The Ramayana of Valmiki

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

This page is entitled “ravana deceives sita about the death of rama” and represents Chapter 31 of the Yuddha-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., Yuddha-kanda].

Chapter 31 - Ravana deceives Sita about the Death of Rama

Meanwhile the king’s spies spread the tidings in Lanka that Raghava was encamped with his powerful forces on Mount Suvela.

Ravana, who knew, through his emissaries, of Rama’s arrival at the head of a vast army, somewhat perturbed, said to his attendants

“Let all the ministers assemble here immediately! O Titans, the time has come to take counsel together!”

On this command, his counsellors instantly came together and he entered into conference with those loyal titans, then, having duly deliberated with them concerning the immediate measures to be taken, Durdharsha1 dismissed them all and returned to his abode.

Taking with him the Titan Vidyujjihva, a powerful and skilled magician, he turned his steps towards the place where Maithili was to be found. Thereafter the King of the Titans said to Vidyujjihva, who was proficient in magic

“With your spells, create an illusion in order to deceive Janaka’s daughter! Do you produce a head resembling Raghava’s and a mighty bow, its arrows set, and then present thyself before me!”

On this command, that Ranger of the Night, Vidyujjihva, answered “Be it so” and displayed his powers as a magician, whereupon Ravana, satisfied, bestowed rich attire upon him.

In his impatience to behold Sita once again, that mighty monarch of the Nairritas entered the Ashoka Grove and the younger brother of Dhanada beheld that unfortunate One who did not deserve her fate, her head bowed, plunged in grief, lying on the ground in the Ashoka Grove where she had been banished, absorbed in the thought of her lord, hideous titan women seated not far distant from her.

Then Ravana, approaching, manifested his gratification and addressed that daughter of Janaka in confident tones, saying:—

“O Beautiful One, he in whom you didst trust at the time when you didst repel me when I sought to console you, that murderer of Khara, your consort Raghava, has been slain in combat. Your roots are completely severed and your pride humbled by me; in consequence of the calamity that has overtaken you, you are mine 1 Give up your resolution therefore, what will you do with one dead? O Beautiful One, become the chief Queen over all my consorts, you who till now hast enjoyed so little happiness, you who art without resources! O Foolish One, who deemest thyself wise, hear how, like unto the destruction of Vritra, your lord was slain!

“In order to destroy me, Raghava alighted on the shore of the sea surrounded by a vast army assembled by the King of the Monkeys. Having ranged the northern shore with his great legions, Rama struck camp when the sun set. Sending out my spies to reconnoitre, they came upon that host stationed there overcome with fatigue, fast asleep at midnight.,

“Under the command of Prahasta, my great forces destroyed them during the night and Rama and Lakshmana were amongst them. The titans, wielding harpoons, maces, discus, daggers, sticks, great arrows, spears, shining Kutamudgaras, picks, lances, darts, millstones, massed weapons and a hail of missiles, made use of them again and again in order to stiike down the monkeys. Thereafter the impetuous Prahasta with a steady hand severed the head of the sleeping prince with his sword.

“Bibishana, who was wandering about aimlessly, was taken captive whilst Lakshmana and the monkey warriors fled in all directions. Sugriva, the King of the Plavagas had his neck broken, O Sita; Hanuman of the fractured jaw was slain by the titans. Jambavan, while attempting to rise from his knees perished in the melee like an axed tree pierced by innumerable harpoons. Mainda and Dvivida, those two great scourgers of their foes, the foremost of monkeys, groaning and breathless, their limbs bathed in blood were cut to pieces by the sword, and Panasa, crying for help, was stretched on the earth under a tree of the same name. Pierced by countless Naracbas, Darimukha is lying in a pit and the exceedingly valiant Kumuda died shrieking, under a hail of missiles. Angada, assailed on all sides by titans, pierced by innumerable shafts, vomiting blood, fell on the earth and the monkeys themselves were crushed by elephants and mowed down like clouds before the wind.

“The enemy fled in terror under the blows of the titans, who followed on their heels like lions pursuing great elephants. Some flung themselves into the sea, others took refuge in the sky; the bears with the monkeys climbed the trees whilst the titans of fierce glance brought about a great carnage amongst the Pingalas in the midst of the rocks and woods on the shores of the ocean. It was thus that your consort perished with his forces! Here is his head, which was gathered up, dripping with blood and besmeared with dust!”

Thereafter that abominable Ravana, the Lord of the Titans, said to the titan women in the hearing of Sita:—

“Bring hither Vidyujjihva of cruel deeds, who himself brought back Raghava’s head from the field!”

Then Vidyujjihva, holding the head and the bow, bowed before Ravana, whereupon the King said to that Titan Vidyujjihva of the long tongue, who stood before him

“Let Sita speedily behold the head of Dasaratha’s son so that she may see clearly the sad end of her lord.”

On this command, the titan threw the cherished head at Sita’s feet and immediately went away. Ravana, however, brandishing that great and brilliant bow, cried out:—

“Here is Rama’s bow famed in the Three Worlds! This is the bow with its cord stretched belonging to Rama that Prahasta brought back from the field after he had slain that hero in the night!”

Speaking thus, he cast the bow on the ground near the head, which had been thrown down by Vidyujjihva, and thereafter he addressed that illustrious daughter of the King of Videha, saying:—

“Now submit thyself to my desire!”

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