(Table of Index)

Publishers' Note

Prayer

Samkshipta Ramayana

Eka Sloki Ramayana

The Philosophy of the Ramayana

Features of the Ramayana

Power of ‘Ram Nam’

INTRODUCTION

Rama

Sita

Hanuman

Dasaratha

Ravana

The Ring Episode

Epilogue

BALA KANDAM

Birth of Rama

Rama’s Marriage

Fight With Parasurama

AYODHYA KANDAM

The Proposed Yuvaraja

Proposal for Banishment of Rama

Starting to the Forest

Rama Leaves Ayodhya

The Charioteer Sent Back

At Bharadvajashram

Death of Dasaratha

Bharata’s Return to Ayodhya

In Search of Rama

The Meeting of the Brothers

Bharata as Regent

Rama’s March

ARANYA KANDAM

Killing of Viradha

Sage Sarabhanga

The Ashram of Agastya

The Panchavati

Surpanakha Disfigured

Khara and Dushana Killed

Maricha

The Illusive Deer

Abduction of Sita

Kabandha

Sabari

KISHKINDHA KANDAM

Pampa Lake

Hanuman

Friendship

Tale of Sugriva

Power of Vali

Sugriva’s Challenge

Vali Was Grounded

Vali Accuses Rama

Rama’s Reply

Tara 

Last Words of Vali

Tara’s Lamentation

Sugriva’s Repentance

Coronation of Sugriva

Advent of Autumn

Lakshmana Pacified

Sugriva’s Directions

Angada’s Despair

Sampati

Nishakara’s Foretelling

Angada Tests the Strength

SUNDARA KANDAM

Hanuman’s Leap

City of Lanka

Ravana’s Palace

Asoka Forest

Ravana Visits Asokavana

Sita’s Reply

Ravana’s Reply

Rakshasis Try to Persuade Sita

Trijata’s Dream

Sita Laments

Hanuman’s Message

The Ring

Sita’s Message

Hanuman Destroys Asokavana

Fight with Jumbumali

Hanuman Kills Akshaya

Hanuman Before Ravana

Ravana’s Reply

Burning of Lanka

Hanuman Leaves Lanka

Hanuman Describes His Exploits

Return to Kishkindha

Message of Hanuman

YUDDHA KANDAM

The March

Ravana’s Anxiety

Vibhishana Goes to Rama

Rama Meets Vibhishana

Suka’s Message

Story of the Sea

Nala Builds the Bridge

Suka and Sarana

The Illusion

Ravana’s Wrath

Rama’s Instructions

The Great Fight

Lamentation of Sita

Lamentation of Rama

Dhumrakha’s Fight

Prahasta’s Fight

Ravana’s Fight

Kumbhakarna Roused from Sleep

Kumbhakama’s Fight

Atikaya’s Fight

Indrajit’s Fight

Kumbha’s Fight

Indrajit Fights Again

Ravana’s Fight

Lamentation of Vibhishana

Mandodari Laments

Vibhishana’s Coronation

Hanuman Meets Sita

Sita Meets Rama

Rama Accuses Sita

The Fire Ordeal

Devas Praise Rama

Rama Starts for Ayodhya

The Reception of Rama

Rama’s Coronation

UTTARA KANDAM

Agastya and Rama

Birth of Ravana

Feats of Ravana

Victory of Ravana

Ravana’s Defeat

Ravana and Rambha

Rama and Sita

The Accusation

Sita’s Exile

Sita’s Speech

Valmiki Gives Sita Protection

Bhrigu’s Curse

Birth of Vali and Sugriva

Ravana and Sanatkumara

The death of a Brahmin Lad

Lavanasura

Birth of Kusa and Lava

The Asvamedha Sacrifice

The Purification

Visit of Kaala

Departure of Rama

 

THE PUBLISHERS’ NOTE

Srimad Ramayana is the very soul of India. The highest ideals of every Indian are enshrined and portrayed in this holy scripture. It is a complete guide to God-realisation, the path to which lies in righteousness.

Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj has, in this invaluable work, given the essence of Srimad Ramayana in a beautiful way. In his characteristic style, he has given the story and the morals in a simple, direct and lucid style.

The lessons of Srimad Ramayana should be engraved on the tablet of everyone’s heart. This is the urgent need of the hour. The evils of Kaliyuga need not make you despair. Where there is Ram, where there is Ram Nam, where there is Ramayana, the evils of Kali dare not enter. Build this spiritual fortress in your own heart; you will live in Rama Rajya. You will enjoy illimitable peace and bliss.

Ramayana must be studied today, more than ever, by everyone. The ideals of man are beautifully portrayed in it. Everyone should emulate those ideals and grow into ideal citizens.

May His Message spread! May God bless you all! May all people walk the path of Dharma! May Lord Rama be enshrined in the hearts of every man, woman and child in this holy land and the world at large!

THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY

PRAYER

Sri Rama! I seek no wealth. I seek no honour, nor estate, nor earthly reward. Long years of my life, I have spent in various pursuits. I have not read the Vedas nor the Sastras nor the epics of Valmiki or Vyasa. But I have kept faith in Thy Name, in Thy mercy and kind purpose. I have remained a humble instrument in Thy Hands. Grant me this then, my Lord, that for ever more my love for Thy Lotus Feet may deepen a thousandfold and that I may keep my gaze constantly on Thy Lotus Feet and spend my time in doing Thy will and when I cast off this mortal coil, I shall reach Thy abode from where there is no return.

Bhakta Siromani Sri Hanumanji! Worshipful adorations to you—the greatest and the noblest Sevak of Sri Rama, hero in war and peace, statesman, diplomat, engineer who floated the bridge of stone across the ocean to Lanka, commander and leader of the mighty hill tribes of the South who marched under your command with faith and waged the mighty righteous war, with weapons shaped from trees and stones, achieving undying glory for the Kapi Dhvaja that has since flown aloft on the horizon of India, and proclaiming Sri Rama the greatest emperor of the happiest empire, the world has ever seen. None greater than you Hanumanji, in deeds of valour and devotion to the Lord, has been born on this earth. The tale of your valour and devotion will ever inspire the youth of India to acts of service and sacrifice. Prostrations to you.

Sri Sita Mata! Revered and most loved Mother of India, thou art the embodiment of womanly grace, virtue, chastity and endurance. Women of India worship you as the Goddess Lakshmi and their hearts are filled with reverence and love for your high piety, righteous suffering, chastity, endurance and devotion to the Lord. Mother dear, guide us with kindly light on the way to the abode of my Lord!

OM SANKSHIPTA RAMAYANA

Thars

Dasarathanandana Ram Ram
Dasamukhamardana Ram Ram
Pasupatiranjana Ram Ram
Papavimochana Ram Ram

Salutations to Ram Ram
Adorations to Ram Ram
Prostrations to Ram Ram
Obeisance to Ram Ram

Saketapuri Bhushana, Ram Ram
Ornament of Saketapuri, Ram Ram
King of Ayodhya, Ram Ram
Refuge of Vibhishana, Ram Ram

Slayer of Ravana, Ram Ram
Bhadrachalavasa, Ram Ram
Tulasi Das’ Saviour, Ram Ram
Ram Das’ Redeemer, Ram Ram

Brother of Lakshmana (Bharata), Ram Ram
Consort of Janaki, Ram Ram
Son-in-law of (King) Janaka, Ram Ram
Friend of Guha (King of Nishadas), Ram Ram

Son of Dasaratha (Kausalya), Ram Ram
Disciple of Vasishtha (and Visvamitra), Ram Ram
O Bhaktavatsala (Patitapavana), Ram Ram
Jatayu’s protector, Ram Ram

Father of Lava, Kusa, Ram Ram
Sugriva’s friend, Ram Ram
Hanuman’s Master, Ram Ram
Lord of the three worlds, Ram Ram

Valmiki’s Hero, Ram Ram
Avatara of Vishnu, Ram Ram
Visvanath Mandir’s Ram Ram
Sivananda’s Lord, Ram Ram.

 

 

 

 

 

EKA SLOKI RAMAYANA

BALA KANDAM

 

Rama Rama Jaya Raja Ram

 

Rama Rama Jaya Sita Ram

 

Sri Rama was born

Jaya Jaya Ram

To destroy Ravana

Sita Ram

Rama Killed

Jaya Jaya Ram

Tataka, Subahu

Sita Ram

He delivered Ahalya

Jaya Jaya Ram

And married Sita

Sita Ram

AYODHYA KANDAM

Kaikeyi devi

Jaya Jaya Ram

Got boons from Dasaratha

Sita Ram

ARANYA KANDAM

Rama went

Jaya Jaya Ram

To Dandaka forest

Sita Ram

Ravana came now

Jaya Jaya Ram

And took away Sita

Sita Ram

KISHKINDHA KANDAM

Rama Killed Vali

Jaya Jaya Ram

And enthroned Sugriva

Sita Ram

SUNDARA KANDAM

Hanuman crossed the sea

Jaya Jaya Ram

And gave the ring to Sita

Sita Ram

He burnt Lanka

Jaya Jaya Ram

And gave Rama Chudamani

Sita Ram

 

YUDDHA KANDAM

Rama killed

Jaya Jaya Ram

Kumbhakarna, Ravana

Sita Ram

Lakshmana killed

Jaya Jaya Ram

The mighty Meghanada

Sita Ram

Rama installed

Jaya Jaya Ram

Vibhishana on the throne

Sita Ram

Then all came back

Jaya Jaya Ram

To Ayodhya city

Sita Ram

Vasishtha installed

Jaya Jaya Ram

Rama on the throne

Sita Ram

He who reads

Jaya Jaya Ram

Eka Sloki Ramayana

Sita Ram

Will attain soon wealth

Jaya Jaya Ram

Bhakti, Mukti

Sita Ram

Rama Rama Jaya Raja Ram

Rama Rama Jaya Sita Ram.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE RAMAYANA

Philosophy is the science which deals with the facts and principles of the Ultimate Reality and of human nature and conduct and analysed from such an angle, the Ramayana, be it Valmiki, Kambar, Tulasidas or Adhyatma, is pregnant with the highest philosophy that mankind can ever conceive of. It is conceded that man is the perfect being under God’s creation, but this accident of birth in the human species is not the end of the highest perfection. It only means that man has the power of expressing the innate divinity more than any other animal and with this special power in man he is even defined as God involved.

 

The chief and fundamental factors that go to make up the high standard of perfection in man are his moral and ethical sides. Unless one possesses an unquestionable character in respect of morality and conduct, he will never attain greatness or true perfection. There are established codes of morality and ethics in the Hindu Sastras which are based on the teachings of the Vedas, the immortal scriptures of the Hindu religion. The Vedas are so ancient and the teachings thereof are so subtle and abstract, enshrined in a very terse language that they are very difficult of being grasped and assimilated by the ordinary man of the world. Nevertheless the quintessence of the Vedas has to be mastered by the common man to have a thorough knowledge of the highest Truth and to make matters easy, our ancient sages have reduced the Vedic ideals into simple and understandable compositions commonly known as the Puranas and Itihasas. These later productions—the Puranas and Itihasas—are in the form of stories and narratives with a historic touch behind them which not only impress the reader but also expound the philosophical truths in such a lucid style that a sincere spiritual aspirant will get a spontaneous urge from within to live the ideals in his own life. Such is the power behind these ancient works, the Puranas and Itihasas, that they are commonly known as ‘Suhrid Samhitas’ meaning the friendly collection of philosophical scriptures.

 

Of these collections, the Ramayana—particularly, the Valmiki Ramayana,—wields a very great influence over mankind, particularly the Hindu community, because of its sublime teachings and philosophical content. To understand the real philosophy of the Ramayana, one has to concentrate more and more on the character and conduct of the personalities who play their role in different contexts of their life.

 

For the purpose of bringing out the full philosophy of the Ramayana, therefore, one has to closely follow the part played by the figures enumerated below:

 

(1) King Dasaratha (2) Manthara—the maidservant of Kaikeyi (3) Kaikeyi—the youngest of King Dasaratha’s consorts (4) Ravana—the demon king of Lanka (5) Hanuman—minister of the monkey chief, Sugriva (6) Sita—the beloved wife of Sri Rama, the prince of Ayodhya (7) Lakshmana—brother of Sri Rama (8) Sri Rama—the hero of the great epic.

 

On the eve of the coronation of Sri Rama as the Crown Prince of Ayodhya the whole scheme was shelved behind though the pressure brought on Dasaratha by his wife Kaikeyi under the instigation of her maidservant Manthara and the king’s submission to the dictates of his wife whereby Prince Rama was exiled to the forest where he was to spend a period of fourteen years.

 

(i) In this context King Dasaratha is to be compared to the ordinary man of the world placed in an atmosphere of pleasure and plenty, falling a victim to the promptings of his vicious mind (Manthara) infatuated by sense-objects (Kaikeyi).

 

(ii) The ten headed Rakshasa, Ravana, in the absence of Sri Rama and Lakshmana steals away Sita from their forest dwelling. Here Ravana with his ten heads is to be compared with the ten sense-organs—five organs of knowledge and five organs of action. Stealing away of Sita is to be compared to the loss of reasoning power of the worldly minded deluded by Maya. The golden deer Maricha is Maya which deluded both Lakshmana and Rama and they lost their power of discrimination (Sita).

 

(iii) Hanuman, the intellectual giant and a strong celibate, is an invincible power which indicates that if one has to achieve success in all his undertakings one has to cultivate truth, simplicity, purity, selfless service, devotion to duty and establish himself in absolute Brahmacharya. Sri Rama and Lakshmana developed these qualities and they were able to redeem Sita from the demon Ravana, meaning, they got back their reasoning power by Brahmacharya and Tapas.

 

(iv) In worldly life whatever might be the spiritual progress one has achieved, he will never attain Moksha unless he is detached from all worldly ties. This aspect is fully depicted in the ascetic march of Sri Rama, Lakshmana and Sita to the forest in obedience to the wishes of Kaikeyi. The path which led the regal party to the forest was so narrow that it was not possible for them to have a safe passage.

 

Hence they had to follow one after the other; so much so, Sri Rama was in front, Sita in the middle and Lakshmana at the back. Everyone knows pretty well the brotherly affection that Lakshmana had towards his brother and it is even said that he could not exist even for a second without seeing Rama. While on their march, because of Sita’s presence in the middle, Lakshmana could not see his brother properly and at frequent intervals he used to request his sister-in-law to make room for him to see Rama. In this context, Sri Rama is to be compared to Paramatman (in fact Rama was the incarnation of the Supreme Being) and Lakshmana the individual soul, Jivatman. Jivatman constantly endeavours to attain oneness with the Paramatman but Maya (Sita) stands in the way, but with an intense yearning it is possible to get rid of Maya and attain the goal of merging oneself in the Paramatman. The possibility of attaining Godhood by the aspirant through strong devotion to the Supreme Being is also stated in the Bhagavad Gita.

 

‘Daivihyesha Gunamayi Mama Maya Duratyaya,—Mameva Ye prapadyante Mayam Etam Taranti Te’. Through one-pointed devotion to God one can get over the influence of Maya.

 

A study of the Ramayana in the light of the philosophical truth explained above, will be useful as a guide to the true aspirants in treading the path of spirituality leading to complete emancipation from the cycle of birth and death.

 

Glory to Sri Rama, Glory to the Ramayana and glory to Sri Valmiki, the accredited author of the great epic for his masterful production echoing the immortal teachings of Vedic philosophy.

