Doha - 11
"Armed with a bow and arrow and accompanied by Your younger brother and Janaka's Daughter (Sita), O Lord Sri Rama, pray dwell for ever like a moon in the firmament of my heart, though free every desire."

"So be it, " said Rama (the Abode of Laksmi) as He joyously started on His visit to the jar-born sage, Agastya. "It is a long time since saw my Guru and came to live in this hermitage. Now, my lord, I will go with You to see my Guru, thus I am not putting You under any obligation." The Fountain of Mercy saw through the sage's cleverness and both the brothers smiled as they took him with them. Discoursing on the way on the incomparable cult of devotion to His own feet Sri Rama (the King of the gods) arrived at the hermitage of the sage (Agastya). Sutiksna immediately saw his Guru and after prostrating himself before the latter thus addressed him, "My lord, the two sons of King Dasaratha (Kosala's lord), the support of the world, have come to see you--Sri Rama, accompanied by His younger brother (Laksmana) and Videha's Daughter (Sita), whose Name you repeat night and day, venerable sir "Agastya started up as soon as he heard this and ran; at the sight of Sri Hari his eyes filled with tears. The two brothers fell at the sage's lotus feet; but the sage took and clasped them to his bosom with the utmost affection, Courteously enquiring after their welfare the enlightened sage conducted them to an exalted seat and then offered worship in various ways to the Lord, saying "There is no other man so blessed as I am. "Whatever other sages had assembled there, were all delighted to behold the Fountain of Joy.

Doha - 12
As He sat in the midst of the assembly of sages with His face towards all (and their fixed on His moon-like face) they seemed like a bevy of Cakora birds gazing on the autumnal moon.

Then said Sri Rama (the Hero of Raghu's line) to the sage, "I have nothing to hide from you, my lord. You know what for I have come; that is why, holy father, I have not dwelt at lenght on this point, Now, my good sir, give me some advice, by following which I may be able to kill the enemies of the hermits." The sage smiled when he heard the Lord's remarks. "With what intention have You asked me this question? It is by virtue of my devotion to You, O Destroyer of sins, that I know a bit of Your glory, Your Maya (Creative Energy) is like  a huge tree of the species know by the name of Udumbara, with  the countless multitudes of universes for its clustering fruits. The animate and inanimate beings (inhabiting the various universes)are like the insects that dwell inside the fruits and know of no other fruit (besides the one they inhabit). The relentless and dreadful Time-spirit devours these fruits. but even that (all-devouring) Time ever trembles in fear of You. You, who are the suzerain lord of all the regional lords, have asked my advice as though You were an ordinary human being. I ask this been of You, O Home of mercy: pray dwell in my heart with your Spouse (Sita) and younger brother(Laksmana) and let me have intense devotion. dispassion, fellowship with the saints and unbroken love for Your lotus feet. Even though I know You to be the same as the indivisible and infinite Brahma (the Absolute), who can only be realized (and cannot be known by any other means) and is adored by the saints, and even though I depict You as such, I feel enamoured of Your qualified form again and again. You have always exalted Your servants; that is is why You have thought fit to consult me, O Lord of Raghus. There is, my lord, a most charming and holy spot; it is called Pancavati Sancity the Dandaka forest (where it is situated) and redeem it from the terrible curse of the great sage (Sukracarya). Take up Your there, O Lord of Raghu's line, and show Your grace to all the sages," On receiving the sage's permission Sri Rama departed and drew near to Pancavati in no time.

Doha - 13
He met Jatayu (the king of vultures); and developing friendship with him in many ways the Lord stayed near the Godavari, where He made Himself a thached hut of leaves.

From the time Sri Rama took up His abode there the sages lived happily and were rid of all fear. The hills, woods, streams and lakes were suffused with beauty and grew yet more lovely day by day. The birds and deer were full of joy, and the bees witht their sweet humming looked very charming. Not even Sesa (the king of serpents) would be able to describe the forest which was adorned by Sri Rama (the Chief of Raghus) in His manifest form. Once upon a time, as the Lord was sitting at ease, Laksmana addressd Him in guileless words:" O Lord of gods, human beings, sages and all animate and inanimate creation ! I ask of You as of my own master. Instruct me, my lord, how I may be able to adore the dust of Your feet to the exclusion of everything else. Discourse to me on spiritual wisdom and dispassion as well as on Maya (Illusion); and also speak to me about Bhakti (devotion), which You make an occasion for showering Your grace."

