Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek
Ravana enquires about Rama's valour and weaponry for which Shuurpanakha narrates about Rama, Seetha, and Lakshmana and what has happened in Janasthaana. Thus she prompts Ravana to achieve Seetha as his wife, for none surpasses Seetha in her beauty.
tataH shuurpaNakhaam dR^iSTvaa bruvantiim paruSam vacaH |
amaatya madhye sa.mkR^iuddhaH paripapracCha raavaNaH || 3-34-1
1. tataH= then; amaatya madhye= ministers, amidst [in presence of]; paruSam vacaH bruvantiim = bitter, words, one who is speaking; shuurpaNakhaam dR^iSTvaa= Shuurpanakha, on seeing; samkR^iuddhaH raavaNaH paripapracCha = highly, infuriated one, Ravana, questioned - queried.
On observing Shuurpanakha who is speaking bitter words against him in the presence of ministers then Ravana is highly infuriated and queried her. [1-34-1]
kaH ca raamaH katham viiryaH kim ruupaH kim paraakramaH |
kim artham daNDakaaraNyam praviSTaH ca sudustaram || 3-34-2
2. raamaH kaH= Rama, who is; katham viiryaH= what, is his calibre; kim ruupaH= of what, mien; kim paraakramaH= what, is his bravery; su dustaram= highly, inscrutable; daNDaka araNyam= Dandaka forest; kim artham praviSTaH= what, for reason, he entered.
"Who is Rama? How brave he is? Of what mien and what calibre he is? And for what reason he entered the highly inscrutable Dandaka forest? [1-34-2]
'Why this Rama has to come this far to Dandaka instead of loitering somewhere near Himalayas? Has he come purposefully with any revenge against us, the demons, or is it a pleasure-trip? Why should he leave his ancestral kingdom and enter Dandaka, a stronghold of demons?' This is the real worry of Ravana. kena ca k˜raõena kula parampara ˜gatam pr˜jyam r˜jyam parityajya nikhila niþ˜cara v˜so asmin deþe sam˜gata× - dk Ravana might be unaware that Dandaka forest also belongs to Ikshvaku-s as Kishkindha belonged to them, as said by Rama at the time of eliminating of Vali.
aayudham kim ca raamasya yena te raakSasaaH hataa |
kharaH ca nihataH sa.nkhye duuSaNaH trishiraaH tathaa || 3-34-3
tat tvam bruuhi manoj~naangii kena tvam ca viruupitaa |
3, 4a. yena= by whom [by which Rama]; raakSasaaH= demons; kharaH ca= Khara, also; duuSaNaH trishiraaH tathaa= Duushana, Trishira, likewise; sankhye nihataa= in war, killed; such a; raamasya aayudham kim ca = Rama's, weapon, what is, also; manoj~na angii= fascinating, having limbs - oh, lady with fascinating limbs [Shuurpanakha]; kena tvam viruupitaa ca = by whom, you are, disfigured, even; tat tvam bruuhi= that, you, tell.
"What is the weapon of that Rama by whom these many demons are killed in war, likewise Duushana and Trishira are killed, and even the unkillable Khara is killed? Oh, lady with fascinating limbs, who disfigured you? That you tell. [1-34-3, 4a]
This can be simple question 'What is his weapon?' without telling round about as above. But Ravana is weighing arsenal balance since he is self-content with a giant-robot namely Kumbhakarna, and with a brave and all-trickster son Indrajit, along with his own ICBMs, ASMs and ASMs, plus his own invincibility. Thereby he is said to be puzzled at arsenal-less Rama and asking: k˜ni k˜ni ca ˜yudh˜ni khara mukha niþ˜cra pr˜õa h˜ni kar˜õi - dk 'you said that Rama caused this havoc single-handedly, then he should have used various and numerous weapons by which missiles are flung... because common sense does not permit any belief that a handheld bow can dart numerous arrows or missile, that too when wielded by a single human...'
iti uktaa raakSasa indreNa raakSasii krodha muurcChitaa || 3-34-4
tato raamam yathaa nyaayam aakhyaatum upacakrame |
4b, 5a. raakSasa indreNa= by demons, king; iti uktaa= this way, she is who is spoken; krodha muurcChitaa raakSasii = with fury, who is in a fit of, demoness; tataH= then; raamam= about Rama; yathaa nyaayam= as it is - in the point of fact; aakhyaatum upacakrame= to describe, commenced.
