The Ramayana of Valmiki

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

This page is entitled “the alliance of rama and sugriva” and represents Chapter 5 of the Kishkindha-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., Kishkindha-kanda].

Chapter 5 - The Alliance of Rama and Sugriva

From the Rishyamuka mountain, Hanuman bounded to the Mt. Malaya and presenting the two valiant descendants of Raghu to Sugriva, said:—

“This is Rama, O Great and Wise King, who has come here with Lakshmana, his brother; this true hero, born in the dynasty of Ikshvaku, is the son of King Dasaratha.

“Fixed in his duty, he is carrying out the behests of his sire, that great king who, gratifying the Deity of Fire, Agni, with the Rajasuya and Ashvamedha sacrifices, at those times distributed hundreds and thousands of cows in charity.

“On account of a woman, his son, Rama, who is present here, was exiled to the forest and, while that magnanimous hero was dwelling there, practising asceticism, Ravana carried off his consort; he now seeks your protection.

“These two brothers, Rama and Lakshmana, solicit your friendship; do you receive these heroes, worthy of homage, with honour!”

Hearing these words of Hanuman, Sugriva, the King of the Monkeys, who had now become easy of access, said to Rama:—

“This is a great fortune and the greatest of gains for me O Lord, that you desirest to ally thyself in friendship with me, who am one of the Monkey Tribe. Should that friendship find favour with you, then here is my hand, take it into thine and let us bind ourselves fast with a vow.”

Hearing Sugriva’s sweet words, Rama with a joyful heart clasped his hand and, happy in the thought of the alliance they were about to conclude, embraced him warmly.

Then Hanuman, the Subduer of his Foes, who had put off his monk’s guise, assuming his own shape, kindled a fire by rubbing two pieces of wood together. The fire being lit and flowers cast into it, thus preparing it, he placed it between them, full of joy and devotion.

Going round it they both worshipped the fire and thus Sugriva and Rama were united in friendship. Whereupon the hearts of the monkey and Rama were merry and, gazing upon each other, they were unable to have their fill.

“You are now the friend of my heart in joy and pain! We are one!” Thus spoke Sugriva in his satisfaction, as also Rama, and breaking off a branch from a Sala tree adorned with leaves and covered with flowers, Sugriva laid it down as it were a carpet and with Rama sat down upon it, whilst the delighted Hanuman, born of Maruta, in his turn, offered Lakshmana a branch of blossoming sandalwood.

Thereafter, full of happiness, Sugriva, his eyes wide with delight, said to Rama in sweet and gentle tones:—

“Cruelly persecuted, O Rama, I came hither in great fear, my consort having been wrested from me, and, in deep distress, I took refuge in this inaccessible part of the forest, where I now dwell, my mind distracted with terror.

“My brother oppresses me and is mine enemy, O Rama, O Great Hero; do you deliver me from the fear which Bali inspires in me I Act, O Kakutstha, in such a way that my courage may be restored.”

At these words, the illustrious and virtuous Rama, a lover of justice, smiling, answered Sugriva, saying:—

“I know well that the fruit of friendship is mutual aid, O Great Monkey! I shall slay that Bali, who has carried off your consort! These pointed shafts that you perceivest, these arrows bright as the sun, fly straight to their target. Decorated with heron’s feathers and resembling Indra’s thunderbolt, skilfully wrought, their points sharpened, resembling provoked serpents, they will pierce that perverse wretch with force. To-day you shalt see Bali fall on the earth like a cleft mountain struck by these pointed darts, resembling venomous snakes.”

Encouraged by Rama’s words, Sugriva, overjoyed, spoke again, saying:—“May I by your grace, O Valiant Lion among Men, regain my consort and my kingdom. O King, do you restrain my wicked elder brother from harming me hereafter.”

At the moment when Sugriva and Rama concluded their alliance, Sita’s left eye, resembling a lotus, twitched, as also did that of the Indra of Monkeys, which resembled gold, and that of the titan, Ravana, which was like a flame.

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