Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek
Ravana proceeds to Maareecha seeking his help in the abduction of Seetha. He travels by his aircraft-like chariot and on way he sees many locations along the seacoast that are affluent and divine. On seeing a banyan tree Ravana recollects the episode of Garuda, the Divine Eagle. He arrives at the hermitage of Maareecha.
tataH shuurpaNakhaa vaakyam tat shrutvaa roma harSaNam |
sacivaan abhyanuj~naaya kaaryam buddhvaa jagaama ha || 3-35-1
1. tataH= then; roma harSaNam= hair, raising - exciting;, tat shuurpaNakhaa vaakyam shrutvaa = that, Shuurpanakha's, sentence, advise, on hearing; sacivaan abhyanuj~naaya= to ministers, bidding adieu; kaaryam buddhvaa jagaama ha= his task, resolving, proceeded, indeed.
On hearing the exciting advise of Shuurpanakha then Ravana bade adieu to ministers, and indeed on resolving his further task he proceeded to his personal palace chambers. [3-35-1]
tat kaaryam anugamyaa.ntar yathaavat upalabhya ca |
doSaaNaam ca guNaanaam ca sampradhaarya bala abalam || 3-35-2
iti kartavyam iti eva kR^itvaa nishcayam aatmanaH |
sthira buddhiH tato ramyaam yaana shaalaam jagaama ha || 3-35-3
2, 3. tataH= then; tat kaaryam anugamya= that, task, while following up; yathaavat= as befittingly; upalabhya ca= securing [a thought,] also; doSaaNaam ca guNaanaam ca= discredits, credits, also; bala abalam sampradhaarya= strengths, weaknesses, on deliberating about - that thought; iti kartavyam= this task, be done this method; iti eva= in that way, only; aatmanaH= in mind; nishcayam kR^itvaa = a decision, on making - on taking; sthira buddhiH= with a firm, mind; tataH ramyaam yaana shaalaam jagaama ha= excellent, vehicle, garage, proceeded to, verily.
While following up his thinking about that task he got a pertinent thought, and on deliberating about the credits and discredits, strengths and weaknesses of that thought he decided that 'this is to be done in this method only.' On taking a decision in that way and with a firm mind he indeed proceeded to his excellent vehicle-garage. [3-35-2, 3]
yaana shaalaam tato gatvaa pracChannam raakSasa adhipaH |
suutam sa.mcodayaamaasa rathaH sa.myujyataam iti || 3-35-4
4. tataH= then; raakSasa adhipaH= demons, lord of; pracChannam= secreting himself - in secrecy; yaana shaalaam gatvaa= vehicle, garage, having gone; rathaH sam yujyataam= chariot, be harnessed; iti= thus; suutam sam codayaamaasa= at charioteer, directed.
That lordly demon then has gone to the vehicle garage in secrecy, and directed the charioteer thus as, 'let the chariot be harnessed.' [3-35-4]
This 'secretly going to his own garage...' is one among the many oddities of Ravana that is suggested here. Kings never go to stables or garages but horses or chariots come to their fore, if ordered. Ravana's ministers have heard Shuurpanakha's report about the destruction of all the demons in Janasthaana. Because they have heard, it will not remain a secret or suppressible fact, but it will spread as a wild fire. Then some action has become necessary for Ravana now to save his face. praaNam eva parityajya maanam eva abhirakshatu 'Let life go but not the self-respect...' So, his first thinking is to wage a war with Rama, but it may become a worthless expedition because Rama's capabilities are partially known. Next, he thought to abduct Seetha, for she is said not only to be beautiful but a dearly cherished wife of Rama. If Seetha is distracted from Rama, Rama may die anguishing for Seetha, thus this imminent danger, called Rama, gets ruined once for all.
The human nature is bhaaryaa duHkham punar bhaaryaa just 'to lament for a parted wife for some time till a second wife is secured...' Thus, that wife-addict Rama will lament for Seetha for some time and seeks another woman as his wife. Instead, if he starts searching for Seetha alone, it is impossible for those two young humans to come searching this far, or to cross the ocean, or to enter Lanka. And even on entering Lanka, it is impossible to survive further at the hands of demons. These are some of the many of his deliberations on the 'strengths and weaknesses and the credits and discredits...' of his thought mentioned in the verse.
