Kishkinda Kanda 3 - The Search Party

Kishkinda Kanda 3 - The Search Party

Kishkinda Kanda 3 - The Search Party

Lakshmana entered Sugriva’s residence, and Sugriva welcomed him by greeting him. An angry Lakshmana accused Sugriva of not following dharma and engaging in his desires instead of repaying Rama’s debt. He warned him that Rama’s arrows would instantly kill Sugriva.

Tara then pacified Lakshmana, saying that Sugriva was capable of killing Ravana and all his rakshasas to bring back Sita. She told him the ape army of the Vanara would assemble. The crores of apes would march to Lanka to destroy Ravana’s army so Sugriva could kill Ravana.

On Lakshmana’s advice, Sugriva went in his palanquin to meet Rama. He fell at Rama’s feet. Rama lifted him up and embraced him. Sugriva then summoned his ape army. He then sent them in different directions, commanding them to go and search for Sita. The apes left in their quest to find Sita.

Hanuman, along with Angada was tasked to go to the Southern direction. Sugriva praised the speed and strength of Hanuman and asked him to consider how to get Sita back. Hearing Sugriva’s words, Rama was filled with confidence that Hanuman would find Sita. He removed his ring and gave it to Hanuman, asking him to show it to Sita when he found her.

After the completion of a month, the apes returned one by one. Vinata, who had gone to the East, returned and said he could not find Sita anywhere. Shatabali, who had gone to the North, returned empty handed. Sushena came from the West, regretting that he could not find Sita anywhere. He said that Sita seemed to be in the South, and Hanuman would definitely find her.

Meanwhile, Angada’s team set out to the South, crossing forests and mountains. They came across a rakshasa whom Angada slew effortlessly. During their search, they met an ascetic lady who lived in a cave of gold full of luxuries. The ascetic Swayamprabha fed them and then helped them exit the cave, sending them near the ocean.

Angada was worried that Sugriva would punish him since they could not find Sita. Tara then advised Angada to stay in the golden cave and not return to Kishkinda. Hearing this, Hanuman criticised Angada, saying that the apes would desert him if he chose to remain here. Angada told Hanuman he feared Sugriva since he does not follow dharma. He said he would remain there and give up his life meditating.

All the apes then decided to give up their lives. At that time, Jatayu’s elder brother Sampati arrived. Seeing the bird, Angada spoke about how Jatayu had given up his life for Sita and now Sampati would eat them all. Hearing his brother’s name, Sampati enquired who they were. After hearing their story, Sampati grieved over his brother’s death.

Sampati then told them he saw a beautiful lady being abducted by Ravana, and she threw her ornaments. The eagle told them that that must be Sita, and she had been taken to Lanka. He told the apes to cross the ocean to reach the island of Lanka, which was a hundred yojanas away. He then asked the apes to take him to the ocean, so he could offer water rites for Jatayu.

Angada then consulted everyone on how to cross the ocean to reach Lanka. The ape Gaja said he could jump across 10 Yojanas. Gavaksha said he could leap 20 Yojanas. Gavaya could leap 30, Sharabha 40, Gandhamadhana 50, and Sushena 60. The bear Jambavan said he could go up to 90 Yojanas. After listening to them, Angada said he could jump 100 Yojanas but was not sure if he had the strength to return.

Jambavan said Angada was the master and should not go, but send others to do the work. When Angada worried how the task could be done, Jambavan told him that the supreme among the apes Hanuman could do the task easily.

… to be continued