Rama replies Seetha's enquiry as to why he should wage war to eliminate the demons. He says that it is only to protect the land from the atrocities of demons, and for safeguarding the decrepit sages under his scheme of protecting the helpless.
वाक्यम् एतत् तु वैदेह्या व्याहृतम् भर्तृ भक्त्या |
श्रुत्वा धर्मे स्थितो रामः प्रत्युवाच जानकीम् || ४-१०-१
1. bhartR^i bhaktyaa = husband, in adoration of; vaidehyaa vyaahR^itam = by Vaidehi, said; etat vaakyam tu = all, words, but; shrutvaa = on hearing; dharme sthitaH raamaH = by virtue, abides, Rama; prati uvaaca jaanakiim = in turn, said [replied,] to Janaki.
On hearing all of the words said by Vaidehi, in adoration of her husband, he who abides by virtue alone that Rama replied Janaki. [4-10-1]
हितम् उक्तम् त्वया देवि स्निग्धया सदृशम् वचः |
कुलम् व्यपदिशन्त्या च धर्मज्ञे जनक आत्मजे || ४-१०-२
2. devi = oh, lady; dharmaj~ne janaka aatmaje = oh, virtue-knower, Janaka's, daughter; kulam vyapadishantyaa [vi apa dish] ca = familial [greatness,] that speak of; snigdhayaa tvayaa hitam sadR^isham vacaH uktam = friendlily, by you, beneficial words, befitting to your [disposition]; is said.
"You have said beneficial, friendlily words that are seemlier to your disposition, oh, lady, which are apt to speak of your familial brought up, for you are the daughter of virtue-knowing Janaka. [4-10-2]
किम् नु वक्ष्यामि अहम् देवि त्वया एव उक्तम् इदम् वचः |
क्षत्रियैः धार्यते चापो न आर्त शब्दो भवेद् इति || ४-१०-३
3. devi = o, lady; aham kim nu vakSyaami = I, what [more,] verily, can I say; aarta shabdaH na bhavet iti = wailer's, yowl, shall not, be there, thus [misery's tears shall cease to flow -- Griffit]; kSatriyaiH dhaaryate caapaH = Kshatriya-s, handle, bow; idam vacaH tvayaa eva uktam = this, word, by you, alone [perhaps,] said [iterated.]
"What more shall I say, oh, lady, since it is said that 'a warrior handles a bow so that misery's tears cease to flow...' and this saying is iterated even by you... [4-10-3]
ते च आर्ता दण्डकारण्ये मुनयः संशित व्रताः |
माम् सीते स्वयम् आगम्य शरण्याः शरणम् गताः || ४-१०-४
4. siite = oh! Seetha; samshita vrataaH = sages, resolute, in practises; sharaNyaaH daNDakaaraNye te munayaH = those that are shelteable, in Dansaka forest, those sages; aartaa svayam aagamya = sombrely, on approaching; maam sharaNam gataaH = my, refuge, they have gone in [came into.]
"Oh! Seetha, those shleterable sages of Dandaka forest have approached me sombrely on their own, and thus they came into my refuge... [4-10-4]
वसन्तः काल कालेषु वने मूल फल अशनाः |
न लभन्ते सुखम् भीरु राक्षसैः क्रूर कर्मभिः || ४-१०-५
5. muula phala ashanaaH = tubers, fruits, eaters of; vasantaH kaala kaaleSu vane = living, time, after times [in all times,] in forest; kruura karmabhiH raakSasaiH bhiiru = with invidious, deeds, by demons, scared; sukham na labhante = quietude, not getting.