Then he enters his beautiful vehicle garage secretly. Why a king shall behave this quirkily? Because 'walls have ears...' and what all Shuurpanakha barked in the court must be audible throughout the palace by now, or may be all over Lanka, and if someone sees Ravana's exit at this point of time, everyone despises him, on the charge that he is trying to bring yet another woman. Though it is not said vividly here, that he is going to abduct Seetha thievishly keeping his valour and bravery aside, this will be made known in the words of Kumbhakarna in Yuddha Kaanda. This is shameful for his own self, as he did not do this way on previous occasions. For such a cowardly act, even Ravana's cherished wife Mandodari may despise or deride Ravana. So, he came to stables with a quirk of secrecy, which of course, will not remain a secret, soon.
evam uktaH kSaNena eva saarathiH laghu vikramaH |
ratham sa.myojayaamaasa tasya abhimatam uttamam || 3-35-5
5. evam uktaH= thus, who is said - the charioteer; laghu vikramaH saarathiH = brisk, paced, charioteer; tasya abhimatam= his [Ravana's] favourite one; uttamam ratham = choicest, chariot; kSaNena eva= in an instant, thus; samyojayaamaasa= started to harness - horses, got it ready.
When that brisk-paced charioteer is said in this way he instantly harnessed the favourite and choicest chariot of Ravana with horses and got it ready. [3-35-5]
kaa.ncanam ratham aasthaaya kaamagam ratna bhuuSitam |
pishaaca vadanaiH yuktam kharaiH kanaka bhuuSaNaiH || 3-35-6
megha pratima naadena sa tena dhanada anujaH |
raakSasaadhipatiH shriimaan yayau nada nadii patim || 3-35-7
6. dhanada anujaH= Kubera's, brother; shriimaan= celebrated one; saH raakSasa adhipatiH= that, demons, lord of; kanaka bhuuSaNaiH= with golden, ornaments; pishaaca vadanaiH= with monster, faces; kharaiH yuktam = with mules, yoked; ratna bhuuSitam= gems, studded with; kaancanam= golden - chariot - wholly golden; kaama gam= by wish [of rider,] rideable; ratham aasthaaya= chariot, on sitting; megha pratima naadena= cloud, similar, with sound - pealing like a thunder; tena = by that - chariot; nada nadii patim - nada - rivulets flowing westward; nadii= rivers flowing to east; pati= their lord - ocean; yayau = travelled towards ocean.
That chariot which is decorated with golden ornaments, yoked with monster-faced mules that have gem studded trappings is rideable by the wish of the rider, and sitting in such a chariot which is wholly golden and which rides with a sound like the pealing of thunder, that celebrated Ravana, the brother of Kubera and the lord of demons, travelled towards the lord of rivers and rivulets, namely the ocean. [3-35-6,7]
sa shveta vaala vyajanaH shvetaH Chatro dashaananaH |
snigdha vaiduurya sa.mkaasha tapta kaancana bhuuSaNaH || 3-35-8
dashagriivo vimshati bhujo darshaniiya paricChadaH |
tridasha ariH muniindra ghno dasha shiirSa iva adri raaT || 3-35-9
kaamagam ratham aasthaaya shushubhe raakSasaadhipaH |
vidyun maNDalavaan meghaH sa balaaka iva a.mbare || 3-35-10
8. shveta vaala vyajanaH= with white, long-furred, fans [regal insignia]; shvetaH ChatraH= with white, parasol; dasha aananaH= ten-faced - Ravana; snigdha vaiduurya samkaasha= [his body] smooth, Lapis, similar in shine; tapta kaancana bhuuSaNaH= having burnt [refined,] golden, ornaments; dasha griivaH vimshati bhujaH= with ten, throats [heads,] twenty, arms; darshaniiya pari cChadaH = with good-looking [spectacular,] over, coverings [regalia]; tridasha ariH= gods', adversary; muni indra ghnaH= sages, eminent, cutthroat; dasha shiirSa adri raaT iva = ten, heads [pinnacles,] mountain, king, who is similar to; such a; saH raakSasa adhipaH= he that, demons, chief; kaama gam ratham aasthaaya= by wish, rideable, chariot, seated in; ambare= in sky; vidyut maNDalavaan= one with lightning flashes, and with such an area around it; sa balaaka= that is with, [flights of]cranes; meghaH iva = cloud, as with; shushubhe= shone forth.
