Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek
Maareecha further advises Ravana to avoid confrontation with Rama for it would be ruinous to the entire demonic race. He narrates another episode of his misadventure with Rama and how he escaped from the all-pursuant arrow of Rama.
evam asmi tadaa muktaH katha.mcit tena sa.myuge |
idaaniim api yat vR^ittam tat shR^iuNuSva yat uttaram || 4-39-1
1. tadaa= at that time; tena= by him; samyuge= in combat - in confrontation; kathamcit evam muktaH asmi= somehow, this way, released, I am; idaaniim api= now, even; yat vR^ittam= what, has happened; yat uttaram= what, later - has happened later; tat shR^iuNuSva= that, you hear.
"Thus I was somehow released by him in a confrontation then in his teens. Now you may also listen to what has happened later in his adulthood." Thus Maareecha continued his advise to Ravana. [4-39-1]
raakshaabhyaam aham dvaabhyaam anirviNNaH tathaa kR^itaH |
sahito mR^iga ruupaabhyaam praviSTo da.nDakaa vane || 4-39-2
2. tathaa kR^itaH= in such a way, rendered - previously hit in to ocean by Rama; a nir viNNaH= not, completely, abashed - unabashedly; aham= I; mR^iga ruupaabhyaam= animal, in guise of; dvaabhyaam raakshaabhyaam= with two, demons; sahitaH= joined with; danDakaa vane praviSTaH= in Dandaka, forest, I entered.
"Though Rama hit me previously in such a way, I unabashedly entered Dandaka forest together with two more demons who were in the guise of animals. [4-39-2]
diipta jihvo mahaada.mSTraH tiikshNa shR^i.ngo mahaabalaH |
vyacaran da.nDaakaaraNyam maa.msa bhaksho mahaamR^igaH || 4-39-3
3. diipta jihvaH= torching, tongue; mahaa damSTraH= incisive, teeth; tiikshNa shR^ingaH= excruciating, horns; mahaa balaH= extraordinary, energy; maamsa bhakshaH mahaa mR^igaH= flesh, eating - carnivorous, gigantic, animal; on becoming; danDaaka araNyam= Dandaka, forest; vyacaran= while I was on the rove - from here the expressions at the end of verses, 3, 4, 5, 6, are eka anvaya - have a concatenation with - raamaam aasaadayan - I reached Rama - in the 7th verse.
"On becoming a gigantic carnivorous animal with a torching tongue, incisive teeth and excruciating horns, and with an extraordinary energy, I was on the rove in Dandaka forest while getting at Rama. [4-39-3]
agnihotreSu tiirtheSu caitya vR^iksheSu raavaNa |
atyanta ghoro vyacaran taapasaan sa.mpradharSayan || 4-39-4
4. raavaNa= oh, Ravana; atyanta ghoraH= extremely, horrible [aspect of animal]; agnihotreSu tiirtheSu caitya vR^iksheSu= at ritual-altars, holy bathing places, sanctuaries, trees of; taapasaan= sages; sam pra dharSayan= very, utterly, brutalising; vyacaran= moving about.
"I moved about Dandaka forest, oh, Ravana, in an extremely horrible aspect of animal, utterly brutalising the sages at ritual-altars, holy bathing places and under the trees of religious sanctuaries while reaching Rama. [4-39-4]
nihatya da.nDakaaraNye taapasaan dharmacariNaH |
rudhiraaNi pibantaH teSaam tan maa.msaani ca bhakshayan || 4-39-5
5. danDaka araNye= in Dandaka, forest; dharma cariNaH taapasaan nihatya= saintliness, treaders in, saints, killing; teSaam rudhiraaNi pibantaH= their, blood, while drinking; [tathaa= likewise]; tan maamsaani bhakshayan ca= their, fleshes, on feasting, also; I roamed.
"I have proceeded to Rama killing saints in Dandaka forest who are the treaders in saintliness, and drinking off their blood and feasting on their flesh. [4-39-5]
R^iSi maaa.msa ashanaH kruuraH traasayan vanagocaraan |
tadaa rudhira matto aham vyacaran da.nDakaa vanam || 4-39-6
6. aham= I; R^iSi maaamsa ashanaH= sage's, flesh, eater; kruuraH= brutal one; vanagocaraan traasayan= forest dwellers, frightening; tadaa rudhira mattaH= in that way, by blood, besotted with; danDakaa vanam vyacaran= in Dandaka, forest, rambling.
