On spotting the deer Seetha calls Rama and Lakshmana to have sight of it. Lakshmana immediately concludes it to be Maareecha, but Seetha, keeping his observation aside asks Rama to fetch it. Rama is also fascinated when he looked at that deer and he explains to Lakshmana as to why that particular deer is to be hunted down.
सा तम् संप्रेक्ष्य सुश्रोणी कुसुमानि विचिन्वती |
हेम राजत वर्णाभ्याम् पार्श्वाभ्याम् उपशोभितम् || ३-४३-१
प्रहृष्टा च अनवद्यान्गी मृष्ट हाटक वर्णिनी |
भर्तारम् अपि च आक्रन्द लक्ष्मणम् चैव सायुधम् || ३-४३-२
1. su shroNii = slender, waisted one; anavadya angii = flawlessly, limbed; mR^iSTa haaTaka varNinii = purified, gold, one in colour of - complexioned one; kusumaani vicinvatii = flowers, while culling; saa = she - Seetha; hema raajata varNaabhyaam paarshvaabhyaam = with golden, silver, tinged, with flanks; upashobhitam = brightened with; tam = that; [mR^igam = deer]; sam prekSya = on observing; pra hR^iSTaa ca = well, gladdened, also; bhartaaram api = at husband, even; sa aayudham lakSmaNam ca eva = [who is] with, weapon, at Lakshmana, also thus; aakranda = shouted, exclaimed.
That slender-waisted Seetha whose limbs are flawless, whose complexion is like purified gold, and who is presently culling flowers is highly gladdened to observe the Golden Deer that is brightened in one flank with the colour of gold and the other is silvery, and she shouted for attention of her husband, and even that of Lakshmana who is presently weaponed. [3-43-1, 2]
आहूय आहूय च पुनः तम् मृगम् साधु वीक्षते |
आगच्छ आगच्छ शीघ्रम् वै आर्यपुत्र सह अनुज || ३-४३-३
3. aarya putra = oh, nobleman's, son - Rama; aagacCha = come here; saha anuja shiighram aagacCha vai = with, younger brother, quickly, come here, really; [iti = this way]; aahuuya aahuuya = calling, calling; punaH tam mR^igam saadhu viikshate = again [oftentimes,] at that, deer, fondly, gazing.
"Oh, noble prince, come here," thus she called her husband and peered at the deer, and again she called, "really come with your younger brother quickly," and again gazed at the deer, and thus she oftentimes called and oftentimes saw the deer fondly. [3-43-3]
तया आहूतौ नरव्याघ्रौ वैदेह्या राम लक्ष्मणौ |
वीक्षमाणौ तु तम् देशम् तदा ददृशतुः मृगम् || ३-४३-४
4. tayaa vaidehyaa aahuutau = by her, by Vaidehi, bidden; nara vyaaghrau = bidden, manly, lions [vyaahra also means lion]; raama lakSmaNau = Rama, Lakshmana; tam desham viikSamaaNau [aayaatau] = that, place, on exploring [having come]; tadaa mR^igam dadR^ishatuH = then, Golden Deer, they saw.
Those manly lions Rama and Lakshmana thus bidden by Vaidehi came there exploring that place and then they saw that Golden Deer. [3-43-4]
शंकमानः तु तम् दृष्ट्वा लक्ष्मणो रामम् अब्रवीत् |
तम् एव एनम् अहम् मन्ये मारीचम् राक्षसम् मृगम् || ३-४३-५
5. tam dR^iSTvaa = at it, on seeing; shankamaanaH lakSmaNaH tu = becoming incredulous, Lakshmana, on his part; raamam abraviit = to Rama, said; aham enam mR^igam = I, this, deer; tam raakSasam maariicam eva manye = him, as Maareecha, demon, alone, I believe.
But Lakshmana became incredulous on seeing it and said to Rama, "I believe this deer to be that Maareecha, the demon." [3-43-5]
चरन्तो मृगयाम् हृष्टाः पापेन उपाधिना वने |
अनेन निहता राम राजानः काम रूपिणा || ३-४३-६
6. raama = oh, Rama; hR^iSTaaH mR^igayaam carantaH raajaanaH = delightedly, in game of hunting, who are moving around, kings; kaama ruupiNaa = by wish, guise-changer; anena paapena = by this, sinner - sinister; vane = in forest; upaadhinaa = [by his resorting to] disguises; nihataa = are killed.
"Oh, Rama, when kings engaged in hunting games were delightedly moving in the forest, this Maareecha killed many of them resorting to many disguises, for he is a guise-changer by his wish. [3-43-6]
अस्य मायाविदो माया मृग रूपम् इदम् कृतम् |
भानुमत् पुरुषव्याघ्र गन्धर्व पुर संनिभम् || ३-४३-७
7. puruSavyaaghra = oh, man, the lion; maayaa vidaH = wiles, expert in; asya = his - Maareecha's; bhaanumat = having scintillation; gandharva pura sannibham = gandharva, [wilily] city, similar in shine; idam maayaa mR^iga ruupam kR^itam = this, wily, Golden-Deer, form, is made - he assumed.
"Maareecha is an expert in many wiles and he has now assumed the form of this Golden-Deer, oh, manly lion, which is not more than the scintillating city of Gandharva-s, a city of wiles, which any trickster can create to make-believe. [3-43-7]
The 'Gandharva-city' is the name given to a make-believe formation of a city-like structure in skies by magicians, and presently the magicians world over are making the apparent structures to disappear, rather than constructing one which is un-manifest.
मृगो हि एवम् विधो रत्न विचित्रो न अस्ति राघव |
जगत्याम् जगतीनाथ माया एषा हि न संशयः || ३-४३-८
8. jagatii naatha raaghava = oh, world/earth, lord of, [such a] Raghava; evam vidhaH = this, kind of; mR^igaH = animal/deer; ratna = gemmed, gem studded; vi citraH [citritaH ] = verily, amazing [or, amazingly dappled animal]; jagatyaam na asti hi = in world, non, existent, isn't it; eSaa maayaa hi = this is, phantasm, truly; na samshayaH = no, doubt.
