Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek
Rama and others, having spent that night in the hermitage of Sage Suteekshna, start to go from there on the next day morning, duly taking permission from the sage. While bidding farewell to Rama and others, Sage Suteekshna explains concern about the forests, which are rich natural gifts to human kind and tranquil abodes of hermits, and implicitly suggests to Rama, to somehow safeguard them from the demonic activities in this Dandaka Aranya, by whom these forests are rendered into graveyards, not even honourable graveyards, but stockyards for heaps of dead bodies, bones and skulls, for no faulty reason of the saints and sages.
r˜ma× tu saha saumitri× sutŸkÿõena abhip¨jita× |
pariõ˜mya niþ˜m tatra prabh˜te pratyabudhyata || 3-8-1
1. raaamaH saha saumitri= Rama, with, Soumitri; sutiikshNena abhi puujitaH= by sage Suteekshna, well, revered; pariNaamya nishaam tatra= spent, night, there; prabhaate prati abudhyata= in morning, again, got up [awoken.]
Rama along with Soumitri is well revered by Sage Suteekhsna, spent that night there and awoken in the morning. [3-8-1]
utth˜ya ca yath˜ k˜lam r˜ghava× saha sŸtay˜ |
upasp®þya su þŸtena toyena utpala gandhin˜ || 3-8-2
2. Raaghava; saha siitayaa= with Seetha; yathaa kaalam utthaaya= according to time, got up; su shiitena utpala gandhinaa toyena upa spR^ishya= finely cool, with lotus, fragrance, water, having touched [took morning bath, and readied to go.]
Rama got up according to time along with Seetha and touched finely cool water with lotus-fragrance for morning bath. [3-8-2]
atha te agnim sur˜m ca eva vaidehŸ r˜ma lakÿmaõau |
k˜lyam vidhivat abhyarcya tapasvi þaraõe vane || 3-8-3
udayantam dinakaram d®ÿ÷v˜ vigata kalmaÿ˜× |
sutŸkÿõam abhigamya idam þlakÿõam vacanam abruvan || 3-8-4
3, 4. atha= then; Vaidehi, Rama Lakshmana; te= they all; kaalyam= at appropriate time; agnim suraam ca eva= to sacred fire, to deities, also, thus; tapasvi sharaNe vane= sage's, shelter, in forest; vidhivat abhyarcya= dutifully, on worshipping; udayantam dinakaram dR^iSTvaa= dawning, Sun, on seeing; vigata kalmashaaH= cleared, of blemishes; sutiikshNam abhigamya= Suteekshna, on approaching; shlakshNam idam vacanam abruvan= gently, this, sentence, spoke.
Then they all, Vaidehi, Rama and Lakshmana, on worshipping sacred fire and deities dutifully in the shelter of the sages in that forest and on seeing the dawning sun, they are reft of their blemishes, and then they approached Sage Suteekshna speaking this sentence gently. [3-8-3, 4]
sukhoÿit˜× sma bhagavan tvay˜ p¨jyena p¨jit˜× |
˜p®cch˜ma× pray˜sy˜mo munaya× tvarayanti na× || 3-8-5
5. sukha uSitaaH sma= happily, stayed, we are; bhagavan= oh, god; tvayaa puujyena puujitaaH= by you, venerable one, venerated; aa pR^icChaamaH= we come, to ask [permission]; prayaasyaamaH= we journey on; munayaH tvarayanti naH= sages, are hastening, us.
"We stayed here happily, oh, god, venerated by a venerable one like you, and here we come to ask your permission as we wish to journey on, as the sages are hastening us... [3-8-5]
tvar˜mahe vayam draÿ÷um k®tsnam ˜þrama maõýalam |
®ÿŸõ˜m puõya þŸl˜n˜m daõýak˜raõya v˜sin˜m || 3-8-6
6. vayam= we are; puNya shiilaanaam= with meritorious, selves; daNdaka araNya vaasinaam= Dandaka forest, living in; R^ishiiNaam kR^itsnam aashrama mandalam= of the sages, entire, hermitage, habitats; draSTum= to see; tvaraamahe= we make haste.
