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Chapter 68: Jatayu Expires

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Jatayu Expires

Summary

Jataayu names Ravana as the abductor of Seetha while breathing his last. Though he struggles hard to say what all has happened, the Time called death takes him away, at such a time when the important information is about to be said to Rama. Receiving that much information at least, Rama consigns Jataayu to funeral fire, like his own relative and performs other rites, and then proceeds for searching Seetha.

Chapter [Sarga] 68 in Detail

raamah preksya tu tam gridhram bhuvi raudrena paatitam |

saumitrim mitra sa.mpannam idam vacanam abraviit || 3-68-1

Rama on seeing that eagle felled to ground by the atrocious Ravana said this sentence to Soumitri who is an asset for good companionability. [3-68-1]

mama ayam nuunam arthesu yatamaano viha.ngamah |

raaksasena hatah sa.nkhye praanaan tyajati mat krite || 3-68-2

"While this bird is venturing in my concern the demon felled him in combat and he is leaving off his lives owing to me, definitely... [3-68-2]

ati khinnah shariire asmin praano laksmana vidyate |

tathaa svara vihiino ayam viklavam samudiiksate || 3-68-3

"Obviously, lives in his body are very feeble, oh, Lakshmana, it is natural, isn't it, and he looks highly anguished with a dulled voice..." Thus on saying to Lakshmana, Rama then spoke to Jataayu. [3-68-3]

jataayo yadi shaknosi vaakyam vyaaharitum punah |

siitaam aakhyaahi bhadram te vadham aakhyaahi ca aatmanah || 3-68-4

"Oh, Jataayu, if you are in fine fettle to further reiterate words, relate about Seetha, let safe betide you, and recount how you are murdered, too... [3-68-4]

kim nimitto jahaara aaryaam raavanah tasya kim mayaa |

aparaadham tu yam dristvaa raavanena hritaa priyaa || 3-68-5

"What is the reason for Ravana in stealing that noblewoman, and even what is the wrong I have committed in his respect, keeping which in view that Ravana stole my ladylove... [3-68-5]

katham tat candra sa.nkaasham mukham aasiit manoharam |

siitayaa kaani ca uktaani tasmin kaale dvijottama || 3-68-6

"How was that moon similar heart-stealing face of hers at that time of abduction, oh, best bird, and even what are the words she uttered when being abducted... [3-68-6]

katham viiryah katham ruupah kim karmaa sa ca raaksasah |

kva ca asya bhavanam taata bruuhi me paripricchatah || 3-68-7

"What is his stamina of that demon? What is his form? And what are his strategies? And where is his stronghold? Oh, sire, tell me while I ask you inquisitively..." Rama urged Jataayu thus for information. [3-68-7]

tam udviiksya sah dharmaatmaa vilapantam anaathavat |

vaacaa viklavayaa raamam idam vacanam abraviit || 3-68-8

Then that warm-hearted Jataayu with his eyes rolling upwards saw Rama and with a fluttery voice said this sentence to Rama who is wailing like an orphan. [3-68-8]

saa hritaa raaksasendrena raavanena duraatmanaa |

maayaam aasthaaya vipulaam vaata dur.hdina sa.nkulaam || 3-68-9

"Resorting to his illusionistic [magical] devices like creating an immense and tumultuous windstorm and cloud-cover, the flagitious chief of demons Ravana abducted Seetha... [3-68-9]

pariklaantasya me taata paksau chittvaa nishaacarah |

siitaam aadaaya vaidehiim prayaato daksinaa mukhah || 3-68-10

"That night walker hacked both my wings when I was overtired, and went southward taking the princess of Videha, Seetha, along with him... [3-68-10]

uparudhyanti me praanaa dristir bhramati raaghava |

pashyaami vriksaan sauvarnaan ushiira krita muurdhajaan || 3-68-11

"My sight is spinning and my lives are stifled, oh, Raghava, I am now seeing golden trees with cuscus grass as their treetops... [3-68-11]

yena yaati muhuurtena siitaam aadaaya raavanah |

vipranastam dhanam ksipram tat svaami pratipadyate || 3-68-12

vindo naama muhuurto asau sa ca kaakutstha na abudhat |

"In which spell of time Ravana has gone taking away Seetha, that spell is named as Vinda... if any riches are lost during that spell, the original possessor of those riches will repossess them very quickly... oh, Kakutstha, he that Ravana is unmindful of that fact and stole Seetha only to loose her... [3-68-12, 13a]

