Chapter [Sarga] 51

Introduction

The combat of Jataayu and Ravana ensues now, as Ravana was adamantine to the righteous sermons of Jataayu. In combating with Ravana, Jataayu shatters Ravana's bows, arrows, and chariot and kills the mules of the chariot and plucks off the head of the charioteer with his beak. Further Jataayu attacks on the body of Ravana lacerating severally. Enraged at the bird-hits Ravana severs that eagle's wings, feet, and sides. Then seeing that fallen eagle Seetha weeps over, as if Jataayu is her own relative.


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iti uktaH krodha taamraakshaH tapta kaa.ncana kuNDalaH |
raakshasendro abhidudraava patagendram amarSaNaH || 3-51-1

1. tapta kaancana kuNDalaH= burnt [burnishing] golden, ear-knobs; krodha taamra akshaH= infuriately, reddened, eyed one; raakshasa indraH= demon's, lord - Ravana; iti uktaH= thus, one spoken to; a + marSaNaH = not, tolerantly; pataga indram= to bird's lord; abhi dudraava= towards, dashed.

When Ravana is spoken to by Jataayu with judicious words, Ravana's eyes reddened infuriately, and his burnished golden ear-knobs flickered injuriously, and that lord of demons dashed towards the lord of birds, intolerantly. [3-51-1]

Ravana's ear-knobs jerked flickeringly as he gnashed his teeth in anger, as if they are fireballs. Here another type of rendering for this verse is available in other versions, which reads: iti uktasya yath nyyam rvaasya jayu | kruddhasya agni nibh sarv reju vimati daya || 'thus when Jataayu spoke to Ravana in judicious words, all the twenty eyes of infuriated Ravana are torched, like torchlit fires...'

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sa sa.mprahaaraH tumulaH tayoH tasmin mahaa mR^idhe |
babhuuva vaata uddhatayoH meghayoH gagane yathaa || 3-51-2

2. tasmin mahaa mR^idhe [gagane, vane]= in that, great [tempestuous,] combat [in sky, in forest]; tayoH = between those two; saH= that; tumulaH samprahaaraH = tempestuous, fight; gagane= in sky; vaata= by gust, ud dhatayoH= up, heaved; meghayoH= among two clouds; yathaa= as with; babhuuva = became.

As with two gigantic clouds up-heaved by the tornadic gusts will be hard hitting each other tempestuously in sky, the combat between those two, Ravana and Jataayu, became tempestuous in the sky. [3-51-2]

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tat babhuuva adbhutam yuddham gR^idhra raakSasayoH tadaa |
sapakSayoH maalyavatoH mahaa parvatayoH iva || 3-51-3

3. tadaa= then; gR^idhra raakSasayoH= of eagle, of demon; tat adbhutam yuddham = that, startling, combat; sa pakSayoH maalyavatoH= with, wings, between two Maalyavanta mountains; mahaa parvatayoH iva= gigantic, mountains, as with; babhuuva = became.

As with a startling combat between two gigantic and winged mountains, called Mt. Maalyavanta-s, that combat between the eagle and demon then became a startling one. [3-51-3]

One commentator said that one Mt. Maalyavanta is in Dandaka forest and the other in Kishkindha, while another commentator said that one is in Dandaka forests and the other is nearby Mt. Meru. There appears to be no second Mt. Maalyavanta and the poet seems to be taking one mountain and mirroring it, and thus saying that if two selfsame mountains were to confront, then it will be disastrous. This is to narrate the equivalence between their courage and strength.

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tato naaliika naaraacaiH tiikSNa agraiH ca vikar.hNibhiH |
abhyavarSat mahaaghoraiH gR^idhra raajam mahaabalaH || 3-51-4

4. tataH= then; mahaabalaH= great-mighty [Ravana]; tiikSNa agraiH= that are with excruciating, arrowheads; mahaa ghoraiH = with highly, dreadful naaliika naaraacaiH[sharaiH]= Naaliika [tubular,] Naaraaca [iron,] [with arrows]; vi karNibhiH ca= upturned, ears [arrows with, crescentic arrowheads,] also; gR^idhra raajam = on eagle, lord; abhyavarSat verily [incessantly] stormed.

