Book III : Aranya Kanda - Book Of Forest
Rama spots Jataayu, whose wings are hacked and who is breathless, and is in his last moments. On conceding to the suggestion of Lakshmana that they should search for Seetha, they start searching the forest and at certain place the mountainous Jataayu is seen. Mistaking him to be a demon Rama wants to kill and speedily approaches Jataayu, but on listening Jataayu's words, Rama recognises and laments for his wretched situation.
puurvajo api ukta maatraH tu lakShmaNena subhaaShitam |
saara graahii mahaasaaram pratijagraaha raaghavaH || 3-67-1
1. saara graahii= essence, taker [best gleaner of the gist]; raaghavaH= Raghava; puurva jaH api= earlier, born [elder brother of Lakshmana,] even though; lakSmaNena ukta maatraH tu= by Lakshmana, when he [Rama] is said, just, but; mahaa saaram= ultimate, tenor; su bhaaSitam= well, said [said expediently]; prati jagraaha= in turn, taken [himself gleaned.]
Even though Rama is elder to Lakshmana he gleaned the ultimate tenor of Lakshmana's words when Lakshmana just said them expediently because Raghava is a best gleaner of the gist of advises. [3-67-1]
If the advice is with ideation it can be taken form youngsters... yukti yuktam vaco gr˜hyam b˜l˜t api subh˜ÿitam | tathaa ca - anena b˜lot Ÿritam api yuktam vaco gr˜hyam iti uktam - tath˜ ca bh˜rate udyoge - vidura× - api unmatta pral˜pato b˜l˜cca parisarpita× | sarvata× s˜ram ˜dady˜t aþmabhya iva k˜ncanam || iti - dk 'youngsters advices can be taken like gold from the coals...'
sa nigR^ihya mahaabaahuH pravR^iddham roSham aatmanaH |
avaShTabhya dhanuH citram raamo lakShmaNam abraviit || 3-67-2
2. saH= such as he is - Rama; mahaabaahuH= dextrous one; raamaH= Rama; pra vR^iddham aatmanaH roSam nigR^ihya= highly heightening, his own, fury, on controlling; citram dhanuH avaSTabhya= bedazzling bow, on that bow, propping against; lakSmaNam abraviit= he, to Lakshmana, said.
Such as he is that dextrous Rama on controlling his highly heightening fury, propping against his bedazzling bow spoke this to Lakshmana. [3-67-2]
kim kariShyaavahe vatsa kva vaa gacchhaava lakShmaNa |
kena upaayena pashyeyam siitaam iha vicintaya || 3-67-3
3. vatsa= oh, bear boy; lakSmaNa= Lakshmana; kim kariSyaavahe= what, is to be done by us; kva vaa gacChaava= to where, or, we go; siitaam kena upaayena pashyeyam= Seetha, by which, device, we can see; iha vi cintaya= in this matter, you clearly think.
"What is to be done by us, oh, dear boy... or, whereto we might go, or, by which device Seetha is discernable... Lakshmana, now you think of it, clearly... [3-67-3]
tam tathaa paritaapa aartam lakShmaNo raamam abraviit |
idam eva janasthaanam tvam anveShitum ar.hhasi || 3-67-4
raakShasaiH bahubhiH kiirNam naanaa druma lataa aayutam |
4, 5a. tathaa= in that manner; paritaapa aartam= by anguish, tormented; tam raamam= to him, to Rama; lakSmaNaH abraviit= Lakshmana, said; tvam= you; bahubhiH raakSasaiH kiirNam= with many, demons, rife with; naanaa druma lataa aayutam= manifold, trees, climber-plants, replete with; idam janasthaanam eva= this, Janasthaana, alone; anveSitum arhasi= to search, apt of you.
