Book III : Aranya Kanda - Book Of Forest
Ravana praises Seetha's beauty by extolling every limb of hers, though he enters like a Brahman sanyaasi, a friar. He indulges in a most untoward laudation that is unbefitting for a saintly and elderly almsman. Unable to refute him, because he is in such a pious garb, she had to invite him as an untimely guest.
tayaa paruSam uktaH tu kupito raaghava anujaH |
sa vikaa.nkSan bhR^isham raamam pratasthe na ciraat iva || 3-46-1
1. tayaa= by her [Seetha]; paruSam uktaH= rudely, who is spoken to [Lakshmana]; saH raaghava anujaH= he, Raghava's, younger brother; kupitaH= is infuriated; bhR^isham= very much; vi kaankSan= verily, yearning [to see Rama]; na ciraat iva= not, lately [at once]; raamam pratasthe= towards Rama, journeyed.
Raghava's younger brother Lakshmana is very much infuriated at Seetha who spoke to him rudely, as such he journeyed towards Rama at once as though he is yearning to see Rama immediately, albeit his heart wanted him to stand guard to Seetha. [3-46-1]
tadaa aasaadya dashagriivaH kSipram a.ntaram aasthitaH |
abhicakraama vaidehiim parivraajaka ruupa dhR^ik || 3-46-2
2. antaram aasthitaH= interval [opportunity,] taking hold of; dasha griivaH= ten, throated [headed one, Ravana]; tadaa aasaadya= then, on getting it - opportunity; pari vraajaka= roundabout, moving [Brahman] sanyaasi [meandering friar]; ruupa dhR^ik [dhR^it]= aspect, adopting [wearing]; kSipram= quickly; vaidehiim abhicakraama= to Vaidehi, moved towards - approached.
Quickly taking hold of intervallic time then the ten-headed Ravana approached Vaidehi adopting an aspect of a sanyaasi, a meandering Brahman friar. [3-46-2]
shlakSNa kaaSaaya sa.mviitaH shikhii chatrii upaanahii |
vaame ca a.mse avasajya atha shubhe yaSTi kamaNDaluu || 3-46-3
parivraajaka ruupeNa vaidehiim anvavartata |
3, 4a. atha= now; shlakSNa kaaSaaya samviitaH [tat parivraajakaH]= smooth [silky,] saffron, enwrapped in [cloaked in] [that sanyaasi is]; shikhii= with tufted head-hair; chatrii= with an umbrella; upaanahii= with [wooden] sandals; vaame amse= on left, shoulder; shubhe yaSTi kamaNDaluu= auspicious, sanyaasi's shaft, handy water-vessel; avasajya= arranged [hooked - water vessel hooked to hand-shaft]; parivraajaka ruupeNa= with meandering sanyaasi's, mien; vaidehiim anvavartata= towards Vaidehi, approached to.
That sanyaasi is now cloaked in smooth silky saffron, his head-hair is neatly tufted, sandals are wooden, umbrella is on right shoulder, and on his left shoulder a shaft of sanyaasi is shouldered, onto which his handy water vessel is hooked, and he proceeded towards Vaidehi in a mien of meandering sanyaasi. [3-46-3, 4a]
There are many dress rules to a sanyasi 'the Hindu sanyaasi' where the main items are, as said by Sage Angiirasa: brahma s¨tram tridanýam ca vastram jantu niv˜raõam | þikyam p˜tram b®sŸm caiva kaupŸnam ka÷i veÿ÷itam 'sacred thread, three-shafts, saffron clothing, deerskin, handy water vessel, grass-mat, loin-cloth, girdle-cloth... by these he will be known as a real sanyasi 'Hindu sanyaasi.' Out of all these items, the shafts make a difference. Vaishnavaite sanyaasi-s handle three shafts tied into one, and the three are symbolic to cit, acit, iishvara 'animate, inanimate, and lord...' and on this Manu says v˜k daõýa× ca mano daõýa× k˜ya daõýa× tathaiva ca | yasya ete nihit˜ buddhau sa tridaõýŸ ca ucya te the word daNDa means 'repressing, suppression, control...' thus a sanyaasi has to control his 'speech, mind, and body... by that alone he is renowned as sanyasi... Manu. As such, Ravana is in the getup of an unmistakable Brahman sanyaasi, with an unbridled tongue.
taam aasasaada atibalo bhraatR^ibhyaam rahitaam vane || 3-46-4
rahitaam suurya candraabhyaam sa.ndhyaam iva mahat tamaH |
4b, 5a. ati balaH= great-mighty - Ravana; vane bhraatR^ibhyaam rahitaam= in forest, two brothers, without - she who is - Seetha; taam= her; suurya candraabhyaam rahitaam= sun, moon [either of them,] without; sandhyaam= [lively] eventide; mahat tamaH= great, darkness - overpowering an evening; iva= like; Ravana; aasasaada= reached.
