The Ramayana of Valmiki

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

This page is entitled “the intervention of sampati” and represents Chapter 56 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 56 - The Intervention of Sampati

While the monkeys remained seated on the mountain plateau resolved on their last great fast, the King of the Vultures by chance came to that place. That long-lived bird, the fortunate brother of Jatayu, was renowned for his strength and prowess.

Issuing from a cave on the mighty Vindhya Mountain, he observed the monkeys seated there and, highly gratified, said:—“Every man reaps the fruit of his former acts, on account of this, after a long time, this food comes to me. I shall eat up these monkeys one by one as they die.”

Eyeing those apes, the Vulture expressed himself thus, and hearing the utterance of that famished bird, Angada, full of apprehension, addressed Hanuman in faint accents, saying:—

“Behold, on account of Sita, Death, the descendant of Vivasvat, has come to this place to destroy the monkeys. Rama’s purpose not having been effected nor the mandate of the king obeyed, this calamity has overtaken the monkeys unaware. You are conversant in detail with all that Jatayu, that Prince of Vultures did for the sake of Sita. All beings, even those born of the mating of beasts, desire to please Rama at the cost of their lives as we have done. On account of Rama’s love and compassion, people bear each other affection and pity. The blessed Jatayu voluntarily laid down his life for the good of Rama; we too, exhausted and about to die, came to this forest to render a service to the Son of Raghu. We have searched the woods in vain for Maithili. Happy is that Prince of Vultures who was slain in combat by Ravana for he is freed from the fear of Sugriva and has attained the supreme abode. The death of Jatayu and King Dasaratha and the abduction of Sita has placed the monkeys in jeopardy. The sojourn of Rama and Lakshmana in the forest with Sita, Raghava’s slaying of Bali with an arrow, the slaughter of innumerable demons by Rama in his wrath, all owe their origin to those boons granted to Kaikeyi.”

Hearing these piteous words and seeing the monkeys stretched on the ground the magnanimous King of the Vultures was deeply moved and that sharp beaked bird cried out:—

“Who is it who, causing my heart to tremble, speaks thus of the death of my brother, dearer to me than life itself? How did the demon and the vulture come to fight in Janasthana? It is after a long time that I hear the name of my brother spoken. I wish to descend from this lofty mountain height. I am well pleased to hear of my youthful and valiant brother, renowned for his exploits. I wish to learn of the death of my brother, Jatayu, O Foremost of Monkeys, and how King Dasaratha, whose elder son is Rama, beloved of his elders, came to be his friend? I am unable to fly in consequence of my wings having been scorched by the rays of the sun. Assist me to descend from this mountain, O Conquerers of your Foes!”

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