The Ramayana of Valmiki

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

This page is entitled “hanuman seeks to discourage angada from his design” and represents Chapter 54 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 54 - Hanuman seeks to discourage Angada from his Design

When the General Tara, who was as radiant as the moon, had spoken thus, Hanuman deemed that Angada had already usurped supreme authority. He knew the son of Bali to be endowed with the eightfold intelligence, the four powers and the fourteen qualities [see notes below], to be possessed of valour, energy and martial ardour, waxing in glory like the moon in the bright fortnight, the equal of Brihaspati in wisdom, in bravery resembling his sire and obedient to Tara’s counsel as Purandara regards the instruction of Shukra. Thereupon, Hanuman, versed in all branches of learning, resolved to win over Angada, who had become lax in the service of his sovereign and bring him back to the right path. Reflecting on the four means for bringing about peace, he chose the second, that of sow'ing dissension amongst the monkeys by subtle suggestion; when the disaffection was general, he sought to instil fear in Angada’s heart, by harsh words uttered in severe tones:—

He said:—“O Son of Bali, surely you are a warrior more skilful even than your sire and art able to govern the monkey kingdom as well as he, but, O Foremost of Monkeys, the apes were ever fickle by nature. Bereft of their wives and sons, they will never suffer your rule. This I declare to you in the presence of all! Neither by conciliation, gifts nor penalties shaft you succeed in drawing Jambavan, Nila, the mighty ape, Suhotra, or myself to your side. One who is strong can overcome the weak and usurp his place, therefore, he who is weak should, for his own safety, never incur the enmity of the strong. This cave, that you deemest to be a safe refiige and which is said to be impregnable, can easily be penetrated by Lakshmana with his arrows. Formerly this tiny rift was made by Indra hurling his thunderbolt against it, but Lakshmana will pierce it like a leaf by means of his keen arrows. He possesses innumerable arrows of this kind, whose impact resembles lightning, capable of shattering the mountains themselves.

“O Scourge of Your Foes, as soon as you dost install thyself in that place, the monkeys, remembering their wives and sons, will decide to forsake you. Pining for domestic happiness, ever restless, anxious and weary of their pitiable plight, they will abandon you. Thereafter, bereft of friends, relatives and those who seek your welfare, even the trembling of a blade of grass will fill you with terror.

“Lakshmana’s arrows, irresistible in flight, keen, formidable and of exceeding velocity, will transfix you where you have sought to conceal thyself.

“If, however, assuming a humble guise, you, with us, dost present thyself before Sugriva, he will establish you in the kingdom and restore you as rightful heir. A virtuous monarch, firm in his vows, honorable and loyal, he desires your welfare and will assuredly not kill you. Your paternal uncle is devoted to your mother and wishes to do what is agreeable to her, this is the purpose of his life and she has no other son, therefore, O Angada, return with us.”

Notes regarding the intelligences, powers and qualities:

Eightfold Intelligence—The quality of accepting the truth and what is right, cherishing it, remembering it, propagating it. Knowledge of the positive and negative side of a matter. Knowledge of the ultimate essence.

Four Powers—Physical power, mental power, power of resource, power of making friends.

Fourteen Qualities—Knowledge of Time and Place. Endurance. Empirical knowledge. Skill. Physical strength. Power to conceal one’s counsel. The honouring of one’s obligations and promises. Heroism. Appreciation of the enemy’s strength and one’s own in relation to it. Gratitude. Beneficence to one’s dependents or suppliants. Non-acceptance of insult. Freedom from uncontrolled movements. Poise.

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