Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek
The pomp and pageantry of Ravana is portrayed along with his idiosyncrasy and individuality, his triumphs and victories, his jalousies and covetousness. Shuurpanakha approaches him to inform of her fate at the hand of Lakshmana.
tataH shuurpaNakhaa dR^iSTvaa sahasraaNi caturdasha |
hataani ekena raameNa rakSasaam bhiima karmaNaam || 3-32-1
duuSaNam ca kharam caiva hatam trishirasam raNe |
dR^iSTvaa punar mahaanaadam nanaada jalada upamaa || 3-32-2
1, 2. tataH= then; shuurpaNakhaa= Shuurpanakha; ekena raameNa= by lone, Rama; bhiima karmaNaam rakSasaam catur dasha sahasraaNi= of heinous, acts - crimes, demons, four, ten, thousand; hataani dR^iSTvaa= as exterminated, on seeing; trishirasam duuSaNam ca kharam caiva= Trishira, Duushana, also, Khara, also thus; raNe= in war; hatam dR^iSTvaa= killed, on seeing; punaH= again; jala da upamaa= water, giver [cloud,] in simile; mahaa naadam nanaada= great, blare, blared.
On seeing the fourteen thousands demons of heinous crimes, and even on seeing Trishira, Duushana, and even Khara, who are all exterminated by lone Rama, then Shuurpanakha emitted a thunderous blare like a thundercloud. [3-32-1, 2]
saa dR^iSTvaa karma raamasya kR^itam anyaiH suduSkaram |
jagaama parama udvignaa la.nkaam raavaNa paalitaam || 3-32-3
3. saa= she; anyaiH su duS karam= to others, highly, not, possible; raamasya kR^itam karma= what Rama, has done, the deed; dR^iSTvaa= having seen; parama udvignaa= highly, agitated; raavaNa paalitaam lankaam jagaama= by Ravana, ruled, to Lanka, she hurried to.
Highly agitated to witness the deed done by Rama, which deed is highly impossible for others, she hurried Lanka ruled by Ravana. [3-32-3]
saa dadarsha vimaana agre raavaNam diipta tejasam |
upopaviSTam sacivaiH marudbhiH iva vaasavam || 3-32-4
4. saa= she; marudbhiH vaasavam iva= with Wind-gods, Indra, as with; sacivaiH= with ministers; upa upa viSTam= nearly, nearby, seated; diipta tejasam= fulgent, with his own radiance; raavaNam= at Ravana; vimaana agre= in aircraft [divine aircraft named Pushpaka,] midst of, or, on the top of a skyscraper; dadarsha= she saw.
She saw Ravana who is fulgent with his own radiance, seated with ministers at his nearby in the midst of the divine aircraft Pushpaka, as with Indra who will be sitting amidst wind-gods. [3-32-4]
The place where Ravana is sitting can be said as 'at the top floor of a multi-storeyed building...' as the word vimaana means 'atop...' of a house, temple-towers etc. But it can also be said Pushpaka aircraft as said in Dharmaakuutam: tatra ca vicitra vim˜na madhyage k˜ncana maya ˜sane - -
The words upa upa viSTa 'the ministers are sitting near him, and are in attendance upon him...' by the use of extra preposition upa, but in the course of time the idea of 'nearness or proximity' are lost and it came be used as just 'sitting...' Thus, the tautological tendencies were influencing Sanskrit' - Pt. Satya Vrat in Ramayana - A Linguistic Study.
aasiinam suurya sa.mkaashe kaa.ncane paramaasane |
rukma vedi gatam praajyam jvala.ntam iva paavakam || 3-32-5
5. suurya samkaashe= to Sun, who is similar to - Ravana; kaancane parama aasane= golden, supreme, on a throne; thus who is like; rukma vedi gatam= with golden, Fire-altar, going in - available in that Altar; pra ajyam= plentifully, drenched with ghee - clarified butter; jvalantam= flaring up; paavakam iva= Ritual-fire, as with; aasiinam= who is seated; Shuurpanakha saw.
