Entering the extensive forest of Dandaka, the irrepressible and self-composed Rāma saw the collection of asylums belonging unto the ascetics, strewn with Kuça and bark, and environed by spiritual energy; incapable of being beheld; like the solar disc in the heavens,—the refuge of all creatures—with their ornamented yards; filled with a great many deer, and abounding in multitudes of birds; in which Apsarās always danced and which they held in respect; (asylums) beauteous with spacious rooms for fire-sacrifice, with sacrificial necessaries, deer-skins, Kuça, faggots, water-pitchers, fruits and roots; surrounded by mighty and sacred forest-trees; crowned with lucious fruits; honored with Vāli1 and Homa2; holy; resounding with the sounds of Vedic recitations; scattered with divers blossoms; and containing tanks filled with lotuses; with ancient ascetics living on fruits and roots, having their senses under control, wearing bark and black deer-skins, and possessing the splendour of the sun or fire; and adorned by great and holy sages living upon regulated fare. Beholding that collection of asylums belonging unto the ascetics, resembling the regions of Brahmā, resonant with the voices of Vedic recitations; and grateful; with highly pious Brāhmanas versed in the Vedas,—the exceedingly energetic and graceful Rāghava entered the same, having first unstrung his mighty bow. Thereupon, seeing the righteous Rāma resembling the moon risen, as well as Lakshmana and the illustrious Vaidehi, those Maharshis endeued with spiritual intuition, came forward (to meet the incomers); and, having uttered benedictions, those persons of rigid vows, received them. And those dwellers of the wood, struck with wonder, beheld Rāma’s tender grace and lovliness and elegance of dress. And struck with astonishment, those inhabitants of the woods of pre-eminent piety saw Vaidehi, Lakshmana and Rāma, with winkless eyes. And those persons of exalted virtue, engaged in the welfare of all creatures, made Rāghava, their guest, sit down in their thatched cottage. Then, having received Rāma respectfully according to scriptural prescription, those virtuous ones of eminent piety, resembling fire, procured water (for Rāma). And, experiencing great delight, those high-souled ones, uttering benedictions, procured wild fruits, flowers and roots; and, having assigned an asylum (unto Rāma), those persons cognizant of righteousness, said with joined hands, “Possessed of high fame, thou, the protector of righteousness, art the refuge of these people. Thou shoudst be honored and worshipped, being their king, holding the rod, and their superior. O Rāghava, it is because he that governs his subjects, is a fourth part of Indra himself, that the king, being bowed down unto by all, enjoys the choicest things. And we, being in thy dominions, ought to be protected by thee. Whether living in the city or in the woods, thou, lord of men, art our sovereign. We have renounced chastising others; and, O monarch, we have conquered our anger, and subdued our passions. Therefore, even as a child in its mother’s womb (should be protected by her), should we be protected by thee.” Having said this, they entertained Rāghava, along with Lakshmana, with fruits and roots and flowers and diverse other edibles procurable in the woods. In the same way, other ascetics of accomplished purposes, living lives of integrity, duly pleased that lord, Rāma, resembling Vaiçyānara.
Having received the homage of the ascetics, Rāma about sun-rise, having greeted them all, entered into the forest. And Rāma, followed by Lakshmana, saw the heart of the forest abounding in various kinds of beasts,—ranged by bears and tigers, with its trees and shrubs torn and trampled, its pools turbid, and its birds crying. And, having in company with Sitā arrived at that forest abounding in terrible beasts, Kākutstha saw a man-eater, resembling a mountain-summit, emitting tremendous roars, with hollow eyes, a huge face, frightful, having a deformed belly, disgusting, dreadful, Cyclopean, mis-shapen, of a horrible sight, clad in a tiger-skin, besmeared with fat, covered with blood, capable of frightening all creatures, with his mouth widely extended, like unto the Destroyer himself, and uttering loud shouts,—who stood piercing with his iron dart three lions, four tigers, two leopards, four Prishatas, and the huge tusked head of an elephant dripping fat. Having seen Rāma and Lakshmana, as well as Sitā the daughter of Mithilā, he growing angry, rushed (against them), like the Destroyer himself rushing against creatures at the universal dissolution. Uttering a dreadful yell, and, as if making the earth tremble, he took Vaidehi on his waist, and, going a little distance, said, “O ye wearing bark and matted locks, O ye of feeble strength, that accompanied by your (common) wife, have entered the forest of Dandaka, bearing bows and arrows and scimitars, why, being ascetics, do ye wish to associate with a (single) woman? Ye wicked wretches, ye impious wights, who are ye that bring disgrace upon ascetics? I am a Rākshasa, Virādha by name. This forest is my fastness. Accoutred in arms, I range (here), feeding on the flesh of ascetics. This transcendentally beauteous one shall be my wife. And in battle I shall drink your blood, wretches that ye are.” Hearing the wicked and vaunting speech of the impious Virādha, as he said this, Janaka’s daughter, Sitā, began to tremble from fear, like a plantain tree shaken by the wind. Seeing the graceful Sitā on the waist of Virādha, Rāghava with a blank countenance said unto Lakshmana, “O amiable one, behold the daughter of king Janaka, my wife of pure ways, an illustrious princess brought up in luxury—on Virādha’s waist O Lakshmana, what had been wished for by Kaikeyi with reference to us, (hath taken place), and the dear boon (that she had asked) hath born fruit. That far-sighted lady—my second mother—who had not been satisfied with having secured the kingdom in the interests of her son, and by whom I that was dear unto her above all other creatures, had been banished to the woods, hath to-day her wishes crowned with success. O Sumitra’s son, nothing can impart unto me greater anguish than the touching of Vaidehi by another— which surpasses my father’s demise and my having been deprived of the kingdom.” As Kākutstha with his eyes flooded with tears was speaking thus, Lakshmana flying into a rage, spoke like unto a confined elephant: “Why dost thou, O Kākutstha, being the lord of all creatures and resembling Vasava himself,—and also backed by myself, thy servant,— grieve like one forlorn? The earth shall drink the gore of this Rākshasa, Virādha, when deprived of life, after he hath been slain with a shaft by my angry self. That ire of mine which I had conceived against Bharata hankering after the kingdom, will I discharge on Virādha; even as the weilder of the thunder holt hurls his weapon at a hill. Let my mighty arrow acquiring velocity from the speed imparted to it through the energy of my arms, light on his huge breast, and force his life from forth his body; and let him whirling (at length fall down to the earth).
Then Virādha again spoke filling the forest, “Do ye tell me who ask you,—who are ye and whither are ye going?” Thereupon, the highly energetic Rāma answered the Rākshasa with a flaming face, when he had thus asked (Rāma)— that he belonged to the Ikshwāku race. “Know us that are in ihe forest, for Kshatriyas of respectable character. I also am anxious of knowing who thou art, that goest about the Dandakas.” Virādha answered Rāma having truth for his prowess, “Ah! I will tell thee, O king. Do thou, O Rāghava understand! I am son unto Java, and my mother is Satarhadā. All the Rākshasas of the earth have called me Virādha. Having gratified Brahmā by my asceticism, I received (this boon) that none in the world would be able lo slay me by mangling my body with weapons. Forsaking this fair one, do ye renouncing all hope (of either recovering her or vanquishing me), speedily flee away to that place whence ye had come;—else I shall deprive you of your lives.” Thereat, Rāma with his eyes reddened through wrath replied unto that Rākshasa of a deformed shape, the wicked Virādha—saying, “Little! Shame on thee of base purposes! Thou surely seekest thy own death; and (death) thou shall get in battle. Stay! Thou escapest me not with life.” Then stringing his bow, Rāma, speedily aiming at the Rākshasa, pierced him with sharpened shafts; and (then) from his bow-string let go seven shafts, having their feathered parts plaited with gold, furnished with great velocity, and coursing like Suparna or the wind. Thereat, resembling flames, those arrows furnished with peacocks’ feathers, pierced Virādha’s body, and fell to the earth, covered with blood. On being thus pierced, the Rākshasa set Vaidehi down, and, upraising a dart, rushed in wrath towards Rāma and Lakshmana. And sending forth a mighty roar, he took up a dart resembling the banner of Sakra; and he then appeared like the Destroyer3 with opening mouth. Then the brothers showered a blazing volley of shafts on the Rākshasa, resembling the Destroyer himself. And stationing himself at a spot, the Rākshasa, laughing terribly, yawned, and as he yawned the flest-coursing shafts fell off from his person. And by virtue of the bestowal of the boon (by Brahmā), the Rākshasa Virādha drew up his vital energies, and, lifting up a pike, darted at the descendants of Raghu. That best of those bearing arms cut off with two arrows that dart resembling the thunder-bolt and flaming in the sky. And the dart severed by the shafts of Rāma, fell to the earth, as falls a crag severed by the thunderbolt. Thereat, swiftly raising up a sword, resembling a black snake, each (of the Rāghavas) approached his antagonist, and began to assail him hastily. Thus hard beset, that terrible one, seizing them both with his arms, attempted to make away with those foremost of men, who, however, retained their calmness. Reading his purpose, Rāma spake unto Lakshmana, “Let the Rākshasa bear us by this way. Not use of letting him. Sumatra’s son, let the Rākshasa bear us wherever he likes. Even this, by which the ranger of the night is proceeding, is our way.” And lifting up (Rāma and Lakshmana) by his might and prowess, as if they were striplings, that haughty ranger of the night laid them on his shoulders. And having deposited the Rāghavas on his ihoulders, Virādha—ranger4 of night—sending up dreadful shouts, directed his course towards the forest. And he at length entered the forest resembling a mighty mass of clouds, furnished with various kinds of trees, picturesque with diverse species of birds, and abounding in jackals, serpents and beasts.
Seeing those foremost of Raghus, the Kākutsthas, carried away, Sitā cried in a loud voice, raising up her arms,5 “Rāma, the son of Daçaratha, the strong, the truthful and the pure, is, along with Lakshmana, being carried away by you, Rākshasa of a terrible appearance. Me bears will devour and tigers and panthers. Renouncing the Kākutsthas, do thou carry me away. I bow unto thee, O best of Rākshasas.” Hearing these words of Vaidehi, Rāma and Lakshmana bestirred themselves for compassing the death of that wicked one. And Sumitra’s son broke his left arm; while Rāma at once broke the Rākshasa’s right one. On his arms being broken, the Rākshasa resembling a mass of clouds, growing weak, sank down on the ground in a swoon, like a hill riven by the thunderbolt. Thereupon, they assailed the Rākshasa with their fists, arms and feet; and lifting him up once and again, and pressing him, they trod on him over the ground. Although he was sore pierced by full many an arrow and cut sorryly by scimitars, and pressed down on the earth in various ways, yet the Rākshasa expired not. Seeing him utterly incapable of being killed, and resembling a hill, that inspirer of hope in times of peril, the graceful (Rāma), said, “O foremost of men, in consequence of his austerities, yon Rākshasa cannot be vanquished with weapons in conflict. Therefore, let us cast him into a pit. O Lakshmana, dig a capacious pit in this forest6 for this Rākshasa resembling an elephant, terible, and of a grim presence.” Having said this unto Lakshmana,—“Do thou dig a pit,” the powerful Rāma remained planting his foot on Virādha’s throat. Having heard Rāghava’s words, the Rākshasa spake gently, “Slain am I, O chief of men, by thee possessed of strength equal to that of Sakra. Through ignorance, O foremost of men, I could not before know thee. Now I know thee that art Rāma, the worthy Son of Kauçalyā, my child; as well as the highly virtuous Vaidehi and the renowned Lakshmana. By virtue of a curse, I entered this dreadful Rākshasi form, I a Gandharba, having been cursed by Vaiçravana. Being propitiated by me, that greatly famous one said,—‘When Rāma the son of Daçaratha, shall slay thee in encounter, thou, attaining thy natural condition, shalt repair to the celestial regions.’ Getting wroth, he cursed me, who had been absent; and thus did king Vaiçravana address me, who had conceived love for Rambhā. Through thy grace have I been freed from this fearful curse, I shall (now) repair to heaven. Hail, O repressor of foes! Half a Yoyana hence, my child, dwells the righteous and potent Maharshi, Sarabhanga, resembling the Sun. Seek him speedily: he will bring about thy good. Casting me (into this pit) in the wood, do thou, O Rāma, peacefully go thy way. Even this is the eternal usage of the Rākshasas. Hose that die in the forest, attain eternal regions.” Having said this unto Kākutstha, the mighty Virādha, afflicted with arrows, having his body deposited (in the pit), attained heaven. Having heard that speech of Virādha, Righava ordered Lakshmana, saying, “O Lakshmana, do thou in this forest dig a capacious pit for this Rākshasa resembling an elephant, dreadful, and of terrible acts.” Having said unto Lakshmana, “Dig a pit,”—Rāma possessed of prowess remained fixing his foot on Virādha’ s throat. Then taking a hoe, Lakshmana dug a spacious pit by the side of the huge-bodied7 Virādha. Then when his throat had been freed, (Lakshmana) cast into the pit Virādha having ears resembling javelins, sending loud and dreadful sounds. Having vanquished him in fight, Rāma and Lakshmana possessed of activity and steady in fight, being exceedingly delighted, raising up the dreadful Rākshasa by main force, cast him howling (into the pit). Reflecting that he was incapable of being slain (by sharpened weapons), those foremost of men, exceedingly well versed (in arms), compassed the death of that mighty Asura, Virādha, in the pit, after they had dug it. Virādha had himself sincerely wished for his death at the hands of Rāma; and that ranger of the woods had accordingly told (Rāma),—“My death cannot be effected by means of weapons.” Having heard these words, Rāma decided upon casting him into a pit. And when the excessively strong Rākshasa entered the cavity, he made the forest resound with his cries. Having thrown him into the hole, Rāma and Lakshmana, their fears removed, appeared with joyful looks, and rejoiced in that forest like the sun and the moon seated in the heavens.8
Having in the forest slain the Rākshasa Virādha possessed of tremendous strength, Rāma endeued with prowess, embracing and cheering Sitā, spoke unto his brother Lakshmana of flaming energy, saying, “This dense forest is hard to live in; nor are we acquainted with the ways of the wood. Therefore will we speedily repair to the ascetic Sarabhanga.” Thereupon Rāghava set out for the hermitage of Sarabhanga. And Rāma beheld a mighty wonder near that one of celestial virtue, who had purified his soul through asceticism. He saw the lord of the celestials, possessed of a resplendent person, resembling in effulgence the sun or Vaicwānara—mounted on a superb car—(saw) him that is followed by all the celestials, stationed in the sky, not touching the earth, adorned in luminous ornaments—the god dressed in a clean apparel; worshipped by many a high-souled personage dressed in the same way. And from a distance, (Rāma) saw the car stationed in the sky yoked with green steeds—resembling the infant sun; and he saw the spotless umbrella possessing the beauty of a mass of white clouds, resembling the lunar disc,—and graced with variegated wreaths. And his (Indra’s) head was being fanned by two chowris, costly and furnished with golden handles, held by two magnificent damsels; and innumerable Gandharbas and Siddhas and prime sages were hymning the celestial stationed in the welkin. And seeing Sarabhanga engaged in converse with Satakratu, Rāma said unto Lakshmana (the following words). And pointing out the car, Rāma showed the wonder unto his brother. “Behold, O Lakshmana, yonder car stationed in the sky, splendid, furnished with exceeding grace, wonderful, and seeming as if the sun had fallen from the heavens. The steeds standing in the sky are for certain those of which we had formerly heard as belonging unto Sakra of many sacrifices. And, thou foremost of men, these youths environing (the celestial) by hundreds, wearing earrings, and bearing swords in their hands, are broad of chest, have arms resembling bludgeons in size,and are clad in crimson vesture, like unto tigers incapable of being approached. Over the breasts of all appear chains of blazing sheen; and, O son of Sumitrā, their beauty appears that of five and twenty. And even this is the ever-enduring age of the celestials, as these foremost of men of sweet looks appear. O Lakshmana, stay here awhile with Vaidehi, so long as I do not gather who it is that is in the effulgent car.” Saying unto Sumitras son, “Stay here,” Kākutstha bent his steps towards Sarabhanga’s aslylum. And seeing Rāma approach, Sachi’s lord, taking Sarabhanga’s permission, addressed the celestials, saying, “Rāma is coming hither. Do ye set out for another place, ere he yet addresses me. He is not fit to behold me (now.) When he shall have vanquished (his foe in fight), and won success, shall I readily show myself unto him. He shall have to achieve an act incapable of being achieved by others.” Then rendering homage unto that anchoret and conversing with him, the weilder of the thunderbolt—subduer of enemies—repaired to heaven in a car yoked with steeds. When the thousand-eyed one had gone away, Rāghava accompanied by his companions appeared before Sarabhanga in the Agni-hotra chamber. Taking his feet, Rāma, Sitā and Lakshmana sat down with the permission of the ascetic, who received them and set apart quarters for them. Then Rāghava questioned (the sage) concerning the visit of Sakra; and Sarabhanga related everything unto Rāghava. “O Rāma, this bestower of boons wishes to take me to the regions of Brahmā. I have conquered them, incapable of being attained by persons that have not schooled themselves,—by virtue of fierce austerities. O chief of men, knowing that thou wert near, I became anxious to go to the minor celestial regions and this supreme heaven (of Brahmā), after I had seen thee, righteous and high-souled, who art my dear guest now. O foremost of men, I have for aye attained the excellent regions of Brahmā. And Nākaprishtha. Do thou receive them as pertaining to me.” Thus addressed by the sage, Sarabhanga, that best of men, Rāghava, versed in every branch of learning, said, “O mighty anchoret, I shall acquire all those regions myself. I now wish that thou mayst direct me as to my abode in this forest.” Thus accosted by Rāghava resembling Sakra in strength, the eminently wise Sarabhanga again said, “O Rāma, here in this forest lives a pious and self-restrained ascetic of mighty energy, named Sutikshna. He will bring about thy good. O Rāma, follow this Mandākini flowing among flowers, which (here) runs in an opposite direction to her usual course; and then wilt thou reach there. This is thy course, thou best of men. Do thou now, my child, for a space look at me; while I leave off my limbs, even as a serpent renounces its slough.” Then preparing a fire and with Mantras offering oblations into it, the exceedingly energetic Sarabhanga entered into the fire. The fire consumed the down, hair, old skin, bones, flesh and blood of that high-souled one. (Anon) Sarabhanga became a youth resembling fire; and rising from the flame, he appeared splendid. And proceeding past the regions of high-souled sages sacrificing with fire, as well as of the celestials, he ascended those of Brahmā. And that one of pious acts done on earth—that best of the twice-born race—saw the grand-father, in company with his followers. And the grand-father also, beholding that Brāhmana, rejoiced greatly, and said,— “Hail!”
After Sarabhanga had ascended heaven, ascetics in bodies, assembled together, presented themselves before Kākutstha; Rāma of flaming energy. And Vaikhānasas, and VālakhilyaS, and Sanprakhālas, Marichipas, Açmwakuttas in numbers, and those ascetics, Patrāhāras, and Dantolukhalas, Unmajjakas next, and Gātracayyas, and Açayyās and Anavakāçikas, those ascetics, Salilāhāras, Vāyubhaksbas after them, Akāçanilayas, Sthandilaçāyis, Urddhavāsis of controlled senses, and Ardrapattavāsas given to Japa, practising penances, and engaged in performing the five kinds of austerities—all furnished with the grace that comes of spiritual energy, and all firmly concentrated in Yoga—these ascetics presented themselves before Rāma in the asyhim of Sarabhanga. And coming before Rāma, the foremost of those practising righteousness, those sages conversant with morality,—met in a body, said unto that pre-eminently virtuous one, “A mighty car-warrior, thou art the foremost person of the Ikshwāku race and the world; as well as their lord,—even as Maghavan is the lord of the celestials. Famous over the three worlds in high worth and prowess, in thee are found truth and virtue in profusion and obedience unto the mandate of thy sire. O lord, it behoves thee cognizant of virtue and attached unto it, to forgive us for what we as suiters say unto thee. The sin, O lord, of that monarch is mighty that taketh a sixth part of the subjects’ incomes, but doth not protect them as sons. But he that, setting his heart on protecting the people, doth ever carefully protect all the inhabitants of his dominions, like his own life or like his son dearer unto him than life itself, reapeth, O Rāma, enduring renown extending over many years, and (at length) attaining the regions of Brahmā, is glorified there. The king that protects his subjects righteously, is entitled to a fourth part of the great religious merit that is reaped by an ascetic subsisting on fruits and roots. O Rāma, this many Brāhmanas—this great body of men that have assumed the Vānaprastha mode of life, although having thee for their lord, are being sorely troubled by Rākshasas, as if they had none. Come and behold the bodies of innumerable ascetics of pure hearts that have in various ways been slaughtered by Rākshasas in the forest. And great is the worry that is experienced by the dwellers on the river Pampi and the Mandākini as well as those that reside in Chitrakuta. We cannot bear the terrible affliction of the ascetics in the forest at the hands of Rākshasas of dreadful deeds. Therefore, for obtaining refuge, have we come before thee who art the refuge (of all). Do thou, O Rāma, deliver us all, who are being exceedingly afflicted by the rangers of the night. O hero, we have no greater refuge on earth than thyself. Do thou, O king’s son, rescue us all from Rākshasas.” Hearing these words of the sages and ascetics, that righteous-souled one addressed them, saying, “It doth not behove you to speak thus. I should be commanded by the anchorets. I have entered the forest solely with a view to my own purpose. I have entered this forest in obedience to the mandate of my father, with the object (at the same time) of putting an end to these ravages of the Rākshasas on you. I have at my own will come hither for securing your interest. Then shall my stay in the woods be crowned with mighty fruit. I wish to slay in battle the enemies of the ascetics. Let the sages and ascetics behold my prowess as well as that of my brother.” Having been conferred a boon by the ascetics, that hero entered upon a noble undertaking, and accompanied by the ascetics, in company with Lakshmana directed his course to (the hermitage of) Sutikshna.
Rāma accompanied by his brother as well as Sitā went to the asylum of Sutikshna in company with the twice-born ones. And having proceeded far, and crossed many a stream of copious waters, Rāma saw a holy peak towering high like the mighty Meru. Then those worthy scions of the Ikshwāku race—descendants of Raghu—with Sitā entered the forest ever furnished with various kinds of trees. And having entered the dense forest abounding in blossoms and fruits and trees, Rāma saw in a recess an asylum glittering with bark and garlands. There Rāma duly addressed an ascetic seated in the lotus-attitude9 for warding off evil, even Sutikshna, “O thou conversant with righteousness, speak to me, O Maharshi, O thou that hast truth for thy prowess.” Thereupon, eying Rāma keenly, that calm (ascetic)—the foremost of those practising righteousness, embracing him with his arms, said, “Welcome, thou foremost of the Raghus, O Rāma, thou the best of those practising righteousness. This asylum now hath been furnished with its master in consequence of thy visit. O illustrious one, O hero, expecting thee, I have not yet ascended heaven, renouncing on earth this body of mine. I had (already) heard that, coming to Chitrakuta, (thou hadst been staying there), having been deprived of the kingdom. Here came, O Kākutstha, the Sovereign of the celestials of an hundred sacrifices. Coming to me, that mighty deity, the Sovereign of the celestials, said that I had acquired all the worlds by my pious acts. Do thou, by my grace, in company with thy wife and Lakshmana, dwell delightfully in those regions won by my asceticism, containing Devarshis.” Thereupon the self-possessed Rāma answered that blazing and truth-telling Brahmana of fiery austerities, like Vasava answering Brahma, saying, “O mighty ascetic, I myself will win those regions. I wish to be directed to a dwelling in this forest. Thou art possessed of ability in respect of everything, and art (at the same time) engaged in the welfare of all beings,—this hath been told unto me by the high-souled Sarabhanga of the Gautama race.” Thus addressed by Rāma, that Maharshi known over all the worlds, spoke sweet words ia great joy, “O meritorious Rāma, even this is the asylum (for thee). Do thou live here pleasantly. It is inhabited by numbers of saints and is always provided with fruits and roots. This forest is haunted by herds of deer that range here without doing harm to any one, although they possess great energy; and go away, having bewitched people (by their beauty). Save what comes from these deer, there is no other evil to be encountered here.” Hearing those words of the Maharshi, the placid elder brother of Lakshmana, taking up his bow with the arrow set, said “O exalted one, if by means of sharpened shafts blazing like lightning, I slay those herds of deer when they come, it shall impart pain unto thee,—and what can be more unfortunate than this? Therefore I shall not be able to dwell long in this asylum.” Having said this, Rāma ceased and became engaged in his evening adorations, and, having finished them, along with Sitā and Lakshmana fixed his quarters in the asylum of Sutikshna. Then, when the evening had passed away and night fell, Sutikshna, having done homage unto those chiefs of men, offered them excellent fare, suitable to ascetics.
Having been well entertained by Sutikshna, Rāma in company with Sumitra’s son, having passed away the night there, awoke in the morning. And arising in due time, Rāma along with Sitā, bathed in cool waters odorous with the aroma of lotuses; and having in proper time duly worshipped Fire as well as the deities, in that forest containing abodes of ascetics, Rāma, Lakshmana and Videha’s daughter, their sins purged off, seeing the sun risen, approached Sutikshna and spoke unto him these mild words, saying—O Reverend sir, we have stayed here pleasantly, being excellently ministered unto by thee. We greet thee, and go away. The ascetics urge speed upon us. We hasten to view the collections of asylums that belong unto the holy sages inhabiting the forest of Dandaka. Now we crave thy permission along with that of these foremost of anchorites, steady in virtue, crowned with asceticism and self-controled, resembling smokeless flames. And we intend to set out ere the sun, like unto a low-sprung one that hath attained to auspicious fortune through evil ways, with rays incapable of being borne, shines too fiercely.” Having said this, Rāghava along with Sitā and Sumitra’s son bowed down unto the ascetic’s feet. And as they touched his feet, that best of ascetics, raising Rāma and Lakshmana up, embraced them closely and said, “O Rāma, go thy way safely, in company with Sumitra’s son and this Sitā that followeth thee like a shadow. Behold the beauteous asylums, O hero, of these pure-spirited ascetics inhabiting the forest of Dandaka. Thou wilt see blossoming woods garnishod with fruits and roots, containing goodly deer, and mild feathered tribes; tanks and pools laughing with blown lotuses, containing pleasant waters, and abounding in Kārandavas; charming mountain-springs; and romantic forests picturesque with peacocks. Go, O child; and go thou also, O Sumitra’a son. And come again to my asylum after having seen these.” Thus addressed, Kākutstha along with Lakshmana, having gone round the ascetic, prepared for departing. Then Sitā of expansive eyes handed to the brothers excellent quivers, bows and shining swords. Then fastening the graceful quivers, and taking the sweet-sounding bows, both Rāma and Lakshmana issued from the hermitage. And permitted by the Maharshi, the Rāghavas furnished with grace, equipped with bows and scimitars, swiftly set out along with Sitā.
When the son of Raghu had set out with Sutikshna’s permission, Sitā addressed him in affectionate words and convincing speech, saying,—“Although thou art great and followest the narrow way (of righteousness), yet thou art on the eve of entering into unrighteousness. But thou couldst by refraining from action, eschew this unrighteousness that springs from an evil begot of desire. This evil begot of desire is threefold. One prominent evil is falsehood, and both the others are of weightier significance, —association with others’ wives, and vindictiveness without any (basis of) hostility. Falsehood, O Rāghava, hath never been thine, nor can it ever be thine (in the future). Nor yet, O foremost of men, canst thou ever even in fancy be (guilty of) going after others’ wives, which marreth all religious merit. These, O Rāma, are by no means in thee. O King’s son, thou ever and a day directest thy attentions unto thy own wife. And thou art righteous and truthful and doest the will of thy sire. In thee are established virtue and truth—and every thing; and by help of thy conquered senses, thou, O mighty-armed one, art capable of bearing everything. And, O thou of a gracious presence, thine is control over sense. The third evil that leads men through ignorance to bear hostility towards others without any (cause of) hostility, is now present (unto thee). Thou hast, O hero, for the protection of the saints dwelling in the forest of Dandaka, promised the slaughter of Rākshasas in battle. And it is for this reason that equipped with bows and arrows, thou hast along with thy brother set out for the forest known as Dandaka. Seeing thee set out, my mind reflecting on thy truthfulness as well as thy happiness in this world and welfare in the next, is wrought up with anxiety. And, O hero, I do not relish this journey to Dandaka. Thereof I will tell thee the reason. Do thou listen to me as I tell thee. Bearing bows and arrows in thy hands, thou hast come to the wood along with thy brother; and (it may well happen) that seeing grim rangers of the forest, thou mayst discharge thy shafts. And even as the vicinity of faggots increases the energy of (ire, the proximity of (the bow) enhances the strength and energy of the Kshatriya. Formerly, O long-armed one, in a sacred wood haunted by beasts and birds, there lived a truthful ascetic of a pure person. Intending to disturb his austerities, Sachi’s lord, Indra, bearing a sword in his hand, came to the asylum in the guise of a warrior. And in that asylum, that excellent scimitar was deposited as a trust with that righteous person practising asceticism. Receiving that weapon, that ascetic intent upon preserving his trust, rangeth the forest, maintaining his faith. And intent upon preserving his trust, he goeth nowhere for procuring fruits and roots without that sword deposited with him as a trust. Constantly carrying the sword, by degrees, the ascetic, foregoing all thoughts about asceticism, had his mind involved in fierce sentiments. Thus in consequence of bearing that weapon, that ascetic taken up with fierce thoughts, losing his sobriety and led astray from righteousness, went to hell. This ancient story anent the carrying of arms, asserts that even as fire worketh change in a piece of wood, the presence of arms worketh alteration in the mind of him bearing them. From affection and the high honor in which I hold thee, I merely remind thee of this matter. I do not teach thee. Equipped with bows as thou art, thou shouldst renounce all thoughts of slaying without hostility the Rākshasas residing in Dandaka. Without offence none should be slain.—It is the duty of Kshatriya heroes by means of their bows to protect persons of subdued souls, come by any calamity. Where are arms? And where is the forest? Where is Kshatriya virtue? And where is asceticism? These arc opposed to each other,—let us, therefore, honor the morality that pertains to this place. From following arms, one’s sense gets befouled and deformed. Again going to Ayodhyā, thou wilt observe the duties of Kshatriyas. Then my mother-in-law and father-in-law shall experience enduring delight, if, having renounced the kingdom, thou lead the life of an ascetic. Interest springs from righteousness; and happiness also results therefrom. One attains everything through righteousness—in this world the only substantial thing. Repressing self by diverse restrictions, intelligent people attain righteousness; but virtue crowned with felicity, is incapable of being attained by following pleasure. O mild one, ever cherishing thy heart in purity, do thou practise piety, in the wood of asceticism. Everything—the three worlds—are truly known unto thee. I have spoken this through feminine fickleness. Who can speak of righteousness unto thee? Reflecting on and understanding things, do thou along with thy younger brother speedily do what thou likest.”
Hearing Vaidehi’s words spoken through high regard (for her husbands Rāma with his energy enhanced, answered Janaka’s daughter, saying, “O noble lady, thou hast spoken mild words fraught with worth and profit; and, O Janaka’s daughter versed in virtue, thou hast expounded the duties of Kshatriyas. What, O exalted one, shall I say? Thou hast thyself by thy words (furnished an answer to what thou hadst said). Kshatriyas wear bows in order that the word ‘distressed’ may not exist (on earth). O Sitā, those ascetics of severe vows that are beset with perils in Dandaka, having personally come unto me, who am their refuge, have sought protection at my hands. Always dwelling in the forest, subsisting on fruits and roots, they on account of Rākshasas of cruel deeds, do not, O timid one, attain ease. These ascetics are devoured by terrible Rākshasas) living on human flesh. Being eaten up (by the Rākshasas), the anchorites living in the forest of Dandaka—those best of the twice-born ones— said unto us—‘Be thou gracious unto us.’ Hearing those words of theirs which fell from their lips, I, resolving to act in accordance with their request, said,—‘Be ye propitious.’ This is surpassing shame unto me that such Vipras who themselves are worthy of being sought, seek me. What shall I do? I said this in the presence of those twice-born ones. Thereat all those that had come, said, ‘We have been, O Rāma, immensely harassed in the forest of Dandaka by Rākshasas wearing shapes at will. Do thou deliver us. These irrepressible Rākshasas living on human flesh vanquish us at the time of Homa, and on the occasions of Parvas, O sinless one. Of the saints and ascetics afflicted by the Rākshasas, who are on the search for their refuge, thou art our best refuge. We can by virtue of the energy of our asceticism easily destroy the rangers of the night; but we are loath to lose our asceticism earned in a long time. O Rāghava, our austerities are constantly disturbed, and we can hardly perform them. Therefore, although sore afflicted and devoured by the Rākshasas dwelling in the forest of Dandaka, we do not cast our curse on them. Thou along with thy brother art our protector: thou art our master in this forest.’ Having heard these words, I promised my perfect protection unto the saints in the forest of Dandaka, O daughter of Janaka. Having promised, I living cannot violate my vow concerning the ascetics; verily truth is ever dear unto me. I had rather renounce my life, or thee, O Sitā, along with Lakshmana,—but by no means my promise made, especially unto Brāhmanas. O Videha’s daughter, the protection of the saints is incumbent on me even without any representation,—and what (shall I say) when I have promised the same? Thou hast spoken this unto me through affection and friendship. I have been well pleased with thee, O Sitā. One doth not instruct another that one doth not bear affection to. O beauteous damsel, (what thou hast said) is worthy of both thy love and thy race. “ Having said these words unto Mithilā’s princess, the beloved Sitā, the high-souled Rāma, equipped with bows, along with Lakshmana, directed his steps towards the inviting woods of asceticism.
