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Valmiki Ramayana - Yuddha Kanda in Prose
Sarga 50

Observing Vibhishana to be the cause of panic created among the monkeys, Sugreeva asks Jambavan to restore the confidence of monkeys. Jambavan then reassures the monkeys. Vibhishana also feels distressed on perceiving the bodies of Rama and Lakshmana lying unconscious on the ground. Sugreeva consoles and convinces Ravana that Rama and Lakshmana will regain consciousness. Meanwhile, Garuda the King of Birds, makes his appearance on the scene and liberates Rama and Lakshmana from their bondage.

 

Meanwhile, Sugreeva the king of Monkeys, possessing a great splendour and a mighty power, enquired saying, "Why is this army agitated, like a ship driven out of its course in water?"

Hearing the words of Sugreeva, Angada the son of Vali replied, saying "Do you not see the high-souled Rama and Lakshmana of the great chariot, those two valiant sons of Dasaratha covered with darts lying all bloody in a bed of arrows?"

Thereupon, Sugreeva the Lord of Monkeys said to his son Angada: "To my mind, there is some other cause why the monkeys are bewildered. There must be some danger ahead. Here, these monkeys are running away in all directions, with their eyes distended with terror, throwing down their arms and looking dejected. They are not ashamed of one another. They are not looking behind than even. They are jostling each other and leaping over those who have fallen."

In the midst of this turmoil, the valiant Vibhishana, wielding a mace in his hand came there and cheered Sugreeva and Rama saying "Victory to Rama! Victory to Rama!." 

Observing Vibhishana to be the cause of panic among the monkeys, Sugreeva spoke to the illustrious Jambavan the king of Bears who stood near (as follows): "It is Vibhishana who has come here. On seeing him, the foremost of monkeys seized with terror have fled, deeming him to be Indrajit, Ravana's son. You reassemble those monkeys immediately, who in fear have scattered in many directions and inform them that it is Vibhishana who has come!"

Thus spoken by Sugreeva, Jambavan the king of Bears called the fugitive monkeys back and restored them to confidence. Hearing the words of Jambavan the king of Bears, all those monkeys, on perceiving Vibhishana, retraced their steps, shaking off their fear. Meanwhile, the virtuous Vibhishana, on beholding Rama's body as also of Lakshmana's covered with arrows, felt distressed.

Washing their eyes with his hands dipped in water, Vibhishana began to weep, with anguish seizing his heart and lamented, saying: "These two powerful and valiant warriors have been brought tot his state by the demons, the treacherous combatants. The son of my brother, that wicked youth of perverse soul in his demoniac cunning mind, has deceived those two honourable fighters. These two warriors, Rama and Lakshmana, who were struck badly by arrows and covered with blood are lying on the earth, like two porcupines. These two lions among men, on whom depended the position aspired by me, are lying insensible, waiting for the dissolution of the body. Deprived of the hope now of becoming a king, I am as one dead, eventhough surviving; while my rival Ravana sees his vow fulfilled and gets his desires realized."

Then, Sugreeva the magnanimous King of Monkeys embraced that Vibhishana thus lamenting and spoke the following words: "O, knower of what is right! You shall certainly reign over Lanka. Ravana and his son will not achieve their purpose. The injury done to Rama and Lakshmana is not grave. Emerging from their swoon, they will destroy Ravana with his hordes in battles."

 Consoling and convincing Vibhishana thus, Sugreeva spoke to Sushena, his father-in-law, who was on his side (as follows): "Taking these two brothers, Rama and Lakshmana with the troops of monkeys who are strong, you go to Kishkindha, till these two scourgers of their foes have recovered their consciousness. As for me, I shall slay Ravana with his son and his relatives and bring back Seetha as did Indra the Lord of celestials, the prosperity he had lost. Hearing the words of Sugreeva, Sushena replied as followers: " A highly terrific and great was between celestials and demons was perceived by me. By making themselves invisible again and again, the demons skilled in the use of arrows overcame the celestials despite their skill in bearing arms. To those celestials who were wounded, unconscious and almost deprived of life, Brihaspati treated them by the aid of herbs accompanied by his spells of sacred formulas. Let the monkeys Sampati, Panasa and others go quickly in speed, to the ocean of milk, to bring those herbs."

