by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597
This page is entitled “he encourages them to pursue their quest” and represents Chapter 59 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].
Hearing these words, sweet as nectar, uttered by the Vulture King, the monkey chiefs were filled with relief.
Then Jambavan, the foremost among the apes, with all the monkeys, rising from the ground, said to the Vulture King:—“Where is Sita? Who has seen her? Who has carried away Mithila’s daughter? Do you tell us all this and thus be the means of saving the dwellers in the woods. Who is able to forget the power of the arrows of Dasaratha that fly with the speed of lightning and those that are loosed by Lakshmana?”
Then Sampati, once again consoling those monkeys who had risen from their fasting and who were all attention to what was being related concerning Sita, well pleased, said to them:—
“Hear how I came to learn of Sita’s abduction at this place and who it was that told me where that large-eyed lady could be found! It is a long time since I fell on to this inaccessible mountain, many miles in extent. Now I am old and feeble in life and limb; in this condition my son, named Suparshva, the best of birds, brought me food regularly. If the Gandharvas are extremely pleasure loving and the serpent race prone to anger and the deer exceedingly timid, we, in our turn, are voracious.
“One day, tormented with hunger, I demanded food and my son flew off at sunrise to procure it, but returned at night without any flesh.
He, the increaser of my delight, had grown tired of searching for nourishment and in order to propitiate me said in all sincerity:—
“‘My dear father, wishing to bring you thine accustomed portion, I flew into the air and stationed myself near the approach of the Mahendra Mountain in order to obstruct the passage of thousands of creatures who range the sea. There I was, looking down, guarding the pass, when suddenly I observed someone resembling a mass of collyrium, carrying a woman as beautiful as the dawn. Seeing them, I resolved to seize them for my prey, but he humbly implored me in peaceful accents to let him pass. None on earth, not even the wicked, devour the peaceful willingly, how much less a creature like myself! He passed on quickly, pushing away the air, as it were, with his energy.
Thereafter, those beings that inhabit space approached me and paid obeisance to me and the great Rishis said tome:—
“‘“By good fortune Sita still lives! It is well for you that he has passed by you with this woman.”
“‘Then the glorious Siddhas addressed me and informed me that it was Ravana, the King of the Demons, whom I had seen with the consort of Rama, the son of Dasaratha, the daughter of Janaka, who, her silken attire torn, overcome with an excess
of grief, her hair falling about her, was calling the names of “Rama” and “Lakshmana”. Thus, O My Father, is how the time has passed.’
“All this did Suparshva tell me, and even on hearing it I did not consider exerting my strength, for without wings, how can a bird undertake anything? But hear how I can help you with my word and knowledge, so that you can manifest your prowess! By my speech and my experience I will do what is agreeable to you. I shall make the concern of the son of Dasaratha my concern, do not doubt it. Possessed as you are of intelligence, energy and wisdom, incapable of being overcome even by the Gods, you have been sent here by the King of the Monkeys. The arrows of Rama and Lakshmana furnished with heron plumes are able to destroy the Three Worlds. Although the ten-necked Ravana is endowed with strength and energy, yet assuredly none can resist your united efforts! There is no need for further delay. Now accomplish your purpose. The wise, such as you, are not dilatory in their undertakings.”