Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek
The fourteen demons arrive at Rama's cottage guided by Shuurpanakha and they wage a war with Rama in which Rama destructs all their weaponry and eliminates them all. Seeing this defeat Shuurpanakha rushes back to her brother to report the defeat.
tata× þ¨rpaõakh˜ ghor˜ r˜ghava ˜þramam ˜gat˜ |
rakÿas˜n ˜cacakÿe tau bhr˜tarau saha sŸtay˜ || 3-20-1
1. tataH ghoraa shuurpaNakhaa = then, ghastly, Shuurpanakha; raaghava aashramam aagataa = Raghava's, hermitage, on arriving; rakSasaan= to [fourteen] demons; saha siitayaa= with, Seetha; bhraatarau tau aacacakSe= brothers, them two, said - has shown.
Then on arriving at Raghava's hermitage that ghastly Shuurpanakha has shown the brothers, Rama and Lakshmana, along with Seetha to the fourteen demons. [3-20-1]
te r˜mam parõa þ˜l˜y˜m upaviÿ÷am mah˜balam |
dad®þu× sŸtay˜ s˜rdham lakÿmaõena api sevitam || 3-20-2
2. te= they the demons; siitayaa saardham= with Seetha, along; lakSmaNena api sevitam= by Lakshmana, even, attended by; parNa shaalaayaam= in thatched leaf, cottage; upaviSTam mahaabalam = sitting, great mighty; raamam dadR^ishuH= Rama , they saw.
They have seen the great-mighty Rama seated in the thatched cottage along with Seetha and Lakshmana attending to him. [3-20-2]
t˜m d®ÿ÷v˜ r˜ghava× þrŸm˜n ˜gat˜m t˜m ca r˜kÿasŸm |
abravŸt bhr˜taram r˜mo lakÿmaõam dŸpta tejasam || 3-20-3
3. shriimaan raaghavaH= magnificent one, of Raghava dynasty; aagataam taam= those demons, who arrived, them; taam raakSasiim ca = her, the demoness, also; dR^iSTvaa = on seeing; diipta tejasam bhraataram lakSmaNam = to radiantly, brilliant, brother, to Lakshmana; raamaH abraviit= Rama , said.
On seeing the arrival of the demons, and the demoness Shuurpanakha too, that magnificent Rama of Raghava dynasty said to the radiantly brilliant Lakshmana. [3-20-3]
muh¨rtam bhava saumitre sŸt˜y˜× pratyanantara× |
im˜n asy˜ vadhiÿy˜mi padavŸm ˜gat˜n iha || 3-20-4
4. saumitre= oh, Soumitri; muhuurtam= for a moment; siitaayaaH= with Seetha; prati anantaraH= towards, non-distantly [close by]; bhava= you be; asyaaH= her [Shuurpanakha's]; padaviim= way - trailing her path; iha aagataan = here, those that have come; imaan vadhiSyaami= these [demons,] I wish to eliminate.
"Oh, Soumitri, briefly tarry at the close of Seetha as I wish to eliminate these demons who have trailed the path of that demoness to here. [3-20-4]
v˜kyam etat tata× þrutv˜ r˜masya vidita ˜tmana× |
tath˜ iti lakÿmaõo v˜kyam r˜masya pratyap¨jayat || 3-20-5
5. tataH lakSmaNaH= then, Lakshmana; vidita aatmanaH = clearly knowing, souled - nimble-souled; raamasya etat vaakyam shrutvaa= Rama 's, that, word, on hearing; tathaa iti = so be it, thus; raamasya vaakyam prati apuujayat= Rama 's, sentence, in turn, adored - honoured.
