Assuming the false appearance of monkeys they witnessed all the doings of Sri Rama and praised in their heart the Lord's virtues and His fondness for those who come to Him for protection.

They openly commenced applauding Sri Rama's amiability and in the intensity of their emotion forgot their disguise. the monkeys now recognized them as the enemy's spies; they bound them all and brought them in the presence of Sugriva ( the lord of the monkeys ). Said Sugriva. "Listen, all you monkeys: mutilate the demons and dismiss them." hearing Sugriva's command the monkeys ran and paraded them in bonds all throgh the camp. The monkeys, then started belabouring them right and left; the demons piteously cried for help, yet the monkeys would not let them alone. "whosoever robs us of our nose and ears, we adjure himby Sri Rama not to do So." When Laksmana heard this, he called them all near and moved to pity he laughed and immediately had themreleased. "Give thisnote into Ravana's hands and tell hi,: read, destroyer of your race, what Laksmana says."

"Further convery to the fool by word of mouth my generous message: surrender Sita and make peace or your hour is come."

Bowing their head at Laksmana's feet the spies immediately departed, recounting the virtues of Sri Rama, With Sri Rama's feet, The tem-headed monster laughed and asked them the news: "Report me, Suka, your own welfare and then tell me the news about Vibhisana. whom death has approached very near, The fool left Lanka where he was ruling; the wretch will now be crushed as a weevil with barley-grains. Tell me next all about the host of bears and monkeys, that has been driven over here by a cruel destiny. It is the poor soft-hearted sea that has stood as a protector of their lives. Lastly tell me the news about the ascetics ( Rama and Laksmana ) whose heart is obsessed with unceasing terror of me.

"Did you meet them or did they beat their retreat on hearing my fair renown? Why should you not speak of the enemy's prowess and strength; your wits seem utterly dazed."

"My lord, just as you have so kindly put these questions to me, so do you believe what I say and be not angry. No sooner had your younger brother ( Vibhisana ) met Sri Rama than the latter applied the sacred mark of sovereignty on his forehead, Whenthe monkeys hea; I that we were Ravana's ( Your majesty's ) spies, they bound us and persecuted us in many ways. They were about to cut off your ears and nose; but when we adjured them by Rama not to do so, they let us go, You have enquired, my lord, about Sri Rama's army; but a thouasnd million tongues would fail to describe it, It is a host of bears and monkeys of diverse hue and gruesome visage, huge and terrible. He who burnt your capital and killed your son ( Aksa ) is the weakest of all the monkeys. The army includes innumerable champions with as many names, fierce and unyielding monsters of vast bulk and possessing the strength of numberless elephants."

"Dvivida, Mainda. Nila, Nala, Angada, Gada, Vikatasya, Dadhimukha, Kesari, Nisatha, Satha and the powerfulJambavan are some of them."

"Each of these monkeys is as mighty as Sugriva ( Theking ) and there are tens of millions like them; who can dare count them? By the grace of Sri Rama they are unequalled in strength and reckon the three spheres of creation as of no more account than a blade of grass. I have heard it said, Ravana, that the commanders of the various monkey-troops alonenumber eighteen thousand billions. Inthe whole host, my lord, there is not a single monkey who would not conquer you inbattle, They are all wringing their hands in excess of passion; but the Lord of the Raghus does not order them ( to march0." 'We shall suck the ocean dry with all its fish and serpents or fill it up with huge mountains. Nay, we shall crush the ten-headed Ravana and reduce him to dust.' Such were the words that all the monkeys uttered. Fearless by nature, they roared and bullied as if they would devour Lanka.

"AII themonkeys and bears are born warriors and, besides, they have they have Lord Sri Rama over their head, Ravana they can conquer in battle even millions of Yamas ( death personified )."

"A hundred thousand Sesas would fail to describe the greatness of Sri Rama's valour, strength and intelligence. With a single shaft He could dry up a hundred seas; yet, being a master fo propriety, He consulted your brother ( Vibhisana ) and in accordance with his suggestion Heis asking passage of the ocean with a heart full of compassion." The ten-headed monster laughed to hear these words. "I; was becauseof such wits that he ( Rama ) took monkeys for his allies.That is why. confirming the advice of my brother, who is a born coward, he is persistaent in demanding of the ocean ( like a pet child ) something which is impossible. Fool. why do you bestow false praise on the enemy, whose might and wisdom I have fathomed,Triumph and glory inthis world are inaccessibleto him who has a cowardly counsellor like Vibhisana." The spy waxed angry to hear the words of the wicked monarch and taking it to be an opportune moment he took out theletter ( fromLaksmana ). "Sri Rama's younger brother ( Laksmana ) gave me this note; have it read, my lord, and soothe your heart," Ravana laughed when he took the letter in his left hand; and summoning his minister, the fool asked him to read it out.

