by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597
This page is entitled “the monkeys are disconcerted at the sight of the ocean” and represents Chapter 64 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].
Thus informed by the King of the Vultures, the monkeys, endowed with the strength of lions, began to leap about, emitting cries of delight.
Hearing from Sampati that Ravana would be slain, the happy monkeys reached the sea, anxious to discover Sita. And coming to that place, those redoubtable warriors beheld the ocean, the mirror of the whole world.
Arriving at the northern side of the southern sea, those exceedingly powerful and heroic monkeys halted there. And seeing the ocean which at times appeared to be asleep, at others playful, sometimes covered with huge waves and thronged with aquatic animals, causing their hair to stand on end, those foremost of monkeys were amazed and became despondent. Beholding that ocean incapable of being traversed, even as the sky itself, the monkeys began to lament, crying: “What is now to be done?”
Then the foremost of the monkeys, the mighty Angada, seeing the despair of the army at the sight of the sea, began to reassure those warriors afflicted with terror, saying:—
“One should never give way to agitation, of all things it is the most fatal: agitation destroys a man even as a provoked serpent does a child. He who, when the time is ripe for displaying his valour, becomes agitated, will grow weak and fail to attain his object.”
The night having passed, Angada took counsel with the older monkeys, and that monkey host surrounding him resembled the hosts of the Maruts surrounding Vasava. Who, save Bali’s son or Hanuman was capable of maintaining discipline amongst those troops?
Having called the elders together in company with the army, the fortunate Angada, the subduer of his foes, saluting them, spoke words fraught with good sense, saying:—
“Who amongst you is of sufficient stature to cross the ocean? Who is able to carry out the commands of Sugriva, the conqueror of his foes? Which valiant monkey can leap the four hundred miles and deliver the leaders of the monkeys from their great anxiety? By whose favour shall we, crowned with success and content, return and behold our wives, our sons and our homes? Who will enable us to meet Rama, the mighty Lakshmana and that dweller in the woods, Sugriva, with a light heart? If there be any monkey capable of leaping over the ocean, then may he show his blessed form to us and deliver us from fear 1’
Hearing Angada’s speech, no one uttered a word and the entire monkey host appeared stunned. Then that foremost of monkeys once more addressed them saying:—
“O You Excellent Warriors, of tried valour, unimpeachable family and worthy of honour, say how far each of you is able to leap over the sea without any being able to hinder you!”