"On becoming such a brutal animal I have been eating the flesh of sages, frightening the forest dwellers, and in that way I rambled in Dandaka forest besotted with blood-drinking while reaching Rama. [4-39-6]
tadaa aham da.nDakaaraNye vicaran dharma duuSakaH |
aasaadayam tadaa raamam taapasam dharmam aashritam || 4-39-7
vaidehi ca mahaabhaagaam lakshmaNam ca maharatham |
7, 8a. aham dharma duuSakaH= I, righteousness, an abuser of; tadaa= then; danDakaaraNye vicaran= in Dandaka forest, while wandering; tadaa= then; dharmam aashritam= righteousness - rectitude, who resorted to - assumed rectitude of sainthood; taapasam= to saintly person; to such a; raamam= Rama; mahaa bhaagaam vaidehi ca= great-fortunate one, Vaidehi, also; mahaa ratham lakshmaNam ca= top-speeded-chariot-rider -Lakshmana, also; aasaadayam= I reached.
"While I was wandering in Dandaka forest as an abuser of virtue, then I reached Rama who by then has assumed the rectitude befitting to a saint, and I even reached the great-fortunate Vaidehi and top-speeded-chariot-rider Lakshmana. [4-39-7, 8a]
taapasam niyata aahaaram sarva buuta hite ratam || 4-39-8
saH aham vana gatam raamam paribhuuya mahaabalam |
taapaso ayam iti j~naatvaa puurva vairam anusmaran || 4-39-9
abhyadhaavam susa.mkruddhaH tiikshNa shR^i.ngo mR^iga aakR^itiH |
jighaa.msuH akR^itapraj~naH tam prahaaram anusmaran || 4-39-10
8b, 9, 10. mR^iga aakR^itiH= [I am in] animal, in the shape of; tiikshNa shR^ingaH= with incisive, horns; saH aham= such as, I am; puurva vairam anusmaran= earlier, grudge, recollecting; taapasam niyata aahaaram= hermit, regulated, dietary - to Rama; sarva buuta hite ratam= all, beings, welfare, delighted in; mahaa balam= great-mighty one - Rama; vana gatam= forest, came in - abiding in; raamam= of Rama; ayam taapasaH j~naatvaa= he is, [mere] hermit, on thinking - presuming; iti= in that way; pari bhuuya= completely, disregarding - his other faculties once shown; tam prahaaram anusmaran= that - earlier, assault, recollecting; jighaamsuH= intending to kill; su sam kruddhaH= very, extremely, infuriated; a + kR^ita praj~naH= not, making, discrimination - indiscriminately; abhyadhaavam= towards dashed.
"I was in the shape of an animal with incisive horns. Such as I was I recollected my earlier grudge against that great mighty Rama who takes delight in the welfare of all being, who by then was santlike on a regulated diet and abiding in the forest, whereby I presumed him to be mere hermit. In that way, I was very extremely infuriated to recollect his earlier assault on me, and I indiscriminately dashed towards him, only to kill him, completely disregarding his other faculties. [4-39-8b, 9, 10]
tena tyaktaaH trayo baaNaaH shitaaH shatru nibarhaNaaH |
vikR^iSya sumahat caapam suparNa anila tulya gaaH || 4-39-11
11. tena= by him - by Rama; su mahat caapam= highly, magnificent, bow; vikR^iSya= stringing out; shatru nibarhaNaaH= enemy, eliminators - arrows; shitaaH= excruciating ones; suparNa anila tulya gaaH= Divine Eagle Garuda, Air-god, matching, in egress; such arrows; trayaH baaNaaH= three, arrows; tyaktaaH muktaaH= are released.
