Chapter [Sarga] 38

Introduction

Maareecha continues his good word to Ravana and he dissuades him from abducting Seetha. His advice is that the dalliance with other's wives is the greatest sin, more so, with Rama's wife as Rama's valour is irrefutable. Maareecha narrates how Rama hurt him while safeguarding Vishwamitra's Vedic-ritual, when Rama was still a young boy.


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kadcit api aham vryt paryaan pthivm imm |
balam nga sahasrasya dhrayan parvatopama || 3-38-1
nla jmta saka tapta kcana kuala |
bhayam lokasya janayan kir parigha yudha || 3-38-2
vyacaram daaka arayam i msni bhakayan |

1. kadaacit= at one time; aham api= I, even; viiryaat= with valour; imaam pR^ithiviim paryaTan= this, earth, while roving; naaga sahasrasya balam dhaarayan= elephants, thousand, strength, bearing; parvata upamaH= mountain, similar - I am; niila jiimuuta samkaashaH= blackish, cloud, in sheen - I am; tapta kaancana= burnt [refined,] golden; kuNDalaH= ear-knobs - myself having; kiriiTii= wearing crown; parigha aayudhaH= bludgeon, as weapon; lokasya bhayam janayan= to world, terror, causing; R^iSi maamsaani bhakSayan= sage's, fleshes, while eating; daNDaka araNyam vyacaram= Dandaka, forests, I was rambling.

"At one time even I was on the rove around this earth, taking pride in my valour, bearing the strength of a thousand elephants, mountainous in my size and black-cloudlike in my sheen, wearing ear-knobs and a crown made out of refined gold, with a bludgeon as my weapon, and such as I was, I rambled Dandaka forest causing terror to the world, and eating the fleshes of sages." Thus Maareecha started to narrate his experience with Rama. [3-38-1, 2]

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vivmitro atha dharmtm mat vitrasto mahmuni || 3-38-3
svayam gatv daaratham narendram idam abravt |

3b, 4a. atha dharmaatmaa vishvaamitraH= then, virtue-souled, Vishvamitra; mat= of me; vi trasta= highly, scared; svayam= in person; nara indram dasharatham gatvaa= to people's king, to Dasharatha, on going to him; mahaamuniH= great-saint; idam abraviit= this, spoke.

"The virtue-souled great-saint Vishvamitra who was highly scared of me, then on going to Dasharatha in person that great-saint spoke this to that lord of people. [3-38-3b, 4a]

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ayam rakatu mm rma parva kle samhita || 3-38-4
mrct me bhayam ghoram samutpannam narevara |

4b, 5a. nara iishvara= oh, people's, lord; ayam maariicaat= from this, Maareecha; me ghoram bhayam= to me, awesome, dismay; sam utpannam= verily, chanced - befallen; raamaH samaahitaH= Rama, becoming alert; parva kaale= at opportune, time of ritual; maam rakSatu= me, let him safeguard.

" 'An awesome dismay has befallen owing to this Maareecha, oh, lord of people Dasharatha, let Rama safeguard me becoming alert at the opportune time of the Vedic-ritual. [3-38-4b 5a]

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iti evam ukto dharmtm rj daaratha tad || 3-38-5
pratyuvca mahbhgam vivmitram mahmunim |

5b, 6a. iti evam uktaH= thus, that way, one who is spoken to - Dasharatha; dharma atmaa raajaa dasharathaH tadaa= virtue-souled, king, Dasharatha, then; mahaabhaagam mahaamunim vishvaamitram= to great-fortunate, to great-saint, Vishvamitra; prati uvaaca= in turn, spoke - replied.

"When he is spoken in that way, then that virtue-souled king Dasharatha replied that great-fortunate and great-saint Vishvamitra in this way. [3-38-5b, 6a]

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na dvdaa varo ayam akta astra ca rghava || 3-38-6
kmam tu mama yat sainyam may saha gamiyati |

6b, 7a. ayam [baalaH] raaghavaH= this, [boy,] Rama is; uuna dvaadash varSaH= less than, twelve, years - in age; a +kR^ita astraH ca= not, performed - unpractised, weapons, also; mama yat sainyam= mine, which, army - whatever army is there; with that; kaamam mayaa saha gamiSyati= if need be, me, along with, will march on.

" 'This boy Rama is less than twelve years in his age, unproficient in the use of weapons, and if need be, whatever army of mine is there it will march on along with me instead of Rama. [3-38-6b, 7a]

In Bala Kanda the age of Rama as said by Dasharatha to Vishvamitra is uuna SoDasa varSaH 'less than sixteen years.' Here Maareecha is saying that Rama is less than twelve. Maheshvara Tiirtha says that Maareecha lessened the age of Rama only to intimidate Ravana.

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balena caturagea svayam etya nicaram || 3-38-7
vadhiymi munireha atrum tava yath psitam |

7b, 8a. muni shreSTha= oh, sage, the eminent; caturangeNa balena= with fourfold, forces; [aham= I]; svayam etya= in person, having come; tava shatrum= your, enemy; yathaa iipsitam= as, desired [or, manasaa iipsitaan= as your heart, desires - whomever you indicate for elimination; nishaacaram= such - nightwalkers; vadhiSyaami= I will kill.

" 'And having come in person with fourfold forces, oh eminent sage, I myself will eradicate that nightwalker whomever you indicate as an enemy of yours." So said Dasharatga to Vishvamitra. [3-38-7b, 8a]

In the fourfold army the four categories of army units are chariots, elephants, cavalry, and foot-soldiers.

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evam ukta sa tu mun rjnam idam abravt || 3-38-8
rmt na anyat balam loke paryptam tasya rakasa |

8b, 9a. evam uktaH= thus, who is spoken; saH tu munii= he, on his part, that sage Vishvamitra; raajaanam idam abraviit= to king, this, said; raamaat anyat balam= apart from Rama, other, force; tasya rakSasaH= to him, to that demon; loke= in world; na paryaaptam= not, enough for - can counterbalance.

"When the sage Vishvamitra is spoken thus, then he said to the king, 'No other force in the world than Rama can counterbalance that demon. [3-38-8b, 9a]

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devatnm api bhavn samareu abhiplaka || 3-38-9
st tava kte karma triloka viditam npa |

9b, 10a. nR^ipa= oh, king; bhavaan= you are; samareSu= in war; devataanaam api abhipaalakaH= for gods, even [no doubt,] a defender of; tava kR^ite karma= by you, undertaken, exploit; triloka viditam aasiit= in tri-world, well-known, is there.

" 'No doubt, you are a defender of gods in wars, and oh, king, the exploits you have undertaken on behalf of gods are well-known in the triad of worlds. [3-38-9b, 10a]

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kmam asti mahat sainyam tiatu iha parantapa || 3-38-10
blo api ea mahtej samartha tasya nigrahe |
gamiye rmam dya svasti te astu parantapa || 3-38-11

10b, 11. paran tapaH= oh, enemy-flamer; mahat sainyam asti [astu]= remarkable, army, there is; kaamam= maybe, if it is there, let it be there; iha tiSTatu= here, let it sit tight; mahaatejaaH= great-resplendent one; eSa baalaH api= he is, a boy, even if; tasya nigrahe samarthaH= his - Maareecha's, in forestalling, he is competent; parantapa= oh, enemy-inflamer; raamam aadaaya gamiSye= Rama, on taking, I wish to go; te svasti astu= to you, safety, let there be.

" 'Maybe your army is a remarkable one, oh, enemy-inflamer, let it sit tight here alone, and even if this great resplendent one is still a boy he alone is competent to forestall that Maareecha, hence oh, enemy-subjugator, let good betide you, I wish to take him alone along with me.' [3-38-10b, 11]

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iti evam uktv sa muni tam dya nptmajam |
jagma parama prto vivmitra svam ramam || 3-38-12

12. saH muniH vishvaamitraH= he, sage, Vishvamitra; iti evam uktvaa= thus, that way, on saying; nR^ipa aatma jam= king's, own, son; tam= him - Rama; aadaaya= taking along; parama priitaH= highly, gladdened; svam aashramam jagaama= to his own, to hermitage, went away.

"Thus that way on saying he that sage Vishvamitra returned to his own hermitage highly gladdening to take the prince Rama along with him. [3-38-12]

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tam tad daakraye yajam uddiya dkitam |
babhva upasthito rma citram visphrayan dhanu || 3-38-13

13. tadaa raamaH daNDakaaraNye= then, Rama, in Dandaka forest; yaj~nam uddishya diikSitam= Vedic-ritual, concerning, who entered into vow; tam= him - at Vishvamitra; upa sthitaH= nearby staying; citram dhanuH visphaarayan= amazing, bow, twingeing out; abhuuva= he was there.

"Then in Dandaka forest Rama twingeing his amazing bow stayed nearby the sage Vishvamitra who entered the vow of Vedic-ritual. [3-38-13]

There is a difference in mentioning the forest as Dandaka. Bala Kanda says that Vishvamitra performed ritual in north and Maareecha is now saying that as Dandaka forest.

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ajta vyajana rmn bla yma ubhekaa |
eka vastra dharo dhanv ikh kanaka mlay || 3-38-14
obhayan daakrayam dptena svena tejas |
adyata tad rmo bla candra iva udita || 3-38-15

14. tadaa= at that time; a+ jaata vyanjanaH= one with - un, born, identities of maleness - like moustaches etc.; shriimaan= providential one - Rama; shyaamaH= peacock-bluish - complexioned; shubha iikSaNaH= magnificent, in looks; eka vastra dharaH= one, cloth, wearing; dhanvii= handling bow; shikhii= having hair-locks; kanaka maalayaa= with golden, pendant; diiptena svena tejasaa= with radiating, of his own, with radiance; daNDakaaraNyam shobhayan= Dandaka, forest, irradiating; such a; raamaH baalaH= Rama, is a boy; uditaH baala candra iva= uprisen, baby, moon, [new moon,] like; adR^ishyata= then, is seen, appeared.

"At that time, yet unborn are the identities of adulthood like moustache on his face, and that providential one was magnificent in looks with a peacock-blue complexion, wearing a single cloth, locks of hair, and golden locket, and wielding a bow, and he was irradiating the Dandaka forest with a radiating radiance of his own, and then he appeared like the just risen baby-moon. [3-38-14, 15]

The identities of adulthood are the discardable things like moustaches, beard, etc. These are natural to humans or to birthed beings. But the mythological entities do not have them. As a young scholar, the boys are supposed to wear simply, hence 'one-piece-clothing' is said to be the dress of Rama. This suggests that he is not wearing any shield or armour to keep him safe. In Bala Kanda, at the outset of the journey of Rama and Lakshmana with Vishvamitra, it is said that they are wearing finger-covers made of certain lizard skin, which means to say that their fingers are very tender in using arrows. His mothers delicately arranged the locks of hair, because he is still 'boyish' to her. More so, he is with a 'boyish' ornament, say a single pendant, not verily embellished with princely jewellery. He appeared like some providential 'boy' hitherto unseen, with the height of a peacock, with the complexion of peacock-neck-blue, and moving about like a noble peacock. This boyish-Rama peacock is not screaming, yet his bow is twanging; leave alone the screeching and screaming.

The 'new-moon' metaphor to Rama suggests that he has only waxing and no waning in him, uttarottara abhivR^iddhi and also that he is by birth an antagonist of tamas 'the darkness,' or darkish activities, like the moon whose activity is only to illumine the night. Further, he has a likeable persona to any, even to the present demon Maareecha, and even to Ravana. When Ravana sees Rama for the first time in war, Ravana praisefully acknowledges Rama's personality. Besides, Rama's gleam is like that of a baby-moon, against the backdrop of a thickish, darkish, blackish sky, called the forest.

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tato aham megha saka tapta kcana kuala |
bal datta varo darpt jagma rama antaram || 3-38-16

16. tataH= then; megha samkaashaH= cloud, in similarity [in massiveness]; tapta kaancana kuNDalaH= burnt [purified,] golden, with ear-knobs; balii datta varaH= forceful, given, boon's - one who is given boons by Brahma; aham= I, such as I am; darpaat= pridefully; aashrama antaram aajagaama= hermitage's, interior, arrived.

