Saturday, 16 August 2014

189. Saampaati reveals some info about Seetha.

                 Saampaati was very much moved on hearing the pitiable plight of the vanaras. He told them "Oh, vanaras, the mighty bird Jataayu you spoke about is my younger brother. I very much like to avenge the unfair, dishonest and unethical killing of my dear brother. Unfortunately I could not take any action in that direction due to my old-age  coupled with the loss of my wings.
          "Once, when Indra was fighting the rakshash Vritta (who was ultimately killed by him), my brother and I sportively challenged each other and flew towards the Sun, and we had gone very near the scorching sun. We almost reached the firmament much speedily. Unfortunately for us it happened to be noontide and the scorching of the noontide was at its peak. Unable to bear that heat, Jataayu started to flounder. Seeing my dear brother suffering from the heat, I protected  him covering him with my both wings.
        "And oh, vanara-chiefs, when the sunrays totally and utterly burned my wings I fell down on this Mt. Vindhya. Since then I have been living hereabouts constrainedly. As such I completely lost touch with my brother Jataayu." 
           Angada asked Saampaati "If you are the brother of Jataayu, then you are most likely to know about that knavish rakshash Ravana and his whereabouts. If so please tell us. It doesn't matter whether the location of his residence is nearby or far off, as we can search far and wide." 
            Sampaati smiled and nodded and then said "Now I am an eagle with utterly burnt wings and vanished valiance. Nevertheless, I very much like to be of some assistance to Rama, at least verbally. I have seen the worlds of Varuna i.e. earth and its substrata like atala, vitala, sutala, paataala and I have even seen those empyrean worlds that were triply trodden by Vishnu, and the intermediary regions of upper and lower worlds where devas and asuras combated ghastly. I have also seen the Milky Ocean when it was churned for ambrosia.
     "Now to get down to brass tacks, I have seen a youngish lady while she was being carried away by the black-hearted rakshash Ravana. She was richly in her mien, embellished with every befitting jewellery for a princess, and that lady in fury was bewailing calling, 'Rama... Rama...' and also calling 'Lakshmana...' and she was throwing her ornaments down and wriggling her limbs hard to get herself free from that rakshash.
        "In the flank of that blackish rakshash her lovely ochry silk-sari was dazzling like sunshine atop a blackish mountain. Sometimes it looked like lightning athwart a blackish ocean.
     "At that time I did not know who that lady was. I am now positive that she was Seetha. 
      I, however recognized that rakshash.  He is the son of Vishravasa and brother of Kubera, and he presides over the city named Lanka and he is known by the name Ravana.
  Here is a curious comment by some expert. Jataayu knew that it was Ravana who carried away Seetha. He also knew that he was the king of Lanka. He also knew about Ravana's lineage. Jataayu died before he could tell Rama all about Ravana. Valmiki must have killed him purposely; otherwise there would be no Kishkindha canto, no Vali, no Sugreeva, no Hanuman and his Sundara Kanda, as Rama would have gone to Lanka, straightaway. Ramayana is still living as a great literary work because it has this kind of melodramatic montages on very many occasions.
End Comment.

       "There is a lavish city in the island afar a hundred yojanas all in all from here, which Vishvakarma, the Divine-Architect, has built, and it is called Lanka. Its multi-storied buildings are built very symmetrically and they will be in golden tinge with completely golden doors. The golden podia of verandas are amazing. That city is securely enclosed in a gigantic rampart that is dazzling in the colour of sun. Vaidehi, wearing a sad look is there at Lanka sitting under a huge ashoka tree in the Ashoka woodland of Ravana, highly guarded by rakshashis. You can see her if you could go over there.
          "I have a strong feeling that at least one of you will go over there and find Seetha there.  
       "By which raw-flesh-eating knave this deplorable deed of abducting Seetha is done, if that rapscallion is retaliated by Rama and you all, my vendetta towards the very same scoundrel caused by his animosity towards my brother Jataayu will also be fulfilled. Staying here I am clearly seeing Ravana and Janaki, too. For us eagles, the power of our eyesight is excellent like that of Garuda, the Divine Eagle. Thereby, oh, vanaras, dietetically and congenitally, we eagles can see up to at least one hundred yojanas, comprehensively.
    "Think hard to evolve some means to get across the ocean. I am sure, you will return to Kishkindha only after finding Vaidehi.
    "Please shift me to the residence of Rain-god, namely the ocean, for performing water oblation in respect of my dear departed brother Jataayu."
         The vanaras gladly took the bird to the ocean and then lodged him at his own cave after he performed the oblation.
A brief about Ravana.      
One of Brahma's brainchild is Pulastya who from his wife named Havirbhuk begot two sons, namely Agastya and Vishrava. This Vishrava has four wives. His first wife is Ilabila from whom he got Kubera as son. Second wife is Sumaali's daughter Kaikasi. Lady Kaikasi gave birth to three sons Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Vibheeshana. The third wife of Vishrava is puShpotkaTa, the sister of Kaikasi, and this Pushpotkata gave birth to Mahodara, Paarshvaada and others whom we will meet in in the Yudha Kanda. Vishrava's fourth wife is the other sister of Kaikasi, named Raaka, who gave birth to Suurpanakha.
     Ravana's wife and empress of Lanka was Mandodari, the daughter of Maya, the son of Diti. Mandodari's characterisation vies equally with Seetha, Savitri, Anasuuya, Ahalya, Draupadi, and with other great chaste ladies. Her name has some significance. When Shurpanakha was claiming herself a befitting female for Rama, and belittling Seetha she uses words like krishodari, shaatodari meaning 'a female with feeble womb'. So also manda udari means 'slow, womb' (meaning  one with slow conception.' Mandodari begot Indrajit, an extraordinary fighter, and all-conquering warrior. Indrajit's wife was Sulochana, another lady of high nobility and chastity, counted on par with other most chaste ladies like Seetha.

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