Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek
Kabandha's overlong arms are cut off when he wanted to devour Rama and Lakshmana as godsend dainty morsels. Then Kabandha wishes to know who these two are and when Lakshmana informs him of Rama, that demon feels elated for his accursed state is over at the hands of Rama.
tau tu tatra sthitau dR^iSTvaa bhraatarau raama lakSmaNau |
baahu paasha parikSiptau kabandho vaakyam abraviit || 3-70-1
1. baahu paasha pari kSiptau= arms, [hangman's] halter, completely stowed by; tatra sthitau= therein [within the grip,] staying [enduring]; bhraatarau= at brothers; tau raama lakSmaNau= them, at Rama, Lakshmana; dR^iSTvaa= on seeing [prying]; kabandhaH vaakyam abraviit= Kabandha, sentence, said.
On prying at those two brothers, Rama and Lakshmana, who are completely stowed in the hangman's halter-like arms of the demon, and who are enduring within it, Kabandha said this sentence to them. [3-70-1]
tiSThataH kim nu maam dR^iSTvaa kSudhaa aartam kSatriya
aahaara artham tu sandiSTau daivena gata cetasau || 3-70-2
2. kSatriya R^iSabhau= oh, Kshatriya, best ones among; kSudhaa aartam= by hunger, anguished [miserably famished]; maam dR^iSTvaa= me, on seeing; kim nu tiSThataH= what for, really, you stay [cool]; gata cetasau= gone, your lives [you are almost dead]; daivena aahaara artham tu sandiSTau= by god, food [my gobbets,] for purpose of, only, you are sent.
"Oh, excellent Kshatriya-s, on seeing me who am miserably famished, really what for you stay cool? You are the godsend gobs of mine, and hence now you are almost dead..." So said Kabandha to brothers. [3-70-2]
tat shrutvaa lakSmaNo vaakyam praapta kaalam hitam tadaa |
uvaaca aartim samaapanno vikrame kR^ita nishcayaH || 3-70-3
3. lakSmaNaH= Lakshmana; tat shrutvaa= that, one hearing; tadaa aartim sam aapannaH= then [who is by now,] anguish, possessed by; vikrame kR^ita nishcayaH= in valour [to wreck revenge on demon,] making, determination; praapta kaalam= chanced, time [expedient]; hitam vaakyam uvaaca= advisable, words, said [to Rama.]
Lakshmana who is possessed by anguish, and who is determined to wreck revenge on that demon, said these expedient and advisable words to Rama on hearing that demon's word. [3-70-3]
tvaam ca maam ca puraa tuurNam aadatte raakSasa adhamaH |
tasmaat asibhyaam asya aashu baahuu chindaavahe guruu || 3-70-4
4. raakSasa adhamaH= demon, scurrilous; tuurNam= quickly; tvaam ca= you, also; maam ca= me, also; puraa= prior to; aadatte= can take in / hauled us in; tasmaat= therefore; asya= his; guruu baahuu= lengthy, arms; asibhyaam= with two [of our] swords; aashu= swiftly; chindaavahe= we hack off.
"This scurrilous demon quickly hauled in you and me to his face level, and he will quickly take us in, therefore, we will have to swiftly hack off his lengthy arms at his shoulder level... [3-70-4]
bhiSaNo ayam mahaakaayo raakshaso bhuja vikramaH |
lokam hi ati jitam kR^itvaa hi avaam hantum iha icChati || 3-70-5
5. bhiSaNaH= gruesome one; mahaakaayaH= gargantuan bodied; bhuja vikramaH= by arms, triumphing one; ayam raakshasaH= such, a demon; lokam ati jitam kR^itvaa= world [his province,] completely, conquered [devastating,] on making; iha avaam hantum icChati hi= now, us, to finish off, wishes, indeed.
"Gruesome is this gargantuan bodied demon, and triumphing over just with his arms he has utterly devastated this province, and he now wishes to end us... [3-70-5]
nishcheSTaanaam vadho raajan kutstito jagatii pateH |
kratu madhya upaniitaanaam pashuunaam iva raaghava || 3-70-6
6. raajan raaghava= oh, king, Raghava; niH cheSTaanaam= without, gesticulations [motionless, those that are non-aggressive]; vadhaH= [their] killing; kratu madhya= Vedic-ritual, in the midst of; upa niitaanaam pashuunaam iva= to nigh, led in, animal, like [tantamount to]; jagatii pateH kutstitaH= for world's, lords [kings,] despicable.
