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Mahabharata

Ramopakhyana Parva

The question of Yudhishthira. The story of the birth of Rama and Ravana. The origin of monkeys. The exile of Rama into the forest. The death of Maricha. The destruction of the headless monster. The consolation offered to Sita by Trijata. The colloquy between Sita and Ravana. The return of Hanuman. The construction of the bridge. The entry of Rama into Lanka. The single combat between Rama and Ravana. The march of Kumbhakarna to battle. The slaughter of Kumbhakarna. Indrajita's fight. The destruction of Indrajita. The destruction of Ravana. The installation of Rama. The consolation of Yudhishthira.


Janamejaya said:
Having suffered such misery consequent upon Draupadi's being carried away what did those Pandavas, the foremost of men, do?

Vaishampayana said:
Having thus released Krishna and vanquished Jayadratha, the pious king Yudhishthira took his seat by the side of the ascetics.

Amongst those great ascetics who were expressing their sorrow on hearing (of the incident) the descendant of Pandu, addressing Markandeya, gave vent to the following.

Yudhishthira said:
O venerable sir, amongst the ascetics and the celestials, you are reputed to have the fullest knowledge of both the past and future. I have a doubt in my mind, I shall ask you, (kindly) solve it.

This lady is the daughter of Drupada and has sprung from the sacrificial altar. She is not begotten of flesh; she is the mighty and illustrious daughter-in-law of the high-souled Pandu.

Me-thinks, Time and Destiny, instituted by the Deity, are inevitable to creatures and cannot be warded off.

How could (such a misfortune) overcome such a pious, chaste wife of ours, abiding by virtue, like a false accusation of theft against an honest man?

Draupadi has not committed any iniquity or heinous deed; she has always practised highest virtues towards the Brahmanas.

The foolish king Jayadratha took her away by force; on account of this violence on her that sinful man has got his hair shaved off and has met with defeat in battle along with his soldiers. True it is, that we have rescued her after slaying the army of Saindhava.

Forsooth this disgrace, of our wife, being carried away during a moment of carelessness, has sullied us. This forest life is full of miseries; we live on chase. Though we live in forest we (always) injure the dwellers thereof. This banishment of ours is owing to our deceitful relatives.

Is there any one indeed who is more unfortunate than I am. Have you heard or seen of any such man before.

Markandeya said:
O foremost of the Bharatas, an incomparable calamity was met with by Rama. His wife Janaki was carried away by force by the Rakshasas.

Resorting to Maya and having slain the vulture Jatayu, the vicious-souled Ravana, the king of Rakshasas (carried her away) from the hermitage.

Constructing a bridge over the ocean and burn in down Lanka with sharp shafts, by the help of Sugriva, Rama brought her back.

Yudhishthira said:
In what family was be born? How was his mighty and prowess? Whose son was Rama? What enmity had he with him?

Oh Sir, relate all this to me. I wish to hear the story of Rama of unwearied actions.

Markandeya said:
There was a great king in the family of Ikshvakus by name Aja. His son was Dasharatha, who was pure and ever devoted to the study of the Vedas.

He had four sons well-versed in Dharma and Artha namely Rama, Lakshmana, Shatrughna and the mighty Bharata.

Rama's mother was Kausalaya, Bharata's mother was Kaikeyi and Sumitra was the mother of Lakshmana and Shatrughana, the repressers of enemies.

O lord, Janaka was the king of Videha and his daughter was Sita. Tvashtri himself created her wishing to make her the beloved queen of Rama.

I have thus recounted to you the birth of Rama and Sita; O lord of men, I shall now describe the birth of Ravana.

Prajapati himself, the self-create, the creator, the Lord of creatures, of great exertions, is the grand-father of Ravana.

Prajapati had a favourite son born of his mind by name Pulastya; and he had a powerful son begotten of cow by name Vaishravana.

Leaving his father he went to his grandfather. Accordingly worked up with anger, O king, he created a second self of himself.

Thereupon for wrecking vengeance on Vaishravana in great anger that regenerate one, with half of his own self, created Vaishravana.

(However) pleased, the grand-father conferred on Vaishravana immortality, the sovereignty of all wealth and guardianship of one of the quarters.

The friendship with Ishana and a son named Nalakubera. He created Lanka as his capital protected by Rakshasas.

The Lord gave him a chariot coursing at will by name Pushpaka, the sovereignty over he Yakshas and the supremacy over kings.

Markandeya said:
The ascetic Vishrava, who was begotten of the half body of Pulastya, with great anger began to look upon Vaishravana.

Knowing that his sire was angry with him, Kubera, the lord of Rakshasas, always tried to please him, O king.

Living in Lanka that king of kings, borne on the shoulders of men, sent three Rakshasis to wait upon his father.

O foremost of the Bharata, they, well-versed in the art of singing and dancing, always engaged in encompassing the pleasure of the high-souled Rishi.

O lord of the world, O king, Pushpotkata and Raka and Malini, slender waisted, vied with one another in pleasing him.

Being pleased with them, the high-souled sage conferred boons on them-and on each of them sons like Lokapalas according to their desire.

He begot on Pushpotkata two sons, the lords of the Rakshasas, Kumbhakarna and the ten-headed (Ravana) both unequalled in prowess on earth.

On Malini he begot one son named Vibhishana; on Raka he begot one son and one daughter named Khara and Shurpanakha.

In beauty Vibhishana surpassed them all; he grew very pious and used to perform rites.

That foremost of Rakshasas, the ten-headed (Ravana) became the greatest of them all; highly energetic, powerful and gifted with great strength and prowess.

The Rakshasa Kumbhakarna was the most powerful in battle; he was fierce, terrible and a perfect master of the arts of illustration.

Khara was proficient in archery, inimical towards Brahmanas and used to eat flesh; Shurpanakha used always to put impediments in the performance of ascetic observances.

All those heroes, well-versed in the Vedas and intent on the performance of religious rites, lived with their father in the Gandhamadana mountain.

There they saw Vaishravana seated with their father possessed of wealth and carried by men.

Possessed by jealousy they made up their mind to perform devout penances; and they pleased Brahma with severest ascetic penances.

Subsisting on air only surrounded by five sacred fires and engaged in meditation the ten-headed Ravana remained standing on one leg for a thousand years.

Lying down on earth and with restricted diet Kumbhakarna was engaged in penances; the wise and noble Vibhishana, fasting and living on dry leaves, engaged in meditation and practised devout penances for as long a period.

Khara and Shurpanakha with delighted hearts waited upon and protected them who were thus engaged in devout penances.

After the completion of a thousand years the invincible ten-headed, cutting off his ten heads, made them an offering to the sacred fire. The Lord of the universe was pleased with this act.

Thereupon Brahma, going there himself, made them desist from ascetic observances by promising to confer upon each one of them boons separately.

Brahma said:
I am pleased with you, desist, O sons and pray for boons; all your desires, with the exception of immortality only, will be fulfilled.

As you have given your heads to fire from great ambition, they will again adorn your body as before, according to your desire.

There will be no disfigurement in your person; you shall be able to assume any person according to your desire, you shall always vanquish your enemies in battle.

Ravana said:
May I never meet with defeat at the hands of Gandharvas, celestials, Kinnaras Asuras, Yakshas, Rakshasas, Nagas and all other creatures.

Brahma said:
You shall have no fear from those of whom you have mentioned except from men; may good betide you; this has been ordained by me.

Markandeya said:
Thus accosted the ten headed Ravana was greatly delighted; on account of his perverted understanding, the man-eating (demon) disregarded human beings.

In the same way the grandfather addressed Kumbhakarna also; his reason being clouded by darkness he prayed for long lasting sleep.

Saying "So it shall be" he said to Vibhishana, "pray for a boon, O my son, I have been repeatedly pleased with you."

Vibhishana said:
Even in great calamity may I have no inclination for impiety; ignorant, as I am, O lord, may the light of divine knowledge appear before me.

Brahma said:
O repressor of your enemies, as your mind is not inclined to impiety, although you are born as a Rakshasas, I grant you immortality.

Markandeya said:
Having obtained this boon, the ten-headed Ravana defeated Kubera in battle and wrested from him the sovereignty of Lanka.

That Divine one leaving Lanka and followed by Gandharva, Yakshas, Rakshasas and Kinnaras went to live on the mountain Gandhamadana.

By force Ravana took from him the chariot Pushpaka. Vaishravana then cursed him, "This will not carry you;

It will carry him who will kill you in battle; as you have insulted me who am your adorable, you shall soon die."

Always wending the way of the pious, those virtuous-souled Vibhishana, endued with great glory, followed him, O great king.

Then pleased with his younger brother, the Divine king of wealth, conferred upon him the command of the Yaksha and Rakshasa hosts.

The man-eating and highly powerful Rakshasas and Pishachas, having assembled together, installed the ten-headed Ravana as their king.

The terribly powerful, ten-headed (Ravana) assuming form at will and capable of going through the sky, attacked the gods and demons and took away by force from them their valuable property.

Because he had terrified all creatures he was called Ravana. And the ten-headed demon, capable of having any might at will, struck terror even to the very gods.

Markandeya said:
Thereupon the Brahmarshis, the Siddhas, the celestials, saints, with Havyavaha as their spokesman, sought the protection of Brahma.

The highly powerful, ten-headed son of Vishrava cannot be slain for the boon, that was given him before by you.

The mighty powerful one is oppressing the creatures in every possible way; therefore save us, O lord; there is none else except you to save us.

Brahma said:
O Vibhavasu, he cannot slain in battle either by the celestials or the Asuras I have already ordained what is necessary for this purpose. But his death is near.

For this purpose and at my command the four-headed god has already been incarnated; Vishnu, the foremost of repressers, shall accomplish this.

In their presence then the Grandfather said to Shakra, "You also take your birth on earth, with all these celestials.

You all beget on monkeys and bears heroic and powerful sons capable of assuring forms at will to help Vishnu."

At this, the celestial, the Gandharvas and the Danavas quickly assembled to consult as to how they should he born on earth according to their respective parts.

In their presence the Deity, conferring boons commanded a Gandharvi named Dundubhi saying, "Go there for accomplishing this object."

Hearing the words of Grandfather, Dundubhi became born on earth as the haunch-backed Manthara.

And all the leading celestial, Shakra and others begot offspring on the wives of the foremost of monkeys and bears.

They all took after their fathers, in strength and fame; they were capable of breaking down mountain summits and their weapons were trees of Shala and Tala.

Their bodies were as hard as adamant and they were all endued with very great strength; they were all skilled in the art of warfare and could summon any amount of strength at their will.

They were gifted with the strength of an Ayuta elephants and were like the wind in speed; some of them lived wherever they liked; others lived in woods.

Having ordained all this the worshipful creator instructed Manthara as to what she should do.

Understanding his words she, quick as thought, did accordingly. She moved about here and there fanning quarrels.

Yudhishthira said:
Your worshipful self has related (to me) separately of the birth of Rama and others. O Brahmana, I am (now) desirous of hearing of the cause of their exile. Tell me, O Brahmana, why the heroic sons of Dasharatha, the brothers Rama and Lakshmana, departed to the forest, together with the renowned Maithili (Sita, daughter of the king of Mithila).

Markandeya said:
O King, Dasharatha, always devoted to religion and given to (the performance of) religious ceremonies and engaged in ministering to the comforts of his elders, was (very) glad at the birth of his sons.

Those sons of his, gradually grew up in strength, obtained mastery over the Vedas together with all their mysteries and became skilled in the science of weapons.

When after having observed the Brahmacharya vows, they got married Dasharatha, O king, became (very) pleased and happy.

(And) among them his intelligent eldest son, who gladdened the heart of his father and delighted his subjects, was named Rama on account of his sweet disposition.

O Bharata, then that wise monarch considering himself far too advanced in age (to look after worldly affairs), for the installation of Rama as the prince regent; consulted with his righteous ministers and priests.