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURES OF THE RAMAYANA

The Ramayana of Valmiki is a didactic poem which has the avowed purpose of glorifying Dharma and inculcating the truths which open up for man the way to supreme perfection. It is one of the two great epics of India. It represents the true Hindu spirit of unconditional adherence to the law of righteousness and the performance of one’s prescribed duty. To assert the greatness of a life of activity based on the righteousness underlying the law of the Divine Being is one of the main aims of the Ramayana. The life of the ‘ideal man’ described in the Ramayana is an incentive to all men to strive to become embodiments of Dharma. Dharma is the soul of life and a life bereft of Dharma is not worth its name. Sri Rama, the incarnation of God, represents in himself the ideal son, the ideal brother, the ideal husband, the ideal king and the emblem of Divinity on earth. Man is expected to root his virtue in the Divine. Virtue is necessarily grounded in a consciousness of the principle of Divinity; else, it would become a mechanical routine of external acts. The Ramayana sounds the eternal spirit of Bharatavarsha, the spirit of heroically facing the realities of existence, without fighting shy of them, and at the same time blending action with devotion and loyalty to law. Law is eternal, for it is the expression of the system of the universe governed by God. To follow this law is the duty of man. The Ramayana teaches man, by way of examples, how he can fulfil the demands of law.

 

The beauty of the Ramayana is really beyond human description, for it is a revelation to a Rishi—not merely an intellectual production of a scholar—whose meaning is ‘integral’, and no one-sided consideration of it can do full justice to it. The entire extent of the life of an Arya is delineated in the Ramayana. Social life and spiritual life are wonderfully harmonised in it. Love and heroism, Ahimsa and Kshatriyadharma are brought together in it. Bhakti and Yoga, Karma and Jnana are fused into one. Sri Rama is the crowning feature of the Ramayana, whose very name is exalted to the status of a supreme purifier of the mind of man. Rama-Nama is a panacea for all diseases, and is as invincible and irresistible as the Rama-Bana.

 

Life in its entirety, individual, social and divine, is depicted by the poet-seer Valmiki. He commences his poem with a description of the ideal individual. He then gives the description, in his poem, of the ideal society, of ideal administration of country, and the ultimate ideal of life, the attainment of God. What a grand work! Valmiki’s epic gives a concrete picture of the mysterious link that connects man and the world with God, the Creator. Social life is emphasised, for man is a member of society, and without society’s good, his good cannot be achieved. And without God’s grace no individual and no society can progress. The supreme value of the universe is in its being a field of experience for its contents are necessary for the evolution towards the Eternal Being. The reality of the universe is God. All attempts and endeavours based on Adharma, on selfishness and individual independence, are doomed to failure at the iron hands of the Divine Law. The Ramayana most excellently portrays the victory of Dharma and the final defeat of Adharma. Rama and Ravana respectively stand for these two forces of the universe.

 

Sri Rama’s Government is a specimen of ideal administration. It is in fact an earthly representation of the divine government of the universe under the supreme Sovereign, the Almighty. To bestow due attention on Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha, on the individual, the society, the nation and their relation to the universe as a whole, is the duty of an ideal monarch. Sri Rama exemplifies in himself, such a ruler, the symbol of God on earth, justifying the great dictum: "Navishnuh Prithivipatin"—There is an element of the Divine in a ruler of men. Sri Rama carries this truth to its consummation and makes his rule eternally sound in the quarters of the world as the famous ‘Ramarajya’, the joy of the spirit of man.

 

One of the striking characteristics of the Hindu scriptures is their expert handling of the problems of life in consonance with the Transcendent Being, which is the final Goal of life. Right from the Vedas and the Upanishads, down to the Epics and the Puranas, this important element features the catholicity that is in all the scriptures of the Hindus. Life is not as some people would hold, a mere delirium of spirit, a disease and an error, but an opportunity presented for the moulding and training of the self for Eternity. To live in the immediate present, with the strength of the past and a vision of the future, basing one’s actions on the ancient system of the fulfilment of duty, with the transforming touch of the glorious ideal of Self-realisation, towards which all beings are consciously or unconsciously moving, is the burden of the immortal song of the Ramayana. God is both transcendent and immanent. To love Him as transcendent alone would be an error, for the universe is His immanent aspect, it is He Himself in Self-revelation, and we are duty-bound to consider the universe as our own Self, as the omnipresent Godhead. Nor are we to make the mistake of disregarding the transcendent and dropping into a pantheistic view of considering the visible universe alone as a complete manifestation of Reality. The Ramayana pays due respect to the physical, the vital, the mental, the moral and the spiritual values of life, and teaches a gospel of the integration of these in the Divine Harmony of the Supreme Being. The Ramayana, with the Manusmriti and the Mahabharata, forms the standard delineation of the codes of the eternal Dharma, the Srutis. There is no doubt that the inhabitants of India, when they follow and preach the spirit of these scriptures, will pave the way not only to a ‘Greater India’, but to a ‘Greater World’, which should reflect the beauty of Heaven, the glory of creation and the greatness of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POWER OF ‘RAM NAM’

‘Ram Nam’ is a blessing which millions of Hindus have treasured in their hearts since ages past. It is the supreme purifier of the mind of man, the bestower of perennial joy, the giver of peace and the key to the gate of Immortality. The Ramarahasyopanishad says that the letters ‘Ra’ and ‘Ma’ are the essence of the two most important Mantras, viz., Ashtakshara and Panchakshara, which, when the letters ‘Ra’ and ‘Ma’ are removed from them, respectively, not only lose their primary meaning but give the opposite meaning. When Ram Nam is chanted, a significant change takes place in the entire organism of the person chanting it. There is a twofold effect product by the utterance of the Divine Name.

 

The Mantra Sakti or the power generated by the juxtaposition of the letters of the Mantra and by the utterance of the same, the whole nervous system of the chanter of the Mantra is set in vibration—a vibration which brings about rhythm, harmony and equilibrium in it. When the nervous system is in such a harmonized state, the breath, too flows rhythmically and the mind rests in a state of tranquillity. It is in this peaceful state of the mind that the divine Consciousness is reflected and the supernal joy of the Eternal is experienced.

 

The idea of the Divine Being generated in the mind at the time of the repetition of the Name, gives a direct fillip to the mind in its attempt to unite itself with the Divine Being. The nervous system is in a state of perfect harmony when the vibration produced by the chanting of the Divine Name pervades it with a force of integration. The Divine Name is not merely a sound; it is a force which can overcome all the destructive forces in the human system and render it pure and make it fit for the experience of Sattva, the highly transparent medium through which the Immortal Being is reflected.

 

Ram Nam like the Ashtakshara or the Dvadasakshara Mantras, is a powerful aid in destroying the animal passions in man. Passions are agitative forces, and Ram Nam is a tranquil force. When one adheres to Ram Nam with exclusive and genuine devotion, it becomes the destroyer of all pains. But one’s faith must not be divided between two or more Mantras. One should stick to ‘Ram Nam’ with full confidence in it. The more the faith and concentration, the quicker does the Lord’s Name destroy the evils in man. The votary of Rama prays:

 

"Apadam-apahartaram dataram sarva sampadam; Lokabhiramam Sri Ramam bhuyo bhuyo namamyaham—I prostrate myself, again and again, before Sri Rama, the Saviour from all calamities, the Giver of all prosperity, the Delight of the world." Such is the glory of Ram Nam. It bestows on one the beatitude of Absolute Independence or Kaivalya. But Ram Nam should not be used for the sake of obtaining worldly ends. Ram Nam is the saviour of man from the afflictions of mortality itself. It raises man from all penury and exalts him to the status of an undaunted sovereign over himself. Why do you use a gun to destroy a mosquito? Ram Nam can cure the disease of Samsara itself; what to speak of lesser wants and turmoils. Therefore, use Ram Nam as a Moksha Mantra and not as a servant to fetch you the glittering glass-pieces shining in the form of the objects of the world. Ram Nam is the guardian in your body, protecting you at all times against all attacks, preserving your purity and virtue, and warding off the inimical urges of desire, passion and anger.

 

The repetition of the Mantra should be done with Bhava or deep feeling. A tremendous effect is produced when repetition of the name is attended with a consciousness of the relation of the chanter to the deity of the Name. This, however, does not mean that a mechanical repetition of the Mantra without feeling is absolutely devoid of all beneficial results. The Name is potent enough to cause a change in the psychological and the physical being of man even when it is mechanically repeated. Ram Nam is a Mantra, and a Mantra is formed by significant letters, which by the very fact of their being uttered, produce a result, even if this result may not be directly connected with the consciousness of the chanter of the Mantra. There is a very peculiar process of physical and psychical transformation taking place at the time when the Mantra is repeated. Unconscious and mechanical repetition produces no direct psychical change, but causes biological change through the nervous system which is immediately influenced by the vibrations set up by the chanting of the Mantra, and these biological changes indirectly, bring about psychological changes; for these two natures in man are related to each other as effect and cause, respectively and the effects are so intimately related to their causes that any change in the effects will be felt by the causes, and vice versa.

 

The devotee should not test the Lord by the chanting of His Name. For example, one should not use the Name as an excuse for the deliberate perpetration of evil acts. The Name can overcome the effects of even such acts, but the implications of such acts would be that the devotee who uses the Name thus has not genuine aspiration and devotion to the Lord, and his mind is still being attracted to things other than those that pertain to the Lord and to His Way. Hence the condition for chanting the Divine Name is well laid out.

 

"Trinadapi sunichena tarorapi sahishnuna, Amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih—He who is humbler than a blade of grass, more tolerant than a tree, who does not crave for respect, but respects others, is the one fit to repeat the Name of Hari."

 

God helps those who help themselves. The best possible effort that one is capable of exercising under the intellectual circumstances provided by God should be put forth, and only beyond this effort, should one seek the grace of God. Idleness is not self-surrender. Surrender of the self to God becomes complete only when the individual consciousness is flooded over the love for the Divine. God’s grace descends when the efforts exercised are found to be inadequate for the realisation of God.

 

Ram Nam has a transforming effect not only on the psycholgical but also the biological personality. Even physical ailments can be overcome by the chanting of the Divine Name. Ram Nam is unfailing in its action, infallible in its operation. Ram Nam, properly understood, is the same as Omkara, the symbol of the Absolute, and Rama to the true devotee is the Absolute itself. Sri Rama is all-pervading; He is in the heart of all beings as the Antaryamin. What a power and glory should His Name possess! Even ordinary names of things of the world have the power of stimulating a corresponding mode of consciousness in man. How much more powerful should the Name of God be!

 

Saint Tulasidas says: The name is even superior to the Lord, because the Nirguna and Saguna aspects of Brahman are tasted and realised by the power of the Name. Rama delivered a single woman, Ahalya, while His Name has purified crores of wicked people. Rama gave salvation to two of his faithful servants, Jatayu and Sabari, but His Name has been the saviour of countless wicked persons. Blessed is the son and blessed are his parents who remember Sri Rama in whatsoever way it may be. Blessed are even the Chandalas who repeat the Name of Rama day and night. What is the use of high birth to one who does not repeat Ram Nam!

 

What a mighty power is latent in Ram Nam! Only those who are endowed with devotion know it. The scientists now declare that sound vibrations have such a tremendous force that they can direct this power to silk fabrics and clean them of all dirt more thoroughly than a washerman can.

 

The moment you utter the word Rama, the form of the Lord is aroused in your consciousness. So the advanced devotees say that the Divine Name is the exclusive support of those afflicted by the tribulations of Samsara.

 

The Valmiki Ramayana is the standard history of Sri Ram:

 

"Vedavedye pare punsi jate Dasarathatmaje; vedah prachetasadasit sakshadramayanatmana.—Verily, a Veda by itself was revealed by Maharshi Valmiki, in the form of Ramayana when the Supreme Being, to be known through the Vedas, manifested Himself as the son of Dasaratha." The Ramayana of Valmiki is a majestic epic, expounding Dharma by way of depicting the great heroic life of the ideal person, Sri Rama. The greatness of the Valmiki Ramayana cannot be adequately described. It is a huge didactic poem which has its main aim in constraining people to follow the path of righteousness, and towards this end, it employs the popular technique of appealing to the hearts of people by narrating in a homely style, the story of a life devoted to Dharma. The picturesque life of Sri Rama described by Valmiki is a grand glorification of the greatness of Sri Rama. Hence the Ramayana is in a way an expanded form of the Name and glory of Sri Rama.

 

The hearing or the study of the Ramayana is a contemplation on the various divine qualities of Sri Rama, which purifies the mind of man and renders it spiritual.

 

May Sri Ramachandra bless all with spiritual illumination, prosperity and Kaivalya Moksha!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

RAMA

In the history of the nations of the world, there has been no sovereign, so noble, majestic, kind and illustrious like Rama. Apart from the attributes that he possessed, it was Rama who conquered with the consent of the people, entire South India and conquered Ceylon, defeating the mighty King Ravana and annexed Burma, Siam, Java, Sumatra and the Bali Islands. At all these places, he appointed Viceroys and he became the King Emperor of greater and united India. Rama gave us the gift of the Rich Soil whereon we live. Five hundred years later, Krishna gave us the philosophy of life. Rama was the ideal king emperor of India like whom none has since appeared (except after several years in a lesser degree, Asoka, who was perhaps the last Emperor of greater and united India). The people of India have not seen such happy days as they enjoyed in the time of Rama. This fact alone entitles Rama to the unstinted allegiance and gratitude of every son of the Mother Land. Glory to Sri Rama.

 

SITA

The queen, Mother Sita, is undoubtedly the ideal queen and the mother of the Indian people. She was the first and only Queen Empress of the greater and united India of the time of Rama. No son of the soil can afford to forget the deep debt of gratitude that he owes to the first and the only Queen Empress—the Great Mother of the motherland.

 

Sita is superior to Arundhati and Rohini in every respect. Her fortitude is unparalleled. She is more forbearing than the earth. She can stand everything. She is more beautiful than beauty itself, the splendour of all splendours. She was highly devoted to her husband. Through the fire of her chastity, she passed successfully through the fire ordeal.

 

HANUMAN

Sri Hanuman is the eldest son of Keshari and is quick like the wind. It is impossible to describe his valour and beauty. He can assume any form at his will.

 

Anjana, known also as Punjikasthala, was the wife of the Kapi chief, Keshari. She was the daughter of Kunjara. Spotless Anjana was reputed for her beauty in the three worlds. There was none like her on the earth. On account of a curse, she was born as a vanara woman. She could assume any form at her will. She was endowed with heavenly virtues.

 

Once Anjana was strolling about over the green hills. The wind god gently wafted her garment. Her body was exposed. He was charmed by her beauty. He embraced her in love. Anjana was frightened by this. She asked. "Who is molesting me like this?"

 

The wind god replied, "Do not be afraid. O Anjana. I am not doing you any harm. I and entering your body in thought. You will bear in your womb a strong and intelligent boy. He will possess the power of moving like me."

 

Anjana was very much delighted at these words of the wind god. She delivered Hanuman in a cave. As soon as he was born, he saw the sun rising in the sky. He sprang up three hundred Yojanas, and yet he was not affected by the heat of the sun. Indra became angry and hurled his thunder at Hanuman. As he was struck by it, he fell down on a rock. His left jaw was broken. Since then he was named Hanuman.

 

When the wind god saw that Hanuman was struck by Indra, he ceased to blow. The people of the three worlds became frightened by this. The gods tried to please the wind god. Brahma said, "Your son Hanuman will not be destroyed by arms, on account of my blessing." Indra was struck with astonishment when he saw that Hanuman survived, even though he was struck by thunder. He blessed Hanuman and said, "The son of the wind god will die only at his will, on account of my blessing."

