Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 31

31. Rāvaṇa informed about Khara's Death

[A spy called Akampana tells Rāvaṇa about the killing of Khara and his army. When Rāvaṇa wants to for a war, he dissuades him and suggests that he abduct Sītā so that Rāma would die automatically. Rāvaṇa meets Mārīcha who tells him all about Rāma and sends him back.]

Speedily leaving Janasṭhāna, Akampana, entered Lanka and with great haste told Rāvaṇa. 31.1

"Oh king, many Rākṣasas living in Janasṭhāna has been killed. Khara also has been killed in the war and I have escaped and have come here." 31.2

Hearing that the ten headed one with reddened eyes due to great anger and which looked as if they will burn others asked Akampana. 31.3

Oh Akampana who has lost his wife, who has destroyed the very pretty Janasṭhāna? Who has chosen the option of not returning back to the world?" 31.4

"Anyone who displeases me cannot live happily, whether it is Indra, Kubera, Yama or even Vishnu." 31.5

"I am the god of death to God of death, I can burn fire, I wish to associate death along with death according to dharma." 31.6

"If I get angry I can burn even Sun and the fire by my great lustre. I am interested in stopping the speed of wind also." 31.7

Akampana saluted the very angry Rāvaṇa and in a voice shivering with fear begged protection from Rāvaṇa. 31.8

The ten headed one, who was a great Rākṣasa, promised protection to him and that grateful one using clear words told. 31.9

"Rāma the son of Dasaratha is a lad whose body is built like a lion. He has round and strong arms and shoulder like a bull." 31.10

"He is a hero of great fame who is credited with matchless valour and he has destroyed Janasṭhāna along with Khara and Dūṣaṇa." 31.11

After hearing this from Akampana that Rāvaṇa, who is the king of Rākṣasas, breathed like the king of serpents and told the following. 31.12

"Did that Rāma come to Janasṭhāna along with Indra and all other devas? You may please tell, Akampana." 31.13

Hearing this reply of Rāvaṇa, that Akampana started telling about the strength and valour of that great Rāma. 31.14

"His name is Rāma. He is greatly lustrous and the greatest among those who wield the bow and he has very many auspicious arrows and is equal to Indra." 31.15

"Lakṣmaṇa is his younger brother who has great strength, bright red eyes, voice like a drum and has a face like moon. He has similar appearance like Rāma." 31.16

"With his company, they are like wind and fire and he is a great king and it is due to him that Janasṭhāna fell down from its glory." 31.17

"They are not gods but they are great people and there is no need to investigate it. The golden flagged arrows released by Rāma turned in to five hooded serpents and killed all the Rākṣasas." 31.18

"Those scared Rākṣasas from whichever place they went, they saw only Rāma standing in their front and this way he destroyed Janasṭhāna like fire." 31.19-31.20

Hearing the words of Akampana Rāvaṇa told, "I will go to Janasṭhāna and kill Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa." 31.21

When these words were released Akampana replied, "Oh king, hear from me in detail about the strength and valour of Rāma. Please listen." 31.22

"Rāma gets unbearable anger and he is greatly famous for his valour. He can easily stop the speed of the flow of water using his arrows." 31.23

"That Rāma can easily destroy even all the planets and stars in the sky and if gets angry he can lift the drowning earth from the sea." 31.24

"That great lord can break the boundary of the ocean and can drown all the worlds in it and he can arrest the speed of the sea wind using his arrows." 31.25

"That very famous one, who is the tiger among men can destroy the world by his valour and also recreate that world." 31.26

"Oh ten headed one, you cannot win over Rāma in a battle along with all Rākṣasas just like a sinner cannot hope to enter the heaven." 31.27

"I do not think that all Devas and asuras together can kill him, but there is a way to kill him and hear it with single pointed attention." 31.28

"His wife is the prettiest Sītā, who is black with well-formed limbs and with a very thin middle. She is a gem among women and decorates herself with gem." 31.29

There is no equal to that pretty women among devas, asuras and Gandharwas and what to tell among the mere human beings." 31.30

"You go and steal the woman who is his wife in that great forest and being passionately in love with her, Rāma will give up his life." 31.31

Rāvaṇa the king of Rākṣasas liked these words and that very strong one started thinking about what Akampana has told him. 31.32

"Very good, with a charioteer, early morning, I would go alone and will get that happy Vaidehi in to this great town." 31.33

After telling this Rāvaṇa got in a chariot drawn by donkeys with the colour of the sun and illuminating all directions, he commenced his journey. 31.34

When the chariot of the king of Rākṣasas was going through the way of stars, it lighted the sky just like the moon. 31.35

He reached the hermitage of Mārīcha and met the son of Thataka. Mārīcha worshipped that king with different types of foods which can be eaten or chewed. 31.36

Mārīcha personally worshipped him and offered him seat and water and in a meaningful manner using suitable words Mārīcha spoke. 31.37

"How about welfare, oh king of the world, Oh God of Rākṣasas, Your coming here so quickly creates doubts in my mind." 31.38

When Mārīcha spoke this way, Rāvaṇa that king with great lustre, who was an expert in speech afterwards told these words. 31.39

"I feel unprotected because Rāma, capable of doing very difficult jobs, has killed all those of Janasṭhāna who cannot be killed and I need your help as a minister to steal his wife." 31.40

Mārīcha having heard the words of the king of Rākṣasas told, "the one who told you about is your enemy in the form of a friend and oh tiger among Rākṣasas, having been pleased by you, who will not enjoy your company?"" 31.41-31.42

"Please tell me, who told you to bring Sītā here. They want cut of the crown of the world of Rākṣasas." 31.43

"Without doubt, he who encouraged you in this is your enemy. He desires you to pluck the poisonous fangs from the mouth of a serpent." 31.44

"By whose act or word have you been lead in to this wrong path? Oh king, who has hit you on your forehead, while you were having a sound sleep?" 31.45

"Oh, Rāvaṇa, it will not be proper to raise an eye to see Rāma in war, who will be then like a majestic elephant that has an impeccable dynasty and bloodline as its mammoth trunk, personal radiance as its indomitable might, very firm pair of arms as its pernicious tusks, more so, who will be with the redolence of the irrepressible lineage of Rāghavas." 31.46

"It is not proper for you to wake up the sleeping Rāma who is a man in the form of lion, who is a lion with its tail touching its waist in great anger, the killer of deer in front of learned Rākṣasas and who stores sharp arrows all over his body like sharp edged fangs." 31.47

"His bow is a crocodile, his shoulders are swamps, arrows are giant tides, and battle with him is like the mouth of hell, and it is not proper to jump in to it, Oh king of Rākṣasas." 31.48

"Oh king of Rākṣasas, Oh God of Lanka, be pleased. Please know that it is proper for you to go back to Lanka and enjoy your days with your own wives and let the wife of Rāma enjoy the forest." 31.49

When Mārīcha told like this to the ten headed Rāvaṇa, he returned back to Lanka and entered in to his best of homes. 31.50

This is the end of Thirty First Sarga of Āraṇya Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.