Book VI : Yuddha Kanda - Book Of War
As per the advice of Sardula, Ravana sends Shuka to Sugriva as an ambassador. The monkeys harass him, who came to their place as a spy. But because of Rama’s gracefulness, Shuka comes out of danger. Sugriva gives a fitting reply to Ravana’s message sent through Shuka. When monkeys again try to bind him and harass him, Rama prevents them from killing him.
tato niviSTaam dhvajiniim sugriiveNaabhipaalitaam |
dadarsha raakshaso.abhyetya shaarduulo naama viiryavaan || 6-20-1
1. tataH=thereafter; viiryavaan= an energic;; raakshhasaH= demon; shaarduulo naama= named Shardula; abhyetya= came; dadarsha= and saw; dhvajiniim= army; abhipaalitam= ruled; sugriveNa= by Sugriva; nivishhTaam= which was drawn up in battle array.
Thereafter, an energetic demon named Shardula came and saw the army, commanded by Sugriva, which was drawn up in a battle array.
caaro raakshasaraajasya raavaNasya duraatmanaH |
taam dR^iSTvaa sarvato.avyagram pratigamya sa raakshasaH || 6-20-2
aavishya laN^kaam vegena raajaanamidamabraviit |
2. saH raakshhasaH= that demon; chaaraH= a spy; raavaNasya= of Ravana; raakshhasaraajasya= the king of demons; duraatmanaH= the evil natured; avyagraH= coolly; dR^ishhTvaa= seeing; tam= that army; sarvataH= from all sides; pratigamya= returned; vegena= speedily; aavishya= entered; laNkaam= Lanka; abraviit= and spoke; idam= these words; raajaanam= to the king.
That demon, the spy of Ravana the evil natured king of ogres, coolly observed that army from all sides, speedily returned to Lanka and spoke to their king as follows:
eSa vai vaanararkshagho laN^kaam samabhivartate || 6-20-3
agaadhashcaaprameyashca dvitiiya iva saagaraH |
3. agaadhashcha= boundless; aprameyashcha= and immeasurable; dvitiiyaH saagaraH iva= like a second ocean; eshhaH= this; vaanararkshhoughaH= multitude of monkeys and bears; samabhivartate= is approaching ; laNkaam= Lanka.
“Boundless and immeasurable like another ocean, this multitude of monkeys and bears is approaching Lanka.”.
putrau dasharathasyemau bhraatarau raamalakshmaNau || 6-20-4
uttamau ruupasampannau siitaayaaH padamaagatau |
etau saagaramaasaadya samniviSTau mahaadyutii || 6-20-5
4, 5. imou= these; bhraatarou= brothers; raamalakshhmaNou= Rama and Lakshmana; putrou= the sons; dasharathasya= of Dasaratha; uttamou= the excellent men; ruupasampannou= endowed with beauty; mahaadyuti= very much dignified men; aagatou= have come; padam= in the cause; siitaayaaH= of sita; sannivishhTaa= and settled in camp; aasadya= after reaching; saagaram= the sea.
“These brothers Rama and Lakshmana, the sons of Dasaratha, the excellent and the most dignified men endowed with beauty have arrived in the cause of Sita and settled in a camp after reaching the sea shore” .
balam caakaashamaavR^itya sarvato dashayojanam |
tattvabhuutam mahaaraja kshipram veditumarhasi || 6-20-6
6. mahaaraaja= O, monarch! Balamcha= the army; aavR^itya= is employed around; aakaasham= a space; aayatam= measuring; sarvataH= on all sides; dashayojanam= ten yojanas(ten miles);archasi= you are fit; veditum= to ascertain; kshhipram= quickly; tattvabhuutam= this truth.
“O, monarch! Their army is employed around a radius of ten yojanas (eighty miles)on all sides. You have to ascertain this truth quickly”
tava duutaa mahaaraaja kshipramarhanti veditum |
upapradaanam saantvam vaa bhedo vaatra prayujyataam || 6-20-7
7. mahaarajaH= O, monarch! Tava= your; duutaaH= spies; arhanti= are fit; veditum= to know; kshhipram= quickly; atra= under such circumstances; saantvamvaa= either conciliation;upapradaanam=or an act of giving away;bhedovaa=or sowing dissention (in the enemy’s ranks); prayujyataam= may be employed.
