A spy of Ravana named Akampana rushes to him to break the news of annihilation of Janasthaana by Rama. He suggests Ravana to abduct Seetha. Because parting with Seetha causes grief to Rama and thereby he dies. On thinking for while, Ravana goes to Mareecha seeking his help in abducting Seetha. Mareecha while explaining Rama's capabilities, reminds us of the incarnations of Vishnu, and advises Ravana to be content with what he has.
This chapter is removed from the critical edition and retained by traditional versions There are discussions on this chapter whether it is the original work or an interpolated one. Some more details are given in the endnote. Akampana's character inevitably has continuity in the war scene at the end.
त्वरमणः ततो गत्वा जनस्थानात् अकंपनः |
प्रविश्य लंकाम् वेगेन रावणम् वाक्यम् अब्रवीत् || ३-३१-१
1. tataH = then; akampanaH tvaramaNaH = Akampana, hurriedly; janasthaanaat gatvaa = from Janasthaana, on going; vegena lankaam pravishya = speedily, Lanka, entering; raavaNam vaakyam abraviit = to Ravana, word, spoke.
Then on going hurriedly from Janasthaana and on speedily entering Lanka Akampana spoke these words to Ravana. [3-31-1]
जनस्थान स्थिता राजन् रक्षसा बहवो हताः |
खरः च निहतः संख्ये क्थंचित् अहम् आगतः || ३-३१-२
2. raajan = oh, king; janasthaana sthitaa = in Janasthaana, positioned; bahavaH rakshasaa hataaH = many, demons, are killed; samkhye kharaH ca nihataH = in war, Khara, also, killed; aham kathamcit aagataH = I have, somehow, come here.
"Oh, king, many demons positioned in Janasthaana are killed, Khara is also killed in war, and somehow I have come here. [3-31-2]
dhvani/allusion: Janasthaana is the castle-gateway to Lanka. Lanka is a city built within its castle-walls and it has no countrysides or villages at least, annexing it. If Janasthaana is ruined, Lanka is also going ruin soon, because none can crossover the bulwark-like-Janasthaana. raajan 'oh, king of demons...' 'when demons in Janasthaana are ruined, your kingship gets ruined...' bahavaH 'many...' 'not one or two, many demons that are guarding Lanka from Janasthaana are hataaH 'dead...' Then Ravana may ask 'what is it Khara doing then?' kharaH ca 'Khara, also' is dead. By this ca 'also' Trishira, Duushana etc., are also reported as dead.
एवम् उक्तो दशग्रीवः क्रुद्धः सम्रक्त लोचनः |
अकंपनम् उवाच इदम् निर्दहन् इव तेजसा || ३-३१-३
3. evam uktaH dasha griivaH = thus, said to, ten, faced [ten-voiced, ten-headed] one [Ravana]; kruddhaH samrakata locanaH = infuriated, with bloodshot, eyes; akampanam uvaaca idam = to Akampana, spoke, this; [cakshuSaa] tejasaa nirdahan iva = with his [eyes,] radiance, to burn down [whole world,] as though.
Thus said, then that ten-faced Ravana is infuriated with bloodshot eyes, and as though to burn down whole world with his radiance he spoke this to Akampana. [3-31-3]
केन भीमम् जनस्थानम् हतम् मम परासुना |
को हि सर्वेषु लोकेषु गतिम् न अधिगमिष्यति || ३-३१-४
4. para asunaa = by one with gone, lives [one whose lives are gone, ci-devant, dead and gone]; kena = by whom; mama bhiimam janasthaanam = my, indomitable, Janasthaana; hatam = is destroyed; sarveSu lokeSu = in all, worlds; kaH = who is it; gatim na adhigamiSyati hi = recourse, not, attains, indeed - who chose not to survive in any world.
"Who is that dead-and-gone that has destroyed my indomitable Janasthaana? Who is it that has indeed opted for no recourse in all of the worlds? [3-31-4]
न हि मे विप्रियम् कृता शक्यम् मघवता सुखम् |
प्रप्तुम् वैश्रवणेन अपि न यमेन च विष्णुना || ३-३१-५
5. me vi priyam kR^itaa = to me, against, appreciable [unappreciative deed,] on doing - evoking indignation ; maghavataa sukham praptum = by Indra, happiness; na shakyam hi = to get, not, possible, really; vaishravaNena api = by Kubera, even; na = not [possible]; yamena na = by Yama, no; na ca viSNunaa = not, even, by Vishnu.
"Evoking indignation in me it is really impossible for Indra to be happy; even for Kubera - no; for Yama - no; why them, even Vishnu cannot be happy. [3-31-5]
कालस्य च अपि अहम् कलो दहेयम् अपि पावकम् |
मृत्युम् मरण धर्मेण संयोजयितुम् उत्सहे || ३-३१-६
6. aham kaalasya ca api kalaH = I am, of Time-god, also, even, the [end] Time; paavakam api daheyam = Fire-god, even, I will burn down; mR^ityum maraNa dharmeNa = Death, deathliness, with the virtue of; sam yojayitum = to conjoin with; utsahe = I enthuse - capable of.
"I am the End-Time for the Time-god himself, I will burn down the Fire-god, and I am capable of conjoining Death with the virtue of deathliness. [3-31-6]
वातस्य तरसा वेगम् निहन्तुम् अपि च उत्सहे |
दहेयम् अपि संक्रुद्धः तेजसा आदित्य पावकौ || ३-३१-७
7. samkruddhaH = if enraged; tejasaa = with my radiance; aaditya paavakau api = Sun-god, Fire-god, even; daheyam = I will incinerate; tarasaa = by my speed - impetuosity; vaatasya vegam api ca = Air-god's, speed, also, even; nihantum utsahe = to kill [ to halt,] I am excited to.
