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almiki Ramayana - Aranya Kanda in Prose
Sarga 10

Rama replies Seetha's enquiry as to why he should wage war and eliminate the demons. This is only to protect the land from the atrocities of demons and for safeguarding the decrepit sages under his scheme of diina jana pari rakshaNa....

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All of the words said by Vaidehi, in adoration of her husband...on hearing them Rama, persisting in virtue, replied Janaki... "Beneficial is said by you, oh! Lady, friendlily words, which are apt to speak of your familial brought up... for you are virtue-knower, oh! Janaka's daughter... What shall I say, oh? Lady...you alone said these words, that Kshatriya-s handle bows for there shall be no shrieks of sufferers... They alone are the sufferers in Dandaka forests, the resolute sages in their practises...oh! Seetha, they voluntarily came to me and got refuge in me...

"Living in forests in all times of the years, and eaters of tubers and fruits, they derive no comfort, as they scared by the demons, the evildoers... Eaten by demons, those fiendish ones that thrive upon human flesh...they the sages thus being eaten, the dwellers of Dandaka forest...

" 'Come to our rescue' thus said to me, those Brahmins of eminence, and I, on hearing those words, voiced by them thus...  Obeying obediently their words, sentence this one is avouched by me to them... "Be merciful you all...what an immense shame! To me this way...[your approaching and asking...]

"To this kind of Brahmins, to whom I should address myself, are addressing me, [for that I am ashamed...then] I also spoke before those Brahmins, "What shall I do?"

"All of them thus thronged, spoke this word, "By demons in Dandaka forest, many of them, the guise-changers... We are tortured outright, oh! Rama, you protect us there...they exactly descend on [us with many a guise,] at the times of oblations [in fire rituals,] and also on auspicious times [like darshapurNa maasa etc.,] and oh! Merited one... Assailing are those, the verily unassailable carnivorous demons, and frightening are those demons for us, the grievous ascetics... When we are searching for a recourse [we chanced on you, and] you are our ultimate course...and [though we are by our] wish, and by the privilege of our penance, capable of killing these night-walkers...

"For a long time achieved [is that privileged advantage of our penance, namely cursing capacity,] and we wish not to breach that penance [on these worthless rapacious demons,] thus many hurdles are always there in asceticism and also like that impracticable they have become, [the practises to continue...] oh! Raghava...  Thus not delivered is the curse, though being eaten away by the demons, and thus the dwellers of Dandaka forest are being persecuted by those demons... Protect us along with your brother, for you are verily the lord of ours in these forests..." [Thus Rama informed Seetha as to what is said by the sages... and further says to her...]

"On hearing all those words by me, also I decided that a comprehensive providence be given to the sages in Dandaka forests...  To the sages of Dandaka forest I promised, oh! Janaka's daughter, and on promising, ineffectual I am... while alive... to feign that promise...

"To do otherwise to sages,[incapable I am, than what I promised...] for truth is dearer to me always... I will even leave off my own life... you either... Lakshmana  also... [I forego all of you...] Even if the promise is not made clear to them, to the Brahmins particularly, that decidedly is my duty... safeguarding the sages... Even not said [by them as an appeal, it is my duty to protect them...] oh! Vaidehi, and after promising how again to take it back?

" In your friendship with me and with your good-heartedness, you say these words... and I am contented  Oh! Seetha, uninterested ones do not forewarn thisway, befitting and seemly is your word of caution, to your blood, oh! Graceful one, and with me you are the pursuer in dharma, and than my own lives you are loftier [in this pursuit of dharma...]

Thus saying those words that way, that exalt-soul, to Seetha his dear and daughter of Mithala's king, Rama, the bow-wielder along with Lakshmana journeyed towards those picturesque forests...

 

Thus, this is the 10th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India. 

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2001, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao