Chapter [Sarga] 117

Introduction

Rama, after due reflection, decides to leave Chitrakuta mountain because of many handicaps. Setting out his journey from Chitrakuta mountain, he reaches the hermitage of Sage Atri and offers his salutation to him. Introducing his wife Anansuya as a great female ascetic to Rama, Atri urges Rama to send his concert Seetha to Anasuya. Anasuya receives Seetha, who greeted her and gives her instructions on the role and responsibilities of a devoted wife.


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raaghavaH tu apayaateShu tapasviShu vicintayan |
na tatra arocayad vaasam kaaraNair bahubhiH tadaa || 2-117-1

1. atha= thereafter; tapasviSu= (When) the sages; yaateSu= departed; raaghavastu= Rama; tadaa= then; vichintayan= reflecting again and again; naarochayat= found no pleasure; vaasam= to remain; tatra= in that place; bahubhiH= for many; kaaraNariH= reasons.

Thereafter, when the sages departed, Rama, reflecting again and again, found no pleasure to remain in that place for many reasons.

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iha me bharato dR^iShTo maataraH ca sanaagaraaH |
saa ca me smR^itir anveti taan nityam anushocataH || 2-117-2

2. iha= It is here; bharataH= (that) Bharata; maatarashcha= my mother; sanaagaraaH= along with the inhabitants of the city, dR^iSTaH= visited; me= me; saa smR^itiH cha= that memory; anveti= haunts; me= me; anushochataH= who lament; taan= for them; nityam= daily.

"It is here that Bharata, my mother along with the inhabitants of the city visited me. That memory haunts me, who lament for them daily."

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skandha aavaara niveshena tena tasya mahaatmanaH |
haya hasti kariiShaiH ca upamardaH kR^ito bhR^isham || 2-117-3

3. haya hastikariiSaishcha= the dry dung of horses and elephants; tasya mahaatmanaH= of that high-souled Bharata's; skandaavaaraniveshena= encamped army; kR^itaH= caused; bhR^isham= much; upamardaH= spoliation.

"The dry dung of horses and elephants of that high souled Bharata's encamped army caused much spoliation (around here)."

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tasmaad anyatra gagcCaama iti samcintya raaghavaH |
praatiShThata sa vaidehyaa lakShmaNena ca samgataH || 2-117-4

4. gachchhaamaH= "We shall move"; tasmaat= therefore; anyatra= else where"; iti= thus; samchintya= pondering; saH raaghavaH= that Rama; sangataH= along with; vaidihyaaH= Seetha; lakSmaNena= and Lakshmana; pratiSThata= left (that place)

"We shall, therefore, move elsewhere", pondering thus, Rama along with Seetha and Lakshmana left that place.

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so atrer aashramam aasaadya tam vavande mahaa yashaaH |
tam ca api bhagavaan atriH putravat pratyapadyata || 2-117-5

5. aasaadya= reaching; aashramam= the hermitage; atreH= of Atri, a sage; saH raamaH= that Rama; mahaayashaaH= the highly celebrated; vavande= offered bhagavaan= the venerable; atriH api= Atri also; pratyapadyata= received; tam= his; putravat= as his own son.

On the way, after reaching the hermitage of a sage called Atri, the highly celebrated Rama offered salutation to that sage. The venerable sage, Atri too received him as his own son.

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svayam aatithyam aadishya sarvam asya susatkR^itam |
saumitrim ca mahaa bhaagaam siitaam ca samasaantvayat || 2-117-6

6. aadishya= offering; svayam= personally; sarvam= abundant; aatithyam= hospitality; susatkR^itam= with full honours; asya= to Rama; samasaantvayat= (he) rendered equal honour; saumitramcha= to Lakshmana; mahaabhaagaam= and the highly blessed; siitaamcha= Seetha too.

Offering personally, abundant hospitality with full honours to Rama, the sage Atri rendered equal honour to Lakshmana and the highly blessed Seetha too.

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patniim ca tam anupraaptaam vR^iddhaam aamantrya satkR^itaam |
saantvayaam aasa dharmajnaH sarva bhuuta hite rataH || 2-117-7

7. dharmajJNaH= (Atri) who knew righteousness; ratiH= and who was interested; sarva bhuuta hite= in the welfare of all beings; aamantrya= called vR^iddhaam= patriimcha= his aged wife; (Anasuya) samanupraaptaam= who had just come there; satkR^itaam= she, who was revered by all; saantvayaamaasca= and addressed gently to her.

Atri, who knew righteousness and who was interested in the welfare of all beings, called his aged wife Anasuya who had just come there, she who was revered by all and addressed gently to her.

