Chapter [Sarga] 27

Introduction

Trishira, the demon, supersedes Khara to fight Rama at his turn. He hits Rama with arrows for which Rama says that it is no more than the patting with flowers. Then a combat ensues and Rama becoming infuriated eliminates Trishira in the battle.


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kharam tu raama abhimukham prayaa.ntam vaahinii patiH |
raakSasaH trishiraa naama sa.mnipatya idam abraviit || 3-27-1

1. raama abhimukham pra yaantam= towards Rama's, forefront, verily, journeying - lunging at; kharam tu= to Khara, but; vaahinii patiH= forces, commander; trishiraa naama raakSasaH= Trishira, named demons; sam nipatya= on nearing / on saluting; idam abraviit= this, said.

But when Khara is about to lunge to the forefront of Rama, nearing him the commander of demonic forces named Trishira spoke this to him. [3-27-1]

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maam niyojaya vikraa.ntam tvam nivartasva saahasaat |
pashya raamam mahaabaahum sa.myuge vinipaatitam || 3-27-2

2. vikraantam maam niyojaya= invader [such as I am,] me, enjoin; saahasaat tvam ni vartasva= from adventure, you, return - desist from; samyuge= in combat; vi ni paatitam= verily, down, felled; mahaabaahum raamam pashya= mighty-armed, Rama, you [are certain to] see.

"Desisting from your personal adventure you enjoin me for I am an invader, and then you are certain to see me felling that mighty-armed Rama in combat. [3-27-2]

The spirit of soldiery is explained in this verse. When junior rankers are available, they are not supposed to allow higher ups to lunge forward in the first instance. Dharmaakuutam puts it thus, in Maha Bharata war, when Duryodhana himself wanted to deal with Arjuna, Ashvatthaama holds him back saying: mayi jiivati gaandhaare na yuddham kartum arhasi ... aham aavaara iSyaami paartham tiSTa suyodhana... 'when I am alive you are not supposed to combat, I will take over Arjuna, you stay back, oh, Suyodhana...' But the same Suyodhana does not show this much war-nicety when killing the lone Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna.

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pratijaanaami te satyam aayudham ca aham aalabhe |
yathaa raamam vadhiSyaami vadhaarham sarva rakSasaam || 3-27-3

3. aham te= I, to you; satyam prati jaanaami= truly, promising; aayudham ca aalabhe= weapon, I am, on touching - oath on my weapon, too; yathaa= as to how; sarva rakSasaam= for all, demons; vadha arham= kill, meant to - deserves to be killed, killable by all demons; such; raamam vadhiSyaami= Rama, I wish to kill.

"Taking oath on my weapon I promise to you that I truly wish to kill this Rama, as he deserves ill of all the demons by killing. [3-27-3]

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aham vaa asya raNe mR^ityuH eSa vaa samare mama |
vinivartya raNa utsaaham muhuurtam praashniko bhava || 3-27-4

4. raNa utsaaham vinivartya [vi ni vartya]= combat, adventurism, hold back; raNe aham asya mR^ityuH vaa= in conflict, I [will become,] his, death, whether; samare eSa mama vaa= in combat, he, mine, or; muhuurtam praashnikaH bhava= for a while, examiner, you become.

"Hold back your combative-adventurism and become an examiner to decide whether I am going to become his god of death in this combat, or he becomes mine. [3-27-4]

The word praashinkaH is said to a rare expression meaning 'one who asks questions, an examiner, a judge...' in its fine sense. Secondarily, it is 'a witness' 'a spectator.' [After Prof. Satya Vrat.]

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prahR^iSTo vaa hate raame janasthaanam prayaasyasi |
mayi vaa nihate raamam sa.myugaaya prayaasyasi || 3-27-5

5. raame hate= while Rama, is killed; pra hR^iSTaH janasthaanam pra yaasyasi= very gladly, to Janasthaana, you may proceed; vaa= else if; mayi nihate= when I am, killed; samyugaaya raamam prayaasyasi [upa yaasyasi]= to combat, towards Rama, you can proceed.