As with a pitchiest gloom overcoming the sunless and moonless lively eventide, that great-mighty Ravana came over to Vaidehi in that forest, when she is without two of the brothers, namely Rama and Lakshmana. [3-46-4b, 5a]
taam apashyat tato baalaam raaja putriim yashasviniim || 3-46-5
rohiNiim shashinaa hiinaam grahavat bhR^isha daaruNaH |
5b, 6a. tataH= then; bhR^isha daaruNaH= extremely, sinister [planet, as well as Ravana]; yashasviniim= glorious one; raaja putriim= king's, daughter - princess; baalaam= of young age - youthful one; taam= her [at Seetha]; shashinaa hiinaam rohiNiim= by Moon, devoid of, at Star Rohini; grahavat= like a [bad] planet; [yathaa= as with]; apashyat= [Ravana] has seen.
As a sinister planet looks over Star Rohini when she is devoid of Moon, that extremely sinister Ravana then looked over the glorious and youthful princess Seetha. [3-46-5b, 6a]
Rohini is the principle star and dear wife of the Moon will be in lunar asterism of the same name, and when she comes in the view of planets like Saturn and Mars astrology predicts earthly havocs. Hence, Ravana is compared with such a planet and Seetha with Rohini.
tam ugram paapa karmaaNam janasthaana gataa drumaaH || 3-46-6
sa.mdR^ishya na praka.mpante na pravaati ca maarutaH |
6b, 7a. ugram paapa karmaaNam= Ravana who is with - ferocity, with iniquitous, activities; tam samdR^ishya= him, on observing; janasthaana gataa drumaaH= in Janasthaana, gone in [existing in,] trees; na pra kampante= are not, in full, sway; maarutaH ca= wind, also; na pra vaati= not, in full, swing.
On observing ferocious Ravana whose activities are iniquitous, the trees of Janasthaana are not in full sway, nor the wind is in full swing. [3-46-6b, 7a]
shiighra srotaaH ca tam dR^iSTvaa viikSa.ntam rakta locanam || 3-46-7
stimitam ga.ntum aarebhe bhayaat godaavarii nadii |
7b, 8a. shiighra srotaaH ca= rapid, with onrushes, also; godaavarii nadii= Godavari, river; rakta locanam viikSantam= with bloodshot, eyes, one who is looking about; tam dR^iSTvaa= him, on seeing; bhayaat= from fright; stimitam gantum aarebhe= quietly, to go [to rush off,] started to.
On seeing him who is seeing with his bloodshot eyes, River Godavari too is frightened and started to rush off quietly, whose onrush will be rapid otherwise. [3-46-7b, 8a]
The reaction of the trees, wind, and river is as said by gods to Brahma in Bala Kanda, at 1-15-10: "Surya, the Sun will not verily parch Ravana. Maarutha, the Air will not surge at his sides. On seeing Ravana, the lord of the undulating, drifting waves, Ocean... will not pulsate either, and will hide the undulating waves, for the waves are his wives, and Ravana may abduct them... like Seetha."
raamasya tu a.ntaram prepsuH dashagriivaH tat a.ntare || 3-46-8
upatasthe ca vaidehiim bhikSu ruupeNa raavaNaH |
8b, 9a. raamasya tu= Rama's, but - some [lapse or the other]; antaram prepsuH= lapse - misstep, waiting for; dashagriivaH= ten, throated one - Decahedron; raavaNaH= Ravana; tat antare= in that, meanwhile; bhikSu ruupeNa= sanyaasi, in the getup of; vaidehiim upatasthe= to Vaidehi neared.
In the meanwhile the Decahedron demon Ravana, who is all the while waiting for some lapse of Rama, neared Vaidehi in the getup of a sanyaasi. [3-46-8b, 9a]
abhavyo bhavya ruupeNa bhartaaram anushocatiim || 3-46-9
abhyavartata vaidehiim citraam iva shanaishcaraH |
9b, 10a. a + bhavyaH= not, proper - disgraceful Ravana; bhartaaram anushocatiim vaidehiim= of husband, who is thinking over, to Vaidehi; bhavya ruupeNa= proper, in mien [graceful mien of a Brahman almsman]; shanaiH caraH= slower, mover - slow moving Saturn; citraam iva= to Star Citra, as with; abhyavartata= made advances to.