On hearing that word of Rama, then the nimble-souled Lakshmana honoured the word of Rama saying "so be it." [3-20-5]
r˜ghavo api mahat c˜pam c˜mŸkara vibh¨ÿitam |
cak˜ra sajyam dharm˜tm˜ t˜ni rakÿ˜Õsi ca abravŸt || 3-20-6
6. dharmaatmaa raaghavaH api= virtue-souled, Raghava, even; caamiikara vibhuuSitam= gold, decorated with; mahat caapam= awful, bow; sa jyam cakaara = with, bowstring, made [stringed bowstring]; taani rakSaamsi abraviit ca = them, to demons, spoke [as forewarning,] even.
On taking up his awful bow that is decorated with gold Raghava stringed it with bowstring and even spoke the demons as a forewarning. [3-20-6]
putrau daþarathasya ˜v˜m bhr˜tarau r˜ma lakÿmaõau |
praviÿ÷au sŸtay˜ s˜rdham duþcaram daõýak˜ vanam || 3-20-7
7. aavaam putrau dasharathasya = we are, sons, of Dasharatha; bhraatarau raama lakSmaNau= brothers, Rama, Lakshmana; siitayaa saardham= Seetha, along with; duH caram daNDakaa vanam praviSTa= not, passable, Dandaka, forest, we entered.
"We the sons of Dasharatha are brothers named Rama and Lakshmana, and we entered the impenetrable forests Dandaka along with Seetha. [3-20-7]
phala m¨la aþanau d˜ntau t˜pasau dharma c˜riõau |
vasantau daõýak˜raõye kim artham upahiÕsatha || 3-20-8
8. phala muula ashanau= fruits, tubers, eaters; daantau= dispassionate; dharma caariNau= virtue, treaders in; daNDaka araNye vasantau = in Dandaka, forest, residents; taapasau= being sages; kim artham= what, for; upa himsatha = you outrage us.
"We the dispassionate subsist on fruits and tubers treading in the path of virtue, and we being the sages resident in Dandaka forest what for you outrage us. [3-20-8]
yuÿm˜n p˜pa ˜tmak˜n hantum viprak˜r˜n mah˜have |
®ÿŸõ˜m tu niyogena pr˜pto aham saþara ˜sana× || 3-20-9
9. paapa aatmakaan= evil, souled ones; vi prakaaraan= not, righteous ones; yuSmaan mahaa ahave hantum= you, in a crucial clash, to eliminate; sa shara aasanaH= with, arrows, bow; R^iSiiNaam tu niyogena= by sages, but, assigned; aham= I; praaptaH= chanced [here.]
"As assigned by the sages I chanced here with bow and arrows to decimate you evil-souled and unrighteous beings in a crucial clash. [3-20-9]
tiÿ÷hata eva atra santuÿ÷˜ na upavarititum arhatha |
yadi pr˜õai× iha artho vo nivartadhvam niþ˜ car˜× || 3-20-10
10. nishaa caraaH= oh, night, walkers; santuSTaaH [samduSTaaH] atra eva tiSThata = be satisfied [very abominable ones,] there, only, stay; upaavarititum na arhatha= to return, not, fit - impossible to return; vaa yadi = else, if; praaNaiH arthaH= with lives, purpose [if you desire your lives]; iha nivartadhvam= now, return.
"Stay there obligingly or you should not be able to return, else if you desire your lives, oh, nightwalkers, you may return now. [3-20-10]
tasya tad vacanam þrutv˜ r˜kÿas˜× te caturdaþa |
¨cur v˜cam susaðkruddh˜ brahmaghna× þ¨la p˜õaya× || 3-20-11
saÕrakta nayan˜ ghor˜ r˜mam rakt˜nta locanam |
paruÿ˜ madhura ˜bh˜ÿam h®ÿ÷˜× ad®ÿ÷a par˜kramam || 3-20-12
11, 12. tasya tat vacanam shrutvaa= his [Rama's,] that, sentence, on hearing; brahma ghnaH= Brahman, slayers; shuula paaNayaH= spears, handlers; te catur dasha raakSasaaH= those, fourteen, demons; ghoraa= ghoulish ones; sam rakta nayanaa = highly, bloodshot, eyed; su sam kruddhaa= very, highly, infuriated; paruSaa= with harsh [words]; raamam rakta anta locanam= to Rama, blood streaks, at ends, eyed; madhura aabhaaSam= to sweet, talker; a + dR^iSTa paraakramam= un, seen, [whose] valour [is, of Rama]; hR^iSTaH= happily [self-confidently, demons]; vaacam uucuH= words, said.
