Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek

Chapter [Sarga] 47
Verses converted to UTF-8, Nov 09


The debate of Seetha and Ravana has started, as Ravana wished to woo Seetha. In the first instance Seetha believes him to be a Vedic Brahman but insists to know about him. Ravana reveals his identity and asks her to become his wife. Thereupon she goes into a frenzied state and brainstorms Ravana in all her curtness.

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rāvaṇena tu vaidehī tadā pṛṣṭā jihīrṣuṇā |
parivrājaka rūpeṇa śaśaṃsa ātmānam ātmanā || 3-47-1

1. tadaa = then; jihiirSuNaa = by one who wishes to steal; parivraajaka ruupeNa raavaNena = friar's, in mien, by Ravana; pR^iSTaa vaidehii = one who is asked, such Vaidehi; aatmaanam = about herself; aatmanaa = on her own; shashamsa = made clear - informed.

When Ravana whose intention is to abduct her has enquired thus, then on the basis of his Brahman friar's mien Seetha informed about herself on her own. [3-47-1]

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brāhmaṇaḥ ca atithiḥ ca eṣa anukto hi śapeta mām |
iti dhyātvā muhūrtam tu sītā vacanam abravīt || 3-47-2

2. braahmaNaH ca = Brahman, also; atithiH ca = untimely guest, also; such as he is; eSa = he; an uktaH = not, said - if not replied; maam shapeta hi = me, he curses, indeed; iti muhuurtam dhyaatvaa = thus, briefly, thinking; siitaa vacanam abraviit = Seetha, sentence, spoke.

Thinking briefly that, 'he is a Brahman and an untimely guest, he will indeed curse me if he is not replied,' Seetha spoke this sentence. [3-47-2]

A lie cannot be uttered to a sanyaasi, much less to a Brahman. This friar appears as someone who is attired as a sanyaasi to fill his stomach. But he is Brahman, because he came booming Vedic hymns, which no other lesser Brahman can do. Thus, he is someone with a perfect Vedic background... and according to the saying:  yatiinaam puujanam kaaryam striyaa vaa puruSena... '  an ascetic is to be revered either by a lady or a gentleman...' and thus he cannot be turned out saying 'my husband is not at home...' and if he is neglected he may curse...' these are the criss-cross thoughts of Seetha at that moment. Ghastly Viradha boldly carried her off at one time, but she is yet to see the cunningness of a demon. So with a half-belief and half-heart she started to talk to him.

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duhitā janakasya aham maithilasya mahātmanaḥ |
sītā nāmnā asmi bhadram te rāmasya mahiṣī priyā || 3-47-3

3. aham = I am; maithilasya [raajasya] mahaatmanaH janakasya duhitaa = of Mithila, [King's,] noble-souled, Janaka's, daughter; naamnaa siitaa asmi = by name, Seetha, I am; raamasya priyaa mahiSii [bhaaryaa] = Rama's, dear, queen [wife]; te bhadram = let safety betide you.

"I am the daughter of noble-souled Janaka, the king of Mithila, by name I am Seetha, and the dear wife and queen of Rama, let safety betide you. [3-47-3]

Here some versions use bhaaryaa 'wife' while some use mahiSii 'queen...' and this bhadram te coupled with jihiirSuNaa 'abduction wisher...' is taken as a forewarning to Ravana, as she immediately says who her husband is, as she is aware that this friar is Ravana. Then it implicitly means 'you who wish to abduct me, think twice, for my husband is Rama, and let safety prevail on whole of your dynasty, for it is hard to deal with Rama or with his dear queen-wife...'

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uṣitvā dvā daśa samāḥ ikṣvākūṇām niveśane |
bhuṃjānā mānuṣān bhogān sarva kāma samṛddhinī || 3-47-4

4. dvaa dasha samaaH = two, ten [twelve,] years; ikshvaakuuNaam niveshane uSitvaa = Ikshvaku's, in residence, on residing; maanuSaan bhogaan bhunjaanaa = humanly, prosperities, relishing; sarva kaama samR^iddhinii = all, cherishes, in sumptuosity - I was.

"On residing in the residence of Ikshvaku-s in Ayodhya for twelve years, I was in sumptuosity of all cherishes while relishing all humanly prosperities. [3-47-4]

Mythically Seetha is Goddess Lakshmi and an accorder of prosperity. Here she is saying that she had to enjoy 'humanly indulgences...' because her husband incarnated himself as a man, and since she had to enjoy along with him in her in-law's place, she enjoyed those luxuries. Or, if this is read as a+ maanuSa bhogaan 'superhuman delights...' [of course, not 'inhuman delights...'] she enjoyed heavenly comforts as she was enjoying as Lakshmi in vaikunTha 'Milky Ocean of Vishnu.' And then, she is indirectly telling Ravana that she has come now as Seetha, after immolating herself as Vedavati, in an earlier incarnation, only to end Ravana.

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tatra trayo daśe varṣe rāja amaṃtryata prabhuḥ |
abhiṣecayitum rāmam sameto rāja mantribhiḥ || 3-47-5

5. tatra = therein [of Ayodhya]; prabhuH raaja = lord and king - Dasharatha; trayaH dashe varSe = thirteenth, in year; raaja mantribhiH sametaH = imperial, ministers, together with; raamam abhiSecayitum = Rama, to anoint [as Crown Prince]; amantryata = deliberated.

"In the thirteenth year the lordly king Dasharatha deliberated together with his imperial ministers to anoint Rama as Crown Prince of Ayodhya. [3-47-5]

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tasmin saṃbhriyamāṇe tu rāghavasya abhiṣecane |
kaikeyī nāma bhartāram mama āryā yācate varam || 3-47-6

6. raaghavasya = Raghava's; tasmin abhiSecane sambhriyamaaNe tu = that, anointment, when being organised, but; kaikeyii naama = Kaikeyi, known as - named; mama aaryaa = my, venerable lady [mother-in-law]; bhartaaram varam yaacate = of her husband - Dasharatha, boon, begged.

