[ Transcribed from lectures given by Sri Atmatattva Das ]

This Mahi Ravana was very difficult to kill. Even if you cut his body into three thousand pieces, and throw it in three thousand places, it will come back again and join. You can do anything to him, but he won’t die. The reason is that his life point is in two places, not in his body. His life point is in a diamond which is kept very secret in Mahipuri. But even if you crush the diamond, that is not enough. Only his five heads will disappear, and ten hands will disappear. The other five heads and ten hands will still remain. Half of the life was kept in there. And half of the life was kept in the Himalayas.

There is one mountain which is very difficult to reach with ice glaciers surrounding it. Huge big pieces of ice are floating on the top. If you cross there, there is a cave. Inside the cave, there are five lamps burning. These five lamps are guarded by five snakes. These snakes were very mystical, they were not actually snakes, they were illusion. Any time someone comes there they will spit poison. Anyone who breaths the poison from a hundred miles away will die. If you can get past the snakes, then in order to kill him you have to blow these five lamps simultaneously. At the same time you have to crush the diamond, and at the same time you have to shoot an arrow in the chest of Mahi Ravana. If you can do that, he will die. So he was very clever, a great scientist.

When Ravana called for Mahi Ravana, Mahi Ravana came in front of him. If you just think of him, he would come. Demons, snakes, politicians and women. These four beings will come closer if you think of them. Snakes, if they are close, they make you think of them. Ghosts, who don’t have gross bodies are like that. The more you think of them, the closer they come. They get attracted when you speak about them. Whistling, and scratching pots attracts them also. If you scratch a pot while serving prasad, that sound cuts the ether. It makes a way for the subtle body to come. Wherever you cut the ether, they will come through that gap. Whistling also cuts the ether, and they will come to that point from where the whistling is coming. Also you shouldn’t scratch the floor with your feet. This is very bad.

So the demon came, and asked, “Why did you think of me?”

Ravana said, “I’m in trouble.”

“From whom?” the demon asked.

“Two human beings and some monkeys.”

Mahi Ravana said, “I saw that tail fort, is it these people? Are they doing some magic for your pleasure?”

Ravana said, “No, no magic. They have come to fight.”

Mahi Ravana said, “I give you a promise. It is four o clock now, and I promise you that by twelve o clock tonight I will offer them to Maha-Kali in sacrifice. I will bring the blood to you, and you can mix it with wine and drink. This is my promise.”

Ravana said, “Ahh! This is a brother. That Vibhisana is useless.” So he gave so many gifts to Mahi Ravana.

Mahi Ravana said, “Don’t worry. Don’t talk with your ministers. Don’t try and do anything, you just go and enjoy. At midnight, they will be offered. This is a promise.” So Mahi Ravana came back to his city. He was fired up, so excited. He was calling his ministers.

His wife asked, “Where are you going? You are preparing for something?”

“Yes, yes,” Mahi Ravana said. “I have already offered 999 princes of ksatriya families to Kali. If I offer one more I will get great benedictions from her. Now I got two!”

She said, “You got two? Oh very good. Where are they, and who are they?”

He said, “They are in my brother’s place. They have come to attack him. Dasaratha’s sons Rama and Laksmana.”

She said, “Oh! What are you talking about? He’s the Supreme Lord!”

Mahi Ravana said, “What? Supreme what? This is Mahipuri. At least here, I am supreme. There is no-one superior to me. Everything moves because of me. Don’t you know this?”

She said, “That’s right, you are the supreme lord of here, but then He is Supreme of everything.” Mahi Ravana married this girl from the snake family. Snakes are devotees are Visnu. She said, “I know this person. I have heard a prediction from Narada Muni that he will come and kill your brother. I also heard that when a monkey enters your city, you will also be killed. Don’t get into trouble. There are monkeys there, so your monkey may also be there. Let Ravana go to hell. What do you have to do with it? You are not His enemy. Leave the Supreme Lord alone otherwise you will have trouble.”

Mahi Ravana said, “This is why people say to marry in your own family, your own dynasty. Why did I marry you, you are a snake and you are spitting poison.” So he left her, and he got his ministers and told them, “We only have a few hours left. We have to smuggle Rama and Laksmana and offer them in a sacrifice to Kali.” They all clapped hands, “Wonderful plan! Wonderful!” Demons are like that. One of them gives a demoniac plan, and another comes and gives a demoniac clap to it. He took four of his expert assistants. One was known as Catur, another as Sadhya, another was known as Sarva-prana, another was known as Dushmati. Sometimes people give bad names to their children, such as Duryodhana or Duhsasana. They all came up on the bank of Sri Lanka.

