The pomp and pageantry of Ravana is portrayed along with his idiosyncrasy and individuality, his triumphs and victories, his jalousies and covetousness. Shuurpanakha approaches him to inform of her fate at the hand of Lakshmana.
ततः शूर्पणखा दृष्ट्वा सहस्राणि चतुर्दश |
हतानि एकेन रामेण रक्षसाम् भीम कर्मणाम् || ३-३२-१
दूषणम् च खरम् चैव हतम् त्रिशिरसम् रणे |
दृष्ट्वा पुनर् महानादम् ननाद जलद उपमा || ३-३२-२
1, 2. tataH = then; shuurpaNakhaa = Shuurpanakha; ekena raameNa = by lone, Rama; bhiima karmaNaam rakSasaam catur dasha sahasraaNi = of heinous, acts - crimes, demons, four, ten, thousand; hataani dR^iSTvaa = as exterminated, on seeing; trishirasam duuSaNam ca kharam caiva = Trishira, Duushana, also, Khara, also thus; raNe = in war; hatam dR^iSTvaa = killed, on seeing; punaH = again; jala da upamaa = water, giver [cloud,] in simile; mahaa naadam nanaada = great, blare, blared.
On seeing the fourteen thousands demons of heinous crimes, and even on seeing Trishira, Duushana, and even Khara, who are all exterminated by lone Rama, then Shuurpanakha emitted a thunderous blare like a thundercloud. [3-32-1, 2]
सा दृष्ट्वा कर्म रामस्य कृतम् अन्यैः सुदुष्करम् |
जगाम परम उद्विग्ना लंकाम् रावण पालिताम् || ३-३२-३
3. saa = she; anyaiH su duS karam = to others, highly, not, possible; raamasya kR^itam karma = what Rama, has done, the deed; dR^iSTvaa = having seen; parama udvignaa = highly, agitated; raavaNa paalitaam lankaam jagaama = by Ravana, ruled, to Lanka, she hurried to.
Highly agitated to witness the deed done by Rama, which deed is highly impossible for others, she hurried Lanka ruled by Ravana. [3-32-3]
सा ददर्श विमान अग्रे रावणम् दीप्त तेजसम् |
उपोपविष्टम् सचिवैः मरुद्भिः इव वासवम् || ३-३२-४
4. saa = she; marudbhiH vaasavam iva = with Wind-gods, Indra, as with; sacivaiH = with ministers; upa upa viSTam = nearly, nearby, seated; diipta tejasam = fulgent, with his own radiance; raavaNam = at Ravana; vimaana agre = in aircraft [divine aircraft named Pushpaka,] midst of, or, on the top of a skyscraper; dadarsha = she saw.
She saw Ravana who is fulgent with his own radiance, seated with ministers at his nearby in the midst of the divine aircraft Pushpaka, as with Indra who will be sitting amidst wind-gods. [3-32-4]
The place where Ravana is sitting can be said as 'at the top floor of a multi-storeyed building...' as the word vimaana means 'atop...' of a house, temple-towers etc. But it can also be said Pushpaka aircraft as said in Dharmaakuutam: tatra ca vicitra vimaana madhyage kaancana maya aasane - -
The words upa upa viSTa 'the ministers are sitting near him, and are in attendance upon him...' by the use of extra preposition upa, but in the course of time the idea of 'nearness or proximity' are lost and it came be used as just 'sitting...' Thus, the tautological tendencies were influencing Sanskrit' - Pt. Satya Vrat in Ramayana - A Linguistic Study.
आसीनम् सूर्य संकाशे कांचने परमासने |
रुक्म वेदि गतम् प्राज्यम् ज्वलंतम् इव पावकम् || ३-३२-५
5. suurya samkaashe = to Sun, who is similar to - Ravana; kaancane parama aasane = golden, supreme, on a throne; thus who is like; rukma vedi gatam = with golden, Fire-altar, going in - available in that Altar; pra ajyam = plentifully, drenched with ghee - clarified butter; jvalantam = flaring up; paavakam iva = Ritual-fire, as with; aasiinam = who is seated; Shuurpanakha saw.
