Tuesday, 2 June 2015

272. Ravana goes to hold further consultation.

              Ravana's lust, infatuation and desire for Seetha were so strong that he became emaciated. These sinful sentiments prevailed upon him so much that he did not at all like the advice nor the persons advised him for the return of Seetha back to her husband Rama. In fact he loathed such advices and the advisors. Accordingly his dear younger brother Vibhishana fell into this category. 
          Despite the unsavory episode of Hanuman and his threat of war with Rama did not bother him as he believed that it was impossible for Rama to cross the ocean. Nevertheless, Ravana thought that consulting his ministers and well-wishers now itself would be a good idea. He was pretty sure that barring Vibhishana no one would dare to offer advice or suggestion or even a hint for the return of Seetha. Accodingly approaching his great chariot, covered by a golden net, adorned with gems and corals and yoked with trained horses, Ravana mounted on it. Ravana in that most beautiful chariot, with a rattling sound resembling the rumbling of a large cloud proceeded towards the assembly-hall. Warriors holding swords and shields as well as wearing all types of weapons, marched in front of Ravana. Rakshasas wearing all types of unusual dresses and adorning various kinds of jewellery marched surrounding him from sides and behind. Great chariot-warriors in chariots, some on excellent elephants in rut and some others on horses supportively coming in different gaits, rushed after Ravana promptly. Some had maces and iron bars in their hands. Some had javelins and iron clubs. Some were holding axes. Some others had darts in their hands.
         As Ravana was proceeding to the assembly-hall, loud blare of thousands of trumpets along with tumultuous noise of conches were produced. That excellently great chariot soon entered the beautiful royal high-way. The spotlessly white umbrella, held on Ravana's head was shining like a full-moon. On his left and right, two fans of yak's tails with crystal handles and golden fringes were shining. All those rakshasas standing on the ground offered him their salutation by bending their heads and joining their palms. Ravana, the harasser of enemies, possessing great splendor, while being praised by rakshasas through cheers of victory, approached that assembly-hall.
        Ravana with great splendor, with his body shining brightly, entered that assembly hall, which was paved with gold and silver, whose interior was wrought with pure crystal, carpeted with skins of deer, guarded by six hundred evil spirits, ever shining and well-constructed by Visvakarma (presumably again after the Hanuman's episode). Ravana occupied a big and excellent throne embedded with jewels covered with the skin of deer called Priyaka and furnished with pillows. Thereafter Ravana, as the king, ordered his messengers "There is a gigantic work before us. I know what the enemies are doing. Therefore, bring all the rakshasas here quickly."
         The king's order was promptly complied with fully. Congregating in the assembly hall at the king's command, the rakshasas took their position around Ravana, the king, each according to his rank. Ministers who were scholars and well versed in deciding action, those endowed with good qualities, those who were all-knowing, king's ministers who could perceive things by their power of intellect and many warriors in hundreds, positioned according to their importance in that assembly hall, wrapped with gold, for providing felicity in all actions.
          Vibhishana, ascending an excellent, auspicious and large chariot yoked with good horses with its various parts decked in gold  drove towards the assembly-hall. Suka and Prahasta followed suit. Ravana gave them suitable seats separately. The aroma of the best aloe and sandal paste painted on the persons as also of garlands worn around the necks of those rakshasas duly adorned with ornaments of gold and gems and attired in excellent clothes diffused all round in the assembly-hall. The assembled persons there did not speak or spoke in whispers when required. None uttered any untruth or talked vociferously. All of them were ready for action and were endowed with terrible energy. When all were settled comfortably were looking  at the faces of Ravana with great expectation and eagerness. In that assembly Ravana was shining with brilliance among the assemblage of those rakshasas possessing great strength, like Devendra  amidst Vasus.

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