When the king of demons has asked her thus, she that demoness Shuurpanakha who is in a fit of fury then commenced to describe Rama in the point of fact. [3-34-4b, 5a]
diirghabaahuH vishaalaakSaH ciira kR^iSNa ajina ambaraH || 3-34-5
kandarpa sama ruupaH ca raamo dasharatha aatmajaH |
5b, 6a. dasharatha aatmajaH raamaH = Dasharatha's, son, Rama; diirgha baahuH= long, one with arms, or implicitly- inescapable arms; vishaala akSaH= broad, eyed one, or implicitly - keen eyed; ciira= has jute-cloth; kR^iSNa ajina ambaraH= black, deer, skin, as his dress; kandarpa sama ruupaH ca= Love-god, similar, in semblance.
"Dasharatha's son Rama is the one with inescapable arms and keen-eyed, but has jute-cloths and skin of black-deer for his dress, yet in semblance he is similar to the Love-god. [3-34-5b, 6a]
shakra caapa nibham caapam vikR^iSya kanakaa.ngadam || 3-34-6
diiptaan kSipati naaraacaan sarpaan iva mahaa viSaan |
6b, 7a. shakra caapa nibham= Indra's, bow, [Rainbow] similar in sheen; kanaka angadam caapam= that has golden, fillets, a bow; vikR^iSya = on yanking out; mahaa viSaan sarpaan iva= those that have deadly, poison, snakes, like; diiptaan naaraacaan kSipati = candent, iron-arrows, he strews.
"Yanking out a bow with golden fillets, and that is similar to the bow of Indra in its shine, he strews candent iron-arrows that simulate snakes with deadly poison. [3-34-6b, 7a]
na aadadaanam sharaan ghoraan na mu.nca.ntam mahaabalam || 3-34-7
na kaarmukam vikarSantam raamam pashyaami sa.nyuge |
7b, 8a. samyuge= on battleground; ghoraan sharaan = ghastly, arrows; aa dadaanam= taking [drawing from quiver]; na pashyaami= not, I do see - imperceivable; kaarmukam vikarSantam= bow, stretching of; na= I do not see; muncantam [shiilii mukhaan] = shooting from bowstring, [arrows with sharp points]; na= neither; mahaabalam raamam= great-mighty one, Rama; na= I do not see.
"It has become imperceivable for me to me to see when and how he drew his ghastly arrows from quiver on the battleground; or, stretching his bow admitting those arrows on bowstring - no; or, his releasing those sharp edged arrows from the bow - no; why them, that great mighty Rama himself has become imperceptible in the fastness of his action. [3-34-7b, 8a]
hanyamaanam tu tat sainyam pashyaami shara vR^iSTibhiH || 3-34-8
indreNa iva uttamam sasyam aahatam tu ashma vR^iSTibhiH |
8b, 9a. indreNa= by Indra; ashma vR^iSTibhiH = with stones, of rain - with hailstorm; aahatam sasyam iva= devastated, rich harvest, as with; shara vR^iSTibhiH= of arrows, with downpour; tu = but; hanyamaanam tat uttamam sainyam= being annihilated, that, best, army; pashyaami= I am seeing - then I have seen.
"As with a crop of grain devastated by a hailstorm of Indra, I could only see that best army while it is being annihilated with a downpour of arrows. [3-34-8b, 9a]
rakSasaam bhiima viiryaaNaam sahasraaNi caturdasha || 3-34-9
nihataani sharaiH tiikSNaiH tena ekena padaatinaa |
ardhaadhika muhuurtena kharaH ca saha duuSaNaH || 3-34-10
9b, 10. padaatinaa ekena tena = foot-soldier, lone one, by him [by Rama]; tiikSNaiH sharaiH = with excruciating, arrows; ardha adhika muhuurtena= half, more, one hour; bhiima viiryaaNaam rakSasaam = of fiendish, might, demons; caturdasha sahasraaNi = fourteen, thousands; nihataani= are destroyed; saha duuSaNaH kharaH ca = along with, Duushana, Khara, is also [killed.]