Seated similar to the Sun in firmament on a supreme golden throne, which resembles a golden Altar of Fire, and he himself resembling the blazing Ritual-fire spurting out of it when that Golden-Fire-Altar is drenched with plentiful ghee, she saw such a Ravana. [3-32-5]
Ravana is seated similar to the Sun in firmament on a supreme golden throne, which resembles a golden Fire-altar, laid with golden bricks. Mud-bricks will be used in Vedic-rituals in ordinary fashion, while he is a special fire in a special golden altar. When much ghee is poured into that Golden-Fire-Altar continually, it is natural for the fire to blurt up, so also Ravana is flaring up when his needs are oblated in that fire, and his glow is heightening with every pour of ghee-oblation, rather fulfilment of each need.
On conquering all the worlds Ravana assumed indratva 'Indra-hood.' So all the oblations in rituals shall belong to Ravana. Any ritual other than this variety will be hindered or spoiled by this demon group. This is the real problem of all the celestials, as they are not getting their due of oblations through Vedic-rituals. Ravana's throne, rather the seat of authority, itself is the Golden-Ritual-Altar of its kind, and every praise, or extolment of Ravana is a hymn in his eulogy, and any offering made anywhere in his jurisdiction is an offering made into that Ravana-Fire-Altar. That absolute power of Ravana is making him to glow to the bedazzlement of all the worlds. And how he got that Indrahood is said next.
देव गन्धर्व भूतानाम् ऋषीणाम् च महात्मनाम् |
अजेयम् समरे घोरम् व्यात्त आननम् इव अन्तकम् || ३-३२-६
6. deva gandharva bhuutaanaam = by gods, by gandharva-s, by [other] beings; mahaa aatmanaam R^iSiiNaam ca = by exalted, souls, sages, also; samare a jeyam = in war, not, conquerable one - Ravana; ghoram = catastrophic in look; he is like; vyaatta [vi aatta] aananam antakam iva = verily, gaping, mouth, Terminator, as with.
An invincible one either for gods or gandharva-s, or to sages with exalted souls, or even to any other entity worth its name, whose appearance itself is catastrophic, and who is sitting identical to the Terminator, as though that Terminator himself is sitting with a wide gaped mouth, at such a Ravana Shuurpanakha saw. [3-32-6]
देव असुर विमर्देषु वज्र अशनि कृत व्रणम् |
ऐरावत विषाण अग्रैः उत्कृष्ट किण वक्षसम् || ३-३२-७
7. deva asura vi mardeSu = in gods, demons, highly trampling down - in many combats; vajra ashani kR^ita [su bahusho] vraNam = Vajra weapon of Indra, by Thunderbolt, made, [very many,] bruises; airaavata viSaaNa agraiH = Airavata - elephant of Indra, with tusks, prongs of; utkR^iSTa kiNa vakSasam = when gored, blotched, chest.
One who is severally bruised in several combats of gods and demons with the thunderbolts from the Vajra weapon of Indra, and one who is severally blotched on his chest when the prongs of the tusks of Airavata, the lordly elephant of Indra, gored his chest, at such a Ravana Shuurpanakha saw. [3-32-7]
विंशत् भुजम् दश ग्रीवम् दर्शनीय परिच्छदम् |
विशाल वक्षसम् वीरम् राज लक्ष्मण लक्षितम् || ३-३२-८
8. vimshat bhujam = having twenty, arms; dasha griivam = having ten, throats [faces]; darshaniiya paricChadam = one with conspicuous, white parasol, [white fans etc., meaning that he has all regalia of Indra]; vishaala vakSasam = one with broad, chest; viiram = at brave one; raaja lakSmaNa lakSitam = one with kingly, attributes, attributed with.
One who has twenty arms, ten faces and a broad chest, and a possessor of all regalia of Indra like white parasol, white fanning instruments, colours and the like insigne, and at that brave one who is attributed with all of the kingly attributes, Shuurpanakha saw. [3-32-8]
Ravana is said to have four legs also in naaradiiya jaimini Ramayana: dasha aasyam viMshati bhujam bhinna anjana cayamopamam | paadaiH catur ati ugram taamroSTam 11 chapter, 75 verse. In Raghuvamsha in 18th chapter bhujamuurthoru baahulyaa dekopidhana daanuja etc., but not vividly portrayed elsewhere.
