Shatashloki 57: Ravana seeks the help of Marica in overpowering Rama

Tato jñātivadhaśrutvā rāvaṇah krodhamūrcita

Sahāyaṃ varayāmāsa māricaṃ nāma rākṣasa

Meaning – The death of his brothers Khara, Dooshana and Trisiras along with other 14000 other mighty demons hugely infuriated Ravana. He sought the help of demon Maricha in overpowering Rama.

 

Janasthana was filled with corpses of dead demons. There was no space even to walk through that place. Akampana was the only demon who escaped from that place. Terrified at the prowess exhibited by Rama, Akampana ran to Ravana and reported the death of all demons of Janasthana. Ravana, deeply incensed with this, immediately stood up and said that he will kill Rama.

Akampana stopped him and said, “Ravana, do not underestimate the might of Rama.  He is inconquerable. He has a very beautiful wife named Seeta. There is no one in the three worlds who can be equal to her in beauty. She surpasses all the goddesses in beauty. Such is her beauty. Seeta is very dear to Rama. If you abduct this Seeta, then Rama will die of grief”.

Ravana was impressed and deeply taken in by this plan. He was now very confident, as he had secured a way to get rid of Rama. He decided to abduct Seeta.

Boarding a chariot that was yoked by mules, he travelled and reached the residence of Maricha, the son of demon Tataka. Maricha was surprised to have Ravana as his guest, and welcomed him warmly. He enquired about his welfare and the reason behind this surprise visit.

Ravana, depicting immense love that he had never ever shown before, very sweetly said to Maricha, “Maricha, I have decided to kidnap Rama’s wife Seeta. In this mission, I need your help”.

Heaing this, Maricha trembled violently. His mouth dried up completely. He was shocked at this turn of events in his life. For sometime he was speechless. He then politely said, “Oh Lord, who has given you this mean, unworthy and crooked idea? At first, the person who has instigated you needs to be killed. Please understand that the person who has given you this idea is in reality your enemy who doesn’t seek to see you alive and happy.

O king of demons, please listen to me. Rama is no ordinary human. He is like the ferocious lion in the Narasimha avatar. The lion is sleeping at the moment. One should never wake a sleeping lion. Please listen to me and return to Lanka”.

Hearing Maricha’s advice, Ravana returned back to Lanka.

Here Shoorphanaka was unable to tolerate the silence and loneliness in this devastated Janasthana. She fled this place and wailing loudly reached Lanka. She approached her brother Ravana and explained to him the prowess and might of Rama. Without conveying her own story of how she lost her nose and ears, she prompted Ravana to secure the beautiful Seeta as his wife. She extolled Seeta’s beauty. She further said, “I approached Seeta so as to abduct and bring her to you. She deserves to be your wife. When I approached her for your benefit, that Lakshmana chopped off my nose and ears”. Thus, she instigated him.

This time Ravana, clearly carried away by the words of Shoorphanaka, left Lanka and again approached Maricha’s house. He said to Maricha, “All I seek from you Maricha, is that you should take Rama far away from Seeta. The rest of the plan I will execute myself. This will make it simple for me to defeat Rama”.

Maricha said, “O demon Lord! Please understand that Dharma has incarnated as Rama. Do not create a situation wherein you have to fight him. To abduct another’s wife is a great sin”.

What is this? A demon was giving advice on a righteous matter. Maricha was the demon who had been flung into the ocean because of Rama’s arrow. Just the touch of Rama’s arrow could bring such a major transformation in him.

Maricha continued, “Ravana, this single deed of yours will cause your entire lineage to come to an end. Please heed my advice and return to Lanka. Give up this idea of kidnapping Seeta”.

Ravana, who was in no mood to listen, roared violently, “Be quiet! Did I ask you for advice? Who are you to advise me? I am your king. Do not forget that. You just do as you are ordered. If you dare to disobey, I will kill you here itself”.

Maricha was shocked at this outcome. He reflected within himself.

 

Om Seeta Ramabhyaam namaha.

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