Visiting of the Harem

Ninth Chapter

Visiting of the Harem  

(In this chapter the search of Hanuman of Sita in the harem of Ravana and the first impressions of him about Ravana’s harem is described)

Hanuman the son of Wind God saw in the middle of the great Pushpaka Vimana a very big and great building. 1

That was the house of Ravana which was many yojanas ( two and a half miles) broad, one yojana long and with many decorated platforms  2

The killer of the enemy Hanuman searched everywhere for the long eyed Sita who was the king of Videha. 3

Inspecting the houses of many great Rakshasas Hanuman who was graced by the Goddess Lakshmi reached the house of the king of Rakshasas.  4

The very extensive dwelling of Ravana was protected by many with top pointing arms, surrounded by four tusked elephants as well as three tusked elephants, and also full of Rakshasa ladies who were his wives and also some forcefully abducted Ladies from Royal families. 5-6

(This is contrary to what is expressed in sloka 76 of this chapter)

That house was like an ocean tumultuously moved by a tempest, which was full of crocodiles, sharks, whales , fishes and snakes.  7

His house was full of all riches, which were in the house of Kubera(God of riches) Indra(King of devas) and Sun God. 8

The treasures in the House of Rakshasa king Ravana was similar and much more than the riches of Indra, Kubhera, Varuna(The rain god) , Yama(the god of death).  9

The Son of God of Wind saw another mansion in the center of that house, which was beautifully built and in which several artistic works were done. 10

That Pushpaka Vimana which was prettily was made for Brahma by Viswakarma(the architect of Devas) and increased passions and also could be used to travel as one pleases. 11

Kubhera by doing very great penance got that Vimana which was fully decorated by jewels and which was venerated by beings of all the three worlds from Brahma.  12

The king of Rakshasa won Kubera by his prowess and got it from him. 13

Not only that but that Vimana  was decorated by life like statues of deer, decorated all over by gold, had many very beautiful pillars and appeared as if it was shining by its own light.  14

That Vimana was decorated on all the four sides by several towers, which appeared as if they were touching the sky like the Meru and Mandhara mountains. 15

That plane which was built by Viswakarma, had golden steps and was charming, great and had the luster of the fire and the Sun. 16

It had platforms made of precious gems like Sapphire and windows and shelves decorated by gold and crystal. 17

It appeared pretty as it had floors decorated by corals, very costly gems, incomparable pearls and also several pretty drawings. 18

It was similar to the Sun at dawn and had gold like saffron and sweet scented sandal. 19

That monkey chief climbed the sacred and well decorated Pushpaka Vimana which had  different type of pretty halls. 20

Then Hanuman who stood there smelled the sweet perfume from the eatables and drinks spread out there which looked like the air personified.(i.e. spread in all places.) 21

It appeared as if the scents called the very strong Hanuman, “come here, come here, like a relation calling another very close relation.  22

He saw a great stage in the middle , which ,being firmly there attracted the mind of Ravana, which like a pretty lady was causing only good, which had steps made out of pearls and diamonds, which shined because of its golden windows with ivory inlaid here and there, which had floors made of crystal stones, which had very tall decorated pillars built using gold, silver , pearls and corals, which was decorated by different type of pillars, which had very tall and wing like sky touching perfect pillars which were straight, which was as broad as the earth itself with its cities and houses, which was covered by a very big carpet on which the different parts of earth were drawn, Which was filled with sounds of songs by energetic birds, Which had beautiful incense wafting about, which had special seats with the presence of the king of Rakshasas, which was made dark by the incense and myrrh, which was very clear, which was white like the swan, which was peculiar because of the flowers used for worship, which gave happiness to the mind like the glittering Kamadhenu(sacred wish granting cow of heaven), which was decorated so that it will get fame, which looked like the mother of all treasures, which could destroy sorrow and which was famous and divine. 23-30

That stage which was protected by Ravana, like a mother, satisfied the five sense organs by its pretty form, taste, smell, touch and voice.  31

Hanuman doubted and wondered whether it was heaven, the city of Indra himself, or the city of gandarwas.  32

He also saw there very big golden lights which were still like those defeated gamblers by the deceit of other gamblers. 33

He felt as if the entire area was burning because of the strong light from those lamps  and also by the glitter the ornaments and power emanating from Ravana.  34

There he saw thousands of ladies lying on the jeweled carpet dressed in cloths of varied colours, wearing several types of ornaments and with varied appearances. 35

Those ladies after long love play and being drunk were sleeping soundly because it was already midnight. 36

Those ladies looked as if no sound coming from the shaking of their ornaments and were like a lotus pond full of silent and bees. 37