नद्ध वैदूर्य संकाशम् तप्त कान्चन कुण्डलम् |
सुभुजम् शुक्ल दशनम् महा आस्यम् पर्वतोपमम् || ३-३२-९
9. naddha vaiduurya sankaasham = studded, vaiduurya gems [Lapis, cats-eye gems,] one gleaming alike; tapta kaancana kuNDalam = one with burnt [refined,] gold, ear-knobs; su bhujam = with robust, arms; shukla dashanam = with whitely, teeth; mahaa aasyam = wide, mouthed; parvata upamam = mountain, in simile to.
Blent with the gleam of Lapis gems studded in his ornaments his glisten is alike that gem, while his ear-knobs are made out of refined gold, and his arms strongish, teeth whitish, mouth widish and he is mountainous, and Shuurpanakha saw such a Ravana. [3-32-9]
विष्णु चक्र निपातैः च शतशो देव संयुगे |
अन्यैः शस्त्रैः प्रहारैः च महायुद्धेषु ताडितम् || ३-३२-१०
10. deva samyuge = gods, in war with; shatashaH = hundreds [of times]; viSNu cakra nipaataiH ca = Vishnu's, disc, with assaults of, also; [anyaiH ] mahaa yuddheSu = in [other,] great wars - gruesome wars; anyaiH shastraiH prahaaraiH ca = with other, missile, by assaults of, also; [shatashaH] taaDitam = he is assaulted - assaults known through scars on body.
His body bears hundreds of welts caused when assaulted with Vishnu-disc for hundreds of times in wars with gods, and when assaulted for hundreds of times with the other assaults-missiles in other gruesome wars as well, and Shuurpanakha saw at such a Ravana. [3-32-10]
The disc of Vishnu here does not mean the sudarshana cakra of Vishnu. This is yet another missile which is one among many given to Rama by Vishvamitra. This sudarshana cakra is a 'thought of Vishnu to eliminate the vice...' sankalpa, a conceptually symbolic missile in one of his hands. But in the core of its essence it is no disc with any sprockets and central thumb-hole etc. praaNo mayaa kriyaa shaktiH | bhaava unmeSha udyamaH | sudarshanam ca sa~NkalpaH | shabdaa paryaaya vaacakaaH -- ahirbuj~na vaakya 'sudarshana is my causative thinking, words are just alternatives -- ahirbudhnya aphorisms. This narration is to portray that Ravana has war-wounds on all over his limbs. Though hit by Thunderbolts or missiles for umpteen times, he is just wounded but not dead and he is on such a winning spree, ineradicably.
आहत अंगम् समस्तैः च देव प्रहरणैः तथा |
अक्षोभ्याणाम् समुद्राणाम् क्षोभणम् क्षिप्र कारिणम् || ३-३२-११
11. tathaa = likewise; samastaiH deva praharaNaiH = with all of the, gods, hacking [missilery]; aahata angam ca = hacked, limbs, even having; a kSobhyaaNaam samudraaNaam = not, perturbable, oceans; for them; kSobhaNam = who can roil, agitator; kSipra kaariNam = a swift, perpetrator.
Likewise, whose limbs are thrashed with thrashing missilery of all gods, whereby his body and soul have become harsh, thus he can perpetrate anything swiftly at his will, and he who can capably roil an un-perturbable ocean at his wish, at such Ravana Shuurpanakha saw. [3-32-11]
क्षेप्तारम् पर्वत अग्राणाम् सुराणाम् च प्रमर्दनम् |
उच्छेत्तारम् च धर्माणाम् पर दार अभिमर्शनम् || ३-३२-१२
12. parvata agraaNaam = to [of] mountain, peaks; kSeptaaram = volleyer of; suraaNaam ca pra mardanam = of gods, even, extreme, represser of; dharmaaNaam ca ucChettaaram = ethical values, even, an extirpator of; para daara abhimarshanam = other's, wives, [touches] molester.