 

Hanumanji is undoubtedly the greatest military genius that the world has ever produced. He raised a huge army counting over 30 lakhs of soldiers and espousing the cause of Rama, led his vast armies with no military equipment, except what was turned out from stumps and boughs of trees and stones, to fight the great battle with the mighty King of Ceylon. This intrepid warrior was the greatest military engineer and it was he who constructed the miraculous bridge with stones, across the sea, over to Ceylon. Neela assisted Hanuman. He crushed the King of Ceylon by the sheer force of his unrivalled military genius and devotion to duty. He was the greatest physical culturist, accomplished in the art and practice of first aid, nursing and ambulance. Out of the millions that were slain on the battle field, with his rare knowledge of elementary surgery, first aid and medicine, he saved a very large number of them and brought them back to life.

 

A real son of the soil and with brown skin, but highly developed intellect, a man accomplished in military strategy as none else has been, a bachelor in life and with moral principles of the highest order, a statesman and a diplomat and yet possessing a noble and stout heart overflowing with kindness and taking pride in calling himself the humblest Sevaka of the King Emperor—such a personality has never since been born on this earth. Hanumanji is the saviour of India. Hanumanji was as civilised and cultured a man as any in the Court of Rama and the legendary tail stands only for the unending train of armies that he commanded. Such a personality has attained the mark of Divinity and has become the guiding and Guardian Angel in military camps, as well as in physical culture schools and in schools of Bhakti. Wherever there is enterprise, right effort, devotion to duty and singleness of purpose, there abides the spirit of Hanumanji.

 

DASARATHA

Dasaratha literally means one who has restrained or controlled his ten organs or one who has the ten organs under control. It is the Jiva proper and so we find Dasaratha being addressed as Jiva in Ramayana. This Dasaratha or Jiva is always very anxious to get out of this ocean of Samsara. But for Dasaratha (Jiva personified), it was in no case possible to do so, unless he realised Brahman or the Self who is no other than Rama. The Jiva has to become one with the Self and as such Dasaratha, the Jiva, had to do proper Sadhana or penance for putting under full restraint all his ten Indriyas or organs, to make it one with the Self. Dasaratha ruled over this body, the city of ten organs or gates for full 1100 years. It is only after controlling the organs and becoming one with the Self, that Dasaratha, the Jiva, is in a position to get the Divine vision—Divya Chakshu or Jnana, the eternal light or illumination in the form of Payasa, Sringi Rishi being the Higher Manas or the Intellect proper (personified), the guide or the Acharya thereof.

 

RAVANA

Ravana was well versed in the Vedas and Vedanta. He was a great Yogi. He was chief amongst the performers of the Agnihotra sacrifice and other rites. He was a great hero whom even the gods could not conquer. He granted more than what was asked of him. He supported his dependants and friends liberally. He contributed to the prosperity of his friends and to the destruction of his enemies.

 

Ravana was not a monster. He was a great and mighty king. He ruled his country Lanka with masterfulness and skill. He was an autocrat.

 

THE RING EPISODE

According to Goswami Tulasidas, Hanuman saw Sita exclaiming to herself, "Heaven is unkind, my troubles cannot come to an end without fire. Trijata said there is no fire to be had at night. She too has gone away. I see the heaven all bright with sparks but not one of them, not a single star drops to this earth. The moon is all ablaze but no fire comes from it, as if all these knew, what a poor wretch I am. Ye, Asoka trees, would you not hear my prayers and answer to your name and rid me of my pain. You are shining with your flame coloured opening buds, please supply me with fire to consume my body." This, Hanuman saw with his own eyes and to him also, a single moment seemed to be a Yuga and after thinking to himself, he threw down the signet ring, as though a spark had fallen from the Asoka tree. Sita stared up with joy and clasped it in her hand.

 

A fine clue and an explanation to this "ring problem" has been discovered in the Ramayana Reliefs, from Prambanan in Java.

 

Ravana in his magic aircraft carried off Sita. Ravana, with his ten heads and twenty hands was holding Sita. The bird Jatayu fought with Ravana and received a death wound from Ravana. Sita made haste to give to Jatayu, the bird, her ring to be handed over to Rama. Jatayu handed over to Sri Rama the ring on his arrival.

 

EPILOGUE

In the epic of Ramayana there is much exaggeration and over-statement of facts, which are necessary for the education and edification of the devout masses. The epic was not composed with a view to create history or record facts, but a rationalist student may find in the epic, ample testimony of facts which enhance and redound to the glory of the divine personalities. Before the exile of Rama, the limit of the Empire of India was up to the Vindhya Mountains. Rama with the assistance of the native tribes of South India, conquered South India and proceeded to Ceylon and defeated and killed the mighty King Ravana with the assistance of Sri Hanumanji, who came to the rescue of Sri Rama, with his vast and mighty army of native soldiers, who were not mercenaries but who willingly offered their services as soldiers to fight in the righteous war. It was thus that Ceylon was conquered and subsequently Sumatra, Java and the Bali Islands, as also Burma and Siam. Sri Rama was thus the first great King, Emperor of greater and united India, and the like of whom has never since appeared on the surface of this earth.

 

The epic war was not waged merely for the rescue of Sri Janaki Devi. The wicked, invincible Ravana could not be killed by any other person than Sri Rama. Rama alone could slay him.

 

In the history of the world, there are no two such sublime personages as King Rama and his Queen Sita. Rama is considered to be the ideal king and the ideal husband. The benevolent and democratic rule of the nation which was happy under his rule has never been seen since then.

 

The holy stream of the Ramayana rises from Mount Valmiki and joins the ocean Rama. May she, like Ganga, purify the three worlds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONTENTS

Publishers' Note

5

Prayer

6

Samkshipta Ramayana

8

Eka Sloki Ramayana

10

The Philosophy of the Ramayana

12

Features of the Ramayana

17

Power of ‘Ram Nam’

21

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

rama

27

Sita

27

Hanuman

28

Dasaratha

30

Ravana

31

The Ring Episode

31

Epilogue

32

 

 

BALA KANDAM

 

Birth of Rama

43

Rama’s Marriage

44

Fight With Parasurama

47

 

 

AYODHYA KANDAM

 

The Proposed Yuvaraja

48

Proposal for Banishment of Rama

49

Starting to the Forest

52

Rama Leaves Ayodhya

61

The Charioteer Sent Back

62

At Bharadvajashram

63

Death of Dasaratha

64

Bharata’s Return to Ayodhya

65

In Search of Rama

68

The Meeting of the Brothers

69

Bharata as Regent

74

Rama’s March

75

 

 

ARANYA KANDAM

 

Killing of Viradha

77

Sage Sarabhanga

78

The Ashram of Agastya

81

The Panchavati

84

Surpanakha Disfigured

84

Khara and Dushana Killed

87

Maricha

90

The Illusive Deer

93

Abduction of Sita

98

Kabandha

101

Sabari

103

 

 

KISHKINDHA KANDAM

 

Pampa Lake

105

Hanuman

106

Friendship

109

Tale of Sugriva

111

Power of Vali

114

Sugriva’s Challenge

116

Vali Was Killed

118

Vali Accuses Rama

118

Rama’s Reply

119

Tara

122

Last Words of Vali

123

Tara’s Lamentation

123

Sugriva’s Repentance

124

Coronation of Sugriva

125

Advent of Autumn

126

Lakshmana Pacified

130

Sugriva’s Directions

132

Angada’s Despair

135

Sampati

136

Nishakara’s Foretelling

141

Angada Tests the Strength

143

 

 

SUNDARA KANDAM

 

Hanuman’s Leap

146

City of Lanka

148

Ravana’s Palace

150

Asoka Forest

151

Ravana Visits Asokavana

152

Sita’s Reply

153

Ravana’s Reply

154

Rakshasis Try to Persuade Sita

155

Trijata’s Dream

157

Sita Laments

159

Hanuman’s Message

161

The Ring

166

Sita’s Message

169

Hanuman Destroys Asokavana

171

Fight with Jumbumali

172

Hanuman Kills Akshaya

172

Hanuman Before Ravana

174

Ravana’s Reply

175

Burning of Lanka

176

Hanuman Leaves Lanka

179

Hanuman Describes His Exploits

180

Return to Kishkindha

182

Message of Hanuman

183

 

 

YUDDHA KANDAM

 

The March

186

Ravana’s Anxiety

187

Vibhishana Goes to Rama

189

Rama Meets Vibhishana

190

Suka’s Message

192

Story of the Sea

193

Nala Builds the Bridge

194

Suka and Sarana

195

The Illusion

195

Ravana’s Wrath

197

Rama’s Instructions

198

The Great Fight

200

Lamentation of Sita

201

Lamentation of Rama

202

Dhumrakha’s Fight

203

Prahasta’s Fight

204

Ravana’s Fight

205

Kumbhakarna Roused from Sleep

206

Kumbhakama’s Fight

208

Atikaya’s Fight

212

Indrajit’s Fight

213

Kumbha’s Fight

215

Indrajit Fights Again

215

Ravana’s Fight

219

Lamentation of Vibhishana

222

Mandodari Laments

222

Vibhishana’s Coronation

223

Hanuman Meets Sita

224

Sita Meets Rama

225

Rama Accuses Sita

227

The Fire Ordeal

228

Devas Praise Rama

230

Rama Starts for Ayodhya

231

The Reception of Rama

233

Rama’s Coronation

234

 

 

UTTARA KANDAM

 

Agastya and Rama

237

Birth of Ravana

239

Feats of Ravana

242

Victory of Ravana

245

Ravana’s Defeat

247

Ravana and Rambha

248

Rama and Sita

248

The Accusation

249

Sita’s Exile

251

Sita’s Speech

253

Valmiki Gives Sita Protection

254

Bhrigu’s Curse

255

Birth of Vali and Sugriva

257

Ravana and Sanatkumara

259

The death of a Brahmin Lad

260

Lavanasura

263

Birth of Kusa and Lava

266

The Asvamedha Sacrifice

266

The Purification

269

Visit of Kaala

271

Departure of Rama

275

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BALA KANDAM

Birth of Rama

Ravana became a tyrant,
He oppressed the people very much.
Earth assumed the form of a cow
And went to Brahma with the gods and the Rishis.

 

Brahma took them to Lord Hari
And said, "O Lord! incarnate as man
And kill Ravana, the enemy of the gods.
He has become cruel and haughty."

 

Lord Hari said, "Be not afraid, O gods!
I shall take birth as Dasaratha’s son,
The gods will incarnate as monkeys,
My Yoga Maya will become Sita.

 

"Sesha will incarnate as Lakshmana,
Conch will become Bharata,
Discus will take the form of Satrughna,
Ravana will be killed in no time."

 

Dasaratha was without a son
And so he became sunk in grief.
He approached Sri Vasishtha
And opened freely his heart.

 

Vasishtha consoled Dasaratha
And asked him to do Putreshti.
Dasaratha acted accordingly,
He got Payasa from the fire.

 

He gave it to his three wives,
Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi.
Then Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata
And Satrughna were born as his sons.

 

They were well versed in the Vedas.
They became adepts in archery,
They were skilled in horsemanship,
They were experts in warcraft.

 

Rama’s Marriage

Rishi Visvamitra came to Ayodhya
And saw Dasaratha in the hall
And said, "Give me Rama, O king!
To protect well my sacrifice.

 

"The Rakshasa Maricha and Subahu
Throw bones and blood in the sacrifice,
They all do all sort of mischief,
Brave Rama only can kill them."

 

King Dasaratha became anxious;
He consulted Guru Vasishtha
And said, ‘What shall I do?
I cannot bear Rama’s separation."

 

Vasishtha said to king Dasaratha,
"O King! Be not troubled at heart.
Rama is not a human being
He is Lord Hari Himself.

 

"He is born to lighten the load of earth,
He is born to destroy Ravana;
You did Tapas as Kasyapa
To get him as your son.

 

"Visvamitra has come now
To unite Rama with Sita.
Therefore send him with the Rishi
And obtain his blessings."

Dasaratha carried out his Guru’s behests.
Rama followed Visvamitra,
Lakshmana also accompanied Rama
With bow and arrow in his hand.

 

Visvamitra taught Rama
The sciences, Bala and Atibala
To have control over hunger, thirst and sleep,
To be free from fatigue and exhaustion.

 

Then they all crossed the Ganges
And came to a dense forest
Where the terrible Tataka lived,
Who could assume forms at her will.

 

Visvamitra said to valiant Rama,
"O Prince, kill this formidable Rakshasi;
She eats Brahmins, Munis and cows,
She is doing terrible havoc here."

 

Rama took up his formidable bow
And twanged at once the bow string,
And pierced her chest with arrows;
She dropped down dead in a moment.

 

Then Rama went to Gautama’s Asram,
Which looked like a deserted one,
Where Ahalya was sitting as a stone,
Unseen by any one and living on air.

 

Rama touched the stone with His feet.
And lo! Ahalya assumed her original form,
Worshipped Rama with Arghya and the rest
And praised Him to her heart’s content.

 

Then Rama went to Visvamitra’s Asram.
He killed Subahu,
He threw Maricha into the ocean
And completed Visvamitra’s sacrifice.

 

Then Visvamitra took Rama, Lakshmana
To Mithila where the wise Janaka ruled.
Janaka paid them due respects.
Visvamitra introduced Rama, Lakshmana.

 

Visvamitra said, "O king Janaka!
Show your bow to Sri Rama."
Then Janaka ordered his minister
To bring Siva’s bow forthwith.

Then five thousand strong men
Carried the bow set with diamonds.
Sri Rama put the string to it
And broke it in the presence of the king.

 

The Gods rained flowers on Rama,
Raja Janaka embraced Rama,
Then Sita put a golden necklace
On the neck of Sri Rama.

 

Then letters were sent to Dasaratha.
All arrived from Ayodhya in time
With their Guru Sri Vasishtha,
And a day was fixed for Rama’s marriage

 

Janaka placed Sita’s hand
Over the hand of Rama.
He gave Urmila to Lakshmana,
Srutakirti to Bharata,

 

And Mandavi to Satrughna.
Janaka then related to all,
The manner of his daughter’s birth,
How Sita appeared in the furrow,
When the sacrificial ground was purified.

Then Janaka praised Sri Rama
And gave rich presents to the bridegroom.
Dasaratha with his party
Started his journey back to Ayodhya.

 

Fight with Parasurama

Sri Rama met Parasurama on the way,
Parasurama asked Rama to string his bow.
Rama put a string at once
And defeated Parasurama.

 

Then Parasurama praised Sri Rama.
The arrow shot of destroyed Parasurama’s Karmas.
Parasurama lost all his power,
He proceeded to Mahendra mountain.

 

King Dasaratha reached Ayodhya,
The sons of Dasaratha lived happily,
Dasaratha’s heart was filled with joy,
The whole of Ayodhya rejoiced heartily.

 

 

 

AYODHYA KANDAM

The Proposed Yuvaraja

King Dasaratha said to Vasishtha,

I have become old now, O Guru!

I shall install Rama as Yuvaraja.

Kindly bestow Thy blessings.

 

He called his chef minister, Sumantra,

And ordered him to collect all things.

Sumantra carried out the King’s behests

And made all arrangements beautifully.

 

King Dasaratha then asked Sumantra

To fetch Rama to his presence;

Sumantra obeyed the King’s commands,

Dasaratha asked Rama to ascend the throne.

 

All the citizens rejoiced at the news,

Flags were streaming from every house,

Garlands were hanging on every gate,

All the roads were swept and watered.