Then the great-mighty Ravana incessantly stormed the lord of eagles Jataayu, with arrows that have excruciating and highly dreadful arrowheads, like tubular arrows, iron arrows, and with arrows that have crescentic arrowheads. [3-51-4]

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sa taani shara jaalaani gR^idhraH patraratha iishvaraH |
jaTaayuH pratijagraaha raavaNa astraaNi sa.nyuge || 3-51-5

5. patraratha iishvaraH= winged chariots [birds,] lord of; saH gR^idhraH jaTaayuH = that, eagle, Jataayu; sanyuge= in combat; taani shara jaalaani= them, arrows, arrays of; raavaNa astraaNi Ravana's, missiles [arrows]; prati jagraaha= received [sustained]

That eagle Jataayu who is the lord of winged-chariots, namely birds, in turn sustained those arrays of Ravana's arrows in that combat. [3-51-5]

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tasya tiikSNa nakhaabhyaam tu caraNaabhyaam mahaabalaH |
cakaara bahudhaa gaatre vraNaan pataga sattamaH || 3-51-6

6. mahaa balaH= great-mighty one [Jataayu]; pataga sattamaH= among birds, one with best-stamina; tiikSNa nakhaabhyaam caraNaabhyaam = which have gashing, claws, with two feet; tasya gaatre= his, on body [of Ravana]; bahudhaa vraNaan cakaara = severally, gashes, made.

But that great-mighty Jataayu severally made gashes on the body of Ravana with his two feet that have gashing claws for that bird is with best stamina. [3-51-6]

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atha krodhaat dashagriivaH jagraaha dasha maargaNaan |
mR^ityu daNDa nibhaan ghoraan shatror nidhana kaankSayaa || 3-51-7

7. atha= now; dashagriivaH krodhaat = Decahedral demon [Ravana] infuriately; shatroH nidhana kaankSayaa= his enemy's, elimination, wishful of; mR^ityu daNDa nibhaan= Terminator's, shaft, similar in aspect; ghoraan= deadly ones; dasha maar gaNaan jagraaha = ten, arrows, took up.

Now the Decahedral demon Ravana infuriately took up ten deadly arrows that are similar in their shine to the Shafts of the Terminator, wishful of the elimination of his enemy. [3-51-7]

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sa taiH baaNaiH mahaaviiryaH puurNa muktaiH ajihma gaiH |
bibheda nishitaiH tiikSNaiH gR^idhram ghoraiH shilii mukhaiH || 3-51-8

8. mahaaviiryaH saH= highly energetic one, he that Ravana; puurNa muktaiH= fully [stretching bowstring,] released; a + jihma gaiH= not, zigzaggedly, going [straight shooting]; nishitaiH= with sharp ones; tiikSNaiH= hurtful; ghoraiH= deadly [arrows]; shilii mukhaiH= steel-pointed, with arrowheads; taiH baaNaiH = with those, arrows; gR^idhram bibheda = eagle, he impaled.

That highly energetic Ravana released and impaled the eagle with straight shooting arrows on fully stretching the bowstring up to his ear, whose steel-pointed arrowheads are sharp, hurtful, and deadly. [3-51-8]

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sa raakSasa rathe pashyan jaanakiim baaSpa locanaam |
aci.ntayitvaa baaNaam taan raakSasam samabhidravat || 3-51-9

9. saH= he that Jataayu; raakSasa rathe= demon's, in chariot; baaSpa locanaam jaanakiim pashyan = with teary, eyes, Jaanaki, while seeing; taan baaNaam= those, arrows; a + cintayitvaa = without, thinking [heedless of]; raakSasam= to demon; sam abhi dravat= swiftly, towards, flowed [lunged forcefully.]

That Jataayu on seeing teary-eyed Jaanaki in the chariot of the demon forcefully lunged towards that demon heedless of arrows that are lunging at him. [3-51-9]

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tato asya sasharam caapam muktaa maNi vibhuuSitam |
caraNaabhyaam mahaatejaa babha.nja patagottamaH || 3-51-10

10. tataH= then; mahaatejaaH pataga uttamaH= highly refulgent, among birds, unexcelled one; asya= his - Ravana's; muktaa maNi vibhuuSitam= pearls, gemstones, decorated with; sa sharam= with, an arrow - admitted on bowstring; caapam= bow; caraNaabhyaam babhanja= with pair of feet, shattered.

That unexcelled bird of high refulgence then shattered Ravana's bow which is decorated with pearls and gemstones, and on which an arrow is admitted targeting the eagle, just by the pair of his bare feet. [3-51-10]

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tato anyat dhanuH aadaaya raavaNaH krodha muurcChitaH |
vavarSa shara var.hSaaNi shatasho atha sahasrashaH || 3-51-11

11. tataH= then; raavaNaH krodha muurcChitaH= Ravana, in anger, convulsed; anyat dhanuH aadaaya= then, another, bow, on taking; shatashaH atha sahasrashaH = in hundreds, now, in thousands; shara varSaaNi vavarSa = arrow, storms, stormed.

Ravana convulsed in anger then took up another bow and stormed hundreds and thousands of arrow storms. [3-51-11]

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sharaiH aavaaritaH tasya sa.nyuge patageshvaraH |
kulaayam abhisa.mpraaptaH pakshiH iva babhau tadaa || 3-51-12

12. tadaa= then; sanyuge= in combat; tasya sharaiH = by his - Ravana's, by arrows; aavaaritaH= covered with - engirded with, nested with; patag iishvaraH= lord of birds; kulaayam= nest; abhisampraaptaH= readily obtained; pakshiH iva= a bird, like; babhau= shone forth.

