Chapter [Sarga] 4

Introduction

Rama and Lakshmana come to know about the curse of Viradha. Viradha desires to die in then hands of Rama according to the amendment given by the cursing authority, and thus he will be killed and relieved of his curse by Rama, and his elimination of negative forces starts with the elimination of Viradha. At the time of release from his curse, Viradha advises Rama to go to Sage Sharabhanga, who can advise Rama properly. It is said whenever a superior being is approached, he shall not be neared empty-handedly. So, the elimination of Viradha, first act of Rama to safeguard the diinajana parirakshana in Dandaka forests is the gift that Rama takes to the Sage Sharabhanga in next chapter. This is not a separate chapter in Baroda edition. But in Gorakhpur and Eastern versions it is a separate one.


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hriyamaaNau tu kaakutsthau dR^iSTwaa siitaa raghuuttamau |
uccaiH swareNa chukrosha pragR^ihya su mahaabhujau || 3-4-1

1. siitaa= Seetha; dR^iSTvaa= on seeing; pragR^ihya= on grabbing; hriyamaaNau su mahaa bhujau= being carried off, very great, shouldered ones [very dexterous ones]; kaakutsthau raghu uttamau= scions of Kakutstha, the best ones from Raghu dynasty Rama and Lakshmana; uccaiH svareNa chukrosha= in high-pitched voice, screamed.

On seeing those two very dexterous scions of Kakutstha, and the best ones from Raghu dynasty, namely Rama and Lakshmana, grabbed and being carried off, Seetha screamed in a high-pitched voice.[3-4-1]

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eSa daasharathii raamaH satyavaan shiilavaan shuchiH |
rakshasaa raudra ruupeNa hriyate saha lakshmaNaH || 3-4-2

2. satyavaan shiilavaan suchiH= truth abiding one, virtuous one, flawless one; esha daasharathii= he that, Dasharatha's, Rama; saha lakshmaNaH= with Lakshmana; rakshasaa raudra ruupeNa hriyate= by demon ,with ferocious look, being carried off.

"He that truth-abiding, virtuous, and the flawless Rama of Dasharatha is carried off along with Lakshmana by the demon with a ferocious look... [3-4-2]

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maam R^ikaa bhaksha iSyanti shaarduula dviipinaH tathaa |
maam haraH utsR^ijya kaakutsthau namaste raakshasottamaH || 3-4-3

3. maam R^ikaa tathaa shaarduula dviipinaH bhaksha iSyanti= me, wild-bears, like that, tigers, panthers, to eat, they aspire; raakshasa uttamaH= oh, demon, the best; maam haraH= me, thieve; utsR^ijya kaakutsthau= release, Kakutstha-s; namadte - te+namaH= to you, my salutation.

"Wild bears, tigers and panthers aspire to eat me away... oh, best demon, thieve me instead and release Kakutstha-s... Hail to thee..." [Said Seetha.] [3-4-3]

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tasyaaH tat vachanam shrutvaa vaidehyaaH raama lakshmaNau |
vegam prachakratur viirau vadhe tasya duraatmanaH || 3-4-4

4. viirau= valorous ones Rama and Lakshmana; tasyaaaH vaidehyaaH tat vachanam shrutvaa= her, Vaidehis, that, utterance, on hearing; dura aatmanaH= minded ones; tasya= of that Viradha; vadhe vegam prachakratuH= in killing, speedily, busied themselves.

On hearing Vaidehi's that utterance those valorous ones Rama and Lakshmana speedily busied themselves in eliminating that evil-minded demon Viradha. [3-4-4]

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tasya raudrasya soumitriH savyam baahum babha~nja ha |
raamaH tu dakshiNam baahum tarasaa tasya rakshasaH || 3-4-5

5. Soumitri; tasya raudrasya savyam baahum babhanja ha= that, ferocious one's, left, arm; severed, indeed; raamaH tu= Rama, too; tasya raakshasaH= of that, demon; dakshiNam baahum tarasa right, shoulder, rent.