“O, monarch! Your other spies also ought to ascertain the fact quickly. Under such circumstances, either conciliation or an act of giving away or sowing dissention (in the enemy’s ranks) may be employed.”
shaarduulasya vacaH shrutvaa raavaNo raakshaseshvaraH |
uvaaca sahasaa vyagraH sampradhaaryaarthamaatmanaH || 6-20-8
shukam naama tadaa raksho vaakyamarthavidaam varam |
8. shrutvaa= hearing; shaarduulasya= shardula’s; vachaH= words; raavaNaH= Ravana; raakshhaseshvaraH= the lord of demons; sahasaa= immediately; vyaaghraH= disturbed; sampradhaarya= determined; aatmaanaH= his; artham= course of action; tadaa= and then; uvaacha= spoke; vaakyam= words; rakshhaH= to a demon; shukam naama= by name Suka; varam= the foremost among; arthavidaam= those who know their duty.
Hearing Shardula’s words Ravana the lord of demons was perturbed and immediately determined his cause of action. Then he spoke the following words to a demon by name, Shuka the foremost among those who know their duty.
sugriivam bruuhi gatvaashu raajaanam vacanaanmanu || 6-20-9
yathaasamdeshamakliibam shalksNayaa parayaa giraa |
9. gatvaa= going; aashu= quickly; bruuhi= speak; akliibam= fearlessly; raajaanam= to the king; sugriivam= Sugriva; mama= as my; vachanaat= words; yatha samdesham= according to my command; parayaa= in an excellent; shlakshhNayaa= and gentle; giraa= voice:
“Going quickly, speak fearlessly to king Sugriva on my behalf, according to my command, in an excellent and gentle voice, as follows:”
tvam vai mahaaraja kulaprasuuto |
na kashcanaarthastava vaastyanartha |
stathaapi me bhraatR^isamo hariisha || 6-20-10
10. mahaaraaja= O, great king! tvam= you; kulaprasuutaH vai= are indeed born in a noble family; mahaabalashcha= possessing great strength; rikshharajaH sutashcha= are a son of Riksharaja; naasti= no; arthaH= gain; kashchana= whatsoever; anarthaH= nor any harm; tava= to you(from this battle); hariisha=O, lord of monkeys; tathaapi= nevertheless; bhraatrusamah= you are like a brother; me= to me.
O, great king! You are indeed born in a noble family, possessor of a great strength and are a son of Riksharaja. No gain whatsoever or any harm will accrue to you (from this battle) .O, lord of monkeys! Nevertheless, you are like a brother to me.”
aham yadyaharam bhaaryaam raajaputrasya dhiimataH |
kim tatra tava sugriiva kishkindhaam prati gamyataam || 6-20-11
11. sugriva= O, Sugriva; kim= what (does it matter); tava= to you; tatra= there; aham aharamyadi= if I have embezzled; bhaaryaam= the wife ; raajaputrasya= of prince Rama; dhiimataH= the wise? Gamyataam= return; kishhkindhaam prati= to Kishkinda.
“What does it matter to you, if I have embezzled the wife of a wise prince? (Therefore) return to Kishkindha”
na hiiyam haribhirlaN^kaa praaptum shakyaa katham cana |
devairapi sagandharvaiH kim punarnaravaanaraiH || 6-20-12
12. iyam laNkaa= this Lanka; na shakyaahi= cannot indeed; praaptum= be acquired; haribhiH= by monkeys; kathamchana= in any way. (It cannot be reached) devairapi= even by celestials; sagandharvaiH= together with Gandharvas; kim punaH= what to tell; nara vaanaraiH= of reaching by men and monkeys?
