Rama replies Seetha's enquiry as to why he should wage war to eliminate the demons. He says that it is only to protect the land from the atrocities of demons, and for safeguarding the decrepit sages under his scheme of protecting the helpless.
vākyam etat tu vaidehyā vyāhṛtam bhartṛ bhaktyā |
śrutvā dharme sthito rāmaḥ pratyuvāca jānakīm || 4-10-1
1. bhartR^i bhaktyaa = husband, in adoration of; vaidehyaa vyaahR^itam = by Vaidehi, said; etat vaakyam tu = all, words, but; shrutvaa = on hearing; dharme sthitaH raamaH = by virtue, abides, Rama; prati uvaaca jaanakiim = in turn, said [replied,] to Janaki.
On hearing all of the words said by Vaidehi, in adoration of her husband, he who abides by virtue alone that Rama replied Janaki. [4-10-1]
hitam uktam tvayā devi snigdhayā sadṛśam vacaḥ |
kulam vyapadiśantyā ca dharmajñe janaka ātmaje || 4-10-2
2. devi = oh, lady; dharmaj~ne janaka aatmaje = oh, virtue-knower, Janaka's, daughter; kulam vyapadishantyaa [vi apa dish] ca = familial [greatness,] that speak of; snigdhayaa tvayaa hitam sadR^isham vacaH uktam = friendlily, by you, beneficial words, befitting to your [disposition]; is said.
"You have said beneficial, friendlily words that are seemlier to your disposition, oh, lady, which are apt to speak of your familial brought up, for you are the daughter of virtue-knowing Janaka. [4-10-2]
kim nu vakṣyāmi aham devi tvayā eva uktam idam vacaḥ |
kṣatriyaiḥ dhāryate cāpo na ārta śabdo bhaved iti || 4-10-3
3. devi = o, lady; aham kim nu vakSyaami = I, what [more,] verily, can I say; aarta shabdaH na bhavet iti = wailer's, yowl, shall not, be there, thus [misery's tears shall cease to flow � Griffit]; kSatriyaiH dhaaryate caapaH = Kshatriya-s, handle, bow; idam vacaH tvayaa eva uktam = this, word, by you, alone [perhaps,] said [iterated.]
"What more shall I say, oh, lady, since it is said that 'a warrior handles a bow so that misery's tears cease to flow...' and this saying is iterated even by you... [4-10-3]
te ca ārtā daṇḍakāraṇye munayaḥ saṃśita vratāḥ |
mām sīte svayam āgamya śaraṇyāḥ śaraṇam gatāḥ || 4-10-4
4. siite = oh! Seetha; samshita vrataaH = sages, resolute, in practises; sharaNyaaH daNDakaaraNye te munayaH = those that are shelteable, in Dansaka forest, those sages; aartaa svayam aagamya = sombrely, on approaching; maam sharaNam gataaH = my, refuge, they have gone in [came into.]
"Oh! Seetha, those shleterable sages of Dandaka forest have approached me sombrely on their own, and thus they came into my refuge... [4-10-4]
vasantaḥ kāla kāleṣu vane mūla phala aśanāḥ |
na labhante sukham bhīru rākṣasaiḥ krūra karmabhiḥ || 4-10-5
5. muula phala ashanaaH = tubers, fruits, eaters of; vasantaH kaala kaaleSu vane = living, time, after times [in all times,] in forest; kruura karmabhiH raakSasaiH bhiiru = with invidious, deeds, by demons, scared; sukham na labhante = quietude, not getting.
