Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek
Maareecha advises Ravana to stay away from Rama with his own unpleasant experience with Rama’s arrow when he was in Tataka forest, and portrays a gruesome picture of Rama to Ravana, asking him to not to meddle with Rama's affairs.
tat þrutv˜ r˜kÿasendrasya v˜kyam v˜kya viþ˜rada× |
pratyuv˜ca mah˜pr˜jño m˜rŸco r˜kÿaseþvaram || 3-37-1
1. raakSasa indrasya= demons, chief's; tat vaakyam shrutvaa= that, sentence - that idea of abduction, on hearing; vaakya vishaaradaH= sentence-making, expert in [articulator]; mahaa praaj~naH= well-informed; maariicaH= Maareecha; raakSasa iishvaram= to demons, lord; prati uvaaca= in reply, spoke - replied.
On hearing that idea of the chief of demons Ravana in abducting Seetha, Maareecha, a well-informed one and an articulator spoke to the lord of demons in reply. [3-37-1]
sulabh˜× puruÿ˜ r˜jan satatam priya v˜dina× |
apriyasya ca pathyasya vakt˜ þrot˜ ca durlabha× || 3-37-2
2. raajan= oh, king; priya vaadinaH puruSaa= pleasantly, talking, people; satatam sulabhaaH= always, easy - easy to get; a + priyasya= of un, pleasant - judgementally; pathyasya ca= recuperative insipid diet-like [suggestions,] also; vaktaa= who speaks them; or even; shrotaa ca= listener, also; dur labhaH= not, possible - impossible to get.
"It will always be easy to get people who talk pleasantly, oh, king, but it is impossible to get them who talk judgementally and give suggestions that may be apparently insipid, but that are recuperative, more so, it is impossible to get listeners of such advises. [3-37-2]
There are many who render advises without weighing pros and cons, but just to get along and please their master. There will be none to suggest expeditiously, though that suggestion presently will be unpleasant and unsavoury like a recuperative insipid diet, but in reality, it is result-oriented. Even if such an advisor suggests in earnest, he will have no listener who listens earnestly and effectuates it. So, listen to my words that may now be unsavoury, but will prove beneficial to you in long run, if you can foresee your future properly. Dharmaakuutam says: anena sva prayojana virodha sankay˜ r˜ja buddhi anus˜reõa vakt˜ro mantriõa× sulabh˜× - kintu anartha paryavas˜yino r˜jabuddhim tiraskritya þubhodarka vakt˜ro mantriõo durlabh˜ iti s¨citam - dk then the commentator goes on to quote vidura niiti from Maha Bharata, wherein it is said yo hi dharma sam˜þritya hatv˜ bhatru× priy˜rthe | apriy˜õi ˜ha pathy˜ni tena r˜j˜ sah˜yav˜n || sulabh˜× puruÿ˜ r˜jan satatam priya v˜dina× | apriyasya ca pathyasya vakt˜ þrot˜ ca durlabha× || The last two foots may be observed because they are similar to the above verse of Ramayana, by such similarities some hold the opinion that Maha Bharata is an explanation to Ramayana.
na n¨nam budhyase r˜mam mah˜vŸryam guõa unnatam |
ayukta c˜ra× capalo mahendra varuõa upamam || 3-37-3
3. a + yukta caaraH= not, having, by spies - exclusionary, desultory of spies; capalaH= impetuous; such as you are, you; mahaa viiryam= decidedly, dynamic one; guNa unnatam= by adeptness, exalted; mahendra varuNa upamam= [thunderous] Mahendra, [tempestuous] Varuna, God of Rain, alike - is Rama; nuunam na budhyase= definitely, you are not, apperceiving.
"Definitely you do not apperceive Rama who is decidedly dynamic and exaltedly adept, for you are impetuous and desultory in dealing with your spies, but that Rama is identical to the thunderous Mahendra and tempestuous Varuna, the Rain-god. [3-37-3]
api svasti bhavet t˜ta sarveÿ˜m bhuvi rakÿas˜m |
api r˜mo na saðkruddha× kury˜t lokam ar˜kÿasam || 3-37-4
4. taata= oh, boy; bhuvi= on earth; sarveSaam rakSasaam= for all, demons; svasti api bhavet= safety, will it be there; raamaH= Rama; samkruddhaH= highly enraged one; lokam= world; a + raakSasam= without, demons; api na kuryaat= will he make it.