Rāma went first; in the middle, Sitā; and bearing a bow in his hand, Lakshmana went in their wake And they went with Sitā, seeing many mountain-peaks, and forests, and delightful streams, and Chakravikas, haunting river islets, and tanks with lotuses containing aquatic birds, and herds of deer, and horned buffalos maddened with juices, and boars, and elephants— foes to trees. Having proceeded a long way, when the sun was aslant, they together saw a delightful tank measuring a yojana, fifed with red and pale lotuses, graced with herds of elephants, and abounding in aquatic cranes, swans and Kadanivas. And in that tank containing charming and pleasant waters, they heard sounds of song and instrumental music; but no one was seen there. Thereat, from curiosity, Rāma and Lakshmana—mighty car-warrior—asked an ascetic named Dharmabhrit, saying, “Hearing10 this mighty wonder, we have been worked up with intense curiosity. Do thou tell us what this is.” Thus accosted by Rāghava, the ascetic then at once began to expatiate over the potency of the pool. “This tank goes by the name of Panchāpsara, and is always filled with water. It was made, O Rāma, by the ascetic Māndakarni, by virtue of his asceticism. In yonder tank, the mighty ascetic, living on air, performed signal austerities for ten thousand years. Thereat, exceedingly agitated, all the deities with Agni at their head, assembled together, said, ‘This ascetic wishes to have the position of one of us.’ Thus all the deities present there were filled with anxiety. Then with the view of disturbing his austerities, the deities ordered five principal Apsarās, possessed of the splendour of live lightning. And for compassing the end of the celestials, that ascetic conversant with the morality and otherwise as well of this life as that to come, was brought by those Apsarās under the sway of Madana. And those five Apsarās (ultimately) became the wives of the ascetic; and their hidden residence was reared in the pool. And there the five Apsarās living happily, pleased the anchorite, established in youth through asceticism and yoga. As thy sport, we hear the sounds of their musical instruments, and the sweet voice of their song mixed with the tinklings of their instruments.” (Hearing this), the illustrious Rāghava along with his brother declared the story narrated by that one of a pure heart to be wonderful. Thus conversing, Rāma saw the collection of asylums, strewn with Kuça and bark, and be-girt with energy derived from Brahma lore. Entering (the place) along with Vaidehi and Lakshmana, the highly famous Rāghava dwelt there respected by all the ascetics. Having happily dwelt in those collections of graceful asylums, honored of the Maharshis, Kākutstha by turns went to the hermitages of those ascetics with whom that one well versed in arms had dwelt before. And Rāghava happily passed his days somewhere for ten months, somewhere for one year, somewhere for four months somewhere for five or six months, somewhere for many months, somewhere for a month and a half, —somewhere for more, somewhere for three months, and somewhere for eight. And as Rāma lived in the asylums of the ascetics and amused himself through their good graces, ten years were passed away (in this way). Having gone round the asylums of all the ascetics, Rāghava cognizant of righteousness returned to the hermitage of Sutikshna. Coming to this asylum, respected by the ascetics, that subduer of enemies, Rāma, stayed there for a time. Once upon a time, as Kākutstha dwelling in that asylum was seated, he humbly observed unto that great ascetic, “I have always heard from men speaking on the subject that that foremost of ascetics, the reverend Agastya, lives in this forest. On account of the vastness of this forest, I do not know that place. Where is the hermitage of that intelligent Maharshi? For propitiating that revered one, I, accompanied by my brother and Sitā, will go to Agastya for paying our respects unto the ascetic. This great desire is burning in my heart, that I should myself minister unto that best of anchorets.” Hearing these words of the righteous-souled Rāma, Sutikhna, well pleased, answered Daçaratha’s son, saying, “I also am desirous of telling thee this along with Lakshmana. Repair unto Agastya in company with Sitā, O Rsghava. By luck thou hast thyself said this unto me as to thy purpose. I will, O Rāma, tell thee where that mighty ascetic, Agastya, is. My child, go four miles from the hermitage in a southerly direction; and thou wilt come to the hermitage of the brother of the auspicious Agastya situated on a land covered with trees, graced with Pippali woods, abounding in fruits and flowers, charming, and resonant with the notes of various birds. There are many tanks containing delightful waters, swarming with swans and Karandavas, and beauteous with Chakravakas. Passing a night there, do thou, O Rāma, in the morning, taking a southerly course, go by the skirts of the forest tract. Passing a yojana, thou shalt come upon Agastya’s asylum, located at a charming woodland graced with many a tree. There Videha’s daughter and Lakshmana shall experience delight in thy company. O magnanimous one, if thou intend to see the mighty ascetic, Agastya, in that charming woodland, containing a great many trees, then do thou make up thy mind to set out this very day.” Hearing these words of the anchoret, Rāma, saluting him, along with his brother, set off for Agastya’s (place) with his younger brother and Sitā. And, pleasantly proceeding by the way directed by Sutikshna, seeing pirturesque woods, hills resembling clouds, watery expanses and streams flowing by their path; Rāma filled with delight said these words unto Lakshmana, “Surely we see the asylum of that high-souled one, the ascetic, Agastya’s brother of pious acts. These trees standing by thousands on the way bending beneath the weight of fruits and flowers, hear the signs that had been mentioned to me as belonging to this wood. And from the wood is wafted by the wind the pungent odour of ripe pippalis. And here and there are found heaps of fire-wood, and torn Darva are seen, of the lustre of lapises. And the top of the column of smoke belonging unto the fire lit in the asylum in this wood, appears like the peak of a dark mountain. And twice-born ones, having performed their ablutions in sacred and retired bathing places, are offering flowers gathered by themselves, O placid one, from what I had heard from Sutikshna, this would appear to be the asylum of Agastya’s brother. The righteous Agastya it is who, wishing for the welfare of the worlds, destroying by virtue of his austerities a Daitya resembling Death, hath rendered this quarter habitable. Once on a time here dwelt together two mighty Asuras, brothers given to slaughtering Brāhmanas—the wily Vātāpi and Ilwala. Wearing the form of a Brāhmana, and speaking Sanskrit, the cruel one used to invite Vipras to a Srāddha. And, cooking his brother wearing the shape of a sheep, he used to feed the twice-born ones according to the rites prescribed for Srāddhas. Then when the Vipras had fed, Ilwala said,— “O Vātāpi, come out, uttering a loud sound.” Hearing his brother’s words, Vātāpi, bleating like a sheep, came out, riving their bodies. In this way, thousands of Brāhmanas gathered together, were destroyed by flesh-eating ones wearing shapes at will. (And it came to pass that once upon a time) the Maharshi Agastya, having been invited to a Srāddha, fed on the mighty Asura. Thereupon uttering—‘Finished’ and offering water to wash hands with, Ilwala said unto his brother, ‘Come out’! And, as that brother of Vātāpi, given to slaughtering Vipras was speaking thus, that foremost of ascetics, the intelligent Agastya, said with a laugh, ‘Where is the power of coming out, of the Rākshasa, thy brother wearing the shape of a sheep, who hath gone to Yama’s abode?’ Hearing his words, from wrath the ranger of the night prepared to assail the ascetic, and he rushed against that foremost of the twice-born ones. And, being consumed by that ascetic of flaming energy with his eyes resembling fire, the Rākshasa met his end. This asylum graced with pools and groves belongs to the brother of him who hath performed this arduous feat from compassion for the Vipras’. As Rāma was thus conversing with Sumitrā’s son, the sun set and evening approached. Then, duly performing his afternoon adorations along with his brother, Rāma entered the hermitage, and saluted the ascetic. Well received by the ascetic, Rāghava spent there a night, eating fruits and roots. When the night had passed away, and the solar disc arose, Rāghava greeted Agastya’s brother, saying, “O reverend Sir, I salute thee. I have pleasantly passed the night. I greet thee; I shall go to behold my preceptor, thy elder brother.” Thereat, on the ascetic’s saying, ‘Go thou,’ the descendant of Raghu went away by the prescribed route. And Rāma viewed the forest, and Nihāras, and Panaças, and Sālas, Vanjulas and Tinisas, and Chirivilwas, and Madhukas, and Vilvas, and Tindukas,—all in full flower, and graced with blossoming creepers, and trees in the wood by hundreds, roughly handled by elephants with their trunks, and graced by monkeys, and resounding with the voices of an hundred maddened warblers. Then the lotus-eyed Rāma said unto that enhancer of auspiciousness, the heroic Lakshmana, who was by him, and was following him at his back, “The leaves of these trees are glossy, and the beasts and birds are mild, even as (we had been told). The asylum of the pure-hearted Maharshi must not be far. This asylum capable of removing the fatigue of the weary, belonging to him that is known among men as Agastya by his own acts, is seen, with the (neighbouring woods) filled with smoke, and itself decorated with bark and wreaths, containing herds of mild deer, and ringing with the notes of various birds. This is the asylum of that pious one, who destroying (the Asura resembling) Death, hath, desirous of the welfare of mankind, rendered the Southern quarter habitable, and through whose potency the Rākshasas from fear barely cast their eyes in this direction, but do not approach. Ever since that one of pious ways possessed himself of this quarter, the rangers of the night have foregone their hostility, and assumed a peaceful attitude. This Southern quarter rendered safe (by Agastya),and incapable of being harassed by those ones of tortuous ways, is celebrated over the three worlds in conection with the name of the reverend ascetic. And this graceful asylum ranged by mild beasts belongs to that long-lived one of renowned achievements— Agastya—in obedience to whose command, the Vindhya mountain—foremost of its kind—which had always obstructed ihe way of the Sun, doth not increase. This pious one honored of men, ever engaged in the welfare of the righteous, shall do good unto us, who have come to him. I shall adore the mighty ascetic, Agastya, and, O mild one, O master, here pass away the remainder of the term of my banishment. Here celestials with the Gandharbas, and Siddhas and eminent saints, observing restrictions in respect of food, adore Agastya. And the ascetic is such that a liar cannot live here, nor a cunning or a crafty person, nor a wicked wight, nor one that is given to unrighteousness. And adoring righteousness, celestials, and Yakshas, and Nāgas, and birds, live here restricting their fare. And high-souled Siddhas and eminent saints, renouncing their bodies, repair to celestial regions in cars resembling the sun. And adored by auspicious individuals, the deities here confer on them the states of Yakshas and celestials, and divers kingdoms. O Sumitra’s son, entering the asylum before us, do thou announce unto the saints that I along with Sitā, have arrived here.”
Having entered the asylum, Rāghava’s younger brother, Lakshmana, coming to a disciple of Agastya, spoke unto him, saying, “There was a king, named Daçaratha. His eldest son, the strong Rāma, hath come (to this asylum) along with his wife, Sitā, for seeing the ascetic.—Named Lakshmana, I am his younger brother, obedient and devoted to him.—Thou mayst have heard of it. Having entered this horrid forest, in consonance with the mandate of our sire, we desire to see the reverend one. Tell this unto him.” Hearing Lakshmana’s words, that ascetic, saying. “So be it!”, entered the chamber of the sacrificial fire, for the purpose of communicating (the news unto Agastya). Entering in, Agastya’s beloved disciple, with joined hands communicated unto that foremost of ascetics, incapable of being repressed,11 exactly what Lakshmana had told him,—“For seeing the reverend one, and serving him as well, those subduers of their foes, Daçaratha’s sons, Rāma and Lakshmana, accompanied by Sitā, have entered this asylum. It now behoves thee to command what is to be done next.” Hearing from his disciple that Rāma had come along with Lakshmana and the highly virtuous Vaidehi, Agastya said, “By luck it is that after a long time, Rāma hath come to see me. I had mentally wished for his arrival. Go thou; and let Rāma, having been respectfully received, come before me. Why hast thou not brought him thyself?” Thus addressed by the high-souled and righteous ascetic, the disciple saluting him, with joined hands, said, “So be it.” Then issuing out, the disciple said unto Lakshmana, “Where is Rāma? Let him come and enter in.” Thereat, going to the asylum in company with the disciple (of Agastya), Lakshmana showed unto him Kākutstha and the daughter of Janaka, Sitā. Then joyfully communicating unto Rāma the words of the reverend one, the disciple (of Agastya) duly took in that one worthy of being honored. And seeing the asylum teeming with mild deer, Rāma entered in with Lakshmana and Sitā. And there Rāma beheld the place of Brahma, and that of Agni,—that of Vishnu, and that of the great Indra, the place of Vivaswat, and that of Soma, and that of Bhaga, and that of Dhātā and Vidhātā, and that of Vāyu, and that of the high-souled Vāruna having the noose in his hand, and that of Gāyatri, and that of the Vasus, and that of the monarch of the Nāgas, and that of Garuda, and that of Kartikeya, and that of Dharma. And it came to pass that, surrounded by his disciples, the ascetic came (before Rāma). And Rāma saw that one of flaming energy at the head of the ascetics; and the hero said unto Lakshmana, enhancer of auspiciousness, “O Lakshmana, the revered saint, Agastya, is coming out. I recognize that mass of asceticism by a certain kind of majesty (that characterizes him).” Having said this touching Agastya of the splendour of the sun, that son of Raghu took hold of his feet. Then, having paid him homage, Rāma with joined hands stood there in company with Videha’s daughter, Sitā, and Lakshmana. Thereat, embracing Rāma and honoring him with water and a seat, and asking him questions anent his welfare, the saint said, “Welcome!” Offering oblations unto the fire, and presenting Arghya unto the guests, and paying them homage, that ascetic entertained them with food in accordance with the Vanasprastha mode of life; and then first sitting down, that foremost of ascetics, the pious Agastya, addressed Rāma cognizant of righteousness, staying with joined hands, “O Kākutstha, if an ascetic acts otherwise (in respect of a guest,) he in the next world feeds on his own flesh, like a false witness. The sovereign of all the worlds, righteous, a mighty car warrior, worthy of being honored and worshipped, thou hast become our beloved guest.” Having said this, Agastya, according to his desire, worshipping Rāghava with fruits, roots and flowers, said unto him, “O foremost of men, this mighty, celestial bow belonging unto Vishnu, and constructed by Vicwakarmā, and this best of arrows (named) Brahmadatta, infallible and resembling the sun, and this inexhaustible couple of quivers filled with sharpened shafts, like unto flaming fire; were granted unto me by the mighty Indra. And here is this mighty golden scabbard, and this sword decked in gold. Having, O Rāma, slain the mighty Asuras with this bow, Vishnu in days of yore in battle secured the effulgent Fortune of the celestials. O bestower of honor, do thou for securing victory, take this bow, these quivers, this arrow, and this scimitar, like the holder of the thunderbolt, taking the same.” Having said this that highly energetic one, the reverend Agastya, consigning unto Rāma all those weapons, again said.
Rāma, I am pleased with thee; good betide thee! And, O Lakshmana, I am gratified by thee. Ye are in trouble in consequence of the great fatigue that ye have undergone on the way. And Janaka’s daughter, the noble Maithili, is evidently eager (for rest). Of tender years and unknown to hardship, she hath come to the forest rife with troubles, being urged by the love she bears unto her lord. Do thou, O Rāma, conduct thyself so, that Sitā may find a pleasant time of it. By following thee to the forest, it is a hard task that she is performing. O son of Raghu, this hath been the nature of the fair sex from the commencement of creation, that they gladden him that is well off, and forsake a person in adversity. And women imitate the instability of lightning, the sharpness of weapons,and the celerity of Garuda and the wind12. But this wife of thine is absolutely free from all these defects; she is worthy of being extolled and the foremost of those devoted to their lord, like Arundhati among the gods. This region, O Rāma, will be adorned, since, O subduer of enemies, thou along with Vaidehi and Sumitra’s son, wilt dwell here.” Thus addressed by the ascetic, Rāghava, joining his hands, humbly observed unto that saint resembling flaming fire, “Blessed and beholden am I, since the foremost of ascetics is gratified with my merits as well as with those of my brother and wife. Do thou now direct me to a country well watered, and abounding in woods, where rearing an asylum, I may dwell delightfully and pleasantly.” Hearing Rāma’s words, that best of ascetics, reflecting for a while, spoke these excellent words, “Two Yojanas hence, my child, is a region abounding in fruits and roots, containing countless deer, and beautiful—known by the name of Panchavati. Repairing thither, do thou, rearing an asylum, pass thy time pleasantly in company with Sumitra’s son, duly doing the mandate of thy sire. O sinless one, all this news relating to thyself, has from affection been known to me through the potency of my asceticism, as also that relating to Daçaratha. Although thou hast promised to dwell with me in this ascetic grove, yet by virtue of my asceticism I know the desire that is in thy heart. I therefore tell thee, repair to Panchavati. That is a charming woodland, and there Mithilā’s daughter shall dwell with delight. And that tract is worthy of all praise, and, O Rāghava, it is not distant from here.—It is in the vicinity of the Godāvari. Mithilā’s daughter shall live there agreeably. And that spot abounds in fruits and roots, is frequented by various fowls, is retired, O mighty-armed one, and is sacred and beautiful. And thou of pure ways, and competent to protect the ascetics, shall, O Rāma, protect them. O hero, yonder is the mighty wood of Madhukas. Directing thy course to the asylum of Nagrodha trees, go by the north of this Madhuka wood. Then arriving at a spot hard by a hill, (thou wilt) come upon the celebrated Panchavati, crowned with blossoming woods.” Thus accosted by Agastya, Rāma along with Sumitra’s son, honouring the truth-speaking saint, greeted him. Then, having saluted his feet, they, taking the saint’s permission, set out along with Sitā for the hermitage of Panchavati. And, taking their bows and quivers those sons of the king, of undiminished martial virtue, with intent minds bent their course to Panchavati by the way laid down by the Maharshi.
As he was proceeding to Panchavati, Raghu’s son saw a huge-bodied vulture of terrible prowess. And seeing him in the forest, the exalted Rāma and Lakshmana, as they were conversing With each other, knowing the bird to be (in reality) a Rākshasa, asked him, saying, “Who art thou?” Thereupon, in soft and sweet words, he, pleasing them, said, “My child, know me for a friend of thy father.” Knowing him to be a friend of his sire, Rāghava paid him homage, and enquired for his name and lineage. Hearing Rāma’s words, he mentioned his own lineage, and related the origin of all beings. “O mighty-armed one, I shall describe (unto thee) from the very beginning the (history of) those that were Prajāpatis in days of yore. Listen, O Rāghava. Of these, the first is Kardamā, then Vikrita, and then Sesha, Sancraya, the powerful Vahuputra, Sthānu, Marichi, Atri, the mighty Kratu, Pulastya, Angira, Pracheta, Pulaha, Daksha, Vivaswat, Arishtanemi, O Rāghava, and the exceedingly energetic Kaçyapa. These had the west. The Prajāpati Daksha, it hath been heard by us, O Rāma, had sixty famous and illustrious daughters. Of these Kaçyapa wed eight, with elegant waists;—Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kālikā,13 Tamrā, Krodhavasā, Manu and Analā. Then, well pleased, Kaçyapa again said unto those damsels, “Do thou bring forth sons like unto myself, who shall be lords of the three worlds.” Thereat, Aditi, O Rāma, Diti, Danu, and Kālikā, O mighty-armed one, consented,—the rest were of another mind. And of Aditi were born thirty-three deities, O repressor of thy foes, viz., the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, and the Açwinas, O subduer of enemies. And, my child, Diti gave birth to those sons, the renowned Daityas. Formerly, this earth girt with seas was in the possession of these. And, O vanquisher of thy foes, Danu gave birth to a son, named, Açwagriva. And Kalika brought forth Naraka and Kālaka. And Tamra gave birth to these five daughters celebrated in the world,— Kraunchi, Bhāsi, Syeni, Dhritarshtri, and Suki. And Kraunchi gave birth to the Ulukas, and Bhāsi, to Bhāsas, and Syeni to hawks and vultures possessed of energy; and Dhritarashtri to swans, all kinds of Kalahansas, and Chakravākas, and that damsel, Suki, to Natā. And Vinatā was Natā’s daughter. And Krodhavasā, O Rāma, brought forth ten daughters, viz., Mrigi, Mrigamandā, Hari, Bhadramadā, Mātangi, Sārduli, Swetā, Surabhi crowned with every (auspicious mark), Surasā and Kadrukā. And, thou foremost of the best of men, Mrigi’s sons were all the deer, and those of Mrigamandā. Were bears, Srimāras and Chamaras. And Bhadramadā bore one daughter, Irāvati. And Irāvati’s son is the mighty elephant, who is the lord of the worlds. And Hari’s sons are lions and the nimble monkeys. And Sārduli brought forth as her sons, Golāngulas, and tigers; and the offspring of Mātangi were mad elephants, O best of men. And Swetā, O Kākutstha, gave birth to the elephants of the cardinal points. And, O Rāma, Surabhi gave birth unto two daughters—the famous Rohini, and Gandharbi. Rohini produced kine, and the sons of Gandharbi are horses. And Surasā, O Rāma, gave birth to Nāgas, and Kadru, to Pannagas. And Kāçyapa’s other wife Manu begot mankind—Brāhmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaiçyas, and Sudras. From the mouth, it is known, sprang Brāhmanas, from the breast, Kshatriyas, from the thighs, Vaiçyas, and from the feet, Sudras. And Analā produced all trees bearing sacred fruits. Vinatā (was) Suki’s grand-daughter, and Kadru, Surasā’s aunt. And Kadru gave birth to a thousand Nāgas with the holder of the Earth. And Vinatā brought forth two sons,—Garuda, and Aruna. And from Aruna sprang myself and my elder brother Sampāti. O subduer of enemies, know me for Jatāyu, the son of Syeni. If thou will, I shall become thy help during thy abode (in the woods). And, O child, I shall protect Sitā when thou shalt go out along with Lakshmana.” There Rāghava paying homage unto Jatāyu, and embracing him joyfully, bent low; and that self-possessed one listened to the story of Jatāyu’s friendship with his father, as related by him repeatedly. Then consigning unto that bird of exceeding strength, Mithilā’s daughter, Sitā, Rāma accompanied by Lakshmana went to Panchavati, destroying his foes and protecting the worlds.
Then repairing to Panchavati filled with various animals and beasts of prey, Rāma remarked unto his brother of flaming energy, “(Now) we have come to the place to which we had been directed by the ascetic. This, O amiable one, is Panchavati furnished with blossoming woods. Do thou cast thy eyes around this forest, and (ascertain) what spot shall suit our asylum. Do thou find out such a place in the vicinity of a tank where thyself Sitā and I may dwell happily, which is graced with the garniture of woods and delightful with liquid lapses, and whose neighbourhood yields fuel, flowers, Kuça and water.” Thus addressed by Rāma, Lakshmana with joined hands, said unto Kākutstha in the presence of Sitā, “O Kākutstha, even if I were to stay with thee for an hundred years, I shall remain thy servant. Thyself selecting some beauteous spot, do thou tell me—‘Construct (an asylum).’” Well pleased with the words of Lakshmana, that highly effulgent one, after due reflection, selected a site having every recommendation. Going to that romantic spot for rearing an asylum, Rāma, taking the hand of Sumitra’s son in his, said unto him, “This place is level, graceful, and surrounded with blossoming trees. Do thou duly construct an asylum at this spot. Hard by is seen a beautiful pool, embellished with lotuses, resembling the sun, and breathing balmy perfume. And, as told by that pure-hearted ascetic, Agastya, this is the graceful Godavari, bordered by flowering trees;—swarming with swans and Kārandavas, delighted with Chakravākas; thronged with herds of deer14, not far, yet not so very near. And resounding with the cries of peacocks; charming; elevated; containing full many a cave; do thou, O amiable one, behold these hills, covered with trees in full flower; and they are shining like elephants painted with diverse colors by persons with the utmost care; adorned with Sālas, palmyras, Tamālas, dates, Panasas, Nivāras, Tinisas, and Punnāgas. And covered with mangos, and Tilakas, and Ketakas, and Champakas, and trees entwined by flowers and herbs and plants; and containing Syandanas, sandals, Nipas, Panasas, Lakuchas, Dhavas, Açwakarnas, Khadiras, Samis, Kinçukas and Pātalas. This spot is sacred —this spot is charming—this spot abounds in beasts and birds. Here will I dwell, O Sumitra’s son, in company with this bird15.” Thus addressed by Rāma, the exceedingly powerful Lakshmana, slayer of hostile heroes, in a short time raised an asylum for his brother. And the exceedingly stout Lakshmana created there for Rāghava a spacious hut thatched with leaves made of clay, furnished with pillars, constructed with long bamboos, graceful,—spread with Sami boughs; tightly fastened with strong cords; covered with Kuçā, reeds, and leaves; with its floor well leveled; and charming; beautiful to look at, and exceedingly excellent. And then going to the river Godavari, the lovely Lakshmana, performing his bath, and securing lotuses and fruits, came back (to the asylum). Then offering flowers, and duly performing rites for the peace (of the habitation), Lakshmana showed the asylum which he had made unto Rāma. Seeing the beautiful asylum along with Sitā, Rāghava experienced high raptures. And joyfully embracing Lakshmana with his arms, Rāma said these exceedingly calm and solemn words, “Pleased am I with thee. Thou hast done a great deed, my brother; for which I have granted thee my embrace by way of reward. While thou, his son, skilled in reading thought, grateful, and cognizant of righteousness art alive, O Lakshmana, my father is not dead.” Having said this unto Lakshmana, Rāghava-the enhancer of auspiciousness—experiencing felicity , began to dwell happily in that region filled with fruits. And ministered unto by Sitā and Lakshmana, that righteous one lived there, like the immortals in heaven.
As the high-souled Rāghava was dwelling there peacefully, after autumn had departed, the welcome winter commenced. And it came to pass that once on a time, when the night had passed away and day broke, that son of Raghu went to the romantic river Godāvari for performing his bath. And as the humble son of Sumitrā Rāma’s puissant brother bearing a water pitcher in his hand was following Rāma along with Sitā at his back, the former said unto Rāma, “O sweet-speeched one, now is come that season which thou hast ever held dear; and as if decorated by which comes on the entire auspicious year. Now people have their persons rendered rough from dew; the earth is replenished with corn; water is difficult of being used; and fire becomes enjoyable. And men having worshipped the gods and the Pitris by celebrating Agrayana on the occasion of partaking new rice, have at this season, their sins purged off. The provinces overflow with food, and abound in milk and articles prepared there- from; and kings bent on conquest, range about for surveying them. And on the sun having veered steadily to the quarter presided over by the Destroyer16, the north appears like a female without her tilaka17. Naturally abounding in snow, and now having the sun at a great distance, the mountain Himavān18 justly beareth that name. At miday the days are delightful to a degree to range in, feel highly agreeable, and have pleasant suns; while shade and water are uncomfortable. And the days now have mild suns, are covered with dew, severely cold, with the forests remaining idle19, and the lotuses destroyed by frost. And now at night people cannot lie down in unsheltered places; and the nights are inferred from the presence of Pushyā. And at night the atmosphere (being covered with vapour) looks brown; and it is bitter cold then; and the hours are long. And the good fortune of the Moon hath fallen to the Sun; and the disc of the former is reddish with vapour; and like unto a glass breathed upon, it doth not shine clearly. And the moonlight furnished by vapour doth not appear pleasant; and like Sitā pallid because of (exposure to) sunshine, is perceptible, but doth not look beauteous. And at this season the western wind naturally of gelid feel, being permeated at present with cold, blows with double coldness. And the forests enveloped in mist, and stocked with wheat and barley, look brilliant at sunrise, with Kraunchas and cranes crying (in chorus). Golden-hued paddy slightly inclined, appear graceful, with their heads like unto date-flowers filled with rice. And the sun although high advanced, yet having its rays covered with thick mist, appeareth like the moon. And feeble at the first part of the day, and of agreeable touch at mid-day, the sunshine, being surcharged with mist, appeareth palish over the face of the earth. And in the woods, swards covered with green grass, and with dew-drops on it, look handsome on the morning sun brightening it up. And wild elephants waxing exceedingly thirsty, draw away their trunks, just as they touch beautifully clear and cold water. And those aquatic fowls seated by, do not dip themselves in the water, like unto cravens shunning fight. And the rows of trees, shorn of their blossoms, on being enveloped with dew at night and mist at morn, look as if they were fast asleep. And the streams appear with their waters enveloped in vapour,and the cranes, perceived through their cries, and their banks having their sands wet. And what on account of the snow-fall, what of the mildness of the sun, and what through the cold, water even when it is on a mountain top, tastes sweet. And lotuses afflicted by the cold, with the stalks only left, and with their petals dropping down and their pericarps and filaments shrivelled up, do not appear beautiful. And, O foremost of men, at this season, influenced by regard for thee, Bharata undergoing affliction of spirit, is performing mortifications in the city. And forsaking kingdom, and dignity, and the many and various enjoyments, Bharata practising asceticism and restraining himself in respect of food, in this winter lieth down on the bare earth. And he also, for certain, at this hour of the day, surrounded by his subjects, daily wendeth to the river Sarayu for performing his ablutions. Brought up in luxury, and exceedingly tender, how can he, afflicted with cold, perform his ablutions during the latter part of the night? Of eyes resembling lotus petals, grey-hued, endued with grace, with a navel depressed, and mighty, Bharata understandeth righteousness, is truth-speaking, of restrained senses (in respect of others’ wives) and also of subdued senses. And he speaketh fair, and is sweet-tempered, and long-armed and the vanquisher of foes. And renouncing various pleasures, he hath devoted himself unto the noble one. Thy high-souled brother hath secured heaven, since he, resorting to asceticism, is imitating thee that resident in the woods. The saying that people follow their mother and not their father, is falsified in the case of Bharata. How can mother Kaikeyi, whose husband is Daçaratha and son the righteous Bharata, have such crooked way?” As the virtuous Lakshmana was speaking thus from affection, Rāghava, not bearing the blame cast upon his mother (Kaikeyi), said, “My brother, thou shouldst by no means, tax our second mother. Do thou talk of that lord of the Ikshwāku race, Bharata. Albeit my mind is firm as regards my sojourn in the woods, yet is my mind unsteady, being inflamed with affection for Bharata. I remember his dear sweet words, taking the heart, resembling ambrosia, filling the soul with delight. When shall I, O son of Raghu, meet with the high-souled Bharata, and the heroic Satrughna, and thyself?20” Having bewailed thus, Kākutstha, coming to the river Godavari, there performed his ablutions in company with younger brother and Sitā. Then having offered his adorations with water unto the gods and the Pitris, those sinless hymned the risen sun as well as the celestials. Having with Sitā as the second and Lakshmana, performed his bath. Rāma looked beautiful like that lord the reverend Rudra in company with Nandi and the daughter of the king of mountains.
Having bathed, Rfima, Sit! And Sumitri’s son went to their own asylum from the banks of the Godāvari. Arriving at the asylum, Rāghava along with Lakshmana, performing his morning devotions, entered the cottage. And honored of the Maharshis Rāma happily dwelt in that cottage; and seated with Sitā that mighty-armed one looked like the Moon in conjunction with Chitra. And he carried on various converse with his brother Lakshmana. As Rāma was thus seated with his mind engrossed in that talk, A Rākshasi came to that region at her will. And that one named Surpanakhā, sister unto the ten-necked Rākshasa, coming upon Rāma, saw him like a celestial, having a leonine chest, mighty-arms, and expansive eyes resembling lotus leaves, with the powerful gait of the elephant, wearing a head of matted locks, with a resplendent countenance, bearing regal marks. And beholding Rāma dark-blue like the lotus, and becoming like Kandarpa himself, and resembling Indra, the Rākshasi was maddened with desire. Rāma was graced with a beauteous countenance, that Rākshas had a hideous face; Rāma had a slender waist, she had a huge abdomen; he had expansive eyes, she had terrible eyes; he was gifted with an elegant head of hair, she had coppery hair; Rāma was of a dear presence, she was of an unsightly presence; Rāma had a sonorous voice, she had a hedeous voice; Rāma was youthful, the Rākshasi was an old hag; Rāma had mellifluous accents, she had harsh accents; Rāma was ever abiding by justice, she was unruly; Rāma was handsome, she was ugly. That Rākshasi being wrought up with passion addressed Rāma saying “Wearing matted locks, and equipped with bows and arrows, why hast thou along with thy wife come to this region haunted by Rākshasas? It behoveth thee to say what the object of thy visit is.” Thus accosted by the Rākshasi, Surpanakha, that subduer of his foes from sincerity of disposition began to relate everything:—“There was a king named Daçaratha endeued with the prowess of a celestial. I am his eldest son known among men by the name of Rāma. This is my younger brother (named) Lakshmana, (ever) serving me. This is my wife, known by the name of Sitā. Commanded by my father and mother, I in obedience to their mandate, desirous of acquiring religious merits, have for the purpose of securing righteousness, come to this forest for dwelling here. I also am anxious to know thee. Whose daughter art thou? And what is thy name, and what is thy lineage? Possessed of a captivating form, thou appearest to me as a Rākshasi. Tell me truly why thou hast come here.” Hearing these words the Rākshasi, afflicted with lust, said, “Listen, O Rāma. I will relate everything truly, I am a Rākshasi, capable of wearing shapes at will. My name is Surpanakha. Striking terror into the hearts of all, I range this forest alone. My brother is named Rāvana.21 Thou mayst have heard of him. And he that is given to long sleep —the mighty Kumbhakarna, the righteous Bibhishana, who never serves the Rākshasas, and the brothers Khara and Dushana renowned in conflict (are also my brothers). Rāma, I have surpassed them all (in prowess). At first sight of thee, I approach thee, thou best of men, as my husband with (feelings of) love. I am endeued with power, and range about at will by virtue of my strength. Become my husband for ever and a day. What wilt thou do with Sitā? Deformed and unsightly, she is not worthy of thee. I am fit for thee. Do thou look upon me as a wife. This unsightly grim unchaste and human one with a lean abdomen, will I devour up, along with this brother of thine. Then having thy wish, in company with me, thou wilt range the Dandakas, surveying the various mountain summits and forests.” Thus addressed, Kākutstha having charming eyes, well skilled in speech, with a smile, began to speak thus.
With a smile, Rāma jestingly addressed Surpanakha who had been ensnared in the noose of love, in soft words, saying, “Gentle one, I am already wedded; this is my beloved wife. To females like unto thee co-wife-hood is exceedingly miserable. This young brother of mine is good-looking, and is of an excellent character; he is graceful, and is still unwived. The powerful one is named Lakshmana. He hath not yet tested the pleasures of a wife’s company, and is desirous of having a spouse. And he is youthful and of an inviting presence. He will become a fit husband for thee, considering this thy beauty. O thou of expansive eyes, seek this brother of mine as thy husband, even as the solar beam seeks Meru. (By doing so), thou O supremely beautiful damsel, wilt not have to fear a co-wife.” Having been thus addressed by Rama, the Rākshasi intoxicated with lust, at once leaving Rāma, spake unto Lakshmana, saying, “I am fit to be thy wife possessed of transcendental grace, having regard to this beauty of thine. And with me thou wilt happily range these Dandakas.” Thus accosted by the Rākshasi, Sumitri’s son, Lakshmana versed in speech, with a smile appropriately observed unto Surpanakhā, “Why wishest thou to be the servant of me who am a servant myself?22 O lotus-hued one, I am dependant on my noble brother, O thou of expansive eyes, be thou securing the summum bonum, with a joyful heart, become, O superbly beautiful wench, the younger wife of the noble one of great good fortune. Renouncing this frightful, unchaste, hideous, old wife possessed of a lean abdomen; he will devote himself unto thee. O paragon among damsels, O supremely charming lady, what man possessed of discernment, passing by such grace, would bear affection to a human female?” Thus accosted by Lakshmana, that hideous one having a lean abdomen being incapable of understanding jest, took his words as true. Thereupon as that subduer of enemies, the irrepressible Rāma, was seated in the cottage in company with Sitā, the Rākshasi, transported with lust, said unto him, “Forsaking this deformed, unchaste, horrible old wife of thine possessed of a lean abdomen, thou dost not regard me. To-day, thou looking on, I shall eat up this human female. And I shall, rid of a co-wife, happily range with thee.” Having said this, even as a mighty meteor striketh Rohini, that one having eyes resembling live coals, waxing exceedingly enraged, rushed towards that (damsel) with the eyes of a doe. Thereupon, hindering the Rākshasi resembling the noose of death, as she was rushing on, the mighty Rāma, growing wroth, said unto Lakshmana, “O Saumitri23, what is the good of jesting with a base and wicked one? No use of doing it. Look, O amiable one, Vaidehi24 is well nigh dead. It behoves thee, O foremost of men, to deform this frightful, unchaste Rākshasi of a huge abdomen, transported with lust.” Thus desired the exceedingly strong Lakshmana, fired with wrath, taking out his sword, in the sight of Rāma, cut off her nose and ears. Her ears and nose cut off, the terrible Surpanakhā, uttering frightful cries, fled amain into the forest whence she had come. And being deformed, and covered with gore, the dreadful Rākshasi sent up many a roar, like clouds rumbling in the rains. And bleeding profusely, the grimvisaged Rākshasi, lifting up her arms, and roaring, entered the mighty forest. Then, having been deformed, (the Rākshasi) approaching, her brother of fierce energy, Khara, come to Janasthāna, (seated surrounded by numbers of Rākshasas), fell down to the earth, even as the thunder-bolt bursts from the sky. Then that sister of Khara, bathed in blood, and deprived of her senses through fright, related ail about Rāma’s arrival at the forest along with Lakshmana and his own wife, as well as the circumstances connected with her being deformed.
Seeing his sister deformed, and covered with blood, fallen on the ground, the Rākshasa, Khara, fired with wrath asked her, saying, “Arise! Leave off fear and amazement. Tell me plainly by whom thou hast been thus deformed. Who is it that with his finger-end hath by way of sport hurt a black venomous snake that was innocent? He that coming in contact with thee hath to-day drunk virulent poison, winding a fatal noose round about his neck, knoweth it not through ignorance. Endowed with strength and prowess, ranging about at will, wearing shapes at pleasure, and resembling the destroyer himself, going to whom hast thou come by this condition? Who among the gods, Gandharbas or creatures or the high souled saints is of such mighty energy as to have deformed thee? In this world I do not see him that would do me wrong. Even as a crane afflicted with thirst appropriated milk mixed in water (leaving the latter out), so by means of fleet and life destroying shafts will I among the immortals take the life of that chastiser of Pāka, the thousand-eyed mighty Indra. The frothy blood of whom, having his marrow pierced (by me) and slain by me in battle, doth the Earth wish to drink? Tearing off flesh from the corpse of whom slain by me in conflict, shall the birds so joyfully feed on it? Him, whom I shall wrong mightily, neither the gods, nor the Gandharbas, nor the Piçāchas25, nor the Rākshasas, will be able to rescue in fierce encounter. Recovering by degrees thy sense, it behoves thee to tell me what individual it was of execrable character, who by his prowess, hath humbled thee in the forest.” Hearing these words of his brother, who was under the influence of extreme rage, Surpanakhā. With tears in her eyes, said, “Tender, and endowed with beauty, possessed of youth and gifted with great strength, with expansive eyes resembling white lotuses; clad in bark and dark dear-skins, subsisting on fruits and roots, having their senses under control; leading an ascetic life and a Brahmacharya mode of existence; there are two sons of Daçaratha the brothers Rāma and Lakshmana resembling the Sovereign of the Gandharbhas and marked with signs betokening royalty. I cannot ascertain whether they be celestials, or human beings. And between them I saw there a youthful female furnished with grace, and having a dainty waist; adorned with every kind of ornament. And it is on account of this female that I have like one unchaste and uncared for, have come by this condition at their hands. Nor I wish in the midst of encounter to drink the frothy blood of that crooked one as well as those two slain (in battle). Let this my prime wish be crowned there with fruition. Her and their blood will I drink in dreadful conflict.” As she said this, Khara wrought up with boundless passion, said, “Two human beings accoutred in arms, and wearing bark and dark deer-skins have in company with a female entered this deep Dandaka forest. Do ye return, after slaying them, as well as that wicked one. And this sister of mine will drink their blood. Ye Rākshasas, even this is my sister’s dear desire. Repairing thither, speedily accomplish this, bearing them down by your native might. Seeing those two brothers slain by you. This one, exceedingly rejoiced, will drink their blood in the field.” Thus commissioned, those fourteen Rākshasas set out there like clouds driven by the winds, accompanied by Surpanakhā.
Then the grim Surpanakhā, coming to Rāghava’s asylum pointed out to the Rākshasas those brothers in company with Sitā. And they saw the mighty Rāma seated in the cottage in company with Sitā, and ministered unto by Lakshmana. And seeing her, as well as the Rākshasas who had come, Rāma remarked unto his brother, Lakshmana of flaming energy, saying, “O Sumitra’s son, do thou for a while guard Sitā. I shall slay these that have come to this asylum here.” Hearing these words of Rāma versed in the knowledge of self, Lakshmana honored his speech by saying, “So be it.” And the righteous Rāghava strung his mighty bow decked with gold; and addressed the Rākshasas, saying, “We that have entered into this untractable forest of Dandaka in company with Sitā are the sons of Daçaratha, the brothers, Rāma and Lakshmana. Why do you intend to do injury unto us. Subsisting on fruits and roots, having our senses under control, carrying on asceticism and leading a Brahmacharya life, we are passing our days in the forest of Dandaka. It is to destroy you, wicked, and troublesome that I equipped with the bow have come here at the desire of the saints. Stay there content you should not move further. If you have a care for your lives, desist, ye rangers of the night.” Hearing those words of his, those fourteen grim Rākshasas bearing darts in their hands, exceedingly enraged, with their eyes reddened, breathing high spirits, harshly said unto the sweet-speeched Rāma, having his eyes reddened, whose prowess they had not seen before, “Having excited there our lord, the high-souled Khara, it is thou that shalt lose thy life no later than this day, being slain by us in battle. What power hast thou, being one, to stay before us many, in the field,—what shall I say of thy coping with us in conflict? In consequence of the parighas, darts, and pathifas discharged by our arms, thou wilt surely lose thy life, along with thy prowess, and this bow which thou pressest with thy hand.” Having said this in wrath, those fourteen Rākshas uplifting their weapons and daggers rushed towards Rāma and discharged darts at the invincible Rāghava. Thereupon Kākutstha by means of shafts decked with gold, cut off those fourteen darts of theirs. Seeing this, that exceedingly energetic one, waxing highly enraged, took out fourteen nārāchas, whetted on stone, resembling the sun. And even as Satakratu hurls the thunderbolt, Rāghava drawing his bow and taking his aim at the Rākshasas, let go those shafts. And those Rākshasas, their breasts pierced with vehemence, and themselves bathed in blood, fell down to the earth, like snakes dropping down from an ant hill. And with their breasts pierced, they, dripping with blood, deformed and deprived of their lives, lay on the ground like trees whose roots have been severed. Seeing them fallen on the ground the Rākshasi, beyond herself in wrath, approaching Khara, with her blood a little dried up, again in distressful guise threw herself on the earth, like a plant exuding gum. And in presence of her brother, she set up a mighty roar; and then her face grown pallid, she dropped tears, emitting cries. Seeing those Rākshasas slain in battle, Surpanakhā again hastened (to her brother), and the sister of Khara, related detail the slaughter of those Rākshasas.
