The Ramayana

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

This page describes Chapter XX 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.

Hearing the words of Viśvāmitra, that tiger of a monarch remained insensible for a time, and then regaining his senses, spoke thus.

My lotus-eyed Rāma is not yet turned of sixteen; and I do not perceive his fitness to cope with Rākṣasas in battle.

I am the lord of this Akṣauhiṇī (A complete army consisting of 1,09,350 foot, 65,610 horse, 21,870 chariots, and 21,870 elephants.) of forces. Marching with this, will I engage with the night-rangers.

And these servants of mine are Valiant, and warlike, and accomplished in weapons, and capable of fighting the Rākṣasas,—therefore, it behove you not to take Rāma.

And myself bow in hand, stationed at the van of the array, will battle with the rangers of the night as long as life is spared to me.

Then well protected, your sacrifice will hold an unimpeded course. Therefore, I will repair thither, and it behoves you not to take Rāma.

Youthful, and unaccomplished, and not knowing what constitutes strength and what not, and not equipped with the science of missiles, and unskilful in fight,

He is not a match for Rākṣasas,—they being deceitful warriors. Bereft of Rāma, O tiger among ascetics, I cannot live for a moment. Therefore, it behove you not to take him. If, O Brahman, it is your intention to take Rāma, then O you of excellent vows, do you also take me along with the Caturaṅga forces! (An army consisting of foot, horse, elephants, and cars.)

O Kuśika’s son, I am sixty thousand years old; and (at this age) I have obtained Rāma after undergoing extreme troubles, it therefore, become you not to take Rāma.

And among the four sons of mine, I find my highest delight in Rāma, my first-born, and the most virtuous of them all, therefore, it behoves you not to take Rāma.

What is the prowess of the Rākṣasas? And whose sons are they? And who, pray are they? And what are the proportions of their bodies? And who protects them O foremost of ascetics? And by what means shall either Rāma, or my forces, or, O Brahman, I myself be able to slay in fight those deceitful warriors—the Rākṣasas? Do you tell me, O adorable one, inflated as they are by virtue of their prowess, how can I stand them in fight?

Hearing that speech of his, Viśvāmitra said, There is a Rākṣasa named Rāvaṇa, sprung from the line of Pulastya. Having obtained a boon from Brahmā, he boldly opposes himself to three worlds, being possessed of great strength and prowess, and backed by innumerable Rākṣasas. And, O mighty monarch, I also hear that that lord of the Rākṣasas is the very brother of Vaiśravaṇa and the son of the ascetic Viśravaṇa.

When that one possessed of mighty strength does not stoop to disturb the sacrifice himself, those powerful Rākṣasas, Mārīca and Subāhu, being incited by him, disturb the rites.

The ascetic having spoken thus, the king then answered him, I am incapable of standing that wicked-souled one in fight.

Therefore, do you, O you versed in morality, extend your favour to my son! Of slender fortune as I am, you are my guide and my god.

Even the celestials and the Dānavas and the Gandharvas and the Birds and the Snakes are incapable of bearing Rāvaṇa in battle, what then is man?

O foremost of ascetics, whether you are accompanied with my son or my forces, you will not be able to stand him. And how can I, O Brāhmaṇa, make over to you my son, of tender years, resembling an immortal, who is ignorant of warfare? I will not part with my son.

The sons of Sunda and Upasunda resemble Kāla himself in battle, and it is they who are disturbing your sacrifice. Therefore I will not part with my son. And Mārīca and Subāhu are possessed of prowess, and accomplished in weapons.

But with my friends I will repair to encounter one of them. If you do not consent to this, I beseech you with my friends, (do you desist!)

Hearing these words of the lord of men, a mighty ire took possession of that foremost of regenerate ones, Kuśika’s son; and the fire of the Maharṣi’s wrath flamed up even like to a fire fed by fuel and clarified butter.

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