"These monkeys are conversant with those efficacious mountainous herbs - the celestial Sanjivakarani and Vishalya, which were created by a God. In the bosom of the milky ocean the best of oceans, rise the mountains called Chandra and Drona, where the ambrosia was formerly churned. These two excellent herbs exist there. The celestials placed those two mountain in the vast sea. O, King! Let Hanuman the son of Wind-God go there."

In the meantime, a great wind arose, accompanied by massed clouds and lightning, whipping up the salty waves in the ocean, causing the mountains to tremble as from an earthquake. "Large trees on the sand-banks had their branches broken by the mighty stroke of Vata's wings and fell headlong into the briny waters of the ocean. The snakes became frightened. The snakes inhabiting there and all the marine animals plunged quickly into the briny ocean."

Thereupon, all the monkeys saw within a moment, a mighty eagle, Garuda, the son of Vinata, like unto a blazing torch. On beholding Garuda the eagle which came there, the serpents who bound those two warriors Rama and Lakshmana in the form of mighty arrows, fled away. Thereupon, Garuda the eagle, coming into contact with Rama and Lakshmana d offering them his good wishes, with his hands caressly touched their faces that were radiant like the moon.

Their wounds, touched by Garuda the eagle, were healed. Their bodies soon became smooth and well-rounded. Their luster, valour, strength, endurance and resolution, those great qualities, also their perspicacity, intelligence and memory were re-doubled. 

Lifting them up both who were like Indra, the highly majestic Garuda the eagle embraced them. Rama also, being pleased, spoke to him (as follows): "Now, by your grace, we both have overcome a great disaster created by Indrajit the son of Ravana. We have been made strong as before. By meeting you thus, my heart is gladdened in the same manner as I am meeting Dasaratha, my father and Aja, my paternal grandfather. Who are you, the one endowed with beauty, having blissful garlands and anointments, wearing clean garments and adorned with divine ornaments?"

       The highly majestic and the mighty Garuda the eagle, the King of Birds, with his eyes widened in gladness and with a pleased heart, spoke to Rama as follows: "O, Rama! I am your dearest friend Garuda dear as your own breath moving outside I came here for the purpose of helping you, both. Either the most valiant demons or the exceedingly strong monkeys or the celestials together with the celestial musicians having Devendra the Lord of celestials in their forefront are unable to untie this awfully terrific entanglement of arrows created through his power of sorcery by Indrajit of terrific deeds."

"These serpents, which took their base at, were none other than the sons of Kadru with their sharp fangs, abundantly filled with poison, transformed into arrows, by the dint of sorcery by Indrajit the demon. "O, Rama the knower of righteousness and true to your promise! You, along with your brother Lakshmana the annihilator of enemies, indeed are lucky. Hearing about this incident, I have hastened all at once, duly cherishing the love and friendship (for you). You have been released from this quite terrific shackle of arrows. Both of you should maintain vigilance, all the time."

"All the demons by their very nature are treacherous fighters in battle. For you, the warriors, your pure-mindedness and straight forwardness are the strengths. What Indrajit has done, exemplifies how the demons are always crooked-minded. For this reason, you should not trust the demons in battle."

 That mighty Garuda, having spoken thus to Rama then and having affectionately embraced him, began to take leave of him. "O, Rama the knower of piety, affectionate even towards your enemies and my dear fried! I wish to take leave of you." I shall proceed happily. O, hero! You need not be so curious to know the cause of my friendship. You will know of it, once you have accomplished success in battle. When, under the flutter of your arrows, Lanka has been destroyed save for the aged and the children and you have slain Ravana,. your enemy, you will bring back Seetha."

Having spoken thus, Garuda of swift flight, having beautiful wings, who had just healed Rama's wounds in the presence of monkeys, having paid obeisance presence of monkeys, having paid obeisance to him (by circumambulation) and taken him into his arms, entered the sky with the speed of the wind. Seeing Rama and Lakshmana healed of their wounds, the chiefs of monkeys howled like roars of lions and lashed their tails.

Thereupon, gongs were beaten, drums resounded, and couches were blown amid jumping in joy of the monkeys as before. Some other strong monkeys who use trees as maces in battle, waving their arms and uprooting hundreds and thousands of various trees, stood there, ready for the battle. Uttering great noises, frightening the demons and desirous to fight, the monkeys reached the gates of Lanka.

Thereafter, a highly terrible and tumultuous sound arose among the leaders of the monkeys, as, at the end of summer the roaring of thunder clouds in the mid-night. 

 

Thus completes 50th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

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October 2005, K. M. K. Murthy