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Chapter 32: Sita Wails at the Sight of Rama’s Head

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Sita Wails at the Sight of Rama’s Head

Summary

Seetha was shocked, fell unconscious at the sight of Rama’s head and bow. She regained consciousness and asked Ravana to kill her also, so that she would join her husband in heaven. Meanwhile, Ravana is abruptly called away by an emissary and after consultation with his ministers, prepares his army for action against the forces of Rama.

Chapter [Sarga] 32 in Detail

saa siitaa tacchiro dristvaa tac ca kaarmukam uttamam | |

sugriiva pratisamsargam aakhyaatam ca hanuumataa || 6-32-1

nayane mukha varnam ca bhartus tat sadrisham mukham |

keshaan kesha anta desham ca tam ca cuudaa manim shubham || 6-32-2

etaih sarvair abhijnaanair abhijnaaya suduhkhitaa |

vijagarhe atha kaikeyiim kroshantii kurarii yathaa || 6-32-3

Seetha saw the illusory head and bow. She heard Ravana narrating about Rama’s friendly relationship with Sugreeva, as earlier apprised by Hanuman. Recognizing that head as that of Rama, with a proof resembling her husband’s eyes, facial complexion, hair, expanse of his forehead and the beautiful jewel worn on the top of his head, she was very much afflicted with sorrow, cried like an osprey and abused Kaikeyi who was the originator of the present calamity (as follows):

sakaamaa bhava kaikeyi hato ayam kula nandanah |

kulam utsaaditam sarvam tvayaa kalaha shiilayaa || 6-32-4

Kaikeyi! Be a fulfiller of your craving! This Rama, causing a joy to the family, has been slain. The entire race has been destroyed by a woman of squabbling nature.

aaryena kim nu kaikeyyaah kritam raamena vipriyam |

yanmayaa ciira vasanas tayaa prasthaapito vanam || 6-32-5

"You gave clothes made of bark to the venerable Rama and sent him on exile to the forest along with me. What harm has he done to you?"

evam uktvaa tu vaidehii vepamaanaa tapasvinii |

jagaama jagatiim baalaa chinnaa tu kadalii yathaa || 6-32-6

Thus speaking, Seetha the miserable girl was trembling and fell on the ground like a plantain tree that was cut off. Thus speaking, Seetha the miserable girl was trembling and fell on the ground like a plantain tree that was cut off.

saa muhuurtaat samaashvasya pratilabhya ca cetanaam |

tat shirah samupaaghraaya vilalaapa aayata iiksanaa || 6-32-7

The wide eyed Seetha thereafter was consoled in a moment, regained consciousness, approached near that illusory head and lamented as follows:

haa hataa asmi mahaa baaho viira vratam anuvrataa |

imaam te pashcima avasthaam gataa asmi vidhavaa kritaa || 6-32-8

"O, the long armed Rama! The pursuer of a strong will! Alas, you have been killed! I have become a witness to your last fate. I have been made a widow.”

prathamam maranam naaryaa bhartur vaigunyam ucyate |

suvrittah saadhu vrittaayaah samvrittas tvam mama agratah || 6-32-9

 “It is said that the early death of a husband is the misfortune of a wife. You, having good conduct, have preceded me in death.”

duhkhaad duhkham prapannaayaa magnaayaah shoka saagare |

yo hi maam udyatas traatum so api tvam vinipaatitah || 6-32-10

 “Even you who were actually intent on protecting me, fallen in great affliction and immersed in an ocean of grief, have been killed by the enemies”

saa shvashruur mama kausalyaa tvayaa putrena raaghava |

vatsena iva yathaa dhenur vivatsaa vatsalaa kritaa || 6-32-11

 “O, Rama! My mother- in-law Kausalya who cherished you tenderly has been left without a son and resembles a cow that has lost its calf.”

udistam diirgham aayus te yair acintya paraakrama |

anritam vacanam tesaam alpa aayur asi raaghava || 6-32-12

 “O, Rama! It was mentioned even by astrologers that your life span is lengthy. O, Rama! Their words are wrong. You are short lived.”

atha vaa nashyati prajnaa praajnasya api satas tava |

pacaty enam tathaa kaalo bhuutaanaam prabhavo hyayam || 6-32-13

 “Otherwise, your prudence might have disappeared even though you were sagacious, for, Time the master of all beings has brought you to an end.”