To such a Rama who is tormented by anguish, Lakshmana said, "it will be apt of you to search this Janasthaana alone which is rife with many demons, and replete with manifold trees and climber-plants... [3-67-4]
santi iha giri dur.hgaaNi nirdaraaH ka.ndaraaNi ca || 3-67-5
guhaaH ca vividhaa ghoraa naanaa mR^iga gaNa aakulaaH |
aavaasaaH kinnaraaNaam ca gandharva bhavanaani ca || 3-67-6
5b, 6. iha= at this place; giri durgaaNi= mountains, unclimbable; nirdaraaH= glens; kandaraaNi ca= glyphs, as well; vividhaa= divers; ghoraa= pernicious; naanaa mR^iga gaNa aakulaaH= with diverse, predators, packs, tumultuous with; guhaaH ca= caverns, also; kinnaraaNaam aavaasaaH= kinnaraa-s, mansions; gandharva bhavanaani ca= gandharva-s, palaces, as well; santi= are there.
"Here there are unclimbable mountains, glens and glyphs as well. There are divers and pernicious caverns tumultuous with diverse packs of predators, and here are the mansions of kinnaraa-s and palaces of gandharva-s, as well... [3-67-5b, 6]
taani yukto mayaa saardham samanveShitum ar.hhasi |
tvat vidhaa buddhi saMpannaa maahaatmaano nararShabha || 3-67-7
aapat.hsu na prakaMpante vaayu vegaiH iva acalaaH |
7, 8a. [tvam= you]; yuktaH= steadfastly; maya saardham= me, along with; taani sam anveSitum arhasi= them, to thoroughly search, apt of you; nararSabha= oh, best one among men; buddhi sampannaaH= cleverness, those possessed with [literati]; tvat vidhaa= your, sort of; maahaa aatmaanaH= clever souls; vaayu vegaiH= by wind, speed [storms]; a + calaaH= not, fluctuating ones [i.e., mountains]; iva= as with; aapatsu na pra kampante= in calamities, will not, fluctuate.
"It will be apt of you to steadfastly search in them along with me, and oh, best one among men, your sort of literati and clever-souls will be unfluctuating in calamities like the mountains unfluctuating in windstorms..." Lakshmana said so Rama. [3-67-6, 7, 8a]
iti uktaH tat vanam sarvam vicacaara sa lakShmaNaH || 3-67-8
kruddho raamaH sharam ghoram sa.ndhaaya dhanuShi kShuram |
8b, 9a. kruddhaH raamaH= ireful, Rama; iti uktaH= thus, when he is said by Lakshmana; sa lakSmaNaH= along with Lakshmana; dhanuSi= in bow; ghoram= a deadly one; kSuram sharam= razor-sharp / crescent shaped, arrow; sandhaaya= on readying; sarvam tat vanam vicacaara= all, that, forest, he roved.
When Lakshmana said in this way to that ireful Rama, he roved entire forest along with Lakshmana readying a crescent-shaped razor-sharp deadly arrow on his bow. [3-67-8b, 9a]
tataH parvata kuuTa aabham mahaa bhaagam dvija uttamam || 3-67-9
dadarsha patitam bhuumau kShataja aardram jaTaayuSham |
9b, 10a. tataH= then; parvata kuuTa aabham= mountain, top, in gleam [akin]; mahaa bhaagam= best, beatific; dvija uttamam= [among all] birds, best [brave]; bhuumau patitam= onto earth, fallen; kSataja aardram= blood, wet [bloodstained]; jaTaayuSam= at Jataayu; dadarsha= [Rama] beheld.
Then Rama beheld Jataayu who is akin to a mountaintop in his gleam, and a best beatific brave bird among all the birds, but bloodstained and buckling on earth. [3-67-9b, 10a]
tam dR^iShTvaa giri shR^i.nga aabham raamo lakShmaNam abraviit || 3-67-10
anena siitaa vaidehii bhakShitaa na atra saMshayaH |
10b, 11a. giri shR^inga aabham= mountain, top, in gleam; tam dR^iSTvaa= him, on beholding; raamaH lakSmaNam abraviit= Rama, to Lakshmana, said; anena= by him [by this one]; vaidehii siitaa bhakSitaa= Videha king's daughter, Seetha, is gluttonised; atra samshayaH na= in that matter, doubt, is not there.
