Aranya Kandam

Ramayanam - Aranya Kandam
By Sage Valmiki
Translated by P. R. Ramachander

Section: III
Aranya Kandam [Aranya Section]
[This book starts with the reaching of Rama to Dandakaranya (literally punishing forests) and ends with the abduction of Sita by Ravana and killing of Kabandha who advises Rama to meet Sabari and later Sugreeva.]

Index
1. Rama Enters Dandakaranya
2. Rama Meets Viradha
3. Fight with Viradha
4. Viradha is Killed
5. Rama Meets Sage Sarabhanga
6. Sages Meet Rama
7. Rama Meets Sage Sutheeshna
8. Rama Talks to Sage Sutheeshna
9. Sita Advises Rama
10. Rama Replies to Sita
11. Rama's Life in Dandakaranya
12. Agasthya Gives Vishnu's Bow to Rama
13. Agasthya Directs Rama to Panchavati
14. Rama Meets Jatayu
15. Lakshmana Builds Hermitage in Panchavati
16. Winter Description
17. Soorpankha Meets Rama
18. Lakshmana Disfigures Soorpanakha
19. Khara sends Soldiers to Capture Rama
20. Rama Kills Khara's Soldiers
21. Soorphanaka Berates Khara
22. Khara Goes to War Against Rama
23. Khara's March
24. Rama's Preparation for War Against Khara
25. Rama and Khara's Army War
26. Rama Kills Dhooshana
27. Rama Kills Trisiras
28. Rama's Fight with Khara
29. Rama's Fight with Khara Continues
30. Khara's Death
31. Ravana is informed about Khara's Death
32. Soorpanakha Meets Ravana
33. Soorpanakha's Complaint to Ravana
34. Soorpanakha's Description of Rama and Sita
35. Ravana at Mareecha's Hermitage
36. Ravana Requests for Mareecha's Assistance
37. Mareecha tries to Dissuade Ravana
38. Mareecha's Narration: Interaction with Rama
39. Mareecha's Narration: Encounter with Rama
40. Ravana Threatens Mareecha
41. Ravana's Proposal to Mareecha
42. Sita Sees Golden Deer
43. Sita's Request for Deer
44. Mareecha is Killed
45. Lakshmana in Search of Rama
46. Ravana as Mendicant
47. Ravana Reveals Identity
48. Ravana Introduces Himself
49. Ravana Carries Sita
50. Jatayu Advises Ravana
51. Jatayu and Ravana Fight
52. Ravana Abducts Sita
53. Sita Reasons with Ravana
54. Ravana Reaches Lanka with Sita
55. Ravana's Attempt to Convince Sita
56. Ravana's Threat to Sita
57. Rama Returns to Janasthana
58. Rama Finds Hermitage Empty
59. Lakshmana Reports to Rama
60. Rama Wails for Sita
61. Initial Search for Sita
62. Rama in Sorrow
63. Rama is Upset
64. Rama Finds Traces of Attack on Sita
65. Lakshmana's Advice to Rama
66. Lakshmana Consoles Rama
67. Rama and Jatayu
68. Jatayu's Death
69. Rama Meets Ayomukhi
70. Kabandha's Arms
71. Kabandha's Story
72. Kabandha's Request to Rama
73. Kabandha's Guidance
74. Rama Meets Sage Sabari
75. Rama Reaches Pampa

1. Rama Enters Dandakaranya

[Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana enters the Dandaka forest. The poet then describes the forest as the house of several sages. Those sages receive Rama, Lakshmana and Sita hospitably and seek their protection.]

That Rama steeped in the knowledge of himself and one who cannot be defeated entered the great Dandakaranya and saw several hermitages of saints. 1.1

That place with several cloths made of grass was filled with the aura of Vedic wealth and was like the disc of the sun, difficult to see by the naked eye. 1.2

That place which gave protection to all beings had courtyards filled with many deer and surrounded by flocking birds and was kept very clean. 1.3

Daily being worshipped by dancing groups of celestial maidens, with broad fire places, vessels, hides grass, sticks meant for sacrifice, pots filled with water and fruits and roots for the Yagna that place shined and it was also blessed with huge shining trees. 1.4-1.5

That place was sanctified by auspicious offerings in the fire, filled up with the sound of chanting of Vedas by Brahmins, was with scattered flowers and lotus ponds filled with lotus flowers and surrounded by self-restrained old and great sages living on fruits and roots and dressed in bark garments as well as deer skin." 1.6-1.7

Those great sages who were taking food according to rules were shining with auspiciousness and their hermitages were shining like the abode of Brahma and filled with sound of chanting of Vedas. 1.8

It was shining with venerable Brahmins who were scholars of Vedas and seeing those clusters of hermitages, Rama, untied his bow and went inside with great luster. 1.9

Those sages who had divine knowledge after seeing Rama and Sita were well pleased and went to receive them. 1.10

Seeing that famous follower of Dharma shining like a moon along with Lakshmana and Sita, those saints chanting auspicious greetings went forward to receive them. 1.11-1.12
 
