24-3 | Śrī Rāma Carita Mānasa Stotra

Ever since Hanumān left after burning down Laṅkā the demons there had lived in constant terror. In their own houses they thought,

“There is no hope for the demon race now. If his messenger was mighty beyond words, what good would result when the master himself enters the city?”

When Mandodarī (Rāvaṇa’s principal queen) heard from her female spies what the citizens were saying, she felt much perturbed. Meeting her lord in seclusion she fell at his feet and with joined palms addressed to him words steeped in wisdom:

“My lord, avoid all strife with Śrī Hari. Take my words to your heart as a most salutary advice:

My lord, if you seek your own welfare, call one of your ministers and send back with him the consort of that prince (Śrī Rāma), the very thought of whose messenger’s doings makes the wives of the demons miscarry.

Just as a frosty night spells disaster to a bed of lotuses, so Sītā has come here as a bane to your race. Listen, my lord: unless you return Sītā, not even Śambhu (Lord Śiva) and Brahmā (the creator) can be of any good to you. (1 - 5)

“Rāma’s arrows are like a swarm of serpents, while the demon host can only compare with frogs. Therefore, giving up obstinacy, devise some means of safety before the serpents devour them.” (36)

When the foolish Rāvaṇa, who was known all the world over for his haughtiness, heard Mandodarī’s admonition, he roared with laughter, “A woman is timorous by nature, it is truly said. She entertains fear even on an auspicious occasion; for her mind is very weak. If the monkey host comes, the poor demons would feast on them and sustain themselves. The very guardians of the spheres tremble for fear of me; how ridiculous that you, my wife, should be afraid!” So saying he laughed and embraced her and then left for his council-chamber exhibiting great fondness for her. Mandodarī, however, felt troubled at heart and thought that heaven had turned against her lord. As he occupied his royal seat in the council-chamber, he received intelligence that all the invading host had arrived on the other side of the ocean. He thereupon asked his councillors; “Give me proper advice.” They however, laughed and submitted, “Only remain quiet, my lord. Your Majesty experienced no difficulty when you conquered the gods and demons. Of what account, then, can men and monkeys be?” (1 - 5)

When a minister, a physician and a religious preceptor - these three use pleasing words from fear or hope of reward, the result is that dominion, health and faith - all the three forthwith go to the dogs. (37)

It was such a contingency that presented itself before Rāvaṇa. They all extolled him only to his face. Perceiving it to be an opportune hour, Vibhīṣaṇa (Rāvaṇa’s youngest brother) arrived and bowed his head at his brother’s feet. Bowing his head once more, he occupied his own seat and, when ordered to speak, addressed him thus: “Since Your gracious Majesty has asked me my opinion I tender it, dear brother, according to my own lights and in your own interest. Let him who seeks after his welfare, good reputation, wisdom, a good destiny after his death and joys of various kinds, turn his eyes away from the brow of another’s wife even as one should refuse to see the moon on the fourth night (of the bright half) of a lunar month. Even though a man happened to be the sole lord of the fourteen spheres, he would certainly fall if he turned hostile to living beings. No one will speak well of a man who has the slightest avarice even if he were an ocean of virtues and clever too. (1 - 4)

“Lust, anger, vanity and covetousness are all paths leading to hell. Abjuring, all these adore the Hero of Raghu’s line, whom saints worship. (38)

Śrī Rāma, dear brother, is no mere human king; He is the Lord of the universe and the Death of Death himself. He is the Brahma (Absolute) who is free from the malady of Māyā, the unborn God, all-pervading, invincible, without beginning or end. An ocean of compassion, He has assumed the form of a human being for the good of Earth, the Brāhmaṇa, the cow and the gods. Listen, brother: He delights His devotees and breaks the ranks of the impious and is the champion of the Vedas and true religion. Giving up enmity with Him, bow your head to Him; for the Lord of the Raghus relieves the distress of those who seek refuge in Him. My master, restore Videha’s Daughter to the Lord Śrī Rāma, and adore Him, the disinterested friend of all. On being approached, He forsakes not even him who has incurred sin by wishing ill to the whole world. Bear this in mind, Rāvaṇa: the same Lord whose Name destroys the threefold agony has manifested Himself (in human form). (1 - 4)