“This Lanka cannot be reached by monkeys in any way. It cannot be acquired even by celestials and Gandharvas (celestial musicians), why to talk about men and monkeys?”
sa tadaa raakshasendreNa samdiSTo rajaniicaraH |
shuko vihamgamo bhuutvaa tuurNamaaplutya caambaram || 6-20-13
13. tadaa= then; shukaH= Shuka; sah= that; rajaniicharaH= demon; samdishhTah= heralded; raakshhasendreNa= by Ravana; bhuutvaa= become; vihaNgamaH= a bird; aaplutyacha= and flew; tuurNam= quickly; ambaram= into the sky.
Then Shuka the demon heralded by Ravana turned himself into the form of a bird and quickly flew into the sky.
sa gatvaa duuramadhvaanamuparyupari saagaram |
samsthito hyambare vaakyam sugriiva madimabraviit || 6-20-14
14. saH= that Shuka; gatvaa= going; adhvaanam= in the sky; duuram= for a distance; uparyupari saagaram= continuously over the ocean; samsthitaH= and stationed; ambare= in the sky(itself); abraviit= spoke; idam= these; vaakyam= words; sugriivam= to Sugriva.
Proceeding in the sky for a distance continuously over the ocean, Shuka then stood up in the sky itself and spoke these words to Sugriva:
sarvamuktam yathaadiSTam raavaNena duraatmanaa |
tatprapayantam vacanam tuurNamaaplutya vaanaraaH || 6-20-15
praapadyanta tadaa kshipram loptum hantum ca muSTibhiH |
15. yathaa= As was ; aadishhTam= directed; raavaNena= by Ravana; duraatmanaa= the wicked; sarvam= all that; uktam= was told; praapayantam= while receiving ; tat= those; vachanam= words; vaanaraaH= the monkeys; aaplutya= jumped up; praapadyanta= reached him; tadaa= at that moment; kshhipram= quickly; tuurNam= and speedily; loptum= to tear off his wings; hantumcha= and to strike him; mushhTibhiH= by their fists.
Shuka repeated all the words the wicked Ravana had told him to say to Sugriva. As he was still speaking, the monkeys bounded into the air to reach him at that moment quickly to tear off his wings and to smite him by their fists.
sarvaiH plavaNgaiH prasabham nigR^ihiito nishaacarah || 6-20-16
gaganaadbhuutale caashu pratigR^ihyaavataaritaH |
16. nigR^ihiitaH= the attacked; nishhaacharaH= demon; prasabham= was forcibly; pratigR^ihya= seized; sarvaiH= by all; plavaNgaiH= monkeys; aashu= and immediately; avataaritaH= brought down; bhuutale= to the ground; gaganaat= from the sky.
The demon thus attacked was forcibly seized by all the monkeys and immediately brought down to the ground from the sky.
vaanaraiH piiDyamaanastu shuko vacanamabraviit || 6-20-17
na duutaan ghnanti kaakutthsa vaaryantaam saadhu vaanaraaH |
17. shukaH= Shuka; piiDyamaanaH= being harassed; vaanaraiH= by monkeys; abraviit= spoke; vachanam= these words; kakutthsa= O, Rama! Duutaan= messengers; naghnanti= are not killed; vaanaraaH= let the monkeys; vaaryantaam= be restrained; saadhu= properly.
Shuka being harassed by monkeys spoke the following words: “O, Rama! Messengers are not to be killed. Let your monkeys be restrained properly.”
yastu hitvaa matam bhartuH svamatam samprabhaaSate || 6-20-18
anuktavaadii duutaH sann sa duuto vadhamarhati |
18. yaH= who; hitvaa= abandon; matam= the intent; bhartuH= of his lord; samprabhaashhate= will speak; svamatam= about his own intent; duutaH sau= through being a messenger; saH duutaH = that messenger; anukta vaadii= who speaks which was not told; arhati=is fit; vadham= for killing
“That messenger, who by abandoning the opinion of his king will speak about his own opinion though he being a messenger and he who on the other hand speaks that which was not told to him, that messenger is indeed fit to be killed.”
shukasya vacanam raamaH shrutvaa tu paridevitam || 6-20-19
uvaaca maa vadhisTeti ghnataH shaakhaamR^igarSabhaan |
19. shrutvaa= hearing; shukasya= Shuka’s; vachanam= words; paridevitam= and his complaint; raamaH= Rama;uvaachaam= spoke; iti= thus; shakhaa mR^igarshhabhaan= to the foremost of monkeys; ghnatah= who were beating; maa vadhishhTa= “do not kill.”
