Chapter [Sarga] 36


Ravana seeks Maareecha's help to abduct Seetha. He asks Maareecha to assume the shape of a golden-deer and lure Seetha, and then Seetha asks Rama and Lakshmana to fetch that golden-deer. If Rama and Lakshmana are distracted from the hermitage, Ravana can safely abduct Seetha. Listening to this Maareecha is struck dead, because he is already struck with the arrow of Rama when he was in Tataka forest. As such, Maareecha tries to explain Ravana about Rama's quintessence.

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mrca ryatm tta vacanam mama bhata |
rto asmi mama ca rtasya bhavn hi param gati || 3-36-1

1. taata maariica= oh, sire, Maareecha; bhaaSataH mama vacanam shruuyataam= as I speak, my, sentence, listen - give attention; aartaH asmi anguished one, I am; aartasya mama= anguished one, for me; bhavaan paramaa gatiH hi= you are, ultimate, course, isn't it.

"Give attention to my words as I speak, oh, sire, Maareecha, I am an anguished one, and when I am in such an anguish you are the ultimate course to me, isn't so." Thus Ravana started addressing Maareecha.  [3-36-1]

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jne tvam janasthne bhrt yatra kharo mama |
daa ca mahbhu svas rpaakh ca me || 3-36-2
triir ca mahtej rkasa piita aana |
anye ca bahava r labdha lak nicar || 3-36-3
vasanti mat niyogena adhivsam ca rkasa |
bdhamn mahraye munn ye dharma cria || 3-36-4

2, 3, 4. mama bhraataa kharaH= my, brother, Khara; mahaabaahuH duuSaNaH ca= might armed, Duushana, even; svasaa shuurpaNakhaa ca= sister, Shuurpanakha, even; mahaatejaa pishita ashanaH raakSasaH trishiraaH ca= highly fiery one, raw-flesh, devourer, demon, Trishira, also; and; shuuraaH= braves ones; labdha lakSaaH= those who obtained, target - those that can hit target without missing; anye bahavaH nishaacaraaH raakSasaH= other, numerous, night-walkers, demons; mat niyogena= by me, assigned; mahaa araNye= in great-forest; dharma caariNaH muniin baadhamaanaa= righteousness, treaders in, sages, while torturing; janasthaane= in Janasthaana; [yathaa= as to how]; adhivaasam vasanti= in residency, are residing; tvam jaaniiSe= you are, aware of.

"You are aware as to how my brother Khara, and the mighty armed Duushana, also my sister Shuurpanakha, and even the highly fiery demon and devourer of raw-flesh Trishira, and even numerous other night-walking demons who are cocksure of hitting their targets have made Janasthaana as their residency, and while residing there they put the sages of that great forest that tread a righteous path to torture, of course, all this as assigned by me. [3-36-2, 3, 4]

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caturdaa sahasri rakasm bhma karmam |
rm labdha lakm khara citta anuvartinm || 3-36-5
te tu idnm janasthne vasamn mahbal |

5. bhiima karmaNaam= of fiendish, exploits; shuuraaNaam= braving ones; labdha lakSaaNaam= attained, targets - marks-demons - or, the possessors, of qualities to pick up quarrels, troublemakers to sages; khara citta anuvartinaam= Khara's, wishes, followers of; rakSasaam= of demons; caturdasha sahasraaNi= fourteen, thousand; [tvam jaaniiSe= you are, aware of; you are equally aware of.]

"You are equally aware of the stationing fourteen thousand braving demons in Janasthaana, who are the followers of the wish of Khara, who are with fiendish exploits, and who are the troublemakers to the sages of Dandaka forest or to the intruders therein, aren't you. [3-36-5]

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sagat parama yatt rmea saha sayuge || 3-36-6
nn astra prahara khara pramukha rkasa |

6, 7a. janasthaane vasamaanaa= in Janasthaana, who are residing; mahaabalaaH= great-mighty ones; te tu= they, on their part; khara= Khara; pra mukha= verily, in front - that are lead by Khara - others; raakshasaH= demons; idaaniim= now - recently; parama aayattaaH= inordinately, preparing - themselve; naanaa shastra praharaNaaH= with diverse, weapons, those weapons that assault - assault and battery; sanyuge= in combat; raameNa saha= Rama, with; sangataaH= met - had an encounter with Rama.