“Again and again I fall at your feet and pray you, Rāvaṇa: abandoning pride, infatuation and arrogance, adore the Lord of Kosala. The sage Pulastya (our grand- father) had sent this message to us through a disciple of his. Availing myself of this golden opportunity, dear brother, I have immediately conveyed it to you.” (39 A-B)


Rāvaṇa had a very old and sagacious minister named Mālyavān. He felt much gratified to hear Vibhīṣaṇa’s words. “Your younger brother, dear son, is the very ornament of wisdom. Therefore, take to heart what Vibhīṣaṇa says.” “Both these fools glorify the enemy! Is there no one here who will remove them out of my sight?” Mālyavān thereupon returned to his residence, while Vibhīṣaṇa began again with joined palms: “rightful intellect and the perverted one dwell in the heart of all: so declare the Purāṇas and Vedas, my lord. Where there is right type of intellect, prosperity of every kind reigns; and where there is unwisdom misfortune is the inevitable end. Perversity has obviously taken possession of your heart; that is why you account your friends as foes and your enemies as friends. And that is why you are so very fond of Sītā, who is the very night of destruction for the demon race.” (1 - 4)

“Clasping your feet I beseech you: grant this prayer of mine as a token of affection for me. Restore Sītā to Rāma so that no harm may come to you.” (40)

Vibhīṣaṇa spoke wisdom and that too in words that had the approval of the wise, as well as of the Purāṇas and Vedas. Rāvaṇa, however, rose in a fury as soon as he heard them. “O wretch, your death is imminent now. O fool, you have always lived on my generosity; yet, O dullard, you have favoured the enemy’s cause. Tell me, wretch, if there is any one in this world whom I have failed to conquer by the might of my arm. Dwelling in my capital you cherish love for the hermits! If so, go and join hands with them, O fool, and teach wisdom to them.” So saying, he kicked his younger brother, who in his turn clasped his brother’s feet again and again. Umā, here lies the greatness of a saint, who returns good even for evil. “It dose not after you have beaten me, since you are like a father to me. But your welfare, my lord, lies in adoring Śrī Rāma.” Taking his ministers with him Vibhīṣaṇa departed through the air exclaiming so as to make himself heard by all: - (1 - 5)

“Śrī Rāma is true to His resolve and all-powerful; while your councillors are all doomed. I, therefore, now betake myself to the Hero of Raghu’s line for protection; blame me no more.” (41)

No sooner had Vibhīṣaṇa left with these words than the doom of them all was sealed. Disrespect to a saint, Pārvatī, immediately robs one of all blessings. The moment Rāvaṇa abandoned Vibhīṣaṇa the wretch lost all his glory. Indulging in many expectations Vibhīṣaṇa, however, gladly proceeded to the Lord of the Raghus. “On reaching there I will behold those lotus-feet with ruddy soles, so soft and so delightful to the devotees. Nay, I will behold those feet whose very touch redeemed the Riṣi’s wife (Ahalyā), that hallowed the Daṇḍaka forest, that Janaka’s Daughter has locked up in Her bosom, that chased the delusive deer and that dwell as a pair of lotuses in the lake of Śiva’s heart. I am really blessed that I am going to see those very feet. (1 - 4)

“I will go today and presently behold with these eyes of mine those very feet in whose wooden sandals Bharata’s mind remains absorbed!” (42)

