, conversant with piety and with folded hands said:—”I have placed my two sons on the throne of my kingdom. I have now resolved upon following thee, O King. O hero, do not command me otherwise. I pray only that I may not neglect thy command.” Thereupon understanding the firm resolution of Satrughna, the descendant of Raghu agreed. Immediately after Rāma had said this, monkeys assuming shapes at will, bears, and Rakshas began to assemble there. Apprised of Rāma’s determination of going to heaven, monkeys, born of the celestials, Rishis and Gandharvas taking Sugriva before them, came there to see Rāma. And they all said:—”O Rāma, O foremost of men, if thou dost repair to heaven forsaking us all, it will be hurling Yama’s rod upon us.” The highly powerful Sugriva too saluting Rāma said:—”O lord of men, having placed Angada on the throne I have come hither. I have determined upon following thee, O King.” Hearing the words of monkeys, Rāma said that their desire would be fulfilled. He then said to Bibhishana the king of Rākshasas:—”As long as people shall breathe, O Bibhishana, O highly powerful lord of Rākshasas, thou shalt preserve thy body in Lankā. As long as the moon, the sun and the earth shall exist and as long as my story shall remain current, thy kingdom shall be in existence. Thou didst, out of friendship, carry out my behests and perform my works. Do thou piously govern thy subjects. I should not speak any thing else. What shall I say more unto thee, O highly powerful lord of Rākshasas. Worship Jagannath (the lord of the world), the presiding deity of the Ikshwāku race.” Having thus addressed the king of Rākshasas always obeying Rāghava’s command, Kākuthstha said to Hanumān:—”It is settled that thou shalt live forever, do thou, now observe thy promise. As long as my history shall run current in this world do thou at my command live happily.” Being thus addressed by the high-souled Rāghava Hanumān attained to great delight and said:—”As long as the sacred theme shall pass current in this world I shall live here carrying out thy commands.” Thereupon he said to the Jambhuvan, Brahmā’s son, Mainda, Dwivida and five others in his company:—”As long as the Kali Yuga exists do ye all live.” Having thus addressed them all Kākuthstha said to bears and monkeys, “Do ye come all with me.”
After the night had expired the highly illustrious Rāma having a spacious breast and eyes like lotus petals said to the priest:—”Let the brilliant umbrellas Agnihotra, and Bājapeya go with the Brāhmanas before, which look well in the great road.” Thereupon the highly effulgent Vasishtha arranged duly all the ceremonies necessary for going to the next world. Thereupon wearing a thin cloth, holding kusa grass by his fingers, and reciting Vedic hymns he proceeded to the banks of Saraju. Having given up all actions of senses, and suffered the pains of going on foot he issued out of the city speechless like unto the burning sun. On his right hand side was the lotus-handed Sree, on his left hand side was the goddess Earth and before him was the power of destruction. Various arrows, huge bows, and daggers, assuming forms followed him. And also went with him the four Vedas in the shape of the Brāhmanas, the all protecting Gayatri, Omkāra and Vasatkāra. The high-souled Rishis and great Asuras followed the high-souled Rāma to the open gates of heaven. All the female servants, old and young, the damsels of the seraglio accompanied by servants having no manhood, Bharata and Lakshmana accompanied by their wives, followed him with Agnihotra. All those high-souled ones, assembled there with Agnihotra and followed Kākuthstha with their wives and children. The ministers and the servants, with their sons, beasts and friends, followed Rāma delightedly. Thereupon all the subjects healthy and delighted went after Rāghava, attracted by his accomplishments and cleansed of their sins. All the females and males, with their beasts, birds and friends, delightedly followed Rāghava. Bathed and delighted, all the monkeys, healthy and joyous following Rāma, created a continued tumult. There was none poorly, aggrieved or miserable—all of them appeared wonderfully happy and delighted. When Rāma issued out of the city, whoever came to see him followed him being desirous of going to heaven. Bears, monkeys and Rākshasas and all the citizens followed him with great devotion and collected minds. And all other animals, that were beyond the view of all in the city went after Rāghava proceeding to heaven. All creations mobile and immobile, whoever beheld Kākuthstha followed him. All beings in Ayodhyā, whoever breathe and are very minute, accompanied Rāma.
