CCLXXVIII Markandeya said, Afflicted with grief at the abduction of Sita, Rama had not to go much further before he came upon Pampa, that lake which abounded with lotuses of various kinds. And fanned by the cool, delicious and fragrant breezes in those woods, Rama suddenly remembered his dear spouse. And, O mighty monarch, thinking of that dear wife of his, and afflicted at the thought of his separation from her, Rama gave way to lamentations. The son of Sumitra then addressed him saying, O thou that givest proper respect to those that deserve it, despondency such as this should not be suffered to approach thee, like illness that can never touch an old man leading a regular life! Thou hast obtained information of Ravana and of the princess of Videha!
Liberate her now with exertion and intelligence! Let us now approach Sugriva, that foremost of monkeys, who is even now on the mountain top! Console thyself, when I, thy disciple and slave and ally, am near' And addressed by Lakshmana in these and other words of the same import, Rama regained his own nature and attended to the business before him. And bathing in the waters of Pampa and offering oblations therewith unto their ancestors, both those heroic brothers, Rama and Lakshmana, set out for Rishyamuka. And arriving at Rishyamuka which abounded with fruits and roots and trees, those heroes beheld five monkeys on the top of the mountain-peak. And seeing them approach, Sugriva sent his counsellor the intelligent Hanuman, huge as the Himavat-mountains, to receive them. And the brothers, having first exchanged words with Hanuman, approached Sugriva. And then, O king, Rama made friends with Sugriva. And when Rama informed Sugriva of the object he had in view, Sugriva showed him the piece of cloth that Sita had dropped among the monkeys, while being carried away by Ravana.
And having obtained from him those credentials, Rama himself installed Sugriva, that foremost of monkeys, in sovereignty of all the monkeys of Earth. And Rama also pledged himself to slay Vali in battle. And having come to that understanding and placing the fullest confidence in each other, they all repaired to Kiskindhya, desirous of battle with Vali. And arriving at Kiskindhya, Sugriva sent forth a loud roar deep as that of a cataract. Unable to bear that challenge, Vali was for coming out but his wife Tara stood in way, saying, Himself endued with great strength, the way in which Sugriva is roaring, showeth, I ween, that he hath found assistance! It behoveth thee not, therefore, to go out! Thus addressed by her, that king of the monkeys, the eloquent Vali, decked in a golden garland replied unto Tara of face beautiful as the moon, saying, Thou understandest the voice of every creature. Tell me after reflection whose help it is that this brother in name only of mine hath obtained' Thus addressed by him Tara endued with wisdom and possessed of the effulgence of the moon, answered her lord after a moment's reflection, saying, Listen, O monarch of the monkeys! That foremost of bowmen, endued with great might, Rama the son of Dasaratha, whose spouse hath been ravished, hath made an alliance offensive and defensive with Sugriva!
And his brother the intelligent Lakshmana also of mighty arms, the unvanquished son of Sumitra, standeth beside him for the success of Sugriva's object. And Mainda and Dwivida, and Hanuman the son of Pavana, and Jamvuman, the king of the bears, are beside Sugriva as his counsellors. All these illustrious ones are endued with great strength and intelligence. And these all, depending upon the might and energy of Rama, are prepared for thy destruction' Hearing these words of hers that were for his benefit, the king of the monkeys disregarded them altogether. And filled with jealousy, he also suspected her to have set her heart on Sugriva! And addressing Tara in harsh words, he went out of his cave and coming before Sugriva who was staying by the side of the mountains of Malyavat, he spoke unto him thus, Frequently vanquished before by me, fond as thou art of life, thou art allowed by me to escape with life owing to thy relationship with me! What hath made thee wish for death so soon' Thus addressed by Vali, Sugriva, that slayer of foes, as if addressing Rama himself for informing him of what had happened, replied unto his brother in these words of grave import, O king, robbed by thee of my wife and my kingdom also, what need have I of life? Know that it is for this that I have come'
Then addressing each other in these and other words of the same import, Vali and Sugriva rushed to the encounter, fighting with Sala and Tala trees and stones. And they struck each other down on the earth. And leaping high into the air, they struck each other with their fists. And mangled by each other's nail and teeth, both of them were covered with blood. And the two heroes shone on that account like a pair of blossoming Kinshukas. And as they fought with each other, no difference in aspect could be observed so as to distinguish them. Then Hanuman placed on Sugriva's neck a garland of flowers. And that hero thereupon shone with that garland on his neck, like the beautiful and huge peak of Malya with its cloudy belt. And Rama, recognising Sugriva by that sign, then drew his foremost of huge bows, aiming at Vali as his mark. And the twang of Rama's bow resembled the roar of an engine.