"When Raghava's anointment was being organised my venerable mother-in-law known as Kaikeyi begged her husband Dasharatha for a boon. [3-47-6]

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pratigṛhya tu kaikeyī śvaśuram sukṛtena me |
mama pravrājanam bhartur bharatasya abhiṣecanam || 3-47-7
dvau ayācata bhartāram satyasaṃdham nṛpottamam |

7, 8a. kaikeyii = Kaikeyi; me shvashuram = my, with father-in-law; su kR^itena = by good, deed [once done by Kaikeyi for Dasharatha]; pratigR^ihya = on restraining; satya sandham nR^ipa uttamam bhartaaram = truthfulness, abiding one, king, the best one, from such a husband - Dasharatha; mama bhartuH = my, husband's; pra vraajanam = distant, going [expatriation]; bharatasya abhiSecanam = Bharata's, anointment; dvau = two [boons]; ayaacata = she besought.

"Restraining my veracious father-in-law by a good deed once done by her in his respect, Kaikeyi besought two boons from him, namely expatriation of my husband, and anointment of her son Bharata. [3-47-7, 8a]

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na adya bhokṣye na ca svapsye na pāsye kadācana || 3-47-8
eṣa me jīvitasya anto rāmo yadi abhiṣicyate |
iti bruvāṇām kaikeyīm śvaśuro me sa pārthivaḥ || 3-47-9
ayācata arthaiḥ anvarthaiḥ na ca yāṃcām cakāra sā |

8b, 9, 10a. adya = now; raamaH abhiSicyate yadi = Rama, is anointed, if; na bhokSye = not, I eat; na ca svapsye = not, also, I sleep; kadaa cana = in any way - come what may; na paasye ca = not, I drink, also; eSa me jiivitasya antaH = this way, my, life's, ending; so said Kaika to Dasharatha; iti bruvaaNaam kaikeyiim = thus, speaking [nagging,] at Kaikeyi; me saH shvashuraH paarthivaH = of mine, he that, father-in-law, and king; anvarthaiH arthaiH = with meaningful, riches; ayaacata = entreated; saa yaa.ncaam na cakaara = she, that entreaty, not, made good.

" 'If Rama is anointed now, come what may I will not eat, sleep, or drink, and my life ends this way,' thus Kaikeyi was adamantine, and the king and my father-in-law entreated her who is nagging with meaningful riches, but she did not make good on that entreaty. [3-47-8b, 9, 10a]

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mama bhartā mahātejā vayasā paṃca viṃśakaḥ || 3-47-10
aṣṭā daśa hi varṣāṇi mama janmani gaṇyate |

10b, 11. mahaatejaa mama bhartaa = great resplendent my, husband; vayasaa panca vimshakaH = by age, five, twenty - twenty-five years; mama janmani = my, from birth; aSTaa dasha varSaaNi hi = eight, ten - eighteen, years, only; gaNyate = reckoned up.

"My great-resplendent husband was of twenty-five years of age at that time, and to me eighteen years are reckoned up from my birth. [3-47-10b, 11a]

These foots are said to be nonexistent in some more ancient mms. But lengthy narrations are there in calculating the age of Rama and Seetha, at this point of legend with these stanzas. The letter bha in the line mama bhartaa mahaatejaa is the ninth letter of Gayatri hymn and thus the ninth book of Ramayana with thousand couplets is started from here. The whole of Ramayana is with twenty-four thousand verses and Gayatri hymn has twenty-four letters, and each book of Ramayana contains a thousand verses, starting with each letter of Gayatri. This is the then classification of the cantos of this epic and such grouping of verses is nonexistent now.

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rāma iti prathito loke satyavān śīlavān śuciḥ || 3-47-11
viśālākṣo mahābāhuḥ sarva bhūta hite rataḥ |

11b. 12a. raama iti = Rama, thus; loke prathitaH = in world, exalted as; satyavaan shiilavaan shuciH = unambiguous, unblemished, unsullied one; vishaala akSaH mahaabaahuH = broad, eyed one, ambidextrous one; sarva bhuuta hite rataH = all, beings, in welfare, delights in [delights in bringing universal welfare]; [mama bhartaa = is my, husband.]

"Rama - thus he is exalted in the world, an unambiguous, unblemished, unsullied one, and a broad-eyed ambidextrous one, who delights in bringing universal welfare, is my husband. [3-47-11b, 12a]

The dexterity of an archer depends mainly on his sighting and targeting eye. Hence, the eyes and dexterity are to be coupled instead of cleaving them as two attributes of Rama. Otherwise, in Seetha's saying that 'my husband is a broad-eyed one...' it does not make any sense to Ravana, because Ravana's eyes are much more bigger and bloodshot. Thus 'my ambidextrous husband's eyes are broad puNDariika vishaala akshaH, and those eyes are a couple of fish-eye lenses of a camera and can view in 360º, thus you cannot escape their target, in any angle...' Further, these and some more attributes in the coming verses like simha uraska etc., they are the very same words coined by Sage Narada, while informing Valmiki about Rama in the first chapter of Bala Kanda. Some think such repetitions are essentially Homeric. But in Indian scripts they are not mere repetitions but reiteration of the very same concept in the very same words, which is not an epical flaw in view of the ruling aadaraat punarukti, aadaraat dvirukti... 'an affectionate reiteration...' Hence, the very same words are put on the tongue of the principle character, Seetha.

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kāmārtaḥ ca mahārājaḥ pitā daśarathaḥ svayam || 3-47-12
kaikeyyāḥ priya kāmārtham tam rāmam na abhiṣecayat |

12b, 13a. kaama aartaH = one who is - love, sick - for Kaikeyi; mahaaraajaH pitaa dasharathaH svayam = great-king, [his, Rama's] father, Dasharatha, personally; kaikeyyaaH priya kaama artham = for Kaikeyi's, cherish [aspiration,] desired [by her,] for fulfilling; tam raamam na abhiSecayat = him, Rama, not, anointed.

"But Rama's father Dasharatha was lovesick for Kaikeyi and to fulfil her desired aspiration that great king did not anoint Rama. [3-47-12b, 13a]

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abhiṣekāya tu pituḥ samīpam rāmam āgatam || 3-47-13
kaikeyī mama bhartāram iti uvāca drutam vacaḥ |

13b, 14a. abhiSekaaya = for anointment; pituH samiipam aagatam = to father's, presence of, [when] arrived; mama bhartaaram raamam = to my, husband Rama; kaikeyii iti drutam [dhR^itam] vacaH uvaaca = Kaikeyi, these, readily [decidedly,] words, spoke.