"And I who was like a massive black-cloud, wearing golden ear-knobs, already a forceful one further reinforced with the boon of Brahma, I pridefully entered into the interior of Vishwamitra's hermitage. [3-38-16]

The golden ear-knobs on the lobes of ears are either indicative of the knowledge one possess or the wealth factor. Maareecha refers to these ear ornaments more than once suggesting that 'wealth or wisdom is nothing to Rama, but righteousness alone will work out.' Because Ravana did not give an ear for the suggestions of Maareecha, his Lanka, built with refined gold, will be burnt to ashes in Sundara Kanda.

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tena da pravio aham sahas eva udyata yudha |
mm tu dv dhanu sajyam asambhrnta cakra ha || 3-38-17

17. udyata aayudhaH= one with lifted up, weapon; praviSTaH= on who entered; aham= I am; sahasaa eva= quick, thus; tena dR^iSTaH= by him - by Rama, noticed; saH maam tu dR^iSTvaa= he, me, on seeing; a +sam+ bhraantaH= not, at all, excited - unexcitedly; dhanuH sa jyam= bow, with, bowstring; cakaara ha= made - strung, aimed, indeed.

"Rama quickly noticed me on my very entry with an uplifted weapon, and on seeing me he unexcitedly strung bowstring to his bow. [3-38-17]

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avajnan aham moht blo ayam iti rghavam |
vivmitrasya tm vedim abhyadhvam kta tvara || 3-38-18

18. aham mohaat= I, unmindfully; ayam baalaH iti= he is, a boy, thus as; raaghavam= about Raghava; ava jaanan= without, judging - trivialising; kR^ita tvaraH= making, haste; vishvaamitrasya taam vedim= of Vishvamitra, that, towards Fire-altar; abhya dhaavam= towards, ran.

"Unmindfully trivialising him as, 'this Raghava is just a boy,' I made haste and ran towards that Fire-altar of Vishvamitra. [3-38-18]

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tena mukta tato ba ita atru nibarhaa |
tena aham tita kipta samudre ata yojane || 3-38-19

19. tataH= then; tena= by him; shatru nibarhaNaH= enemy, destroying - arrow; shitaH baaNaH muktaH= acute, arrow, is released; aham tena taaDitaH= I am, by it, who is hit; shata yojane samudre kSiptaH= hundred, yojana-s [afar,] in ocean, plunged.

"He then released an acute arrow that eliminates the enemy, and hit by it I am plunged into the ocean which was a hundred yojana-s off. [3-38-19]

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na icchat tta mm hantum tad vrea rakita |
rmasya ara vegena nirasto bhrnta cetana || 3-38-20

20. taata= oh, dear boy; tadaa maam hantum na icChataa= then, me, to kill, [he] did not wish; viireNa rakshitaH= by valiant Rama, saved [I was]; raamasya shara vegena= Rama's, by arrow's, thrust; bhraanta cetanaH= bewildered, [is my] animation; nir astaH= without, base - I was on my last legs.

"That Rama did not wish to kill me then, and I am thus saved by that valiant one, oh, dear boy Ravana, but the thrust of Rama's arrow bewildered my animation and I was on my last legs. [3-38-20]

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ptito aham tad tena gambhre sgara ambhasi |
prpya sajm cirt tta lakm prati gata purm || 3-38-21

21. taata= oh, boy; tadaa= that way; aham= I was; gambhiire saagara ambhasi= abyssal, ocean, in waters; tena= by him; paatitaH= one who is flung; ciraat sanj~naam praapya= after long time, consciousness, on gaining; lankaam puriim= to Lanka, city; prati gataH= towards, went.