"Oh, Raghava, this kind of amazing animal with gemlike dapples is nonexistent in the world, isn't it. Hence, oh, lord of the world, this is truly a phantasm. No doubt about it." So said Lakshmana to Rama. [3-43-8]
Here the timely provision of data by Lakshmana may be noticed. Rama is also aware of it, but Lakshmana is reminding him. Lakshmana cites even the name of Maareecha and by this, we can infer as to why Ravana chose Maareecha for this particular purpose. Because Maareecha has that extraordinary ability to lure and has a good record of wily accomplishments, Ravana chose him. Lakshmana has done his duty in presenting expedient data and it is up to Rama to analyse it. Rama argues on this point later in the chapter.
एवम् ब्रुवाणम् काकुत्स्थम् प्रतिवार्य शुचि स्मिता |
उवाच सीता संहृष्टा चद्मना हृत चेतना || ३-४३-९
9. shuci smitaa = one with whitely, smile - with a toothy smile; chadmanaa [carmaNaa] hR^ita cetanaa = by cozenage, [by deerskin,] conjured, heart; sam hR^iSTaa = self-satisfied [with her own thinking]; siitaa = such a Seetha; evam bruvaaNam kaakutstham = this way, who is speaking, Kakutstha Lakshmana; prati vaarya = in turn, on forestalling - on deterring; uvaaca = spoke.
While Lakshmana of Kakutstha-s is speaking thus, she who is self-satisfied as her heart is conjured by the cozenage, such a Seetha of a toothy smile deterred him and spoke. [3-43-9]
आर्यपुत्र अभिरामो असौ मृगो हरति मे मनः |
आनय एनम् महाबाहो क्रीडार्थम् नः भविष्यति || ३-४३-१०
10. aarya putra = oh, son of noble; abhiraamaH asau mR^igaH = delightful, that, deer; me manaH harati = my, heart, stealing; mahaabaahuH = oh, dextrous one; enam aanaya = that one [deer,] bring round; naH kriiDa artham [kriiDanakaH, kriiDanakam] bhaviSyati = for us, for playing, [a plaything,] it will become.
"Oh, nobleman's son, that delightful deer is stealing my heart, oh, dextrous one, bring it round, it will be our plaything. [3-43-10]
इह आश्रम पदे अस्माकम् बहवः पुण्य दर्शनाः |
मृगाः चरन्ति सहिताः चमराः सृमराः तथा || ३-४३-११
11. asmaakam iha aashrama pade = of ours, here, in hermitage's, threshold; puNya darshanaaH = adorable [deer,] in manifestation; bahavaH = many; mR^igaaH = animals; sR^imaraaH tathaa camaraaH = Srimara deer, like that, Caamara-s; sahitaaH caranti = collectively - in flocks and herds, move about.
"Here in the threshold of our hermitage many animals with adorable manifestation are moving about in flocks and herds, say Caamara deer, like that Srimara deer. [3-43-11]
The chaamara is the kind of deer of species Bos grunniens and shrimara is a larger variety than chaamara.
ऋक्षाः पृषत संघाः च वानराः किनराः तथा |
विचरन्ति महाबाहो रूप श्रेष्ठा महाबलाः || ३-४३-१२
12. mahaabaahuH = oh, dextrous one; ruupa shreSThaa = in form, excellent ones; vaanaraaH = monkeys; tathaa kinaraaH = likewise, Kinnara deer; pR^iSata sanghaaH ca = spotted-deer, herds of, also; mahaabalaaH R^ikSaaH = great-mighty, bears; vi caranti = freely, moving.
"Also the animals that are excellent in their form, say monkeys, are moving here. Likewise herds of Kinnara deer, spotted-deer, and even bears of great-might are freely moving here. [3-43-12]
Here the Kinnaraa-s are another kind of deer and not to be confounded with yaksha, gandharva, kinnaraa celestials.
न च अस्य सदृशो राजन् दृष्ट पूर्वो मृगः मया |
तेजसा क्षमया दीप्त्या यथा अयम् मृग सत्तमः || ३-४३-१३
13. raajan = oh, king; ayam mR^iga sattamaH = this, deer, the extraordinary one; yathaa = as to how it is appearing; tejasaa kSamayaa diiptyaa = by brilliance, by meekness [tameness,] by lustre [of skin]; asya sadR^ishaH mR^igaH = its, coequal, deer; mayaa na dR^iSTa puurvaH = by me, not seen, earlier - so far.
"As to how this extraordinary deer is appearing, oh, king, by way of its brilliance, tameness, or by the lustre of its skin, I have not so far seen any coequal to this. [3-43-13]
नाना वर्ण विचित्र अंगो रत्न भूतो मम अग्रतः |
द्योतयन् वनम् अव्यग्रम् शोभते शशि संनिभः || ३-४३-१४
14. naanaa varNa vicitra angaH = diversely, coloured, amazingly, limbed; ratna bindu samaacitaH = gemlike, dapples, dappled with; ratna bhuutaH = gemmed, completely; shashi sannibhaH = moon, like - in shine; a vyagram = not, hurriedly - nonchalantly; vanam dyotayan = forest, livening up; mama agrataH = my, before; shobhate = shining forth.
"Diversely coloured, amazingly limbed, and spotted with gemlike dapples it is shining forth like a deer that is completely gemmy, and while nonchalantly moving before me it is enlivening the forest like the moon. [3-43-14]
अहो रूपम् अहो लक्ष्मीः स्वर संपत् च शोभना |
मृगो अद्भुतो विचित्रांगो हृदयम् हरति इव मे || ३-४३-१५
15. aho ruupam aho lakSmiiH = ah, [what a] form, ah, [what a] brilliance; svara sampat ca shobhanaa = tonal, quality [bleat,] also, is beautiful; adbhutaH = wonderful; vicitra angaH mR^igaH = amazingly, limbed, deer; me hR^idayam harati iva = my, heart, stealing, as it were.
"Ah, what a form, ah, what a brilliance, what a beautiful bleat! This amazingly limbed deer is wonderful, and this is stealing my heart, as it were. [3-43-15]
यदि ग्रहणम् अभ्येति जीवन् एव मृगः तव |
आश्चर्य भूतम् भवति विस्मयम् जनयिष्यति || ३-४३-१६
16. mR^igaH = deer; jiivan eva = while living [alive and well]; tava grahaNam abhyeti yadi = your, capture, draws in, if; aashcarya bhuutam bhavati = surprise, causing, it will be; vismayam janayiSyati = astonishment, creates.