Nested in the arrows shot by Ravana that lordly bird Jataayu then shone forth in that combat like a bird that obtains a readymade nest. [3-51-12]

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sa taani shara jaalaani pakshaabhyaam tu vidhuuya ha |
caraNaabhyaam mahaatejaa babha.nja asya mahat dhanuH || 3-51-13

13. mahaa tejaa= highly refulgent one; saH= he - Jataayu; taani shara jaalaani= them, arrows, arrays of; pakshaabhyaam= = with both wings; vi dhuuya= verily, blowing off [on winnowing]; asya mahat dhanuH= his [Ravana's,] mighty, bow; caraNaabhyaam babhanja= with both feet, shattered.

On winnowing those arrays of arrows with both of his wings, he that highly refulgent Jataayu shattered the mighty bow of Ravana with both of his feet. [3-51-13]

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tat ca agni sadR^isham diiptam raavaNasya sharaavaram |
pakSaabhyaam ca mahaatejaa vyadhunot patageshvaraH || 3-51-14

14. mahaatejaaH patageshvaraH= = highly resplendent one, birds, lord of - Jataayu; raavaNasya= Ravana's; agni sadR^isham = flame, like; diiptam= glowing; tat sharaavaram ca= that, armour, also; pakSaabhyaam= with both wings; vyadhunot= blasted off.

That highly resplendent lord of birds also blasted off the armour of Ravana, which is glowing and flamelike in its flare, with both of his feet. [3-51-14]

The word used here for armour is sharaavara and for this Pt. Satya Vrat says: 'Another word which is also not noticed by Monier Williams is sharaavara. It means an armour kavaca and occurs at least twice in the Ramayana...' i.e., here and at 3-64-49 of this canto.

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kaa.ncana uraH Chadaan divyaan pishaaca vadanaan kharaan |
taan ca asya java sa.mpannaan jaghaana samare balii || 3-51-15

15. balii= mighty one Jataayu; asya= his [Ravana's]; kaancana uraH Chadaan= golden, armour [sheaths,] covered with; divyaan= marvellous ones; pishaaca vadanaan= ghost, faced ones; java sampannaan= fastness, having; taan kharaan ca= those, mules, also; samare jaghaana= in combat, killed [knocked off.]

Mighty Jataayu also knocked off the ghost-faced mules yoked to the chariot of Ravana which are covered in golden armours and tantivy in fastness. [3-51-15]

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atha triveNu sa.mpannam kaamagam paavaka arciSam |
maNi sopaana citra a.ngam babha.nja ca mahaaratham || 3-51-16

16. atha= then; tri veNu sampannam three, with bamboos [from chariot to yoke,] flourishing with; kaama gam= by wish, which traverses; paavaka arciSam= like Ritual-fire, in flare; maNi= with gems, sopaana [hema]= stairs, [with gold]; citra= fantastically [crafted]; angam= bodied [or, having wheels]; mahaaratham ca= great-chariot, even; babhanja = splintered.

Then that great-chariot which is flourishing with three bamboos from chassis to yoke, and which traverses just by its steersman's wish, and which is crafted fantastically with gem-studded body and stairs, or, whose wheels are crafted with gold and gemstones, and which in its flare is like a Ritual-fire, Jataayu splintered down even that chariot of Ravana. [3-51-16]

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puurNa candra pratiikaasham Chatram ca vyajanaiH saha |
paatayaamaasa vegena graahibhii raakshasaiH saha || 3-51-17

17. puurNa candra pratiikaasham= full, moon, mirroring in shine; Chatram ca= parasol, also; vyajanaiH saha= white-fur-royal-fans, together with; graahibhii raakshasaiH saha= with handlers [of fans,] demons, along with; vegena paatayaamaasa = swiftly, started to collapse.

Jataayu swiftly collapsed the parasol of Ravana which in shine is mirroring the full moon, along with the regalia of white-royal-fur-fans, together with the demons handling them for fanning Ravana. [3-51-17]

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saaratheH ca asya vegena tuNDena ca mahat shiraH |
punaH vyapaaharat shriimaan pakshiraajo mahaabalaH || 3-51-18

18. punaH= again; mahaabalaH= highly energetic one; shriimaan= imposing one; pakshi raajaH= bird's, king, Jataayu; asya= his [Ravana's]; saaratheH= of charioteer; mahat shiraH= robust, head; vegena= speedily; tuNDena vyapaaharat= with beak, took away - pecked off.

