Bharata said: “To be sure, I am hearing some good news about My Lord who went to the great wilderness many years ago. Oh, how true the popular say appears to me, that bliss comes to a living person even after one hundred years. How, in what place and under what circumstances did Rama and the monkeys meet? Please tell Me the truth, as I ask it.”
When requested in this way, Hanuman, who was sitting on a Kusha grass mat, retold all of Rama’s exploits in the forest:
“You know all about how Your mother was given two boons, how Rama was exiled, how King Dasharatha died out of grief for his son, how You were quickly brought back from Rajagriha by messengers, how You did not care for sovereignty when You entered Ayodhya, how You went to Mount Chitrakuta and pleaded with Your brother, who followed the path of righteousness, how Rama stood by the word of His father, rejecting the kingdom, and how You accepted His sandals and returned. O mighty-armed one, now hear from me what happened when You returned.
“After You had left, the forest seemed to be lamenting and the birds and beasts were disturbed. Then Rama entered into the extensive, scary and desolate Dandaka Forest, which was trampled down by elephants and teeming with lions, tigers and deer. As They were going deep into the forest, there appeared before Them the mighty demon Viradha roaring very loudly. Disposing of him as he roared loudly, rushing upon Them with outstretched arms and lowered head, They threw him into a pit as he bellowed like an elephant. After accomplishing that difficult task, the two brothers Rama and Lakshmana reached the charming hermitage of the sage Sharabhanga at twilight.
“After Sharabhanga ascended to heaven, Rama, whose prowess never fails, bid all the ascetics farewell and departed for Janasthaana. Afterwards, the rakshasi named Shuurpanakha arrived where Rama was. Thereafter, the mighty Lakshmana, being instructed by Rama, jumped up, grabbed His sword and cut off her ears and nose. While residing there, the great Rama killed fourteen thousand rakshasas of fierce deeds. When the rakshasas approached Rama on the frontline of battle, they were totally annihilated in a quarter of daylight. Rama killed in combat the mighty and valorous rakshasas dwelling in the forest of Dandakaranya who obstructed the asceticism of the sages. Not only that, but Khara was also killed in battle. After killing Duushana first, Rama then killed Trishira.
“Anguished by that, the childish Shuurpanakha thereafter went to Ravana. Assuming the form of a deer made of gems, a formidable rakshasa named Mariicha, a follower of Ravana, enticed Sita. Seeing the deer, Sita said to Rama, ‘Capture it! Our hermitage will be fascinating and lovely with it.” Then, with bow in hand, Rama ran after than deer. He killed it while it was running with an arrow having curved joints. While Rama was chasing the deer and Lakshmana had also left, Ravana entered the hermitage. He quickly grabbed Sita, as the planet Mars would assault the star Rohini, after which he slew the vulture Jataayu in battle as he was trying to protect Sita. Grabbing Sita suddenly, the rakshasa departed.
“Perched on the top of a mountain, some peculiar-looking monkeys who resembled mountains watched with amazement as Ravana, the lord of the rakshasas passed by holding Sita. Then the airship Pushpaka, which was as fast as the mind, quickly arrived. Boarding it with Sita the mighty Ravana entered the city of Lanka. Bringing Sita into a huge and beautiful mansion surrounded with a gold wall, Ravana tried to pacify Her with words. Considering his words as less than a straw, Sita remained in the Ashoka grove ignoring that foremost of rakshasas.
“After killing the deer in the forest, Rama returned. When Rama returned, He saw the vulture, who was a dear friend of His father, killed and thereafter felt very distressed. Searching for Sita, Rama wandering with Lakshmana along the Godavari River and in the areas forested with blossoming trees. In the great wilderness They came upon a rakshasa named Kabandha. From him Rama, whose prowess never fails, received word about how to find Sita. Proceeding to Rishyamuka Mountain, Rama met with Sugreeva. They had a meeting of hearts through affection. Sugreeva had been disenfranchised by his elder brother Vali in the past. From talking together, a strong affection developed between them. After killing the gigantic and mighty Vali in combat, Rama bestowed by the strength of His arms sovereignty upon Sugreeva. Then Sugreeva consolidated his control over the kingdom along with all the monkeys.
“Sugreeva promised Rama to initiate a search for the princess. One hundred million monkeys were engaged and sent by the great lord of the monkeys, Sugreeva, in all directions. A long time passed while we were suffering great sorrow in the Vindhya Mountains. However, the vulture Jataayu’s valiant brother named Sampaati informed us that Sita was staying in Ravana’s palace. I dispelled the sorrow which afflicted my relatives by resorting to my own energy and jumping one hundred yojanas across the ocean. There I saw Sita sheltered in an Ashoka grove. She was dressed in a silk garment, was dirty, joyless and firm in Her vow. After meeting that faultless lady and asking Her thoroughly about everything, I gave Her a ring engraved with Rama’s name as a token of My bonafides. After receiving a jewel from Her head as a token, I returned accomplished of purpose.
“When we returned to Rama, I presented that gleaming jewel as a token to Him. Upon hearing about Sita, Rama regained the desire to live, like a diseased person on the verge of death who has drunk the nectar of immortality. Putting forth an effort, He set His mind on the destruction of Lanka, as the fire at the end of the world attempts to destroy all living beings. When Rama reached the seashore, He had Nala build a bridge. By means of that bridge the army of monkeys crossed the ocean. The monkey Nila killed Prahasta, Rama killed Kumbhakarna, Lakshmana killed Ravana’s son Indrajit, and Rama Himself killed Ravana. Then Lord Indra came, accompanied by Yamaraja and Varuna, as well as Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma, King Dasharatha and great sages to offer Rama boons. After receiving the boons from the gods, Rama was very pleased. Along with the monkeys who had gathered there, He went to Kishkindha in the airship Pushpaka. Tomorrow, when the moon is in conjunction with the asterism Pushya, You will be able to see Rama without any hindrance after He reaches the Ganges. At present He is staying with the sage Bharadvaja.”
Upon hearing the sweet words spoken by Hanuman, Bharata was delighted. With joined palms, He spoke the following words with a delighted mind: “After a very long time, My desire has been fulfilled.”
Thus completes 126th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.
Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate