Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 73

73. Kabandha's Guidance

[Kabandha Requests Rāma to meet saint Śabarī who lives in the hermitage of Mātanga, proceed to lake Pampa, climb up the Riṣyamūka mountains and meet Sugrīva. He tells Rāma to enter in to a treaty with Sugrīva before fire.]

Kabandha after telling Rāma about the method to get back Sītā again told the following meaningful words. 73.1

"Oh Rāma take the peaceful path to the west which shines and is pleasing to the mind as you would find many trees under flowering there. There are Jambu trees, Priyala trees, Jack-fruit trees, holy Banyan tree, Plakṣa trees [a tree from which milky latex oozes out], Tinduka trees, holy fig trees Karṇikāra of red and white flowers, Mango trees, trees that grow on dry soil, Tilaka trees, trees that bloom at night, Agnimukhya and Aśoka trees, Kadamba tree, Karavīra tree, red Asoka trees and Paribhadraka trees." 73.2-73.4

"You may either climb those trees are fell them by your great strength and eat their nectar like fruits, while proceeding ahead." 73.5

"Oh son of Kākutstha clan, after crossing that you would come cross a forest in flowering. It can be comparable to the Nandana Garden and the North Kuru state." 73.6

"The trees in the gardens have fruits dripping with sweetness in all seasons and is similar to Chaitraratha garden of Kubera which yields fruits always." 73.7

"The trees there with huge bunches are bent due to the fruits they bear and shine like the clouds over mountains." 73.8

"Lakṣmaṇa after climbing them would easily harvest those nectar like fruits, make them fall on the ground and offer them to you." 73.9

"While pleasantly travelling from one forest to another forest and from one mountain to another mountain, both of you who are valorous would reach the Pampa lake." 73.10

"Oh Rāma, the slopes of the lake of Pampa is smooth soil without stones and it does not slip and water is neither deep nor shallow and does not have moss but has lotus and lily flowers in full bloom." 73.11

"Oh Rāghava in the waters of lake Pampa swans, ducks, Krauṇcha birds and Kurara birds are jumping here and there and cooing." 73.12

"Not knowing anything about being killed those auspicious birds are not scared of human beings and you can kill and eat them as those fat birds are like balls of ghee." 73.13

"Oh Rāma i in that Pampa lake, Lakṣmaṇa who is endowed with devotion can kill choicest fish with single bone, prawns, fish with crooked trunk and huge fish, remove their skins and wings and cook them on iron skewers and offer them to you." 73.14-73.15

"And while you are with delight eating those fish Lakṣmaṇa can go to the tank which is pure, cold and enjoyable and full of lotus flowers and bring that lotus scented, pure, clear water resembling silver and crystal, in the lotus leaf and offer it to you." 73.16-73.17

"Oh best among men, you will also see there, huge boars which live in the mountain caves and roam freely in the forest, which approach with desire that very lovely Pampa to drink water." 73.18-73.19

"Oh Rāma when you stroll there in the evening, you will see trees with large number of flowers and the cool water of Pampa and forget your sorrows." 73.20

"Oh Rāghava there you will see the flowers of Tilaka trees, night jasmines, water lilies and lotus flowers strewn all over, making your mind calm." 73.21

"Oh Rāma there are no human beings to wear those flowers and the flowers in garlands made by them will not wilt or drop." 73.22

"There the disciples of sage Mātanga who were sages who normally are absorbed in meditation, were bringing food from the forest for their teacher Mātanga, and when they were tired due to exhaustion, sweat drops from the body of those sages of great penance fell on earth and the flowers that blossomed from those sweat drops never fade or wilt." 73.23-73.24

"Though they have gone long back, you can see their female attendant Śabarī, who is an ascetic living there." 73.25

"Oh Rāma, She is a follower of Dharma saluted by all beings and she will go to heaven only after seeing you, the God like Rāma." 73.26

"You will see her in the unmatched and secret hermitage on the western bank of Pampa which is difficult to see." 73.27

"Though there are many elephants in the forest and mountain nearby, those elephants do not attack the hermitage due to rule established by the sage Mātanga." 73.28-73.29

"In that forest equivalent to the forest of devas and which can be compared to the Nandana Garden, which is full of several kinds of birds, you will give up your sorrow and enjoy." 73.30

"Riṣyamūka which is full of flowering trees is situated in front of Pampa is very difficult to climb and is protected by elephants. This lofty mountain was raised in the earlier days by the generous Brahma." 73.31

"Oh Rāma that man who sleeps on the top of that mountain, will get wealth in his dreams and after waking up again he will get it." 73.32

"A person who does evil or sins who climbs that mountain would be thrown down while he is sleeping by the Rākṣasas and such a person who commits sin or evil cannot climb that mountain" 73.33- 73.34

"The roaring sound of baby elephants will be heard by those playing in Pampa and those residing in hermitage of Mātanga." 73.35

"Those strong and great elephants which resemble dark rain clouds dash it on each other and blood flows from their body are then separated and scattered all over." 73.36

"The animals living in the forest drink the spotless clean and cold water of Pampa and after getting relieved of their thirst, they go back to the forest." 73.37

"Seeing those bears and tigers shining like sapphire and antelopes which are never defeated, you will get rid of your grief." 73.38

"Oh Rāma of Kākutstha clan on that mountain there exists a shining cave which is closed by a sheet of rock and so it is difficult to enter the cave." 73.39

"On the eastern entrance of that cave there is a pond with pure cold waters. And that tank is surrounded by trees yielding fruits and roots as also different kind of animal groups." 73.40

"Sugrīva lives there along with four of his friends and at times he is seen at the top of the mountain also." 73.41

The courageous Kabandha wearing a flower garland after telling Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa to go he shined like the Sun god. 73.42

Both Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa who were about to depart went near Kabandha who was in the sky and waited for him and Kabandha told them "you may go now." 73.43

Then they told him, "We are going for succeeding in our aim" and well please Kabandha bade farewell to them and went his way. 73.44

Then that Kabandha assumed his correct form and surrounded by lustre he was equal to Sun god and he told them, "While you make friendship with Sugrīva, enter in to a treaty with him." 73.45

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