"Thus a lone foot-soldier with his excruciating arrows has exterminated fourteen thousand demons with fiendish might, including Duushana, and along withKhara, say, within one and half hours. [3-34-9b,10]
The above is consolidated and said as: sa× ayam adhun˜ muni jana samucita veÿopi dhik k®ta þakra par˜krame vikrameõa þakra k˜rmuka sad®kÿam c˜pam ˜k®ÿya mah˜ viÿ˜n ˜þŸ viÿ˜n iva rukma punkh˜n anukÿaõam prakÿipan rakÿo vikÿobhakaram ati bhayankaram r¨pam ˜vahati - dk.
R^iSiiNaam abhayam dattam kR^ita kSemaaH ca daNDakaaH || 3-34-11
ekaa katha.mcit muktaa aham paribhuuya mahaatmanaa |
strii vadham sha.nkamaanena raameNa viditaatmanaa || 3-34-12
11 - one foot verse, 12. R^iSiiNaam abhayam dattam= to sages, protection, accorded; daNDakaaH= Dandaka forest; kR^ita kSemaaH ca= made [restored,] to safety - rendered as snuggest place, also; mahaatmanaa vidita aatmanaa= by high-minded one, well-versed, soul - in scriptures; strii vadham shankamaanena= woman, slaughter, hesitant of; raameNa= by such Rama is; aham ekaa= I, a single one; pari bhuuya= on humiliating; kathamcit muktaa= somehow, let off.
"Accorded is the protection to the sages, and Dandaka is made as a snuggest place for them. I am the lone one somehow let off by such a high-minded Rama, of course, on humiliating me by cutting my nose and ears. Maybe, it is because he is hesitant of woman-slaughter for he is a well-versed soul. [1-34-11, 12]
Here she twisted the story line to her side, as she edited the scene of her humiliation later to annihilation of their army. In Dandaka witch-hunting is over and it is calm and collected now. In fact, Ravana intruded into Janasthaana of Dandaka and stationed some army to protect intrusion into Lanka, as his mainstay is only the castled city Lanka. Now that the doors to Lanka are wide open Lanka is exposed to an imminent danger. niþ˜car˜n asankhyai× rukma punkhai× viþikhai× vimadhya þatamakha mukhamakha bhuje akhila tapasvina× ca nirbhayam vidh˜ya danýak˜raõyam api sakala muni jana þaraõyam atanuta - dk .
bhraataa ca asya mahaatejaa guNataH tulya vikramaH |
anuraktaH ca bhaktaH ca lakSmaNo naama viiryavaan || 3-34-13
13. mahaatejaa= highly resplendent; guNataH tulya vikramaH = by trait, matches [his brother Rama,] in bravery; anuraktaH ca= adherent, also; bhaktaH ca= devotee, also; viiryavaan= stout-hearted one; lakSmaNaH naama = Lakshmana, known as; asya bhraataa= is his - Rama's, brother.
"A highly resplendent one who by his trait matches his brother in bravery, an adherent and a devotee of his brother, such a stout-hearted one is Rama's brother known as Lakshmana. [1-34-13]
amarSii durjayo jetaa vikraanto buddhimaan balii |
raamasya dakSiNe baahuH nityam praaNo bahiH caraH || 3-34-14
14. amarSii= irritable one; durjayaH= invincible one; jetaa= victor; vikraantaH= valiant; buddhimaan= intelligent one; balii= mighty one; such a brother Lakshmana is; nityam raamasya dakSiNe baahuH= perpetual, Rama's, a right, hand; bahiH caraH praaNaH=- peripherally, moving, life; gist - vividly.
"That Lakshmana is an easily irritable one, he is not that easily invincible, an easy victor, but not an easygoing valiant, yet he is an intellectual at ease, and a mighty one who does not ease off, such a Lakshmana is the perpetual right-hand and the peripherally moving life of Rama. [1-34-14]
raamasya tu vishaalaakSii puurNendu sadR^isha aananaa |
dharma patnii priyaa nityam bhartR^iH priya hite rataa || 3-34-15
15. vishaala akSii= broad-eyed one; puurNa indu sadR^isha aananaa= full, moon, similar, one with such face; tu= but; raamasya dharma patnii= Rama's, wedded, wife; bhartR^iH priyaa= husband's, dear one; nityam priya hite rataa= always, in her dear one - Rama's, well-being, delights in.