"When Rama arrived in the presence of his father, Kaikeyi readily and decidedly spoke these words to my husband. [3-47-b, 14a]

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tava pitrā samājñaptam mama idam śṛṇu rāghava || 3-47-14
bharatāya pradātavyam idam rājyam akaṇṭakam |

14b, 15b. raaghava = oh, Raghava; tava pitraa sam aaGYaptam = your, by father, verily, proclaimed; idam mama shR^iNu = this, mine [from me,] you hear; a kaNTakam idam raajyam = not, thorny [thornless,] this, kingdom; bharataaya pra daatavyam = to Bharata, well, accorded.

" 'What your father has proclaimed, oh, Raghava, that may be heard from me. He said, 'let this thornless kingdom be accorded to Bharata.' [3-47-14b, 15a]

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tvayā tu khalu vastavyam nava varṣāṇi paṃca ca || 3-47-15
vane pravraja kākutstha pitaram mocaya anṛtāt |

15b, 16a. kaakutstha = oh, Kakutstha Rama; tvayaa = by you; nava panca ca = nine, five, also - nine plus five - fourteen; varSaaNi = years; vane vastavyam khalu = in forest, inhabitable, indeed; pra vraja = onward, move [you repair to forests]; pitaram a nR^itaat mocaya = father, from untruthfulness, be released [redeemed from the remorse of perjury.]

"And you, oh, Kakutstha Rama, indeed have to inhabit the forests for nine plus five years, hence you repair to forests and redeem your father from the remorse of perjury.' [3-47-15b, 16a]

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tathā iti uvāca tām rāmaḥ kaikeyīm akuto bhayaḥ || 3-47-16
cakāra tat vacaḥ tasyā mama bhartā dṛḍha vrataḥ |

16b, 17a. a kutaH bhayaH = not, from anywhere, one who has fear - an unfearing one from any side, Rama; dR^iDha vrataH = resolute, to pledge [strong-willed one]; mama bhartaa raamaH = my, husband, Rama; tathaa iti = so be it; taam kaikeyiim uvaaca = to her, to Kaikeyi, having said; tasyaaH tat vacaH cakaara = her, that, word [dictate,] made good [followed.]

" 'As an unfearing one from any quarter and as a resolute one in his pledge my husband Rama said 'so be it' to Kaikeyi and followed her dictate. [3-47-16b, 17a]

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dadyāt na pratigṛhṇīyāt satyam brūyāt na ca anṛtam || 3-47-17
etat brāhmaṇa rāmasya vratam dhruvam anuttamam |

17b, 18a. dadyaat = [he] gives - a renderer; na prati gR^ihNiiyaat = not, in turn, takes [not a recipient]; satyam bruuyaat = truth, speaks; a nR^itam na ca = un, truth, not, also [least of all]; braahmaNa = oh, Brahman; etat raamasya = this is, Rama's; dhruvam = unalterable; an uttamam = un, surpassable; vratam = vow.

"My husband is evermore a renderer but not a recipient, and forever he speaks truth, and not the untruth, least of all. Oh, Brahman, this is the unalterable and unsurpassable vow of Rama. [3-47-17b, 18a]

In Maha Bharata Dharmaraja is informed that 'a king shall give, but he shall not beseech, he can perform a Vedic Ritual but cannot make it performed by others, he can learn Veda-s, but cannot teach them, he shall endeavour to govern the people [properly...] dadyaat raajaa na yaaceta yajeta na yaajayeta | na adhyaapayet adhiyiita prajaan ca paripaalayet || bhaarata - raaja dharma

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tasya bhrātā tu vaimātro lakṣmaṇo nāma vīryavān || 3-47-18
rāmasya puruṣavyāghraḥ sahāyaḥ samare arihā |

18b, 19a. tasya raamasya = that, Rama's; vi maatraH [dvai maatra] = of another mother [second-mother]; bhraataa = brother of; viiryavaan puruSa vyaaghraH = valorous one; manly tiger; lakSmaNaH naama = Lakshmana, known as; samare ari haa = in war, enemy, eliminator.

"One known as Lakshmana is such a Rama's brother from another mother, and he is a valorous one, tigerly-man, and an eliminator of enemies in war. [3-47-18b, 19a]

A stepmother is called as vi maata or dvaimaata and it is said vaimaatreyo vimaatR^ija - amara kosha one is other mother, the other is second-mother, both are the nomenclatures of a stepmother.

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sa bhrātā lakṣmaṇo nāma dharma cārī dṛḍha vrataḥ || 3-47-19
anvagacchat dhanuṣ pāṇiḥ pravrajaṃtam mayā saha |

19b, 20a. dharma caarii = virtue, follower; [brahmacaarii = celibate]; dR^iDha vrataH = steadfast, in commitment; lakSmaNaH naama = Lakshmana, known as; saH bhraataa = he that, brother; dhanuS paaNiH = bow, handling; mayaa saha pravrajantam = with me, along, proceeding; [raamasya] sahaayaH = [to Rama,] as helpmate; anvagacChat = followed

"He who is known as Lakshmana, a follower of virtue and steadfast in his commitment, followed Rama handling his bow as a helpmate, when Rama was proceeding to forests along with me. [3-47-19b, 20a]

Some texts use the word brahma caarii 'celibate' basing on the word Rama used when saying about Lakshmana to Shuurpanakha about Lakshmana as apuurvii while some others use as above.

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jaṭī tāpasa rūpeṇa mayā saha saha anujaḥ || 3-47-20
praviṣṭo da.Nḍakāraṇyam dharma nityo dhṛḍha vrataḥ |

20b, 21a. dharma nityaH = in probity, always [one who is abiding]; dhR^iDha vrataH = resolutely, vowed - such Rama; jaTii taapasa ruupeNa = tufty-haired, saint, in aspect [Rama]; mayaa saha = me, along with; saha anujaH = with, his brother [Lakshmana]; danDaka araNyam praviSTaH = Dandaka, forest entered.

"Because Rama always abides in probity and resolutely vowed to it, he entered Dandaka forest in the aspect of a tufty haired saint along with me and his brother. [3-47-20b, 21a]

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te vayam pracyutā rājyāt kaikeyyāḥ tu kṛte trayaḥ || 3-47-21
vicarāma dvija śreṣṭha vanam gaṃbhīram ojasā |

21b, 22a. dvija shreSTha = oh, Brahman, the eminent; te vayam = those, we- such a we are we; trayaH = three of us; kaikeyyaaH kR^ite tu = for Kaikeyi, sake of, but for; raajyaat pra cyutaa = from kingdom, verily, fallen [downfallen]; ojasaa = on our own mettle; gambhiiram vanam vicaraamaH = impenetrable, forest, we are moving about.