"If I am enraged I will incinerate Sun-god or Fire-god just with my radiance, I will halt even the impetuosity of Wind-god with that of mine." Thus Ravana said about himself. [3-31-7]
तथा क्रुद्धम् दशग्रीवम् कृतांजलिः अकंपनः |
भयात् संदिग्धया वचा रावणम् याचते अभयम् || ३-३१-८
8. akampanaH kR^ita anjaliH = Akampana, with adjoined-palms; tathaa kruddham dashagriivam = in that way, at the enraged, decahedral demon [Ravana]; bhayaat samdigdhayaa vacaa = with fear, hesitant, with voice; raavaNam a bhayam yaacate = with Ravana, no, fear [clemency,] besought.
Akampana with his palms adjoined and voice hesitant with fear sought for the clemency of that decahedral demon Ravana who is enraged in that way. [3-31-8]
The words decahedron, decahedral - a solid figure with ten faces - are the fancied usage for Ten-Throated or Ten-Faced demon. Ravana has also got the name of dashagriiva, and he is a 'solid' demon.
दशग्रीवो अभयम् तस्मै प्रददौ रक्षसाम् वरः |
स विस्रब्धो अब्रवीत् वाक्यम् असंदिग्धम् अकंपनः || ३-३१-९
10. rakshasaam varaH = among demons, the supreme; dashagriivaH = ten headed Ravana; tasmai abhayam pradadau = to him [to Akampana,] pardon, gave; saH akampanaH = he that, Akampana; visrabdhaH = trusting in; a sandigdham = not, falteringly; vaakyam abraviit = sentence, said.
When the supremo of demons Dasha-griiva pardoned him then that Akampana spoke these words, unfalteringly and trustfully. [3-31-9]
पुत्रो दशरथः ते सिंह संहननो युवा |
रामो नाम महास्कंधो वृत्त आयत महाभुजः || ३-३१-१०
10. simha samhananaH = lion like, in built; yuvaa = youthful one; putraH dasharathaH = son, of Dasharatha; mahaa skandhaH = with mighty shoulders; vR^itta aayata mahaa bhujaH = round, lengthy, with great arms; raamaH naama = Rama, one known as; [asti = is there.]
"He is a youth whose shoulders are mighty, arms round and lengthy, built like that a lion, who is the son of Dasharatha and known as Rama. [3-31-10]
श्यामः पृथुयशाः श्रीमान् अतुल्य बल विक्रमः |
हतः तेन जनस्थाने खरः च सह दूषणः || ३-३१-११
11. That Rama is - shyaamaH = blue-black - in complexion; pR^ithu yashaaH = highly, renowned one; a tulya bala vikramaH = not, matching, in might, in valour; shriimaan = a magnificent one; tena = by him; janasthaane = in Janasthaana; saha duuSaNaH kharaH ca = with, Duushana, Khara, is also; hataH = killed.
"He is blue-black in complexion, a highly renowned one with matchless might and valour, a magnificent one such as he is he slew Duushana along with Khara in Janasthaana." [3-31-11]
अकंपन वचः श्रुत्वा रावणो राक्षसाधिप |
नागेन्द्र इव निःश्वस्य इदम् वचनम् अब्रवीत् || ३-३१-१२
12. raakshasa adhipa raavaNaH = demon's, chief, Ravana; akampana vacaH shrutvaa = Akampana's, words, on hearing; naaga indra iva niHshvasya = serpent, kingly, like, hissing; idam vacanam abraviit = this, words, spoke.
On hearing the words of Akampana, the chief of demons Ravana, spoke these words hissing like a kingly serpent. [3-31-12]
स सुरेन्द्रेण संयुक्तो रामः सर्व अमरैः सह |
उपयातो जनस्थानम् ब्रूहि कच्चित् अकंपन || ३-३१-१३
13. akampana = oh, Akampana; saH raamaH = that one, Rama; sura indreNa = with, Indra; sarva amaraiH saha = all, immortals - gods, along with; samyuktaH = associated by; janasthaanam upayaataH kaccit = to Janasthaana, arrived, whether - that is the question; bruuhi = you tell.
"The question is whether that Rama arrived at Janasthaana associated with Indra and along with all of the immortal gods? Oh, Akampana, speak about it. [3-31-13]
रावणस्य पुनर् वाक्यम् निशम्य तद् अकंपनः |
आचचक्षे बलम् तस्य विक्रमम् च महात्मनः || ३-३१-१४
14. akampanaH = Akampana; raavaNasya tat vaakyam nishamya = Ravana's, that, sentence, on hearing; mahaa aatmanaH tasya = of great-souled one, his - Rama's; balam vikramam ca = about might, valour, also; punaH aacacakshe = again, detailed.
Akampana again detailed about the might and valour of that great souled Rama on hearing that sentence of Ravana. [3-31-14]
रामो नाम महातेजाः श्रेष्टः सर्व धनुष्मताम् |
दिव्य अस्त्र गुण संपन्नः परंधर्म गतो युधि || ३-३१-१५
15. raamaH naama = Rama, means [not named as]; mahaatejaaH = great-resplendent; sarva dhanuS mataam shreSTaH = among all, archers, ablest one; divya astra guNa sampannaH = divine, missiles, attributes, endowed with; yudhi = in warfare; param dharma gataH = supreme, in conduct, he has got [conducts himself, or, purandara samaH = Indra, equalling.]
"Rama means someone who is highly resplendent, an ablest archer among all archers, one who is endowed with divine missiles and divine attributes, and he is the one who conducts warfare with a supreme conduct. [3-31-15]
तस्य अनुरूपो बलब्वान् रक्ताक्षो दुन्दुभि स्वनः |
कनीयान् लक्ष्मणो भ्राता राका शशि निभ आननः || ३-३१-१६
16. balavaan = a mighty one; rakta akshaH = redly, eyed one; dundubhi svanaH = like drumbeat, with a voice; raakaa shashi nibha aananaH = full-moon, in shine, one with a face; lakshmaNaH [naama] = Lakshmana [known as]; tasya = his [Rama's]; anuruupaH kaniiyaan bhraataa = selfsame, younger, brother.