Seated similar to the Sun in firmament on a supreme golden throne, which resembles a golden Altar of Fire, and he himself resembling the blazing Ritual-fire spurting out of it when that Golden-Fire-Altar is drenched with plentiful ghee, she saw such a Ravana. [3-32-5]
Ravana is seated similar to the Sun in firmament on a supreme golden throne, which resembles a golden Fire-altar, laid with golden bricks. Mud-bricks will be used in Vedic-rituals in ordinary fashion, while he is a special fire in a special golden altar. When much ghee is poured into that Golden-Fire-Altar continually, it is natural for the fire to blurt up, so also Ravana is flaring up when his needs are oblated in that fire, and his glow is heightening with every pour of ghee-oblation, rather fulfilment of each need.
On conquering all the worlds Ravana assumed indratva 'Indra-hood.' So all the oblations in rituals shall belong to Ravana. Any ritual other than this variety will be hindered or spoiled by this demon group. This is the real problem of all the celestials, as they are not getting their due of oblations through Vedic-rituals. Ravana's throne, rather the seat of authority, itself is the Golden-Ritual-Altar of its kind, and every praise, or extolment of Ravana is a hymn in his eulogy, and any offering made anywhere in his jurisdiction is an offering made into that Ravana-Fire-Altar. That absolute power of Ravana is making him to glow to the bedazzlement of all the worlds. And how he got that Indrahood is said next.
deva gandharva bhuutaanaam R^iSiiNaam ca mahaatmanaam |
ajeyam samare ghoram vyaatta aananam iva antakam || 3-32-6
6. deva gandharva bhuutaanaam= by gods, by gandharva-s, by [other] beings; mahaa aatmanaam R^iSiiNaam ca= by exalted, souls, sages, also; samare a +jeyam= in war, not, conquerable one - Ravana; ghoram= catastrophic in look; he is like; vyaatta [vi aatta] aananam antakam iva= verily, gaping, mouth, Terminator, as with.
An invincible one either for gods or gandharva-s, or to sages with exalted souls, or even to any other entity worth its name, whose appearance itself is catastrophic, and who is sitting identical to the Terminator, as though that Terminator himself is sitting with a wide gaped mouth, at such a Ravana Shuurpanakha saw. [3-32-6]
deva asura vimardeSu vajra ashani kR^ita vraNam |
airaavata viSaaNa agraiH utkR^iSTa kiNa vakSasam || 3-32-7
7. deva asura vi mardeSu= in gods, demons, highly trampling down - in many combats; vajra ashani kR^ita [su bahusho] vraNam= Vajra weapon of Indra, by Thunderbolt, made, [very many,] bruises; airaavata viSaaNa agraiH= Airavata - elephant of Indra, with tusks, prongs of; utkR^iSTa kiNa vakSasam= when gored, blotched, chest.
One who is severally bruised in several combats of gods and demons with the thunderbolts from the Vajra weapon of Indra, and one who is severally blotched on his chest when the prongs of the tusks of Airavata, the lordly elephant of Indra, gored his chest, at such a Ravana Shuurpanakha saw. [3-32-7]
vi.mshat bhujam dasha griivam darshaniiya paricChadam |
vishaala vakSasam viiram raaja lakSmaNa lakSitam || 3-32-8
8. vimshat bhujam= having twenty, arms; dasha griivam= having ten, throats [faces]; darshaniiya paricChadam= one with conspicuous, white parasol, [white fans etc., meaning that he has all regalia of Indra]; vishaala vakSasam= one with broad, chest; viiram= at brave one; raaja lakSmaNa lakSitam= one with kingly, attributes, attributed with.