"Oh, boy, will there be safety to all demons on earth? Or, that highly enraged Rama will render this world de-demonised! [3-37-4]
'...but for you...' 'Will you let the demons on earth live, or, would like to eradicate them through Rama, through your obsessions.' The second thought has come true when Rama eliminated all demons.
api te jŸvita ant˜ya na utpann˜ janak˜tmaj˜ |
api sŸt˜ nimittam ca na bhavet vyasanam mahat || 3-37-5
5. janaka aatmajaa= Janaka's daughter Seetha; te jiivita antaaya= your, life, for ending; api na utpannaa= even, not, took birth - has she taken birth; siitaa nimittam= Seetha, because of; mahat vyasanam= great, disaster; [mama vyasanam= for my, disaster]; api ca na bhavet= even, also, not, be there [will there be a disaster, so to speak.]
"Has this Seetha, the daughter of Janaka, taken birth to end your life, or what! And because of this Seetha will there be a great disaster, so to speak! [3-37-5]
api tv˜m Ÿþvaram pr˜pya k˜ma v®ttam niraðkuþam |
na vinaþyet purŸ laðk˜ tvay˜ saha sa r˜kÿas˜ || 3-37-6
6. kaama vR^ittam= in independent thinking, wrapped up - egocentric; nir ankusham= without, goad - rampant; such like you; tvaam iishvaram praapya= you, as lord, on getting; sa raakSasaa purii lankaa= along with, demons, city, Lanka; tvayaa saha= you, put together; na vinashyet api= not, doomed, even [will it be doomed or what.]
"Egocentric and rampant, such as you are, on acquiring you as her lord, will the City of Lanka be doomed along with her demons, and you put together, or what! [3-37-6]
tvat vidha× k˜ma v®tto hi du×þŸla× p˜pa mantrita× |
˜tm˜nam sva janam r˜ÿ÷ram sa r˜j˜ hanti durmati× || 3-37-7
7. kaama vR^ittaH= by wish, behaving - self-willed; duH shiilaH= ill, willed; paapa mantritaH= duSTam - Govindaraja= by evil, ensorcelled; dur matiH= malicious, in intent; tvat vidhaH= your, like; saH raajaa= that, king; aatmaanam= himself; sva janam= his own, people; raaSTram= city-state also; hanti hi= ruins, as a matter of (actual) fact.
"Any king of your like who is with a self-will, ill-will, ensorcelled by evil, and malicious in intent, that king alone ruins his own city-state, his own people, even himself, as a matter of actual fact. [3-37-7]
For this the commentator says: anena dur mantrita× k˜mavritto naya dveÿŸ r˜j˜ sakala mantri vargeõa aiþvaryen˜ saha naþyati iti uktam - - dk - - tath˜ ca k˜mandake - an˜tmav˜n naya dveÿŸ vardhaya ari sampada× | pr˜py˜ api mahad aiþvaryam saha tena vinaþyati || Dharmaakuutam being an encyclopedic commentary on Ramayana quotes Kamandaka etc., in such matters of dharma. The availability of the books quoted by the commentator of Dharmaakuutam in reprint is doubtful, where Dharmaakuutam itself is unavailable in full, in these days.
na ca pitr˜ parityakto na amary˜da× kathañcana |
na lubdho na ca du×þŸlo na ca kÿatriya p˜Õsana× || 3-37-8
na ca dharma guõair hŸnai× kausaly˜ ˜nanda vardhana× |
na ca tŸkÿõo hi bh¨t˜n˜m sarva bh¨ta hite rata× || 3-37-9
8. kausalyaa aananda vardhanaH= Kausalya's, delight, enhancer of - Rama; pitraa= by father; na ca pari tyaktaH= not, also, completely, forsaken; kathancana= in the least; a+maryaadaH= un, seemly; na= he is not; duH shiilaH= out of character; na= he is not; na ca lubdhaH= not, also, selfish; na ca kSatriya paamsanaH= not, either, Kshatriya, ignoble; dharma guNaiH hiinaiH= with righteous, attributes, a debased one; na ca= he is not, also; bhuutaanaam tiikSNaH na ca= towards living beings atrocious one, he is not, also; [or, sarveSaam= of all]; sarva bhuuta hite rataH= all, beings, in welfare, takes delight.
