Thursday, 20 February 2014

140. Every cloud has a silver lining.

                  Both the brothers became highly desperate. They did not know what to do to find what happened to Seetha. Rama told Lakshmana "It seems that I did a lot of wrongs due to which I am now in such a plight. I am getting misery after misery.
             "I am deprived of the kingdom, departed from my own people, my father departed and I am detached from my mother, and Lakshmana, now Seetha is lost and I do not have any clue as to what has happened to her or where she is now.......". He continued telling Lakshmana what could have happened to Seetha, what she would have done and things like that. He also recalled some happy instances, incidents and anecdotes connected with Seetha. 
               In order to cheer up his brother, Lakshmana told Rama "Oh, noble brother, banish that anguish and brace yourself with fortitude. We will definitely get some clue soon."
             Rama just nodded and asked Lakshmana in a pitiable voice, "Lakshmana, go quickly to the River Godavari and see whether there is any indication of Seetha's going to the Godavari to fetch lotuses."

            Lakshmana immediately went again to the river Godavari. After some time he returned and reported to his brother that he again searched but there was no clue about Seetha. Then Rama himself went and made a thorough search. He could not find any clue.
            He told his brother "Oh, kind Lakshmana, this Godavari is talking to me anything but a reply regarding Seetha. Without Vaidehi, oh Lakshmana, how can I face the king Janaka or my mother Kasusalya. 

            "Lakshmana, look at those burly animals. They are looking at me as though to tell me something about Seetha." Then Rama facing those animals and asked them loudly "where is Seetha?"

            The animals then started acting in a strange way. They rose to their feet in a trice and facing themselves southward showed skyward with their snouts. And they ran in the direction in which Maithili was carried away and then stopped to look back at Rama. They repeated this a few times. Lakshmana guessed what the animals were trying to convey.

"Oh, Bro, See, those animals are pointing the southern direction. Let us go in that direction. I am sure that Maithili will be found or at least we will get some useful information about her."
            Rama agreed and both the brothers sallied forth to further south. After going some distance they noticed that the ground was bestrewn with flowers. They seemed to have fallen from a person. Seeing them Rama exclaimed "Lakshmana! I recognize these flowers. I gave them to Vaidehi and she tucked these very flowers in her bun. These flowers are carefully safeguarded by the sun, as they are not withered yet, by air as they are not swept by it, and by the glorious earth, too, as they are not spoilt by that, thus I deem that these naturals, sun, air, and earth are really very kind to me by proffering a helping hand to me."
               Rama then shouted at the mountain asking it whether it had seen Rama. The mountain answered by echoing the question of Rama. Rama then cried at the mountain that he will burn it down by his arrows.
             Rama then told Lakshmana "Now I will ask the river Godavari. If it does not answer me then I will dry it up."

            When there was no reply from the river, either, Rama took his bow and was getting ready to burn the mountain and dry up the river. When he was about to take an arrow from the quiver his eyes fell on some gigantic footprints of a rakshash as well as small and very pretty footprints, which Rama immediately recognized as the footprints of Seetha. The positions of the footprints of Vaidehi clearly indicated that she appeared to have run fearfully here and there in a helter-skelter manner. These footprints were followed by the large footprints. It was therefore obvious that the rakshash followed her. They also noticed a broken bow, broken quiver, and broken and variously bestrewn chariot. They also noticed many beads of jewelry and many bits of garlands of Seetha. Rama told his brother "See Lakshmana, many beads of jewellery and many bits of garlands of Vaidehi have indeed fallen down, and oh, Soumitri, they are strewn around. Also the surface of the earth is everywhere interspersed with big and small blood drops that are akin to golden droplets. Oh, Lakshmana, it seems that some rakshashas killed and eaten Vaidehi.

             "It looks that a fierce clash had occurred here, Soumitri. Was it between two rakshashas themselves on account of Vaidehi? Oh, Lakshmana, see the great bow studded with pearls and gems. This beautiful bow  perhaps belongs to some rakshash.
            "See this golden armor studded with lapis gem beads similar to the rising sun in its shine is splintered and fallen to earth. Look at this regal-parasol with a hundred spokes embellished with divine festoons. Oh, its central-shaft is wrecked and it is felled to earth.These ghost-faced mules with golden breastplates are macabre in form and massive in frame, but they appear to have been hewed down in a battle. See this combat-chariot is irradiant and similar in shine to the flaring fire with a pennon, but it is broken and battered down, as well.
               "These frightful looking arrows are gilded and they are as much as a chariot's axle in their thickness, but their arrowheads are shred and they are manifoldly shredded and strewn around.
               "Lakshmana, see these two quivers packed with arrows are completely shattered, and the charioteer is stone dead with whip and bridles still in his hands. I wonder whose charioteer he might be!
              "Evidently this is the modus operandi of a rakshash, and seeing this my animosity has grown hundredfold to eradicate them.
              "The highly stony-hearted rakshashas who are guise-changers by their wish have either abducted, or killed or eaten my saintly Seetha. It is said that rectitude saves such saintly persons, but that rectitude has not saved Seetha while she is being abducted.
              "Why is this happening to me? I try to be righteous, kind and just to everyone. Then how gods can allow such a thing to happen to me? I will now pack the heaven with my arrows in such a way that no one there will be able to make any move, whatsoever in all the three worlds.
                "I will make all the three worlds quiescent by completely blockading all the planetary bodies. I will make both the sun and moon stay put. Then everything will be overcast with darkness. Mountaintops will be completely pulverized, water receptacles will be dried out, and trees, creeping-plants and shrubberies will be destroyed, and oceans depleted, thus I will bring the triad of the worlds to naught. 
               "If the gods are not going to safely restore my dear Seetha to me, oh, Soumitri, then I will show them  what my blitzkrieg will be. No one will be able to fly high in the sky, oh, Lakshmana, as there will be a labyrinth of my arrows. Bombarded with my iron-shafts this world will be thrown to complete disorderliness, Lakshmana, you are now going to witness how the animals and birds will be dazed and devastated. Because of Maithili I will render this mortal world clean by killing all rakshas by my unstoppable arrows. Let the gods witness now the impact of the blazing and thorough going arrows of mine, projected by my wrath and released by my fury.
                "After the triad of worlds is completely ruined by my anger there will not be any god, rakshash or phantom. In fact, none will survive. Whatever worlds of gods, or monsters, or even those of rakshashas are there, they will be splintered and falling down apiece by the fusillades of my arrows. Whether she is abducted, or even if she is killed, oh, Soumitri, if the gods are not going to give back my Seetha I will now jeopardize these worlds with my arrows.
                "If my ladylove is not returned in a fine fettle as she was before my running after that Golden Deer, I will be annihilating the triad of worlds in its entirety, together with its mobile and static beings, and I will be scorching the entire universe with my arrows." 
                After thus spitting out his anger, Rama with his eyes reddening in fury and his lips jerking spasmodically, girded up his jute-cloths and deerskin and twined up the mass of his matted-hair. Rama then grabbed his bow and gripped it tightly and taking the appropriate missile (arrow) from the quiver told Lakshmana "Like all living beings cannot counteract the ageing, dying, fate and the Time at anytime, I cannot be contained when I am in a great fury.
               "If that princess of Mithila is not returned to me in fine fettle as she was when she was with me, then I will devastate the whole of this universe together with its gods, immortals, humans, floras and faunas, mountains and waters and all that."

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