Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 67

67. Rāma and Jatāyu

[On further search Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa see Jatāyu who is about to die. He tells Rāma that Sītā is abducted by Rāvaṇa. Rāma's sorrow further increases]

Though he was elder, after hearing the wise consul of Lakṣmaṇa, he grasped its essence and accepted that advise. 67.1

That great hero Rāma controlled his rising anger and leaned on his wonderful bow and told Lakṣmaṇa. 67.2

"Oh son, Oh Lakṣmaṇa, what should we do? Where will we go in search of Sītā? By what method, would we get back Sītā?" Think clearly." 67.3

Lakṣmaṇa said to Rāma who was reeling under sorrow, "It is proper for us to search in this Janasṭhāna, which is covered by many plants and creepers and also has many Rākṣasas." 67.4

"Here difficult to climb mountains, caves, valleys, different type of horrifying caverns inhabited by different type of animals and forests inhabited by Gandharvas and Kinnaras exist." 67.5-67.6

"And you should search in all these places accompanied by me. Oh Bull among men, great men who have superior intellect like you, are not shaken by difficulties like the mountain is not shaken by a great wind." 67.7

When told like Rāma keeping his bow ready, mounted with a horrible arrow, along with Lakṣmaṇa started roaming about in that forest." 67.8

Then he saw the great valorous bird Jatāyu who looked like the top of the mountain lying on the ground, wounded and drenched in blood. 67.9

Seeing him who was similar to a mountain, Rāma told Lakṣmaṇa, "I feel without any doubt this one has eaten Sītā, the princess of Videha." 67.10

"It is clear this Rākṣasa in this forest has taken the form of vultures and has eaten the broad eyed Sītā and is now relaxing happily. I will kill him with shining very sharp arrows which will go straight at him." 67.11-67.12

Saying this Rāma who was very angry took a razor sharp arrow and fixed it on the bow and stepped towards the vulture and the earth up to sea shook. 67.13

That pitiable vulture spitting blood with foam spoke with very pitiable words like this to Rāma the son of Daśaratha. 67.14

"Oh long lived one, the queen whom you are searching in this great forest as carefully as one searches for herbal medicine as well as my soul has been taken away by Rāvaṇa," 67.15

"Oh Rāma, Oh Lakṣmaṇa that lady who was separated from you both was being taken away by Rāvaṇa and I saw this." 67.16

"In the battle with Rāvaṇa, I reached Sītā by breaking Rāvaṇa's chariot and that one who lost his chariot made me fall on this earth." 67.17

"Oh Rāma this is his broken bow and these are his quivers and here is the chariot which was broken by me in battle with him." 67.18

"He is the charioteer of Rāvaṇa slain by me using my wings. When I was exhausted Rāvaṇa cut off my wings by his sword. Then after taking Sītā, the princess of Videha, he flew in the sky and since I have already been killed by the Rākṣasa, you need not kill me." 67.19-67.20

Hearing these facts, the sorrow of Rāma who was in love with Sītā doubled and he with face full of tears became helpless and pitiable. 67.21

Throwing that Great Bow Rāma hugged that king of vultures and fell on the ground and cried along with Lakṣmaṇa. 67.22

Seeing the bird taking painful breaths in that lonely place which was difficult to reach, Rāma was affected by great sorrow and told Lakṣmaṇa. 67.23

"I have lost the kingdom, I had to live in the forest, Sītā is lost and Jatāyu is killed and these misfortunes may even burn the fire." 67.24

"If I now enter a ocean which is filled with water by the rivers, my bad luck would completely dry even that ocean." 67.25

"By this way I have been caught by a network of misfortunes and I think that nobody is more unfortunate than me among all beings, including the moving and not moving." 67.26

"This very elderly king of vultures is the friend of my father and due to my bad luck, he is lying on the ground at present." 67.27

After saying like this many times Rāma along with Lakṣmaṇa caressed Jatāyu and showed him the affection towards a father. 67.28

Rāma then hugged that king of vultures who has lost his wings and drenched with blood. "Where is my Maithili who is like a soul to me?" and saying this he fell on the ground. 67.29

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