Seeing Surpanakha again lying on the ground, Khara in anger spake out unto that one, who had come to bring on evil, saying, “I had but recently commissioned for thy behoof those heroic Rākshasas living on flesh. Why then dost thou again weep? Bearing regard and attached unto me, and ever engaged in my welfare, they, assailed by others, are incapable of being slain; nor do they not obey my orders. What can it be? I would hear of the occasion owing to which again, crying ‘Ah lord,’ thou rollest on the earth like a serpent. Why dost thou beweep like one forlorn, while I thy lord, am living? Arise! Arise! Do not fear, cast off thy stupor.” Thus addressed, and consoled by Khara, that irrepressible one, wiping her eyes, spoke unto Khara, “Having had my nose and ears cut off, I had come hither, covered with blood; and thou hadst consoled me. And thou also hadst despatched fourteen heroic Rākshasas, for my behoof, for slaying the terrific Rāghava along with Lakshmana. But all those, bearing ill will (towards Rāma), bearing darts and pathsas in their haads, have been slain in conflict by means of weapons penetrating into the vitals. Seeing those possessed of great speed, in a moment laid low on the ground,—as well as (witnessing) Rāma’s mighty deed, great fear hath taken possession of me. O ranger of the night, I am afraid, and agitated, and cast down. I have (at length) found in thee a refuge, seeing fear on all sides. Wilt thou not rescue me who am sinking in this ocean of grief, having sorrow for its alligators and affright for billows? And these Rākshasas, living on flesh who had arrived at that place, have been slain by Rāma with sharpened shafts. If thou hast any kindness for me as well as those sons of Rākshasas and, O ranger of mght, if thou hast strength and energy to cope with Rāma, do thou kill this thorn of the Rākshasas, who hath set up his dwelling in the forest of Dandaka. If thou do not to-day slay that destroyer of foes,26 Rāma, I shall banishing shame, give up my life in thy very presence. Meseems, thou backed by thy forces27 art incapable of staying in battle before Rāma in high encounter. Thou plumest thyself on being a hero; but art really none such. Prowess hath been falsely attributed unto thee. Go off from Janasthāna without delay, along with thy friends. O Stainer of thy line, do thou in battle slay those fool-hardy ones. But if thou fail in slaying those human beings, Rāma and Lakshmana, then how canst thou void of strength and of slender prowess, stay here? Overcome by the energy of Rāma thou shalt speedily meet with destruction. Daçaratha’s son Rāma, is endued with energy. His brother is possessed of high vigour by whom I have come to be deformed.” Having thus bewailed long, that Rākshasi, possessed of a spacious abdomen, through sorrow, became bereft of her senses before her brother, and excercised with great grief cried, striking her abdomen with her hands.
On being thus taunted by Surpanakhā, Khara spoke these sharp words in the midst of the Rākshasas, “Arising from this thy humiliating censure, my wrath is beyond compare. I can not bear it, like salt-water cast on a sore. From my prowess I count not Rāma who is a human being possessed of a frail life—him who slain by me shall to-day in consequence of his misdeed give up existence. Restrain thy tears, and remove thy fear. I shall despatch Rāma along with his brother to the abode of Yama. Thou shalt, O Rākshasi, quaff on the ground the hot blood of Rāma of evil life, slain by my axe.” Overjoyed on hearing the words that dropped from Khara’s mouth, she again through fickleness extolled that foremost of Rākshasas, her brother. At first reprimanded by her and then praised, Khara spoke unto his general, named Dushana, saying, “Do thou, O gentle one, array fourteen thousand of those Rākshasas, gifted with furious vehemence, ever following my wish, who never turn away from the field; who are hued like unto purple clouds, who revel in cruelty,28 and who are elated (in consequence of their prowess). And thou gentle one, do thou at once bring my car as well as my bows, and pasty colored arrows and scimitars, and darts, and various whetted javelins. O thou versed in warfare, for slaying this haughty Rāma, I go in the very fore-front of the high-souled Paulastyas.29 As he said this, Dushana brought his great car hued like the sun, yoked with excellent steeds of various colors. And thereupon in a passion Khara ascended that car resembling a peak of Meru, embellished with burnished-gold, furnished with golden wheels, open; having its pole studded with lapises; surrounded with fishes and flowers and trees and stones, and the sun and the moon and gold, and auspicious articles; and swarms of birds, and stars; having streamers and swords; garnished with bells; and yoked with superb coursers. And beholding that mighty army consisting of cars and arms and pennons, Khara as well as Dushana, said unto that multitude of Rākshasas, “March forth!” And then uttering tremendous roars, rushed out with great vehemence four and ten thousands of those terrible Rākshasas equipped with clubs and pattisas and darts and sharpened axes, and scimitars and discuses,—shining beautifully in their hands and saktis and dreadful parighas and innumerable bows, and maces, and mushalas and vajras fearful to behold, griped fast. And those following the will of Khara issued out of JanasthSna. Seeing those Rākshasas of dreadful forms rushing out, Khara’s car remaining a little away (from the press), proceeded after a short space. Then taking the permission of Khara, the charioteer drove at speed those powerful steeds decked in shining gold. And driven with speed, the car of Khara—slayer of foes—filled all directions with its rattle. And Khara, fired with wrath, and having piercing voice, hastening to destroy his enemy like the Destroyer himself, again urged his charioteer with roars, like a mighty cloud showering down stones.
As those terrible and inauspicious forces were marching on, a mighty sable cloud with dreadful sounds began to shower down blood. And the steeds yoked to his (Khara’s) car, gifted with great celerity, dropped down all of a sudden on the level high ways strewn with blossoms. A dark circle bordered with red, resembling that of charcoal, appeared in the vicinity of the sun. And a frightful vulture, having a huge body, approaching the banner, sat upon the upraised golden flagstaff. And beasts and birds having shrill voices, living on flesh, remaining near Janasthāna, emitted various dissonant notes. And in the quarter lighted up by the fierce jackals having mighty voices, in dreadful cries presaged evil unto the Rākshasas. And terrific clouds surcharged with water and blood, and resembling elephants with rent temples, enveloped the sky. And a dense darkness appeared, capable of making one’s hair stand on end, and no quarter was distinctly visible. And out of season, there appeared evening hued like a cloth soaked in blood. And facing Khara, terrible beasts and birds set up cries. Kankas, Gomayas and vultures, portending fear, began to cry. Ever inauspicious in war, jackals presaging evil, with their mouths belching forth flame, howled in the face of the forces. And comets, resembling parighas appeared beside the sun. That mighty planet Swarbhānu seized the sun when there was no parva. And the winds blew violently; and the sun was without lustre. And when there was no night, stars wearing the sheen of fireflies, began to fall. And in the tanks fishes and fowls were inert, and the lotuses were withered. And at that hour the trees were shorn of fruits and flowers; and without wind there arose dust dusky like clouds. And the parrots uttered wild notes—chichikuchi. And meteors of terrific aspects fell with loud noises. And the earth with her mountains, woods, and forests, shook. And as the intellegent Khara was roaring from his car, his left arm shook, and his voice fell, and as he surveyed around, his eyes moistened, and his head ached; yet through ignorance, he did not desist. Witnessing these mighty portents capable of making one’s hair stand on end, Khara with a laugh, addressed the whole body of Rākshasas, saying, “Even as a strong person from prowess counts not a weak one, I do not dwell upon all these mighty portents, dreadful to behold, that have appeared. Even the stars will I bring down from heaven with my sharp shafts; and even Death will I engaged, bring to mortality. Without slaying Rāghava puffed up with pride as well as Lakshmana, by means of sharp weapons, I return not (from the conflict). Let that sister of mine, for whom Rāma and Lakshmana have had sense perverted, attain her desire, by drinking their blood. I had never before met with defeat in conflict. Ye have witnessed it. I do not speak a falsehood. Wrought up with rage, I shall slay in fight the sovereign of the celestials himself, going on his mad Airāvata, with the thunderbolt in his hand,—what shall I say of those two, who are human beings? Entangled in the noose of death, that mighty army of the Rākshasas, hearing his challenge, experienced boundless enthusiasm. And anxious to see the encounter, there came high-souled saints, and celestials, and Gandharbas, and Siddhas, with the Charānas. And these pious ones assembled, spoke unto one another, “Welfare unto those cows, and Brāhmanas, and those that are prized by the worlds! As the discus-handed Vishnu vanquished the foremost Asuras, may Rāghava rout in battle those rangers of the night, the progeny of Pulastya! And saying this as well as various other things, the supreme saints and the celestials stationed in the sky conceiving curiosity (as to the issue of the conflict), beheld the host of those Rākshasas, whose days had been numbered. Then impetuously Khara issued in his car from the van of the army.30 And these twelve endowed with exceeding prowess, viz., Synagāmi, Prithuçyāma, Yaynaçatru, Vihangama, Duryyaya, Karavirāksha, Purusha, Kālakānuka, Maghamāli, Mahāmali, Sarpasya, and Rudhirāçana posted themselves around Khara. And Mahākapāla, Slhulāksha, Hramāthi and Triçiras31—[These four going before the forces, went at the back of Dushana]. Then as the planets dart towards the sun and moon, that heroic and dreadful army of Rākshasas, eager for victory suddenly rushed towards the princes with great vehemence.
When Khara of fierce prowess had come to the asylum Rāma in company with his brother saw all those evil prognostics. And beholding those dreadful portents, Rāma exceedingly distressed, apprehending some calamity to the Rākshasas, observed unto Lakshmana, “O mighty armed one, behold these great presages that have taken place, capable of annihilating all beings, and which have for their object the utter extermination of the Rakhasas! Yonder threatening clouds of assinine sable, showering down blood and uttering loud sounds are ranging the welkin. And, O discerning one, rejoicing at the prospect of my fight, all these arrows emit smoke, and my bows plaited on the back with gold, are restless. Meseems from the noise of the wild birds that impending on us is danger and uncertainty to life. Without doubt, there shall take place a mighty conflict. At this critical time, my arm shaking momentarily, betokens, O hero, victory unto us, and defeat unto the enemy. And thy face appeareth pleasant with a delightful lustre. O Lakshmana, the pallid face of those that prepare for conflict, auger shortening of life. We can hear the shouts of the Rākshasas as they roar, as also the blasts of the trumpets of those doomed to be wounded blown by Rākshasas of remorseless deeds. A considerate person that wisheth for his welfare, apprehending peril, should prevent disaster ere it arrives. Therefore bearing arrows in thy hand, and equipped with thy bow, do thou, taking Videha’s daughter, take refuge in the mountain cavern, covered with trees and difficult of access. That thou shouldst act contrary to my words, is what I do not wish. Swearing by my feet, go thou without delay, my brother. Thou art both strong and a hero: Thou canst, without doubt, slay these (Rākshasas). But I wish to slay all these rangers of the night myself.” Thus accosted by Rāma, Lakshmana, taking arrows and a bow, took refuge in an inaccessible cave along with Sitā. Thereupon, saying, “Ah! We have spoken it sharp,” Rāma put on his mail. And adorned with that mail resembling fire Rāma appeared in the dark like a mighty flame streaming up. And uplifting his bow, and taking his arrows, that powerful one stood there, feeling all directions with the twangs of his bow-string. Then the high-souled gods and Gandharbas, Siddhas and Charanas came there, with the intention of witnessing the fight. And high-souled saints of the world, and the foremost Brahmarshis, of pious acts, coming together, spoke unto one another, saying, “Hail to cows and Brāhmanas, and all those in whom are established the worlds! May Rāghava vanquish in fight those rangers of the night, the progeny of Pulastya, even as the discus-handed Vishnu routed in battle the foremost Asuras!” Having said this, they again spoke, eying one another, “There are fourteen thousand of the Rākshasas of dreadful deeds, while the righteous Rāma is single. How can fight take place (between two such parties)?” Having said this, the Rajarshis, Siddhas, multitudes of the beet of the twice-born ones, and celestials stationed in the sky were moved with curiosity (as to the issue of the conflict). Then seeing Rāma filled with energy, remaining in the field, all beings from fear experienced great pain. And the peerless grace of Rāma of energetic deeds became like unto that of the high souled infuriated Rudra.32 While the gods, Gandharbas and Charanas were thus conversing, the forces of the Rākshasas sending up solemn sounds, furnished with horrible armour, arms and flags, conversing in heroic parlance, roaring at each other, stretching bows, momentarily yawning,33 sending forth shouts, and blowing trumpets. The universal uproar filled that (entire) forest. Scared and terrified at the hubbul the rangers of the wood fled to quarters free from noise; nor did they cast their eyes backward. And that army resembling the ocean, and rife with sounds, equipped with various weapons, with furious speed came towards Rāma. And Rāma also versed in warfare, casting his eyes arround, found the forces of Khara ready for fight.34 Then stretching his dreadful bow, and swiftly taking out shafts, (Rāma) for compassing the destruction of the entire body of the Rākshasas, waxed furiously enraged. And like unto the flaming fire at the universal dissolution, he, growing wroth, was incapable of being looked at. And seeing him filled with energy, the sylvan deities were extremely pained.35 And the aspect of the enraged Rāma appeared like that of the holder of Pināka, intent upon destroying Daksha’s sacrifice. Furnished with bows and ornaments and cars and mail hued like fire, that army of those subsisting on flesh, appeared like masses of blue clouds at sunrise.
Coming to the asylum, Khara in company with those that went before him, saw that slayer of foes, the enraged Rāma, holding his bow. And seeing him, Khara possessing a shrill voice, raising his bow, commanded unto the charioteer to drive towards Rāma,—“ Drive on!” At Khara’s command, the charioteer drove the steeds to where the mighty-armed Rāma stood alone, holding his bow. And seeing him (Khara) entered the field, all those rangers of the night—the counselors—uttering mighty shouts, environed him round. And Khara stationed on his car in the midst of Rākshasas appeared like red bodied one risen in the midst of the stars. Then in battle Khara, afflicting Rāma of incomparable energy with a thousand shafts, uttered a tremendous roar. Then all the rangers of the night, waxing exceeding wroth, showered various weapons on that terrible bowman, the invincible Rāma. And wrought up with rage, the Rākshasas in battle assailed him with iron clubs, and darts, and prāsas, and swords, and axes. And resembling clouds (in hue), the exceedingly strong Rākshasas, having huge bodies, darted towards Kākutstha by means of steeds and cars. And mounted on elephants resembling mountain-peaks, numbers of Rākshasas, intent upon slaying Rāma in battle, showered arrows on him, as mighty clouds pour down showers on the monarch of mountains. And Rāma was hemmed in by all those fierce-looking Rākshasas even as in the evening Mahādeva is surrounded by his courtiers. And as the ocean resisteth the tide of a river, Rāghava by means of arrows resisted the weapons discharged by the Yatudhānas. As a mighty mountain, assailed by the thunderbolt, doth not feel pain, Rāma, having his person pierced by terrible flaming weapons, did not feel pain. And pierced, and with his person covered with blood, Rāma, the descendant of Raghu, resembled the sun enveloped in evening clouds. And seeing him single, surrounded by many thousands, the Gods, Gandharbas, Siddhas, and supreme saints became sorrowful. Then Rāma getting enraged, bringing his bow to a circle, discharged sharpened shafts by hundreds and by thousands. And as if in sport, Rāma in the conflict shot irrisistible (shafts) furnished with Kanka feathers, and decked with gold, irrisistible, capable of inflicting extreme pain, and resembling the noose of Death. And sportively discharged by Rāma, those arrows deprived the Rākshasas of their lives, like the noose forged by death. And piercing the persons of the Rākshasas, those arrows, soaked in blood, going up to the sky, appeared with the splendour of flaming fire. And innumerable shafts, exceedingly fierce, capable of depriving the Rākshasas of their lives, were let go from the circle of his bow. And with those Rāma severed bows, in battle by hundreds and by thousands and flag ends, and shields, and mail, and many arms with embellished hands, resembling the trunks of elephants. And the arrows of Rāma discharged from the string pierced and cut off steeds mailed in gold, yoked unto cars, together with the charioteer; and elephants with their riders; and horsemen with horses. And slaying foot-soldiers, he despatched them to the abode of Yama. And cut off with nālikas and, nārāchas, and sharp-pointed vikirnas, the rangers of the night uttered dreadful howls of distress. And like a withered wood afflicted by fire, that host harassed by the various marrow-piercing36 shafts shot by Rāma, did not attain ease. And some heroic rangers of the night possessed of great strength, waxing furious, threw37 at Rāma prasas, and darts and axes. Thereupon resisting by means of shafts those weapons of theirs, the mighty-armed Rāma endeued with prowess, took their lives in the conflict, and cut off the heads (of warriors). And having their heads, and shields and bow-strings, severed, they fell as fall on the earth trees thrown down by blasts from the wings of Suparna.38 Those rangers of the night that remained there, wounded by arrows, and losing heart, fled with speed to Khara, to seek his protection. Thereat, encouraging them, Dushana, taking his bow, ran furiously in high rage against Rāma, like the enraged Destroyer himself. And rallied again (by Dushana) and, their fear dispelled through their having found refuge with him, they armed with sālas, tālas, and crags, darted against Rāma. And bearing in their hands darts, and clubs, and nooses, those exceedingly strong ones showered in battle shafts and weapons. And the Rākshasas discharged vollies of trees and crags. And capable of making one’s hair stand on end, that battle was dreadful and furious and now on the side of Rāma and now again on that of the Rākshasas. And waxing exceedingly wroth, they bore on him hard from all sides. Then finding all directions entirely covered with Rākshasas, and showers of shafts, that one gifted with mighty strength, sending up a terrific shout, fixed (on the bow-string) the exceedingly effulgent Gandharba weapon (for discharging it) among the Rākshasas. Then thousands of shafts went forth from the circle of his bow; and all directions were covered with thronging arrows. And those Rākshasas, afflicted with arrows could not see Rāma how he took out his dread shafts, nor how he discharged those excellent shafts; they only saw him drawing his bow. And the darkness spread by the arrows enveloped the sky with the sun. And Rāma stationed there continued pouring in shafts. And the earth was covered with shafts shot, and alighting, and alighted simultaneously. And at places were seen Rākshasas by thousands slain, falling, enfeebled, torn and riven. And cut off by Rāma with arrows, darts and Patticas in that battle the fearful field was scattered, heads with turbans, arms with finger-fences; torn thighs and arms, and various ornaments, horses, excellent elephants and cars, shattered in numbers, chouris, fans, and umbrellas, and pennons of various descriptions. Beholding all those stain, the (remaining) Rākshasas, sore distressed, could not (again) advance before that captor of hostile capitals Rāma
Finding his own forces slaughtered, the mighty-armed Dushana speedily ordered five thousand Rākshasas, gifted with tremendous velocity, difficult of being approached, who never turned from the field. And from all sides they incessantly showered darts and patticas, and scimitars, stones, and trees, and shafts. Thereupon by means of shafts the righteous Rāghava resisted that mighty destructive shower of trees and stones. Resisting that shower, Rāma with his eyes staring, and resembling a bull, flew into a great rage, for the purpose of slaying the whole body of Rākshasas. Then influenced by wrath, and flaming in energy he on all sides covered the army along with Dushana with arrows. Then the general, Dushana, destroyer of enemies, getting wroth, opposed Rāghava with arrows resembling thunderbolts. Then heroic Rāma highly angered, severed his (Dushana’s) mighty bow with shafts sharp as razors, and slew his four horses by means of as many shafts. And having slain the steeds, he (Rāma) cut off the head of the charioteer by means of a crescent-shaped weapon, and pierced the (Rākshasa Dushna) in the breast with a brace of shafts. His bow cut off, his steeds together with the charioteer slain, and himself deprived of his car, he (Dushana) took a parigha resembling a mountain peak, able to make one’s down stand on end plated with gold, capable of afflicting celestial hosts, studded with sharp iron sankus, and graced with the fat of foes;—of the touch of a thunderbolt, able to pierce the persons of enemies.39 And takng up in that encounter the parigha resembling a mighty snake, that ranger of the night of cruel deeds Dushana, rushed towards Rāma. And as Dushana was rushing forward, Rāghava by means of a couple of shafts cut off his two arms with the ornaments. And the huge parigha escaping from (Dushana’s grasp) fell forward on the field like the banner of Sakra. And like a mighty elephant whose husks have fallen off, Dushana, on his arms having been severed, fell down to the earth. Seeing Dushana down on the ground, and slain in battle, all creatures, saying, “well done!” “well done!” paid homage unto Kākutstha. In the meantime, three generals, getting wroth, being entrapped in the noose of death, rushed against Rāma in a body—viz; Mahākapāla, Sthulākshya, and the mighty Pramāthi the Rākshasa, Mahākapāla, upraising a large dart, and Sthulākshya, taking a pathica, and Pramāthi, an axe. And as soon as Rāghava beheld them advance, he resisted them by means of sharp and keen-edged shafts, even as one receives guests that have come. And Raghu’s son split Mahākapāla’s head,—afflicted Pramāthi with countless shafts, and lodged the eyes of Sthulākshya with sharp shafts. And they fell down to the earth like mighty trees of many boughs. Thereat instantly inflamed with wrath, Rāma by means of five thousand shafts, sent as many thousands of Dushana’s followers to Yama’s abode. Hearing that Dushana had been slain, Khara, waxing wroth, commanded his mighty generals, saying, “Fighting with that vile man, Rāma, along with his mighty forces Dushana hath been slain in battle, together with his followers. Let all the Rākshasas slay him with weapons of various shapes.” Having said this in wrath, Khara darted towards Rāma. And discharging choice shafts, Syenagāmi Prithugriva, Jajnasatru, Vihangama, Durjaya, Paravirāksha, Parusha, Kālakārmuka, Hemamāli, Mahāmāli, Sarpāsya, and Rudhirāçana,—these twelve generals endeued with mighty prowess accompanied with their forces, proceeded vehemently against Rāma, discharging excellent shafts. Threat with shafts resembling fire, and decked with diamonds and with gold, (Rāma) possessed of energy destroyed the rest of his (Khara’s) forces. And as the thunderbolt slayeth the mighty, Asuras, those shafts studded with gold, and like onto smoking fire, slew those Rākshasas. And in in the field Rāma slew an hundred Rākshasa with an hundred Karnis, and a thousand (again) with a thousand. And, their armour and ornaments severed, and their bows broken in shivers, those rangers of the night fell down on the earth, bathed in blood. And as a spacious dais is covered with Kuça, the entire field was scattered with the Rākshasas fallen in battle with hair dishevelled, and covered with blood. And at that time that fearful forest, with the Rākshasas slaughtered, and with its clay mired with flesh and blood, resembled hell itself. Fourteen thousand Rākshasas of dreadful deeds were slain by Rāma single, a human being, fighting, (moreover) on foot. And the remnant of his (Khara’s) forces were that mighty car-warrior, Khara himself, and the Rākshasa, Triçira; and (on the other side) was that destroyer of foes—Rāma. The rest of the Rākshasas, gifted with great prowess, terrible and difficult of being withstood, were all slain in battle by The dear brother of Lakshmana. Then seeing that dreadful army destroyed in terrible conflict by the mighty Rāma, Khara ascending a great car, advanced before Rāma, like Indra with the upraised thunderbolt.
As Khara was advancing before Rāma, that leader of the army named Triçira, approaching him, said, “Do thou employ me, who am possessed of prowess; and thyself desist from this rashness. Behold the mighty-armed Rāma brought down in battle. I swear (unto thee) truly; I touch this weapon, (to say) that I will slay Rāma, who deserves to be slain by all the Rākshasas. Either I shall prove his death in battle, or he shall prove mine. Restraining thy martial ardour, do thou for a while become a witness. Either, joyed in consequence of Rāma being slain, thou shalt repair unto Janasthāna; or I being slain, thou shalt enter the field (against him).” Thus satisfied by Triçara, from his desire to meet with death, the latter, on being permitted with “Go,” proceeded towards Rāma. And like a hill with three summits, Triçira rushed towards Rāma on an effulgent car yoked with steeds. And as a mighty cloud pours down shower, (Triçira) discharging vollies of shafts, uttered a roar resembling the sound of a wet kettledrum. And seeing that the Rākshasa Triçira was advancing, Rāghava resisted (his attack) by discharging sharpened shafts. And that encounter of those exceedingly powerful ones, Rāma and Triçira was fierce, like unto that between a lion and an elephant. Then struck on the forehead by a brace of shafts shot by Triçira, the wrathful Rāma enraged, and inflamed with anger, said, “Ah! Such is the strength of the heroic Rākshasas! I have been wounded in the forehead with shafts resembling flowers. Do thou also take the arrows shot from my bow.” Saying this, (Rāma) enraged, and influenced by wrath, wounded Triçira in the breast with fourteen arrows. And that energetic one by means of four shafts having their joints bent, brought down his four steeds. And by means of eight arrows (Rāma) laid low the charioteer from the front of the car. And Rāma with a shaft severed his upraised standard. Then as that ranger of the night was descending from his broken car, Rāma pierced his breast with arrows,—and thereat he was stupified. Thereupon, that one of immeasurable prowess, out of anger by means of three shafts possessed of celerity, brought down Triçira’s three heads. And that ranger of the night present in the field, afflicted by the shafts of Rāma, after his heads had fallen first, fell, vomitting smoking gore. And the Rākshasas remaining after the rest had been slain, belonging unto Khara’ s original forces losing heart, began to flee like deer terrified at a hunter. And seeing them fly, Khara waxing wroth, swiftly making them desist, darted towards Rāma, like Rāhu darting towards the Moon.
Seeing Dushana slain in fight along with Triçira, Khara, witnessing Rāma’s prowess, was filled with fear. And seeing that irrisistible Rākshasa host—even Dushana and Triçira—slain by the mighty Rāma alone, and seeing the great courage that was made in the army, that Rākshasa, Khara, was seized with despondency. Then as Namuchi advances against Vāsava, Khara stretching his powerful bow, advanced against Rāma. And Khara hurled at Rāma nārāchas reveling in blood, resembling infuriated venomous snakes. And repeatedly twanging his bow, Khara, mounted on his car, began to range the field, displaying his weapons through his acquired skill. And that mighty car-warrior covered all sides with his shafts. And seeing this, Rāma of a tremendous bow with shafts incapable of being borne, and resembling tongues of flaming fire, entirely enveloped the welkin, even as a cloud poureth down showers. And with the sharpened shafts shot by Khara and Rāma, the entire firmament on all sides was thronged. And as each enraged was engaged in coping with the other, the sun, enveloped in a net-work of shafts, did not appear. And as a mighty elephant is struck with the goad, Rāma in the conflict attacked (his opponent) with nālikas and nārāchas and sharp-pointed vikirna. And as that Rākshasa sat on his car, bow in hand, all creatures saw him, as if he were the very Destroyer with the noose in his hand. And at this time Khara thought that Destroyer of all his forces, established in his manliness, the exceedingly powerful Rāma to be overcome with fatigue. And seeing that one powerful like the lion, and gifted with the vigorous gait of the lion, Rāma was not moved, as a lion seeing a puny deer (is not moved). And then as an insect falls into a flame, Khara mounting a mighty car, resembling the sun, approached Rāma. And, displaying his lightness of hand, Khara severed the bow of the magnanimous Rāma, with the arrow (fixed on it) at the place where it is grasped. Then taking up seven other shafts, resplendent like the thunderbolt of Sakra, Khara, enraged, sent them into (Rāma’s) main-joints, and then afflicting Rāma of unparalleled energy with a thousand shafts, Khara sent up in that conflict a loud shout. And riven by the shafts discharged by Khara, Rāma’s mail resembling the sun fell to the ground. And pierced with those arrows, all over his body, and inflamed with rage, Rāghava appeared in the field, like a smokeless flaming fire. Then that destroyer of foes, Rāma, for compassing the end of his enemy, stringed another mighty bow, sending forth solemn sounds,—the redoubtable Vaishnava bow that had been conferred on him by the Maharshi. And uplifting that superior bow, Rāma rushed against Khara. Then with shafts having bent knots and golden feathers, Rāma, wrought up with rage, severed in battle Khara’s standard. And on that exceedingly graceful golden standard being hewn down it seemed as if the sun dropped to the earth at the behest of the celestials. And thereat Khara, understanding the import of things, fired with wrath, pierced Rāma’s breast with five arrows, like one striking an elephant with a goad. And Rāma on being pierced with a good many shafts discharged from Khara’s bow, and having his body bathed in blood, was highly wroth. Thereupon that foremost of bowmen, and weilder of a mighty bow, taking six shafts, let them go, after aiming at them. And with one shaft he pierced Khara’s head, with two his arms; and with three arrows headed like half-moons, Rāma wounded Khara in the chest. Then that highly energetic one, influenced by anger, assailed the Rākshasa with thirteen nārāchas whetted on stone and with one that exceedingly powerful one, cut the yoke of the car, with four the four steeds, with the sixth the head of Khara’s charioteer, with three the stout trivenu of the car, with two the wheel, and with the twelfth, severing as if in sport Khara’s bow with his hand,40 with the thirteenth, resembling the thunder-bolt pierced Khara in the encounter. Then with his bow shattered, deprived of his car, (Khara) having his horses slain as well as his charioteer killed, taking a mace in his hand leaped to the ground, and stood there. And the celestials and Maharshis exceedingly rejoiced, assembled in the welkin in a body, and with joined hands extolled that feat of that mighty car-warrior Rāma.
And to Khara deprived of his car standing with a mace in his hand, that exceedingly energetic one, Rāma, preluding his speech with mildness, spake, “Backed by this mighty host abounding in elephants and horses and cars, thou hast done an exceedingly wicked deed, execrated by all the worlds. Even if one happen to be the lord of the three worlds, one given to troubling creatures, and who is cruel and engaged in wicked acts, can not exist. All persons destroy, like a snake that hath intruded itself, him that doth cruel deeds, hostile to the interests of every one. People delightedly behold the end of him that doing an action either from covetuousness or desire, doth not like a Brāhmain wallowing a Karakā, see the consequence thereof. What, O Rākshasa, dost thou gain by slaughtering exceedingly pious ascetics engaged in righteous acts, living in the forest of Dandaka? Like unto trees whose roots have been reduced, cruel persons, execrated of men, who perpetrate iniquitous acts, do not exist long. And as a tree puts forth blossoms in season, the doer of sinful deeds, at the hour (of repentance) inevitably reaps their fruit in the shape of dreadful anguish, of the spirit). And, O ranger of night, as the effect of having taken rice mixed with poison, appears without delay, even so also people readily reap the fruit of their own acts. O ranger of the night, it is to take the lives of the perpetrators of dreadful sins, who wish ill unto men, that I the king have come. Today the gold-decked arrows discharged by me, piercing (thy body), shall enter into the earth, cleaving it, like serpents falling into an ant-hill. Slain in battle, thou shalt in company with thy army, follow those people practising piety, whom thou hast devoured in the Dandaka forest. Today let those great saints, who had formerly been slain by thee, stationed in the sky, behold thee slain (in turn) with my arrows, and inhabiting hell. Do thou strike as thou lik. And thou that art of an odious race, do thou put forth thy energy. Today I will bring down thy head, even as a palm falls to the ground.” Thus addressed by Rāma, Khara enraged and beyond himself with passion, with eyes reddened, replied, “O son of Daçaratha, why having slain inferior Rākshasas in battle, dost thou praise thyself without reason? Those foremost of men that are puissant and powerful, do not, inflated with their energy, mouth (their own consequence). It is the mean-minded Kshatriyas of impure heads that magnify themselves among men, even as thou O Rāma, dost. What hero, when the hour of his death hath approached, publishes in the field his own lofty lineage and sings his own hymn. As brass wearing the semblance of gold, displays its own defect on being heated,41 with a fire lit with Kuça,42 so thou hast betrayed thy own lightness by this speech of thine. Thou dost not see me staying here mace in hand, like a moveless mountain dyed in metals, bearing mobile and immobile things. I can, mace in hand, deprive thee and the three worlds to boot clean of your lives, like the very Destroyer with the noose in his hand. But I will not parley much with thee as much as I could wish: the sun is going to set, and our fight shall be interrupted. Fourteen thousand Rākshasas have been slaughtered by thee. I will for their deaths wipe their tears to-day.” Saying this, Khara, highly enraged, hurled his mace43 provided with golden rings at Rāma, like unto the blazing thunder-bolt. Thereat, reducing to ashes trees and shrubs, that mighty flaming mace, discharged by Khara’s arm, fell before Rāma. And Rāma severed in many fragments that mighty mace, resembling the noose of Death, as ascending the welkin, it was coming down. Thereupon, like a she-serpent brought down by force of incantations, the mace fell to the earth shattered and riven.
Cutting off the mace with his shafts, Rāghava attached unto righteousness with a smile said unto Khara these angry words, “Thou vilest of Rākshasas, this is the utmost of thy might, which thou hast displayed. Rendered more nerveless at my hands, in vain dost thou storm. Riven by my shafts, thy mace, belonging unto thee who art prolix in the matter of vocabulary, destroying thy confidence, hath saught the earth. And what thou hadst said,—‘I will wipe the tears of the Rākshasas that have been slain,’ hath also proved false. As Garuda stole ambrosia, will I deprive thee, O Rākshasa, who art base, of a mean disposition and a false character, of thy life. To day the earth shall drink the blood vitiated with foamy bubbles, of thee, having thy throat severed, and riven by my shafts. Having all thy body covered with dust, and thy two arms lopped off, thou shalt, difficult to win, take thy nap, embracing the earth, like a damsel difficult to win. On thee, disgrace of Rākshasas, lying down, and being fast asleep, this Dandaka shall be refuge of those that shall resort to it for shelter. O Rākshasa, in thy Janasthāna, with its (Rākshasas) slain by my shafts, ascetics shall fearlessly go about in the wood. Today Rākshasas, capable of exciting fear in others, rendered forlorn and with their friends slain, shall from fear, with their faces wet with tears, fly (this place). To day thy wives whose husband art thou of such a nature,—and who are of a like lineage (with thyself),—shall experience the sentiment of sorrow, and be deprived of their all. Thou of a cruel disposition, thou of ignoble soul, thou that art aye a thorn (in the side) of Brāhmanas, it is for thee that ascetics, frightened and dispirited, have so long been pouring the clarified butter.” As Rāghava, influenced by anger, said this in the field, Khara from wrath, with accents rendered harsher, fell to censuring (Rāma). “Thou art wondrous proud: and thou art fearless albeit fear is present unto thee. And come under the sway of death, thou dost not understand what should be said and what left unspoken. Those persons that have been fast bound by the noose of death, do not in consequence of their senses having ceased to perform their functions, descern what is proper and what improper.” Saying this unto Rāma, that ranger of the night (Khara), pursing his brows, espied a mighty sala hard by. And looking about him on all sides in the field for a weapon, he uprooted it, biting his nether lip. And raising up the tree with his arms, and uttering a roar, that exceedingly powerful one aiming at Rāma discharged it, exclaiming,—“Dead thou art.” And as it descended, the puissant Rāma cut it off by means of a multitude of shafts, got into a mighty rage for the purpose of slaying Khara in battle. Then Rāma perspiring, with eyes reddened in wrath, pierced Khara in battle with a thousand shafts. And blood mixed with froth gushed by the sides of the shafts, like torrents flowing from fountain in a hill44 stupified in battle by the shafts shot by Rāma, and maddened by the smell of blood, Khara furiously made for Rāma. And as he (Khara) was rushing on, bathed with blood, Rāma equipped with arms, suddenly summoning his strength walked backward two or three paces. Then with the view of bringing about (Khara’s end) Rāma took up in the conflict an arrow resembling fire or another weapon of Brahmā himself. And that righteous one shot at Khara that (arrow), which had been conferred on him by the intelligent Maghavān. And discharged by Rāma from his bent bow that mighty arrow with the roaring of the thunderbolt fell at Khara’ s breast. And burning in the fire of the arrow, Khara fell down on the earth, like the giant Andhaka45 in the forest of Sweta, consumed by Rudra. And threat Khara slain fell down like Vritra slain by the thunder-bolt, or Namuchi by foam,46 or Vala by Indra’s Acani. After this, the celestials, assembled with the Chāranas, struck with wonder joyfully sounded kettledrums and showered blossoms on Rāma. “In over half a moment Rāma by means of sharpened shafts hath slain in mighty encounter fourteen thousand Rākshasas, wearing shapes at will, headed by Khara and Dushana. Ah! Mighty is the feat achieved by Rāma knowing self. Ah! This mighty prowess, this mighty firmness, show like unto those of Vishnu himself.” Saying this all the deities went to from where they had come. Then the Rājarshis in company with supreme saints, with Agastya (at their head), gladly paying homage unto Rāma, said the following words, “It is for this that the chastiser of Paka, the great Indra, Purandra, had paid a visit to the sacred asylum of Sarabhanga. And the Maharshis had dexterously brought thee to this place, for compassing the destruction of those foes—the wicked Rākshasas. And it is owing to this, that, O son of Daçaratha, thou hast performed this mighty deed. (Now) the Maharshis will carry on their proper pious offices in the Dandaka.” After this, that hero, Lakshmana, accompanied with Sitā came out of the mountain cavern, and joyfully entered the asylum. Then the victorious and heroic, Rāma, honored by the Maharshis, entered the asylum, worshipped by Lakshmana. And seeing that destroyer of foes, and bringer of comfort unto the Maharshis, her husband, Vaidehi embraced him. And seeing the multitudes of Rākshasas slain, Janaka’s daughter, beholding the undeteriorating Rāma, ministered unto him with supreme joy. And with a delightful countenance again embracing that destroyer of foes, who had been honored by the delighted Maharihis, Janaka’s daughter became exceedingly happy.
