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Chapter 29: Ravana Sends Shardula to Spy

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Ravana Sends Shardula to Spy

Summary

Ravana reprimands Shuka and Sarana, asking them to leave the assembly. He again sends some spies to the place of Rama and Lakshmana. Those spies were got caught by Vibhishana and the monkeys start harassing them. But the compassionate Rama gets them released and the spies reach back Lanka.

Chapter [Sarga] 29 in Detail

shukena tu samaakhyaataams taan dristvaa hari yuuthapaan |

laksmanam ca mahaaviiryam bhujam raamasya daksinam || 2-29-1

samiipastham ca raamasya bhraataram svam vibhiisanam |

sarva vaanara raajam ca sugriivam bhiima vikramam || 2-29-2

angadam caapi balinam vajrahastaatmajaatmajam |

hanuumantam ca vikraantam jaambavantam ca durjayam || 2-29-3

susenam kumudam niilam nalam ca plavagarsabham |

gajam gavaaksham sharabham vaindam ca dvividam tathaa || 2-29-4

kimcid aavigna hridayo jaata krodhah ca raavanah |

bhartsayaam aasa tau viirau kathaa ante shuka saaranau || 2-29-5

Beholding those foremost of monkey leaders pointed out by Shuka- the most valiant Lakshmana; Rama’s right arm, his own brother Vibhishana standing close to Rama, the terribly powerful Sugreeva the king of all monkeys, the strong Angada grandson of Indra the wielder of thunderbolt, the powerful Hanuman, the invincible Jambavan, Sushena, Kumuda, Nila, Nala the excellent of monkeys, Gaja, Gavaaksha, Sharabha, Mainda and Dvivida- that Ravana – his heart became agitated a little, was enraged and then abused those two heroes Shuka and Sarana who had completed their report.

adho mukhau tau pranataav abraviit shuka saaranau |

rosa gadgadayaa vaacaa samrabdhah parusam vacah || 2-29-6

Ravana spoke (the following) excited and harsh words, in a voice choked in anger to Shuka and Sarana who stood saluting with their faces bent down.

na taavat sadrisham naama sacivair upajiivibhih |

vipriyam nripater vaktum nigraha pragrahe vibhoh || 2-29-7

 “It is not befitting to utter unpleasant words by dependent ministers to their king who has the power to mete out any punishment or reward.”

ripuunaam pratikuulaanaam yuddha artham abhivartataam |

ubhaabhyaam sadrisham naama vaktum aprastave stavam || 2-29-8

 “Is it proper for both of you to shower irrelevant praise on our enemies who are adverse to us and are approaching for a war?”

aacaaryaa guravo vriddhaa vrithaa vaam paryupaasitaah |

saaram yad raaja shaastraanaam anujiivyam na grihyate || 2-29-9

 “In vain have you sat at the feet of your elders, your preceptors and the aged, since the essence to be followed from political sciences has not been grasped by both of you.”

grihiito vaa na vijnaato bhaaro jnaanasya vaa uchyate |

iidrishaih sacivair yukto muurkhair distyaa dharaami aham || 2-29-10

 “Or if you have imbibed them, you have not remembered them. You are over-burdened with ignorance! Being associated with such foolish ministers, it is a miracle that I am still able to retain my sovereignty.”

kim nu mrityor bhayam na asti maam vaktum parusam vacah |

yasya me shaasato jihvaa prayacchati shubha ashubham || 2-29-11

 “Have you no fear of death that you dare address me thus rudely, I whose tongue that you dare tongue dispenses good and evil?”

api eva dahanam spristvaa vane tisthanti paadapaah |

raaja dosa paraamristaas tisthante na aparaadhinah || 2-29-12

 “Trees may survive in the forest, even if disturbed by fire. But the guilty cannot survive, if touched by the royal scepter.”

hanyaam aham imau paapau shatru paksa prashamsakau |

yadi puurva upakaarair me na krodho mridutaam vrajet || 2-29-13

 “If my anger is not softened by the services they rendered earlier, I would have killed these two miscreants who are praising the band of enemies.”

apadhvamsata gacchadhvam samnikarsaad ito mama |

na hi vaam hantum icchaami smarann upakritaani vaam || 2-29-14

hataav eva kritaghnau tau mayi sneha paraan mukhau |

 “Keep away from my neighborhood. Do not be seen anywhere here. I am recollecting your past services and hence do not wish to kill you. Both of you, who are ungrateful and unfaithful towards me, are just as dead to me.”