"But recently those great mighty demons that are the residents of Janasthaana, namely Khara and others, preparing themselves inordinately and wielding diverse weapons and assaulters, for their part had an encounter with Rama in a combat. [3-36-6, 7a]

This episode is narrated in chapter 33, i.e., the episode of Akampana, but there is a difference in the way of Ravana's narration at this place than the previous one. This is another point to discuss whether Akampana's episode is an original work or an interpolation.

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tena sajta roea rmea raa mrdhani || 3-36-7
anuktv paruam kicit arair vypritam dhanu |

7b, 8a. sam jaata roSeNa= well emerged, rancour - rancour tiding in him; tena raameNa= by him, by Rama; raNa muurdhani= in combat, vanguard of; paruSam kimcit an+ uktvaa= scathing remark, at the least, without, saying; dhanuH sharaiH vyaapaaritam= bow, with arrows, brought into play.

"With rancour tiding in him, and without making any scathing remark in the least, that Rama brought his bow into play with arrows in the van of the combat. [3-36-7b, 8a]

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caturdaa sahasri rakasm ugra tejasm || 3-36-8
nihatni arai dptai mnuea padtin |

8b, 9a. padaatinaa= by a foot-soldier; maanuSeNa= by a human; ugra tejasaam rakSasaam= flaring, fieriness, demons of; caturdasha sahasraaNi= fourteen, thousand; diiptaiH sharaiH ni hataani= with fiery, arrows, completely wiped out.

"But that foot-soldier, that too, a human, has completely wiped out those fourteen-thousand demons with flaring fieriness with his fierce arrows. [3-36-8b, 9a]

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khara ca nihata sakhye daa ca niptita || 3-36-9
hatv triirasam ca api nirbhay daak kt |

9b, 10a. sankhye= in war; kharaH ca nihataH= Khara, also, is hewed down; duuSaNaH ca nipaatitaH= Duushana, also, is mowed down; trishirasam ca api= Trishira, also, even; hatvaa= on hacking down; daNDakaaH= Dandaka forest; nir bhayaa= free, from fear - of demons; kR^itaaH= is made.

"Khara is hewed down, Duushana is mowed down, and even Trishira is hacked down, thereof that Dandaka forest is rendered free from the fear of demons. [3-36-9b, 10a]

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pitr nirasta kruddhena sa bhrya ka jvita || 3-36-10
sa hant tasya sainyasya rma katriya psana |

10b, 11a. kruddhena pitraa= by infuriated, father; sa bhaaryaH= with, wife; nir astaH= without, foothold - put to flight - exiled; kSiiNa jiivitaH= diminished, lifespan - of that Rama; kSatriya paamsanaH= among Kshatriya-s, an ignoble one; tasya sainyasya hantaa= of that, [demonic-] army, he is the slaughterer of my demonic army.

"He who is put to flight by his infuriated father, and who came to Dandaka forest along with his wife, that ignoble Kshatriya is the slaughterer of that demonic army of mine, as his lifespan is diminished. [3-36-10b, 11a]

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ala karkaa tko mrkho lubdho ajita indriya || 3-36-11
tyakta dharma tu adharma tm bhtnm ahite rata |

11b, 12a. a + shiilaH= without, character - out of character; karkashaH= brutal; tiikSNaH= firestorm; muurkhaH= senseless; lubdhaH= selfish; a + jita indriyaH= un, conquered, senses; tyakta dharmaH= who discarded, righteousness; a + dharma aatmaa= un, righteous, souled one; bhuutaanaam= of all beings; a + hite rataH= in dis, service, delights in.