"Oh, king Raghava, killing the non-aggressive is tantamount to the killing of animals that are led into Vedic-ritual in its midst is despicable to the kings... [3-70-6]
The text varies with other mms. kratu madhye upa niitaam will change to kratu madhye apa niitaam in Maheshvara Tiirtha's version, then it translates as 'an animal led out of the ritual half way through the ritual...' meaning that 'the animal unbefitting for sacrifice...' And that is to say 1] an animal not prearranged and sanctified right from the beginning, but brought in the middle of ritual; 2] or, one that is brought for ritual which has to yield without being aggressive pratikaara hiina shakti; 3] or, paryagni kR^itaa na araNyaam utsR^ijyam a himsaayaa 'unsanctified or wild animals brought from wilds are to be let off, unhurt...' 4] or, one that which is not at the sacrificial post - it is not to be sacrificed...' and Lakshmana says addressing Rama as 'oh, king, you have to let off those beasts, but not this beastly demon who is aggressive and contemplating a regicide...'
etat sa.mjalpitam shrutvaa tayoH kruddhaH tu raakshasaH |
vidaarya aasyam tato raudram tau bhakshayitum aarabhat || 3-70-7
7. kruddhaH raakshasaH tu= infuriated, demon, on his part; tataH= then; tayoH= their; sam jalpitam= together, talked [conversation]; etat shrutvaa= all that, on hearing; raudram aasyam vidaarya= ferocious, mouth, broke open - opening wide; tau bhakshayitum aarabhat= both, to wolf down, started to.
On hearing all of their conversation that demon is infuriated, and then widely opening his ferocious mouth he started to wolf down both of them. [3-70-7]
tataH tau desha kaalaj~nau khaDgaabhyaam eva raaghavau |
acChindataam susa.mhR^iSTau baahuu tasya a.msa deshataH || 3-70-8
8. tataH= then; su sam hR^iSTau= very, highly, gladdened; desha kaalaj~nau= place, time knowers of [brothers with circumspection]; tau raaghavau= those, Raghava-s; khaDgaabhyaam eva= with two swords, only; tasya baahuu= his, arms; amsa deshataH= shoulder joint, from the place of; acChindataam= mutilated.
Then both the Raghava-s are very highly gladdened as the demon is hauling them towards his eye at shoulder level, and as they are the brothers with circumspection, they instantly mutilated his arms right at their shoulder joints only with two swords. [3-70-8]
This compound su sam hR^iSTau is as per the text of Govindaraja and Maheshvara Tiirtha states this as su sam vignau meaning 'very highly agitated...' agitated at the short time available to cut off his hands, before falling into his well-head like mouth. And this expression 'very highly gladdened' is for the righteous advice given by Lakshmana, circumspectly.
dakSiNo dakSiNam baahum asaktam asinaa tataH |
cicCheda raamo vegena savyam viiraH tu lakSmaNaH || 3-70-9
9. tataH= then; dakSiNaH raamaH= dextrous, Rama; a+ saktam= not, restrained; vegena= with speed; dakSiNam baahum= right, arm; asinaa cicCheda= with sword, hacked off; viiraH lakSmaNaH tu= valiant one, Lakshmana, on his part; savyam [baahum cicCheda]= left [arm, hewed down.]
Then that dextrous Rama with an unrestrained speed hacked off the right arm, and valiant Lakshmana on his part hewed down the left arm that speedily. [3-70-9]
sa papaata mahaabaahuH chinna baahuH mahaa svanaH |
kham ca gaam ca dishaH caiva naadayan jalado yathaa || 3-70-10
10. mahaabaahuH= overlong-armed; saH= he, Kabandha; chinna baahuH= with mangled, arms; mahaa svanaH= with cacophonous, voice; jala daH yathaa= rain, giver [black-thunderous-cloud,] as with; kham ca= sky, also; gaam ca= earth, also; [dasha] dishaH caiva= [ten] points of horizons, also, thus; naadayan= reverberating; papaata= he, fell down.
He that overlong-armed Kabandha fell down with mangled arms, reverberated the sky, earth, and all of the ten points of horizon with a cacophonous voice, like a black-thunderous-cloud. [3-70-10]
sa nikR^ittau bhujau dR^iSTvaa shoNita ogha pariplutaH |
diinaH papracCha tau viirau kau yuvaam iti daanavaH || 3-70-11
11. saH daanavaH= he, that demon; nikR^ittau bhujau= at his dissevered, shoulders; dR^iSTvaa= on seeing; shoNita ogha pari plutaH= blood, gushes, with over, flowing; diinaH= self-piteously; yuvaam kau= you two, who; iti= thus; tau viirau papracCha= those, two bold ones, has asked.
That demon on seeing at his dissevered shoulders on which the gushes of blood are overflowing, he self-piteously asked those two bold ones thus as, "who are you..." [3-70-11]
iti tasya bruvaaNasya lakSmaNaH shubha lakSaNaH |
shasha.msa tasya kaakutstham kaba.ndhasya mahaabalaH || 3-70-12
12. tasya iti bruvaaNasya= his, this way, who is speaking [asking]; shubha lakSaNaH= one with prosperous, characteristics; lakSmaNaH= Lakshmana; mahaabalaH [mahaatmaanaH]= great-mighty [or, great souled]; tasya kabandhasya= to him, to Kabandha; kaakutstham shashamsa= about Kakutstha Rama, informed.