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anasuuyaam mahaa bhaagaam taapasiim dharma caariNiim |
pratigR^ihNiiShva vaidehiim abraviid R^iShi sattamaH || 2-117-8
raamaaya ca aacacakShe taam taapasiim dharma caariNiim |

8. R^iSisattamaH= Atri, the excellent sage, abraviit= spoke; anasuuyaam= to Anasuya; mahaabhaayaam= the fortunate one; taapasiim= rich in asceticism; dharma chaariNiim= and who lived a pious life; (saying); pratigR^ihNiiSva= you welcome; vaidehiim= Videha's daughter! aachachakSecha= and related the story; dharmachaariNiim= of that virtuous; taam taapasiim= female ascetic; raamaaya= to Rama (as follows)

Atri excellent sage spoke to the illustrious Anasuya, rich in asceticism and who lived a pious life, saying "You welcome Videha's daughter!" and thereafter introduced that virtuous female ascetic to Rama (as follows):

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dasha varShaaNy anaavR^iShTyaa dagdhe loke nirantaram || 2-117-9
yayaa muula phale sR^iShTe jaahnavii ca pravartitaa |
ugreNa tapasaa yuktaa niyamaiH ca apy alamkR^itaa || 2-117-10
dasha varSha sahasraaNi yayaa taptam mahat tapaH |
anasuuyaa vrataiH taata pratyuuhaaH ca nibarhitaaH || 2-117-11
deva kaarya nimittam ca yayaa samtvaramaaNayaa |
dasha raatram kR^itvaa raatriH saa iyam maataa iva te anagha || 2-117-12

9, 10, 11, 12. anagha= O, Irreproachable!; loke= (when) the earth; dagdhe= was burnt up; anaavR^iSTyaa= by drought; niramtaram= without break; dashavarSaaNi= over a period of ten years; yayera= this virtuous woman; sR^iSTe= produced; muula phale= fruit and roots; jaahnaviicha= caused the River Jahnavi; pravartitaa= to flow here; yuktaa= undergoing; ugreNa= a right; tapasaa= mortification; alaNkR^itaa= enriched; niya maishchaapi= by pious observances; yayaa= by whom; mahat= the most severe; tapaH= asceticism; taptam= was practised; dashavarSa sahasraaNi= for ten thousand years; pratyuuhaaH= and obstacles; nivartitaaH= were done away with; yayaa= and by whom; deva kaaryanimittam= for the reason of a divine command; santvaramaaNayaa= in a great hurry; desharaatram= ten nightes; kR^itaa= were reduced; raatriH= to one night;* saa= she; iyam anasuuyaa= this Anasuya; vrataiH snaataa= the one who has bathed after completion of the voes; maateva= is like a mother; te= to you.

"O, Irreproachable Rama! When the earth was burnt up by drought without break for ten years, this virtuous woman produced fruit and roots, caused the River Jahnavi to flow here, undergoing a rigid mortification enriched by pious observances, by whom the most severe asceticism was practised for ten thousand years and obstacles were done away with and by whom for the reason of a divine command, in a great hurry ten nights were reduced to one night.* This Anasuya, who has bathed after completion of the voes, is like a mother to you."

*We read in Puranas how sage Mandavya once pronounced a curse against a hermitess, Sandili by name, who was a friend of Anasuya that she would be widowed one morning within the next ten days. The hermitess in her turn pronounced a counter-curse saying that there would be no dawn any more. Alarmed at this, gods approached Anasuya, who by virtue of her asceticism converted the period of ten nights into one and in this way averted the death of the hermittess, husband and accomplished the purpose of gods.

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taam imaam sarva bhuutaanaam namaH kaaryaam yashasviniim |
abhigagcCatu vaidehii vR^iddhaam akrodhanaam sadaa || 2-117-13

13. vaidehii= (Let) Seetha; abhigachchhatu= find refuge; taam= with such; imaam= this ascetic; namaskaaryaam= who is revered; sarva bhuutaanaam= by all the beings; yashasviniim= famous as she is vR^iddhaam= (and though) old; sadaa= is ever; akrodhanaam= free from anger.

"Let Seetha find refuge with that ascetic, who is revered by all the beings, famous as she is and though old is ever free from anger."

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evam bruvaaNam tam R^iShim tathaa ity uktvaa sa raaghavaH |
siitaam uvaaca dharmajnaam idam vacanam uttamam || 2-117-14

14. saH raaghavaH= that Rama; uktvaa= saying; tatheti= "Be it so"; tam R^iSim= to that sage; evam= thus; bruvaaNam= spoken; uvaacha= and spoke; dharmajJNaam= to the virtuous; siitaam= Seetha; idam= these; uttamam= excellent; vachanam= words.

