Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 71

71. Kabandha's Story

[Kabandha was the son of Dhanu and had a pretty form. He got a great boon from Brahma and later when he fought with Indra, using Vajra he plunged his head in to his body. He had told him that he will get his pretty form back when his hands are cut by Rāma and he is burnt. He promises to help Rāma after he gets back his divine form.]

"Oh Great one, Oh Rāma with great strength and valour, earlier my form was famous in all the three worlds and was comparable to Indra, Sun and Moon." 71.1

"I was greatly terrorizing the world after assuming this form and eventually used to frighten the sages who were living in the forest." 71.2

"A sage called Sthūla Śirā who was troubled by me using my unusual form, while he was collecting firewood became very angry with me" 71.3

"After seeing me, he gave a dreadful curse that I would permanently have the form that I have assumed." 71.4

"When I begged him to put an end to the curse given in great anger to me, he spoke the following words." 71.5

"When Rāma cuts away your arms in this desolate forest and burns you, you would again assume the usual pretty form of yours." 71.6

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa, know me as the son of Dhanu who was shining in prosperity and by the anger of Indra I obtained this form in a battle." 71.7

"I with great penance pleased the grandfather Lord Brahma and he blessed me with long life. This boon made me greatly proud." 71.8

"Having obtained a long life span, I knew that Indra could not do anything to me and due to this I opposed Indra in a battle in a thoughtless manner." 71.9

"By the weapon Vajra which had hundred knots in his arms, he made my lower limbs and head to go inside my body." 71.10

"In spite of begging him to send me to the world of God of death he told, "Let words of Lords Brahma become true." 71.11

"Due to being hit by the Vajra, my thigh bones, head and face had been broken and how could I live long without taking food?." 71.12

"When I told like this to Indra, he himself created me long arms of one Yojana length and mouth and sharp teeth in my stomach." 71.13

"I stretch all over my long arms in the forest and after pulling tiger, elephants and deer which move about in the forest, I eat them." 71.14

"Indra also has told me "When Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa come ant cut your arms you will reach heaven." 71.15

"Oh Rāma, of best of the kings, with this type of body in the forest, I thought that it is proper catch all that I was able to catch." 71.16

"I was thinking that definitely you would come to this forest and this with this thought I was struggling to maintain this body." 71.17

"Be safe. you are that Rāma. As per the words of that great sage no one except Raghava had the strength kill me." 71.18

"Oh great among me, I would give you very good advice to you both, when I am purified by use of fire by you." 71.19

The soul of Dharma told this to Dhanu, after listening to all these words that he told Lakṣmaṇa. 71.20

"My wife of great fame Sītā was abducted by Rāvaṇa with happiness and without difficulty when me and my brother were not there." 71.21

"I only know his name and do not know anything about that Rākṣasa's form and we do not know anything about his power or his place of residence." 71.22

"Please show your pity on me who is suffering from sorrow and pain, who not have any one who will help and who runs all over without knowing direction." 71.23

"We would now collect the fire wood broken by elephants, make a great pit in a place suitable for it and do your cremation." 71.24

"You may please tell us, where Sītā has been taken and whether she is alive or dead. You may please do this auspicious help, if you know about it." 71.25

When Rāma told this to the good Dhanu and then he, who is an expert in speech like Raghava, told the words of welfare." 71.26

"Not being divine now, I do not know anything about Maithili as of now but when I assume the divine form after burning, I will reveal about it to you." 71.27

"Oh Lord before being burnt, I do not have the power to know about the very powerful Rākṣasa who abducted Sītā." 71.28

"Oh Rāghava, due to the power of the curse, I am kept away from knowledge and having attained this form all the world despises me." 71.29

"Before the sun God travelling in his vehicle gets tired and sets, you drop me in the pit and burn me as per the ritualistic rules." 71.30

"Oh son of Raghu clan, if you drop me in the pit and burn me according to rules, I will let you know about a man who knows that Rākṣasa and would tell you about him." 71.31

"Oh Rāghava, according to proper rules of justice you should make him your friend and he will extend you his help, Oh warrior who acts swiftly." 71.32

"Oh Rāghava, there is nothing in the three worlds that he does not know as for a different reason; he was roaming about the entire world." 71.33

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