"It will be surprising if this deer draws into your capture alive and well, as it creates astonishment to one and all. [3-43-16]
समाप्त वन वासानाम् राज्य स्थानाम् च नः पुनः |
अंतःपुरे विभूषार्थो मृग एष भविष्यति || ३-४३-१७
17. eSa mR^igaH = this, deer; samaapta vana vaasaanaam = for us - on completing, forest, dwelling; punaH raajya sthaanaam ca = again, in kingdom, when [we will be] staying, also; naH = for us; antaHpure vibhuuSa arthaH = in palace-chambers, decoration, for the sake of - as a masterpiece; bhaviSyati = it becomes.
"When we return to kingdom on completing our dwelling in forest this deer becomes a masterpiece in palace-chambers for us. [3-43-17]
भरतस्य आर्यपुत्रस्य श्वश्रूणाम् मम च प्रभो |
मृग रूपम् इदम् दिव्यम् विस्मयम् जनयिष्यति || ३-४३-१८
18. prabho = oh, lord; idam mR^iga ruupam = this, deer's, form; bharatasya = to Bharata; aaryaputrasya = to son of nobleman [you, Rama]; shvashruuNaam = to mothers-in-law; mama ca = to me, also; divyam vismayam janayiSyati = excellent, astonishment [jubilation,] creates.
"Oh, lord, the form of this deer creates an excellent jubilation to Bharata, to you the son of the nobleman, to my mothers-in-law, and also to me in palace-chambers. [3-43-18]
जीवन् न यदि ते अभ्येति ग्रहणम् मृग सत्तमः |
अजिनम् नरशार्दूल रुचिरम् तु भविष्यति || ३-४३-१९
19. nara shaarduula = oh, tigerly-man; mR^iga sattamaH = deer, the best; jiivan = while living; te grahaNam na abhyeti yadi = into your, capture, no, comes into, else if; ruciram ajinam tu bhaviSyati = beautiful, deerskin, on its part, will be there - will be remnant with us.
"Else if that best deer does not come into you capture while alive, oh tigerly-man, at the least its gorgeous deerskin will be remnant of it. [3-43-19]
निहतस्य अस्य सत्त्वस्य जांबूनदमय त्वचि |
शष्प बृस्याम् विनीतायाम् इच्छामि अहम् उपासितुम् || ३-४३-२०
20. shaSpa bR^isyaam = tender darbha grass-blades, on seat of; viniitaayaam = overlaid; nihatasya asya sattvasya = killed, that, being's - of that killed deer; jaambuunadamaya tvaci = in golden, skin - on the deerskin; upa aasitum = nearby [along with you,] to sit; aham icChaami = I, wish to.
"I wish to sit along with you on its golden deerskin, overlaying it on a seat of tender darbha grass-blades, in case the deer is felled. [3-43-20]
The seat of those that are under a vow is called bR^isii, vratiinaam aasanam bR^isii, ajina, carma, kR^ittiH : amara kosha 'A seat covered with darbha, the sacred grass, [and if available] a deerskin thereon.'
कामवृत्तम् इदम् रौद्रम् स्त्रीणाम् असदृशम् मतम् |
वपुषा तु अस्य सत्त्वस्य विस्मयो जनितो मम || ३-४३-२१
21. raudram = unruly [nagging]; idam kaama vR^ittam = this sort of, independent behaviour - self-seeking; striiNaam = to women; a sadR^isham = not, befitting; matam = tradition says so; tu = but; asya sattvasya = its, that being's; vapuSaa = by beautiful body; mama vismayaH janitaH = to me, astonishment - curiosity, is induced.
"Tradition says that this sort of unruly self-seeking is unbefitting to women, yet that deer's beautiful body is inducing curiosity in me." Seetha said so to Rama and remained waiting for his reply. [3-43-21]
Seetha talked only this much and left the fulfilment of her indent to the discretion of Rama. There is neither demand nor compulsion to bring the deer in her talk. But we usually hear the telltale stories, bringing from some other texts, which say that Seetha pestered, nagged, and harassed Rama to get this deer. But nothing of that sort is evident from the dialogue given to her by Valmiki. She started to ask Rama with a suchiH smitaH 'a white smile, i.e., a toothy smile or a simpering smile' that too to deride the security guard, namely Lakshmana. These security personnel all over the world and in all situations and always forewarn the secured, and on the other hand, it is customary to the secured person to jump off the cordon of security, disdainful of the security measures. After all, human nature wants a free living. Thus, when Seetha is trying to jump off the cordon of security laid by Lakshmana, commentators say that she is said to have smiled scornfully. lakshmaNa vaakya shravaNa janita kopaa siitaa raamam eva aaha - dk 'with the anger generated on listening Lakshmana's words, Seetha spoke to Rama,' Whether Seetha is with kopa 'anger' or not, it is unsaid in the text.
तेन कांचन रोम्णा तु मणि प्रवर शृंगिणा |
तरुण आदित्य वर्णेन नक्षत्र पथ वर्चसा || ३-४३-२२
बभूव राघवस्य अपि मनो विस्मयम् आगतम् |
22, 23a. kaancana romNaa [ruupeNa] = by its, golden, hair [golden coat]; maNi pravara shR^ingiNaa = which has - sapphirine, excellent, horns; taruNa aaditya varNena = tender, sun, in hue - complexion; nakSatra patha varcasaa = stars, pathway [milky way,] having resplendence - ambience; tena tu = by that reason, on its part; raaghavasya manaH api = Raghava's, heart, even; vismayam aagatam babhuuva = awe, came over [struck,] it became.
As for that deer's horns they vie with excellent sapphires, its golden coat with the glitter of tender sun, and its ambience with silver spots on coat with a milk way containing twinkling stars, and by that reason even Raghava's heart is awestruck when he saw it. [3-43-22, 23a]
According to this original text, Rama is more lured by the Golden Deer than Seetha, whereas later legends made Seetha a scapegoat. Rama too did not fancifully come under the lure but he got his own logistics to fall after the deer, which we come across in the following speeches of Rama. The word api 'even,' is a normal metrical filler at most times, but assumes importance at times. Here Rama is the all knowing and all deciding personality as depicted until now, and 'even' he is lured by the deer, say Maareecha's supernal trickery.
