Rāmāyana |Kiṣkindha Kaṇḍa| Chapter 53

53. Monkeys Perplexed

[Swayamprabha takes them out of the cave but when they realized that time limit has been exceeded. They are all scared of Sugrīva. While Angada proposes that all of them should give up their life, Tara prefers to go back to that magical cave.]

When that lady ascetic told these auspicious words which were according to dharma, Hanuman told her who is blameless in her actions. 53.1

"Oh lady who is votary of dharma, you have provided us protection as we had taken refuge in you. We have now exceeded the time limit set to us by the great Sugrīva, when we were moving about in this cave." 53.2

"Since we have already exceeded the time limit set by Sugrīva, we have almost lost our life and you who are a great lady should help us to get out of this dreadful cave." 53.3

"Oh practitioner of Dharma, it would proper for you to save us who are deeply afraid of Sugrīva as we have a great job that we have to finish and by staying here we have exceeded the time to do it." 53.4-53.5

When Hanuman told her like this that lady ascetic replied "I think that it is impossible for those who enter this cave to return." 53.6

"But by the power of my penance as well as due to my strict observation of religious life, I would help you and these monkeys to get out of this cave." 53.7

"Let all the great monkeys close their eyes for it would be impossible for you to get out if you do not keep your eyes closed." 53.8

"Then all of them closed their eyes and kept it closed with their delicate fingers, with happiness due to the desire to get out of the cave." 53.9

When those great monkeys closed their eyes with the help of their fingers, within a minute, they were taken out of that great cave. 53.10

That lady ascetic who was the follower of Dharma spoke these words to those monkeys who were released from a difficult situation. 53.11

"This is the Vindhya Mountain which is blessed with different type of trees and climbers and this is the Prasravaṇa mountain and that one is the ocean which is a vast expanse of water. Safety to you and I am going back to my home." And so saying That Swayamprabha entered her cave." 53.12-53.13

Then they saw the horrifying sea which was the home of Varuṇa and which was endless and dreadful. 53.14

While they were searching in the magical construction created by Maya on the fortified mountain, the time limit fixed by their king had been exceeded. 53.15

Then those great ones reached the foot hills of Vindhya and chose a location where trees were in full bloom, and after sitting there started analysing and thinking. 53.16

Then they remained below the trees bent with the heavy load of flowers, entwined by hundreds of vines, due to the great fear they had of Sugrīva. 53.17

Seeing that the spring season has started and after discussing with each other, they fell on the ground. 53.18

The very wise monkey Yuvarāja Angada who had shoulders like bull and the lion, who has sturdy long arms addressed those senior and elderly monkeys who reside in the forest using sweet voice about his inferences. 53.19-53.20

"Oh monkeys we came here as per the command of the monkey king and while we were in the cave we have spent a whole month. Do you realize it?" 53.21

"We started in the Aswayuja month [October?] with time limit fixed for our job. And we have exceeded that time limit. Please tell me as to what we should do now?" 53.22

"All of you are trust worthy and are experts in just action and you were all involved in activities of general welfare and all of you are interested in welfare of our lord?" 53.23

"You are all incomparable in your actions, and famous everywhere for your bravery and you have followed me as per the orders of tawny eyed Sugrīva." 53.24

"Having not achieved our objective, we should without any doubt die, for disobeying the order monkey king, who can live happily." 53.25

"Since the time limit fixed by Sugrīva has been exceeded, for the people in the forest giving up of our life by starving would only be proper." 53.26

"By nature Sugrīva is harsh but having been crowned as a king, he would not pardon us when we go back." 53.27

"Since we have not been able to find out Sītā, he would definitely kill us and so let us commit suicide leaving sons, wives, wealth as well as our homes." 53.28

"When we return back, the king will torture us in an incomparable manner and death would be even better than that." 53.29

"I was not crowned as Yuvarāja by Sugrīva but I was consecrated by Rāma the king of people, who never hurts others." 53.30

"The king being a great enemy of mine earlier, if he notices lapse on my part, he would definitely inflict very severe punishment on me." 53.31

"Why should my friends see the calamity of my death? I will sit here on the sacred shores of this ocean and give up my life." 53.32

Hearing these words of the lad who was their Yuvarāja, all the monkeys replied to him in a pitiable manner. 53.33

"Sugrīva has a harsh nature and Rāma loves his wife dearly and so let us search for Sītā here and try to find her out, because Sugrīva will award us death sentence so as to please Rāma. 53.34- 53.35

"It is not proper for offenders to go near their master and so we will search for Sītā here and if we find her out and then go back or otherwise go to the place of God of death." 53.36

When Tara heard these words of great scare from the monkeys, he told them, "Let us put an end to this sorrow. If it pleases you, all of us we will re enter the cave and reside there." 53.37

"That difficult to enter place, created by magic has lot of trees, food and materials to drink and being there we need not be afraid of even Indra and definitely not Rāma and the king of monkeys." 53.38

All the monkeys who had heard the proposal of Angada were favourably inclined to it and all of them spoke together, "let us make a plan together which is not connected with the punishment expected out of the king." 53.39

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