"Stringing out his highly magnificent bow Rama then released three excruciating and enemy eliminating arrows which in their egress match the Air-god and the Divine-Eagle Garuda. [4-39-11]
te baaNaa vajra sa.mkaashaaH sughoraa rakta bhojanaaH |
aajagmuH sahitaaH sarve trayaH sa.mnataparvaNaH || 4-39-12
12. vajra samkaashaaH= thunderbolt, similar to; rakta bhojanaaH= having blood, for their board; sam nata parvaNaH= verily, bent, at barbs; su ghoraa= highly, horrendous; sarve te trayaH baaNaa= all, those, three, arrows; sahitaaH= collectively - in a coordinated manner; aajagmuH= came - towards us, the three in animal guise.
"All those three thunderbolt like arrows that have only blood for their board, acutely bent at barbs, and that are highly horrendous have come at us in a coordinated manner. [4-39-12]
paraakramaj~no raamasya shaTho dR^iSTa bhayaH puraa |
samut.hkraa.ntaH tataH muktaH tau ubhau raakshasau hatau || 4-39-13
13. raamasya= of Rama; [sharaH= of arrow]; puraa dR^iSTa bhayaH= earlier, seen, is the fear; paraakrama j~nH= valour [of Rama,] knower [I am]; shaThaH= though I can deceive him - warily; sam ut kraantaH= well [trickily,] retreated; tataH muktaH= from there, I am released; tau raakshasau ubhau hatau= they, demons, both, are killed.
"As I have earlier seen the fear caused by his arrow I am in the know of Rama's valour, hence I retreated from there trickily and gingerly, but the other two demons were killed. [4-39-13]
Here the action of Rama's arrow is indicated. Rama's arrow will not shoot at the back of the opponent or it backstabs either. Even when killing Vali, though Rama is not affronting Vali, Rama's arrow pierced Vali's chest. Here because Maareecha is retreating, that third arrow of Rama did not kill Maareecha but followed him in a chasing manner. But the other two demons unknowing about Rama's arrow, they confronted him and the other two arrows eliminated them. There is discussion on the word shaThaH 'one capable to trick' used in the verse as some mms employ the word sharaH, 'an arrow.' In this section vividly explainable verses are there in some ancient versions of mms. This particular verse reads like this in them: par˜kramajño r˜masya tath˜ d®ÿ÷a bhaya× pur˜ | ˜patantam þaram d®ÿ÷v˜ megha gambhŸra nissvanam || tato aham vegav˜n tatra v˜taÕh˜ nimeþata× | apa kr˜nta param p˜ram niv®tta× s˜gar˜t þara× || 'I am in the know of Rama's valour, and I am also in the know of what fear he caused in an earlier instance, and on seeing the arrows coming upon like thunderous clouds, in a wink I escaped to the other side of ocean, and Rama's arrow having come chasing me up to ocean-shore returned.' In here, the efficacy of Rama's arrow is clearly narrated and it is not clear why pundits did not consider these verses of ancient mms instead of the above verse.
shareNa mukto raamasya katha.mcit praapyajiivitam |
iha pravraajito yuktaH taapaso aham samaahitaH || 4-39-14
14. aham= I; raamasya shareNa= by Rama's, arrow; kathamcit muktaH= somehow, when exempted; jiivitam praapya= lifespan, on getting - regaining; yuktaH= in yogic way of life; samaahitaH= self-collectedly; taapasaH= as an ascetic; iha= to here; pra vraajitaH= sent as a monk on renouncing.
"When I was somehow exempted by the arrow of Rama I regained lifespan, and when that arrow made me to renounce everything like a monk and fled me to this place, the other side of ocean to where you came by your aircraft, here I am living here in a yogic way, self-collectedly like an ascetic. [4-39-14]
vR^ikshe vR^ikshe hi pashyaami ciira kR^iSNa ajina a.mbaram |
gR^ihiita dhanuSam raamam paasha hastam iva a.ntakam || 4-39-15
15. ciira kR^iSNa ajina ambaram= jute-cloths, black, deerskin, dressed one; gR^ihiita dhanuSam= handling, bow; paasha hastam antakam iva= tether, in hand, Terminator, as with; raamam= at Rama; vR^ikshe vR^ikshe pashyaami hi= at tree, at tree, I behold, indeed.