Saying "Be it so" to the aforesaid sage, who was speaking thus, Rama spoke to the virtuous Seetha, the following excellent words:

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raaja putri shrutam tu etan muner asya samiiritam |
shreyo artham aatmanaH shiighram abhigagcCa tapasviniim || 2-117-15

15. raaja putri= O, princess!; shrutam= you have heard; idam samiiritam= these words; asya muneH= of this sage; aatmanaH= for your own; shreyaH artham= good; shiighram= quickly; abhigachchha= approach; tapasviniim= the saintly Anasuya.

"O, princess! You have heard what the sage has said. For your own good, approach the saintly Anasuya without delay."

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siitaa tu etad vacaH shrutvaa raaghavasya hita eShiNii |
taam atri patniim dharmajnaam abhicakraama maithilii || 2-117-16

16. shrutvaa= hearing; etadvachaH= these words; raaghavasya= of Rama; hitaiSiNaH= who is desirous of her welfare; siitaatu= Seetha; maithilii= the daughter of Mithila; abhichakraama= circumambulated; taam= that; atripatniim= Anasuya, Atri's wife; dharmajJNaam= who knows piety.

Hearing these words of Rama, who is desirous of her welfare, Seetha the daughter of Mithila circumambulated around Anasuya, Atri's wife, who knows piety.

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shithilaam valitaam vR^iddhaam jaraa paaNDura muurdhajaam |
satatam vepamaana angiim pravaate kadalii yathaa || 2-117-17
taam tu siitaa mahaa bhaagaam anasuuyaam pati vrataam |
abhyavaadayad avyagraa svam naama samudaaharat || 2-117-18

17, 18. siita= Seetha; avyagraa= coolly; abhyavaadayat= reverently paid homage; taam mahaabhaagaam= to that fortunate; anasuuyaam= Anasuya; pativrataa= a devoted and virtuous wife; shithilaam= who was feeble; palitaam= wrinkled; vR^iddhaam= aged; jaraapaaNDuramuurdhajaam= with her hair turned grey due to old age; vepamaanaaNgiim= and whose frame shook; satatam= constantly; kadaliim yathaa= like a banana tree; pravaate= in a strom; samudaaharat= (Seetha) told; (to Anasuya).

Seetha coolly and reverently paid homage to that fortunate Anasuya, a devoted and virtuous wife, who was feeble, wrinkled, aged, with her hair turned grey due to old age, and whose frame constantly shook like a banana tree in a storm. Seetha introduced herself, by announcing her name to Anasuya.

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abhivaadya ca vaidehii taapasiim taam aninditaam |
baddha anjali puTaa hR^iShTaa paryapR^igcCad anaamayam || 2-117-19

19. abhivaadya= Saluting; aninditaam= the irreproachable; taam taapasiim= (that) ascetic; vaidehii= Seetha; baddhaajJNalipuTaa= with joined palms; hR^iSTaa= and rejoiced; paryapR^ichchhat= enquired; anaamayam= about her well-being.

Saluting the irreproachable ascetic the rejoiced Seetha with joined palms enquired about he well-being.

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tataH siitaam mahaa bhaagaam dR^iShTvaa taam dharma caariNiim |
saantvayanty abraviidd hR^iShTaa diShTyaa dharmam avekShase || 2-117-20

20. tataH= then; saantvayantii= comforting; taam mahaabhaagaam= that celebrated; siitaam= Seetha; dharmachariNiim= engaged in righteous acts; (Anasuya); hR^iSTaa= rejoicingly; abraviit= spoke (as follows); avekSase= you are attending; dharmam= to righteousness; diSTyaa= luckily enough.

Then, comforting that celebrated Seetha, engaged in righteous acts, Anasuya rejoicingly spoke as follows: "Luckily enough, you are attending to righteousness."

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tyaktvaa jnaati janam siite maanam R^iddhim ca maanini |
avaruddham vane raamam diShTyaa tvam anugagcCasi || 2-117-21

21. siite= O, Seetha; bhaamini= the beautiful lady!; diSTyaa= thank heaven!; tyaktvaa= Leaving; jJNaatijanam= your relatives; maanam= the honour; R^iddhimcha= and prosperity; anugachchhasi= you are accompanying; raamam= Rama; avaruddham= who is expelled vane= into a forest.

"O, Seetha the beautiful lady! Thank heaven! Leaving your relatives, honour and prosperity, you are accompanying Rama, who is expelled into a forest."

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nagarastho vanastho vaa paapo vaa yadi vaa ashubhaH |
yaasaam striiNaam priyo bhartaa taasaam lokaa mahaa udayaaH || 2-117-22

22. yaasaam= to which; striiNaam= women; bhartaa= their husband; nagarasthaH= whether lives in a city; vanasthovaa= or in a forest; paapovaa= whether he is sinful; yadi vaa= or; shubhaH= virtuous; priyaH= (he is) dear (to her); taasaam= to them; (are obtained) mahodayaaH= greatly fortunate; lokaaH= words.