 

Rama ad Sita fasted,

Rama controlled his senses,

Both slept on a bed of kusa grass,

Their hearts were filled with joy.

 

Manthara, the maid servant of Kaikeyi,

Ascended the terrace f the palace,

To find out the cause of unusual noise;

She saw flags and festoons everywhere.

 

She was eager to know

The cause of this great delight of the people.

She asked the nurse with a smile,

“Tell me the cause of the peoples’ Joy.”

 

The nurse told the crooked Manthara,

“Today, the king will install Rama,

On the beautiful throne of Ayodhya;

Therefore all people rejoice today.”

 

Proposal for Banishment of Rama

Then the hunchbacked evil-minded Manthara

Approached Kaikeyi who was sleeping

And said, “Arise! Quickly O queen!

A great calamity is about to fall on you.

 

“King Dasaratha will install today

His eldest son Rama on the throne.

You will be soon cast in a sea of sorrow,

You will become a slave of Kausalya.

 

“Rama will soon drive out Bharata,

He will become the sole monarch.

You will have no voice in the palace,

Kausalya will treat you with contempt.”

 

Kaikeyi said,”O Manthara! Kind and wise,

Tell me a good plan now,

To get the throne for Bharata;

I shall carry out your plan.”

 

Manthara said to Queen Kaikeyi,

“Clad yourself in dirty clothes,

Lie down on the bare ground,

And put on an angry countenance.

 

“King Dasaratha likes you very much,

He will give up even his life for you;

Ask him to grant you the two boons,

Which he promised in the Devasura war.

 

“Banish Rama to the dense forest,

For nine years and five.

Ask Dasaratha, the virtuous kind,

To install Bharata on the throne.

 

“When Rama is sent to the forest,

Your son will be well established.

He can maintain himself afterwards,

His position will be quite safe.”

 

King Dasaratha or great fame,

Entered the apartments of Kaikeyi,

And saw her in a pitiable plight,

Lying on the bare ground.

 

The great king was afflicted at his heart,

He tried to please her in all ways;

He said, ‘Rise up, O Kaikeyi,

I shall do whatever you wish.”

 

Kaikeyi of cruel resolve, said,

“O king! Remember your promise,

You offered me two boons,

When I nursed you in the war.

 

“Grant me those two boons now,

Send Rama into exile for fourteen years,

In the dense forest with matted locks,

And install Bharata on the throne.”

 

“O Kaikeyi, take away the kingdom now

For your son Bharata,

I cannot banish Rama, my beloved,

I cannot bear his separation.

 

“Rama loves you more than his mother,

He is always obedient to you.

You yourself have admired him;

In what way has he offended you?

 

“The whole world praises him,

All citizens love him:

Even his enemies admire him,

Why do you want to banish him?

 

“I may even abandon Kausalya,

Or Sumitra or royalty,

Or even my own life,

But I cannot abandon Rama.”

 

Kaikeyi said to king Dasaratha,

“O king! Keep up your promise,

Be virtuous, truthful and noble,

Dharma is rooted in truth.

“Truth is the highest Dharma,

Do not swerve from truth,

I will not be satisfied,

Unless Rama is banished.”

 

Then Dasaratha said to Sumantra,

“Bring Rama to me at once.”

Sumantra obeyed the king’s commands

And brought Rama before the king.

 

Rama saluted his father’s feet

And asked Kaikeyi with humility,

“O mother, tell me please,

What is the cause of the king’s distress?”

 

Then Kaikeyi said to Rama,

“You alone should remove the distress,

You should do something for him,

Help him on this occasion.

 

“He gave me two boons with a joyful mind,

He is bound now by the noose of truth.

Thou must save him now,

Make him a king of truthful promise.”

 

Rama said with a painful heart,

“why are you telling me this?

I shall give up my life or drink poison

For the sake of my noble father.

 

“I shall forsake Sita or kausalya,

I shall do cheerfully,

All that my father tells me to do,

Rama never speaks twice.”

 

Kaikeyi said, “Let my son be installed on the throne

Do you speedily go to the forest?

Wearing rags and matted locks

And live there for fourteen years.”

 

Starting to The Forest

Sri Rama said to Kaikeyi,

“Let Bharata rule the kingdom,

I shall go the Dandaka forest

Wearing matted locks and deer skin.

 

“For the sake of my beloved Bharata,

I shall gladly abandon

Sita, kingdom, my life and wealth,

He is highly dear to me.

 

“Further, there is no higher duty for me

Than serving my father,

And carrying out his words;

Father is my great Lord.

 

“I shall take leave of my mother,

And console Sita, my beloved,

And journey this very day,

To the great Dandaka forest.

 

“Take such steps, my revered mother,

That Bharata would rule the kingdom,

And serve father too with devotion,

For this is the Eternal duty.”

 

Dasaratha embraced Sri Rama,

And wept loudly in distress.

Sri Rama comforted his father

And said, “Let Bharata rule the kingdom.

 

“I shall fulfil my promise,

And soon return to the city.

To me, by living in the forest

There is million times more happiness

Than in ruling a kingdom.

 

“Thy promise shall come true,

The works of te gods will be done.

It shall be agreeable to Kaikeyi,

There is merit in forest life.

 

Rama came to see his mother

And said to her,

"Father has ordered my exile,

Bharata will be installed.

 

"I am bound for the forest,

I shall live for fourteen years

In the Dandakaranya

And eat fruits and roots.

 

Hearing this, Kausalya fainted

And fell on the ground;

She recovered her consciousness

And said to Raghava:

 

"If you had not been born,

I should certainly not have known

Greater distress than this,

By being childless.

 

"The barren woman has one sorrow

She feels, am childless,'

There is no other grief for her.

But I am greatly afflicted.

 

"How can I live, O Rama?

Without seeing your face;

Stay here and serve me

Perform the supreme Dharma."

 

Lakshmana said to Kausalya,

"Rama should not be bound

By the words of a wicked woman.

He should not go to the forest.

 

"No one in this world,

Though unfriendly to Rama,

Would speak of him,

Even behind his back.

 

"Sri Rama is equal to the Gods,

He is Just and virtuous,

Straightforward and self-controlled,

He is dear even to his enemies.

 

"The old king has become perverse,

He has become a slave of passion,

He has been enslaved by Kaikeyi,

He has become unrighteous.

 

"Sri Rama is my great Lord,

I am greatly attached to him;

Should Rama enter the fire or the forest?

I shall have entered there before him."

 

Kausalya said to Rama,

"Kasyapa attained heaven

By serving his mother at home,

And practising Tapas and self-restraint.

 

"You will have to serve your mother,

I will not give you permission,

Do not go to the forest,

I cannot live without you."

 

Sri Rama said to his mother,

I cannot disobey my father's command.

No one has come to distress,

By carrying out his father's orders.

 

Permit me to go to the forest, mother.

“Sri Rama said to Lakshmana,

"Dharma is supreme in the world,

Dharma is truth rooted;

 

Father’s order is based on Dharma,

Therefore, I must stick to Dharma.

 

“Pleasure and pain, profit and loss

Are the work of destiny?

There is the hand of destiny

In my banishment, O Lakshmana.”

 

Lakshmana said to Rama,

"O Lord Rama, my beloved brother,

Why do you exalt destiny,

As if it is infallible,

Destiny is impotent and powerless,

Mark my word, O Raghava."

 

Kausalya said to Rama,

"I cannot live among my co-wives.

Take me also to the forest,

If you have firmly resolved

To enter the forest now.

 

Rama said to Kausalya,

"To a woman, indeed,

The husband is Lord and God.

She will reap great demerit,

If she does not look after her husband,

Even if she observes fasts and vows.

 

"A woman obtains great merit

By serving her husband,

Even if she does not worship

And bow to the Gods.

 

“She must serve her husband.

With heart, mind and soul;

This is her Dharma,

This is declared in the Vedas.”

 

Kausalya was not able

To turn Rama from his resolve.

She gave him permission

To go to the forest.

 

She blessed Sri Rama,

“May Dharma protect you!

May Skanda and Brihaspati,

The seven Rishis and Narada

May they protect you on all sides?”

 

She said to Rama,

“You may now go where you like,

Come back after attaining your object,

My prayers will protect you.”

 

Then Rama went to his room,

He said to Sri Janaki,

“My father has exiled me

To please Kaikeyi with his boons.

 

“I will live in Dandaka forest

For a period of fourteen years,

Bharata will rule the kingdom,

Be devoted to vows and fasts.

 

“Serve my father and mothers,

This is your important duty.

I shall fulfil my mission

And return soon, O Janaki,

 

Sita said to Sri Rama,

The wife always shares

The fortune of her husband;

I shall certainly follow thee.

 

“Thou art my sole refuge.

I shall go in front of you

And crush the grass and the thorns;

I shall serve thee in all ways.

 

"I do not wish to live without thee,

Thou art my very life-breath,

Thou art my sole support,

Thou art soul of my soul."

 

Sri Rama said to Janaki,

"The Forest is full of many dangers,

It is full of distress;

You will have to live on roots."

 

Sita said to Rama,

"O Lord! my husband is my god,

If I live with Thee,

I shall be free from blame,

I shall share Thy Joys and sorrows.

 

"Even in the life hereafter

I shall live with Thee happily;

I have never thought even

Of any one save Thee.

 

"I am ever devoted to Thee,

I am ever faithful to Thee,

Without Thee it is hell for me,

With Thee, it is heaven for me."

 

Sri Rama was highly moved

By Sri Janaki's speech.

He asked Sri Sita

To follow him happily.

 

Sri Lakshmana said to Sri Rama,

"I shall also accompany Thee

To the forest

With bow in my hand.

 

"Without Thee, I do not wish

For heaven or immortality,

For Lordship of all the worlds.

Thou art my sole support.

 

" Sri Rama said to Lakshmana,

"If you also follow me,

Who will support Kausalya

Or Sumitra of great virtues?

 

"O Lakshmana, my beloved brother!

Take care of Kausalya,

Act according to my words,

You will be ever happy."

 

Lakshmana said,

"O Raghava of undying fame!

I shall proceed in front of Thee,

I shall point out the path,

I shall daily gather roots and fruits.

 

“Sri Rama said to Lakshmana,

"Yes. You can follow me.

Take leave of all friends

And get yourself ready for the Journey.

 

“Then Rama, Sita and Lakshmana

Went to King Dasaratha

To take leave of him.

They all made him obeisance.

 

Rama said to his father,

"Kindly grant me permission.

Thou art our Lord

Give Thy blessings.

 

King Dasaratha said to Rama,

“Go forth my son, fearlessly,

May you have happiness and peace!

Come back after fourteen years.”

 

Lakshmana took leave of his mother,

She spoke to Lakshmana,

"Ramam dasaratham viddhi,

Mam viddhi janakatmajam,

Ayodhyamatavyam viddhi,

Gaccha tata yathasukham"

 

"Consider Rama to be Dasaratha,

The daughter of Janaka to be myself,

The forest to be Ayodhya,

Be always happy, O my darling."

 

Kaikeyi gave garments

To Rama, Lakshmana and Sita,

Fit for wearing in the forest.

Rama removed his clothes,

 

And Put on those garments.

Lakshmana also did the same,

But not Sita,

She did not know

How to use them.

 

Rama took the garment

And tied it her shoulder

But Vasishtha warded them off

And said to Kaikeyi:

 

“O vile woman!

Rama alone was asked by thee

To go to the forest.

Why art Thou, O wretch

Giving these rage to Sita?

 

“Sita follows Sri Rama

Out of conjugal devotion.

Let her go cald

In heavenly garments

Decked with all ornaments.”

King Dasaratha said to Sumantra,

“Do thou bring a car.”

Rama, Sita and Lakshmana

Mounted the car.

 

Rama leaves Ayodhya

 

Then Sri Rama reached

The beautiful bank

Of the Tamas river

And became happy.

 

He then reached

The prosperous Sringaverapura,

On the banks of the Ganges.

There he met Guha,

The king of the Nishadas.

 

Rama embraced Guha

And asked about his welfare.

Guha brought Arghya and fruits

And worshipped Sri Rama

Rama tied his hair

Into a knot,

With the milk of the fig tree

And shone with great splendour.

 

Rama drank some water

And lay down with Janaki

On the bare ground.

Lakshmana kept watch.

 

The Charioteer Sent back

Rama said to Sumantra,

"Go to the city with the chariot.

Kaikeyi will have the assurance

That I have gone to the forest.

 

"Sumantra! Convey

My prostrations to father.

"Tell Mother Kausalya

That I shall stick

To the path of virtue.

Let her worship the fire.

 

"Let her minister

Unto the feet of my father,

Let her behave properly

To my other mothers.

 

"She should honour Bharata

Though junior in age.

Tell Bharata to rule

On behalf of father.

 

"It is not proper for him

To depose his old father.

 

Let him conduct himself

Towards all the mothers,

With strict justice.

 

"O noble Sumantra!

Look upon my mother

As your own mother.

Lead a virtuous life.

 

" Sumantra at once obeyed

Sri Rama's commands.

Then Sri Rama sat on the boat

And crossed the Ganges.

 

At Bharadvajasram

Then Rama went

To the Asram of Bharadvaja.

The Rishi offered Arghya

And adored Rama.

 

Rama asked Bharadvaja,

"Tell me of some lovely place,

Where we may live happily;

We do not like crowded places.'

 

Then Bharadvaja said,

"Chitrakuta is the best place.

It is twenty miles away from this place,

It abounds in trees, fruits and honey.

 

Here Rama met Valmiki.

The Rishi rose up from his seat

And worshipped Rama,

With Arghya and the rest.

 

Thereupon Rama went

To the Chitrakuta hill.

Lakshmana built a cottage of leaves.

Rama lived there happily,

 

Sumantra reached Ayodhya

And saw king Dasaratha.

The king said to Sumantra,

"Where is now my righteous Rama?

 

"What message did he give for me?

What food does he take?

How does he sleep on the ground?

How did he walk on foot?"

 

Then Sumantra said,

To the anxious Dasaratha,

All that Rama had told him

When sending him back

To the city of Ayodhya.

 

Death of Dasaratha

King Dasaratha was affected at heart

He said to Sumantra,

"Without Rama I cannot live,

The Muni's curse has come on me!

 

"I killed the Muni's son

With a shot,

Taking him to be an elephant.

The old father cursed me—

You shall meet your death

Like me, grieving over your son."

 

King Dasaratha cried bitterly

And gave up his life-breath

Uttering, "ORama, O Sita! O Lakshmana!

I am dying owing to separation from Rama."

 

Vasishtha sent messengers

To Bharata and Satrughna,

Who were living in Rajagriha,

In Yudhajit's palace.

 

Bharata's Return to Ayodhya

They came at once to Ayodhya,

Bharata did not find his father.

Then he went to see his mother.

Kaikeyi said to Bharata,

 

I obtained my two boons

From King Dasaratha.

Rama was banished

Along with Sita and Lakshmana.

 

They have gone to the forest.

Your father died of grief,

On account of separation

From his beloved Rama.

 

"O Bharata! my dear son,

Take the reins of government.

I did all this

For your sake only."

 

Bharata had a great shock,

When he heard the news,

That his father was dead

And Rama was banished.

 

Bharata spoke to Kaikeyi,

"I have lost my father,

My father-like brother,

Of what use is the kingdom to me?

 

"You have killed my father.

How cruel you are!

You are the most sinful woman!

What harm did Rama do to you?

 

"O slayer of husband!

O enemy in the guise of mother!

I would have abandoned you

But for Rama's love for you.