That disgraceful Ravana made advances in a graceful mien of Brahman almsman to Vaidehi who is thinking over her husband, like the slow moving Saturn making advance to Star Citra which will be ominous. [3-46-9b, 10a]
sahasaa bhavya ruupeNa tR^iNaiH kuupa iva aavR^itaH || 3-46-10
atiSThat prekSya vaidehiim raama patniim yashasviniim |
10b, 11a. kuupaH tR^iNaiH [aavR^itaH] iva= wellspring, by grass, shrouded, like; bhavya ruupeNa aavR^itaH= decent, in getup, enshrouded [Ravana]; yashasviniim raama patniim vaidehiim= admirable, Rama, wife of, Vaidehi; prekSya= seeing her [leering her]; sahasaa atiSThat= in a trice, stood - in her fore.
Like a wellspring shrouded by grass, enshrouded in a decent getup of a Brahman friar, in a trice Ravana leeringly stood before of Vaidehi, the admirable wife of Rama. [3-46-10b, 11a]
This idiomatic usage of tR^iNa kuupa which draws upon straw, is held high by Dr. Satya Vrat, which is repeated often in Ramayana. He says 'Probably Kalidasa too was inspired by this very expression of Valmiki when he put it in the mouth of Shakuntala as she was being repudiated by Dushyanta: ko anyo dharma kancuka praveþina× t®õa k¨pa upama asya tava anuk˜ri bhaviÿyati - abhijñ˜na þ˜kuntalam Act 5.
tiSTan sa.mprekshya ca tadaa patniim raamasya raavaNa || 3-46-11
shubhaam rucira danta oSThiim puurNa candra nibha aananaam |
aasiinaam parNashaalaayaam baaSpa shoka abhipiiDitaam || 3-46-12
sa taam padma palaasha akSiim piita kausheya vaasiniim |
abhyagacChata vaidehiim hR^iSTa cetaa nishaa caraH || 3-46-13
11b, 12, 13. tadaa= then; raavaNaH= Ravana; raamasya patniim= at Rama's, wife; tiSTan sam prekshya= while standing, eyed; hR^iSTa [duSTa] cetaa= gladdened [wicked,] hearted one; saH nishaa caraH= he, night, walker [Ravana]; shubhaam= at her - auspicious one; rucira danta oSThiim= having fine, teeth, lips; puurNa candra nibha aananaam= full, moon, shiny, visaged one; parNa shaalaayaam aasiinaam= in straw, cottage, who is seated; baaSpa shoka abhipiiDitaam= tears, lamentation, tortured by; padma palaasha akSiim= lotus, petal, eyed one; piita kausheya vaasiniim= ochry, silks, wearing; taam vaidehiim abhyagacChata= at her, Vaidehi, approached.
While standing before her then Ravana eyed at the auspicious wife of Rama, whose lips and teeth are fine, visage is shiny like a full moon, and who is presently tortured by her tearful lamentation and sitting in the straw-cottage, and he approached that lotus-petal eyed Vaidehi who is dressed in ochry silks, as that night-walker is gladdened at his heart for her solitude. [3-46-11b, 12,13]
dR^iSTvaa kaama shara aaviddho brahma ghoSam udiirayan |
abraviit prashritam vaakyam rahite raakSasa adhipaH || 3-46-14
14. kaama shara aaviddhaH= Love-god, arrows, hit by; raakSasa adhipaH= demons, king of; dR^iSTvaa= on seeing - her, Seetha; brahma ghoSam udiirayan= Vedic-hymns [said by Brahma,] resonances, uttering [resonating]; [jana] rahite= [people,] without, [to one without companions, to Seetha in solitariness]; pra shritam vaakyam abraviit= well, mannered, sentences, spoke.
He who is hit by the arrows of Love-god that king of demons Ravana, on seeing Seetha entered resonating the resonances of Vedic-hymns as precursory in seeking alms, and spoke these well-mannered sentences to her who is in solitariness. [3-46-14]
taam uttamaam trilokaanaam padma hiinaam iva shriyam |
vibhraajamaanaam vapuSaa raavaNaH prashashamsa ha || 3-46-15
15. tri lokaanaam= in three, worlds; uttamaam= excellent one [Seetha]; padma hiinaam shriyam iva= Divine-lotus, devoid of, Goddess Lakshmi, [just] like; vapuSaa vibhraajamaanaam= with body [beauty of body, ] beaming forth; taam raavaNaH prashashamsa ha= her, Ravana, acclaimed, really.