"Subsisting on fruits and tubers, living at all the time in forests those sages are not getting quietude, as they are scared by the demons with invidious deeds... [4-10-5]
भक्ष्यन्ते राक्षसैः भीमैः नर मांसोपजीविभिः |
ते भक्ष्यमाणा मुनयो दण्डकारण्य वासिनः || ४-१०-६
अस्मान् अभ्यवपद्य इति माम् ऊचुर् द्विज सत्तमाः |
6, 7a. munayaH daNDakaaraNya vaasinaH = sages, in Dandaka forest, dwellers; bhiimaiH nara maaMsopajiivibhiH = fiendish, on human, felsh, that subsist; raakSasaiH bhakSyante = by demons, are being eaten; te bhakSyamaaNaa = they, while being eaten; dvija sattamaaH = Brahmans, the eminet ones; asmaan abhyavapadya [abhi ava pad] = us, [to take possession of us] come to rescue; iti = thus as; maam uucur = to me, said.
"The sages dwelling in Dandaka forest are being eaten away by fiendish demons that subsist on human flesh, and while being eaten away like that those eminent Brahmans have said to me, "please come to our rescue..." [4-10-6,7a]
मया तु वचनम् श्रुत्वा तेषाम् एवम् मुखात् च्युतम् || ४-१०-७
कृत्वा वचन शुश्रुषाम् वाक्यम् एतत् उदाहृतम् |
प्रसीदन्तु भवन्तो मे ह्रीः एषा तु मम अतुला || ४-१०-८
यद् ईदृशैः अहम् विप्रैः उपस्थेयैः उपस्थितः |
7b, 8, 9a. evam teSaam mukhaat cyutam vacanam shrutvaa = this way, from their, mouth, fel, words, on hearing; mayaa tu = by me, but; kR^itvaa vacana shushruSaam = on making, vocal, vassalage - comforting them verbally; vaakyam etat udaahR^itam = sentence, this one, avouched; prasiidantu me bhavantaH = be gracious, to me, you all; aham yat [kaaraNaat] = I am, by which [reason]; upastheyaiH iidR^ishaiH vipraiH = those that are to be served, this kind of, [eminent] Brahamnas; upasthitaH = they came to my fore; eSaa mama atulaa hriiH hi = this, for me, immense, shame/dishonour, indeed.
"This way when I have heard the words voiced by them, I comforted them verbally and avouched this way, "Be gracious to me... you all... by which reason I am being addressed this way by this kind of eminent Brahmans, whom I should have actually addressed my self, this indeed is a dishonour for me... [4-10-7b, 8, 9a]
किम् करोमि इति च मया व्याहृतम् द्विज संनिधौ || ४-१०-९
सर्वैः एव समागम्य वाक् इयम् समुदाहृता |
9b, 10a. kim karomi iti ca = what, I shall do, thus, also; mayaa vyaahR^itam dvija sannidhau = by me, said, in Brahmins', in front of; sarvaiH eva samaagamya = all, thus, thronging; vaak iyam sam udaahR^itaa = word, this, spoke out.
"Then I said before the Brahmans, "what shall I do?" All of them thus thronged and spoke this word. [4-10-9b, 10a]
राक्षसैः दण्डकारण्ये बहुभिः काम रूपिभिः || ४-२०-१०
अर्दिताः स्म भृशम् राम भवान् नः तत्र रक्षतु |
10b, 11a. raama = oh! Rama; daNDakaaraNye bahubhiH kaama ruupibhiH raakSasaiH = in Dandaka forest, many of the, guise-changing, demons; bhR^isham arditaaH sma = outrightly, tortured, we are; bhavaan tatra rakshatu naH = you, us, there in that, context protect, us.
"Many of the guise changing demons are outrightly torturing us in Dandaka forest, hence in that context you shall protect us... [4-10-10b, 11a]
होम काले तु संप्राप्ते पर्व कालेषु च अनघ || ४-१०-११
धर्षयन्ति सुदुर्धर्षा राक्षसाः पिशित अशनाः |
11b, 12a. anagha = oh, merited one Rama; su dur dharSaa = highly, resistless ones; pishita ashanaaH = flesh, eating [carnivorous]; raakSasaaH = demons; homa kaale tu = at oblation, times, but; parva kaaleSu ca = on propitious, times, also; sampraapte = chancing, descend on; dharSayanti = they will be persecuting.
