BOOK 7: UTTARA KANDA
O Rama, in Treta age, there was a huge forest extending over hundred Yojanas divsted of animals and men.
In that forest I used to perform my austere penances. Once on a time I began to roam all over the forest being wlling to see well every nook and corner of it. And I saw that it was impossible to ascertain how very pleasant that forest was
In every place there were trees with profuse sweet frouts and roots. In the middle I espied a pond extending many a Yojana. There was no moss in that deep, calm, serene and sweet water; there were lotuses and lilies and birds like Karandavas, Chakravakas and many other water fouls were playing in the waters.
O lord of creatures, at no distance from that pond I saw an old, holy hermitage but there was no creature or animal around it. It was summer and I spent that night in that hermitage. Next morning leaving my bed I arrived at the banks of the pond and saw a plump dead body in the waters, One of its limbs was pale and its beauty was not spoiled, holding it and standing on the banks I began to meditate on it.
And thought I "What is this In a moment I noticed a beautiful car, swift coursing like the mind and drawn by ganders. And I saw in that chariot a celestial person. He was being attended by Apsaras adorned with celestial ornaments and having lotus eyes.
Some of them were singing, some dancing and some playing on Mridanga, Vina and other musical instruments and some were fanning lotus like countenance with valuable, golden chowries, blazling like the rays of the moon. O Rama, the foremost of Raghu s race, like unto the moon renouncing the summit of the Sumeru mount that celestial wight got down from the seat in the car and engaged in devouring the dead body, and having taken enough flesh he got down into waters and duly performed ablution. And thereafter that heavenly being again addressed himself for ascending the car.
O foremost of men, beholding that heavenly being about to go up I accosted him, saying Who art thou ?I see, thou hast a celestial form, then why hast thou taken such an abominable food ?O thou adored of the immortals, persons like thee should not take such meals. O gentle one, I have been striken with great curiosity and wish to hear all. Thine feeding upon dead body doth not appear agreeable unto me.
O king, plainly and out of curiosity I put to him these questions. And hearing them, the celestial being related everything unto me.