Doha - 14
"Also explain to me all the difference between God and the individual soul, so that I may be devoted to Your feet and my sorrow, infatuation and delusion may disappear.'

"I will explain everything in a nutshell; dear brother, with your mind, intellect and reason fully absorbed. The feeling of `I' and `mine' and `you'and `your' is Maya (Illusion), which holds sway over all created beings. whatever is perceived by the senses and that which lies within the reach of the mind, know it all to be Maya And Hear of its divisions too: they are two, viz.,knowledge and ignorance. The one (ignorance) is vile and extremely painful, and has cast the ego into the sink of worldly existence. The other (Knowledge), which brings forth the creation and which holds sway over the three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) is directed by the Lord and has no strength of its own Spiritual wisdom is that which is free from all blemishes in the shape of pride etc., and which sees the Supreme Spirit equally in all. He alone, dear brother, should be called a man of supreme dispassion, who has spurned all supernatural powers as well as the three Gunas (of which the universe is composed) as if of no more account than a blade of grass.

Doha - 15
"That alone deserves to be called a Jiva (individual soul), which knows not Maya nor God nor one's own self. Siva (God) is He who awards bondage and liberation (according to one's deserts), transcends all and is the controller of Maya."

"Dispassion results from the practice of virtue, while spiritual, wisdom comes of the practice of Yoga (concentration of mind); and wisdom is the bestower of liberation: so declare the Vedas. And that which melts My heart quickly, dear brother, is Devotion, which is the delight of My devotees. It stands by itself and requires no other prop; wherea Jnana(knowledge of God in His absolute formless aspect) and Vijnana (knowledge of the qualified aspect of God, both with and withou form) depend on it. Devotion, dear brother, is incomparable and the very root of bliss; it can be acquired only by the favour of saint. I now proceed to tell you at some length the means of acquiring Devotion, an easy path by which men find Me. In the first place a man should cultivate excessive devotion to the feet of the Brahmanas and secondly he should remain engaged in his own duty according to the lines laid down by the Vedas. This induces an aversion to the pleasures of sense and dispassion in its turn engenders a love for My Cult (the Cult of Devotion). This will brings steadfastness in the nine forms of Devotion such as Sravana(hearing of the Lord's praises etc.,) and the mind will develop an excessive fondness for My sports. Again, one should be extremely devoted to the lotus feet of saints and should be persistent in the practice of adoration through mind, speech and action. He should recognize Me as his preceptor, father, mother, kinsman, lord, deity and all and should be steadfast in My service. A thrill runs through his body as he sings My praises; his voice gets choked and his eyes flow with tears; he is free from lust and other vices, pride and hypocrisy. I am ever at the beck and call of such a devotee.

Doha - 16
"Nay, I ever repose in the lotus heart of those who depend on Me in thought, word and deed and who worship Me in a disinterested way."

Laksmana was greatly delighted to hear the above discourse on the discipline of Bhakti(Devotion) and bowed his head at the feet of the Lord. In this way some days were spent in discoursing on dispassion, spiritual wisdom, goodness and morality. Now Ravana (the notorious demon king of Lanka) had a sister, Surpanakha (lit.,a woman having nails as big as a winnowing fan) by name, who was foul-hearted and cruel as a serpent. She once went to Pancayati and was smitten with pangs of love at the sight of the two princes. At the very sight of a handsome man be he her own brother, father or son, O Garuda, a (wanton) woman gets excited and cannot restrain her passion. even as the sun-stone emits fire when it is brought in front of the sun. Having assumed a charming form she approached the Lord and with many a smile addressed the following words to Him: "There is no man like you and no woman like me. It is with great deliberation that God has made this pair. I have ransacked the three spheres but have found no suitable match for me in the whole universe. It is for this reason that I have till now remained a virgin; my mind has been set at rest a bit only after seeing you." The Lord cast a glance at Sita and said only this much: "My younger brother is a bachelor." She went to Laksmana, who, knowing that she was their enemy's sister, looked at his lor and spoke in gentle tones; "Listen, fair lady: I am His servant and a dependant; thus you will have no comforts with me. My lord will be worthy of Him. A servant who aspires for happiness, a beggar who expects honour, a person addicted to some vice who hopes for riches, a profligate who seeks a blessed state after death, an avaricious man who covets fame and a pround man who expects the four prizes of life--all these men expect to get milk by milking the heavens. " Again she truned and came to Sri Rama; but the Lord sent her back to Laksmana. Said Laksmana, "He alone will wed you, who deliberately casts all shame to the winds. " Thereupon she went fretting and foaming to Sri Rama and revealed her frightful demonic form. The Lord of Raghus saw that Sita was terrified and made a sing to His younger brother (Laksmana).