And all those best of advisers thought that it was the proper time (for the purpose). O descendant of the Kurus, king Dasharatha was greatly pleased on beholding his son (Rama) of red eyes and mighty arms, endued with the gait of an elephant mad (with exuberance of spirits), of long arms and broad chest, having blue and curly hair, blazing with beauty, brave as Shakra in battle, versed in all the religious duties, wise as Brihaspati, an object of adoration with all his subjects, proficient in every science and art, of subdued passions, pleasant to the eye of even his enemies, the chastiser of the wicked, the protector of the virtuous, endued with high intellect, invincible, ever victorious and never vanquished and the enhancer of the joy of (his mother) Kausalya.

That highly energetic and powerful one (Dasharatha) thinking of the qualifications of Rama, was well-pleased and (thus) addressed his priest, "O Brahmana, this night the constellation Paushya being in the ascendant, will be a highly auspicious time. Let therefore my attendants collect materials (for the inauguration) and let Rama also be invited."

Hearing these words of the king, Manthara (the maid of Kaikeyi) went to Kaikeyi and addressed her these words suited to the occasion.

O Kaikeyi, your great ill-luck has today been proclaimed by the king. O unfortunate one, may a fierce and angry venomous snake bite you.

It is indeed Kausalya who is fortunate in as much as her son will be installed. Where is your good fortune since your son will not obtain the kingdom?

O hearing these words of (Manthara), Kaikeyi with her waist resembling the middle of a Dambura, decked with all sorts of ornaments and wearing a highly beautiful appearance, sought her lord in a secluded place and making a show of love, smilingly spoke these sweet words.

"O king, you are (always) firm in your promise. Formerly you promised me a boon. Do you grant it now and thereby save yourself the sin of an unredeemed promise."

The King said:
"I am ready to grant you any boon you like. Is there anybody to be slain that does not deserve death or is there any one to be set at liberty who is imprisoned?

Whom shall I heap riches upon and whom shall I deprive of his wealth? Everything on earth belongs to me except what is possessed by the Brahmanas.

I am, in this world, the king of all kings and the guardian of the four orders, O fortunate one, express your desire without delay".

Listening to these words of the king and binding him to his promise, she, well aware of her influence over him, spoke these words,

"Let Bharata be installed with the materials brought for Rama and let Raghava depart to the forests."

O the best of the Bharata, on hearing this disagreeable speech of terrible significance, the king weighed down with grief, could not speak anything.

Learning that his father has been thus promise-bound and considering that the king's truth ought to remain inviolable, the virtuous and powerful Rama went into the forests.

And, may you be blessed, he (Rama) was followed by the prosperous Lakshmana, the foremost of bowmen and his wife Sita, the princess of Videha and daughter of Janaka.

Then Rama having departed to the forest, Dasharatha, following the eternal law of time, gave up the ghost.

And seeing that Rama had left for the forest and that the king had breathed his last, Kaikeyi causing Bharata to be brought, addressed to him these words.

"Now that the king has gone to heaven and Rama and Lakshmana have left for the forest, accept this auspicious and extensive kingdom with all its thorns weeded out."

(Thereupon), the virtuous (Bharata) said to her "You have committed a very cruel deed by killing your husband and exterminating the family actuated by greed of wealth alone. O accursed (woman) of (our) family, hurling disgrace upon my head, fulfill your desire now." Saying this to her mother, he gave free vent to his tears.

And vindicating his character before all the subjects, he set out, desirous of bringing back his brother Rama.

Placing, Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi in vehicle at the van (of his train), he set out with a sorrowful heart, accompanied by Shatrughna.

Vasishtha, Vamadeva, thousands of other Brahmanas and the people of the cities and the provinces, with an eager desire to bring Rama back.

(And he) found Rama together with Lakshmana in the (mountain) Chitrakuta bow in hand and wearing the garb of ascetics.

(But), being dismissed by Rama who was bent on obeying his fathers; words, he (Bharata) began to reign at Nandigram placing his brother's shoes before him.

And Rama too, afraid of the return of the people of the cities and provinces entered into the mighty forest of Dandaka near the hermitage of Sharabhanga.

Paying his adorations to Sharabhanga and taking refuge in the Dandaka, forest he began to dwell on the banks of the beautiful river Godavari.

While dwelling there, Rama had great enmity with Khara who had his abode in the Janasthana, on account of Shurpanakha.

The descendant of Raghu, devoted to virtue, slew fourteen thousands of Rakshasas on earth for the protection of the ascetics and the intelligent Raghava having slain the highly-powerful Khara and Dushana resorted peace to that sacred forest.

Those Rakshasas being slain, Shurpanakha with her nose and lips cut off returned to Lanka, the abode other brother (Ravana).

Then that Rakshasas-woman senseless with grief and with marks of dry blood on her face, approaching Ravana, fell down at his feet.

Seeing her thus multilated Ravana became senseless with rage and fired with anger and gnashing his teeth, rose up from his throne.

And dismissing his ministers he asked her in private "O gentle sister, who has made you so by despising and disregarding me?

Who is he that having got a sharp spear has rubbed it all over his body? Who is he that is sleeping in peace and security, keeping a fire near his head?

Who is he that has trodden over a terrible snake? Who is he that has thrust his hand into the jaws of a mained lion?"

While he was saying thus, sparks of flame issued out from his organs of senses like those that are emitted from the hollows of a tree on fire at night.

Then his sister informed him of the prowess of Rama causing the defeat of the Rakshasas led by Khara and Dushana.

Then king (Ravana) settling as to what course to adopt and making arrangements for the protection of his capital and consoling his sister, rose up in the air.

Crossing the mountains Trikuta and Kala he beheld the mighty ocean of deep waters, the abode of the Makaras (alligators).

Then Dashanana (Ravana, who had ten mouths) crossing it (the ocean) reached Goaarna the beloved place of the high-souled wielder of the trident (Shiva).

Then the ten-headed one went to his ex-minister Maricha who had long before at that very place adopted the mode of life led by the ascetics, through fear of Rama.

Markandeya said:
Seeing Ravana come, Maricha accorded to him a respectful welcome by offering fruits and roots.

When he (Ravana) had been seated and rested awhile, that Rakshasa (Maricha), well aware of the proper made of speech, sat beside Ravana, who was himself an eloquent speaker and humbly addressed him thus.

"Your complexion is not in its natural state. Is it all right with your Kingdom? Do your subjects render obedience to you (now) as they did before?

O lord of the Rakshasas, what business has brought you here? Know it to be already performed even if it be very difficult of fulfillment."

Ravana, whose heart was distracted with grief and anger, briefly told him of the acts of Rama and the steps that were to be taken.

On hearing Ravana, Maricha shortly told him "You must not provoke Rama, for I am well aware of his prowess.

Is there any body who can stand the fury of the arrows of that high-souled one? That most heroic mortal is the cause of my leading this ascetic life. What wicked-minded creature has given you this advice which will lead you to the very mouth of destruction?"

On hearing Maricha Ravana reproachfully replied to him in anger. "If you do not comply with my be hests, you shall surely meet with death."

Maricha then considered (within himself) "since death is certain then it is preferable at the hands of a superior being. I shall do what he (Ravana) desires."

Then Maricha replied to the king of the Rakshasas. "What service shall I have to render to you? I shall (surely) do it even if I am not equal to it."

(There at) the ten-headed one replied to him "go and tempt Sita wearing the form of a deer with golden horns and a golden skin. It is certain that on beholding you she will send Rama after you".

When the descendant of Kakustha (Rama) will go away (after you) Sita will be under my control. I will then forcibly take her away. (And then) that wicked-minded being (Rama) will die in consequence of the loss of his wife. Render to me this help."

Thus spoken to Maricha having performed his last rites (in anticipation of sure death) and with a heavy heart, followed Ravana who was going before him.

Then having got to the hermitage of Rama of untiring action, they both did as was arranged previously.

Ravana, assuming the shape of an ascetic with his head shaven and holding (in his hands) a triheaded staff and Maricha in the guise of a deer appeared on the scene. And Maricha showed himself to the princess of Videha in the form of a deer.

Driven by destiny, Sita sent Rama in pursuit of him. And Rama (too) with a view to please her, soon taking up his bow and instructing Lakshmana to protect her, went in pursuit of that deer.

Equipped with his bow, quiver and sword and with his fingers encased in the skin of Godha, Rama ran after that deer as Rudra followed the stellar deer (i.e. Prajapati, who in the guise of a deer followed his daughter, but Shiva cut off his head which became the constellation called Mrigashira i.e. the deer-head).

And that Rakshasa now appearing before him and then disappearing from his view. Allured Rama to a great distance. Rama, then, knew what that deer really was. The intelligent Raghava knowing him to be a Rakshasa, took up an arrow of infallible energy and killed him who wore the shape of a deer.

Struck by Rama's arrow, he, imitating the voice of Rama, began to cry piteously calling upon Sita and Lakshmana.

And (when) the princess of Videha heard those piteous cries, she was about to run towards the direction from which the sound came. Then Lakshmana spoke to her, "O timid lady, there is no reason for your fear. Who is able to strike Rama? O lady of sweet smiles, you will in a moment see your lord Rama."

Thus' addressed, she, who was weeping aloud, from the weakness natural to her sex, began to suspect Lakshmana adorned with a spotless character. And that chaste woman, devoted to her husband, began to level against Lakshmana these harsh words,

"O fool, the desire which you cherish in your heart shall never be gratified. I will rather kill myself with a weapon or throw myself from the summit of a mountain or enter into fire, than forsaking my husband Rama live with such a mean wretch as you, like a tigress under the protection of jackal.

Thus addressed by her, Lakshmana who was devotedly attached to Rama and who possessed a noble character, shutting up his ears (with his hands) and armed with bow went out following the foot-prints of Rama. And without casting a single look upon her whose lips resembled a (ripe) Bimba fruit, (he) set out (in search of Rama).

In the meantime, the Rakshasa Ravana appeared (before Sita). Assuming a genteel appearance though inwardly very wicked and like a fire hidden under ashes. Disguised as an ascetic he (showed himself there) in order to carry off that lady of blameless character.

On perceiving him, the virtuous daughter of Janaka welcomed him by offering fruits roots and a seat.

But that foremost of the Rakshasas disregarding all those things and assuming his natural shape began to cheer up the Princess of Videha saying,

"O Sita, I am the lord of the Rakshasas and celebrated under the name of Ravana. My beautiful city is named Lanka and is situate on the other side of the ocean.

There amongst beautiful damsels you will shine with me. O lady of beautiful lips, do become my consort and abandon the ascetic Raghava".

Addressed in this strain, the daughter of Janaka, endued with beautiful lips, shut up her ears (with hands) and said "Do not say such words again.

Even if the firmament with all its stars fall down, even if the earth be reduced to atoms and even if the fire be deprived of heat and turn cold, I will not forsake the descendant of Raghu.

Is it possible for a she-elephant who has enjoyed the company of the mighty ranger of forest with rent temples, to live with a (miserable) hog?

How can a lady who has tasted of the sweet wine prepared out of honey or flowers, be tempted to drink the (wretched) wine prepared from peutrid rice"!

Having spoken thus, she with her lips trembling in ire and repeatedly shaking her hands entered the hermitage.

(But) Ravana, pursuing that lady of beautiful lips, cut off her retreat. And harshly scolded by Ravana she fell into a soon.

But (he) seizing her by the hair (other head) rose up in the air. Then a vulture, Jatayu, living in a mountain, saw that helpless lady crying in distress uttering the name of Rama while being carried off (by Ravana).

Markandeya said:
The highly-powerful lord of the vultures, Jatayu, the son of Aruna and the brother of Sampati was a friend of Dasharatha's.

(When) that bird saw his daughter-in-law in the arms of Ravana he furiously rushed against the lord of the Rakshasas.

The vulture then said to him "let go the princess of Mithila; leave her. O night-ranger, how can you carry her off when I am alive?

If you do not release my daughter-in-law you must not escape with your life." Saying thus, he began to pierce the lord to the Rakshasas with his claws.

By striking him with wings and beak several times, he (frightfully) lacerated (Ravana). And blood began to gush (out of his body) as copiously as waters from a mountain-spring.