एवम् सीता वचः श्रुत्वा दृष्ट्वा च मृगम् अद्भुतम् || ३-४३-२३
लोबितः तेन रूपेण सीताया च प्रचोदितः |
उवाच राघवो हृष्टो भ्रातरम् लक्ष्मणम् वचः || ३-४३-२४
23b, 24. raaghavaH = Raghava; evam siitaa vacaH shrutvaa = in this way, Seetha's, words, on hearing; adbhutam [tam] mR^igam dR^iSTvaa ca = wondrous one, [that] deer, having observed, also; tena ruupeNa lobitaH = by its, form, lured - amused; siitaayaaH ca pracoditaH = by Seetha, even, motivated; hR^iSTaH = delightedly; bhraataram lakSmaNam vacaH uvaaca = to brother, Lakshmana, word, spoke.
In this way, hearing the words of Seetha and observing that wondrous deer Raghava is also amused by its form, and even motivated by Seetha in fetching it, he delightedly spoke this word to his brother Lakshmana. [3-43-23b, 24]
When Seetha placed her indent before Rama, Rama is speaking to Lakshmana, only to allow us to listen his strategy in going after the deer. atra mR^igayaa vyasana doShaan jaanan api raamo - lobhitaH ten ruupeNa - iti anayo uktayaa mahaa purusaanatra mR^igayaa vyasana doSaan jaanan api raamo - lobhitaH ten ruupeNa - iti anayo uktayaa mahaa puru//saanaam api bhavati vyasana anuruupatayaa buddhi vyaamoho bhavati iti suucitam - dk -
'here knowing well about the blemishes of hunting games, Rama is lured, ambitioned, hankered after etc. By these words it is suggested that even great people are beguiled for their inclination in such matters - Dharmaakuutam;
asambhave hemamayasya jantoH tathaa api raamo lulubhe mR^igaaya | sabhaa parva - bhaarata - raamo hema mR^igam na vetti - - - dyuute bhraatR^i catuSTayam ca mahiSiim dharmaatmajo dattavaan | praayaH sat puruSo hi anartha samaye buddhyaa parityajyate - - praaciinaa
'even if it is impossible to have a golden deer, Rama is lured by it for his hunting game' Maha Bharata, sabhaa parva ; 'Rama, unable to distinguish illusory deer [went after it...] Yudhistar staked all his four brothers and his queen [in dice game...] thus even great people at inopportune times loose their brains,' an ancient saying.
पश्य लक्ष्मण वैदेह्याः स्पृहाम् उल्लसिताम् इमाम् |
रूप श्रेष्ठतया हि एष मृगो अद्य न भविष्यति || ३-४३-२५
न वने नंदनोद्देशे न चैत्ररथ संश्रये |
कुतः पृथिव्याम् सौमित्रे यो अस्य कश्चित् समो मृगः || ३-४३-२६
25. lakSmaNa = Lakshmana; vaidehyaaH ullasitaam imaam spR^ihaam pashya = Vaidehi's, enthused, this, delight, you see; saumitre = oh, Soumitri; adya ruupa shreSThatayaa hi = presently, by form's, by excellence, for sure; eSaH mR^igaH = such a sort of, [other] deer; vane = forest; na bhaviSyati = does not, exist; nandana uddeshe = in Nandana, places [gardens of Indra]; na = will not be there; caitraratha samshraye = in Caitraratha, adjoins of [of Kubera]; na = will not be there; yaH asya samaH = which, to it, similar - deer; kashcit mR^igaH = some, deer; pR^ithivyaam kutaH = on earth, how - how can there be.
"Lakshmana, behold this enthusiastic delight of Vaidehi. Oh, Soumitri, presently no other deer indeed with such an excellent form exists in this forest. Or else, does it exist in Nandana Gardens of Indra - no, it cannot be there; in the adjoins of Caitraratha Gardens of Kubera - no, it will not be there, then how can there be some deer on earth which is similar to this! [3-43-25, 26]
प्रतिलोम अनुलोमाः च रुचिरा रोम राजयः |
शोभन्ते मृगम् आश्रित्य चित्राः कनक बिन्दुभिः || ३-४३-२७
27. prati loma = upturned, hair; anu lomaaH ca = down-turned, hair, also; ruciraaH kanaka bindubhiH = with charming, golden, spots; citraaH roma raajayaH = amazing, hair, lines; mR^igam aashritya shobhante = deer, abiding - embedded [on coat of deer,] are glittery.
"Amazing are its hairlines with hair upturned at some places and down-turned at other, and the golden spots embedded on the coat of the deer are glittery. [3-43-27]
पश्य अस्य जृंभमाणस्य दीप्ताम् अग्नि शिखोपमाम् |
जिह्वाम् मुखात् निःसरंतीम् मेघात् इव शत ह्रदाम् || ३-४३-२८
28. jR^imbhamaaNasya asya mukhaat = while yawning, from its, from mouth; niH sarantiim = from mouth, out, flowing - exserting; diiptaam agni shikha upamaam jihvaam = flaring, fire, crests - tongue of fire, similar, at tongue; meghaat = from cloud; shata hradaam = in hundred ways, which is flowing - lightning; iva = as with; pashya = you see.
"See at its tongue that is exserting from its mouth while it is yawning, which is similar to the flaring tongue of fire and to the lightning from a cloud. [3-43-28]
मसार गल्वर्क मुखः शंख मुक्ता निभ उदरः |
कस्य नाम अनिरूप्यः असौ न मनो लोभयेत् मृगः || ३-४३-२९
29. masaaraH = sapphirine; gallarkaH = caSaka = mug-like, beaker-like; mukhaH = face; shankha muktaa nibha udaraH = conch, pearl, in shine, paunch; a niruupyaH = not, demonstrable inexplicable [its beauty]; asau mR^igaH = that, deer; kasya naama manaH na lobhayet = whose, in name, heart, not, lures.
