Rama averts Shuurpanakha's advances toward him and asks her to seek Lakshmana instead. Lakshmana uses wordplay in retorting her in her own words. But she takes the apparent meaning of Lakshmana's words and rushes to eat away Seetha. Lakshmana defaces her and she noisily runs away from there, only to report to her brother Khara, a violent demon. This is the triggering situation of another round of troubles to Rama and Ramayana.
ताम् तु शूर्पणखाम् रामः काम पाश अवपाशिताम् |
स्वच्छ्हया श्लक्ष्णया वाचा स्मित पूर्वम् अथ अब्रवीत् || ३-१८-१
1. raamaH = Rama; kaama paasha ava paashitaam = by, lust's, noose, tethered down; taam shuurpaNakhaam = to her, Shuurpanakha; svacChayaa shlakSNayaa vaacaa = clearly, softly, with voice; smita puurvam = smile, preceded by; atha abraviit = then, said.
Rama then voicing clearly and softly spoke to her, whom the noose of lust has tethered down, with a smile preceding his words. [3-18-1]
कृत दारो अस्मि भवति भार्या इयम् दयिता मम |
त्वत् विधानाम् तु नारीणाम् सुदुःखा ससपत्नता || ३-१८-२
2. bhavati = oh, honourable one; kR^ita daaraH asmi = made, married, I am; iyam mama dayitaa bhaaryaa = this is, my, dear, wife; tvat vidhaanaam tu = to your, sort of [females,] but; naariiNaam = females; sa sapatnataa = [living] with, co-wife; su duHkhaa = will be distressing.
"Oh, honourable one, I am married and this is my dear wife, thus it will be distressing for your sort of females to live with a co-wife. [3-18-2]
अनुजः तु एष मे भ्राता शीलवान् प्रिय दर्शनः |
श्रीमान् अकृत दारः च लक्ष्मणो नाम वीर्यवान् || ३-१८-३
3. lakSmaNaH naama = Lakshmana, named; eSa anujaH me bhraataa = he is, younger one, my, brother; shiilavaan = with good conduct; priya darshanaH = good looking one; shriimaan = promising one; viiryavaan = valiant one; a kR^ita daaraH ca = not, made, wife nearly, not with a wife.
"He is my younger brother named Lakshmana, he is with a good conduct, good looking, a promising and valiant one, and he is without a wife. [3-18-3]
Rama is punning here. In punning apparent meaning will be different than the latent and the apparent appears to an untruth. Then if it is questioned whether Rama tells a lie while joking or punning, it is not so: nyaaya - guruuNam api samam haasyam kartavyam kutilam vinaa 'even with teachers one can be humorous, if it is not fraudulent'. According to dharmaakuutam which quotes gautam suutra: vivaaha maithuna narma aatra saMyogeSu adoSakakameke anR^itam; and in aapad dharma suutra: na narma yuktam anR^itam hi na asti na striiSu raajan na vivaaha kaale 'at the time of marriage or copulation or with women talking untruth [or with innuendo, or punning,] is not wrong.'
Again if it be asked whether Rama really said in jocular way or in real sense, it is said that he has not joked. navevamapi raama vacanam parihaasa ruupamiti katham nishcitamiti cet na for this Rama's words at 3-18-19 will suffice, saumitre parihaasaH kathaMcana 'Lakshmana.... no joking with this kind of beings please...' dharmaakuutam.
Rama is known to be a jovial talker, na vitathaa parihaasa kathhasvapi Here for the word a kR^ita daaraH apparently means 'not, made, wife= wife not available.' But Lakshmana is married and Rama says here he is unmarried. Then Rama must have bluffed! Not so, that compound is in its subtext means: 'one who did not make his wife to come along, hence there is no wife.' Govindaraja.
In another way, the word a in a kR^ite also means antaHpura according to the thesaurus of a and it is said as: akaaro brahma vishNu iisha kamaTheSva~NgaNe, gaurave antaHpure palace-chambers of queens; and thus the meaning is as: 'one who left behind his wife in palace-chambers, hence he has no wife.'