tvat priyaam jaanakiim hritvaa raavano raakshaseshvara |

jhasavat badisham grihya ksipram eva vinashyati || 3-68-13

"On stealing your ladylove Janaki, that chief of demons, Ravana, will ruin himself, as with a fish which swallows a baited fishhook... [3-68-13b, c]

na ca tvayaa vyathaa kaaryaa janakasya sutaam prati |

vaidehyaa ramsyase ksipram hatvaa tam ranamuur.hdhani || 3-68-14

"Impractical is your anguishing for the daughter of Janaka, as you will delight yourself with Vaidehi in no time, on killing that Ravana in the vanguard of a war..." Thus saying Jataayu paused for a while. [3-68-14]

asammuudhasya gridhrasya raamam prati anubhaasatah |

aasyaat susraava rudhiram mriyamaanasya sa amisam || 3-68-15

Though Jataayu is speaking on to Rama with an alert mind, blood freely flowed from his mouth with shreds of flesh as death verged on him; even then he struggled to say. [3-68-15]

putro vishravasah saaksaat bhraataa vaishravanasya ca |

iti uktvaa durlabhaan praanaan mumoca patageshvarah || 3-68-16

"That demon is the son of Vishravasa... literally... the brother of Kubera..." on saying thus, that lord of birds released his lives, which are unobtainable for oneself. [3-68-16]

bruuhi bruuhi iti raamasya bruvaanasya kritaa.njaleh |

tyaktvaa shariiram gridhrasya jagmuh praanaa vihaayasam || 3-68-17

But the lives of Jataayu departing from his body went into thin air before the very eyes of Rama who is still speaking to him with folded-palms, "tell... tell more..." [3-68-17]

sa niksipya shiro bhuumau prasaarya caranau tadaa |

viksipya ca shariiram svam papaata dharanii tale || 3-68-18

Jataayu flopped his head on earth, sprawled his feet on ground, and then his body collapsed onto the surface of earth writhing jerkily. [3-68-18]

tam gridhram preksya taamra aksam gata asum acalopamam |

raamah su bahubhih duhkhaih diinah saumitrim abraviit || 3-68-19

He who is worsened by very many mishaps that Rama, on seeing the mountainous eagle whose eyes are bloodshot and whose lives have gone, said this way to Soumitri... [3-68-19]

bahuuni raksasaam vaase varsaani vasataa sukham |

anena dandakaaranye vishiirnam iha paksinaa || 3-68-20

"This bird which for years together lived fearlessly in Dandaka forest, a habitat of demons, that bird wilted to death, because of me... [3-68-20]

aneka vaarsiko yah tu cira kaala samutthitah |

so ayam adya hatah shete kaalo hi dur.hatikramah || 3-68-21

"He who has longevity over many years, who actively strived for a long for rectitude, he is now killed and prostrating before the Time, because of me... alas... it is indeed impossible to infringe the Time... [3-68-21]

pashya laksmana gridhro ayam upakaarii hatah ca me |

siitaam abhyavapanno hi raavanena baliiyasaa || 3-68-22

"Lakshmana, this eagle which has dashed to rescue Seetha in order to render help to me is slain by that brute-forced Ravana, only because of me, you see... [3-68-22]

gridhra raajyam parityajya pitri paitaamaham mahat |

mama hetoh ayam praanaan mumoca patageshvarah || 3-68-23

"On abandoning great empire of eagles belonging to his father and forefathers this lord of bird has now abandoned his lives too, only for my sake... [3-68-23]

sarvatra khalu drishyante saadhavo dharma caarinah |

shuuraah sharanyaah saumitre tiryak yoni gatesu api || 3-68-24

"Universally noticeable are the protective, prepotent [having exceptional power, authority, or influence], principled ones that are the followers of probity [adherence to the highest principles and ideals], oh, Soumitri, even though their births are avian [resembling a bird] or bestial [resembling a beast]... [3-68-24]

siitaa haranaja.m duhkham na me saumya tathaa gatam |

yathaa vinaasho gridhrasya mat krite ca parantapa || 3-68-25

"To me, oh, enemy-inflamer, oh, gentle Lakshmana, anguish caused by Seetha's abduction is not that much, when compared with the anguish caused by the perish of this eagle, that too, because of me... [3-68-25]

raajaa dasharathah shriimaan yathaa mama mayaa yashaah |

puujaniiyah ca maanyah ca tathaa ayam patageshvarah || 3-68-26

"As to how the celebrated and highly renowned king Dasharatha is venerable and honorable for me, likewise this lord of birds is also a venerable and honorable one to me... [3-68-26]