"Such as we are, oh, eminent Brahman, we three are moving about the impenetrable Dandaka forest just by our own mettle as we fell down from kingdom owing to Kaikeyi. [3-47-21b, 22a]

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samāśvasa muhūrtam tu śakyam vastum iha tvayā || 3-47-22
āgamiṣyati me bhartā vanyam ādāya puṣkalam |
rurūn godhān varāhān ca hatvā ādāya amiṣān bahu || 3-47-23

22b, 23. muhuurtam samaashvasa = for a moment, be comfortable; tvayaa iha vastum shakyam = by you, here, to take rest, possible; me bhartaa = my, husband; ruruun = stag with black stripes; godhaan = mongooses like [civet-like mammals of the family Viverridae, esp. of the genus Herpestes, Marathi manguus]; varaahaan ca = wild-boars, also; hatvaa = on killing; bahu amiSaan aadaaya = aplenty, meat, on taking; puSkalam vanyam aadaaya = plentiful, forest produce, on taking; aagamiSyati = will be coming [soon.]

"Be comfortable for a moment, here it is possible for you to make a sojourn, and soon my husband will be coming on taking plentiful forest produce, and on killing stags, mongooses, wild boars he fetches meat, aplenty. [3-47-22b, 23]

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saḥ tvam nāma ca gotram ca kulam ācakṣva tattvataḥ |
ekaḥ ca daṇḍakāraṇye kim artham carasi dvija || 3-47-24

24. dvija = oh, Brahman; saH tvam = such as you are; naama ca gotram ca kulam ca = name, also, parentage, also, caste, also; tattvataH aacakSva = in actuality, make mention of; ekaH ca = lonesomely, also; daNDaka araNye in Dandaka, forest; kim artham carasi for what, reason, you wander.

"Such as you are, oh, Brahman, you may make mention of your name, parentage and caste, in their actuality. For what reason you are wandering in Dandaka forest lonesomely?" Thus Seetha questioned Ravana. [3-47-24]

She is addressing him as 'oh, Brahman...' and yet asking his caste. This is a tricky stanza. This implies her knowledge and/or ignorance about Ravana. As a housewife, it is a natural question to be put to an out-of-way friar moving in the deep of forests. Here, neither a village, nor a single family, nor even a human being is available to accord alms, and this odd almsman is moving here who is supposed to move about villages as said: bhiksha artham graamam pravishet. Or, she must be asking him about his caste, creed etc., when he was a householder. But it is out of place. On the other hand, if Seetha is from a well-trained family, she is not supposed to question the caste, creed, and name of a real sanyaasi. Again, she is asking him to reveal himself 'in essence, truthfully.' She might have thought him to be a cursing Brahman in the first instance, but she might have found him out to be a pseudo-sanyaasi. Now that she is slowly realising that he may not be a proper Brahman either, she may be asking him straightforwardly. Because Ravana is coming out of Brahman's guise in next two stanzas, it is said that she pointedly asked him as above.

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evam bruvatyām sītāyām rāma patnīām mahābalaḥ |
pratyuvāca uttaram tīvram rāvaṇo rākṣasādhipaḥ || 3-47-25

25. raama patniiaam [patnyaam] siitaayaam = to Rama's, wife, Seetha; evam bruvatyaam = this way, while still speaking; mahaabalaH raakSasaadhipaH raavaNaH = great-mighty, demons, king, Ravana; tiivram uttaram = brusque, reply; prati uvaaca = in turn, said [replied.]

Ravana, the great-mighty king of demons, brusquely replied Seetha, the wife of Rama, while she is still speaking in this way. [3-47-25]

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yena vitrāsitā lokāḥ sa deva asura mānuṣā |
aham saḥ rāvaṇo nāma sīte rakṣo gaṇa īśvaraḥ || 3-47-26

26. siite = oh, Seetha; aham = I am [he]; yena = by whom; sa deva asura maanuSaa = with [composed of,] gods, demons, humans; lokaaH = [all] worlds; vi traasitaaH = [are] highly, startled; such a being I am; saH rakSaaH gaNa iishvaraH = he that, demon, hosts, sovereign of; raavaNaH naama = Ravana, known as.

"Oh, Seetha, of whom all the worlds composed of gods, demons and humans are highly startled, I am that sovereign of hosts of demons, known as Ravana. [3-47-26]

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tvām tu kāṃcana varṇa ābhām dṛṣṭvā kauśeya vāsinīm |
ratim svakeṣu dāreṣu na adhigacchāmi anindite || 3-47-27

27. a nindite = oh, not, peccable one; kaancana varNa aabhaam = golden, hued, glittering; kausheya vaasiniim = ochry-silks, attired in; tvaam dR^iSTvaa = you, on seeing; svakeSu daareSu = in my, wives; ratim = pleasure; na adhi gacChaami = not, I derive.

"On seeing you, oh, impeccable one, glittering with golden complexion and attired in ochry-silks, I derive no pleasure in my wives. [3-47-27]

Ravana as a devotee of Lakshmi said the above as a renouncer. tvaam dR^iSTvaa 'on seeing you...' after a long time... svakeSu 'in my kith and kin...' daareSu wives...' ratim 'pleasure, involvement...' na adhigacChaami 'not, I attain...' 'On seeing you, I no longer can attain pleasure with my kith and kin, or with my wives... for I have seen my ultimate motherly goddess... thus I am ready to renounce this accursed being of Ravana...' Maheshvara Tirtha.

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bahvīnām uttama strīṇām āhṛtānām itaḥ tataḥ |
sarvāsām eva bhadram te mama agra mahiṣī bhava || 3-47-28

28. itaH tataH = from here, and there; aahR^itaanaam = [by me,] appropriated; bahviinaam = among many - superior class ladies; sarvaasaam eva = [above] all of them, thus; uttama striiNaam = choicest, women; mama agra mahiSii = my, prime, queen; bhava = you become; te bhadram = you, be safe.

