Vol 4: Kiṣkindhā Kāṇḍam (UVS Tamil Text)
Paṭalam 10: Kiṣkindhā, 1-6, 9-12
Translated by Jennifer Clare. Draft Translation. May not be reproduced without prior written consent. 

Rama sends Lakshmana to meet Sugriva


When the rainy season ended, the foremost of warriors,[1] ever thoughtful,

said to his younger brother, “Though the time we agreed on has passed,

the king’s just hanging out there.  He never came.

What’s he been doing?


He’s not thinking about how much we helped him.

We got him back his kingdom.  He’s gone bad,

forgotten his duty.  He doesn’t know

how tough we are.  He’s too caught up in his own life. 


He’s destroyed our trust, trampled on our friendship,

ruined all that was true...and lied.

Don’t kill him or do anything bad, but go

find out what’s he thinking.  


Tell him this: “The bow that cut down generations of angry demons

and established the rule of law on earth - I’ve still got it.

Death - he’s still around too. And so is the arrow you once gave me

to save your hide.’  Let him know these are our rules. 


Fix this in the head of that know-nothing,

a fool at five and at fifty.[2]

There’s nothing cruel about hurting a traitor –

It’s Manu’s[3] way.

Make sure this sticks. 


Give him this message. ‘Your capital city, your family,

your court, your friends- if you wish to save them,

you’ll come on the appointed day.  If you refuse,

even the word ‘vānara’ will be obliterated.’ 



Accepting the mission, the prince touched his older brother’s feet.

Without delay, he hoisted his well-worn quiver onto his broad back

took hold of his strung bow, and began his long journey,

without ever departing in his mind.


He smashed the hills and crushed the trees

and when the dust settled, he did not take the road he knew,

but went another way, following orders

from one who always follows the path lit by truth. 


Those peaks used to touch the sky, taller than Mount Meru.

Now they’re crushed to the ground,

so deep that out comes the red-eyed king of snakes.[4]

So hard do the prince’s feet pound the earth, anklets gleaming.


He sped through the dry forest-

like the shaft that pierced the marā[5] trees

spreading to the sky - swiftly towards the younger brother of mighty Vali

shot the younger brother of Manavan.[6]

[1] முன்பினோய் ] UVS; மொய்ம்பினோய் AUP

[2] This line can also be read as “one who lives on a beautiful mountain,” (am cilampatil oṉṟu) referring to the natural domain of the monkey king.

[3] Here Rāma refers to Manu both as authority on dharma as well as the first king of the Solar Dynasty.  See 1.11.1.

[4] Ādiśeṣa, Lakṣhmaṇa’s divine form. 

[5] The seven trees pierced by Rāma’s arrow to prove his skill to Sugrīva.  See Patalam 4.

[6] The epithet highlights Rāma’s relationship to the first king of the Solar Dynasty.  See 10.5.