Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 78

78. Śatrughna Tortures Mandāra

[When Śatrughna was sorrowing, the guards caught hold of Mandāra and told about her role to Śatrughna. Śatrughna became greatly furious and tortured her. Bhārata intervened and asked him to leave her as Rāma would not like torturing of women.]

Addressing The extremely sorrowing Bhārata who was starting on a journey, Śatrughna told. 78.1

"Rāma is the source of protection of all beings and so what is the need for this sorrowing by us. That great Rāma endowed with great strength has been sent to forest by a woman." 78.2

"Why did not the very strong and valorous Lakṣmaṇa restraint our father and why did not he release Rāma from this?" 78.3

"The king could have earlier itself restrained, after careful consideration, of that person who climbed up and influenced the lady of the king." 78.4

While Śatrughna the brother of Lakṣmaṇa was speaking thus, the hunchback was seen at the eastern entrance of the town wearing all types of instruments. 78.5

She was wearing royal dress and had applied sandal paste on herself and had adorned herself with various types of several ornaments. 78.6

She was wearing waist belts of different colours and very many types of ornaments and tied them with coloured strings and looked like a monkey. 78.7

The gate keepers seeing her as the sinner who is the main cause of all the problems mercilessly caught hold of her and informed Śatrughna. 78.8

"Here is the sinner and evil women on whose account Rāma is in the forest and your father left his body. Do with her as it pleases you." 78.9

Śatrughna who was extremely sad as well as disciplined, having heard those words addressing all those who are moving to the private apartment of the king told. 78.10

"Let her, who brought great sorrow to my brother and father, reap the result of the malicious action done by her." 78.11

Saying this he forcibly caught hold of her who was surrounded by her friends and the house resounded with the cries of that hunchback. 78.12

Seeing him extremely pained and greatly angry all her friends ran away in different directions. 78.13

Those companions were talking with each other, "Seeing the way that he has started, it looks like that he would kill all of us." 78.14

"The compassionate, generous and follower of Dharma, the queen Kauśalya is our only refuge and let us seek it from her." 78.15

Śatrughna, who gave pain to his enemies with reddened eyes due to great anger, dragged that shrieking hunchback on the ground. 78.16

When Mandāra was being dragged like this, the collection of different ornaments that she wore broke down and were scattered on the ground. 78.17

With several of her ornaments being strewn on the floor, the home of the king looked like the sky with its scattered stars. 78.18

The best of men who was powerful, with very great anger dragged her near Kaikeyi and spoke these insulting words to her. 78.19

Kaikeyi being upset by those harsh insulting words of Śatrughna became sad and sought the protection of her son Bhārata. 78.20

Bhārata addressing the greatly enraged Śatrughna said, "Please pardon her as the female among human beings should not be killed." 78.21

"If Rāma who follows Dharma were not to get angry with me for killing this wicked and sinful lady, I myself would have killed this Kaikeyi." 78.22

"If Rāma comes to know that this hunchback has been killed, it is definite that he would neither talk to you or me." 78.23

Hearing the words of Bhārata, Śatrughna the brother of Lakṣmaṇa, controlled his anger and released Mandāra. 78.24

Mandāra tormented by sorrow and pain, fell at the feet of Kaikeyi heaving deep tortured breaths and wretchedly cried. 78.25

The mother of Bhārata seeing the hunchback thrown at her feet and who has lost her consciousness, looked here and there like a Krauncha bird caught in the net and consoled that hunchback. 78.26

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