Those people, who lived in the forest, saw the very pretty Rama with auspicious features and pretty form with great awe. 1.13

Without battling their eye lashes and with great wonder those people living in the forest saw Rama, Lakshmana and Sita. 1.14

Those great people who were interested in the welfare of all beings, took the guests inside a leaf thatched hut and made them sit comfortably. 1.15

Those great people who can be compared to fire and who were followers of Dharma then extended hospitality to Rama and offered him water. 1.16

Those followers of Dharma after offering fruits, roots and flowers from the hermitage to the great Rama, with salutations told him. 1.17

"Sir, you are very famous as the protector of Dharma, and offer protection to those who seek it from you. You are also fit to be worshipped, a gentleman and one who awards punishment." 1.18

"Oh Rama in this world the king is considered quarter of Indra and so he enjoys pleasures and is respected by people." 1.19

"As we are living in your kingdom, we should be protected by you, whether we stay in the city or in the forest as you are the lord and king of the people." 1.20

"Oh king, we have won over our anger, have control our senses, unarmed and are people whose wealth is their penance and we are like your children and so you should protect us always." 1.21

After telling this, they offered to Rama along with Lakshmana with reverence fruits, roots as well as flowers from the forest, as well as different eatables. 1.22

Like that those sages and Sidhas resembling fire and great followers of Dharma and law pleased the god like Rama in a fitting manner. 1.23

This is the end of First Sarga of Aranya Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

2. Rama Meets Viradha

[Viradha a giant with horrifying form appears before Rama and takes hold of Sita and keeps her on his lap. Rama is slightly scared as well as horrified. Lakshmana tells Rama that he would kill Viradha.]

That Rama who was greatly satisfied, immediately after sun rise took leave of those saints, entered the forest. 2.1

That Rama saw who was followed by Lakshmana saw that the forest was crowded with many types of animals and occupied by boars and tigers. Many of the trees, climbers and bushes had been cleared there and it was difficult to find water bodies and it was filled with noise of birds and insects. 2.2-2.3

While Sita and Rama were wandering in that place populated by horrible beasts they saw a man eater who looked like the tip of the mountain. 2.4

That funny person was having huge eyes, broad mouth, greatly large belly and had the looks of a disfigured and disgusting person and had dreadful appearance. 2.5

Wearing a skin of a tiger, drenched with marrow, sprinkled with blood, with wide mouth open that being was frightening all beings like the god of death. 2.6

He was holding by its teeth three lions, four tigers, two wolves. ten deer and head of an elephant and was wet with the marrow of those animals and pierced with a iron spear the head of a great elephant and produced very great sound. 2.7

Seeing Rama, Lakshmana and Sita the princess of Mithila, he ran towards them with great anger as if it is the God of death. 2.8

Creating a very horrible sound and also shaking the earth, he caught hold of Sita and kept her on its lap and then said. 2.9

"Both of you with matted hair and dressed in bark along with your wife have entered this Dandakaranya wearing the bow and arrows and your life is going to end now." 2.10

"How is it that though you are saints, you are living with your wife? You are youngsters not following Dharma and ones insulting the saints." 2.11

"I am Viradha by name and wander well-armed in this impassable forests always eating the flesh of sages." 2.12

"This very blessed lady would become my wife and I would drink the blood of both of you in the battle." 2.13

Hearing the bad and very proud words of that bad soul Viradha, the daughter of Janaka became bewildered out of fear. 2.14

Sita due to great fear was shaking like a banana plant in a strong wind and Rama, seeing the pure one in the hold of Viradha, with a parched throat, told Lakshmana. 2.15-2.16

"Oh gentle one, see how the famous daughter of king Janaka who is my wife observing all virtues and who is brought up with all love, has been caught by Viradha" 2.17

"Oh Lakshmana, what Kaikeyi desired for us through her boon, has already has happened to us today." 2.18

"That far sighted lady not being contented with asking the kingdom for her son, sent me who is loved by all beings to the forest and the desire of my middle mother has now been fulfilled." 2.19-2.20

"The touching of Sita by others is the greater sorrow to me than my father's death or the stealing of my kingdom." 2.21

While the son of Kakustha clan spoke like this and was shedding tears, Lakshmana angry like a elephant which has been tied, said. 2.22

"Oh son of Kakustha clan, Oh Lord of all beings, you are like Indra and when I am in your service why are becoming sad?" 2.23

"I who am very angry is going to kill this Rakshasa by an arrow and his blood would be drunk by this earth." 2.24

"I will release the anger that I have on Bharatha who yearned for the kingdom on this Viradha and it will hit him like the Vajrayudha of Indra." 2.25

"By the speed generated by the strength of my arms, the arrow that I sent would fall with high speed on his body and he will die and body after turning would fall on the earth. 2.26

This is the end of Second Sarga of Aranya Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

3. Fight with Viradha

[Viradha tells Rama that he cannot be harmed by any weapon due to the boon of Brahma. Though Rama and Lakshmana fight with him using arrows they are not able to harm him. Viradha caught hold of Rama and Lakshmana and carries them inside the forest.]

