he appeared there in the disguise of a hermit, for
forcibly carrying away that lady of blameless character.
The virtuous daughter of Janaka, seeing him come,
welcomed him with fruits and root and a seat.
Disregarding these and assuming his own proper shape,
that bull among Rakshasas began to re-assure the princess
of Videha in these words, “I am, O Sita, the
king of the Rakshasas, known by the name of Ravana!
My delightful city, known by the name of Lanka is on
the other side of the great ocean! There among
beautiful women, thou wilt shine with me! O lady
of beautiful lips, forsaking the ascetic Rama do thou
become my wife!” Janaka’s daughter of beautiful
lips, hearing these and other words in the same strain,
shut her ears and replied unto him, saying, “Do
not say so! The vault of heaven with all its stars
may fall down, the Earth itself may be broken into
fragments, fire itself may change its nature by becoming
cool, yet I cannot forsake the descendant of Raghu!
How can a she-elephant, who hath lived with the mighty
leader of a herd with rent temples forsake him and
live with a hog? Having once tasted the sweet
wine prepared from honey or flowers, how can a woman,
I fancy, relish the wretched arrak from rice?”
Having uttered those words, she entered the cottage,
her lips trembling in wrath and her arms moving to
and fro in emotion. Ravana, however, followed
her thither and intercepted her further progress.
And rudely scolded by the Rakshasa, she swooned away.
But Ravana seized her by the hair of her head, and
rose up into the air. Then a huge vulture of the
name of Jatayu living on a mountain peak, beheld that
helpless lady thus weeping and calling upon Rama in
great distress while being carried away by Ravana.’”
“Markandeya said, ’That heroic king of
the vultures, Jatayu, having Sampati for his uterine
brother and Arjuna himself for his father, was a friend
of Dasaratha. And beholding his daughter-in-law
Sita on the lap of Ravana, that ranger of the skies
rushed in wrath against the king of the Rakshasas.
And the vulture addressed Ravana, saying, “Leave
the princess of Mithila, leave her I say! How
canst thou, O Rakshasa, ravish her when I am alive?
If thou dost not release my daughter-in-law, thou
shalt not escape from me with life!” And having
said these words Jatayu began to tear the king of
the Rakshasas with his talons. And he mangled
him in a hundred different parts of his body by striking
him with his wings and beaks. And blood began
to flow as copiously from Ravana’s body as water
from a mountain spring. And attacked thus by that
vulture desirous of Rama’s good, Ravana, taking
up a sword, cut off the two wings of that bird.
And having slain that king of the vultures, huge as
a mountain-peak shooting forth above the clouds, the
Rakshasa rose high in the air with Sita on his lap.
And the princess of Videha, wherever she saw an asylum