"And a mighty one with redly eyes and drumbeat like voice, and whose face is shiny like the full-moon is Rama's selfsame younger brother known as Lakshmana. [3-31-16]
स तेन सह संयुक्तः पावकेन अनिलो यथा |
श्रीमान् राज वरः तेन जनस्थानम् निपातितम् || ३-३१-१७
17. shriimaan raaja varaH = glorious one, among princes, best - the nonpareil prince; saH = he that Rama; anilaH paavakena yathaa = wind, with fire, as with; tena saha samyuktaH = with him [with Lakshmana,] along with, associated with; tena janasthaanam nipaatitam = by such a [Rama,] Janasthaana, is destroyed.
"Alike the wind associating with fire this Lakshmana is associated with that glorious and nonpareil prince Rama, and that firestorm, namely Rama, destroyed Janasthaana. [3-31-17]
न एव देवा महत्मनो न अत्र कार्या विचारणा |
शरा रामेण तु उत्सृष्टा रुक्मपुंखाः पतत्रिणः || ३-३१-१८
सर्पाः पंचानना भूत्वा भक्षयन्ति स्म राक्षसान् |
18, 19a. mahatmanaH devaa na eva = great-souled, gods, they are not, that way; atra = in that matter; vicaaraNaa na kaaryaa = doubt, need not, be done; raameNa utsR^iSTaa = by Rama, unloosened; rukma punkhaaH tu patatriNaH sharaa = gold, finned, feather-winged, arrows, are but; panca aananaa sarpaaH bhuutvaa = five, faced, serpents, on becoming; raakshasaan bhakshayanti sma = demons, to consume, they have started to.
"They are not any great souled gods or any heavenly beings as such, hence there is no need to doubt about it. Rama unloosened his gold-finned and feather-winged arrows, which on becoming five-faced serpents started consuming the demons. [3-31-18]
येन येन च गच्छन्ति राक्षसा भय कर्शिताः || ३-३१-१९
तेन तेन स्म पश्यन्ति रामम् एव अग्रतः स्थितम् |
इत्थम् विनाशितम् जनस्थानम् तेन तव अनघ || ३-३१-२०
19b, 20. bhaya karshitaaH raakshasaa = by fear, smitten, demons; yena yena gacChanti ca = by which, by which p way, in whichever pathway, are going, while; tena tena = in that, in that - pathway [everywhere]; agrataH sthitam = afore, standing; raamam eva pashyanti sma = at Rama, alone, are seeing, they became so; anagha = oh, merited Ravana; tena = by him; ittham = in this way; tava janasthaanam vi naashitam = your, Janasthaana, totally, ruined.
"To whichever nook those demons smitten by fear of those serpent-like are fleeing, they have seeing Rama alone standing afore them in that corner, and oh, merited king Ravana, in this way your Janasthaana is totally ruined by that Rama. [3-31-19b, 20] [3-31-19]
Rama appeared to have assumed fourteen-thousand forms of one Rama svecChaa gR^ihiita dehaiH, and appeared confronting on the path of each and every demon who is trying to take shelter in a corner. Rama further appeared in each of the objects the demons wanted to pick up and fight back, say trees, boulders etc. raamam eva agrataH sthitam pashyanti - Tiirtha. Because the demons are smitten by fear, that fear reflected one Rama as fourteen thousand Rama-s, and it is not any divine trick or magic done by Rama. - Govindaraja. It is same with Kamsa in Bhaagavata when he sees one Krishna as many Krishna-s in his fear.
अकंपन अचः श्रुत्वा रावणो वाक्यम् अब्रवीत् |
गमिष्यामि जनस्थनम् रामम् हन्तुम् स लक्ष्मणम् || ३-३१-२१
21. akampana vacaH shrutvaa = Akampana's, words, on hearing; raavaNaH vaakyam abraviit = Ravana, sentence, said; sa lakshmaNam raamam hantum = with, Lakshmana, Rama, to kill; janasthanam gamiSyaami = to Janasthaana I wish to go.
On hearing the words of Akampana Ravana said these words, "I will to go to Janasthaana to kill Rama along with Lakshmana." [3-31-21]
अथ एवम् उक्ते वचने प्रोवाच इदम् अकंपनः |
श्रुणु राजन् यथा वृत्तम् रामस्य बल पौरुषम् || ३-३१-२२
22. evam vacane ukte = this way, sentence, while being said; tataH = then; akampanaH idam pra uvaaca = Akampana, this, said; raajan = oh, king; yathaa vR^ittam = as, happened [ in actuality]; raamasya bala pauruSam = Rama's, spirit, grit; shruNu = you listen.
When Ravana said so then Akampana said these words in reply, " listen, oh, king, what all has happened, and of what in actuality is Rama's spirit and grit. [3-31-22]
Akampana is saying that what all has happened to the dead demons is in accordance with their deeds done when they are alive yathaa vR^ittam 'as they have done inhuman deeds thus they got punishment.' These dead demons are the actual troublemakers to the sages at the behest of Ravana. yadaa na khalu yaj~nasya vighna kartaa mahaabalaH || 1-20-18 As said by Sage Vishvamitra, Ravana does not cause any hindrances to ritual, but these hench-demons do. So, they reaped the fruits of their actions. Or, raamasya vR^ittam: itihaasa puraaNa prakiirtita vR^ittam 'that which is enshrined in legends and mythology, I will tell those aspects of Rama.' yathaa vat balam pauruSam 'as it is his might and grit...' 'I will let you know about them...' So said Akampana to Ravana. - Tiirtha.