Afterwards Viradha completely filling up the forest asked, "Please tell me who you, young people, are and where are you going?" 3.1

Then That Viradha echoing his voice in the forest said, "I am asking both of you, young men? Why are you not speaking? Where are you going?" 3.2

Then the greatly lustrous one told that Rakshasa with a burning face, "we belong to the Ikshuvaku clan." 3.3

"We are the people observing the Dharma of Kshatriyas and have now come to the forest and we wish to know about you and to know why you are wandering in the Dandaka forest?" 3.4

To Rama who was shining due to truth that Viradha said, "Great, Oh king, I would tell and understand that well, Oh Raghava." 3.5

"I am the son of Java and my mother is Sathahrudha and I am called Viradha by all the Rakshasas on earth." 3.6

"By pleasing Lord Brahma by great penance I got a boon that I cannot be killed or cut or slit by any weapon." 3.7

"Leave this lady here and without any requirements go away from here with speed, then both your lives would not be taken." 3.8

Rama replied with a blood shot eyes due to anger to that Rakshasa Viradha with an ugly body and who had evil intentions. 3.9

"Fie upon you, oh knave, you are in the quest of death due to evil acts and surely you would get it in this fight. Stay there, as your life would not be spared." 3.10

Then after getting ready his bow, Rama shot at him very sharp arrows with great speed aiming properly at the Rakshasa," 3.11

From that bow seven arrows of with a sting which were ornamented in gold and which had very great speed were released and they had speed of Garuda and the wind God. Those arrows, which were equal to hell along with feathers of peacock, pierced the body of Viradha but fell on the ground coated with blood. 3.12- 3.13

When the arrows stuck that Rakshasa, he kept Sita down, took a spear and rushed towards Rama and Lakshmana.. 3.14

Then that Rakshasa making a very loud horrible sound, taking a spear which was similar to the flag of Indra, appeared with his mouth open like the God of death. 3.15

And these two brothers showered arrows with great luster on the Rakshasa called Viradha who looked like a god of death who destroys other beings. 3.16

Then that Rakshasa laughed loudly and yawned and as he was yawning all those arrows which were coming swiftly at him fell down. 3.17

That Rakshasa due to the boon that he has obtained just by mere touch regulated the five airs of his body, took the spear and ran after Rama and Lakshmana. 3.18

That spear which was like the Vajrayudha shined in the sky was cut by use of two arrows by Rama who was one who scared his enemies. 3.19

That spear which was broken by Rama's arrow fell on the ground like mount Meru being broken in to two pieces by Vajrayudha. 3.20

Then both of them lifted their sword which looked like a black serpent and at once fell upon him and struck with that weapon. 3.21

Being struck that angry Rakshasa intended to set out after catching those tiger among men who cannot be shaken. 3.22

Having understood his intention Rama told Lakshmana "Let him carry us through this path and there is no need to stop him." 3.23

"Oh son of Sumithra, let the Rakshasa carry us, for the direction by the nocturnal one is the proper direction." 3.24

Puffed up with great pride due to his great strength that one who moves at night held them on his shoulders and started moving. 3.25

Carrying them on his shoulders that Viradha who moves in darkness with loud screaming proceeded to the forest. 3.26

He entered the forest which was like a great cloud and which was filled with trees of various shapes and also filled various type of wonderful birds, foxes and various wild animals. 3.27

This is the end of Third Sarga of Aranya Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

4. Viradha is Killed

[Rama and Lakshmana break the hands of Viradha. He falls down. Since weapons are not able to kill him, they prepare to bury him. He tells them that he is Dhumburu cursed by Khubera and would regain his form if killed by Rama. He tells them to go to the hermitage of Sarabhanga and dies. Rama and Lakshmana bury him.]

Sita seeing that both Rama and Lakshmana were being carried away on the great shoulders of the Rakshasa shouted at the top of her voice. 4.1

"The truthful and pure Rama who is the son of Dasaratha and who is of great character, along with Lakshmana is being taken away by a dreadful Rakshasa" said Sita. 4.2

"I would be eaten away by the bears, tigers and panthers here and so Rakshasa I am saluting you to take me away and leave those sons of Kakustha clan. 4.3

When Rama and Lakshmana heard those words of Vaidehi they started speedily actions to kill that wicked person. 4.4

With great anger the son of Sumithra broke one of his shoulders and Rama broke the right shoulder quickly. 4.5

That confused Rakshasa who was like a dark cloud and who was without both shoulders fell on the ground like a mountain felled by the Vajrayudha." 4.6

They lifted the Rakshasa holding his knees, fists and feet and dropped him down again and again and pounded him on the ground. 4.7

Though stuck and wounded by many arrows, cut by the swords and repeatedly pounded, that Rakshasa was not dead. 4.8