अपूर्वी भार्यया च अर्थी तरुणः प्रिय दर्शनः |
अनुरूपः च ते भर्ता रूपस्य अस्य भविष्यति || ३-१८-४
4. a puurvii = without, a wife; bhaaryayaa ca arthii = for wife, also, in need of; taruNaH = youthful one; priya darshanaH = good, looking; te ruupasya asya = by your, features, that kind of; anu ruupaH bhartaa = fitly, husband;; bhaviSyati = he becomes.
"He is without a wife and in need of a wife he is youthful, good-looking and he can become a fitly husband of yours, fit enough to your kind of features. [3-18-4]
The word apuurvi means in the viewpoint of Rama 'one who has been missing the company of wife for a long' but in Shuurpanakha's view it is 'one who is missing the company of ANY wife for a long...' The word bhaaryaa ca arthii is from Rama's view 'desiring his own wife, Urmila' but in Shuurpanakha's view 'desiring ANY woman as wife' and the word te bhartaa is declined as te.abhartaa= te a bhartaa 'unfit to be your husband' because of your ruupasya asyaa 'by your aspect, your repulsive aspect.' Govindaraja.
In another way akR^ita daaraH 'already a married man' apuurvii 'one who does not have the comfort from wife' so bharyayaa ca arthii; a + puurva bhaaryayaa ca arthii 'for a new wife, also, desiring one; one who is desiring new wife; thus you are a fitly wife for him by your aspect, anuruupascha te . This is on joculary side of the statement parihaasa anukuula praatiitaka artha. The implicit meaning is akR^ita daaraH 'one without a wife now or one who does not take another wife.' apuurva bhaaryayaa by first wife alone, arthii he is desired; shiilavaan, eka patnii vrata shiila vantaH an abider in the syndrome of 'one-man-one-wife.' priya darshanaH 'in dear ones, tend towards; tending towards his dear ones.' te.abhrtaa= te + a + bhartaa 'for you, no, husband; he is no husband of yours, he can never be your husband.' anu ruupaH 'fit for his own wife.' asya ruupasya yogya bhaviSyati? 'with this kind of, aspect of yours for you with such a notorious aspect, will he be eligible to become your husband? No, he will not.' Maheshvara Tiirtha.
The word apuurvi is categorised under rare and unfamiliar words. It is said that as per rock edicts it is a traveller, brahmacaari celibate, who is studying apuurva, namely Veda-s. As mimaamsikaa-s tell us that apuurva is divineness, results from Vedic knowledge. Here the celibate state of Lakshmana is said to have been referred, 'though he is having his wife Urmila, he is undergoing celibacy.' And further 'In Gorresio's text it is there as taruNo bhaaryayaa ca arthii where taruNa is youthfulness. Rama is also youthful. So Rama's expression of apurvii is just to indicate Lakshmana as a brahmacaari a celibate, though he has a wife and youthful also. After Prof. Satya Vrat. Unchained is he by nuptial bands: is Griffith's wording.
एनम् भज विशालाक्षि भर्तारम् भ्रातरम् मम |
असपत्ना वरारोहे मेरुम् अर्क प्रभा यथा || ३-१८-५
5. vishaalaakSi = oh, broad-eyed one; vara aarohe = great, waisted one; enam mama bhraataram = him, my, brother; arka prabhaa merum yathaa = sun's, shine, on Mt. Meru, like; a sapatnaa = without, a co-wife; bhartaaram = as husband; bhaja = you pray you woo.
"You woo him, oh, board-eyed [bulged-eyed] one, this brother of mine as your husband like sunshine seeking the Mt. Meru, then oh, great-waisted [pot-bellied] one, you will be without a co-wife " So said Rama to that demoness. [3-18-5]
The sunshine seeking Mt. Meru will spread over it, and on going at its behind, the sun disappears along with his shine. Such a massive mountain is that. Thus Mt. Meru is an absolver nivR^itti pradaata of sunshine. So also you reach Lakshmana and become absolved in him / by him. Govindaraja. Secondly, you adore Lakshmana like bhartaaram a husband, a Providence of all in the universe. Maheshvara Tiirtha.
इति रामेण सा प्रोक्ता राक्षसी काम मोहिता |
विसृज्य रामम् सहसा ततो लक्ष्मणम् अब्रवीत् || ३-१८-६
6. raameNa iti proktaa [pra uktaa] = by Rama, this way, [when] clearly told; raakSasii kaama mohitaa = demoness, in lust, dazed; sahasaa raamam visR^ijya = quickly, discarding, Rama; tataH saa lakSmaNam abraviit = then, she, to Lakshmana, spoke.
