|Sri Rama proceeded further from Panchavati and reached Rishiyamook Mountain. Sugreev, the younger brother of simian king Baali lived there with his minister Jambvant and associate Hanumana. The mountain was so named because the sages and the hermits used to perform penance and austerity silently. When Sugreev came to know about the incomparable powers of Sri Rama and Laxmana, he sent Lord Hanuman to find out whether they had been sent by Baali or not.|
In the guise of a Brahmin, Hanumana went to Sri Rama and Laxmana and greeting them, asked-
"O Lord, who are both of you, please let me know. I see that you are Kshatriya by appearance. But the terrain here is very hard and rough and your feet are so tender. O lord, what are the reasons that make you wander at this desolate spot."
"O lord, are you one of those three deities? Are you Nar-Narayan? Have you taken your incarnation to relieve the earth from the sinners and evil doers?"
Sri Rama replied with a smile-
"Writings on the wall of destiny are indelible. Nobody can erase that. We are the sons of Dashrath, the king of Ayodhya. We have accepted to live in the forest because of our father's command. My name is Rama and my brother's name is Laxmana. My wife Sita was also with us but a demon Ravan abducted and taken her to an unknown place. We are wandering in the forest in search of her. We have introduced ourselves, now we are curious to know about your identity." Hanumana was very pleased when he came to know about their identity. He fell on the feet of Sri Rama. He replied-
"O Lord! If I was unable to recognize you, it was appropriate but how come you did not recognize me? I could not recognize you because of your illusionary powers and also because I am influenced by attachment. Moreover having born as a monkey, my heart is filled up with ignorance."
Sri Rama embraced Hanumana. His eyes filled up with tears.
Sri Rama then said-
"Hanumana do not curse yourself. You are dear to me like Laxmana. I am the most passionate for the devotees." Hanumana then requested Sri Rama to meet Sugreev and to bless him.
FRIENDSHIP OF SRI RAMA WITH SUGREEV
Hanumana also told Sri Rama that Sugreev would help in the search of Sita. Hanumana then escorted both the brothers to Sugreev carrying them on his shoulders. Sugreev was very pleased to see Sri Rama. He considered his life worthwhile and as if his every wish had been fulfilled. Then in the presence of Hanumana Sri Rama and Sugreev tied in friendship.
Laxmana then narrated the whole story of how they were sent into exile and how Sita was abducted. Sugreev assured them that there is nothing to worry about, as Sita would certainly be found. Sugreev also told that he had preserved the ornaments of Sita, which she had dropped while being carried by Ravan. Sugreev then showed those ornaments to Rama.
Sri Rama told Laxmana to identify the ornaments. But Laxmana could not do so, saying that those were the ornaments of head and he had never seen at the face of Sita. He however expressed his capability to identify ornaments worn in the feet as he had always focussed his sight at the feet of his sister-in-law. Ornaments of feet were procured at once, which were identified by Laxmana unfailingly. Seeing Sita's ornaments Rama and Laxmana began to moan in deep sorrow. When Sugreev saw both the brothers in deep sorrow, he assured them that he would leave no stone unturned in finding Sita.
Sugreev's assurance relieved Sri Rama's worries to a great extent. He asked Sugreev about the reason why he was living on that mountain.
TALE OF BAALI AND SUGREEV
"Once Brahma removed the smear from his eyes and threw it down on the earth. A monkey appeared from that smear. The monkey was very restless, naughty and as powerful as Brahma himself. Brahma named the monkey as Riksharaj and instructed it to wander in the forest and kill any demon he found. That monkey, following the command of Brahma, went to the forest. He used to eat the fruits and whenever he found any demon, he killed him at once.
Once the monkey saw a well in the beautiful ambience of the forest. Curiously, he peeped in the well and saw his own reflection. He mistook it for another monkey and jumped into the well to fight him. But as soon as the monkey touched the water, it transformed into a beautiful lady."
Later on, Indra visited that place and he also curiously peeped in the well. He was so infatuated by the enchanting beauty of that lady, that his semen ejaculated spontaneously and fell on the hair (BAAL) of the lady and thus Baali was born. Subsequently, Surya too came there and getting infatuated by her beauty that he too ejaculated on the neck (Greeva) of the lady. Thus I was born." "Then the monkey left the body of lady and got retransformed into 'Riccharaj'. He carried both of us to Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma instructed both of us to go to Kishkindha Mountain, where we would meet you.We were very pleased. We came to the Kishkindha Mountain. We used to kill the demons - the enemies of the deities.
The demon Maaya had two mighty and powerful sons, Maayaavi and Dundabhi. In a fight, Baali killed Dundabhi in the hermitage of sage Matang on this very mountain, where I live presently. Dundabhi's brother Maayaavi had sworn to avenge the killing of his brother, so one day, he arrived at the gate of our palace at midnight and challenged Baali for a fight. Baali accepting his challenge came out, but the enemy ran away. Baali chased him. Maayaavi then for a distance hid in a cave. Baali too followed him into the cave. But before entering he cave, he instructed me to wait outside for fifteen days. He also said that if he did not come out of the cave after fifteen days, I would understand that he (Baali) had been killed.
I waited for Baali for one month. Suddenly, one day, I saw blood flowing out of the cave. Thinking that the enemy must have killed Baali, I put a huge boulder at the mouth of the cave and came ot the palace. When I returned to Pampapuri, people crowned me as the king. But Baali was alive. When he returned, he was furious to see that I was occupying his throne as the king. He beat me very badly and drove me out. He even enslaved my wife. Since that day I have been living in hiding. I live at Rishiyamooka Mountain because Baali cannot come here because of the curse of sage Matang. But still his fear haunts me."
CURSE TO BAALI
Hearing the whole story, Sri Rama asked Sugreev about the curse because of which Baali feared venturing on Rishiyamooka Mountain. Sri Rama also enquired about sage Matang's curse and the killing of the demon Dundabhi. Sugreev replied-
"Lord! Dundabhi was an expert in wrestling. He once arogantly entered the ocean and expanding his body started to churn its water with both of his hands. The creatures living under the ocean were tormented. Then the ocean manifested himself and requested him to show his power and strength on Himalayas."
"Dundabhi came to Himalayas and started moving the mountains. Terrified Himalaya requested him to go and fight with Baali - the mighty and powerful king of Pampapuri.
Dundabhi then came to Pampapuri and challenged him by calling his name. A ferocious fight took place between them. The fight continued for four Prahars (12 hours). Baali hit him with his clenched fist on his chest. Dundabhi fell down killing many creatures under his body's weight. Then Baali tore him apart in two parts and threw them in the north and south directions."
"Sage Matang had his hermitage at Rishiyamooka Mountain. When the stream of blood fell on his hermitage, he wondered about the reason. Suddenly a Yaksha came and revealed the secret behind the stream of blood. Indignant, sage Matang cursed Baali that he would die if he ever ventured on Rishiyamooka Mountain.
Narrating this story, Sugreev said-
"Since that day, Baali does not venture on this mountain for the fear of that curse. Since I know that Baali will never come here, I live on this mountain."
When Sri Rama heard everything, he assured Sugreev of getting him rid of Baali's fear. But Sugreev told Sri Rama about Baali's might and power and also that it was impossible for anybody to kill him because by the virtue of a boon, whoever fought Baali would lose half of his strength to him. Sugreev also showed the heap of the demon Dundabhi's bones. He also showed seven palm trees and said - "One who can cut these seven palm trees in just one shot of arrow, would be able to kill Baali."
Sri Rama threw the heavy bones of Dundabhi effortlessly. He also cut the seven palm trees with one shot of his arrow convincing Sugreev of his strength.