असाध्यः कुपितो रामो विक्रमेण महायशाः |
आप गायाः तु पूर्णाया वेगम् परिहरेत् शरैः || ३-३१-२३
23. mahaa yashaaH raamaH = highly renowned, Rama; vikrameNa a saadhyaH = by braving against, not, conquerable; kupitaH [raamaH] = when infuriated; puurNaayaa = plethoric; aapa gaayaaH = with waters, coursing - of river; vegam = onrush; sharaiH pariharet = with arrows, will curb.
"Rama, the highly renolwned, is invincible just by braving against him, for that Rama in fury can stall the onrush of a plethoric river with his arrows. [3-31-23]
Rama does not tolerate the upheaval of the system thus he becomes infuriated kupitaH as and when anything unwarranted occurs. And this fury is a getup to Rama, but it is not his innate nature because ramayate iti raamaH 'he who delights is Rama...' Thus he cannot always become furious. He is invincible just by brute-force vikrameNa a+saadhyaH . Thus he is approachable only in accordance with a set system conduct. Further, the word a+saadhya is not coupled with any other sub-words upapada, so he is invincible even to Brahma, Rudra, Indra et al. By this Vishnu's trivikrama incarnation is indicated. He can stop, or bifurcate the plethoric river stream just by his intention, leave alone arrows. bhayaanaka aavarta shataakulaa nadii maargam dadau sindhuH iha shriyaH pateH -- bhaagavata In Bhaagavata the tumultuous river gave way to carry Krishna to go to the other side. Thus the incarnation of Krishna, in earlier times, or in the forthcoming eras, is suggested. - Tiirtha. As a river gives way to fishes to swim, his matsya 'Fish...' incarnation is also suggested.
स तारा ग्रह नक्षत्रम् नभः च अपि अवसादयेत् |
असौ रामः तु सीदन्तीम् श्रीमान् अभ्युद्धरेत् महीम् || ३-३१-२४
24. shriimaan asau raamaH tu = magnificent one, that, Rama, on his part; sa taaraa graha nakshatram = with, starlets, planets, stars; nabhaH ca api = firmament, also, even that also; he can; ava saadayet = to down, he collapses; siidantiim mahiim abhi uddharet = one that is sinking, earth, to up, he elevates.
"That magnificent Rama can collapse even the firmament along with its starlets, stars and planets, and he even can elevate the earth if it were to collapse. [3-31-24]
By the attributes of stars and planets to the firmament, the Golden-Egg hiraNya garbha is suggested. So, he is the Originator. In the incarnation as vikrama 'Dwarf-boy...' he set one of his feet on the yonder blue, hence the firmament has no value for him. siidantii mahiim uddharet Raising the sinking earth is suggestive of varaaha 'Wild Boar...' incarnation, where he uplifted drowning earth on the snoot of a wild boar. And again siidantii mahiim uddharet where mahi is taken as people, and it is said 'when people on earth are sinking/collapsing under tyranny, he uplifts them...' as he is the ultimate absolver and terminator of the creation. Govindaraja and Tiirtha.
भित्वा वेलाम् समुद्रस्य लोकान् आप्लावयेत् विभुः |
वेगम् वा अपि समुद्रस्य वाअयुम् वा विधमेत् शरैः || ३-३१-२५
25. vibhuH = lord Rama; bhitvaa samudrasya velaam = breaching, ocean's, shoreline; lokaan aaplaavayet = worlds, he will deluge; samudrasya vegam vaa api = of ocean, speed [turbulence,] or, even; vaaayum vaa = [or that causer of turbulence,] wind, even if; sharaiH vi dhamet = with arrows, verily, stalls.
"On breaching the shoreline of the ocean with his arrows that lord Rama can deluge worlds, and he can stem the tide of turbulent ocean, or can even stall the agent of that turbulence, namely the wind. [3-31-25]
The deluging worlds suggest samkarSaNa aspect. Govindaraja. Because he deluges all the worlds, he is yuga antakaH 'the epoch-ender...' The said 'Air' suggests other elements also, like Fire, Water etc., as said in pR^idvii apsu liiyate, aapaH tejasa liiyate 'earth merges in waters, waters merges in fire...' thus he can stem the tide of all the elements, taking samhR^itya from the next verse. Tiirtha.
संहृत्य वा पुनर् लोकान् विक्रमेण महायशाः |
शकतः श्रेष्ठः स पुरुषः स्रष्टुम् पुनर् अपि प्रजाः || ३-३१-२६
26. vaa = or; mahaa yashaaH = great-glorious one; saH puruSaH shreSThaH = he that, among men, ablest one; punaH lokaan = again, worlds; vikrameNa = by his valour; samhR^itya = on destroying [dissolving]; prajaaH punaH api sraSTum shakataH = people [creation,] again, even, to create, he is capable.
"That great valorous and the ablest among humans is capable to destroy all the worlds with his valour, and even capable of creating the people again.
Or, again dissolving all the worlds into himself, that great contemplator who transcends all is even capable of creating the creation again from out of him. [3-31-26]
The word shR^STi does not mean crafting anything anew. It is from sR^ij 'releasing out...' The innate souls jiiva are not created anew, they are ever there. But they emerge out of Brahman and resolve in Him according to their karmic cycle. This is Gita's concept. He 'creates worlds again...' indicates that in earlier eras also he is the Creator. vikrameNa is not always 'by valorousness' but 'just by contemplation...' He can create, rather evolve from his within, because he is mahaa yashaH 'glorious...' since Veda-s say eko ha vai naaraayaNa, paraa asya shakti, etasya vaa a ksharasya How a single being can do all these thing? For this it is said saH shreSThaH puruSaH 'he is more than, better than, transcendent, to humans...' but not 'best among men' as routinely said above. The word punaH 'again' is used twice, one belongs to the earlier dissolutions and creations and another to the forthcoming ones. Tiirtha.
