Secret Mission -2 is here
“That’s what you have to do, my son, with your patience and courage; and beat all his crooked tricks. Ravana is difficult to defeat because of intelligence, cleverness, wickedness and innumerable weaponry. He has a large, well-equipped army to protect Lanka and many more supporters and warriors are on his call. He has granted favours to his companions by distributing land among them on which to flourish. They are steadily spreading in Aryavratta, on land, in ether and underground. Ravana’s reign is providing a good ground for their growth without the inherent rakshasa infighting. He has a good command on them, and is said to solve their dispute even before it arises in their minds! He commands, controls and rules efficiently and the citizens of Lanka worship him like a deity. In their eyes he is not less than a God. Their faiths have to be shaken by showing them who he really is. And don’t forget, son, welcome all who leave his reign dissatisfied with his policies or his lack of scruple! You never know as one may reveal his secrets and weakest points to you, making your conquer easier.”
“I will always keep your words close to my heart, mother. I will give place in my army to who ever wishes!”
“To fight one needs weapons, and to fight Ravana one needs plenty of destructive weapons. The first and the most important phase of this mission is the collection of such weapons to give a good fight to the weaponry of Ravan’s. For this you have to move into the Dandakaranya where you will be meeting great sages and saints. There are several hermitages in Dandakaranya, scattered just like stars in the sky, with little communication with each other. As they are scattered, so is their knowledge and research related to the weapons and art of fighting. They hardly know what their nearest neighbour is specialised in. Although they all are engaged in advance researches for the welfare of the world even then they are diverse. They have the same goal to achieve but they all are moving in different directions.
The knowledge and the usage of those weapons like bow- arrows, swords, trishuls and other destructive ones have to be gathered from them. But you will have to convince them that you will be utilising them only for the help of mankind. Intense penance and hard work by the sages have lead to the construction of these weapons which could nullify Ravana’s weaponry. My son you have to convince them that it is the right time and you are the right person to whom they can impart their knowledge without any fear to misuse.” A light sound made her to pause to inspect whether anybody was listening. A gust of air again tapped the window sash lightly with the side wall. Relieved that it was just the wind, she continued.
“Sage Atri has developed such clothes that never wear out for fifteen years. He is working hard to increase this period. Sutheekshna Muni has excellence in shastra, the weapons in which only physical powers are used. Swords, trishuls, bhala, bow and arrow, gada and even some unique weapons he is developing which can kill the enemy on a mere touch. He is applying some paste on those weapons that are fatal if touched with human or asura skin. Some years back, he was developing new time and energy-saving techniques of throwing these weapons. Sharabhangamuni, who resides to the south of the river Godavari and a few miles away from the hermitage of Sage Atri, is seriously injured in an attack from Khara, the rakshasa. His lower and upper limbs are non functional now. But his mind is sharp as a sword and he is a treasure of knowledge. He has researched on politics, war strategies and most importantly, he knows the correct pronunciation of the mantras that are chanted on firing an astra. Sage Agasthya has developed a quiver that is always filled with arrows. Request them to make the replicas of these weapons, for your great warriors.”
“There is a lake known as Panchapsara in Dandakaranya. Underwater, Sage Mandakarni is singing, playing music and dancing with nymphs. Should I also visit him on my trip?”
“Yes, my dear. You can’t miss a single saint or sage. Every one is important for the success of mission. To boost the moral of army with the music is what Sage Mandakarni is working on. The correct beat, the rhythm of various musical instruments can enhance the courage of solders during the war, flipping a losing battle into a winning one!”
“That’s a matchless art!”
“You will need a large, strong army to fight with Ravana’s. An army of courageous, brave and fearless men, vanaras, bears, tribals or any other species who wish to work for this great cause! While moving in forest from place to place you have to build strong bonds with the local villagers, with the tribals and even with the flora and fauna of that area. You have to teach them ‘Union is strength’. Single twigs can be easily broken but a cluster of twigs is unbreakable! Similarly, united all, whether underprivileged or uneducated or untrained, can fight with any highly-equipped army.”
“Mother, Ravana rules from Lanka, which is surrounded by ocean from all side, making it the safest place to hide after doing evil in Aryavarta.”
“That’s indeed a big question how to cross that huge ocean? Even if you cross it along with some more then how will the rest! I have given it great thought, Rama. A bridge as huge as ocean itself has to be built, to cross the ocean and attack Lanka! In Kishkindha, among the ministers, there are two brothers, Neel and Nala who have a unique capability, that is, stones they throw in water float rather than sinking. They are faithful companions of Sughriv, the vanara whose brother Vali threw him out of his kingdom and seized his wife. You can help Sugrhiv to get help from his faithful companions. A couple of week back a gems vendor brought news that Sughriv had hidden himself somewhere in the densest forest where Vali can’t reach them to kill him. Till now I do not know the exact location of their hiding. He also told me that Vali is going to meet Ravana next month for increasing business and improving their ties. His kingdom has already become a miniature Lanka, a small centre for all sorts of evil activities. Vali is encouraging all those activities that were once confined to Lanka only. He has been harassing his praja, torturing innocents. So before heading towards Lanka destroy Vali and help Sughriv in regaining his reign. Before heading towards Lanka, annihilate all or Ravana’s companions in the path you get.”
She admired Rama for being a patient listener. His face was as calm as sky without clouds. Whenever she looked at his pretty face she forgot all the sorrows and pains she had faced. His calmness was infectious—it was transmitting from him to her!
She continued, “All this collection of weapons and preparing of army is not a day work rather it will squeeze youthful years of your life. You will not be living in the palaces with all the luxuries of life rather you have to travel across the dense forests where to quench your thirst will be a difficult task. Making arrangements for the meal, preparing hut for living and all the basic chores required for living you have to do yourself.”
“I will ask Sita to do it for me. It will be her pleasure to do these chores for her husband.” Ram replied confidently.
“These forests may not be safe for her.”
“I will only be able to concentrate on this mission if I have not to worry about my daily needs like water, food and shelter.”
“Once more I will advice you not to take her with you in these horrifying forests.”
“Don’t worry, mother.” He assured her. “You told me earlier that you have been working on this project for 34 years, how did you get so involved?”
To be continued …….
Secret Mission-4 is here