When Rama clearly told that way to that demoness dazed in lust, discarding Rama quickly then she spoke to Lakshmana. [3-18-6]
अस्य रूपस्य ते युक्ता भार्या अहम् वरवर्णिनी |
मया सह सुखम् सर्वान् दण्डकान् विचरिष्यसि || ३-१८-७
7. te asya ruupasya = your, for this, with aspect [meetly to your charm]; vara varNinii = best, complexioned one; aham yuktaataa bhaaryaa = I am, a deserving, wife; mayaa saha sukham = with me, along, happily; sarvaan daNDakaan vi cariSyasi = all of, Dandaka, well, move about [take a jaunt.]
"I with my best complexion will be your deserving wife meetly to you charm, you can happily take a jaunt all over Dandaka forest along with me." So Shuurpanakha ran after Lakshmana. [3-18-7]
एवम् उक्तः तु सौमित्री राक्षस्या वाक्य कोविदः |
ततः शूर्पणखीम् स्मित्वा लक्ष्मणो युक्तम् अब्रवीत् || ३-१८-८
8. raakSasyaa evam uktaH tu = by demoness, thus, said, but; vaakya kovidaH = sentence making, expert; saumitrii = Soumitri's son; lakSmaNaH = Lakshmana; tataH smitvaa = then, smiled; shuurpaNakhiim yuktam abraviit = to Shuurpanakha, reasonable [words,] said.
Thus said by the demoness that meaningful sentence maker Lakshmana, the son of Sumitra, then smiled and appropriately replied Shuurpanakha. [3-18-8]
कथम् दासस्य मे दासी भार्या भवितुम् इच्छ्हसि |
सो अहम् आर्येण परवान् भ्रात्रा कमल वर्णिनी || ३-१८-९
9. kamala varNinii = oh, [black] lotus, coloured one; daasasya me bhaaryaa = servant's, me like, wife; daasii bhavitum katham icChasi = female servant, to become, how, you wish; saH aham = such as, I am; aaryeNa = by adorable one [Rama]; paravaan [para aadhiina] bhraatraa = vassal, brother.
"How you wish to become a female servant, oh, [black] lotus-coloured one, by becoming the wife of a servant like me? I am just a vassal of my adorable brother. [3-18-9]
समृद्ध अर्थस्य सिद्धार्था मुदित अमल वर्णिनी |
आर्यस्य त्वम् विशालाक्षि भार्या भव यवीयसी || ३-१८--१०
10. vishaala akSi = oh, broad-eyed [goggle-eyed] one; a mala varNinii = un, blemished, complexioned one; [or, if disconnected as: muditaa mala varNini = mala varNini = filthy complexioned one, nothing more is there to blemish]; tvam = you; samR^iddha arthasya = abounding, in means [is Rama]; aaryasya = to adorable one [to Rama]; yaviiyasii bhaaryaa = younger, wife; on becoming; siddha arthaa mudita bhava = achieving, your means, be happy.
"Oh, goggle eyed one, befitting to your complexion that is un-stainable further you better become the wife of my brother Rama who is abounding in means, and on becoming the younger wife of that adorable one, you too will achieve your means and thus you will be happy. [3-18-10]
The word samR^iddha artha is 'abounding in the means of salvation.' arthobhidheyaraiH vastu prayojana nivR^itteSu nivR^itti 'Rama will accord salvation to you, should you adore him as your ultimate husband, thereby your means too are achieved and you can be happy.' The compound mudita amala varnaNi when declined as a + mudita; mala varNinii will mean: ' you have no happiness, filthy is your complexion.' yaviiyasii bhaaryaa; 'you are an unhappy creature with a filthy complexion and you will become a worst possible wife of Rama... do you wish to become at least that worst wife? No, never you can.' Maheshvara Tiirtha.
