In Ramayana, Mainda and Dwividha were monkeys. The area north from Prasravana Mountain and south from Godavary River, in India was the free moving zone of monkeys and called as Kishkindha. The main palace called Kishkindha palace was occupied by the Monkey King Sugriva and Angada was ruling as the forest prince, since his father was killed in a war.

Representative image of vanaras
Representative image of Vanaras

Sugriva was a strong ruler and Rama had made friendship with him. As per treaty, Sugriva had to help Rama to search for Sita, who was abducted by Ravana. Jambhava was an old bear and he was the oldest of kings of their lineage and known as Riksharaja also. He used to look after orphan children in his hermit. He trained many monkeys and educated them as good kings for Kishkindha, in olden days. Mainda and Dwividha were born by the blessings of Ashwini twin stars. They had been brought up by Jambhava and educated well. Higher education received by them from Jambhava had made them scholars and they had learned war techniques also.

When they had grown up, they started serving in the country of Sugriva, as duo commandos. Due to their skill and aptitude, God Brahma had blessed those precious Upanishads and essence of Vedas also. Such knowledge was compared with nectar, by drinking which one could overcome death, or live for a very long time. The following verse in Ishopanishad, praises education:

विद्या च्च अविद्या च्च यस्तद् वेदो उभयं सह ।
अविद्यया मृत्युं तीर्त्वा विद्यया ऽमृतमश्नुते ॥

The meaning: Vedas teach the knowledge and then one could overcome ignorance. Ignorance would lead to death but education, like nectar, saves life. Having education is compared with drinking of nectar.

Mainda and Dwividha maintained good health. Both of them were vegetarians. In the country of monkeys, there were no land borders but they dwell on forests and fruits of trees. Beyond India, wherever there were forests, monkeys lived and treated Sugriva as their king. During the search warrant for the location of Ravana, Mainda and Dwividha were allotted in the troop under the brigadier ship of Angada and sent towards south direction. They had inspected well the sea bed from Dhanushkodi and later reported to Nala, the civil engineer of Sugriva. They acted as executives for the construction of the bridge, from beach side on India up to Lanka over the sea. Later, both of them actively participated in the war fought between Rama and Ravana.

Shuka and Sarana were military detectives of Ravana. Similar to the wonderful capabilities of Sugriva, Ravana had also well-established army in defense. As per the orders of Ravana, Shuka and Saranam, the ogre detectives, had collected each and every details of their opposite side army, and the weapons of Sugriva. They have reported about Mainda and Dwividha as follows:

यौ तौ पश्यसि तिष्टन्तौ कुमारौ देवरूपिणौ ।
मैन्दश्च द्विविधश्चैव ताभ्यां नास्ति समो युधि ॥
ब्रह्मणा समनुज्ञातावमृत प्राशिनावुभौ ।
आशंसेते यथा लन्कामेतौ मर्दितुमोजसा ॥

The Sugriva army was in their secret military camp, and Mainda and Dwividha were sitting who appeared like sons of angels. During the fighting, there might not be equivalent persons in the war. Since they both had drunk nectar by the blessings of God Brahma, they would be able to crush Lanka in war.

The duo commandos were very active during the war. Lakshmana and Sugriva could not be captured by the demons. When Sugriva and Lakshmana had been wounded and fallen on the ground, no demon could approach them to attack further. Hanuman and Jambhava had lifted their body to their secret camp for treatments. Then, on the following day, it was final and individual fighting had started. Mainda had faced the demon Vajramushti and killed him. Dwividha had faced the demon Ashaniprabha and killed him. All monkeys fought from the side of Rama and finally they succeeded in driving Ravana from his palace to outside of his fort. Then Rama was on the way and started fight with Ravana.

Mainda and Dwividha had acted as duo commandos for Rama during the fight. Rama became victorious and then Vibhishana offered his Pushpaka Vimana for returning to Ayodhya by Rama, Sita and Lakshmana.

Later, Mainda and Dwividha had served Rama lifelong. When Rama elevated to heaven, he offered them a revisit, by Rama, in the later Dwapara yuga. Hence, he extended their span of life time, till that second visit, and ordered to guard the Dharma in Kishkindha living with Jambhava.   

Time had passed and Dwapara yuga had entered the world. God Krishna had started living in Dwaraka. One day, Pandavas proposed Ashwamedha yaga. Their horse was crossing the Kishkindha country. Then, without knowing more about the incarnation of God Krishna, they had arrested the yaga horse. In the fight, Nakula, Sahadeva and Ajuna had failed since either one of the monkeys, Mainda or Dwividha could appear before them or the other one was sitting on the branch of a tree and helped the other one. Finally, Arjuna prayed to God Krishna for more help.

During the fight, Mainda and Dwividha could not approve and were not willing to believe God Krishna as God Rama, contesting that if the God Krishna was the original Rama, then he should be able to hold the celestial bow in his hand. Then, God Krishna obtained the bow from Arjuna and appeared before the duo commandos as God Rama. Immediately, both of them prostrated before God Rama and requested him to elevate them to his abode in the heaven, declaring their current commission of life is over. Their desire was thus fulfilled fully.

Arjuna stood silently, looking both side, and at God Krishna curiously. Then Krishna permitted to continue the war, assuring them the company of God Rama in the heaven as their permanent and happiest place, according to their desire.   

Nakula and Sahadeva then took their bows and fought with the monkeys. They stood holding the bows but without arrows as they needed to offer their life to God Rama, and felt satisfied permanently.

Jambhava continued his orphanage. He got one female child in the forest and looked after it as if his own child. Hence the child later got the name Jambhavati. When Jambhvati had grown up, he gave her to God Krishna, in marriage, along with the gift of diamond stone Syamanthaka mani.

It is humbly prayed for the blessings of God Rama upon us.

Next post, being of The Dreams and Reality in Ramayana, may not be missed. Active Angada in Ramayana would be presented separately in another article.

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