That Gentle Rama who protects from fear those who are afraid, after observing that the mountain like Rakshasa could not be killed told Lakshmana. 4.9

"Oh tiger among men, this Rakshasa due to the boons obtained by penance cannot be killed by any weapon and so let us bury him." 4.10

"Oh Lakshmana, this elephant like Rakshasa is angry and reflects the glow of anger in him; to bury him, dig a big pit." 4.11

After telling that a big pit may be dug that valorous Rama stood there firmly keeping his leg on the neck of Viradha. 4.12

Hearing Rama say these words that Viradha in a gentle manner told the son of the Kakustha clan who was tiger among men. 4.13

"Oh tiger among men, I have been killed by your strength which is equal to that of Indra and without realizing that being disillusioned I spoke those words earlier. 4.14
 
"I now know you Rama as the good son of Kausalya and Sita as a great lady and Lakshmana as a great man." 4.15

"I was Thumburu, a celestial Gandharwa singer who was cursed by Khubera and took this ugly repulsive form." 4.16

When I appeased him, that great lord said, "When you would be killed in war by Rama, the son of Dasaratha, you would get back your original form." 4.17

"This curse was given to me by the king Khubera when I did not present for his service as I was involved in love with Rambha." 4.18

"Oh Rama who troubles his enemies, by your grace, I have got rid of my curse and I am going to my own world wishing you safety and luck." 4.19

"Oh lad, half a Yojana [one mile] distance from here lives a famous saint Sarabhanga who has luster like the sun and you go and meet him speedily and he would bestow fame on you." 4.20-4.21

"You may go with safety after burying me in this pit for burying a Rakshasa is eternal Dharma and would take them to heaven." 4.22

That Viradha, who was hurt by the arrows, after speaking like this to the son of the Kakustha clan, left the body and reached the heaven. 4.23

When Rama heard these words, he ordered Lakshmana to dig a very wide pit to bury that Rakshasa of dreadful acts who was like an elephant and that valorous one stood there with his feet on the neck of that Rakshasa called Viradha. 4.24-4.25

Then Lakshmana after fetching a very big spade and dug a big pit by the side of that great Rakshasa called Viradha. 4.26

Then Rama took his feet and released the pressure on the neck of Viradha and he with pointed ears fell in to the pit with roaring terrible sound. 4.27

Both those valorous Rama and Lakshmana who were stable in war and brave, moved together swiftly and with great strength lifted the Rakshasa who was roaring and dropped him in the pit. 4.28

Seeing that the big Asura could not be killed by arrows or any other weapons, those tiger among men and who were intelligent and efficient undertook to kill Viradha in that pit. 4.29

Viradha himself wanted to die at the hands of Rama in a true manner with force and he himself revealed to those people who were wandering in the forest that he could not be killed by any weapons. 4.30

When Rama heard those words of the Rakshasa, he intended to kill him by placing him in a pit and when they were placing him in the pit he shouted in a loud voice which echoed in the forest. 4.31

Rama and Lakshmana appeared to be joyous when placing that Viradha in a pit, since that would end the fear in that forest and then the covered the Rakshasa with boulders and mud. 4.32

After killing that Rakshasa, Rama and Lakshmana who were endowed with golden bows took care of Sita and then both of them moved in the forest resembling the sun and moon in the sky. 4.33

This is the end of Fourth Sarga of Aranya Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

5. Rama Meets Sage Sarabhanga

[When Rama approaches hermitage of Sarabhanga, he sees Indra talking to him but Indra leaves without meeting Rama. Sarabhanga tells Rama that Indra offered to take him to the world of Brahma but he refused as he wanted to meet Rama. He then advises Rama to go to the hermitage of Sutheeshna and then gives up his body.]

After killing that very strong Rakshasa Viradha in the forest, after embracing Sita and comforting her, that Valorous elder brother Rama told Lakshmana who had great luster. 5.1

"Since we are not inhabitants of the forest, life in this impassable forest is difficult and let us go quickly to meet Sarabhanga who is rich with penance." 5.2

When Raghava approached the hermitage of Sarabhanga, he could see a great wonder near that divine sage with a purified soul. 5.3-5.4

In the sky he saw Indra the lord of the three worlds, shining like the Sun and the fire, wearing similarly shining ornaments and dressed in spotlessly clean dress mounted on a chariot that was not touching the earth adored and worshipped by many great souls. 5.5-5.6

He saw that Chariot was standing in space and was yoked to horses of green colour, which was shining like a young sun, which was similar to dense white clouds and which was similar to the moon. 5.7-5.8

He saw the very pure Umbrella which was decorated by a multi colour garland along with fans with golden handles which were fanned by two deva women near the head of Indra. 5.9

That great Indra was being praised by Gandharwas, Sidhas, devas and very many great sages, all of them standing on the sky. 5.10

When Indra was seen to be talking with sage Sarabhanga, noticing Indra, Rama told to Lakshmana. 5.11