Again that highly energetic and imposing king of birds pecked off the robust head of the charioteer of Ravana with beak. [3-51-18]

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sa bhagna dhanvaa viratho hata ashvo hata saarathiH |
a.nkena aadaaya vaidehiim papaata bhuvi raavaNaH || 3-51-19

19. bhagna dhanvaa= one with devastated, bow; vi rathaH= devoid of, chariot; hata ashvaH= dispatched, horses; hata saarathiH= departed, charioteer; saH raavaNaH = such as he is, Ravana; vaidehiim ankena aadaaya = Vaidehi, by her torso, grabbing, [or, taking her onto his torso]; bhuvi papaata = onto earth, jumped down.

Now Ravana who is with his devastated bow, devoid of chariot, dispatched are his horses and departed is his charioteer, and such as he is, he on grabbing Vaidehi by her torso, or, placing her on the lower end of his torso, jumped to earth. [3-51-19]

Again the problem of 'untouchability of Seetha' occurred. Hence that compound ankena aadaaya vaidehiim can be expressed in two ways, one is like the usual villain's grabbing by torso, and the other is like an ardent devotee of Goddess Lakshmi, keeping her on his torso. This is similar to the method adopted by Viraadha while handling Seetha.

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dR^iSTvaa nipatitam bhuumau raavaNam bhagna vaahanam |
saadhu saadhu iti bhuutaani gR^idhra raajam apuujayan || 3-51-20

20. bhagna vaahanam= crumbled, with vehicle; bhuumau on earth; ni patitam raavaNam = downwards, one who is foundered, at Ravana; dR^iSTvaa = on seeing; saadhu saadhu iti= Goodness!, Gracious!, thus; bhuutaani= [all] beings; gR^idhra raajam apuujayanat= eagle, lordly, reverenced.

On seeing Ravana who is foundered onto earth from his crumbled vehicle, all beings like sylvan deities, caarana-s, siddha-s and suchlike, reverenced that lordly eagle Jataayu. [3-51-20]

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parishraantam tu tam dR^iSTvaa jarayaa pakSi yuuthapam |
utpapaata punar hR^iSTo maithiliim gR^ihya raavaNaH || 3-51-21

21. pakSi yuuthapam= birds', commandant; tam= him [Jataayu]; jarayaa= owing to senescence; parishraantam= fatigued; dR^iSTvaa= on seeing; raavaNaH hR^iSTaH= Ravana, gladdened; maithiliim gR^ihya = Maithili, on taking; punaH= again; ut papaata = up, fallen - rose up to sky.

But on seeing the commandant of birds Jataayu is fatigued owing to his senescence, Ravana is gladdened and he again rose up to skies taking Maithili. [3-51-21]

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tam prahR^iSTam nidhaaya a.nke raavaNam janaka aatmajaam |
gacCha.ntam khaDga sheSam ca praNaSTa hata saadhanam || 3-51-22
gR^idhra raajaH samutpatya raavaNam samabhidravat |
samaavaaryam mahaatejaa jaTaayuH idam abraviit || 3-51-23

22, 23. gR^idhra raajaH= eagle's, king; mahaatejaaH= highly resplendent one; jaTaayuH= Jataayu; sam ut patya= well, up, fallen [swiftly rising up]; prahR^iSTam= one who is cheerful - to Ravana; pra NaSTa hata saadhanam= completely, lost [demolished,] assault, devices; khaDga sheSam ca = one having [single] sword, remnant [save for,] also; janaka aatmajaam= Janaka's, daughter; anke nidhaaya gacChantam= on flank, keeping [holding,] one who is going away; tam raavaNam= him, at Ravana; sam abhi dravat= to very, fore, ran [dashed]; sam aavaaryam= practically, forestalling [Ravana]; idam abraviit this, spoke.

The highly resplendent king of eagles Jataayu swiftly rose to sky dashing practically to forestall Ravana, which demon's assault devices are all demolished by now save for a single sword, but who is cheerful to spirit away the daughter of Janaka, and actually spiriting away holding her onto his flank, and Jataayu spoke this to such Ravana. [3-51-22, 23]

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varja sa.msparsha baaNasya bhaaryaam raamasya raavaNa |
alpa buddhe harasi enaam vadhaaya khalu rakSasaam || 3-51-24

24. alpa buddhe= you, mean, minded; raavaNa= Ravana; varja samsparsha baaNasya = Vajra, [Thunderbolt weapon of Indra,] with a touching off, one who has [wields] arrows; raamasya bhaaryaam= Rama's, who is wife of; enaam= her; rakSasaam vadhaaya harasi khalu = of all demons, for destruction, you abduct, definitely.