"You become my prime queen above all the choicest women with superior status, whom I have appropriated from here and there. [3-47-28]

Ravana as devotee is saying: aaR^itaanaam uttamam striiNaam 'To all of the choicest women appropriated by me...; mama to me'; agra mahiSiiyaa 'to the one who is my prime queen'; tasyaaH ca mama ca to her and to me; bhava iishvarii you be the ruling deity; 'To all of the choicest women appropriated by me... and to the one who is my present prime queen, namely Mandodari, to her and to me, and to all of us, you be the ruling deity...' Tiirtha.

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laṃkā nāma samudrasya madhye mama mahāpurī |
sāgareṇa parikṣiptā niviṣṭā giri mūrdhani || 3-47-29

29. lankaa naama = Lanka, known as; mama mahaa purii = my, great, city; samudrasya madhye = ocean's, amidst - is there; saagareNa pari kSiptaa = by ocean, around, encompassed; that Lanka; giri muurdhani = mountain, on top; niviSTaa = nestled.

"Nestled on a mountaintop my great city known as Lanka is there in the midst of an ocean and all over encompassed by an ocean. [3-47-29]

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tatra sīte mayā sārdham vaneṣu vicariṣyasi |
na ca asya vana vāsasya spṛhayiṣyasi bhāmini || 3-47-30

30. siite = oh, Seetha; tatra mayaa saardham = there, with me, along with; vaneSu = in pleasure-gardens; vicariSyasi = you can saunter; bhaamini = oh, lady with resentment; asya vana vaasasya = about this, forest, dwelling; na ca spR^iha yiSyasi = not, also - at all events, think back to.

"Oh, Seetha, there you can saunter in pleasure-gardens along with me, and oh, lady with resentment, you will not think back to this forest-living, at all events. [3-47-30]

The word bhaamini is an addressing to a beautiful lady, who is with some anger or resentment kopanaa saa eva bhaaminii - amara kosha and Ravana mistook Seetha's fury as 'an anger in passion.'

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paṃca dāsyaḥ sahasrāṇi sarva ābharaṇa bhūṣitāḥ |
sīte paricariṣyanti bhāryā bhavasi me yadi || 3-47-31

31. siite = oh, Seetha; me bhaaryaa bhavasi yadi = my, wife, you become, if; sarva aabharaNa bhuuSitaaH = all [every description,] ornaments, adorned with; panca sahasraaNi daasyaH = five, thousand, handmaidens; paricariSyanti = will be in your attendance.

"Oh, Seetha, if you become my wife five thousand handmaidens adorned with ornaments of every description will be in your attendance." Thus Ravana said to Seetha. [3-47-31]

Ravana, the devotee, is saying panca sahasraaNi daasyaH 'five thousand servants...' me 'with me... together with me' paricariSyasi yadi tava 'if we all render service to you...' then you will be baaryaa; bha + aaryaa; bhaayaa= kaantyaa, aaryaa= puujyaa 'by your splendour...' bhavasi you will become the venerable Goddess Lakshmi by your own splendour while thousands are serving you...'

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rāvaṇena evam uktā tu kupitā janaka ātmajā |
pratyuvāca anavadyāṃgī tam anādṛtya rākṣasam || 3-47-32

32. raavaNena evam uktaa tu = by Ravana, this way, she who is said, but; an a vadya angii = without, not, appreciable, limbed - one with flawless limbs - Seetha; janaka aatmajaa kupitaa = Janaka's, daughter, is infuriated; tam raakSasam = him, that demon; an aadR^itya = not, honouring - discourteously; pratyuvaaca = replied.

When Ravana said in this way, Seetha the daughter of Janaka, a flawless one by her physique, dishonoured and replied that demon. [3-47-32]

Here the word tu in raavaNena evam uktaa tu is said as tu shabdena puurvokta upacaara vacana vilakshaNa vacana it means ultimately as - Seetha spoke in derision.

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mahā girim iva akaṃpyam mahendra sadṛśam patim |
mahā udadhim iva akṣobhyam aham rāmam anuvratā || 3-47-33

33. mahaa girim iva = sturdy, mountain, like; a kampyam = not, flexible; mahendra sadR^isham = lordly Indra, comparable to; mahaa udadhim iva = vast, ocean, like; a kSobhyam = not, be roiled - be churned - unshakeable; such a; patim raamam = husband, Rama; aham anu vrataa = I, follow up on [adhere,] avowed to.

"I have avowed to adhere to such a husband Rama, who is inflexible like a sturdy mountain, comparable to lordly Indra, unshakable like a vast ocean. [3-47-33]

Vividly: 'A mountain will be unswerving even if a hundred thunderbolts strike it at once, thus is my husband... but you, you are always swerving while hankering after your petty cherishes... thus, you are a straw in the wind... my husband is a coequal of Indra, while you are humiliated by Indra's son. The ocean will be turbulent on its surface but it will be calm and clear at its abyss, engulfing unusual treasures... though my husband appears as a passionate person, an indulgent person in humanly pursuits, from hunting games to hollering, in worldly agonies and ecstasies, but at his heart, he is like the fathomless serene ocean... I have avowed to follow him in this lifetime.'

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sarva lakṣaṇa saṃpannam nyagrodha pari maṇḍalam |
satya saṃdham mahābhāgam rāmam anuvratā || 3-47-34

34. [aham = I am]; sarva lakshaNa sampannam = all, endowments, enriched; nyagrodha pari maNDalam = banyan tree [like,] surmounted, with orbicularity; satya sandham = truthfulness, as hs target; mahaabhaagam high-minded one; raamam anuvrataa = to such a Rama., I avowed to adhere.

"He who is enriched with all endowments, and who is like a banyan tree with its surmounted orbicularity, the high-minded one with truthfulness alone is his target, and I am avowed to adhere to such a Rama. [3-47-34]

The banyan tree is an Indian fig tree, Ficus benghalensis, the branches of which hang down and root themselves. The simile of a banyan tree to Rama says that: he is an atom in the atomic seed of that tree. On its growth, it spreads so wide and broad and every branch take its own root like the manifold growth of this universe. Hence, every individual being is his offspring and progeny. And the whole universe is pervaded by his 'tree-top' like shelter. Secondly, that tree gives shelter to innumerable beings for it is so wide at its apex. Hence, anyone can take shelter under Rama, because he is obliged to oblige all sarva jana anukuulata as said in an ancient saying: kuupa udakam vaTa cchaayaa yuvatiinaam stana dvayam | shiitaa kaale bhavet uShNam uShNa kaale bhavet shiitalam || 'water in a well, banyan tree shade, maiden's two breasts, will warm up in cold season and cool down in hot season...' Govindaraja.