"Those resistless carnivorous demons, oh, merited Rama, will descend exactly at the time of fire oblations, or on propitious times like full or new moons to persecute us... [4-10-11b, 12a]
राक्षसैः धर्षितानाम् च तापसानाम् तपस्विनाम् || ४-१०-१२
गतिम् मृगयमाणानाम् भवान् नः परमा गतिः |
12b, 13a. raakSasaiH dharSitaanaam ca = by demons, being assaulted, too; taapasaanaam tapasvinaam = aggrieved, ascetics; gatim mR^igaya maaNaanaam = recourse, searching, those that are searching; bhavaan = you are; naH = for us; paramaa gatiH = ultimate, course [we chanced on you.]
"We the ascetics being assaulted thus are aggrieved, and when we searched for a recourse you chanced as our ultimate course... [4-10-12b, 13a]
कामम् तपः प्रभावेण शक्ता हन्तुम् निशाचरान् || ४-१०-१३
चिरार्जितम् न च इच्छ्हामः तपः खण्डयितुम् वयम् |
13b, 14a. vayam tapaH prabhaaveNa = we are, by our ascesis, efficacy of; hantum nishaacaraan = kaamam shakaaH = to eradicate, demons, surely, we are capable of; tu = but; cira arjitam tapaH = for a long time, earned, ascesis [ the effect of]; na ca icChaamaH khaNDayitum = not, also, we wish, to cut short, waste;
"We by the efficacy of our ascesis are surely capable to eradicate those demons, but we do not wish to shorten the effect of our long earned merit of ascesis... [4-10-13b, 14a]
बहु विघ्नम् तपो नित्यम् दुःश्चरम् चैव राघव || ४-१०-१४
तेन शापम् न मुंचामो भक्ष्यमाणाः च राक्षसैः |
14b, 15a. Raghava; tapaH nityam bahu vighnam = ascesis, always, with many hurdles; duH caram ca eva = impracticable, also, like that; tena = by the reason of it; raakSasaiH bhakSyamaaNaaH = though being eaten away, by demons; shaapam na muncaamaH = thus, curse, not, issued.
"Many hurdles are always there in our practice of ascesis, and even the ascesis have become impracticable, oh, Raghava, thus though being eaten away by the demons we are not issuing any curse... [4-10-14b, 15a]
तद् अर्द्यमानान् रक्षोभिः दण्डकारण्य वासिभिः || ४-१०-१५
रक्ष नः त्वम् सह भ्रात्रा त्वम् नाथा हि वयम् वने |
15b, 16b. tat = thereby; daNDakaaraNya vaasibhiH rakSobhiH = Dandaka forest, dwellers, by demons; ardyamaanaan = being persecuted; naH = us; saha bhraatraa tvam rakSa = with, brother you, protect; vayam vane tvam naathaa hi = we, in forest, you, as protector, we have you isn't it.
"Thereby, you along with your brother protect us that are being persecuted by the demons dwelling in Dandaka forest as you alone are the protector of ours in these forests...'so said sages to me... [4-10-15b, 16a]
मया च एतत् वचः श्रुत्वा कार्त्स्न्येन परिपालनम् || ४-१०-१६
ऋषीणाम् दण्डकारण्ये संश्रुतम् जनकाअत्मजे |
16b, 17a. janaka aatmaje = Janaka's, daughter - oh, Seetha; mayaa ca etat vacaH shrutvaa = by me, also, all these, words, on hearing; daNDakaaraNye R^iSiiNaam = in Dandaka forests, to sages; kaartsnyena paripaalanam samshrutam = complete, protection, promised.
"On hearing all those words, oh, Seetha, I promised complete protection to the sages of Dandaka forests... [4-10-16b, 17a]
संश्रुत्य न च शक्ष्यामि जीवमानः प्रतिश्रवम् || ४-१०-१७
मुनीनाम् अन्यथा कर्तुम् सत्यम् इष्टम् हि मे सदा |
17b, 18a. samshrutya = having promised; jiivamaanaH = while alive; muniinaam prati shravam = to sages, what that is promised; anyathaa kartum na shakSyaami = otherwise, to implement, not, capable of; me sadaa satyam iSTam hi = always, truth, is dearer, to me, isn't it.