"Rama the enhancer of his mother Kausalya's happiness is completely forsaken by his father - no, he is not; there is unseemliness in him - no, not in the least; he is out of character - no; he is selfish - no; he is an ignoble Kshatriya - no, not at all; and he is neither a debased one insofar as the merits of righteousness are concerned, nor he is atrocious towards living beings, for he takes delight in the welfare of all beings. [3-37-8, 9]
vañcitam pitaram d®ÿ÷v˜ kaikeyy˜ satya v˜dinam |
kariÿy˜mi iti dharm˜tm˜ tata× pravrajito vanam || 3-37-10
10. satya vaadinam pitaram= truth, who is a proponent, such a father - Dasharatha; kaikeyyaa vancitam dR^iSTvaa= by Kaikeyi, outwitted, on seeing; dharmaatmaa= virtue-souled - Rama; ellipses: pitaram satya vaadinam - father, as truth, proponent; kariSyaami= I will make - I will prove that my father is the real proponent of truth; tataH= from there - from Ayodhya; vanam= to forest; pra vrajitaH= he neatly, journeyed.
"On seeing his father who is a proponent of truth, and whom Kaikeyi has outwitted, that virtue-souled Rama neatly decamped from Ayodhya saying that 'I will prove my father to be a real proponent of truth.' [3-37-10]
kaikeyy˜× priya k˜m˜rtham pitur daþarathasya ca |
hitv˜ r˜jyam ca bhog˜n ca praviÿ÷o daõýak˜ vanam || 3-37-11
11. kaikeyyaaH= of, Kaikeyi; pituH dasharathasya ca= of father, Dasharatha's, also; priya kaamaartham= cherished wish, for fulfilment of; raajyam ca bhogaan ca= kingdom, also, royal-comforts, even; hitvaa= on discarding; daNDakaa vanam praviSTaH= Dandaka, forest, he entered.
"Discarding the kingdom and even royal-comforts Rama entered Dandaka forest only to fulfil the cherish of Kaikeyi, viz., kingdom for her son Bharata, and even that of Dasharatha, viz., to remain loyal to his promise to Kaikeyi. [3-37-11]
na r˜ma× karkaþa× t˜ta na avidv˜n na ajita indriya× |
an®tam na þrutam caiva naiva tvam vaktum arhasi || 3-37-12
12. taata= oh, boy; raamaH karkashaH na= Rama, ruthless, he is not; na a+ vidvaan= un, scholarly one, he is not; a+ jita indriyaH na= un, conquered, [his] senses, he is not; a+ nR^itam= not, palpable - impalpable - are these slanders; na shrutam caiva= not, heard, also thus; [or, duH shrutam= bad things, heard by you]; tvam= you; =; na eva vaktum arhasi= not, this way, to speak of, apt of you.
"Rama is ruthless - no; an unscholarly one - no; unconquered are his senses - no; and oh, boy, it is unapt of you to speak of impalpable and unheard-of topics in this way. [3-37-12]
r˜mo vigrahav˜n dharma× s˜dhu× satya par˜krama× |
r˜j˜ sarvasya lokasya dev˜n˜m iva v˜sava× || 3-37-13
13. raamaH vigrahavaan dharmaH= Rama, embodiment, of righteousness; saadhuH= equable person; satya paraakramaH= truthfulness, is his valour; devaanaam vaasavaH iva= for gods, Indra, as with; sarvasya lokasya raajaa= for entire, world, he is king.