न हि रामो दशग्रीव शक्यो जेतुम् रणे त्वया |
रक्षसाम् वा अपि लोकेन स्वर्गः पाप जनैः इव || ३-३१-२७
27. dashagriiva = oh, Dashagriiva; raamaH raNe tvayaa [vaa] = Rama, in war, by you, [either]; rakshasaam lokena vaa api = with demons, with the hosts of demons [not world,] or, even; jetum = to conquer; svargaH paapa janaiH iva = heavens, by sinning, people, like [as if conquered]; na shakyaH hi = not, possible, indeed.
"Oh, Dashagriiva, it is impossible to conquer that Rama in war for your, either singly or along with the hosts of the demon-supporters of yours, as one heaven cannot be won by many sinners. [3-31-27]
Ravana may question this spy as, 'When I am a ten-headed-demon, and he is single headed-human, why cannot I conquer him? The reply is 'you cannot, because you have only ten heads whereas each of the two brothers has sahasra shiirSaa puruSa, sahasra aksha... 'thousands of heads and thousands of eyes...' They are invincible whether you attack him singly or along with hosts of other sinister demons of your like, namely Namuchi, Hiranayakashyapa, Shambara et al. No one can conquer him. The analogy is like this. Though there are many sinners in many worlds, all put together are not able to conquer one single heaven. Tiirtha. anena paapiShThaiH svargaH praaptum na shakyata iti uktam - - anena sukR^itinaam svargaH paapiShThaanaam naraka iti suucitam - dk .
न तम् वध्यम् अहम् मन्ये सर्वैः देव असुरैः अपि |
अयम् अस्य वध उपाय तत् एकमनाः शृउणु || ३-३१-२८
28. sarvaiH deva asuraiH api = by all, gods, demons, even; tam = him, Rama; vadhyam = as killable; aham na manye = I, do not, think; asya vadha upaaya = him, to kill, idea; ayam = is this one; tat [mama] = that, from me; eka manaaH shR^iuNu = that, single, minded [attentively,] you listen.
"I do not think that he is killable even for all god and demons, and this is the idea to kill him, and to this you may listen attentively. [3-31-28]
The 'gods and demons...' is said in plural, deva asuraiH even then sarva 'all' is also incorporated. This is to say that even in the forthcoming eras also he is invincible. Then the spy says an unasked for opinion, aham manye: ---- 'I admit... that he is unkillable... though I belong to the clan of demons, on seeing Rama's valour in person, some wisdom dawned on me by the merit of my earlier births, but you are not able to open your eyes as yet, because you are still a stupid...' aasuriim yonim aapanaa muuDhaa janmani janmani... Gita 16-20. Tirtha.
Sage Valmiki is speaking through the tongue of this Akampana, the spy, about the invincibility of Rama. Govindaraja.
भार्या तस्य उत्तमा लोके सीता नाम सुमध्यमा |
श्यामा सम विभक्त अंगी स्त्री रत्नम् रत्न बूषिता || ३-३१-२९
29. loke = in world; uttamaa = an excellent [woman]; shyaamaa = youthful; sama vibhakta angii = well, divided [symmetrical,] limbed; strii ratnam = lady, jewle-like; ratna buuSitaa = with jewels [jewellery,] adorned with; siitaa naama = Seetha, known as; su madhyamaa = slender, waisted one; tasya bhaaryaa = is his, wife.
"An excellent woman in the world is there, a youthful one with symmetrical limbs, a jewel-like lady adorned with jewellery, that slender-waisted one who is known as Seetha is his wife. [3-31-29]
न एव देवी न गन्धर्वी न अप्सरा न च पन्नगी |
तुल्या सीमन्तिनी तस्या मानुषी तु कुतो भवेत् || ३-३१-३०
30. tasyaaH tulyaa siimantinii = her, equalling - liken to, mature one; devii na eva = goddess, not, thus; gandharvii na = gandharva-female, no; apsaraa na = apsara-female, no; pannagii na ca = pannaga-female, not, even; maanuSii tu kutaH bhavet = woman, but, where, will be.
"No goddess can be likened to that mature lady; a gandharva female - no; a apsara female - no; a pannaga female -no, then how can there be a woman of her like? [3-31-30]
तस्य अपहर भार्याम् त्वम् तम् प्रमथ्य महावने |
सीताया रहितो रामो न च एव हि भविष्यति || ३-३१-३१
31. tvam = you; mahaavane = in great-forest - in wilderness, solitude; pramathya forcefully; tasya bhaaryaam apahara = his, wife, you steal - abduct; raamaH siitaayaa rahitaH = Rama, Seetha, reft of; na bhaviSyati eva hi = not, exists, that way, indeed.
"You forcefully abduct his wife when she is in solitude, and indeed Rama will not exist reft of Seetha." Akampana advised Ravana in this way. [3-31-31]
Govindaraja says that this Akampana is talking like an enlightened sage, and Maheshvara Tiirtha says that a divine wisdom has dawned on this spy just now. Then the question that arises is: How a sagacious spy prompted Ravana to abduct Seetha? There are two answers for this.
1. Any employee is a half-slave to his master, artha daasaa janaaH sarve as the money paid makes one a slave of the payer. This spy prompted Ravana in that way because he knows that Ravana is womaniser. Like-king-like-subjects yathaa raajaa tathaa prajaaH thus great-demons think alike. Further Ravana did not ask for the triggering point for the elimination of these many demons. If Ravana questions about it, Akampana had to say that Ravana's own sister Shuurpanakha wanted to debauch. Then Ravana's rage multiplies and he may even kill Akampana.
2. All the sages, including Agastya, have declared to Rama that they have planned to bring Rama to Janasthaana only to eliminate the demons at Janasthaana and going further from Janasthaana to Lanka and eliminating Ravana is Rama's headache. Which happens owing to Seetha. aaniitaH tvam imam desham upaayena maharShibhiH || 3-30-35 Thus this sagacious Akampana is plotting to bring Seetha firstly, for whom Rama comes conquering Ravana, and then the demons on earth will be eradicated. Without Janasthaana Lanka is nothing but an open-door castle. So, the sages paved way for Rama through Janasthaana to Lanka.