Then Akampana bestiring himself, speedily issuing out of Janasthāna, spake unto Rāvana, “0 king, a great many Rākshasa living in Janasthāna, have been slain, and Khara also hath been slain in battle. I alone have with much difficulty managed to come here.” Thus addressed, the ten-necked one, flaming up in energy, with his eyes reddened in wrath, said this unto Akampana, “Who, having his days numbered, hath ravaged the dreadful Janasthāna? Who shall no more wend the way of all beings? Doing me a bad turn, Maghavan himself, or Vaiçravana, or Yama, or Vishnu, cannot attain happiness. I am the destroyer of the Destroyer himself; and I burn even very Fire. And I can bring death itself to mortality. I can by my impetus resist the force of the wind. And when enraged, I can by my energy consume the Sun and Fire.” Thereat, Akampana, with joined hands, from fear replied to the ten-necked Rāvana, in faltering words, beseeching courage. Thereat that foremost of Rākshasas, the ten-necked one, granted him courage. Then inspired with confidence, Akampana without fear spoke, “There is a son of Daçaratha, youthful, resembling a lion47, named Rāma of broad shoulders, and possessed of excellent beauty of long and mighty-arms. (He) is sable-hued, of high fame, and of matchless prowess and vigor. It is he that in Janasthāna hath slain Khara with Dushana.” Hearing Akampana’s words, that lord of the Rākshasas, Rāvana, breathing like a mighty serpent, said these words, “Tell me, O Akampana, hath Rāma come to Janasthāna, accompanied with the sovereign of the celestials and the body of the immortals? Again hearing Rāvana’s words, Akampana described the strength and energy of that high-souled one. (He) is named Rāma, and is exceedingly energetic; the foremost of all bowmen— furnished with celestial panoply; and is possessed of pre-eminent prowess in warfare. Like unto him in strength, of red eyes, and gifted with a voice like the sound of a kettledrum, his younger brother, Lakshmana has a countenance resembling the full-moon. He hath met with him (Rāma) as the wind meeteth with a flame. He is endeued with grace, and is the foremost of monarchs. It is he who hath ravaged Janasthāna. The magnanimous gods did not come there. No doubts need be entertained on this head. The feathered shafts, plated with gold near the plumed part, becoming five-mouthed serpents ate up the Rākshasas. Wherever oppressed with fear the Rākshasas go, they see Rāma stationed before them. In this way, O sinless one, hath Janasthāna been exterminated by him.” Hearing Akampana’s words, Rāvana said, “I will go to Janasthāna for slaying Rāma with Lakshmana.” When he had said this, Akampana said, “Hear, O king, the true report of Rāma’s prowess and manliness. Enraged, the highly famous Rāma cannot by putting forth vigor be checked. And by means of his shafts, he can make river in full flood turn its course. And he can bring down from the sky its stars and planets, and that graceful one can recover the depressed Earth. And that lord can submerge all creatures by riving the continents of the sea, and with his shafts can resist the onset of the ocean, and the wind; and that illustrious one that foremost of persons by virtue of his vigor, destroying the worlds, can again create all creatures. O ten-necked one, forsooth, Rāma cannot be subdued in conflict, either by thee or the world of Rākshasas, as heaven is incapable of being attained by a sinner. I deem him incapable of being slain by all the Gods and Asuras together. This alone is the means of slaying. Do thou heedfully listen to it! He has a wife of sterling worth in the world, and that slender-waisted one is known by the name of Sitā. She is in the full bloom of youth, and hath a symmetrical person—a jewel among womankind embellished with jewels. And neither a goddess, nor a Gandharbi, nor yet an Apsari, nor a Pannagi is equal to her; and what is a human female? Thrashing him, do thou in the mighty forest, carry away his wife. Without Sitā, Rāma shall cease to exist.” Thereupon, the lord of the Rākshasas, Rāvana, happened to relish those words; and reflecting (a while), that mighty-armed one addressed Akampana, saying, “Excellent well. I will go there alone, accompanied by my charioteer only. I will this very morning with a glad heart bring Vaidehi to this spacious palace.” Saying this, Rāvana departed, lighting up all sides, on a sun-shiny car, yoked with mules. And coursing the firmament, that mighty car of that foremost of Rākshasas looked like the Moon among clouds. And proceeding far, he, approaching the asylum (of Taraka’s son), presented himself before him. And Māricha entertained the king with meats and drinks passing human. And having entertained him personally with a seat and water (to wash the feet), Māricha spoke these pregnant words, “O king, O lord of the Rākshasas, is it well with the worlds? I am filled with fear: I apprehend that all is not right, since thou hast come hither (alone) in such post-haste speed.” Thus addressed by Māricha, the highly energetic Rāvana, versed in speech, said, “My child, the guards (of Janasthāna) have been slain by Rāma of untiring energy; and all Janasthāna, incapable of being slain, hath (by him) been brought down in battle. Do thou, therefore, assist me in carrying away his wife.” Hearing these words of the lord of Rākshasas, Māricha said, “What enemy of thine in the guise of a friend, hath spoken of Sitā unto thee? And, O foremost of monarchs, who, having been, entertained by thee, doth not bear thee good will?48 Tell me, who is it that hath told thee, ‘Bring Sitā hither?’ Who is it that hath set his heart on severing the summit of the entire Rākshasa world? He must be thy enemy that excites thee to this. Of this there is not the least doubt. He wishes to extract through thy agency the fangs of a venomous snake. Who (intends) to lead thee astray by imposing on thee such a deed? Who, king, hath struck in the head, thee that wast slumbering in peace? Rāghava in war is like a mad elephant, having an unblemished ancestry for his trunk, perspiration for his temporal exudation; and arms resting well beside him for his tusks. O Rāvana, thou art not competent even to look at him. Thou ought not to rouse up the sleeping man-lion, that slayer of skillful Rākshasas resembling deer, with his sport in the field, for his joints and down; arrows for his body and sharp scimitar for his teeth. O Sovereign of the Rākshasas, thou ought not to plunge thyself into this dreadful, and abysslesss ocean, having the bow for its alligators, activity of arms for its shine, arrows for its billows, and engagement for its waters. Be propitious, O lord of Lankā! O foremost of Rākshasas, with a contented heart, thou hadst better go thy way to Lankā. Do thou ever sport with thy own wives: let Rāma in company with his wife, sport in the woods.” Thus addressed by Māricha, the ten-throated Rāvana desisted, and entered Lankā the best of capitals.
Seeing fourteen thousands of Rākshasas of dread deeds, together with Dushana, and Khara, and Triçira, slain in battle by Rāma single-handed, that one resembling clouds, Surpanakā, again fell to send up mighty sounds. And witnessing Rāma’s deeds, incapable of being performed by others, she, extremely agitated, went to Lankā, ruled by Rāvana. And she saw the effulgent Rāvana in front of his palace, surrounded by his counsellors, like Vāsava surrounded by the Maruts; seated on a supreme golden seat resembling the sun, and like unto a flaming fire on a golden dais kept alive by sacrificial offerings; unconquerable by high-souled saints, celestials, Gandharbas and all creatures; terrible like the Destroyer with his mouth wide open; his persons containing scars49 of wounds inflicted by the thunderbolt and the lightnings, in the war between the gods and Asuras; his breast bearing marks of attacks made by Airāvata with the ends of his tusks;—having twenty hands and ten heads,—wearing elegant attire; broad breasted; heroic; marked with royal signs; (in hue) resembling cool lapises; embellished in ornaments of burnished gold; having goodly hands, white teeth, and a huge face resembling a hill;—even him who in the war of the gods had been assailed an hundred ways with the descent of Vishnu’s discus; whose body had been cut with all the weapons of the celestials; (him) who furiously disturbs the deep incapable of being disturbed; uproots mountain summits, and tramples over gods,—the destroyer of righteousness, and the violater of other’s wives;—the employer of all celestial arms, and the disturber of sacrifices;—who going to the city of Bhagab and vanquishing Vāsaki, had carried off Takshaka’s beloved wife; who, going to Kailaça, and defeating him having for his vehicle a human being, had carried off the car Pushpaka coursing at every where at will; who endeued with prowess had devastated the divine Chaitraratha grove, the tank (situated there) and the Nandana wood,—as well as the gardens of the gods; and, who, himself resembling a mountain summit, had by means of his upraised arms, obstructed the rising of these repressor of foes the exalted Sun and Moon; who, possessed of calmness, having formerly for ten thousand years carried on asceticism in the mighty forest, offered his own heads unto the self create one; who in conflict fears, not death from either gods or Dānavas or Gandharbas, or Piçāchas or birds or serpents, from none save human beings; who, possessed of prodigious strength, forcibly takes away the clarified butter sanctified with mantras from the sacrificial ground; the destroyer of sacrifices about to be completed; of villanous nature; the slaughterer of Brāhmanas; of cruel deeds; harsh and kindless, and ever bent on doing evil unto all creatures; and railing furiously at all creatures; the inspirer of fear in all beings. And the Rākshasi beheld her exceedingly powerful and cruel brother, wearing gorgeous apparel and ornaments, and decked in a glorious garland,—seated, like the Destroyer at the time (of dissolution) ready (to destroy); the exalted chief of Rākshasas; the delight of the race of Paulastya. Stupified with fear, the Rākshasi, approaching that destroyer of foes; Rāvana, surrounded by his counsellors, said these words. And transported with fear and desire, Surpanakhā, given to fearlessly ranging every where, who had been deformed by that high-souled one, showing (her mutilation), addressed these harsh words unto Rāvana of flaming and expansive eyes.
Then the woe begone Surpanakhā, in high wrath spoke harshly in the midst of the courtiers, unto Rāvana, given to railing loudly against all creatures, “Intoxicated with enjoyments, acting as thou wilt, and without any control whatever, thou dost not see that a dreadful disaster is impending. The subjects do not esteem a monarch that is given to sensual enjoyments, is intent upon satisfying his lust and is covetous like the fire in a cemetery. The king that doth not act at the proper time, finds destruction along with his kingdom and acts. Even as elephants shun the muddy river, do people shun from a distance, the ruler that doth not send out spies, who showeth not himself (unto his subjects), and who hath lost his independence. Like unto rocks in the sea, those monarchs that do not administer their dominions, that are not dependent, do not prosper. Having incurred the hostility of the gods, the Dānavas and the Gandharbas of subdued souls and senses, how canst thou, who art fickle, and hast not employed spies, become the king? And, O Rākshasa, thou art childish and foolish; and doth not know what thou shouldst. How canst thou then become the king? O thou best of conquerers, those kings whose spies, exchequer and morality are not free, are like the common herd. It is because kings know distant dangers through spies, therefore they are styled far-sighted. I believe thou hast no spies, and that thy counsellors are common folks, since although Janasthāna with thy kinsman is destroyed, yet thou takest it not to heart. Fourteen thousands of Rākshasas of dreadful deeds, with Khara and Dushana, have all been slain by Rāma single-handed; Rāma of untiring energy hath inspired the saints with courage; the Dandakas have been benefitted; and Janasthāna hath been harassed. But thou, covetous and intoxicated and in the power of others, dost not understand that a great danger is overhanging (thee). People do not in times of peril assist a sovereign that is wrathful, stingy, intoxicated, haughty and deceitful. Even his own kindred slay a sovereign that sets inmense store by his own self, is of light worth, regards himself highly, and irascible. They do not serve him; nor do they fear when he intimidates them. Such an one is speedily dethroned; and reduced to poverty and becomes like a straw. Even dry wood may serve a purpose; or stone, or dust; but no purpose is capable of being served by a sovereign that hath been cast off his place. Like a cloth that hath been worn, like a garland that hath been trodden, a king that hath been dethroned, although able, is of no consequence. But a king that keeps his wits about him, understands everything, is of controlled senses, and grateful, and of virtuous character, endureth for ever. That king is honored by men, that sleeping with his eyes, is awake as respects his eye of duty, and (the effects of) whose anger and favor, are seen (by all). But, thou Rāvana, who hast not by means of spies, acquainted thyself with the slaughter of Rākshasas, art of evil understanding and bereft of all these virtues, given to disgracing others, ignorant of the proper distribution of time and place,50 and never taking care to distinguish merits and defects, thou, thy kingdom being in danger, wilt speedily meet with disaster.” On his vices having been thus celebrated by her (Surpanakhā), that lord of the rangers of night, Rāvana, musing awhile, was long plunged in thought.
SEEING Surpanakā speak harsh words in the midst of the courtiers, Rāvana, being enraged, asked her, saying, “Who is Rāma? And what is his prowess? And what his form? And what his power? And why hath he entered the forest of Dandaka, difficult to range? And what Rāma’s weapons, by means of which he hath slain the Rākshasas? And Khara hath been slain in battle, and Dushana and Triçira. Do thou, O thou of a pleasing person, tell me the truth. And who hath deformed thee?” Thus addressed by the lord of the Rākshasas, the Rākshasi, transported with rage, commenced to duly narrate all about Rāma. “Rāma the son of Daçaratha is long-armed, of expansive eyes, clad in bark and dark deer-skin, and like Kandarpa in grace. And drawing a bow resembling that of Sakra, decked with golden rings, he discharges blazing nārachas, like unto serpents of virulent poison. I do not see in the field, Rāma drawing his bow: I only see the host being slaughtered by a shower of shafts. And as Indra destroys (a field of) goodly crops, by pouring down hail stones, fourteen thousand Rākshasas of dreadful prowess, as well as Khara and Dushana were in a little over a moment slain with sharp shafts by Rāma alone fighting on foot. And he hath reassured the saints, and after having been deformed, I alone from fear of slaying a woman, have been let off by the high-souled Rāma knowing self. His brother is endeued with mighty energy, and in merit, is of equal prowess; and he is devoted to his brother, and beareth him regard; the puissant one is named Lakshmana. And wrathful and invincible and victorious, and powerful, and intelligent and mighty, (he) is Rāma’s right-arm—his life ranging externally. And Rāma’s virtuously wedded beloved wife, having expansive eyes, and a face resembling the full-moon, is ever to the welfare of her lord. And that fair-haired, fair-nosed, and fair-thighed illustrious one possessed of beauty, graceth the forest like a goddess,—as if a goddess of wealth herself. Of the lustre of burnished gold, with her finger nails reddish and projecting, and graceful, that surpassingly lovely wench is named Sitā—the slender waisted daughter of Videha. And neither a goddess, nor a Gandharbi, nor a Yakshi, nor a Kinnari, had I seen before on earth, possessed of such beauty. He that shall have Sitā for his spouse, and who shall be warmly embraced by her, shall live longer in the world than the Lord of celestials himself. That good-natured girl, unparalleled on earth in loveliness, who can well pride herself on her person, is a worthy wife for thee; and thou too art a fit husband for her. It is to bring over for thee that one of spacious hips, and a high and well-developed bust, that I had put forth my endeavours. But, O mighty-armed one I have been disfigured by the wicked Lakshmana. As soon as thou hast seen Vaidehi having a countenance resembling the full moon, thou shalt be afflicted with the shafts of Cupid. If it is thy purpose to have her for thy wife, at once stretch forth thy right leg, for attaining success. If, O lord of Rākshasas, thou relishest my speech, do thou then, O Rāvana, without fear, do as I tell thee. Understanding their incapacity, do thou, O lord of Rākshasas, for making her thy wife, by force carry away the frail Sitā of a blameless person. Hearing that Rāma by means of straight coursing shafts hath slain the Rākshasas that had gone to Janasthāna, and seeing Khara and Dushana, killed, do thou ascertaining thy course, adopt it.
Hearing those words of Surpanakhā, able to make one’s hair stand on end, (Rāvana) ascertaining his course after issuing his orders to his councellors, departed. And proposing to himself that act, weighing its good and evil, considering his capacity or otherwise, and (finally) determining his purpose, Rāvana with a fixed mind went to the handsome stable. And going to the stable in disguise, the lord of the Rākshasasas commanded the charioteer, saying, “Yoke the car.” Thus asked, the charioteer possessed of fleet vigor, in a trice, yoked an excellent car after his heart. And ascending the car coursing at will, made of gold and garnished with spectral faces as well as arrow decked with gold,—resembling a mass of clouds, the graceful ruler of the Rākshasas—younger brother to the Lord of wealth—proceeded in that noiseless (vehicle), past the lord of rivers and streams. And with chouris of white hair, and a white umbrella, having ten-faces, resembling (in hue) cool lapises, wearing ornaments of polished gold, possessed of ten mouths, and twenty arms, clad in elegant apparel,—the foe of the celestials, and slayer of the foremost ascetics—having huge heads like unto the monarch of mountains, the lord of the Rākshasas, mounted on that chariot coursing at will, appeared beautiful like a mass of clouds in the sky, with cranes, in the midst of lightning. And that one possessed of prowess beheld the shore of the sea, containing crags, scattered with trees bearing fruits and flowers of various kinds by thousands, bordered all around with pools furnished with cool and delightful waters, ornamented with spacious asylums having daises, graced with woods of plantain, beauteous with cocoanuts, and blossoming sāla and palmyra, and tamāla, trees, grateful with supreme saints rigidly restraining their fear, and with serpents and fowls of fair feathers and Gandharbas and Kinnaras by thousands; and pleasant with Siddhas and Chāranas, that have controlled their lust; with those descendants of Brahmā—the Vaikhanas, the Māshas, the Vālakhilyas, and the Marichipas; swarming with females, divinely beautiful, dight with gorgeous ornaments and garlands, and Apsarās skilled in sport, by thousands; frequented by the wives of the celestials, and honored by graceful girls; ranged by multitudes of deities and Dānavas, feeding on ambrosia; abounding with swans, Kraunchas, and frogs, echoing to (the cries of) cranes; containing stones resembling the lapis, and mild and cool by the influence of the ocean. And as he proceeded, the younger brother of the Lord of wealth, saw on all sides spacious cars capable of coursing at will, sable, furnished with fair garlands, and resounding with trumpet notes,—and Gandharbas and Apsarās. And surveying by thousands woods of sandal exuding gum at their roots,51 and of choice aguru, grateful unto the sense of smell; and woods and groves of excellent and odorous takkola fruits; blossoms of the Tamāla, and thickets of black pepper; heaps of pearls drying on the shore; rocks; the best corals in masses;52 summits of gold and silver;53 charming pellucid rills at places; and cities filled with corn and wealth, abounding in gems of women, and thronged with horses, elephants and cars—Rāvana on the shore of the ocean beheld around a level and soft scene, resembling heaven itself—where breezes of delicate feel kept breathing. And there he saw a fig tree, hued like clouds, surrounded by ascetics; its branches stretched around an hundred Yoyanas, and the exceedingly powerful Garuda had ascended one of its boughs, taking an elephant and a huge tortoise, for the purpose of devouring them. And that best of birds, the powerful Suparna by his weight suddenly broke a branch containing full many leaves. And it came to pass that Vaikhānasas, Māshas, Vālakhilyas, Marichipas, Ayas, and Dhumras,—saints of the highest order—had assembled there. Thereat, moved by commisseration (for the ascetics), the virtuous Garuda, taking with promptitude the broken bough measuring an hundred Yoyanas as well as the elephant and the tortoise, by one leg, at length eating up the animals, and by means of the bough, exterminating the country of the Nishadas—that best of birds attained unequalled delight in consequence of having rescued the mighty ascetics. Thereat, attaining double energy by virtue of that delight that intelligent one set his heart on bringing ambrosia. And tearing off the iron links of the network, and bursting into the repository of gem, he carried away secreted ambrosia from the residence of the great Indra. Kuvera’s younger brother beheld this fig tree, named Subhadra, graced with the Maharshi, on which Suparna had left his mark. Then repairing to the other shore of that lord of rivers, the ocean, Rāvana saw an asylum lying in the forest in a charming and sacred recess. And there he saw a Rākshasa, named Māricha, clad in a dark deer-skin, bearing a head of matted locks, subsisting on restricted fare. And approaching Rāvana duly, the Rākshasa, Māricha, received the king with every hospitality passing human. And having entertained him personally with meats and drinks, Māricha addressed him in weighty words, saying, “O lord of the Rākshasas, king, is it well with thee in Lankā? And what for hast thou again come hither so speedily?” Thus addressed by Māricha, that highly powerful one, skilled in speech, Rāvana said.
O Māricha, hearken unto me, my child, as I relate everything unto thee). I am distressed; and in this distress of mine, thou art certainly my great refuge. Thou knowest Janasthāna, where lives my brother Khara, and the mighty-armed Dushana, and my sister, Surpanakhā; as also that Rākshasa subsisting on (human) flesh, the long armed Triçira, and many other heroic night-rangers besides, of high enthusiasm in battles—Rlkshasas, who had been living there at my command, troubling in the mighty forest the ascetics carrying on their pious offices. And fourteen thousands of Rākshasas of dreadful deeds, heroic, high-spirited,— Rākshasas possessed of exceeding prowess; while residing n Janasthāna of late,—clad in mail and equipped with various weapons, headed by Khara, met with Rāma in the field. Getting enraged, Rāma in conflict without returning any harsh speech, by means of his shafts shot from his bow, —hath, a human being, and fighting on foot, with his flaming arrows slaughtered fourteen thousand Rākshasas of fierce energy. And Khara hath been slain in battle, and Dushana also hath been brought down. And having slain Triçira too, (Rāma) hath rid the Dandaka of all fear. Having been expelled by his enraged sire, that disgrace of Kshatriyas, the weak Rāma, living in company with his wife hath effected the destruction of this army. He is of a vile character, crabbed, foolish, covetuous, of uncontrolled senses, bereft of morality, sinful, and ever engaged in the evil of all creatures,—by whom, violently without hostility my sister hath been deformed in the forest by having her nose and ears cut off. Of him will I carry off by force from Janasthāna, his wife, Sitā, resembling the daughter of a celestial. Be thou my help in it. For certain, O exceedingly strong one, if thou help me at my side, if my brothers also back me, I do not think much of all the celestials. Therefore, be thou my help; for, thou art capable, O Rākshasa. In prowess in battle, and in indomitableness, there is none like thee. Thou art a mighty hero commanding resources, and conversant with potent illusory displays. Taking this to my heart, I have come to thee, O ranger of the night. Do thou listen as to the business in which by my command thou art to help me. Becoming a golden deer, marked with silver spots, do thou range about in Rāma’s asylum in presence of Sitā. Seeing thee helpless, in the shape of a deer, Sitā will say unto her lord and Lakshmana also,—“Do ye catch it.” And when they shall have departed, I shall carry off from the empty asylum, Sitā without let, like Rāhu depriving the Moon of his splendour. Then when Rāma shall be sore afflicted because of the carrying off of his wife, I shall easily, crowning my soul with success, safely bear away Sitā. Hearing Rāma’s words, the face of the high-souled Māricha became blank and he was seized with apprehension. And licking up his dried lips, with winkless eyes, (Māricha) as if dead, and exceedingly distressed, eyed Rāvana, steadily. And alarmed because of Rāvana, with his mind depressed, Māricha who well knew Rāma’s prowess in the forest, with joined hands in agitation spoke words lending to his own as well as Rāvana’s welfare.
Hearing the words of that sovereign of the Rākshasas, the highly energetic Māricha, skilled in speech, answered the Rākshasa chief, saying, “0 king, the speaker of soft words is common, but the speaker and the listner of unwelcome though beneficial words are rarities. Volatile, and employing no spies, thou surely dost not understand the exceedingly powerful Rāma towering high in virtues, and resembling the illustrious Indra or Varuna himself. I shall be well, my child, if Rāma fired with rage, do not render all the world bereft of Rākshasas; if Janaka’s daughter hath not sprung to compass thy destruction, if a dreadful disaster do not befall thee because of Sitā, and if having obtained for her lord thee that art wilful and wicked, the city of Lankā with thee and the Rākshasas do not meet with utter extermination. The sovereign who is wicked, whimsical and of evil intent like thee, bringeth about his own destruction as well as that of his kingdom and relatives. Rāma, the enhancer of Kauçalya’s delight hath not been abandoned by his father, nor is he devoid of propriety of conduct; he is not avaricious, wicked nor the destroyer of Kastriya race. He does not lack religious merits or accomplishments, nor is he of a harsh temperament and intent on causing misery unto creatures. Finding his truthful sire imposed on by Kaikeyi he has sojourned unto woods. For compassing the welfare of his father Daçaratha and Kaikeyi he hath entered the forest of Dandaka. Rāma, O my child is not harsh or foolish; nor has he not control over his senses. Far from speaking untruth he does not know false stories even. It doth not behove thee therefore to use such improper language towards him. He is an incarnation of virtue, pious and truthful, and lord of all men as Bāsava of all celestials. How dost thou then wish to carry away by force his Vaidehi, protected by virtue of her own chastity, like unto the rays of Sun? It doth not behove thee to enter that fire of Rāma who hath arrows for rays and bow and scimitar for fuel. It doth not behove thee, O Rāvana, to approach Rāma renouncing thy kingdom, happiness and love of life, who is like unto death itself and has bow for his widened and flaming mouth, and arrows for his rays and who is irrepressible, of mighty prowess, holding bows and arrows and repulsing the forces of the enemy. Incomparable is his power; daughter of Janaka is his wife and lives in the forest confiding in the mighty strength of his bow; thou shalt not be able to carry her away. She is the beloved wife of that best of men having a leonine chest—and he holds his wife dearer than his life and is ever attached unto her. And young Sitā beloved of the mighty Rāma, and like unto the rays of flaming fire is ever incapable of being carried away by thee. Of what avail is this vain attempt O Rākshasa chief? No sooner Rāma shall see you in the battle thou shalt meet with thy end. Hard it is to attain life, happiness and kingdom, so it behoveth thee to act properly, after consulting with thy ministers headed by Bivishana, judging Rāma’s merits and demerits and ascertaining his and thy own strength and as well as thy welfare. Methinks thy approaching conflict with the son of the Koçala chief forebodes no good unto thee; hear again therefore O prince of the night-rangers, words sensible and lending to thy welfare.
Once on a time I was engaged in travelling all over the earth. I had in my body, resembling a huge mountain, the strength of a thousand Nāgas. I had parigha in my hands, crown on my head and golden ear-rings on my ears and my body was of a dark blue colour like that of a cloud. Causing fright unto the people I used to wander through the forest of Dandaka and live upon the flesh of the Rishis. The pious ascetic Viswamitra being afraid of me went in person to the king Daçaratha and said, “When I shall remain absorbed in meditation on the occasion of parva, let Rāma protect me O king, Truly am I afraid of this Māricha.” Being thus addressed by the ascetic the virtuous-souled king Daçaratha replied, saying “Rāghava is still under twelve years of age and hath not been well disciplined in military arts. But I have soldiers enough, and if permitted by thee, O thou best of ascetics, I shall with my four-fold forces kill thy enemies, the rangers of the night.” Being thus addressed that ascetic spoke unto the monarch, saying, “True it is that thou wert the protector of the celestials in the War and thy exploits are well known to the world, but no one shall be able to withstand the Rākshasas but Rāma. The highly energetic Rāma, though a boy is sufficiently qualified to defeat the enemies; therefore, O Destroyer of foes, let thy soldiery remain here and let me proceed along with Rāma. May God bless thee.” Saying this the ascetic Viswamitra being pleased went to his asylum along with Rāma. Afterwards having been initiated for the sacrifice in the forest of Dandaka Rāma having unstrung his mighty bow came to the ascetic to protect the sacrifice. He had a gold chain round his neck, a crest on his head and a bow in his hands; he had a pair of beautiful eyes, and only one piece of cloth; his countenance was of green hue and exquisite beauty and even then mustaches or other signs of manhood did not appear on his face. Beautifying the entire forest of Dandaka with his own splendour Rāma appeared like the newly risen moon. Thereupon I resembling a cloud and having golden ear locks entered the asylum being proud of my power on account of the boons offered unto me by Brahmā. Seeing me enter he took up his dart and attached string unto his bow with proper care. Being under the influence of sheer foolishness I passed by him as a child and darted towards the sacrificial altar of Viswamitra. Thereupon he wounded me with a sharpened sword capable of doing away with the enemies and threw me away into the ocean situated at a distance of hundred yojanas. He had no mind of killing me then and for this he saved my life. I was thrown however into the deep ocean being hindered by the velocity of his arrows and having lost my consciousness. Regaining my sense after a long while I returned the city of Lankā. Myself saved thus, my followers however were all killed by Rāma of unwearied activity though a mere child and a novice in the art of warfare. It is for this that I do prevent thee; thou shalt be overwhelmed with calamities and meet with destruction if dost thou engage thyself in battle with him. In vain shalt thou bring about the affliction of the mirthful and sportive Rākshasas ever witnessing social festivities. And in vain shalt thou for Sitā compass the destruction of the city of Lankā, adorned with diverse jewels and filled with golden edifices. Pious men living with a vicious man, meet with destruction for his sins, though they themselves do not commit any misdeed, like unto fish (devoured by Garuda) living in a lake where snakes dwell. Thus shalt thou witness that for thy own folly the rangers of the night, adorned with celestial ornaments and having their body pasted with sandal, have been killed and brought down to the earth. And they deprived of shelter have fled away to different directions, some with their wives and some alone, having their wives carried away (by the enemies). Thou shalt further observe that all edifices of Lankā, being enveloped with arrows and flaming fire have been burnt down to ashes. There is no greater sin on earth than carrying away another’s wife. There are a thousand ladies in thy seraglio O king. Being attached unto thy wives do thou preserve the race of the Rākshasas, thy own line, thy wished for life, kingdom, wealth and dignity. Do not bring about Rāma’s mischief if dost thou wish to live happily with thy wives and friends. I am thy friend and do ask thee again and again to desist (from thy evil intentions); if dost thou encroach upon Sitā surely shalt thou along with thy kinsmen go to the abode of Yama being enfeebled by the arrows of Rāma.”
I was however somehow saved by Rāma in that conflict. Listen what happened afterwards. I was not humbled even by the danger of my life. Once again I entered the forest of Dandaka accompanied by two Rākshasas assuming the shape of deer. I had a flaming tongue, huge teeth, sharpened horns and lived on the flesh of ascetics. Assuming such a terrible appearance I began to traverse with great vehemence the Tirtha, Agnihotri and the place of worship; eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the ascetics after killing them I began to hinder all religious services. I had a most ugly figure and was maddened with drinking blood, and all the animals of the forest were exceedingly frightened at me. White I was thus traversing the forest of Dandaka throwing obstacles in the way of religious services I saw the pious ascetic Rāma living on a restricted fare, the honored Sitā and the mighty Lakshmana, taking recourse to asceticism, moderate in eating and ever engaged in the welfare of created beings. Remembering his former enmity and aggrandisement, I, being extremely wrathful, in my deer shape and with my sharpened horns, darted towards him with a view to kill him, considering through my ignorance the effulgent Rāma as none other but an ascetic living in the forest. Then stringing his huge bow he darted three sharpened arrows at me. Those three terrible arrows with bent knots resembling thunder-bolts, killing enemies and drinking blood and having the motion of Garuda and air, coalescing with each other came before us. Wicked as I am, I was fully aware of his prowess having been frightend by him on a former occasion, and so I saved myself by escaping, but those two Rākshasas were killed. O Rāvana, any how saved from the arrows of Rāma and having got my life back I have resorted to the life of an ascetic and have been carrying on asceticism here being absorbed in Yoga.
From that very day I see Rāma wearing bark and deer skin even in the very trees before me like unto Death with the noose in his hands. Terrified as I am I always seeing thousands of Rāma around me. Me seems the entire forest is inhabited by Rāma only. O king of Rākshasas, I see Rāma even in the quarter where there is no Rāma. Seeing him in my dreams even I look around like one awaken. O Rāvana what more shall I speak unto thee, I am so much afraid of Rāma that such words as Ratna (jewel) Ratha (chariot) which begin with the letter Ra administer consternation unto me. I am fully apprised of the prowess of that descendant of Raghu; it doth not behove thee to enter into conflict with him; he can destroy Vāli and Namuchi. Rāvana, whether dost thou fight with Rāma or not, do not mention him unto me if dost thou wish to see me. Many persons pious and devoted to asceticism on this earth have met with destruction for another’s misdeeds. And I shall meet with a similar fate for thy sins. O thou the ranger of night do whatever thou likest, I shall not follow thee. Truely is that highly intelligent and effulgent Rāma of mighty prowess, like death itself unto the rangers of night. Though the wicked Khara of Janasthāna hath been slain by him on Surpanakhā’s account, yet how is he to blame for it? Do thou truly speak. Thou art my friend; it is for this and for thy welfare that I speak this truth unto thee. If dost thou not follow my words, thyself with all thy kinsmen, shall be slain in battle by Rāma.
As a person desirous of meeting with his end doth not take medicine, Rāvana, the king of night-rangers paid no heed to the appropriate and sound words of Māricha skilled in speech, foreboding good unto him. Moreover he addressed him with the following harsh words. “O, Māricha, what thou hast spoken unto me, shall bear no fruit like unto seeds sown into a desert-land. I shall not be frightened thereby to fight with that foolish Rāma—a human being of vicious deeds. Surely shall I before thee take away from that Rāma the destroyer of Khara his favourite wife, at whose words he has sojourned into woods renouncing his father mother, kingdom and friends. I have made this firm resolution in my mind O, Māricha; even Indra, with the celestials and Ashuras shall not be able to shake it. It would have been proper for thee to give vent to these expressions had I but asked thee for advice to ascertain my duty, the propriety or impropriety of my action, its way or losses. A wise counsellor who wishes prosperity unto himself should always communicate unto his master his desire with joined hands whenever asked to do so. It is always proper to speak before monarchs such pleasant and favourable words as are intended for the welfare of the master and are sanctioned by the royal etiquette. A respectable king doth not receive with good grace friendly words even when they are expressed disrespectfully. Sovereigns of superb prowess assume the semblance of five deities—Agni, Indra, Moon, Yama, and Varuna. Powerful kings, O Ranger of the night, assume haughtiness, power, a placid look and contentment and administer punishment unto the wicked. They are to be adored and honored therefore on all occasions. Thou art ignorant of kingly morality and fully absorbed in illusion. It is for this that thou dost out of thy wickedness of heart address me thy guest with these harsh words. I do not ask thee O, Rākshasa about the propriety (of my conduct or about my welfare. I did only ask thee for thy help. Listen what thou shalt have to do at my request in my aid; assuming the shape of a deer having golden skin painted with silvery drops do thou proceed to the asylum of Rāma, and ranging at large before Vaidehi do thou after captivating her take thy wished-for way. Vaidehi, being struck with wonder seeing thee a golden deer capable of illusions, shall request Rāma to get thee soon for her. Kākuthstha issuing out of the asylum, thou shalt, at great distance utter such cries as “O Sitā, O Lakahmana” imitating his (Rāma’s) voice. Hearing those cries Lakshmana also, at the behest of Sitā, shall proceed to Rāma. When both Rāma and Lakshmana shall go elsewhere in this way I shall to my felicity carry away Vaidehi like unto the thousand-eyed deity carrying away Sachi. O Rākshasa, do thou go wherever thou likest after doing this. I shall confer on thee, O Māricha, half of my kingdom. O thou of auspicious look, do thou proceed towards the forest of Dandaka to compass this end of mine; I shall follow thee in my chariot. Acquiring Sitā without any conflict, after imposing upon Rāma I shall return to Lankā successful along with thee. I shall kill thee, O Māricha, if dost thou not obey my behest. I shall compell thee to do this. No body can attain to prosperity and happiness, acting against his sovereign’s will. Truly shalt thou risk thy life if thou approachest Rāma, but thou shalt meet with sure destruction if dost thou act against my will . Consider about it, and do what thou thinkest proper.
Being thus commanded by Rāvana like a king to act against his will Māricha fearlessly addressed the lord of the Rākshasas with the following bold words, “What person of impious deeds hath advised thee O ranger of the night thus in order to exterminate thee with thy kingdom, counsellors and children? Who of a vicious heart, O King, doth not feel himself happy at thy welfare? Who hath pointed out unto thee the way of thy death under the cover of thy means? O Ranger of night surely do thy weak enemies wish to bring about thy destruction by making thee enter into a conflict with a powerful man. What little-minded man of evil intent hath counselled thee thus? O Ranger of night, really do they desire that thou dost bring destruction upon thyself by thy own actions. Thou dost not exterminate thy counsellors O Rāvana, albeit they are worthy of being destroyed. For they do not prevent thee entirely from thy evil course. Wise counsellors do always restrain a king who wends a vicious track being guided by his impulses and passions; but about thee they are quite unmindful, though thou shouldst by every means be brought under restraint. O thou the best of conquerors, O thou the ranger of night, ministers by the grace of their sovereign attain virtue, wealth, desires and fame. But those objects are never attained O Rāvana when they are not in good odour with their sovereign; moreover the subjects meet with dangers when he is devoid of all qualities. O thou the best of conquerors, the king is the root of virtue and fame unto the subjects; he should therefore be always protected by them. O ranger of night, proud kings of cruel temperament, acting against the subjects can never administer their kingdoms. So do the ministers of cruel counsel meet with their end like unto a chariot driven into a wild track by an unskilled charioteer. Many a pious person, on this earth, ever engaged in the performance of religious services, have, for the folly of other persons, met with destruction along with their relatives. Verily the subjects, O Rāvana, can never expect to prosper under the regime of hot-natured sovereigns acting against their subjects like unto deer under the protection of a jackal. All the Rākshasas shall surely die, O Rāvana whose lord art thou, foolish, cruel and under the control of thy passions. I shall not be the least sorry if I do meet with a sudden accident—what I do deplore most is that thou shalt meet in no time with destruction along with thy soldiery. Compassing my end Rāma shall enterminate thee in no time—and blessed I shall be being killed by an enemy in the conflict. Surely dost thou know that no sooner shall I see Rāma I shall be done away with; thou shalt carrying away Sitā meet with thy end along with thy kinsmen. And if dost thou bring Sitā with me from the asylum, none shall be saved,—me, thyself, the city of Lankā, and the Rākshasas. Thou dost not relish my words O ranger of the night though prevented by me, who wishes thee welfare; those men who range on the verge of death, well-nigh finishing the term of their existence do not receive with good grace the counsels of friends.