Dasha-aanana, the decahedral demon, whose complexion like the smoothened Lapis-gem is lustrous, whose regalia that comprise white long-furred fans, white parasol and the like is spectacular, whose ornaments made out of refined gold are glittering, who similar to a kingly mountain with ten pinnacles and crags by way of his ten heads and twenty arms is gorgeous, and such a chief of demons who by that way is an adversary of gods and cutthroat of eminent-sages, seated in a nitid golden chariot that is rideable by the wish of its steersman, he shone forth like a black-cloud fringed with the streaks of lightning and rimmed with flights of cranes. [3-35-8, 9, 10]
Here the cloud metaphors with Ravana, the streaks of lightning with the silvery flashes of his regalia, and the decorated chariot with the flight of cranes.
sa shailam saagara anuupam viiryavaan avalokayan |
naanaa puSpa phalair vR^ikSair anukiirNam sahasrashaH || 3-35-11
11. viiryavaan= dauntless one; saH= he that Ravana; shailam sahasrashaH= mountain, in thousands; naanaa puSpa phalaiH vR^ikSaiH= with various, flowered, fruited, trees; anu kiirNam= interspersed; saagara anuupam= ocean's, costal-delta area; ava lokayan = while viewing, - he proceeded.
That dauntless Ravana forged ahead while viewing the area along the coastline which is interspersed with thousands of mountains and which is with variously flowered and fruited trees. [3-35-11]
shiita ma.ngala toyaabhiH padminiibhiH sama.ntataH |
vishaalaiH aashrama padaiH vedimadbhiH ala.nkR^itam || 3-35-12
12. shiita mangala toyaabhiH= with cool, clean, waters; padminiibhiH= with lotus-lakes; vedimadbhiH= having Fire-altars; vishaalaiH aashrama padaiH= with extensive, hermitage, thresholds; samantataH alankR^itam= everywhere, bedecked with - seeing them he proceeded.
Everywhere the coastland is bedecked with lotus-lakes containing clean and cool waters, and with extensive thresholds of hermitages containing Fire-altars. [3-35-12]
kadalya aTavi sa.mshobham naalikera upashobhitam |
saalaiH taalaiH tamaalaiH ca tarubhiH ca supuSpitaiH || 3-35-13
13. kadalya aTavi samshobham= with banana, orchards - plantation, gleaming with; naalikera upashobhitam= coconut trees, glistening with; saalaiH taalaiH tamaalaiH ca tarubhiH ca supuSpitaiH= saala, palm, tamaala, trees, as well, well, blossomed.
Entire coast is gleaming with banana plantation and glistening with coconut trees, and the saala, palm, and tamaala trees are also in full blossom. [3-35-13]
atyanta niyata aahaaraiH shobhitam parama R^iSibhiH |
naagaiH suparNaiH ga.ndharvaiH ki.nnaraiH ca sahasrashaH || 3-35-14
jita kaamaiH ca siddhaiH ca caaraNaiH ca upashobhitam |
aajaiH vaikhaanasaiH maaSaiH vaalakhilyaiH mariicipaiH || 3-35-15
14. naagaiH suparNaiH gandharvaiH= with reptiles, birds, gandharva-s; sahasrashaH= kinnara's ca= with thousands of, kinnaraiH, as well; aajaiH= with Brahma's brainchildren; vaikhaanasaiH= with Vaikhanasa sages; maaSaiH= with sage of Maasha descendents; mariici paiH= with Mariicipa-s, sages that dink moonbeams; vaala khilyaiH= with, Vaalakhilya sages; atyanta niyata aahaaraiH= those with highly, controlled, food-habits; parama R^iSibhiH= with eminent, sages; shobhitam= brightened with - coastal area; jita kaamaiH siddhaiH ca= conquered, desires [self-denying,] also, with Siddha-s; caaraNaiH ca= Caarana-s, also with; upashobhitam= coast is - refulgent.
It is brightened up with thousands of reptiles and birds, with those many celestial beings that frequent the earth like gandharva-s, kinnaraa-s. And with eminent sages who have highly controlled food-habits, as well. It is also refulgent with the self-denying Siddha-s, Carana-s, and with sages that are the brainchildren of Brahma, namely Vaikhanasa-s, Maasha-s, Vaalakhilya-s, Mariicipa-s. [3-35-14, 15]
The details about these sages are given in the 6th chapter of this Aranya Kanda when these categories of sages meet Rama requesting protection from demons.
divya aabharaNa maalyaabhiH divya ruupaabhiH aavR^itam |
kriiDaa rati vidhij~naabhiH apsarobhiH sahasrashaH || 3-35-16
16. divya aabharaNa maalyaabhiH= with divine, ornaments, garlands; divya ruupaabhiH = with divine, aspects; kriiDaa rati vidhi j~naabhiH= game of, sex, methods, experts in; sahasrashaH apsarobhiH = in thousands, by apsara-s; aavR^itam= pervaded with.