On hearing that sentence of Rama they the fourteen ghoulish demons who are the slayers of Brahmans and handlers of spears have become highly infuriated, and they with their bloodshot eyes and with harsh words said these words to Rama, whose eyes are with blood streaks at their ends, and who also is a sweet talker, and whose valour is yet unseen by those fourteen demons. [3-20-11, 12]
krodham utp˜dya no bhartu× kharasya sumah˜tmana× |
tvam eva h˜syase pr˜õ˜n adya asm˜bhir hato yudhi || 3-20-13
13. naH bhartuH= to our, lord; su maha aatmanaH kharasya= a very, highly, souled one, to Khara; krodham utpaadya= fury, on inciting; adya asmaabhiH yudhi hataH= now, by us, in war, when dead; tvam eva= you, alone; haasyase praaNaan= release, lives.
"Killed in conflict by us you alone will set your lives loose as an inciter of fury in our highly great souled lord Khara. [3-20-13]
k˜ hi te þaktir ekasya bah¨n˜m raõa m¨rdhani |
asm˜kam agrata× sth˜tum kim punar yoddhum ˜have || 3-20-14
14. bahuunaam asmaakam agrataH= many, of us, before; raNa muurdhani sthaatum= in forefront, of war, to stay; ekasya te kaa shaktiH hi= for lone one, to you, what, capability, indeed; aahave yoddhum kim punaH= in battle, [ability] to battle against, why, again.
"Indeed, what capability you have as a lone one to stand against many of us in the forefront of war, and why tell again about your battling ability in a given battle. [3-20-14]
ebhi× b˜hu prayuktai× na× parighai× þ¨la pa÷÷iþai× |
pr˜õ˜m tyakÿyasi vŸryam ca dhanu× ca kara pŸýitam || 3-20-15
15. ebhiH naH baahu prayuktaiH= by these, by our, arms, projected - launched by our might; parighaiH shuula paTTishaiH= by maces, spears, broad blade swords; praaNaam viiryam ca= lives, mettle, also; kara piiDitam dhanuH ca= by hand, clasped, bow, also; tyakSyasi= you will forgo.
"When we launch maces, spears and swords by our might you will forgo your lives, mettle, and even the bow now clasped in your hand." So said the demons to Rama. [3-20-15]
For the three verses the above meaning is the textual meaning. For them there is another import.
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su mahaatmanaH oh, Supreme Person; bhartR^iH kharasya our lord, to Khara; krodham utpaadya anger, infusing; asmaabhiH hataH tvam praaNaan na haasyase eva by us, killed, you, Spirits, not, leaves, thus...
"Oh! Supreme Person, we have come here because you incited anger in our lord Khara, and by us killed will you let go your lives, mettle and spirits? No. Never it will happen."
The reason for not happening of that event is explained: raNa muurdhan in war's, van; ekasya te agrataH sthaatum lone one, you, before, to stand; bahuunaam asmaakam api many, we are, though; kaa shaktiH where is, capability for us
"Though you are a lone being, and we are many, where is the capability for us to stand before you in the van of war?"
Thus they say that they have come only at the behest of their lord but not to kill Rama. baahuH yuktaiH parighaiH shuula paTTisaiH upalakshitaanaam though equipped with our paraphernalia like maces, spears, swords etc., adhyaahaara: asmaakam our; praaNaan viiryam tyakshasi lives, vitality, we loose; ehi come... give us salvation.