Speaking these harsh words unto Rāvana, Māricha being afraid of him said, “We shall both go. Surely shall I be deprived of my life by him (Rāma) taking up his scimitar and having a bow and arrows in his hands, if I go before him again. Meeting with his prowess thou shalt never return with thy life; he is like the noose of Death unto thee though thou hadst baffled its power. Thou art vicious-souled, what can I do for thee? Be thou crowned with success O ranger of the night, I shall go.” The Lord of Rākshasas being pleased with Marietta’s words embraced him warmly and said, “This is worthy of thy heroism that thou hast addressed thyself to act after my desire. Thou wert another Rākshasa before and hast now become true Māricha. Do thou now with me ascend this chariot coursing in the air, crested with jewels and driven by asses having faces of a demon. Enchanting Vaidehi thou shalt wend thy way and away shall I carry the daughter of the king of Mithilā by force (when there shall be neither Rāma nor Lakshmana by her.)” Thereupon Tāraka’s son assented to Rāvana’s words, and both of them ascending the chariot like unto a heavenly car set out for the hermitage. And beholding diverse towns, forests, mountains, rivers, kingdoms and cities they reached the forest of Dandaka and the asylum of Rāma. And descending now from the golden car the lord of Rākshasas together with Māricha beheld Rāma’s asylum. Taking him (Māricha) by the hand Rāvana spake saying “There stands the asylum of Rāma surrounded by palm trees. Do thou do that for which we have come here.” Hearing the words of Rāvana, the Rākshasa Māricha assuming the wonderful shape of a (golden) deer began to range at large before Rāma’s hermitage. The points of its horns were like unto (two) excellent jewels, its countenance was diversified with white and black colour, its face was like a red lotus, its ears were like unto two blue lotuses, its neck was little raised, its belly was like a saphire, its sides were like unto Madhuka flowers, its color was like that of a filament of a lotus, its hoops were like unto Baidurjas (a gem of a dark color); of lean thighs; of firm joints; its tail having the diversified color of a rainbow was upraised. It was of a pleasant and cool hue and crested with various jewels.
And in no time the Rākshasa assumed the shape of a beautiful deer. To tempt Vaidehi that ranger of the night, assuming a beautiful countenance painted with diverse metals, illumining the beautiful forest and Rāma’s asylum with its beauty, and ranging at large on the green field and living on grass, began to proceed. That one of lively presence having its body painted with hundreds of silver drops and living on twigs of trees began to range in the forest. Sometimes walking into the plantain house, sometimes walking around the forest of Karnikā, sometimes coming within the compass of Sitā’s vision, that best of deer having its back painted with gold began to range slowly around the hermitage. It began to walk at pleasure near Rāma’s asylum. Sometimes going, sometimes stopping, at one time running very swiftly and receding the next moment, that best of deer began to range at large. Sometimes playing around, sometimes lying on earth and sometimes following the deer-herd having come within the threshhold of the asylum and then followed again by them that Rākshasa assuming the form of a deer came back to see Sitā. He then began to range at large in the beautiful forest (extending far and wide). Seeing him other forest-deer came (by him) and smelling him fled away into different quarters. That Rākshasa, though expert in killing deer, did not eat them up, though touching, inorder to hide his real self. In the meantime Vaidehi, of auspicious looks whose eyes inebriate like wine, being engaged in plucking flowers, was going sometimes to the Karnika grove and sometimes to the mangoe grove. That best of women, ever inured to living in the forest and possessed of a graceful countenance, walking and plucking flowers, saw that jewelled deer, having its body deversified with pearls and diamonds. It had beautiful teeth and lips and had its down resembling silver. She began to behold with affection and with her eyes expanded with surprise. That illusive deer seeing Rāma’s wife began to move around as if lighting up that forest (with the fire of its beauty). Beholding that deer ornamented with diverse jewels, and the like of which she had never seen before, the daughter of Janaka was struck With immense wonder.
Beholding that deer with its sides painted with gold and silver, while collecting flowers, Sitā, having blameless limbs and beautiful hips and having the color of her body like that of pure gold became immensely pleased and called aloud her husband and Lakshmana with scimitars in their hands. “Do thou come soon, do thou come soon, O son of the worshipful Sire, along with thy younger brother” —having called (her husband) again and again in this strain she continued beholding that deer. Being thus called by the daughter of the king of Videha those two best of men Rāma and Lakshmana, casting their looks around beheld that deer. Seeing him Lakshmana, struck with fear, said “Methinks, this deer is the Rākshasa Māricha. This vicious Māricha, O Rāma, assuming the shape of a deer oftentimes kills at pleasure the kings who come here a-hunting. He is cognizant of illusions, by virtue of which he has assumed this shape, O best of men; its countenance is perfectly fine like the abode of Gandharbas and resplendent like the Sun; there is no such jewelled deer on earth. O Rāghava, O Lord of earth, there is no doubt that this is nothing but illusion.” When Lakshmana spake thus Sitā with a pure smile being under the influence of enchantment contradicted him, and being pleased said “O son of the worshipful Sire, this deer hath attracted my mind, get it for me, pray, O thou of mighty arms; it shall be an object of sport for us. Many a beautiful deer range at large in the vicinity of our hermitage such as Chamara, Srimara, Rik, Prishata, Bānara, and Kinnara. They are all very beautiful and of mighty strength; but O Prince, I have never seen before the like of this deer. In energy, strength and beauty it stands above all deer. Its entire body is diversified with various colors, nay, it is a jewel itself. It moves before me, beautifying the forest with its resplendance, like unto Moon himself. Ah! What beauty, what beautiful a lustre, how musical a voice, this wonderful deer of variegated countenance, hath indeed captivated my heart! If canst thou get by this deer alive, O what wonder, what surprise! When shall we regain our kingdom after the expiry of the term of our banishment, this deer shall beautify the interior of our palace. O Lord, truly shall this celestial deer create surprise in Bharata, yourself, me and my mothers-in-law. O best of men, if canst thou not get hold of it alive its skin shall also look very beautiful (to us). Spreading on Kuça the skin of this golden deer when killed do I wish to invoke the Almighty. It looks (no doubt) unseemly and terrible and smacks of wilfulness on the part of a wife to command her husband in this way, but I am sunk in surprise seeing the countenance of the deer.” Rāma’s heart was struck with surprise beholding that wonderful deer having its down resembling gold, horns resembling exquisitely fine diamonds, color like that of the newly risen Sun, and resplendance like that of the orbit of the planets. Being enchanted by its beauty and spurred on by Sitā’s words, Rāghava pleased, spake unto his younger brother saying “Behold, O Lakshmana, it has immensely excited Vaidehi’s desire. On account of its exquisite beauty it shall loose its life to-day. It has its equal no where on the earth—neither in the celestial garden nor in the Chaittraratha forest. The hairs of its body being arranged in regular and contrary courses and being painted with golden drops do indeed look very beautiful. Do thou see, while expanding its mouth, its tongue comes out resembling flaming fire like unto a thunder-bolt reaving the mass of clouds. Its face is like a glass made of best blue saphire, its belly resembling a conch and pearl, and it is very difficult to ascertain its shapes. Beholding it who is there (on earth) whose heart is not enamoured? Its beauty resembles the rays of gold and is variegated with diverse hues of jewels. Whose heart is not enveloped with surprise beholding such a celestial beauty, O Lakshmana? Princes, with bows in their hands, while-a hunting in a deep forest destroy deer either for flesh or for sport. Moreover while engaged in sporting they collect many a jewel and various metals as gold and silver, in the woods. There is not the least doubt that these wild riches filling up their coffers are comparatively far better (than the wealth acquired by other sources) like unto the objects of enjoyment, enjoyed at their fancy by the people inhabiting the celestial region. The object which persons desirous of acquiring wealth follow without any discretion in their actions, is the true definition of wealth given by the political economists. Vaidehi of slender waist desireth to sit with me on the exquisitely fine golden skin of this gem of a deer, meseems no deer skin is so comfortable to touch as this—neither the skin of Kādali, Priaki, Prabeni nor of Abiki. Truly handsome in this deer and the one that rangeth in the welkin, indeed these two deer only are celestial—the one that rangeth in the sky54 (Mrigashirā) and this that rangeth on earth. And if it be a Rākshasa’s illusion as thou sayest, O Lakshmana, then it must be killed by me. This cruel vicious-souled Māricha made away with many eminent ascetics, while traveling in the forest; and this Rākshasa assuming the shape of an illusive deer destroyed many kings —mighty archers while a-hunting in this forest; it is for this that this deer must be killed. Formerly this Bātapi55 entering into the womb of twice-born ones used to come out reaving them like unto the embryo of a mule. Once on a time this Bātapi approached the eminent saint Agastya and was devoured by him. After the Sradha ceremony had been over, finding that Bātapi desirious of assuming the shape of a Rākshasa the great saint Agastya said smiling “Being blinded with thy prowess O Bātapi, thou hast destroyed many eminent twice-born ones on this earth and for this that I do digest thee. Truly that Rākshasa O, Lakshmana, who wisheth to surpass one like me who hath controlled his senses and is ever engaged in pious offices shall meet with his end like unto this Bātapi. Therefore this Māricha approaching me shall be killed by me like unto Bātapi being devoured by Agastya. Do thou therefore vigilently protect Vaidehi with mail and armours on. It is our prime duty, O descendant of Raghu, to protect Jānaki. I shall either kill this deer or shall get hold of it. Look, O Lakshmana, Vaidehi is extremely anxious to get the skin of this deer, I shall therefore proceed at once, O son of Sumil to catch this deer. The skin of this deer is the best of its kind; for certain shall it loose its life today. As long as I do not kill this deer, O Lakshmana, do thou with Sitā remain with vigilance in this asylum. I shall in no time come back with its skin after killing it with one arrow. Do thou stay here, O Lakshmana, with Jānaki in constant fear and vigilance, along with the mighty Yatāyu, intelligent and e engaged in pious offices.
Having thus directed his brother, the highly energetic son of Raghu equipped himself with his gold-hilted scimitar And girting himself with his bow bent at three places, which served him as an ornament,—as well as a couple of quivers that one of fierce energy sallied out. Seeing that foremost of monarchs approach, that best of beasts from fear disappeared; and then again showed himself. Thereat girt with the bow and sword, (Rāma) rushed where the deer was; and beheld him illumining all before him with his beauty,—and bow in hand (Rāma beheld) him in that vast forest, darting away after gazing at him,—and sometimes seeming to have got beyond arrow range, and at others tempting Rāma (by his vicinity). And sometimes influenced by fear and bewildered, (the deer) seemed to course the welkin; and in the forest now he became visible and now vanished from sight. And like the autumual lunar disc enveloped by indented clouds, he momentarily showed himself, and anon discovered himself at a distance. And Māricha wearing the shape of a deer, showing himself and disappearing from sight, drew Rāghava a long way from the hermitage. Thereat Rāma, eagerly anxious to secure the deer, being foiled by the deer, and in consequence growing enraged, wearied out, rested under a shadow, on a sward. And that ranger of the night, wearing the form of a deer, maddening Rāma, discovered himself (again) at a distance surrounded by (other) deer. And Rāma desirous of taking (the beast), seeing him again, set off at speed. At the very moment the deer disappeared from fear; and again showed himself at a distance behind a tree. And seeing him, the exceedingly energetic and strong Rāghava, determined to slay him, growing wroth, taking out a flaming shaft, resembling the rays of the sun, powerfully drew his bow, and firmly setting the shaft, and aiming it at the deer, let go the blazing and burning weapon forged by Brahmā, resembling a flaming serpent. And that best of arrows, like unto a thunderbolt, deeply pierced the breast of Māricha, wearing the shape of a deer. Thereat bounding up high as a palmyra palm, that one whose saws had almost run out, uttered terrible sounds, lying on the earth. And while on the point of death, Māricha renounced his counterfeit shape. And remembering the words of Rāvana, the Rākshasa reflected, “By what means can Sitā send away Lakshmana, and Rāvana carry off Sitā staying in solitude?” And pierced to the marrow by that peerless shaft, Māricha, renouncing his deer form, resumed his Rākshasa lineaments; and giving up his life attaining a huge person, considering the time had come (for availing himself of the advice tendered by Rāvana), began to cry with the voice of Rāghava, “Ah Sitā! Ah Lakshmana!” And seeing that grim-visaged Rākshasa lying low on the ground, with his person bathed in blood, and rolling hither and thither, Rim a proceeded towards the asylum, thinking of Sitā. And revolving within himself Lakshmana’s words. While returning he thought aside “Lakshmana said before that this was Māricha’s illusion!” His words have been verified now. Truly have I killed Māricha. Māricha has given up his ghost exclaiming aloud Ah! Sitā, Ah! Lakshmana. I do not know what shall Sitā do hearing the cry? And what shall the mighty-armed Lakshmana do?” While pondering thus the hairs of the virtuous-souled Rāma stood on their end. Killing that Rākshasa assuming the shape of a deer and hearing his terrible cry Rāma was overwhelmed with fear arising out of sorrow. Thereupon killing a deer and taking its flesh he hastened towards Janasthāna.
Hearing that cry in the forest resembling her husband’s voice Sitā spake unto Lakshmana saying “Do thou go and learn what has befallen Rāghava. He is crying aloud in pitiable accents; hearing them my life and soul are incapable of remaining any longer in their proper places. It behoveth thee to save thy brother who is crying aloud in the forest; do thou immediately repair hence to save him, who is in need of thy help. He hath been over-powered by the Rākshasas like unto a bullock brought under the power of a lion,” Remembering the behest of Rāma, Lakshmana did not go, though accosted thus by Sitā. Extremely mortified, the daughter of Janaka spake unto him saying “O Son of Sumitra, thou art an enemy unto Rāma, in the garb of a brother. Thou dost not proceed for the relief of thy brother who hath been reduced to such a plight. Dost thou desire, for fine, O Lakshmana, Rāma’s destruction? Truely being under the influence of lust for me thou dost not follow Rāghava! For this thou dost welcome Rāma’s disaster; thou hast no affection for him. For this it is that thou dost sit here without anxiety not seeing the highly effulgent (Rāma). Rāma, following whom thou hast repaired unto this forest, being in danger, of what avail is life unto me?” Vaidehi Speaking thus being influenced by sorrow, and with tears in her eyes, like unto a deer, Lakshmana spake unto her saying “O Vaidehi, celestials, Dānavas, Gandharbas, Rākshasas, Asuras, or Pannagas, there is none who can defeat thy husband. There is not the least doubt in this. Worshipful madam! Celestials, Dānavas, Gandharbas, Rākshasas, Picachas, men, Kinnaras, animals, or birds, there is none among them, who can withstand Rāghava, who equals the lord of celestials in warfare. In fact there is none who can do away with Rāma in battle. It doth not behove thee therefore to accost me thus. Nor do I dare leave thee here alone in this forest without Rāma. Even the mighty heroes, as the Lord of celestials, cannot subdue his prowess with all their strength. Even the Almighty Himself, with the celestials and the three worlds, cannot defeat him. Do thou therefore renounce grief and console theyself. Sooner shall thy husband return killing the best of deer. It is not his voice nor one sent by any deity. It is but an illusion of that Rākshasa (Māricha). O Vaidehi, thou hast been left unto my charge by the high-souled (Rāma)—I therefore do not dare leave thee behind, O thou the jewel of a damsel. We have made these night-rangers our enemies. For compassing the destruction of Khara, O worshipful one, and devastating Janasthāna, Rākshasas oftentimes use improper words unto us in this extensive forest. O Vaidehi, to create mischief unto the pious is the only amusement of these Rākshasas—thou shoudst not therefore be anxious for this.” Being thus addressed by him her eyes were reddened with ire, and she spake these harsh words unto the truthful Lakshmana saying “O cruel one! O thou the destroyer of thy line! It is a disgrace unto thee that thou wishest to protect me (killing Rāma). Methinks, this mighty disaster of Rāma is welcome unto thee, or else why shouldst thou seeing this, speak thus, O Lakshmana. It is not a wonder that an evil desire lurks in thee who art a hypocrite and a cruel-hearted enemy. Verily art thou a monster of wickedness, that Rāma repairing unto woods, thou hast, being lustful for me, followed him alone. Or hast thou been engaged by Bharata to act thus? But thy or Bharata’s intention shall not be satisfied, O Saumitre. How shall I desire another man after serving the lotus-eyed Rāma of dark blue hue as my husband? I shall renounce my life before thee, therefore, O Lakshmana; without Rāma I shall not maintain my being for a moment on this earth.” Hearing these brazen words of Sitā, capable of making one’s down stand on end, the self-controlled Lakshmana with joined hands spake unto her saying “Thou art a very Goddess unto me, I therefore dare not answer thee. What thou hast spoken, O Maithelee, is nothing surprising for females. Such is the nature of womankind on this earth. Women by nature are crooked, fickle, devoid of religious knowledge, and bring about difference between father and son. O Vaidehi, O daugther of Janaka, truly am I incapable of putting up with these words of thine. They have pierced through both of my ears like a heated Nārācha. However the deities ranging in this woodland are my witnesses— may they hear thee. I spoke what was fair and have been thus addressed by thee with these harsh words. I do alawys obey my superior’s commands. Fie on thee! Thy destruction is near at hand that dost thou suspect me, being influenced by this womanish nature. I shall go where Kākuthstha is, may good betide thee, O thou the best of damsels! May the deities of the forest protect thee, O thou of expansive eyes! Many a bad omen appear before me. May I see thee again when I shall come back with Rāma.” Being thus accosted by Lakshmana the daughter of Janaka replied weeping and being bathed in tears. “Without Rāma, O Lakshmana, I shall drink virulent poison, enter fire or dive into the Godaveri. I shall destroy this body either by hanging or by falling down from the top of a high object. I shall never be able to touch another man but Rāma.” Speaking thus unto Lakshmana, Sitā, being enveloped with grief, weeping, struck her belly56 with her hands. Seeing the daughter of Janaka of expansive eyes weep thus in pitiable accents, Lakshmana losing his attention began to console her. Afterwards the pure-hearted Lakshmana, having control over his senses, saluting Sitā with clasped palms and bending low a little proceeded where Rāma was, casting again and again his glance upon her as he went.
Having been addressed with those harsh words the younger brother of Rāghava, enraged, proceeded at once, being anxious to see Rāma. Thereupon the ten-necked one, availing of this opportunity came before Vaidehi assuming the semblance of a mendicant. Wearing a soft silken cloth, with a lock of hair on his head with an umbrella and shoes and having on his left shoulder a rod and Kamandalu, the highly powerful one assuming the appearance of a wandering devotee carrying three long bamboo staves appeared before Vaidehi in the forest when there was none of the brothers by her. He saw there the young and pious daughter of the king like unto an evening void of both sun and moon and as the highly terrible Rāhu eyes Rohini forsaken by Moon. Seeing that terrible one the doer of evil deeds, the trees of Janasthāna did not move nor the wind did blow. Seeing him eye Sitā with his blood-red eyes, the fast streaming river Godaveri even slackened its course out of fear. In the mean time the Ten-necked Rāvana, enquiring about Rāma’s weak points appeared before Vaidehi in the guise of a mendicant. Like unto Sani approaching chitra, that impious one, assuming the appearance of a pious man like a well covered with grass, approached Vaidehi who was bewailing her husband. And seeing that pious spouse of Rāma—Vaidehi, Rāvana stood before her. Her lips and teeth were extremely fine, her face resembled the full moon and her eyes were like lotus-petals. She had a yellow silken cloth on and sat in the thatched cottage, overwhelmed with grief and bathed in tears. And that ranger of the night with a pleased heart approached Vaidehi. Seeing her that Lord of Rākshasas was pierced with the shafts of passion. And speaking highly of her, surpassing in beauty the three worlds and resembling by the excellence of her own person the very goddess of wealth herself Rāvana uttering the name of God spake unto her saying, “O thou having the color of gold and silver, O thou wearing silken cloth, O thou appearing like a lotus wearing a garland of lotus-petals, O thou of beautiful countenance! Art thou Bashfulness, Beauty, Fame, Wealth, Apsara, Dignity or Rati herself who is ranging at will in this forest? All thy teeth are equal having their tops like unto the buds of Kunda flower, beautiful and yellow. Thy eyes are expansive, clear, of bloody hue, and having black pupils. Thy hip is fleshy and spacious. Thy thighs are like those of elephants, round, fleshy and perfectly strong. Thy nipples are bulky, pointed, highly captivating like cold palm fruits, beautiful and ornamented with diverse jewels. O thou of beautiful smile! O thou of beautiful teeth! O thou of beautiful eyes! O fine damsel, thou dost carry away my heart like unto a river carrying away its banks by its stream. The lock of thy hair is exquisitely fine, thy breast very close and thy waist is so thin that they may be got round even by fingers. There is none so beautiful like thee—a Goddess, a Gandharbhi, a Yakshi or a Kinnari. I had never seen before on this earth a damsel so beautiful as thou. This thy beauty the best on earth, thy youth, thy grace and thy abode in the forest do agitate my mind. So it is well for thee to come (with me); it doth not behove thee to remain here. This is the abode of terrible Rākshasas wearing shapes at will. Picturesque palaces, prosperous cities and sweet-smelling gardens are worthy of thy abode. O thou of dark-blue eyes, fine is thy garland, fine is the smell of thy person and fine is thy apparel—methinks fine is thy husband too. O thou of pure smile! Whom dost thou belong to?—Rudras, Marutas, or Vasus— Meseems, O fine damsel thou art a very gooddes. No one comes here—the Gandharbas, the celestials or Kinnaras; this is an abode of the Rākshasas; how dost thou come here? Art thou not afraid of these monkeys, lions, tigers, wolves, bears, herons and hyenas? Alone in this forest, art thou not afraid of these terrible elephants of fierce motion and maddened with the exuding of their temporal juice? Who art thou? Whose wife? What for dost thou range alone in this forest of Dandaka frequented by terrible Rākshasas?” Thus addressed was Vaidehi by the vicious-souled Rāvana. Seeing him come under the guise of a twice-born one, Maithelee worshipped him with diverse articles necessary for serving a guest. Offering him a seat first and afterwards inviting him to wash his feet she said unto that one of placid look “cooked rice is ready.” Seeing Rāvana approach with Kamandalu and wearing a red cloth under the guise of a Brahmana, Maithelee could not pass by him any way, and considering him a twice-born one by various signs invited him as if a Brahmana saying, “O Brahmana, do thou sit on this seat facing the right; do thou take this water (to wash thy feet); do thou enjoy these well-cooked eatables growing in the forest and intended for thee.” Jānaki the wife of Lord of men inviting him thus, Rāvana, casting a look upon her, addressed himself for his own destruction, to carry her away. She was anxiously expecting the return of Rāma who had gone a-hunting with Lakshmana; she looked around and behold but on all sides the spacious yellow forest-land—there was neither Rāma nor Lakshmana.
“Being thus addressed by Rāvana under the guise of a mendicant, desirous of carrying her away Vaidehi thought within herself—“This person is my guest and a Bhahmin; he may curse me if I do not speak to him.” Thinking this for a moment Sitā said “May good betide thee! I am the daughter of the high-souled Janaka, the king of Mithilā, the beloved Queen of Rāma and my name is Sitā. Dwelling in the palace of Ikshakus for twelve years, I enjoyed many things passing human and had all my desires satisfied. On the thirteenth year king (Daçaratha) counselled with his ministers about the installation of Rāma. Accordingly everything necessary for the installation being made ready, Kaikeyi, one of my mothers-in-law, begged of her husband a boon. Bringing my father-in-law under control by means of her virtuous deeds, Kaikeyi begged, of that truthful, best of monarchs, two boons namely the exile of my husband into the woods and the installation of Bharata, and said “I shall never eat, drink or sleep and (if Rāma be installed) I shall end my life.” Kaikeyi speaking thus, that lord of earth, my father-in-law begged her to accept diverse riches; but Kaikeyi did not agree. Then the highly effulgent Rāma, my husband was twenty-five years old, and myself was eighteen years old counting from my birth. My husband is known all over the world under the name of Rāma. He is truthful, good-natured, of pure character, ever engaged in the welfare of all created beings, of mighty-arms and expansive eyes. Our father the king Daçaratha was entirely under the control of passions, and hence for the satisfaction of Kaikeyi did not install Rāma. When Rāma came to his father for being installed Kaikeyi spoke unto my husband the following cruel words, “Do thou hear, O Rāghava, how I have been ordered by thy Sire. This kingdom, rid of thorns is to be conferred on Bharata, and thou shalt have to sojourn into woods for years nine and five. Do thou therefore repair unto forest, O Kākuthstha and save thy Sire from untruth.” Whereto Rāma fearlessly replied ‘So be it!’ Hearing her words my husband of firm vows acted accordingly. He always maketh gifts and taketh none. He always speaketh truth and never telleth an untruth. This is his best observance, O Brahmana. His half-brother named Lakshmana is of mighty prowess. That best of men is Rāma’s help and the destroyer of foes in battle. That brother of his named Lakshmana is of firm resolution and given to asceticism. With a bow in hand he hath followed (Rāma) flying as an exile unto woods along with me. Thus that one (Rāma) of firm resolution and ever engaged in pious offices wearing matted hair and assuming the semblance of an ascetic hath entered this forest of Dandaka along with myself and his younger brother. O thou the best of twice-born ones, we three being deprived of our kingdom by Kaikeyi have been living in this dense forest by virtue of our effulgence. Do thou take heart for a moment and live here. Instantly shall my husband return with good many wild fruits and roots and with sufficient meat after killing many a deer, hog and Gosamp. Truly do thou relate unto me thy name, Gotra and lineage. O thou twice-born one, why dost thou range alone in this forest of Dandaka?” Sitā the wife of Rāma speaking thus, the mighty Lord of Rākshasas—Rāvana replied with these harsh words—“0 Sitā I am that Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, whom fear the celestials, Asuras and human beings. O thou of blamless beauty, seeing thee of golden hue and wearing silk cloth I do not relish my own wives. I have brought many a beautiful damsel from various quarters, do thou become my foremost Queen amongst them. That great city in the midst of the ocean, Lankā, encircled on all sides by the sea and situated on the summit of a hill, is my capital. There shalt thou with me, Sitā, walk in gardens, and thus thou shall no more long for living in the forest. If thou dost become my wife, O Sitā, five thousand maid-servants decorated with divers ornaments shall serve thee.” That blameless daughter of Janaka, being thus addressed by Rāvana, was highly enraged, and, passing by him, replied, “I am a dependant ot Rāma, who is incapable of being shaken, like unto a mighty mountain, incapable of being agitated, like unto a vast ocean, and resembling Mahendra in effulgence. I am a dependant of that great and truthful Rāma who is gifted with auspicious marks and like unto a fig tree. I am dependant of that lion among men, Rāma, of mighty arms, of a spacious breast and treading like a lion, I am a dependant of that son of a king, Rāma, of mighty arms, having control over his passions, whose face resembles the full moon and whose fame hath spread far and wide over the earth. Why dost thou being a tiger wish for a she-lion? Thou shalt not be able to touch me like unto the rays of the sun. O thou wretched Rākshasa, when thou hast desired to steal away Rāghava’s beloved spouse, surely dost thou see these trees (before thee) as made of gold. Dost thou wish to uproot the teeth from the mouth of a lion, that enemy of deer, or from that of a serpent? Dost thou wish to clasp with thy hands the Mandara hill, or dost thou wish to walk in peace after drinking poison? Dost thou wish to rub thy eyes with pins and lick a razor with thy tongue? Thou dost wish to swim across an ocean, having a rock tied unto thy neck. Thou dost wish to get at the Sun and Moon, to bind a flaming fire with a piece of cloth and walk through iron-spikes, as thou hast wished to come by the worthy spouse of Rāma. Mighty is the difference between Rāma and thee, like unto that between a lion and a jackal, a sea and a rivulet, nectar and gruel, gold and iron, sandal and mud, an elephant and a cat, a crow and Garuda, a peacock and a madgie (an acquatic bird), or a duck and a vulture. Even if thou dost steal me, that mighty archer Rāma, gifted with the prowess of the lord of celestials, living, surely shall I die, like unto a gnat sucking clarified butter.” Addressing those words unto that wicked ranger of the night, that innocent (Sitā) shook like a plantain tree shaken by the wind. Thereupon Rāvana, like unto Death in prowess, trembling, began to relate unto her with a view to frighten (her) his race, power, name and actions.
After Sitā had spoken these harsh words, Rāvana, enraged, with a frown, replied “O thou of a beautiful countenance, I am the step-brother of the Lord of wealth and my name is the mighty Ten-necked Rāvana. May good betide thee! Like unto people fearing Death, the celestials, Gandharbas, Piçāchas, Pannagas and Serpents fly in diverse directions being frightened by me. I have subdued by my prowess, my step-brother, the Lord of wealth in a conflict, quarrelling with him for some reason. Thereat, that one carried by men, renouncing out of my fear this wealthy abode of Lānka, hath been living on that Lord of mountains, Kailaça. O thou auspicious one, by virtue of my prowess I have taken away that beautiful chariot of his called Puspaka. Ascending that chariot thou shalt travel by the etherial route. O Maithilee, when I am excited with ire, Indra and other celestials at the mere sight of my countenance fly away in divers directions out of fear. Wherever I live, the Wind bloweth cautiously and the Sun (of piercing rays) out of fear for me appeareth in the welkin like the Moon. What shall I say more? Wherever I live, even the leaves of the trees do not flutter and the currents of the rivers are stopped. Beyond the ocean stands my beautiful capital Lankā like unto Indra’s Amarāvati, (the capital of the Lord of celestials), guarded on all sides by the terrible night-rangers and encircled by yellow walls. That beautiful city hath gate-ways of ornamented and jewelled arches and golden apartments. It is filled with elephants, horses and chariots, always resounds with the sounds of bugles, and is beautified with gardens having divers trees of wished for fruits. O Sitā, O thou the daughter of a king, in this city shalt thou dwell with me. O large-minded damsel, thou shalt never think of earthly women. O thou of an exquisite countenance, enjoying these many things passing human, thou shalt not any more think of Rāma—a human being of brief existence. Placing his beloved son on the throne, king Daçaratha hath sent away his eldest son of weak prowess into the woods. O thou of expansive eyes, what shalt thou do with that wretched ascetic Rāma who hath been deprived of his kingdom? I am the lord of the whole world of Rākshasas; being pierced by the shafts of Kama have I come by thee. It doth not behove thee therefore to pass by me. O timid damsel, truly shalt thou repent afterwards if thou dost disregard me, like unto Uruashee kicking Purarava. Rāma is a human being and is not even equal to a finger of mine in battle. By thy good luck have I come unto thee— do thou give thyself up unto me, O thou of a beautiful countenance.” Being thus addressed by him, Vaidehi exceedingly wroth and with blood-red eyes spoke unto that Lord of Rākshasas in the lonely forest, these bold words. “How dost thou wish to perpetrate such an impious deed after introducing as thy brother that highly worshipful Kuvera adored by all the deities. O Rāvana, surely shall all the Rākshasas meet with death, who have such a stupid, harsh and lustful person like thee for their king. One can breathe on this earth carrying away Indra’s wife, Sachi—but stealing me, the wife of Rāma, no body shall be able to live in peace. O Rākshasa, it might be possible for one to live on this earth treating contemptuously the wife of the holder of thunder-bolt, but insulting me none shall escape the hands of Death even if he drinketh nectar.
Hearing those words of Sitā the highly powerful Ten-necked one striking his hands together, increased his body too high. Thereupon, that one skilled in speech again spake unto Maithilee, “Methinks thou hast run mad. Hast thou not heard of my valour and prowess? Stationing myself in the welkin I can with my hands raise up the earth. I can drink up the waters of the ocean. And engaged in conflict I can destroy Death itself. With my sharpened shafts I can pierce the Sun and cut asunder the earth. Thou art mad with thy beauty. Do thou look upon me, who am capable of illusions.” When he had spoken thus, his yellow eyes became blood-red with rage and assumed the semblance of flaming fire. Thereat Rāvana, the younger brother of the Lord of wealth, changing his placid countenance, instantly assumed his own terrible shape resembling that of Yama. Highly exercised with ire, that ranger of the night became of ten countenances and twenty arms; his eyes were bloody and he appeared beautiful like unto blue clouds, being dressed in gold-hued apparel. Leaving aside the semblance of a mendicant, that lord of Rākshasas, Rāvana, increasing in bulk, assumed his own shape. And wearing a blood-red cloth he stood there fixing his look upon that jewel of a damsel—Maithili. Thereupon Rāvana spake unto Maithili like unto the rays of the sun, having a head of black hair and wearing apparel and ornaments, saying, “O thou fine damsel, if thou dost wish to have a husband known all over the world, do thou surrender thyself unto me. I am a worthy husband (or thee. Do thou serve me for ever, thy praiseworthy husband. O fine lady, I shall never do what thou dost not like. Renouncing thy attachment for a man, do thou place thy love in me. O foolish girl, worthy of being adored by the learned, for what quality art thou attached unto Rāma of a limited life, who hath been deprived of his kingdom and hath his desire frustrated, and who of an evil intent, hath, at the words of his wife, renouncing his kingdom and kinsmen, been living in this forest—the abode of voracious animals.” Speaking thus unto Maithili, sweet-speeched and worthy of being sweetly addressed, that highly wicked Rākshasa, Rāvana, being exercised with lust, approached towards Sitā and got hold of her, like unto Budha holding Rohini in the sky. With his left hand he held her, having eyes like unto lotus-petals, by the hair, and with his right hand got hold of her thighs. Seeing Rāvana of sharpened teeth, and mighty arms, resembling the summit of a mountain and like unto death itself, the deties of the forest became highly terrified and fled in different directions. Instantly appeared there the celestial car of Rāvana, decked in gold, drawn by asses and making a terrible sound. Thereupon, that one emmiting terrible accents, remonstrated with Vaidehi in harsh words and clasping her ascended the car. The virtuous Sitā, being thus caught by Rāvana,began to cry aloud, addressing Rāma, who had gone away to a distant forest. Rāvana, racked with lust, rose high up with her like unto the wife of a Pannaga, though she tried her best (to get rid of him), for she was not in the least attached unto him. Being thus carried away by the ethereal track by that Lord of Rākshasas, Sitā began to cry aloud, like one mad, distressed and of deranged senses. “Ah! Mighty Lakshmana, ever ministering unto the satisfaction of thy superiors, dost thou not know that I have been stolen away by a Rākshasa assuming shapes at will? O Rāghava, for virtue hast thou renounced thy life, happiness and wealth,—dost thou not see that I have been carried away by one of mighty iniquity? O thou the subduer of foes,thou dost always control the rebellious,—why dost thou not punish such a vicious Rākshasa? The vicious do not instantaneously meet with the fruits of their actions; as for corn to ripen requires the assistance of time. For this iniquitous deed, which thou hast perpetrated, availing of the time and losing thy sense, thou shalt meet with a mighty disaster from Rāma, bringing about thy end. Ah! Being the virtuous wife of the virtuous and far-famed Rāma, I have been stolen away. Now hath the desire of Kaikeyi and other relations been fulfilled. I invoke this Janasthāna and these flowery Karnikās to tell Rāma that Rāvana hath stolen away Sitā. I invoke thee, O Godavari, having swans and cranes sporting in thy stream, to tell Rāma that Rāvana hath stolen away Sitā. I salute and invoke the deities that live in this forest of many trees to tell my husband of my being stolen away (by Rāvana). I do seek the refuge of all deer, birds and other animals that live in this forest, and may they all communicate unto Rāma the news of his dear spouse being carried away, and tell him that Sitā, losing her control, hath been stolen away by Rāvana. Even if I am taken away by Yama, and if the mighty-armed Rāma is apprised of it, surely shall he bring me back by the display of his prowess.” Racked with sorrow that one of expansive eyes, while thus bewailing in piteous accents, she espied Yatāyu, the king of vultures, seated on a tree. Thereat the daughter of Janaka, brought under the control of Rāvana and terrified, began to cry and utter those piteous words—“O worshipful Yatāyu, do thou see that this vicious lord of Rākshasas hath ruthlessly carried me away like one having no husband. Thou wilt not be able to withstand this mighty, wicked and cruel night-ranger wearing emblems of conquest and having a scimitar in his hand. Do thou relate unto Rāma and to Lakshmana everything about my being carried away from the beginning to the end.
Hearing these words Yatāyu, who lay buried in a deep slumber, awoke and beheld both Rāvana and Jānaki. Thereat the lord of birds resting on the tree, having a big sharp beak like unto the summit of a hill, addressed these soft words unto Rāvana, “O brother Ten-necked one, I am conversant with Purānas, of truthful vows and abide by religion. It doth not behove thee to perpetrate such an iniquitous deed before me. I am Yātayu, the mighty lord of vultures. Daçaratha’s son Rāma is the lord of all men like unto Mahendra and Varuna. He is ever engaged in the welfare of all men. This exquisitely beautiful and far-famed Sitā whom thou art about to steal away, is the married wife of that lord of men. And how dost thou thyself being a monarch and engaged in the royal office of maintaining subjects, carry away by stealth another’s wife? O thou of mighty prowess, thou shouldst specially protect the wives of kings. Do thou therefore control thy base inclination of oppressing another’s wife. A hero doth never perform what bringeth calumny upon himself. It becometh every individual to save another’s wife from the touch of a second man like unto his own wife. O son of Paulastya, at the instance of the king mild subjects perform many an action conducing to virtue, wealth and desire, though not mentioned in the Sastras. The king is the virtue, the king is the desire and the king is the prime jewel of all subjects. Virtue, desire or sin—every thing ariseth from the king. O thou the best of Rākshasas, thou art vicious and unsteady; how hast thou come by rkhes like unto a sinner attaining to the abode of celestials? A vicious person can never relinquish his sinful habits—virtue doth never reside in the abodes of impious persons.