Ravana really acclaimed her who is an excellent one in all the three worlds, beaming forth with the beauty of her body, and who is like Goddess Lakshmi but for Divine-lotus as Her settle, for Seetha is devoid of her settling, namely Rama. [3-46-15]
kaa tvam kaa.ncana varNa aabhe piita kausheya vaasini |
kamalaanaam shubhaam maalaam padminii iva ca bibhratii || 3-46-16
16. kaancana varNa aabhe= oh, one with - gold's, glitter, glittering; piita kausheya vaasini= ochry, in silks, silkened; padminii iva kamalaanaam= lotus-tendril, like, of lotuses; shubhaam maalaam bibhratii= divine, garland [you wear]; kaa tvam= who, you are.
"Glittering like the glitter of gold, silkened in ochry silks, you are like a lotus-tendril garlanded with divine lotuses as your ensemble, who are you?" Thus Ravanan started addressing Seetha [3-46-16]
The beautiful outfits on this lotus-stalk like Seetha are her mukha kamala, netra kamala, kara kamala, paada kamala... 'lotus-eyes, lotus-face, lotus-stalk like hands and lotus-feet and other limbs...' The word padmini also means a 'lake' besides the runner of lotus plant. The first compound is also read as: raupya kaancana aabhaa meaning 'shining like silver and gold...' but it is in limited mms and with very limited use.
hriiH shriiH kiirtiH shubhaa lakSmiiH apsaraa vaa shubha aanane |
bhuutir vaa tvam varaaarohe ratir vaa svaira caariNii || 3-46-17
17. shubha aanane= oh, rosy, faced one; varaaarohe= oh, curvacious one; tvam= [are] you; hriiH kiirtiH shriiH= [personified] Respect, or Renown, or Resplendence; shubhaa lakSmiiH vaa= felicitous, Lakshmi, or; apsaraa= or [nymphal] apsara; bhuutiH vaa= or Benefactress, or; svaira caariNii= or self, moving [motivated woman]; ratiH vaa= Rati, or.
"Oh, rosy faced one, are you the personified numen of Respect, Renown or Resplendence, or the Felicitous Lakshmi herself, or oh, curvaceous one, are you a nymphal Apsara, or the numen of Benefactress, or a self-motivated woman, or Rati Devi, the consort of Manmatha, the Love God. [3-46-17]
These three attributes are as informed by gods to Vishnu about the three wives of Dasharatha at 1-15-20, as: hrii, HR^illekha, virtue, modesty, uprightness... shrii, shriikaara affluence, prosperity and also suggestive of resplendence, radiance of that prosperity or effluence and kiirti fame, renown, glory... a bhuuti, vibhuuti is accordance, give-all, fortune. The ash applied on forehead in worships is to be applied with a verse bhuutir bhuutikar iishvarii... and for each of these attributes, a presiding deity is there with the same name. Here the hrii is also taken to mean bhuu devi 'Mother Earth' another wife of Vishnu. The addressing varaarohe etc., are the attributes of the addressees as a beautiful woman in the group of: varaarohaa, matta kaashinii, uttamaa, vara varNiniii - amara kosha .
samaaH shikhariNaH snigdhaaH paaNDuraa dashanaaH tava |
vishaale vimale netre raktaante kR^iSNa taarake || 3-46-18
18. tava dashanaaH= your, teeth; samaaH= are evenly; shikhariNaH= have tips like jasmine buds; snigdhaaH= smooth; paaNDuraa= whitely; netre vishaale vimale= eyes, broad, spotless; rakta ante= red, at ends; kR^iSNa taarake= black, starred [irises, pupils are black.]
"Your teeth are evenly, smooth and their tips are like jasmine buds, and your whitish broad eyes are spotless, reddish at ends, and pupils are black. [3-46-18]
vishaalam jaghanam piinam uuruu kari kara upamau |
etau upacitau vR^ittau sa.mhatau sa.mpragalbhitau || 3-46-19
piina unnata mukhau kaantau snigdha taala phala upamau |
maNi praveka aabharaNau rucirau te payo dharau || 3-46-20
19, 20. vishaalam jaghanam= beamy, hips; piinam uuruu= burly, thighs; kari kara upamau= elephant's, hand [trunk,] akin to; te= your; etau= these; maNi praveka aabharaNau= those that have - jewellery, best, ornamented; payaH dharau= milk, bearers - two breasts; upa citau= butting [rubbing each other]; vR^ittau= rotund; sam hatau= well, bumping against each; sam pragalbhitau [sam pra valgitau]= verily, unobtainable [very, well, swinging up]; piina unnata mukhau= brawny, jutting out, faces [of breasts - nipples]; kaantau= covetable; snigdha taala phala upamau= smooth, palm, fruit, like; rucirau= beautiful.