"We make haste to see the habitats of hermitages in their entirety, and even wish to see the sages with meritorious selves living in Dandaka forest... [3-8-6]
abhyanujñ˜tum icch˜ma× saha ebhi× munipuðgavai× |
dharma nityai× tapo d˜ntai× viþikhai× iva p˜vakai× || 3-8-7
7. dharma nityaiH= virtuousness, ever abiding ones; tapaH daantaiH= by ascesis, self-controlled ones; vi shikhaiH paavakaiH iva= veritable tongues, of sacred fire, as though looking; ebhiH munipungavaiH saha= by these, eminent sages, along with; abhyanuj~naatum icChaamaH= permission, we aspire.
"We wish to have your permission, and that of these eminent sages, who are ever virtuous, self-controlled by their ascesis, and who look like the veritable tongues of sacred fire... [3-8-7]
aviÿahya ˜tapo y˜vat s¨ryo na ati vir˜jate |
am˜rgeõa ˜gat˜m lakÿmŸm pr˜pya iva anvaya varjita× || 3-8-8
t˜vat icch˜mahe gantum iti uktv˜ caraõau mune× |
vavande saha saumitri× sŸtay˜ saha r˜ghava× || 3-8-9
8, 9. anvaya varjitaH= lineage, one with an improper; a + maargeNa= by wrong route; lakshmiim aagataam= wealth, which came by; praapya iva= having attained, as if; suuryaH yaavat na aviSahya [a+vi+sahya] aatapaH= sun, in which time, not, intolerable he becomes, in his glare; na ati viraajite= not, too much, flares up; taavat= before that time; icChaamahe gantum= we wish to, go; iti uktvaa= thus, said; Raghava; saha saumitriH siitayaa saha= with Soumitri, with Seetha; muneH caraNau vavande= at sage's, feet, venerated.
"We wish to proceed before sun attains an intolerable glare, like an unworthy person of unworthy lineage attains wealth in an improper way with much glare..." saying so Rama with Seetha and Lakshmana venerated at the feet of that sage Suteekshna. [3-8-8, 9]
tau sam sp®þantau caraõau utth˜pya munipuðgava× |
g˜ýham ˜þliÿya sasneham idam vacanam abravŸt || 3-8-10
10. muni pungavaH= sage, the eminent; caraNau sam spR^ishantau= feet, who are touching; tau= them; utthaapya= lifted up; gaaDham aaSliSya= tightly, embracing; sa sneham= in friendship; idam vacanam abraviit= this, sentence, said.
That eminent sage lifted them that are touching his feet, embraced them tightly, and said this sentence in all his friendliness. [3-8-10]
ariÿ÷am gaccha panth˜nam r˜ma saumitriõ˜ saha |
sŸtay˜ ca anay˜ s˜rdham ch˜ya eva anuv®ttay˜ || 3-8-11
11. raama saumitriNaa saha= Rama, Soumitri, along with; Chaayayaa iva anu vR^ittayaa anayaa siitayaa saa ardham ca= shadow like, closely, following you, with this Seetha; ariSTam panthaanam gacCha= invulnerable, on way, you may go.
"Proceed in an invulnerable way, Rama, along with Lakshmana, and with this Seetha while she follows you closely like a shadow... [3-8-11]
paþya ˜þrama padam ramyam daõýak˜raõya v˜sin˜m |
eÿ˜m tapasvin˜m vŸra tapas˜ bh˜vita ˜tman˜m || 3-8-12
12. viira= oh, valiant one; dandakaaraNya vaasinaam= Dandaka, forest, dwellers; tapasaa bhaavita aatmanaam= by ascesis, consecreated, souls; eSaam tapasvinaam= these, of the sages; ramyam aashrama padam pashya= pleasant, hermitage's, thresholds, you see.
"See the pleasant thresholds of the hermitages of the dwellers in the forests of Dandaka, oh! Valiant one, whose souls are consecrated just by their ascesis... [3-8-2]
supr˜jya phala m¨l˜ni puÿpit˜ni van˜ni ca |
praþasta m®ga y¨th˜ni þ˜nta pakÿi gaõ˜ni ca || 3-8-13
phulla paðkaja khaõý˜ni prasanna salil˜ni ca |
k˜raõýava vikŸrõ˜ni ta÷˜k˜ni sar˜Õsi ca || 3-8-14
drakÿyase d®ÿ÷i ramy˜õi giri prasravaõ˜ni ca |
ramaõŸy˜ni araõy˜ni may¨ra abhirut˜ni ca || 3-8-15
13, 14, 15. su praajya phala muulaani= well grown, fruits, tubers; puSpitaani= flowered ones; prashasta mR^iga yuuthaani= with best, animal, herds; shaanta pakshi gaNaani ca= with peaceful, bird, flocks, also; vanaani ca= woodlands, also; phulla pankaja shaNDaani= bloomed, lotuses, clusters; prasanna salilaani ca= tranquil, waters, too; kaaraNDava vikiirNaani taTaakaani= by water-birds, spread-over, pools; saraamsi ca= lakes, also; dR^iSTi ramyaaNi= eye, pleasing ones; giri prasravaNaani ca= mountain, rapids, also; mayuura abhi rutaani ca= by peacocks, with hearty screams loaded with [forests]; ramaNiiyaani araNyaani= pleasant, forests; drakSyase you can see.