"He is out of character, brutal, firestorm, senseless, selfish, one with his senses unconquered and righteousness discarded, and he is an unrighteous soul just delighting in the disservice of all beings. [3-36-11b, 12a]

For those who hold Ravana as the devotee of Rama / Vishnu, as one of the two doorkeepers, namely Jaya and Vijaya, the above lines of Ravana will become irksome. For that Maheshvara Tiirtha has stepped in and gave a commentary that conceives Ravana as a true devotee of Rama.

kruddhaa pitraa nirastaH kim? 'is he necked out by his angry father?' No. To please Kaikeyi and the boon given to her by his father, Rama is unhoused. sa bhaarya= sabhaa aaryaH 'in assemblages, venerable one.' Rama is one with high esteem. kshiiNa jiivitaH kim? 'is his lifespan diminishing? No. He is eternal. kshatriya paamsana= kshatriyaan paati iti kshatriyaH paH 'because he protects Kshatriya-s he is a noble Kshatriya, and sa ca asau a.msanaH ca, amsana aaghaate 'enemy destroyer,' destroyer of enemies of Kshatriya-s. karkashaH 'brutal' to enemies, not to adherents, therefore he is: amuurkhaH, alubdhaH: he s not senseless, not selfish. adharma aatmaa kim? No, he is not an unrighteous person. And bhuutaanaam a hite a rataH, 'for beings, in disservice, not, delights': he does not delight in the disservice of all created beings.' Thus, he is Supreme Person.

But Rama Tilaka, on the other hand refutes this derivation stating that Ravana is not an out and out devotee of Rama, and these many adhyaadhaara-s 'ellipses' need not be brought in to justify mythological import to Ramayana. There is a section of pundits that argue Ramayana precedes 18 puraaNaa-s the 18 mythological treatises, and they refuse to believe that Ravana is NOT a devotee of Rama.

In anyway, the innuendo incorporated in certain verses has given rise to diverse commentaries, but the unity of Ramayana is kept up, either by Shaivaites or Vaishnavaite or other sects of Hindu thinking.

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yena vairam vin araye sattvam ritya kevalam || 3-36-12
kara nsa apahrea bhagin me virpit |
tasya bhrym janasthnt stm sura suta upamm || 3-36-13
nayiymi vikramya sahya tatra me bhava |

12b, 13, 14a. yena= by whom; vairam vinaa= enmity, without; kevalam sattvam aashritya= just, strength, depending upon; karNa naasa apahaareNa= ears, nose, due to stripping off; me bhaginii viruupitaa= my, sister, is disfigured; tasya= such a Rama's; bhaaryaam= wife is to be; sura suta upamaam= celestials, daughter, similar to - nymph like - nymphean Seetha; siitaam= Seetha; vikramya= holding sway; janasthaanaat= from Janasthaana; aanayiSyaami= lead her in - inveigle her; tatra= in that matter; araNye= in forest; me sahaayaH bhava= to me, as aide, you shall be.

"By whom my sister is disfigured stripping off her nose and ears, that too, without any enmity but just depending upon his own brawn, I would like to inveigle such a man's nymphean wife Seetha holding sway on her in Janasthaana, and in that matter I want you to be my aide in Dandaka forest. [3-36-12b, 13, 14a]

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tvay hi aham sahyena prvasthena mahbala || 3-36-14
bhrtbhi ca surn yuddhe samagrn na abhicintaye |
tat sahyo bhava tvam me samartho hi asi rkasa || 3-36-15

14b. mahaabala= oh, highly powerful one - Maareecha; sahaayena= as associate; paarshvasthena= having at my side; tvayaa= with you; and; bhraatR^ibhiH ca= with my brothers, also; yuddhe= in war; samagraan suraan= all of the, gods; aham na= I, do not; abhi cintaye= towards [them,] I think - I don't care them; hi= indeed; raakSasa= oh, demon Maareecha; [tat= therefore]; tvam me sahaayaH bhava= you, to me, aide, you become; samarthaH asi hi= capable [to render aid,] you are, indeed - in this venture of abducting Seetha.