 

"Enter the fire

Or go to Dandaka.

You are a burden on this earth,

You are the most wicked woman."

 

Then Bharata went to Kausalya

And said to her,

"Mother! listen to what I say

I am quite innocent.

 

"Whatever was done by Kaikeyi

At the time of the installation,

If I knew of it,

And if I had instigated her,

Let the sin of a hundred Brahminicides,

Attach to me.

 

If I knew of it',

Let the sin of killing Vasishtha,

Together with Arundhati,

Attach to me."

Bharata said thus

And wept bitterly.

 

Kausalya said,

"Son! I know it.

Do not grieve,

The Lord does everything

For our good."

 

Then Vasishtha said to Bharata,

"Perform in proper time,

The funeral rites

Of the great king."

 

Then Bharata did

All the rites

With great devotion,

And the Sraaddha on the twelfth day.

 

Sri Vasishtha said to Bharata,

"My child!

By thy father's command

We shall today install thee As king."

 

Bharata replied,

"O Muni!

What have I to do

With the kingdom?

Sri Rama is our Lord,

I shall bring Him back."

 

"I shall be clad in barks

And live on fruits and roots,

I shall sleep on the bare ground

And wear matted hair,

 

I shall live in the forest

Till Rama's return."

 

In Search of Rama

He started in search of Rama

And went with his mothers,

Ministers and Vasishtha,

To Chitrakuta hill.

 

Lakshmana climbed a Sal tree

And began to survey all round.

He saw a vast army

And said to Rama,

"Bharata has come To kill us,

 

"In order to remove

All thorns from his side.

He is the root cause

Of our sufferings.

 

"You have lost the throne

On account of him alone,

He deserves to be killed.

I shall kill him,

You will rule the earth.

I shall kill.

Even Kaikeyi and Manthara."

 

 

Rama said to Lakshmana,

"What shall I gain

By killing Bharata?

I have taken a vow

To observe my father's pledge.

What is the kingdom to me?

 

"I do not wish, 0 Lakshmana!

For even Indra's seat,

By unrighteous means.

Whatever can be acquired,

By killing friends and relations,

Is poisoned food to me,

 

"Bharata has come

To see us out of love,

He has been deeply affected

By the news of our exile.

 

"Do not attribute any motive

To his presence here:

He does not wish us harm,

Even in his thoughts."

 

Lakshmana was pacified,

When he heard Rama's words.

He was overwhelmed

With great shame."

 

The Meeting of Brothers

Bharata reached the bank

Of Holy Mandakini

And saw Sri Rama.

He fell at his feet,

With tears in his eyes.

His voice was chocked,

He could not speak.

 

Rama embraced Bharata

And began to shed tears.

Rama said to Bharata,

"Where is father now?

 

Why have you come here?

Is father in good health?

 

"What message did he send me?

Are Kausalya and Sumitra doing well?

Why have you left the Kingdom?

Why do you wear matted locks?

Tell me everything unreservedly,

I am anxious to hear all.

 

" Bharata said with joined hands,

"Father has died of grief,

On account of separation

From Thee, uttering 0 Rama!

O Sita! O Lakshmana!"

 

Rama said, "0 father! 0 ocean of mercy!

Where hast thou gone

Leaving me.

Who shall fondle me hereafter?"

 

He wept bitterly

And fell on the ground.

He rose after some time,

Vasishtha pacified him.

Then they all went to the Mandakini

And gave oblations of water,

All observed fast that day.

 

Then Bharata said to Rama,

"Install yourself in the kingdom;

Be thou gracious to me,

Enjoy the kingdom now,

Do thou protect the state,

Thou art like a father unto me

 

Sri Rama said to Bharata,

"Listen to what I say.

I should carry out

My father's command.

He who disobeys

His father's command

And goes his own way,

Is verily dead though living;

He goes to hell after death.

Do thou protect the kingdom,

I shall protect the forest

How can I act untruthfully?"

 

Bharata said to Rama,

"Where is forest life?

Where is the duty of a Kshatriya?

Where are matted locks?

Where is the duty of a protector?

This is not becoming of Thee,

Take charge of the kingdom,

Have compassion on me."

 

Sri Rama said to Bharata,

"Our father gave two boons

To your illustrious mother-

The kingdom for you

And banishment for me.

You too should make

Our father true to his word

By installing yourself quickly."

 

Vasishtha said to Rama,

"The eldest son becomes the king.

A man has three Gurus—

Preceptor, father and mother.

 

"The father gives him birth,

The Guru gives him wisdom.

 I was your father's Guru,

I am your Guru too.

Do what I tell you,

You will reap the highest good!"

 

Rama said to Vasishtha.

"Whatever father has done

Cannot be easily revoked.

Whatever he has commanded me to do,

That I must carry out."

 

Bharata said to Rama,

"I shall also live in the forest

And serve Thee like Lakshmana.

Otherwise I shall give up all food,

Till I give up the body."

 

"I will lie down before you,

Until you accede to my request."

Rama said to Bharata,

"What have I done, brother,

That you would starve to death?

This is a custom amongst Brahmins

But not amongst the Kshatriyas.

So rise up, give up this vow."

 

Bharata replied,

"I do not crave for the kingdom

Nor did I instigate mother for it,

I shall live in the forest as your substitute

For fourteen years."

Rama said to Bharata,

"To appoint a substitute,

 

To live in the forest

Is highly disreputable.

I shall share the kingdom

On my return.

 

"I have acted

As Kaikeyi has asked,

Brother Bharata!

Do thou now absolve father,

In the obligation of his promise.

 

"The moon may lose its beauty,

The Himalayas its snow,

Jasmine its fragrance,

Fire its heat, Sun its lustre.

 

"The ocean may overstep its limits,

But I shall never refrain

From fulfilling father's promise."

 

Then Bharata said to Rama,

"Kindly give me Thy sandals.

They shall protect the people

And give them what they want."

 

Then Rama took off the sandals,

And gave them to Bharata.

Bharata said to Rama,

"I shall dedicate the kingdom

To Thy holy sandals.

I shall await Thy return.

 

"For fourteen years,

I shall wear bark

And subsist on fruits and roots.

 

I shall live with matted locks,

In the outskirts of the city;

 

If I do not find you

In the first day of the fifteenth year,

I shall cast myself in the fire."

 

Rama agreed to Bharata's words,

Embraced him and said,

"Protect your Mother Kaikeyi,

Never be rude to her."

 

Bharata as Regent

Bharata returned to Ayodhya

And established all the subjects,

In the towns and provinces

And went to Nandigrama

With the sandals on his head.

 

He said to the priests,

I am only a trustee

Of Sri Rama's kingdom.

These sandals will rule the kingdom,

They are the representative of Rama.

I will protect the kingdom,

Till his return."

 

He installed the sandals

On the throne

And held the umbrella over them.

Whenever anything was brought,

He first presented it to the sandals

And then kept it in the treasury.

 

He lived on fruits and roots,

With his senses under control.

 

He wore matted locks and barks,

Slept on the ground,

And did the work of the kingdom,

After dedicating it

To the sandals of Sri Rama.

 

He counted the days

For Rama's return,

And remained there,

With his mind,

Ever fixed on Sri Rama.

 

Rama's March

Rama left Chitrakuta,

He thought of the work in hand

And wanted to proceed to Dandaka.

He went to Atri's Asram.

 

The Muni worshipped Rama,

He gave him roots and fruits.

He said to Sri Rama,

"Let Sita see my wife Anasuya."

 

Then Sita saw Anasuya

And prostrated before her.

Anasuya gave to Sita,

Ornaments, apparels and cosmetics.

 

She said to Janaki,

With these cosmetics,

Your beauty shall never leave you,

Observe your conjugal duty,

Do you always follow Rama.

May Rama safely return home

Together with you!

 

Rama took leave of Atri.

The ascetics pointed out

The route to the dense forest.

They said to Sri Rama,

"This forest abounds

In terrible Rakshasas

Who feed on the flesh of ascetics.

Do you suppress them."

 

Then Rama entered

With Sita and Lakshmana,

The deep forest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARANYA KANDAM

Killing of Viradha

Rama entered the Dandaka,

He saw hermitages of ascetics.

The ascetics said to Sri Rama,

"You are our king,

You should protect us,

This is your duty.

We have subdued our passions,

We do not punish anybody,

We are harassed by Rakshasas.

They kill ascetics

And eat their flesh."

 

Rama met a terrible Rakshasa,

He rushed at Rama and Sita,

His name was Viradha.

He was the son of Yuva,

Shataprada was his mother.

He did penance,

He got a boon from Brahma,

That no one would be able

To kill him with any weapon.

 

Lakshmana broke his left arm,

Rarna his right.

Lakshmana And put him in a pit 

Put his foot on his neck.

 

Viradha said,

"0 Lord, I am about to die,

I became a Rakshasa,

Because of a curse.

My name is Tamvaru,

I am a Gandharva.

I once offended Kubera

By my absence.

As I was so attached to Rambha,

He cursed me.

 

"I entreated him,

To revoke the curse.

He said to me,

"Rama will slay you,

Then you will attain

Your former state."

0 Lord! Through Thy grace,

I have been absolved

From the curse.

I shall now go to Kubera."

 

Throw me into a ditch.

This is the custom

For dead Rakshasas

To be buried.

This is how we attain salvation."

Then Lakshmana dug a pit

And threw him into it.

 

Sage Sarabhanga

Rama proceeded

To Sarabhanga's hermitage.

The sage honoured Rama,

 

And said to Sri Rama,

"I have secured Brahma Loka

By severe penance.

I have been longing

To see Thee, 0 Rama,

Today my penance

Has borne fruit.

I dedicate my mind to Thee."

The sage entered fire

And attained Brahmaloka.

 

Many great Rishis

Approached Sri Rama

And said,

"You are the Lord

Of this forest;

Several Rishis

Have lost their lives,

At the hands of Rakshasas.

Come and see

Their dead bodies."

 

Rama said to them,

"Be not afraid

O great Munis,

I shall kill the Rakshasas,

Be assured of this."

 

Sita said to Sri Rama,

"Virtue can only be acquired

By renouncing all low desires.

There are three kinds of sins

Falsehood, adultery, to kill

Without any provocation.

 

The last two are more heinous

Than the first one.

 

"You are truthful and virtuous,

You have control over the senses,

You are obedient to your father,

You are firm in your vows.

But you kill a creature

Without any offence.

I do not wish

That you should go

To the Dandaka forest.

 

"You should not kill the Rakshasas,

Without provocation.

It is not proper

To kill any creature,

Unless it does some grave injury,

 

"Where is weapon?

Where is the forest?

Where is penance?

Where is Kshatriya valour?

These are opposed to each other.

Please hold in respect

What is proper to an ascetic.

Please lead the life of a hermit,

You can do Kshatriya duty,

After you return to Ayodhya.

 

"From righteousness comes wealth,

From righteousness comes happiness, 

Everything comes through righteousness

This world has righteousness

As its essence.

I do not teach you, my Lord,

 

I only remind you

Because of my love.

 

Sri Rama replied,

beloved Sita!

These ascetics of Dandaka

Are in great distress.

They have said to me,

"Protect us.

Thou art our only Protector."

I have promised

To protect them.

I can give up my life,

Even you, O Sita,

As well as Lakshmana;

But I cannot swerve

From my promise.

 

The Asram of Agastya

Then Rama went

To the Asram of Agastya.

Agastya honoured Rama

Lakshmana and Sita.

The Muni offered them

Seats with water and food.

He presented Sri Rama

The golden celestial bow of Vishnu,

Beset with diamonds,

And made by Visvakarma,

And inexhustible quiver

Which was full of arrows.

 

He Presented also

A sword with golden hilt,

 

Which was in a golden scabbard,

Which was studded with diamonds.

The Muni said to Sri Rama,

"Do Thou, 0 Rama, kill

With these, the host of Rakshasas.

Who have become a great menace on this earth,

And fulfil the purpose

For which Thou hast taken

A human form,

Under the influence of Maya.

May you be happy!"

 

"Sita has come to the forest,

Out of her deep love for Thee

Make her comfortable.

Women are attached

To husbands in prosperity.

They leave them in adversity.

They are unstable as lightning,

They are sharp as weapons.

In evil they are quick

As the word or the bird.

This is their nature.

 

"But your wife, 0 Rama,

Is free from all these faults,

She has become foremost

Amongst chaste women.

She is like Arundhati.

 

"Kindly take rest

In my Asram.

The Asram will be purified,

If you live here."

 

Sri Rama said to Agastya,

"Kindly tell me of a place

Where I may live happily."

 

Agastya replied,

"There is a beautiful place

Called Panchavati,

At a distance of two Yojanas,

On the banks of Gautami.

There are plenty of fruits and roots.

Build there a cottage

And live happily!

Do Thou accomplish

The work of the gods."

 

Rama saluted the sage

And went by the route,

Pointed out by the Rishi.

 

On the way, he met

A big vulture

And took it for a Rakshasa.

He questioned,

"Who are you?"

The bird replied,

"I am a friend of Thy father.

I am Jatayu,

The son of Aruna.

Suyeni is my mother,

Sampati is my elder brother.

I shall be a friend to you,

In your forest life.

I shall protect Sita

When you are out

With Lakshmana,

In quest of fruits."

 

The Panchavati

Then Rama reached

The lovely Panchavati

And commanded Lakshmana

To construct a cottage.

 

Lakshmana, in a short time,

Built a beautiful cottage,

Made out of bamboos and leaves.

Rama lived happily.

 

Surpanakha Disfigured

A Rakshasi came to the spot,

Where Sri Rama lived.

She said to Rama,

"I find matted locks,

You look like an ascetic.

Why have you come

With bow and arrows,

In the guise of a hermit?"

 

Sri Rama said,

"I am the son of Dasaratha.

My name is Rama.

He is Lakshmana,

My younger brother.

She is my wife.

Named Janaki.

Now tell me who you are."

 

The Rakshasi replied,

"I am Surpanakha,

Sister of Ravana,

King of Lanka.

Khara and Dushana

Are also my brothers.

I can assume different forms

At my will.

I have fallen in love with you,

Be my husband."

 

Sri Rama spoke in jest,

"0 worshipful lady,

I am married.

A co-wife will be disagreeable

To a woman like you.

Here is my younger brother,

Heroic Lakshmana.

His wife is not with him.

 

He may marry you

For your beauty,

He is worthy of you

In every respect.

Marry him,

You will have no fear

Of a co-wife."

 

Surpanakha said to Lakshmana,

"Become my husband

And live happily."

 

Lakshmana said in jest,

I am myself a servant.

What will you gain

By becoming my wife?

You will live

Like a maid-servant.

 

Oh my red beauty!

Become Rama's younger wife.

He will discard

That ugly hag,

Lean and old,

And will accept you.

0 paragon of beauty,

Can any intelligent man

Reject such a graceful lady?"

 

Surpanaka could not grasp

Sri Lakshmana's Joke.

She went again to Rama

And said,

 

"You are not showing me

Any affection,

By discarding that

Ugly, lean, old hag

Of unchaste character.

I shall devour Sita

And get rid of a co-wife."

 

She rushed on Janaki.

Sri Rama said to Lakshmana,

"Do not Joke

With a low-bred woman.

Punish her immediately,

By deforming her."

 

Then Lakshmana

Chopped off her ears and nose.

 

She was drenched in blood.

She ran to her brother

Khara in Janasthan.

Khara asked Surpanaka,

"Tell me, beloved sister,

Who has deformed your beauty?

Who has disgraced you thus?"

