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Chapter 25: Ravana Sends Shuka and Sarana to Spy on Rama’s Army

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Ravana Sends Shuka and Sarana to Spy on Rama’s Army

Summary

While Rama crossed over to the other shore of the sea, Ravana instructs his ministers, Shuka and Sarana to enter the enemy's army in disguise and to bring all the required information about them. When Suka and Sarana entered the enemy's ranks, Vibhishana recognizes and captures them. But Rama sets them free. Going back to Ravana, they explain the might strength of the enemy's ranks and exhort him to restore Seetha to Rama.

Chapter [Sarga] 25

sabale saagaram tiirne raame dasharatha aatmaje |

amaatyau raavanah shriimaan abraviit shuka saaranau || 6-25-1

While Rama, the son of Dasaratha, crossed the ocean along with his army, the illustrious Ravana spoke to Shuka and Sarana, his ministers as follows:

samagram saagaram tiirnam dustaram vaanaram balam |

abhuuta puurvam raamena saagare setu bandhanam || 6-25-2

"The entire army of monkeys crossed the impassable ocean. The construction of the bridge, unprecedented, across the ocean was executed by Rama."

saagare setu bandham tu na shraddadhyaam kathamcana |

avashyam ca api samkhyeyam tan mayaa vaanaram balam || 6-25-3

"I am not able to believe under any circumstances that a pass-way has been constructed across the ocean. Certainly, that army of monkeys is worth to be counted (carried weight) by me."

bhavantau vaanaram sainyam pravishya anupalaksitau |

parimaanam ca viiryam ca ye ca mukhyaah plavam gamaah || 6-25-4

mantrino ye ca raamasya sugriivasya ca sammataah |

ye puurvam abhivartante ye ca shuuraah plavam gamaah || 6-25-5

sa ca setur yathaa baddhah saagare salila arnave |

niveshah ca yathaa tesaam vaanaraanaam mahaatmanaam || 6-25-6

raamasya vyavasaayam ca viiryam praharanaani ca |

laksmanasya ca viirasya tattvato jnaatum arhatha || 6-25-7

"Become unrecognizable to others, enter the army of monkeys and make out the real quantum of their army, their prowess, as to which monkeys are important among them, which ministers of Rama and Sugreeva have come together, which monkeys are abiding in front, which monkeys are valiant, how that bridge was constructed across the ocean full of water, how the encamping is done for those great-souled monkeys; the determination, strength and the striking senses of Rama and of the heroic Lakshmana."

kah ca senaa patis tesaam vaanaraanaam mahaaojasaam |

etaj jnaatvaa yathaa tattvam shiighram agantum arhathah || 6-25-8

"Knowing also accurately who the Chief of Army of those high-souled monkeys is, you have to come back quickly."

iti pratisamaadistau raaksasau shuka saaranau |

hari ruupa dharau viirau pravistau vaanaram balam || 6-25-9

Having thus been commanded by Ravana, the valiant demons Shuka and Sarana, both in the disguise of monkeys, entered that army of monkeys.

tatas tad vaanaram sainyam acintyam loma harsanam |

samkhyaatum na adhyagacchetaam tadaa tau shuka saaranau || 6-25-10

Shuka and Sarana were not able to count then that inconceivable army of monkeys, causing their hair to stand on end.

tat sthitam parvata agresu nirdaresu guhaasu ca |

samudrasya ca tiiresu vanesu upavanesu ca || 6-25-11

taramaanam ca tiirnam ca tartu kaamam ca sarvashah |

nivistam nivishac caiva bhiima naadam mahaabalam || 6-25-12

tadbalaarnavamakshobhyam dadrishaate nishaacarau |

That army was stationed on the tops of mountains, round about the waterfalls, in the caves, on the sea-shores, in the woodlands and in the gardens. It was either in the process of crossing the ocean, or was intending to cross it in its entirety. It had either encamped or was still encamping, making a terrible noise. The two demons saw that very strong and imperturbable sea of army.

tau dadarsha mahaatejaah pracchannau ca vibhiisanah || 6-25-13

aacacakse atha raamaaya grihiitvaa shuka saaranau |

Vibhishana with great splendor beheld both of them in disguise. He caught hold of Shuka and Sarana and told Rama as follows:

tasyaitau raakshasendrasya mantrinau shuksaaranau || 6-25-14

la.nkaayaah samanupraaptau caarau para puram jayau |

"O, Rama the conqueror of hostile citadels! These two demons are Shuka and Sarana, the ministers of Ravana and they came here as spies from Lanka."

tau dristvaa vyathitau raamam niraashau jiivite tadaa || 6-25-15

krita anjali putau bhiitau vacanam ca idam uucatuh |

Both of them, having seen Rama, were trembled with fear, without any hope for their lives and having joined their palms, spoke the following words:

aavaam iha aagatau saumya raavana prahitaav ubhau || 6-25-16

parijnaatum balam kritsnam tava idam raghu nandana |

"O, excellent man! O, Rama! We both of us, as sent by Ravana, came here together to know everything about your entire army."