On beholding him who is like a mountaintop in his gleam, Rama said to Lakshmana, "This one has gluttonised Seetha, the princess from Vaidehi, there is no doubt about it... [3-67-10b, 11a]
Seetha is given to Rama presuming Rama to be a true valiant and befitting husband and the saviour of Seetha, as Rama established his superpower in breaking a non-liftable bow, in any dire situation. But reversed are situations in Aranya as she is likely to be abducted in its early chapters, and really abducted in later chapters. Now Rama has actually not protected Seetha, though capable enough. Leave Rama and Valmiki alone for a while in giving so many epithets to Seetha, can any self-respecting son-in-law, a protective husband, more so, a semi-super power on earth, can possibly face his father-in-law and say smilingly, 'your daughter is lost...' Hence, these 'so many epithets... that too, as Vaidehi, in particular, in this particular Aranya...' have their own meanings and subtexts, which can be known only through commentaries, unlike reading a novel. Ramayana is a dhvani kaavya ' epic with allusions...' and which word has which allusiveness is to be known first, before theorising the craft of Valmiki or the crafty interpolators. 'If the interpolators have interpolated unwittingly, will the Sanskrit grammarians and linguists keep quiet, or wage a war, until it is changed...' is the pursuant exclamation. Hence we appeal to the near extinct species called Sanskrit pundits to record somewhere as which epithet functions in which way.
gR^idhra ruupam idam vyaktam rakSho bhramati kaananam || 3-67-11
bhakShayitvaa vishaalaakShiim aaste siitaam yathaa sukham |
enam vadhiShye diipta agraiH ghoraiH baaNaiH ajihmagaiH || 3-67-12
11b, 12. idam rakSaH= this, demon; gR^idhra ruupam= in eagle's, semblance - assuming; kaananam bhramati= in forest, skulks; vyaktam= apparently; vishaalaakSiim siitaam= wide-eyed, Seetha; bhakSayitvaa= having gluttonised; yathaa sukham= as per, his comfort [comfortably]; aaste= reposing [himself]; diipta agraiH= with blazing, arrowheads; ghoraiH= deadly ones; a +jihma gaiH= not, crisscross, going [shoot off straightly]; baaNaiH= with bolts; enam vadhiSye= him, I eliminate.
"It is apparent that this demon skulks in the forest in the semblance of an eagle, and having gluttonised that wide-eyed Seetha he is now reposing comfortably. I will eliminate him with deadly arrows, whose arrowheads blaze away and which shoot off straightly..." Thus Rama declared. [3-67-11b, 12]
iti uktvaa abhyapatat gR^idhram sandhaaya dhanuShi kShuram |
kruddho raamaH samudra antaam caalayan iva mediniim || 3-67-13
13. raamaH= Rama; iti uktvaa= thus, saying; kruddhaH= ireful one; dhanuSi kSuram sandhaaya= on bow, razor-sharp / crescent shaped arrow, on readying; samudra antaam mediniim caalayan iva= ocean, up to perimeter, [whole of the] earth, to a-treble, as though; gR^idhram= to eagle; abhyapatat [abhi aa patat= towards, come, and fallen]= rushed towards.
On saying thus and on readying a crescent-shaped razor-sharp deadly arrow on his bow, that ireful Rama rushed towards the eagle, as though to a-tremble the whole of the earth that which is within the perimeter of oceans. [3-67-13]
tam diina diinayaa vaacaa sa phenam rudhiram vaman |
abhyabhaaShata pakShii tu raamam dasharatha aatmajam || 3-67-14
14. pakSii tu= bird, on its part; sa phenam rudhiram vaman= with, frothy, blood, spewing up; diina= pathetically; tam dasharatha aatmajam raamam= to him, to Dasharatha's, son, to Rama; diinayaa vaacaa= in a pathetic, tone; abhyabhaaSata= uttered [appealed.]
