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Chapter 17: Shurpanakha Arrives at the Cottage

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Shuurpanakha Arrives at the Cottage

Summary

Shuurpanakha, the problem female demon of Ramayana enters here. She approaches the cottage of Rama and offers her wifehood to Rama. She is the sister of Ravana and her husband Vidyut Jihva was murdered by Ravana alone, rendering his own sister a widow. She being an age-old female demon wants Rama to marry her, leaving Seetha off.

Chapter [Sarga] 17 in Detail

krita abhiseko raamah tu siitaa saumitrir eva ca |

tasmaat godaavarii tiiraat tato jagmuh svam aashramam || 3-17-1

On taking bath Rama with Seetha and Saumitri, then went to his own hermitage from that bank of River Godavari. [3-17-1]

aashramam tam upaagamya raaghavah saha laksmanah |

kritvaa paurvaahnikam karma parnashaalaam upaagamat || 3-17-2

Nearing that hermitage Raghava along with Lakshmana performed early morning rituals and then reached the cottage. [3-17-2]

uvaasa sukhitah tatra puujyamaano maharsabhah|

sa raamah parna shaalaayaam aasiinah saha siitayaa || 3-1-7-3

viraraaja mahaa baahuh citrayaa candramaa iva |

laksmanena saha bhraatraa cakaara vividhaah kathaah || 3-17-4

There Rama comfortably spent time while being adored by eminent sages when he is with them, and narrating many a narrative while sitting in hermitage along with Seetha and his brother Lakshmana, thus he shone forth like the moon when with Chitra constellation. [3-1-7-3, 4]

tadaa aasiinasya raamasya kathaa sa.msakta cetasah |

tam desham raaksasii kaacid aajagaama yadricchayaa || 3-17-5

At one time when Rama is sitting in hermitage and heartily absorbed in telling narratives some female demon arrived at that place, fortuitously [occurring by chance]. [3-17-5]

saa tu shuurpanakhaa naama dashagriivasya raksasah |

bhaginii raamam aasaadya dadarsha tridasha upamam || 3-17-6

She is but the sister of ten-faced demon Ravana, Shuurpanakha by her name and she has seen him on reaching the paradisiacal being like Rama. [3-17-6]

diiptaasyam ca mahaabaahum padma patraayata iiksanam |

gaja vikraa.nta gamanam jataa mandala dhaarinam || 3-17-7

sukumaaram mahaa sattvam paarthiva vya.njana anvitam |

raamam indiivara shyaamam kandarpa sadrisha prabham || 3-17-8

babhuuva indropamam dristvaa raaksasii kaama mohitaa |

He whose face is radiant, arms lengthy, eyes large like lotus petals, stride [to take a very long step] like that of an elephant, wearing bunches of hair-tufts, delicate yet greatly vigorous, possessor of all kingly aspects, complexion deep-blue like blue lotus, similar to Love-god in brilliance and in simile to Indra, the female demon has seen such a Rama and became lovesick. [3-17-7, 8, 9a]

sumukham durmukhii raamam vritta madhyam mahodarii || 3-17-9

vishaalaaksam viruupaaksii sukesham taamra muurdhajaa |

priyaruupam viruupaa saa susvaram bhairava svanaa || 3-17-10

tarunam daarunaa vriddhaa daksinam vaama bhaasinii |

nyaaya vrittam sudurvrittaa priyam apriya darshanaa || 3-17-11

shariiraja samaavistaa raaksasii raamam abraviit |

She that female demon who is facially unpleasant one with that pleasant faced one, pot bellied one with the slim-waist one, wry-eyed [twisted-eyed] one with the broad-eyed one, coppery-haired one with the neatly tressed [being braided] one, ugly featured one with the charming featured one, brassy voiced one with the gentle voiced one, deplorably oldish one with the youngish one, crooked talker with the pleasant talker, ill-mannered one with the well-mannered one, uncouth one with couth [sophisticated], abominable one with amiable Rama spoke, besieged [to press with requests] by Love-god. [3-17-9b, 11, 12a]

jatii taapasa ruupena sabhaaryah shara caapa dhrik || 3-17-12

aagatah tvam imam desham katham raaksasa sevitam |

kim aagamana krityam te tat tvam aakhyaatum arhasi || 3-17-13

"You are an ascetic yet with a wife, handling bow and arrows yet in the appearance of a sage… what for you have come to this province frequented by demons… it will be apt of you to tell the purpose of your coming here, in actuality…" [3-17-12b, 13]

evam uktah tu raaksasyaa shuurpanakhyaa para.mtapah |

riju buddhitayaa sarvam aakhyaatum upacakrame || 3-17-14

Thus asked by female demon Shuurpanakha that enemy-scorcher Rama started to inform all about it, straightforwardly. [3-17-14]

aasiit dasharatho naama raajaa tridasha vikramah |

tasya aham agrajah putro raamo naama janaih shrutah || 3-17-15

"A king named Dasharatha was there with his godlike valor, I am his eldest son, and people hear of me by name Rama. [3-17-15]

