Tuesday, 24 June 2014

175. Search Party sent to South.

             On seeing the task force for eastwards headed by Vinata getting ready to leave, Sugreeva started to select the task force for southwards. After a careful deliberation, Sugreeva decided Angada as the head of the task force to be sent southwards. He called Angada and some other prominent and valorous vanaras who were not only valorous but had plenty of dash and dare, like the son of Agni (Fire-god) Neela, and the exceptional vanara Hanuman, the highly vigorous son of the Grandparent Brahma, namely Jaambavanta and also Suhotra, Sharaari, Sharagulma Gaja, Gavaaksha, Gavaya, Sushena, Vrishabha, Mainda, Dvivida, Gandhamaadana, Ulkaamukha and Ananga.
(Sushena mentioned above was NOT the father of Tara.) 
         Sugreeva announced the formidably mighty Angada as the chief of that task-force being sent to southward. And then he ordered them "Search the thousand crested Vindhya mountains abounding with numerous tress and climbers, then the delightful Narmada river coursing a little southerly to that range, which is adored by great snakes, along with  the wonderful River Godavari, as well as River Krishnaveni and Maha Nadi, and then the greatly auspicious River Varada which is an adoration to great snakes. And the territories of Mekhala, Utkala, the cities of Dashaarna, kingdoms of Abravanti, Avanti, and Vidarbha, also thus the charming kingdom of Maheehaka, are to be searched thoroughly.
           "Likewise Vanga and Kalinga territories should be searched along with Kaushika territories on their fringes. Do not omit the Dandaka forest and the mountains in and around that forest. River Godavari that courses through Dandaka forest, and the provinces of Andhra, Pundra, Chola, Paandya, Kerala are also to be searched thoroughly.
      "Then try the prosperous Mt. Malaya which is crowded with iron-ore mines at its vast mouths, and with amazing crests and motley flowered forests. Thoroughly search that great mountain and more so in the places that are with the copses of sandalwood trees.
         "From there you go and see the divine River Kaaveri, a receptacle of limpid waters.
     "You will find there the rishi Agastya, whose resplendence is akin to that of the Sun, sitting on the top of that highly resplendent Mt. Malaya. Seek his permission complaisantly to go further. After Agastya permits you, you leave that mountain and cross over the great River Taamraparni, a highly cherished river for crocodiles.
           "She whose water is overlapped with amazing copses of sandalwood trees and islands that River Taamrapani will be drifting for a rendezvous with her much yearned lover, namely the ocean, as with a young woman who will be coursing to have a rendezvous with her yearned lover.
           "From there, proceed to the Paandya Kingdom where you will see a fully golden castle-door bracing the compound-wall of the fortress, which is decorated with pearls and jewels, and conduct your search discreetly in that kingdom. Then on reaching the southern ocean, and on taking a resolve with regard to the purpose of your task, viz., importance of the mission undertaken vis-à-vis your individual capacities to leap the ocean, you reach the glorious Mt. Mahendra. Sage Agastya once penned its one end in the ocean, and the other end is now visible. That august and best one among all mountains will be completely golden with marvellous terraces and trees, and it will be steeping into ocean on the other side of land, and this mountain becomes the jumping-off point for you vanaras.
           "Mt. Mahendra is glorified with numerous kinds of flowered trees and climbers. Important gods, sages, yakshas and apsaras adore it, and it is overspread with the groups of siddhas and chaaranas, and thus it will be quite lovely to look at. And the Thousand-eyed Indra will always be visiting that Mt. Mahendra on every auspicious day.
          "There is a dazzling island on the other side of the shore of Mt. Mahendra, which is breadthwise a hundred yojanas, and which is an impassable one for humans, and you have to search that island up to its fringes.
            "I feel that Seetha is most likely there on that island because it is the dwelling place of the king of rakshashas Ravana, who is the coequal of Indra in his resplendence.
           "But beware of the rakshashi Angaaraka there in the midst of that southern ocean. She eats prey by grabbing its shadow when flying overhead.
(This demoness is also termed as Simhika whom Hanuman tears apart in Sundara Kanda.)
       "In all your searches, you should ensure that Seetha was definitely not there before leaving that place for the next.  On crossing over that isle and after a hundred yojanas you will find there the mountain named Pushpitaka, which is adored by the celestials like siddhas and chaaranas. Well-settled in oceanic waters that Mt. Pushpitaka will be shining forth with a resplendence similar to sunrays on one side and with that of moonshine on the other, and its lofty crests will look as if they are scribbling on the sky. One of its summits will be golden which the Sun adores, and another will be silvery whitish which the Moon adores, and that mountain is invisible to the unfaithful, unkindly or unbelievers. Remember to venerate that Mt. Pushpitaka by bowing your heads before you start searching it. From there go to the mountain named Suuryavaan which is fourteen yojanas away from the Mt. Pushpitaka. Give it a thorough search. 
     "In case your search did not yield the desired results, go to the  mountain named Vaidyuta whose trees will be all-time heart-pleasing and they yield fruits satiating every taste. You can devour the choicest fruits and tubers growing on the Mt. Vaidyuta, as well as the precious honey at that place. Then proceed to the mountain named Kunjara, on which Vishvakarma built the mansion for Agastya.
       "There you can see the golden abode of Agastya whish is beautifully decorated with numerous gemstones, and it measures a yojana breadthwise and ten yojanas in height. There is a city named Bhogavati which is an abode for snakes. It has broad roads and safeguarded from everywhere, and thus it becomes an unvanquishable city. Deadly serpents with harrowing fangs and fatal venom will be protecting it, where the highly hazardous king of serpents, namely Vasuki, is dwelling. Search that Bhogavati city and on coming out of that city, you search the fringes surrounding that city including the intermediate zones from the city to its fringes.
           "On crossing over that province there will be a glorious mountain named Rishabha, as that great mountain looks like a Holy Bull, and it is replete with every kind of gemstone. Whereon the sandalwood trees of ochry-yellowy, lotus-leaf-greenly, sky-blue colours, and as well as the most attractive sandalwood trees which will be in the glow of Fire are produced in that mountain Rishabha.
            "But never touch those sandalwood trees, as a genre of Gandharvas called Rohita are protecting them. Five gandharva kings, namely Shailuusha, Gramani, Shiksha, Shuka, and Bhabru, whose resplendence is similar to that of Sun are residing there. It is also the dwelling place of those who achieved ethereality by their pious activities, of whom some resemble the Sun, some Moon, and some Fire by their physique.
         "From Mt. Rishabha to the terminus of the earth the invulnerable beings who won heavens will be staying. After that, farther from earth there is the most dreadful world of manes, namely the abode of Yama, and you need not consider going there. You can go or search only up to this point, as that world of manes will be encompassed with an alarming darkness, and it is the capital city of Yama. After that there is no entry into the abode of Yama for the mortals.
        "Then return quickly for reporting. May be I omitted  to mention some places. You are hereby authorized, nay commanded to search places which are not mentioned by me, too. He who returns before a month and informs that 'Seetha is found,' will enjoy a comfortable living on a par with me in high-living and luxuries.
        "He who says so will be more dearer to me than anyone, and despite the fact that he might have committed some misdeeds in the past, he becomes my confidant."

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