BOOK 7: UTTARA KANDA
Therupon having bowed unto Agastya the foremost of ascetics, the highly effulgent Rama again surprisingly said: O Brahman, O foremost of twice born ones, when that cruel Ravana journeyed over the earth, was it void of people? Was there no king, or prince on earth to administer punishment unto him ?Were all the kings then shorn of their strength and prowess? And many kings I (hear) were vanquished and driven out by him with various excellent weapons. Hearing the words of Raghava, the ascetic Agastya, having six sorts of wealth, laughing said, like unto Brahma, speaking to Rudra O Rama, O lord of earth, traversing the earth, Ravana arrived at the city of Mahishmati, resembling the city of the Devas, where lived perpetually the deity of fire.
There reigned a king named Arjuna, effulgent like fire which was kept perpetually in a well covered with Sara. One day the highly powerful Arjuna, the king of Haihayas, repared to the river Narmada, with his wives to sport. At the very same day, Ravana, the lord of Rakshasas, arrived there and asked his councillors saying.
"Where is the king Arjuna? Do ye speedily tell me; I am Ravana, I have come to fight with your king. Do ye, at first, communicate unto him the news of my arrival." Being thus addressed by Ravana, the learned ministers informed the lord of Rakshasas, of the absence of the king.
Hearing of the absence of the king from the citizens Visrava s son came out of the city and reached the Vindhya mountain resembling the Himalayas. He espied the mountain exten ding over the welkin like unto clouds and rising up as if riving the earth and obstructing the sky. The mountain had a thousand summits and the Lions were residing in the caves and hundreds of fountain were falling from it; the mountain was as if laughing aloud and the Devas, Gandharvas, Apsaras and Kinnaras were sporting there with their females; and it appeared (in consequence thereof) like the region of Devas; and rivers, with waters transparent like crystal, were lowing.
And it therefore appeared like a thousand serpents having trembling tongues. And casting his looks upon Vindhya mountain, resembling the Himalayas and having huge caves Ravana, the king of Rakshasas, reached the river Narmada, of holy waters and going rapidly to the western ocean. Her waters were being agitated by Buffaloes, Deer, Tigers, Lions, Bears and Elephants distressed by heat.
Having covered her, Chakravakas, Karandavas, swans, water Cocks and Sarasas, maddened, were emitting notes. The charming Narmada appeared like a beautiful damsel having blossoming trees for her onaments, Chakravakas for her breast, wide spread forest for her waist, the row of swans for Mekhala, filaments of flowers for paste, watery foams for white silken cloth, the pleasure of descending into water for the pleasure of touch and full blown lotuses for white eyes. Having descended from his car and bathed in the waters of Narmada, the foremost of streams, resembling a fair one, Ravana, the lord of Rakshasas, with,his councilors, sat on her coast resided by many an ascetic.
Delighted at her beauty and having spoken highly of Narmada like unto Ganges he addressed his ministers Suka and Sarana with gestures, saying "Behold, having rendered the earth pale, with his many rays, the sun, emitting parching heat,is in the sky. But seeing me here seated,his rays have become cool like those of the moon. At my fear, even the wind is blowing carefully, being cold and fragrant by the touch of the waters of the Narmada and removing our toil.
This charming Narmada, abounding in crocodiles, fishes and birds, though a natural stream, is standing still like a terrified damsel. Being wounded in conflicts with many a king your persons have been pasted with blood. Therefore like unto Sarvabhauma and other infuriated elephants going down into the water of the Ganges, do ye descend into the water of Narmada conferring auspiciousness and health.
Bathing in this stream you shall be cleansed from sins. I shall, also on the coast of this river, like the rays of the autumnal moon, reverentially worship with flowers Mahadeva, holding Pinaka in his hands." Hearing the words of Ravana, Prahasta, Suka, Sarana, Mahodara, Dhrumakshya and other councillors descended into the waters of Narmada.
And she was agitated by those elephantlike leading Rakshasas like unto the Ganges by Vamana, Anjana, Padma and other Elephants, Thereupon having got up from the waters the highly powerful Rakshasas culled flowers for Ravana s offerings. And in a moment the Rakshasas collected heaps of flowers on the picturesque banks of Narmada, resembling the white clouds. Flowers being thus collected, Ravana, the king of Rakshasa descended, into theNarmada for bathinglikea huge elephant into the Ganges.
And having bathed he got up, reciting excellent incantations. Thereupon having left of his wet cloth he put on a white one. And to ind out place for worshipping, he, with folded hands, proceeded tovfards the banks.
And the Rakshasas too, like unto so many moving mountains, followed him. And wherever Ravana went the golden Siva Linga was brought. Thereupon Ravana placed that upon a heap of sands and began to worship it with various nectar smelling flowers and sandal.
And having finished the worship of Siva, the foremost of Devas, having the moon on his crown, the conferrer of boons and the remover of miseies, the night ranger danced with uplifted hands and sang before it.