"You mean-minded Ravana, you abduct her whose husband wields arrows that touch off like the Thunderbolt of Indra, and this spite of yours is definitely for the destruction of all the demons. [3-51-24]

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sa mitra bandhuH sa amaatyaH sa balaH sa paricChadaH |
viSa paanam pibasi etat pipaasita iva udakam || 3-51-25

25. sa mitra bandhuH sa amaatyaH= with, friends, relatives, with, ministers; sa balaH sa pari cChadaH = with, armies, with, accomplices; pipaasita= one that thirsteth; udakam iva =[drinketh] water, as with; etat= this [abduction of Seetha called consumption of venom]; by undertaking this you; viSa paanam pibasi= venom, drink, you drinketh.

"As one thirsteth drinketh water, you drinketh venomous drink along with your friends, relatives, ministers, armies, and with your accomplices, as this abduction of Seetha itself is squirrelling away dangerous poison. [3-51-25]

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anuba.ndham ajaana.ntaH karmaNaam avicakSaNaaH |
shiighram eva vinashyanti yathaa tvam vinashiSyasi || 3-51-26

26. karmaNaam= of exploits; anu bandham= after, effect [backlash]; a + jaanantaH= not, knowing; a + vicakSaNaaH= not, discriminators [mindless adventurers]; yathaa= as to how; shiighram eva vinashyanti = quickly, thus, get ruined; [tathaa= similarly]; tvam [shiighram] vinashiSyasi = you, [quickly,] will ruin.

"As with the mindless adventurers quickly getting ruination for they undertake self-ruinous exploits, unknowing the backlashes thereof, so also you too will ruin that quickly with this mindless adventure. [3-51-26]

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baddhaH tvam kaala paashena kva gataH tasya mokSyase |
vadhaaya baDisham gR^ihya sa amiSam jalajo yathaa || 3-51-27

27. tvam= you are; paashena kaala = with lasso, of Terminator; vadhaaya= for termination; baddhaH = tethered; sa amiSam= with, [a piece of] flesh; baDisham= fish rod and line with fish-hook; gR^i^ihya= on catching [on swallowing]; jala jaH= water, born [fish]; yathaa= as with; tasya= from it [from that death lasso]; kva gataH mokSyase = wherever, you go, get released [whereby you untether yourself.]

"You are tethered for termination with the lasso of the Terminator, as with a fish that can go nowhere on its biting fishhook with a piece of flesh. How do you untether yourself from that lasso of the Terminator, even if you go anywhere? [3-51-27]

Vividly: The Terminator gives a sinner a longest rope possible to hang himself from a tallest tree. Perchance there may be fish that bites the bait, stripping fishhook from fish line, dives deep down to escape from the fisherman, and yet it cannot survive even there, because the fishhook is already in its throat, which the fish can neither vomit nor swallow. Thus, it is destined to die. Likewise, you bit the baited hook called Seetha and running away with that bait and hook around your neck, thereby the Terminator has already lassoed His noose around your neck, and perchance you may presently abscond from this hermitage, but not from that noose, called Rama's arrow, for a long time.

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na hi jaatu duraadharSau kaakutsthau tava raavaNa |
dharSaNam ca aashramasya asya kSamiSyete tu raaghavau || 3-51-28

28. raavaNa= oh, Ravana; duraadharSau= unassailable ones; kaakutsthau raaghavau = those from Kakutstha dynasty, Raghava-s - Rama, Lakshmana; tava= your; asya aashramasya dharSaNam= this, of hermitage, assailing; jaatu= at anytime; na kSamiSyete hi= never, condone, indeed.

"But, oh Ravana, the unassailable Raghava-s of Kakutstha dynasty will nevermore condone your assailing this hermitage. [3-51-28]

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yathaa tvayaa kR^itam karma bhiiruNaa loka garhitam |
taskara aacarito maar.hgo na eSa viira niSevitaH || 3-51-29

29. bhiiruNaa= by dastard; tvayaa= by you; yathaa= as to how; loka garhitam karma kR^itam = by world [society,] contemptible, deed [crime,] being done [committed]; this way of doing; taskara aacaritaH maargaH= thieves, tramped, pathway [in the footsteps of thieves]; viira niSevitaH= by valiant ones, adored by [acceptable, commendable by valiant ones]; na eSa = not, this [thieving] is.

"Like a dastard you are committing a crime of thieving Seetha when none at home in the footsteps of thieves, this thieving is contemptible to society and condemnable by valiant ones. [3-51-29]

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yudhyasva yadi shuuro asi muhuurtam tiSTha raavaNa |
shayiSyase hato bhuumau yathaa bhraataa kharaH tathaa || 3-51-30

23. raavaNa= oh, Ravana; shuuraH asi yadi= valiant one, you are, if; yudhyasva = you combat; muhuurtam tiSTha= for a moment, you stay; puurvam kharaH yathaa= earlier, as with, Khara; tathaa= likewise; hataH bhuumau shayiSyase = slain, on earth, you will sprawl.