Soumitri indeed severed the left arm of that ferocious one, while Rama rent the right arm of that demon. [3-4-5]

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saH bhagna bahuH sa.mvignaH papaata aashu vimuurChitaH |
dharaNyaam megha sa.mkaasho vajra bhinna iva achalaH || 3-4-6

6. bhagna baahuH megha samkaashaH saH= mutilated, arms, dark-cloud, similar to, he that demon; samvignaH muurchitaH= frustrated, fainted; vajra bhinnaH achala iva = by Thunderbolt, demolished, mountain, like; aashu papaata dharaNyaa= quickly, fell-down, onto the ground.

When his arms are mutilated that demon similar to a dark-cloud is frustrated, fainted, and fell onto ground, like the mountain demolished by the Thunderbolt of Indra. [3-4-6]

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muSTibhir baahubhir padbhiH suudayantau tu raakshasam |
udyamyodyamya cha api enam sthaNDile niSpipeSatuH || 3-4-7

7. raakshasaam= that demon is; mushtibhiH baahubhiH padbhiH= with fists, with hands, with feet; suudayantau tu= battering, but; [Rama and Lakshmana]; enam= him; udyama+udyamya cha api = heaving and heaving, also, even; staNDile niS pipeSatuH= on ground, entirely, pounded.

They battered that demon with their fists, hands and feet, and even by heaving and hurling him again and again they entirely pounded on him on the ground. [3-4-7]

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sa viddho bahubhir baaNaiH khaDgaabhyaam cha parikshataH |
niSpiSTo bahudhaa bhuumau na mamaara sa raakshasaH || 3-4-8

8. saH= he is; bahubhiH baaNaiH viddhaH = by many, arrows, hurt; khadgaabhyaam cha parikshtaH= by two swords, even, sheared off; bahudhaa bhuumau nisH pishtaH= in many ways, on ground, [though] entirely, pounded; saH raakshasa na mamaara = he, that demon, not, killed.

Though that demon is battered with many arrows, even sheared off with two swords, and even though he is entirely pounded on the ground he is not killed. [3-4-8]

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tam prekshya raamaH subhR^isham avadhyam achala upamam |
bhayeSu abhaya daH shriimaan idam vachanam abraviit || 3-4-9

9. bhayeSu abhaya daH= in fear, shelter, bestower [Rama]; shriimaaan= sublime one; achala upamam= mountain, in simile; tam su bhR^ishaam= very easily; a+vadhyam= not, eliminable; prekshya= on observing; idam vachanam abraviit= this, sentence, spoke.

On observing that the mountain-similar demon is ineradicable that easily, then Rama, the sublime one, and the bestower of shelter in fear, spoke this sentence to Lakshmana. [3-4-9]

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tapasaa puruSavyaaghra raakshaso.ayam na shakyate |
shastreNa yudhi nirjetum raakshasam nikhanaavahe || 3-4-10

10. purSa vyaaghraH= manly tiger - Lakshmana; tapasaa= by penance; raakshasaH ayam= demon, this one; yudhi shashtreNa nirjetum= in war, by weapons, to overpower; na shakyate= not, possible to; raakshasam nikhanaavahe= demon be, bury we will.

"Oh! Manly-tiger Lakshmana, it is impossible to overpower this demon with weapons in a confrontation, hence, lets bury this demon... [3-4-10]

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ku.njarsya iva raudrasya raakshasasya asya lakshmaNa! |
vane asmin sumahad shwabhram khanyataam raudravarchasaH || 3-4-11

11. Lakshmana; raudrasya raudra karmaNaH asya raakshasya= for furious one, for ferocious, reprobate, for this, demon; kunjarasya iva= for an elephant, as though; asmin= in forest; su mahat swabhram khanyataam = very, deep, pit, be dug.

"Lakshmana, a very deep pit be dug for this furious and ferocious reprobate in this forest, as though for an elephant... [3-4-11]

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iti uk{}tvaa lakshmaNam raamaH pradaraH khanyataam iti |
tasthau viraadham aakrmya kaNThe paadena viiryavaan || 3-4-12

12. viiryavaan=valiant one Rama; lakshmaNam= to Lakshmana; pradara khanyataam iti= trench, shall be dug, thus; uktvaa= having said; viraadham paadena kanThe aakramya tasthau= Viradha is, with foot, on the throat, overcoming [repressing,] stood in readiness.