The mighty and the virtuous-souled Rāma hath committed nothing wrong in thy city or thy dominions. Why dost thou then commit wrong by him? Khara of Janasthāna is highly wicked and if Rāma of blameless actions hath killed him on Surpanakhā’s account how is he to blame? Why dost thou then carry away the wife of that lord of men? Do thou soon leave off Vaidehi. Like unto Indra burning down Vitrasura, Rāma, looking with his terrible eyes like flaming fire, shall reduce thee to ashes. Dost thou not understand that thou hast tied with cloth a virulent serpent? Dost thou not see that thou hast placed around thy neck the noose of death? It is always proper to carry such a weight as doth not exhaust (him who carries); it is always proper to take such a food as doth not cause illness. Who engageth himself in such an action as doth not confer virtue, fame or glory, but bringeth about physical affliction only? O Rāvana, I am sixty thousand years old and have been administering regularly my ancestral kingdom. Old though I am, thou shalt not be able to carry away with safety Jānaki in my presence, young, accoutered in mails as thou art with bow and arrows in thy hands and ascending a car. As it is not easy to destroy, by the reasonings of Logic, Vedas and Sruties containing eternal and immutable truths, so thou shalt not be able to carry away Vaidehi by force before me. If thou art a hero do thou fight. Or do thou wait for a moment, O Rāvana, thou shalt also embrace the earth like unto Khara. Soon shall Rāma clad in bark destroy thee in the battle field, who hadst many a time and oft destroyed in conflict the celestials and Dānavas. These two princes Rāma and Lakshmana are at a distance, what shall I do now? O vile being, undoubtedly shalt thou, terrified, be destroyed by them. Myself drawing my breath thou shalt not be able to carry away this beloved queen of Rāma, the pure-natured Sitā having eyes resembling lotuses. It is my duty to do good unto the high-souled Rāma and Daçaratha even at the sacrifice of my life. Do thou stand, O Ten-necked one. Behold for a moment. O Rāvana, I shall throw thee headlong from this car, like unto a fruit from its stalk. O ranger of the night, even to my utmost might I will render thee hospitality in encounter.
While Yatāyu, the king of birds, spake this, Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, wearing pendants made of pure gold, having his eyes reddened with ire, darted towards him. Thereupon they began a terrible conflict in the welkin, like unto clouds driven by wind. There occurred a mighty conflict between Yatāyu, the lord of vultures, and Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, like unto two Malyavān57 hills supplied with wings. Thereat Rāvana began to shower continually terrible and sharpened pikes, iron arrows and Vikarnis upon the mighty lord of vultures. Yatāyu, the king of birds, began to withstand in conflict the arrows and weapons darted by Rāvana, and wounded Rāvana’s person with his feet supplied with sharpened talons. Thereupon, to destroy his enemy, that mighty hero, the Ten-necked Rāvana, being exercised with ire, took up ten terrible arrows like unto the sceptre of Death, and stretching the bow to the full he shot those straight-coursing sharpened shafts at Yatāyu, the king of birds. Beholding Jānaki with tears In her eyes in that Rākshasa’s car, Yatāyu, the king of birds, disregarding those arrows, darted towards Rāvana, and with his feet broke asunder his bow with the arrows, adorned with pearls and diamonds. Thereat Rāvana, almost beside himself with wrath, taking up another bow, began to shower arrows by hundreds and thousands. Being covered with those arrows, the lord of birds appeared like a bird lying in his nest. Pushing away these arrows by the wind of his wings, he again snapped that mighty bow with his feet, and with a stroke of his wings shattered Rāvana’s flaming shield like unto burning fire. Thereupon, moving away with the wind of his wings Rāvana’s blazing cuirass resembling flaming fire, Jatāyu in that conflict made away with his fleet-coursing asses having the faces of demons. Next crumbling into pieces with his impetus the mighty chariot of Rāvana, coursing at will, flaming like fire, having steps studded with jewels, and a wooden pole, and throwing down the umbrella and chowris like unto the full moon along with the Rākshasas engaged in carrying them,the effulgent and mighty lord of birds shattered the head of the charioteer with the strokes of his beak. Having his bow snapped and deprived of his car, horses and charioteer, Rāvana fell down to the earth, taking Vaidehi on his lap. Beholding Rāvana fallen on the ground and of broken conveyance, all creatures praised the king of vultures again and again and worshipped him.
Thereupon, finding the lord of birds worn out on account of his old age, Rāvana, highly encouraged, again rose high up in the welkin, taking Maithili with him. He had all his weapons broken in the conflict, and had but his dagger left to him. Beholding him proceed thus pleased, taking the daughter of Janaka on his lap,—all his weapons having been lost, with his sword alone left,—the mighty and powerful lord of vultures, Yatāyu, rose up and, darting towards Rāvana, resisted him and said,—“O Rāvana of feeble sense, it is for the destruction of the whole line of Rākshasas that thou carriest away this spouse of Rāma, having arrows like unto thunderbolts. Like one thirsty drinking water, thou dost address thyself to drinking poison along with thy friends, courtiers, four-fold forces, servants and relatives. Foolish persons unaware of the fruit of their actions, meet in a short time with their own destruction,—so shalt thou very soon meet with thy own end. Thou hast been bound up by the noose of Death; and, proceeding whither, shalt thou save thyself, like unto fish eating up baits with hooks for their own destruction? O Rāvana, it is beyond thy power to defeat the Kākutsthas. They shall not forgive thee for this thy encroachment upon their asylum. What hath been perpetrated by thee, coward, is blamed by all, and is the way taken recourse to by thieves and not by heroes. Do thou fight, O Rāvana, if thou art a hero, or wait for a moment and thou shalt lie down on the earth like unto thy brother Khara. Truly hast thou for thy own destruction engaged thyself in these impious acts, which are perpetrated by men on the eve of their death. What person doth that which leadeth solely into sin? Neither the lord of celestials nor the self-create Deity doth engage in such an action.” Addressing these moral words, the mighty Yatāyu swooped on the back of that Ten-necked Rākshasa. Like unto the rider of a mad elephant, the lord of vultures began to tear Rāvana with his sharpened claws, and that one having for his weapons his beak, talons, and wings, began to rive Rāvana’s back with his beak and claws, and to uproot his hair. Being thus aflicted again and again by the king of vultures, the Rākshasa shook, with his lips quivering in anger. Beside himself with anger, Rāvana, holding Jānaki fast by her left flank, struck Yatāyu with his palms. Yatāyu, the subduer of foes, bearing the strokes, tore into pieces his ten left arms with his beak. His arms cut off, instantly sprang up as many others, like unto serpents issuing out of ant-hills, being exercised with the pangs of poison. The mighty Ten-necked one, leaving aside Sitā, out of anger bore down Yatāyu with his fists and feet. Thereupon arose a mighty conflict between the lord of of vultures and the lord of Rākshasas of incomparable prowess. Yatāyu addressing himself to displaying his prowess for the benefit of Rāma, Rāvana taking out his dagger, cut off his two wings, two legs and two sides. The ranger of the night of cruel deeds having sundered his wings, the king of vultures approaching wellnigh the verge of death, fell down on the earth. Beholding him fallen on the grand with his person bathed in blood, Sitā. Became exceedingly aggrieved and darted towards him like unto a friend. The lord of Lankā beheld Yatāyu, fallen on the ground, resembling sable clouds, having a yellow breast and of exceeding prowess,—like unto an extinguished forest-fire. Then Sitā the daughter of Janaka, having a moon-like countenance began lamenting, clasping with her hands Yatāyu, crushed and fallen on the ground by the vehemence of Rāvana’s prowess.
Beholding the king of vultures slain by Rāvana, that one possessed of a face fair as the moon, striken with grief, broke out into lamentations, saying, “Throbbings of the eyes or other parts of the body, dreams, seeing birds or hearing their voices, are found to augur happiness or misery to men. And, O Rāma, although birds and beasts are scampering away before thee on my account, thou understandest not the mighty mishap that has befallen thee. O Rāma, this bird, who, moved by kindness, had come to rescue me, owing to my (ill) luck, lies slain on the ground. O Kākutstha, O Lakshmana, save me!” Thus did that best of females, afflicted with fear, bewail; and those near (her) heard her lamentations. Thereat, that lord of the Rākshasas, Rāvana, darted towards Vadehi, who, with a faded wreath for her ornament, was bewailing in forlorn guise. Exclaiming repeatedly, “Leave off!” “Leave off,” the lord of the Rākshasas got at her, as she was clasping a mighty tree as if it were a creeper. And as she, bereft of the company of Rāma in the wilderness, was wailing, saying, “O Rāma,” “O Rāma,” that one resembling the Destroyer himself, with the view of compassing his own end, seized her by her hair. On Vaidehi being thus outraged, this entire world consisting of mobile and immobile objects, had its nature altered. A dense darkness enveloped (everything). And the air did not breathe there; and the sun grew dim. Espying with his divine vision that Sitā was overcome, that Deity, the graceful Great-father exclaimed, “Our work is accomplished.” And seeing Sitā overpowered, the supreme saints inhabiting the Dandaka forest, concluding the destruction of Rāvana to be as good as accomplished without much ado, became at once delighted and aggrieved. As she went on weeping with “O Rāma,” “O Lakshmana,” Rāvana—lord of Rākshasas —taking her, coursed through the sky. And then the king’s daughter hued like molten gold, clad in a yellow silken cloth, looked exceedingly beautiful like unto lightning. And on her yellow cloth streaming up, Rāvana looked surpassingly graceful like a hill aflame with fire. And coppery fragrant lotus-leaves belonging to the eminently auspicious Vaidehi showered upon Rāvana. And her gold-glowing silken cloth, flying in the air, appeared like clouds colored by the sunken sun. And her blameless countenance on Rāvana’s lap in the sky did not appear beauteous without Rāma,—like a lotus without its stalk; it appeared like the moon risen tearing away dark clouds. And in the aerial regions her countenance on Rāvana’s lap furnished with a fair forehead and graceful hair glowing like the interior of a lotus, without scars, graced with white, shining, stainless teeth, having excellent eyes,—lovely like the moon, having a shapely nose, a rubeous upper lip,—wearing the splendour of gold in the sky,—that captivating countenance of hers in consequence of her weeping, and of being stained with tears, as also owing to the violence it had undergone at the hands of the lord of Rākshasas—did not appear beautiful without Rāma; like the moon risen during the day. And furnished with the hue of gold, Mithilā’s daughter beside the dark-bodied lord of the Rākshasas, looked like a golden girth round a sable elephant. And Janaka’s daughter, yellow-hued like lotus, having the lustre of gold.—and adorned with shining ornaments, coming in contact with Rāvana, appeared like lightning embosomed among clouds. And in consequence of Vaidehi’s ornaments sending sounds, the lord of Rākshasas resembled an entirely dark rumbling cloud. And as Sitā was being borne away, showers of blossoms, falling off from her head, were scattered all around on the earth beneath. And that blossomy shower all around, drawn up by the vehemence of the ten-headed Rāvana, again alighted beside him. And the showers of blossoms scattered around Vaiçravana’s younger brother, looked like rows of burning stars round the foremost of mountains.58 And the bangles studded with gems, loosened from Vaidehi’s feet, fell on the earth, like the lightning circle.59 Of hue like the light red of tender twigs, Vaidehi set off the dark-bodied lord of Rākshasas, as does a golden cover an elephant. Vaiçravana’s younger brother carried away Sitā, who, like a mighty meteor, filled the heavens with her splendour. And like stars of exhausted religious merit dropping down from the sky, her fiery ornaments began to fall to the earth with sounds. And the chain of the splendour of the moon, removed from Vaidehi’s breast, falling down, shone like the Gangā dropping from the sky. The trees filled with various fowls, with their tops waving because of the wind blowing on high and swaying them, seemed to say, “No fear,” [unto Sitā.] And the pools with their lotuses faded and their fishes agitated, seemed to sorrow for the desponding daughter of Mithilā as for their friend. And following Sitā’s shadow, lions, and tigers, and other beasts and birds, rushed from all sides in wrath. And the mountains, with their faces washed with water-falls representing tears, and their summits resembling uplifted arms, seemed to lament for Sitā, as she was being carried away. And beholding Vaidehi carried away, the glorious Sun, oppressed with sadness, had his rays dimmed and his disc darkened. “Virtue is not; and where is truth? And there is neither sincerity nor kindness,—in a case in which Rāvana is carrying away Rāma’s Vaidehi thus did all creatures lament in numbers. And the young of deer, afflicted with fear, wept with woe-begone faces. And the sylvan deities, looking up now and again with eyes betokening fear, had their persons all in a tremble. For compassing his own destruction, the Ten-headed one carried away the intelligent Vaidehi, bewailing bitterly, Sitā, who had come by such misfortune, sweet-voiced, crying, “O Lakshmana” “O Rāma,” and casting glances on the ground many a time and oft,—the ends of her hair waving and her tilika wiped out. Then oppressed with the load of fear, Sitā of luminous smiles,—Mithilā’ s daughter, bereft of her friends —not beholding either Rāma or Lakshmana, became pale of countenance.
Seeing him fly up into the air, Janaka’s daughter, Maithili, became aggrieved and exceedingly agitated, and great was the fear that possessed her. Her eyes expressing rage, weeping and fright, Sitā, as she was being carried away, weeping piteously, spoke to the grim-eyed lord of the Rākshasas, saying, “Dost thou not, O base wretch, Rāvana, feel shame on account of this act—thou, who, knowing that I was alone, fliest away, carrying me? Coward that thou art, thou it was, who, desirous of carrying me off, by the shape of a deer, hadst, by thy [powers of] illusion taken away my lord. And he also that endeavoured to rescue me, has been slain by thee—the ancient king of vultures, who was the friend of my father-in-law. Great, forsooth, is found to be thy might, thou vilest of Rākshasas; in that thou hast carried me off by simply declaring thy name, but hast not won me in war. Why dost thou not, O execrable one, take shame unto thyself, having perpetrated such a heinous act—having carried off another’s wife in the absence of her husband? This fell and foul act of thine fraught with unrighteousness, heroic persons shall bruit about the world. Fie on thy heroism and thy truth,—of which thou didst apeak at that time; and fie also on this character of thine, calculated to sully thy line in this world. What can I do (unto thee), as thou proceedest with speed? But stay thou for a moment; and thou shalt not return with life. Shouldst thou come within the range of the vision of those sons of the king, thou couldst not, although thou shouldst happen to be accompanied with thy army, live for a moment. Even as a bird cannot bear the touch of a flaming fire in a forest, thou canst never bear the touch of their arrows. Effecting thy own welfare, do thou, O Rāvana, leave me. If thou do not let me go, my husband along with his brother would strive for thy destruction. As intent upon sensul enjoyment, thou endeavourest to ravish me, this very endeavour of thine, O mean wight, shall come to naught. Not beholding my lord resembling a celestial, I cannot, come under the sway of my enemy, bear to live long. As one dwelling on earth perceives objects in their reversed relations at the time of one’s death, so thou dost not perceive what is for thy good or profit. Those moribund do not relish what would do them good. I see thee with the noose of Death wound round thy neck. As, O ranger of night, thou art not affected with fear, albeit the situation is one calculated to raise one’s apprehensions, it is clear that thou wilt see the golden trees, the dreadful river Vaitarani flowing with blood, the terrible wood, O Rāvana, rife with leaves in the shape of swords, and a sharp Sālmali containing blossoms of shining gold, having lapises for its leaves, and bearing iron thorns. But, O shameless one, like a person that hath drunk poison, having done this wrong unto that high-souled one, thou wilt not be able to save thyself. O Rāvana, thou art fast fettered in the noose of Death. Having done this foul turn unto that high-souled one, repairing whither, shalt thou obtain respite? Shall not that strong and heroic Rāghava, skilled in all weapons, who without his brother, in the twinkling of an eye, in battle slew fourteen thousand Rākshasas, slay thee, who carriest away his beloved wife?” Thus and in other ways, Videha’s daughter, lying on the lap of Rāvana, overwhelmed with fear and grief, indulged in piteous lamentations. And the wicked (Rāvana) with a shaking frame carried away the daughter of the king extremely distressed, speaking much, and speaking piteously, uttering lamentations, and putting forth endeavours (to free herself.)
Carried away (by Rāvana), Vaidehi, not finding any defender, saw five principal monkeys stationed on the top of a hill. Thereat, that lady of expansive eyes and surpassing charms, in the hope that they might convey the intelligence unto Rāma, flung off in their midst her gold-gleaming silken sheet, and elegant ornaments. But the Ten headed one owing to hurry did not observe the throwing of the cloth along with the ornaments. Those foremost of monkeys having tawny eyes observed with winkless eyes the large-eyed Sitā as she was giving way to grief. And the lord of Rākshasas, passing beyond Pampā, directed his course towards the city of Lankā, taking Mithilā’s daughter along with him, indulging in lamentations. Experiencing the height of delight, Rāvana ravished her, taking her on his lap, like a sharp-toothed serpent of virulent poison. And speedily, like an arrow shot from a bow, he, coursing the welkin, left behind woods and streams and mountains and pieces of water. And coming to the abode of Varuna, that refuge of rivers, the exhaustless ocean—the home of whales and alligators, he crossed over it. In consequence of the carrying away of Vaidehi, Varuna’s abode, from grief, had all its waves stilled and its fishes and mighty snakes inert.—And the Chāranas uttered in the heavens these words, “O Ten-headed one, this is thy end.” Thus did the Siddhas then say. And taking Siti on his lap, representing his own Death,—who endeavoured (to liberate herself), Rāvana entered the city of Lankā. And entering the city of Lankā, vast, with all its highways well-arranged, and with people thronging its gates, he entered his own inner apartment. Then Rāvana set Sitā there, having eyes with dark outer corners, exercised with grief and dole; as if Maya had set his own Asura Illusion (in his own palace). Then the Ten-headed one spoke unto some female friends of terrible visages, “Let no man or woman behold Sitā without my permission. And I command that, should she ask for pearls, or rubies, or gold, or apparel, or ornaments, the same should be rendered unto her. She that, whether knowingly or unknowingly should say anything unpleasant to Vaidehi, would hold her life cheap.” Having said this unto the Rākshasis, the puissant lord of the Rāksahsas, went out of the inner apartment, and thought within himself as to what was to be done (next). And he saw eight flesh-eating Rākshasas of wondrous prowess. And seeing them, the exceedingly powerful (Rāvana), blinded by the bestowal of the boon, after extolling their strength and heroism, addressed them, saying, “Equipped with various weapons, do ye speedily take yourself to Janasthāna,— that field of carnage—which ere this contained the abode of Khara; and casting off fear at a distance, do ye sojourn in vacant Janasthāna with all its Rākshasas slain (by Rāma). A great many troops endeued with exceeding prowess, who had been posted in Janasthāna, have, along with Dushana and Khara, been slain by the shafts of Rāma. Hence unprecedented is my wrath, towering above my patience; and great and fierce also is the hostility I have conceived against Rāma. I wish to avenge myself on my mighty enemy. Sleep find I none without slaying my foe in fight. Slaying that slayer of Khara and Dushana, Rāma, I shall attain delight like unto that attained by a pauper on gaining riches. Staying in Janasthāna, ye shall gather true information touching Rāma as to what he is about. Repair all ye rangers of the night carefully, and strive yourselves always for slaying Rāma. I have been well acquainted with your strength in many a field, and it is for this that I set ye in Janasthāna.” Hearing these agreeable and weighty words of Rāvana, those Rākshasas, bowing down unto Rāvana, left Lankā, and in a body invisibly proceeded in the direction of Janasthāna. Having obtained Mithilā’s daughter, Rāvana experienced great joy in establishing her (in his own house); and having created high hostility with Rāma, Rāvana through blindness rejoiced greatly.
Having commissioned those eight terrible and mighty Rākshasas, Rāvana, in consequence of perversion of sense, considered himself as crowned with success. And brooding over Vaidehi, he, sore pierced by the shafts of Kāma, hastily entered his charming mansion, with the intention of seeing Sitā. And entering that apartment, Rāvana—lord of Rākshasas—saw the distressed Sitā in the midst of the Rākshasas, with a tearful countenance, oppressed with a load of grief, like unto a bark sinking in the ocean through the violence of the winds; like unto a doe separated from the herd of deer, and surrounded by dogs. Coming to Sitā disconsolate in consequence of stress of sorrow, remaining with her head bent down, that ranger of the night, the lord of the Rākshasas, forcibly shewed unto her that mansion resembling the mansion of the celestials, thick with palaces and lordly piles, inhabited by thousands of females; containing birds of vaious kinds; furnished with various gems; with beautiful pillars of ivory gold and crystal and silver, studded with diamonds and lapises. Rāvana in company with Sitā ascended the beautiful golden stairs, resounding with the sounds of kettle-drums and embellished with ornaments of burnished gold. And those loftly edifices had excellent windows made of ivory and silver, and covered with golden nets. The ground all over was decorated with ambrosia and gems. The Ten-headed one in his own mansion shewed unto Maithilee large tanks and pools covered with various kinds of flowers. (All this) Rāvana shewed unto Sitā overmastered by sorrow. And after having shewed unto Vaidehi the whole of that goodliest of mansions, that wicked one, with the intention of tempting Sitā, spoke unto her, saying, “O Sitā, leaving out old men and boys, I am the lord of thirty two kotis of night-rangers of terrible deeds. And a thousand come forward whenever required for any service.—If such is my sovereignty, all this is established in thee, O large-eyed lady, as well as my life. Thou art dearer unto me than life. O Sitā, be thou the mistress of those numerous excellent women who are my wives. Dear, be thou my wife. This is for thy good. Why shoudst thou act otherwise? Do thou relish my speech. Do thou bend thy mind towards me. It behoves thee to favor me, who am burning (in the heat of desire). This Lankā measuring an hundred Yoyanas girt round by the ocean, is incapable of being harassed by the celestials themselves headed by Indra. Neither among the celestials nor Yakshas nor Gandharbas nor Serpents, find I any one that can match me in prowess. What wilt thou do with Rāma a human being of short life, poor, of small prowess, practising mendicancy? O Sitā, bend thy mind unto me. I am a fit husband for thee. O timed one, youth is uncertain. Sport with me here. And, O thou of a handsome countenance, do not wish for the sight of Rāghava. O Sitā, what power hath he to come hither even in thought? None can fetter the exceedingly fleet wind in the sky, or hold the bright flame of a burning fire. O beauteous one, in these three worlds I find no one that can by his might carry thee away, who art protected by my arms. Do thou govern at Lankā this extensive kingdom. The like of me and celestials and all that are mobile and immobile shall be thy servants. Laving thy limbs with water, do thou gratify me. The evil that thou hadst done, hath been expiated by thy life in the forest: now do thou reap the fruit of thy good deeds. Here are garlands furnished with divine fragrance, and, O Maithili, superb ornaments. Enjoy thou all those along with me. O thou of shapely hips, the car called Pushpaka, resembling the sun, which (formerly) belonged to my brother Vaiçravana, was through my prowess won by me in fight. And vast and beautiful is that car furnished with the speed of the mind. Do thou, O Sitā, at thy pleasure sport on it along with me. Thy face stainless and lovely to look at, resembling the lotus, doth not, O thou of a comely countenance, O magnificent damsel, appear beautiful in consequence of thy being exercised with grief. When Rāvana had spoken thus, that best of females Sitā muffling up her moon-like countenance with the ends of her cloth, began to shed gentle tears. Thereat the heroic ranger of the night, Rāvana, said unto Sitā, distressed, sunk in thought, and deprived of her splendour through anxiety, “O Vaidehi, banish bashfulness, which stands in the way of one’s duty. The yearning I feel after thee is in consonance with what the sages prescribe. These tender feet of thine I press upon my heads. Do thou speedily shew thy favor unto me. I am thy slave (ever) obedient unto thee. Let not these words of mine spoken by me under the withering influence of love prove fruitless. Rāvana hath never bowed his head to any female.” Having said this, the Ten-headed one, come under the subjection of the Destroyer, looked upon Maithili, Janaka’s daughter (as his own) saying, “She is mine.”
Having been thus addressed, Vaidehi unaffected by fear, although exercised with grief, placing a blade of grass between herself and Rāvana, answered him, saying, “There was a king named Daçaratha, the bridge of righteousness, like unto a mountain, ever bearing regard towards the truth, and renowned among men, whose son is Rāghava. He is named Rāma, and is righteous-souled and celebrated over the three worlds. He is long-armed, of expansive eyes,—like unto a celestial—he is my husband. Born in the race of the Ikshwākus, he hath the shoulders of a lion and is possessed of exceeding effulgence—the same that along with his brother, Lakshmana, shall take thy life. If thou hadst wronged me forcibly in his presence, thou wouldst have lain in battle in Janasthāna even as Khara.” All the mighty Rākshasas of grim visages, whom thou hast extolled (before me) shall be deprived of their venom before Rāma, as serpents are before Suparna. The shafts decorated with gold shot by the bow-string of Rāghava, shall pierce their bodies, as the waves of the Ganga (beat against) her banks, Although, O Rāvana, thou mayst be incapable of being slain either by the gods or the Asuras, yet having roused the high hostility of Rāghava, thou wilt not be able to liberate thy life. The strong Rāghava will compass the end of what remains of thy life. Like the life of a beast tied to the sacrificial stake, thy own is incapable of being reclaimed, Should Rāma look at thee with eyes aglow with anger, thou, O Rākshasa, wouldst be consumed even as Manmatha was by Rudra. He who is able to bring down the Moon or destroy him, and to drink up the ocean dry, will surely liberate Sitā from here. Thy days are numbered, and auspiciousness hath bidden thee adieu. Thou art shorn of strength, and thy senses have been dulled. And it is owing to thee that Lankā shall be subject to widowhood. That thou by force hast for naught carried me away from the side of my husband —this sinful act can never conduce to thy felicity. That exceedingly effulgent lord of mine along with my husband’s younger brother, summoning up their energy, is fearlessly dwelling in the vacant Dandaka. By means of an arrowy shower in conflict, he will take thy prowess and strength, thy hauteur and wickedness out of thy person. When urged by the Destroyer, the destruction of creatures is perceptible, then, coming under the sway of the Destroyer, men become careless in their actions. Having outraged me, thou, O worst of Rākshasas, thy time come; for compassing thy own destruction as well as that of the Rākshasas and those dwelling in thy inner apartment. A Chandāla cannot tread the dais reared in the midst of a sacrifice beauteous with ladles, and vessels, and sanctified by the twice-born ones. So I, the religiously wedded wife of that one, ever intent on virtue, and (always) firm in my vows, is incapable, thou vilest of Rākshasas, of being touched by thee, a sinner. How can the female that hath always sported with her mate amidst lotuses, cast her eyes on a shag staying among rushes. Do thou either bind or destroy this body deprived of sensation. This body will I not protect, nor yet this life, O Rāvana; and I shall not be able to bring blame on myself in this world.” Having said these harsh words in wrath, Videha’s daughter, Jānaki, did not there again say anything unto Rāvana. Hearing Sitā’s words, harsh and calculated to make one’s down stand on end, Rāvana answered her in words tending to excite one’s apprehension, “Hear, O Maithili, my words. O damsel if, O thou of sweet smiles, within this time thou do not turn thyself unto me, the cooks shall cut thee off in pieces to serve my morning meal.” Having herself spoken thus, Rāvana,—challenger of foes— growing exceedingly wroth, addressed the Rākshasis in these words, “Ye frightful Rākshasis terrible to behold, subsisting on flesh and gore, do ye at once crush her pride.” As soon as he had said this, those frightfnl and terrible Rākshasis with joined hands encircled Maithili. Then the grim-visaged king Rāvana, as if riving the earth by his tread, proceeding a pace or two, said, “Do ye take Maithili to the wood of Asokas. There surrounding her, do ye secretly guard her; and there (sometimes) by storming, and (at others) by means of soft speech, do ye all strive to bring Mithilā’s daughter, like a wild female elephant, under your sway.” Thus commanded by Rāvana, those Rākshasis taking Maithili along with them, went to the Asoka wood, abounding with trees granting every desire, and filled with various kinds of fruits and flowers; and frequented by fowls fraught with juices at all seasons. And as a doe comes under the subjection of tigresses, Janaka’s daughter, Maithili, her frame worked up with grief, came under the sway of the Rākshasis. And like a female deer fast bound by a trap, Janaka’s timid daughter Maithili, agitated by the mighty grief, did not attain respite. And greatly up-braided by the fierce eyes (of the Rākshasis), Maithili did not know repose; and, afflicted with grief and fear, she, remembering her beloved lord along with Lakshmana swooned away.
Having slain the Rākshasa, Māricha, able to wear shapes at will, who had been ranging in the form of a deer, Rāma speedily turned back along the path. On Sitā having entered Lankā, the great father addressed the gratified Devendra of an hundred sacrifices, “For bringing about the weal of the three worlds, and the woe of the Rākshasas, Sitā hath been taken into Lankā by the wicked-minded, Rāvana. Devoted unto her husband, the exalted lady always brought up in happiness, not seeing her husband, and seeing (on the other hand) environed by numbers of Rākshasis,—is hungering after the sight of her lord. The city of Lankā is situated on the shores of the lord of rivers and streams. How can Rāma get a knowledge of that blameless one, staying there? Brooding over the various ills she hath undergone, that exceedingly rare damsel is passing her days. Surely she will resign her existence. Great is the doubt that hath arisen as to Sitā putting a period to her existence. Having thyself from here, do thou see the fair-faced Sitā. Having entered the city of Lankā, offer excellent clarified butter.” Thus addressed by the reverend chastiser of Paka, Devendra in company with sleep, approached the city ruled by Rāvana. He then addressed sleep, saying, “Go thou; and stupify the Rākshasas.” Thus accosted by Maghavat, that goddess, exceedingly delighted, for securing success to the work of the celestials, covered the Rākshasas with stupor. In the meanwhile, that god, the thousand-eyed lord of Sachi went to (Sitā) staying in the woods, and spoke unto her these words, “I am the sovereign of the celestials. Good betide thee! I am here, O thou of luminous smiles! For securing success unto the work of the magnanimous Rāghava, I will lend my aid unto thee. Do not, O daughter of Janaka, grieve. Through my grace, he shall along with his forces cross over the ocean. And, O excellent wench, I have by my supernal power, stupified the Rākshasis. And, O Sitā, for this reason, I along with sleep, taking these rice,—rice boiled in clarified butter, have, O Vaidehi, come unto thee. If thou partake of these from my hand, thou shalt never beuteous one, be afflicted either with hunger or thirst, thou of thighs resembling rambhā (trunks), for years.” Thus addressed, Sitā, alarmed, said, “How can I know thee for Devendra, Sachi’s husband, staying here? By the side of Rāma and Lakshmana, I had beheld the signs of the celestials. If, O Devendra, thou art thyself the sovereign of the celestials, show those unto me.” Hearing Sitā’s words, the lord of Sachi did accordingly. He did not touch the earth with his feet, and his eyes remained winkless. He bloomed in youth, and the blossoms did not fade on his attire. Thereupon knowing him for Vasava, Sitā was overjoyed. And weeping, she spoke regarding Rāghava, “By luck it is that I had heard of that mighty-armed one along with his brother. As is my father-in-law, the king, as is the master of Mithilā, so art thou (unto me), thou whom I behold to-day; my husband hath now found a protector.— And by thy command, O Devendra, will I partake of this pāyasa cooked with milk, which hath been offered unto me, and which shall enhance (the prosperity) of our race.” Thereupon taking the pāyasa from Indra’s hands, that Maithili of luminous smiles (mentally) offered it unto her husband as well as Lakshmana. “If my mighty lord live along with his brother, let this through my reverence for them, be theirs.” She then partook of the pāyasa herself. Having thus eaten it, that one of excellent countenance, had her hunger and rising sorrow removed; and attaining a mental tendency from Indra, Jānaki grew glad with reference to the Kākutshthas. And Sakra also for bringing about the success of Rāghava’s work, with a pleased mind, went to the abode of celestials. And greeting Sitā again and again, that high-souled celestial, in company with sleep went back to his own abode.”
Killing the Rākshasa, Māricha assuming shapes at will and ranging in the shape of a deer, Rāma vended speedily his way. And as he hurried himself, eager to behold Maithili, jackals began to howl hideously at his back. Hearing their harsh cries, capable of making one’s hair stand on end, Rāma struck with fear at the voices of the jackals, became filled with alarm. “Ah! I consider this as inauspicious— that these jackals are crying. Escaping being devoured by the Rākshasas, may fair fortune befall Vaidehi! If Lakshmana should have heard the cries which Māricha, knowing my voice, and fixing on the means of harming me, uttered in the form of a deer, Saumitri, hearing that voice, leaving Mithilā’s daughter and commissioned by herself, must have come near me. Surely, the Rākshasas in a body are desirous of slaying Sitā. Becoming a golden deer, Māricha, having allured me far, transformed himself into a Rākshasa, as soon as he had been struck with my shafts; and exclaimed, ‘Ah! Lakshmana, slain am I.’ It is doubtless, we having left (Sitā), whether all is well with her. I having raised the hostility of the Rākshasas for the sake of Janasthāna; and many and dreadful are the omens I see (around me).” Thus reflecting as he heard the bowlings of the jackals, the self-possessed Rāma with hasty steps returned to the asylum. Rāghava went back to Janasthāna, alarmed in consequence of his having been drawn away by the Rākshasa in the form of a deer. And birds and beasts approached that high-souled one distressed and depressed in spirit; and staying on his left set up frightful cries. As he was witnessing the exceedingly dreadful signs, Rāghava saw Lakshmana coming with a lacklustre (countenance); and Lakshmana came up to Rāma. And depressed in spirit, he was rendered still more sad by that one who, afflicted with depression shared his sorrow. And, seeing that (Lakshmana) had come, leaving Sitā in that solitary wood frequented by Rākshasas, his brother fell to reprimanding him. And taking Lakshmana’s left; hand, the son of Raghu in extreme distress sweetly spake these rough words, “Alas! Lakshmana, thou hast committed a censurable act; leaving Sitā, O mild one, thou hast come hither. Is it well with her? I make no doubt, O hero, but that Janaka’s daughter hath either been slain or devoured by Rākshasas ranging the forest. And, considering the many omens that take place before me, O Lakshmana, I do not know whether we shall light upon welfare of Janaka’s daughter Sitā being alive, O best of men. And as these multitudes of beasts and these jackals are crying frightfully in the flaming direction,60 I do not know, O thou of mighty strength, whether it is well with that daughter of the king. This Rākshasa, who, wearing the shape of a deer, and, alluring me, had drawn me far, hath in some sort been slain by me with much ado; and he became a Rākshasa at the time of his death. Yet my mind is poor and cheerless; and my left eye throbs. Doubtless, O Lakshmana, Sitā is not,—she is either carried away, or dead, or is wandering on the way.
Seeing Lakshmana cast down, cheerless, and come without Vaidehi, the righteous son of Daçaratha, asked him, saying, “Where, O Lakshmana is that Vaidehi, who hath followed me unto the Dandaka forest, and leaving whom thou hast come hither? Where is that one of a slender waist, who is the help in trouble of me, deprived of my kingdom, dispirited, and running about the Dandakas? Without whom, hero, I cannot live for a moment—where is that life’s help of me Sitā resembling the daughter of a celestial? O Lakshmana, without Janaka’s daughter (hued) like burning gold, I covet not the sovereignty of the celestials or the earth. Liveth Vaidehi, dearer unto me than life? Shall this exile of mine be of no avail? O Sumitra’s son, on my dying for Sitā and thy returning (to the city,) shall Kaikeyi have her desire, and attain felicity; and shall Kauçalyā,— her son dead, and herself wearing the guise of a female mendicant, humbly wait upon Kaikeyi when she shall have succeeded in obtaining the kingdom for her son? If Vaidehi live, I will then return to the asylum; but O Lakshmana, if that one of excellent character should happen to be dead, I will also renounce my life. If, O Lakshmana, Vaidehi ever preluding her speech with a smile should not speak to me when I arrive at the asylum, I shall give up my life. Do thou tell me, O Lakshmana, whether Videha’s daughter liveth or not; or whether, in consequence of thy acting heedlessly, that forlorn wench hath been devoured by Rākshasas. Of a tender frame, and a mere girl, Vaidehi, never having experienced unhappiness being cast down, surely weepeth for my separation. When that exceedingly wicked Rākshasa cried, “Lakshmana” at the top of his voice, wast thou also seized with fear? And I apprehend that voice resembling mine was heard by Vaidehi; and, despatched by her from fear, thou mayst have come hither swiftly to see61 me. Thou hast every way acted unwisely in having left Sitā alone in the wood. By this thou hast afforded opportunity to the cruel Rākshasas to repair the mischief (I have done them). The Rākshasas subsisting on flesh are aggrieved because of Khara having been slain; and now, without doubt, those terrible ones have slain Sitā. Alas! Absolutely sunk am I in peril, O destroyer of foes. What shall I do now? I fear such an event was appointed for me.” Thus thinking of Sitā, paragon among women, Rāghava hastily went to Janasthāna in company with Lakshmana. Taking to task his younger brother of distressed visage, Rāma, afflicted with hunger and thirst, and dejected in spirits, sighing heavily with a countenance turned pale, entered the asylum and found it vacant. And entering his own asylum, that hero went to the play-grounds (of Sitā) and remembering the sporting ground (of Sitā) in that abode, he was filled with grief and his down stood on end.