Mahi Ravana said, “OK, come on. We have to get ready. One of you must go, so who wants to go?”

The first one said, “I will do it. Give me a box, and I will bring Rama and Laksmana in it.” So he was given a box. He went in there and he was checking out this fort, going around and around it. “This is very big,” he thought. So he laid down and looked up, still he couldn’t see it. So he came back to Mahi Ravana and said, “This is not a place for me to go. It is so big, and a monkey is walking back and forward guarding there. I hear so much sound. All the armies are awake playing drums and singing songs. I can’t do it.”

Sadhya said, “Ahh, weak person! Look at me! I can do it. I don’t need a box, I will bring them in my hand.” So he expanded himself, and then he came in. He thought, “A small wall, so I will just expand myself a little bit.” He saw this tail was very thick, and was so many coils around. So he became an eagle to fly up and look at it. He could take various forms. He flew higher and higher. He flew up to where there were stars. Then he looked, and still the tail fort was going up. He went up as far as the moon, and then he looked down, but there was no looking down, it was still extending upwards. So he flew and flew and flew, right up to Satyaloka, and he was so tired from flying to Satyaloka. When he looked, it was still going up. “Where is this going to?” he thought. I can’t fly any more.” So he flew back down and landed. Then he used his great strength, and he was trying to make a hole between the tail coils.

Hanuman felt an itch somewhere, and he said, “What’s going on there?” Then he was looking, “Who is that?” Hanuman gave a gap.

Sadhya thought, “Let me first look inside,” and he put his face in. As soon as the face was in nicely, the tail closed. The tail was going back and forward rubbing him. He was choking, and the monkeys inside were poking his eyes and squeezing his nose. Someone took a sword and cut his face and made it formless. He lost his nose, lips and everything. He was screaming and screaming.

Hanuman thought, “All right,” and he let him go. Sadhya ran away and came back to Mahi Ravana with no face. He could not even speak.

Mahi Ravana said, “Where is your face? It looks as though this is something I will have to do.” So he came there, and he was looking. Vibhisana was going and coming this way, Hanuman is going and coming that way. Vibhisana and Hanuman were the main guards. He said, “All right, now I know what to do.” So he closed his nose and became Vibhisana. He took his club and he was walking.

Hanuman met Vibhisana who was going one way, and then the false Vibhisana came running, saying, “Hanuman! Hanuman!”

“What is wrong?” Hanuman said. “I feel something is wrong, something is happening. I want to go in your ear. I want to go and check that Rama and Laksmana are all right. I will go and come. In the meantime, somebody may come here. Even Ravana may come, taking my own form. Don’t let him in. Give him a hard time.”

Then he went into the ear, and came into the fort. He took Rama and Laksmana. He expanded his form, looked up, and he expanded his form more, and then without touching anything he flew up to the top and escaped. He was very good at holding his breath, so nothing was felt by the tail. The tail had antennae. If anything was happening, Hanuman could feel it. But this time he didn’t feel anything, as Mahi Ravana was such an expert yogi. He stopped his breath as if he was not existing, and he took off. He reached Mahipuri and put them in front of Maha-Kali. They were sleeping. Laksmana was also put to sleep by Mahi Ravana by his special tricks. The Supreme Lord undergoes these things so that these wonderful pastimes can happen.

The actual Vibhisana came after his round of the fort, and Hanuman said, “Is everything all right? Wait a minute, how come you are outside? You went inside.”

Vibhisana said, “I didn’t go inside. I just told you I am going around and I am coming back now.”

Hanuman said, “Now I am feeling that there is something wrong somewhere. You’d better go in and check.”

So Vibhisana went in, and he discovered there was no Rama and Laksmana. All the monkeys were jumping up and down and crying. Vibhisana came out and said, “Hanuman, you spaced out. Rama is not there, Laksmana is not there. I’m going to commit suicide.”

Hanuman said, “Wait, wait! You are the only source of information. You tell me where Rama and Laksmana could have been taken.” So Vibhisana described Mahipuri. Hanuman said, “I cannot wait here any longer. I am going to take that Mahi Ravana and crush that Mahi Ravana between my hands.”

Vibhisana said, “Be careful. His life is not in one place. But I don’t know where it is. Someone in Mahipuri will be able to tell you. You have to find someone who is close to him. They will be able to tell you where it is.” So Hanuman left for Mahipuri.