Having thus gone for more than a half Yojana, the descendant of Raghu espied Saraju of holy waters flowing towards the west. And having crossed that river of rising waves to some extent, Rāma, with his followers arrived at the place where he should give up his person. Thereupon at that moment, Brahmā, the grandfather of all encircled by all high-souled deities and with hundred kotis of celestial cars, arrived there where Kākuthstha had addressed himself to repair to heaven. The aerial way was full of lustre but its brilliance was increased the more by the native effulgence of the inhabitants of heavens, always performing pious actions. There blew the holy, fragrant and delightful winds and there fell profusely celestial flowers from the hands of the deities. The place was filled with the noise of hundreds of bugles sounded by Gandharvas and Apsarās. And then Rāma prepared himself to descend to the waters of Saraju. Thereupon the Patriarch gave vent to the following accents from the welkin:—“Come O Vishnu; may good betide thee; by our good fortune thou art coming here; O Rāghava hear—O thou having mighty arms, do thou enter here with thy brothers, resembling the celestials in brilliance in whatever form thou likest—either in that of the sky or in thy own Vishnu form. Thou art the refuge of the creatures—nobody knoweth thee. Thou art above the range of thought; great immortal and imperishable; nobody knoweth thee save Māyā, having wide eyes, thy former spouse. Do thou enter here thyself in whatever effulgent form thou likest.” Hearing the words of the Patriarch and determining everything the high-minded Rāma entered there bodily with his brothers in his Vishnu form. Thereupon all the celestials Sādhyas Marutas, headed by Indra and Agni worshipped that deity, Vishnu. So did all the celestial Rishis, Gandharvas, Apsarās, Suparnas, Nāgas, Yakhas, demons, Dānavas and Rākshasas. Thereupon eulogising him the celestials said:—”Our region is now freed from sins and all here have been delighted and all their desires have been fulfilled.” Thereupon the highly effulgent Vishnu said to the Patriarch Brahmā:—”It behoveth thee, O thou of good vows, to allot to those people their proper regions. These illustrious ones have followed me out of love. They are worthy of my respect for they are my devotees and have renounced their persons for me.” Hearing the words of Vishnu, the lord Brahmā, father of all creatures, said:—”All these people who have come here shall go to the region named Santanaka. This region is intended even for him, who though born in the most degraded state, thinks of all objects as Vishnu. There is no question about their attaining to this region who, out of devotion, have followed thee and renounced their persons. This region has all the attributes of the Brahmā region and is next to it. The monkeys and bears shall enter into their respective celestial forms. They shall enter into the deities from whom they had respectively originated. Sugriva shall enter into the Sun’s region. And they shall obtain their respective fathers’ forms among the celestials present.” The lord of the deities having said this, all those who were present at the holy pilgrimage of Gopratra descended into the waters of Saraju with eyes full of tears of joy. Having bathed there, given up their lives delightedly and renounced their human forms they ascended the celestial cars. And having obtained the waters of Saraju, hundreds of those that were born in the race of birds attained to the land of immortals obtaining the respective celestial forms (they had before). And in those celestial forms, they looked effulgent like the deities. And going to the waters of Saraju all objects, mobile and immobile, having bathed there, repaired to the excellent celestial region. Having renounced their bodies in the water thereof all the bears, monkeys, and Rakshasas attained to the land of deities. Having thus settled in heaven all those arrived there the father, of creatures with the deities, delighted and happy, repaired to the highest heaven.
This Story ends with the Uttara. It is held in reverence by Brahma, composed by Vālmiki and passes as the foremost of all under the name of the Rāmāyana. Thereupon as before, Vishnu, who compriseth the three worlds and all objects, mobile and immobile, again established himself as before in the land of immortals. Thereupon the celestials the Gandharvas, the great Rishis used to hear happily every day in heaven this poem of Rāmāyana. At the Sarādha ceremony the wise should chant this Rāmāyana sacred like the Vedas, removing sins and increasing life and prosperity. Reading even a single verse of this poem, one who hath no son, obtaineth him; one having no riches, gets by them—and people are freed from all sins. By reading even one sloka people are freed from all sins which they commit every day. Clothes, cows, and gold should be conferred upon him who chants this poem, for he being pleased all the deities remain satisfied. Whoever reads this story of Rāmāyana, conferring a long life is honoured in this world along with his sons and grand-sons and as well as in the land of the dead. Whoever shall read this Rāmāyana either in the morning, noon, or evening, shall never be wearied. The picturesque city of Ayodhyā remained devoid of men for many long years but was again peopled under the regime of the King Rishava, Pracheta’s son Vālmiki composed this poem, conferring long life, together with the future story of the deity and the Uttara Kandam. Even Brahmā admitted this.
*** END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE RĀMĀYANA, VOLUME 4. UTTARA KĀNDA ***