They would lift up gigantic trees and mountains in mere sport and bring them to Nala and Nila, who in their turn carefully set to build the bridge.


The monkeys brought huge mountains. which were received like playballs by nala and Nile. When the AII-merciful saw the exceedingly beautiful construction of the bridge, He smiled and observed thus: "This is a most delightful and excellent sopt; its glory is immeasurable and cannot be described in words. I will install( an emblem of ) Lord Sambhu here : it is the crowning ambition of My heart. " Hearing this the lord of the monkeys despatched a numberof messengers, whoinvited and fetched all the great sages. Having installed an emblemof lord Siva and worshipped It with due solemmity, He said, "No one else is so dear to Me as Siva. An enemy of Siva althought he calls himself a devotee of Mine, cannot attainto Me even in a dream. He who is opposed to Sankara and yet aspires for devotion to Me is doomed to perdition, stupid and dull-witted as he is.


"Men, who, though devoted to Sankara, arh hostile to Me and even so those who are enemies of Siva but votaries of Mine shall have their abode in the most frightful hell till the end of creation."


"They who will behold Lord Ramesvara will.on quitting thebody, go direct to My sphere in heaven,And a man who takes the water of the Ganga and pours it on the Lord will attainliberation intheformofabsorptionintoMy being. Again,whosoever adores the Lord in a disinterested spirit and without guile willbe blessed by Sankara with devotionto Me. And he who sees the bridge erected by me will be able to cross the ocean ofworldly existence without any exertion." Sri Rama's words gladdened the heart of all and the great sages returned each to his own hermitage. Girija. ( says Sankara. ) such is the way fo the Lord of the Raghus : He ever loves those who take refuge in Him. Theclever, nala and Nila constructed thebridge and by Rama's grace their renown spread far and wide.Those very rocks that notlonly sink themselves butcause even other things to sinkalong with them floated like so many rafts. This is, however, not ascribed to any miraculous power of the ocean, nor to a virtue of the rocks themselves. nor again to amy skill of the monkeys.


It was by the might of Sri Raman ( the Hero of Raghu's line ) that rocks floated on the ocean. They are dull-witted indeed, who go to worship a lord other than Sri Rama.


Having completed the bridge they made it exceptionally secure; the All-Merciful was goad at heart to see it, As the army marched it was a sight beyond all telling, the troops of monkey warrious roaring as they went. Ascending an eminence near the bridge the gracious Lord of the Raghus surveyed the vast expanse of the ocean. AII the creatures inhabiting the ocean appeared on the surface in order to have a look at the Lord. who was the ery fountain-head of mercy, There were many kinds of alligators, crocodiles, fishes and serpents with bodies eight hundred miles in length and colossal in size. There were others who could devour even thes. They in their turn were afraid of some other creatures. AII gazed upon the Lord and would not stir even when diverted. They were all glad of heart and felt very happy. Covered by them the water could not be seen; they were filled with ecstasy at the sight of Sri Hari's beauty. The army adanced on receiving the Lord's command : who can describe the vastness of the monkey host ?


The bridge being overcrowde. some of the monkeys flew through the air; while others crossed over treading on the backs of sea monsters.


The gracious Lord of the Raghus and His brother laughed at the sight of this amusing spectacle and marched. The Hero of Raghu's line reached the other shore along with the host : the throng of monkey chiesfs was beyond all description. The Lord encamped himself across the ocean and commanded all the monkeys to go and regale themselveson the delightful fruit and roots. As soon as they heard this thebears and monkeys ran off in all directions. ALl the trees bore fruit in the interest of Sri Rama in season or out of season awithout any regard to the laws of time.The bears and monkeys would eat the luscious fruit. shake the trees and hurl hill-tops towards Lanka. If they ever found a straggling demon anywhere, they all hemmed him in and teased him not a little; nay, they would bite off his nose and ears and let him go only after reciting to him the Lord's fair renown. Those who had thus lost their onse and cars went and related everything to Ravana The moment he heard that the sea had been bridged the ten-headed monster exclaimed in consternation with all his tongues at once ( using different phraseology with each ):-


"What ! has he really bridged the waves, the billows. the sea, the ocean, the main, the deep. the deep. the brine, the tide, the nyaline, the lord of rivers ?"


Then. realizing hisown nervousness, he laughed andleft forhis palace forgetting his fear. WhenMandodari ( Ravana's consort ) heard that the Lord had arrived and bridged the ocean in mere sport. she tookher spouse by the hand, led him to her own palace and spoke to him in mot sweet accents. Bowing her head at his feet. she spread the end of her garment as a token of supplication and said. "Listen to my words without getting angry, my beloved : one should enter into hostilities with him alone whom one may be able to conquer by wit or physical force. The disparity between you and the Lord of the Raghus. however, is certainly analogous to that obtaining between a fire-fly and the sun, He who disposed of the most poserful Madhu and Kaitabha and finished the most valiant sons of Diti ( Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa ), nay, who bound Bali and despatched king Sahasrabahu ( So-called because he was possessed of a thousand arms )- it is He who has descended on earth in order to relieve it of its burden. My lord, you should not oppose Him who is the Master of Time, fate and the soul.