With thousands of celestial maidens divine in their mien, namely apsara-s, who are prettified with divine ornaments and garlands, and who are also the experts in the methodical sex-games that seaside is pervaded. [3-35-16]
sevitam deva patniibhiH shriimatiibhiH upaasitam |
deva daanava sanghaiH ca caritam tu amR^ita ashibhiH || 3-35-17
17. shriimatiibhiH deva patniibhiH= by propitious, gods, wives of; sevitam= [seashore] is adored; amR^ita ashibhiH= on ambrosia, thrive upon [or, who strive for]; deva sanghaiH ca caritam= gods, assemblages, frequented by; [amR^ita arthibhiH= for ambrosia, who strive for]; by such; daanava upaasitam tu= demon's, groups, patronised, even.
That seacoast is adored by the propitious wives of gods and frequented by the assemblages of gods who thrive upon ambrosia, and even patronised by demons that strive for ambrosia. [3-35-17]
The demons did not get their share of amR^ita 'divine elixir' therefore they cannot be called amR^ita ashibhiH 'ambrosia consumers.' As such, some other mms contain this expression amR^ita arthibhiH 'desirers of ambrosia...' the demons. They also frequent those coasts along with gods.
ha.msa kraunca plava aakiirNam saarasaiH sa.mpraNaaditam |
vaiduurya prastaram snigdham saa.ndram saagara tejasaa || 3-35-18
18. hamsa kraunca plava aakiirNam= with swans, ruddy-gees, frogs, spread out; saarasaiH sam pra Naaditam= by saarasa water-fowls, very, much, noisy; vaiduurya prastaram= Lapis-gem like, stones, overlain; saagara tejasaa= by ocean's, ambience; saandram= sludgy; snigdham= smooth.
It is spread with swans, ruddy-gees and frogs, and there the waterfowls are very noisy, and stones overlain on the coast are like lapis-gems, and with the ambience of ocean that whole delta is appearing smooth and sludgy. [3-35-18]
paaNDuraaNi vishaalaani divya maalya yutaani ca |
tuurya giita abhijuSTaani vimaanaani sama.ntataH || 3-35-19
tapasaa jita lokaanaam kaamagaan abhisa.mpatan |
gandharva apsarasaH caiva dadarsha dhanadaanujaH || 3-35-20
19, 20. abhisampatan - abhi sam patan= towards, quickly, falling - while quickly going; dhanada anujaH= Kubera's, brother - Ravana; tapasaa jita lokaanaam= by asceticism, of those who acquired, [higher] worlds; paaNDuraaNi vishaalaani= whitish, widish; divya maalya yutaani ca= divine, flowery-tassels, having, also; tuurya giita abhijuSTaani= musical notes, singing, resonating; kaama gaan vimaanaani= = by wish, moving, aircrafts - of deified souls; apsarasaH caiva= gandharva-s, apsara-s, also thus - in those aircrafts, where gandharva-s are singing, and apsara-s are dancing; samantataH dadarsha= everywhere, Ravana has seen.
While Ravana, the brother of Kubera, is quickly transiting he saw everywhere the whitish and widish aircrafts belonging to the deified souls who acquired higher worlds, and from those aircrafts adorned with divine flowery tassels and piloted by the wish of their steersmen, instrumental and vocal music is resonating, and gandharva-s are singing and apsara-s are dancing in them. [3-35-19, 20]
niryaasa rasa muulaanaam ca.ndanaanaam sahasrashaH |
vanaani pashyan saumyaani ghraaNa tR^ipti karaaNi ca || 3-35-21
21. niryaasa rasa muulaanaam= oozing, fluid [resin,] at bases; candanaanaam= of sandalwood trees; saumyaani= soothingly; ghraaNa tR^ipti karaaNi ca= sense of smell, satisfying to, also; sahasrashaH vanaani pashyan = in thousands, woodlands, while observing - Ravana proceeded.
