The Ramayana of Valmiki

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

This page is entitled “kabandha tells rama how to find sita” and represents Chapter 72 of the Aranya-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., Aranya-kanda].

Chapter 72 - Kabandha tells Rama how to find Sita

After Kabandha had spoken thus, those two warriors, the foremost among men, Rama and Lakshmana, sought out a hollow on the mountain-side and ignited a fire. With the aid of glowing brands, Lakshmana lit the pyre that burst into flame on every side. The vast trunk of Kabandha began to melt in the heat of the fire like a lump of butter, and later the powerful Kabandha, scattering the ashes, rose up from the pyre wearing spotless raiment and a celestial garland, and that handsome demon, his limbs covered with diverse ornaments, ascended a chariot of dazzling beauty drawn by swans, in his splendour illumining the ten regions. Thereafter, standing in the sky, he addressed Rama, saying:—

“Learn, O Raghava, by what means you shalt be able to recover Sita. There are six expedients[1] by which misfortune may be combated, and in the light of which all things should be considered. He who has fallen into the worst misfortune may find solace if he has someone with whom to share his lot, but you and Lakshmana are deprived of this consolation in the calamity that has befallen you through the theft of Sita. O Rama, you who art thyself the foremost of friends art in need of a friend. After due reflection, I see no possibility of success for you except by this.

“Hearken, O Rama, to what I am about to tell you. There is a monkey named Sugriva, who was banished in anger by his brother Bali, the son of Indra. This sagacious and valiant Sugriva with four of his companions inhabits the lofty mountain Rishyamuka situated on the borders of Lake Pampa.

“This Indra among Monkeys, who is full of energy and prowess, of brilliant appearance, loyal, temperate, intelligent and magnanimous, skilful, courageous, wise and powerful, has been banished by his brother for the sake of the kingdom. He will surely prove your friend and assist you in your search for Sita. O Rama, do not be disturbed on this account; that which is destined must come to pass. O Lion among the Ikshvakus, fate is inexorable!

“Do you go hence with all speed, O Valiant Raghava, and seek out the powerful Sugriva. Without delay conclude an alliance with him and, swearing mutual loyalty in the presence of fire, unite thyself with that beneficent being. You should not disregard that King of the Monkey Tribe, Sugriva, who is of a grateful disposition, able to change his form at will and worthy of your friendship. You too will be able to accomplish his designs, but benefited by you or no, he will execute your purpose.

“This son of Riksharajas’ consort and of Bhaskara, wanders about restlessly on the borders of Lake Pampa and is at war with Bali. Laying aside your weapons, seek out the retreat of that monkey on the Rishyamuka Mountain without delay and enter into a bond of friendship with that inhabitant of the forest. That Foremost of Monkeys is conversant with all the haunts of the flesh-eating titans in the world and has thoroughly explored their retreats; there is nothing on this earth that is not known to him, O Raghava.

“As long as the many-rayed sun continues to shine, O Scourge of Your Foes, he with his companions will search the rivers, the crags, the inaccessible mountains and the caves for your consort. He will send out his monkeys of vast stature to scour every region in order to find Sita, separation from whom has rent thine heart. He will seek for Maithili of lovely limbs even in Ravana’s own abode. Should thine irreproachable and beloved Sita have been taken to the summit of Mount Meru or abandoned in the nethermost hell, that Lion among the Monkey Tribe, having slain the titans, will restore her to you.”

Footnotes and references:


Six expedients:

  1. Sandhi—making peace.
  2. Vigraha—engaging in war.
  3. Yana—marching against the enemy.
  4. Ashana—maintaining a post against the enemy.
  5. Daidibhava—sowing dissention.
  6. Samshraya—seeking the protection of others.
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