Tuesday, 24 December 2013

118. Ravana fell into Shurpanakha's trap.

              Then dismissing his ministers and others, Ravana continued to sit on his throne brooding over the best way by which he could get Seetha to Lanka without any hassle. He got some idea. Smiling and nodding his head (I am not sure one or more heads) he proceeded to his excellent vehicle garage and ordered the charioteer to get the particular chariot chosen by him (i.e. Ravana) ready immediately. As soon as the chariot which was wish-rideable was made ready Ravana got into that chariot and drove north. On the way he viewed the cities, that were replete with elephants, horses, and chariots. On proceeding further, looking at the areas nearby seashore that were levelly and smoothly made. Ravana also viewed the deltas near the shores of that kingly ocean, which were heavenlier. There, Ravana also saw a banyan tree, on which sages were encompassing. The sight of that banyan tree kindled his memory about the story around it. It was like this:
             That tree's branches were stretched out all over each in a hundred yojana in length. Around there were maharishis like, Vaikhanasa, Maasha, Vaalakhilya, and Mariicipa. Also Aja and Dhuumraa [who thrived on fumes and smokes,] were there. And those maharishis were collectively practising their asceticism upside down clasping branches with legs (in other words handing upside down from the branches).  
            One day a mammoth elephant and an equally mammoth tortoise were fighting fiercely, but no one was a winner or loser. Noticing this, Garuda flew down on. Garuda held the tortoise and the elephant in his two claws in the first instance and started to settle down on one of the branches by transferring both the prays to one claw and with the other claw he caught hold of the tree branch. But it broke under the combined weight of the three. Garuda did not want that branch to fall down. To avoid injury or disturbance to the rishis hanging on it he grasped it with his claw with which he was about to perch on it and took to flight. While flying in the sky, he held the tree branch in one claw and both the preys in the other and started to eat his preys in the sky with one claw, still upholding the branch from falling. Seeing this feat of Garuda, the sages clinging to that tree branch blessed him to be successful in his next mission and left from that branch. When that tree branch became free from the rishis, Garuda threw it on a province of tribal community. That destroyed the whole of that tribal community. 
               Ravana also remembered that the name of the banyan tree was Subhadra. Ravana comfortably crossed the sea and on going further north he saw a hermitage in the solitary, sacred, and scenic interior of forest. At that place, Ravana saw the rakshaasha Mareecha, wearing a black deerskin and tufts of hairs and jute-clothes, and living on modest meals. Ravana went to meet Mareecha. After the customary formlities Mareecha asked Ravana " Oh, the king of rakshashas, by what reason you have came here again, like a bad penny?

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