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mahābāhum mahoraskam siṃha vikrāṃta gāminam |
nṛsiṃham siṃha saṃkāśam aham rāmam anuvratā || 3-47-35

35. aham = I; mahaa baahum = great, are his arms [ambidextrous]; mahaa uraskam = broad-chested; simha vikraanta gaaminam = lion, with prance, strider; nR^i simham = man, lion [here, not exactly a lion, the best, foremost, supreme one]; simha samkaasham = lion, like; raamam anuvrataa = to such a Rama, avowed to adhere.

"He who is ambidextrous, broad-chested, supreme among men, and a lion-like person with the strides of prancing lion, and I am avowed to adhere to such a Rama. [3-47-35]

'His dexterity is evident from the moment he started to save the order of universe, at the time churning Milky Ocean, becoming Mohini, becoming a Fish, a Tortoise etc. His strides are evident, when he as a dwarfish boy strode all the three worlds. As a lion-man, he tore the very stomach of the evil and now he is striding like a prancing lion towards you, for you alone are the prey for that lionised human incarnation...'

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pūrṇa candra ānanam vīram rāja vatsam jitendriyam |
pṛthu kīrtim mahābāhum aham rāmam anuvratā || 3-47-36

36. aham = I; puurNa candra aananam = full, moon, faced; viiram = valiant one; raaja vatsam = king's, son; jita indriyam = self-conquered one; pR^ithu kiirtim = expressly, acclaimed; mahaabaahum [mahaa aatmaanam] = effectively, armed [high-souled]; raamam anuvrataa = to such a Rama, avowed to adhere.

"He who is a valiant one with a face like that of full-moon, a prince with his self-conquered, and he who is expressly acclaimed and effectively armed, and I am avowed to adhere to such a Rama. [3-47-36]

'He is a valiant person and he confronts, if need be, his enemies straightforwardly, about which you have heard when your Khara, Dushana, and others are eliminated by him... but you are sneaky and slithery... you are ever a thief, never a valiant one... his face is like a pleasant full-moon, at any given opportunity, while yours is revulsive... and you are like the eclipsing planet Rahu or Ketu, whose effect lasts a few minutes... he is expressly acclaimed for his welfare activities and of course, you are also expressly acclaimed, but, only for your ill-faring actives... the senses of an yet to be crowned prince will be like the unbridled horses... but my husband conquered his own senses like an uncrowned sagacious emperor... while you, though you declare yourself as the monarch of demons, there is not even an iota of self-righteousness in you, befitting even to a petty king... then where is the question of your majesty, monarchy, or sovereignty...'

Seetha reiterates the statement 'I am avowed to adhere to such a Rama...' four times. This is daarDhyata -  said for the purpose of 'reinforcement' of her statement.

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tvam punaḥ jaṃbukaḥ siṃhīm mām iha icchasi durlabhām |
na aham śakyā tvayā spraṣṭum ādityasya prabhā yathā || 3-47-37

37. jambukaH = a fox; tvam punaH = you [being a fox,] again [on the other hand, yet]; dur labhaam = not [at all,] accessible one; simhiim = a lioness; maam = me; iha icChasi = now, you fancy; aadityasya prabhaa yathaa = Sun's, Shine, as with; aham tvayaa spraSTum = I, by you, to touch - to seize; na shakyaa = not, possible.

"You being a fox you woo me who am an absolutely inaccessible lioness? Why wooing, it is impossible for you to touch me as with the untouchable Shine of the Sun. [3-47-37]

A fox usually waits in a ditch until the lion or lioness finishes its feast. The lion will have its lion's share and go away. Then the lioness and her cubs have their share and go away. Then it is the day of the fox-in-the-ditch. 'Like a fox-in-the-ditch, how you dare to come to an inaccessible lioness, when the lion departed...' Next, Sun's wife is Prabha or Shine and she is non-figural resplendent entity. She is perceivable but untouchable. If anyone can lay his hands on her by the dint of his yogic or ascetic practises, and if he baskets that Shine for use in night, that night becomes a day, for it will be shining with sunshine, and thus his pleasurable night is evanished. Thereby he looses his minimal personal comfort of a night and it will be self-ruinous to experiment with such ideas.

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pādapān kāṃcanān nūnam bahūn paśyasi maṃdabhāk |
rāghavasya priyām bhāryām yaḥ tvam icchasi rākṣasa || 3-47-38

38. raakshasa = you demon; yaH tvam = which, you are - you who are; raaghavasya priyaam bhaaryaam icChasi = Raghava's, dear, wife, cherishing; manda bhaak = [are an] ill, fated [demon]; such as you are you; nuunam = undeniably; kaancanaan paadapaan = golden, trees; bahuun pashyasi many, you, are visualising.

"You who are an ill-fated demon, oh, demon, by your wooing the dear wife of Raghava, thus you must be visualising many golden trees, undeniably. [3-47-38]

A dying person fantasises golden trees and the like presuming his travel to heaven. By these illusions his death is predictable.

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kṣudhitasya ca siṃhasya mṛga śatroḥ tarasvinaḥ |
āśī viṣasya vadanāt damṣṭrām ādātum icchasi || 3-47-39

39. mR^iga shatroH = animals, challenger of; tarasvinaH = expeditious ones [expeditious lion and rebounding serpent]; kSudhitasya simhasya = ravenous, lion's; aashii viSasya vadanaat = serpent, venomous, from mouth; damSTraam aadaatum icChasi? = fangs, to twitch, do you wish to?

"Do you wish to twitch fangs from the mouth of a ravenous lion, the expeditious challenger of animals, and from the mouth of a rebounding venomous serpent. [3-47-39]

The simile of lion and serpent is to Rama and the fangs to Seetha. A lion or a snake knows well how to protect its instruments, namely fangs. Hence, Seetha is the fang of expeditious and ravenous Rama in eliminating evil on earth and now he will become a grudging venomous cobra too, for its tail is going to be trampled, by Seetha's abduction. Thus, the instrumentality of Seetha is established and no instrument needs to bother on its own, because its owner takes care of that instrument.