One who has twenty arms, ten faces and a broad chest, and a possessor of all regalia of Indra like white parasol, white fanning instruments, colours and the like insigne, and at that brave one who is attributed with all of the kingly attributes, Shuurpanakha saw. [3-32-8]
Ravana is said to have four legs also in naaradiiya jaimini Ramayana: dasha aasyam vi.mshati bhujam bhinna anjana cayamopamam | paadaiH catur ati ugram taamroSTam 11 chapter, 75 verse. In Raghuvamsha in 18th chapter bhujamuurthoru baahulyaa dekopidhana daanuja etc., but not vividly portrayed elsewhere.
naddha vaiduurya sa.nkaasham tapta kaancana kuNDalam |
subhujam shukla dashanam mahaa aasyam parvatopamam || 3-32-9
9. naddha vaiduurya sankaasham= studded, vaiduurya gems [Lapis, cats-eye gems,] one gleaming alike; tapta kaancana kuNDalam= one with burnt [refined,] gold, ear-knobs; su bhujam= with robust, arms; shukla dashanam= with whitely, teeth; mahaa aasyam= wide, mouthed; parvata upamam= mountain, in simile to.
Blent with the gleam of the Lapis gems studded in his ornaments his glisten is alike that gem, while his ear-knobs are made out of refined gold, and his arms strongish, teeth whitish, mouth widish and he is mountainous, and Shuurpanakha saw such a Ravana. [3-32-9]
viSNu cakra nipaataiH ca shatasho deva sa.myuge |
anyaiH shastraiH prahaaraiH ca mahaayuddheSu taaDitam || 3-32-10
10. deva samyuge= gods, in war with; shatashaH= hundreds [of times]; viSNu cakra nipaataiH ca= Vishnu's, disc, with assaults of, also; [anyaiH ] mahaa yuddheSu= in [other,] great wars - gruesome wars; anyaiH shastraiH prahaaraiH ca= with other, missile, by assaults of, also; [shatashaH] taaDitam= he is assaulted - assaults known through scars on body.
His body bears hundreds of welts caused when assaulted with Vishnu-disc for hundreds of times in wars with gods, and when assaulted for hundreds of times with the other assaults-missiles in other gruesome wars as well, and Shuurpanakha saw at such a Ravana. [3-32-10]
The disc of Vishnu here does not mean the sudarshana cakra of Vishnu. This is yet another missile which is one among many given to Rama by Vishvamitra. This sudarshana cakra is a 'thought of Vishnu to eliminate the vice...' sankalpa, a conceptually symbolic missile in one of his hands. But in the core of its essence it is no disc with any sprockets and central thumb-hole etc. pr˜õo may˜ kriy˜ þakti× | bh˜va unmeÿa udyama× | sudarþanam ca saðkalpa× | þabd˜ pary˜ya v˜cak˜× -- ahirbujña v˜kya 'sudarshana is my be causative thinking, words are just alternatives...' ahirbudhnya aphorisms. This narration is to portray that Ravana has war-wounds on all over his limbs. Though hit by Thunderbolts or missiles for umpteen times, he is just wounded but not dead and he is on such a winning spree, ineradicably.
aahata a.ngam samastaiH ca deva praharaNaiH tathaa |
akSobhyaaNaam samudraaNaam kSobhaNam kSipra kaariNam || 3-32-11
11. tathaa= likewise; samastaiH deva praharaNaiH= with all of the, gods, hacking [missilery]; aahata angam ca= hacked, limbs, even having; a + kSobhyaaNaam samudraaNaam= not, perturbable, oceans; for them; kSobhaNam= who can roil, agitator; kSipra kaariNam= a swift, perpetrator.
Likewise, whose limbs are thrashed with thrashing missilery of all gods, whereby his body and soul have become harsh, thus he can perpetrate anything swiftly at his will, and he who can capably roil an un-perturbable ocean at his wish, at such Ravana Shuurpanakha saw. [3-32-11]
kSeptaaram parvata agraaNaam suraaNaam ca pramardanam |
ucChettaaram ca dharmaaNaam para daara abhimarshanam || 3-32-12
12. parvata agraaNaam= to [of] mountain, peaks; kSeptaaram= volleyer of; suraaNaam ca pra mardanam= of gods, even, extreme, represser of; dharmaaNaam ca ucChettaaram= ethical values, even, an extirpator of; para daara abhimarshanam= other's, wives, [touches] molester.