adristam mrityum aapannah kasmaat tvam naya shaastravit |

vyasanaanaam upaayajnah kushalo hyasi varjane || 6-32-14

 “How is it possible that you, who knew the doctrine of political ethics, obtained an unforeseen death? You, who knew the science of expediency, were indeed skilled in warding off calamities”

tathaa tvam samparisvajya raudrayaa atinrishamsayaa |

kaala raatryaa mayaa aacchidya hritah kamala locana || 6-32-15

 “O, Rama, the lotus eyed! The night of destroying time which was very much cruel and terrible thus has encircled you, embezzled you and snatched you away from me.”

upashese mahaa baaho maam vihaaya tapasviniim |

priyaam iva shubhaam naariim prithiviim purusa risabha || 6-32-16

 “O, the mighty armed! O, the best of men! Leaving the miserable me, you lied down here, embracing the earth as your beloved”

arcitam satatam yatnaad gandha maalyair mayaa tava |

idam te mat priyam viira dhanuh kaancana bhuusitam || 6-32-17

 “O, valiant Rama! Here is your bow which was decorated with gold, dear to me and worshipped diligently by you with sandal paste and wreath of flowers.”

pitraa dasharathena tvam shvashurena mama anagha |

puurvaish ca pitribhih saardham nuunam svarge samaagatah || 6-32-18

 “O, the faultless Rama! Surely, you must have met in heaven your father and my father-in- law Dasaratha as well as all the multitude of manes.”

divi naksatra bhuutas tvam mahat karma kritam priyam |

punyam raaja risi vamsham tvam aatmanah samupeksase || 6-32-19

 “You have abandoned your own pious lineage of royal sages but whereas you performed a great act, which illuminated the heaven like a luminary.”

kim maan na preksase raajan kim maam na pratibhaasase |

baalaam baalena sampraaptaam bhaaryaam maam saha caariniim || 6-32-20

 “O, prince! Why don’t you look at me? Why don’t you reply me, a wife who lived with you together since the time of obtaining me as a girl by you as a boy.”

samshrutam grihnataa paanim carisyaami iti yat tvayaa |

smara tan mama kaakutstha naya maam api duhkhitaam || 6-32-21

 “O, Rama! Remember your solemn promise at the time of our marriage, saying ‘I shall have righteous conduct with you’ Take me also with you, wretched as I Am.”

kasmaan maam apahaaya tvam gato gatimataam vara |

asmaal lokaad amum lokam tyaktvaa maam iha duhkhitaam || 6-32-22

 “O, Rama the best of beings! Why have you gone away, quitting me like this? Leaving me, the miserable woman, why have you gone to the other world from this world?”

kalyaanair ucitam yat tat parisvaktam mayaa eva tu |

kravya adais tat shariiram te nuunam viparikrisyate || 6-32-23

 “That beautiful body, which was cuddled by me with divine essences, is now being dragged about by wild beasts.”

agnistoma aadibhir yajnair istavaan aapta daksinaih |

agni hotrena samskaaram kena tvam tu na lapsyase || 6-32-24

 “Why are you not securing the privilege of being cremated with a sacrificial fire, even though you have worshipped the Lord through sacrificial performances such as Agnistoma, duly furnished with abundant gifts?”

pravrajyaam upapannaanaam trayaanaam ekam aagatam |

paripraksyati kausalyaa laksmanam shoka laalasaa || 6-32-25

 “Kausalya absorbed as she was with grief can only see Lakshmana alone returned out of the three who attained exile.”

sa tasyaah paripricchantyaa vadham mitra balasya te |

tava ca aakhyaasyate nuunam nishaayaam raaksasair vadham || 6-32-26

 “He will narrate surely to her when enquired, about your slaughter as also the killing of the army of your alley, by demons at night.”

saa tvaam suptam hatam shrutvaa maam ca rakso griham gataam |

hridayena vidiirnena na bhavisyati raaghava || 6-32-27

 “O, Rama! Hearing that you were killed while sleeping and that I was kept in the house of ogres, she will be no more, as her heart will be broken.”

mama hetoranaaryaayaa avaghah paarthivaatmajah |

raamah saagamuttiirya viiryavaan gospade hatah || 6-32-28

"The strong and faultless prince Rama was killed in a small puddle, after crossing the ocean, for the cause of me, an unworthy woman.”

aham daasharathenodhaa mohaatsvakupaamsanii |

aaryaputrasya raamasya bhaaryaa mrityurajaayata || 6-32-29

 “I, the obloquy of my race, was wedded by Rama due to ignorance. Thus, a wife herself has eventually proved to be the cause for death of Rama, an honorable man.”