evam uktau tu savriidau taav ubhau shuka saaranau || 2-29-15

raavanam jaya shabdena pratinandya abhinihsritau |

Hearing Ravana’s words, Shuka and Sarana felt ashamed to see Ravana paid obeisance to him saying, “Be thou victorious!” and went away.

abraviit sa dashagriivah samiipastham mahaaudaram || 2-29-16

upasthaapaya shiighram me caaraan niiti vishaaradaan |

The demon Ravana spoke to Mahodara who was standing nearby as follows: “Bring me the spies here quickly.”

mahodarastathoktastu shiighramaajjnaapayaccharaan || 2-29-17

tatashcaaraah samtvaritaah praaptaah paarthivashaasanaat |

upasthithaah praajnjalayo vardhayitvaa jayaashisah || 2-29-18

Hearing those words, Mahodara immediately ordered for the spies. The spies came hurriedly as per the orders of the king, paid obeisance to him by joining their palms and approached him, having made a complement expressing their desire to see him victorious.

taan abraviit tato vaakyam raavano raaksasa adhipah || 2-29-19

caaraan pratyayikaan shuuraan bhaktaan vigata saadhvasaan |

Then, Ravana the king of demons spoke the following words to those spies, who were faithful, brave, energetic and free from fear:

ito gacchata raamasya vyavasaayam pariiksatha || 2-29-20

mantresv abhyantaraa ye asya priityaa tena samaagataah |

 “You go from here to investigate about the first impression concerning Rama, as regards who are his intimate friends and in respect of those who joined on his side with a liking towards him.”

katham svapiti jaagarti kim anyac ca karisyati || 2-29-21

vijnaaya nipunam sarvam aagantavyam ashesatah |

 “Find out what are his hours of sleeping and waking and what he intends to do next. You ought to come here, after acquainting with all this information completely and skillfully.”

caarena viditah shatruh panditair vasudhaa adhipaih || 2-29-22

yuddhe svalpena yatnena samaasaadya nirasyate |

 “An enemy in battle, got known through spies by kings, will be defeated with only a little of effort.”

caaraas tu te tathaa iti uktvaa prahristaa raaksasa iishvaram || 2-29-23

shaarduulamagratah kritvaa tatashcakruh pradakshinam |

Those spies on their part delightfully replied, “May it be so”, kept Shardula in their front and made their circumambulation clockwise around Ravana.

tatastam tu mahaatmaanam caaraa raakshasasattamam || 2-29-24

kritvaa pradaksinam jagmur yatra raamah salakshmanah |

Having thus made circumambulation to Ravana the excellent and the distinguished demon, the spies went to the place where Rama along with Lakshmana were there.

te suvelasya shailasya samiipe raama laksmanau || 2-29-25

pracchannaa dadrishur gatvaa sasugriiva vibhiisanau |

Having gone in a disguised manner, those spies saw Rama and Lakshmana together with Sugreeva and Vibhishana in the neighborhood of Mountain Suvela.

prekshamaanaashcamuum taam ca babhuuvurbhayavihvalaah || 2-29-26

te tu dharma aatmanaa dristaa raaksasa indrena raaksasaah |

Seeing that army, those demons became overwhelmed with fear. However, they were observed by the high-souled Vibhishana the Lord of demons.

vibhiisanena tatrasthaa nigrihiitaa yadricchayaa || 2-29-27

shaarduulo graahitastvekah paapo.ayamiti raakshasah |

Accidentally, the demons there were caught by Vibhishana, who said that the demon Shardula among them was wicked and got him alone seized.

mokshitah so.api raamena vadhyamaanah plavangamaih || 2-29-28

anrishamsena raamena mokshitaa raakshasaah sare |

That Shardula also, who was going to be killed by the monkeys, was got released by Rama. The other demons also were got released by Rama, the kind man.

vaanarair arditaas te tu vikraantair laghu vikramaih || 2-29-29

punar la.nkaam anupraaptaah shvasanto nasta cetasah |

Those demons, harassed by the courageous and the quick-paced monkeys, became insensible, heaved a sigh and reached back Lanka.

tato dashagriivam upasthitaas te |

caaraa bahir nitya caraa nishaa caraah |

gireh suvelasya samiipa vaasinam |

nyavedayan bhiima balam mahaabalaah || 2-29-30

Those spies, who always wander outside and who were valiant rangers of the night, thereafter approached Ravana and informed him that Rama’s army was camping in the vicinity of the Suvela Mountain.

ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye yuddhakaande ekonatrimshah sargah

Thus completes 29th 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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