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maṃdaram parvata śreṣṭham pāṇinā hartum icchasi |
kāla kūṭam viṣam pītvā svastimān gaṃtum icchasi || 3-47-40

40. parvata shreSTham mandaram = mountain, the best [massive,] Mt. Mandara; paaNinaa hartum icChasi? = by [the sleight of] hand, to steal, do you wish to; kaalakuuTam viSam piitvaa = lethal, venom, on consuming; svastimaan gantum icChasi? = healthily, to go [decamp,] you wish to?

"Do you wish to steal away the massive Mandara Mountain by the sleight of your hand, but how do you wish to decamp healthily without consuming lethal poison? [3-47-40]

She is reminiscing her emergence. Mt. Mandara is mentioned but not Mt. Himalayas or Mt. Meru, even though they are more massive and lofty. Vishnu used Mt. Mandara as a churn-staff when Milk Ocean was churned, but not Himalayas or Meru and the burden of that Mt. Mandara was sustained by Vishnu alone as a Tortoise, which is impossible for simpletons like Ravana, as Ravana failed to lift Mt. Kailash. Before Lakshmi's emergence from the churning Milk Ocean, Her elder sister haalaahala 'lethal poison' emerged and it could be contained only by Shiva, and now, if Ravana contemplates to consume her elder sister kaalakuuTa, haalaahala 'lethal poison' it is evident what will become of him.  This is nidarshana alankaara; samaanya vaakyaartha aikyata 'aesthetics of correspondence...'

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akṣi sūcyā pramṛjasi jihvayā leḍhi ca kṣuram |
rāghavasya priyām bhāryām adhigaṃtum tvam icchasi || 3-47-41

41. tvam = you; raaghavasya priyaam bhaaryaam = Raghava's, dear, wife; adhi gantum [yadi] icChasi = to over, ride - steal off, [if,] wish to; such you; suucyaa = with needle [with needlepoint]; akSi pra mR^ijasi = eyes, verily [deeply,] you wish to wipe [scrape]; jihvayaa kSuram leDhi = with tongue, licking, razor-blade.

"If you wish to override the dear wife of Raghava, then it is as good as wishing to deeply scrape your eyes with needlepoint, and licking the razorblade with your tongue. [3-47-41]

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avasajya śilām kaṇṭhe samudram tartum icchasi |
sūryā candramasau ca ubhau prāṇibhyām hartum icchasi || 3-47-42
yo rāmasya priyām bhāryām pradharṣayitum icchasi |

42, 43a. yaH = which you; raamasya priyaam bhaaryaam = who, Rama's, dear, at wife; pra dharSayitum icChasi = bitterly, to intimidate, wishing to; such you; kaNThe shilaam avasajya = at neck, boulder, arraying - like dress material; samudram tartum icChasi = ocean, to swim for it, you wish to; suuryaa candramasau ubhau = Sun, Moon, both; praaNibhyaam hartum icChasi = with a pair of you hands, to steal, you wish to.

"You who wish to bitterly intimidate the dear wife of Rama are as good as the one who wish to swim an ocean arraying a boulder around his neck, and with a pair of hands you wish to steal away both the Sun and Moon? [3-47-42, 43a]

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agnim prajvalitam dṛṣṭvā vastreṇa āhartum icchasi || 3-47-43
kalyāṇa vṛttām yo bhāryām rāmasya hartum icchasi |

43b, 44a. yaH = which you; raamasya = of Rama; kalyaaNa vR^ittaam = one with auspicious, legend; such; bhaaryaam hartum icChasi = wife, to abduct, you wish to; such you; pra jvalitam agnim dR^iSTvaa = highly, flaming, fire, though evincing; vastreNa aahartum icChasi = by cloth [bundle,] to steal away, you wish to.

"You who wish to abduct me with an auspicious legend as the wife of Rama, thus you wish to steal away a glowing fire in a cloth-bundle, though evincing it to be highly flaming? [3-47-43b, 44a]

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ayo mukhānām śūlānām agre caritum icchasi |
rāmasya sadṛśīm bhāryām yo adhigaṃtum tvam icchasi || 3-47-44

44b, c. yaH tvam = which, you; raamasya = Rama's; sadR^ishiim = 1] befitting wife, 2] selfsame; bhaaryaam = wife; adhigantum icChasi = to override, you, wish to; ayaH mukhaanaam shuulaanaam agre = iron, faces, spears, top of [on spiculated floor, sharp spikes of iron spears]; caritum icChasi = to tread, you wish to.

"You who wish to override the befitting and selfsame wife of Rama, are wishing to tread on the needle-sharp spikes of iron spears. [3-47-44b, c]

This declaration that she is selfsame to Rama is on the analogy of raamaa the feminal name of Rama. aham naaraayanii naama saa sattaa vaiShNavii paraa - lakShmii tantra 3-1 - yahaa mayaa jagat vyaaptam svaruupeNa svabhaavataH | tayaa vaaptam idam vishvam niyantrii ca tathaa iishvarii || 'I am indeed Naaraayanee [i.e. Lakshmi] the supreme essence of Lord Vishnu----Lakshmi Tantra 3.1. 'In my essence and entity I pervade all this universe, and as I pervade all over I am the controller and presiding deity...'

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yad aṃtaram siṃha śṛgālayoḥ vane
yad aṃtaram syandanikā samudrayoḥ |
sura agrya sauvīrakayoḥ yad aṃtaram
tad aṃtaram dāśaratheḥ tava eva ca || 3-47-45

45. vane = in forest; simha shR^igaalayoH = between lion, fox; yat antaram = which, difference [at odds, is there]; syandanikaa samudrayoH yat antaram = between turbid-rivulet, ocean, which, odds - are there; sura = 1] ambrosia, 2] wine; agryat = fine variety; sauviirakayoH = sour gruel; yat antaram = which, odds - is there; tava = between yours; daasharatheH eva ca = Dasharatha's son, like that, also; tat antaram = that [such,] odds - is there.

"Which odds are there between a lion and a fox in a given forest, which odds are there between a turbid-rivulet and an ocean, and which odds are there between a fine-wine and sour-gruel, likewise you are also at odds with the son of Dasharatha. [3-47-45]

The usage of the word syandanika is said to be the usage of a rare word by Valmiki, meaning kshudra nadi 'a turbid-rivulet...' as recorded by Pt. Satya Vrat, in Ramayana - A Linguistic Study.