"Rama is the embodiment of righteousness, he is an equable person with truthfulness as his valour, and as with Indra to all gods he is the king of entire world. [3-37-13]
Rama's principles alone make him victorious, as he does not deviate from the path of righteousness. And by not deviating from the path of righteousness, he is truly valorous and the question of his defeat does not arise, because he will abide by his conscience.
katham nu tasya vaidehŸm rakÿit˜m svena tejas˜ |
icchase prasabham hartum prabh˜m iva vivasvata× || 3-37-14
14. tasya svena tejasaa= by his - Rama's, individual - proper, by resplendence; rakSitaam vaidehiim= protected, Vaidehi is; vivasvataH prabhaam iva= from Sun, resplendence, as with; prasabham= forcibly; hartum katham icChase nu= to rob, how, you wish, really.
"Rama's proper resplendence is protecting Vaidehi. How then you really wish to forcibly rob her off from Rama, as though wishing to rob the Sun of his resplendence. [3-37-14]
Incidentally, Prabha is the name of sun's brilliance and she is the wife of Sun, and if she is to be separated from sun, only an eternal gloom overcasts the world. Ravana has no doubt controlled natural forces like sun, moon, rivers etc., but not altogether eradicated or upturned their functions. Then, is it possible to Ravana and hosts of his demonic-adherents to thrive in an unnatural gloom? This is the doubt of Maareecha.
þara arciÿam an˜dh®ÿyam c˜pa khaýga indhanam raõe |
r˜ma agnim sahas˜ dŸptam na praveÿ÷um tvam arhasi || 3-37-15
15. shara arciSam= arrows, [akin to] jets of fire; an +aadhR^iSyam= not, to be meddled with - uninfringeable; caapa khaDga indhanam= bow, sword, as its fuel; raNe= in war; diiptam= blazing; raama agnim= Rama, [called] fire; sahasaa= rashly - recklessly; praveSTum= to enter into; tvam na arhasi= for you, not, apt of.
"Arrows as it jets of fire, bow and sword as it firewood that fire called Rama will be blazing in war, and it will be inapt of you to enter into such an uninfringeable fire, recklessly. [3-37-15]
dhanur vy˜dita dŸpta ˜syam þara arciÿam amarÿaõam |
c˜pa b˜õa dharam tŸkÿõam þatru sen˜ apah˜riõam || 3-37-16
r˜jyam sukham ca santyajya jŸvitam ca iÿ÷am ˜tmana× |
na ati ˜s˜dayitum t˜ta r˜ma antakam iha arhasi || 3-37-17
16. taata= oh, my boy; dhanuH vyaadita diipta aasyam= bow, gaping, inflaming, with mouth; shara arciSam= arrows, tongues of flame; a+marSaNam= not, tolerable one - insufferable; caapa baaNa dharam= bow, arrows, wielding; tiikshNam= fierce one; shatru senaa apahaariNam [prahaariNam= one who batters]= enemy, armies, stealer of - annihilator of; raama antakam= Rama named, Terminator; aatmanaH= of yours; iSTam= dear ones; raajyam sukham jiivitam ca= kingdom, comforts, life, also; samtyajya= on discarding; iha= now - at once; atyaasadayitum= ati aasaadayitum= much, nearing - to draw pretty nigh of him; na arhasi= not, apt of you.
"With the bow stretched to his ear becoming a gaping mouth spouting flames, arrows becoming tongues of fire spewed forth from that flaming mouth, he that Rama the reified Terminator will become fierce and insufferable when he wields bow and arrows, and oh, dear boy Ravana, it will be inapt of you to at once draw pretty nigh of such an annihilator of the armies of enemies, on discarding your kingdom, comforts and even the dear life of yours. [3-37-16, 17]
aprameyam hi tat tejo yasya s˜ janak˜tmaj˜ |
na tvam samartha× t˜m hartum r˜ma c˜pa ˜þray˜m vane || 3-37-18
18. saa janaka atmajaa= she, Janaka's, daughter [Seetha is]; yasya= which one's - which Rama's wife is; tat= that - resplendence; a +prameyam= not, measurable - inestimable; tejaH hi= resplendence, indeed; vane= in forest; raama caapa aashrayaam= Rama's, bow, who is safeguarded - Seetha; taam= her - Seetha; hartum= to steal; tvam na samarthaH= you are, not, capable.