एनाम् विरूपाम् असतीम् करालाम् निर्णत उदरीम् |
भार्याम् वृद्धाम् परित्यज्य त्वाम् एव एष भजिष्यति || ३-१८-११
11. eSa = he this Rama; vi ruupaam = without shape disfigured one; a satiim = not, good one - dishonest; karaalaam = deleterious one; nirNata udariim = hallow-stomached; vR^iddhaam = old one; enaam bhaaryaam parityajya = this, wife, on discarding; tvaam eva bhajiSyati = leaving off, you, alone, he adores.
"On discarding her who is disfigured, dishonest, diabolically deleterious old wife with a hallow stomach that Rama will adore you alone. [3-18-11]
Lakshmana tolerates anything but lets no fly to fly over Seetha. He may defy his brother Rama, but never tolerates belittlement of Seetha, and lets none to insult her. Now he is retorting Shuurpanakha in the same words she used in last chapter when she was speaking about Seetha.
Here Govindaraja says, viruupaama asatiim karaalaam nirNatatodariim vR^idhaam tvaam parityajya enaam bhaaryaam eva eSa 'oh, Shuurpanakha you are un-shapely, unworthy etc., so Rama will leave you off, and adores his own wife, Seetha only...' Govindaraja.
Next, Maheshvara Tirtha says the same verse with reference to Seetha, it is: vi + ruupaam= visheSa ruupaam= tri loka sundariim with a particular excellence in her beauty in all three worlds; a + satiim= na anya pativrataa syaat samam vaa adhikam none, equalling or better in husband-adoration; karaalaam= karaalo daMture tunge daaruNe api ca, tallish; nirNata udariim hallow-stomached, slender-waisted, the first attribute a comely lady should have; vR^iddhaam= j~naana, shiila, guNa saMvR^ddhi 'abounding with intellect, character, conduct etc., not just years of age...'
'Seetha is one with a particular excellence in her beauty in all three worlds, none is equalling or higher to her in husband-adoration, a tallish lady, slender-waisted and in her enriched are intellect, character and conduct... how can she be left off for your sake?' This is the innuendo of Lakshmana's wording. Maheshvara Tiirtha.
को हि रूपम् इदम् श्रेष्ठम् संत्यज्य वरवर्णिनि |
मानुषेषु वरारोहे कुर्यात् भावम् विचक्षणः || ३-१८-१२
12. vara varNini = oh, best, complexioned one; vara arohe = best, waisted one; vicakSaNaH = differentiating man, wiseacre; kaH hi = who, indeed; shreSTham idam ruupam = best, this sort of, personality; sam tyajya = completely, discarding; maanuSeSu bhaavam kuryaat = in human females, an intent, makes -- who will prefer.
"Oh, best complexioned one with best waist, is there any wiseacre to simply discard your kind of best personality, indeed, in preference to human females?" Lakshmana said so to Shuurpanakha. [3-18-12]
इति सा लक्ष्मणेन उक्ता कराला निर्णतोदरी |
मन्यते तत् वचः सत्यम् परिहास अविचक्षणा || ३-१८-१३
13. lakSmaNena iti uktaa = by Lakshmana, thus, said; karaalaa nirNatodarii = despicable, one with slouching stomach; parihaasa a vicakSaNaa = equivoque, not, differentiating one equivocal; saa = she; tat vacaH = that, word; satyam manyate = truthful, presumed.
Thus said by Lakshmana that despicable one with slouching stomach Shuurpanakha presumed those words to be truthful, for she is equivocal of that equivoque. [3-18-13]
सा रामम् पर्णशालायाम् उपविष्टम् परंतपम् |
सीतया सह दुर्धर्षम् अब्रवीत् काम मोहिता || ३-१८-१४
14. kaama mohitaa = by lust, one fuddled by; saa = she; siitayaa saha parNashaalaayaam upaviSTam = Seetha, along with, in cottage, one who is sitting; param tapam = enemy-scorcher; durdharSam = unassailable one; raamam = to Rama; abraviit = said.
She who is fuddle by lust said to that unassailable enemy scorcher Rama who is sitting in the cottage along with Seetha. [3-18-14]
इमाम् विरूपाम् असतीम् करालाम् निर्णतोदरीम् |
वृद्धाम् भार्याम् अवष्टभ्य न माम् त्वम् बहु मन्यसे || ३-१८-१५
15. viruupaam asatiim karaalaam nirNatodariim = disfigured, dishonest, diabolical, hallow-stomached one; imaam vR^iddhaam bhaaryaam avaSTabhya = her, old one, wife, tenacious of; tvam maam na bahu manyase = you, me, not, highly, regarding.