अरोचयत् तद् वाक्यम् रावणो राक्षस अधिपः |
चिंतयित्वा महाबाहुः अकंपनम् उवाच || ३-३१-३२
32. raakshasa adhipaH raavaNaH = demons, chief, Ravana; tat vaakyam arocayat = that, word [idea,] favoured; mahaa baahuH = mighty armed Ravana; cintayitvaa = thought of it; akampanam uvaaca = to Akampana, spoke.
The chief of demons Ravana favouring that idea thought of it and that mighty armed Ravana then spoke to Akampana. [3-31-32]
बाढम् कल्यम् गमिष्यामि हि एकः सारथिना सह |
आनेष्यामि च वैदेहीम् इमाम् हृष्टो महा पुरीम् || ३-३१-३३
33. baaDham = Agreed!; kalyam = in early morning; ekaH = alone; saarathinaa saha = charioteer, with; gamiSyaami hi = i will go, indeed; hR^iSTaH = delightedly; vaidehiim imaam mahaa puriim = Vaidehi, to this, great, city - elegant Lanka; aaneSyaami ca = I wish to lead her in, also.
"Agreed! I wish to go alone early in the morning with a charioteer and I delightfully wish to lead Vaidehi into the elegant city Lanka." Ravana declared that way. [3-31-33]
तत् एवम् उक्त्वा प्रययौ खर युक्तेन रावणः |
रथेन आदित्य वर्णेन दिशः सर्वाः प्रकाशयन् || ३-३१-३४
34. raavaNaH tat evam uktvaa = Ravana, that, that way, on saying; khara yuktena = mules [like animals,] yoked with; aaditya varNena = sun-like, in dazzle; rathena = with chariot; sarvaaH = dishaH prakaashayan = all, directions, making to glitter; prayayau = journeyed.
Saying so Ravana journeyed in a chariot that is yoked with mule-like horses, and that has the dazzling of the sun, whereby all the directions are made to glitter. [3-31-34]
स रथो राक्षस इंद्रस्य नक्षत्र पथगो महान् |
चंचूर्यमानः शुशुभे जलदे चंद्रमा इव || ३-३१-३५
35. raakshasa indrasya = of demon, lord; cancuuryamaanaH [sancaaryamaaNaH] = while speedily progressing; nakshatra patha gaH = on starry, way, while going; mahaan great one [opalescent chariot - French opale or Latin opalus, probably ultimately from Sanskrit upalas -- precious stone']; saH rathaH = that, chariot; jalade candramaa iva = in clouds, moon, as with; shu shubhe = verily, shone forth.
That opalescent chariot of the lord of demons while speedily progressing through starry way shone forth as if it is the moon in clouds. [3-31-35]
स दूरे च आश्रमम् गत्वा ताटकेयम् उपागतम् |
मारीचेन अर्चितो राजा भक्ष्य भोज्यैः अमानुषैः || ३-३१-३६
36. saH = he that Ravana; duure = at a distant place; [maareecha] aashramam gatvaa = [Maareecha's,] to hermitage, on going; taaTakeyam upaagatam = by Taka's son, approached - received; a maanuSaiH bhakshya bhojyaiH = unavailable, to humans, with sweetmeats, savouries; maariicena = by Maareecha; raajaa = king; arcitaH = is venerated.
On going to the hermitage of Maareecha which is at a distant place Maareecha the son of Tataka received Ravana and venerated that king of demons with sweetmeats and savouries that are unavailable to humans. [3-31-36]
The food items bhakshya are the supplementary items like laddu-s, jilebi, etc., and the like, whereas the bhojya items are boiled-rice, wheat-bread etc., the staple food items. The word a+maanuSaiH may also mean 'inhuman' but nowhere we find Ravana taking such a lowly food.
तम् स्वयम् पूजयित्वा तु आसनेन उदकेन च |
अर्थ उपहितया वाचा मारीचो वाक्यम् अब्रवीत् || ३-३१-३७
37. maariicaH tam aasanena udakena ca = Maareecha, him - Ravana, with [proper] seat, by water, also; svayam puujayitvaa tu = in person, on worshipping [attending to]; artha upahitayaa vaacaa = meaning, inclusive, words; vaakyam abraviit = , sentence, spoke.
Offering proper seat and water for washing feet and hands Maareecha personally attended Ravana and spoke to him this sentence that is worded meaningfully. [3-31-37]
कश्चित् सुकुशलम् राजन् लोकानाम् राक्षसाधिप |
आशंके न अथ जाने त्वम् यतः तूर्णम् उपागतम् || ३-३१-३८
38. raakshasa adhipa raajan = to demons, being the supremo, oh, king; lokaanaam su kushalam kashcit = for subjects, verily, safe somehow - is everything well with your subjects, namely demons; atha = now; yataH = for what [reason]; tvam tuurNam upaagatam = you, rushingly, neared - came here; thereby; aashanke = I am anxious; na jaane = I do not, know.
"Oh, king and supremo of demons, I am anxious to know whether everything safe and secure to the inhabitants of your kingdom, for I am not in the know of the reason by which now you have come here rushingly. [3-31-38]
एवम् उक्तो महातेजा मारीचेन स रावण |
ततः पश्चात् इदम् वाक्यम् अब्रवीत् वाक्य कोविदः || ३-३१-३९
39. maariicena evam uktaH = by Maareecha, thus, one who is said; mahaatejaa = great-radiant one; vaakya kovidaH = sentence, expert in making; saH raavaNa = he that, Ravana; tataH pashcaat = then, after - thereafter; idam vaakyam abraviit = this, sentence, spoke.