Ravana proceeded while observing thousands of woodlands with sandalwood trees that are soothing and satisfying the sense of smell, and that oozed sweet-smelling resin at their bases. [3-35-21]
aguruuNaam ca mukhyaanaam vanaani upavanaani ca |
takkolaanaam ca jaatyaanaam phalaanaam ca sugandhinaam || 3-35-22
22. mukhyaanaam aguruuNaam ca vanaani= noteworthy, aloe vera plants, forests of; upavanaani ca= woodlands, also; takkolaanaam= of Takkola trees; phalaanaam ca su gandhinaam= with fruits of, also, aromatic ones; jaatyaanaam= of nutmeg trees; he saw while going.
He also observed on his way the forests and woodlands containing the noteworthy aloe plants, Takkola trees, and the nutmeg trees that are with fruits and aromatic, as well. [3-35-22]
puSpaaNi ca tamaalasya gulmaani maricasya ca |
muktaanaam ca samuuhaani shuSyamaaNaani tiirataH || 3-35-23
23. tamaalasya puSpaaNi ca = of Tamaala trees - cassia, at flowers, also; maricasya gulmaani ca= of pepper, shrubberies, also; tiirataH= along seashore; shuSyamaaNaani = that are desiccating; muktaanaam samuuhaani ca = of pearls [of oysters,] heaps, also - he saw.
Also seen are the flowers of Tamaala trees, shrubberies of pepper, and heaps of desiccating pearl-oysters along the seashore. [3-35-23]
shailaani pravaraan caiva pravaala nicayaan tathaa |
kaa.ncanaani ca shR^i.ngaaNi raajataani tathaiva ca || 3-35-24
24. shailaani pra varaan caiva= boulders, very best ones - peaking, also thus; [sha~NkhAnAM prastara.n caiva= conch shells, heaps of, also thus]; tathaa= like that; pravaala nicayaan = coral, reefs of; kaancanaani raajataani ca= golden, silvern, also - suggesting their ores inside; shR^ingaaNi= also, crests; tathaiva ca= like that, even.
Thus, he saw the peaking boulders, like that the reefs of corals, and like that also at the mountains that have golden and silvern crests. [3-35-24]
prasravaaNi manoj~naani prasannaani adbhutaani ca |
dhana dhaanya upapannaani strii ratnaiH aavR^itaani ca || 3-35-25
hasti ashva ratha gaaDhaani nagaraaNi vilokayan |
25, 26a. manoj~naani prasannaani adbhutaani prasravaaNi= delightful, serene, marvellous, cascades; [or, manoj~naani prasravaaNi= delightful, cascades; prasannaani adbhutaani hradaani ca= serene, marvellous, lakes, also;] dhana dhaanya upapannaani= wealth, grain, endowed with; strii ratnaiH aavR^itaani ca= women, gemlike, spread with, also; hasti ashva ratha gaaDhaani= elephants, horses, chariots, replete with; nagaraaNi vilokayan= cities, while viewing at - he proceeded.
On seeing the delightful, serene, and marvellous cascades, and cities that are abundant in wealth and agricultural produce, and abundant with gemlike womenfolk, and that are replete with elephants, horses, and chariots, Ravana proceeded further. [3-35-25, 26a]
tam samam sarvataH snigdham mR^idu sa.msparsha maarutam || 3-35-26
anuupe sindhu raajasya dadarsha tridiva upamam |
26b, 27a. sarvataH samam snigdham= everywhere, land is levelly, smoothly; that has; mR^idu samsparsha maarutam= softly, touched, by light air; tridiva upamam= heaven, similar; sindhu raajasya= of rivers, king - of ocean; tam anuupe= that, deltas - areas on seacoast; dadarsha= Ravana observed.
Ravana observed the delta adjacent to seacoast of that kingly ocean to be uniform and smooth, while the light air breezing in there is soft for touch, thus it looked heavenly. [3-35-26b, 27a]
The word sindhu raja also means a sage by that name. Some ancient mms have this line as sa pashyannatha sa.mpraapta aashramam puNya karmaNaH | sindhuraajasya tu mune jaTaa maNDala dhaariNaH || 'On reaching there he saw the pious hermitage of an ancient sage named Sindhuraja, who had tufts of hair locks...' Then it means 'On seeing that hermitage of Sindhuraja, Ravana recollects the legend of Garuda that happened eras ago.'
tatra apashyat sa megha aabham nyagrodham munibhir vR^itam || 3-35-27
sama.ntaat yasya taaH shaakhaaH shata yojanam aayataaH |
27b, 28a. tatra= there; saH= he that Ravana; yasya= which - tree's; taaH shaakhaaH= those, branches; samantaat shata yojanam aayataaH= all over, hundred, yojana, in length; megha aabham= which tree is - cloudlike, in shine; munibhiH vR^itam= with sages, encompassing it - sages settled on that tree practising ascesis; nyagrodham= Indian Fig tree [banyan tree, Ficus benghalensis - the branches of which hang down and root themselves,]; apashyat = he saw.