"Subsisting on fruits and tubers, living at all the time in forests those sages are not getting quietude, as they are scared by the demons with invidious deeds... [4-10-5]
bhakṣyante rākṣasaiḥ bhīmaiḥ nara māṃsopajīvibhiḥ |
te bhakṣyamāṇā munayo daṇḍakāraṇya vāsinaḥ || 4-10-6
asmān abhyavapadya iti mām ūcur dvija sattamāḥ |
6, 7a. munayaH daNDakaaraNya vaasinaH = sages, in Dandaka forest, dwellers; bhiimaiH nara maaMsopajiivibhiH = fiendish, on human, felsh, that subsist; raakSasaiH bhakSyante = by demons, are being eaten; te bhakSyamaaNaa = they, while being eaten; dvija sattamaaH = Brahmans, the eminet ones; asmaan abhyavapadya [abhi ava pad] = us, [to take possession of us] come to rescue; iti = thus as; maam uucur = to me, said.
"The sages dwelling in Dandaka forest are being eaten away by fiendish demons that subsist on human flesh, and while being eaten away like that those eminent Brahmans have said to me, "please come to our rescue..." [4-10-6,7a]
mayā tu vacanam śrutvā teṣām evam mukhāt cyutam || 4-10-7
kṛtvā vacana śuśruṣām vākyam etat udāhṛtam |
prasīdantu bhavanto me hrīḥ eṣā tu mama atulā || 4-10-8
yad īdṛśaiḥ aham vipraiḥ upastheyaiḥ upasthitaḥ |
7b, 8, 9a. evam teSaam mukhaat cyutam vacanam shrutvaa = this way, from their, mouth, fel, words, on hearing; mayaa tu = by me, but; kR^itvaa vacana shushruSaam = on making, vocal, vassalage - comforting them verbally; vaakyam etat udaahR^itam = sentence, this one, avouched; prasiidantu me bhavantaH = be gracious, to me, you all; aham yat [kaaraNaat] = I am, by which [reason]; upastheyaiH iidR^ishaiH vipraiH = those that are to be served, this kind of, [eminent] Brahamnas; upasthitaH = they came to my fore; eSaa mama atulaa hriiH hi = this, for me, immense, shame/dishonour, indeed.
"This way when I have heard the words voiced by them, I comforted them verbally and avouched this way, "Be gracious to me... you all... by which reason I am being addressed this way by this kind of eminent Brahmans, whom I should have actually addressed my self, this indeed is a dishonour for me... [4-10-7b, 8, 9a]
kim karomi iti ca mayā vyāhṛtam dvija saṃnidhau || 4-10-9
sarvaiḥ eva samāgamya vāk iyam samudāhṛtā |
9b, 10a. kim karomi iti ca = what, I shall do, thus, also; mayaa vyaahR^itam dvija sannidhau = by me, said, in Brahmins', in front of; sarvaiH eva samaagamya = all, thus, thronging; vaak iyam sam udaahR^itaa = word, this, spoke out.
"Then I said before the Brahmans, "what shall I do?" All of them thus thronged and spoke this word. [4-10-9b, 10a]
rākṣasaiḥ daṇḍakāraṇye bahubhiḥ kāma rūpibhiḥ || 4-20-10
arditāḥ sma bhṛśam rāma bhavān naḥ tatra rakṣatu |
10b, 11a. raama = oh! Rama; daNDakaaraNye bahubhiH kaama ruupibhiH raakSasaiH = in Dandaka forest, many of the, guise-changing, demons; bhR^isham arditaaH sma = outrightly, tortured, we are; bhavaan tatra rakshatu naH = you, us, there in that, context protect, us.
"Many of the guise changing demons are outrightly torturing us in Dandaka forest, hence in that context you shall protect us... [4-10-10b, 11a]
homa kāle tu saṃprāpte parva kāleṣu ca anagha || 4-10-11
dharṣayanti sudurdharṣā rākṣasāḥ piśita aśanāḥ |
11b, 12a. anagha = oh, merited one Rama; su dur dharSaa = highly, resistless ones; pishita ashanaaH = flesh, eating [carnivorous]; raakSasaaH = demons; homa kaale tu = at oblation, times, but; parva kaaleSu ca = on propitious, times, also; sampraapte = chancing, descend on; dharSayanti = they will be persecuting.