Hearing Shuka’s complaining words, Rama spoke to the foremost of monkeys, who were beating him as aforesaid, saying “Do not kill him”
sa ca patralaghudbhuutvaa haribhirdarshite.abhaye || 6-20-20
antarikshe sthito bhuutvaa punarvacana mabraviit |
20. darshite= perceiving; abhaye= no fear; haribhiH=from the monkeys; saH cha= he; bhuutvaa= became; patra laghuH= light winged; bhuutvaa= virtually; sthitaH= standing; antarikshhe= in the sky; abraviit= and spoke; vachanam= these words; punaH= again:
Perceiving no fear from monkeys, Shuka became light winged, virtually standing in the sky and spoke again the following words.
sugriiva sattvasampanna mahaabalaparaakrama || 6-20-21
kim mayaa khalu naktavyo raavaNo lokaraavaNaH |
21. sugriiva= O,Sugriva; sattvasampannaH= rich in courage; mahaabalaparaakrama= possessing strength and great valor; kim= what; raavaNaH = Ravana; lokaraavaNah = who causes the world to cry; vaktvyaH= is to be told; mayaa= by me?
“O, Sugriva, rich in courage and possessing great strength and valor! What am I to tell Ravana, whose nature is to cause world to cry?”
sa evamuktaH plavagaadhipastadaa |
plavaN^gamaanaamR^iSabho mahaabalaH |
uvaaca vaakyam rajaniicarasya |
caaram shukam shuddha madiinasattvaH || 6-20-22
22. evam= thus; uktvaa= being told; mahaabalaH= the mighty strong; saH= Sugriva; plavagaadhipaH= the king of monkeys; plavaNgamaanaam RishhabhaH= and the foremost among the monkeys; tadaa= then; adiina sattvaH= with a merciless mind; uvaacha=spoke; vaakyam= these words; shuddham shukam= to the blame less Shuka; rajaniicharasya= Ravana’s; chaaram= spy:
Hearing the aforesaid words, the mightily strong Sugriva the king of monkeys and the foremost among them, with a merciless mind then spoke to the blame less Shuka, Ravana’s spy, as follows:
sa me.asi mitram va tathaanukampyo |
na copakartaasi na me priyo.api |
arishca raamasya sahaanubandha |
stato.asi vaaliiva vadhaarha vadhyaH || 6-20-23
23. vadhaarha= O, Ravana, worthy of killing! Na asi= you are not; me= my; mitram= friend; tathaa= and; na= you are not; anukampyaH= worthy of sympathy; na asi= you are not; upakartaacha= the person who helps; na api= you are not; priyaH= beloved; me= to me; (you are); raamasya= Rama’s; ariH= enemy; tataH= therefore; asi= you are; vadhyaH= enemy to be killed; sahaanubandhaH= along with your associates; vaalina= like Vali.
“O, Ravana, worthy of killing! You are not my companion. You are not worthy of sympathy. You are not the person who helped me in any way. I do not like you, as you are Rama’s enemy. Hence, You are worthy to be killed like Vali, along with your associates”
nihanmyaham tvaam sasutam sabandhum |
sajJNaativargam rajaniicaresha |
laN^kaam ca sarvaam mahataa balena |
sarvaiH kariSyaami sametya bhasma || 6-20-24
24. rajaniicharesha= O, the king of demons! aham=I; nihanmi= am killing; tvaam= you; sasutam= along with your sons; sabandhum= along with your relatives; sa jN^aati vargam= along with your kinsfolk; sametya= together; mahataa balena= with my great army; karishhyaami= I will make; sarvaam= the entire; laNkaam= Lanka; sarvaH= along with all of you; bhasma= to ashes.