When that great mighty Kabandha is asking thus, Lakshmana who has prosperous characteristics has informed him about Rama of Kakutstha, an unremitting dynasty. [3-70-12]
ayam ikSvaaku daayaado raamo naama janaiH shrutaH |
tasya eva avarajam viddhi bhraataram maam ca lakSmaNam || 3-70-13
13. ayam= he is; raamaH naama= Rama, by name; janaiH shrutaH= by people, heard [known]; ikSvaaku daayaadaH= Ikshvaaku's, legatee; maam tasya avarajam bhraataram =me, his, later born [younger,] as brother; lakSmaNam [naama naamataH]= as Lakshmana [named one by my name]; viddhi= you know.
"He is known to people by the name of Rama, the legatee of Ikshvaku dynasty, and you know me as his younger brother, Lakshmana, by my name... [3-70-13]
maatraa pratihato raajye raamaH pravaajito vanam |
mayaa saha carati eSa bhaaryayaa ca mahat vanam || 3-70-14
14. eSa= this one; raamaH= Rama; maatraa= by mother; prati hataH= counter, vailed; raajye= from kingdom; vanam pra vaajitaH= to forest, bluntly, sent to; mayaa saha= me, along with; bhaaryayaa ca= with his wife, also; mahat vanam carati= great, forest, he moves about.
"Countervailed from kingdom by mother this Rama is bluntly sent to forests, and he is on the rove in great forests along with me ad his wife... [3-70-14]
asya deva prabhaavasya vasato vijane vane |
rakSasaa apahR^itaa bhaaryaa yaam icChantau iha aagatau || 3-70-15
15. vi jane vane= without, people, in forest; vasataH= while living; deva prabhaavasya= god [like that of,] in his leverage; asya bhaaryaa rakSasaa apahR^itaa= his, wife, by demon, abducted; yaam icChantau iha aagatau= whom, wishing [to retrieve,] to here, [we] came.
"A demon stole his wife while he whose leverage is like that of god is living in the unpopulated forest... and wishing to retrieve her we came here... [3-70-15]
tvam tu ko vaa kim artham vaa kabandha sadR^isho vane |
aasyena urasi diiptena bhagna jangho viceSTase || 3-70-16
16. tvam tu= you, but; kaH vaa= who, or; kabandha sadR^ishaH= trunk, alike; urasi diiptena aasyena= in chest, infernal, with mouth; bhagna janghaH= broken, calves [legs, legless]; vane= in forest; kim artham vaa= for what, reason, or; vi ceSTase= sprawling.
"But who are you? Your legs are broken, and your mouth is infernal, yet it is on your chest, and alike a topless, rootless tree trunk you are sprawling in the forest, how so, or, for what reason?" Lakshmana asked the demon thus. [3-70-16]
evam uktaH kaba.ndhaH tu lakSmaNena uttaram vacaH |
uvaaca parama priitaH tat indra vacanam smaran || 3-70-17
17. lakSmaNena evam uktaH= by Lakshmana, that way, when spoken; kabandhaH tu= Kabandha, on his part; tat indra vacanam smaran= that, Indra's, words, on memorising; parama priitaH= highly, delighted; uttaram vacaH uvaaca= in reply, words, spoke.
But Kabandha is highly delighted when Lakshmana spoke that way, as the words of Indra came to his memory, and he said these words in reply. [3-70-17]
svaagatam vaam naravyaaghrau diSTyaa pashyaami vaam aham |
diSTyaa ca imau nikR^ittau me yuvaabhyaam baahu bandhanau || 3-70-18
18. naravyaaghrau= oh, manly-tigers; vaam svaagatam [su aagatam]= to you, well, come; aham vaam diSTyaa pashyaami= I am, you, providentially, seeing you [instead, you are a revelation to me];; diSTyaa= providentially; yuvaabhyaam= by you two; me imau= my, these; baahu bandhanau= arms, shackles of [or, bondage]; nikR^ittau= sheared.
"Oh, manly tigers, by my providence you are revealed to me... welcome to you... and providentially sheared are these shackles, called my two arms, by you... [3-70-18]
The arms, mouth-to-stomach, and another organ are the epitomes of mortals. A mortal does everything with arms and devours anything with mouth. martyaa kartaa bhoktaa ca Now those shackles of mortality are severed and he is ready for immortality.
viruupam yat ca me ruupam praaptam hi avinayaat yathaa |
tat me shR^iNu naravyaaghra tattvataH sha.msataH tava || 3-70-19
19. naravyaaghra= oh, manly tiger; me= my; vi ruupam= dis, figure; yat ruupam=mine, which, form - is there; that; yathaa= as to how; a+ vinayaat= by dis, respect; praaptam= chanced on me; tava= to you; tattvataH shamsataH= actually, while being narrated; tat me shR^iNu= that, from me, you listen.
"Oh, manly tiger, actually how this form of mine is disfigured, of course owing to my distrustful behaviour, that you may listen while I narrate it to you. [3-70-19]
iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye araNya kaaNDe saptatitamaH sargaH
Thus, this is the 70th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
© April, 2003, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : January 05]