Cherishing such fond expectations Vibhīṣaṇa instantly crossed over to the other side of the ocean (where Śrī Rāma had encamped with His host). When the monkeys saw Vibhīṣaṇa coming, they took him for some special messenger of the enemy. Detaining him outside they approached Sugrīva (the lord of the monkeys) and told him all the news. Said Sugrīva, “Listen, O Lord of the Raghus: Rāvaṇa’s brother (Vibhīṣaṇa) has come to see You.” The Lord, however, asked, “What do you think of the matter, my friend?” The lord of the monkeys replied, “Listen, O Ruler of men: the wiles of these demons are beyond one’s comprehension. One does not know wherefore he has come, capable as he is of taking any form he likes. Obviously the fool has come to spy out our secrets; what appeals to me, therefore, is that he should be taken prisoner and detained.” “Friend, you have thought out a wise course: but My vow is to dispel all fears from the mind of those who seek refuge in Me.” Hanumān rejoiced to hear these words of the Lord, who cherished paternal affection for His protégé. (1 - 5)

“Those people who forsake a suppliant, apprehending evil from him are vile and sinful; their very sight is abominable.” (43)

“I will not abandon even the murderer of myriads of Brāhmaṇas, if he seeks refuge in Me. The moment a creature turns its face towards Me the sins incurred by it through millions of lives are washed away. A sinner by his very nature is averse to My worship. Had Vibhīṣaṇa been wicked at heart, could he ever dare to approach Me? That man alone who has a pure mind can attain to Me; I have an aversion for duplicity, wiles and censoriousness. Even if Rāvaṇa has sent him to find out our secrets, we have nothing to fear or lose, O lord of the monkeys. Lakṣmaṇa, O my friend, can dispose of in a trice all the demons the world contains. And if he has sought shelter with Me out of fear, I will cherish him as My own life. (1 - 4)

“In either case bring him here,” the All-merciful laughed and said. “Glory to the merciful Lord,” cried the monkeys and proceeded with Aṅgada and Hanumān (to usher in Vibhīṣaṇa). (44)

The monkeys respectfully placed Vibhīṣaṇa ahead of them and proceeded to the place where the all-merciful Lord of the Raghus was. Vibhīṣaṇa beheld from a distance the two brothers who ravished the eyes of all. Again as he beheld Śrī Rāma, the home of beauty, he stopped winking and stood stock still with his gaze intently fixed on the Lord. He had exceptionally long arms, eyes resembling the red lotus and swarthy limbs that rid the suppliant of all fear. His lion-like shoulders and broad chest exercised great charm, while His countenance bewitched the mind of countless Cupids. The sight brought tears to his eyes and a deep thrill ran through his body. He, however, composed his mind and spoke in gentle accents: “My lord, I am Rāvaṇa’s brother. Having been born in the demon race. O Protector of gods, my body has the element of Tamas (inertia and ignorance) preponderating in it and I have a natural affinity for sins even as an owl is fond of darkness. (1 - 4)

“Having heard with my own ears of Your fair renown I have come to You with the belief that my lord (You) dissipates the fear of rebirth. Save me, save me, O Hero of Raghu’s line, reliever of distress, delighter of those who take refuge in you.” (45)

When the Lord saw Vibhīṣaṇa falling prostrate with these words, He immediately started up much delighted. The Lord rejoiced at heart to hear his humble speech and, taking him in His long arms, clasped him to His bosom. Meeting him with His younger brother (Lakṣmaṇa) He seated him by His side and spoke words that dispelled the fear of His devotee: “Tell me, king of Laṅkā, if all is well with you and your family, placed as you are in vicious surroundings. You live day and night in the midst of evil-minded persons; I wonder how you are able to maintain your piety, my friend, I know all your ways: you are a past master in correct behaviour and are averse to wrong-doing. It is much better to live in hell, dear Vibhīṣaṇa; but may Providence never place us in the company of the wicked.” “All is well with me now that I have beheld Your feet, O Lord of the Raghus, and since You have shown Your mercy to me, recognizing me as Your servant. (1 - 4)

“There can be no happiness for a creature nor can its mind know any peace even in a dream so long as it does not relinquish desire, which is an abode of sorrow, and adore Śrī Rāma (Yourself).” (46)

