|Hanumana then narrated everything what Sita had said. He also gave Sita's Chudamani (bangle adorned with gems), Sri Rama was very pleased to see it. Hanumana also told about Sita's request to rescue her from the clutches of Ravan within a month.|
Sri Rama became very sad when he heard about Sita's miseries. He expressed his indebtedness for Hanumana for bringing Sita's news. He asked about his brave deeds- how he killed the demons; how be burnt Lanka.
Hanumana replied that he could perform all these seemingly brave deeds only because of Sri Rama's blessings and grace.
Sri Rama then instructed Sugreev to make preparations as the time had arrived to free Sita from the clutches of Ravan.
Sugreev then summoned all the monkeys, bears and the brave commanders. Everybody was pleased because of having an opportunity to serve for the cause of Sri Rama.
SRI RAMA'S ARMY PROCEED TOWARDS LANKA
Sri Rama proceeded towards Lanka. All the omens augured well at the time of his departure. Sita too experienced many good signs. The huge army of Sri Rama, which considered of the mighty monkeys and bears, trembled the earth.
Sri Rama accompanied by his huge army reached the shore of ocean.
CONVERSATION BETWEEN RAVAN AND MANDODARI
Since the day Hanumana burnt Lanka, the people of Lanka were convinced that the demons would not exist for long on the earth. They wondered about the might and power of that man, whose envoy, single handedly caused so much destruction in Lanka.
Mandodari, apprehending the inevitable destruction, requested Ravan to hostile stances for Sri Rama. She said to Ravan-
"O lord, release with respect the wife of that man whose envoy's thunder caused abortion to the pregnant ogress of Lanka. I fear that unless Sita is returned, Lanka can not be rescued even by Brahma and Lord Shiva."
She tried to convince Ravan in many ways but he did not move. He said - "You women are coward. You all fear even when there is nothing to fear about. It is a laughable matter that you - the wife of mighty Ravan, whom all the three worlds fear, is getting so scared."
When Ravan came to know about the arrival of Sri Rama and his army of monkeys, he called a meeting in which all his ministers were present. He asked for their opinions on the further course of action. The sycophants among them said that when the deities and the other demons could not defeat him, what could those monkeys do.
Ravan asked Vibhishan for his opinion, Vibhishan advised him to release Sita and also told Ravan about Sri Rama's divinity and that he had taken his incarnation to protect the Brahmins and the deities.
An old minister of Ravan also agreed with Vibhishan. His name was Malwant. He too advised Ravan to stop having enemity with Sri Rama and return Sita to him.
Ravan became very angry and shouted "Kick these fools out. They have dared to praise my enemy."
Malwant returned to his residence while Vibhishan tried his best to help Ravan see reason, but Ravan was unrelenting.
Ravan became furious. He kicked Vibhishan out of the palace.
VIBHISHAN TAKES SRI RAMA'S REFUGE
Vibhishan proceeded to meet Sri Rama. He was pleased thinking that onwards he would get a chance to live with Sri Rama.
When the monkeys saw him coming, they thought that some spy of the enemy had come. They stopped him at the main gate and went inside to inform Sugreev and Sri Rama about his arrival.
Sri Rama asked Sugreev about his opinion. Sugreev had apprehensions in his mind regarding the real motives of Vibhishan. He said-
"I am not so sure why he has come. I think it would be appropriate for us to bind him up."
Sri Rama said-
"Though your policy is appropriate yet my vow is to protect such people who have taken my refuge."
When Hanumana came to know about Sri Rama's decision he was very pleased. Sri Rama said-
"Even if a sinner who has committed the gravest sin of killing crores of Brahmins, seeks my refuge, I will never abandon him. Even if he has been sent by Ravan to know our secrets, it does not matter because Laxmana is capable of annihilating all the demons within seconds."
Sri Rama ordered Vibhishan to be called with full honour and respect. Vibhishan arrived and said with folded hands-
"I am the brother of Ravan. I have been born in the clan of the demons. I have come to seek your refuge."