"But, one with her broad-eyes, face similar to the full-moon is the dear and wedded wife of Rama, and she always takes delight in the well-being of her dear one, namely Rama. [1-34-15]
saa sukeshii sunaasoruH suruupaa ca yashasvinii |
devata iva vanastha asyaraajate shriir iva aparaa || 3-34-16
16. su keshii= one with lengthy, hair; su naasa uuruH= with fine, nose, thighs; su ruupaa ca= fine, looking, also; yashasvinii= a glorious one; saa= she; asya vanastha devata iva= of that, situated in woodland, goddess, like; aparaa shriiH iva= another - temporal, Goddess Lakshmi, like; raajate = is beaming forth.
"She is the one with lengthy hairdo, her nose and thighs are fine, and that glorious one with fine looks is the wife of Rama, and she is beaming forth like a sylvan deity situated in that woodland, who in turn is like Goddess Lakshmi in a temporal form. [1-34-16]
tapta kaa.ncana varNa aabhaa rakta tu.nga nakhii shubhaa |
siitaa naama varaarohaa vaidehii tanu madhyamaa || 3-34-17
17. tapta kaancana varNa aabhaa= burnt [refined,] gold, in colour [in complexion,] in shade of; rakta tunga nakhii = having rosy, jutted, nails; shubhaa= auspicious one; [saa] vaidehii= that daughter of king of Videha kingdom; varaarohaa= with curvaceous, hips; tanu madhyamaa= with slender waist; siitaa naama = Seetha, known as.
"She has a complexion mathing the shade of refined gold, her nails are rosy and jutting, and she with her curvaceous hips and slim waist is the daughter of King of Videha, and known as Seetha. [1-34-17]
na eva devii na ga.ndharvaa na yakSii na ca ki.nnarii |
tathaa ruupaa mayaa naarii dR^iSTa puurvaa mahiitale || 3-34-18
18. tathaa ruupaa = such a, kind of comeliness; devii= a goddess; mayaa na eva dR^iSTa puurvaa= by me, not, in that way, seen, previously - so far; gandharvaa [gandharvii]= gandharva female; na= no; yakSii na= yaksha-female, no; kinnarii ca= kinnaraa-female, even; na= no; naarii mahiitale = woman, on the face of earth; na= no - not seen by me.
"So far I have not seen any goddess with such a comeliness; a gandharva female - no; a yaksha female - no; a kinnara female - no; and a woman, no, not on the face of earth! [1-34-18]
yasya siitaa bhavet bhaaryaa yam ca hR^iSTaa pariSvajet |
ati jiivet sa sarveSu lokeSu api pura.ndaraat || 3-34-19
19. yasya= to whom; siitaa bhaaryaa bhavet = Seetha, wife, becomes as; hR^iSTaa yam pariSvajet ca = gladly, whom, she hugs, also [after becoming his wife - not owing to a forced marriage]; saH sarveSu lokeSu= he, in all, worlds; purandaraat api= even, [better than] Indra; ati jiivet= grandly, lives.
"To whom Seetha becomes a wife and around whom she gladly throws her arms after such a marriage, he lives more grandly than Indra in all the worlds. [1-34-19]
saa sushiilaa vapuH shlaaghyaa ruupeNa apratimaa bhuvi |
tava anuruupaa bhaaryaa saa tvam ca tasyaaH patiH varaH || 3-34-20
20. su shiilaa= highly, gracious; vapuH shlaaghyaa= by bodily structure, laudable; saa= she is; ruupeNa a + pratimaa bhuvi= by appearance, not, comparable; saa tava anuruupaa bhaaryaa= she is, to you, seemly for, a wife; [syaat= she becomes; tathaa= likewise]; tvam ca= you, too [will become]; tasyaaH varaH patiH = her, best, husband.
"She is a highly gracious lady, laudable by her bodily structure, incomparable by her appearance, and she will become a seemly wife of yours, and you too will become a best husband of hers. [1-34-20]
taam tu vistiirNa jaghanaam piina uttu.nga payo dharaam |
bhaaryaa arthe tu tava aanetum udyataa aham vara aananaam || 3-34-21
viruupitaa asmi kruureNa lakshmaNena mahaabhuja
21, 22a. mahaa bhuja= oh, mighty shouldered one - Ravana; vistiirNa jaghanaam= she who is broad, hipped; piina uttunga paya dharaam= one with fatty, bulgy, milk, containers [breasts]; taam vara aananaam tu= her, who has excellent, face, but; tava bhaaryaa arthe tu = wife, for the purpose of, but; aanetum= to bring her - to Lanka; udyataa = when venturing; aham= I am; kruureNa lakshmaNena= by cruel, Lakshmana; viruupitaa asmi= disfigured, I am.