"Having promised to the sages it is incapable of me to implement it otherwise while I am alive... truth is dearer to me, isn't it... [4-10-17b, 18a]
अपि अहम् जीवितम् जह्याम् त्वाम् वा सीते स लक्ष्मणाम् || ४-१०-१८
न तु प्रतिज्ञाम् संश्रुत्य ब्राह्मणेभ्यो विशेषतः |
18b, 19a. siite = Seetha; aham jiivitam api = I, life, even; sa lakSmaNaam = with, Lakshmana; tvaam vaa = you, either; jahyaam = I leave off; tu = but; pratij~naam = promise; visheSataH braahmaNebhyaH = especially, to Brahmans; samshrutya = having promised; na tu = never [I will never go back.]
"I may forfeit my life, forgo Lakshmana, or even forsake you but not a promise, that too especially made to Brahmans, and having promised I can never go back... [4-10-18b, 19a]
तत् अवश्यम् मया कार्यम् ऋषीणाम् परिपालनम् || ४-१०-१९
अनुक्तेन अपि वैदेहि प्रतिज्ञाय कथम् पुनः |
19b, 20a. vaidehi = oh, Vaidehi; tat = by that reason; an uktena api = not, asked [by sages,] even if; R^iSiiNaam pari paalanam = of sages', safeguarding; mayaa avashyam kaaryam = by me, definitely, to be done; pratij~naaya katham punaH = having, how, then [to not to do.]
"By that reason, oh, Seetha, even if I am unasked, safeguarding sages is definitely to be done by me, how then it is undone when given a promise... [4-10-19b, 20a]
मम स्नेहात् च सौहार्दात् इदम् उक्तम् त्वया वचः || ४-१०-२०
परितुष्टो अस्मि अहम् सीते न हि अनिष्टो अनुशास्यते |
20b, 21a. siite = oh, Seetha; mama snehaat sauhaardaat ca = in my, friendship, good-heartedness, also; idam vacaH uktam tvayaa = this, word, is said, by you; parituSTaH asmi aham = contented, I am; an iSTaH na anushaasyate hi = uninterested ones, not, forewarns, indeed.
"With your friendship and good-heartedness you say these words, oh, Seetha, I am contended... uninterested ones do not forewarn, indeed... [4-10-20b, 21a]
सदृशम् च अनुरूपम् च कुलस्य तव शोभने |
सधर्म चारिणी मे त्वम् प्राणेभ्यो अपि गरीयसी || ४-१०-२१
21b, c. tava kulasya ca, shobhane = for your, bloodline, oh, graceful one; sadR^isham anuruupam ca = appropriate, seemly, also; me sa dharma caariNii = with me, virtue, wife the pursuer; tvam praaNebhyaH api gariiyasii = you are, by [my] lives, even, loftier one.
"Appropriate and seemly is your word of caution to your bloodline, oh, graceful Seetha, you are the co-pursuer in dharma with me, hence you are loftier to me than my own lives..." So said Rama to Seetha. [4-10-21b, c]
इति एवम् उक्त्वा वचनम् महात्मा
सीताम् प्रियाम् मैथिल राज पुत्रीम् |
रामो धनुष्मान् सह लक्ष्मणेन
जगाम रम्याणि तपो वनानि || ४-१०-२२
22. mahaatmaa = exalted-soul; raamaH = Rama; priyaam maithila raaja putriim siitaam = to dear one, Mithila, king's, daughter, to Seetha; iti evam uktvaa vacanam = thus, that way, on saying, words; dhanuSmaan = bow-wielder; saha lakSmaNena = with, Lakshmana; ramyaaNi tapo vanaani jagaama = to picturesque, hermits, woodlands, went to.
That exalted soul Rama on saying those words to Seetha, his dear wife and the daughter of Janaka, wielding his bow proceeded further with Lakshmana to the picturesque woodlands of hermits. [4-10-22]
इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदि काव्ये अरण्य काण्डे दशमः सर्गः
© 2001, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao, [Revised : March 04]