"Your hips are beamy, thighs burly akin to elephant's trunks, and these two breasts of yours that are ornamented with best jewellery are rotund, rubbing and bumping each other, and they are swinging up and up, their nipples are brawny and jutting out, and they are smoothish like palm-fruits, thus they are covetable for they are beautiful. [3-46-19, 20]
caaru smite caaru dati caaru netre vilaasini |
mano harasi me raame nadii kuulam iva a.mbhasaa || 3-46-21
karaantamita madhyaa asi sukeshii sa.mhata stanii |
21, 22a. caaru smite= oh, on who has - alluring, smile; caaru dati= alluring, teeth; caaru netre= alluring, eyes; vilaasini= oh, allurer; raame= oh, beautiful lady [or, Raamaa, the female form of Rama]; nadii ambhasaa kuulam iva= river, by water [by spate,] riverbank [eroding,] as with; me manaH harasi= my, soul, you are robbing; kara anta mita madhyaa= hand, inside, limitable, waisted - a palmful is your waist; su keshii= good, head-hair [velvety hair]; samhata stanii asi= - jostling, breasted one, you are - breasts extrusive to each other.
"Oh, allurer, your smile is alluring, teeth are alluring, and your eyes allure, oh, beauty, your waist is palmful, your hair velvety, your breasts are jostling, and you rob my soul as a spate robs riverbank. [3-46-21, 22a]
na eva devii na gandhar.hvii na yakSii na ca ki.mnarii || 3-46-22
na evam ruupaa mayaa naarii dR^iSTa puurvaa mahii tale |
22b, 23a. mayaa= by me; mahii tale= on earth's, face; evam ruupaa naarii= this kind of, featured, woman [earthly female]; na dR^iSTa puurvaa= not, seen, earlier [hither to]; devii= a goddess; na eva= not [seen,] in that way; gandharvii na= gandharva female, no; yakSii na= yaksha female, no; kinnarii na= kinnara female, no.
"I have not hitherto seen any earthly female with this kind of features on the face of earth; or, a goddess - no; a gandharva female - no; yaksha female - no; kinnaraa female - no, none whosoever! [3-46-22b, 23a]
ruupam agryam ca lokeSu saukumaaryam vayaH ca te || 3-46-23
iha vaasaH ca kaa.ntaare cittam unmathayanti me |
23b, 24a. lokeSu agryam te ruupam= in [three] worlds, excellent, by features; saukumaaryam vayaH ca= with fragility, youthfulness, also; iha kaantaare vaasaH ca= here, in thick of forest, living, also; me cittam unmathayanti [unmaadayati]= my, heart, highly stirring up [maddening, I marvel why.]
"I marvel why an excellent one in all the three worlds by her features, more so, fragile and youthful as yourself should be living here in the thick of forest. [3-46-23b, 24, 25a]
saa pratikraama bhadram te na tvam vastum iha ar.hhasi || 3-46-24
raakSasaanaam ayam vaaso ghoraaNaam kaama ruupiNaam |
25b, 26a. saa= such as you are; prati kraama= return, you go; te bhadram= to you, safety betides; iha tvam vastum na arhasi= here, to live, you, not, suitable for you [inapt of you]; ayam= this [forest]; ghoraaNaam kaama ruupiNaam= for ghastly ones, by wish, guise-changers; raakSasaanaam vaasaH= for demons, dwelling-place.
Such as you are you go back, let safety betide you, as you are unsuited to live in here, for this forest is the dwelling for ghastly demons who by their wish will be changing their guise. [3-46-24b, 25a]
praasaada agraaNi ramyaaNi nagara upavanaani ca || 3-46-25
sa.mpannaani sugandhiini yuktaani aacaritum tvayaa |
25b, 26a. praasaada agraaNi ramyaaNi= skyscrapers, rooftops, delightful ones; sampannaani= flourishing ones; sugandhiini= richly fragranced ones; nagara upavanaani ca= city, pleasure-gardens, also - they alone; tvayaa aacaritum yuktaani= by you, to saunter, befitting.
"Delightful rooftops of skyscrapers, flourishing and richly fragranced pleasure-gardens of cities alone are meetly to you to saunter. [3-46-25b, 26a]
varam maalyam varam ga.ndham varam vastram ca shobhane || 3-46-26
bhartaaram ca varam manye tvat yuktam asitekSaNe |
26b, 27a. a+sita+iikSaNe= not, white, one with eyes - oh, one with blackish eyes; shobhane= oh, beauteous one; varam maalyam= best, garlands; varam gandham [bhojyam]= best, scent [foodstuffs]; varam vastram ca= best, clothing, also; varam bhartaaram ca= best, husband, also; tvat yuktam= to you, meetly; manye= I opine.