maanamaavyaam mayaa jaatim vaaritam daanamuttamam |

yaahamadyeha shochaami bhaaryaa sarvaatitherapi || 6-32-30

 “Even though I was a wife of Rama who showed hospitality to all the guests, it is I, that very person, who is weeping here and now, because without doubt, in a previous existence, an excellent gift was refused by me (to an eligible person).”

saadhu paataya maam ksipram raamasya upari raavanah |

samaanaya patim patnyaa kuru kalyaanam uttamam || 6-32-31

"Unite the wife with the husband and without delay, arrange to kill me right at the head of Rama. Thus, you will perform an admirable and auspicious act."

shirasaa me shirash ca asya kaayam kaayena yojaya |

raavana anugamisyaami gatim bhartur mahaatmanah || 6-32-32

 “O, Ravana! Join my head with his head and my body with his body. I shall go along the path of my magnanimous Lord.”

iti saa duhkha samtaptaa vilalaapa aayata iiksanaa |

bhartuh shiro dhanus tatra samiiksya janaka aatmajaa || 6-32-33

The wide-eyed Sita, seeing her husband’s head and bow there again and again, was tormented with grief and lamented as aforesaid.

evam laalapyamaanaayaam siitaayaam tatra raaksasah |

abhicakraama bhartaaram aniikasthah krta anjalih || 6-32-34

While Seetha was lamenting thus, a demon who was a royal guard approached his Lord there with his joined palms in salutation (and cried as follows):

vijayasva aarya putra iti so abhivaadya prasaadya ca |

nyavedayad anupraaptam prahastam vaahinii patim || 6-32-35

 “May you be victorious, O noble Lord!” he respectfully announced thus, thereby winning his pleasure and informed that Prahasta the army chief had come.

amaatyaih sa hitah sarvaih prahastastvaamupasthitah |

tena darshanakaamena aham prasthaapitah prabho || 6-32-36

 “O, Lord! Prahasta has come with all ministers. He has sent me, eager as he is, to see you.”

maanamasti mahaaraa ja raajabhaavaat kshamaanvita |

kimcid aatyayikam kaaryam tesaam tvam darshanam kuru || 6-32-37

 “O, king, endowed with patience! There is a little urgent work by way of king’s duty. Please accord them your audience now.”

etat shrutvaa dashagriivo raaksasa prativeditam |

ashoka vanikaam tyaktvaa mantrinaam darshanam yayau || 6-32-38

Hearing the aforesaid communication of the demon, Ravana left the garden of Ashoka and bestowed audience to his ministers.

sa tu sarvam samarthya eva mantribhih krtyam aatmanah |

sabhaam pravishya vidadhe viditvaa raama vikramam || 6-32-39

He deliberated with his ministers as to what action in its entirety to be pursued and entered the council-chamber and issued his commands in accordance with the knowledge he possessed of Rama’s forces.

antardhaanam tu tat shiirsam tac ca kaarmukam uttamam |

jagaama raavanasya eva niryaana samanantaram || 6-32-40

Soon after the departure of Ravana, the illusory head and bow had vanished.

raaksasa indras tu taih saardham mantribhir bhiima vikramaih |

samarthayaam aasa tadaa raama kaarya vinishcayam || 6-32-41

Then, Ravana the king of demons in consultation with his highly powerful ministers, decided on the measures he would adopt against Rama.

aviduura sthitaan sarvaan bala adhyaksaan hita esinah |

abraviit kaala sadrsho raavano raaksasa adhipah || 6-32-42

Ravana the king of demons, resembling Yama the god of death, addressed all the generals standing nearby, devoted to his interests as follows:

shiighram bherii ninaadena sphuta kona aahatena me |

samaanayadhvam sainyaani vaktavyam ca na kaaranam || 6-32-43

 “By a sound of a drum beaten audibly with a drum stick, immediately summon all my forces. Do not tell them the reason for which I am calling.”

tatas tathaa iti pratigrihya tad vaco |

stadaiva duutaah sahasaa mahaadbalam |

samaanayamsh caiva samaagatam ca te |

nyavedayan bhartari yuddha kaanksini || 6-32-44

Then, the messengers answered, “So be it” obedient as they were to his words and instantly gathered a huge army together and informed their lord longing for fight, that they had since assembled the army.

ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye yuddhakaande dvtrimshah sargah

Thus completes 32nd Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate

References

K. M. K. Murthy. (2002). Yuddha Kanda - Book Of War.

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

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

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