At him who is a volleyer of mountain peaks, a represser of gods, an extirpator of ethical values, and a molester of others wives, Shuurpanakha saw. [3-32-12]
सर्व दिव्य अस्त्र योक्तारम् यज्ञ विघ्न करम् सदा |
पुरीम् भोगवतीम् गत्वा पराजित्य च वासुकिम् || ३-३२-१३
तक्षकस्य प्रियाम् भार्याम् पराजित्य जहार यः |
13, 14a. sarva divya astra yoktaaram = every, divine, missile, marksman of; sadaa yaj~na vighna karam = always, Vedic-rituals, obstacles, causer [interdictor]; such a Ravana she saw; yaH = who; bhogavatiim puriim gatvaa = Bhogavati, to city, on going; vaasukim paraajitya ca = Vaasuki [the King of Serpents,] on defeating, also; takSakasya priyaam bhaaryaam = Taksha's, dear, wife; paraajitya jahaara = on defeating [molesting,] abducted.
He who is a marksman of every divine missile, and an ever interdictor of Vedic-rituals, and who on going to the city named Bhogavati, the capital of Naga-s, and on defeating Vaasuki, the King of Serpents, has abducted the dear wife of Taksha on molesting her, and Shuurpanakha saw such a molester of others wives. [3-32-13, 14a]
कैलासम् पर्वतम् गत्वा विजित्य नर वाहनम् || ३-३२-१४
विमानम् पुष्पकम् तस्य कामगम् वै जहार यः |
14b, 15a. yaH = who - Ravana; kailaasam parvatam gatvaa = to Kailash, mountain, on going; nara vaahanam = humans, as vehicle - one who has, Kubera; vijitya = on defeating; tasya kaama gam = his, by wish, transiting; puSpakam vimaanam = Pushpaka, aircraft; jahaara vai snatched away, indeed.
On going to Mt. Kailash he who has defeated the god who uses humans as his vehicle, namely Kubera, and snatched away his aircraft, namely Pushpaka, which aircraft transits at the wish of its steersman, and Shuurpanakha saw such a grabber of others possessions. [3-32-14b, 15a]
वनम् चैत्ररथम् दिव्यम् नलिनीम् नंदनम् वनम् || ३-३२-१५
विनाशयति यः क्रोधात् देव उद्यानानि वीर्यवान् |
15b, 16a. viiryavaan = valiant one [Ravana]; divyam caitraratham vanam = divine, Caitraratha named, garden; naliniim = lotus-lake - puSkariNi; nandanam vanam = Nandana named, garden; deva udyaanaani = of gods, [paradisiacal] gardens; yaH = who; krodhaat vinaashayati = with enviousness, devastated.
He who enviously devastated the divine gardens of Kubera, called Caitraratha, along with a divine Lake of Lotuses pertaining to the same Kubera, called Pushkarini, and the gardens of Indra, called Nandana, along with other paradisiacal gardens of gods, Shuurpanakha saw such an envious demon. [3-32-15b, 16a]
चन्द्र सूर्यौ महा भागौ उत्तिष्ठन्तौ परंतपौ || ३-३२-१६
निवारयति बाहुभ्याम् यः शैल शिखरोपमः |
16b, 17a. shaila shikhara upamaH = mountain's, pinnacle, in simile; he; yaH = who is - Ravana; uttiSThantau mahaa bhaagau = while rising [when they tend to rise,] highly, propitious ones [sun and moon; paran tapau = enemy-stiflers - sun and moon, or, paran tapaH = enemy-stifler - Ravana; candra suuryau = Moon, Sun are; baahubhyaam nivaarayati = with two arms, forestalls.
Shuurpanakha saw him who is similar to the pinnacle of a mountain, and who with his two hands forestalls the highly propitious ones that are the stiflers of their enemies, namely the Sun and Moon, when they tend to rise. [3-32-16b, 17a]
Tall as a hill that cleaves the sky, / He raised his mighty arms on high / To check the blessed moon, and stay / The rising of the Lord of Day. - Griffith.
दश वर्ष सहस्राणि तपः तप्त्वा महावने || ३-३२-१७
पुरा स्वयंभुवे धीरः शिरांसि उपजहार यः |
17b, 18a. dhiiraH yaH = courageous one, which Ravana; puraa mahaa vane = earlier, in great, forest; dasha varSa sahasraaNi = ten, years, thousand; tapaH taptvaa = asceticism, on accomplishing; svayam bhuve = from the self, created divinity [to Brahma]; shiraamsi upajahaara = heads [his ten heads,] dedicated [to Brahma.]