"Oh, mighty shouldered brother, but when I ventured to bring her as your wife, whose hips are broad, bosom fat and bulgy, face excellent, that cruel Lakshmana disfigured me. [1-34-21, 22a]
taam tu dR^iSTvaa adya vaidehiim puurNa candra nibha aananaam || 3-34-22
manmathasya sharaaNaam ca tvam vidheyo bhaviSyasi |
22b, 23a. puurNa candra nibha aananaam= full, moon, shine, with such a face; taam tu vaidehiim adya dR^iSTvaa = her, at Vaidehi, now, if you see; tvam= you; manmathasya sharaaNaam= to Lover-god's, arrows; vidheyaH bhaviSyasi= a groveller, you will become.
"You too will become a groveller at the arrows Lover-god in case you now see Vaidehi with a face shining like full-moon. [1-34-22, 23a]
yadi tasyaam abhipraayo bhaaryaa arthe tava jaayate |
shiighram ud.h dhriyataam paado jayaartham iha dakSiNaH || 3-34-23
23b, c. tasyaam= her; tava bhaaryaa arthe= your, wife, for the purpose of; abhipraayaH jaayate yadi = opinion, is created, if - if you hatch; iha= now; jaya artham= success, for the purpose of - if you aspire success; dakSiNaH paadaH= right, foot; shiighram uddhriyataam = quickly, be upraised - put your best foot forward.
"Hence, if you hatch an opinion to make her as your wife, and if you aspire success, now itself quickly put your best foot, namely your right foot, forward. [1-34-23]
rocate yadi te vaakyam mama etat raakshaseshvara |
kriyataam nir.hvisha.nkena vacanam mama raavaNa || 3-34-24
24. raakshasa iishvara raavaNa = oh, demon's, king, Ravana; mama etat vaakyam= my, all this, sentence - advise; te rocate yadi = to you, pleasing, if; nir vi shankena= without, verily, doubting - without becoming a shilly-shallyer; mama vacanam kriyataam= my, sentence - idea, let it be done.
"Oh, the king of demons Ravana, if this advise of mine is pleasing to you, let this idea be actualised without any shilly-shallying in your mind. [1-34-24]
vij~naaya iha aatma shaktim ca kriyataam ca mahaabala |
siitaa tava anavadyaa.ngii bhaaryatve raakshaseshvara || 3-34-25
25. raakshasa iishvara= oh, demon's, king; mahaabala= oh, great-mighty one; aatma shaktim vij~naaya= your own, capacity - stout-heartedness, on realizing, an + a + vadya angii= not, un, speakable, limbed - one with immaculate limbs; siitaa tava bhaaryatve= Seetha, for your, in wifehood - to become a wife; kriyataam [hriyataam] may be made, [be abducted.]
"Oh, king of the demons, realise your stout-heartedness, and oh, great mighty one, let that immaculately limbed Seetha be abducted to become your wife. [1-34-25]
nishamya raameNa sharaiH ajihmagaiH
hataan janasthaana gataan nishaacaraan |
kharam ca dR^iSTvaa nihatam ca duuSaNam
tvam adya kR^ityam pratipattum arhasi || 3-34-26
26. raameNa= by Rama; a jihma gaiH= not, curly, going [straight shooting;] sharaiH= with such arrows; janasthaana gataan nishaacaraan hataan= Janasthaana, positioned, night-walkers, as destroyed; nishamya = on hearing - bear in mind; duuSaNam ca kharam ca= Duushana, also, Khara, is even; nihatam dR^iSTvaa = killed, on seeing - be conscious of; tvam adya kR^ityam = you, now, action that is to be taken - doable deed, accomplishable; pratipattum arhasi= to awake to, apt of you.
"On recognising that Rama with his straight shooting arrows destroyed the night-walkers positioned at Janasthaana, and further on distinguishing that Duushana, and even Khara, is dispatched, it is apt of you to awake to a workable action." Thus Shuurpanakha has earbashed Ravana. [1-34-26]
iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye araNya kaaNDe catur tri.mshaH sargaH
Thus, this is the 34th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
© July, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : July 04]