“O, the king of demons! I am killing you along with your sons, relatives and other kinsfolk. Arriving with a great army, I will reduce the entire Lanka and all of you to ashes.”
na mokshyase raavaNa raaghavasya |
sarvaiH sahendraidapi muuDha guptaH |
antarhataH suuryapatham gato.api|
tathaiva paataalamanupraviSTaH || 6-20-25
giriishapaadambujasamgato vaa |
hato.asi raameNa shaanujastvam || 6-20-26
25, 26. raavaNa= O, Ravana, muuDha= the stupid! Tvam= you; na mokshhyase= will not be left; sahaanujaH= along with your younger brother; raaghavasya= by Rama; guptaH api= even if protected; sarvaiH= by all; sahendraiH= including Indra; antarhitaH= even if disappeared; gatovaa= or obtained; suuryapatham= the solar path; tathaiva= and so also; anupravishhTaH= if you entered; paatalam= the nethermost subterranean region; giiriisha paadaammbuja sangatovaa= or even if approached the lotus feet of Shiva( the lord of Kailasa mountain).
“O, stupid Ravana! You along with your younger brother will not be left unkilled by Rama, even if you are protected by all including Indra (the lord of celestials) or even if you have disappeared (by virtue of conjuring trick) or obtained, the solar orbit or entered the nethermost subterranean region or even if approached the lotus feet of Shiva (the lord of Kailasa mountain)”
tasya te triSu lokeSu na pishaacam na raakshasam |
traataaramanupashyaami na gandharvam na caasuram || 6-20-27
27. na anupashyaami= I do not see; traataaram= any protector; te= to you; tasya= as such; trishhu lokeshhu= in the three worlds; na= nor do I see; pishaacham= a devilish being; na= nor; raakshhasam= a demon; na= nor; gandharvam= a Gandhrva (celestial musician); na= nor; asuramcha= an ogre.
“I do not see any protector to you as such in the three worlds, nor do I see any devilish being or a demon or a Gandharva (celestial musician) or an ogre coming forward to protect you.”
avadhiistvam jaraavR^iddham gR^idhraaraajam jaTaayuSam |
kim mate raamasaamnidhye sakaashe lakshmaNasya ca || 6-20-28
hR^itaa siitaa vishaalaakshi yaam tvam gR^ihya na budhyase |
28. tvam= you; avadhiiH= killed; jaTaayushham= Jatayu; gR^idhraraajam= the king of vultures; jaraavR^iddham= and who was senior due to old age; kimnu= why; visaalaakshhii= the wide eyed; siitaa= Sita; nahR^itaa= was not taken away; raama saannidhye= in the presence of Rama; sakaashe= and in the presence; lakshhmaNa= of Lakshmana; tvam= you; gR^ihya= having seized her; na budhyase= do not recognize her; yaam= what she is.
“You killed Jatayu, the king of vultures and who was senior to you in old age. Why the wide-eyed Sita was not taken away in the presence of Rama and Lakshmana? Having made her captive, you do not recognize her for what she is.”
mahaabalam mahaatmaanam duraadharSam surairapi || 6-20-29
na budhyase raghushreSTham yaste praaNaan hariSyati |
29. na budhyase= you are unaware; mahaabalam= how much strong; mahaatmaanam= high soled; duraadarshham= and irresistible; surai rapi= even to celestials; Raghu shreshhTam= is this excellent man of Raghu dynasty; yaH= who; harishhyati= shall deprive; te= you; praaNaan= of your lives.
“You are unaware how strong, high soled and irresistible even to celestials, is this Rama the excellent man of Raghu dynasty, who shall deprive you of your life.”
tato.abraviidvaalisuto.apyaN^gado harisattamaH || 6-20-30
vaayam duuto mahaapraajJNa caarakaH pratibhaati me |
30. tataH= thereafter; angadaH= Angada; vaalisutaH= the son of Vali; harisattamaH= and the foremost of the monkeys; abraviit= spoke; (as follows) mahaa prajN^a= O, Sugriva the highly intelligent! ayam= He; na=is not; duutaH= an ambassador; pratibhaati= he appears; me= to me; chaarakaH= as a spy.
