Ramayana of Valmiki

by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597

This page is entitled “maricha and suvahu obstruct the sacrifice and are slain by rama” and represents Chapter 30 of the Bala-kanda of the Ramayana (English translation by Hari Prasad Shastri). The Ramayana narrates the legend of Rama and Sita and her abduction by Ravana, the king of Lanka. It contains 24,000 verses divided into seven sections [viz., Bala-kanda].

Chapter 30 - Maricha and Suvahu obstruct the sacrifice and are slain by Rama

The two princes, knowing what was appropriate in respect to time and place and skilled in the art of conquering their foes, uttered words fitting to the place and occasion.

They said: “O Blessed One, we desire to hear at what moment in the course of the sacrifice, the two demons appear? It is essential for us to be acquainted with the matter, to forestall their attack.”

The dwellers in the Siddha-ashrama, hearing the words of the princes, and finding them eager to fight the demons, praised them saying: “O Princes, from now on, keep watch over the sacrifice for six days; the Sage Vishvamitra having begun the rite will observe a strict silence during that time.”

On this, the two illustrious princes kept watch in the Tapovana forest continuously for six days without sleeping. Armed with bow and arrows they guarded the rishi and his sacrifice with firm resolve. Five days passed without interruption and on the sixth day Shri Ramacandra said to Lakshmana: “Brother, be prepared to-day.”

As Shri Rama uttered these words concerning the approaching conflict with the demons, the altar fire blazed up suddenly. The officiating brahmin, the priest and Shri Vishvamitra, who were watching, beheld all the sacrificial implements set on fire.

The sacrifice of the holy sage still proceeding, a great and fearful clamour resounded in the firmament. As in the rainy season, clouds cover the sky, so the demons by the power of magic began to course through the air.

Marica and Suvahu and other demons surrounding the altar, let fall torrents of blood. Seeing the altar deluged with blood, Shri Ramacandra and Lakshmana were filled with anger and ran to discover the cause. Then they saw Marica and other demons in the sky. Raghava beholding the demons rushing towards him, said to Lakshmana, “O Lakshmana, see these evil flesh-eating demons, I shall destroy them with the Manava-weapon, as the wind scatters the clouds

So saying, Shri Ramacandra hurled the shining Manava weapon at them and striking the breast of Marica, inflicted a wound. Thus smitten, the demon was flung into the sea, a distance of a hundred miles. Perceiving Marica reeling, struck senseless by the Manava weapon, Shri Ramacandra addressed Lakshmana, saying: “Behold the power of this great weapon created by the muni 1 Yet, though Marica has been deprived of his senses, he is not dead; verily I shall now destroy those wicked, merciless and sinful blood-drinking demons who obstruct the holy sacrifice.” So saying, he seized the fireweapon and discharged it at the breast of Suvahu, who straightway fell to the ground and expired. On this, Shri Rama destroyed the remaining demons with the air-weapon (Vayuvya).

Thus by slaying the obstructors of the sacrifice did Shri Ramacandra bring delight to the hearts of the sages and was worshipped by them as was formerly the victorious Indra.

When the sacrifice had been successfully completed, perceiving the world to be freed from the interference of the asuras, the Rishi Vishvamitra said to Rama:—

“O Mighty-armed Prince, to-day I have fulfilled my spiritual purpose, you have obeyed the commands of your Guru perfectly, truly you have made the Siddha-Ashrama worthy of its name.”

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