That courageous one who in early times has practised ascesis for ten thousand years in a great-forest, and who on accomplishing it has dedicated ten of his heads to the Self-Created Brahma, she saw such a Ravana with such ten heads. [3-32-17b, 18a]
देव दानव गधर्व पिशाच पतग उरगैः || ३-३२-१८
अभयम् यस्य संग्रामे मृत्युतो मानुषाद् ऋते |
18b, 19a. yasya sangraame = to whom, in war; maanuSaat R^ite = from humans, excepting; deva daanava gadharva pishaaca pataga uragaiH = from gods, demons, gandharva-s, devils, birds, reptiles; mR^ityutaH = from death; a bhayam = no, fear - indemnity - is given by Brahma.
Whereby, to whom there is an indemnity against death in war at the hand of gods, demons, gandharva-s, devils, birds, or reptiles, excepting humans, and Shuurpanakha saw such an unimperilled Ravana. [3-32-18b, 19a]
मन्त्रैः अभितुष्टम् पुण्यम् अध्वरेषु द्विजातिभिः || ३-३२-१९
हविर्धानेषु यः सोमम् उपहन्ति महाबलः |
19b, 20a. mahaabalaH = great-mighty- extreme-ultraist; yaH = which Ravana; adhvareSu in Vedic-rituals; [havirdhaaneSu = in oblation-vessels]; dvi jaatibhiH by twice, born - by Brahmans; abhituSTam = kept separately; mantraiH puNyam = with hymns, blest; somam upahanti = Soma-juice-oblation, expropriates,
He who is an extreme-ultraist that expropriates the Soma-juice-oblation form the vessels of oblation in Vedic-rituals, which Soma juice-oblation is blest with Vedic-hymns and kept separately by Vedic Brahmans, since it is intended and shall belong to Indra and other divinities, and she saw such a plunderer. [3-32-19b, 20a]
प्राप्त यज्ञ हरम् दुष्टम् ब्रह्म घ्नम् क्रूर कारिणम् || ३-३२-२०
कर्कशम् निरनुक्रोशम् प्रजानाम् अहिते रतम् |
20b, 21a. praapta yaj~na haram = received [culminated, ] Vedic-ritual, embezzler - Vedic ritual whose fruit is close at hand; duSTam = malicious one; kruura kaariNam = one with cruel, acts; brahma ghnam = Brahman, slayer - or, Vedic-ritual, hinderer of; karkasham = heartless one; nir anukrosham = without, goaded [rampant]; prajaanaam a hite ratam = to people, un, worthy [iniquity,] one who delights in.
He who is such an embezzler of the Vedic-rituals at the time of their culmination, a malicious one, and one with cruel acts, a hinderer of Vedic-rituals, or, the slayer of those Brahmans that conduct Vedic-rituals contrary to his wishes, and one who is heartless and a rampant demon, who is a delighter in the iniquity to the people, at him Shuurpanakha saw. [3-32-20b, 21a]
The problem with Ravana is that nobody shall surpass him or his boons, by conducting various Vedic-rituals, appeasing various gods to get better boons, or say 'a boon to kill Ravana' itself. That being his preconceived fear he lets none to conduct any Vedic sacrifice. Secondly, he has became one with Indra with the boon of Brahma. So, any ritual should be centred on Ravana, not Indra. He is not a routine Brahman slayer as he has Brahmanic origin, and his teachers are Brahmans, and the like. But he goes against those Brahmans who dare to conduct rituals for Indra and other divinities.
रावणम् सर्व भूतानाम् सर्व लोक भयावहम् || ३-३२-२१
राक्षसी भ्रातरम् क्रूरम् सा ददर्श महाबलम् |
21b, 22a. saa raakSasii = she, that demoness - Shuurpanakha; sarva bhuutaanaam raavaNam = for all, beings, one who makes them to wail; sarva loka bhayaavaham = for all, worlds, alarming one; kruuram = an atrocious one; mahaabalam = highly, formidable one; bhraataram dadarsha = at brother, she, saw.