Thus struck by the vulture, the well-wisher of Rama, he (Ravana) taking up his sword cut off the wings of that feathery creature.

Having killed that king of the vultures resembling a mountain peak penetrating through the clouds, the Rakshasa with Sita on his lap rose up (in the air).

Wherever the Princess of Vaidehi beheld a hermitage, a lake or a river, she threw down there an ornament.

That intelligent lady saw on a mountain-peak five foremost of monkeys and there she threw down a highly beautiful piece of cloth.

And like lightning (playing) among the (dark) clouds that beautiful and yellow (cloth) fluttering through the air fell down among those five (dark-coloured monkeys).

Ranging through the air like a bird he (Ravana) soon cleared a great distance and beheld his beautiful and lovely city adorned with many gates,

Surrounded by high ramparts and built by Vishvakarma. And then the lord of the Rakshasas entered his city, Lanka, with Sita.

The princess of Videha being thus carried off, the intelligent Rama having slain the great deer on his way back met his brother Lakshmana.

Beholding his brother, (Rama) said to him with a rebuke "How could you leave alone the princess of Videha in the forest frequented by the Rakshasas"?

And he was greatly afflicted with grief thinking of his being allured to a great distance by the Rakshasa assuming the form of a deer and of the arrival of his brother (leaving Sita alone).

Having quickly come upto Lakshmana whom he was still reproving, he said "O Lakshmana, is the princess of Videha still alive? I am afraid I shall see her on more."

Lakshmana then informed Rama of everything that Sita had said to him, especially the harsh words with which she subsequently rebuked him.

Rama then with a burning heart quickly proceeded forwards the hermitage and (on the way) he beheld the vulture, huge as a mountain, in his last moments.

Suspecting him to be a Rakshasa, the descendant of Kakustha drawing his bow powerfully, rushed at him with Lakshmana.

The spirited (vulture) then said to Rama and Lakshmana. "All hail to you, I am the king of the vultures and a friend of Dasharatha's."

Thus addressed by him, they put their auspicious bows aside and said "who is this one that is mentioning the name of our father?"

Then they both beheld the bird with its wings cut off; and the vulture related to him as to how he came by death while attempting to rescue Sita.

Rama then asked the vultures as to the way taken by Ravana. But the vulture indicated it by a nod of the head and then passed away.

Knowing from the sign made by the vulture that it was the south (towards which Ravana had gone) the descendant of Kakustha, out of regard for his father's friend, caused his last rites to be performed.

Then beholding (on their way) many hermitages, scattered all over with seats of Kusha grass and umbrellas of leaves, broken jars of water, devoid of inmates and abounding with hundreds of Jackals,

Those tormentors of foes afflicted with distraction and grief at the abduction of Sita
proceeded towards the south of the forest Dandaka.

In that great forest Rama together with the son of Sumitra (Lakshmana) saw many herds of deer flying in all directions.

And they heard a terrible uproar of various creatures like that which is heard during a forest-fire spreading far and wide. In a moment they saw a headless trunk of terrible appearance,

Dark as clouds and huge as a rock, with shoulders broad as a Shala tree, of gigantic arms, having large eyes on his breast and a large mouth situated on his capacious belly.

And that Rakshasa with great ease seized Lakshmana by the hand. (Thus overpowered), O Bharata, Lakshmana was instantaneously seized with dismay.

He, (the monster), then turning his eyes towards Rama, began to draw Lakshmana (forcibly) towards that portion of his body where his mouth was situated. And Lakshmana afflicted with grief said to Rama "look at my (sad) plight.

Your exile from the kingdom, the death of our father, the loss of the princess of Videha and (lastly) this my dangerous condition have quite overpowered me.

Alas, I shall never behold your return to Kausala with Vaidehi and your installation in the kingdom of our sire and grandsire as the ruler of the entire earth.

Blessed indeed are they who will behold your face, resplendent as the moon emerged from the clouds and bathed in the coronation water sanctified with Kusha, fried paddy and black pease."

In this strain the intelligent Lakshmana gave vent to his lamentations profusely. Then, the descendant of Kakustha, dauntless even in the very face of danger, thus spoke to him.

"O bravest of men, do not give way to sorrow. This (monster) can do you nothing when I am present. Cut off his right hand with sword and I shall hack his left."

While thus speaking Rama cut off his (left) hand with a sharp sword (as easily) as if it were a stalk of tila corn.

The heroic son of Sumitra, seeing Raghava stand by him, hacked his right hand with his sword.

Then Lakshmana again and again smote him in his sides and the huge headless monster fell dead on the ground.

Then a being of celestials appearance issued out of his body and stationing himself in the air appeared as resplendent as the sun in the heavens.

Then the eloquent Rama asked him "tell me who you are. How did such a thing come about? All this appears to me highly marvellous."

To him that being replied "O king I am the Gandharva Vishvavasu. I had to assume the shape of a Rakshasa owing to an imprecation of a Brahmana.

Sita has been abducted by Ravana who lives in Lanka. Go to Sugriva who will help you (to recover her).

In the vicinity of the (mountain) Rishyamukha there is a lake named Pampa of auspicious waters, teeming with swans and cranes.

There, adorned with a golden garland dwells Sugriva, the brother of Bali, the king of monkeys, with four counsellors.

Do you go to him and inform him of the cause of year sorrow. Being in the same predicament as you are, he will help you.

Thus far I am able to say that you will see the daughter of Janaka again. It is certain that the abode of Ravana is known to the monkey-king.

Saying this that highly resplendent celestials being vanished and the highly-powerful Rama and Lakshmana both were struck with wonder.

Markandeya said:
Then, Rama, distracted with grief at the abduction of Sita, got to the Lake Pampa situated at a short distance and full of several kinds of lotuses.

In that forest fanned by cool and pleasant breezes charged with the ordour of ambrosia, the thoughts of his dear wife crept into the mind of Rama.

O king of kings, smitten with Cupid's arrows by thinking of his beloved spouse he lamented (profusely). Then the son of Sumitra thus spoke to him.

"O respector of those that deserve honour, this state of your mind is as unworyour of you, as diseases in a self-contained old man of regular habits.

You have received intelligence concerning Ravana and the princess of Videha. (Now cry to) liberate her by exertion and wisdom.

Let us go to Sugriva, the foremost of monkeys who dwells in (yonder) mountain.
Cheer yourself up since I, your disciple servant and assistant, am near."

By these and various other words of the same significance spoken by Lakshmana, the descendant of Raghu recovered his natural calmness and became mindful of his business.

And both those heroic brothers Rama and Lakshmana bathing in the waters of the Pampa and offering oblations to their ancestors left (for Rishyamukha).

Then, having reached the (mountain) Rishyamukha full of various roots, fruits and trees, those heroes saw at the summit of the mountain five monkeys.

Sugriva, (then), sent; his minister, the intelligent monkey Hanuman huge as a mountain, to (receive them).

Having first conversed with him, they both came to Sugriva. O king, Rama then contracted a friendship with the monkey-king.

When Rama had unfolded his intentions to him, he (Sugriva) showed to him the piece of cloth dropped among the monkeys by Sita while being carried off (by Ravana).

Having obtained this token, Rama installed Sugriva the monkey-king, in sovereignty over all the monkeys on earth.

(And) the descendant of Kakustha promised to kill Bali in battle; and O king, Sugriva also pledged himself to liberate Sita.

Having come to this (mutual) understanding, reposing confidence in each other, they all arrived at Kishkindha and desirous of battle remained prepared (for counter with Bali).

Having reached Kishkindha, Sugriva sent froth a yell like the roar of a torrent. Bali could not brook that; but Tara (his wife) stood in his way, saying

"From the manner in which this powerful monkey Sugriva is roaring, I think he has received assistance. (Therefore) do not go out."

Thereupon, (her) husband, the eloquent Bali, the monkey-king who wore a golden garland replied to Tara endued with a face resplendent as the moon, the lord of the stars.

"You are acquainted with the voice of all creatures; (therefore) by the exercise of your intelligence ascertain, whose assistance, this being who bears the relation of brother to me, has obtained.

The wise Tara, resplendent as the lord of the stars, reflecting a moment thus replied to her husband. "O lord of the monkeys, listen to all this.

That bowman, Rama, the highly energetic son of Dasharatha, whose wife has been carried off (by Ravana) has formed an offensive and a defensive alliance with Sugriva.

His brother, the intellectual Lakshmana of mighty arms, the ever-victorious son of Sumitra, stands by him for the furtherance of Sugriva's aims.

(Moreover), Mainda, Dvivida, Hanuman, the son of the wind god and Jambuvana, the king of the bears, all these counsellors of Sugriva stand up for him.

All these are endued with magnanimity, intellect and great strength; and being backed up by the strength of Rama are surely able to kill you."

(But) the lord of the monkeys, discarding her beneficial words, was filled with jealousy and suspected that her heart was inclined towards Sugriva.

Having spoken harshly to Tara he (Bali) issued out of his cave and coming up to Sugriva who was near the Malyavan (mountain) addressed him thus,

"You who are (very) fond of life, were frequently defeated by me before; (but) considering the relationship you bear to me, I allowed you to escape (without taking your life).Then, why are you rushing into death so soon?"

Thus addressed (by Bali), Sugriva, the slayer of his foes, as if addressing Rama himself, spoke to his brother these significant words, (well) suited to the occasion.

"O monarch, deprived of my wife as well as of my kingdom by you, what need is there for my life? Know that it is for this (i.e. death) that I have sought you."

Addressing each other in these and various other words in the same strain, both Bali and Sugriva were engaged in battle with Shalas, Talas and stones, which served the purpose of arrows.

Both smote each other and both struck down each other on the ground; both moved about with wonderful (dexterity) and both dealt blows (at each other).

Both those warriors torn with (each others) nails and teeth were besmeared with blood and shone like two blooming Kinshuka flowers.

(On account of their similarity in appearance) no difference (in aspect) could be discovered between those fighters. Hanuman then placed a garland round the neck of Sugriva.

Thereupon that hero adorned with that garland on his neck shone like the beautiful and mighty Malaya mountain encircled with the clouds.

Recognizing Sugriva by that mark, the mighty bowman Rama drew his excellent bow aiming at Bali as his mark.

The twang of his bow was like (the roar of) an engine. And pierced through the heart by the arrow Bali became alarmed.

With his heart riven (by Rama's arrow) Bali began to vomit blood through his mouth and then he saw Rama standing (before him) together with the son of Sumitra.

Rebuking the descendant of Kakustha, (for taking his life without cause) he fell down senseless on the ground. Tara then beheld him (Bali) of moon-like splendour, lying (slain) on the earth.

Bali being thus slain, Sugriva obtained possession of Kishkindha and (the hand of) the widowed Tara also endued with a face lovely as the lord of the stars.

And the intelligent Rama too, worshipped by Sugriva, in every way, lived on the auspicious plateau of the mountain Malyavan for four months.

(On the other hand) the lustful Ravana too, having repaired to his capital Lanka, placed Sita in a retreat (beautiful) like the Nandana (gardens).

Situate within the Ashoka garden, resembling an asylum of ascetics. (And there) with her body reduced to a skeleton thinking of her husband and wearing the garb of ascetics.

And engaged in austerities and observing fasts, that large-eyed lady began to dwell sorrowfully subsisting on fruits and roots.

In order to guard her, the lord of the Rakshasas appointed Rakshasa women holding (in their hands) barbed darts, swords, maces, axes, clubs and flaming brands.

And some (of them) had two and some three eyes, (some) had their eyes on the forehead, (some) were possessed of long tongues and some none, (some) had three breasts (some) one leg, (some) three braids of matted hair and (some) only one eye.

These and other (Rakshasas) females with flaming eyes and hair stiff as that of a camel, surrounded Sita very watchfully day and night.

And those terrible-looking Pishachi women of dreadful voice always spoke that large-eyedn lady in harsh words (such as),

"Let us devour her; mangle her and tear her to pieces, who is living here despising our lord."

Thus repeatedly threatened and censured, Sita, afflicted with grief for her husband, replied to them with a deep sigh.

