BOOK 7: UTTARA KANDA
Thus accosted (by the sages), Rama answered them with joined hands: "What doth he live on ?What are his ways ?And where doth Lavana live ?"Hearing Raghava s words, the sages informed him of the way in which Lavana increased in power. His food is every creature specially ascetics ;his manner of life is regulated by ferocity and his constant home is Madhuvana.
Slaying constantly thousands on thousands of lions and tigers and deer, and birds and human beings, he provides his daily food. And like the destroyer on the occasion of the universal dissolution, that one possessed of gigantic strength feeds on other creatures as well." Hearing this, Raghava spoke to the mighty ascetics :"I will slay that Raksha.
Let your fright depart." Having thus bound himself with that promise to the asetics of fierce energy, Raghu s son along with his brothers spoke: "What hero shall slay Lavana? Do you decide this. On whom shall devolve this duty ?Whether the mighty armed Bharata or the intelligent Satrughna shall (do this work ?)"Thus addressed by Raghava Bharata remarked: "I will slay this.
Let this task be entrusted to me." Hearing Bharata s speech instinct with fortitude and valor, the younger brother of Lakshmana stood up, leaving his golden seat. And Satrughna, saluting the king represented:"The mighty armed second son of Raghu hath already achieved a grand work: he formerly governed Ayodhya empty of the noble one, bearing in his heart the grief connected with his return.
Undergoing many a hardship, 0 king, that illustious onepassed his days, lying down on a bed of sorrow, and living on fruits and roots, and wearing rags. Having suffered such misery, Raghu s son should not be suffered to undergo trouble, while, O king I his servant is by." On Satrughna saying this, Raghava again said :"Let this be so.
Do then do my bidding. I shall install thee on the graceful city of Madhu; or if thou wish without and entrust Bharata with this task, O long armed one. Heroic, and accomplished, thou art competent to found a city on the Yamuna as well as flourishing provinces.
He that, having people s dominion, doth not furnish it with a king, goeth to hell. So if thou accept my words, then slaying Madhu s son, the sinful Lavana,rule the kingdom righteously. O hero, say anything after what I have spoken.
Without youthful younger brother must obey the injunctions of his elder brother. Do thou, O Kakutstha, accept the installation which I confer on the, preluded by the prescribed religious formulas uttered by Vipras beaded by Vasishta."