When coming out of the hermitage, Raghu’s descendant, Rāma, after a while, from grief, spake these words to the son of Sumitrā, “When confiding myself in thee, I had left Maithili with thee in the wood, why then didst thou go oat, leaving her behind? O Lakshmana, directly I saw thee approach, renouncing Maithili, my mind, apprehending great wrong, became really aggrieved. O Lakshmana, seeing thee coming at a distance, renouncing her, my left eye and arm as well as ray heart keep throbbing.” Thus accosted, Lakshmana having auspicious signs, afflicted with great grief, said unto the aggrieved Rāma, “I have not come hither, of my own accord, renouncing Sitā; but I have come to thee, having been urged thereto by herself with rudeness. The cries of “O Lakshmana, save me,” as if uttered by the master, came to the ears of Maithili. Hearing those distressful accents, Maithili from affection [for thee], breaking out into lamentations, and overwhelmed with fear, spoke unto me, “Off,” “off.” On being repeatedly urged, with “Go,” I answered Maithili in these words, tending to inspire her confidence, ‘I do not see such a Rākshasa, as can excite his fear. Do thou desist. These cries do not come from him; but must have been uttered by some one else. How can he that can rescue the celestials themselves, utter, O Sitā, such a blame-worthy and base word as—save [me]? Some one far some purpose, assuming my brothers voice, is crying— O Lakshmana, save me. O beauteous lady, these words, Save me—must have been uttered by some Rākshasa from fear. Thou shouldst not act like a mean woman. Do not be overwhelmed; and banish thy anxiety. There breathes no person, nor yet shall there be born any one in these three worlds who in the field shall vanquish Rāghava in fight. Rāghava is incapable of being beaten in battle by the very gods headed by Indra.’ Thus addressed (by me) Vaidehi, deprived of her sense, shedding tears, spake unto me these cruel words, ‘Thou cherishest the vile idea that on thy brother perishing, thou shalt come by me; but me thou shalt never have. As thou dost not go to him albeit he is crying loudly (for help), thou followest Rāma in consonance with a hint from Bharata. A foe going about in disguise, thou followest Rāma for my sake, prying into Rāghava’s draw backs; and it is for this that thou dost not go (to him)?’ Thus accosted by Vaidehi, I, with eyes reddened in wrath, and my nether lip swollen in ire, rushed out of “the asylum.” When Saumitri had spoken thus, Rāma transported by grief, said unto Lakshmana, “O gentle one, thou hast done wrong in having come out hither without her. Although thou knewest (full well) that I was able to withstand the Rākshasas, yet didst thou sally out at the angry words of Mithilā’s daughter. I am not pleased with thee that hearing her harsh speech spoken in wrath, thou hast come hither, leaving Vaidehi behind. Thou hast every way done wrong in not acting out my mandate in consequence of being urged by Sitā, and under the influence of indignation. That Rākshasa lieth low, being wounded by my shafts—that had drawn me away from the asylum wearing the form of a deer. I hit him stretching my brow slightly and fixing the shaft on it; when, renouncing his deer-form he became a Rākshasa wearing a bracelet and began to emit distressful shrieks. Wounded by my shaft, he, assuming my voice, and in accents capable of being heard from far, uttered those dreadful words fraught with dole, hearing which, thou hast come hither, renouncing Mithilā’s daughter.”
As Rāma went on, his feet failed him, his left eye began to beat, and a trembling came over his frame. Seeing again and again all these signs, he continually kept on asking (Lakshmana), “Is it well with Sitā?” Eager to behold Sitā, he proceeded fast; but finding the abode empty, he was filled with anxiety. And proceeding with swiftness, throwing about his limbs, Raghu’s son began to survey all around the hut. He then found it empty of Sitā, like unto a tank in evil plight and bereft of lotuses—during the winter. And seeing the cottage empty, with its trees as if sorrowing, and its flowers faded, and its beasts and birds sunk in gloom,— shorn of grace, worn out, forsaken by the sylvan deities, strewn with deer-skins and Kuça, and twists of Kāsa, he wept again and again—“Hath the timid one been carried off, or is she dead, or hath any one eaten her up, or hath she vanished (from the earth), or hath she gone to the wood, or hath she gone to cull flowers and fruits, or hath she gone to the pool for procuring water, or hath she repaired to the river? Although he searched his beloved one carefully, yet he failed to find her out in the wood-land. And that graceful one with his eyes reddened with grief, seemed like a maniac. And he rushed from tree to tree, and bewailing being sunk in an occean of grief traversed all the rivers and mountains. “O Kadamba, hast thou seen where is that one fond of Kadamba groves? If knowest thou this do thou tell me of Sitā having an auspicious countenance. O Bilya, tell me pray, if thou hast seen her, wearing silken cloth, resembling cool leaves and having breast like unto Bilya fruits. Or, O Aryunā, she was very fond of thee, tell me if liveth that daughter of Janaka of slender frame. This Kakuva knoweth for certain about Maithilee having thighs like unto Kakuva. Yon stands beautifully that Banaspati being enveloped with creepers, flowers and leaves and filled with the hum of Vramaras. Surely doth this Tilaka know about her who was fond of her. O Asoka, who doth remove sorrows, do thou make good thy name by making me, who am exercised with grief, see instantly my beloved (spouse). O Tala, if thou hast any pity on me do thou tell me whether thou hast beheld that fair damsel having breast resembling ripe Tala fruits. Do thou tell me without fear, O Jāmbhu, if thou hast seen my dear one resembling in hue the river Jāmbhu. O Karnikar, thou appearest very beautiful with this blossoming flowers, tell me if thou hast seen my dear devoted wife who was fond of thee.” Thus the highly famous Rāma asking about Sitā, nearing the various trees such as mangoe, Nipa, Mahasālā, Panaça, Kurava, Pomegranate, Vakula, Pumnaga, Sandal and Keta began to traverse the forest like a maniac. Again addressed he the diverse animals—“O deer, knowest thou for certain about Jānaki having the eyes of a doe; is she engaged in play with the does? O elephant, methinks thou dost know about the daughter of Janaka having thighs resembling thy trunk; pray tell me if thou hast beheld her. O tiger, fearlessly do thou relate unto me if thou hast seen my beloved Maithilee, having a countenance resembling Moon. O dear! O thou having eyes like unto lotuses! Why dost thou fly away? Surely have I seen thee. Why dost thou not address me hiding thyself behind the tree? Wait, wait, O thou fair damsel, thou hast no compassion for me! Never hadst thou mock me before in this way! Why dost thou neglect me now? O exquisitely fair damsel, truly have I found thee out from this thy yellow silken cloth. I have seen thee flying away. Stand if thou hast any love for me. Or, O thou having a sweet smile, thou art not she; truly thou hast been killed or else thou wouldst not have neglected me at this time of dire affliction. True it is that she hath been devoured in my absence by the Rākshasas living on flesh having torn into pieces her limbs. Truly hath her face, resembling the full-moon, having beautiful teeth a fine nose and white Kundalas, become of pale countenance being brought under the possession of the Rākshasas. Her neck had the hue of sandal and was adorned with necklace—that beautiful tender neck was eaten up by the Rākshasas, my beloved wife wailing. Her arms were tender like leaves and adorned with various ornaments; truly have the Rākshasas eaten them up, shaken as they were, by throwing them here and there. Alas! Did I leave her alone only to be devoured by the Rākshasas? And she hath been eaten up like one weak and helpless albeit she has many friends. O Lakshmana, O thou of mighty-arms, hast thou seen where my dear wife is? O dear! O Sitā! Where hast thou gone?” Bewailing again and again in this strain Rāma began to range the forest. Sometimes leaping, sometimes walking in an uncertain direction, again and again he looked like one void of sense. And again intent on searching Sitā he furiously engaged in traversing the rivers, mountains, fountains and the woods. He could not wait paitently anywhere. Entering a vast forest he searched every nook and corner for Maithilee; his desire was not satisfied and he again engaged with great labour in the finding out of his dear spouse.
Beholding the hermitage and cottage desolate and the seats strewn here and there, Rāma the son of Daçaratha looked around. And finding Sitā nowhere he raised up his beautiful arm and broke out into lamentations saying, “O Lakshmana where is Sitā? Where has she gone hence? O Saumitri, who hath carried away my dear one or who hath devoured her? O Sitā, if wishest thou to mock me, hiding thyself behind the tree, enough—enough it is—console me who am exercised with grief. O pleasant Sitā, without thee these faithful little deer have engaged in meditation being bathed in tears. Without Sitā I shall not breathe, O Lakshmana. A mighty grief hath overtaken me in consequence of her being carried away. My father the monarch shall surely behold me in the next world and ask me ‘I engaged thee in the observance of a vow; without fulfilling that, why hast thou come here? O shame on thee!’ For certain shall my father address me with these words relating to my passionate, false and base conduct. All my desires have now been baffled and I have lost all control over myself and have been exercised with grief. O fine damsel, O thou of slender waist, where dost thou repair leaving me behind like unto fame renouncing a person of vicious nature? Without thee I shall renounce my own life.” Being desirous of seeing Sitā, Rāma afflicted with grief began to bewail in this strain, but did not behold the daughter of Janaka. Being sunk in grief on Sitā’s account he became worn out like unto an elephant fallen in mud. Thereat for his well being, Lakshmana spoke unto him saying, “O thou of mighty intellect— do not grieve. Do thou put forth thy endeavours along with me. There is that high hill, O hero, containing many a cave. Maithili who is fond of ranging the forest and ever delighteth in beholding the flowery woods, must have entered therein or have gone to the watering-place blooming with flowerets and lotuses. She has gone to the river abounding in fish and Banjulas or has hidden herself somewhere in the forest to frighten us and to know, O best of men, how we can search her out. O thou of great beauty, let us soon engage in quest of her. O Kākuthstha, if thinkest thou that she is somewhere in this forest, we shall leave no quarter untried. Do thou not grieve.” After Lakshmana had spoken thus out of fraternal affection, Rāma, with a composed heart, set out along with him in quest of Sitā. And searching every nook and corner of the mountains, rivers, ponds, table-lands, hills and summits they found Sitā nowhere. And searching thus all the mountains Rāma spake unto Lakshmana saying “Behold not I the auspicious Vaidehi on this mountain, O Saumitri.” Ranging the entire forest of Dandaka, Lakshmana, sore distressed, spake unto his brother of flaming energy, saying “Surely shalt thou come by Maithili the daughter of Janaka like unto the mighty armed Vishnu obtaining this earth after having bound Vāli.” Being thus addressed by the heroic Lakshmana, Rāghava, greatly afflicted with sorrow, replied in piteous accents—“O thou of mighty intellect I have searched every nook of this forest, this pool abounding in blown lotuses, and this mountain containing many a cave and fountain; but nowhere have I seen Vaidehi dearer than my life.” Thus bewailing Rāma, racked with sorrow consequent on Sitā, being carried away, became poorly and afflicted with grief and swooned away for sometime. He lost his sense and his whole frame was worked with grief. Being grfeatly anxious and breathless he sighed hot and fast and began to lament. And sobbing again and again the lotus-eyed Rāma bewailed with his voice choked with the vapour of grief, exclaiming “Ah Sitā!” Thereat his dear brother Lakshmana, aggrieved, consoled him with joined hands. But passing by the words dropping from Lakshmana’s lips Rāma again and again bewailed not beholding his dear Sitā.
Not beholding Sitā the virtuous-souled Rāma, of mighty arms, having eyes resembling lotuses, beside himself with grief, lamented (in many a way). Pierced with the shafts of Manmatha, Rāghava, as if beholding Sitā though he actually did not see her, uttered the following piteous accents—“O my dear, thou delightest greatly in flowers. Covering thy own person with Asoka twigs thou art increasing my grief. Thy thighs are like unto the trunks of plantain trees and thou hast hidden thyself behind the plantain grove. But I percieve thee, O fair one, thou art incapable of keeping thyself hidden. O auspicious one, thou hast entered smiling the Karnikar grove. No more with thy pastime, O dear one, leading to my death. Moreover it is not proper to sport in this way in a hermitage. I know it full well, O my dear, that thou art by nature fond of pastimes. But O thou of expansive eyes, this cottage lieth desolate, do thou come here. Evident it is that Sitā hath either been devoured by the Rākshasas or carried away by them, and therefore she doth not approach me, O Lakshmana, who am thus bewailing. These deer, O Lakshmana, with tearful eyes have been as if declaring that Sitā hath been devoured by the night-rangers. O chaste one, O thou of exquisitely fine hue, O worshipful madam, whither hast thou repaired? O Sitā, truly hath the desire of Kaikeyi been fulfilled to-day. I came out with Sitā and shall return home without her. How shall I enter again that inner apartment void of Sitā? Surely shall the people blame me as being cruel and destitute of energy. That I have no prowess hath already been manifested in the destruction of Sitā. When the king Janaka shall come to me after my return home from exile, to ask me of my welfare how shall I meet him? And surely shall he be overwhelmed with grief on his daughter’s account when he shall find me without Sitā. Blessed is my father since he is in heaven now. I shall not repair to that city protected by Bharata. Without her even the heaven itself appears to me as desolate. Do thou therefore repair to the city of Ayodhya leaving me in this forest. By no means shall I breathe without her. Embracing him warmly do thou tell Bharata, as instructed by me— ‘Rāma hath given thee permission to administer this kingdom.’ As ordered by me do thou with proper respect salute all my mothers Kauçalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitrā and protect them all with great care and respectful compliments. O destroyer of foes, do thou relate at length unto my mother the story of Sitā’s destruction.” Rāma bewailing thus, being overwhelmed with grief on account of his separation from Sitā having a head of fine hair, Lakshmana became of pale countenance and was greatly distressed at heart.
That son of a king, stricken as he was with grief consequent upon separation from his dear one, was again overwhelmed with a terrible grief after causing sorrow unto his brother. Sunk in the abyss of grief, Rāma, sighing hot and weeping piteously, spoke unto Lakshmana who was equally aggrieved, words worthy of being said on that occasion. “Me thinks there is none other on this earth like me, the perpetrator of vicious crimes. My heart or soul is not riven though crushed again and again without respite with a multitude of doleful events. Surely did I perpetrate many a vicious deed in my previous birth, the fruit of which I do now suffer and in consequence whereof misfortune after misfortune hath befallen me. Coming within the compass of my remembrance, the loss of my kingdom, the death of my father, the separation of my mother and other kinsmen culminates my grief. Repairing unto woods, O Lakshmana, in Sitā’s company my grief was assuaged, nay I did not suffer physical affliction even. Without Sitā these sorrows have grown anew like unto fire flaming again by means of fuel. Truly my wife, timid as she is, hath been carried away by a Rākshasa by the etherial track. Alas I doubtless it is, that one of pleasant accents, wept piteously out of fear many a time and oft. For certain my dear wife’s breast round and sprinkled as it was with red sandal paste, was bathed in blood (while devoured by the Rākshasas)—but there is no death for me. That countenance the beauty of which was enhanced by a head of curly hair and which used to emit forth tender, soft and clear accents, hath become pale, being taken possession of by the Rākshasas like unto the Moon almost devoured by Rāhu. Surely have the Rākshasas subsisting on gore drunk her blood in the sky tearing oft the neck of my dear one ever devoted to pious observances. Surely did that one of beautifully expansive eyes cry aloud poorly like unto a hind when she was drawn hither and thither by the Rākshasas encircling her in the forest in my absence. O Lakshmana, sitting at the foot of this hill with me that large-hearted, pious Sitā, of smilling countenance, used to address thee on many a topic. This is Godavari, the best of rivers, my dear wife took delight in her— has she gone there?—But she never goes there alone. Or has Jānaki having eyes resembling lotus-petals hath gone to bring lotuses? But how is that possible, she never goes without me to bring lotuses. Hath she entered at her pleasure this forest filled with many flowery trees and diverse birds? But that is not possible too—she is timid and feareth much to enter alone in this forest. O Aditya, knowest thou the pious and vicious actions of men; beareth thou testimony to the truth and untruth of their actions—do thou tell me, pray, who am striken with grief, whither hath my dear one repaired, or whether hath she been killed? O Air, there is nothing on earth which is not within the compass of thy vision, do thou relate unto me whether Sitā preserving the fame of my ancestry, hath been killed or carried away or if she waiteth on the way.” After Rāma had bewailed thus being beside himself with grief, Saumitri, ever treading the right path and not of poorly mind spoke words worthy of being said on that occasion.—“Do thou take heart renouncing thy grief and engage with energy in quest of Sitā. Persons of high energy are never exhausted on the earth even in the face of arduous works.” The highly powerful Lakshmana having spoken thus being afflicted with grief, Rāma, the best of Raghu’s descendants, did not consider that worth pondering over. Renouncing patience he again indulged in excessive grief.
Rāma stricken with grief spake unto Lakshmana the following piteous words saying, “O Lakshmana, do thou speedily repair to the river Godaveri and learn if Sitā hath gone there to fetch lotuses.” Being thus addressed by Rāma, the quick-paced Lakshmana went to the pleasant stream Godaveri. Reconnoitering full well the river containing many a watering-place Lakshmana spake unto Rāma saying, “Searched have I all the watering-places but have found her nowhere—anon I cried aloud but she did not hear. I cannot trace whither hath Vaidehi of slender waist repaired ever assuaging our mental affliction.” Hearing Lakshmana’ s words, Rāma, aggrieved and overwhelmed with sorrow repaired in person to the river Godaveri. Arriving there cried he “Where is Sitā?” Neither did the world of creatures nor the river Godaveri apprise Rāma of Sitā’s being carried away by the Lord of Rākshasas worthy of being slain. Thinking of the terrible figure and monstrous actions of that vicious-souled Rāvana, that river did not dare relate unto him anything about Sitā, albeit appointed by the creatures to relate the story concerning her and accosted by Rāma in piteous accents. Being thus disappointed by the river in beholding Sitā, Rāma racked with her separation spake unto Lakshmana saying “O thou of auspicious looks, this river Godavari doth give no reply. But O Lakshmana, returning without her what shall I say unto Janaka and Vaidehi’s mother? Where hath that Vaidehi gone who used to assuage my grief who had been deprived of kingdom and living in this forest on wild fruits and vegetables? Nights shall appear too long unto me, keeping late hours being deprived of my kinsmen and relatives and not beholding Vaidehi. I can range this Mandākini, this Janasthāna and this Pasrabana hill if I can find Sitā there. Behold, O hero, the high deer have been casting their looks again and again at men; methinks from their gestures, they intend speaking something uoto me.” Beholding them, Rāghava, the best of men, looked at them and said in accents choked with vapour—“Where is Sitā?” Being thus addressed by that Lord of men the deer rose up all on a sudden and looked up to the sky facing the south and proceeded to the direction by which Maithili had been carried away. And moving by that way these deer eyed the Lord of men and again and again fixed their looks upon that way and earth and passed along emitting cries which was marked by Lakshmana. He marked with attention their movements and cries and spake unto his elder brother like one aggrieved saying—“Being accosted by thee with—‘Where is Sitā?’ these deer have stood up all on a sudden and have been pointing to the south and earth— let us therefore proceed in this direction—it may be that we shall either meet with that worshipful madam or find some mementos concerning her.” Thereat Kākuthstha, gifted with supreme beauty, proceeded towards the south being followed by Lakshmana and casting his look upon the earth. While proceeding thus, conversing with each other the two brothers beheld some flowers scattered on the high-way.
Beholding a collection of flowers scattered on earth, Rāma, exceedingly sorry, spake unto Lakshmana in piteous accents saying “O Lakshmana, 1 have come to know that these are the flowers of the forest I gave Vaidehi; with these she decorated her hair. Me thinks the sun, the air and the famed earth have preserved them for my well-being.” Having spoken these words unto Lakshmana, the best of men, the virtuous-souled Rāma, of mighty arms, addressed the mountain in front of him containing many fountains, saying—“0 thou the best of mountains, hast thou beheld in this picturesque forest-land, that exquisitely fine damsel racked with my separation?” Exceedingly wroth he accosted the mountain like unto a lion addresing a little deer, saying “Show me my graceful Sitā hued like gold before I crush down thy summits.” Being thus addressed by Rāma on Maithili’s account the mountain did not show him Sitā. Again addressed him Rāma—“Thou shalt by the fire of my arrows, be reduced to ashes—thy twigs and leaves shall be totally destroyed and no one shall resort to thee. O Lakshmana, I shall dry up this river Godavari if it telleth me not about Sitā having a moon-like countenance.” Rāma, exceedingly wroth, cast his looks around as if desiring to burn everything with his eyes and beheld footprints of the Rākshasas on the earth as well as those of Sitā moving wildly hither and thither, terrified and desirous to see Rāma, while pursued by the Rākshasas. Beholding these footmarks, the snapped bow, the quiver and the chariot broken into many pieces, Rāma, terrified spake unto his dear brother. “Behold O, Lakshmana, the remnants of Vaidehi’s golden ornaments, strewn hither and thither, and diverse garlands. Behold O Saumitri, the earth covered with drops of blood resembling golden drops. Methinks, O Lakshmana, Vaidehi hath been devoured by the Rākshasas assuming shapes at will, having sundered her in pieces. O Saumitri, there took place a terrible conflict between the Rākshasas, fighting with each other on Sitā’s account. O gentle one, whose is this snapped bow lying on the breast of the earth adorned and crested with pearls and diamonds? O brother, this belongs either to the celestials or to the Rākshasas. Whose is this golden armour lying shattered on earth, resembling the newly risen sun; in color and adorned with sapphire? Whose is this umbrella lying broken on earth, containing a hundred rod and adorned with celestial garlands? In whose conflict have these terrible asses, of large proportions, having faces of demon and with breast plates, been killed? Whose is this shattered war-car lying upset on the ground and broken flag resembling in lustre the burning gold? Whose are these terrible arrows feathered in gold, measuring four-hundred fingers, lying without blades on earth? Behold, O Lakshmana, these two quivers have been totally spoiled though filled with arrows. Whose charioteer is this who hath been killed with reins and lash in hands? These foot-marks must be some Rākshasa’s. I made these Rākshasas my fatal enemies, assuming shapes at will and of crooked hearts. Poor Sitā must have been either dead, carried away by them or devoured. Virtue did not save her from being carried away in this mighty forest. O Lakshmana, while virtue did not protect Jānaki being devoured or taken away by stealth, what person else gifted with heavenly power, on this earth shall bring about my well-being? For this it is that people through ignorance disregard the ever kind Almighty—the lord of creatures and the best of the celestials. Truly shall the celestials regard me as one devoid of prowess, who am mild-tempered, kind, ever engaged in the welfare of the humanity, and have controlled all my senses. Observe, O Lakshmana, obtaining me as the stay these accomplishments have been turned into so many blemishes. Truly shall my prowess manifest itself to-day overshadowing all my other accomplishments for the destruction of the Rākshasas and all created beings like unto the rising of the Sun casting the Moon into shade on the day of dissolution. None shall enjoy felicity, O Lakshmana,—Yakshas, Gandharbas, Picachas, Rākshasas, Kinnaras, or human beings. Today shall the welkin be filled up with my arrows. Motionless shall I make all the animals inhabiting the three worlds. I shall arrest the movement of the planets and overshadow the Moon. Stopping the course of the wind and destroying the rays of the Sun and fire I shall envelope the earth with darkness, crush down the summits of the mountains, dry up the pools, blow up the creepers, demolish the Ocean and erradicate the trees. If the celestials do not give me back my Sitā I shall bring about the dissolution of the three worlds which would else have been wrought by time. O son of Sumitrā, instantly shall the celestials headed by Indra, meet with my prowess, if they do not give back my Sitā, ever advancing my wellfare. None shall be able to range the welkin. Behold Lakshmana, being perpetually crushed down by my arrow’s shot off my bow, the world shall be disturbed and dislodged and the animals and birds shall be confused and destroyed. Stretching the bow to my ears I shall make the world, for Sitā’s sake, void of Pisachas and Rākshasas with my arrows incapable of being withstood by created beings. To-day shall the celestials behold the power of my arrows coursing a long distance shot through my ire. Three worlds destroyed on account of my wrath, celestials, Dānavas, Pisachas or Rākshasas,—none shall be saved. The dwellings of the celestials, Asuras, Yakshas and Rākshasas shall fall down sundered by my arrows into diverse pieces. I shall dislodge the whole world by my arrows. If the celestials do not give me back my Vaidehi dead or carried away or as she was before, I shall destroy the whole world mobile or immobile and disturb all with my arrows until I see her.” Having spoken thus, Rāma, with his eyes reddened with ire and lips swollen, tying fast his bark and deer-skin, braided his matted locks. Having done this, being exceedingly wroth he looked like Rudra about to destroy Tripura. Thereat taking his bow from Lakshmana and holding it fast, the effulgent Rāma, the conqueror of foes, fixed flaming arrows to it like so many serpents and said being exercised with ire like unto fire on the eve of dissolution.—“O Lakshmana none shall be able to withstand me, who am inflamed with rage, as debility consequent on old age, death, time, duty are incapable of being averted from their destined ends by the animals. I shall bring about a mighty revolution in the world containing the celestials Gandharba, human beings, Pannagas and the mountains, if I do not get back, in her pristine beauty, my Sitā, the daughter of the King of Mithilā.”
Rāma highly aggrieved on account of Sitā’s being carried away, addressing himself to destroy the world like unto the fire of dissolution and casting his look, sighing again and again, upon the stringed bow like unto Mahadev desirous of burning down the whole world at the time of dissolution, Lakshmana, having his countenance dried up, beholding his rage not seen before, began with folded hands—“Ere this thou hadst been gentle, self-controlled and engaged in the welfare of all beings. It doth not behove thee now to renounce thy natural temper being influenced by ire. Ever manifested itself in thee, glory par excellence like unto splendour in the Moon, lustre in the Sun, motion in the wind and forgiveness in the Earth. It becometh thee not to devastate the whole world for the crime of an individual being. Methinks for certain, this shattered car must be the property of an individual person, not of many. But I do not know whose is this car with yokes and dresses and what for it hath been shattered? Behold, O thou the son of a King, this terrible spot bathed in blood and raked with hoofs and wheels. Surely here took place a conflict. O thou the foremost of those skilled in speech, it appeareth from these signs that this skrimish did take place with one, not with two. Here are not to be seen the fool-marks of a large army. It therefore doth not behove thee to destroy the whole world for one’s individual offence. Kings, gentle and mild by nature, do always administer punishment, proportionate to the amount of offence. Thou art always the stay and the best refuge of all animals. Who shall think well, O Rāghava, of the destruction of thy wife? The celestials, Dānavas, Gandharbhas, rivers, seas, and mountains—none can act unfriendly by thee as the learned priests cannot act improperly towards those initiated by them. It is thy duty, O king, with bow in hand to search out the person who hath carried away Sitā, along with me and the devotees. Explore shall we, with great care, the seas, the forest, the mountains, the fearful caves, the pools and the abodes of the celestials and Gandharbas until we find out the person who hath carried away thy wife. If the celestials do not return thee peacefully thy wife, O Lord cf Koçala, thou shalt adopt measures, befitting the occasion. Thou shalt then uproot the whole world, O lord of men, with thy gold-featherd arrows resembling the thunderbolt of Mahendra,if thou dost not come by thy wife by resorting to good conduct, self-control, lowliness and polity.”
Rama bewailing thus like one helpless being stricken with grief, overwhelmed with sorrow and losing control over himself, Lakshmana touched his feet and consoling him instantly began:—“By constant asceticism and manifold pious observances king Daçaratha obtained thee like unto the celestials obtaining ambrosia. As I have heard from Bharata, king Daçaratha died for thy separation, attached as he was unto thee for thy accomplishments. O Kākuthstha, if dost thou not bear patiently this impending peril what little-minded person else shall bear it? Compose thyself, O thou best of men. Peril overtaketh every body like unto fire but vanisheth in no time. This is the nature of men. Yayati, the son of king Nahusha, though attained to the state of celestials, was however thrown down for an iniquitous deed. The hundred sons, that had been born unto our ancestral priest Vasishtha, were all killed in one day. O lord of Kerala, even Vasumati, the mother of the world, adored of all beings, meeteth with mesery consequent upon earth-quake. Even the mighty Sun and Moon witness eclipse who are the eyes of the world and the very images of virtue and in whom the whole world is stationed. O thou best of men, what of insignificant beings cased in this frail body, even the mighty creatures and celestials are subject to the influence of destiny. I have heard, O best of men, even the celestials headed by Indra are subject to happiness or misery. So it doth not behove thee to bewail thus. O descendant of Raghu, it becometh thee not to lament like an ordinary person even if Jānaki is dead or hath been carried away. O Rāma, persons, highly experienced and ascertaining right or wrong without being moved, do not lament even in the face of mighty perils. O thou best of men, do thou, after due consideration, ascertain what is proper or improper; persons of thy vast wisdom are cognizant of the right or wrong by dint of their understanding. Without proper exercise, actions, of unknown merit and uncertain issue do not bear fruits. O hero, many a time and oft ere this, thou hadst given me the self-same counsel. Who is capable of counselling thee who art the very preceptor of the gods? O thou of great intellect, even the celestials cannot measure thy mental acumen. Greatly benumbed is thy wisdom with the slumber of grief, and I am to rouse it. O thou the best of Ikshakus, do thou engage in the destruction of thy foes considering well thy celestial and human prowess. O thou best of men, what necessity hast thou to destroy the whole world? Do thou rescue Sitā after finding out thy vicious enemy.”
After Lakshmana had spoken these highly sound and pleasant words, Rāma, ever taking to what is sound, accepted them. Thereupon that one, of mighty arms, slaking his flaming ire and reclining himself upon his beautiful bow, addressed Lakshmana, saying, “Do thou ponder over, O brother, where shall we repair, what shall we do and by what means shall we come by Sitā?” Whereto Lakshmana replied saying unto the highly aggrieved Rāma, “It is proper for thee to search this Janasthāna filled with a multitude of Rākshasas and covered with diverse trees and creepers. Here are many strongholds in the midst of mountains, clefts of rocks, many caves and numerous cavities filled with various animals. Many are the abodes here belonging to the Kinnaras and Gandharbas. Do thou, along with me, search all these places. Great men, of thy calibre, do remain unagitated even in the midst of difficulties like unto mountains never shaken by the velocity of the wind.” Hearing these words, Rāma, enraged, fixing sharp and terrible arrows to his bow, began to range the forest with Lakshmana. Thereupon he beheld, fallen on ground, having his person bathed in blood, the king of birds—Yatāyu, resembling a mountain peak, and spake unto Lakshmana, saying “It is clear and beyond all doubt that Vaidehi hath been devoured by this Rākshasa, assuming the shape of a vulture and ranging the forest. This Rākshasa hath been reposing at ease after devouring that one of expansive eyes; I shall kill him with terrible straight-coursing arrows, having flaming points.” Fixing sharpened shafts to his bow, Rāma, enraged, darted towards the vulture, as if moving the sea-girt earth. Vomitting frothy blood Yatāyu, the king of vultures, spoke unto Rāma, the son of Daçaratha, saying ‘O thou of long life, that goddess, whom thou hast been searching in this vast forest like unto Oshadhi, and my life have been carried away by Rāvana. I saw her, O Rāghava, carried away stealthily by the powerful Rāvana, in thy absence as well as that of Lakshmana. Myself Hearing Sitā, for her rescue, O Lord, Rāvana was thrown down On earth by me in conflict having his car and unbrella shattered. This is his snapped bow and these are his broken shafts. And this is his war-car, O Rāma, shattered in fight. This is his charioteer lying On earth being killed by the velocity of my wings. Having sundered my wings with his dagger, who had been exhausted, Rāvana taking Sitā, rose high up in the welkin. It behoveth thee not to kill me who had been wounded before by the Rākshasa.” Hearing from him pleasant words relating to Sitā, Rāma, leaving aside, instantly, his mighty bow, embraced him, and rolling on earth having lost self-control through grief, began to lament with Lakshmana. Though highly composed by nature, he was dverwhelmed with doubled grief. And beholding Yatāyu, sigh again and again and breathing with difficulty in a helpless plight, Rāma, highly aggrieved, spake unto Lakshmana saying, “I have lost my kingdom and have been living in this forest. My Sitā hath been carried away and this bird hath been killed (on my account)—This misfortune of mine can burn even the very fire. If for assuaging my grief I do enter the mighty ocean, verily shall that misfortune dry up even that lord of rivers. There is none so unfortunate as I, throughout this earth, mobile or immobile, and it is for this bad luck that I have confronted this mighty disaster. This mighty king of vultures is our father’s friend and he lieth on earth, killed through the evil turn of my fortune.” Uttering these and various other words, Rāghava, along with Lakshmana touched his body manifesting his paternal affection. Embracing the king of vultures, bathed in blood, having its wings cut off, Rāghava, fell on the ground, exclaiming ‘where hath Maithilee gone like unto my life?’
Beholding Yatāyu fallen on the ground by the terrible Rākshasa, Rāma spoke unto Lakshmana, having compassion for all, saying “Verily for my service this bird hath breathed its last, being killed by the Rākshasa. O Lakshmana, its voice hath been enfeebled, its vision weakened and its life, greatly exhausted, lieth in a very little proportion in its body. May good betide thee, O Yatāyu; if thou art capable speaking again, do thou relate how Sitā hath been carried away and thou hast been killed. Why hath Rāvana taken away by stealth the worshipful Jānaki? What offence did I commit by him that he hath carried away my dear one? O thou best of birds, how looked the moon-like, pleasant countenance of Sitā at the time of her being carried away? What did she speak then? What is the prowess, appearance and action of that Rākshasa? Where doth he live, O reverend Sir? Pray tell me, I do ask thee.” Beholding Rāma, lament like one helpless, the virtuous-souled Yatāyu spake in faltering accents—“Sitā hath been carried away by Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, creating a mighty illusion producing wind and showers. O darling, myself being worn out that night-ranger, having sundered my wings, fled away with Sitā to the southerly direction. O Rāghava, my life is about to expire, my eye-sight hath grown of mistaken perception, I see trees before me made of gold having hair resembling Ushira.62 Rāvana hath taken away Sitā at a moment when a person regains soon his lost property. O Kākuthstha, this moment is called Vindya,63 which Rāvana hath not been able to perceive. (At this moment) the person who taketh away (a thing) is soon destroyed like unto a fish devouring a hook. Do not therefore entertain the least doubt about thy coming by Jānaki. Destroying him at the head of the battle thou shalt soon sport with Vaidehi.” Thereupon flesh and gore began to come out of the mouth of Yatāyu, the king of vultures, not loosing his sense even while treading the verge of death. Thereupon the king of birds gave up his dear life uttering only.—“Rāvana is the son of Vishravā and brother to Vaishravana (the lord of wealth).” Rāma again and again addressed him with joined palms saying, “Do thou speak! Do thou speak.” And instantly Yatāyu’s vital spark rose up in the sky, leaving his bodily frame. Thereupon the king of vultures fell down on the earth by stretching forth his legs, body and head on the ground. Beholding the vulture dead, of huge proportions, resembling a hill and having red eyes, Rāma, aggrieved, spoke piteously unto Saumitri, saying—“Living happily, for years, in this forest of Dandaka inhabited by the Rākshasas, Yatāyu hath, at last, given up his life. He lived for a long time, of an uplifted person, and hath now laid low on the earth. None can withstand the course of destiny. Observe, Lakshmana, this vulture for my benefaction, hath been killed by the powerful Rāvana in his attempt to rescue Sitā. For me, hath this Lord of birds, breathed his last, renouncing his large ancestral kingdom. In every status of animal creation, the heroic, the righteous and the honest, affording refuge unto all, are to be found, even amongst the birds. I do not feel so much affliction, O hero, for Sitā’s ravishment as I do for this vulture, who hath been killed for me. Like unto the highly famous, effulgent king Daçaratha, this King of of birds is worthy of being adored and worshipped by me. O Saumitri, do thou bring fuels; I shall produce fire therewith and burn the dead body of this king of birds who hath been killed on my account. Placing on a funeral pile, I shall cremate, O Saumitri, the dead body of this king of birds who hath been destroyed by the grim-visaged Rākshasas. Being consecrated and commanded by me, do thou, O highly powerful king of birds, attain to that excellent state of existence, which is reached by persons ever performing pious observances, by Ahitagnis64 by heroes who are not afraid of entering a battle-field and by persons who confer grants of land.” Saying this the virtuous-souled Rāma, afflicted with sorrow, burned the body of the king of birds, placing it on the funeral pile, like unto his own kinsman. Entering the forest with Saumitri, Rāma gifted with prowess, killed plump high deer and stretched forth grass and twigs for offering oblation to that bird. Taking off the flesh of those high deer and clustering it, Rāma, of great renown, offered it to the vultures in that pleasant forest-land, abounding in green grass. Thereupon for his speedy arrival at the abode of celestials, Rāma recited those Mantras which are being uttered by the twice-born ones. Afterwards repairing to the river Gadāveri the two princes offered water unto that kingly vulture. And offering water unto him according to the prescribed rites of the Sastras, those two descendants of Raghu, after bathing, performed the Udaka65 ceremony for that king of vultures. Having been killed in battle for an arduous but glorious work, that king of vultures, consecrated by the ascetic-like Rāma, attained to an excellent state. Having performed the Udaka ceremony for that best of birds and considering him in the light of a father they went away and entered the forest in quest of Sitā like unto the two best of celestials—Visnu and Vasava.