“That villainous crew - greed, infatuation, jealousy, arrogance and pride - haunts the mind only so long as the Lord of the Raghus does not take up His abode there, armed with a bow and arrow and with a quiver fastened at His waist. Attachment to the world is like a dark night fully advanced, which is so delightful to the owls of attraction and aversion; it abides in the heart of a creature only so long as the sun of the Lord’s glory does not shine there. Having seen Your lotus feet, O Rāma, I am now quite well and my grave fears have been set at rest. The threefold torments of mundane existence cease to have any effect on him who enjoys Your favour, my gracious lord. I am a demon vilest of nature and have never done any good act. Yet the Lord whose beauty even sages fail to perceive with their mind’s eye, has been pleased to clasp me to His bosom. (1 - 4)

“Ah, I am blessed beyond measure, O all-gracious and all-blissful Rāma, in that I have beheld with my own eyes the lotus feet which are worthy of adoration even to Brahmā and Śiva.” (47)

“Listen, My friend: I tell you My nature, which is known to Bhuśuṇḍi, Śambhu (Lord Śiva) and Girijā (Pārvatī) too. If a man, even though he has been an enemy of the whole animate and inanimate creation, comes terror-stricken to Me, seeking My protection and discarding vanity, infatuation, hypocrisy and trickeries of various kinds, I speedily make him the very like of a saint. The ties of affection that bind a man to his mother, father, brother, son, wife, body, wealth, house, friends and relations are like so many threads which a pious soul gathers up and twists into a string wherewith he binds his soul to My feet. Nay, he looks upon all with the same eye and has no craving and his mind is free from joy, grief and fear. A saint of this description abides in My heart even as mammon resides in the heart of a covetous man. Only saints of your type are dear to Me; for the sake of none else do I body Myself forth.” (1 - 4)

“Those men who worship My personal form, are intent on doing good to others, firmly tread the path of righteousness, and are steadfast in their vow and devoted to the feet of the Brāhmaṇas are dear to Me as life.” (48)

“Listen, O king of Laṅkā; you possess all the above virtues; hence you are extremely dear to Me.” On hearing the words of Śrī Rāma all the assembled monkeys exclaimed, “Glory to the All-merciful!” Vibhīṣaṇa’s eagerness to hear the Lord’s speech, which was all nectar to his ears, knew no satiety. He clasped His lotus feet again and again, his heart bursting with boundless joy. “Listen, my lord, Ruler of the whole creation - animate as well as inanimate, Protector of the suppliant and Knower of all hearts: I did have some lurking desire in my heart before; but the same has been washed away by the stream of devotion to the Lord’s feet. Now, my gracious Lord, grant me such pure devotion (to Your feet) as that which gladdens Śiva’s heart.” “So be it”, replied the Lord, staunch in fight, and immediately asked for the water of the sea. “Even though, My friend, you have no craving, My sight in this world never fails to bring its reward.” So saying, Śrī Rāma applied on his forehead the sacred mark of sovereignty and a copious shower of flowers rained down from the heavens. (1 - 5)

Thus did the Lord of the Raghus save Vibhīṣaṇa from being consumed by the fire of Rāvaṇa’s wrath, fanned to fury by his own (Vibhīṣaṇa’s) breath, and bestowed on him unbroken sovereignty. Nay, He conferred on Vibhīṣaṇa with much diffidence the same fortune which Lord Śiva had bestowed on Rāvaṇa after the latter had offered his ten heads to Him in a sacrifice. (49 A-B)

Those men who worship anyone else, giving up such a (benign) lord, are mere beasts without a tail and a pair of horns. Recognizing Vibhīṣaṇa as His own man the Lord accepted him in His service; the amiability of His disposition gladdened the heart of the whole monkey host. Then the All-wise, who dwells in the heart of all, is manifest in all forms, though bereft of all and unconcerned, and who had appeared in human semblance with a specific motive and as the exterminator of the demon race, spoke words strictly observing the rules of decorum: “Listen, O lord of the monkeys and O valiant sovereign of Laṅkā, how are we to cross the deep ocean full of alligators, snakes and all varieties of fishes, most unfathomable and difficult to cross in every way?” “Listen, O Lord of the Raghus,” replied the king of Laṅkā, “Although Your arrow ifself can dry up innumerable oceans, yet propriety demands that You should approach the ocean and request the deity presiding over it (to allow You a passage). (1 - 4)