"Worshipful ladies, eat me up soon. I have no need of life without the lotus-eyed (Rama) of curly and blue hair.

Separated from my beloved, so dear to my life I will rather live without food and waste away my frame like a she-serpent living near a Tala tree.

Than live with any other person except the descendant of Raghu. Know this to be my firm resolve; and now do, whatever you like, with me."

The Rakshasa women, of harsh voice, hearing those words of hers, went to the king of the Rakshasas in order to tell him all that were spoken by her (Sita).

They all having gone (to Ravana), a pious Rakshasa woman Trijata by name, who spoke sweet words, (thus) consoled the princess of Videha.

"Sita, I shall tell you something. O friend, believe me. O lady of fair hips, drive away your fears and hear these my words.

There is an old and intelligent Rakshasas chief named Avindhya. He seeks Rama's welfare and for your sake has told me (these
words).

"Having reassured and consoled Sita, address her in these my words (that I tell you now), saying, your husband, the heroic Rama, followed by Lakshmana, is all right.

The illustrious descendant of Raghu has contracted friendship with the king of the monkeys, as powerful as Shakra himself and is ready for your deliverance.

O timid lady, you have no fear from Ravana who is cursed by all the world, (because) O daughter, you are protected by Nalakubera's imprecation.

Formerly this sinful wretch was cursed for having committed rape on his (own) daughter-in-law, Rambha. (Therefore) this lustful being is not capable of forcibly violating any woman.

Your intelligent husband accompanied by the son of Sumitra and protected by Sugriva will soon arrive (here) and deliver you hence.

I have dreamed an awfully-terrible dream of evil omen, indicative of the destruction of this evil-minded destroyer of the race of Pulastya.

This night-ranger is terribly wicked-minded and is prone to mean deeds and on account of his innate bad nature he terrifies all (creatures).

He challenges all the gods having lost his sense through Fate. I have in my dream seen all the indications of his destruction.

(I have in my dream seen) the ten-headed monster dancing repeatedly in a car drawn by assess with his head shaven and his body saturated with oil and besmeared with mud.

(I have also seen) Kumbhakarna and others stark naked, besmeared with blood and with their heads shaven, taking to the southern direction.

I have beheld only Vibhishana with a white umbrella (over his head) and a turban and graced with white garlands and unguents ascending the mountain Shveta.

And I saw his four counsellors adorned with white garlands and unguents on the mountain Shveta, These only will be saved from this terrible calamity.

The earth with all its oceans will be covered with Rama's weapons; and your husband will fill the whole world with his renown.

I have (in my dream) beheld Lakshmana burning all the points (with his arrows) and eating rice mixed with honey and boiled with milk mounted on a heap of bones.

And I have seen you also lamenting, covered all over with blood and protected by a tiger, repeatedly run towards the southern direction.

O princess of Videha, O Sita, being reunited with your husband, the descendant of Raghu, followed by Lakshmana, you will soon experience happiness."

And that damsel gifted with eyes beautiful as those of a fawn, hearing these words of Trijata became hopeful of her reunion with her husband.

And when those terrible-looking and cruel Pishacha women returned, they saw Sita seated with Trijata as before.

Markandeya said:
Then, Ravana, smarting under the shafts of Cupid, saw Sita-afflicted with sorrow for her husband, melancholy, wearing an unclean garb, having a jewel only for her ornament, lamenting (profusely), devoted to her husband, waited upon by the Rakshasa females and seated on a stone and approached her and he, whom the gods, the demons, the Gandharvas, the Yakshas and the Kimpurushas could never conquer in battle, inflamed with lust, repaired to the Ashoka gardens.

Attired in a celestials garment, wearing a handsome appearance, adorned with jewelled ear-rings, decked with a beautiful garland and a crown and looking as (handsome as) the very embodiment of Spring.

Being dressed carefully he looked as (beautiful as) the Kalpa tree. But with all his rich dress he appeared as terrible as a banian tree in the midst of a cremation ground.

That night-ranger, approaching the slender-waisted lady, looked like (the grim) planet Saturn before (the beautiful) Rohini.

Having greeted that lady of beautiful hips, terrified like a helpless doe, he (Ravana) smarting under the shafts of that god having the flower for his emblem, addressed her thus,

"Sita, you have favoured too much your husband up to this time. O lady of slender form, be now favourably disposed towards me. Let your person be well-dressed.

O excellent lady, live under my protection and O fair, complexioned damsel, adorned with rich ornaments and dresses be the first lady among all the females (of my harem).

Many daughters of the celestials and the Gandharvas are in my household and I possess several daughters of the Danavas and the Daityas.

One hundred and forty millions of Pishachas, twice as many man-eating Rakshasas of terrible deed execute my commands.

And thrice as many Yakshas carry out my orders. Some only are under the sway of my brother (Kubera) the lord of wealth.

O gentle lady gifted with fair thighs, the Gandharvas and the Apsaras attend upon me in my drinking hall as they do my brother.

(Again) I am the son to that Brahmanic sage, the Muni Vishrava and am celebrated under the name of the fifth Lokapala (regent of the universe).

O lady, I have as plenty of eatables, foods and drinks as the lord of the celestials himself.

Let all your troubles of a forest life be over. O fair-hipped damsel, be my consort as Mandodari herself.

Thus spoken to, the princes of Videha endued with a beautiful face, turning away (from Ravana) and considering him as something more insignificant than a straw thus replied to him.

And that fair-hipped lady, the princess of Videha to whom her husband was as her god, drenching her solid breasts with copious flow of inauspicious tears which she incessantly shed, spoke these words to that mean wretch. "O lord of the Rakshasas, unfortunate as I am, I have been compelled to listen to such painful words repeatedly uttered by you. May you be blessed, you who take so much delight in sensual pleasure. Withdraw your mind (from me).

Being the wife of another and always attached to my husband I am not to be won over (by you). And this helpless woman cannot be a suitable wife to you.

What pleasure will you derive from violating an unwilling woman? Your father is equal to the lord of (all) creatures, a Brahmana and begotten of Brahma.

Being equal to a Lokapala why have you no regard for virtue! Dishonouring that king, your adorable brother, the lord of wealth and friend of Maheshvara how it is that you do not feel shame"?

Saying (all) this, that lady of delicate limbs Sita, with her breasts and neck trembling (in emotion) and covering her face with her clothes, began to weep profusely.

And while that fair lady was weeping, her long, well-woven, black and glossy, braid hanging down from her head looked like a black snake.

Hearing those cruel words spoken by Sita, Ravana, of malicious intelligence, although thus rejected (by Sita) spoke to her these words again. "O Sita, let that god having the Makara for his emblem consume me. But O fair-hipped lady of sweet smiles, I will, by no means enjoy you against your will.

What am I able to do since you even to this day cherish Rama, who is but a man (and therefore) our food"

Thus addressing that lady of faultless proportions, the lord of the Rakshasas vanished at that very spot and went whither he liked.

And the princess of Videha weighed down with grief continued to dwell there, surrounded by Rakshasa women and kindly treated by Trijata.

Markandeya said:
(On the other hand) while the descendant of Raghu together with Lakshmana, properly served by Sugriva, was dwelling on the plateau of the Malyavana mountain, he cast his eyes (one night) on the azure firmament.

From that mountain beholding on the clear cloudless heavens, the resplendent moon surrounded by planets, stars and constellations and (fanned) by a cool breeze laden with the fragrance of lilies, lotuses and other flowers of the same kind, that destroyer of foes was suddenly awakened (to a recollection of Sita).

Afflicted at the thoughts of Sita confined in the abode of the Rakshasha (Ravana), the virtuous (Rama) thus addressed the war-like Lakshmana in the (next) morning.

"O Lakshmana, do you repair to Kishkindha and there seek out the ungrateful, self-seeking and licentious lord of the monkeys.

That stupid wretch of his race whom I have installed on the throne (of Kishkindha) and to whom all the monkeys, apes and bears pay their homage,

And for whose sake, O mighty-armed perpetuator of Raghu's race, I have, with your assistance slain Bali in the pleasure-gardens of Kishkindha.

I deem that worst of monkeys to be highly ungrateful on earth, because, O Lakshmana, that wretch has now forgotten me reduced to such a plight!

I consider that, through scantiness of intellect, he does not care to fulfill his promise, disregarding me who have done him (such) a good turn.

If he indulges in sensual pleasures without making any exertions (for the discovery of Sita), you are to send him to the path of Bali, the common goal of all creatures.

But if that foremost of monkeys be devoted to our cause, then O descendant of Kakustha, bring him hither. Go soon and make no delay."

Lakshmana (ever) obedient to the behests and devoted to the welfare of his superiors, thus addressed by his brother, took his beautiful bow together with string and arrows and (soon) set out (for Kishkindha).

And reaching the gate of Kishkindha he entered (the city) unopposed. The monkey-king deeming him to be angry advanced (to meet him).
l
And with a humble mind, the monkey-king accompanied by his consort, welcomed him joyously and respectfully. (Then) the dauntless son of Sumitra made him acquainted with the words told by Rama.

O king of kings, hearing all this in detail, Sugriva, the lord of the monkeys together with his consort and attendants joined his palms with humility and joyfully told Lakshmana, the most valiant of men, these words.

"O Lakshmana, I am neither evil-minded nor ungrateful nor cruel. Listen, what pains I have taken in the direction of the discovery of Sita.

I have sent (many) intelligent monkeys in all the directions and have appointed a month for the return of them all.

O mighty hero, the entire earth with its forests, mountains, cities, seas, villages, towns and mines will be ransacked by them.

That month will be complete in another five nights. And then you will, together with Rama, hear that great and joyful news (about the discovery of Sita)."

Thus addressed by the intelligent monkey-king, the magnanimous Lakshmana, giving up his anger, adored Sugriva.

Accompanied by Sugriva he then returned to Rama who was dwelling on the plateau of the mountain Malyavana and approaching him related the success of his mission.

Thousands of monkeys soon began to return after searching, the three quarters, excepting those who were sent towards the south.

And they told Rama "Although we have searched the (entire) sea-girt earth, we have not found either the princess of Videha or Ravana.

And though sorely grieved (at this unpleasant news) the descendant of Kakustha dragged his existence hopeful of the success of those great monkeys who were despatched towards the south.

When two months had passed away, (some) monkeys hastily approaching Sugriva told him these words.

"O chief of the monkeys, the great and extensive orchard, Madhuvana which was (so) carefully preserved by Bali and is well-guarded by you also, is being pillaged by the son of Pavana,

Angada, the son of Bali and other foremost of monkeys who, O monarch, were despatched by you to search the southern direction."

Hearing of this act of indulgence on their part, he (Sugriva) thought they were successful, for such behaviour could be possible for those servants whose efforts were crowned with success.

Then that intellectual and foremost of monkeys informed Rama of this. And Rama too inferred (from the statement of Sugriva) that Sita must have been seen (by the monkeys).

(Meanwhile) those monkeys with Hanuman at their head, having rested themselves, approached the monkey-king who was with Rama and Lakshmana.

O Bharata, observing the gestures of Hanuman and the colour of his face, Rama became thoroughly convinced of the discovery of Sita.

The monkeys, headed by Hanuman and successful in their mission, duly bowed down to Rama, Lakshmana and Sugriva.

(Then) Rama, holding (in his hand) his bow together with arrows, addressed those assembled (monkeys) thus, "Will you make me bear life? Have you been successful?

Having killed my enemy in battle and delivered the daughter of Janaka, will you enable me to reign at Ayodhya?

Deprived of my wife and honour, I do not wish to live so long as the princess of Videha is not rescued and my enemies are not slain."

Rama having said this, Hanuman the son of the wind-god thus replied to him. "O Rama, I am giving you good news. The daughter of Janaka has been seen by me.

Searching the southern direction with all its mountains, forests and mines, we got fatigued and then after the expiration of the appointed time we saw a great cave.

We then entered it (the cave) extending over many a yojana, dark, woody, deep and infested by insects.

Having traversed a great way through it, we saw the splendour of the sun and a beautiful palace within it.