"Which Rama's wife is Janaka's daughter that Rama is indeed an inestimable resplendence, and it will be incapable of you to steal Seetha while such a Rama's bow safeguards her in the forest, besides the firewall called his resplendence. [3-37-18]
This can be said 'Rama's resplendence is inestimable and Seetha is his wife.' But keeping the import of Seetha's words as at 3-9-15 'if fuel is available in adjacency of burning fire, the luminosity of the fire also enhances immensely,' and when the factor of resplendence is taken, it is not Rama's resplendence alone that is described, but Seetha's also. Again, it is not that some part of Rama's resplendence is taken out and put in Seetha. It is an indivisible radiance of that couple like that of Sun and his wife Prabha, as said earlier by Maareecha. Seetha is not directly said by her name but her father Janaka's name is brought in, because Janaka is both a raajarSi and brahmarSi Kingly-saint and Brahman-sage, as well. And Janaka is capable of saying idam brahmam idam kshaatram shaapat api sharaat api 'here is Brahma-hood and here is Kshatriya-hood, either by malediction or by arrow, whichever meetly of you, you can confront me.' This apart, it is said that 'a pertinent devotion to a god makes the devotee like that god alone.' shraddhayaa devo devatvam ashnute and Seetha is the devotee of Rama and she became one with Rama. Thereby, there is twofold resplendence, namely, that of Rama and that of Seetha, so it is inapt of you to make any useless effort when everything is firewalled.
tasya vai nara siÕhasya siÕha uraskasya bh˜minŸ |
pr˜õebhyo api priyatar˜ bh˜ry˜ nityam anuvrat˜ || 3-37-19
19. bhaaminii= that lady; simha uraskasya= lion, chested one's; nara simhasya= of man, the lion's - Rama's; praaNebhyaH api priyataraa bhaaryaa= by lives [of Rama,] even, dearest, wife; nityam tasya= always - in perpetuity, his - him alone; anu vrataa= following, avowed - avowed to follow him; vai= in truth.
"That lady Seetha is his wife, dearest than the lives of that lion-chested lion-man Rama, and in truth, she is avowed to follow him alone, in perpetuity. [3-37-19]
na s˜ dharÿayitum þaky˜ maithilŸ ojasvina× priy˜ |
dŸptasya iva huta ˜þasya þikh˜ sŸt˜ sumadhyam˜ || 3-37-20
20. maithilii= one belonging to Mithila - Seetha; ojasvinaH= of dynamic one - of Rama; priyaa= cherished - wife; su madhyamaa= good, waisted one - curvaceous one; saa siitaa= she, that Seetha; diiptasya hutaaashasya shikhaa iva= blazing, ritual fire's, spire, as with; dharSayitum= to intimidate - to abuse; na shakyaa= not, possible one.
"As the spire of blazing ritual fire cannot be abused, so also, she that curvaceous Maithili, the cherished wife of that dynamic Rama, is an impossibility for any abuse. [3-37-20]
kim udyamam vyartham imam k®tv˜ te r˜kÿas˜dhipa |
d®ÿ÷a× cet tvam raõe tena tat antam tava jŸvitam || 3-37-21
21. raakSasa adhipa= oh, demons, king; vyartham imam udyamam= futile, is this, effort; kR^itvaa= having made it; te kim= to you, what - what is the result; tvam raNe= you, in war; tena= by him - Rama; dR^iSTaH cet= seen, if; tava jiivitam tat antam= your, life, that, alone, ends - that glance itself ends your life.