“My lord, the deity presiding over the ocean is an ancestor of Yours; hence he will think over the question and suggest some means (of crossing the ocean). The whole host of bears and monkeys will thus be able to cross the ocean without much ado.” (50)

“Friend, you have suggested an excellent plan; let us try it and see if Providence helps it.” This counsel, however, did not find favour with Lakṣmaṇa, who was greatly pained to hear Śrī Rāma’s words. “No reliance can be placed on the freaks of fortune. Fill your mind with indignation and dry up the ocean. Fate is a crutch for the mind of cowards alone; it is the indolent who proclaim their faith in fate.” Hearing this the Hero of Raghu’s line laughed and said, “We shall do accordingly; pray, have patience.” Reassuring His younger brother (Lakṣmaṇa) with these words the Lord of the Raghus went to the seashore. First of all He bowed His head and greeted the ocean and then, spreading some Kuśa grass on the shore, took His seat thereon. As soon as Vibhīṣaṇa proceeded towards the Lord, Rāvaṇa sent spies after him. (1 - 4)

Assuming the false appearance of monkeys they witnessed all the doings of Śrī Rāma and praised in their heart the Lord’s virtues and His fondness for those who come to Him for protection. (51)

They openly commenced applauding Śrī Rāma’s amiability and in the intensity of their emotion forgot their disguise. The monkeys now recognized them as the enemy’s spies; they bound them all and brought them in the presence of Sugrīva (the lord of the monkeys). Said Sugrīva, “Listen, all you monkeys: mutilate the demons and dismiss them.” Hearing Sugrīva’s command the monkeys ran and paraded them in bonds all through the camp. The monkeys, then started belabouring them right and left; the demons piteously cried for help, yet the monkeys would not let them alone. “Whosoever robs us of our nose and ears, we adjure him by Śrī Rāma not to do so.” When Lakṣmaṇa heard this, he called them all near him; and moved to pity he laughed and immediately had them released. “Give this note into Rāvaṇa’s hands and tell him: read, destroyer of your race, what Lakṣmaṇa says.” (1 - 4)

“Further convey to the fool by word of mouth my generous message: surrender Sītā and make peace or your death is approaching.” (52)

Bowing their head at Lakṣmaṇa’s feet the spies immediately departed, recounting the virtues of Śrī Rāma. With Śrī Rāma’s praises on their lips they entered Laṅkā and bowed their head at Rāvaṇa’s feet. The ten-headed monster laughed and asked them the news: “Report me, Śuka, your own welfare and then tell me the news about Vibhīṣaṇa whom death has approached very near. The fool left Laṅkā where he was ruling; the wretch will now be crushed as a weevil with barley-grains. Tell me next all about the host of bears and monkeys, that has been driven over here by a cruel destiny. It is the poor soft-hearted sea that has stood as a protector of their lives. Lastly tell me the news about the ascetics (Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa) whose heart is obsessed with unceasing terror of me. (1 - 4)

“Did you meet them or did they beat their retreat on hearing my fair renown? Why should you not speak of the enemy’s prowess and strength; your wits seem utterly dazed.” (53)

“My lord, just as you have so kindly put these questions to me, so do you believe what I say and be not angry. No sooner had your younger brother (Vibhīṣaṇa) met Śrī Rāma than the latter applied the sacred mark of sovereignty on his forehead. When the monkeys heard that we were Rāvaṇa’s (Your majesty’s) spies, they bound us and persecuted us in many ways. They were about to cut off our ears and nose; but when we adjured them by Rāma not to do so, they let us go. You have enquired, my lord, about Śrī Rāma’s army; but a thousand million tongues would fail to describe it. It is a host of bears and monkeys of diverse hue and gruesome visage, huge and terrible. He who burnt your capital and killed your son (Akṣa) is the weakest of all the monkeys. The army includes innumerable champions with as many names, fierce and unyielding monsters of vast bulk and possessing the strength of numberless elephants.” (1 - 4)