"Bowing your head ar Sri Rama's lotus-feet restore Janaka's Daughter to Him; then. handing over the kingdom to your son and. retiring to the forest. worship the Lord of the Raghus."


"Sri Rama ( the Lord of the Raghus ), my lord, is compassionate to the humble ( He will surely forgive you ). Even a tiger ( the most ferociousof all beasts ) will not devour a man if he goes submissively before him. You have already accomplished all that you had to do : you have conqueread not only gods and demons but the whole animate andinanimate creation. Holy men. my lord, have declared this maxim that a monarch should retire to the forest in the fourth stage of his life. Ther, my spouse. you should adore Him who is the creator, preserver and destroyer ( of the universe ). Renouncing all worldly ties,my lord, worship the selfasame Hero of Raghu's line, who is fond of thesuppliant The samelord of theRaghus. thekingof Kosala. whom the greatest of sages strive hard torealize and for whom monarchs relinquish their throne and shed every attachment-itis he who has arrived here to shower His grace on you if, my beloved, you accept my advice, your fair and exceedingly holy renown shall spread through all the three spheres."


So saying she clasped him by the feet; and with eyes full of tears and trembling in every limbshe added. "My lord, worship Sri Rama ( The Lord of the Raghus ) so that my union with you may last till eternity."


Thereupon Ravana lifted Maya's daughter ( Mandodari ) and the wretch began to harp on his own glory. "Listen, darling; you are hanunted by idle fears. What warrior ( The god presiding over the waters ), Kubera ( The god of riches), the wing-god, Yama ( the god of punishment), and all the other regents of the quarters but Death himself. Gods, demons and human beings are all under my control; what is the cause of your fear. then ?" He thus reassured her in many ways and once more went and sat in his council-chamber. Mandodari was now convinced at heart that it was her husband's impending death which had turned his head, Returning to his council-hall he asked his ministers : "How shall we proceed to fight the enemy ?" "Listen, O lord of the demons." replied the ministers. :why do you ask this question again and again ? What is there to be afraid of, which should engage our thought ? Human beings, monkeys and bears are our food."


Hearing the words of all, Prahasta ( Ravana's son ) said with joined palms, "Transgress not the bounds of propriety,my lord; your counsellors possess very little wit."


"AII your stupid ministers tell you only that which is plasing to their master; but that way you cannot succeed; my lord. A stray monkey sprang across the ocean and came this side and all the people still extol hisdoings in their heart of hearts. What ! Did noneof you have any appetite then ? Why did younot seize and devour him while he was burning your city ? Your ministers have given you, my lord, an advice which, though pleasant to hear, will hand you in trouble afterwards. He who has had the sea bridged in mere sport and has crossed over to the Suvela hill with all his army,tell me, is He an ordinary mortal whom you say you will devour ? AII these people are simply bragging. Dear father, listen to my words with great attention and do not account me a coward. There are multitudes of men in this world who are given to hearing and uttering pleasant words. Those men, however. who hear and utter words which are most salutary yet jarring to the ear are few and far between, my lord, Listen to my sound advice: first send an envoy to Sri Rama; and afterwards. when you have restourd Janaka's Daughter, make froends with Him."


"If He withdraws on receiving back His Consort, you shouldhave no more quarrel with Him. Otherwise meet Him face to face on the battle-field, and give him a tough fight."


"If. my Iord, you accept this advice of mine, your afair renown will spread throughout the world in either case." The ten-headed monster asked his son ( Prahasa ) in a fury. "Fool, who has taught you such wisdom ? If you entertain doubt in your mind from even now, my son, you have proved yourself tobe a prickly plant at the root of a bamboo ( Which brings about the detruction of the bamboo )." On hearing the harsh and mostmalignant remarks of his father Prahasta left for home uttering these bitter words: "Words of good counsel fall flat on you even as a medicine proves ineffectual fora man who is doomed to die. "Finding that it was evening now the ten-headed monster turned towards his palace fondly gazing on his twenty arms. On the highest level of Lanka stood a most wonderful hall, where music and dancing contests used to be held.Ravana went and took his seat in that hall, while Kinnaras ( Celestial songsters ) began to sing his praises. Expert celestial nymphs commenced their danace to the accompaniment of cymbals, tabors and lutes.


He constantly revelled in Iuxuries which could be enjoyed only by a hundred Indras. he had a most powrful for threatening at his door; yet he had on anxiety of fear.


At this end the Hero of Raghu's line encamped with his vast army on Mount Suvela. Observing a very lofty, supremely lovely, even and remarkably shining peak, Laksmana carefully spread on it with his own hands beautiful young Ieaves and blossoms of trees. which he covered with a charming and soft deerskin; it was on this seat that the gracious Lord rested himself. The Lord placed his head in the lap of Sugriva ( the Iord of the monkeys ) with the bow and quiver to His left and right. He was passing both His Iotus hands on an arrow, while the would-be king of Lanka ( Vibhisana ) whispered some secret in his ears.The blessed Angada and Hanuman kneaded his lotus-feet in diverse ways; while behind theLord sat Laksmana in the pose of a warrior, with the quiver fastened at his waist and the bow and arrow ready in his hands.


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

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