Rāmāyana |Kiṣkindha Kaṇḍa| Chapter 58

58. Sampathi Tells About Lanka

[Sampathi first tells his story and about his younger brother Jatāyu. He tells them that he had seen Sītā being carried away by Rāvaṇa. He tells monkeys that Sītā is in Lanka with Rāvaṇa and this Lanka is one hundred yojanas from the southern tip. He offers water oblations to his brother.]

When the monkeys who had decided to give up their life told these pitiable words, that vulture with thunder like voice spoke with tears in his eye. 58.1

"Oh monkeys, him whom you called as Jatāyu, who was killed by the very strong Rāvaṇa in battle is my brother." 58.2

"Due to being old as well as not having wings and not having strength, I have to give up the thought of retaliating against my brother's enemy." 58.3

"Once upon a time when Vritra was being killed by Indra, we both wanting to surpass each other, flew very near the sun who had scorching rays that can burn." 58.4

"With very great speed we went towards the sun by the way of the sky but when it became noon Jatāyu started floundering." 58.5

"When I saw my brother being scorched by the rays of the sun, I started covering my brother who was greatly fretful by my wings due to my great love." 58.6

"Oh monkey chiefs, when my wings were completely burnt I fell on this Vindhya mountain and I have been living here without being able to know about the welfare of my brother." 58.7

When Sampathi the brother of Jatāyu spoke this way to Angada, that very wise Yuvaraja Angada replied him as follows. 58.8

"If you are the brother of Jatāyu and have heard about what I told praising him, do you know about the whereabouts of that Rākṣasa." 58.9

"If you are able to know the position which is nearby or at a distance of that king of Rākṣasas, who is not far sighted, please do tell us." 58.10

Then that elder brother of Jatāyu who was greatly lustrous told the self-benefitting words which would make the monkeys very happy. 58.11

"Oh monkeys I am a vulture with burnt wings who has lost his valour and I would do the best possible service to Rāma by my words." 58.12

"I know about the land of Varuṇa, about Vishnu as Trivikrama, the battle between devas and asuras and also about the churning of nectar." 58.13

"My first and important duty is to help in this job of Rāma, though my vigour has almost gone to old age and my soul is in the last stages." 58.14

"I have seen a very pretty young lady wearing all ornaments being carried away the bad Rāvaṇa and that pretty lady was shouting "Rāma, Rāma" and "Lakṣmaṇa, Lakṣmaṇa" and she was throwing her ornaments and trying to wriggle and set herself free." 58.15-58.16

"Like the rays of sun on the top of the mountain, the silk that she was wearing was shining on that Rākṣasa and lighting up this black ocean." 58.17

"Since she was calling for Rāma, I think that she is Sītā and please hear about the location of that Rākṣasa, which I will presently tell." 58.18

"He is the son of sage Visravas and the brother of Kubera himself and he is known as Rāvaṇa and presides over the city of Lanka." 58.19

"This is an island which is one hundred yojanas from here and that pretty town of Lanka was built by Viśvakarma." 58.20

"It has a gate made of gold with amazing doors, with golden verandas. It has multi storey buildings of golden colour which are evenly made and it has gigantic ramparts of the colour of the sun." 58.21

"And there lives the pitiable Vaidehī dressed in silk and guarded well by Rākṣasīs in the private apartments of Rāvaṇa and you can see Maithili the daughter of king Janaka." 58.22-58.23

"Oh monkeys, quickly with great speed reach the edge of the southern ocean and hundred yojanas from there Lanka surrounded by the ocean is secretly ensconced. The other tip of the sea, which is Lanka is one hundred yojanas from that end of southern ocean and once you reach there, you would be able to see Rāvaṇa." 58.24-58.25

"By my foresight, I see you landing in Lanka and also I am able to see you returning from there. The path in the sky is of different levels. The first flight level of birds is that of the small Kulinga birds, house sparrows, songbirds and the others who like subsisting on food-grains. The second flight level is that of the birds that are the eaters of leftovers like crows and doves, or the eaters of tree-fruits like parrots. The third flight level is that of the wading birds like Bhaasa, Krauncha, Kurara birds and cranes, herons and the like. The fourth flight level is that of hawks and the fifth is that of the vultures." 58.26-58.27

"And the sixth flight level is that of the swans which derive their valour, vigour, handsomeness and youthfulness by their majestic birth. But the uppermost path is that of the sons of Lady Vinita, namely the Divine Eagle Garuda, and Anuuru, the non-stopping charioteer of Sun. Because we vultures have our lineal descent from the Divine vulture, we can soar to the uppermost flyable path and see properly." 58.28-58.29

"A deplorable deed is done by that Rākṣasa and when you take revenge on him, my enmity towards him due to my brother would also be avenged." 58.30

"From here I am able to see clearly Rāvaṇa as well as Janaki, for I have powerful eye sight like the divine Garuda." 58.31

"Oh monkeys, due to the power of our food and our descent, we would be able to see till the end one hundred yojanas any time." 58.32

"By our nature the food meant for us is rare and far away but for cocks who are the leg fighters, their food is near their legs." 58.33

"Think of some method for crossing this ocean of salt and then you will see Vaidehī, safely return and go to your places." 58.34

"I would like you to move me near the sea, which is the home of Varuṇa, so that I can offer water oblations to my great brother who has gone to heaven." 58.35

With great dynamism, then the monkeys moved Sampathi who had burnt his wings near to the sea which is the husband of all rivers and placed him near the shore. Then again they brought that Lord of all birds to the original place where he was and they were ready now to do their job with a gladdened heart. 58.36-58.37

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