"If I were to kill Rama you may gladly proceed to Janasthaana, else if Rama kills me then you can adventurously proceed against him for a combat." Thus Trishira spoke to Khara. [3-27-5]

These verses have commentary in depth. sarva raakshasaam vadhaa artham 'he who is meant to kill all the demons...' raamam 'about that Rama...' yathaa - yathaa vat 'as it is, in his true form; aham prati jaanaami ' I am in the full know of him...' 'I know fully well that this Rama has come to eliminate all the demons...' These are the same words told by Sage Vishvamitra to Dasharatha when he came to take Rama and Lakshmana. tam vadhiSyaami ' him, I shall kill...' for that only sarvam aayudham aalabhe... 'all weaponry I am handling...' 'However, knowing him well I am handling these weapons for sake of show, only entice him to accord salvation to me firstly...' because aham vaa raNe mR^ityuH? 'can I be his death in war? No I cannot... eSa vaa samre mama mR^ityuH 'he is my death in combat...' muhur praasniko bhava for a while you become an examiner, and examine and know it yourself; raame a + hate sati, mayi ca nihate sati 'if Rama is not killed by me, or if I am killed by Rama, then you can adventurously proceed to him, and have your turn to get salvation at Rama's arrows...'

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kharaH trishirasaa tena mR^ityu lobhaat prasaaditaH |
gacCha yudhya iti anuj~naato raaghava abhimukho yayau || 3-27-6

6. kharaH= Khara; tena trishirasaa= by him, that Trishira; mR^ityu lobhaat= death, greedy demon; prasaaditaH= manoeuvred; gacCha yudhya= go, combat; iti anuj~naataH= thus, when permitted; raaghava abhimukhaH yayau= to Raghava's, forefront, proceeded.

By that death-greedy demon Trishira, Khara is manoeuvred and Khara to him said 'begone... combat...' and thus permitted, Trishira proceeded to the forefront of Rama. [3-27-6]

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trishiraaH tu rathena eva vaaji yuk{}tena bhaasvataa |
abhyadravat raNe raamam tri shR^i.nga iva parvataH || 3-27-7

7. trishiraaH tu= Trishira, on his part; vaaji yuktena= horses, yoked; bhaasvataa rathena eva= with lustrous, chariot, thus; tri shR^inga parvataH iva= tri, peaked, mountain, as if; raNe raamam abhyadravat= in war, to Rama, hurried.

Trishira with a lustrous chariot that is yoked with equally lustrous horses hurried towards Rama in that war, like a tri-peaked mountain, for they say, he is a tri-headed demon. [3-27-7]

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shara dhaaraa samuuhaan sa mahaamegha iva utsR^ijan |
vyasR^ijat sadR^isham naadam jala aardrasya iva dundubheH || 3-27-8

8. saH mahaa megha iva= he, hefty, cloud, as with; shara dhaaraa samuuhaan= arrow, torrents, hosts of; utsR^ijan= while discharging; jala aardrasya dundubheH sadR^isham iva= with water, wet, war-drum, in similarity, like; naadam vyasR^ijat [vi ava sR^ijat]= sound, readily discharged.

Discharging hosts of arrow-torrents like a hefty-arrow-cloud, he readily discharged a noise similar to the thudding drumbeat when a water-wet war-drum is beaten, rather than a blast from a heated drum. [3-27-8]

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aagacCha.ntam trishirasam raakSasam prekSya raaghavaH |
dhanuSaa pratijagraaha vidhunvan saayakaan shitaan || 3-27-9

9. raaghavaH= Raghava; aagacChantam raakSasam trishirasam= oncoming, demon, of Trishira; prekSya= on seeing; shitaan saayakaan= smarting, arrows; dhanuSaa vi dhunvan= with bow, speedily, shoving - winnowing; prati jagraaha= in turn received -welcomed him.

On seeing the oncoming of that demon Trishira, Raghava welcomed him by speedily winnowing smarting arrows from his bow. [3-27-9]

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sa sa.mprahaaraH tumulo raama trishirasoH tadaa |
sa.mbabhuuva atiiva balinoH si.mha ku.n~jarayoH iva || 3-27-10

10. raama trishirasoH= of Rama, of Trishira; tumulaH= tumultuous one; saH sam prahaaraH= that, grave, encounter; atiiva balinoH= extremely, forceful ones; simha kun~jarayoH iva= lion, elephant, like that of; tadaa= then; sam babhuuva= chanced.

That grave and tumultuous encounter chanced between Rama and Trishira is like the extremely forceful encounter between a loin and an elephant. [3-27-10]

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tataH trishirasaa baaNaiH lalaaTe taaDitaH tribhiH |
amarSii kupito raamaH sa.mrabdham idam abraviit || 3-27-11

11. tataH= later; a marSii raamaH= not, happy - highly, enraged, Rama is; trishirasaa= by Trishira; tribhiH baaNaiH= with three, arrows; lalaaTe= on forehead [of Rama]; taaDitaH= when smote; Rama; kupitaH= is [further] ireful - ire intensified; samrabdham idam abraviit= franticly, this, [Rama] said.

Later when Trishira smote on the forehead of highly enraged Rama with three arrows, Rama's ire is intensified and he franticly said this to that demon. [3-27-11]

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aho vikrama shuurasya raakSasasya iidR^isham balam |
puSpaiH iva sharaiH yasya lalaaTe asmi parikSataH || 3-27-12

12. aho= oho; vikrama shuurasya= triumphing, of adventurer; raakSasasya balam= demon's, energy; iidR^isham!= just this?; yasya sharaiH= whose, with arrows; puSpaiH iva lalaaTe= with flowers, as if, on forehead; pari kSataH asmi= peripherally, struck - rap, I am.

"Oho! What an energy of a triumphing adventurer is this! A demon with this sort of energy is adventuring me, whose arrows rap my forehead peripherally, like flowers! [3-27-12]

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mama api pratigR^ihNiiS.hva sharaan caapa guNa cyutaan |
evam uk{}tvaa susa.mrabdhaH sharaan aashiiviSa upamaan || 3-27-13
trishiro vakSasi kruddho nijaghaana catur dasha |

13, 14a. mama caapa guNa cyutaan= mine, bow's, from bowstring, falling - plunging; sharaan api= arrows, even; prati gR^ihNiiSva= in return, you acknowledge - accept - withstand; evam uktvaa= thus, saying; su sam rabdhaH= one who has very, high - alacritous, swiftness; kruddhaH= infuriated; aashiiviSa upamaan= with venomous snakes, like; catur dasha sharaan four, ten [fourteen,] arrows; trishiraH vakSasi= Trishira's, on chest; nijaghaana= hit; [nicakhaana= staved in.]

"Now you accept arrows plunging from the string of my bow..." saying thus, that infuriated Rama with his alacritous swiftness hit the chest of Trishira with fourteen arrows similar to venomous snakes. [3-27-13, 14a]

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caturbhiH turagaan asya sharaiH sa.mnata par.hvaabhiH || 3-27-14
nyapaatayata tejasvii caturaH tasya vaajinaH |

14b, 15a. tejasvii= resplendent [Rama]; sam nata parvaabhiH= hook, barbed, straight-shooting ones; caturbhiH sharaiH= with four, arrows; tasya= such [kind of arrows]; asya= his [Trishira's]; turagaan= speedy going; caturaH vaajinaH= four, horses - of chariot; nyapaatayata= fell down - hewed down.

With four of his straight shooting arrows that have hook-like barbs, that resplendent Rama hewed down four of the speedy horses of Trishira's chariot. [3-27-14b, 15a]

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aSTabhiH saayakaiH suutam ratha upasthe nyapaatayat || 3-27-15
raamaH cicCheda baaNena dhvajam ca asya samucChritam |

15b, 16a. raamaH aSTabhiH saayakaiH= Rama, with eight, arrows; suutam= charioteer is; ratha upasthe nyapaatayat= from chariot's, seat, fell down; baaNena= with one arrow; asya= his [Trishira's]; sam ucChritam= hoisted high; dhvajam ca= flag, also; cicCheda= ripped off.

With eight arrows Rama felled the charioteer from his settle on the chariot, and with one arrow ripped off the high flying flag on that chariot. [3-27-15b, 16a]

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tato hata rathaat tasmaat utpata.ntam nishaacaram || 3-27-16
cicCheda raamaH tam baaNaiH hR^idaye so abhavat jaDaH |

16b, 17a. tataH= then; raamaH= Rama; tasmaat hata rathaat= from that, smashed, chariot; ut patantam= up, falling - vaulting; tam nishaacaram= that, nightwalker is; baaNaiH hR^idaye cicCheda= with arrows, at heart's place, tore to shreds; saH jaDaH abhavat= he [Trishira,] became, inert.

When that nightwalker is vaulting from that smashed chariot Rama with his arrows tore his chest to shreds and he that Trishira became inert. [3-27-16b, 17a]

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saayakaiH ca aprameya aatmaa saamarSaH tasya rakSasaH || 3-27-17
shiraa.msi apaatayat triiNi vegavadbhiH tribhiH shataiH |

17b, 18a. a + prameya aatmaa= not, estimable, with aptitude - Rama; sa amarSaH= with, exasperation; vegavadbhiH tribhiH= rapid ones, wit three; sharaiH= arrows; as in other mms - shitaiH= sharp ones; saayakaiH= with arrows; tasya rakSasaH= of that, demon; triiNi shiraamsi apaatayat= three, heads, made to fall - rolled.

And with three sharp and rapid arrows, and even with his own exasperation, Rama of inestimable aptitude rolled the three heads that demon. [3-27-17b, 18a]

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sa dhuuma shoNita udgaarii raama baaNa abhipiiDitaH || 3-27-18
nyapatat patitaiH puurvam samarastho nishaacaraH |

18b, 19a. raama baaNa abhi piiDitaH= Rama's, arrow, highly, tortured; saH nishaacaraH= that, nightwalker; dhuuma shoNita udgaarii= fumes, blood, spewing; puurvam patitaiH= earlier - just now, fallen; samara sthaH= in war, standing; nyapatat= fell down.

When that nightwalker is highly tortured with Rama's arrows he collapsed spewing blood with fumes, whereat he is standing in war, at where his three heads rolled just now. [3-27-18b, 19a]

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hata sheSaaH tato bhagnaa raakSasaaH khara sa.mshrayaaH || 3-27-19
dravanti sma na tiSThanti vyaaghra trastaa mR^igaa iva |

19b, 20a. tataH= then; khara samshrayaaH= by Khara, so far protected; hata sheSaaH raakSasaaH= on killing - liquidation, remaining ones, demons; bhagnaa= with shattered [confidence]; vyaaghra trastaa mR^igaaH iva= by tiger, alarmed, deer, as with; dravanti sma= running away; na tiSThanti= they are, not, standing - defecting Khara.

As with the fleeing of deer alarmed by a tiger, the demons remaining after liquidation, whom Khara has protected so far and whose confidence is now shattered, are running away, and they gave Khara the run-around. [3-27-19b, 20a]

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taan kharo dravato dR^iSTvaa nivartya ruSitaH tvaran |
raamam eva abhidudraava raahuH candramasam yathaa || 3-27-20

20b, c. ruSitaH kharaH= piqued Khara; dravataH taan dR^iSTvaa= runners - deserters, them, on seeing; tvaran nivartya= quickly, bringing them back; raahuH candramasam yathaa= planet Rahu, to Moon, as with; raamam eva abhi dudraava= to Rama, alone, towards, scurried.

On seeing at those deserters Khara is piqued and quickly brought them back to his control, and then as with the scampering of eclipsing planet Rahu towards moon during lunar-eclipse, he scurried towards Rama alone. [3-27-20b, c]

 

iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye araNya kaaNDe sapta vi.mshaH sargaH

Thus, this is the 27th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.


Verse Locator for Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek : Chapter 27

 

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2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : June 04]