When Maareecha said so to him that greatly radiant one who is a sententious speaker that Ravana thereafter spoke this sentence. [3-31-39]
आरक्षो मे हतः तात रामेण अक्लिष्ट कारिणा |
जनस्थानम् अवध्यम् तत् सर्वम् युधि निपातितम् || ३-३१-४०
तस्य मे कुरु साचिव्यम् तस्य भार्य अपहरणे |
40. taata = oh, sire - Maareecha; a kliSTa kaariNaa raameNa = without, tiring, making [warring, indefatigable one,] by Rama; me = my; aarakshaH = one that safeguards - the army at Janasthaana; hataH = is ruined; tat sarvam = that, all of it; [so far] a vadhyam = un, defeatable; janasthaanam = Janasthaana; yudhi nipaatitam = in war, down, brought - brought down, ruined; tasya me = such as I am; tasya = of that one - Rama's; bhaarya apaharaNe = wife's, in kidnapping; saacivyam kuru = friendly help, you render.
"Oh, sire, Rama who is indefatigable in warring has ruined my security stationed at Janasthaana, and in war he even brought down all of Janasthaana which is undefeatable so far, such as I am, to me you have to render friendly help in kidnapping Rama's wife." [3-31-40]
राक्षसेन्द्र वचः श्रुत्वा मारीचो वाक्यम् अब्रवीत् || ३-३१-४१
आख्याता केन वा सीता मित्र रूपेण शत्रुणा |
त्वया राक्षस शार्दूल को न नंदति नंदितः || ३-३१-४२
41a, 42. raakshasa indra vacaH shrutvaa = demon's, chief's, words, on hearing; maariicaH vaakyam abraviit = Maareecha, words, spoke; mitra ruupeNa shatruNaa = friend, in aspect [in fakery,] by enemy; kena = by whom; saa siitaa = she that, [topic of] Seetha; aakhyaataa = is broached; raakshasa shaarduula = oh, among demons, tiger; vaa = or else; ninditaH = a censurable one; kaH tvayaa na nandati = who is, not, happy [with you, for he is giving such a self-ruinous advise.]
On hearing the words of that chief of demons, Maareecha spoke these words, "who broached the subject of Seetha with you, an enemy in the fakery of a friend? Oh, tigerly demon, who is that censurable one that is unhappy with you, since he is giving such a self-ruinous advise? [3-31-42]
सीताम् इह आनस्व इति को ब्रवीति ब्रवीहि मे |
रक्षो लोकस्य सर्वस्य कः शृंगम् च्छेत्तुम् इच्छति || ३-३१-४३
43. siitaam iha aanasva iti = Seetha, here, be brought, thus as; kaH braviiti = who, says; me braviihi = that you say it, to me; kaH = who is; sarvasya rakshaH lokasya = all of the, demons, to the throng of; shR^ingam [shR^ingam praadhaanyaso... amara kosha] = peak [prominent one]; cChettum icChati = who, to cut off, desiring to.
" 'Seetha may be brought to Lanka...' who said it, say him to me, who is that one desiring to cut off the prominence of all the demons in all worlds in saying so?
"Who is desirous of getting a zenithal demon ruling all the three worlds to be cut-off when he said that Seetha shall be brought to Lanka?
"Who is saying that Seetha is to be brought to Lanka with a desire to get your apogeal ten-heads that are prominent among all the clansmen of demons to be cut-off? [3-31-43]
प्रोत्साहयति यः च त्वम् स च शत्रुः असंशयम् |
आशी मुखात् दंष्ट्राम् उद्धर्तुम् च इच्छति त्वया || ३-३१-४४
44. yaH tvam protsaahayati = he who is, you, encouraging; saH shatruH = he is, an enemy; a samshayam = without, doubt; tvayaa = by you; aashii mukhaat = from snake's, mouth, damSTraam = fangs; uddhartum icChati ca = to extricate, desiring, also, [through you.]
"Also, he who has motivated you in this way is an undoubted enemy of yours, for he wanted to extricate the fangs of a snake from its mouth, of course, through you. [3-31-44]
कर्मणा अनेन केन असि कापथम् प्रतिपादितः |
सुख सुप्तस्य ते राजन् प्रहृतम् केन मूर्धनि || ३-३१-४५
45. kena = by whom; kena karmaNaa = by which, for [which] purpose; kaa patham pratipaaditaH asi = awry, path, attained [blundered upon,] you have; raajan = oh, king; sukha suptasya = comfortably, sleeping - fast asleep; te muurdhani = on your, forehead; anena pra hR^itam = by him, well, hit.
"By whom and by which purpose of his you are made to blunder upon this awry path, oh, king, it is as good as his hitting hard on your head while you are fast asleep. [3-31-45]
विशुद्ध वंश अभिजना अग्र हस्तः
तेजो मदः संस्थित दोर् विषाणः |
उदीक्षितुम् रावण न इह युक्तः
स संयुगे राघव गन्धि हस्ती || ३-३१-४६
46. raavaNa = oh, Ravana; vi shuddha vamsha abhi janaa agra hastaH = very, pure, dynasty close, people, fore, hand - one which has a impeccable dynasty and a good bloodline as its trunk; tejaH madaH = brilliance, as its rut - one that has radiance as its might; samsthita dor viSaaNaH = very firm, arms, as its tusks - one that has two tusks as firm arms; saH = he that; raaghava gandhi hastii = Raghava, redolent, elephant; samyuge = in war; udiikshitum = to raise eye and see; iha = now; na yuktaH = not, befitting.
