Friday, 7 August 2015

291. The report of Shardula.

        Thereafter, the spies, after cooling themselves for a little while, and after discussing and deciding as to what should be reported to the king, went  to Ravana for reporting. Seeing them, Ravana, with an agitated voice asked Shardula "Hi, Fellow! Your complexion is not as it used to be. You look miserable, too. I hope that you have not been spotted out, caught and roasted by the enraged vanaras."              Shardula was taken aback by the remark of Ravana. Shaking like a leaf, sluggishly and nervously he replied "O, king! Those strong, bold and excellent vanaras protected by Rama are not capable of being spied upon. They are not capable of being talked to. We could not elicit any information from them. The entire path is being protected by the vanaras looking like mountains. While trying to infiltrate into the midst of them in the guise of vanaras, all of us were spotted out almost immediately.  I was seized forcibly by them and was investigated in various ways. I was also beaten on all sides with knees, fists, teeth and palms by the enraged vanaras. I was also paraded around their army. Having been paraded all around I was finally taken to the presence of Rama. I was bleeding allover my body and was trembling with my senses disturbed. While being plagued by the vanaras I cried the name of Rama for protection with joined palms. I was saved by Rama. 
         "Rama has filled the sea with boulders and rocks, taking up his position at the gates of Lanka and stands there, well-equipped with weapons. I noticed that Rama of great splendour arranged the army in the form of Garuda. He is encircled on all sides by the vanaras and is approaching Lanka. Before he reaches the ramparts, we have the two alternatives to wit, give away Seetha immediately or defy him."
             Ravana told  Shardula "I will not give away Seetha even if the devas or Gandharvas   or danavas were to fight against me or even all of them combined together to fight with me." 
      After pausing a few moments, Ravana asked him "Has the army been espied by you? Who are the valiant vanaras among them? What radiance do the vanaras, who are difficult to be conquered possess of, like what kind, whose sons and grandsons are they, etc. Those information will help me to formulate suitable strategies to get the better of the enemies, quickly and decisively without loss of men and time."
             Shardula replied "Yes, your majesty!  King Sugreeva, the son of Riksharajasa, is difficult to be conquered in battle. The son of Gadgada, famously called as Jambavan is said to be invincible. The others are the son of the same Gadgada, the son of Brihaspati called Kesari, whose son is Hanuman about whom you know him very well. O, king! One Sushena the son of Yama, is another valiant and virtuous vanara. The vanara called Dadhimukha, the cool-minded, who is the son of the Moon is another very valiant vanara. Sumukha, Durmukha and   Vegadarshi are said to be the personifications of death in the form of vanaras, created by Brahma. Nila, the army-general is the son of Agni and said to be indomitable. The young Angada, Indra's grandson is claimed to be very strong and invincible. Both the mighty Mainda and Dvinda, born of the two divinities of Ashvins as well as Gaja, Gavaksha, Gavaya, Sharabha and Gandhamadhana the five sons of Yama are all claimed to be staunch, unbeatable and unyielding. All the vanaras in that army who are yearning for battle are all seem to be immensely strong.
           "This young man Rama, Dasharatha's son, who is well-built like a lion, by whom Dushana, Khara and Trishana were killed is said to be  fearless, gallant, intrepid, plucky, doughty and indomitable. It is said that here is no one on earth who is equal in prowess to Rama, by whom Viradha as well as Kabandha who was equal to Yama, were killed. Your majesty is well aware that all the rakshashas in Janasthana were killed by Rama, single-handedly. His brother, the virtuous Lakshamana, resembling the most excellent elephant among elephants, in the path of whose arrows, even Indra himself could not survive. Sweta and Jyotirmukha, the sons of Surya, Hemakuta, another son of Varuna, Nila the son of Visvakarma are all very strong and invincible vanaras. Another such one is the mighty and swift Durdhara the son of Vasus. Of course your own brother Vibhishana has joined them and remains devoted to Rama.  Sir, I believe I have told you all I know."

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