"Highly fortunate worlds await those women, await those women, to whom their husband is dear no matter whether he lives in a city or in a forest; whether he is sinful or virtuous."

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duhshiilaH kaama vR^itto vaa dhanair vaa parivarjitaH |
striiNaam aarya svabhaavaanaam paramam daivatam patiH || 2-117-23

23. striiNaam= to women; aaryasvabhaavaanaam= of noble nature; patiH= husband; paramam= is the hightest daivatam= deity; duSiilaH= whether he is ill-behaved; kaama vR^ittovaa= or licentious; parivarjitovaa= or devoid of; dhanaiH= riches.

"To women of noble nature, the husband is the highest deity no mater whether he is ill-behaved or licentious or devoid of riches."

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na ato vishiShTam pashyaami baandhavam vimR^ishanty aham |
sarvatra yogyam vaidehi tapaH kR^itam iva avyayam || 2-117-24

24. vaidehi= O, Seetha!; vimR^ishantii= On a reflection; na pashyaami= I perceive; na= none; vishiSTam= who is a better; baandhavam= friend; ataH= than a husband; yogyam= who protects his wife; sarvatra= in all circumstances; avyayam iva= like the imperishable fruit; kR^itam= accomplished; tapaH= of one's austerities.

"O, Seetha! On a reflection, I perceive none who is a better friend than a husband, who protects his wife in all circumstances, like the imperishable fruit of one's austerities."

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na tu evam avagagcCanti guNa doSham asat striyaH |
kaama vaktavya hR^idayaa bhartR^i naathaaH caranti yaaH || 2-117-25

25. yaaH= those women; kaama vaktavya hR^idayaaH= whose hearts follow their passions; charanti= and, conduct themselves; bhartR^inaathaaH= dominating their husbands; aststriyaH= such evil women; na avagachchhanti= having no understanding; guNa doSam= of virtue and vice; evam= (do not follow him) in the aforesaid manner.

"Those evil women, whose hearts follow their passions and conduct themselves dominating their husband, having no understanding of virtue and vice, do not follow him in the aforesaid manner."

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praapnuvanty ayashaH caiva dharma bhramsham ca maithili |
akaarya vasham aapannaaH striyo yaaH khalu tad vidhaaH || 2-117-26

26. maithili= O, Seetha!; khalu= Indeed; yaaH striyaH= those women; aapannaH= who get into akaarya vasham= an improper act of authority; tadvidhaaH= in the aforesaid manner; praapnuvanti= reap; ayashashcha= infamy; dharma bhramsham= and decline of righteousness.

"O, Seetha! Surely, those evil women, who get into an improper act of authority over their husbands reap infamy and decline in righteousness."

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tvad vidhaaH tu guNair yuktaa dR^iShTa loka para avaraaH |
striyaH svarge cariShyanti yathaa puNya kR^itaH tathaa || 2-117-27

27. striyastu= women; tvadvidhaaH= like you; yuktaaH= who are endowed; guNaiH= with virtues; dR^iSTa loka paraaparaaH= who look with detachment on prosperity and adversity in this world; yathaa tathaa= therefore; chariSyanti= dwell; svarge= in heaven; yathaa= as; dharmakR^itaH= those who performed meritorious deeds.

"Women, like you, on the other hand who are endowed with virtues, who look with detachment on prosperity and adversity in this world, therefore dwell in heaven as those who performed meritorious deeds."

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tadevamenam tvamanucrataa satii |
pativrataanaam samayaanuvartinii |
bhava svabhartuH sahadharmachaariNii |
yashshcha dharmam cha tataH samaapsyasi || 2-117-28

28. tat= thus; anuvrataa satii= devoted; enam= to your lord; pativrataanaam= loyal to your hasband; samayaanuvartinii= following established rules; tvam= you; bhava= become; saha dharmachaariNii= an honest wife; svabhartuH= to your husbandtataH= and thereby; samaapsyasi= obtain; yashashcha= renown; dharmam= and merit.

"Thus devoted to your lord, loyal to your husband, following established rules, you become an honest wife to your husband and obtain merit and renown."

 

ityaarSe shriimadraamaayaNe aadikaavye ayodhyaakaaNDe saptadashottarashatatamaH sargaH

Thus completes 117th Chapter of Ayodhya Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.


Verse Locator for Book II : Ayodhya Kanda - Book Of Ayodhya : Chapter 117

 

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Sarga 117 in English Prose

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September 2005, K. M. K. Murthy