 

Then Surpanaka replied,

"Two sons of Dasaratha

Live in the Dandaka forest

Their names are

Rama and Lakshmana.

 

I wish to drink

The warm blood

Of Sita, wife of Rama,

And of the two brothers."

 

Khara and Dushana Killed

Then Khara marched

With fourteen thousand Rakshasas

To fight against Rama.

Dushana was the captain

Of his army.

 

The Rakshasas showered

Their missiles on Rama.

Then Rama bent his bow

And discharged his arrows.

He killed Khara,

Dushana and Trisiras,

With fourteen thousand Rakshasas

In a short time.

 

Surpanaka ran to Lanka,

Entered the hall of Ravana,

And fell crying at his feet.

Ravana said to her,

"Rise up, rise up, my child.

Tell me, please,

Who disfigured you?

I shall burn up him in a moment."

 

Surpanakha replied,

"You are addicted to drinks,

You are a slave of women,

You have no spies,

How can you be a King, then?

Khara, Dushana, Trisiras

And fourteen thousand Rakshasas

Have been killed by Rama.

 

Rama is the enemy of Asuras.

He has rendered

The whole of Janasthan

Devoid of fear

For the Munis.

You are a fool,

You do not know anything."

 

Ravana said,

"Tell me, who is Rama?

Why and how has he killed

The powerful Asuras?

I shall kill him."

 

Surpanakha said,

"I went to the banks

Of Gautami.

 

I saw in Panchavati

Rama of great powers,

With bow and arrows in hand.

He wears matted locks

And barks of trees.

 

"His younger brother

Is like him.

He is Lakshmana

By name.

His wife, Sita,

Is extremely beautiful.

No goddess,

No Gandharvi,

No Kinnari,

Is like her;

No Yakshi,

Is like her."

 

"I tried to bring her

To make her your wife.

But Lakshmana

Cut off my nose and ears

At the command of Rama,

 

"Then I went to Khara

He went to fight against Rama

With Dushana

And hosts of Rakshasas.

 

All were killed

In a moment.

If Sita becomes

Your wife,

Your life will be blessed

Try to make her

Your wife.

 

"But Rama is very powerful

You cannot stand

Before him.

You must obtain her

By beguiling Rama."

 

 

 

Maricha

Then Ravana went

To the abode of Maricha,

The son of Tataka.

His uncle.

 

He said to Maricha,

"Rama has killed

Khara, Dushana

And hosts of Rakshasas

At Janasthan,

Even though they did him

No wrong.

 

His brother, Lakshmana

Has cut off

The nose and ears

Of Surpanaka.

 

"I shall now carry away

His beautiful wife.

Who is dearer to him

Than his own life.

Help me in this matter.

 

"Become an illusive deer,

Take away Rama

And Lakshmana

From the Ashrama.

I shall then carry away Sita.

 

Maricha said,

“O Lord of the Rakshasas!

Who has advised you

To run away with Sita?

Rama is a lion,

You cannot fight against him.

It is his duty

To kill Rakshasas.

 

“Those who will speak

Sweet words

Are indeed plenty.

But rare is the man

Who speaks unpleasant,

But wholesome truths.

Rare also is the man,

Who listens to it.

Sita has been born

For your destruction.

 

Rama is highly virtuous,

He is devoted to truth.

Sita is protected

By her chastity

And her devotion

I know the powers

Of Sri Rama.

 

When he was a boy,

He hurled me

To the distance of

A hundred Yojanas,

Into the ocean,

By one shot of arrow.

Rama is no human being,

He is Lord Narayana Himself.

Do thou return home.

 

Ravana said to Maricha,

“O low born wretch,

You have advised me

What is highly improper.

I did not ask your advice.

You ought to have replied

Humbly, with joined hands;

I never asked

For your opinion,

About the merits and demerits

Of my action,

I only asked your held.

 

“Assume the form

Of a golden deer

And stray about before Sita.

She will request Rama

To capture you.

Then Rama will follow you,

Take him to a great distance,

And then cry with Rama voice,

‘Ah Sita, Ah Lakshmana.’

Hearing that,

Lakshmana will proceed,

At the request of Sita,

Towards the direction of Rama,

Then I shall carry away Sita.

“I offer you

Half of my kingdom.

Do this,

If you refuse to do this

I shall kill you even now.”

 

Maricha said to Ravana,

“Ravana! I am your well-wisher,

Stop doing this work.

If I meet death

At the hands of Rama,

I am indeed fortunate.

I will surely die

As soon as I meet him;

You will also die

By carrying away Sita;

Lanka will be reduced

To ashes.”

 

Maricha reflected thus:

“If Rama kills me,

I shall obtain salvation.

If this wretch kills me,

I shall surely go to hell.

Let me die at the hand

Of Sri Rama”

Having thus resolved,

Maricha said to Ravana,

“I shall, O Lord, do thy bidding.”

They mounted the car

And went to Rama’s Asram.

 

The IIusive Deer

Then Maricha assumed

The form of enchanting deer

It had the colour of pure gold,

I had silver spots,

Its horns were shining

Like the finest jewels.

 

It wandered about

Near the door

Of Rama’s hermitage.

 

Sita said to Rama,

“Let this beautiful deer

Be my plaything.”

 

Lakshmana said,

“O Raghava,

I think Maricha has assumed

The form of a deer.

To exist on earth.”

 

Sita said to Rama,

How beautiful is the deer!

This deer will be an ornament

Of our palace,

When we shall go back

To Ayodhya;

It will be an object of wonder

To Bharata and mother-in-Law.

 

Rama said to Lakshmana,

Vatapi was digested by Agastya;

If this deer is Maricha,

He will be killed like Vatapi.

O Lakshmana!

Protect Sita,

With the help of Jatayu.

It is a real deer,

I shall return with it.”

 

Rama went out

With bow and arrow.

The deer tempted Rama,

It drew him away,

To a great distance.

Rama sent an arrow,

It struck the heart of Maricha,

He was about to die.

He assumed his old form of a Rakshasa

And cried in the voice of Rama,

"I am dying, Ah Sita, Ah Lakshmana!"

He gave up his life-breath.

 

Sita became anxious

When she heard the cry,

"Ah Sita, Ah Lakshmana."

She said to Lakshmana,

"Lakshmana! Go and find out

What has happened to my Lord.

He is crying in distress,

Go and protect him.

He is in the grip

Of the Rakshasas."

 

Lakshmana thought

Of Rama's instructions.

He was reluctant to go.

Sri Sita said angrily,

"You do not wish to help Rama,

Even when his life is in danger.

You are his enemy,

In the guise of a friend.

You wish for his death,

To secure me.

You have not a bit of love

For your brother."

 

Lakshmana replied,

"0 noble Sita

No one in the world

Can defeat Sri Rama,

He is invincible.

It is not proper,

To leave you alone in the forest.

I must obey the commands

Of my revered brother.

Abandon your anxiety

He will soon return.

Rama has left you

Under my care."

 

Sita harshly replied,

"0 cruel wretch!

You are a hypocrite;

O wicked villain!

You are following Rama,

At the instigation of Bharata,

To secure me.

 

I shall give up my life

In your presence,

Your evil desire

Will never be fulfilled!"

Lakshmana replied,

“O adorable lady!

It is the nature of women,

To use unjust and improper words.

They are fickle, irreligious

And crooked too.

They cause dissensions

In the family.

Shame upon you!

That you suspect me

Of such a base thing!

I am going to Rama now.

 

Then Lakshmana went

To see Rama.

Ravana assumed the guise

Of a mendicant ascetic,

And approached Sita.

"Who are you?

Where do you come from?

Why are you here?"

 

Sita took Ravana

For a Brahmin guest,

She gave him seat and water

And honoured him.

 

She said to Ravana,

"I am the daughter of Janaka,

My name is Sita,

My husband is Rama.

He has come here

To carry out the commands

Of his father.

Now, Vipra!

Tell me your name and clan,

Why have you come here?"

 

The mendicant said,

"I am Ravana,

The Lord of the Rakshasas,

I am the king of Lanka.

Become my wife,

Leave this forest."

 

Sita said to Ravana,

"My husband is a lion,

You are a Jackal.

He is the shelter for all

Like a banyan tree,

He is the foremost of men."

 

 

 

Abduction of Sita

Ravana got upon the chariot

With Sita,

And moved in the sky.

Sita cried out in distress,

"O Rama! O Rama!

Teach this villain a lesson,

You always chastise the wicked."

Sita saw Jatayu on a tree.

She said to him,

"O Jatayu,

This cruel Ravana

Is carrying me away!

Tell Rama about this."

 

Jatayu said to Ravana,

"Do not behave like this.

Rama is the Lord of all,

Sita is the wife of Rama,

Leave Sita at once.

You are young,

I am sixteen thousand years old,

I shall fight with you now."

 

Jatayu began to tear

The flesh of Ravana,

With his beak and claws.

 

Ravana sent arrows

Against Jatayu.

He took his sword

And cut Jatayu's wings.

Jatayu fell on the ground.

 

Ravana moved in the sky swiftly;

Sita saw five monkeys

Sitting on a hill.

She took half of her

Upper garment and jewels,

Tied them in a bundle

And threw it on the hill.

She thought,

That the monkeys

Would tell Rama of it.

 

Ravana entered

The great city of Lanka

And placed Sita

Inside his palace

In Asokavanam.

Rakshasa women

Surrounded her.

 

Rama returned hastily

To his Cottage,

And on the way

Met Lakshmana.

He reprimanded Lakshmana

For leaving Sita alone.

 

Rama reached the cottage,

He did not find Sita,

He searched for her,

But he could not find her,

Rama lamented bitterly,

Lakshmana consoled Rama.

 

Then Rama met Jatayu.

Jatayu said to Rama,

"Ravana came with Sita.

I fought with him

To rescue Sita.

He cut off my wings

And went off.

In the southern direction.

You will soon recover her."

Jatayu said this

And expired.

 

Rama said to Lakshmana,

"Jatayu died only for me.

He is adorable to me

Like king Dasaratha."

 

Rama himself,

Placed Jatayu

On the funeral pyre

And set fire to the pyre.

Jatayu attained

The abode of Vishnu.

Then Rama proceeded

Towards the south west direction.

 

Kabandha

Then they entered a dense forest

And heard a terrible sound.

They found a Rakshasa,

With no head or neck,

His mouth was on his belly.

He stretched his hands

And got hold of the two brothers,

He tried to devour them.

 

Rama cut off his right arm,

Lakshamana his left.

Lakshmana said to Kabandha,

"Who are you, 0 Rakshasa?"

 

Kabandha said,

"I am Dhanu,

The son of Danava.

A hermit, named Stulasiras,

Was gathering fruits and roots.

I snatched them from him,

Assuming a Rakshasa form.

"He cursed me;

He said that I would be

Cruel as a Rakshasa,

And would get back

My original form,

When Rama would cut off my arms.

"I did great penance,

Brahma gave me long life.

I became proud

And challenged Indra in a fight.

Indra pressed inside

My body, head and thighs,

With his thunderbolt.

I asked him,

'How am I to live?'

He set two long arms

And a mouth to my belly.

He said to me,

`You will attain heaven

When Rama cuts off your arms.

 

Rama said to Kabandha,

"Tell me, who has carried away

My beloved Sita."

 

Kabandha said.

"Cremate my body first.

I shall then tell you

The name of a person

Who will help you."

 

Lakshmana then prepared

A funeral pyre

And set fire to it.

Then Kabandha rose from the flames,

With beautiful ornaments,

Ascended to the sky

And said, 0 Lord Rama!

There is a mighty monkey,

Named Sugriva.

He was begotten

By the Sun,

On the wife of Riksharaj.

He is now on Rishyamukha hill,

On the bank of the Pampa.

He will be a great help to you,

In your quest of Sita.

 

Make friendship with him

In the presence of the sacred fire.

He is a Vanara,

He can assume different forms,

At his will."

 

"In front of Thee,

Is the Ashram of Sabari.

She is a pious woman,

She is devoted to Thee,

She is waiting thy coming.

Do thou go to her,

She will tell thee

All about Sita,

And how to take her back."

 

Sabari

Rama followed the route,

Pointed by Kabandha,

For meeting Sugriva.

He arrived at the bank of the Pampa.

He saw the hermitage

Of pious Sabari.

She bowed down to Rama

And paid him due honour

And gave fruits and roots.

 

Rama said to her,

"Have you controlled your anger?

Have you conquered all obstacles

That stand in the way.

Of your Sadhana?

 

Have you controlled the tongue?

Do you enjoy supreme peace?"

 

Sabari replied,

"I am very happy today.

Blessed is my birth.

Seeing you today,

My penance has become fruitful,

I will attain the supreme abode,

Permit me to cast off my body.

"I shall tell Thee where Sita is,

Ravana has carried her away,

She is now in Lanka.

Make friendship with Sugriva,

He will do everything for Thee;

He lives on yonder

Rishyamukha hill."

 

Sri Rama gave her permission,

She cast her body in the fire.

She arose from the flames,

With a luminous body

With celestial ornaments.

She attained the blissful region

Of great saints.

 

Then Rama went

Towards Pampa.

He said to Lakshmana

"There stands the Rishyamukha hill,

There resides Sugriva,

The son of Riksharaja.

Let us go to him

O Lakshmana!

How shall I live without Sita?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KISHKINDHA KANDAM

Pampa Lake

Rama with Lakshmana

Went to Pampa,

He began to lament,

He said, "O Lakshmana!

I am greatly afflicted

With intense sorrow

For the loss of Sita;

I am ever thinking of Janaki.

 

"What shall I say

When Janaka enquires

After Sita's welfare?

What shall I say

When mother enquires

About her daughter-in-law?

I shall not be able to live

In the absence of beloved Sita!"

 

Lakshmana consoled Rama

And cheered him up.

"O adorable Lord,

Restrain your grief;

Forget Thy attachment

For Thy dear Janaki.

I shall surely kill Ravana,

If he does not return Sita to you.

Bear up patiently,

Shake off despair,

Be hopeful,

Abandon your sorrow.

Let us be energetic,

We shall recover Sita.

 

Hanuman

Sugriva saw

Those two mighty heroes,

He was greatly alarmed.

He said to his counsellors,

"Vali has sent

Those two young men.

They have put on barks

To create confidence."

 

Hanuman said,

"O Sugriva, O great hero,

Don't be afraid.

This is Rishyamukha hill,

There is nothing to fear

From Vali."

 

Sugriva said, "0 Hanuman

Know their motives first;

Find out who they are,

Why they have come

To this forest."

 

Hanuman went to meet

Rama and Lakshmana.

He assumed the form

Of a mendicant

And approached them,

And said,

"O Heroes, please tell me

Who you are.

Why have you come here?

You look like kings.

Why are you roaming in the forest?

"I am the son of Pavana,

I am a Vanara,

My name is Hanuman;

I have been sent

By Sugriva,

The chief of Vanaras.

He is virtuous,

He is a great hero;

He lives

In the Rishyamukha hill.

He wishes to make you

His friends,

I am his counsellor.

 

Rama said,

"O Lakshmana!

I am looking for Sugriva,

The monkey chief,

His counsellor has come to us.

He is versed in all the Vedas,

He must be a good grammarian,

His speech is wonderful;

Speak to him

In a friendly manner."

Lakshmana said,

"O Hanuman,

We are aware

Of the virtuous qualities

Of Sugriva

We are looking

For him alone

We shall act

According to his  directions."

 

Hanuman said,

O Rama, O hero, "

Why have you come

To the forest?