"Those resistless carnivorous demons, oh, merited Rama, will descend exactly at the time of fire oblations, or on propitious times like full or new moons to persecute us... [4-10-11b, 12a]
rākṣasaiḥ dharṣitānām ca tāpasānām tapasvinām || 4-10-12
gatim mṛgayamāṇānām bhavān naḥ paramā gatiḥ |
12b, 13a. raakSasaiH dharSitaanaam ca = by demons, being assaulted, too; taapasaanaam tapasvinaam = aggrieved, ascetics; gatim mR^igaya maaNaanaam = recourse, searching, those that are searching; bhavaan = you are; naH = for us; paramaa gatiH = ultimate, course [we chanced on you.]
"We the ascetics being assaulted thus are aggrieved, and when we searched for a recourse you chanced as our ultimate course... [4-10-12b, 13a]
kāmam tapaḥ prabhāveṇa śaktā hantum niśācarān || 4-10-13
cirārjitam na ca icchhāmaḥ tapaḥ khaṇḍayitum vayam |
13b, 14a. vayam tapaH prabhaaveNa = we are, by our ascesis, efficacy of; hantum nishaacaraan = kaamam shakaaH = to eradicate, demons, surely, we are capable of; tu = but; cira arjitam tapaH = for a long time, earned, ascesis [ the effect of]; na ca icChaamaH khaNDayitum = not, also, we wish, to cut short, waste;
"We by the efficacy of our ascesis are surely capable to eradicate those demons, but we do not wish to shorten the effect of our long earned merit of ascesis... [4-10-13b, 14a]
bahu vighnam tapo nityam duḥścaram caiva rāghava || 4-10-14
tena śāpam na muṃcāmo bhakṣyamāṇāḥ ca rākṣasaiḥ |
14b, 15a. Raghava; tapaH nityam bahu vighnam = ascesis, always, with many hurdles; duH caram ca eva = impracticable, also, like that; tena = by the reason of it; raakSasaiH bhakSyamaaNaaH = though being eaten away, by demons; shaapam na muncaamaH = thus, curse, not, issued.
"Many hurdles are always there in our practice of ascesis, and even the ascesis have become impracticable, oh, Raghava, thus though being eaten away by the demons we are not issuing any curse... [4-10-14b, 15a]
tad ardyamānān rakṣobhiḥ daṇḍakāraṇya vāsibhiḥ || 4-10-15
rakṣa naḥ tvam saha bhrātrā tvam nāthā hi vayam vane |
15b, 16b. tat = thereby; daNDakaaraNya vaasibhiH rakSobhiH = Dandaka forest, dwellers, by demons; ardyamaanaan = being persecuted; naH = us; saha bhraatraa tvam rakSa = with, brother you, protect; vayam vane tvam naathaa hi = we, in forest, you, as protector, we have you isn't it.
"Thereby, you along with your brother protect us that are being persecuted by the demons dwelling in Dandaka forest as you alone are the protector of ours in these forests...'so said sages to me... [4-10-15b, 16a]
mayā ca etat vacaḥ śrutvā kārtsnyena paripālanam || 4-10-16
ṛṣīṇām daṇḍakāraṇye saṃśrutam janakāatmaje |
16b, 17a. janaka aatmaje = Janaka's, daughter - oh, Seetha; mayaa ca etat vacaH shrutvaa = by me, also, all these, words, on hearing; daNDakaaraNye R^iSiiNaam = in Dandaka forests, to sages; kaartsnyena paripaalanam samshrutam = complete, protection, promised.
"On hearing all those words, oh, Seetha, I promised complete protection to the sages of Dandaka forests... [4-10-16b, 17a]
saṃśrutya na ca śakṣyāmi jīvamānaḥ pratiśravam || 4-10-17
munīnām anyathā kartum satyam iṣṭam hi me sadā |
17b, 18a. samshrutya = having promised; jiivamaanaH = while alive; muniinaam prati shravam = to sages, what that is promised; anyathaa kartum na shakSyaami = otherwise, to implement, not, capable of; me sadaa satyam iSTam hi = always, truth, is dearer, to me, isn't it.