Having offered him the gift of water, those two descendants of Raghu wended their way in that forest in quest of Sitā and proceeded towards the south-west.66 Then turning to the south, with bow and arrows in hand, they reached a track not wended by the people. It was a ghastly, impenetrable forest, covered on all sides with groves, trees and creepers. Proceeding by the southerly direction, those two mighty ones, passed hastily by that terrible, dreary forest. Thereupon, the highly effulgent descendants of Raghu entered the dense forest of Krauncha, situated at a distance of six miles from Janasthāna. It was a dense forest like unto a collection of clouds, as if smiling on all sides blooming with charming flowers of diverse hues and frequented by various animals and birds. Waiting for sometime here and there they, exercised with Sitā’s ravishment, explored the entire forest in quest of Vaidehi. Proceeding three Krosas towards the East and passing by the forest of Krauncha the two brothers descried on their way the asylum of Matanga. Having seen that dreary forest frequented by various animals and birds and covered with diverse trees and dense groves, the two sons of Daçaratha beheld a cave in the mountain, deep as the region under the earth and ever enveloped with darkness. Arriving there they espied hard by a grim visaged Rākshasi, having a formidable figure, ever causing fright unto persons of feeble courage, loathesome, terrible-looking, having a huge belly, sharpened teeth, a high person and rough skin, devouring voracious animals and looking fearful with dishevelled hair. Beholding there the two brothers, Rāma and Lakshmana, she neared the heroes and saying, ‘come, we shall sport’ assailed Lakshmana who had been going before his brother. And embracing him she spake unto Saumitri the following words—“My name is Ayomukhee; it is a great gain to thee that thou hast become my beloved one, O my lord. Do thou sport with me, for ever, O hero, in these mountainous strongholds and on the banks of the rivers.” Thereat, exercised with ire, Lakshmana, the subduer of foes, uplifting his dagger, chopped off her nose, ears and breast. Having her nose and ears cut off, that terrible-looking Rākshasi, emitting fearful cries, fled away whence she had come. On her departure, proceeding quickly, the two brothers, Rāma and Lakshmana, the conquerors of foes, reached a dense forest. Thereupon the highly effulgent and truthful Lakshmana, possessing a pure character, spake, with folded hands, unto his brother of flaming energy—“My left arm is throbbing, my mind is filled with anxiety and I perceive before me many a bad omen. Do thou put on thy habiliments, O worshipful one, and act by what I say for thy well-being. Methinks from these bad omens some calamity shall soon befall us. O Rāma, this terrible bird Banchulaka is emitting fearful cries as if announcing our victory in the conflict.” Thereupon while they began to explore the entire forest with their prowess there arose a terrible sound as if breaking down the wood. The forest was enveloped on all sides with a mighty wind and everywhere was audible a roar filling the wood-land. With a view to ascertain whence the sound proceeded, Rāma, with a dagger in hand, along with his younger brother, espied a Rākshasha of huge proportions, having big thighs. The two brothers beheld that Rākshasa stationed before them, having a huge body, devoid of head and neck and therefore a headless demon and having its mouth on its belly. Its body resembled a huge mountain and was covered with sharpened down; its look was terrible like unto sable cloud and its roar resembled the muttering where of. Its one terrible, expansive eye, seeing all, was on the forehead placed on its breast and shone forth like unto the flaming fire and it had huge yellow eye-lashes. Its mouth was greatly widened and covered with rows of huge teeth and it was again and again licking that terrible mouth. And stretching forth its two huge arms extending over a yojana it was devouring bears, lions and deer. It was catching and throwing with its huge hands many an animal, bird and bear. Hindering the way-fare it was awaiting those two brothers. And proceeding a Krosa, they espied that fearful, grim-visaged, headless demon, hindering all creatures with its arms, terrible-looking and appearing like a kavanda from its very situation. Thereupon that one, of huge arms, stretching them forth, got hold of those two descendants of Raghu crushing them with its strength. Those two highly powerful brothers, of mighty arms, with daggers and bows in their hands, were assailed and got hold of by that Rākshasha. Rāma was heroic and patient by nature and consequently was not much afflicted; but Lakshmana was a mere boy and impatient by nature and was consequently greatly afflicted. Being greatly distressed, the younger brother of Rāghava spake unto him, saying “Do thou behold me, O hero, brought under the hold of this Rākshasha, and re-nouncing me only, O Rāghava, do thou get thyself off. And offering me as sacrifice, do thou escape at thy ease. Methinks for certain, O Kākuthstha, thou shalt soon come by Vaidehi and regain thy anscestral kingdom. But remember me always, O Rāma, when thou shalt find thyself placed on the throne.” Being thus addressed by Lakshmana, Rāma spake unto Saumitri—“Fear not in vain, O hero; persons of thy prowess are never afflicted (with fear).” Meanwhile the wicked headless, demon, of huge arms, the foremost of Dānaves, addressed the two brothers Rāma and Lakshmana —“Who are ye two youthful figures having the neck of a bull and with mighty daggers and bows in your hands? Arriving in this fearful place ye have by chance come within the compass of my vision. Tell me now what have ye to do here, and what for have ye come? I have been waiting here being hungry, and ye have come here having daggers and bows with arrows in your hands like unto two oxen having sharpened horns. Nearing me quickly, it will be hard for ye to draw your vital breath.” Hearing those words of the vicious-souled Kavandha, Rāma having his countenance dried up, bespake Lakshmana—“O thou, having truth for thy prowess, again and again, greater and worse calamities have been threatening us. We have already met with a dire disaster leading to our death, consequent on my separation from my dear one. Mighty is the course of Destiny in all creatures, O Lakshmana. Do thou O best of men, behold even thyself and me stricken with calamity. But O Lakshmana it is not very difficult for destiny to afflict all creatures. Under the influence of destiny even the mighty heroes, well habited in armours are distressed like unto a bridge of sands.” Addressing these words unto Saumitri, the resolute, powerful and highly famous son of Daçaratha, having truth for his prowess, composed himself by dint of his own understanding.
Beholding both the brothers, Rāma and Lakshmana, clasping each other with their arms, the headless demon spake:—“O two best of Kshatryas, are ye waiting here beholding me hungry? O ye having lost your sense, ye have been chosen by Destiny as my food.” Hearing those words Lakshmana, sore distressed and determined to display his valour, addressed Rāma with words worthy of being said on that occasion. “This vile Rākshasa shall seize both of us; let us sunder soon its two huge arms with our daggers. This grim-visaged Rākshasa, of huge proportions, gifted only with the strength of arms, defeating all other persons, hath addressed itself at last to destroy us. It is odious for the Kshatryas to make away with those who cannot defend themselves like unto animals brought for sacrifice.”67 Hearing their conversation, the Rākshasa, inflamed with rage, widening its terrible mouth, prepared to devour them up.68 Thereat Rāma and Lakshmana, cognizant of time and place, pleased,69 sundered its arms off its shoulders with their daggers. Rāma, stationed on the right side70 cut off in no time its right arm with his dagger and the heroic Lakshmana, the left one. Having got its arms dissevered, the terrible-voiced, Kavandha, of huge arms,roaring like unto the muttering of clouds and resounding the heaven, earth and all the quarters, fell flat on the ground. Beholding both its arms cut off, the demon, with its person bathed in blood, asked them poorly—“ Who are ye?” Being thus accosted by Kavandha, the mighty Lakshmana, gifted with auspicious marks, spake unto it, about Kākuthstha. “He is a descendant of the Ikshwākus known on earth by the name of Rāma, and know me as his younger brother, by name—Lakshmana. Being thwarted by mother (Kaikeyi) in his accession of kingdom, he, renouncing all, hath fled as an exile unto woods, and hath, along with me and his spouse, been ranging this forest. While living in the dense forest the wife of Rāma, effulgent like unto the celestials hath been ravished by a Rākshasa. Searching her, have we come here. Who art thou? And what for art thou ranging this forest like unto a headless demon, having thy thighs broken and thy flaming face placed on thy breast?” Being thus addressed by Lakshmana with these goodly words, Kavandha, pleased, recollecting the words of Indra, bespake him,—“O two best of men, ye are welcome! By my good luck it is that I do behold you. By my good fortune ye have dissevered my shoulders to-day. Do ye hear. I shall relate truly unto you how have I, by my haughtiness, come by this unsightly shape.”
O mighty armed Rāma of great prowess, formerly my beauty, beyond conception, was known all over the three worlds, like unto the beauty of the Sun, the Moon and Indra. I used to frighten everywhere the ascetics living in the forest by turning this my beauty into a terrific form. Once on a time assuming this terrible shape I assailed and enraged the great ascetic Sthulashira collecting diverse wild fruits. Thereupon he imprecated curses upon me, saying “Do thou retain this ghastly shape hated of all mankind.” Upon my praying unto that angry ascetic for my relief from that curse, he said—“Thou shalt regain thy stalwart and beautiful shape when thou shalt be burnt by Rāma in a dense forest having got thy arms dissevered by him. O Lakshmana, know me to be the beautiful son of Danu. Through Indra’s curse in the battle field I have been metamorphosed into my present shape. After I had pleased him with hard austerites, the Grand-Father of the celestials conferred on me a long life. And therefore I was inflamed with pride and assailed Indra in a conflict, thinking within me, ‘I have gained a long life—what can Indra do me?’ Thereupon by his thunderbolt, having hundred edges, hurled off his hands, my thighs were shattered and my head thrusted into my body. Myself praying for the close of my life, he did not despatch me to the abode of Yama. He only said “May the words of the Grand Sire prove true.” Whereto I replied ‘How shall I live long without any food, being smitten by thee having a thunderbot in thy hand, and having my head, thighs and mouth crushed down?’ Thereat Indra made my hands extending over a Yajana and placed my mouth, having sharpened teeth, on my belly. Thenceforth, stretching out my long arms I used to devour all lions, tigers, wolves and deer ranging the forest. Indra said to me, Thou shalt attain to heaven when Rāma, along with Lakshmana, shall cut off thy arms in a battle.’ Acting under the conviction that Rāma, resolved to destroy my person, shall surely come within the compass of my arms, I do always assail with relish, O worshipful one, O thou best of kings, every animal I meet with in this forest. Thou art that Rāma. May good betide thee, O Rāghava. Verily did the great ascetic speak unto me that none should be able to assail me but Rāma. Being cremated by you, I shall counsel you best and tell you with whom you should contract friendship.” Being thus addressed by Danu, the virtuous-souled Rāghava spake before listening Lakshmana, “My renowned spouse Sitā was easily ravished by Rāvana after I had gone out of Janasthāna along with my brother. I know that Rākshasa’s name only—but do not know his whereabouts, his figure and his prowess. It behoveth thee to show proper compassion for us, who have been stricken with grief, who are helpless, have been ranging this forest in this way and are ever engaged in the well-being of others71 O, hero, we shall burn thee after collecting all the branches that have been broken down by the elephants and dried up in time, and digging a big trench. Do thou tell us who hath carried away Sitā? And where? If dost thou know it truly do thou perform us this good service.” Thereat the Rākshasa, skilled in speech, spake unto Rāghava, addressing him thus—“I am not gifted with divine fore-sight and therefore do not know where Maithilee is. I shall let you know of him who shall be able to tell you all about her, after I resume my original shape, being burnt (by thee). I shall furthermore tell thee, O Rāma, who knows that Rākshasa. Without being burnt I am incapable of being cognizant of that highly powerful Rākshasa who hath carried away thy Sitā. By the influence of curse, I have lost my fore-sight and by my own improper actions I have been transformed into this ugly figure. Do thou cremate me according to the prescribed rites after throwing me into the ditch before the sun, with his worn out carriers descends into the western horizon. Being burnt by thee in the ditch, with due ceremonials, O descendant of Raghu, I shall mention, unto thee, one who knows that Rākshasa. O Rāghava, O fleet-footed hero, do thou contract friendship with him gifted with good qualities and he shall assist thee. There is nothing unknown to him, O Rāghava in the three worlds. Formerly for some reasons he had travelled all over them.”
After Kavandha had spoken thus, the two best of men, Rāma and Lakshmana took him to a mountain-cave and placed on fire. Lakshmana kindled the funeral pile, which was ablaze on all sides. Thereupon the fire began to burn down slowly the huge and corpulent body of Kavandha like unto a lump of clarified butter. Afterwards the highly powerful demon, shaking the funeral pile, rose up quickly like a smokeless flame of fire, wearing a clean cloth and a celestial garland. And the graceful demon, wearing an unsullied cloth and having all its limbs crested with diverse ornaments, rose from the pile high up in the welkin with a delighted heart. Thereupon mounting on a famed car, brilliant and drawn by swans72 and lighting up all the quarters with the effulgence of his person, that highly powerful one, stationing himself in the heaven, addressed Rāma, saying:—“Do thou hear truly, O Rāghava, of the means by which thou shalt come by Sitā. There are six expedients,73 O Rāma, by virtue of which kings acquire all objects. He, in whom misfortune hath culminated, should seek the company of one such.74 Thou hast, O Rāma along with Lakshmana, met with the culmination of misfortune and for which thou hast been assailed with such a disaster as the ravishment of thy spouse. O thou best of my friends, it behoveth thee, therefore to make friends with such a person. Or else I do not find any means for thy success. Do thou hear, O Rāma, what I relate. There liveth with four monkeys a heroic, self-controlled monkey by name Sugriva, on that best of mountains Rishyamuka, situated on the banks of the lake Pampā, being driven by his enraged brother Vāli, the son of Indra. That mighty, powerful, effulgent lord of monkeys, of immeasurable prowess and truthful vows, humble, patient, intelligent, great, expert, bold, graceful and puissant, hath been banished by his brother, O hero, for kingdom. Surely he shall befriend and assist thee in thy search for Sitā. Do thou not plunge thy soul in grief. O thou best of Ikshwākus, none can withstand destiny on this earth, truly unavoidable is it course. Do thou proceed soon, O hero, to Sugrivā of mighty prowess, and repairing hence even to-day do thou contract friendship with him, taking vow in the presence of flaming fire75 that ye shall not envy each other. Despise not that kingly monkey Sugrivā, because he is grateful, capable of assuming shapes at will, seeking protection and powerful. Ye too are able to accomplish his wished-for object. Benefitted by thee or not, he shall engage in thy service. He was begotten of the Sun unto the wife of Rikhyraja. He hath been roaming the bank of Pāmpa being in constant fear of Vāli after creating enmity with him. Do thou make friends with that monkey ranging the wood and inhabiting the Rishyamuka mountain after placing thy weapon in the very presence of fire as a witness, because that best of monkeys knoweth minutely all the abodes of Rākshasas, living on human flesh. There is no place under the sun of many rays, O Rāghava, O slayer of foes, unknown to him. Exploring, with all his monkeys, the rivers, huge mountains, strongholds and caves, he shall learn about thy spouse. He shall search that exquisitely fine damsel Maithili in Rāvana’s abode, bewailing on thy separation; and to find her out he shall despatch, O Rāghava, many a monkey of huge proportions to various quarters. Whether on the summit of the mount Meru or in the region under the earth, that lord of monkeys, shall give thee back thy blameless spouse, killing all the Rākshasas.”
Having pointed out unto Rāma the expedient for finding out Sitā the wise Kavandha began with the following significant words:—“This is the way, O Rāma, leading to the mount Rishyamuka, where stand, beautifying the West, the Jambu,76 Priāla,77 Panaca,78 Nagrodha,79 Plaksha,80 Tinduka,81 Ashathya,82 Karnikar,83 Chuta,84 Nāga,85 Tilaka,86 Naktamal,87 Neelashok,88 Cadamva,89 Karavira,90 Agnimukhya,91 Asoka, Raktachandan,92 Pāribhadraka,93 and many other trees. Ascending those trees or lowering them by force on earth, do thou proceed living on those fruits like unto ambrosia. Passing by this forest, O Kākuthstha, thou shalt reach another abounding in trees blooming with flowers like unto the garden of celestials and Uttarkuru where in all the months of the year the trees produce fruits and honey and where all the seasons dwell as in the forest of Chaitkraratha.94 There stand beautifully many a tree lowered down with the burden of fruits, containing towering branches, dense as a collection of clouds or a mountain. Ascending those trees and lowering them, Lakshmana shall offer thee, fruits like unto ambrosia. O heroes, ranging from forest to forest, from high mountains to hillocks, ye shall get at the lake Pampā, void of gravels and acquatic plants and hence there is no danger of falling down to the people, having level watering-places, covered with sands and blooming with red and white lotuses. There emit forth musical notes, swans, frogs, cranes and ospreys sporting in the lake Pampā. They are not filled with terror in view of human beings, inexperienced as they are in the matter of destruction. O Rāghava, do ye fare on those plump birds like unto a lump of clarified butter and diverse fishes such as Rohita,95 Chakratunda,96 and Nala.97 O Rāma, the devoted Lakshmana, shall offer unto thee, various other best fishes, devoid of scale and fins, plump, filled with bones, having destroyed them with shafts and roasted them in fire. And after thou hadst feasted on them, Lakshmana shall bring thee water for drinking on a lotus leaf, smelling like a lotus, coming in contact with flowers, delicious, pleasantly cold, wholesome, void of impurities, transparent like silver and crystal. And while roaming in the evening he shall point out unto thee fat monkeys ranging in the wood and lying in the hollows of mountains. And thou too, O best of men, shalt behold those fat monkeys, who had drunk water, roaring like unto oxen appearing on the banks of a river to drink water. And rambling in the evening, thou shalt assuage thy grief beholding the pleasant water of Pampā and blossoming trees. There, O Rāghava, the Tilakas and Naktamalakas, crested with flowers and full blown white and red lotuses shall mitigate thy sorrows. There liveth no person who wears garlands of those flowers. Garlands strung with those flowers never wither away, O Rāghava, because the disciples of the great ascetic Matanga lived there with concentrated hearts. Drops of perspiration, falling on the earth from the persons of those ascetics worn out with the burden of the wild fruits collected by them for their spiritual guide, have been transformed by virtue of their asceticism unto these garlands. These garlands do never wither, O Rāghava, because of their origination from those drops of perspiration. Even at the present day, O Kākuthstha, there liveth an immortal mendicant woman, by name Savari, who had waited in attendance upon those departed ones. Beholding thee, O Rāma,who art adored of all creatures like unto the Deity Himself, that mendicant woman, ever engaged in pious observances, shall attain to the abode of celestials. O Rāma, turning to the western bank of Pāmpa, thou shalt, O Kākuthshtha, behold the incomparable and secret asylum of Matanga. Fearing the divine authority of that great ascetic Matanga, the elephants, though there are many, dare not cross the threshold of his asylum. O Rāghava, this forest is widely known as Matanga-wood. Thou shalt sport, O Rāma, with a delighted heart in that forest resembling the celestial garden—Nandana and filled with various birds. There stands in front of Pampā the highly inaccessible mount Rishyamuka, ornamented with many a blossoming tree and guarded on all sides by little serpents. That mount is highly munificient. It was created by Brahmā in the days of yore. A person, sleeping on the summit of that hill and dreaming of an accession of wealth, really gets at it after the dream is over. A perpetrator of iniquitous deeds and engaged in impious observances ascending that hill, the Rākshasas seize upon him, asleep, and bruise him. Thou shalt hear the terrible roar of the young elephants ranging in the asylum of Matanga, situated on the banks of Pampā. Thou shalt furthermore observe many a quickly moving, infuriated elephant, resembling clouds in hue and with red temporal juice oozing out of their heads, roaming here and there sometimes separately and again in a band. Those mighty elephants, roaming the forest, return to their woody homes, drinking the pleasant, pure and sweet smelling water of Pampā. And do thou assuage thy grief, beholding there the bears, wolves and Rurus of a tender countenance like unto sapphire, who are harmless and never afraid of human beings. There is a huge cave, O Rāma, in that mountain, covered on all sides with rocks and where it is very hard to enter. At the entrance of that cave lies a beautiful, wide lake of cool water, hedged on all sides with trees abounding in fruits. There liveth with other monkeys the virtuous-souled Sugriva, who sometimes resideth on the summit of the hill.” Having thus addressed Rāma and Lakshmana, Kavandha, highly powerful resembling the sun in effulgence and wearing garlands appeared beautiful on the sky. Thereupon Rāma and Lakshmana, preparing to proceed spoke unto that great one stationed in the sky, saying, “Do thou go.” Whereto Kavandha replied, saying “Do ye proceed to make good your end” and bidding them adieu, who were well pleased, departed. Regaining his pristine beauty and shining in grace and effulgence that Kavandha, who was on the sky, fixing his looks upon Rāma, and pointing out unto him his way, said “Do thou make friends with (Sugriva)”.
Thereupon Rāma and Lakshmana, sons of a kingly father, passing along the way, pointed out by Kavandha, leading to the lake Pampā, proceeded towards the West. They wending their way desirous of seeing Sugriva, there came within the compass of their vision many trees, grown on the summits of the mountains, blossoming with flowers and abounding in fruits tasting sweet like unto honey. Passing the night on the summit of a hill those two descendants of Rāghu arrived at the western bank of Pampā and espied the pleasant asylum of Savari. Getting at that charming hermitage covered on all sides with trees and casting their looks around they beheld that female mendicant— Savari. No sooner had that one of perfect asceticism beheld those highly intelligent Rāma and Lakshmana than she rose up with folded hands and touching their feet offered them duly water for washing their feet and mouth. Thereupon Rāma spake unto that female ascetic, engaged in religious services, saying, “O thou of sweet accents, hast thou got all hindrances to asceticism removed? Is thy asceticism growing stronger every day? O thou having asceticism for thy wealth, hast thou restricted thy anger and fare? Hast thou observed the commandments and attained to mental felicity? Hast thy attendance upon thy spiritual guide borne fruits?” Being thus accosted by Rāma that old Savari, of accomplished asceticism and recognised by the Sidhas, approaching Rāma spake:—“Favoured with thy presence my asceticism hath attained to its consummation. Blessed is my birth, fruitful is my service unto my spiritual guides and accomplished is my asceticism. O best of men, thou art the foremost of celestials; worshipping thee I attain to the abode of deities. O gentle one, slayer of foes, thou that dost confer honors on men, thyself casting thy auspicious looks upon me, consecrated I, by thy favour, shall attain to the imperishable land of celestials. On thy setting foot on the mount Chitrakuta, the ascetics whom I served, ascending celestial cars of incomparable lustre, departed to heaven. Those great ascetics, cognizant of virtue, said to me, “Rāma shall come to thy holy asylum. Do thou receive with great reverence that guest together with Lakshmana. On beholding him, thou shalt attain to that best land of the celestials whence none returneth. O best of men, I was thus told, by those great ascetics, and for thee I have collected various wild fruits growing on the banks of Pampā.” Being thus addressed by Savari, the virtuous-souled Rāghava spake unto her conversant with the knowledge of past and future, saying, “I have heard from Danu, in truth, about thy divine authority as well as that of thy spiritual guides. If thou purposest so I wish to witness it with my own eyes.” Hearing these accents dropping from Rāma’s lips, Savari showing unto them the vast forest said, “Do thou behold, O Rāghava, this forest, crowded with deer and birds resembling a dense cloud. This forest is known as Matanga’s wood. Here in this forest the pure-souled preceptors sacrificed unto fire their persons consecrated by the Mantras as Mantra itself. This is that altar Pratyaksthali, ascending which my worshipful preceptors used to offer flowers unto the deities with hands trembling with toil. Behold, O best of Raghus, this altar of incomparable beauty, by virtue of their asceticism, hath been still shedding its lustre on all the sides. Behold, again, the seven seas have appeared here in conjunction, at their very thought, worn out with fasts and therefore incapable of moving on. Even those barks, which they used to place on these trees after ablution have not yet been dried up. These flowers, of blue colour which they offered unto the deities, being engaged in divine services, have not yet been withered away. Thou hast observed this entire forest and heard every thing worth hearing. I purpose now to renounce my body being commanded by thee. I wish to approach those pure-souled ascetics, whom I used to wait upon, and whom these asylums belong to. Hearing with Lakshmana the speech of that pious one, Rāma gained an excess of joy and exclaiming, “Wonderful it is!” again spake unto Savari of keen austerities,—“O gentle one, I have been worshipped by thee. Do thou repair at thy ease and pleasure.” Being thus addressed and ordered by Rāma, Savari, wearing matted locks, rags and the skin of an antelope, surrendered herself unto fire and rose high up in the welkin like onto blazing fire. Adorned with celestial ornaments, wreathed with celestial garlands, sprinkled with sandal-paste and wearing celestial cloth she appeared of exquisite grace and lighted up the quarters like unto lightning. By virtue of her devout meditation, Savari repaired to that holy region when dwelt her spiritual preceptors—the pure-hearted ascetics.
After Savari had repaired unto heaven by virtue of her divine prowess, Rāma with his brother Lakshmana began to ponder over the pious influence of those great ascetics. Thinking within himself about the divine authority of those great ones, the virtuous-souled Rāma spake unto Lakshmana, devoted and ever engaged in his well-being.—“Beheld have I, O gentle one, the wondrous asylum of the pure-souled ascetics filled with diverse birds and tigers rambling friendly with antelopes. O Lakshmana, we have performed ablutions in the sacred waters of these seven seas and offered oblations unto our manes. Our misfortunes have ended and prosperity hath appeared and my mind is now filled with ecstacy of delight. Me-thinks, best of men, auspiciousness shall soon appear unto us; do thou come, therefore, we shall proceed towards the picturesque lake Pampā. Yon appeareth in view, at no distance, the mount Rishyamuka. Here dwells with four monkeys, the virtuous-souled Sugriva— Suryya’s son, in constant fear of Vāli. I am in a hurry to behold Sugriva the best of monkeys, for my business—Sitā’s quest—is entirely at his hands.” Unto the heroic Rāma, speaking thus, Saumitri said.—“Let us depart soon, I am in haste too.” Issuing out of Matanga’s asylum, the mighty Rāma, lord of men, repaired with Lakshmana to the lake Pampā. Exercised with grief, he arrived at the bank of that best of lakes, beholding (as he passed along), vaious trees and pools, the mighty forest covered on all sides with huge trees and flowers and resounding with the noise of lapwings, peacocks, woodpeckers and various other birds and rattling of the bamboos. Beholding, from distance, Pampā of sweet, cool and pure water, Rāma performed ablution at the Matanga Sara (a portion of Pampā) and paced slowly towards the lake. Thereupon Daçaratha’s son, stricken with grief, bathed in Pampā, covered with lotuses. It was adorned on all sides with Tilakas, Asokas, Punagas, Uddalas and Vakulas. It was a lake girt on all sides with pictueresque gardens, having its waters undulating beautifully and transparent like unto crystal, and covered all around with soft sands. It was filled with fish and tortoise, adorned with trees on its banks, encircled with creepers embracing her like companions and frequented by Gandharbas, Kinnaras, serpents, Yakshas and Rāshasas. It was covered with trees and creepers of various kind, of cool water, and enveloped with beauty. It was, somewhere, of red hue, in contact with water lillies, somewhere white with Kumudas, somewhere blue with blue lotuses like unto a blanket of diverse hues. It was filled with white and red lotuses and encircled with blossoming mangoe groves and resounding with the music of the peacocks. Beholding Pampā, ornamented like a damsel with Tilakas, Bijapuras,98 fig-trees, Sukladrumas,99 flowery Karavis, blossoming Punnagas, groves of Malati100 and Kunda,101 Vandhiras,102 Nichulas,103 Asokas, Saptaparuas,104 Ketakas,105 Atimuktas,106 and various others trees, Rāma the mighty son of Daçaratha began to lament with Lakshmana. “There stands on its bank the mount Rishyamuka, abounding in various metals and covered with trees of varieagated flowers as mentioned before (by Kavandha). There dwelleth the famous lord of monkeys, Sugrivā, the heroic son of the great Rikshyaraja. O best of men, do thou approach the chief of monkeys.” Rāma, having truth for his prowess, again spake unto Lakshmana, saying, “O Lakshmana, how shall I live without Sitā, who have been deprived of my kingdom, who am poorly and have Sitā for my life?” Having said this unto Lakshmana, who had nothing else in view, that best of Raghus, racked with sorrow and grief and oppressed by Cupid, entered the lake Pampā graced with lotuses. Proceeding slowly, observing the forest, Rāma beheld and entered with Lakshmana Pampā, girt on all sides with beautiful woods and filled with a multitude of diverse birds.
END OF THE ARANYAKANDAM
 Offerings to the spirits of air.—T.
 Burnt offerings, or oblations of clarified butter into the sacred fire, as an offering to the gods, accompanied with prayers or invocations.—T.
 The North-West Province text has an additional Sloka:—Having said this the graceful Lakshmana spoke unto Virādha as if jestingly, “Who art thou that going to the forest, art ranging it so pleasantly?”—T.
 The text has Kalantakoyamopame—abl.—resembling Kala, Antaka, or Yama. The commentator cites a sloka, which assigns three several functions to the three,—Kala executes his office on the occasion of the separation of life from the body; Antaka compasses the end; and Yama finally sits in judgment upon the departed soul. But this strikes me as misplaced erudition. I, however, give the commonsense rendering.—T.
 Another reading is:—That ranger of the night laid on his shoulders, those ones, who were puffed up with their exceeding prowess.—T.
 Another reading is Subhuyabhuyan—That one of elegant arms (raising) them up.—T.
 The reading slightly varies in some texts.—T.
 Another reading of this line is:—And buried him under stones. The North-West Provinces text has four additional lines:—Having, slain the Rākshasa and taken Mithtla’s daughter, those ones having bows decked in gold, being delighted, rejoiced in that mighty forest, like the sun and the moon seated in the sky.—T.
 The yoga system has many positions for concentrating thought.—T.
 Some texts:—Seeing.
 Some texts:—Effulgent.
 The commentator explains:—They imitate the lightning in changing their residence, the sharpness of weapons in severing affection, and the celerity of Garuda or the wind in doing wrong.—T.
 Some texts:—Kalaka.—T.
 Come to slake their thirst.—Rāmāyana.—T.
 I. e.—The South.—T.
 A mark made with colored earths or unguents upon the forehead and between the eye-brows either by way of ornament or a sectarial distinction.—T.
 Himavan means having snow.—T.
 ‘Of antres vast and deserts idle.’ Othello. Although not in common use, the word is very picturesque, and hence the adoption.—T.
 Thyself, the meaning is evident when shall we all meet together.—T.
 Another reading is: my brother is named Rāvana—a Rākshasa, and lord of Rākshasas. He is the son of Viasavan. Thou mayst have heard of him.—T.
 The text is difficult to render literally:—Why wishest thou to be the female servant of me who am myself a male servant.—T.
 We are obliged to use this epithet as it is in order to prevent the too frequent recurrence of Sumitra’s son.—T.
 Videha’s daughter. We retain this epithet also for the reason assigned above.—T.
 A kind of foul spirits.—T.
 Another reading is that enemy of mine.—T.
 Some texts—(Rāma) equipped with the bow.—T.
 The North-West Province’s text has some additional sloka:—Dreadful, wearing forms at will, possessing the pride of the lion, having large mouth, high-souled, revelling in cruelty, endeued with strength, of fierce energy.—T.
 Lit.—Pulastya’s sons. The Rākshasas were commonly descended from Pulastya.—T.
 The N. W. P. text has a different sloka. And seeing him come out on the ground, they themselves came out.—T.
 The sloka in the text is incomplete: The part within brackets, taken from the N. W. P. recension completes it.—T.
 There is a variation in reading here; the sense, however, is the same.
 The commentator says the yawning was in consequence of the soldiers having during the conflict indulged in liquor.—T.
 Another text:—The holder of pinaka.—T.
 Another reading is:—The sylvan deities fled away.—T.
 Another reading is, sharpened.—T.
 Another reading: remaining before Rāma, threw powerful weapons.—T.
 Lit.—Of fair feathers. A name of Garuda.
 The text may also mean—able to rend the cities of foes.—T.
 Another text reads: with the arrow set.—T.
 I.e. becomes dusky, as Rāmanuya intelligently remarks.—T.
 Another reading is, lit with husks.
 Another reading is, plaited with gold.
 The text varies slightly in other texts.—T.
 The Asura Andhaka was slain in the forest of Sweta by Rudra. This is related in the Puranas. Another reading is Swetarayge yathantaka like the Destroyer in the forest of Sweta. Swa, according to the Kurma Purana Uttra Khanda, in the Kalanyara hill, by a kick with his left leg slew the Destroyer, engaged in pennances, who had come to kill the Rajarshi Sweta, who was a great votary of Siva.—T.
 Namuchi was slain by a thunder-bolt laid over with foam.—T.
 Another reading is Viranga: rupopeta: possessed of handsome person.
 Another reading is—ko na nandati ninditi; who having been insulted by thee, doth not rejoice (in thy prosperity), and, therefore, in the garb of friend-ship, hath done thee this wrong?—T.
 This reminds one of Milton: of Belzebub, he says,— “——————— His person, Deep scars of thunder had intrenched—Par. Lost,—Book 1
 The commentator, is silent here. The meaning evidently is, thou dost not discern the where and when of things.—T.
 Niryydsurasa mutanam, gen, (sandal), which forms the principal ingredient in perfumes, containing odorous gums.—T.
 Another reading is: heaps of conch.—T.
 Some texts read sailam—hills.—T.
 This refers to Mrigashira, the fifth lunar constellation which resembles a deer.—T.
 The name of an Asur devoured by Agastya.—T.
 Properly it should be “struck her breast.” But it has a special significance here, I. e.—she would not be satisfied until her belly be filled with all the Rākshasas slain.—T.
 A mountainous range described as one of the smaller mountains of India proper, lying eastward of mount Meru.—T.
 Instead of On the earth—some texts have [bangles] sweet-sounding.—T.
 I. e. The quarter presided over by the sun, viz., the East.—T.
 Some texts—to rescue me.—T.
 Andropogon muricatum—(Lat). The root of a fragrant grass. This alludes to a terrible vision which is generally seen by a person on the eve of death—a golden tree having hair.—T.
 This refers to Jatāyu’s astrological knowledge. Vindya is derived from the root Vid—-to gain. Thus this moment is favourable to the loser and unfavourable to the taker. Hence Rāvana carrying away Sitā at this moment shall meet with destruction.—T.
 A Brahman who has preserved a sacred fire kept alive perpetually in a family, &c.,—from ahita—placed, agni—fire.—T.
 Presentation of water specially to the manes as a religious or obsequal rite.—T.
 In this Sloka west is mentioned and in the next one there is reference to their turning to the south and hence west here refers to south-west. T.
 The purport is:—Lakshmana wanted to chop off the arms of Kavandha and not to put an end to its life as it was not capable of fighting, being a headless demon. And it is not proper for the Kshatryas to destroy those who cannot fight.—T.
 This has a special significance here—meaning to get hold of them by stretching forth its arms.—T.
 They were pleased because they cut off its arms with ease like unto the trunks of a plantain tree.—T.
 It may mean also expert.—T.
 This Sloka may be rendered in another way:—Do thou continue benifitting us by showing proper compassion for us, who are stricken with grief helpless and ranging the forest in this way. We have however adopted here the commentator Rāmanuya’s explanation.—T.
 By virtue of the pious observances performed by him in his previous existence and for his being burnt by Rāma that celestial car appeared there.—T.
 The six expedients are as follow—(1) Sandhi, peace, (2) Vigraha, war-fare. (3) Yāna, military expedition against an enemy. (4) Ashana—halting. (5) Daidhibhava—sowing dissension. (6) Samashrarya seeking protection.—T.
 This is a moral law referring to the sixth expedient, to be resorted to by the kings—namely Samashrarya or seeking protection.—T.
 This refers to the oriental custom of performing every sacred rite in the presence of fire as witness. The Hindus regard the fire with sacred reverence and for this in all their social and religious ceremonials fire plays a very prominent and sacred part—T.
 A fruit-tree, the rose apple—Lat. (Eugenia Jambolana).—T.
 A tree commonly Piyal—Lat. (Buchanania latifolia).—T.
 The bread fruit or Jaka tree—Lat. (Artocarpus integrifolia).—T.
 The Indian fig-tree—Lat. (Ficus Indica).—T.
 Waved leaf fig-tree—Lat. (Ficus infectoria).—T.
 A sort of ebony—Lat. (Diospyros gtutinosa).—T.
 A holy fig-tree—Lat. (Ficus religiosa).—T.
 The name of a tree commonly Kaniyar—Lat. (Pterospermum acerifolium).—T.
 The mango—Lat. (Mangifera Indica).—T.
 A small tree—Lat. (Mesua ferrea).—T.
 A kind of tree commonly Tila.—T.
 A tree—Lat. (Galedupaarborea Rex).—T.
 Blue Asoka—Lat. (Jonesia Asock).—T.
 A plant commonly Kadamva—Lat. (Nauclea Kadamba).—T.
 A fragrant plant—Lat. (Oleander or Nerium Odorum).—T.
 The marking nut plant—Lat. (Semecarpius anacardium).—T.
 Red Sandal.—T.
 The coral tree—Lat. (Erythrina fulgens).—T.
 The garden of the deity Kuvera. It is derived from Chithraratha—a Gandharba in charge of the garden.
 The Rohi fish—Lat. (cyprinus Rohita Ham).—T.
 A kind of fish resembling a wheel in appearance.—T.
 A kind of sprat, according to some, a shrimp or prawn.—T.
 Common citron—Lat. (Citrus-medica).—T.
 Lat. (Symplaces racemesa).—T.
 Great-flowered Jasmine—Lat. (Jasminum Grandiflorum)—T.
 A kind of Jasmine:—Lat. (J. Multifiorum).—T
 Lat. (Memisa Sirisha).—T.
 Lat. (Barringtonia Acutangula).—T.
 Lat. (Abstenia Scholaris).—T.
 (Pandanus Odoratissumus).—T.
 Lat. (Gaertnera Racemosa).—T.
About the Author
Manmatha Nath Dutt was a Bengali writer, scholar of Sanskrit and Pali, served as rector in educational institutions (Keshab Academy and Serampore College), and is described as India’s most prolific translator of Hindu epics and scriptures. Later known as Manmatha Nath Shastri after getting that degree.
[Excerpt from Wikisource (https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Author:Manmatha_Nath_Dutt), retrieved August 24th, 2020]
One cannot ignore the massive contribution of Manamathanatha Datta who translated virtually every important Indian epic between the late-19th and early-20th century.
Little is available in the public domain of Datta’s life story. Most of his works describe him as a Rector at the Keshab Academy in Kolkata for several years. In a review of Professor P Lal’s verse by verse translation of Mahabharat, Datta is also described as having been a Rector at the Serampore College between 1895 and 1905. The closest thing to a biography of Datta can be found on a German language website on the Ramayana. The website describes his educational background as an MA and MRAS while going on to speculate on what was likely a marathon few decades of effort spent on translations.
[Excerpt from Narkive Newsgroup Archive (https://rec.arts.books.narkive.com/vFNlHfxW/the-genius-who-translated-hindu-epics), retrieved August 24th, 2020]
About this Edition
This edition is based on the original 1891 publication by Deva Press, Calcutta. All works by the author are in the public domain.