She that demoness Shuurpanakha saw her brother who makes all beings to wail, an alarming one to all the worlds, an atrocious one and highly formidable Ravana. [3-32-21b, 22a]
Ravana is the nickname of Dashagriiva, or Dashakantha, or Dashaanana, or Dashakandhara. When Ravana tried to lift up Mt. Kailash with his twenty hands, on which Shiva, Parvati, Nandi, and a host of pramatha gaNa-s are there, Shiva pressed down the Mt. Kailash with his big toe. Then Ravana's twenty hands went under Mt. Kailash ehereby he started to yell in pain for a thousand years, terrifying all the worlds. Then, as advised by his ministers Ravana extols Shiva in a stotram, danDakam a rhythmical eulogy. That heavily worded eulogy is still available in the name of raavaNa kR^ita daNDaka. Then, Shiva releases Ravana's hands from under Mt. Kailash and blesses him to be renowned as 'Ravana' then onward. This will be in the uttara ramayaNa seventh book. Thus, Ravana is the etymological derivation of the word from the root ru 'to make noise or weep...'
The mantra shastra says:-- raama patniim vanasthaam ninaaya - iti raavaNa 'one who abducted Rama's wife from woodlands...' In another way it is raavaNasya apatyam pumaan raavaNaH 'Ravana's son is Raavana.'
तम् दिव्य वस्त्र आभरणम् दिव्य माल्य उपशोभितम् || ३-३२-२२
आसने सूपविष्टम् तम् काले कालम् इव उद्यतम् |
22b, 23a. divya vastra aabharaNam = with excellent, attired, who is bejewelled; divya maalya upashobhitam = with marvellous, garlands, who is shining forth; aasane su upaviSTam = on throne, conspicuously, sitting; udyatam = on the rise; kaale kaalam iva = End-Time, for Time [himself]; tam = him - she saw.
And at him who is conspicuously sitting on a throne, attired and bejewelled in excellent apparels and jewels, shining forth with marvellous garlands, and who is like the Ultimate-Time on the rise destined for the Eventual-Time. [3-32-22b, 23a]
राक्षसेन्द्रम् महाभागम् पौलस्त्य कुल नन्दनम् || ३-३२-२३
उपगम्य अब्रवीत् वाक्यम् राक्षसी भय विह्वला |
रावणम् शत्रु हन्तारम् मंत्रिभिः परिवारितम् || ३-३२-२४
23b, 24. raakshasii = demoness Shuurpanakha; bhaya vihvalaa = by fear, baffled; raakSasa indram mahaa bhaagam = demon's, king, highly, fortunate one; paulastya kula nandanam = Sage Pulasta's, dynasty's, a felicity of; shatru hantaaram = enemy, destroyer; mantribhiH pari vaaritam = with ministers, surrounded by; raavaNam = to Ravana; upagamya vaakyam abraviit = nearing him, sentence, spoke.
Demoness Shuurpanakha nearing Ravana, who is the highly fortunate king of demons, an enemy-destroyer and a felicity of the dynasty of Sage Pulasta, and who is now surrounded by his ministers, she spoke this sentence. [3-32-23b, 24]
तम् अब्रवीत् दीप्त विशाल लोचनम्
प्रदर्शयित्वा भय लोभ मोहिता |
सुदारुणम् वाक्यम् अभीत चारिणी
महात्मना शूर्पणखा विरूपिता || ३-३२-२५
25. a bhiita caariNii = not, fearing, in her movements - a fearless rover; mahaatmanaa viruupitaa = by great-souled one [Lakshmana,] defaced; such; shuurpaNakhaa = Shuurpanakha; bhaya lobha mohitaa = by fear [of Rama,] by craving [for Rama,] perplexed; pradarshayitvaa = on displaying [her misfortune]; diipta vishaala locanam = aglow, broad, eyed one; tam = to him [to Ravana]; su daaruNam vaakyam = very, caustic, sentence; abraviit = spoke.
She who is disfigured by the high souled Lakshmana, and who is still perplexed with the fear of Lakshmana and her own craving for Rama as well, on displaying her misfortune to everybody that fearless rover Shuurpanakha spoke this very caustic sentence to Ravana, whose eyes are broad and burning. [3-32-25]
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इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदि काव्ये अरण्य काण्डे द्वा त्रिंशः सर्गः
© July, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : July 04]
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