"Its face is like a mug made up of sapphires, its paunch is pearly and conchoidal, and whose heart is it that will not lured for this deer with an inexplicable beauty. [3-43-29]
कस्य रूपम् इदम् दृष्ट्वा जांबूनदमय प्रभम् |
नाना रत्नमयम् दिव्यम् न मनो विस्मयम् व्रजेत् || ३-४३-३०
30. jaambuu nadamaya prabham = golden, in glitter; naanaa ratnamayam = numerously, bejewelled - as it were; divyam = astounding; idam ruupam dR^iSTvaa = this, look, on seeing; kasya manaH vismayam na vrajet = whose, mind, into astonishment, not, transported.
"On seeing at this astounding look of the deer which is golden in glitter and bejewelled numerously as it were, whose heart is it that will not be transported into astonishment. [3-43-30]
मांस हेतोः अपि मृगान् विहारार्थम् च धन्विनः |
घ्नन्ति लक्ष्मण राजानो मृगयायाम् महावने || ३-४३-३१
31. lakSmaNa = oh, Lakshmana; raajaanaH mahaa vane mR^igayaayaam = kings, in great, forests, in games of hunting; maamsa hetoH api = flesh, for the sake of, even; dhanvinaH [dhanvanaH] = archers [of bows, or, to use bows in sport, archery]; vihaara artham ca = sporting, for purpose of, also; mR^igaan ghnanti = deer, they kill.
"Kings pursuing games of hunting in great forests, oh, Lakshmana, will be felling deer either for the sake of flesh, or just for the purpose of sporting archery. [3-43-31]
धनानि व्यवसायेन विचीयन्ते महावने |
धातवो विविधाः च अपि मणि रत्न सुवर्णिनः || ३-४३-३२
32. mahaavane = in great-forests; vyavasaayena = exerting themselves; dhanaani = riches [forest produce]; maNi ratna suvarNinaH = jewels, gemstones, gold containing [gold gravel]; vividhaaH dhaatavaH ca api = ores, many, also, even; vi ciiyante = by far, they will be amassing.
"And exerting themselves in great forests they by far amass forest produce, ores, jewels, gemstones and the gravel of gold. [3-43-32]
'And this deer is also the produce of this forest, as such hunting this for taming or tanning is befitting to us, as we are princes.' One should not 'exert oneself,' or 'amass' forest produce even if he is a king, but collect it casually without looting it.
तत् सारम् अखिलम् नॄणाम् धनम् निचय वर्धनम् |
मनसा चिन्तितम् सर्वम् यथा शुक्रस्य लक्ष्मण || ३-४३-३३
33. lakSmaNa = oh, Lakshmana; akhilam tat saaram = all, that, the best; dhanam = wealth [forest produce]; nR^INaam = for humanly kings; manasaa cintitam = in mind, that which is thought; sarvam = everything; shukrasya yathaa = Shukra's, as with; nicaya vardhanam = treasury-filling.
"Everything of that wealth from forest produce will be filling the treasuries of kings, like the speculated objects filling the entire treasury of Shukra just by his thinking of them in his mind. [3-43-33]
Whatever object Shukra thinks wilfully, it becomes a reality, filling his treasury. So also, whatever objects the kings desire they come to reality through forest produce. This is a puranic/ legendary saying which Rama is quoting.
Or, as contained in Maha Bharata, Udyoga Parva, Suparna-Narada discourse: manuShyebhya samaadatte shukraH cintaa aarjitam dhanam 'the pipedreams, [the unattainable or fanciful hopes or schemes,] of people fill up the coffers of Shukra.'
Or, dhaninaam kosha vardhanam dhanam saaram 'for rich people [like kings, merchants,] coffer, filling, wealth, i.e., the forest produce is the best.' 'The forest produce is the best wealth for enriching the coffers of the kings for maintenance of kingdom, and for other rich people it is for trade etc.' Hence, this deer, or its deerskin is saaram 'an excellent gift' to be taken to Ayodhya on our return.' Rama's saying is interpreted in this way giving a high priority to forest produce.
अर्थी येन अर्थ कृत्येन संव्रजति अविचारयन् |
तम् अर्थम् अर्थ शास्त्रज्ञः प्राहुः अर्थ्याः च लक्ष्मण || ३-४३-३४
34. lakSmaNa = oh, Lakshmana; arthii = an aspirant; yena artha kR^ityena = by which, aspirational, activity; a vicaarayan = without, discrimination [unhesitatingly]; sam vrajati = verily, scurries for; tam = that alone - that target; artha shaastraGYaH = finance, science, knowers of - financial experts; arthyaaH = who have reaped riches, financially-well people; ca = they too; artham = that is the worthwhile - wealth; pra ahuH = they - well, say, well-said - lauded by them.
"The financial experts and the other financially well-off people say that with which aspirational activity an aspirant unhesitatingly scurries and achieves it, that achieved target alone is lauded to be worthwhile, or, as real wealth. [3-43-34]
To support his argument that bringing the Golden Deer shall not become a pipedream but it shall occur in reality, Rama is substantiating with this statement. This is called apuurva vastu sekaraNa 'collection of valuable objects' which is a fashion to anyone, especially to kings. Then Lakshmana may further insist 'even then you shall not go, it is a fanciful deer/demon,' for which Rama is saying 'getting the un-gettable itself is worthwhile.'
एतस्य मृग रत्नस्य परार्ध्ये कांचन त्वचि |
उपवेक्ष्यति वैदेही मया सह सुमध्यमा || ३-४३-३५
35. su madhyamaa = well, waisted one - comely Seetha; vaidehii = Vaidehi; etasya mR^iga ratnasya = that this [such a,], deer, gem of a; paraardhye kaancana tvaci = on invaluable, golden, skin; mayaa saha = me, along with; upa vekSyati [upa vishST] = nearby, will be sitting.
"This comely Vaidehi will be sitting on that invaluable golden skin of that gem of a deer along with me. [3-43-35]
Rama is not primarily bothered to tame the Golden Deer by declaring about its skin and its usage at this juncture. This skin alone is the 'laudable wealth' 'worthwhile object' and a 'masterpiece.'
न कादली न प्रियकी न प्रवेणी न च अविकी |
भवेत् एतस्य सदृशी स्पर्शनेन इति मे मतिः || ३-४३-३६
36. sparshanena = by way of [soft-] touch of skin - now assessed by seeing; kaadalii = Kadali's skin - variety of deer; etasya sadR^ishii na bhavet = to this, matching, not, it becomes; priyakii = Priyaki's skin; na = not; praveNii = Praveni's skin; na = not; avikii = Avi's skin -a breed of sheep; na = not; iti me matiH = thus, is my, thinking.