O scion of Raghu's race, that palace belonged to the Daitya Maya. There a female ascetic Prabhavati by name, was engaged in austerities.

She gave us many sorts of eatables and drinkable. Regaining our strength after partaking of food, we proceeded along the route indicated by her.

And issuing out of the cave (we) beheld near the briny ocean the Sahya, the Malaya and the mighty Dardura mountains.

Then ascending the Malaya mountain (when) we beheld the abode of Varuna (i.e. the ocean-god), we became sorely grieved, afflicted and dejected and gave up all hopes of life.

Considering that this mighty ocean was many hundred yojanas in width and the abode of whales, alligators and fishes, we became sorely grieved.

Then we sat down resolving to die of starvation. Then in the course of our conversation, we happened to talk of the vulture Jatayu.

Then we beheld an awe-inspiring and a terrible-looking bird huge as mountain-peak and looking like another son of Vinata (Garuda).

And desirous of devouring us, he approached us and spoke these words "who is it that is speaking of my brother Jatayu?

I am his elder brother Sampati by name and the lord of birds. Once desirous of competing with each other we soared toward the sun.

In consequence of which my wings were burnt but those of Jatayu were not. That was the last time when I saw my dear brother, the king of the vultures. My wings being burnt I fell down and have been since lying on this mighty mountain."

He, having said this, we told him of the death of his brother. And we informed him briefly of your calamity.

Hearing this very disagreeable news, O king, Sampati, became dejected at heart and O tormentor of foes again asked "who is this Rama? Why was Sita abducted? And how was Jatayu slain? O best of monkeys, I am desirous of hearing all this."

I then fully informed him of the calamity that has befallen your worshipful self and of the cause of our resolve to die of starvation.

But that monarch of birds stirred us up with these words. Ravana is indeed known to me. His mighty capital, Lanka, can be seen across the sea (situate) in a valley of the Trikuta mountains. The princess of Videha must be there. I have no doubt on this point.

Hearing him thus speak, we got up soon and O tormentor of foes, held a consultation together as to how to cross the sea;

But none had courage enough to attempt it. Then inspired with the energy of my father, whom I invoked, I crossed the vast ocean, a thousand yojanas wide, after having killed a Rakshasa woman (on my way) who lived in the waters.

I (then) discovered the chaste Sita in the Ravana's household observing austerities and fasts, eager to behold her husband,

With clotted hair, covered with dirt, melancholy, lean and lank and devoted to asceticism. Knowing her to be Sita by these unusual signs,

I approached her and bowing down to that worshipful lady who was alone, said "Sita, I am Ram's messenger, a monkey and the son of Pavana (the wind-god).

Desirous of seeing you, I have come here ranging through the firmament. Those princes, the brothers Rama and Lakshmana are all right,

Being well cared for by Sugriva and the monkeys. O Sita, both Rama and the son of Sumitra have enquired of your welfare.

And Sugriva too being a friend (of them) has enquired of your welfare. Your husband will soon arrive (here) accompanied by all the monkeys. O divine lady, believe in me. I am a monkey and not a Rakshasa.

Reflecting a moment on what I said, Sita replied to me, "From what has been said by Avindhya I know you to be Hanuman. O (monkey) of mighty arms, Avindhya is an old and a revered Rakshasa.

He told me "Sugriva is surrounded by such advisers as you" Then asking me to go away Sita gave me this jewel (as a token), which enabled the faultless princess of Videha to bear life so long. And the daughter of Janaka further told me these words as a credential.

(Namely) that while dwelling in the mighty mountain Chitrakuta, O most valiant of men, you shot a straw at a crow.

Then suffering myself to be seized (by the guards) and setting fire to that city (Lanka) I have come back" (Hearing these words) Rama adored that being who spoke agreeable words.

Markandeya said:
Then while Rama was seated at that very place with them (the monkeys), the monkey-chiefs, at the command of Sugriva, began to assemble there.

Surrounded by ten billions of powerful monkeys the illustrious father-in-law of Bali, Sushena, came to Rama.

Those two foremost of monkeys, the highly-powerful Gaja and Gavaya, each surrounded by one billion (monkeys) made their appearance.

O mighty monarch, the terrible-looking Gavakshya having the tail of a cow, came thither, after having collected six hundred billions (of monkeys).

The celebrated Gandhamadana, the dweller of the mountain Gandhamadana, gathered a hundred thousand crores of monkeys.

The intelligent monkey, Panasa by name and endued with a vast strength collected together fifty two hundreds of millions (of monkeys).

The highly-powerful and illustrious old monkey, Dadhimukha by name, gathered a great army of monkeys endued with terrible prowess.

Jambuvana, accompanied by a hundred thousand crores of black bears of terrible deeds with the Tilaka mark on their faces, made his appearance there.

O great king, these and countless other monkey-chiefs arrived thither for the sake of Rama.

A great tumultuous uproar was heard there caused by those monkeys running hither and thither, having bodies huge as mountain-peaks and roaring like lions.

Some resembled mountain-peaks and some buffaloes, some looked like autumnal clouds and some had faces red as vermillion.

And as the monkeys flocked in from all sides, some fell down, some leaped about and some scattered the dust.

Then the mighty monkey-army, looking like a sea full of the brim, took up their quarters there at the command of Sugriva.

All the monkey-chiefs having assembled together from all directions, the illustrious descendant of Raghu's together with Sugriva and the (monkey) army drawn up in the battle array began his march (towards Lanka) at an auspicious moment of fair day and under a lucky constellation, as if desirous of destroying all the worlds.

Hanuman, the son of Pavana marched in the van of the army while its rear was protected by the dauntless son of Sumitra.

As they proceeded on, the two descendants of Raghu with their fingers encased in gloves of Godha's skin and surrounded by the monkey-chiefs shone like the sun or the moon (surrounded by) the planets.

That (vast) monkey-army holding (in their hands) Sala and Tala trees which served the purpose of arrows, looked like an extensive corn-field under the morning son.

Protected by Nala, Nila, Angada, Kratha and Mainda that mighty host moved on for accomplishing the object of Rama.

And encamping unopposed on many extensive and auspicious tracts and valleys abounding with fruits, roots, water, honey and meat, that monkey-army at last came near the briny Sea.

And that (vast) army which looked like a second ocean furnished with innumerable standards reached the shores (of the sea) and encamped there.

Then the renowned son of Dasharatha addressed Sugriva who was surrounded by monkey-chiefs these words appropriate to the occasion.

'This army is vast and the ocean too is very difficult to cross. What steps, therefore, in your opinion, should be taken in order to cross it?

There at, very many self-conceited monkeys said "we are capable of crossing the sea." But this could not serve the purpose fully (as all the monkeys were not able to cross the sea).

Some proposed to cross by boats and some by various kinds of rafters. But Rama, having consoled them all, said "This will not do.

O heroes, all the monkeys will not be able to cross the sea which is a hundred yojanas in width. Therefore, your proposal cannot be agreeable to reason.

(Moreover), there are not plenty of boats of land our troops. Again (the interests of) trade should not suffer at the hands of men like us.

Our army is vast. The enemy will the able to destroy it, if it can detect a (single) weak point in it. (Therefore) in my opinion it is not desirable to cross the sea by rafters and boats.

I will, however, pray to this Lord of waters (to show me) a means (to cross the sea) and by observing fasts will lie down on the shores. He will then surely show me (a means).

If, however, he does not show me a way (to cross the ocean), I will burn him up with irresistible and mighty weapons surpassing fire itself in fury."

Saying this, the descendant of Raghu together with the son of Sumitra performed achamana (i.e. touched water thrice as a purifactory ceremony) and duly laid themselves down on a bed of Kusha grass on the sea-shore.

Then that Lord of all the rivers, the ocean, surrounded by aquatic animals showed himself to the descendant of Raghu in a dream.

And addressing him in such sweet words as "O son of Kausalya," (the Ocean) surrounded by hundreds of mines of gems thus spoke (to Rama).

"O most valiant of men, tell me what assistance I shall render to you. I belong to the race of Ikshvaku and can therefore claim kinship with you." Rama (then) replied to him.

"O lord of all the rivers, I desire that you will grant, for my army, a way, marching through which I may kill the ten-headed wretch of Paulastya's race.

If you do not grant the passage prayed for, I will dry you up with arrows inspired with mantras and shot from celestials weapons."

Hearing Rama say so, the abode of Varuna (i.e. the Ocean) sorely grieved said these words with joined palms.

"I am neither desirous of throwing any obstacles in your way nor am I inclined to your mischief. O Rama, hear these words and then do what is fit.

If, at your command I grant you a passage for the transport of your troops, then others too, from the strength of their bows, will command me to do so.

There is a powerful monkey (in your army) Nala by name, who is a skillful mechanic and the son of the god Tvashtri, the architect of the universe.

And whatsoever he may throw into my waters, whether it be a piece of wood or a straw or a stone, I will support them all and which will be bridge to you."

Saying this the Ocean vanished. And then Rama said to Nala "build a bridge across the sea. For, in my opinion, you are able to do it."

The descendant of Kakustha by this means caused a bridge ten yojanas broad and a hundred yojanas long to be erected (over the sea).

And having constructed the bridge which to this day is known on earth by the name of Nala's bridge, Nala (endued with a body) huge a rock came out at the command of Rama.

While Rama was there the virtuous Vibhishana, the (youngest) brothcr of the Rakshasa king accompanied by four advisers came to him.

And the magnanimous Rama welcomed him with due honours. But Sugriva had his misgivings, considering that he might be a spy.

The descendant of Raghu, however, observing the sincerity of his exertions and many signs of good conduct (in him) was perfectly satisfied (that he was not a spy) and adored him.

And he installed him in sovereignty over all the Rakshasas and made him his junior adviser and a friend of Lakshmana's.

O king of men, in accordance with the instructions of Vibhishana, he crossed the sea with his troops by means of the bridge within a month.

Then, having reached Lanka, he caused its numerous and extensive gardens to be ravaged by the monkeys.

And Vibhishana arrested two of Ravana's ministers, Shuka and Sarana, who, disguised as monkeys, came there as spies.

And when those two night-rangers, assumed their real Rakshasa shape, Rama showed them his troops and then dismissed them.

Having placed his army in the pleasure-gardens of that city, Rama sent that wise monkey, Angada, as his envoy to Ravana.

Markandeya said:
The descendant of Kakustha having encamped his troops in those woods and abounding with plenty of food and drink and various (sorts of) fruits and roots, began to watch over them carefully.

(On the other hand) Ravana set up, in Lanka, engines constructed in accordance with (the rules of the science on war). And the seven moats, (which encircled the city), protected by strong walls and gates, full of deep waters and abounding with fishes and alligators, though naturally unassailable, were rendered more so by being surrounded with pointed stakes of Khadira wood.

And the ramparts furnished with rounded stones and iron clubs were made unassailable by means of ballistas. The warriors (who mounted guard on the gates) had with them earthen jars full of poisonous snakes, resinous powders.

And were armed with maces, fire-brands, Narichas, Tomaras, swords, axes, Shataghnis and clubs saturated with wax.

And all the city gates were guarded by permanent and temporary encampments containing large numbers of infantry and by innumerable elephants and horses.

Angada having reached one of the gates of Lanka and being made known to the Rakshasa king entered (the city) fearlessly.

And that highly-powerful one surrounded by innumerable crores of Rakshasas shone like the sun in the midst of masses of clouds.

And that eloquent (monkey) having approached and saluted the descendant of Pulastya who was surrounded by (his) ministers, began to deliver Rama's message (in the following words).

"O king, the highly-renowned lord of Kosala, the descendant of Raghu says to you (through me) these words appropriate to the occasion. Accept that (message) and act in obedience to it.

(Those) countries and cities whose kings are addicted to immoral acts and are incapable of controlling their minds, are themselves covered with sin and destroyed.

You alone are guilty of forcibly carrying off Sita; but your guilt will lead many innocent persons to death.

Elated with power and pride, you who formerly killed many Rishis living in the forests, insulted the gods, slew many royal sages and carried off weeping damsels, are about to be visited with retributive justice for your those vicious deeds.