"Though we are equipped with much paraphernalia like maces, spears, swords etc., we lose our lives and vitality at your hand, so come on, take them away, and accord salvation and release from our curse. It is better to die at your hand than returning to Khara and dying a merciless death at the hand of Khara.
It may be remembered that these fourteen are the cursed Vedic-scholarly disciples of Chandrakanta, now in an accursed form namely Khara. Maheshvara Tiirtha.
iti evam uktv˜ saÕrabdh˜ r˜kÿas˜× te caturdaþa |
udyata ˜yudha nistriÕþ˜ r˜mam eva abhidudruvu× || 3-20-16
cikÿipu× t˜ni þ¨l˜ni r˜ghavam prati durjayam |
16, 17a. samrabdhaa te caturdasha raakSasaaH= clamorously, they, fourteen, demons; iti evam uktvaa = thus, that way, saying; nistrimshaa aayudha udyata = unhesitatingly, weapons, on upraising; raamam eva abhi dudruvuH= to, Rama, alone, towards, rushed; taani shuulaani= them, the spears; dur jayam= un, conquerable; raaghavam prati= Raghava, towards; cikSipuH= they hurled.
Thus saying that way clamorously they the fourteen demons, upraising their weapons they unhesitatingly rushed towards Rama alone, and they hurled lances towards that unconquerable Raghava. [3-20-16, 17a]
t˜ni þ¨l˜ni k˜kutstha× samast˜ni caturdaþa || 3-20-17
t˜vadbhi× eva ciccheda þarai× k˜ñcana bh¨ÿitai× |
17b, 18a. kaakutsthaH= Rama; caturdasha taani shuulaani= fourteen, those, lances; samastaani = all of them; taavadbhiH eva= as many of them, only; kaancana bhuuSitaiH= in gold, adorned; sharaiH= with arrows; cicCheda= shredded.
Rama in turn shredded all of those fourteen lances only with as many arrows that are adorned in gold. [3-20-17b, 18a]
tata× paþc˜t mah˜tej˜ n˜r˜c˜n s¨rya sannibh˜n || 3-20-18
jagr˜ha parama kruddha× caturdaþa þila aþit˜n |
18b, 19a. tataH pashcaat= there after; mahaatejaa= great resplendent Rama; parama kruddhaH= highly, wrathfully one; shila ashitaan= on stone, sharpened ones; suurya samnibhaan= sun, equalling in dazzle; caturdasha naaraacaan jagraaha= fourteen, iron bolts [like arrows,] took up.
Next that great resplendent Rama in high wrath took up fourteen iron bolt like arrows that are whetted on whetstone and equalling the sun in their dazzle. [3-20-18b, 19a]
g®hŸtv˜ dhanu× ˜yamya lakÿy˜n uddiþya r˜kÿas˜n || 3-20-19
mumoca r˜ghavo b˜õ˜n vajr˜n iva þatakratu× |
19b, 20a. raaghavaH dhanuH gR^ihiitvaa= Raghava, bow, on taking; aayamya= arched [the bow]; lakSyaan raakSasaan uddishya = targets, demons, aiming at; shatakratuH vajraan iva= Indra [releasing,] thunderbolt, like; baaNaan mumoca= arrows, released.
Then Raghava took up his bow, arched it, and aiming at the targeted demons released arrows as Indra would release his Thunderbolts. [3-20-19b, 20a]
te bhittv˜ rakÿas˜m veg˜t vakÿ˜Õsi rudhira ˜plut˜× || 3-20-20
viniÿpetu× tad˜ bh¨mau valmŸk˜t iva pannag˜× |
20b, 21a. te vegaat= they, by the [force of] speed; rakSasaam vakSaamsi bhittvaa = demons, in chests, on goring; rudhira aaplutaaH= with blood, bedaubed; tadaa= then; viniSpetuH [vi niS petuH]= swiftly coming out; bhuumau= into earth [nyamajjanta= subsided, penetrated into earth]; pannagaaH valmiikaat iva = snakes, from snake pit, as with.