"I think the skin of Kadali deer, or of Priyaki deer, or of Praveni deer, or as a matter of fact the skins of best breed of deer or sheep will not be match to the deerskin of this deer, insofar as the soft-touch is concerned. [3-43-36]
Kadali, Priaki and Avi are the names of breed of deer that yield best deerskins. It is said in amara kosha: kadalii kandalii ciinaH ca camuuru priyakaH; amii ajina yonayaH; avayaH shaila meSa arka Kadali is the deer with white stripes on its neck that lives in a big burrows. Priyaki will have thick brown and black hair and these yield the best and soft deerskin for sitting. AviH is the sheep in breed. The word Praveni may perhaps not of a breed of deer as said in amara kosha: aiNeya meNyaaH carmaadyameNaH aiNam ubhe triSu Thus it conveys the meaning aiNeya, the best deer belonging to doe, and aiNa, belonging to buck. Some take this praveNi as a separate breed whose dictionary meaning is completely different than that of deer.
एष चैव मृगः श्रीमान् यः च दिव्यो नभः चरः |
उभौ एतौ मृगौ दिव्यौ तारामृग महीमृगौ || ३-४३-३७
37. shriimaan eSa mR^igaH ca eva = magnificent one, this, deer, also, thus; nabhaH caraH = in sky, moving [deer]; yaH ca divyaH = which, also, best one; is there, that one; divyau etau = divine, these two; taaraa mR^iga = in stars, deer - in stellar region, i.e., in Orion or in moon; mahii mR^igau = on earth, deer; ubhau mR^igau = [only these] two, [are the divine] deer.
"Only two divine deer are there, this magnificent deer on earth, and the other that moves in skies remaining in stellar region. [3-43-37]
The deer in skies is taken in two ways; one, the deer in the moon and the other, the Orion constellation, mR^iga shiirSa, mR^iga shira 'deer, as its head,' i.e., the deer-like stars in the head of Orion, where East takes this Orion as the 'hunted' and West takes it as the 'hunter', in which 'hunting' is common. And Rama wants to hunt down the reality of the deer. But Lakshmana may still insist saying, 'maybe, only these two deer are the unavailable objects. We cannot leap up to skies to catch hold of those deer-like stars, or the deer in the moon. Equally this tricky deer on earth is uncatchable. Thereby getting its skin is also that dreamy.' For this Rama explains his duty in his next course of action, viz., killing the demon.
यदि वा अयम् तथा यत् माम् भवेत् वदसि लक्ष्मण |
माया एषा राक्षसस्य इति कर्तव्यो अस्य वधो मया || ३-४३-३८
38. lakSmaNa = oh, Lakshmana; eSaa raakSasasya maayaa iti = this is, demon's, wizardry, thus; maam yat vadasi = to me, what, you told; tathaa ayam bhavet = that way, this, results in, [wizardry of demon]; yadi vaa = if, else - even then - if he is a demon; mayaa asya vadhaH kartavyaH [bhavet] = by me, its [deer/ demon's,] killing, is the duty [that results in; ellipses : if this deer happens to be Maareecha, he is eliminable, from verse 40.
"You are telling me that 'this is the wizardry of the demon.' Even then, Lakshmana, if this results in that way as a demon's wizardry, my duty also results in the elimination of that deer. [3-43-38]
एतेन हि नृशंसेन मारीचेन अकृत आत्मना |
वने विचरता पूर्वम् हिंसिता मुनि पुंगवाः || ३-४३-३९
39. [yadi = if this is Maareecha, by him]; nR^ishamsena = by heinous one; akR^ita aatmanaa hi = by vicious, souled one, indeed; vane vicarataa = in forest, on the prowl; etena maariicena = by such, Maareecha; puurvam muni pungavaaH himsitaaH = earlier, sages, eminent, are tortured.
"If this deer is Maareecha, this heinous and vicious-souled demon has indeed tortured many eminent sages earlier when was on the prowl in the forests, thus he is eliminable. [3-43-39]
उत्थाय बहवो अनेन मृगयायाम् जनाधिपाः |
निहताः परम इष्वासाः तस्मात् वध्यः तु अयम् मृगः || ३-४३-४०
40. anena = by him; utthaaya = uprising [rising against, rebelliously]; mR^igayaayaam = in game of hunting; bahavaH parama iSvaasaaH = many, excellent, bow wielders [archers]; janaadhipaaH = kings; nihataaH = were killed; tasmaat tu = for that reason, at least; ayam mR^igaH vadhyaH = this, deer/beast, is eradicable.
"He rebelliously killed many kings who are excellent archers while they were in hunting games, at least for that reason this bestial monster is eradicable. [3-43-40]
The last word in second foot mR^iga is also identifiable with 'beast' thus a bestial monster.
पुरस्तात् इह वातापिः परिभूय तपस्विनः |
उदरस्थो द्विजान् हन्ति स्व गर्भो अश्वतरीम् इव || ३-४३-४१
41. purastaat iha vaataapiH = earlier, here, Vaataapi [demon]; tapasvinaH paribhuuya = holding in contempt, ascetics; udara sthaH = in stomach, staying; ashvatariim = of a mare; sva garbhaH iva = one's own, womb, [mother's,] as with; dvijaan hanti = Brahmans, he used to kill.
"Demon Vaataapi who held ascetics in contempt was here earlier, and staying in the stomachs of Brahmans he used to come out by ripping their stomachs open and thus he was killing Brahmans, like a mare-calf killing its own mother at its time of birth by ripping the womb of its own mother. [3-43-41]
The legend of Vaataapi is said in detail in chapter 11 of this Aranya Kanda when Rama and others were going to Agastya's hermitage.
स कदाचित् चिरात् लोभात् आससाद महामुनिम् |
अगस्त्यम् तेजसा युक्तम् भक्ष्यः तस्य बभूव ह || ३-४३-४२
42. saH = he Vaataapi; ciraat = after some time; kadaacit = on one occasion; lobhaat = avariciously; tejasaa yuktam = effulgence, one endowed with; mahaa munim agastyam = great-saint Agastya; aasasaada = obtained; tasya = to him, to Agastya; bhakSyaH babhuuva = an eatable, he became - demon became; ha = actually.