Then Lakshmana said,

"O Hanuman,

We are the sons

Of King Dasaratha.

Rama was banished

From his kingdom,

By King Dasaratha,

To please his wife Kaikeyi.

 

"I am Lakshmana,

His younger brother.

Sita, wife of Rama,

Also followed him.

Sita was carried away

By a Rakshasa.

Diti's son, named Danu,

Who was turned into a Rakshasa,

By a curse,

Told us,

Sugriva must know

The abductor of Sita.

Now we need the help

Of Sugriva.

 

Hanuman replied,

"O Lakshmana,

Sugriva will receive you

With warm affection.

He has great enmity

With Vali,

His elder brother.

Vali has taken away,

Sugriva's wife.

He has turned him out

Of his kingdom.

He will surely assist you

In your search for Sita,

With his Vanara followers.

Come, let us now go to Sugriva."

 

Lakshmana said to Rama,

"Arya!

Sugriva also expects our help.

Hanuman is quite frank,

He is truthful too."

 

Hanuman assumed the form

Of a Vanara

And took

Rama and Lakshmana

On his back,

To Sugriva.

 

Friendship

Hanuman said to Sugriva,

"This is heroic Rama,

This is his brother, Lakshmana,

King Dasaratha is their father.

Rama has come to the forest

To fulfil his father's pledge.

He now seeks your help,

He is anxious .

To make friendship with you."

 

Sugriva said to Rama,

"I have heard

About your qualities,

From Hanuman.

I am a Vanara,

I stretch my hand.

Please grasp it with a vow,

Let us make friendship."

 

Rama accepted Sugriva's hand

In token of friendship,

And embraced him warmly.

Hanuman produced a fire.

Rama and Sugriva

Went round the fire.

 

Sugriva said to Rama,

"Vali is my elder brother.

He has taken away my wife.

He has deprived me

Of my kingdom.

I am roaming in this forest.

Please help me, O Rama,

To get rid of my fear."

 

Sri Rama said to Sugriva,

"I shall surely kill Vali."

Friendship was contracted

Between Rama and Sugriva;

 

At that time,

The left eye of Sita,

The brownish eye of Vali.

The left eye of Rakshasas,

Began to throb.

 

Sugriva said to Rama,

“I shall bring back Sita,

Abandon your sorrow;

She saw five of us on the hill

And threw down her ornaments.

They are in the cave.”

 

Sugriva showed them to Rama,

Rama showed them to Lakshmana.

Lakshmana said to Rama,

“I do not know

Her bracelets or ear-rings.

I know her anklets only,

Because I bowed to her feet

Every day.”

 

Rama asked Sugriva

“What is the cause of

Your enmity with Vali?

Please tell me

Everything in detail.”

 

Tale of Sugriva

Then Sugriva said to Rama,

“O Heroic Rama,

Vali is my elder brother,

He ruled the kingdom;

I obeyed him like a slave.

 

“Mayavi, an Asura,

Was the son of Dundubhi.

Vali become his enemy

On account of a woman.

That Asura challenged

Vali to fight one night.

Vali rushed forth

To kill him.

I followed Vali.

 

“Mayavi began to run,

We chased him.

The Asura entered

A big cave.

We stood at the mouth

Of the cave.

 

Vali said to me,

“Sugriva,

Stand cautiously

At the mouth of the cave.

I shall enter inside

And kill the Asura.”

 

“He entered the cave.

One year passed.

I thought

Vali had been killed.

“I saw warm blood

Coming out of the hold.

I heard the noise

Of the Asuras,

Who were fighting,

But I did not hear

The voice of Vali.”

 

“From all these

I concluded

That Vali was dead.

“I closed the mouth

Of the hole.

I did Tarpan rites

And came back

To Kishkindha.

I kept secret all these,

Somehow, the counselors

Came to know of them,

They made me king.”

 

“Vali returned

After killing the Asura.

He was very much enraged

When he saw me on the throne.

He abused me.

I narrated to him everything.

I apologised.

I placed the crown at his feet.

I requested him

To sit on the throne.

 

“I told him

That I would be his servant.

But he abused me

And turned me out

With a single piece of cloth.

He took my wife also.

 

“O Lord Rama,

I am innocent.

Help me now,

Show me thy grace.”

 

Rama said to Sugriva,

“I shall rescue you;

You will soon get back

Your kingdom and wife."

 

Power of Vali

Sugriva said to Rama,

"I shall describe to you

The power of Vali.

He can travel

From the Eastern ocean

To the Western ocean.

He tosses mountain peaks

And receives them like balls.

He breaks down big trees."

 

"He killed

The mighty Dundubhi,

An Asura, in the form

Of a buffalo,

Who possessed the strength

Of a thousand elephants.

He hurled his dead body

About a league off.

Drops of blood

Fell on the hermitage

Of Rishi Matanga.

 

"Rishi Matanga

Pronounced a curse,

"That Vanara

Who has done this act

Will die at once

If he comes here.

 

"Vali could not come

To the Rishyamukha hill

So I am living here.

Now tell me,

How will you be able

To kill Vali?"

 

Then Lakshmana said,

"0 Sugriva,

What will make you believe

In the defeat of Vali?"

 

Sugriva said,

"0 Lakshmana,

Vali pierced

These seven palms.

If Rama can pierce

One of them with an arrow,

And throw off the skeleton

Of this buffalo,

Two hundred bows off,

I shall consider

Vali as dead."

 

Rama said to Sugriva,

"I shall give you

Convincing proofs

Of my valour."

 

He pushed the skeleton

With the toe

To ten Yojanas.

Sugriva said,

"O Rama pierce

A palm tree with your arrovv.

Then I shall be able

To judge the power and strength

Of the two."

Then Rama sent an arrow.

It pierced the seven palms,

A rock and the earth,

And came back to the quiver

In a minute.

 

Sugriva was stunned

At Rama's heroic feat.

He fell down

At the feet of Sri Rama,

I am quite satisfied now."

 

Rama said,

O Sugriva,

Let us go to Kishkindha.

You go ahead

And challenge Vali."

 

Sugriva's Challenge

They all arrived

At Kishkindha.

Sugriva summoned Vali

To fight.

There was a terrible fight

Rama could not send

His arrow,

As the brothers

Were both alike,

Sugriva was defeated,

He ran away in fear.

 

Sugriva said to Rama,

"You asked me

To challenge Vali.

You did not help me.

I cannot understand you,

Your conduct."

 

Rama said to Sugriva,

"My friend,

Do not be.angry.

You and Vali

Were like the

Twin Asvini brothers.

So I could not shoot

My arrow.

 

"Go now and fight

With your brother,

I shall kill Vali now.

Put on some mark,

So that i can recognise you"

 

Lakshmana tied some

Blossoming creeper

Around Sugriva's neck.

 

Sugriva challenged Vali

To a fight again.

 

Tara, wife of Vali,

Told her husband,

"Do not go to fight

With Sugriva.

Mighty Rama will help

Your brother in battle.

Declare now

That Sugriva is heir apparent.

Make him your friend.

Vali did not listen

To the words of Tara.

 

Vali Was Grounded

Vali attacked Sugriva

Both were wounded.

Sugriva became exhausted,

He indicated to Rama

By gestures and signs,

His loss of strength.

Then Rama discharged an arrow

On the chest of Vali,

Vali fell on the ground.

 

Vali Accuses Rama

Vali said to Rama,

"Why did you strike me down?

You are a wicked villain,

You have committed a sin

By killing me.

"I had no concern with you,

I have not done any wrong

To your city or province,

How will you explain

Your conduct?

You have struck me

By concealing yourself,

Just as a serpent bites

A person when asleep

You have committed sin

By this act.

"if you had told me

To recover Sita,

I could have done that

In the course of a day.

I could have brought to you

Wicked Ravana,

By binding him with a chain.

You have killed me unjustly.

What have you gained

By my death?

I am not at all sorry

For my death."

 

Rama's Reply

Rama said to Vali,

"Vali, you are childish,

You are ignorant of duty,

You are irreligious, Passionate,

And characterless.

Elder brother and preceptor

Should be treated

As one's father.

Younger brother and pupil

Should be regarded

As one's son.

 

"You do not know

Right and wrong.

You have molested

Your younger brother's wife,

And violated

Eternal principles

Of righteousness.

Ruma, wife of Sugriva,

Is your daughter-in-law,

According to the Sastras,

So I have punished you.

I am a Kshatriya.

How can I overlook

Your crimes?

Death is the only

Punishment

For one who violates

Immemorable customs.

 

"Sugriva is my friend,

I have promised

To help him.

I cannot break

My promise.

The king who sets free

An offender

Commits a great sin.

 

"People capture deer

Either openly

Or by lying in ambush.

You are a monkey.

I am not sorry

For striking you.

From a place of concealment,

I have struck you,

As you are an animal.

The king should do good

To his tenants.

You are unjustly accusing me

Through your anger."

Vali now became wise,

He got spiritual vision.

He thought

That Rama was innocent.

He then said to Rama,

"0 Rama, you are just,

Your words are true;

Please pardon me

For uttering harsh words,

Please save me now.

 

"I am distressed

About Angada.

He is my only son,

He is a mere boy,

I love him dearly.

Please protect him now.

Let not Sugriva

Insult Tara."

 

Rama said to Vali,

"0 Vali,

Now you are freed

From your guilt,

As you are punished.

You have got

Your religious nature,

Abandon all sorrows.

I will take great care

Of Angada,

Sugriva will not slight him."

 

Vali said to Rarna

"I am going to give up

My vital breaths.

Please pardon me

My mistakes."

 

Last Words of Vali

Vali said to Sugriva,

"O beloved brother.

Do not be offended at me,

I am a great sinner.

Please take care of my son Angada,

He is dearer to me than life,

He is heroic like you,

He will help you,

In killing the Rakshasas.

Tara is wise;

Take her advice in difficulties.

Work fearlessly for Rama,

Put on this celestial

Gold necklace;

It will make you victorious."

 

Sugriva took the necklace,

He nursed Vali.

Vali said to Angada

 "My beloved son!

Serve Sugriva whole-heartedly,

Bear pleasure and pain,

Be indifferent to good and evil.

Do your duties properly.

Be loyal to your Master,

Keep yourself aloof

From the enemies of Sugriva.

Saying thus,

Vali gave up

His last breath.

 

Tara

Tara heard

That Vali had been killed

By Lord Rama.

She came out with Angada,

She came near Vali,

And fainted in sorrow,

As soon as she saw him.

She burst into tears.

 

Then Hanuman consoled Tara,

"O Queen! Do not mourn.

Life is uncertain

On this earth,

Let the funeral rites be done,

Install Angada on the throne."

 

Tara said to Hanuman,

"I do not care for my son

The kingdom belongs to Sugriva,

Let me take shelter

Under the feet of Vali;

Let me lie down by his side."

 

Tara's Lamentation

Tara was sunk

In an ocean of grief.

She said,

"I was the wife of a hero,

I have become a widow now.

My dignity and happiness are gone!

The woman who has lost her husband

May possess sons and riches,

But still she is called a poor widow

By the people!"

 

Sugriva's Repentance

Sugriva felt very much

For the death of his brother.

He said to Sri Rama,

"Queen Tara is crying bitterly,

What shall I do

With the kingdom?

I shall go back

To Rishyamukha hill.

My brother said to me,

"Go away, I will not kill you."

He always showed me

Brotherly love.

I have done

A very unrighteous act.

Angada will not survive.

Tara may die of grief

For her son.

Therefore, I wish to enter the flames

These Vanaras will search for Sita

Please agree to my proposal"

 

Tara said to Sri Rama,

"O valiant hero!

Kill me with the arrow

With which you have slain Vali.

I shall then be near him,

Vali cannot bear my separation."

 

Then Rama said to Tara,

"Give up this bad intention,

Your Angada will become heir-apparent,

You will be happy."

Tara was consoled by Sri Rama.

She controlled her grief.

 

Rama consoled Sugriva.

He said to Sugriva.

"Do not grieve,

Let the funeral rites

Be performed at once"

Then Angada did the rites.

They all performed Tarpan.

 

Coronation of Sugriva

Hanuman said to Sri Rama,

"Let Sugriva be crowned now.

Permit him to carry on

The royal duties.

Please enter the beautiful cave

And give the kingdom into his hands."

 

Rama said to Hanuman,

"I will not enter the city;

I must observe the command

Of my father,

You can install him on the throne!"

 

Rama said to Sugriva,

"Make Angada heir-apparent.

The rainy season has set in

Go to Kishkindha,

Rule over the kingdom.

Make arrangements

For the destruction of Ravana,

After the rainy season is over."

 

Then Sugriva went to Kishkindha.

Sugriva was installed on the throne;

Sugriva appointed Angada

As heir-apparent.

He got back his wife Ruma.

 

Rama with Lakshmana

Went to the Prasravana hill

And lived in a cave.

Rama was drowned in sorrow

When he thought of Sita.

Lakshmana consoled Rama,

"O Arya!

You will attain your object

With the help of Sugriva.

Abandon your sorrow,

Your enemies will be destroyed."

 

Sugriva lived happily

With his darling Ruma.

 

Advent of Autumn

Hanuman said to Sugriva,

"Sri Rama is waiting for you,

The rainy season is over,

Fulfil your promise to Rama.

Do not make any delay

Delay is dangerous.

Rama was your friend,

In your adversity.

Through him alone,

You got back your kingdom

And your wife."

Sugriva asked Nila

To mobilise the Vanara troops.

He said to Nila,

 

"Go now with Angada

To tell the Vanaras,

To reach here within fifteen days

Whoever fails

Will be put to death."

 

Rama was affected with grief

At the advent of autumn.

He thought of Sita often.

Lakshmana encouraged Rama,

"O Lord Rama!

Be cheerful and energetic,

Abandon sorrow,

Let us concentrate

On our work.

 

Rama said to Lakshmana,

"Sugriva is spending his time

In amorous sports;

He is indifferent,

He promised to help me,

In the search for Sita.

He has forgotten his promise!

 

"Go now to Kishkindha.

Tell Sugriva,

Who is under the intoxication

Of vulgar pleasures,

That he is a wretch

Who breaks his promise.

Tell him to keep his promise,

If he fails,

I shall destroy him."

 

Sri Lakshmana said to Sri Rama,

"Sugriva has changed his mind,

I shall kill that liar today.

Let Angada search for Sita."

 

Sri Rama said to Lakshmana,

"Control your anger.

Tell Sugriva gently,

"Friend! The time for searching Sita

Is about to be over."

 

Lakshmana reached Kishkindha

The chief of the Vanaras

Informed Sugriva

Of Lakshmana's arrival.

Sugriva did not pay

Any attention to his words,

As he was sporting with Ruma.

 

Lakshmana said to Angada,

"My boy! Quickly inform Sugriva

Of my arrival."

 

Angada went to see Sugriva.

Sugriva was sleeping

Under the influence of liquor!

The Vanaras made a roar;

Sugriva was aroused from sleep.

Hanuman said to Sugriva,

"O king! Look!

The autumn has come.

You must make preparations now.

You are guilty.

Sri Rama is pining

On account of his separation

From his beloved Sita.

Lakshmana has come in wrath

To tell you that you are indifferent.

Please Lakshmana

With folded hands;

Keep your promise to Rama."

 

Lakshmana entered the place

And resounded the place

With the twang of his bow.

Sugriva was frightened.

 

He said to Ruma,

"Try to pacify him;

I shall see him

After he is pacified."

 

Ruma said to Lakshmana,

"O valiant hero!

Why are you angry?

Who has disobeyed your behests?"