"Having promised to the sages it is incapable of me to implement it otherwise while I am alive... truth is dearer to me, isn't it... [4-10-17b, 18a]
api aham jīvitam jahyām tvām vā sīte sa lakṣmaṇām || 4-10-18
na tu pratijñām saṃśrutya brāhmaṇebhyo viśeṣataḥ |
18b, 19a. siite = Seetha; aham jiivitam api = I, life, even; sa lakSmaNaam = with, Lakshmana; tvaam vaa = you, either; jahyaam = I leave off; tu = but; pratij~naam = promise; visheSataH braahmaNebhyaH = especially, to Brahmans; samshrutya = having promised; na tu = never [I will never go back.]
"I may forfeit my life, forgo Lakshmana, or even forsake you but not a promise, that too especially made to Brahmans, and having promised I can never go back... [4-10-18b, 19a]
tat avaśyam mayā kāryam ṛṣīṇām paripālanam || 4-10-19
anuktena api vaidehi pratijñāya katham punaḥ |
19b, 20a. vaidehi = oh, Vaidehi; tat = by that reason; an uktena api = not, asked [by sages,] even if; R^iSiiNaam pari paalanam = of sages', safeguarding; mayaa avashyam kaaryam = by me, definitely, to be done; pratij~naaya katham punaH = having, how, then [to not to do.]
"By that reason, oh, Seetha, even if I am unasked, safeguarding sages is definitely to be done by me, how then it is undone when given a promise... [4-10-19b, 20a]
mama snehāt ca sauhārdāt idam uktam tvayā vacaḥ || 4-10-20
parituṣṭo asmi aham sīte na hi aniṣṭo anuśāsyate |
20b, 21a. siite = oh, Seetha; mama snehaat sauhaardaat ca = in my, friendship, good-heartedness, also; idam vacaH uktam tvayaa = this, word, is said, by you; parituSTaH asmi aham = contented, I am; an iSTaH na anushaasyate hi = uninterested ones, not, forewarns, indeed.
"With your friendship and good-heartedness you say these words, oh, Seetha, I am contended... uninterested ones do not forewarn, indeed... [4-10-20b, 21a]
sadṛśam ca anurūpam ca kulasya tava śobhane |
sadharma cāriṇī me tvam prāṇebhyo api garīyasī || 4-10-21
21b, c. tava kulasya ca, shobhane = for your, bloodline, oh, graceful one; sadR^isham anuruupam ca = appropriate, seemly, also; me sa dharma caariNii = with me, virtue, wife the pursuer; tvam praaNebhyaH api gariiyasii = you are, by [my] lives, even, loftier one.
"Appropriate and seemly is your word of caution to your bloodline, oh, graceful Seetha, you are the co-pursuer in dharma with me, hence you are loftier to me than my own lives..." So said Rama to Seetha. [4-10-21b, c]
iti evam uktvā vacanam mahātmā
sītām priyām maithila rāja putrīm |
rāmo dhanuṣmān saha lakṣmaṇena
jagāma ramyāṇi tapo vanāni || 4-10-22
22. mahaatmaa = exalted-soul; raamaH = Rama; priyaam maithila raaja putriim siitaam = to dear one, Mithila, king's, daughter, to Seetha; iti evam uktvaa vacanam = thus, that way, on saying, words; dhanuSmaan = bow-wielder; saha lakSmaNena = with, Lakshmana; ramyaaNi tapo vanaani jagaama = to picturesque, hermits, woodlands, went to.
That exalted soul Rama on saying those words to Seetha, his dear wife and the daughter of Janaka, wielding his bow proceeded further with Lakshmana to the picturesque woodlands of hermits. [4-10-22]
iti vālmīki rāmāyaṇe ādi kāvye araṇya kāṇḍe daśamaḥ sargaḥ
© 2001, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao, [Revised : March 04]
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