Vibhishan fell at the feet of Sri Rama. Sri Rama lifted him up and took him in his embrace and asked about his well being.
Sri Rama consulted with Vibhishan and Sugreev about the means to cross over the ocean. Vibhishan said-
"Though your arrows are capable of soaking the water of crores of ocean but still I feel that a request should be made to the ocean to give us way. I am confident that Sagar- the revered deity of your clan would certainly help us."
Sri Rama accepted the proposal of Vibhishan.
SRI RAMA'S REQUEST TO OCEAN
Sri Rama then went up to the shore and made salutations and sat on the seat made of 'Kusha' grass. Vibhishan too was present with him.
Ravan had sent a spy, who was disguised as a monkey. Nobody was able to recognize him. But he was so enchanted by Sri Rama's appearance that he forgot about his mission and started praising Sri Rama.
At last it was revealed that he was a spy of the enemy. The monkeys caught him and brought him to Sugreev. Sugreev ordered to send him back after giving him a nice thrashing. Sri Rama intervened and saved his life.
Laxmana gave a letter to him and instructed him to give it to Ravan. He also asked the spy to warn Ravan of the consequences of not returning Sita. The spy went back to Lanka.
When the spy reached Lanka, Ravan asked him to narrate the detailed information, which he had brought. He said mockingly-
"Tell me about the well being of Vibhishan, whose death seems to be imminent. Tell me about those monkeys and bears who have been summoned by the Lord of death himself. Tell me also about that hermit Sri Rama who is scared of me. But why aren't you telling anything? What makes you so worried?"
Then the spy narrated the whole story how Vibhishan had been declared the king of Lanka. He said- "When they discovered that I was your spy they tied me up and gave me a sound thrashing. They were about to severe my ears and nose when Rama came to my rescue and saved me."
Then the spy described in detail about Sri Rama's glory and beauty. He also described about Sri Rama's army, which consisted of the terrifying monkeys and bears. He said-
"The monkey who had come here and caused death and destruction is probably the least powerful of all of them. There are many more mighty warriors like Drivind, Mayand, Neel, Nal, Angad, Gad, Dadhimukh and Jambvant."
'O King Ravan, I have come to know there is not a single monkey in Sri Rama's army who is not capable of defeating you. They are itching for a battle with you but Sri Rama has restricted them up till now. Though Sri Rama is capable of drying up the water of the ocean but he has decided to request the ocean to give them a way at the advice of Vibhishan."
Ravan laughed aloud. He said-
"Now I fully understand why Sri Rama has monkeys as his advisors and ministers."
'I can fully understand the power of a man who had Vibhishan as his advisor."
Then the spy gave that letter to Ravan, which had been given to him by Laxmana.
When Ravan heard the contents of the letter he too got frightened but did not reveal it to others.
The spy requested Ravan to send Sita to Sri Rama. Ravan kicked him in anger. The spy returned back to Sri Rama and narrated the entire story to him.
Sri Rama blessed him, as a result of which he attained to the abode of Sri Rama. This spy because of the curse of sage Agastya had taken birth in the clan of the demons. With the blessings of Sri Rama, he attained salvation.
SRI RAMA'S THREAT TO THE OCEAN
Here the ocean was not heeding to the request of Sri Rama. Three days had passed. Sri Rama became angry, he asked Laxmana for his bow and arrows. He said -
"I will dry up this ocean with my Agni-ban."
Sri Rama positioned his arrow on the bow. The ocean because afraid and appeared in the disguise of a Brahmin holding a saucer full of jewels and diamonds in his hands. He made salutations to Sri Rama by bowing down on his feet and begged his pardon. He agreed to give way to Sri Rama's army.
Sri Rama sought the ocean's advice on how to construct a bridge.
The ocean replied-
"O Lord, Nal and Neel both received a boon from a sage in their childhood that their mere touch could help even the mountains to float on the waters. I too would fully co-operate with you. This way you can easily construct a bridge across the ocean."