But that bird spewing up frothy blood pathetically appealed to such an ireful son of Dasharatha, namely Rama, in a pathetic tone. [3-67-14]
Jataayu is firstly recollecting his friend Dasharatha on his deathbed, then he recounts this Rama as that Dasharatha's son, and hence, the epithet to Rama is non-non-essential.
yaam oShadhim iva aayuShman anveShasi mahaa vane |
saa devii mama ca praaNaa raavaNena ubhayam hR^itam || 3-67-15
15. aayuSman= oh, boy, blest is your eternality - oh, Rama; yam= whom; mahaa vane oSadhim iva anveSasi= in vast, of forest, herb, as with, you are searching; saa devii= she, that lady; mama praaNaa ca= my, lives, too; ubhayam= both; raavaNena hR^itam= by Ravana, stolen.
"Oh, boy Rama, blest is your eternality, for whom you are searching as with the search of a rejuvenescent herb in the vast of forest, Ravana stole that lady and my lives, too... [3-67-15]
tvayaa virahitaa devii lakShmaNena ca raaghava |
hriyamaaNaa mayaa dR^iShTaa raavaNena baliiyasaa || 3-67-16
16. Raaghava= oh, Raghava; tvayaa=with you; lakSmaNena ca= with Lakshmana, as well; virahitaa= without, absented; devii= lady - Seetha; baliiyasaa raavaNena hriyamaaNaa= by brute-forced, by Ravana, while being stolen; mayaa dR^iSTaa= by me, seen.
"I have seen that lady while being stolen by brute-forced Ravana when you and even Lakshmana absented from her... [3-67-16]
siitaam abhyavapanno aham raavaNaH ca raNe mayaa |
vidhva.nsita rathaH ca atra paatito dharaNii tale || 3-67-17
17. aham= I; siitaam= for Seetha; abhyavapannaH [abhi ava pad= towards, nearly, got at to rescue]= outreached to rescue; raNe= in combat; maya= by me; raavaNaH ca= Ravana, also; vidhvansita rathaH ca= [Ravana is rendered as one with a] utterly, battered, chariot, also; atra dharaNii tale paatitaH= there, on earth's, surface, felled [him and that chariot.]
"I outreached to rescue Seetha... and in a combat Ravana is rendered as one with utterly battered chariot... and I felled him and that chariot there... onto earth's surface... [3-67-17]
Some mms use Chatram 'parasol...' for the word atra for 'there...' and prabho 'oh, lord...' for mayaa 'by me...'
etat asya dhanuH bhagnam etat asya sharaavaram |
ayam asya raNe raama bhagnaH saaMgraamiko rathaH || 3-67-18
18. raama= oh, Rama; etat asya bhagnam dhanuH= this one is, his, fragmented, bow; etat asya sharaavaram= this one, his, armour; ayam= this one is; asya= his; raNe= in combat; bhagnaH= shattered [by me]; saangraamikaH rathaH= combatant's / used in combats, chariot.
"This one is his fragmented bow and this is his fragmented armour... oh, Rama, this is his combat-chariot... which, in combat shattered by me... [3-67-18]
Some mms use prabho 'oh, lord...' for etat and sharaaH tathaa 'arrows like that' for sharaavaram 'armour...'
ayam tu saarathiH tasya mat paksha nihato bhuviH |
parishraantasya me pakShau chhittvaa khaDgena raavaNaH || 3-67-19
siitaam aadaaya vaidehiim utpapaata vihaayasam |
rakShasaa nihatam puurvam na maam hantum tvam ar.hhasi || 3-67-20
19. ayam tu= he is, on his part; bhuviH= on earth; mat paksha nihataH= by my, wings, drop dead; tasya saarathiH= his, charioteer; raavaNaH= Ravana; parishraantasya= overtired [such I was]; me pakSau khaDgena Chittvaa= my, two wings, with sword, on gashing; vaidehiim siitaam aadaaya= of Videha, Seetha, on taking; vihaayasam= on skies; utpapaata= fallen in a trice; rakSasaa puurvam nihatam= by demon, earlier [already,] killed; maam= me; tvam hantum na arhasi= to you, to kill, not, apt of you.