And by the force of their speed those arrows gored the chests of those demons, and then on coming out bedaubed with blood they swiftly penetrated into earth like snakes into snake pit. [3-20-20b, 21a]
tai× bhagna h®day˜ b¨mau chinna m¨l˜ iva drum˜× || 3-20-21
nipetu× þoõita sn˜t˜ vik®t˜ vigata asava× |
21b, 22a. taiH bhagna hR^idayaa= with them [arrows,] burst, hearts; shoNita snaataa= in blood, bathed; vi kR^itaa= verily, mangled; vi gata asavaH= verily, gone, lives; Chinna muulaa drumaaH iva= cut down, at base [rooted out], trees, like; buumau nipetuH= on earth, fell.
Those arrows bursting their hearts they are blood bathed, mangled, and utterly dead, and like the uprooted trees they fell onto the ground. [3-20-21b, 22a]
t˜n bh¨mau patit˜n d®ÿ÷v˜ r˜kÿasŸ krodha m¨rcchit˜ || 3-20-22
upagamya kharam s˜ tu kiñcit saÕþuÿka þoõit˜ |
pap˜ta puna× eva ˜rt˜ saniry˜s˜ iva vallarŸ || 3-20-23
22. bhuumau patitaan taan dR^iSTvaa= on ground, fallen, them, on seeing; raakshasii krodha muurcChitaa= demoness, in rage, convulsed; kimcit sam shuSka shoNitaa= a little, well, dried out, blood [blanched aspect]; sa niryaasaa= with, exuded - with resin; vallarii iva = creeper, like; saa tu= she, but; aartaa= agonised; kharam upagamya= to Khara, going nearby; punaH eva papaata = again, like that, fell [as before.]
On seeing the demons falling onto ground that demoness Shuurpanakha is convulsed in rage, and she with a blanched aspect returned to the near of Khara in an agonising manner like a creeper exuding resin on incision, and fell before him as before. [3-20-22b, 23]
bhr˜tu× samŸpe þoka ˜rt˜ sasarja ninadam mahat |
sasvaram mumoca b˜ÿpam vivarõa vadan˜ tad˜ || 3-20-24
24. tadaa shoka aartaa= then, by anguish, afflicted; bhraatuH samiipe = brother's, presence; sasarja ninadam mahat= discharged, outcry, great [outcry]; vi varNa vadanaa = without, colour, faced [bloodless face]; sa svaram= with, tune [attuning with the strains of a whiner]; baaSpam mumoca = tears, released.
Then she in the presence of her brother Khara discharged a great outcry, and with a bloodless face she spilled tears attuning the strains of a whiner. [3-20-24]
nip˜tit˜n prekÿya raõe tu r˜kÿas˜n
pradh˜vit˜ þ¨rpaõakh˜ puna× tata× |
vadham ca teÿ˜m nikhilena rakÿas˜m
þaþaÕsa sarvam bhaginŸ kharasya s˜ || 3-20-25
25. shuurpaNakhaa raNe ni paatitaan= Shuurpanakha, in war, felled down; raakSasaan prekSya= demons, having seen; punaH tataH= again, from there; pra dhaavitaa= quickly, fled; bhaginii saa = sister, she [she being]; teSaam rakSasaam vadham= those, of demons, destruction; sarvam nikhilena= all about, in entirety; kharasya shashamsa= to Khara, reported.
Shuurpanakha having seen the fall of demons quickly fled from Panchavati of Rama to trikanTaka, the capital of Khara, and she being the sister of Khara she reported to Khara all about the destruction of those demons, in its entirety. [3-20-25]
iti v˜lmŸki r˜m˜yaõe ˜di k˜vye araõya k˜õýe viÕþa× sarga×
Thus, this is the 20th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
© 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : May 04]