There Ravana also saw a banyan tree which in sheen is like a black-cloud, and the branches of which are stretching all over for a hundred yojana-s in length, and on which sages made their abode for practising ascesis. [3-35-27b, 28a]
yasya hastinam aadaaya mahaa kaayam ca kacChapam || 3-35-28
bhakSaartham garuDaH shaakhaam aajagaama mahaabalaH |
28b, 29a. mahaabalaH= highly mighty; garuDaH= Garuda, the Divine Eagle; bhakSa artham= to dine, for the purposet; hastinam= an elephant; mahaa kaayam kacChapam ca = mammoth, bodied, tortoise, also; aadaaya= on taking - clawing; yasya= on which - tree's; shaakhaam aajagaama = on to tree branch, arrived - swooped to perch.
This is the tree on the branch of which once highly mighty Divine Eagle Garuda swooped to perch, clawing an elephant and a mammoth tortoise, for the purpose of dining them out on that tree-branch. [3-35-28b, 29a]
One yojana is 900 miles, where one yojana is nine English miles. The legendary version is that the elephant and tortoise are engaged in a fierce fight though none of them is a prey to the other, and seeing them and to teach a lesson to such causeless quarrellers, Garuda flies in and claws both and searches for a place to feast on them. Finding this tree worthwhile to have a leisure dinner he dashes on to one branch.
tasya taam sahasaa shaakhaam bhaareNa patagottamaH || 3-35-29
suparNaH parNa bahulaam babha.nja atha mahaabalaH |
29b, 30a. pataga uttamaH= among birds, the best - Garuda; mahaabalaH= highly mighty - with high impetuous Garuda; su parNaH= one with - excellent, wings - Garuda, the eagle; tasya= of its - tree's; taam parNa bahulaam shaakhaam= that, with leaves, many - that branch full with leaves; atha = then; bhaareNa sahasaa babhanja= owing to his weight, suddenly, broke - while descending rapidly.
While descending rapidly then that best bird among birds Garuda suddenly broke that tree's branch which is full with leaves, owing to the impact of his high impetuosity. [3-35-29b, 30a]
tatra vaikhaanasaa maaSaa vaalakhilyaa mariicipaaH || 3-35-30
ajaa babhuuvuH dhuumraaH ca sa.ngataaH paramarSayaH |
30b, 31a. vaikhaanasaa maaSaa, mariicipaaH = Vaikhanasa-s, Maasha-s, Vaalakhilya-s, Mariicipa-s; ajaaH= Aja-s; dhuumraaH ca= Dhuumraa-s, also; parama rSayaH= eminent-sages; tatra= there - adhering to that branch; sangataaH= collectively; babhuuvuH= are there.
Adhering to that tree-branch there are eminent sages like, Vaikhanasa-s, Maasha-s, Vaalakhilya-s, Mariicipa-s, Aja-s, and even sages like Dhuumraa-s that thrive on fumes and smokes are there, and there they are collectively practising asceticism upside down while clasping branches with their legs. [3-35-30b, 31a]
teSaam dayaaartham garuDaH taam shaakhaam shata yojanaam || 3-35-31
bhagnam aadaaya vegena tau ca ubhau gaja kacChapau |
31b, 32a. garuDaH= Garuda; teSaam dayaaartham = for their, grace's sake; shata yojanaam taam bhagnam shaakhaam = of hundred, yojana-length, that, broken, tree-branch; tau ubhau gaja kacChapau ca = those, two, elephant, tortoise also; aadaaya= on taking; vegena [jagaama]= quickly, [he went - to relocate the sages - verse finishes later.]
For the sake of the grace of those sages Garuda took flight from that tree, grasping that broken tree-branch of a hundred yojana length along with those pendulous sages with his beak, and both of the elephant and tortoise with both of his claws. [3-35-31b, 32a]
eka paadena dharma aatmaa bhakSayitvaa tat aamiSam || 3-35-32
niSaada viSayam hatvaa shaakhayaa patagottamaH |
praharSam atulam lebhe mokSayitvaa mahaamuniin || 3-35-33
32b, 33. dharmaaatmaa= virtue-souled one; pataga uttamaH= among birds, the best - supreme bird Garuda; tat aamiSam= that, meat [of elephant and tortoise]; eka paadena bhakSayitvaa= with one, foot, having consumed; shaakhayaa = with tree branch; niSaada viSayam hatvaa= tribesmen's, province, having destroyed; mahaa muniin mokSayitvaa = great-sages, having released, rescued - in a safe place; atulam praharSam lebhe= incomparable, happiness, he gained.