Doha - 17
With great agility Laksmana struck off her and ears, thereby inviting Ravana through her to a contest as it were.

Without nose and ears she wore a hideous aspect and looked like a mountain flowing wih torrents of red ochre. She went sobbing to Khara and Dusana: "Fie, fle upon your manhood and strength, brothers!" Questioned by them she told them everthing in detail; hearing her report the demon chiefs gathered an army. Swarming multitudes of demons of diverse shapes rushed forth like hots of winged mountains of collyrium on velicles of various kinds. They were infinite in number and were armed with terrible weapons of various kinds. They placed at their head Surpankha shorn of her ears and nose and thus presenting an inauspicious sight. Numberless ill-omens of a fearful nature occurred to them; but the host heeded them not, doomed as they all were to death. They roared and bullied and sprang in the air; and the champions were filled with excessive joy to see they army. Said one, "Capture the two brothers alive and having captured them kill them and carry off the woman. " The vault of heaven was overhung captured them kill them and carry off the woman. " The vault of heaven was overhung with the dust raised by them. (Seeing this) Sri Rama called His younger brother (Laksmana) and said, "Take Janaka's Daughter to some mountain-cave; a terrible array of demons has come. Therefore, remain on your guard." Obedient to his lord's command he withdrew (to a safe retreat) with Sita, bow and arrow in hand. When Sri Rama saw that the hostile force had advanced, He smiled as Her strung His formidable bow.

As He coiled His matted locks into a tuft on His head after stringing His formidable bow, it seemed as if a pair of snakes were engaged in a conflict with countless streaks, of lightning on a mountain of emerald. Having girded up His quiver at His waist, and clasping the bow with His long arms and putting His arrows in order, He looked at the enemy even as a lion (the king of the beasts) would glare at a herb of large elephants.

Doha - 18
Valiant champions came rushing with all speed shouting "Seize him, seize him!" even as the demons close round upon the rising sun finding it all alone.

Even as they beheld the Lord the invading warriors could not discharge their arrow; the whole demon host became powerless. Khara and Dusana summoned their ministers and said, "This prince, whoever he may be, is an ornament of the human race. Of all the Nagas, demons, gods, human beings and sages that exist (in this universe) we have seen, vanquished or slain many. But during our whole life, listen to us, our brethren all, we have never beheld such beauty. Even though he has disfigured our sister, he does not deserve death peerless as he is among men. `Surrender to us at once the woman you have put in hiding somewhere and return home with your life, both you and your brother.'Deliver this message of mine to him and return immediately with his reply." The heralds went to Sri Rama and delivered the message to Him, in reply to which Sri Rama smilignly said, "We are Ksatriyas by birth and are given to hunting in the woods; wretches like you are the game that we are tracking. We are never dismayed at the sight of a mighty foe and would give battle to Death himself if he ever appeared before us. Though human beings, we are the exterminators of the race of demons and, though youthful in appearance, we are the exterminators of the race of demons and though youthful in appearance, we are the protectors of the hermits and the torment of the wicked. It you have no strength to fight, you had better return home; I will never kill an enemy who has turned his back upon the field of battle. When you have come up to fight, it would be the height of weakness to play wily pranks or to show compassion to your enemy." The heralds returned forthwith and repeated all that had been told. The heart of Khara and Dusana was on fire when they heard it.