"On one occasion after some time, that Vaataapi avariciously obtained that great-saint and the one who is endowed with effulgent, namely Agastya, as an eatable, but actually that demon has became an eatable to the sage. [3-43-42]
समुत्थाने च तत् रूपम् कर्तु कामम् समीक्ष्य तम् |
उत्स्मयित्वा तु भगवान् वातापिम् इदम् अब्रवीत् || ३-४३-४३
43. sam utthaane = in the matter of getting up - demon's coming out from the stomach of the sage; tat ruupam kartu kaamam = that, aspect, [demon's aspect,] to make [when trying to renew demon's form,] when demon was intending to; bhagavaan samiikSya = god - godly saint Agastya, on observing; tam utsmayitvaa tu = him [at demon,] [with a scornful] smile, but; vaataapim idam abraviit = to Vaataapi, this, spoke.
"On observing the demon Vaataapi who is trying to assume his original form of demon in order to come out of his stomach, that godly saint Agastya spoke this to Vaataapi with a scornful smile. [3-43-43]
त्वया अविगण्य वातापे परिभूताः च तेजसा |
जीव लोके द्विज श्रेष्ठाः तस्मात् असि जराम् गतः || ३-४३-४४
44. vaataape = oh, Vaataapi; jiiva loke = somatic, world - on earth, in this world; dvija shreSThaaH = in Brahmans, the best ones; tvayaa = by you; avigaNya = a vi gaNya = not, verily, counting - without taking into account - disregarding irreverently; tejasaa ca = by [your] might, also; pari bhuutaaH = insulted - blasphemed, killed; tasmaat jaraam gataH asi = therefore, into digestion, gone, you are you are digested by me.
" 'Oh, Vaataapi, you have irreverently eradicated the best Brahmans in this world owing to your might, therefore I have assimilated you.' So said sage Agastya to Vaataapi. [3-43-44]
तत् एतत् न भवेत् रक्षो वातापिः इव लक्ष्मण |
मत् विधम् यो अतिमन्येत धर्म नित्यम् जितेन्द्रियम् || ३-४३-४५
भवेत् हतो अयम् वातापिः अगस्त्येन इव मा गतः |
45, 46a. lakSmaNa = oh, Lakshmana; vaataapiH iva = Vaataapi, as with; etat tat = this, that - such a; rakSaH = demon - Maareecha; na bhavet = not, will be there; yaH = which - demon; dharma nityam = righteousness, one who is always abiding; jitendriyam = self-controlled one; mat vidham = one who is of my, kind of; him; ati manyeta [ava manyeta] = lowly, regards - disregards; ayam maa gataH = he, me, on getting at [confronting, if he provokes]; agastyena vaataapiH iva = by Agastya, Vaataapi, as with; hataH bhavet = killed, he will be.
"Lakshmana, such a demon who is like Vaataapi will not be there any more. He who disregards someone of my kind, who always abides in righteousness and who is self-controlled, such a demon will be eliminated as sage Agastya has eliminated demon Vaataapi, if that demon happens to get at me. [3-43-45, 46a]
इह त्वम् भव संनद्धो यंत्रितो रक्ष मैथिलीम् || ३-४३-४६
अस्याम् आयत्तम् अस्माकम् यत् कृत्यम् रघुनंदन |
46b, 47a. raghunandana = oh, Raghu's, descendent - Lakshmana; tvam iha sannaddhaH bhava = you, here, preparedly, you be [stay here]; yantritaH maithiliim rakSa = attentively, Maithili, you safeguard; asmaakam yat kR^ityam = = of our, which, enterprise is there; that is; asyaam aayattam = in her, founded.
"Oh, Lakshmana, the descendent of Raghu, you stay here in all preparedness and guard Maithili steadfastly, whatever enterprise of ours is there that is founded in her. [3-43-46b, 47a]
The first foot 'she is the basis of our mission' is a debated expression. Their mission is to eliminate Ravana. Seetha as Vedavati, an earlier incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, vows to eliminate Ravana when she comes to earth as Seetha. Then Rama should have said 'look Lakshmana, our task is to kill Ravana, for that Ravana has to kidnap Seetha, and to make that kidnapping possible do not guard her.' Can he say so? Neither Rama, nor any ordinary husband can say so. Then this predictive sentence becomes self-contrary. Contrariwise, taking some concessions of grammar, because most of Ramayana is un-Paninian, Rama is indirectly hinting Lakshmana that something is immanent, because 'after the elimination of demons like Khara, Duushana nothing drastic has happened, but a queer deer has come, and thus something may now happen.' Then, if this asyaam is given to kartavyam 'the enterprise' as tasmin then the connection is: asmaakam yat kR^ityam asyaam [tasmin] aayattam asaama 'for us, which, enterprise is there, in that, circumspect, we shall be' 'Which enterprise is there for us individually, in that we both shall conduct separately and circumspectly, and you do your job of guarding Seetha and I mine in bringing the deer or its skin, duly eliminating that conjuring demon.' In such a case, the blemish soothsaying or prophesising will not occur to Rama, in saying 'Seetha as the pivotal character is to be kidnapped by Ravana' etc. In fact, Rama is the person who is more beguiled by the deer.
अहम् एनम् वधिष्यामि ग्रहीष्यामि अथवा मृगम् || ३-४३-४७
यावत् गच्छामि सौमित्रे मृगम् आनयितुम् द्रुतम् |
47b, 48a. saumitre = oh, Soumitri; aham enam mR^igam grahiiSyaami = I wish to catch, I, this, deer, athavaa = if not; vadhiSyaami = wish to kill; mR^igam aanayitum = deer, to fetch; drutam = forthwith; yaavat gacChaami = I will go.
"I wish to catch this deer, Soumitri, if not I will kill it, and I will be going forthwith to fetch the deer. [3-43-47b, 48a]
पश्य लक्ष्मण वैदेहीम् मृग त्वचि गताम् स्पृहाम् || ३-४३-४८
त्वचा प्रधानया हि एष मृगो अद्य न भविष्यति |
48b, 49a. lakSmaNa = oh, Lakshmana; mR^iga tvaci gataam spR^ihaam = on deer, skin, reached [overtaken by,] one with such a percept; vaidehiim pashya = at Vaidehi; pradhaanayaa tvacaa hi = = by distinctiveness of [strangeness of,] deerskin, indeed; eSa mR^igaH adya na bhaviSyati = this, deer, now, not, will be there - survives.