Rama seeing that Chariot showed it to Lakshmana "see that shining wonder, Oh Lakshmana which is the chariot travelling in the sky and shining like a Sun." 5.12-5.13

"Those horses which we are seeing are owned by Devendra, which we have heard travel in the sky and that is really wonderful." 5.14

"Oh tiger among men, Oh son of Sumithra around the chariot one hundred young men wearing ear studs are standing and each of them are holding a sword in their hands. All of them have very broad chest and they wear red coloured cloths and it is difficult to overpower them as they look like huge tigers. Each of them also wears chains which give out luster similar to fire and they all appear to be about twenty five years old." 5.15-5.17

"Seeing those men who are among the best, we can presume that they are devas, who do not seem to grow old at all." 5.18

"Oh Lakshmana, you stay here for a little time along with Vaidehi, and I would go there to find out clearly about who this shining person is." 5.19
Requesting the son of Sumithra to wait there, the son of Kakustha clan went towards the hermitage of Sarabhanga. 5.20

Then Indra, the husband of Sachi seeing the approaching Rama, went near the sage Sarabhanga and told to him privately as follows. 5.21

"Here comes Rama and I would not talk to him now as he would be eligible to talk to me only after he completes his mission. I am sure that in another short time he would accomplish his task and that task, which he would succeed, would be impossible for others to complete." 5.22-5.23

Then that Indra, after telling this to that sage and after honouring him, got in to the chariot yoked to the horses and went to the heaven. 5.24

Seeing that Indra was departing Rama went back and along with his companions went towards Sarabhanga who was worshipping the fire. 5.25

Rama, Lakshmana and Sita saluted the feet of that saint and responding to the instruction to sit, occupied a seat. 5.26

Then Rama asked about the visit of Indra with that sage Sarabhanga and he told about it completely to Rama. 5.27

"Oh Rama, Since I have done very great penance and attaining that which is very difficult to attain by others, he wanted to take me to the world of Brahma." 5.28

"Oh tiger among men, since I knew that you are very nearby, I did not want to go to the world of Brahma, without seeing you." 5.29

"Oh tiger among men, only after meeting you, who is a great by performance of Dharma, I wanted to go to heaven for being served by Devas." 5.30

"Oh tiger among men, I have conquered the auspicious heavens where the stay never diminishes and there are in the higher planes of Lord Brahma, and you may accept them from me." 5.31

"When told like this by the sage Sarabhanga, Rama, the tiger among men who is an expert in all Sasthras replied like this." 5.32

"Oh great sage, I would earn myself all the worlds myself. I need to a place for stay in the forest and so please guide me." 5.33

When the Raghava who is equal in strength to Indra told like this, the greatly learned Sarabhanga again told like this." 5.34

"Oh Rama, A soul of Dharma called Sutheeshna who is glorious and a follower of Dharma lives in this forest and you approach him he will guide you in this matter." 5.35

"You go and approach that sage Sutheeshna and he would show you a clean place to stay in this pretty forest and then you can stay there." 5.36

"Oh Rama, you travel in the opposite direction of Mandakini which carries flowers in boats and you would reach that place." 5.37

"Oh tiger among men, please for a moment see in this direction and see my body, for I am going to shed off this dilapidated body like a snake sheds its skin." 5.38

Then the great lustrous Sarabhanga entered the fire kindled by chanting of Manthras in the sticks of sacrificial fire." 5.39

Then that fire burnt the hair on his body as well as his head and his worn out skin as well as his flesh. 5.40

The great Sarabhanga rose from that fire with a youthful form and after emerging out, he looked splendid. 5.41

Then he went out of the world of priests who constantly kindled fire, great sages and after going beyond the world of devas went to the world of Brahma. 5.42

That great Brahmin who did blessed deeds in the world saw Lord Brahma and his people and Lord Brahma also saw that Brahmin and gladly welcomed him. 5.43

This is the end of Fifth Sarga of Aranya Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

6. Sages Meet Rama

[Many great sages of the forest meet Rama and tell him, how they are troubled and killed by Rakshasas. They request him to protect them. Rama promises to do that and goes in search of hermitage of Sutheeshna.]

When Sarabhanga reached heaven, many groups of sages came together and approached Rama who was having great luster and is the son of the Kakustha clan. 6.1

Vaikasanas, Valakhilyas, who washed their bodies frequently, Marichakas, Asmakutas, saints who eat leaves as food, saints who de husk grains with their teeth and eat them, saints who keep only the head above the water, saints who only use their limbs as bed, saints who do not lie down, saints who live out in the open, saints who take liquid food, saints who live only on air, saints who are seated on top of trees, saints who sleep on bare ground, those who observe penance of fast, saints who have restrained all emotions, saints who always wear wet cloths, sages who meditate always, sages who do penance surrounded by fire beneath the sun and many other saint met Rama in the hermitage of Sarabhanga along with Brahmins who were practicing steadfast yoga. 6.2-6.6