Oh, beauteous lady, I opine that only best garlands, best scents, best foodstuffs, best clothing are meetly to you, oh, lady with black pupils, hence it is meet and right to you to have a best husband. Or "Getting at you, the garlands, scents, foodstuffs, or clothing, they all become the best, because you are the best beauteous one, as such, he alone becomes a best person who gets you as his wife, and it is meet and right to you to choose such a husband, [aside: me alone.] [3-46-26b, 27a]
kaa tvam bhavasi rudraaNaam marutaam vaa shucismite || 3-46-27
vasuunaam vaa varaaarohe devataa pratibhaasi me |
27b, 28a. shuci smite= oh, one with impeccable smile; varaaarohe= oh, lay with best midriff - a curvaceous one; tvam kaa bhavasi= you, who, are; rudraaNaam= among Rudraa-gods; marutaam vaa= of Marut-gods, or; vasuunaam vaa= of Vasu-s, or; me devataa pratibhaasi= to me, as goddess, you are beaming forth to me.
"Oh, curvaceous lady, who are you? Oh, one with an impeccable smile, do you belong to Rudraa-gods, or Marut-gods, or to Vasu-s? To me you are beaming forth like a goddess. [3-46-27b, 28a]
Vividly: 'your kind of female is unspotted by me among humans, so you must be some goddess, but I have marked all gods and there I did not find you. This province belongs to demons. As such, gods, gandharva-s, kinnaraa-s and others cannot enter this place, let alone the gods from Shiva's side, because Shiva is the Ultimate for demons. If so, do you belong to ekaa dasha rudraa-s eleven Rudraa-s? Or, because Air can circulate here, do you belong to any of the forty-nine marut gaNaa-s, Wind-gods? Or, because earth has ancient connections with aSTa vasu-s, eight-Vasu-s, do you belong to any one of them?' Further, Seetha is not smiling throughout this chapter as her mind is set on her husband's safety. Nevertheless Ravana assumes that if Seetha smiles, that smile will be impeccable.
na iha gacCha.nti ga.ndharvaa na devaa na ca kinnaraaH || 3-46-28
raakSasaanaam ayam vaasaH katham tu tvam iha aagataa |
28b, 29a. iha gandharvaa na gacChanti= here, gandharva-s, not, they go - arrive; devaa na= gods, no; kinnaraaH ca na= kinnaraa-s, also, no; ayam raakSasaanaam vaasaH= this is, for demons, dwelling-place; tvam katham iha aagataa= you, how, to here, have come.
"This is the dwelling-place of demons, and no goddess, nor a gandharva, nor a kinnara can arrive here, but how you have come here? [3-46-28b, 29a]
iha shaakhaamR^igaaH si.mhaa dviipi vyaaghra mR^igaaH tathaa || 3-46-29
R^ikSaaH tarakSavaH ka.nkaaH katham tebhyo na bibhyase |
29b, 30a. iha= here; shaakh aamR^igaaH= tree-branch, animals [simians]; simhaa dviipi vyaaghra= lions, leopards, tigers; tathaa= likewise; mR^igaaH= predators; R^ikSaaH tarakSavaH kankaaH [caranti]= bears, tigers, vultures, [will be moving]; tebhyaH katham na bibhyase= from them, how, not, frightened you are.
"Here, simians, lions, leopards, tigers, likewise other predators, bears, tigers, vultures will be moving. How you are not frightened from them? [3-46-29b, 30a]
mada anvitaanaam ghoraaNaam ku.njaraaNaam tarasvinaam || 3-46-30
katham ekaa mahaaraNye na bibheSi varaaanane |
30b, 31a. vara aanane= oh, best faced one; mahaa araNye= in great forest; mada anvitaanaam= rut, possessing; ghoraaNaam= horrendous ones; tarasvinaam= mighty ones; kunjaraaNaam= from [such] elephants; ekaa katham na bibheSi= a lonely one, how, not, you are scared.