At him who is a volleyer of mountain peaks, a represser of gods, an extirpator of ethical values, and a molester of others wives, Shuurpanakha saw. [3-32-12]
sarva divya astra yoktaaram yaj~na vighna karam sadaa |
puriim bhogavatiim gatvaa paraajitya ca vaasukim || 3-32-13
takSakasya priyaam bhaaryaam paraajitya jahaara yaH |
13, 14a. sarva divya astra yoktaaram= every, divine, missile, marksman of; sadaa yaj~na vighna karam= always, Vedic-rituals, obstacles, causer [interdictor]; such a Ravana she saw; yaH= who; bhogavatiim puriim gatvaa= Bhogavati, to city, on going; vaasukim paraajitya ca= Vaasuki [the King of Serpents,] on defeating, also; takSakasya priyaam bhaaryaam= Taksha's, dear, wife; paraajitya jahaara= on defeating [molesting,] abducted.
He who is a marksman of every divine missile, and an ever interdictor of Vedic-rituals, and who on going to the city named Bhogavati, the capital of Naga-s, and on defeating Vaasuki, the King of Serpents, has abducted the dear wife of Taksha on molesting her, and Shuurpanakha saw such a molester of others wives. [3-32-13, 14a]
kailaasam parvatam gatvaa vijitya nara vaahanam || 3-32-14
vimaanam puSpakam tasya kaamagam vai jahaara yaH |
14b, 15a. yaH= who - Ravana; kailaasam parvatam gatvaa= to Kailash, mountain, on going; nara vaahanam= humans, as vehicle - one who has, Kubera; vijitya= on defeating; tasya kaama gam= his, by wish, transiting; puSpakam vimaanam= Pushpaka, aircraft; jahaara vai snatched away, indeed.
On going to Mt. Kailash he who has defeated the god who uses humans as his vehicle, namely Kubera, and snatched away his aircraft, namely Pushpaka, which aircraft transits at the wish of its steersman, and Shuurpanakha saw such a grabber of others possessions. [3-32-14b, 15a]
vanam caitraratham divyam naliniim na.ndanam vanam || 3-32-15
vinaashayati yaH krodhaat deva udyaanaani viiryavaan |
15b, 16a. viiryavaan= valiant one [Ravana]; divyam caitraratham vanam= divine, Caitraratha named, garden; naliniim= lotus-lake - puSkariNi; nandanam vanam= Nandana named, garden; deva udyaanaani= of gods, [paradisiacal] gardens; yaH= who; krodhaat vinaashayati= with enviousness, devastated.
He who enviously devastated the divine gardens of Kubera, called Caitraratha, along with a divine Lake of Lotuses pertaining to the same Kubera, called Pushkarini, and the gardens of Indra, called Nandana, along with other paradisiacal gardens of gods, Shuurpanakha saw such an envious demon. [3-32-15b, 16a]
candra suuryau mahaa bhaagau uttiSThantau para.ntapau || 3-32-16
nivaarayati baahubhyaam yaH shaila shikharopamaH |
16b, 17a. shaila shikhara upamaH= mountain's, pinnacle, in simile; he; yaH= who is - Ravana; uttiSThantau mahaa bhaagau= while rising [when they tend to rise,] highly, propitious ones [sun and moon; paran tapau= enemy-stiflers - sun and moon, or, paran tapaH= enemy-stifler - Ravana; candra suuryau= Moon, Sun are; baahubhyaam nivaarayati= with two arms, forestalls.
Shuurpanakha saw him who is similar to the pinnacle of a mountain, and who with his two hands forestalls the highly propitious ones and stiflers of their enemies, namely the Sun and Moon, when they tend to rise. [3-32-16b, 17a]
Tall as a hill that cleaves the sky, / He raised his mighty arms on high / To check the blessed moon, and stay / The rising of the Lord of Day. - Griffith.
dasha varSa sahasraaNi tapaH taptvaa mahaavane || 3-32-17
puraa svaya.mbhuve dhiiraH shiraa.msi upajahaara yaH |
17b, 18a. dhiiraH yaH= courageous one, which Ravana; puraa mahaa vane= earlier, in great, forest; dasha varSa sahasraaNi= ten, years, thousand; tapaH taptvaa= asceticism, on accomplishing; svayam bhuve= from the self, created divinity [to Brahma]; shiraamsi upajahaara= heads [his ten heads,] dedicated [to Brahma.]