On saying to Lakshmana that a trench shall be dug... then Rama repressively placed his foot on the throat of Viradha, and stood by. [3-4-12]

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tat shrutvaa raaghaveNa uk{}tam raakshasaH prashritam vachaH |
idam provaacha kaakutstham viraadhaH puruSarSabham || 3-4-13

13.raakshasaH= the demon; Viradha; tat shrutvaa raaghaveNa uktam= that, on hearing, by Raghava, said; puruSarSabhaH kaakuthsam= man, the best, to Kakutstha; idam prashritam vachaH= this, humble, words; pra uvaacha= well [sincerely,] spoke.

On hearing that said by Raghava, demon Viradha sincerely spoke these humble words to Rama, the finest one from Kakutstha dynasty. [3-4-13]

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hato.aham puruSavyaaghraH shakra tulya balena vai |
mayaa tu puurvam twam mohaan na j~naataH puruSarSabhaH || 3-4-14

14. purusH vyaaghraH= man, the tiger; shakra tulya balena vai= Indra, equalling, in strength, indeed; [by you]; aham hataH= I am, dead; puruSrSabha= oh, man, the best; mayaa mohaat tu = by me, fallaciously, but; twam puurvam na j~naataH= you are, earlier, unidentified.

"Dead I am, oh! Manly-tiger and a coequal of Indra in your strength... I have fallaciously not identified you earlier... oh, best one among men... [3-4-14]

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kausalyaa suprajaataH taata raamaH twam vidito mayaa |
vaidehii cha mahaabhaagaa lakshmaNaH cha mahaayashaaH || 3-4-15

15. taataH= sire; twam= you are; kausalyaa suprajaa= Kausalya's, son; Rama; mayaa viditaH= by me, know to be; vaidehii cha mahaabhaagaa= Vaidehi, also, propitious one; Lakshmana cha mahaayashaH= Lakshmana, too, great, renowned one [are now known.]

"Oh, sire, now I have known you to be Rama, the son of Kausalya... and even propitious Seetha and greatly renowned one Lakshmana are now known to me... [3-4-15]

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abhi shaapaad aham ghoram praviSTo raakshsiim tanum |
tu.mburuH naama gandharvaH shapto vaishravaNena hi || 4-3-16

16. abhishaapaat = by curse; aham praviSTaH ghoram rakshasiim tanum= I, entered, ghoulish, demon's, body; tumburuH naama gandharava= Tumburu, named, celestial [I am]; shaptaH= cursed; vaishrvaNena hi= by Kubera, verily.

"By curse I had to enter this ghoulish demon's body, but I am a celestial gandharva, named Tumburu and Kubera cursed me... [3-4-16]

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prasaadyamaanaH cha mayaa so.abraviit maam mahaayashaaH |
yadaa daasharathii ramaH twaam vadhiSyati sa.myuge || 3-4-17
tadaa prakR^itim aapanno bhavaan swargam gamiSyati |

17-18a. prasaadyamaanaH cha mayaa= entreated, he was, also, by me; mahaa yashaH, saH = great, renowned one, he, Kubera; abraviit maam= said, to me; yadaa dasharathii raamaH= when, Dasharatha's, Rama; tvaam vadhiSyati samyuge= you, kills, in fight; tadaa prakR^itim aapannaH= then, natural state [celestial body,] you attain; bhavaan swargam gamiSyati= you, to heavens, can go;.

"When entreated by me, he that greatly renowned Kubera said to me, 'When Dasharatha's Rama kills you in a fight... then you will attain your nature of celestial body and you will go to heavens...' [3-4-17, 18a]

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anupasthiiyamaano maam sa kruddho vyaajahaara ha || 3-4-18
iti vaishravaNo raajaa ra.mbha aasak{}tam uvaaca ha |

18b, 19a. anupasthiiya maanaH= not, presenting myself; maam= to me; sa kruddhaH vyaajahaaraH ha= in anger, said verily [cursed]; iti vaishravaNaH raajaa= thus, by Vaishravana, [Kubera,] the king; rambha aasaktam= in Rambha, interested; uvaaca ha= said [this curse-clearance,] indeed.