"Being alone in this forest, oh, lady with a lovely face, how you are unafraid of horrendous and mighty elephants possessed of rut? [3-46-30b, 31a]
kaa asi kasya kutaH ca tvam kim nimittam ca daNDakaan || 3-46-31
ekaa carasi kalyaaNi ghoraan raakSasa sevitaan |
31, 32b. kalyaaNi= oh, auspicious lady; tvam= you; kaa asi= who, are you; kasya= whose - to whom you belong; kutaH ca= from where, also- you have come; raakSasa sevitaan ghoraan daNDakaan= by demons, adored, dreadful, Dandaka forest; ekaa= lonely; kim nimittam carasi= for what, reason, you move about.
"Oh, auspicious lady, who are you? Whose are you? Also from where are you? And being lonely, what for you are moving in dreadful Dandaka forest that is adored by demons?" Thus Ravana spoke to Seetha. [3-46-31, 32b]
iti prashastaa vaidehii raavaNena duraatmanaa - mahaatmanaa- || 3-46-32
dvijaati veSeNa hi tam dR^iSTvaa raavaNam aagatam |
sarvaiH atithi satkaaraiH puujayaamaasa maithilii || 3-46-33
32b, 33. duraatmanaa [mahaatmanaa]= by wicked minded one, [by great-souled Ravana]; raavaNena= by Ravana; iti prashastaa= thus, praised; maithilii vaidehii= one from Mithila, Vaidehi; dvijaati veSeNa aagatam= by twice-born [Brahman,] with getup, one who arrived; tam raavaNam dR^iSTvaa= him, at Ravana, on seeing; sarvaiH atithi satkaaraiH= with all, [casual] guest, [affordable] respects; puujayaamaasa= she started to revere.
When the wicked minded Ravana praised her in this way, Vaidehi the princess from Mithila has seen him who has arrived in the getup of Brahman and started to revere him with all the respects affordable to a casual guest. [3-46-32b, 33]
upaaniiya aasanam puurvam paadyena abhinima.ntrya ca |
abraviit siddham iti eva tadaa tam saumya darshanam || 3-46-34
34. tadaa= then; puurvam aasanam upaaniiya= firstly, seat, on fetching; paadyena abhinimantrya ca= with water, invited, also; saumya darshanam= he who has - gracious, bearing; [bhiksha] siddham iti eva= [food, alms] ready, thus, only; abraviit= said to him.
She firstly fetched a seat him, then invited him with water for feet-wash, and then said to him who looked gracious in his bearing, 'alms are ready.' [3-46-34]
dvijaati veSeNa samiikSya maithilii
tam aagatam paatra kusu.mbha dhaariNam |
ashakyam uddveSTum upaaya darshanaan
nyama.ntrayat braahmaNavat yathaa aagatam || 3-46-35
35. tadaa= then; maithilii= Maithili; dvijaati veSeNa= in Brahman's, getup of; aagatam= who has arrived; paatra kusumbha dhaariNam= a vessel [alms-bowl,] saffron-robe [or, kamaDulu, handy vessel, as the word kusumbha means doubly, robe is taken here,] wearing; ud dveSTum= to flatly refute [irrefutable appearance]; a + shakyam= not, possible one - not a rejectable one; upaaya [a] darshanaan [apaaya a darshanam]= idea [reason,] [not,] found [danger, not, seen= one in an unimperilling appearance]; samiikSya= on exploring - him;braahmaNa vat= a Brahman, like; yathaa aagatam= as, he came nyamantrayat= invited.
Maithili explored him who arrived with the features of a Brahman, with a saffron-robe and alms-bowl, and finding no reason to refute him flatly, as he has come like a Brahman, she invited him as a Brahman. Or Maithili explored him who arrived with the features of a Brahman, with a saffron-robe and alms-bowl, and as he came with an unimperilling appearance of a Brahman, she invited him as she would ordinarily invite a real Brahman. [3-46-35]
Did she recognise Ravana as a pseudo-Brahman or not... is the doubt raised by this verse, because different texts use different compounds apaaya a darshanam.... upaaya a darshanam etc. It is concluded that she, for sure, identified him as a pseudo-Brahman, because she has seen many such sanyasi-s while she was in Mithila. Hence she is said here as Maithili because she hails from Mithila and her father's court was full with these sanyasi-s, yati-s, parivraajaka-s. Then it is questioned as to why she invited him, though recognised him as a pseudo-Brahman. For this Govindaraja says: k˜ÿ˜ya daõýa m˜treõa yati× p¨jyo na samþaya× 'By spotting the saffron robe alone, a sanyasi is venerable...' Then, another doubt is raised as to how she noticed him to be pseudo- sanyasi . For this it is said r˜tri adhv˜nam y˜nam ca strŸ kath˜ laulyam eva ca | mancakam þukla vastram yatŸn˜m patan˜ni ÿa÷ || 'Walking during night, using vehicles, showing