"This is his charioteer drop dead onto earth by my wings... when I am overtired Ravana gashed my wings and flew skyward taking Seetha of Videha kingdom with him, and it will be inapt of you to kill me who am already killed by the demon..." Thus Jataayu appealed to Rama. [3-67-19, 20]
raamaH tasya tu viGYaaya siitaa saktaam priyaam kathaam |
gR^idhra raajam pariShvajya parityajya mahat dhanuH || 3-67-21
21. raamaH= Rama; tasya= of his - from him; siitaa saktaam= Seetha, concerning to; priyaam kathaam= desirable, narration - news; vij~naaya= came to know; parityajya mahat dhanuH= jettisoned, forceful, bow; gR^idhra raajam pariSvajya= eagle, kingly, on hugging.
Rama jettisoned his forceful bow when he heard the much desired news about Seetha while hugging that kingly eagle Jataayu. [3-67-21]
nipapaata avasho bhuumau ruroda saha lakshmaNa |
dviguNiikR^ita taapa aarto raamo dhiirataro api san || 3-67-22
22. raamaH= Rama; dhiira taraH= bold [person,] higher in degree [comparatively bold person]; api san= even though, he is; a +vashaH= without, control [involuntarily]; bhuumau= on earth; nipapaata= fell down; saha lakshmaNa ruroda= along with, Lakshmana, wept over [the fate of Jataayu]; dvi guNii kR^ita taapa aartaH= two, fold, made as [doubled,] he is scorched, by anguish.
Even though Rama is comparatively a bold person he involuntarily fell down to ground, as the onefold scorch of anguish for Seetha is doubled by this predicament of Jataayu, and he wept over Jataayu. [3-67-22]
Rama's weeping is real or unreal, is a haunted notion for commentators. Here also he is weeping over. For this Maheshvara Tiirtha says that he weeps and bewails when his adherents are ill at ease. In Ayodhya vyasaneÿu manuÿy˜õ˜Õ bh®þaÕ bhavati du×khita× || utsaveÿu ca sarveÿu piteva parituÿyati | 2-2-40 'Rama feels very sad towards afflictions of men, and feels delighted in all functions celebrated by people on the occasions of child birth and the like, just as their own father does...' So, it must be true in respect of Seetha, even. This is agreeable to Govindaraja, too.
ekam eka ayane kR^icchhre niHshvasantam muhur muhuH |
samiikShya duHkhito raamaH saumitrim idam abraviit || 3-67-23
23. kR^icChre= [single] strait [supine on pathway]; eka ayane= for single [person,] passable - on pathway; ekam= singly; muhuH muhuH niHshvasantam= again, again [for several times,] suspiring [Jataayu]; samiikSya= on seeing; raamaH duHkhitaH= Rama, became anguished; saumitrim idam abraviit= to Soumitri, this, spoke.
Jataayu is supine on a single-strait passable for a single-person and he is suspiring for several times, and on seeing such Jataayu Rama became anguished and spoke this to Soumitri. [3-67-23]
Here the words ekaayane kR^irChre may mean differently. kR^iChre 'difficultly...' ekaayane 'one-way breathing, breathing in, inhaling difficultly...' and this way of juxtaposing words, 'Jataayu is struggling for a breath...' would mean more near to the scene, than a single-strait, or a narrow pathway, which are not uncommon in forests.
raajyam bhraShTam vane vaasaH siitaa naShTaa mR^ite dvijaH |
iidR^ishii iyam mama alakShmiiH dahet api paavakam || 3-67-24
24. raajyam bhraSTam= kingdom, forfeited - misfired; vane vaasaH= in forest, resided [misplaced]; siitaa naSTaa= Seetha, lost [mislaid]; mR^ite dvijaH= [mischance of] death, to bird - or, dvijo hataH= bird, is killed; iidR^ishii iyam= this kind of, this; mama a+ lakSmiiH= my, mis, fortune; paavakam api dahet= Agni, Fire-god - Divine-Incinerator, even, incinerates.