" King Kubera thus cursed angrily me for not presenting myself in his service when I was interested in a celestial dancer Rambha, and indeed he alone said this curse-clearance to me... [3-4-18b, 19a]

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tava prasaadaan muk{}to aham abhishaapaat su daaruNaat || 3-4-19
bhuvanam swam gamiSyaami swasti vo.astu para.mtapa |

19b, 20a. tava prasaadaat= by your, grace; su daaruNaH= utterly hideous one; abhi shaapaat= from the curse; muktaH aham= released, I am; bhuvanam swam gama iSyaami= to heavens, mine, [now,] to go, I wish; swasti vaH astu= safe, you all, will be; param tapa= others [enemies',] firestorm.

" And by your grace I am released from this utterly hideous cruse, and now I wish to go to my own heavenly abode, oh, firestorm of enemies, let safety betide you all... [3-4-19b, 20a]

The celestial beings are called sura and their antagonists are a-sura . There are many sura beings living in heavens and netherworlds. To name a few, they are uraga, garuda, gandharva, kimpurusha, siddha, saadhya, vidyaadhara, chaaraNa, apsara, yaksha, guhyaka, bhuuta, khechara and the like. Of them gandharva-s are amiable beings for their expertise in performing arts. The apsara beings are the divine courtesans and among them are four apsara beings of high order. They are Rambha, Urvashi, Menaka and Tilottama . These four are instrumental to Indra, to incite and allure sages from their austere penance, lest they may win over the ship on heavens from Indra. The present gandharva, namely Tumburu, in his courting with Rambha had belated his services to Kubera, the Chief Divinity for Wealth Management. Hence Kubera cursed this gandharva to become the demon called Viradha, but yet this Tumburu alias Viradha is the devotee of Goddess Lakshmi. The antagonists of sura are a-sura beings and all sorts of demons, monsters, etc., come under this category and they are not devils or Satan's stooges, but they equal the capabilities of sura beings. Prof. Ranade observes that "Dr. R.G. Bhandarkar, in an important article in the B.Br.A.S. Journal makes the following interesting suggestion. The Sanskrit equivalent of the word demon viz., 'Asurya' may here refer to the 'Assyrian' country. 'Assyrian and 'Asuryan' being philologically identical, the 'y' and the 'u' being interchangeable as in Greek..."

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ito vasati dharmaatmaa sharabha~NgaH prataapavaan || 3-4-20
adhyartha yojane taataH maharSiH suurya sa.nnibhaH |
tam kshipram abhigacCha twam sa te shreyo abhidhaasyati || 3-4-21

20b, 21. taata= sire; itaH adhyartha yojane= from here, after one and half, yojana-s; dharmaatmaa prataapavaan suurya sannibhaH= virtuous one, efficacious one, with sun-like resplendence; sharabhangaH mahariSiH vasati= Sharabhanga, great, saint, dwells; tvam kshipram tam abhigaccha= you, quickly, to him, approach; saH te shreyaH abhidaasyati= he, to you, opportune, advises.

Oh, Sire, att one and half yojana-s of distance from here Sage Sharabhanga, a great saint of virtue, and an efficacious sage with sun-like resplendence dwells, you shall quickly approach him for he advises you opportunely... [3-4-20-21]

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avaTe cha api maam raama nikshipya kushalii vraja |
rakshasaam gata sattvaanaam eSa dharmaH sanaatanaH || 3-4-22
avaTe ye nidhiiyante teSaam lokaaH sanaatanaaH |

22, 23a. Rama; avaTe cha api maam= in a pit, also, thus, me; prakshipya= bury; kushalii vraja= safely, you go; gata sattvaanaam= lost, vitality; rakshasaam= to demons; eSa dharma sanaatanaH = this is, custom, age-old; avaTe ye nidhiiyante= in pit, those, inhumed; teSaam lokaaH sanaatanaH= to them, worlds of manes.

