Tuesday, 18 August 2015

296. Malyavan advises Ravana to make peace with Rama.

         The mighty armed Rama sallied forth with the resonant roll of kettle drums, mingled with the blast of conches. Hearing that sound, Ravana the Lord of rakshashas, trembling a little,  looked at his ministers. Ravana of great strength, the tormentor of the world and a cruel lord of rakshashas then addressed (actually shouted at with ALL his ten mouths) all his ministers in a voice that shook the entire hall "I have heard what you told me about Rama's crossing the ocean, his prowess, strength and heroism. I know that you are truly brave in the battle-field, yet, on knowing that valiant Rama is on our soil, you  keep looking at each other in silence."
           Hearing that remark of Ravana, Malyavan the maternal grandfather of Ravana (actually he was the elder brother of the maternal grandpa of Ravana) a highly intelligent rakshash, replied Ravana "O, king! He who is well-versed in (fourteen)* sciences and follows the path of prudence, enjoys sovereignty for a long time and compels his enemies too into subjugation.
*Four Vedas, six Vedaangas, the Puranas, the Mimamsa, Nyaya and Dharma together constitute the fourteen sciences.
     "He who concludes peace or wages war at a fitting time with enemies strengthens his own forces and attains a great power. A treaty of peace should be reached by a king who is weaker or at best equal to an enemy. The king should never underrate that enemy. If the king is more powerful, he should make war on the enemy. For that reason, I consider that alliance with Rama will be highly prudent. Let Seetha, for whose sake you are being attacked, be restored to him.
    "All the devas, rishis and Gandharvas are wishing victory for Rama. It is not wise to ignore them. Alliance with him will be beneficial for you. Brahma, the lord of creation, created broadly only two classes of beings, the suras and the asuras. Suras take refuge in righteousness and asuras in unrighteousness. O, Ravana! Righteous is said to be on the side of the suras. Unrighteousness is indeed on the side of  the asuras. In Krita (also known as Satya) Yuga 
righteousness swallows unrighteousness. In Kali Yuga unrighteousness swallows righteousness. Therefore, while you were wandering in the worlds, even the great righteousness was destroyed and unrighteousness favoured by you. So, the enemies are stronger than us.
      "Due to your negligence, that well nourished unrighteousness is swallowing us. You, who are interested in sensual enjoyments, doing whatever you like, have created a great alarm in the sages, having the nature of fire. The power of those sages is insurmountable like an igniting fire. Having purified their minds through penance, they intent on promotion of righteousness, in as much as these Brahamans worship the gods through different principal sacrifices, also pour oblations into the sacred fires with due ceremony and read the Vedas in a loud voice. Having subdued the asuras, they continued to chant the sacred text, on hearing which all the asuras scattered in all directions, as thundering clouds in a hot season.
          "The smoke coming forth from the sacred fire of the sage who resemble the fire (in brilliance), enveloping the ten directions, takes away the magical power of the asuras. The severe  austerity practiced by the sages with firm resolve in different parts of the world torment the asuras. You received a boon of invincibility from devas, danavas and yakshas, but these are men, vanaras and bears. All of them are as powerful and efficacious and having strong prowess  like lions. By seeing various kinds of unexpected and undesirable events and portents and many types of terrific things, I am afraid that a calculated  destruction of all of us rakshashas is premeditated.
        "With terrifying clamour, monstrous clouds, inspiring horror, rain hot blood on Lanka on every side. Tears drop from the weeping elephants, horses etc., whose skins became discolored and are covered with dust and are not shining as before. Flesh-eating animals like jackals are howling horribly. Entering Lanka, they are in the groves, forming into groups. Black women, chattering incoherently in dreams and robbing different houses laughing loudly showing their white teeth. Dogs devour the sacred offerings offered in homes. Donkeys are born of cows and rats of mongoose.
          "Cats mate with tigers, pigs with dogs, Kinnaras with rakshashas and humans. Red-footed and white pigeons, messengers of death, move in different directions, foretelling the extermination of rakshashas. Domesticated mynas   defeated by other bellicose birds drop down, making a chirping sound. Birds and wild animals, facing towards the sun, cry out. Death, in the form of a frightful, monstrous and cruel blackish fellow with a shaven head casts his eyes on all our dwellings, both morning and evening. These and such other sinister omens appear. I deem Rama of firm fortitude as Vishnu  in human form. This Rama is not a mere human being, which is evident by the fact that he  built the most wonderful bridge across the sea. O, Ravana! Make peace with Rama, who is the king of men. Having come to know of his acts, let that which is good for the future be done after a mature understanding."
        Malyavan seemed to have convinced everyone save Ravana. And every eye was expectedly looking at the faces of Ravana with trepidation.

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