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Chapter 28: Sita Attempts Suicide

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Sita Attempts Suicide

Summary

Seetha recollects the time limit of two months given by Ravana and her vulnerability of being killed by him. After lamenting for a while, she tries to strangle herself to death with the braid of her hair. At that moment, a propitious omen never seen before appears on her person.

Chapter [Sarga] 28 in Detail

saa raaksasendrasya vacho nishamya |

tadraavanasyaapriyamapriyaartaa |

siitaa vitatraasa yathaa vanaante |

simhaabhipannaa gajaraajakanyaa || 5-28-1

That Seetha, hearing those unpleasant words of Ravana, tormented by grief, was frightened like a tiny female-elephant overpowered by a lion in the middle of a forest.

saa raaksasiimadhyagataa cha bhiiru |

rvaagbhirbhrisham raavanatarjitaa cha |

kaantaaramadhye vijane visristaa |

baaleva kanyaa vilalaapa siitaa || 5-28-2

That fearful Seetha, who was situated in the middle of female-demons and also threatened by Ravana with his words galore, lamented (as follows) like a young virgin who was left lonely in the midst of a forest.

satyam batedam pravadanti loke |

naakaalamrityurbhavatiiti santah |

yatraahamevam paribhartsyamaanaa |

jiivaami diinaa ksanamapyapunyaa || 5-28-3

 “Truly the saints affirm that untimely death does not come in the world, as I being impure am surviving even for an instant, though being threatened in this way.”

sukhaadvihiinam bahuduhkhapuurna |

midam tu nuunam hridayam sthiram me |

vishiiryate yanna sahasradhaadya |

vajraahatam shringamivaachalasya || 5-28-4

 “Though devoid of happiness and frequently full of sorrow, my heart must be hard indeed, in that it does not break into a thousand pieces today like a mountain-top struck by lightning.”

vaivaasti doso mama nuunamatra |

vadhyaahamasyaapriyadarshanasya |

bhaavam na chaasyaahamanupradaatu |

malam dvijo mantramivaadvijaaya || 5-28-5

 “There is no fault of mine in this matter. I have become killable at the hands of this demon of disagreeable perception. I am not able to give him my affection any more than a member of the twice-born classes would offer a mystical verse to one not belonging to the twice-born classes."

nuunam mamaangaanyachiraadanaaryah |

shastraih shitai shchhetsyati raaksasendrah |

tasminnanaagachchhati lokanaathe |

garbhasthajantoriva shalyakrintah || 5-28-6

 “If Rama the Ruler of the world does not come here, the evil Ravana, the king of Demons will cut off my limbs with his sharpened weapons, even as a surgeon would cut the limbs of a lifeless fetus.”

duhkham batedam mama duhkhitaayaa |

maasau chiraayaadhigamisyato dvau |

baddhasya vadhyasya tathaa nishaante |

raajaaparaadhaadiva taskarasya || 5-28-7

 “To me lamenting, two months will go up to a long time, as at the end of a night a thief imprisoned and to be capitally punished under the detention orders of a king. Alas! This is painful."

haa raama haa laksmana haa sumitre |

haa raamamaatah saha me jananyaa |

esaa vipadyaamyahamalpabhaagyaa |

mahaarnave nauriva muudhavaataa || 5-28-8

 “O Rama, O Lakshmana, O Sumitra, O Kausalya! O mother! I, of a scanty fortune, am going to be destroyed, like a ship driven out of its course by a strong wind in a mighty ocean.”

tarasvinau dhaarayataa mrigasya |

sattvena ruupam manujendraputrau |

nuunam vishastau mama kaaranaattau |

simharsabhau dvaaviva vaidyutena || 5-28-9

 “In the disguise of a deer, those two energetic sons of Dasaratha were surely killed for my sake, as two excellent lions killed by a flashing thunderbolt.”

nuunam sa kaalo mrigaruupadhaarii |

maamalpabhaagyaam lulubhe tadaaniim |

yatraaryaputram visasarja muudhaa |

raamaanujam laksmanapuurvajam cha || 5-28-10

 “Certainly that Time-spirit, assuming the guise of a deer, allured me, a woman of poor fortune at that time and to whom I, a stupid woman, sent forth (far away) Lakshmana and the noble prince Rama the elder brother of Lakshmana.”