"Rama you go safely on burying me in a pit... this is the age-old custom for those demons that lost vitality... those that are inhumed in pit, to them there will be the worlds of manes..." [3-4-22, 23a]

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evam uk{}tvaa tu kaakutstham viraadhaH shara piiDitaH || 3-4-23
babhuuva swarga sa.mpraapto nyasta deho mahaabalaH |

23b, 24a. evam uktavaa= thus, saying; kaakuthsam= to Rama; Viradha; shara piiditaH= by arrows, hurt; babhuuva swarga sampraaptaH= became, heavens, attained [heaven-worthy]; nystha dehaH mahaabalaH= on leaving, body, of mighty, strength.

"And on saying thus to Rama that Viradha who is hurt by arrows became heaven-worthy on leaving his body. [3-4-23b, 24a]

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tat shrutvaa raaghavaH vaakyam lakshmaNam vyaadidesha ha || 3-4-24
ku.njarsya iva raudrasya raakshasasya asya lakshmaNa! |
vane asmin sumahat shwabhram khanyataam raudrakarmaNaH|| 3-4-25
iti uk{}tvaa lakshmaNam raamaH pradaraH khanyataam iti |
tasthau viraadham aakramya kaNThe paadena viiryavaan || 3-4-26

24b, 25, 26. tat shrutvaa= that, hearing; Raghava; vakyam= words [of demon]; lakshmanam= to Lakshmana; vyaadidesha ha= ordered, indeed; Lakshmana; raudrasya raudra karmaNaH asya raakshasya= for furious one, for ferocious, reprobate, for this, demon; kunjarasya iva= for an elephant, as though; asmin= in forest; su mahat swabhram khanyataam = very, deep, pit, be dug. viiryavaan=valiant one Rama; lakshmaNam= to Lakshmana; pradara khanyataam iti= trench, shall be dug, thus; uktvaa= having said; viraadham paadena kanThe aakramya tasthau= Viradha is, with foot, on the throat, overcoming [repressing,] stood in readiness. m

And Raghava on hearing those words of the demon ordered Lakshmana, Lakshmana, a very deep pit be dug for this furious and ferocious reprobate in this forest, as though for an elephant... On saying to Lakshmana that a trench shall be dug... then Rama repressively placed his foot on the throat of Viradha, and stood by. [3-4-24b, 25, 26]

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tataH khanitram aadaaya lakshmaNaH shwabhram uttamam |
akhanat paarshvataH tasya viraadhasya mahaatmanaH || 3-4-27

27. tataH khanitram aadaaya= then, dig-tool, on taking; Lakshmana; uttamam shvabhram akhanat= deep, pit, dug; paarshvataH tasya viradhasya mahaa aatmanaH= beside of, that, of Viradha, the great soul.

Then, on taking a digging tool Lakshmana dug a deep pit beside the great soul Viradha. [3-4-27]

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tam muk{}ta kaNTham utkshipya sha~Nku karNam mahaaswanam |
viraadham praakshipat shwabhre nadantam bhairava swanam || 3-4-28

28. tam mukta kanTham= him, on releasing, his throat; utkshipya= raised [to throw into grave]; shanku karNam= long eared one [like an ass]; mahaa swanam= one with lurid, voiced; viraadham= Viradha is; praakshipaH= ensconced; shwabhre= in the pit; nadantam= while he is still blaring; bhairava swanam= with horrific, voice.

On releasing his throat from the stamping of Rama, he that long eared, lurid voiced Viradha is ensconced in that pit while he is still blaring with his horrific voice. [3-4-28]

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tam aahave daaruNam aashu vikramau
sthirau ubhau sa.myati raama lakshmaNau |
mudaanvitau chikshipatur bhayaavaham
nadantam utkshipya bilena raakshsam || 3-4-29

29. aashu vikramau= deftly, victorious ones; samyati sthirau= in a fight, who compose themselves; raama lakshmaNau= Rama, Lakshmana; ubhau= both; muda anvitau= gladness, with [gladly]; aahave daaruNam= in fight, a ghoulish one; bhayaavaham= a terrifying one; tam nadantam= blaring one; raakshsam= him, that blaring, demon; utkshipya balena = raising up, by might; chikshipatuH= hurled; [avaTe= into pit.]

