Sunder Kand Doha 34
Sugriva (the lord of the monkeys) quickly summoned the commanders of the various troops and they presented themselves in multitudes. The troops of monkeys and bears, though varying in colour, were all unequalled in strength.
The mighty bears and monkeys bowed their head at the Lord’s lotus feet and roared. Sri Rma surveyed the whole monkey host and cast on them His gracious lotus-like eyes. Emboldened by His grace the monkey chiefs vied as it were with huge mountains equipped with wings. Sri Rama then sallied forth glad of heart and many were the delightful and auspicious omens that occurred to Him. It was in the fitness of things that good omens should appear at the time of His departure (on an expedition) whose glory itself embodies all blessings. Videha’s Daughter came to know of the Lord’s march; the throbbing of Her left limbs apprised Her of the same as it were. But what were good omens for Janaka’s Daughter foreboded evil for Ravana.* Who could adequately describe the army as it marched with its countless monkeys and bears roaring. With no weapon other than their sharp claws, they carried rocks and trees (that they had uprooted on the way) and marched now in the air and now on land, for they had unhampered motion everywhere. The bears and monkeys roared like lions as they marched, while the elephants guarding the eight cardinal points shook and trumpeted.
The elephants of the eight cardinal points trumpeted, the earth rocked, the mountains trembled and the oceans were agitated. The Gandharvas, gods, sages, Nagas and Kinnaras, all felt delighted at heart to perceive that their troubles were over. Myriads of formidable monkey warriors gnashed their teeth (in a bellicose mood); while many more millions dashed forward crying “Glory to Sri Rama, Kosala’s lord, of mighty valour” and hymning His praises. Even the great lord of serpents (Sesa) found himself unable to bear the crushing weight of the belligerent troops and felt dizzy again and again. But each time he would struggle by clutching with his teeth the hard shell of the divine Tortoise. The scratches thus made by his teeth would make one imagine as if, knowing the departure of Sri Rama (the Hero of Raghu’s line) on His glorious expedition to be a most attractive theme, the serpent-king was inscribing its immortal and sacred story on the Tortoise’s back.
* According to the science of omens (which was most developed in this country in the remote past) the throbbing of left limbs is considered as auspicious for women but inauspicious for men.