saumitre hara kaasthaani nir.hmathisyaami paavakam |

gridhra raajam didhaksaami mat krite nidhanam gatam || 3-68-27

"Oh, Soumitri, get the firewood and I will produce fire by friction of two sticks, as I wish to cremate this lord of birds who expired because of me... [3-68-27]

naatham pataga lokasya citaam aaropayaami aham |

imam dhaksyaami saumitre hatam raudrena raksasaa || 3-68-28

"Oh, Soumitri, I will mount this lord of realm of birds onto the pyre and cremate him who is killed by a feral demon..." Thus saying to Lakshmana, Rama said this to dead eagle Jataayu. [3-68-28]

yaa gatih yajna shiilaanaam aahita agneh ca yaa gatih |

a para aavartinaam yaa ca yaa ca bhuumi pradaayinaam || 3-68-29

mayaa tvam samanujnaato gaccha lokaan anuttamaan |

gridhra raaja mahaa sattva sa.nskritah ca mayaa vraja || 3-68-30

"Oh, greatly mighty king of eagles, by me cremated ritually and by me aptly consented to, you depart to the unexcelled heavenly worlds... you depart to those worlds that are destined for the virtuosos of Vedic-rituals, and to those worlds that are destined for the practicer of ascesis amid Five-Ritual-fires, and to those that are destined for un-retreating combatants, and to those worlds that destined for the donors of lands..." So said Rama to the departed Jataayu. [3-68-29, 30]

evam uktvaa citaam diiptaam aaropya patageshvaram |

dadaaha raamo dharmaatmaa sva bandhum iva duhkhitah || 3-68-31

On saying that way, that ethical-souled Rama mounted that lord of birds onto the pyre and he sorrowfully incinerated that eagle in a flaring fire of pyre, as he would do in respect of his own deceased relative. [3-68-31]

raamo atha saha saumitrih vanam yaatvaa sa viiryavaan |

sthuulaan hatvaa mahaa rohiin anu tastaara tam dvijam || 3-68-32

Then that resolute Rama on going into forest along with Soumitri hunted a robust-bodied, big Rohi animal, or, Kesari animal, and then he spread sacred grass on ground to place that offering to the deceased soul of that bird. [3-68-32]

rohi maamsaani ca uddhritya peshii kritvaa mahaayashaah |

shakunaaya dadau raamo ramye harita shaadvale || 3-68-33

On drawing up the flesh of that Rohi animal and lumping it to gobbets, that highly observant Rama placed those gobbets on pleasant greenish pasturelands as obsequial offerings in respect of that bird Jataayu. [3-68-33]

yat tat pretasya mar.htyasya kathayanti dvijaatayah |

tat svarga gamanam pitryam ksipram raamo jajaapa ha || 3-68-34

Rama immediately chanted Vedic hymns that are employed in such funerals of one's own paternal people, as Brahmans say that those hymns are employable in such rites as they lead the soul of the departed to heaven. [3-68-34]

tato godaavariim gatvaa nadiim nara vara aatmajau |

udakam cakratuh tasmai gridhra raajaaya tau ubhau || 3-68-35

Then both the sons of that notable man, namely Dasharatha, on going to River Godavari they have oblated waters for that king of eagles, Jataayu. [3-68-35]

shaastra dristena vidhinaa jale gridhaaya raaghavau |

snaatvaa tau gridhra raajaaya udakam cakruh tadaa || 3-68-36

Both of the Raghava-s took funeral baths in the waters of River Godavari and then made water oblations to the king of eagles. [3-68-36]

sa gridhra raajah kritavaan yashaskaram

su duskaram karma rane nipaatitah |

maharsi kalpena ca sa.nskritah tadaa

jagaama punyaam gatim aatmanah shubhaam || 3-68-37

That king of eagle Jataayu, who has performed a creditworthy deed of stalling and combating Ravana, but who is felled by that Ravana, went away to the merited and auspicious heavenly realms of his own, as and when consecrated by sublime sage like Rama. [3-68-37]

kritodakau tau api pakshi sattame

sthiraam ca buddhim pranidhaaya jagmutuh |

praveshya siitaa adhigamane tato mano

vanam surendrau iva visnu vaasavau || 3-68-38

Even those two, Rama and Lakshmana, on performing water oblations in respect of that best bird Jataayu, and on assertively giving thought to the information given by Jataayu, they like the chiefs of gods, namely Vishnu and Indra, went to southerly woods when their mind is set to search for Seetha. [3-68-38]

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye aranya kaande asta sastitamah sargah

Thus, this is the 68th 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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