Their heart was on fire and they exlaimed, "Capture him, "hearing which fierce demon champions rushed forth, all armed with bows and arrows, steel clubs,pikes, spears, scimitars, maces and axes. First of all the Lord gave His bow a twang--shrill, terfic and fearful--which deafened the ears of and dismayed the demons, who had no sense left in them.

Doha - 19A-B
Having learnt that they were confronting a powerful enemy, the demon warriors now rushed with caution and began to hurl missiles and weapons of various kinds on Sri Rama. The Hero of Raghu's however, tore them into pieces as small as sesamum seeds and then drawing the bow-string to His ear let His own arrows.

Then the terrible arrows sped forth, hissing like so many serpents. Sri Rama got infuriated in battle and arrows, exceedingly sharp, flew from His bow. The demon warriors turned and fled when they found the arrows so very keen. The three brothers (Khara, Dusana and Trisira) now flew into rage: "Whoever flees from the battle-field will be killed by us with our own hands" At this the warriors turned back, fully resolved to die, and made a frontal attack with weapons of every description. Perceiving that the enemy was exceedingly furious, the Lord fitted arrows to His bow and discharged many a shaft of the `Naraca' type with the result that frightful fiends began to be moved down. Trunks, heads, arms, hands and feet began to drop to the ground here, there and everwhere. Pierced by shafts, they yelled and their trunks fell like mountains. The bodies of the warriors were torn into a hundred pieces and resorting to deceptive methods they stood up again. A number of arms and heads flew through the air and headless trunks ran to and fro. Birds like kites and crows and jackals srangled in a cruel and awful way.

Jackals wrangled; ghosts, spirits and fiends filled the bowls of skulls with blood: devils clashed the heads of slain warriors like cymbals and the Yognin's danced Sri Rama's fierce arrows tore to pieces the leaders' breast, arms and heads; their bodies fell on every side but stood up again to fight with terrible cries of "Seize, capture!" Vultures flew away with the end of entrails in their claws, while goblins scampered with the other end help in their hands; one might fancy numberless children of the town of the battle-field were flying kites. A large number of champions, that had been smitten or knocked leaders like Trisira Khara and Dusana turned towards Sri Rama. Countless demons hurled furiously against the Hero of Raghu's line arrows, spears, iron clubs, axes javelins and daggers all at once. In the twinkling of an eye the Lord warded off the enemy's shafts and sent forth His own arrows, planting ten shafts in the breast of each champion of the demon host. The leaders fell to the ground but rose again and joined in the fray. Yet they would not die and played very many tricks. The gods trembled with fear when they saw that the demons numbered fourteen thusand, while the Lord of ayodhya was all alone. Finding the gods and sages alarmed, the Lord, who is the Controller of Maya (Cosmic Illusion), wrought a great miracle. The demons saw one another in the form of Sri Rama, so that the enemy's warriors fought among themselves and perished.

Doha - 20A-B
They quitted their body crying "Rama!!" and thereby attained the state of eternal bliss. Falling back upon this device the Ocean of Mercy killed the enemy in an instant. The gods in their exultation rained dwon flowers and kettle-drums sounded in the heavens. And hymning their praises one after another they all left, shining in their cars of various patterns.

When the Lord of Raghus had vanquished the foe in battle, the gods, human beings and sages were all rid of fear. Then Laksmana brought Sita back; and as he fell at His feet the Lord joyously clasped him to His bosom Sita fixed Her gaze on His swarthy and delicate form with utmost affection; but Her eyes knew no satiety. Thus dwelling at Pancavati the blessed Lord of Raghus performed deeds that delighted gods and sages alike Perceiving the destruction of Khara and Dusana, Surpanakha apprached Ravana and instigated him (against Sri Rama). In great fury she rated him in the following words: "Discarding all thought of your realm and exchequer you drink and sleep day and night and take no heed of the enemy, who is now at your very door. Sovereignty without political insight, wealth divorced from virtue, noble deeds that have not been offered to Sri Hari (God) and learning which does not beget wisdom is nothing but fruitless labour to the man who has gained such kingdom or wealth, to the doer of the noble acts and to the student resectively. A recluse is quickly undone by atachment, a  king by evil counsel, wisdom by conceit, modesty by drinking, friendship by want of love, and a man of merit by vanity: such is the maxim I have heard.


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Last Updated : February 23, 2011

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