Those groups of sages who were experts in Dharma having reached there, met Rama, the greatest among practitioners of Dharma and told him. 6.7

"You are the very heroic one of earth belonging to the clan of Ikshuvakus and one of their important lords and similar to Indra among devas." 6.8

"You are well known in all the three worlds, for your valour, devotion to your father, steadfast adherence to truth and Dharma." 6.9

"We have come to you oh great one, who is an expert in Dharma as well as lover of Dharma and we are telling you about our need and we deserve your pardon for that." 6.10

"Oh lord, that king would not be doing an act as Dharma if he collects one sixth of the income from all but fails to protect them." 6.11

"He who loves all the people of his country more than his life and considers them equal to his children and protects all of them in a proper manner forever, would get fame for a very long time and attain the world of Brahma and would remain there and will be appreciated there also." 6.12-6.13

"Out of the benefits got by sages and saints living on roots and fruits by their observing the divine Dharma, one fourth of it would go to the king." 6.14

"Oh Rama, most of those who observe Vanaprastha stage of life are Brahmins and in spite of their having a ruler like you, they are tortured and killed like orphans." 6.15

"Come in to the forest and see for yourself the bodies of those sages who were meditating on God but were killed by the Rakshasas by the fierce Rakshasas," 6.16

"A war was waged between those who live on the Chithrakuta and those living near Pampa river which is near river Mandakini." 6.17

"We are not able to tolerate the greatly treacherous acts of those very horrible Rakshasas in the forest." 6.18

"So we have come seeking protection by you because you are the one capable of protecting us and since we are being killed by the Rakshasas, protect us from them." 6.19

"Oh valorous one, we cannot find any other person in the world who can protect us and so Oh prince protect us from all those Rakshasas." 6.20

Hearing this from the sages, that son of Kakustha clan who was an expert in Dharma told those sages like this. 6.21

"It is not fitting for you to entreat like this to me but as sages you should have ordered me as I am entering this forest for a personal purpose." 6.22

"For I have entered this forest as per the orders of my father and also to ward off, the evil acts of the Rakshasas against you all." 6.23

"Just be chance I came to this forest to fulfill your task and so my stay in the forest surely would lead to good results." 6.24

"I desire to kill those Rakshasas who trouble you sages in a war and oh sages who have earned the treasure of penance, you are going to see the valour of my brother and myself." 6.25

After promising protection to the sages rich in penance that man who was firm in Dharma along with his brother Lakshmana and those great ascetics started to meet Sutheeshna who deserves to be respected. 6.26

This is the end of Sixth Sarga of Aranya Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

7. Rama Meets Sage Sutheeshna

[Rama goes to the hermitage of Sutheeshna. The sage advised them to stay there itself as he was preparing to go to heaven.]

Rama the destroyer of enemies, along with Lakshmana and Sita as well as those sages went to the hermitage of Sutheeshna. 7.1

After going with difficulty for a long distance, after crossing many rivers with plenty of pure water, Rama saw a mountain which looked like a great cloud. 7.2

Then the sons of the Ikshuvaku clan along with Sita entered a forest dense with various trees. 7.3

Then they saw in that the harsh forest which was full of trees with lot of flowers and fruits a lonely hermitage where the bark dresses were hung for drying. 7.4

There they saw a sage of advanced penance Sutheeshna with dirty and soiled matted hair and as per his duty, Rama spoke to him. 7.5

"Oh God like sage, I am Rama and I have come to see you a great sage of valour, who is a follower of Dharma and who radiates truth and so please talk to me." 7.6

Then that sage seeing the courageous Rama, who was the best among those who follow Dharma, hugged him with his hands and told. 7.7

"Oh Rama, great one of Raghu clan who is observer of truth, welcome to you and with your coming this hermitage has a lord to protect it." 7.8

"Oh valorous one, Without going to heaven after leaving the earth, I am waiting for you who is with great fame, when I heard that you have left your kingdom and reached Chithrakuta." 7.9

"Oh son of Ikshuvaku clan, Indra who is the king of devas had come here and that great deva who is also the God of devas told me that I have won over all the worlds due to my blessed deeds." 7.10-7.11

"Those places which have been won by me are desirable even to the divine sages and you along with Sita and Lakshmana can move about in those places by my grace. 7.12

To that great sage who had done very great penance and who is the votary of truth, Rama who had great self-respect replied. 7.13

"Oh great sage, I would myself attain those great places and I desire you to direct me to a place of residence in the forest." 7.14

"You maintain welfare everywhere and are interested in the well-being of all people and you were introduced to me by the sage Sarabhanga of Gautama clan." 7.15

When Rama told like this, that great sage who was famous in all the three worlds spoke these sweet words of happiness coupled with greatness. 7.16

"Oh Rama, this place where many sages have moved in is a good place and you can move in to this hermitage blessed with fruits and roots." 7.17

"Oh greatly famous one, groups of various animals move about freely in to this hermitage tempting the inmates without any fear." 7.18