“Dvividha, Mayanda, Nīla, Nala, Aṅgada, Gadā, Vikaṭāsya, Dadimukha, Keśarī, Niśaṭha, Śaṭha and the powerful Jāmbavān are some of them.” (54)

“Each of these monkeys is as mighty as Sugrīva (the king) and there are tens of millions like them; who can dare count them? By the grace of Śrī Rāma they are unequalled in strength and reckon the three spheres of creation as of no more account than a blade of grass. I have heard it said, Rāvaṇa, that the commanders of the various monkey-troops alone number eighteen thousand billions. In the whole host, my lord, there is not a single monkey who would not conquer you in battle. They are all wringing their hands in excess of passion; but the Lord of the Raghus does not order them (to march).” “We shall suck the ocean dry with all its fish and serpents or fill it up with huge mountains. Nay, we shall crush the ten-headed Rāvaṇa and reduce him to dust.’ Such were the words that all the monkeys uttered. Fearless by nature, they roared and bullied as if they would devour Laṅkā. (1 - 4)

“All the monkeys and bears are born warriors and, besides, they have Lord Śrī Rāma over their head. Rāvaṇa, they can conquer in battle even millions of Yamas (death personified).” (55)

“A hundred thousand Śeṣas would fail to describe the greatness of Śrī Rāma’s valour, strength and intelligence. With a single shaft He could dry up a hundred seas; yet, being a master of propriety, He consulted your brother (Vibhīṣaṇa) and in accordance with his suggestion He is asking passage of the ocean with a heart full of compassion.” The ten-headed monster laughed to hear these words. “It was because of such wits that he (Rāma) took monkeys for his allies. That is why, confirming the advice of my brother, who is a born coward, he is persistent in demanding of the ocean (like a pet child) something which is impossible. Fool, why do you bestow false praise on the enemy, whose might and wisdom I have fathomed. Triumph and glory in this world are inaccessible to him who has a cowardly counsellor like Vibhīṣaṇa.” The spy waxed angry to hear the words of the wicked monarch and taking it to be an opportune moment he took out the letter (from Lakṣmaṇa). “Śrī Rāma’s younger brother (Lakṣmaṇa) gave me this note; have it read, my lord, and soothe your heart.” Rāvaṇa laughed when he took the letter in his left hand; and summoning his minister, the fool asked him to read it out. (1 - 5)

Beguiling your mind with flattering words, O fool, do not bring your race to utter ruin. By courting enmity with Śrī Rāma you will not be spared even though you seek the protection of Viṣṇu, Brahmā or Śiva. Therefore, abandoning pride, like your younger brother, either seek the lotus feet of the Lord as a bee or be consumed with your family like a moth into the fire of Śrī Rāma’s shafts, O wretch. (56 A-B)

Rāvaṇa was dismayed at heart as he listened to the above message but wore a feigned smile on his face and spoke aloud for all to hear: “The younger hermit’s grand eloquence is just like attempt of a man lying on the ground to clutch with hands the vault of heaven.” Said Śuka, “My lord, giving up haughtiness take every word of it as true. Abandon anger and give ear to my advice: my lord, avoid a clash with Śrī Rāma. The Hero of Raghu’s line is exceedingly gentle of disposition, even though He is the lord of the entire universe. The Lord will shower His grace on you the moment you meet Him, and will not take to heart even a single offence of yours. Pray, restore Janaka’s Daughter to Śrī Rāma; at least concede this request of mine.” When Śuka asked him to surrender Videha’s Daughter, the wretch kicked him. Śuka, however, bowed his head at Rāvaṇa’s feet and proceeded to the place where the all-merciful Lord of the Raghus was. Making obeisance to the Lord he told Him all about himself and by Rāma’s grace recovered his original state. He was an enlightened sage; it was by Agastya’s curse, Pārvatī, that he had been transformed into a demon. Adoring Śrī Rāma’s feet again and again the sage returned to his hermitage. (1 - 6)