"From then on wards, I am indeed descrying Rama at this tree and at that tree, dressed in jute-cloths and black deerskin, and handling his bow like the Terminator handling a tether. [4-39-15]
api raama sahasraaNi bhiitaH pashyaami raavaNa |
raama bhuutam idam sarvam araNyam pratibhaati me || 4-39-16
16. raavaNa= Ravana; bhiitaH= frightened - I am; raama sahasraaNi api= Rama, in thousands, even; pashyaami= I am visualising; idam sarvam araNyam= this, entire, forest; raama bhuutam pratibhaati me= with Rama's, entity, reflects, to me.
"Given to fright I even visualise thousands Rama-s, and whole this forest is reflecting to me as one entity of Rama. [4-39-16]
raamam eva hi pashyaami rahite raakshaseshvara |
dR^iSTvaa svapna gatam raamam ud bhramaami vicetanaH || 4-39-17
17. raakshasa iishvara= oh, demons, king; rahite= none is not there - void of people; raamam eva pashyaami= Rama, alone, I envisage; svapna gatam raamam dR^iSTvaa= dream, who entered, Rama, on seeing; vi cetanaH= without, spirit - dispirited - swooning; udbhramaami [ut bhramaami]= to up, moving - jolting up; hi= in fact.
"Even at a place void of people I am envisaging Rama alone, and oh, king of demons, even if he enters my dream, in fact, I am jolting up and swooning. [4-39-17]
ra kaara adiini naamaani raama trastasya ravaNa |
ratnaani ca rathaaH ca eva vitraasam janayanti me || 4-39-18
18. ravaNa= oh, Ravana; raama trastasya= Rama, frightened by; me= to me; ra kaara adiini naamaani= ra, alphabets, starting with, names; ratnaani ca rathaaH ca eva= ratna-s [gems,] also, ratha-s [chariots,] also, even; vi traasam= high, scare; janayanti= causing.
"Oh, Ravana, appalled of Rama the names starting with the alphabet 'ra' like ratna-s, ratha-s, viz., gemstones, chariots are appalling to me, including your name, that starts with a 'ra.' [4-39-18]
'If I hear the first letter 'ra' of any given name, I am scared at the ensuing second syllable presuming it to be 'ma' and if that second syllable of that word I am going to hear happens to be other than 'ma' then my fear ceases.'
aham tasya prabhaavaj~no na yuddham tena te kshamam |
balim vaa namuci.m vaa api hanyaddhi raghun.na.ndana || 4-39-19
19. aham tasya prabhaava j~naH= I am, of his, efficacy, knower of; te= to you; tena= with him; yuddham na kshamam= war, not, fair enough; raghun nadana= Ragu's, descendant - Rama; balim vaa namucim vaa api= Emperor Bali, either, Namuchi, or, even; hanyat hi= can kill, in fact.
"I am well-acquainted with his efficacy, and a war with him will be an unfair thing for you, for that Raghu's descendant can in fact kill either Emperor Bali or Namuchi, the demon. [4-39-19]
Emperor Bali is more powerful and mighty than Ravana. aananda raamaayana says in a chapter on the 'defeats of Ravana' raavaNa paraajaya, that Ravana once entered netherworld to conquer it, where Bali is held captive by Trivikrama, i.e., Vishnu. At that time Bali and his queen are playing dice game. When Ravana entered, the dice in the hand of Bali has slipped to the floor, and Bali asks Ravana to pick and give it before conquering netherworld. Ravana who lifted Mt. Kailash could not lift that two-inch dice, which is so far handled playfully by Bali. Such is the might of Emperor Bali
raNe raameNa yuddhsva kshamaam vaa kuru raavaNa |
na te raama kathaa kaaryaa yadi maam draSTum icChasi || 4-39-20
20. raavaNa= oh, Ravana; raNe raameNa yuddhsva= in war, with Rama, you may combat; kshamaam vaa kuru= forgive and forget, either, you do; maam draSTum icChasi yadi =, me, to see, you wish, if; te raama kathaa na kaaryaa= by you, Rama's, episode [topic] not, to be done [be broached.]