Those deftly victorious ones Rama and Lakshmana who compose themselves in a given fight, both have gladly raised that Viradha, a ghoulish one in fight, a terrifying demon who is still blaring, with all their might and hurled him into the pit. [3-4-29]

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avadhyataam prekshya mahaasurasya tau
shitena shastreNa tadaa nararSabhau |
samarthya cha atyartha vishaaradau ubhau
bile viradhasya vadham prachakratuH || 3-4-30

30. tadaa = then; nararSabhau= best ones among men; ati artha vishaaradau= very, in skills, experts [very expertly skilled]; tau ubhau= those, two; shitena shastreNa= by any sharp, weapon; mahaa asurasya tasya viraadhasya= of great, demon, of that, Viradhas; a+vadhyataam prekshya= indestructibility, on observing; samarthya cha= on thinking well, also; bil vadham prachakratuH= in pit, elimination, they have undertaken.

On observing the indestructibility of that demon with any weapon, however sharp it might be, those two best ones among men that are very expertly skilled have thought over well and undertook the elimination of that great demon in a pit. [3-4-30]

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swayam viraadhena hi mR^ityum aatmanaH
prasahya raameNa vadhaartham iipsitaH |
niveditaH kaanana chaariNaa swayam
na me vadhaH shastra kR^ito bhavet iti || 3-4-31

31. viraadhena svayam aatmaanaH mR^ityuH= by Viradha, on his own, of his own death; prasahya= preferred; raameNa= by Rama; vathaartham= to be killed; iipsitaH= desired for a long; kaanana chaariNa= forest, walker; me shastra kR^itaH vadhaH na bhavet iti= to me, weapon, oriented, killing, not, possible, thus as; swayam niveditaH= he himself, apprised.

Viradha himself preferred his death at the hands of Rama and desired for a long to be killed by Rama and that forest walker himself appraised that, "Killing me with any weapon is impossible..." [3-4-31]

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tadeva raameNa nishamya bhaaSitam
kR^itaa matiH tasya bila praveshane |
bilam cha tena ati balena rakshasaa
praveshyamaanena vanam vinaaditam || 3-4-32

32. tat bhaashitam eva nishamya= that, said [by Viradha,] only, on listening; raameNa tasya bila praveshane kR^ita matiH= by Rama, his, into pit, entering [casting him,] resolved, in mind; bilam praveshyamaanena=into pit, while being entered [while flungh in to pit]; ati balena tena raakshasaa vanam vinaaditam= very, mighty one, by him, that demon, forest, is verily, blared.

On listening to that which is said by Viradha, Rama resolved his mind to cast him into pit, and when that mighty demon is being flung into the pit the whole forest blared with that demon's cries. [3-4-32]

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prahR^iSTa ruupau iva raama lakshmaNau
viraadham urvyaam pradare nipaatya tam |
nanandatuH viita bhayau mahaavane
shilaabhiH antar dadhatuH cha raakshasam || 3-4-33

33. prahR^iSTa ruupaH iva= very, happy, looking, like; Rama; Lakshmana; tam viraadham= him, Viradha is; urvyaaH pradare= in earth's, in pit; nipaatya = on burying; viita bhayaH= gone is, the fear; mahaa vane= in great forest; nanandatuH= rejoiced; raakshasam shilaabhiH antar dadhutuH cha= demon is, with boulders, within, concealed, also.

Rama and Lakshmana felt happy by way of their look in burying Viradha in the pit of the earth, and on burying him they two felt rejoiced for gone is the fear in that great forest, and within the pit they have also concealed him with boulders in order to make it a burial-chamber to the departed soul. [3-4-33]

Everywhere Rama patiently performs these funeral rites, whether it is demon, eagle or a monkey, if dead in his presence. Here also, Viradha's grave is covered with stones and boulders, as a kind of Stonehenge.