"Oh, highly powerful Maareecha, with you and with my brothers standing by my side as my associates, I indeed care a damn for all of the gods if they are going to wage a war against me, therefore, oh, demon Maareecha, as you are capable of rendering aid you should indeed become my aide in this venture. [3-36-14b, 15]

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vrye yuddhe ca darpe ca na hi asti sada tava |
upyato mahn ro mah mya virada || 3-36-16

16. viirye= in valour; yuddhe ca= in war, even; darpe ca= in verve, also; tava sadR^ishaH na asti hi= to you, similar one, not, is there, indeed; you are; upaayataH [upaayaj~naH]== by trickery [by ideation]; mahaan shuuraH= tomost, stalwart; mahaa maaya vishaaradaH= matchless, illusive-tricks, expert.

"In valour, war and verve there is none similar to you, you are a topmost stalwart in trickery, and a matchless expert in illusive-tricks. [3-36-16]

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etat artham aham prpta tvat sampam nicara |
u tat karma shyye yat kryam vacant mama || 3-36-17

17. nishaacara= oh, nightwalker; etat artham= for that, reason; aham tvat samiipam praaptaH= I have, to your, near - nigh, come; saahaayye= in the course of helping; yat kaaryam= which, is to be done; tat karma= that, deed; mama vacanaat= by my, word - as I tell you, detail you; shR^iNu= you listen.

"I have come nigh of you only for that reason, oh, nightwalker, and listen to that deed which you have to do in the course of helping me as I detail you. [3-36-17]

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sauvara tvam mgo bhtv citro rajata bindubhi |
rame tasya rmasya sty pramukhe cara || 3-36-18

18. tvam= you; rajata bindubhiH= with silver, dots; citraH= astounding; sauvarNaH mR^igaH bhuutvaa= golden, you, deer, on becoming; tasya raamasya aashrame= his, of Rama, in hermitage; siitaayaaH pramukhe cara= Seetha's, before, - in front of, you move.

"On becoming an astounding golden deer with silver dots, you move in front of Seetha in the hermitage of that Rama. [3-36-18]

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tvm tu nisaayam st dv tu mga rpiam |
ghyatm iti bhartram lakmaam ca abhidhsyati || | 3-36-19

19. siitaa= Seetha; mR^iga ruupiNam= in deer, shape; tvaam dR^iSTvaa= you, on seeing; gR^ihyataam= lay hold of; iti bhartaaram lakSmaNam ca= thus, to husband, to Lakshmana, also; niH samshayam= without, doubt; abhi dhaasyati= forthwith bids.

"On seeing you in the shape of a deer, Seetha undoubtedly bids her husband forthwith, and even Lakshmana, saying, 'lay hold of it.' [3-36-19]

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tata tayo apye tu nye stm yath sukham |
nirbdho hariymi rhu candra prabhm iva || | 3-36-20

20. tataH= then; tayoH= of those two - Rama, Lakshmana; apa aaye= side, tracked - diverted; when it happened, and when; shuunye [pradeshe]= in lonely [place]; yathaa sukham= as, comfortably; nir aabaadhaH= without, being impeded; siitaam= Seetha will be; raahuH candra prabhaam iva= Rahu the planet, Moon's, shine, as with; hariSyaami= I wish to abduct;.

"Then on the diversion of those two, Rama and Lakshmana, I will comfortably and unimpededly abduct Seetha in that lonely place, as planet Rahu abducts the shine of moon. [3-36-20]

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tata pact sukham rme bhry haraa karite |
visrabdham prahariymi kta arthena antar tman || 3-36-21

21. tataH pashcaat= then, afterwards; bhaaryaa aaharaNa karshite= wife; by abduction, caught hold of - enervated; raame= in Rama - Rama will be; kR^ita arthena antar aatmanaa= fulfilled [gratified in the first instance,] volition, with an inner, soul; sukham visrabdham prahari Syaami= conveniently, surely, I wish to retaliate - Rama.