I will kill you together with your advisers. Give battle and play the hero. O night-ranger, behold the strength of my bow though I am only a mortal.

Liberate Sita, the daughter of Janaka. But if you persist in not releasing her I will make this earth bare of all the Rakshasas with sharpened arrows.

Hearing these harsh words of the messenger, king Ravana could not brook them and became senseless with rage.

Thereupon four night-wanderers who understood (well) the signs of their lord seized Angada by his four limbs like birds seizing a tiger.

And along with those wanderers of the night who held him fast by his limbs Angada took a leap upwards and alighted on the roof of the palace.

Those Rakshasa raised up with great force fell down on the ground with their ribs shattered and sorely afflicted by the violence of the fall.

And he again took a leap from the roof of the palace whereon he descended and clearing the city of Lanka, come down to his comrades.

Then that monkey, approaching the lord of Kosala told him everything; and being highly praised by the descendant of Raghu, the energetic monkey went away to take rest.

Then the descendant of Raghu by the simultaneous exertions of all monkeys, fleet as the wind, caused the walls of Lanka to be broken down.

Then Lakshmana with Vibhishana and the lord of the bears (Jambuvana) marching ahead, demolished the impregnable southern gate of the city.

Rama then invaded Lanka with a hundred thousand crores of monkeys skilled in battle and resembling young camels in the reddish complexion which they had.

Thirty millions of grey-coloured bears having long arms and thighs, broad paws and supporting themselves on their broad haunches prepared themselves (for battle).

And the sun, with his rays shadowed by the dust raised by the monkeys leaping up an down and crosswise, could not be seen.

And the walls (of Lanka) covered all over with monkeys endued with complexions (yellow) as the ears of paddy, (grey) as shirisha flowers (crimson) as the morning sun and white as flax, assumed a tawny hue. And O king, the Rakshasas together with their wives and elders were wonder-struck (at this unusual sight).

And they (the monkeys and the bears) broke down pillars made of gems and the terraces of spires of the palaces. Pulling down and breaking to pieces the engines and their propellers they threw them away.

And seizing the Shataghnis together with discs, clubs and stones, they threw them violently into Lanka uttering load yells.

The night-wanderers that were stationed on the walls, attacked by the monkeys fled hurriedly by hundreds.

Then, at the command of the king, hundreds and thousands of Rakshasas of unnatural shapes and who could assume any form they liked, issued out (of the city to meet the enemy).

Discharging a (perfect) deluge of arrows and displaying great prowess, they graced the walls on driving away the dwellers of forests.

And those terrible-looking night-rangers resembling heaps of flesh made the walls clear of monkeys.

And there with their bodies pierced by lances many foremost of monkeys fell (dead) and several night-rangers also crushed by pillars broken in the course of battle breathed their last.

And the battle raged on between the heroic Rakshasas who fell to devouring (the monkeys) and the monkeys both parties dragging one another by the hair of the head and mangling one another with nails and teeth.

The Rakshasas and the monkeys with terrific yells and roars killed and struck down one another on the ground but (still) they did not give up the fight.

Rama too, then, poured down showers of arrows like the very clouds. And those arrows reaching Lanka killed many night-rangers.

And that mighty bowman, the indefatiguable son of Sumitra also, naming (particular) Rakshasas who were stationed in the forts killed them with Narachas.

Then by order of Rama the forces retired (from the battle field) after having achieved success (in battle) and demolished (the defences of) Lanka and thereby making all the objects (of the city) easy of being aimed at.

Markandeya said:
Then, when those troops were in their quarters, Parvana Patana, Jambha, Khara, Krodhavasha, Hari, Praruja, Aruja, Praghasa and many other minor Rakshasas and Pishachas under the sway of Ravana entered amongst them.

And remaining invisible, as those wicked-souled creatures were thus stealthily entering, Vibhishana, knew all this and did away with their power of invisibility.

O king, when disclosed to view, all of them being slain by the powerful and long-leaping monkeys fell dead on the ground.

Unable to brook this, the mighty Ravana, skilled in the art of war like a second Ushana (Shukracharya), marched out, surrounded by his dreadful Rakshasa and Pishacha troops; and drawing up his army in that array known by the name of Ushana attacked all the monkeys.

And the descendant of Raghu also, seeing the ten-headed advance, opposed the night-ranger by drawing up his army after the manner recommended by Brihaspati.

Then Ravana, coming up to Rama, began fighting with him. And Lakshmana fought with Indrajita.

Sugriva with Virupaksha, Nikharvata with Tara, Nala with Tunda and Patusha with Panasa.

On that field of battle, he who considered another a match for him, advanced against and began fighting with him depending on his own prowess of arms.

And that battle so frightful to cowards and which makes one's hair stand erect, was as furious as that fought between the gods and the demons in days of yore.

Ravana afflicted Rama with a downpour of darts, lances and swords and the descendant of Raghu too oppressed Ravana with sharpened iron darts having keen points.

Similarly, Lakshmana wounded the exerting Indrajita and Indrajita Lakshmana, by various darts capable of piercing the vital parts.

And Vibhishana discharged at Prahasta and Prahasta at Vibhishana, showers of sharpened arrows furnished with plumes of birds.

(And thus) there ensued an encounter among those powerful warriors skilled in wielding mighty weapons, which (encounter) sorely afflicted the three worlds with their mobile and immobile creatures.

Markandeya said:
Then Prahasta, harsh in battle, rushing against Vibhishana all on a sudden and sending forth a terrible yell, smote him with his mace.

(But) the intellectual Vibhishana of mighty arms, although struck with that mace (hurled) with a terrible force, did not tremble in the least and stood firm as the Himavana mountains.

Then Vibhishana, taking up a huge and mighty Javelin studded with a hundred bells and inspiring it with the mantras hurled it at the head of Prahasta.

(And that Javelin) falling with a (great) force like that of the thunderbolt cut off the head of Prahasta, who thereupon looked like a tree broken by the wind.

Seeing that night-ranger (Prahasta) thus slain in the encounter, Dhumraksha rushed furiously against the monkeys.

The monkey-chiefs, on beholding that his terrible-looking soldiers, resembling the clouds, were rushing against them, fled from (the field of) battle.

Seeing those foremost of monkeys run away all on a sudden, Hanuman, the brave of monkeys rallied them and stood ready (for battle).

(And), O king, beholding the son of Pavana remaining on the battlefield, all the monkeys rallied with great haste.

Then there arose a great and tumultuous uproar, causing the hair stand on end, as the soldiers of Rama and Ravana rushed against one another.

(And) in that battle which raged hot and furious, making the field muddy with blood, Dhumraksha began to oppress the monkey-army with (showers of) arrows.

Then the son of Pavana, Hanuman, the vanquisher of his foes, quickly seized that leader of the Rakshasas who was advancing (against the monkey host).

And there took place, between the Rakshasa and the monkey warrior, each desirous of vanquishing the other, as dreadful a battle as that (fought) between Indra and Pralhada (in olden days).

The Rakshasa smote the monkey with clubs and pikes and the monkey struck the Rakshasas with trees furnished with branches and trunks.

Then the angry Hanuman the son of Pavana fired with a mighty rage, destroyed Dhumraksha together with his horses charioteer and car.

And seeing that foremost of Rakshasas, Dhumraksha, (thus) killed, the monkeys giving up their fear, slew many other soldiers.

Thus slain by the powerful and victorious monkeys the Rakshasas lost their hearts and fled to Lanka in (great) fear.

And the surviving might-wanderers, who fled (from the battle-field), reaching the city, informed king Ravana of all that had happened.

Hearing from them that the valiant monkeys, had in battle, killed Prahasta and the mighty bowman Dhumraksha together with (all) their forces, Ravana drawing a heavy sigh and rising from his excellent throne said, "The time for Kumbhakarna to act, is come."

Saying this, he awakened Kumbhakarna by means of various instruments emitting loud sounds, from his deep and prolonged sleep.

And when Kumbhakarna, who was aroused by great exertions, was comfortably seated, recovered consciousness and self-possession, the terrified lord of the Rakshasas, the ten-headed (Ravana) addressed Kumbhakarna endued with a giant strength thus, "O Kumbhakarna, you are indeed happy who enjoy such a (prolonged) sleep.

Unaware of this dreadful calamity (we have been visited with). This Rama together with the monkeys having crossed the sea by means of a bridge and disregarding us all is waging a terrible war. I have stealthily abducted his wife, named Sita, the daughter of Janaka.

And in order to recover her, he has come here having constructed a bridge over the vast ocean. He has killed Prahasta and many other kinsmen of ours.

O courage of your enemies, there is no other person capable of slaying him than you. O bravest of the brave, do you (therefore) march out this day donning your mail and O tormentor of foes, slay in battle all your enemies, Rama and others.

The two younger brothers of Dushana, Vajravega and Pramathin, accompanied by a mighty army will follow you."

Thus addressing the mighty Kumbhakarna, the lord of the Rakshasas pointed out to Vajravega and Pramathin what they should do.

And those two heroes, the younger brothers of Dushana saying to Ravana "It shall be so" (i.e. you orders shall be carried out) soon marched out of the city with Kumbhakarna at their head.

Markandeya said:
Then having marched out of the city with his followers, Kumbhakarna beheld the victorious monkey-army lying before him.

Having observed (carefully) the monkey host with the desire of finding out Rama (among it) he saw Lakshmana stand (ready for fight), bow in hand.

The monkeys, (then), coming up to him completely surrounded him and began to smite him with numerous huge trees.

(And) giving up their fear some began to tear him with nails and several monkeys fought him by resorting to various ways (of battle). And they hurled at that foremost of Rakshasas various terrible weapons.

Thus struck, he only laughed (at them) and fell to eating up the monkeys, named Bala, Chandabala and Vajrabahu.

Seeing that terrible act of the Rakshasa Kumbhakarna, Tara and others were greatly alarmed and sent forth a loud wail.

Hearing the loud cry of the monkey chiefs, Sugriva fearlessly rushed at Kumbhakarna.

Then that high-minded king of the monkeys, coming up to Kumbhakarna with great speed struck him furiously on the head with a Sala tree.

And though that large-hearted monkey, Sugriva endued with a great speed, broke that Sala tree on the head of Kumbhakarna, yet he could not afflict him (in the least).

Then suddenly awakening at the touch of the Sala tree, Kumbhakarna, with a terrible yell, stretching forth his arms, seized Sugriva by main force.

Seeing Sugriva (thus) seized by the Rakshasa Kumbhakarna, the war-like son of Sumitra, the delighter of his friends, rushed (to his rescue).

And coming up, that slayer of hostile warriors, Lakshmana, sent after him an impetuous and mighty dart furnished with golden wings.

That arrow piercing through his armour and his body and covered with blood, penetrated into the earth.

His heart being (thus) riven, he let go the monkey king. (And then) that mighty bowman, Kumbhakarna, taking a stone as his arrow, rushed at the son of Sumitra, aiming that huge stone at him.

When he was (thus) advancing, (Lakshmana) quickly cut off his upraised arms with a pair keen-edged razors. He then became four-handed.

(But) the son of Sumitra, displaying his skill in arms cut off all those arms, holding stones as arrows, by razors.

His body then assumed formidable proportions and his head and arms began to multiply in large numbers. The son of Sumitra, then, pierced Kumbhakarna, looking like heaps of rocks, by that weapon presided over by Brahma.

And he, endued with a vast strength, struck by that celestials weapon, fell dead on the battle (field) like a gigantic tree having its spreading branches burnt up by (the fire of) the thunderbolt.

Seeing the mighty Kumbhakarna (powerful) as (the Asura) Vritra, lying dead on the ground, the Rakshasas ran away in (great) terror.

Then, the two younger brothers of Dushana, seeing those warriors fly away, rallied them and rushed furiously against the son of Sumitra.

Seeing Vajravega and Pramathin advance against him in great wrath, the son of Sumitra with a loud shout assailed them both with shafts.