That courageous one who in early times has practised ascesis for ten thousand years in a great-forest, and who on accomplishing it has dedicated ten of his heads to the Self-Created Brahma, she saw such a Ravana with such ten heads. [3-32-17b, 18a]
deva daanava gadharva pishaaca pataga uragaiH || 3-32-18
abhayam yasya sa.ngraame mR^ityuto maanuSaad R^ite |
18b, 19a. yasya sangraame= to whom, in war; maanuSaat R^ite= from humans, excepting; deva daanava gadharva pishaaca pataga uragaiH= from gods, demons, gandharva-s, devils, birds, reptiles; mR^ityutaH= from death; a + bhayam= no, fear - indemnity - is given by Brahma.
Whereby, to whom there is an indemnity against death in war at the hand of gods, demons, gandharva-s, devils, birds, or reptiles, excepting humans, and Shuurpanakha saw such an unimperilled Ravana. [3-32-18b, 19a]
mantraiH abhituSTam puNyam adhvareSu dvijaatibhiH || 3-32-19
havirdhaaneSu yaH somam upahanti mahaabalaH |
19b, 20a. mahaabalaH= great-mighty- extreme-ultraist; yaH= which Ravana; adhvareSu in Vedic-rituals; [havirdhaaneSu= in oblation-vessels]; dvi jaatibhiH by twice, born - by Brahmans; abhituSTam= kept separately; mantraiH puNyam= with hymns, blest; somam upahanti= Soma-juice-oblation, expropriates,
He who is an extreme-ultraist that expropriates the Soma-juice-oblation form the vessels of oblation in Vedic-rituals, which Soma juice-oblation is blest with Vedic-hymns and kept separately by Vedic Brahmans, since it is intended and shall belong to Indra and other divinities, and she saw such a plunderer. [3-32-19b, 20a]
praapta yaj~na haram duSTam brahma ghnam kruura kaariNam || 3-32-20
karkasham niranukrosham prajaanaam ahite ratam |
20b, 21a. praapta yaj~na haram= received [culminated, ] Vedic-ritual, embezzler - Vedic ritual whose fruit is close at hand; duSTam= malicious one; kruura kaariNam= one with cruel, acts; brahma ghnam= Brahman, slayer - or, Vedic-ritual, hinderer of; karkasham= heartless one; nir anukrosham= without, goaded [rampant]; prajaanaam a hite ratam= to people, un, worthy [iniquity,] one who delights in.
He who is such an embezzler of the Vedic-rituals at the time of their culmination, a malicious one, and one with cruel acts, a hinderer of Vedic-rituals, or, the slayer of those Brahmans that conduct Vedic-rituals contrary to his wishes, and one who is heartless and a rampant demon, who is a delighter in the iniquity to the people, at him Shuurpanakha saw. [3-32-20b, 21a]
The problem with Ravana is that nobody shall surpass him or his boons, by conducting various Vedic-rituals, appeasing various gods to get better boons, or say 'a boon to kill Ravana' itself. That being his preconceived fear he lets none to conduct any Vedic sacrifice. Secondly, he has became one with Indra with the boon of Brahma. So, any ritual should be centred on Ravana, not Indra. He is not a routine Brahman slayer as he has Brahmanic origin, and his teachers are Brahmans, and the like. But he goes against those Brahmans who dare to conduct rituals for Indra and other divinities.
raavaNam sarva bhuutaanaam sarva loka bhayaavaham || 3-32-21
raakSasii bhraataram kruuram saa dadarsha mahaabalam |
21b, 22a. saa raakSasii= she, that demoness - Shuurpanakha; sarva bhuutaanaam raavaNam= for all, beings, one who makes them to wail; sarva loka bhayaavaham= for all, worlds, alarming one; kruuram= an atrocious one; mahaabalam= highly, formidable one; bhraataram dadarsha= at brother, she, saw.