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yad aṃtaram kāṃcana sīsa lohayoḥ
yad aṃtaram candana vāri paṃkayoḥ |
yad aṃtaram hasti biḍālayoḥ vane
tad aṃtaram daśaratheḥ tava eva ca || 3-47-46

46. kaancana siisa lohayoH = among gold, lead, metals; yat antaram = which, imparity = which, imparity is there; candana vaari = sandalwood, water; pankayoH = sewage [waters]; yat antaram = which, imparity is there; vane hasti biDaalayoH = in forest, among elephant, wildcat; yat antaram = which, imparity - is there; tat antaram = that [such,] imparity - is there; tava dasharatheH eva ca = among you, Dasharatha's son, like that, also.

"Which imparity is there among the metals of gold and lead, which imparity is there among the waters of sandalwood and sewage, which imparity is there between an elephant and a wildcat of forests, such an imparity exists between you and the son of Dasharatha. [3-47-46]

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yad aṃtaram vāyasa vainateyayoḥ
yad aṃtaram madgu mayūrayoḥ api |
yad aṃtaram haṃsa gṛdhrayoḥ vane
tad aṃtaram dāśaratheḥ tava eva ca || 3-47-47

47. vaayasa vainateyayoH = betwixt crow, eagle; yat antaram = which, dissimilarity is there; madgu mayuurayoH api = betwixt waterfowl, peacock, even; yat antaram which, dissimilarity is there; vane = in forest; hamsa gR^idhrayoH = betwixt swan, falcon; yat antaram which, dissimilarity is there; daasharatheH tava eva ca = betwixt Dasharatha's son, yours, like that, only; tat antaram = that [such,] dissimilarity is there.

"Which dissimilarity obtains betwixt a crow and an eagle, which dissimilarity obtains betwixt a waterfowl and a peacock, which dissimilarity obtains betwixt a swan and a falcon living in forest, such a dissimilarity obtains betwixt you and the son of Dasharatha. [3-47-47]

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tasmin sahasrākṣa sama prabhāve
rāme sthite kārmuka bāṇa pāṇau |
hṛtā api te aham na jarām gamiṣye
vajram yathā makṣikayā avagīrṇam || 3-47-48

48. hR^itaa api = stolen, even if; aham = I am; sahasraakSa sama prabhaave = Thousand-eyed one, Indra similar, with impaction; kaarmuka baaNa paaNau = with bow, arrows, in hand; tasmin raame sthite = he that, Rama, while standing; makSikayaa = along with a fly; avagiirNam = swallowed; vajram = 1] diamond, 2] clarified butter - ghee; yathaa = as with; te jaraam = by you, into digestion; na, gamiSye = not, I go.

"Even if you steal me away now, later when Indra similar Rama posits himself with his bow and arrows in hand on the battlefield, you cannot live on, and in the meanwhile you cannot digest me, as with a diamond swallowed along with a fly." Thus Seetha gave her vent to her disdainful feelings towards Ravana. [3-47-48]

Here, if a fly is accidentally swallowed along with pure ghee, it will be vomited out for the nausea caused by that fly in the stomach. But diamond rends the stomach. The word vajram is usually a diamond, and if a diamond is consumed, accidentally or wilfully, it will tear off the intestines to death. Hence taking the Vedic saying vajro va aajyam the word is generally translated as ghee.

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iti iva tat vākyam aduṣṭa bhāvā
suduṣṭam uktvā rajanī caram tam |
gātra prakaṃpāt vyathitā babhūva
vāta uddhatā sā kadalī iva tanvī || 3-47-49

49. a duSTa bhaavaa = not, sullied, in intentions; tanvii = fragile bodied one; saa = she; su duSTam = highly, sullied one [in his intentions, or, very harsh words of Seetha]; tam rajanii caram = to him, night, walker; tat vaakyam = that [these,] sentences; iti iva uktvaa = thus, in this way, having said; gaatra pra kampaat = 1] voice, 2] body, verily, from trembling; vaata uddhataa kadalii iva = by gust, up-heaved, banana plant, as with; vyathitaa babhuuva = tormented, she became.

On speaking these sentences with high-strung words, with all her unsullied intentions to that highly sullied night-rambler Ravana, her fragile body trembled tormentedly as with a banana plant up-heaved by gust. [3-47-49]

She poured forth all of her feelings unbothered for consequences and when her haranguing is over, she felt certain uneasiness. This uneasiness is two fold. One is in accordance with humanly nature of a woman as she is staunch enough to not yield to any, and if anyone makes an untoward advance, she has a 'list' of suicide-programs, those that are narrated to Lakshmana in the previous chapter. Further, she is yet to know about Rama's welfare, which will be impossible if this demon carries her away now. On the other side, as a Divine Consort of Vishnu, her uneasiness is for her separation from Rama, but not from the fear of any molestation by Ravana, and as the expected hour has come, the expectancy for the prospective elimination of Ravana is making her to tremble, impetuously.

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tām vepamānām upalakṣya sītām
sa rāvaṇo mṛtyu sama prabhāvaḥ |
kulam balam nāma ca karma ca ātmanaḥ
samācacakṣe bhaya kāraṇa artham || 3-47-50

50. mR^ityu sama prabhaavaH = Death, similar, in his impetus; saH raavaNaH = he, Ravana; vepamaanaam taam siitaam = tremulous, at her, Seetha; upa lakSya = closely, marking; bhaya kaaraNa artham = scare, causing, for the purpose of; aatmanaH = of his own; kulam balam naama ca = caste, competence, name, also; karma ca = capabilities, also; sam aacacakSe = clearly, informed.

On closely marking Seetha to be tremulous, he that Ravana whose impetus is Death similar, clearly informed her of his name, caste, competency, and capability as his purpose is to cause scare. [3-47-50]

- - - - -

iti vālmīki rāmāyaṇe ādi kāvye araṇya kāṇḍe sapta catvārinśaḥ sargaḥ

Thus, this is the 47th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Verse Locator for Book III : Aranya Kanda - The Forest Trek : Chapter 47

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© Oct, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : November 04]

What the world says about rama and verse
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