Then, O Partha, there ensued an awfully-terrible encounter, making the hair stand erect, between the younger brothers of Dushana and the intelligent Lakshmana.

And he (Lakshmana) covered the Rakshasas with a heavy downpour of arrows and those two (Rakshasa) heroes also in great wrath overwhelmed Lakshmana with showers (of arrows).

That furious battle between Vajravega and Pramathin (on one hand) and the mighty-armed son of Sumitra (on the other) lasted for a moment only.

Then Hanuman, the son of Pavana, taking up a mountain-peak rushed at and look the life of, the Rakshasa Vajravega.

(And) the monkey Nila, endued with a vast strength, rushing towards Pramathin, the younger brother of Dushana crushed him with a huge rock.

Then there again raged a terrible encounter between the forces of Rama and Ravana, smiting one another.

The monkeys slew hundreds and Rakshasas and the Rakshasas too killed many dwellers of forest. But the number of Rakshasas killed was greater than that of the monkeys.

Markandeya said:
Then, hearing that the mighty bowman Prahasta, the highly-energetic Dhumraksha and Kumbhakarna together with his followers had been killed in battle, Ravana spoke to his heroic son Indrajita (thus), "O destroyer of foes, slay Rama together with Sugriva and Lakshmana.

O my dutiful son, by conquering the thousand-eyed wielder of the Vajra (thunderbolt), the husband of Sachi, in battle, you have acquired a blazing renown for me.

Remaining (either) invisible or visible, O slayer of foes, O the best of those that wield weapon, kill my enemies by celestials weapons granted to you as boons.

O sinless one, not to speak of their followers, even Rama, Lakshmana and Sugriva cannot endure the touch of your weapons.

O sinless and mighty-armed one, bring to a (successful) termination the hostilities which even Prahasta and Kumbhakarna could not effect in battle.

My son, destroying, today, my enemies together with their followers, increase my delight as you did before by conquering Vasava."

O king, thus addressed (by his father), Indrajita replied "it shall be so" and donning his armour and riding on his car, he soon marched towards the battle-field.

Then that foremost of Rakshasas distinctly announcing his name, challenged Lakshmana bearing auspicious signs, to battle.

(And) like a lion (pursuing) a fawn, Lakshmana taking up his bow together with arrows and terrifying his adversary by striking his arm with his palms, rushed towards him.

Then, there ensued a terrible and mighty encounter between those two (warriors), desirous of overcoming each other, both skilled in celestials weapons and setting at defiance the prowess of each other.

When the son of Ravana, the strongest of the strong, could not get the better of his adversary by his arrows, he began to make vigorous exertions.

Then he (Indrajita) began to hurl violently at Lakshmana, many javelins. But the son of Sumitra severed them to pieces as they were coming up to him, with sharpened arrows.

(Thus) cut down by sharpened darts they fell down on earth. Then the renowned Angada, the son to Bali, uprooting a tree and coming up with great speed, struck him (Indrajita) on the head. (But) the mighty Indrajita nothing daunted at this, took up a lance (and) wished to hurl it at him. (But) Lakshmana severed that lance.

(Then) the son of Ravana, (seeing) the heroic Angada stand close to him, struck on the left side of the foremost of monkeys with a mace.

Disregarding that stroke, the mighty son of Bali, Angada, wrathfully hurled a Sala stem at Indrajita.

And that tree, hurled wrathfully by Angada for killing Indrajita, O Partha, destroyed his car together with the charioteer and horses.

His horses and driver being slain, he jumped down from the car; and O king, resorting to his power of illusion, the son of Ravana vanished at that very spot.

Knowing that the Rakshasa capable of spreading various illusions, had disappeared, Rama coming up to that place (where the battle was raging) began to carefully protect his army.

He (Indrajita), then, aiming at Rama and the highly-powerful Lakshmana began to pierce them, with arrows obtained as boons, all over their bodies.

Then both the heroic Rama and Lakshmana, began to fight the son of Ravana, who remained invisible by his powers of illusion, by means of arrows.

But Indrajita discharged at the bodies of those lions among men, incessant showers of arrows by hundreds and thousands.

Seeing that he (Indrajita) remaining invisible, poured down showers of arrows, the monkeys taking up huge stones entered into (every part of the) firmament.

But the Rakshasa being invisible, pierced them and the two (brothers Rama and Lakshmana), with arrows hidden by illusion, the son of Ravana sorely afflicted them (the monkeys).

And the two brothers, the heroic Rama and Lakshmana, wounded all over with shafts fell down on earth, as if the sun and the moon had fallen from the firmament.

Markandeya said:
Seeing those two brothers, Rama and Lakshmana drop down on earth, the son of Ravana tied them in a net-work of arrows, granted to him as boons.

Those heroes, those valiant of men, thus covered by that net-work of arrows on the field of battle looked like a couple of birds confined in a cage.

Seeing those two (brothers) lying stretched on the ground, pierced with hundreds of arrows, Sugriva, the king of the monkeys together with Sushena, Mainda, Dvivida, Kumuda, Angada, Hanuman, Nila, Tara, Nala and (other) monkeys stood surrounding them.

Then, the successful Vibhishana arriving at that place and restoring those two heroes to consciousness by means of the weapon (named) Prajna brought them back to senses.

Then Sugriva soon drew out the arrows (from their bodies). And by that highly-potent medicine, Vishalya, applied with the celestials mantras,

Those two foremost of men recovered their senses. (And) the arrows being extracted from their bodies, those mighty car-warriors sat up and became, in a moment free from pain and fatigue.

O Partha, seeing Rama, the descendant of Ikshvaku perfectly free from pain. Vibhishana, with joined hands said these words,

"O tormentor of foes, at the command of the king of kings, a Guhyaka has come (to you) from the Shveta mountains, with this water.

O chastiser of foes, Kubera, the king of kings has sent you this water in order that you may behold all invisible beings.

If you wash your eyes with this you and any man whom you may give this will be able to see all invisible creatures."

Saying "be it so" Rama took that water and purified his eyes with it. (Then) the high-minded Lakshmana, Sugriva, Jambuvana, Hanuman, Angada, Mainda, Dvivida, Nila and almost all the foremost of monkeys did the same.

(Thereupon) what Vibhishana had said, (exactly) came about. And, O Yudhishthira, soon their eyes became capable of perceiving objects beyond the reach of the senses.

On the other hand, the successful Indrajita, having informed his father of what he had done, soon returned to the field of battle.

(And) as he (Indrajita) desirous of battle, was advancing wrathfully, the son of Sumitra, at the advice of Vibhishana rushed at him.

And desirous of slaying Indrajita, who was elated with success and who had not yet completed his daily sacrifice, Lakshmana, at a hint (from Vibhishana) assailed him wrathfully with arrows.

Then between those (warriors) each desirous of vanquishing the other, there took place an exceedingly wonderful battle like that (which had taken place) between Shakra and Pralhada.

Then Indrajita pierced the son of Sumitra by sharpened arrows capable of penetrating into the vital parts. And the son of Sumitra too wounded the son of Ravana with arrows having the touch of fire.

Pierced by the arrows of the son of Sumitra, Indrajita, being senseless with rage, discharged at him eight darts (fierce) as poisonous snakes.

Listen, attentively as I tell you, how the heroic son of Sumitra killed (Indrajita) by means of three arrow of fiery energy.

By one of these (arrows), he severed from his body that arm which wielded the bow; by the second, he cut down to the ground that arm which wielded the arrows and by the third arrow of keen edge and bright lustre he cut off his head having a beautiful nose and decked with earrings.

Deprived of head and arms, the trunk looked terrible. Having slain him (Indrajita), the strongest of the strong, (Lakshmana) killed his charioteer with weapons.

Then the horses dragged away the car into Lanka and Ravana then saw that his son was not on the car. Knowing (from this) that his son was killed, Ravana, his mind being agitated with fear and afflicted with grief and sorrow was actuated with the desire of killing the daughter of the king of Mithila.

And that evil-minded one, taking his sword, furiously rushed at Sita, who was living in the Ashoka gardens longing for the sight of Rama.

Now hear how Avindhya, seeing the evil-minded one bent on this reprehensible act, softened down his wrath by showing these reasons.

(He said) "Placed as you are on the throne of this renowned and mighty empire, you should not kill a woman. This woman (to all intents and purposes) is already slain in as much as she is a prisoner in your power.

In my opinion, she would not be killed if her body were destroyed. Kill her husband and then she will be killed too.

Even the very lord of a hundred sacrifices is no match for you in prowess. You have several times struck terror into the hearts of Indra together with the celestials in battle."

With these and similar other words, Avindhya pacified the wrath of Ravana who accepted his advice.

Then resolving to set out (for the field of battle himself) that night-ranger put his sword into sheath and ordered (his attendants) to prepare his car.

Markandeya said:
Then, angry at the death of his dear son, the ten-necked, ascending his car, studded with gems and gold set out (for the field of battle).

Surrounded by dreadful Rakshasas holding in their hands various weapons, he fighting with the monkey-chiefs rushed upon Rama.

As he (Ravana) was furiously advancing, Mainda, Nala, Nila, Angada, Hanuman and Jambavan together with their forces surrounded him.

Those foremost of bears and monkeys destroyed, with trees, the forces of the ten-necked in his (very) presence.

Then, seeing that his troops were being destroyed by the enemy, Ravana, the king of the Rakshasas began to create illusions with which he was gifted.

(Thereupon) hundreds and thousands of Rakshasas, armed with arrows, lances and double-edged swords, issuing out of his body appeared (on the scene).

(But) Rama destroyed all those Rakshasas with celestials weapons. There at the lord of the Rakshasas created (new) illusions again.

(And) O Bharata, the ten-headed creating several Rakshasas wearing the shape of Rama and Lakshmana, rushed upon them.

Then those night-rangers adverse to Rama and Lakshmana, armed with bows rushed against Rama.

(Then) the dauntless son of Sumitra, the descendant of Ikshvaku said to Rama these heroic words.

"Kill those wicked-souled Rakshasas wearing your shape." (Thereupon) Rama destroyed those Rakshasas resembling him in shape and (various) others also.

Then, Matali, the charioteer of Shakra, came to Rama with a car, of sun-like splendour and yoked with tawny-coloured horses.

Matali said:
"This excellent and victorious car yoked with this team of tawny horses belongs to Maghavana (Indra). O descendant of Kakustha, O foremost of men, riding on this splendid car Shakra slew in battle numerous Daityas and Danavas. Therefore, O most valiant of men, ascending this car guided by me, do you soon kill Ravana in battle. Do not make any delay."

Thus addressed, the descendant of Raghu, suspecting that this might be another illusion produced by the Rakshasas, doubted the truthful words of Matali. Vibhishana then said to him "O foremost of men, this is no illusion of the wicked-souled Ravana.

O highly-resplendent one, therefore do you soon ascend this car of Indra." Thereupon the descendant of Kakustha gladly saying to Vibhishana "be it so,"

And riding on that car rushed in great wrath against the ten-necked; (And) when Ravana flew (towards Rama) all the creatures began to wail loudly.

And in the heavens the celestials sent forth roars like lions and sounded large drums. Then there took place a terrible encounter between the ten-necked and the prince (Rama).

And that (fight) between them is without its parallel elsewhere. The night-ranger hurled at Rama an awfully-terrible.

Javelin like the thunder-bolt of Indra and resembling the upraised Brahmdanda. (But) Rama quickly cut off that javelin with sharpened darts.

Seeing that terrible feat Ravana was seized with dismay. (But) the ten-necked (soon) became wrathful and discharged at Rama thousands and ten of thousands of sharp arrows and numerous other weapons, (such as) maces, battle-axes, various kinds of darts, Shataghnis and sharp arrows.

Seeing the terrible illusions spread by the ten-necked Rakshasa, the monkeys got alarmed and ran away in all directions.

Thereupon, the descendant of Kakustha, taking from his quiver an excellent arrow adorned with beautiful feathers, golden wings and a beautiful face adjusted it to the Brahma weapon. When Rama inspired that arrow with the Mantras peculiar to the weapon of Brahma. All the celestials and the Gandharvas with Indra at their head were highly delighted. The gods, the Danavas and the Kinnaras, seeing the display of that Brahma weapon began to consider that a little only of their Rakshasa enemy's life was left to him.