"Tenacious of her who is disfigured, dishonest, diabolical, hallow-stomached old wife of yours you are not regarding me high. [3-18-15]
अद्य इमाम् भक्षयिष्यामि पश्यतः तव मानुषीम् |
त्वया सह चरिष्यामि निःसपत्ना यथा सुखम् || ३-१८-१६
16. tava pashyataH = you, while seeing; adya imaam maanuSiim = now, her, the human female; bhakSayiSyaami = I wish eat up; niH sa patnaa = without [botheration of,] co, wife; tvayaa saha cariSyaami = with you, along, I ramble [make merry]; yathaa sukham = as per, cheerfulness - blithely.
"Now I wish to eat up this human female right before your very eyes, and then I can blithely make merry along with you, without the botheration of a co-wife." Said Shuurpanakha to Rama. [3-18-16]
इति उक्त्वा मृगशावाक्षीम् अलात सदृश ईक्षणा |
अभ्यधावत् सुसंक्रुद्धा महा उल्का रोहिणीम् इव || ३-१८-१७
17. alaata sadR^isha iikSaNaa = half burnt wood stick, [torche-like,] equal, eyed Shuurpanakha; iti uktvaa = thus, speaking; su sam kruddhaa = very, highly, exasperated; mahaa ulkaa rohiNiim iva = great, meteor, towards Rohini [a brightest star in sky,] like; mR^igashaava akSiim = towards deer, eyed [Seetha]; abhyadhaavat = dashed.
Speaking that way she that torch-eyed Shuurpanakha dashed towards the deer-eyed Seetha in high exasperation as a great meteor would dash towards Rohini, the brightest star in the sky. [3-18-17]
ताम् मृत्यु पाश प्रतिमाम् आपतंतीम् महाबलः |
विगृह्य रामः कुपितः ततो लक्ष्मणम् अब्रवीत् || ३-१८-१८
18. mahaabalaH raamaH = greatly, energetic, Rama; kupitaH = took umbrage; aa patantiim = coming, falling - swooping; mR^ityu paasha pratimaam = death's, noose, like; taam vi gR^ihya = her, on checking; tataH lakSmaNam abraviit = to Lakshmana, said.
By that the great-energetic Rama took umbrage and checking her who is like the noose of death swooping down on Seetha said to Lakshmana. [3-18-18]
क्रूरैः अनार्यैः सौमित्रे परिहासः कथंचन |
न कार्यः पश्य वैदेहीम् कथंचित् सौम्य जीवतीम् || ३-१८-१९
19. saumya = oh, gentle one; saumitre = Soumitri; kruuraiH = with brutish ones; an aaryaiH = with un, civilised ones - base; kathamcana = in any event; parihaasaH na kaaryaH = punning, not, be made - inapposite; kathamcit jiivatiim vaidehiim pashya = somehow, surviving, at Vaidehi, see.
"Punning in any way with the base and brutish is inapposite, oh, gentle Saumitri, mark note of Vaidehi, somehow surviving [3-18-19]
इमाम् विरूपाम् असतीम् अतिमत्ताम् महोदरीम् |
राक्षसीम् पुरुषव्याघ्र विरूपयितुम् अर्हसि || ३-१८-२०
20. puruSa vyaaghra = oh, manly-tiger; vi ruupaam = freakish; a satiim = knavish; ati mattaam = overtly, ruttish; mahaa udariim = big, bellied; imaam raakSasiim = this, demoness be; vi ruupayitum arhasi = without, shape [to deface,] apt of you.
"She is freakish, knavish and overtly ruttish, oh, tigerly man, it will be apt of you to deface this paunchy demoness " Thus Rama said to Lakshmana. [3-18-20]
इति उक्तो लक्ष्मणः तस्याः क्रुद्धो रामस्य पश्यतः |
उद्धृत्य खड्गम् चिच्छ्हेद कर्ण नासम् महाबलः || ३-१८-२१
21. iti uktaH mahaabalaH lakshmaNaH = thus, said, great-mighty, Lakshmana; kruddhaH = infuriated; raamasya pashyataH = while Rama, is seeing; uddhR^itya khaDgam = taking up [drawing,] sword; tasyaaH karNa naasam cicCheda = her, ears, nose, chopped off.