"Oh, king of demons, What is the result in making such a futile effort? If that Rama glances at you in a given war that alone ends your life. [3-37-21]
The very start for any negative activity itself is self-ruinous to the starter. anena sarva anarthaka k˜raõa bh¨to balavat virodho na k˜rya iti s¨citam - and an ancient quote is said: tath˜ ca pr˜cŸn˜× - anucita karma ˜rambha× sva jana virodho balŸyas˜ spardh˜ | pramad˜ jane viþv˜so mrityu dv˜r˜õi catv˜ri || dk 'undesirable activity, starting that activity, too much of enmity with one's own people, too much belief in one's own womenfolk... are the four doors to death...' Hence, Maareecha is advising Ravana not to embark on a wrong foot, and even if Seetha is forcibly abducted, she cannot be possessed because she surrounded by a firewall, namely the resplendence of that couple.
jŸvitam ca sukham caiva r˜jyam caiva sudurlabham |
yat icchasi ciram bhoktum m˜ k®th˜ r˜ma vipriyam || 3-37-22
22. jiivitam ca sukham caiva= your life, also, comforts, also thus; su dur labham= highly, impossible, to achieve; raajyam caiva= kingdom, also thus; ciram bhoktum icChasi yat [yadi= if]= for a long, to enjoy, wish, which - if you wish; raama vi priyam= to Rama, un, pleasant; maa kR^ithaa= do not, do.
"If you cherish to take pleasure for a long time in your life, in your comforts and also thus in your kingdom, which kingdom is highly impossible to achieve, do not do anything unpleasant to Rama. [3-37-22]
sa sarvai× sacivai× s˜rdham vibhŸÿaõa purask®tai× |
mantrayitv˜ tu dharmiÿ÷hai× k®tv˜ niþcayam ˜tmana× |
doÿ˜õ˜m ca guõ˜n˜m ca sampradh˜rya bala abalam || 3-37-23
˜tmana× ca balam jñ˜tv˜ r˜ghavasya ca tattvata× |
hitam hi tava niþcitya kÿamam tvam kartum arhasi || 3-37-24
23. saH tvam= such as you are, you; dharmiSThaiH= with those that have righteous-bearing; vibhiiSaNa puras kR^itaiH= Vibheeshana, keeping ahead; sarvaiH sacivaiH saardham= with all, ministers, along with; mantrayitvaa= on deliberating; aatmanaH nishcayam kR^itvaa= on your own, decision, on making; doSaaNaam ca guNaanaam ca= wrongs, also, rights, also; aatmanaH ca= of your, also; bala abalam= strength, weakness; sampradhaarya= considering; raaghavasya ca= of Raghava, also; balam tattvataH j~naatvaa= capability, in reality, on making sure of; tava hitam nishcitya= to you, beneficial, on determining; kSamam= befitting - action; kartum= to do - to take up; arhasi= apt of you.
"Such as you are, you should firstly deliberate with all of your ministers that have a righteous bearing, duly keeping your brother Vibheeshana at the helm of affairs, and then you take a decision on your own considering rights and wrongs of the case, and bearing in mind about your own strengths and weakness, and even on making sure of Raghava's capability in its reality, and then it will be apt of you to take up befitting action that will be conducive to your interests. [3-37-24,25]
aham tu manye tava na kÿamam raõe
sam˜gamam kosala r˜ja s¨nun˜ |
idam hi bh¨ya× þ®õu v˜kyam uttamam
kÿamam ca yuktam ca niþ˜cara adhipa || 3-37-25
25. nishaacara adhipa= oh, nightwalker's, king; aham tu= I, on my part; tava= to you; raNe= in war; kosala raaja suununaa= with Kosala, king's, son [with Rama]; samaagamam [sam aa gamam]= joining - confrontation; kSamam na manye= proper, not, I deem - I deem it as improper; uttamam= better one; kSamam= befitting one; yuktam ca= reasonable, also; idam vaakyam= this, word - this advise; bhuuyaH shR^iNu= further, you listen.
"Oh, king of nightwalkers Ravana, I for myself deem that your confrontation with Rama, the prince of Kosala, in a war is improper, and a better, befitting, and a reasonable one is this advise of mine, to which you may listen further. [3-37-25]
iti v˜lmŸki r˜m˜yaõe ˜di k˜vye araõya k˜õýe sapta triÕþa× sarga×
Thus, this is the 37th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
Aug, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : September 04]