That virtue-souled Garuda consumed the meat of his prays, namely the elephant and the giant tortoise with a single foot, and destroyed the province of tribesmen with the same broken tree branch, and thus that supreme bird Garuda gained an incomparable happiness in rescuing those great-sages. [3-35-32b, 33]
Garuda held tortoise and elephant in two claws in the first instance and when to settle down on tree branch he transferred one pray from one claw to the other and held both of them by one claw and with the other free claw he caught hold of the tree branch. But it broke under his weight, and then suddenly without making it to fall on ground he grasped that branch with his beak and took to flight. While flying in sky he held both the preys in claw, and the tree branch into the other. Then he started to eat his preys in sky with one claw, still upholding the branch from falling. Seeing this feat of Garuda, the sages clinging to that tree branch bless him to be successful in his next mission and leave that branch. When that tree branch is free from sages, Garuda throws it on a province of some antagonistic tribal community, by weight of which the whole of that tribal community is destroyed. This is one way of telling the myth.
sa tena tu praharSeNa dviguNii kR^ita vikramaH |
amR^ita aanayanaartham vai cakaara matimaan matim || 3-35-34
34. matimaan= heedful one; saH= he that Garuda; tena praharSeNa tu = with that, happiness but; dvi guNii kR^ita vikramaH= with two, multiplied - double, rendered, valour - his valour became twice as much - as sages blessed for rescuing them; amR^ita aanayana artham vai= ambrosia, bringing - from heaven, for the purpose of, indeed; cakaara matim= made, his mind - resolved.
When his valour has become twice as much with that happiness that heedful Garuda indeed resolved to bring ambrosia from heaven. [3-35-34]
ayo jaalaani nirmathya bhittvaa ratna gR^iham varam |
mahendra bhavanaat guptam aajahaara amR^itam tataH || 3-35-35
35. ayaH jaalaani= iron-grid guard; nir mathya= completely, on smashing; ratna varam gR^iham bhittvaa = unbreakable like - diamond, best - strong, room, on crashing; tataH= then; mahendra bhavanaat= Mahendra's, from palace; guptam= safeguarded; amR^itam aajahaara= ambrosia, plundered.
Smashing the guard of iron-grid completely and crashing the unbreakable diamond -like strongroom in which the ambrosia is safeguarded, then Garuda carried off ambrosia from the palace of Indra. [3-35-35]
tam maharSi gaNaiH juSTam suparNa kR^ita lakSaNam |
naamnaa subhadram nyagrodham dadarsha dhanada anujaH || 3-35-36
36. dhanada anujaH= Kubera's, brother Ravana; maharSi gaNaiH juSTam= at it [tree,] great-sages, by assemblages of, sought-after; suparNa kR^ita lakSaNam= by best-winged Garuda, deed, signs - betokens Garuda's actions; naamnaa subhadram= by name, Subhadra - named as; tam nyagrodham dadarsha= that, banyan tree, Ravana saw - and proceeded.
Ravana on his way saw such a banyan tree named as Subhadra which is a much sought after tree for assemblages of great sages, and which betokens the deeds of that best-winged Garuda. [3-35-36]
tam tu gatvaa param paaram samudrasya nadii pateH |
dadarsha aashramam ekaa.nte puNye ramye vanaa.ntare || 3-35-37
37. nadii pateH samudrasya = rivers, lord, of ocean; tam param paaram= to its, other, shore; gatvaa = on going; ramye puNye vana antare= scenic, sacred, in forest, interiors of; kaante = pleasing [or, ekaante= in solitude]; aashramam dadarsha = hermitage, Ravana saw.
On going to the other side of the lord of rivers, namely ocean, Ravana saw a pleasing hermitage in the sacred and scenic interior of the forest. [3-35-37]
tatra kR^iSNa ajina dharam jaTaa valkala dhaariNam |
dadarsha niyata aahaaram maariicam naama raakSasam || 3-35-38
38. tatra= at that place,; kR^iSNa ajina dharam= black, deer-skin, wearing; jaTaa valkala dhaariNam = tufts of hair, jute-cloths, wearing one; niyata aahaaram= one with controlled, diet; maariicam naama raakSasam= Maareecha, named, demon; dadarsha= Ravana saw.