tayos tad vacanam shrutvaa raamo dasharatha aatmajah || 6-25-17

abraviit prahasan vaakyam sarva bhuuta hite ratah |

Hearing their aforesaid words, Rama the son of Dasaratha who was interested in the welfare of all beings, smilingly spoke the following words:

yadi dristam balam kritsnam vayam vaa susamiiksitaah || 6-25-18

yathaa uktam vaa kritam kaaryam chandatah pratigamyataam |

"Has the entire army been observed by you? Have you observed us well? Have you accomplished the task, as entrusted to you? If so, you may go back now according to your free will."

atha kimcidadristam vaa bhuuyastaddrastumarhathah || 6-25-19

vibhiisano vaa kaartsnyena punah samdarshayisyati |

"Even if you have not seen something you may see it now also. Otherwise, Vibhishana will show it to you again entirely."

na chedam graham nam prapya bhetavyam jiivitam prati || 6-25-20

vyastashastrau grihiitau ca na duutau vadhamarhatah |

"You, having been caught, need not fear about your life. The captured messengers holding no weapons indeed deserve no killing."

pracchannau ca vimujncaemau caarau raatrimca raavubhau || 6-25-21

shatrupakshasya satatam vibhiisana vikarsinau |

"O, Vibhishana! Always try to draw a bow-string on the opponents and not on these two demons. Set them both, who are spies in disguise, free."

pravishya nagariim la.nkaam bhavadbhyaam dhanada anujah || 6-25-22

vaktavyo raksasaam raajaa yathaa uktam vacanam mama |

"When you return to the city of Lanka, repeat my words faithfully to Ravana the younger half-brother of Kubera and the king of demons."

yad balam ca samaashritya siitaam me hritavaan asi || 6-25-23

tad darshaya yathaa kaamam sasainyah saha baandhavah |

"That force on which you relied when you were taking away Seetha from me, display that force at your will along with your troops and allies."

shvah kaale nagariim la.nkaam sapraakaaraam satoranaam || 6-25-24

raaksasam ca balam pashya sharair vidhvamsitam mayaa |

"Tomorrow, at break of day, you will see my arrows demolish the city of Lanka with its ramparts and arches as well as the army of demons."

khodham bhiimamaham moksye balam dhaaraya raavana || 6-25-25

shvah kaale vajravaan vajram daanavesv iva vaasavah |

"O, Ravana! Tomorrow, at break of day I will cast my dreadful anger on you and your army as Indra the Lord of celestials wielding a thunderbolt casts the thunderbolt on demons."

iti pratisamaadistau raaksasau shuka saaranau || 6-25-26

jayeti pratinandyainam raaghavam dharmavatsalam |

aagamya nagariim la.nkaam abruutaam raaksasa adhipam || 6-25-27

Receiving this command, the two demons, Shuka and Sarana, admiring his justice, cried out: "May you be victorious!” reached the city of Lanka and spoke to Ravana as follows:

vibhiisana grihiitau tu vadha arhau raaksasa iishvara |

dristvaa dharma aatmanaa muktau raamena amita tejasaa || 6-25-28

"O, king of demons! We were seized by Vibhishana with the intention of killing us. But, Rama, the pious minded wise valor is immeasurable, seeing us, set us free."

eka sthaana gataa yatra catvaarah purusa risabhaah |

loka paala upamaah shuuraah krita astraa dridha vikramaah || 6-25-29

raamo daasharathih shriimaaml lakshmanah ca vibhiisanah |

sugriivah ca mahaatejaa mahaaindra sama vikramah || 6-25-30

ete shaktaah puriim la.nkaam sapraakaaraam satoranaam |

utpaatya samkraamayitum sarve tisthantu vaanaraah || 6-25-31

"Where the four eminent persons who are equal to the protector of the worlds, the valiant ones skilled in the use of weapons and of proven prowess namely Rama the son of Dasaratha, the illustrious Lakshmana, the great resplendent Vibhishana and Sugreeva whose valor is equal to Indra the Lord of celestials, are stationed at the same place, they can pluck up the city of Lanka with its ramparts and arches and transplant it elsewhere, even if all the monkeys keep aloof."

yaadrisham tasya raamasya ruupam praharanaani ca |

vadhisyati puriim la.nkaam ekas tisthantu te trayah || 6-25-32

"Such is Rama's form and such are his weapons that he can alone overthrow the city of Lanka, his three other companions standing by."

raama laksmana guptaa saa sugriivena ca vaahinii |

babhuuva durdharsataraa sarvair api sura asuraih || 6-25-33

"That army protected by Rama and Lakshmana as well as Sugreeva, are exceedingly unconquerable even by all the gods and demons."

prahrista ruupaa dhvajinii vana okasaam |

vanaukasaam samprati yoddhum icchataam |

alam virodhena shamo vidhiiyataam |

pradiiyataam daasharathaaya maithilii || 6-25-34

"Now, the army of the mighty monkeys, who are readily inclined to fight, consists of cheerful warriors. Mae peace, instead of enmity with them. Restore Seetha to Rama."

ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye yuddhakaande pajncavimshah sargah

Thus completes 25th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate

References

K. M. K. Murthy. (2002). Yuddha Kanda - Book Of War.

Merriam-Webster. (2007). At http://www.m-w.com.

Reference.com. (2007). At http://www.reference.com.

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