haa raama satyavrata diirghabaaho |

haa puurnachandrapratimaanavaktra |

haa jiivalokasya hitah priyashcha |

vadhyaam na maam vetsi hi raaksasaanaam || 5-28-11

 “O Rama, the strictly truthful man and the long-armed, O the man whose face resembles the full-moon! You, who are well-disposed of the world of living beings, do not indeed know me to have been sentenced to death by the demons.”

ananyadaivatvamiyam ksamaa cha |

bhuumau cha shayyaa niyamashcha dharme |

pativrataatvam viphalam mamedam |

kritam kritaghnesviva maanusaanaam || 5-28-12

 “My not having a deity (other than my husband), this patience, my reposing on the floor, my restriction in righteousness, my devotion to the husband – all this has become a waste, like a good act done by men to ungrateful men becoming waste”.

mogho hi dharmashcharito mayaayam |

tathaikapatniitvamidam nirartham |

yaa tvaam na pashyaami krishaa vivarnaa |

hiinaa tvayaa samgamane niraashaa || 5-28-13

 “For me who is not seeing you, who is bereft of you, who is not hopeful of coming into contact with you, who is emaciated and pale in complexion this righteous act performed by me has indeed become a waste. Likewise, this state of my being only one wife to you has become useless.”

piturnidesham niyamena kritvaa vanaannivrittashcharitavratashcha |

striibhistu manye vipuleksanaabhistvam ramsyase viitabhayah kritaarthah || 5-28-14

 “Having fulfilled your father’s command as per the order of his words and observed your vow, you return from the forest fearlessly and having accomplished your purpose, I think you will enjoy carnally with large-eyed women.”

aham tu raama tvayi jaatakaamaa chiram vinaashaaya nibaddhabhaavaa |

mogham charitvaatha tapo vratajncha tyaksyaami dhigjiivitamalpabhaagyaam || 5-28-15

 “O Rama! Having performed austerity and vow in vain, I for myself who has fallen in love with you and in whose was confined an affection for you for a long time, for my own destruction, I can lose my life. Woe to me of my little fortune!”

saa jiivitam ksipramaham tyajeyam |

visena shastrena shitena vaapi |

visasya daataa na hi me.asti kashchi |

chchhastrasya vaa veshmani raaksasasya || 5-28-16

 “I as such will abandon quickly my life by poison or by a sharp weapon. To me, none is there, who is a giver either of a poison or of a sharp weapon in the house of Ravana.”

itiiva devii bahudhaa vilapya |

sarvaatmanaa raamamanusmarantii |

pravepamaanaa parishuskavaktraa |

nagottamam puspitamaasasaada || 5-28-17

Thus lamenting in several ways, Seetha was recollecting Rama in all spirits and trembling with and emaciated face, approached that excellent tree in bloom.

saa shokataptaa bahudhaa vichintya |

siitaatha venyudgrathanam grihiitvaa |

udbhudhya venyudgrathanena shriighra |

maham gamisyaami yamasya muulam || 5-28-18

Seetha, who was tormented with grief, thus thinking in various ways and thereafter holding her braid of hair looking like a hanging rope (now thought within herself) “I shall go to the presence of Yama the God of Death by tying my neck quickly with my braid of hair looking like a hanging rope"

upasthitaa saa mridusarvagaatrii |

shaakhaam grihiitvaatha nagasya tasya |

tasyaastu raamam pravichintayantyaa |

raamaanujam svam cha kulam shubhaangyaah || 5-28-19

shokaanimittaani tathaa bahuuni |

dhairyaarjitaani pravaraani loke |

praadurnimittaani tadaa babhuuvuh |

puraapi siddhaanyupalaksitaani || 5-28-20

Thereafter Seetha with all her soft limbs stood seizing a branch of that tree. To her having handsome limbs, who was thinking of Rama, Lakshmana and her own race, then appeared many omens, which were not having adequate occasion for grief, which procured courage in the world, which were excellent and which were seen earlier also as thoroughly efficacious.

ityaarste shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye sundarakaande astaavimshah sargah

Thus completes 28th Chapter of Sundara Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate

References

Durga, Kishore Kopalle, and K. M. K. Murthy. (2001). Sundara Kanda - Book Of Beauty.

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

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

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