"That way I who had been flung into the abyssal water of the ocean by him gained consciousness after a long time and proceeded towards the city of Lanka. [3-38-21]

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evam asmi tad mukta sahy te - ystu - niptit |
akta astrea rmea blena aklia karma || 3-38-22

22. tadaa= at that time; a +kR^ita astreNa= not, practised [elementary,] in use of arms; a +kliSTa karmaNaa= un, complicated [effortless,] in deeds; baalena raameNa= by boy, by Rama; evam muktaH asmi= thus, released, I am; te sahaayaaH [tu] nipaatitaaH= those, helpmates, [on their part,] are killed.

"At that time, that one with elementary knowledge in the use of weaponry, but who can undertake deeds in an effortless manner, such a boy, such a Rama spared me, albeit killing them that were my helpmates in that escapade. [3-38-22]

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tat may vryama tvam yadi rmea vigraham |
kariyasi padam ghorm kipram prpya na iyasi || 3-38-23

23. tat= thereby; mayaa vaaryamaaNaH= by me, being proscribed; tvam raameNa vigraham= you, with Rama, confrontation; kariSyasi yadi= do - make for, if; kSipram ghoraam aapadam= quickly, disastrous, calamity; praapya nashiSyasi= on getting, you ruin yourself.

"Thereby, if you wish to make for any confrontation with Rama, despite of my proscribing you, you will ruin yourself on getting a disastrous calamity. [3-38-23]

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kr rati vidhijnm samja utsava linm |
rakasm caiva santpam anartham ca hariyasi || 3-38-24

24. kriiDaa rati vidhi j~naanaam= sporting, flirting, methods, knowers; samaaja utsava shaalinaam= socialising, frolicking, with a conduct of; rakSasaam caiva= to such demons, also thus; santaapam anartham ca= distress, disaster, also; aahariSyasi= you derive.

"The demons are methodical in sporting and flirting, thus by their own conduct they are also socialising and frolicking, and to them you derive distress and disaster. [3-38-24]

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harmya prsda sambdhm nn ratna vibhuitm |
drakyasi tvam purm lakm vinam maithil kte || 3-38-25

25. harmya praasaada sambaadhaam= with skyscrapers, palaces, dense with; naanaa ratna vibhuu Sitaam= with, many, gemstones, decorated; such a city; puriim lankaam= city, Lanka; tvam= you; maithilii kR^ite= Maithili, for the sake of; vi naSTaam= as completely shattered [city]; drakSyasi= you will see.

"Dense with skyscrapers and palaces, and decorated with many a gemstone is that city Lanka, but you will see it completely shattered down, for the sake of that Maithili. [3-38-25]

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akurvanto api ppni ucaya ppa sarayt |
para ppai vinayanti matsy nga hrade yath || 3-38-26

26. paapaani= sins; a +kurvantaH api= not, committed, even if; shucayaH= sinless ones; paapa samshrayaat= with sinners, by interdependence - tie-up; naaga hrade= in snakes, lake of; matsyaa yathaa= fish, as with; para paapaiH= with other's, sins; vinashyanti= get ruined.

"Even if with uncommitted sins, the sinless will get ruined owing to their interdependence with other sinners, like the fish in a lake with snakes. [3-38-26]

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divyacandanadigdhgndivyabharaabhitn -yadv-
divya candana digdha agn divya bharaa bhitn |
drakyasi abhihatn bhmau tava dot tu rkasn || 3-38-27

27. divya candana digdha angaan= divine, sandal-paste, bedaubed, with limbs; divya aabharaNa bhuuSitaan= divine, ornaments, beautified with; at such; raakSasaan= at demons; tava doSaat tu= for your, blunder, owing to; bhuumau abhihataan drakSyasi= to earth, trampled out, you are going to see.

"Bedaubed with divine sandal-paste, beautified with divine ornaments are the limbs of the demons now, perchance you will be seeing them trampled out on ground for the blunder of yours. [3-38-27]

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hta drn sa drn ca daa vidravato dia |
hata en aaran drakyasi tvam nicarn || 3-38-28

28. hata sheSaan= after killing, remaining ones; nishaa caraan= nightwalkers; hR^ita daaraan= reft of [not abduction, but abandoned,] wives; sa daaraan ca with wives, also - along with wives; a +sharaNaan= without, protector; dasha dishaH= to ten, directions; vi dravataH= verily, running away - fleeing; tvam drakSyasi- you, will be seeing.

