Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 35

35. Mālyavān Attempts to Dissuade Rāvaṇa

[When Rāvaṇa hears the marching of Monkey army, he again calls for a meeting. Mālyavān who is his grand-father advises him to return back Sītā.]

Then the great hero Rāghava who was the conqueror of cities, marched forth along with mixed sound of drums and conches. 35.1

When Rāvaṇa the king of all Rākṣasas heard that sound for a while he became thoughtful and looked towards his ministers. 35.2

The very strong Rāvaṇa who was the tormentor of the world and is the cruel king of all Rākṣasas, then addressed the assembly of Rākṣasas and without accusing any one spoke. 35.3

"I have heard that you have been talking about the crossing of ocean by Rāma and about his prowess, valour and heroism." 35.4

"I know that all of you are truly valorous in war and in spite of that, on knowing about the valour of Rāma, all of you look at each other in silence." 35.5

Hearing the words of Rāvaṇa, his maternal grandfather Mālyavān who was very intelligent and wise told as follows. 35.6

"Oh king, that king who is an expert in all sciences and who follows the path of prudence, enjoys the kingship for a long time and compels his enemies for subjugation." 35.7

"He who concludes treaty of peace with his enemies or wages war at the proper time strengthens himself and attains great power." 35.8

"A treaty should be reached with the king who is weaker or equal to us, without ever underrating the enemy but he should wage war against enemy who is stronger." 35.9

"Oh Rāvaṇa because of that I like entering in to a treaty with Rāma. Let Sītā for whose sake this war is being fought be returned to him." 35.10

"All devas, sages and Gandharvas are wishing for the victory of Rāma and so do not make him your enemy and please accept a treaty with him." 35.11

"The grandfather [Lord Brahma] created only two groups of people namely devas and Rākṣasas and while Devas depend on Dharma, Rākṣasas do not follow it." 35.12

'Oh Rākṣasa, Dharma is always on the side of the great devas and Non righteousness is on the part of asuras and Rākṣasas." 35.13

"When Dharma swallows Adharma, it is Krita age and when Adharma starts swallowing Dharma, it is the Kāli age." 35.14

"So when you were wandering in this world, the great Dharma was destroyed and Adharma favoured you and because of this your enemies are stronger than you." 35.15

"Due to your mistake, the well-nourished Adharma is swallowing us and you being favourable to Rākṣasas, the clan of Rākṣasas is growing." 35.16

"You who are interested in sensual pleasures and because of this, you did whatever you liked and this has created great fear among the sages who are like fire." 35.17

"The power of those sages is very great like an burning fire. Having purified their minds through penance, they are intent on promotion of Dharma, in as much as these Brahmins worship the gods through different principal sacrifices but they also pour oblations into the sacred fires with due ceremony and read the Vedas [Sacred texts] in a loud voice. Having subdued the Rākṣasas, they continued to chant the sacred text, on hearing which all the Rākṣasas have scattered in all directions, like the thundering clouds in a hot season." 35.18-35.20

"When the sages who themselves are like fire, worship fire, the smoke from that fire spreads all over and destroys the lustre of all the Rākṣasas." 35.21

"In different places when these people who are stable in their penance, practice severe austerity, this creates trouble to all Rākṣasas." 35.22

"You have obtained a boon protecting yourself from Devas, Dānavas and Yakṣas but very powerful men, bears and monkeys have arrived here and they with stable valour are roaring like lions." 35.23- 35.24

"I have been seeing very many omens which are horrifying and I foresee destruction of all the Rākṣasas including myself." 35.25

"Terrific and monstrous clouds producing horrifying thunderous sound are causing rain of hot blood all over Lanka." 35.26

"Drops of tears fall from the weeping animals of transport, which have become discoloured, coated by dust and have lost their previous shine." 35.27

"Flesh eating animals like Jackals and eagles are howling loudly and fearsomely and entering Lanka and they also form groups in the forest." 35.28

"Black women with white teeth, talking adversely in their dreams are standing in front of the homes and laughing uproariously after robbing the houses." 35.29

"The Dogs come and eat the offerings made to God in the homes and donkeys are born to cows, rats and the mongoose." 35.30

"Cats mate with tigers, pigs mate with dogs and Kinnaras mate with Rākṣasas as well as with men." 35.31

"Red footed white pigeons which are messengers of death move in different directions foretelling the death of all Rākṣasas." 35.32

"The singing pet birds called Sarika are defeated by fighter birds and drop down on earth in pairs." 35.33

"Birds and wild animals, face towards the sun, cry out. Death, in the form of a frightful, monstrous and cruel blackish form with a shaven head casts his eyes on all our dwellings, both morning and evening. These and such other sinister omens appear." 35.34-35.35

"I deem Rāma of stable vision as Lord Vishnu dwelling in human form. This Rāma is not a mere human being, because he is one who built that most wonderful bridge which was built across the sea. O, Rāvaṇa! Conclude peace with Rāma, who is the king of men. Having come to know of his acts, let that which is good for the future be done after a mature understanding." 35.36-35.37

Having spoken like this, the mighty Mālyavān, who was foremost in valour among the bravest of warriors, being aware of what was passing in Rāvaṇa's mind, eyeing him, became silent. 35.38

This is the end of Thirty Fifth Sarga of Yuddha Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.