|Values for Life:
The fuming and fretting Surpanakha with loud cry fell down and rolled on the floor left and right before Ravana. Finding his sister with disfigurement and covered all over with blood, Ravana enquired:
“What happened darling? What is all this? Who inflicted this malformation on you? Whosoever has done it, I shall finish him. Tell me the truth.”
Surpanakha in her fury and frustration shouted at him: “You are a fool, always drinking and chasing women. What code of conduct of a king do you follow? What are your intelligence network and spy operations?”
She took a painful breath and continued: “Have you heard that Khara and his fourteen thousand men of army were killed in war with Ram in no time?”
“What?…What?…” asked Ravana in disquiet: “Who is this Ram? What is his reason to kill Khara? Let me put his end right away.”
“O king of Rakshasas, listen to me. I was perambulating through Janasthana one day. At Panchavati on the bank of Gautami, I found a hermitage where Ram, his spouse Sita and Lakshmana were living; newly settled down. They were in the attire of ascetics but with weapons like bows, arrows and swords. They were so radiant with natural charm. The young lady sitting on the lap of Ram has no parallel in the whole worlds. Parvati, Saraswati or even Lakshmi is no match for her. I have never before seen such a damsel among the Gandharvas, Yakshas or the Apsaras. One who possesses her is obviously the real king of the universe. Thinking that she should be the most suitable to be your wife, I was about to leave the place. Then Lakshmana with sanction from Ram jumped upon me and gave me this disfigurement. I went to Khara and told him the incidence. He set out with his huge army and fought Ram who destroyed Khara and his tribes in no time. You are not mighty enough to face and defeat Ram. His valour, gallantry and potency are so matchless that no one in the whole world can give him combat. So deceive the boys through some tricks or magic or hood-wink and fend them off for some time and abduct the lady (Sita) . This is the only practical solution. Ravana, unless somehow or the other, you don’t beget Sita as your toy of enjoyment, all your heroism, glory, position and efforts are in vain.”
Ravana became restless. He could not wink his eyes the whole night. Different thoughts penetrated into his mind. Who is this Ram, so powerful? Is it not an easy task to defeat Khara. This single man within a very short time disposed Khara, Dushana and Trisira along with their fourteen battalions of army. Incredible act. It is doubtful even Lord Shankara can do such wonders!
I have fought, Ravana thought, many great kings and gods in warfare. Indra, the King of Gods cannot face me. He immediately on seeing me transforms into a peacock. Yama, the God of Death, becomes a crow. Varuna camouflages into a swan. No one dares fight me. Now, a powerful enemy has emerged anew. Would he be undefeatable for me? No. No way. This is Ravana.
Until and unless I defeat Ram , why should the world now respect me anymore? Surpanakha is my only sister and she has been deformed. If I am unable to retaliate how will the world look at me?
So went on Ravana’s emotional battle that quelled his sleep and put his balance of mind in tilt.
KK Shanmukhan( To be concluded )