interest in episodes relating to women, and relations with women, using a cot to sleep, wearing white cloths... these six show the downfall of his sanyaasi-hood...' Ravana is indulged in strii kathaa in the whole of this chapter, in admiring at her lips, breasts, thighs etc., and no usual swasti vacana, shubha aashiis 'blessings...' are uttered by him and thus Seetha could discern him to be a pseudo- sanyasi. Though knowing him as such, why should she revere him at all, is another question. What else she could do as his appearance itself is uddveSTum a shakyam 'irrefutable appearance of a Brahman sanyasi...' hence, somehow some time is to be gained until the arrival of Rama or Lakshmana. Otherwise, this pseudo-sanyasi may cause any pseudo-problem that she cannot solve. For this, the reply is at the word in the last verse haritam dadarsha... 'only greenery is seen by her not Rama nor Lakshmana...' And in the next verse itself she is addressing him as a "Brahman...' but not with the titles like sanyasi or yatiishvara, paramahamsa, parivraajaka etc. A Brahmin alone is eligible to take up sanyaasa 'Hindu-sanyaasi-hood...' not Kshatriya or others. Hence, she concluded him to be Brahman. When once the sanyaasi-hood is taken he is no more a Brahman and his bodily being neutralises in the Absolute, and such a sanyaasi shall drag on his body, without comfortable bodily needs, until his natural death. But Seetha is addressing him contrary to his stance.
iyam bR^isii braahmaNa kaamam aasyataam
idam ca paadyam pratigR^ihyataam iti |
idam ca siddham vana jaatam uttamam
tvat artham avyagram iha upabhujyataam 3-46-36
36. braahmaNa= oh, Brahman; iyam bR^isii= this is, Darbha-mat; kaamam aasyataam= comfortably, be seated; idam paadyam pratigR^ihyataam= here is, water, receive it; iti= thus on saying; idam uttamam vana jaatam= here is, best, in forest, produce [fruits, tubers, victuals]; tvat artham siddham= for your, sake, ready; iha avyagram upabhujyataam= now, relaxedly, be dined on.
"Oh, Brahman, this is the Darbha-grass-seat and you be seated comfortably, here is water, receive it for hand and feet wash, here is the forest grown victuals for your sake... dine on them relaxedly..." Thus Seetha said to Ravana. [3-46-36]
nima.ntryamaaNaH pratipuurNa bhaaSiNiim
narendra patniim prasamiikSya maithiliim |
prasahya tasyaa haraNe dhR^iDham manaH
samarpayaamaasa aatma vadhaaya raavaNaH || 3-46-37
37. nimantryamaaNaH= one who is being invited; raavaNaH= Ravana; prati puurNa bhaaSiNiim= in turn, thoroughly, talking [talking civilities contextually]; narendra patniim maithiliim= king's, wife, at Maithili; pra samiikSya= on thoroughly, observing; [sva] aatma vadhaaya= [his own,] himself, for destruction of; prasahya= [even] forcibly; tasyaa haraNe= in her, abduction; manaH dhR^iDham samarpayaamaasa= mind, firmly, started to dedicate.
Ravana thoroughly observed that wife of the king, Maithili, when she invited him talking civilities contextual in inviting a guest, that too Brahman sanyasi, and he firmed up his mind to abduct her even forcibly, and started to dedicate himself for destruction. [3-46-37]
tataH suveSam mR^igayaa gatam patim
pratiikSamaaNaa saha lakSmaNam tadaa |
niriikSamaaNaa haritam dadarsha tat
mahad vanam na eva tu raama lakSmaNau || 3-46-38
38. tataH= then; su veSam= beautiful, bodied one - shapely Rama; mR^igayaa gatam= for hunting, who has gone; saha lakSmaNam= with Lakshmana - one who ought to return with Lakshmana, or, Lakshmana who might be returning; patim prati ikSamaaNaa= husband, towards, one who is waiting for - Seetha; tadaa= thus; niriikSamaaNaa [vi viikkshamaaNaa]= gazing at [or, seeing all sides]; haritam tat mahat vanam dadarsha= greenery, that, great, forest's, she saw; raama lakSmaNau tu= Rama, Lakshmana, but; na eva= not, thus - she saw.
Then she looked forward for her shapely husband who has gone on a hunting game, and who must be returning along with Lakshmana, and though she looked intently she could only see the green backdrop of that great forest, but not Rama or Lakshmana. [3-46-38]
iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye araNya kaaNDe SaT catvaarinshaH sargaH
Thus, this is the 46th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
© Oct, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : November 04]