He saw the faces of those great ladies who were sleeping with open mouth, closed eyes and with the smell of lotus flowers. 38

Their faces looked like the lotus flowers, which opened during daytime and had closed during night. 39

The honey drunk bees without any doubt were desiring their faces thinking that it was fully opened lotus flowers. 40

Because of that and because of other valid reasons that great monkey chief thought their faces equivalent to lotus flowers.  41

Because of the glitter produced by the bevy of ladies that stage looked like the star filled clear sky of the autumn.  42

That king of Rakshasas surrounded by them looked like the moon surrounded by the stars.  43

Seeing them Hanuman thought that they looked like a collection of stars fallen from the sky after they have enjoyed the benefit of all their good deeds. 44

In that place the shine , colour and presence of the ladies glittered , very much like the great shine of the big stars.  45

They were almost in deep trance by the deep sleep because of their love play and intoxication by drink and their garlands and ornaments were very much displaced. 46

Some of them were great ladies, in case of some , their Tilaka (sindhoora) was erased, in case of some their anklets were broken and in case of some their chain of pearls was lying by their side.  47

Like the mare which carried lot of burden was rolling in the ground to recoup its strength, some of them had broken their pearl chains , some had undressed and in case of some, the anklets were completely broken. 48

Some appeared with good ear studs but with broken garlands due to their exertions like the flowering climber in a deep forest was crushed by an elephant.  49

In other cases the broken pearl necklaces were lying between the breasts of some and appeared as if some swans were sleeping there. 50

In case of others their diamonds looked like the king fisher birds and the broken golden chains looked similar to the Chakravaka birds.  51

With hips similar to the sandy shores some of them looked like the shores of river with many swans, king fisher and Chakravaka birds. 52

With glittering belled anklets, with lotus faces and with nail marks in many places of their body, they looked like rivers with beauty as their shores.   53

In case of some ladies the pressure marks made by ornaments on their busts and other soft arts appeared as if they themselves were 54

The cloth corners which were flying hither and thither by their breaths again and again fell on the top of their breasts  55

Those edges of the very pretty and shining cloths of various colours with various ornaments when shaken over their foreheads appeared as if they were waving victory flags.  56

In case of some women with luster even the ear studs were slightly moving hither and thither by their breath.  57

Their naturally sweet scented breath along with the smell of wine wafted towards Ravana ,with pleasure. 58

Not only that some of Ravana’s wives mistook the other wives faces as that of Ravana’s and kissed them several times. 59

Because those ladies loved Ravana very much , they behaved with those other wives with love even though they did not like them.  60

Some other ladies were sleeping using their bangle clad arms and their cloths as a pillow,   61

With one lady attaching herself to the chest of another, one attaching to her hands, one sleeping on her lap, and another on the same lady’s arms, and embracing each other tightly with their thighs, hind parts, hips touching each other , all of them slept together because of their love towards Ravana. 62-63

Because the ladies with very ample hips were tightly embracing each other , they were happy and with linked hands were sleeping soundly. 64

That bevy of ladies linking themselves together appeared as if they were a garland which had attracted several big tipsy bees.  65

The harem of Ravana looked like a flower garden in the month of May-June in which the climbing tendrils with full of flowers are intertwined , in which the bees fly from one place to another, in which the heads of the plants are attached here and there and in which the flowers shake in the wind. 66-67

Though their ornaments , cloths and various parts of the body were in places where they should be, they were not knowing whose is where and which. 68

The well-lit golden lamps appeared as if they were staring at the sleeping Ravana along with his multi coloured collection of women.  69

Lasses from the families of kings, sages, Pithru devas, Rakshasas and Gandarwas  appeared as if they were there attracted by their passion to Ravana.  70

Most of the ladies who were there , were the ones who were abducted by the war thirsty Ravana and some of those voluptuous ones came there because of their passion to him. 71

Except the noble daughter of Janaka , all of them were there because of his great valor and none of them have been abducted and brought , none who came against their wish and none were there who had accepted any one else.  72

None of them were born in a baser family or not pretty or not intelligent or not suitable to be served upon or none without wealth or none who is not suitable to be loved by their husbands. 73

That good-natured Hanuman thought, If the wife of Sri Rama also attains this state of Ravana’s wives towards Rama, my birth in this world would be a blessed one.  74

With sorrow that Hanuman thought, Sita is the storehouse of all good qualities  and this King Of Lanka has done acts which should not be done towards her, alas! 75

Thus ends the ninth chapter of Sundara Kanda which is in the Ramayana which is the first epic written by Valmiki.

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