"See the well-flowered woodlands with well-grown fruits and tubers, with herds of best animals and peaceful bird flocks... tranquil waters with spreading clusters of bloomed lotuses and water-birds in the pools and lakes... eye-pleasing rapids from mountains and you can see pleasant forests loaded with the hearty screams of precooks... [3-8-13, 14, 15]
gamyat˜m vatsa saumitre bhav˜n api ca gacchatu |
˜gantavyam ca te d®ÿ÷v˜ puna× eva ˜þramam prati || 3-8-16
16. gamyataam vatsa= you may go, my dear; saumitre= Soumitri; bhavaan api ca gachatu= you, too, also, may go; dR^iSTvaa= having seen; punaH eva aashramam prati= again, thus, hermitage, towards [this]; te= to you [you shall]; aa + gantavyam ca= come, and go you may.
"My dear Rama, you may go and Soumitri you too also may go... but come again towards this hermitage after seeing all of them... [3-8-16]
evam ukta× tath˜ iti uktv˜ k˜kutstha× saha lakÿmaõa× |
pradakÿiõam munim k®tv˜ prasth˜tum upacakrame || 3-8-17
17. evam uktaH= thus, said; kaakutsthaH= Rama; saha lakshmanaH= with, Lakshmana; tathaa iti= like that only; uktvaa= having said; munim pradakshiNam kR^itvaa= to sage, circumambulations, having performed; prasthaatum upacakrame= to journey, started on.
Thus said by the sage, Rama in his turn said to him, "so be it..." and having performed circumambulations around the sage he started to journey on. [3-8-17]
tata× þubhatare t¨õŸ dhanuÿŸ ca ˜yatekÿaõ˜ |
dadau sŸt˜ tayo× bhr˜tro× khaýgau ca vimalau tata× || 3-8-18
18. tataH= then; aayatekshaNaa sitaa= broad eyed, Seetha; tayoH bhraatroH= to those two, brothers; shubhatare tuNii dhanuSii ca= auspicious, quivers, bows, also; tataH= then; vi malau khaDgau ca= unstained, swords, too; dadau= gave;
Then the broad eyed Seetha gave auspicious quivers and bows to those brothers and then spotless swords too. [3-8-18]
˜badhya ca þubhe t¨õŸ c˜pe ca ˜d˜ya sasvane |
niÿkr˜ntau ˜þram˜t gantum ubhau tau r˜ma lakÿmaõau || 3-8-19
19. tau ubhau raama lakSmaNau= those, both, Rama and Lakshmana; shubhe tuuNii aa badhya ca= beautiful, quivers, on tying; sa svane= with, sound [twangy]; caape ca= bows, also; aadaaya= on taking; aashramaat gantum niSkraantaa= from hermitage, to go, exited.
Both of those two Rama and Lakshmana tied their beautiful quivers well on their backs, and took the twangy bows and exited from that hermitage to go on their way. [3-8-19]
þŸghram tau r¨pasampannau anujñ˜tau maharÿiõ˜ |
prasthitau dh®ta c˜p˜ asŸ sŸtay˜ saha r˜ghavau || 3-8-20
20. ruupa sampannau= appearance, exquisite – handsome princes; tau raaghavau= those, Raghava-s; anuj~naatau maharSiNaa= permitted by, august sage; dhR^ita chaapaa asii= wielding, bows, swords; siitayaa saha= Seetha, along with; shiighram= swiftly; prasthitau= set out.
Those two Raghava-s, the handsome princes, have swiftly set out when permitted by that august sage, wielding bows and swords, and along with Seetha. [3-8-20]
iti v˜lmŸki r˜m˜yaõe ˜dik˜vye araõya k˜õýe aÿ÷ama× sarga×
Thus, this is the 8th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
© 2001, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao, [Revised : March, 04]