"Maybe, you will have to see the fleeing of the nightwalkers surviving after the carnage in all ten directions, some abandoning their wives and some along with their wives, only for lack of a protector. [3-38-28]

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ara jla parikiptm agni jvl samvtm |
pradagdha bhavanm lakm drakyasi tvam asaayam || 3-38-29

29. shara jaala parikSiptaam= arrows, enmesh, encircled by; agni jvaalaa samaavR^itaam= by torch's, tongues, enfolded by; pra dagdha bhavanaam= utterly, gutting down, buildings; such a; lankaam= at Lanka; tvam drakSyasi= you, will see; a + samshayam= without, doubt.

"Without a doubt you will be seeing Lanka encircled with an enmesh of arrows, enfolded in the tongues of torches, while her buildings are utterly gutting down. [3-38-29]

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para dra abhimart tu na anayat ppa taram mahat |
pramadnm sahasri tava rjan parigrahe || 3-38-30

30. para daara abhimarShaa tu= other's, wife, dalliance, but; paapa taram= sin, higher in degree - gravest; mahat= outrageous [error]; aanayat na= another, is not there; raajan= oh, king; pramadaanaam sahasraaNi tava parigrahe= ladies, thousands, by you/your, seized [or, married.]

"Oh, king, there is no other sin that is outrageous and gravest than the dalliance with another's wife and, besides, you already have a thousand wives, isn't so! [3-38-30]

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bhava sva dra nirata sva kulam raka rkasa |
mnam vddhim ca rjyam ca jvitam ca iam tmana || 3-38-31

31. raakSasa= oh, demon; sva daara nirataH bhava= in your own, wife, delighted in, you become; sva kulam rakSa= your own, ethnos, safeguard; maanam vR^iddhim ca raajyam ca= dignity, affluence, also, kingdom, also; aatmanaH iSTam jiivitam ca= for yourself, dear, [your] life, also; [raksha= safeguard.]

"Abide by your own wife and be delighted with her, oh, demon, safeguard your own ethnos, thus safeguard dignity, affluence, and kingdom of demons, thereby safeguard even your own dear life. [3-38-31]

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kalatri ca saumyni mitra vargam tathaiva ca |
yadi icchasi ciram bhoktum m kth rma vipriyam || 3-38-32

32. saumyaani kalatraaNi ca= beautiful ones, wives, also; tathaa eva ca= also thus; mitra vargam= friends, circle; ciram bhoktum= for a long time, to enjoy; icChasi yadi= you desire, if; raama vi priyam maa kR^ithaa= to Rama, un, desirable, do not, do.

"If you desire to take pleasure with your beautiful wives and with your friend's circles for a long time, do not do anything undesirable to Rama. [3-38-32]

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nivryama suhd may bham
prasahya stm yadi dharayiyasi |
gamiyasi ka bala sa bndhavo
yama kayam rma ara tta jvita || 3-38-33

33. su hR^idaa= with a good, heart; mayaa bhR^isham nivaaryamaaNaH= by me, considerably, being prevented; siitaam prasahya dharSayiSyasi yadi= Seetha is, aggressively, intimidated, if [you wish to]; kSiiNa balaH= one with diminished, army; sa baandhavaH= with, kinsfolk; raama shara aatta jiivitaH= Rama's, arrow, taken away, life - one with such removed life - dead; yama kSayam gamiSyasi= to Yama [the Terminator's,] world, you will go.

"If you wish to intimidate Seetha aggressively despite of my considerable preventing in all my good-heartedness towards you, then your army will fade away, and you with your kinsfolk will emigrate to the world of Yama, the Terminator, for your life will be taken away by the arrow of Rama." Thus, Maareecha spoke to Ravana. [3-38-33]

 

iti vlmki rmyae di kvye araya ke a tria sarga

Thus, this is the 38th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.


Verse Locator for Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek : Chapter 38

 

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Sarga 38 in English Prose

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