bhraataa ayam laksmano naama yaviiyaan maam anuvratah |

iyam bhaaryaa ca vaidehii mama siiteti vishrutaa || 3-17-16

"He is Lakshmana by his name, my younger brother and a devoted follower of mine, and she is my wife, daughter of Videha’s king, well-known as Seetha. [3-17-16]

niyogaat tu narendrasya pitur maatuh ca ya.ntritah |

dharmaartham dharmakaa.nksii ca vanam vastum iha aagatah || 3-17-17

"Desiring to implement the probity in following father’s orders and for the sake of establishing probity in living an ascetic’s life I have come here to forests to dwell, as enjoined by the directives of the king and my father, and by my mother, as well. [3-17-17]

tvaam tu veditum icchaami kasya tvam kaa asi kasya vaa |

tvam hi taavanmanojnaa.ngii raakshasii pratibhaasi me || 3-17-18

"I too wish to know about you. Whose wife are you? What is your name? Or, whose daughter are you? By the way, you are with a most enthralling personality, and then you must be a female demon. [3-17-18]

iha vaa kim nimittam tvam aagataa bruuhi tattvatah |

saa abraviit vacanam shrutvaa raaksasii madana arditaa || 3-17-19

"What for you have come, either, you tell in actuality..." Thus Rama asked her. On hearing the words of Rama she that female demon wetted with love said these words. [3-17-19]

shruuyataam raama vaksyaami tattvaartham vacanam mama |

aham shuurpanakhaa naama raaksasii kaamaruupinii || 3-17-20

aranyam vicaraami idam ekaa sarva bhaya.mkaraa |

"I will tell you truth, Rama, nothing but truth, I am a guise-changing demoness [female demon] named Shuurpanakha, and I will be freely moving in this forest in a solitary manner and unnerving all. [3-17-20, 21a]

raavano naama me bhraataa yadi te shrotram aagatah || 3-17-21

viiro vishravasah putro yadi te shrotram aagatah |

"My brother is valorous and mighty Ravana, the king of demons and the son of Vishravasa, if ever you have heard of him. [3-17-21b, 22a]

pravriddha nidrah ca sadaa ku.mbhakarno mahaabalah || 3-17-22

vibhiisanah tu dharmaatmaa na tu raaksasa cestitah |

prakhyaata viiryau ca rane bhraatarau khara duusanau || 3-17-23

"And the mighty Kumbhakarna who will always be in profound sleep is my brother, and the virtue-souled Vibheeshana too is my brother, but he does not behave like a demon, and two more bothers of mine are Khara and Duushana who are renowned for their bravery in war. [3-17-22b, 23]

taan aham samatikraantaa raama tvaa puurva darshanaat |

samupetaa asmi bhaavena bhartaaram purusottamam || 3-17-24

"I can excel all of them by my bravery, oh, Rama, and on seeing you for the first time I had a notion that you being the choicest among men you alone are my husband, hence I neared you. [3-17-24]

aham prabhaava sa.mpannaa svaccha.nda bala gaaminii |

ciraaya bhava bhartaa me siitayaa kim karisyasi || 3-17-25

"I am endowed with such preponderances [a superiority or excess in number or quantity] and I can operate with my independent might, as such you become my everlasting husband… by the way, what you can bring off with Seetha. [3-17-25]

vikritaa ca viruupaa ca na saa iyam sadrishii tava |

aham eva anuruupaa te bhaaryaa ruupena pashya maam || 3-17-26

"Unlovely and unshapely is this one, such as she is, this Seetha is unworthy to be your wife, and I am the lone one worthy to be your wife, hence treat me as your wife. [3-17-26]

imaam viruupaam asatiim karaalaam nirnata udariim |

anena saha te bhraatraa bhaksayisyaami maanusiim || 3-17-27

"Shall I eat up this disfigured, dishonest, diabolical human female with a hallow stomach along with him, that brother of yours to make you free.

tatah parvata shri.ngaani vanaani vividhaani ca |

pashyansahamayaakaamiidandakaanvicarisyasi - yadvaa -

pashyan saha mayaa kaamii dandakaan vicarisyasi || 3-17-28

"Afterwards, you can lustily ramble about Dandaka forest along with me while enjoying yourself on various mountaintops in the sky and in forests on the earth." So Shuurpanakha said to Rama. [3-17-28]

iti evam uktah kaakutsthah prahasya madira iiksanaam |

idam vacanam aarebhe vaktum vaakya vishaaradah || 3-17-29

When he is said that way Rama chuckled and that wordsmith started to reply her who eyes are besotted in lovesickness with this sentence. [3-17-29]

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye aranya kaande saptadashah sargah

Thus, this is the 17th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate

 

References

 

Desiraju Hanumanta Rao. (1998). Aranya Kanda - Forest track.

 

Merriam-Webster. (2007). At http://www.m-w.com.

 

Reference.com. (2007). At http://www.reference.com.

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