"Oh, Ravana, it will be unbefitting to raise an eye to see Rama in war, who will be then like a majestic elephant that has an impeccable dynasty and bloodline as its mammoth trunk, personal radiance as its indomitable might, very firm pair of arms as its pernicious tusks, more so, who will be with the redolence of the irrepressible lineage of Raghava-s. [3-31-46]
असौ रण अन्तः स्थिति संधि वालः
विदग्ध रक्षो मृग हा नृसिंहः |
सुप्तः त्वया बोधयितुम् न शक्यः
शारांग पूणो निशित असि दम्ष्ट्रः || ३-३१-४७
47. raNa antaH sthiti sandhi vaalaH = in war, being in midst, on trunk, touching, tail - to be in the midst of war itself is the fury of that lion, by which its tail raises and touches the back of its trunk; vidagdha rakshaH mR^iga haa = expert, demon, deer, killer - that lion is the killer of the expert killers, namely the demons; shaara anga purNaH = arrows, as it limbs, full-fledged with, accomplished with; that lion's sturdy limbs are its arrows; nishita asi damSTRaH = sharp, sword, fanged with; that lion's fangs are its swords; suptaH asau nR^i simhaH = sleeping one, man, lion; tvayaa bodhayitum na shakyaH = by you, to become aware of [to awaken,] not, possible - do not dare to rouse it.
"To be in the midst of war itself is the fury of that lion called Rama, by which that lion raises its tail touching the back of its trunk, that lion is all-inclusive with forelegs, paws, and claws that are included in arrows, while its fangs are swords, and it is the killer of the deer called the expert killer-demons, and mind you, do not dare to rouse that sleeping man-lion. [3-31-47]
The nara-simha, man-lion incarnation is suggested here.
चापापहारे भुज वेग पंके
शर ऊर्मिमाले सु महा आहव ओघे |
न राम पाताल मुखे अति घोरे
प्रस्कन्दितुम् राक्षस राज युक्तम् || ३-३१-४८
48. raakshasa raaja = oh, demons, king; caapa apahaare = bow, as crocodile; bhuja vega panke = arm's, speed, as slough [quagmire]; shara uurmimaale = arrows, as tides; su mahaa aahava oghe = with great, immensity, war, called tideland; ati ghore = very, dangerous; in such a; raama paataala mukhe = in Rama [named,] netherworld - abyssal ocean, in mouth of; pra skanditum =verily, to slide - fall in the mouth of such a nether world; na yuktam = not, apt of you.em
"His bow is crocodilian, his shoulder-speed is quagmire, his arrows are tidal, and the great immensity of his war itself is a tideland, and oh, king of demons, it is inapt of you to slide down into the much-ghoulish mouth of that abyssal ocean, called Rama. [3-31-48]
The crocodile catches at the very moment of falling of its prey, the arrows make one to sink into a quagmire without any hope of coming up, and when the arrows once discharged tidally, the battlefield becomes a tideland inundated with his arrows. Thus, it is impossible to crossover that oceanic netherworld, called Rama. Tiirtha.
प्रसीद लंकेश्वर राक्षसेन्द्र
लंकाम् प्रसन्नो भव साधु गच्छ |
त्वम् स्वेषु दारेषु रमस्व नित्यम्
रामः स भार्यो रमताम् वनेषु || ३-३१-४९
49. lankeshvara raakshasendra = lord of Lanka, demon-king; prasiida = be appeased [towards Rama]; saadhu lankaam gacCha = gently, to Lanka, you proceed; prasannaH bhava = be quietened, you be; tvam nityam sveSu daareSu ramasva = you, always, in your, wives, you take delight; raamaH sa bhaarya vaneSu ramataam = Rama, with his, wife, in forest, let him be delighting.
"Oh, lord of Lanka, be appeased towards Rama, be quietened and gently proceed to Lanka. You take delight in your wives, and let Rama be delighting with wife in forests." Thus Mareecha spoke to Ravana. [3-31-49]
Suffix: 'forgive what has happened, remit a disastrous war on Lanka, be pleased with what you have and be content with it, holdback your greediness...'
एवम् उक्तो दशग्रीवो मारीचेन स रावणः |
न्यवर्तत पुरीम् लंकाम् विवेश च गृह उत्तमम् || ३-३१-५०
50. maariicena evam uktaH = by Maareecha, this way, who is spoken dashagriivaH saH raavaNaH = ten faced, he that, Ravana; lankaam puriim nyavartata = to Lanka, city, returned; gR^iha uttamam vivesha ca = house - palace, best one, entered, also.
When thus said by Maareecha that ten faced Ravana returned to his city Lanka and entered his best house and home. [3-31-50]
This chapter is a scarecrow to the aesthetics of Ramayana and a milestone to commentators of Ramayana. We usually find in Ramayana spectacular entrances for cities, characters, and situations. Before such a fantastic entrance of Ravana, for which a full sarga/chapter is allotted, this chapter is said to be a glaring hurdle. In here, this Akampana is glorified as a sagacious person, yet he gives advise to Ravana to abduct Seetha. This advice is said to contain the setting of the ultimate war-field in Lanka. But, the weight of the very same advise by Shuurpanakha is lost to this of a spy. Shuurpanakha's intent is very clear, but the meaning, purpose and the achievement of this spy is very unclear, except to that which is said by commentators.
Ravana on going to Maareecha, and hearing all indirect puraNa-s 'mythologies...' returns to Lanka as a gentleman. If he were to be this gentle, Ramayana would not be there. But Maheshvara Tiirtha, the commentator says: ata eva raavaNasya siitaa raama bhR^ityatvena taa uddisya tena vakShyamaaNaani baahya dR^iShTyaa durbhaaShaNa vat pratiiyamaanaani api vaakyaani - - vastutaH stuti paraaNi eva 'Though the utterances of Ravana apparently mean as vile, but their subtext is that of a devotee of Vishnu. -- Maheshvara Tiirtha
If Ravana is a true devotee, basing on many mythologies and sub-mythologies, the way in which he treated Seetha in Lanka is evident and it pictures him as a clear-cut villain. Thus says another commentator, namely Rama Tilaka, whose aim is to elicit literary values of Ramayana, and who dismisses all this hyperboling. Whether this chapter is interpolated or original, this is included in traditional versions, and hence it is to be sincerely incorporated here, because commentators have said a lot about it. So goes the tradition.
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इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदि काव्ये अरण्य काण्डे एक त्रिंश सर्गः
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© June, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : July 04]
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