"There is no problem in this hermitage except the movement of wild animals and hearing those words Rama as well as Lakshmana without any fear lifted their bows and arrows and told these fearless words. 7.19

"Oh great saint, if groups of wild animals come here, we would kill all of them using these sharp edged arrows which are comparable to thunderbolts." 7.20

"Oh sage, you please get ready. Are there any other things more difficult than that? We feel that our stay here would not be long." 7.21

After having spoken that way Rama, seeing that the dusk has set in, Rama completed the worship of the dusk facing west and decided to stay there in that delightful hermitage of Sutheeshna along with Lakshmana and Sita. 7.22-7.23

After the dusk has passed and night has set in the sage Sutheeshna himself offered pure food to the great among men and also offered them great hospitality. 7.24

This is the end of Seventh Sarga of Aranya Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

8. Rama Talks to Sage Sutheeshna

[Rama wants to go to the hermitages of all other saints in Dandakaranya. Sutheeshna approves the idea and wants them to stay in his hermitage whenever they like. Rama takes leave of sage Sutheeshna.]

Rama and Lakshmana who were honourably treated by sage Sutheeshna, spent the night there and woke up in the morning. 8.1

Rama along with Sita got up at the usual time and touched the cold water with the fragrance of lotus flower. 8.2

Then at the proper time Vaidehi, Rama and Lakshmana worshipped the fire as well as devas according to rules in the hermitage of the sage and after seeing the sun without blemishes after it rose, approached Sutheeshna and spoke these gentle words. 8.3-8.4

"We had a good stay here, oh God like sage, being greatly treated by you and as the sages are hastening us up, we would like your permission to leave." 8.5

"We are hurrying up as we want to see all the hermitages of all the blessed saints who live in the Dandakaranya forest." 8.6

"We seek your permission to go along with these virtuous sages, who are self-controlled and as pure as fire." 8.7

"We wish to leave before the sun starts shining leading to intolerable heat, like one of improper lineage getting wealth in an improper way." Saying this, Rama, Lakshmana along with Sita touched the feet of the saint. 8.8-8.9

The sage lifted Rama and Lakshmana who bent and touched his feet, embraced them tightly and said the following. 8.10

"Oh Rama along with son of Sumithra and this Sita who is following you like your shadow go safely in this path." 8.11

"Oh Rama see the beautiful location of hermitages of the people living in Dandakaranya and oh valorous one, in them live sages who are steadfast in their penance." 8.12

"You will see pretty forests with roots and fruits in abundance, with plenty of flowers, with best collection of animals, with spots filed with peaceful birds and forest areas with full bloomed lotus flowers, with pure water sources, With pretty tanks and lakes filled with ducks, with waterfalls coming down from the mountain and filled with sound of peacocks." 8.13-8.15

"Oh dear child, you may go and Oh Lakshmana you may also go and after seeing all the other hermitages you may again come here." 8.16

After this was told that son of Kakustha clan along with Lakshmana, went round the sage with reverence and began to leave from there. 8.17
 
Then Sita gave those two brothers auspicious quivers, bows as well as arrows and also gave them pure swords. 8.18

That Rama and Lakshmana, after tying those auspicious quivers and after taking those arrows and bows which make thunderous twang started to go away from the hermitage. 8.19

Those two pretty sons of Raghu clan, blessed with auspiciousness and shining with their own luster, bearing the bow and arrows started along with Sita. 8.20

This is the end of Eighth Sarga of Aranya Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

9. Sita Advises Rama

[Sita feels that Rama should not get in to killing spree of Rakshasas without any enmity with them. She illustrates this with an instance of a great sage getting a sword from Indra and using it to kill others and then he goes to hell.]

Addressing the son of the Raghu clan who was going forth after taking permission from Sutheeshna, Vaidehi told these friendly words from her heart. 9.1

"Your great self will not attain Dharma if we are examining it minutely in this world by acting based on your desires." 9.2

"By taking recourse to one's desires three things are attained and these are telling untrue words which is very bad, desiring someone else's wife and getting angry without enmity." 9.3

"Since in the past you never told untrue words, it cannot be there in future and Oh Raghava, how can desiring some else's wife which destroys dharma be in you?" 9.4

"Oh king among men, that never was within your heart and never it will be there, Oh Rama, Oh prince as you are always interested in your wife." 9.5-9.6

"You are a follower of Dharma, a teller of truth, follower of your father's words and in you Dharma, truth and everything good is established." 9.7

"And oh great man, for the one who has won over his senses, it is possible for you to shoulder all this and oh graceful one, I know well, about how you control your senses." 9.8

"The third one is torturing others only due to your anger which is done without your realizing it and I think that you are having it now." 9.9

"Oh valorous one, you have given your word to those sages who live in Dandakaranya, that you would kill Rakshasas for protecting the sages." 9.10

"Because you have arrived here with your brother armed with bow and arrows, this forest has got the name punishing forest." 9.11