"Stay for a moment, oh, Ravana, if you are valiant enough you can combat with Rama who will return right away, and at his hand you will be slain and sprawling on earth in the same way as Khara sprawled earlier. [3-50-23]

This verse is a repeat of verse at 3-50-23, and such iterations are not for want of paucity of verses or verbiage, but they are reckoned as the determination of the character to express his/her stance in similar terms.

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pareta kaale puruSo yat karma pratipadyate |
vinaashaaya aatmano adharmyam pratipanno asi karma tat || 3-51-31

31. puruSaH= a person; pareta kaale= at death, time [occasion of]; yat karma pratipadyate= which, [fateful] activity, obtains [undertakes]; a + dharmyam= un, righteous [activity]; tat karma= such an, activity; aatmanaH vinaashaaya = of yourself, for ruination; pratipannaH asi = obtained [undertaking,] you are, [fateful.]

"A person undertakes such an unrighteous and fateful activity if only death looms large on him. You too have undertaken this unrighteous fateful activity only for your self-ruination. [3-51-31]

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paapa anuba.ndho vai yasya karmaNaH ko nu tat pumaan |
kur.hviita loka adhipatiH svaya.mbhuuH bhagavaan api || 3-51-32

32. yasya karmaNaH= which, activity's; paapa anu bandhaH= sin, is following, sequential - consequential; tat= that [activity]; loka adhipatiH= universe, lord of; bhagavaan= god; svayam bhuuH api = self, born one, even; kaH pumaan nu = which, man, really; kurviita= undertakes.

"If sin is consequential to any given activity who will undertake it? Even if that person vies with the Self-Born God and Lord of the Universe, namely Brahma, will he undertake it?" Thus Jataayu advised Ravana. [3-51-32]

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evam uktvaa shubham vaakyam jaTaayuH tasya rakSasaH |
nipapaata bhR^isham pR^iSThe dashagriivasya viiryavaan || 3-51-33

33. viiryavaan jaTaayuH = valorous one, Jataayu; evam shubham vaakyam uktvaa = this way, auspicious [commonsensical,] words, on speaking; rakSasaH tasya dashagriivasya pR^iSThe= demon, his, Decahedron's, on hind-side, on back; bhR^isham= muchly [devastatingly]; ni papaata= down, fallen - descended on.

Even on speaking those commonsensical words to Ravana, Jataayu found him carrying off Seetha heedlessly, then that valorous Jataayu descended on the hind-side of that Decahedral demon Ravana, devastatingly. [3-51-33]

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tam gR^ihiitvaa nakhaiH tiikSNaiH vidadaara sama.ntataH |
adhiruuDho gaja aaroho yathaa syaat duSTa vaaraNam || 3-51-34

34. tam gR^ihiitvaa= him [Ravana,] on taking [clasping]; adhiruuDhaH= one mounted upon - bestriding; gaja aarohaH= elephant, mounter - mahout; duSTa vaaraNam= bad, elephant - an uncontrollable elephant that is running amok; yathaa= as with; syaat= as it will be -as he will try to control; likewise; tiikSNaiH nakhaiH = with incisive, nails - claws; samantataH= everywhere [rampantly]; vidadaara [vi da daara]= deeply lacerated.

On clasping Ravana with incisive claws Jataayu lacerated deeply and rampantly, as a mahout, an elephant-trainer-controller, sitting astride on it will try to control an uncontrollable elephant that is running amok with an incisive goad. [3-51-34]

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vidadaara nakhaiH asya tuNDam pR^iSThe samarpayan |
keshaan ca utpaaTayaamaasa nakha pakSa mukha aayudhaH || 3-51-35

35. asya pR^iSThe tuNDam samarpayan= his [Ravana's,] on back, beak, applying; nakhaiH vidadaara= with claws, he tore asunder; nakha pakSa mukha aayudhaH= claws, wings, face [beak, only with] weaponed one; keshaan ca= hair, also; utpaaTayaamaasa= started to pluck off.

Weaponed only with his claws, wings, and beak, Jataayu not only tore the back of Ravana asunder applying his beak and claws, but started to tweeze even his hair. [3-51-35]

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sa tathaa gR^idhra raajena klishyamaano muhur muhuH |
amarSa sphurita oSThaH san praaka.mpata sa raakSasaH || 3-51-36

36. gR^idhra raajena= by eagles, king of; muhuH muhuH= again, again [repetitiously]; tathaa klishyamaanaH= thus, exasperated; saH= he - Ravana; amarSa sphurita oSThaH san= by intolerance, quivering, lips, on becoming; saH raakSasaH= that, demon; praa kampata= severely, shuddered; or; [pradakSiNena calanam= on to his right, staggered.