At that place Ravana saw the demon named Maareecha, wearing jute-clothes and black deerskin and tufts of hairs, and the one with regulated diet. [3-35-38]
sa raavaNaH samaagamya vidhivat tena rakSasaa |
maariicena arcito raajaa sarva kaamaiH amaanuSaiH || 3-35-39
39. raajaa saH raavaNaH= king, he that, Ravana; samaagamya= is approached - welcomed by Maareecha; rakSasaa tena maariicena= by demon, that, Maareecha; a + maanuSaiH= with super, humanly [not subhuman]; sarva kaamaiH= with all, offerings; vidhivat arcitaH= customarily, Ravana is adored - entertained.
That demon Maareecha welcomed the king Ravana and customarily entertained him catering all the offerings that are beyond the scope of humans. [3-35-39]
tam svayam puujayitvaa ca bhojanena udakena ca |
arthopahitayaa vaacaa maariico vaakyam abraviit || 3-35-40
40. maariicaH= Maareecha; tam= him [Ravana]; bhojanena udakena ca= with meals, and with drinking water [offering]; svayam puujayitvaa ca= in person, venerating - entertaining, also; artha upahitayaa vaacaa= with significance, connotative, with words; vaakyam abraviit= sentence, spoke.
On personally offering meals and drinking water, and venerating him properly Maareecha spoke this sentence to Ravana which is connotative of significance. [3-35-40]
kaccit te kushalam raajan la.nkaayaam raakshaseshvara |
kena arthen punaH tvam vai tuurNam eva iha aagataH || 3-35-41
41. raakshasa iishvara = oh, demons, king; te lankaayaam kushalam kaccit= in your, Lanka, safe, isn't it; raajan= oh, king; tvam kena arthena= you, by which, reason; punaH tuurNam eva iha aagataH= again, in a trice, only, here, came.
"Oh, king of the demons, is everything well with your Lanka? Oh, king, for what reason you have put in an appearance again, that too in a trice? [3-35-41]
This statement contains 'why you have come again?' and taking hold of this word, 'again...' some, who hold that the episode of Akampana is justifiable, say that the episode of Akampana is not interpolated but the original work of Valmiki. For this, the ex-party says that when a whole of chapter is included, inclusion of one word 'again...' is not a bothersome affair to the mythologists or interpolators. When it is questioned that interspersing Akampana's episode defeats the spectacular entry of Ravana, the defendants say that the antagonists need not be given such priorities. So also, Vali's Kishkindha is not portrayed in a spectacular way when Sugreeva attacked Vali for the first time, but it is detailed in the second round, to some extent, and fully when Lakshmana enters it.
In this episode, a jump of event to Garuda's exploits may be jerky, but it is questioned when can Ravana recollect about Garuda's might, why does he ignore still mightier Vishnu. Ravana's continuous fear for Vishnu made him to think of Garuda - that too, on seeing Subhadra, the banyan tree, and that too - while going to kidnap Seetha.
The path through which Ravana coursed is towards Himalayas, where an idolatry place called deva bhuumi is said to be earmarked for higher souls. When Rama hit Maareecha, he fell far off from the ritual place of Vishwamitra. That place is said to be on northern side of Himalayas. Some ancient mms contain this verse which also tell about that place as deva bhuumi and it is on the northern side of kuru i.e., kurukhsetra where Great War of Maha Bharata occurred: uttarnžca kurØn pažyan pažyan caiva nagottamn | deva dnava sanghai× ca sevitam hi am®ta arthibhi× ||
evam ukto mahaatejaa maariicena sa raavaNa |
tataH pashcaat idam vaakyam abraviit vaakya kovidaH || 3-35-42
42. maariicena= by Maareecha; evam uktaH= thus, who is spoken to; mahaatejaa vaakya kovidaH= highly radiant one, sentence making, expert in - eloquent one; saH raavaNa= he, that Ravana; tataH pashcaat= then, after; idam vaakyam abraviit= this, sentence, spoke [to Maareecha.]
When Maareecha spoke to him thus, that highly radiant and eloquent Ravana then afterwards spoke this sentence to Maareecha. [3-35-42]
iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye araNya kaaNDe pa.nca tri.mshaH sargaH
Thus, this is the 35th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
© July, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : July 04]