"Thereafter Rama will be enervated by the abduction of his wife, and then surely and conveniently I wish to retaliate him if he is going to come up against me, for my inner-soul will be firstly gratified with its volition, namely possessing Seetha." Thus Ravana requested Maareecha. [3-36-21]

Maheshvara Tiirtha expresses this in terms of Ravana's devotion to Rama. raame bhaaryaa haraNa karSite: raama ibha 'Rama, the elephant...' aaryaa 'a venerable one, Seetha...' haraNa karSite 'by abduction, harmed by...' adhyadhaara: mat shariiram elliptical: 'my body...' tataH 'thereby, by virtue of my act of abducting...' kR^ita arthena antaraatmanaa upalakshitaH san 'on my soul-cherished desire becoming fulfilled to get salvation...' paschaat 'thereafter...' visrabdham 'impeccably...' sukham = moksha, salvation, highest bliss...' prahariSyaami: prakarSeNa hariSyaami 'evidently I snatch off that bliss...'

"When I abduct that venerable Seetha, the wife of Elephant like Rama, my body gets harmed like an eclipsed moon, but my soul gets fulfilled as I desire eternal salvation, and I can get it evidently and impeccably at the hand of Rama, owing to the ill-virtue of my abduction of Seetha.

The eclipsing planet Rahu may hide moon temporarily by which the world looses moonshine for a while. If Ravana temporarily hides Seetha, as Rahu hides the moon, Rama, who metaphors with the three worlds, may be in gloom temporarily. But neither Rahu nor Ravana are illuminated or enlightened with the presence of the moonbeams of Seetha, alias Goddess Lakshmi, for they tried to seize that all-illuminating Moon/Seetha by force.

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tasya rma kathm rutv mrcasya mahtmana |
ukam samabhavat vaktram paritrasto babhva ca || 3-36-22

22. raama kathaam= Rama's, story - very word, mention of Rama; shrutvaa= on listening; mahaatmanaH tasya maariicasya= honest-souled one, his, of Maareecha; vaktram= mouth; shuSkam= dried up; sam abhavat= completely, became; pari trastaH babhuuva ca= fully, frightened, he became, even.

On listening the very word of Rama that honest-souled Maareecha's mouth is completely dried up, and he is fully frightened. [3-36-22]

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oau parilihan ukau netrai animiai iva |
mta bhta iva rta tu rvaam samut kata || 3-36-23

23. shuSkau oSTau= dried up, lips; pari lihan= over, licking -Maareecha wetting with tongue; a + nimiSaiH iva= without, wink, as if - he started goggling; netraiH= with eyes - looks; mR^ita bhuuta iva= lifeless, being, as if - wide-eyed like an about-to-die-animal; aartaH tu= agonised, on his part; raavaNam= at Ravana; samudaikshata [sam ut iikshataH= well, up, looked]= looked up, with raised and searching eyes.

Wetting dried up lips with his tongue he has become goggle-eyed almost like an about-to-die animal, and he agonisingly looked up at Ravana with winkless eyes. [3-36-23]

At the very word 'Rama' Maareecha is shuddered. danana samudrita vacanam karya rma abda ravaa mtrea santrasta hdayo mrca ktnjali evam uvca - dk From the time when he was firstly struck by Rama's arrow he retired to hermitage and no demonic activity is undertaken by Maareecha. But now Ravana is instigating, which leads Maareecha to his own end, of which he is perfectly aware.

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sa rvaam trasta viaa cet
mahvane rma parkramaja |
kta ajali tattvam uvca vkyam
hitam ca tasmai hitam tmana ca || 3-36-24

24. mahaa vane= in great [Tataka,] forest; raama paraakrama j~naH= Rama's, valour, knower [aware] of; saH= he that Maareecha; trasta viSaNNa cetaaat= by scare, sank, heart; kR^ita anjaliH= who made palm-fold; tasmai hitam= to him - to Ravana, beneficial; aatmanaH ca hitam ca= for himself, also, beneficial, also; tattvam vaakyam= factual, words; raavaNam= to Ravana; uvaaca= [started to] speak - to Ravana.

Maareecha's heart sank with scare as he is aware of Rama's valour when he was in the great forest of Tataka, thus suppliantly making palm-fold he started telling about factuality of Rama to Ravana, which is beneficial both to Ravana and to himself, as well, if only Ravana is heedful of it. [3-36-24]


iti vlmki rmyae di kvye araya ke a tria sarga

Thus, this is the 36th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Verse Locator for Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek : Chapter 36


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July, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : September 04]