Beguiling your mind with flattering words. O fool, do not bring your race to utter ruin. By courting enmity with Sri Rama you will not be spared even though you seek the protection of Visnu Brahma or Siva. Therefore, abandoning pride, like your younger brother, either seek the lotus feet of the Lord as a bee or be consumed with your family like a moth into the fire of Sri Rama's shafts, O wretch.

Ravana was dismayed at heart as he listened to the above message but wore a feigned smile on his face and spoke aloud for all to hear: "The younger hermit's grabdilopuence is just  like the attempt of a man lyingon the ground to clutch with hands the vault of heaven." Said Suka." My lord, giving up haughtiness take every word of it as true. Abandon passion and give ear to my advice: my lord, avoid a clash with Sri Rama. The hero of Raghu's line is exceedingly mild of disposition, even though He is the lord of the entire universe, The Lord will shower His grace on you themoment you meet Him, and wil not take to heart even a single offence of yours. pray, restore Janaka's Daughter to Sri Rama; at least concede this request of mine." When Suka asked him to surrender Videha's Daughter, the wretch kicked him. Suka, however, bowed his head at Ravana's feet and proceeded to the place where the all-merciful Lord of the Raghus was. Making obeisance tothe Lord he told Him all about himself and by Rama's grace recovered his original state. He was an enlightened sage; it was by Agastya's curse, Parvati, that he had been transformed into a demon. Adoring Sri Rama's feet again and again the sage returned to his hermitage.

Although three days had elapsed, the crass ocean would not answer the Lord's prayer, Sri Rama thereupon indignantly said. "There can beno friendship without inspiring fear."

"Laksmana, bring Me My bow and arrows; I will dry up the ocean with a missile presided over by the god of fire. Supplication before an idiot, friendship with a rogue, inculcationg liberality on a born miser, talking wisdom to one steeped in worldliness, glorifying dispassion before man of excessive greed, a lecture on mindcontrol to an irascible man and a discoures on the exploits of Sri Hari to a libidinous person are as futile as sowing seeds in a barren land." So saying, the Lord of the Raghus strung His bow and thisstand ( of the Lord ) delighted Laksmana's heart. When the Lord fitted the terrible arrow to His bow, a blazing fire broke out in the heart of th ocean; the alligators, serpents and fishes felt distressed. When the god presiding over the ocean found the creatures burning hegave up his pride and assuming the form of a Brahmana, came with a gold plate filled with all kinds of jewels.

Though one may take infinite pains in watering a plaintain it will not bear fruit unless it is hewed Similarly, mark me, O king of birds, ( continues Kakabhusundi, ) a vile fellow heeds no prayer but yields only when reprimande.

The god  presiding over the ocean clasped the Lord's feet in dismay. "Forgive, my lord, all my faults, Ether,air, fire, water and earth-all these, my lord, are dull by nature, It is Maya ( Cosmic Nature ) which brought them forth for the purposeof creation under an impulse from You: so declare all the scriptures. One would attain happiness in lifeonly by remaining where he has been placed by the Lord, My lord has done well in giving me a lesson; but You have fixed certain limits for everyone. A drum. a rustic, a Sudra, a beast and a woman-all these deserve instructions. BY the Lord's glory I shall be dried up and the army will cross over: but this will bring no credit to me. Your command, however, is inviolable : thus declare the Vedas. I shall do at once what pleases You."

On hearing his most submissive words the all-mercifulsmiled and said. "Tell me, dear father, some device whereby the monkey host may cross over."

"My lord, the two monkey brothers, Nila, and Nala, got a boon in their childhood from a sage. Touched by them even huge mountains will float on the ocean by Your glory, Cherishing my lord's ( Your ) greatness I too shall help You to the best of my abil-ity, In this way, my lord, have the ocean bridged, so that this glorious achievement of Yours may be sung in all three spheres of creation. With this arrow. my Lord, extermi- nate a race of vile criminals inhabiting my northern coast." On hearingthis, Sri Rama, who was as tender-hearted as He was staunch in battle. immediately relieved the agony of Ocean's heart. The god presiding over the ocean was rejoiced and gratified to witness Sri Rama's astounding might and valour. He related to the Lord all the doings ( of those villains ); and bowing to His feet, Ocean took his leave.

The god presiding over the ocean left for his home; the idea ( of bridging the ocean ) commended itself to the blessed Lord of theRaghus. This story ( of Sri Rama's exploits in this Kanda ), which wipes out the impurities of the kali age, has been sung by Tulasidasa according to his own ( poor ) lights. The excellences of Sri Rama ( the Lord of the Raghus ) are an abode of delight, a panacea for all doubt and an unfailing remedy for sorrow. Therefore, giving up all other hope and faith, ever sing and hear them, O foolish mind.

A recital of the virtues of Sri Rama ( the Lord of the Raghus ) bestows all blessings. Those who reverently hear them cross the ocean of mundane existence without any bark.

Thus ends the fifth descent into the Manasa lake
of Sri Rama's exploits, that eradicates
all the impurities of the Kali age.


References : N/A
Last Updated : March 10, 2011

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