His lips becoming intolerantly quivery when Ravana is exasperated by that king of eagles repetitiously, that demon staggered on to his right targeting the hovering eagle at his hind-side to fell it down. [3-51-36]

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sa.mpariSvajya vaidehiim vaamena a.nkena raavaNaH |
talena abhijaghaana aarto jaTaayum krodha muurchitaH || 3-51-37

37. raavaNaH krodha muurchitaH= Ravana, in fury, convulsed; vaamena ankena = on [his] left, flank; vaidehiim sampariSvajya = Vaidehi, firmly, embracing tightly clutching; aartaH= aggrieved one [Ravana]; [aashu= quickly]; jaTaayum talena abhijaghaana= Jataayu, with [Ravana's] palm, hit back.

Ravana who is aggrieved and convulsed in fury hit back Jataayu with his palm while firmly clutching Vaidehi onto his left flank. [3-51-37]

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jaTaayuH tam atikramya tuNDena asya khaga adhipaH |
vaama baahuun dasha tadaa vyapaaharat arindamaH || 3-51-38

38. tadaa= then; khaga adhipaH= birds, lord; arindamaH= enemy-vanquisher; jaTaayuH= Jataayu; tam= him - Ravana; ati kramya, over, stepping [outstripping]; tuNDena= with beak; asya dasha vaama baahuun= his, ten, left, arms; vyapa aharat = taken away - ripped off.

Jataayu, the lord of birds, being a vanquisher of enemies outstripped Ravana and ripped off ten left-arms of Ravana with his beak, with which left arms Ravana is clutching Vaidehi, in order to release her from his clutches. [3-51-38]

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sa.mcChinna baahoH sadyo vai baahavaH sahasaa abhavan |
viSa jvaalaavalii yuktaa valmiikat iva pannagaaH || 3-51-39

39. samcChinna baahoH= one with mutilated, arms - Ravana; his; baahavaH= arms; sadyaH eva= instantaneously, indeed; valmiikat= from snake pit; viSa jvaala aavalii yuktaa= venomous, blazes, series of, having; pannagaaH iva = snakes, like; sahasaa abhavan, instantly, became - sprang up, ricocheted.

Though his arms are mutilated thus, they instantaneously ricocheted from his body like snakes possessing a series of venomous blazes sprawling out from a snake pit. [3-51-39]

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tataH kroddhaat dashagriivaH siitaam utsR^ijya viiryavaan |
muSTibhyaam caraNaabhyaam ca gR^idhra raajam apothayat || 3-51-40

40. tataH= then; viiryavaan dashagriivaH= valorous one Decahedron [Ravana]; siitaam utsR^ijya = Seetha, throwing off; muSTibhyaam caraNaabhyaam ca= with both fists [fisticuffs,] with both feet [kicks]; gR^idhra raajam= with eagle, king; kroddhaat apothayat= out of fury, scuffled with.

The valorous Decahedron Ravana then threw off Seetha, and out of fury he scuffled with the king of eagles with fisticuffs and kicks, by both his feet and fists. [3-51-40]

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tato muhuurtam sa.ngraamo babhuuva atula viiryayoH |
raakSasaanaam ca mukhyasya pakSiNaam pravarasya ca || 3-51-41

41. tataH= then; a + tula viiryayoH= between out, weighing, valorous ones; raakSasaanaam mukhyasya= of demons, chieftain; pakSiNaam pravarasya = of birds, chief; muhuurtam sangraamaH babhuuva= for some time, encounter, chanced.

Then there chanced an encounter for some time between those two valorous ones with mutually outweighing capabilities, namely the chieftain of demons and the chief of the birds. [3-51-41]

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tasya vyaayacChamaanasya raamasya arthe atha raavaNaH |
pakSau paadau ca paarshvau ca khaDgam uddhR^itya so acChinat || 3-51-42

42. saH raavaNaH= he that, Ravana; khaDgam uddhR^itya= sword, up-raising - brandishing; raamasya= Rama's; arthe= for the sake of; vyaayacChamaanasya= one who is up raising - revolting; atha= then; tasya= his - Jataayu's; pakSau paadau ca paarshvau ca= wings, feet, also, sides, also; acChinat= hewed off.

Ravana brandishing his sword at Jataayu, who is revolting for the sake of Rama, hewed off both of his wings, sides, and feet. [3-51-42]

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sa Chinna pakSaH sahasaa rakSasaa raudra karmaNaa |
nipapaata mahaa gR^idhro dharaNyaam alpa jiivitaH || 3-51-43

43. raudra karmaNaa rakSasaa = of cruel, actions, by demon; Chinna pakSaH = ruptured, winged; saH mahaa gR^idhraH= he, the colossal, eagle; alpa jiivitaH= with lessened, life; sahasaa= immedietly; dharaNyaam ni papaata= onto earth, down, fallen.