She that demoness Shuurpanakha saw her brother who makes all beings to wail, an alarming one to all the worlds, an atrocious one and highly formidable Ravana. [3-32-21b, 22a]
Ravana is the nickname of Dashagriiva, or Dashakantha, or Dashaanana, or Dashakandhara. When Ravana tried to lift up Mt. Kailash with his twenty hands, on which Shiva, Parvati, Nandi, and a host of pramatha gaNa-s are there, Shiva pressed down the Mt. Kailash with his big toe. Then Ravana's twenty hands went under Mt. Kailash and he started to yell in pain for a thousand years, terrifying all the worlds. Then, as advised by his ministers Ravana extols Shiva in a stotram, danDakam a rhythmical eulogy. That heavily worded eulogy is still available in the name of raavaNa kR^ita daNDaka. Then, Shiva releases Ravana's hands from under Mt. Kailash and blesses him to be renowned as 'Ravana' then onward. This will be in the uttara ramayaNa seventh book. Thus, Ravana is the etymological derivation of the word from the root ru 'to make noise or weep' The mantra shastra says raama patniim vanasthaam ninaaya - iti raavaNa 'one who abducted Rama's wife from woodlands...' In another way it is raavaNasya apatyam pumaan raavaNaH 'Ravana's son is Raavana.'
tam divya vastra aabharaNam divya maalya upashobhitam || 3-32-22
aasane suupaviSTam tam kaale kaalam iva udyatam |
22b, 23a. divya vastra aabharaNam= with excellent, attired, who is bejewelled; divya maalya upashobhitam= with marvellous, garlands, who is shining forth; aasane su upaviSTam= on throne, conspicuously, sitting; udyatam= on the rise; kaale kaalam iva= End-Time, for Time [himself]; tam= him - she saw.
And at him who is conspicuously sitting on a throne, attired and bejewelled in excellent apparels and jewels, shining forth with marvellous garlands, and who is like the Ultimate-Time on the rise destined for the Eventual-Time. [3-32-22b, 23a]
raakSasendram mahaabhaagam paulastya kula nandanam || 3-32-23
upagamya abraviit vaakyam raakshasii bhaya vihvalaa |
raavaNam shatru hantaaram ma.ntribhiH parivaaritam || 3-32-24
23b, 24. raakshasii= demoness Shuurpanakha; bhaya vihvalaa= by fear, baffled; raakSasa indram mahaa bhaagam= demon's, king, highly, fortunate one; paulastya kula nandanam= Sage Pulasta's, dynasty's, a felicity of; shatru hantaaram= enemy, destroyer; mantribhiH pari vaaritam= with ministers, surrounded by; raavaNam= to Ravana; upagamya vaakyam abraviit= nearing him, sentence, spoke.
Demoness Shuurpanakha nearing Ravana, who is the highly fortunate king of demons, an enemy-destroyer and a felicity of the dynasty of Sage Pulasta, and who is now surrounded by his ministers, she spoke this sentence. [3-32-23b, 24]
tam abraviit diipta vishaala locanam
pradar.hshayitvaa bhaya lobha mohitaa |
sudaaruNam vaakyam abhiita caariNii
mahaatmanaa shuurpaNakhaa viruupitaa || 3-32-25
25. a + bhiita caariNii= not, fearing, in her movements - a fearless rover; mahaatmanaa viruupitaa= by great-souled one [Lakshmana,] defaced; such; shuurpaNakhaa= Shuurpanakha; bhaya lobha mohitaa= by fear [of Rama,] by craving [for Rama,] perplexed; pradarshayitvaa= on displaying [her misfortune]; diipta vishaala locanam= aglow, broad, eyed one; tam= to him [to Ravana]; su daaruNam vaakyam= very, caustic, sentence; abraviit= spoke.
She who is disfigured by the high souled Lakshmana, and who is still perplexed with the fear of Lakshmana and her own craving for Rama as well, on displaying her misfortune to everybody that fearless rover Shuurpanakha spoke this very caustic sentence to Ravana, whose eyes are broad and burning. [3-32-25]
iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye araNya kaaNDe dvaa tri.mshaH sargaH
Thus, this is the 32nd chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
© July, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : July 04]