Rama then discharged that arrow of unrivalled splendour, dreadful, resembling the upraised Brahmadanda and destined to slay Ravana.

And O Bharata, soon as Rama discharged it by drawing to a great length (his bowstring), the lord of the Rakshasas together with his horses and charioteer, enveloped in a great and blazing fire was burnt up.

Then the celestials accompanied by the Gandharvas and the Charanas, beholding Ravana slain by Rama. of untiring exertions were highly delighted.

Then the five elements (i.e., earth water, air, fire and space) forsook Ravana; and he was deprived all of the worlds by the energy of the Brahma weapon.

The ingredients of his body together with his flesh and blood were all so totally consumed by the Brahma weapon that the ashes even could not be seen.

Markandeya said:
Having killed the mean-minded Ravana, the lord of the Rakshasas and the enemy of the gods, great indeed was the joy of Rama and the son of Sumitra.

The ten-necked being slain, the celestials with the Rishis at their head eulogised the mighty-armed one by uttering blessings indicative of victory.

Al the gods together with the Gandharvas and the inhabitants of the celestials regions delighted Rama gifted with eyes resembling lotus-petals by (chanting) hymns (in his praise) and showering flowers (over his head).

Having thus worshipped Rama, they returned to their respective abodes. And O being of everlasting fame, it then appeared as if a great carnival was being held in the firmament.

Then the highly-renowned lord Rama, the destroyer of his enemy's cities, having slain Ravana, gave Lanka to Vibhishana.

Then Avindhya, the wise and old adviser of Ravana, preceded by Sita who was herself preceded by Vibhishana, set out from Lanka.

And he (Avindhya) with great humility said to the high-souled descendant of Kakustha, "O high-souled one, accept this divine lady, the daughter of Janaka, of spotless character."

Hearing these words, Rama, the descendant of Kakustha got down from that excellent car and saw Sita weeping profusely.

And beholding her of faultless proportions, seated in the vehicle weighed down with grief, covered all over with dirt, having matted locks and wearing a dirty cloth.

Rama, suspecting the loss of her virtue, addressed the daughter of the king of Mithila thus, "O Princess of Videha, go (wheresoever you like)! You are now liberated (from your captivity). I have done my duty.

O gentle creatures, I have killed that night-ranger thinking that myself being your husband you should not grow old in the abode of the Rakshasa.

How can men like us, well acquainted with moral duty, accept for even a moment, a woman carried off by another?

O daughter of the king of Mithila, whether you are of pure or impure character, I dare not enjoy you, who are now like sanctified butter lapped by a dog?"

That divine lady, hearing these cruel words (of Rama) was sorely afflicted with grief and suddenly fell down (to the ground) like a plantain tree torn up by the roots.

And the lively colour of her face sprung from her delight (at seeing Rama) as quickly disappeared as breath on a mirror.

Then, hearing these words of Rama all the monkeys together with Lakshmana became motionless as death itself.

Then the pure-souled and the four-faced god (Brahma) the creator of the universe, who sprang from a lotus (on the nave of Vishnu), appeared before the descendant of Raghu on a chariot.

(Then) Shakra, Agni, Vayu, Yama, Varuna, the divine lord of the Yakshas, the seven holy sages (whom Brahma created first of all).

And king Dasharatha also in his celestials appearance and robes and mounted on a highly-resplendent and bright car (appeared on the scene).

Then the firmament crowded with the gods and the Gandharvas shone like the autumnal sky studded with stars.

Then rising in the midst of them, the blessed and renowned princess of Videha spoke these words to the broad-chested Rama.

"O prince, I do not blame you; (for) you are conversant with the ways of men and women. (Yet) listen to these my words.

The air which is always in motion, moves within (the hearts of) all the creatures. If I have sinned, let it forsake my life.

And not only let air, but let fire, water, space and earth forsake my life if I have erred.

As, O hero, I have thought of no other person than you even in my dreams, so you only be my husband as ordained by the gods."

Then a sacred and auspicious voice, joyful to the high-souled monkeys, was heard in the firmament which made the whole universe bear testimony to it.

Vayu said:
O descendant of Raghu, (what Sita has said) is true. I am the wind (god) and ever in motion. O king, the princess of Mithila is pure. Be united with your wife.

Agni said:
O scion of Raghu's race, I am in the body of every creature. O descendant of Kakustha, the princess of Videha is thoroughly guiltless.

Varuna said:
O descendant of Raghu, the humours in animal bodies owe their existence to me. (Therefore) I ask you to accept the princess of Mithila.

Brahma said:
O descendant of Kakustha, O son of good character, this (behaviour) is not surprising on your part, (because) you are honest and know the duties of the royal sages. (Now) hear these my words.

O hero, this enemy of the gods, the Gandharvas, the Uragas, the Yakshas, the Danavas and the Maharshis has been destroyed by you.

Formerly, he was made, through my favour, indestructible of all the creatures. And for some reason I spared that sinful wretch for sometime.

It was for his own destruction that Sita was carried off by that wicked-souled (wretch). (But) I protected her (from being violated) through Nalakubera's curse.

For, he (Ravana) was formerly cursed by that person (Nalakubera) to the effect that if he would enjoy any woman against her will, his head should surely be split into a hundred fragments.

O highly-resplendent one, O creature of divine effulgence, you need not entertain any doubt on this point. You have, (indeed) done a great service to the gods (by slaying Ravana).

Dasharatha said:
My son, I am pleased with you. May you be blessed. I am your father Dasharatha. O foremost of men, I command you to govern your kingdom.

Rama said:
O king of kings, if you are my father I bow down to you. I will repair to the beautiful city of Ayodhya at your command.

Markandeya said:
O best of the Bharatas, well pleased with Rama, the corners of whose eyes were red, his father again said to him "O highly resplendent one, now that the fourteen years (of your exile) are complete, repair to Ayodhya and reign there."

Then, bowing down to the gods and congratulated by his friends, he was united with his wife like Mahendra with the daughter Pauloma.

That tormentor of foes then conferred a boon on Avindhya. He then honoured and gave riches to the Rakshasa woman Trijata.

Then Brahma together with (all) the celestials headed by Shakra said to him, "O son of Kausalya, what desirable boons shall we bestow on you today"?

(Thereupon) Rama asked for these boons viz., devotion to virtue, victory over his enemies and the revival of those monkeys killed by the Rakshasas.

And when Brahma had said "be it so," O mighty monarch, the monkeys brought back to life, rose up.

And the highly fortunate Sita also, conferred on Hanuman this boon, saying "My son, you will live as long as Rama's achievements.

And through my favour, O yellow-eyed Hanuman, celestials dishes and drinks will over be within your reach.

Then in the very sight of those heroes of untiring achievements, all the gods with Shakra at their head vanished away.

Then the charioteer of Shakra seeing Rama united with the daughter of Janaka was well pleased and addressed him, in the midst of friends, these words. "O truly-powerful one, as you have done away with this distress of the gods, the Gandharvas, the Yakshas, the mortals, the Asuras and the serpents.

Therefore always the Asuras, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Rakshasas and the Punagas and all the world will speak (well) of you so long as the world will exist.

Saying these words to Rama, the foremost of the wielders of weapons and taking leave of and paying his respects to him (matali) set out (for the celestials regions) on that car of sun-like splendour.

Then Rama with Sita in this front and accompanied by the son of Sumitra and by all the monkeys with Sugriva at their head and preceded by Vibhishana and taking steps for the protection of Lanka and one that self-contained (Rama) surrounded by his chief advisers in order of precedence rode on that sky-ranging car Pushpaka, moving anywhere at will re-crossed the abode of the Makaras (i.e. the ocean) by means of the same bridge.

Then that virtuous lord of the earth together with all the monkeys took up his (temporary) quarter son that portion of the sea-shore where had lain down before (on a bed of Kusha grass to invoke the aid of the ocean).

Then the descendant of Raghu bringing all those (monkeys) together at the due time worshipped them all. He then dismissed them all after having satisfied them with gifts of gems.

Those foremost of monkeys, the apes with tails like cows and the bears having departed, Rama reentered Kishkindha with Sugriva.

(And on his way from the sea-shore to Kishkindha) Rama in company with Vibhishana and Sugriva, riding on the car Pushpaka showed the princess of Videha all the woods. Having reached Kishkindha, Rama, the most efficient of all smiters, made the successful Angada prince-regent.

(He) then, together with all these and accompanied by the son of Sumitra, set out for his capital by the same route by which he had come.

Having reached Ayodhya the king sent Hanuman as his messenger to Bharata.

(Hanuman) then communicated to him the happy news on having observed his external signs and (gestures). And the son of the wind-god having come back, (Rama himself) went to Nandigrama.

He there saw Bharata covered with dirt, attired in barks of trees and seated on the throne with (Rama's) shoes before him.

Then, O best of the Bharatas, the mighty descendant of Raghu together with the son of Sumitra experienced a great delight on being joined with Bharata and Shatrughna.

And Bharata and Shatrughna too being united with their eldest brother and beholding the princess of Mithila rejoiced exceedingly.

Having paid his respects to Rama who had returned (from exile) Bharata with great pleasure made over the kingdom, to him, which he governed as a trustee (for Rama).

Then Vasishtha together with Vamadeva installed that hero, at the eighth muhurta (a muhurta is equal to two dandas that is 4 minutes), of day under the constellation Shravana.

Being installed (on the throne) Rama gave his permission to that foremost of monkeys, Sugriva together with his friends and also to Vibhishana, the son of Pulastya to return to their homes.

Having entertained those two (friends) Sugriva and Vibhishana who were well pleased and exceedingly glad, with various sorts of foods and drinks and having done his duty suitable to the occasion he dismissed them with a heavy heart.

And having worshipped the car Pushpaka, the descendant of Raghu, gladly gave it back to Kubera.

Then assisted by that divine sage (Vasishtha) he safely celebrated ten horse sacrifices on the banks of the (river) Gomati by offering to the Brahmanas presents thrice (as much as usual).

Markandeya said;
O mighty-armed one, thus, in days of old Rama of unrivalled energy had experienced such a terrible disaster owing to his being exiled in the forests.

O most valiant of men, do not (therefore) lament (over your misfortune); for, O tormentor of foes, you are a Kshatriya. You are journeying along the path which calls forth the prowess of arms and which is calculated to lead to sure success.

(By following this path) you have not incurred even an atom of sin. The gods together with Indra and the Asuras have (sometimes) to adopt this path.

(It was by adopting this path) that the wielder of the thunderbolt (Indra) together with the Marutas slew Vritra, the invincible Namuchi and the Rakshasa female Dirghajivha.

In this world, he, that is backed up, has all his desires gratified. What is there that cannot be overcome by him in battle whose brother is Dhananjaya?

This Bhima of terrible prowess is the strongest of the strong; and the two youthful and heroic sons of Madravati are mighty bowmen.

Why, then, O tormentor of foes, do you grieve, since you have such supporters, as are capable of vanquishing the forces of the wielder of the thunderbolt together with the Marutas?

O best of the Bharatas, with these mighty bowmen of celestials appearance you will surely conquer in battle all your enemies.

Just see, these high-minded (brothers of yours) after achieving terrible feats (of arms) have rescued this daughter of Drupada carried off by the evil-minded Saindhava puffed up with pride and power. (And they) have also vanquished and reduced to subjection king Jayadratha.

Again, the princess of Videha was rescued by Rama with almost no allies after having slain in battle the terribly-powerful ten-necked.

Consider this, O king, by (the exercise of your) intelligence, that his (Rama's) only allies were the bears and the monkeys born in other orders of creation.

Therefore, O best of the Kurus, O most exalted of the Bharata, do not grieve over all this. O tormentor of foes, high-minded men like you never give way to sorrow.

Vaishampayana said:
Thus consoled by the intelligent Markandeya, the large-hearted king giving up his sorrow again spoke to Markandeya.

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