"Lakshmana, see how Vaidehi's percept is overtaken by deerskin. Indeed by the strangeness of its skin that deer must be a mysterious being, hence, it will not survive now. [3-43-48]
अप्रमत्तेन ते भाव्यम् आश्रमस्थेन सीतया || ३-४३-४९
यावत् पृषतम् एकेन सायकेन निहन्मि अहम् |
हत्वा एतत् चर्म च आदाय शीघ्रम् एष्यामि लक्ष्मण || ३-४३-५०
49b, 50. lakSmaNa = oh, Lakshmana; aashramasthena = staying in hermitage; te = to you [by you]; siitayaa = with Seetha; apramattena bhaavyam = vigilantly, think out - apply yourself; pR^iSatam = spotted deer; ekena saayakena = with one, arrow; aham yaavat nihanmi = I will, kill; hatvaa etat carma ca aadaaya = on killing, that, skin, also, on taking; [taavat] shiighram eSyaami = [so soon,] quickly, comeback.
"Oh, Lakshmana, apply yourself vigilantly while staying in hermitage along with Seetha. So soon as I go I will be felling that spotted deer with one arrow and returning quickly. [3-43-49b, 50]
The ambiguity is whether Rama is going for the deer, or deerskin, or for the latent demon. He is going for the deer epically, for the memento of deerskin to Seetha as a hero of the epic, and for the demon in deer, according to mythology.
प्रदक्षिणेन अतिबलेन पक्षिणा
जटायुषा बुद्धिमता च लक्ष्मण |
भव अप्रमत्तः प्रतिगृह्य मैथिलीम्
प्रति क्षणम् सर्वत एव शन्कितः || ३-४३-५१
51. lakSmaNa = oh, Lakshmana; maithiliim = Maithili; prati gR^ihya = well, taking - taking care for; prati kSaNam = every, spilt-second; sarvataH eva = from everywhere, thus; shankitaH = remaining suspicious; pradakSiNena atibalena pakSiNaa = forthright, formidable, with bird; buddhimataa jaTaayuSaa ca = with sagacious [fatherly bird,] with Jatayu, also; a pramattaH = without, laxity - watchfully; bhava = you shall be.
"Oh, Lakshmana, you be here taking care of Maithili along with the forthright, formidable and fatherly bird Jatayu, and be watchful and suspicious from everywhere and every split-second." Thus Rama spoke to Lakshmana and started to go after the deer [3-43-51]
Lure for Golden Deer
Poor Seetha, she could not romanticise the Golden Deer better than Rama. Then it may be asked 'what is the necessity for Rama to romanticise and compare it to the skyey star-deer and others. Is it for the deer or for the deerskin?' This is the unanswered question. 'It is for the deer alone but not its skin,' said so in reply by some. If it were to be for the deerskin, from the view point of Rama, he could have shot his arrow from where he is standing, which arrow miraculously pierces any terrain, kills the deer, and safely comes back into his quiver, as in the case of showing his prowess to Sugreeva. Otherwise, Rama should have turned down the request of Seetha, as he did in the ninth chapter of this Aranya Kanda, when she was saying: 'where that weapon? Where this forest? Where the principles of Kshatriya? And where is the sageness? All this is inconsistent... By us, let the laws of the land be esteemed...' as at 3-9-27. When kings come into such a sort of allurement, many wise men quote this instance of Rama's going after the deer as a reminder to them, as in Maha Bharata.
asambhavam hema mR^igasya janma - tathaapi raamo
lulubhe mR^igaaya |
praayaH samaasanna vipatti kaale - dhiyo pu~Nsaam malinii bhavanti ||
"Impossible is the birth of a Golden Deer, even then Rama is lured, if time is perilous, even the best man's brain deranges.'
karmaNaa baadhyate buddhiH - na buddhyaa karma
subuddhiH api yat raamo - haimam hariNiim anvagaat ||
Fate harasses the faculty, faculty cannot harass the fate, even the cleverest Rama, went after the Golden Deer.
na bhuuto puurvo na ca kena dR^iShTo - hema kura~Ngo
na kadaa api vaartaa |
tathaa api tR^iShNaa raghunandanasya - vinaasha kaale vipariita buddhiH ||
Unborn it was, none has seen yet, nor mentioned about it, such is the mirage of Rama. Parlous time causes perilous percipience.
Hence Rama's going after the deer is for the deerskin, on one count, and for the deer itself, on the other as affirmed by Lakshmana because Lakshmana never says untruth. This Maareecha is recurrently falling after Rama. Once an accident, twice a coincidence, but thrice... a habituation... and it become habitual for Maareecha to dare Rama. Hence, Rama has to do something to Maareecha, permanently.
The other view according to puranic/mythological sayings is that god endows whatever you seek. But that god alone says: 'Seek you will get it, but seek not by the extrinsic values of objects.' This saying has it counterpart at: 'Every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth.' St Matthew, p[Ch. 7, v. 8] The Bible. But 'seek something within the nature, according to your nature... but not the supernatural... for eyes belie the nature of objects...' is the essence here. He/she who seeks beyond means will have to suffer, either by getting it or devoid of it. This is said in innuendo at 3-43-33, that 'the results of pipedreams fill the coffers of Shukra.'
Further, because parlous time has come to Rama and Seetha, epically, providentially, and episodically, Rama has to move away from Seetha. While going after the deer, Rama says much to Lakshmana about the security to Seetha and also informs him that 'she is pivotal to our mission.' He did not say these many farewells when sending Seetha and Lakshmana for hiding in a cave at the time of elimination Khara, Duushana, and the other fourteen thousand demons. At one time Rama spared Maareecha's life in the forest of Tataka while guarding Vishwamitra's ritual, only to cause Maareecha to come now. As such, Rama has to go after Maareecha. Besides, Seetha or Goddess Lakshmi will let none killed in her presence.
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इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदि काव्ये अरण्य काण्डे त्रि चत्वारिंशः सर्गः
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© Sept, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : September 04]