The Ramayana

by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1891 | ISBN-13: 9788171101566

This page describes Chapter XVII of the English translation of the Ramayana, one of the largest Sanskrit epics of ancient India revolving around the characters Rama, Sita and Ravana. It was orignally authored by Valmiki at least over 2500 years ago. This is the first book of the Bāla-kāṇḍa (Bala-kanda) of the Ramayana, which consists of 24,000 Sanskrit metrical verses divided oer seven books.

When Viṣṇu had accepted the sonship of that high-souled king, the self-create Lord addressed the celestials, saying,

For assisting the heroic Viṣṇu firm in promise, always seeking the welfare of us all, do you create powerful beings, assuming shapes at will, cognizant of illusions, heroic, furnished with the celerity of the wind, versed in morality, possessing intelligence, like to Viṣṇu in prowess, unslayable, knowing the ways and means (of war and peace), gifted with excellent bodies, capable of resisting all weapons, and resembling immortals.

And from forth the bodies of the foremost Apsaras, Gandharvis, Yakṣīs, and Pannagis, Ṛkṣis (She-bears) and Vidhyādharis, Kinnaris and Vānaris (She-monkeys) do you produce sons wearing the shapes of monkeys.

Formerly I had created that foremost of bears, Jāmbavān, who suddenly came out of my mouth as I was yawning.

Hearing this mandate of Him possessed of the six attributes, they began to produce sons endowed with monkey’s forms.

And high-souled ascetics, and Siddhas, and Vidyādharas, and Uragas, and Cāraṇas, generated heroic sons, rangers of woods.

And Indra beget as his son that foremost of monkeys, Vālī, resembling the Mahendra hill, and that best of those imparting heat, the Sun, Sugrīva.

Bṛhaspati beget the mighty ape named Tāra, who was the most excellent and intelligent of the prime monkeys.

The Bestower of riches beget as his son the graceful ape Gandhamādana. And Viśvakarman beget that mighty monkey named Nala.

Agni beget as his son the powerful and graceful Nīla in effulgence like to the fire, who surpassed even his sire in energy, prowess, and renown.

And the beautiful Aśvins, endowed with the wealth of loveliness, beget Mainda and Dvivida.

Varuṇa beget the monkey named Suṣeṇa; and Parjanya beget Śarabha, possessed of great strength.

And the Wind-god beget the graceful monkey named Hanumān, endued with a frame hard as adamant; in fleetness like to Vinatā’s offspring.

And the most intelligent as well as the most powerful amongst all the principal monkeys. Thus produced, there suddenly came into being by thousands, mighty bears, and monkeys, and Gopucchas, (Cow-tailed monkeys.) and of immeasurable strength, and heroic, and powerful, assuming shapes at will, endowed with bodies resembling elephants or hills, even those who would engage in compassing the destruction of the Ten-headed Rāvaṇa.

The sons of the deities retained distinctly the respective hues, forms, and prowess, that characterized their several sires. And those that sprang from the Golāṅgulas, possessed even more than the might of the gods.

Likewise, on Ṛkṣīs and Kinnaris were gladly begot thousands upon thousands of monkeys, by the gods, Maharṣis, Gandharvas, Tārkṣyas, and famous Yakṣas, Nagas, and Kiṃpuruṣas (beings half-man and half-beast) Siddhas, Vidyādharas. and Uragas.

Upon the principal Apsaris, and the Vidyādharis, and the daughters of the Nāgas, and the Gandharvis were begot by the Cāraṇas as sons, heroic monkeys of gigantic bodies, ranging the forests and living on fruits and roots.

All these monkeys were endowed with strength; and could assume shapeṣ and repair everywhere, at will. And they were like to lions aṇd tigers, both in pride and in prowess. And they fought with crags and hurled hills.

And they fought with nails and teeth, and were accomplished in all weapons. And they could move the largest hills; and crush the fixed trees,

With their impetus, vex that lord of rivers, the Ocean. And they could with their kicks rend the Earth, and swim over the mighty main.

They could penetrate into the welkin, and capture the clouds. And they could subdue mad elephants ranging the forest.

And with their roars, they could bring down birds singing. Thus came into being Koṭis of high-souled leaders of monkey-herds, assuming forms at will.

And these became the leaders of the principal monkey-herds; and they, in their turn, generated heroic monkeys, the foremost of the leaders of herds.

Some of these monkeys began to dwell on the top of the Ṛkṣavān mountain; while others inhabited various other mountains and forests.

Ail the leaders of monkey-herds stayed with those brothers, Sugrīva, the son of the Sun-god and Vālī, that of Śakra, and also with Nala, and Nīla, and Hanumān, and other leaders of monkey-herds. And endowed with the might of Garuḍa, and accomplished in fight, they ranged around, pounding lions, and tigers, and mighty Uragas.

And the mighty-armed Vālī of great prowess and redoubtable strength protected by virtue of the energy of his arms Ṛkṣas, and Gopucchas, and monkeys.

This earth, furnished with mountains, and forests, and oceans, began to teem with those heroic lords of leaders of monkey-herds, inhabiting different places, bearing characteristic marks, resembling masses of clouds, or mountain-peaks, possessed of mighty strength, and of terrible bodies and visages, in order that they might assist Rāma.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: