Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek
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.
kharam tu r˜ma abhimukham pray˜ntam v˜hinŸ pati× |
r˜kÿasa× triþir˜ n˜ma sannipatya idam abravŸt || 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]
m˜m niyojaya vikr˜ntam tvam nivartasva s˜has˜t |
paþya r˜mam mah˜b˜hum saÕyuge vinip˜titam || 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.
pratij˜n˜mi te satyam ˜yudham ca aham ˜labhe |
yath˜ r˜mam vadhiÿy˜mi vadh˜rham sarva rakÿas˜m || 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]
aham v˜ asya raõe m®tyu× eÿa v˜ samare mama |
vinivartya raõa uts˜ham muh¨rtam pr˜þniko 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.]
prah®ÿ÷o v˜ hate r˜me janasth˜nam pray˜syasi |
mayi v˜ nihate r˜mam saÕyug˜ya pray˜syasi || 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...'
khara× triþiras˜ tena m®tyu lobh˜t pras˜dita× |
gaccha yudhya iti anujñ˜to r˜ghava 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]
triþir˜× tu rathena eva v˜ji yuktena bh˜svat˜ |
abhyadravat raõe r˜mam tri þ®ðga iva parvata× || 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]
þara dh˜r˜ sam¨h˜n sa mah˜megha iva uts®jan |
vyas®jat sad®þam n˜dam jala ˜rdrasya iva dundubhe× || 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]
˜gacchantam triþirasam r˜kÿasam prekÿya r˜ghava× |
dhanuÿ˜ pratijagr˜ha vidhunvan s˜yak˜n þit˜n || 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]
sa samprah˜ra× tumulo r˜ma triþiraso× tad˜ |
sambabh¨va atŸva balino× siÕha kuÕjarayo× 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]
tata× triþiras˜ b˜õai× lal˜÷e t˜ýita× tribhi× |
amarÿŸ kupito r˜ma× saÕrabdham idam abravŸt || 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]
aho vikrama þ¨rasya r˜kÿasasya Ÿd®þam balam |
puÿpai× iva þarai× yasya lal˜÷e asmi parikÿata× || 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]
mama api pratig®hõŸÿva þar˜n c˜pa guõa cyut˜n |
evam uktv˜ susaÕrabdha× þar˜n ˜þŸviÿa upam˜n || 3-27-13
triþiro vakÿasi kruddho nijagh˜na catur daþa |
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]
caturbhi× turag˜n asya þarai× sannata parv˜bhi× || 3-27-14
nyap˜tayata tejasvŸ catura× tasya v˜jina× |
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]
aÿ÷abhi× s˜yakai× s¨tam ratha upasthe nyap˜tayat || 3-27-15
r˜ma× ciccheda b˜õena 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]
tato hata rath˜t tasm˜t utpatantam niþ˜caram || 3-27-16
ciccheda r˜ma× tam b˜õai× h®daye so abhavat jaýa× |
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]
s˜yakai× ca aprameya ˜tm˜ s˜marÿa× tasya rakÿasa× || 3-27-17
þir˜Õsi ap˜tayat trŸõi vegavadbhi× tribhi× þatai× |
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]
sa dh¨ma þoõita udg˜rŸ r˜ma b˜õa abhipŸýita× || 3-27-18
nyapatat patitai× p¨rvam samarastho niþ˜cara× |
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]
hata þeÿ˜× tato bhagn˜ r˜kÿas˜× khara saÕþray˜× || 3-27-19
dravanti sma na tiÿ÷hanti vy˜ghra trast˜ m®g˜ 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]
t˜n kharo dravato d®ÿ÷v˜ nivartya ruÿita× tvaran |
r˜mam eva abhidudr˜va r˜hu× candramasam yath˜ || 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 v˜lmŸki r˜m˜yaõe ˜di k˜vye araõya k˜õýe sapta viÕþa× sarga×
Thus, this is the 27th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
© 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : June 04]