Three days had elapsed, the crass ocean would not answer the Lord’s prayer. Śrī Rāma thereupon indignantly said, “There can be no love without inspiring fear.” (57)

“Lakṣmaṇa, bring Me My bow and arrows; I may as well dry up the ocean with a missile presided over by the god of fire. Supplication before an idiot, friendship with a rogue, inculcating liberality on a born miser, talking wisdom to one steeped in worldliness, glorifying dispassion before a man of excessive greed, a lecture on mind-control to an irascible man and a discourse on the exploits of Śrī Hari to a libidinous person are as futile as sowing seeds in a barren land.” So saying, the Lord of the Raghus strung His bow and this stand (of the Lord) delighted Lakṣmaṇa’s heart. When the Lord fitted the terrible arrow to His bow, a blazing fire broke out in the heart of the ocean; the alligators, serpents and fishes felt distressed. When the god presiding over the ocean found the creatures burning, he gave up his pride and, assuming the form of a Brāhmaṇa, came with a gold plate filled with all kinds of jewels. (1 - 4)

Though one may take infinite pains in watering a plantain it will not bear fruit unless it is hewed. Similarly, mark me, O king of birds, (continues Kākabhuśuṇḍi,) a vile fellow heeds no prayer but yields only when reprimanded. (58)

The god presiding over the ocean clasped the Lord’s feet in dismay. “Forgive, my lord, all my faults. Ether, air, fire, water and earth - all these, my lord, are inert by nature. It is Māyā (Cosmic Nature) which brought them forth for the purpose of creation under an inspiration from You; so declare all the scriptures. One would attain happiness in life only by remaining where he has been placed by the Lord. My Lord has done well in giving me a lesson; but You have fixed certain innate treat for everyone. A drum, a rustic, a Śūdra, a beast and a woman - all these deserve instructions. By the Lord’s glory I shall be dried up and the army will cross over; but this will bring no credit to me. Your command, however is inviolable; thus declare the Vedas, I shall do at once what pleases You.” (1 - 4)

On hearing his most submissive words the all-merciful smiled and said, “Tell me, dear father, some device whereby the monkey host may cross over.” (59)

“My lord, the two monkey brothers, Nīla, and Nala, got a boon in their childhood from a sage. Touched by them even huge mountains will float on the ocean by Your glory. Cherishing my lord’s (Your) greatness I too shall help You to the best of my ability. In this way, my lord, have the ocean bridged, so that this glorious achievement of Yours may be sung in all three spheres of creation. With this arrow, my Lord, exterminate a race of vile criminals inhabiting my northern coast.” On hearing this, Śrī Rāma, who was as tender-hearted as He was staunch in battle, immediately relieved the agony of Ocean’s heart. The god presiding over the ocean was rejoiced and gratified to witness Śrī Rāma’s astounding might and valour. He related to the Lord all the doings (of those villains); and bowing to His feet, Ocean took his leave. (1 - 4)

The god presiding over the ocean left for his home; the idea (of bridging the ocean) commended itself to the blessed Lord of the Raghus. This story (of Śrī Rāma’s exploits in this Kāṇḍa), which wipes out the impurities of the Kali age, has been sung by Tulasīdāsa according to his own (poor) lights. The excellences of Śrī Rāma (the Lord of the Raghus) are an abode of delight, a panacea for all doubt and an unfailing remedy for sorrow. Therefore, giving up all other hope and faith, ever sing and hear them, O foolish mind.

A recital of the virtues of Śrī Rāma (the Lord of the Raghus) bestows all blessings. Those who reverently hear them cross the ocean of mundane existence without any bark. (60)


Thus ends the fifth descent into the Mānasa lake of Śrī Rāma’s exploits, that eradicates all the impurities of the Kali age.