by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597
This page is entitled “sampati tells his story to the sage nishakara” and represents Chapter 61 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].
“O Blessed One, the wounds I have received, the shame I feel and the exhaustion I experience, all prevent me from entering into a lengthy narrative.
“From pride in our power of flight, Jatayu and I, in order to test each other’s powers, vowing in the presence of the sages on Mt. Kailasha that we would follow the sun till it set behind the Astachala Mountain, flew into the sky. Reaching a great height together, we looked down on the earth with its various cities that appeared like chariot wheels. Sometimes the sound of musical instruments reached us, at others the tinkling of ornaments. In certain places we saw many damsels clad in red who were singing.
“Passing rapidly through the air, we followed the path of the sun and observed a forest intersected with green rides; the mountains appeared like pebbles and the rivers like threads binding the earth; Himavat, Vindhya and that mighty mountain, Meru resembled elephants standing in a pond.
“Nevertheless we were perspiring freely and were filled with anxiety and extremely fatigued, no longer being able, in our bewilderment, to distinguish between the south, west or the quarter presided over by Fire; the earth seemed to us to have been consumed by flames, as at the end of the world period. My mind and my eyes failing, with a violent effort I fixed them on the sun and with great difficulty succeeded in doing so. The blazing orb seemed to us much larger than the earth in extent, and at that instant, Jatayu, without speaking to me, began to fall. Seeing this, I flew down from the sky and covered him with my wings, in consequence of which my brother was not burnt, but I, in my arrogance was scorched and thrown out of the wind’s course. I surmised that Jatayu had fallen in Janasthana, but my wings scathed, deprived of strength, I fell on the Vindhya Mountain.
“Bereft of my dominion, my brother, my wings and my power, I now long to hurl myself headlong from the summit of this mountain and put an end to my existence.”