"Mislaid is my kingdom and I am mislocated into forests, Seetha is misplaced and now this mischance of death on this bird... this kind of misfortune of mine incinerates even Agni, the Divine-Incinerator... [3-67-24]
saMpuurNam api cet adya pratareyam mahodadhim |
so api nuunam mama alakShmyaa vishuShyet saritaam patiH || 3-67-25
25. adya= now; sampuurNam mahaa udadhim api= plethoric, limitless, ocean, even; pra tareyam cet= sincerely, to take a swim [for the shore of blissfulness,] if - or, pravisheyam cet= I were to enter, if; saH saritaam patiH api= that, rivers, lord, even; mama= owing to my; a+ lakSmyaa= mis, fortune; vi shuSyet= completely, runs dry; nuunam= definitely.
"Even if it were to be a plethoric and limitless ocean, and now if I were to enter it, or take a swim to the other shore of blissfulness, even that Lord of Rivers runs completely dry, owing to my misfortune, it is definite... [3-67-25]
na asti abhaagyataro loke matto asmin sa caraacare |
yena iyam mahatii praaptaa mayaa vyasana vaaguraa || 3-67-26
26. yena= by whom [me]; maya= [suchlike] me; iyam mahatii= this, great [complicated]; vyasana vaaguraa= catastrophic, enmeshment; praaptaa= chanced; mattaH= than me; abhaagyataraH [a bhaagya taraH= un, fortunate, comparatively higher - greater unfortunate being; sa cara acare= [even if] put together, mobile, sessile [all beings]; asmin= in this; loke= in world; na asti= not, is there.
"There will not be any greater unfortunate being in this world than me, even if all the sessile and mobile beings are put together, by whom such a complicated catastrophic enmeshment as this is derived... [3-67-26]
ayam pitR^i vayasyo me gR^idhra raajo jaraa anvitaH |
shete vinihato bhuumau mama bhaagya viparyayaat || 3-67-27
27. me pitR^i vayasyaH= my, father's, friend; jaraa anvitaH= decrepitude, having; ayam gR^idhra rajah= this, eagle, king; mama bhaagya= [owing to] my, fortune's; viparyayaat= owing to counteraction; vi nihataH= terminally gashed; bhuumau shete= on floor, he is recumbent.
"This decrepit kingly eagle is the friend of my father who is terminally gashed and recumbent on the floor owing only to the backlash of my fortune..." So lamented Rama for the wounded eagle Jataayu. [3-67-27]
Some mms use the word mahaa balaH 'great mighty' eagle king, while others use jaraanvita 'old aged, decrepit...' for a pathetic touch.
iti evam uktvaa bahusho raaghavaH saha lakShmaNaH |
jaTaayuSham ca pasparsha pitR^i sneham nidarshayan || 3-67-28
28. raaghavaH= Raghava; iti evam bahushaH uktvaa= thus, in that way, in many ways, saying - lamenting; saha lakSmaNaH= with, Lakshmana; pitR^i sneham nidarshayan= parental, regard, instancing; jaTaayuSam pasparsha= Jataayu is, also, patted [on body.]
Thus, lamenting in that way for many times Raghava patted the body of Jataayu along with Lakshmana instancing his parental regard. [3-67-28]
nikR^itta pakSham rudhira avasiktam
tam gR^idhra raajam parirabhya raamaH |
kva maithili praaNa samaa mama iti
vimucya vaacam nipapaata bhuumau || 3-67-29
29. raamaH= Rama; nikR^itta pakSam= one with hacked off, wings; rudhira avasiktam= with blood, sopped; tam gR^idhra raajam= him, eagle, king; parirabhya= on hugging; mama praaNa samaa= to my, lives, equal; Maithili kva= Maithili, where is; iti vaacam vimucya= thus, words, on releasing - uttering this mcuh; bhuumau nipapaata= onto earth, he fell down.
On hugging that kingly eagle whose wings are hacked off and who is bloodstained, and on uttering this much, "she who is identical with my lives,... where is that Maithili..." Rama collapsed to earth. [3-67-29]
iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye araNya kaaNDe sapta ShaShTitamaH sargaH
Thus, this is the 67th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
© April, 2003, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : January 05]