by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597
This page is entitled “the arrival of sugriva’s forces” and represents Chapter 39 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].
Thus spoke Sugriva, standing with joined palms before Rama, and that most virtuous of men, taking him in his arms, embraced him saying:—“It is no wonder that Indra sends the rain, nor that the sun with its thousand rays dispels the darkness from the sky, O My dear One, nor that the moon by its brilliance makes the night clear, nor that thine equals create the happiness of their friends, O Scourge of Your Foes. To find nobility of character in you is not strange; I know you by the affectionate tenor of your speech. With your support, O My Friend, I shall vanquish all my foes on the battlefield; you are mine ally and should assist me.
“To his own destruction, did that vile demon bear Maithili away, as Anuhlada carried away Saci, having first deceived her sire. Ere long, I shall pierce Ravana with my sharp arrows as Shatakratu, that slayer of his enemies, slew the haughty father of Paulomi.”
At that moment, darkness covered the firmament and veiled the fiery brilliance of that orb of a thousand rays; a pall of dust hung over all regions, and the earth with its mountains, forests and woods trembled. The entire earth was covered with innumerable monkeys resembling kings of men and who, having sharp teeth, were gifted with great strength. In the twinkling of an eye, those foremost of monkeys surrounded by troops, numbering hundreds of kotis, endowed with extreme energy, roaring like thunder, gathered from the rivers, mountains and seas with others who inhabited the forests.
Monkeys the colour of the rising sun or white like the moon or of the tint of lotus stamens or pale, having their home on the golden mountain, appeared in tens of thousands in attendance on that renowned and valiant monkey Shatavali. Then the puissant sire of Tara, who resembled a golden hill, appeared at the head of many thousand kotis. Thereafter the father of Ruma, father-in-law of Sugriva, who resembled the filaments of a lotus and was like a youthful sun, arrived accompanied by other thousands of kotis of monkeys; and that foremost of monkeys, Kesharin, Hanuman’s illustrious sire, appeared in company with many thousands of monkeys. And Gavaksha, King of the Golangulas, endowed with dreadful power came, surrounded by millions of monkeys; Dhumra also, the destroyer of his foes, advanced with two thousand bears endowed with terrific speed. Thereafter the leader of herds, Panasha of exceeding prowess came, accompanied by three million mighty and dreadful warriors and he was followed by Nila of immense stature, who resembled a mass of collyrium, with ten kotis of monkeys. And bright as a golden mountain, the heroic Gavaya arrived with five kotis of monkeys, and in his devotion to Sugriva the brave chief Dari-mukha brought a thousand kotis. Thereafter the two powerful Ashviputras, Mainda and Dvivida presented themselves with a thousand million monkeys. The brave warrior Gaja conducted an army of three kotis of monkeys, and the illustrious king of the bears, called Jambavan, came at the head of ten kotis, placing himself under Sugriva’s command. The renowned Rumana followed with a hundred kotis of intrepid monkeys in all haste. A hundred thousand million monkeys followed Gandhamadana, and an infinite number were under the command of Prince Angada, who, like his father, was full of courage. Thereafter, shining like a star, came Tara of supreme valour, accompanied by five kotis of monkeys from a great distance and there followed Indrajanu, a brave and skilful general, who in his turn presented himself at the head of eleven kotis, and also Rambha with an ayuta of soldiers; and there followed the monkey leader Durmukha, that valiant one full of phenomenal courage, with two kotis of monkeys, resembling the peaks of Mt. Kailasha. Hanuman himself was accompanied by thousands of monkeys and the supremely brave Nala was followed by the inhabitants of the woods to the number of an hundred, a thousand and an hundred monkeys. The fortunate Darimukha was escorted by ten kotis of monkeys and with loud shouts took his place beside Sugriva. And Sharabha, Kumuda, Vahni and Rambha came, those monkeys who were able to change their shape at will, with their forces of incalculable numbers covering the entire earth, its mountains and forests. All the monkeys inhabiting the earth gathered round Sugriva, leaping, gambolling and roaring, and those Plavagamas surrounded Sugriva like massed clouds round the sun. Full of courage and energy, they gave voice to repeated shouts of acclamation, bowing their heads in salutation to the King of Monkeys. Others, the leaders of armies, according to tradition, approached the king and stood by his side with joined palms; and Sugriva standing in extreme devotion before Rama, informed him of the arrival of the monkeys and then addressed his generals, who were burning with zeal, saying:—“O Chiefs of Monkeys, station your forces duly or the mountain near rills in the woods and let each ascertain the exact number of his troops.”