Ramleela

taking the centrestage …

Ramayana VIII: The Vanar Sena to the Rescue

on October 22, 2012

So, Hanuman burnt Ravana’s capital city of Lanka to ashes and reported back to Rama …

Characters:

Narrator

Rama

Lakshmana

Hanuman

Sugreev

Jamwant (actor with bear mask)

Angad

Ravana

Sushena (bear doctor)

ACT I

Narrator:When Hanuman returns to Kishkindha, the Vanar kingdom, with Sita’s hair ornament, Sugreev calls a meeting of his important ministers: Hanuman the Strong (Mahabali), Jamvant the wise Bear, Nal and Neel the Vanar architects and Angad the steady.

Sugreev: So, it is decided that the Vanar Sena (Monkey Army) will start for the southern shore immediately and find a way to reach Lanka, battle Ravana’s demons and rescue Sita. We have already wasted three months because it was impossible to cross the jungle in the monsoon.

Narrator: The Vanar Sena reaches the place we know today as Kanyakumari. The ocean stretches in front of them, and since they were not all Hanumans, they could hardly jump across it to Lanka.  

Jamvant: We have to make a bridge to Lanka.

Lakshmana: But how is it possible to make a bridge across the ocean?

Jamvant: Nal and Neel in our Sena are the world’s best architects. They know how to make heavy things float in water. The whole Sena shall gather rocks and stones and Nal and Neel shall make them float and join them to form a bridge to Lanka.

 Narrator: The bridge (Ram Setu) is soon ready and the Vanar Sena, led by Rama and Lakshmana, reaches Lanka and camps outside the city gates. They decide to first send a message of peace to Ravana, for war must be avoided if possible. Angad goes to Ravana’s court as Rama’s messenger of peace, but Ravana is in no mood to listen.

***************************************************************************

ACT II

Ravana:(furiously) Throw this monkey out. No! Don’t touch his tail. Just pick him up and throw him out!

(Angad cries ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and plants his foot firmly on the ground)

Angad: This foot is a symbol of Right. If anyone from your court can even move it an inch, we will admit defeat and our whole army will go back.

Narrator: All the mightiest braves of Lanka try their hardest, but cannot move Angad’s foot.

Angad: See the Power of Right? You have refused to listen to sense. We shall meet on the battlefield.

(Angad goes away)

Narrator: Ravana’s brother Vibhishana now advises him to send Sita back to Ravana with honour, otherwise they would all be killed. Ravana flies into a rage and kicks Vibhishana out. Vibhishana, who is a fan of Rama, goes to join him. Rama promises to make him the King of Lanka after they killed Ravana.

The battle starts next day. Ravana’s son, the mighty Meghnad joins the fight in his flying chariot. Lakshmana goes to fight him.

Lakshmana: Meghnad is mighty indeed. He knows magic and can vanish when he likes. But I will defeat him.

Narrator:They battle long and hard, and suddenly, Meghnad’s arrow hits Lakshmana, and Lakshmana falls into a deadly faint just before nightfall and the stop of the battle, for true warriors never fight at night. No one is able to revive Lakshmana. Rama is grief stricken. Jamvant goes quietly and calls Sushena, the learned doctor of Lanka who is his cousin.

(Sushena examines Lakshmana’s pulse and looks grave)

Sushena: The only way to save him is to give him the juice of the Sanjeevani Booti (Plant o f Life) that grows on Mount Sumeru in the Himalayas. The juice has to be given to him before sunrise.

Hanuman: I will go and get the Sanjeevani Booti for Lakshmana.

Narrator: Hanuman flies faster than a jet plane as he has to fly from Kanyakumari to the Himalayas and back again before sunrise. He reaches the Himalayas, fighting demons on his way, and locates Mount Sumeru.

Hanuman: Oh my goodness! So many of these plants look like the one Sushena described. Well, this is not time for guessing games. I will just have to carry the whole mountain to him!

Narrator: And so, the Mahabali Hanuman uproots the entire Mount Sumeru and carries it to Lanka. Sushena is most amused, and impressed. He immediately picks out the Sanjeevani Booti, juices it and revives Lakshmana, and all the Vanar soldiers who had fallen in battle that day.

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