When that demon of cruel actions has ruptured his wings that colossal eagle Jataayu immediately fell down to earth with a lessened life. [3-51-43]

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tam dR^iSTvaa patitam bhuumau kSataja aardram jaTaayuSam |
abhyadhaavata vaidehii sva ba.ndhum iva duHkhitaa || 3-51-44

44. vaidehii= Vaidehi; bhuumau patitam = on earth, fallen; kSataja aardram = with blood, dampened; tam jaTaayuSam= him, Jataayu; dR^i^iSTvaa= on seeing; duHkhitaa= fell into a fit of weeping; sva bandhum iva= her own, relative, as if; abhyadhaavata= towards ran.

On seeing Jataayu fallen on earth and dampened with blood Vaidehi fell into a fit of weeping and ran towards him as if he is her own relative. [3-51-44]

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tam niila jiimuuta nikaasha kalpam
supaaNDura uraskam udaara viiryam |
dadarsha la.nkaa adhipatiH pR^ithivyaam
jaTaayuSam shaantam iva agni daavam || 3-51-45

45. lanka adhipatiH= Lanka's, monarch [Ravana]; niila jiimuuta nikaasha kalpam= blue[-black,] cloud, in shine, similar; su paaNDura uraskam= whitely, whitish, chested; udaara viiryam= worthily, valorous one; agni daavam iva= fire, storm, like; shaantam= [now] quiescent; tam jaTaayuSam= him, at Jataayu; pR^ithivyaam dadarsha = on earth, he saw.

Ravana, the monarch of Lanka, gazed at that worthily valorous Jataayu, who in his shine is like a blue-black cloud with a whitely white chest and who by now is like a quiescent fire-storm flattened onto ground. [3-51-45]

The cloudy blackness is simile to the black feathers of the eagle, and to the charred material by a wildfire. The whitely white colour is to the whitish feathers on the chest of the eagle, and to the white ashes overlaid on the charred material by wildfire, before they ashen. Thus, Jataayu fell down in a supine posture.

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tataH tu tam patraratham mahii tale
nipaatitam raavaNa vega marditam |
punaH ca sa.mgR^ihya shashi prabha aananaa
ruroda siitaa janaka aatmajaa tadaa || 3-51-43

46. tataH tu= then, but; shashi prabha aananaa= moon, shine, visaged; janaka aatmajaa siitaa= Janaka's, daughter, Seetha; tadaa= then; raavaNa vega marditam= by Ravana's, forcefulness, subjugated; mahii tale nipaatitam= on earth's, surface, felled down; tam patra ratham= him, winged, chariot [bird, eagle Jataayu]; punaH samgR^ihya ruroda= again [further, incessantly,] taken in hands [hugged,] wept over.

But then Seetha, the daughter of Janaka, whose face vies with moonshine hugged eagle Jataayu, whom Ravana has subjugated with his forcefulness and felled down onto the surface of earth, and she wept over incessantly. [3-51-46]

Seetha is hugging Jataayu. 'Is it admissible or not...' is another debatable issue. 'Because it is bird, it may be handled...' is one adjustment, while the other is, 'when Jataayu is a personified entity and a friend of Dasharatha, this bird is as good as a man. So, Seetha's touching him shall be a taboo...' The commentators deal this aspect in the next chapter of this canto.

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Jataayu - the duteous creature

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The character of Jataayu is not introduced just to give information to Rama at the time of his physical death. He is an example of self-duteous, self-dedicated, unpaid servant to his master. In Ch.14 of this Aranya canto when Jataayu firstly met Rama he says: so aham vsa sahya te bhaviymi yadi icchasi | idam durgam hi kntram mga rkasa sevitam stm ca tta rakiye tvayi yte salakmae || "That is what I am, I will be your helpmate at your residence, should you wish so, for this forest is one that is impassable and adorned by predators and demons...oh boy, I wish to protect Seetha, if you go out of your residence with Lakshmana..." 3-14-34 And Jataayu kept up his pledge in 'helping Rama and protecting Seetha' as much as he can, without hesitation. This selfless service and sermons he rendered to Ravana are exemplary. This is called daasya bhakti 'devoutness through selfless service...' and service whether paid or unpaid is thus to be rendered selflessly - is the lesson he taught.

Secondly, birds hitting airplanes is not a recent phenomenon and it existed even before airplanes were invented, as is evident from Jataayu's hitting Ravana's aircraft. And Ravana's aircraft that is variously and amazingly portrayed by the sage-poet, is nothing before a bird. Hence, Ravana should have used some other latest state of art technology to prevent such bird-hits. This is to say, any artificial paraphernalia is nothing before a living organism, and Hanuma, a mere monkey, taking lessons from Jataayu, a mere eagle, reduces even the artificially devised Lanka to ashes.

 

iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye araNya kaaNDe eka pa.ncaashaH sargaH

Thus, this is the 51st chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.


Verse Locator for Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek : Chapter 51

 

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Sarga 51 in English Prose

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Nov, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : November 04]