"You may either wage a war with Rama if you wish to avenge the killings of Khara and others, or forgive and forget that Rama agreeing to my suggestions, but do not broach the topic of Rama with me if you wish to see me alive. [4-39-20]
bahavaH saadhavo loke yuktaa dharmam anuSTitaaH |
pareSaam aparaadhena vinaSTaaH sa paricChadaaH || 4-39-21
21. loke= in world; yuktaaH= reasonable people; dharmam anuSTitaaH= righteousness, practisers of; bahavaH saadhavaH= many, sagacious people; pareSaam aparaadhena= by others, misdeeds; sa paricChadaaH= with, kith and kin; vi naSTaaH= are utterly, ruined.
"In the world many of the sagacious and reasonable people that are the practisers of righteousness are utterly ruined along with their kith and kin, just by the misdeeds of others. [4-39-21]
saH aham para aparaadhena vinaasheyam nishaacara |
kuru yat te kshamam tat tvam aham tvaam na anuyaami vai || 4-39-22
22. nishaacara= oh, nightwalker; saH aham= such as I am, I; para aparaadhena vinaasheyam= by other's, misdeed, I bound to ruin; te yat kshamam= to you, which is, fair; tat tvam kuru= that, you, do; aham tvaam na anuyaami vai= I, you, not, follow, simply.
"Such a saintly one as I am, I am bound to ruin by other's misdeeds, hence you do whatever that is fair to you, but I am not the one to simply take after you. [4-39-22]
raamaH ca hi mahaatejaa mahaasattvo mahaabalaH |
api raakshasa lokasya bhavet antakaro api hi || 4-39-23
23. raamaH ca= Rama, also; mahaatejaa= a great-resplendent one; mahaa sattvaH= highly, courageous; mahaa balaH= highly, powerful; hi= definitely; [saH= he]; raakshasa lokasya api= for demon's, world's, even; anta karaH api= end, maker - eradicator; bhavet hi= becomes, for sure.
"Definitely Rama is the one with exceptional resplendence, exemplary courage and extraordinary power, and for sure, he becomes an eradicator of the world of demons. [4-39-23]
yadi shuurpaNakhaa hetoH janasthaana gata kharaH |
ati vR^itto hataH puurvam raameNa akliSTa karmaNaa |
atra bruuhi yathaavat tvam ko raamasya vyatikramaH || 4-39-24
24. janasthaana gata= Janasthaana, gone in - positioned in; kharaH= Khara; shuurpaNakhaa hetoH= Shuurpanakha, owing to; puurvam= firstly; ati vR^ittaH= over, stepping - his limits; akliSTa karmaNaa raameNa= by one who is of - uncomplicated, actions, by Rama; hataH yadi= killed, if; atra= in that matter; raamasya= of Rama; vytikramaH [vi ati kramaH= really, over, stepping - his limits; kaH= what is it; tvam= you; yathaa vat= as it is - in final analysis; bruuhi= you tell.
"If Khara positioned in Janasthaana has firstly overstepped his bounds and attacked Rama, that too owing to Shuurpanakha, and if Rama of uncomplicated actions has eliminated Khara in self-defence, what really is the transgression of Rama in that matter, you tell of that in the final analysis. [4-39-24]
idam vaco bandhu hita arthinaa mayaa
yathaa ucyamaanam yadi na abhipatsyase |
sa baandhavaH tyakshyasi jiivitam raNe
hato adya raameNa sharaiH jihmagaiH || 4-39-25
25. bandhu hita arthinaa= kinsman, wellbeing, ambitious of; mayaa ucyamaanam= by me, being said; idam vacaH= this, word - advise; yathaa= as said; na abhipatsyase= not, you are agreeable for it; sa baandhavaH= with, kinsmen; adya= now - presently; raameNa= by Rama; a +jihma gaiH= not, curvedly, shooting [linear accelerators]; sharaiH hataH= with arrows, killed; raNe jiivitam tyakshyasi= in a confrontation, life, you will deliver up.
"I am saying this word of advise as I am ambitious of the wellbeing of my kinsmen through you, and if this is disagreeable to you, you will have to deliver up your life in a confrontation with Rama along with the lives of your kinsmen, perishing at the linearly accelerating arrows of Rama. [4-39-25]
iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye araNya kaaNDe ekona catvaarimshaH sargaH
Thus, this is the 39th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
© Aug, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : September 04]