Thereafter, Angada the son of Vali and the foremost of the monkeys spoke as follows: “O, Sugriva the highly intelligent! He is not an ambassador. He appears to me as a spy.”
tulitam hi balam sarvamanena tava tiSThataa || 6-20-31
gR^ihyataam maagamallaN^kaa metaddhi mama rocate |
31. sarvam= all; balam=our army; tulitam hi= indeed has been evaluated; anena= by him; tishhThataa= standing here; gRi^hyataam= let him be made captive; maa gamaat=le him not return; laNkaam= to Lanka; etat hi= this indeed; rochate= finds favor; mama= with me.
“All our army has been indeed evaluated by him, standing here. Let him be made captive. Let him not return to Lanka. This indeed finds favor with me.”
tato raajJNaa samaadiSTaaH samutpatya valiimukhaaH || 6-20-32
jagR^ihushca babandhushca vilapantamanaathavat |
32. tataH= then; samaadishhTaaH= commanded; raajN^aa= by the king Sugriva; valiimukhaaH= the monkeys; samutpatya= jumped up; jagR^ihushcha= seized; babandhushcha= and bound him; anaathavat= who without defence; vilapantam= wailed loudly.
Commanded then by the king Sugriva, the monkeys jumped up, seized and bound him, who without defence, wailed loudly.
shukastu vaanaraishca NDaistatra taiH samprapiiDitaH || 6-20-33
vyaacukrosha mahaatmaanam raamam dasharathaatmajam |
33. samprapiiDitaah= harassed; taiH vaanaraiH= by those monkeys; chaN^DaiH= who were fierce; tatra= there; shukastu= Shuka on his part; vyaachukrosha= cried loudly; raamam= to Rama; mahaatmaanam= the high soled; dasharathaatmajam= son of Dasaratha(as follows):
Harassed by those monkeys there, Shuka on his part cried loudly towards Rama, the high soled son of Dasaratha as follows:
lupyete me balaatpakshau bhidyete me tathaakshiNii || 6-20-34
yaam ca raatrim mariSyaami jaaye raatrim ca yaamaham |
etasminnantre kaale manmayaa caashubham kR^itam || 6-20-35
sarvam tadupapadyethaa jahyam cedyadi jiivitam |
34,35. me= my; pakshhou= wings; lupyete= are being pulled out; balata= forcibly; tathaa= and; me akshhiNii= my eyes; bhidyete= are being pierced; jahyaam chedyadi=if I abandon; jiivitam= my life; yat= which; ashhubham= sin; kR^itam= done; mayaa= by me; ekasmin antare kale= between this period; aham= I; jaaye= was born; yaamcha= on which; raatrim= night; yaamcha= and on which; raatrim= night; marishhyaami= I shall die; tat sarvam= all that; upapadyethaaH= would fall to your share.
“My wings are being pulled out forcibly. My eyes are being pierced. If I die, all the sins incurred by me between my birth and my death would fall to your share.”
naaghaatayattadaa raamaH shrutvaa tatparidevitam || 6-20-36
vaanaraanabraviidraamo muchyataam duuta aagataH |
36. tadaa= then; shrutaa= hearing; tat= that; paridevanam=lamentation; raamaH= Rama; na aghaatayat= did not cause his killing; raamah= Rama; abraviit= told; vaanaraam= Vanaras; muchyataam= let him be forced; aagataH= as he came; duutaH= as an ambassador.
Hearing that lamentation of Shuka, Rama did not allow his killing by the monkeys. Rama ordered monkeys to release him, as he came as an ambassador.
ityaarSe shriimadraamaayaNe aadikaavye uddhakaaNDe vimshaH sargaH
Thus completes 20th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.
© December 2003, K. M. K. Murthy