Thus said to that mighty Lakshmana he infuriately drew sword and chopped off her ears and nose before the very eyes of Rama. [3-18-21]
निकृत्त कर्ण नासा तु विस्वरम् सा विनद्य च |
यथा आगतम् प्रदुद्राव घोरा शूर्पणखा वनम् || ३-१८-२२
22. ghoraa saa shuurpaNakhaa = ghastly one, she, Shuurpanakha; nikR^itta karNa naasaa tu = hewed off, ears, nose, but; vi svaram vi nadya ca = discordantly, she, highly, blared; yathaa aagatam = as has come; vanam = into forest; pradudraava [pra du draava] = very, speedily, fled.
On hewing off her ears and nose she that ghastly Shuurpanakha blared highly and discordantly, and very speedily fled into forest as she came. [3-18-22]
सा विरूपा महाघोरा राक्षसी शोणित उक्षिता |
ननाद विविधान् नादान् यथा प्रावृषि तोयदः || ३-१८-२३
23. vi ruupaa = defaced; mahaa ghoraa = very ghastly one; shoNita ukSitaa = blood, wetted; saa raakSasii = she, that demoness; praavR^iSi toyadaH yathaa = in cloudburst, cloud, as with; nanaada vividhaan naadaan = blaring, many a, blared; like, cloud.
She that very ghastly demoness when defaced is wetted by blood and blared many a blare like a cloud in cloudburst. [3-18-23]
सा विक्षरंती रुधिरम् बहुधा घोर दर्शना |
प्रगृह्य बाहू गर्जन्ती प्रविवेश महावनम् || ३-१८-२४
24. ghora darshanaa saa = gruesome, in appearance, she; bahudhaa rudhiram vi kSarantii = in many way - fountained, blood, profusely, exuding; baahuu pragR^ihya = arms, clutching -- clasped herself; garjantii mahaa vanam pravivesha = thundering, great [gruesome,] forest, entered.
She that gruesome one in her appearance clasped herself and thunderously entered similarly gruesome forest while her blood fountained and profusely exuded. [3-18-24]
ततः तु सा राक्षस संघ सम्वृतम्
खरम् जन स्थान गतम् विरूपिता |
उपेत्य तम् भ्रातरम् उग्र तेजसम्
पपात भूमौ गगनाद् यथा अशनिः || ३-१८-२५
25. tataH = then; saa viruupitaa = she who is, disfigured; raakSasa sangha samvR^itam = demons, band of, surrounded by; janasthaana gatam = in Janasthaana, one abiding in; ugra tejasam = one with violent, vigour; bhraataram = at her brother; tam kharam = that, Khara; upetya = neared; gaganaat ashaniH yathaa = from sky, thunderbolt, as with; bhuumau papaata = on ground, fell down.
Then she who is deformed neared her brother Khara who possess violent vigour, who is abiding in Janasthaana and who is presently surrounded by his band of his hench-demons, and before him she that Shuurpanakha fell onto ground like a thunderbolt from the sky. [3-18-25]
ततः सभार्यम् भय मोह मूर्चिता
सलक्ष्मणम् राघवम् आगतम् वनम् |
विरूपणम् च आत्मनि शोणित उक्षिता
शशंस सर्वम् भगिनी खरस्य सा || ३-१८-२६
26. tataH = then; kharasya bhaginii saa = Khara's, sister, she who is; bhaya moha muurchitaa = by fear's, fluster, convulsed; shoNita ukSitaa = by blood, wetted; vanam aagatam = to forest, arrived; sa bhaaryam = with, wife; sa lakSmaNam raaghavam = with Lakshmana, about Raghava; aatmani viruupaNam ca = of her, misshaping, also; sarvam shashamsa = all, reported.
Then that sister of Khara who is convulsed in the fluster of fear and her body wetted with blood reported to her brother Khara, all about Rama's arrival in forest with his wife and Lakshmana, and even about his misshaping her. [3-18-26]
इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदि काव्ये अरण्य काण्डे अष्टादशः सर्गः
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© 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : May 04]
What the world says about
wife and rama
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