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tataH tu tau kaa.nchana chitra kaarmukau
nihatya rakshaH parigR^ihya maithiliim |
vijahratuH tau muditau mahaavane
divi sthitau chandra divaakarau iva || 3-4-34

34. tataH= then; kaanchana chitra kaarmukau= those having golden, dazzling, bows; tau= then, they two; nihatya rakshaH= on killing, the demon; parigR^ihya= took; maithiliim= Maithili; muditau= gladly; mahaa vane= in great, forests; divi sthitau= in skies, staying; tau= two; chandra divaakaraaH iva= Moon, Sun, like; vijahratuH= journeyed on.

Then they two who have dazzling golden bows have eliminated that demon and retrieved Seetha, and they gladly journeyed on in that great forest like the two entities abiding on the skies, namely the Sun and Moon. [3-4-34]

The simile of sun and moon is of some importance. It will not be clear as to, who is compared with Sun and who with Moon, unless some ancient commentaries are touched. Rama is compared with Chandra, the Moon, because, Moon will not travel without his wives. All the celestial stars are the wives of the Moon, and they twinkle before the Moon's arrival, in order to welcome him into the night. Hence Rama is suffixed with Chandra, compounding to Sri Ramachandra. On the other hand, Sun does not travel along with his wife, namely Chaya, the Shadow, but she always will be at his hind. We the living beings are in between the Sun and his wife Chaya. If we face Sun in the morning times, she will be at our back, and in the evenings, when the Sun is at our back, Chaya, shadow will be in front of us, reminding us of our lengthening shadow of life. Thus we are in between the light and shadow. The Sun is also called karma saakshi, [Witness of Deeds.] Our own shadow, shortens with the ascending Sun and lengthens as the dusk of our day or life increases. Hence Sun's travel is wife-less one, and Lakshmana is thus compared with the Sun, for he does not have his wife travelling with him now. And Lakshmana is another karma saakshi [Witness of Events] in the Ramayana. In another way of commenting it is said that both of them are said to be moon-like in their appeasing personalities and sun-like in their radiant valour.

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The Episode of Viradha

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The episode of Viraadha assumes some importance in Hindu mythology. It may be observed that Viraadha drops down Seetha, lifts and carries Rama and Lakshmana far away from Seetha, where Rama and Lakshmana kill Viraadha. aadhytma rmaayana which occurs in the 61st chapter of brahmaanmda puraana also narrates this episode of Viradha as a one to one fight, herein Rama affronts and kills him straight. But in Valmiki Ramayana, Viradha takes away Seetha first and then Rama and Lakshmana, too. A question arises as to why the demon should snatch Seetha away and later carry Rama and Lakshmana to a distant place from Seetha. It is part of the scheme that Rama kills no demon or sinner in the presence of Seetha, including Ravana, for she is that benevolent one to all the sinners and pardons them if surrendered in faith at her feet, as an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Our concern here is with skaanda purana , a Shiva Puraana, in which Viradhas episode is explained detailedly. The skaanda puraana puts it as: so'pi tm jnak dv ghra sajta vikrama | iya par mah akti seya svargasya kraa asy vibodho mokepi kraa bandhanepi ca | tasmt im bhajiyami diy prpta hi daranam | iti darana mtrea vimuktm augha pajara | bhakti yukto jarahra ea st caitanya rpi|

On seeing Seetha Viraaadha thought, " She is the Supreme goddess through whom heavens can be obtained by salvation and also release from the bondage [of demons body] On just seeing Her, relieved is this body cage, so with all my devotion, I steal Her." etc. Hence vi raadha meant to be verily, devout, like Radha of Krishna. When chased and hurt by Rama and Lakshmana, the demon releases Seetha, but carries both the brothers away. For this distancing Rama and Lakshmana from Seetha, it is said that Rama does not kill any demon in the presence of Seetha, for she graciously condones the mischief of the demons, if they are true devotees.

Again in skaanda puraana, at the end of this Viraaadha episode, the phala shruti [Fruit of Listening] it is narrated as:

yo virdha vadha nitya oti rvayeti v |
tasya ppni sarvi vinani na saaya ||

" Those that always listen or let listen, all their sins are absolved, undoubtedly   .. skaanda pauraana

 

iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye araNya kaaNDe caturthaH sargaH

Thus, this is the 4th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana,the First Epic poem of India.


Verse Locator for Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek : Chapter 4

 

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1998, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised - March 04]