The Ramayana of Valmiki

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

This page is entitled “sugriva goes to meet rama” and represents Chapter 38 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 38 - Sugriva goes to meet Rama

Sugriva, having accepted the gifts presented to him, thanked the monkeys and dismissed them all.

Having sent away those thousands of monkeys, who had performed their task, he deemed his mission, as that of the mighty Raghava, well nigh accomplished.

Thereupon Lakshmana addressed the redoubtable Sugriva, the foremost of monkeys, with a deference which moved him, saying:—“O Friend, be pleased to set out from Kishkindha.”

Hearing these words spoken by Shri Lakshmana, Sugriva filled with joy answered:—“Be it so, let us go forward, I am at your command.”

Having thus spoken to the illustrious Lakshmana, Sugriva dismissed Tara with the other women and thereafter summoning the leaders of the monkeys in a loud voice addressed them, saying:—“Come hither!”

At the sound of his voice all those admitted to the presence of women came immediately and stood with joined palms before the king, whose brilliance equalled the sun’s and who said to them:—

“Go with all speed and bring a litter, O Monkeys!” At this command they set out with rapid strides to seek that marvellous litter and, when it was made ready, the supreme Sovereign of the Monkeys said to Saumitri:—•“Be pleased to ascend the litter. O Lakshmana!”

Speaking thus, Sugriva with Lakshmana mounted the golden litter that shone like the sun and was supported by a large number of monkeys. A white canopy was spread over Sugriva’s head and magnificent fans made of yaks tails were waved about him. Eulogized by bards, to the sound of conches and trumpets, he set out in regal state. Surrounded by hundreds of war-like monkeys bearing weapons in their hands he proceeded to the place where Rama dwelt and, having arrived at that excellent spot, that illustrious prince descended from the litter with Lakshmana and approached Rama with joined palms. Then the monkeys, grouped about him, did likewise and, seeing that great army of monkeys resembling a lake covered with lotus buds, Rama was well pleased with Sugriva.

Raising the King of the Monkeys, who had prostrated himself before him and whose forehead touched his feet, the virtuous Rama embraced him to demonstrate his affection and esteem and requested him to be seated. Thereafter seeing him seated on the ground, Rama said:—

“He who divides his time judiciously between duty, pleasure and the legitimate acquisition of wealth and honours his responsibilities in these things is truly a king, O Best of Monkeys; but he who neglects his duty, his true interests and legitimate pleasures is like one who sleeps on the top of a tree and does not wake up till he has fallen. The monarch who is ever ready to destroy his foes and delights in showing favour to his friends, who plucks the fruit of the threefold food, has fulfilled his duty.

“The time has now come to act, O Scourge of Your Foes, therefore take counsel with your ministers, OKing of the Apes!”

Thus addressed, Sugriva answered Rama, saying:—“I had lost fame and fortune together with the entire monkey realm, O Long-armed Warrior but, through your favour have received them again by thine and your brother’s grace, O Great One, O Greatest of the Conquerors. He who does not acknowledge a service done to him is an object of contempt.

“These energetic leaders have gone out in their hundreds to summon all the monkeys in the world, O Slayer of your Foes. Monkeys, bears and apes full of valour, of ferocious aspect, familiar with the woods and inaccessible forests, monkeys that are born of the Gods and Gandharvas, able to change their shape at will, are on their way followed by their troops, O Rama.

“These monkeys are proceeding here surrounded by hundreds and thousands, by millions and tens of millions; these monkeys and their chiefs, who are as valiant as Mahendra and resemble mountains in stature, are coming together from the Meru and Vindhya ranges. They will unite with you to fight the demon Ravana and, laying him low on the battlefield, will restore Sita to you.”

Seeing the preparations made by that valiant monkey, in accord with his desire, the illustrious prince was delighted and his countenance resembled the blue lotus in flower.

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