 

Lakshmana said to Ruma,

"Ruma! Your husband

Is a slave of lust,

We are affected with grief,

He has been indulging

In sensual pleasures!

He had promised to collect troops

After the expiry of the rainy season.

He has forgotten all about this,

Under the influence of wine."

Ruma said to Lakshmana,

"Kindly forgive him,

He is your brother.

Even saintly persons

Are swayed by passion

Through ignorance!

Sugriva is fickle Vanara.

He has already issued orders

For the collection of troops.

 

Lakshmana Pacified

Lakshmana said to Sugriva,

"That wicked man

Who is ungrateful,

Who fails to stick

To his promise,

Who fails to do

His friend's work,

After attaining his object,

Is fit to be killed.

 

"You are a liar,

You are ungrateful and mean,

You have gained your object,

You have obtained your kingdom,

And your wife Ruma;

You have neglected

The sacred work of Sri Rama!

 

"You are a villain;

If you fail to serve Rama,

You will share the fate of Vali.

Be sure of this!"

Ruma said to Lakshmana,

"0 Undaunted hero!

Sugriva is not a liar

He is not ungrateful.

 

Even Rishis are swayed

By lust!

Sugriva became a victim

To sensual pleasure.

He is fatigued,

So he was not able

To attend to his duties.

I apologise for him,

He can give up kingdom,

Wealth, his own life,

Ruma and myself

For the sake of Rama!

 

He will soon restore Sita,

After killing Ravana.

He has sent people

To collect troops."

 

Lakshmana was pacified

By the reasonable speech

Of Ruma.

Sugriva said to Lakshmana

" I am your obedient servant

Please Pardon me.

I am always grateful to Rama.

it is impossible for me

To return even one hundred part

Of his kind services!

He is omnipotent,

He is not in  need of my help,

My help will be only nominal.

 

Lakshmana  said to Sugriva.

"You are also like Rama

 In prowess.

 

Now come with me to Rama,

He is smitten with grief,

For Sita's separation.

Go and console him,

That is the reason why

I was harsh to you,"

Please excuse me.

 

Sugriva 's Directions

Sugriva said to Hanuman,

"Fetch all Vanaras soon,

Those who have

The strength of elephants,

Those of golden colour,

And others.

Those who will not come

Within ten days,

Will meet with death.

 

Hanuman sent

Powerful Vanaras

In different directions

Millions of Vanaras

Arrived at once.

 

Then Sugriva and Lakshmana

Went to see Sri Rama.

Rama said to Sugriva,

"Consult your minister

And make preparations

For the war."

 

Sugriva said to Sri Rama,

-My noble friend!

Vanaras have arrived

From all places.

They will help you in the war

And bring back Sita.

 

Nila, Gavaksh,

Darimukha, Dvivida,

Jambavan, Angada,

Durmukha, Hanuman

Came with millions of Vanaras

And offered their services

To Sugriva.

Then Sugriva introduced

The Chief to Sri Rama.

 

Rama said to Sugriva,

"Find out whether Sita

Is alive or not,

Find out the whereabouts

Of Ravana,

Then we shall do the needful."

 

Sugriva said to Vinata,

"O hero!

Take with you

A thousand Vanaras,

And set out for the East;

And gather information

About Sita and Ravana,

Search rivers, islands,

All the provinces and mountains."

 

Sugriva sent Nala,

Agniputra, Hanuman,

Jambavan, Gaja

Sushena, Angada,

To the South.

"Search through

The Dandaka forest,

Vidarbha, Matsya,

Kalinga, Avanti,

Pandya and other places."

Sugriva sent Sushena,

His father-in-law,

With a troop of Vanaras

To the West.

He said to the Vanaras,

"Return within a month,

Or you will meet with death."

He sent Satabali

With a band of Vanaras,

To the North.

 

Sugriva said to Hanuman,

"O valiant hero!

I rely more upon you

For the accomplishment

Of this difficult task

You are strong and wise.

 

Rama said to Hanuman,

"Take this ring,

Which is engraved

With my name.

Sita will be able to know

That I have sent you

By this token.

She will meet you

Without any suspicion or fear,

You will certainly achieve

My object.

You are a valiant hero.

I entirely depend upon you."

 

Then Hanuman took the ring,

He placed it on his head,

And bowed down to Rama.

 

Then the Vanaras marched

To their destinations.

They made a vigorous search.

But they were not able

To find out Sita.

 

Hanuman and Angada

Marched fearlessly.

The Vanaras became despondent

As they were not able to find Sita.

And said,

"Courage and skill,

Are the keynotes of success.

Don't despair.

March on boldly."

 

Angada 's Despair

Angada said to the elderly Vanaras,

"A month has already passed.

We have not found Sita!

You will surely meet with death

If you all go to Sugriva.

Let us fast ourselves to death,

It is better to die here."

Angada and the Vanaras.

Decided to starve themselves

To death!

 

Sampati

Sampati lived in the Vindhya hills.

He was the brother of Jatayu.

He came out of his cave,

He found out that the Vanaras

Had resolved to die!

 

He said,

"I shall eat the Vanaras,

I have got my food now"

 

Angada said to Hanuman,

"The greedy vulture

Has come in the form of Death

All beings, even birds,

Are helping Rama.

Jatayu helped Rama,

He was happy,

Because he died fighting.

We are all tired,

We could not find Sita,

We too shall give up

Our lives for him.

 

Sampati said,

"Who is it

That is speaking of

Jatayu's death?

I hear his name

After a long time,

"I am pleased to hear

About the virtues of my brother.

O Vanaras!

Tell me how Jatayu died.

 

My wings have been burnt

By the rays of the sun.

Please take me down

From the mountain."

 

Angada brought down Sampati

From the peak and said,

"I am Angada, Vali's son.

Rama with his brother Lakshmana

And wife Sita

Came to the Dandaka forest,

At the command of his father.

Ravana carried off his wife.

Jatayu, friend of Rama's father,

Fought with Ravana.

 

"Ravana cut off his wings

And killed him.

Rama cremated Jatayu.

Jatayu attained

The abode of Lord Hari.

 

"Rama became the friend

Of Sugriva, my uncle.

He killed Vali

And gave the kingdom to Sugriva.

We are searching for Sita.

We cannot find her.

"We entered the tunnel

Made by Maya.

The time has expired

Within that tunnel.

We are starving ourselves

To death,

Out of fear of Sugriva!"

 

Sampati said to Angada,

"Jatayu is my younger brother.

I have lost my wings,

I have become too old,

I have not heard anything

About Jatayu till now."

 

Angada said to Sampati,

"Please tell me

Where does Ravana live?

Whether near or far off."

Sampati said to Angada,

"I have once seen Ravana

Carrying a young woman.

She was weeping.

She cried '0 Rama! 0 Rama!'

She threw down her ornaments.

Now I infer to be Sita.

 

"Ravana lives

In the island of Lanka;

He is the brother of Kubera;

He is the son of Visvasrava;

The place is one hundred Yojanas

From here across the sea.

Sita is confined there,

She is guarded

By the Rakshasa women.

Cross the ocean at once,

You will find Lanka,

You will see Janaki.

I have got supernatural vision,

On account of the Sauparna.

I can see Ravana and Sita

From here.

I possess a long sight.

 

"Now take me to the seashore;

I shall perform Tarpan

For Jatayu."

 

The Vanaras were highly pleased

At this happy news.

They took Sampati to the beach

And then brought him back

To the Vindhya hill.

 

Then Jambavan said to Sampati,

"O king of the birds!

Tell us everything about Sita

And save the Vanaras.

 

Sampati said,

"O Vanaras,

I shall tell you now

How I came to know

About the abduction of Sita

I have a son named Suparsva;

He feeds me in due time.

"Once he went out

In the morning

To get food for me,

But he came back

In the evening

Without anything.

I was very hungry,

And became angry.

 

"Then he said to pacify me

O beloved father!

I soared in the sky

And waited for food.

I saw a dark man carrying

A beautiful woman.

I wanted to capture both

For our meal!

 

"But that man entreated me,

'Do not obstruct

Allow me to pass.'

I allowed him to go

As he sought my protection.

I learnt from the Siddhas

That the man was Ravana,

And the woman was Sita,

Wife of Sri Rama,

She was weeping in distress.

That is the reason why

I am late today.

 

"O Vanaras!

Now get yourselves ready

For doing the work of Sri Rama.

Do not delay

Even a second."

 

Nlsakara's Foretelling

Sampati said to the Vanaras,

"Hear me, O Vanaras,

Formerly, my wings

Were scorched by the sun.

I fell down unconscious,

I regained my consciousness

After six days.

 

"I fell on the Vindhya hill.

Sage Nisakara lived here.

I have been living here

For eight thousand years,

Even after his death.

 

"I wished to see the sage.

I reached his hermitage

With great difficulty.

He said to me,

 "O bird, I cannot recognise you,

As your wings have been burnt.

You seem to be Sampati,

You came in human form

To see me.

Now tell me

How your wings have been scorched?

 

"Then I replied to the sage,

'O venerable sage!

Formerly myself and Jatayu.

Soared up in pride,

To conquer Indra.

Jatayu was fatigued.

I protected him with my wings;

But my wings were burnt.

I fell down on the hill;

I have lost my kingdom,

And my brother too;

I have come here

To give up my life,

By throwing myself from the hill.

 

"The sage said to me, 

"Both the wings will again grow.

You will regain.

Your power of vision

And bodily strength!

Rama will come

To the Dandaka forest.

Ravana will take away Sita.

The Vanara troops

Will come to search for Sita.

Give them the information

About Sita,"

 

"O Vanaras!

I am waiting for you

For the last eight thousand years."

 

Sampati developed new wings;

He became highly delighted,

He said to the Vanaras,

"I have got back my wings,

I am getting very strong now.

Search vigorously,

Do not lose heart,

You will surely find Sita."

 

Saying thus,

Sampati soared into the sky.

The Vanaras quickly went

Towards the South

To search for Sita.

 

Angada Tests the Strength

Angada said to the Vanaras,

"Tell me, who amongst you

Will cross this ocean,

Which extends

To one hundred Yojanas?

 

Gala said,

"I can leap ten Yojanas."

Gavaksha said,

"I can leap twenty Yojanas."

Sarabha said,

"I can advance thirty Yojanas."

Rishabha said,

"I can leap forty Yojanas."

Dvivida said,

I can cover seventy Yojanas."

Sushena said,

“I can leap eighty Yojanas."

Jambavan said,

I have grown old,

I can cover ninety Yojanas."

Angada said,

 'O Jambavan!

 I can cover this hundred Yojanas,

But I doubt very much,

Whether I shall be able

To return or not."

Then Jambavan said to Angada,

"O Prince!

You are the master?

You should not take up this work.

Jambavan said to Hanuman,

"O chief of the Kapis!

Why are you silent?

You are a valiant hero,

You are the foremost

Among the Vanaras;

Why are you indifferent now?

 

"You soared in the sky

As soon as you were born

To eat the rising sun;

You took the sun

For an edible thing;

At that time,

You sprang up

Three hundred Yojanas!

Rise up and cross ocean,

Save us all,

We are sunk in despair!

 

Thereupon, Hanuman

Assumed a gigantic form

And said,

"I shall find Sita,

I can travel even

Thousands of Yojanas,

I can uproot the rocks.

 

Then Jambavan said,

"O valiant Hanuman!

You have removed

All our sorrows

May you cross the ocean?

With the blessings of the sages

And our prayers!

 

We will wait here,

Our lives depend upon your return."

Then Hanuman climbed

The Mahendra hill.

He began to think of Lanka.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUNDARA KANDAM

Hanuman's Leap

Hanuman resolved

To travel through the sky,

In quest of Sita.

He said to the Vanaras,

"I shall reach Lanka

With the speed of wind.

I shall uproot Lanka

And bring Ravana."

 

The Mainaka hill

Rose from beneath

And said,

"0 chief of the Kapis!

You have undertaken

A difficult work.

Please take a little rest

On my peak."

 

Hanuman said,

"O Mainaka,

I am going on an urgent task,

I cannot take any rest now."

 

Then the Suras and Siddhas

Said to Surasa,

The mother of the Nagas,

"O Goddess!

Assume the form of a Rakshasi,

And put some obstacles,

In the path of Hanuman.

We wish to test his prowess;

We want to find out,

Whether he will be able

To do the work of Sri Rama."

 

Surasa assumed the form

Of a Rakshasi,

Obstructed Hanuman

And said,

"I shall devour you today;

Enter the cavity of my mouth."

 

Hanuman said,

"O Rakshasi!

I am in a great hurry now,

I swear to come back to you,

After giving information of Sita

To Sri Rama."

 

The Rakshasi said to Hanuman,

"I cannot wait any longer,

If you have strength,

You may come out of my mouth."

Hanuman said,

"Open your mouth."

 

Hanuman expanded his body

To ten Yojanas;

The Rakshasi opened her mouth

To twenty Yojanas;

Hanuman extended his body

To thirty Yojanas;

Then Surasa gaped her mouth

To forty Yojanas;

Then Hanuman to fifty Yojanas,

Surasa to sixty;

Then Hanuman to seventy,

Surasa, to eighty,

Then Hanuman to ninety,

Surasa to hundred.

Then Hanuman contracted his body,

Entered Surasa's mouth,

And came out of it.

He said,

"O Rakshasi!

I have come out of your mouth,

Now I go to find out Sita."

 

Then the Rakshasi Simhika,

Followed the shadow of Hanuman.

She wanted to eat Hanuman.

Hanuman entered her mouth

And tore her into pieces,

Then he came out of her mouth.

 

He crossed the ocean,

He got down on the peak

Of a mountain.

He saw the city of Lanka.

 

City of Lanka

Various trees grew

On the Trikuta,

Or the Lanka hill.

Hanuman, at last, arrived

At Lanka.

It was the most beautiful city,

It stood on the summit of the hill,

It was well protected,

It had golden gates and walls.

 

Hanuman reflected now,

"How can I meet Sita?

How can I enter Lanka,

I shall enter the city at night,

In invisible form"

 

He diminished his body

To the size of a cat.

He entered the city at night.

The Rakshasas were guarding it.

 

The guardian deity

Of Lanka

Saw Hanuman at the gate

And said,

"Who art thou?

Why have you come here?

Tell the truth

Or I shall kill you now."

 

Hanuman replied,

"I shall tell you who I am,

But tell first,

Who art thou.

She replied,

"I am the guardian deity

Of Lanka,

I am the Rakshasa chief,

I am the servant of Ravana."

 

She slapped Hanuman.

Hanuman struck her

 

With his left fist;

She fell on the ground.

 

She said to Hanuman,

"O mighty hero!

You have defeated me.

Now I shall tell you

An old story.

Once God Svayambhu said to me,

"O Rakshasi!

A Vanara will defeat you,

Then know that evil days

Have come for the Rakshasas.

The time has come now

With your arrival.

You may enter the city now

And search for Sita."

 

Ravana's Palace

Hanuman entered

The palace of Ravana.

He moved

From room to room,

Garden to garden.

He searched for Sita.

He entered Ravana's

Bed chamber.

He saw every corner

Of the harem.

He could not find Sita.

 

He reflected within himself,

"In vain, I have crossed the ocean.

All my labours have been in vain.

The time for search is over.

What will Jambavan

And Angada say?

What shall I say to Rama?

It is better to fast to death!

I shall try again."

 

Hanuman came out

Of Ravana's palace,

He reflected,

"I shall search Lanka

Again and again,

Till I find out Sita,

I see the Asoka woods;

I shall now go