MAHIKAVATI, a magnificent city in the Patal Loka, was ruled by two mighty Rakshasas, Ahi and Mahi. They were renowned masters of black-art and were the most powerful allies of the Emperor Ravana, who was then at war with Ram and his monkey followers.
Mahi had kidnapped and married a Nag Princess named CHANDRASENA. She was a great devotee of Ram and had no sympathy for the manners and customs of her husband and his clan, whose tokens of worship were offering of human sacrifices to their Goddess and indulging in intoxicating liqueurs. Chandrasena used to feel disgusted at both of these. She therefore never used to join or partake in any of their festivities. Mahadevi, the wife of Ahi, used to feel offended at the exclusiveness of Chandrasena and always tried to set her brother-in-law against his wife, whenever she had an occasion, sarcastically harping on Chandrasena's superior airs and her worship of Rama's idol.
During the course of the war between Ram and Ravana, Ravana sought the succor of Ahi and Mahi asking them to do away with Rama with their magic power. In pursuance of Ravana's message they kidnapped Rama and Laxman from their camp and kept them in custody for offering them in sacrifice to the Goddess of Bhadrakali.
Chandrasena who came to know of this tried to persuade Mahi from his plans. She pleaded that Rama was an incarnation of God and that any attempt to hurt him will bring about the visitation of God's wrath and would result in the ruin of himself and his people. Mahi who was under the influence of wine lost his self-possession and began to brag that he was immortal and that every drop of his blood falling on the ground had the power to multiply himself thousandfold.
Chandrasena finding all her attempts to persuade Mahi to become futile resolved to set Rama and Laxman free herself. She, therefore, went to the place of their custody and requested them to take her help and release themselves from the prison. Rama refused to escape with the help of a woman exposing her life to a great risk. Chandrasena felt disappointed and entreated him to allow her to serve him in any way. Ultimately Rama consented and asked her to give them a couple of bows and quivers and leave the rest to themselves, Chandrasena delighted at the opportunity of helping her Hero left the prison to bring the bows and arrows.
A maid-servant of Mahadevi, who had shadowed Chandrasena on her way to prison reported the news to her mistress, who immediately informed Mahi of Chandrasena's move. Mahi started to go to the prison when Chandrasena returned to Rama with bows and arrows. She was caught red-handed in the act of giving arms to the enemies by him. He, therefore, gave her in Mahadevi's charge, telling her that she not only wanted to free his enemies but had actually planned against his own life. Mahadevi ridiculed Chandrasena for entertaining the foolish idea of destroying Mahi the immortal on whose blood drops the bees from Patal-Loka sprinkled nectar and multiplied him a thousandfold. Mahi was shocked to hear Mahadevi thus wantonly giving out the secret of his perpetual life, but it was no use crying over the split milk.
When monkeys came to realize the disappearance of Rama and Laxman from their camp they organized a search party. Hanuman the most powerful and devoted lieutenant of Rama arrived in Mahikavati and managed to effect entry in the temple of Bhadrakali, There he killed Ahi and provided Rama and Laxraan with bows and arrows. A battle between them and Mahi ensued. Mahi and Rama-Laxman fought long and hard but Mahi could not be killed as every drop of his blood falling on the ground was giving rise to thousands of fresh Mahis. Hanuman, therefore, went to Chandrasena and requested her to tell him the secret of Mahi's perpetual life. Chandrasena being a devotee of Ram wanted to help him out, but was afraid of the sin of causing her husband's death. She, therefore, took a promise from Hanuman that Ram would come to her apartment and expatiate her sin. Hanuman promised her accordingly and Chandrasena divulged the secret of Mahi's life to him.
When the battle ended, Hanuman told Rama of his promise to Chandrasena. Rama who had made a secret vow not to be alone in the company of any woman other than his own wife was landed in a terrible predicament.
What followed next should be witnessed on the screened.
[from the official press booklet]