The Ramayana of Valmiki

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

This page is entitled “the wings of sampati grow once more” and represents Chapter 63 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 63 - The Wings of Sampati grow once more

“Having consoled me with these words and many others, the eloquent ascetic took leave of me and re-entered his hermitage. Thereafter I crawled slowly out of the cave and scaled the Vindhya Mountain to wait for you. Since that time, a whole century has passed, and, keeping the words of that hermit in my heart, I await the time and place.

Nishakara has ascended to heaven and I, distracted by many thoughts, have been consumed with grief. When the idea of death comes to me, I put it away, remembering the words of the Sage. The determination he inspired in me to preserve my life dissolves my distress, as a flame in a lit brazier dispels the darkness.

“Though fully conversant with the power of the evil-hearted Ravana, yet I approached my son saying:—‘Hearing her lamentations and knowing these two princes to be deprived of her, how is it that you didst not free Sita?’ In my affection for King Dasaratha I was displeased with my son.”

As Sampati was speaking thus to the monkeys, his wings suddenly began to grow again in the presence of those dwellers in the woods. Thereupon seeing his body covered with tawny feathers, he experienced an immense joy and said to those monkeys:—“By the grace of Nishakara, that Sage of immeasurable power, my wings, that had been scorched by the sun’s rays, have grown again and the prowess I possessed in my youth has returned. To-day I have regained my strength and vigour. Do you spare no effort to find Sita; the recovery of my wings is a pledge of your success.”

Having spoken thus to the monkeys, Sampati, the foremost of birds, anxious to ascertain his powers of flight, flew up to the mountain top. Hearing his words, those mighty monkeys were delighted and confident of their success, prepared to demonstrate their valour.

With the speed of the wind those foremost of monkeys, intent upon finding Sita, the daughter of Janaka, set out towards the south to the quarter dominated by Abhijit.

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