And Vali, pierced in the heart by that arrow, trembled in fear. And Vali, his heart having been pierced through, began to vomit forth blood. And he then beheld standing before him Rama with Sumatra's son by his side. And reproving that descendant of Kakutstha's race, Vali fell down on the ground and became senseless. And Tara then beheld that lord of hers possessed of the effulgence of the Moon, lying prostrate on the bare earth. And after Vali had been thus slain, Sugriva regained possession of Kishkindhya, and along with it, of the widowed Tara also of face beautiful as the moon. And the intelligent Rama also dwelt on the beautiful breast of the Malyavat hill for four months, duly worshipped by Sugriva all the while. Meanwhile Ravana excited by lust, having reached his city of Lanka, placed Sita in an abode, resembling Nandana itself, within a forest of Asokas, that looked like an asylum of ascetics. And the large-eyed Sita passed her days there in distress, living on fruits and roots, practising ascetic austerities with fasts, attired in ascetic garb, and waning thin day by day, thinking of her absent lord. And the king of the Rakshasas appointed many Rakshasa women armed with bearded darts and swords and lances and battle-axes and maces and flaming brands, for guarding her.
And some of these had two eyes, and some three. And some had eyes on their foreheads. And some had long tongues and some had none. And some had three breasts and some had only one leg. And some had three matted braids on their heads, and some had only one eye. And these, and others of blazing eyes and hair stiff as the camel's, stood beside Sita surrounding her day and night most watchfully. And those Pisacha women of frightful voice and terrible aspect always addressed that large-eyed lady in the harshest tones. And they said, Let us eat her up, let us mangle her, let us tear her into pieces, her, that is, that dwelleth here disregarding our lord' And filled with grief at the separation from her lord, Sita drew a deep sigh and answered those Rakshasa women, saying, Reverend ladies, eat me up without delay! I have no desire to live without that husband of mine, of eyes like lotus-leaves and locks wavy, and blue in hue!
Truly I will, without food and without the least love of life, emaciate my limbs, like a she-snake hibernating within a Tala tree. Know this for certain that I will never seek the protection of any other person than the descendant of Raghu. And knowing this, do what ye think fit' And hearing these words of hers, those Rakshasas with dissonant voice went to the king of the Rakshasas, for representing unto him all she had said. And when those Rakshasas had gone away, one of their number known by the name of Trijata, who was virtuous and agreeable in speech, began to console the princess of Videha. And she said, Listen, O Sita! I will tell thee something! O friend, believe in what I say! O thou of fair hips, cast off thy fears, and listen to what I say. There is an intelligent and old chief of the Rakshasas known by the name of Avindhya.
He always seeketh Rama's good and hath told me these words for thy sake! Reassuring and cheering her, tell Sita in my name, saying: Thy husband the mighty Rama is well and is waited upon by Lakshmana. And the blessed descendant of Raghu hath already made friends with Sugriva, the king of the monkeys, and is ready to act for thee! And, O timid lady, entertain thou no fear on account of Ravana, who is censured by the whole world, for, O daughter, thou art safe from him on account of Nalakuvera's curse. Indeed, this wretch had been cursed before for his having violated his daughter-in-law, Rambha. This lustful wretch is not able to violate any woman by force. Thy husband will soon come, protected by Sugriva and with the intelligent son of Sumitra in his train, and will soon take thee away hence! O lady, I have had a most terrible dream of evil omen, indicating the destruction of this wicked-minded wretch of Pulastya's race! This night wanderer of mean deeds is, indeed, most wicked and cruel. He inspireth terror in all by the defects of his nature and the wickedness of his conduct.
And deprived of his senses by Fate, he challengeth the very gods. In my vision I have seen every indication of his downfall. I have seen the Ten-headed, with his crown shaven and body besmeared with oil, sunk in mire, and the next moment dancing on a chariot drawn by mules. I have seen Kumbhakarna and others, perfectly naked and with crowns shaven, decked with red wreaths and unguents, and running towards the southern direction. Vibhishana alone, with umbrella over his head, and graced with a turban, and with body decked with white wreaths and unguents, I beheld ascending the summit of the White hill. And I saw four of his counsellors also, decked with white wreaths and unguents, ascending the summit of that hill along with him. All this bodeth that these alone will be saved from the impending terror. The whole earth with its oceans and seas will be enveloped with Rama's arrows. O lady, thy husband will fill the whole earth with his fame. I also saw Lakshmana, consuming all directions with his arrows and ascending on a heap of bones and drinking thereon honey and rice boiled in milk.
And thou, O lady, hast been beheld by me running towards a northernly direction, weeping and covered with blood and protected by a tiger! And, O princess of Videha, soon wilt thou find happiness, being united, O Sita, with thy lord, that descendant of Raghu accompanied by his brother' Hearing these words of Trijata, that girl with eyes like those of a young gazelle, once more began to entertain hopes of a union with her lord. And when at last those fierce and cruel Pisacha guards came back, they saw her sitting with Trijata as before