"Seeing that my well prepared mind is filled with anxiety, for thinking about bearing, I think that which is not good for you would happen." 9.12

"Oh valorous one, I do not like your going to the Dandaka forest and I will tell you the reason, please hear it." 9.13

"When you enter the forest armed with bow and arrow, along with your brother, would you not use those against those who travel in the forest." 9.14

"For the Kshatriyas, bow within their reach is like a fuel within reach of fire, for both increase the strength." 9.15

"Oh very strong one, long time back, there was a saint who was pure and truthful and that forest was occupied by birds and animals." 9.16

"Indra, the husband of Sachi came in the form of a soldier to the hermitage holding a great sword to create disturbance to the penance." 9.17

"He then gave that great sword to the hermitage for safe keeping, when the saint was sitting in penance." 9.18

'He who received that weapon, to protect the trust that was placed on him, moved about in the forest always keeping the sword with him." 9.19

"Wherever he goes, whether it is to collect fruits or roots, the saint who was interested in guarding it, did not go without the sword." 9.20

"That Saint rich in penance, slowly got in to the habit of carrying the weapon and he slowly got in to the habit of becoming angry losing his determination to do penance." 9.21

"And then with the constant company of the weapon, that sage started getting associated with acts which are not according to Dharma and went to hell." 9.22

"This is the story that happened due to the constant association with weapon showing association with weapon is like the fuel getting associated with fire." 9.23

"I am telling all this with love and respect and not reminding you or teaching you and request you not at any time hold your bow and kill the Rakshasas who are living in Dandaka without any enmity, for a hero does not like to kill anyone without an offence being committed." 9.24-9.25

"Those Kshatriyas and heroes who are habituated to stay in the forest, use their bow only to protect those who suffer." 9.26

"Where it the weapon? Where is the forest? Where is the principle of Kshatriyas? Where is penance? All these are inconsistent and so let us follow the laws of the land." 9.27

"By doing service to weapons, the mind gets maligned and you may follow the habit of Kshatriyas and go back to Ayodhya." 9.28

"The Love of my father in law and my mother in law will live forever, if without bothering about the kingdom, you live a life of a saint." 9.29

"Wealth shines because of Dharma, pleasure shines because of Dharma, due to Dharma we would get everything and the entire essence of earth is Dharma." 9.30

This is the end of Ninth Sarga of Aranya Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

10. Rama Replies to Sita

[Rama tells Sita that the sages of Dandakaranya have been constantly troubled by those Rakshasas, who prevent them from doing their penances and fire sacrifices. As per their request, he had promised them that he would kill or drive away those Rakshasas. Since truth is dearer to him than anything else, he cannot desist from that.]

Hearing those words of Vaidehi told because of her devotion to him, That Rama who was firm on following Dharma replied like this to Janaki. 10.1

"Oh Lady who knows Dharma, Oh daughter of Janaka, You have spoken friendly, pleasing and beneficial words which shows your great heritage." 10.2

"Oh divine lady, what shall I reply to those befitting words, which mentioned that when a Kshatriya takes the bow, the tears of misery ceases to flow." 10.3

"Oh Sita, Those suffering sages of Dandakaranya who are firm in their resolute penance have themselves approached me for protection." 10.4

"Living always in the forest and subsisting on tubers and fruits, they do not get pleasure due to being scared by the cruel acts of Rakshasas." 10.5

"The very large Rakshasas who eat human flesh, eat away the sages living in Dandakaranya and those great Brahmins have come to me asking to save them." 10.6

"After I heard the words that fell from their mouth, I consoled them by my words and told them, "Be gracious to me, this is greatly insulting to me as these should have been done by myself without your request." 10.7-10.8

"And then I asked those Brahmins in front of me, "what should I do?" and then all of them together spoke out to me." 10.9

"In Dandakaranya there are many Rakshasas who can assume any form that they want and they torture and trouble us, Rama and so protect us from that." 10.10

"Oh matchless one, they reach us when we are doing Homa and on full and new moon days and those flesh eating Rakshasas, who are impossible to resist trouble us." 10.11

"We who are sages who do penance, when troubled by those Rakshasas, were searching for protection and you are our only ultimate protector." 10.12

"Due to the power of the penance that we have done, we are indeed capable to kill those night farers but we do not want to waste, the power of penance that we have earned in a long time." 10.13

"There are many obstacles for doing our penance and observing penance also has become greatly difficult and so though we are being eaten by them, we do not curse them." 10.14

"Those sages of Dandakaranya who were being persecuted by the Rakshasas said, "since you are the lord of the jungle, along with your brother protect us." 10.15

"Oh, daughter of Janaka, hearing those words, I have given my word for complete protection of those sages of Dandakaranya." 10.16

"Having promised like this to the sages, it is not possible for me to change this course, as truth is dear to me, is it not?" 10.17

"Now I am prepared to lose my life and to forfeit even Lakshmana and you, rather than going back from the promise that I gave to those Brahmins." 10.18

"So Sita, even If I have not been requested, I have to look after the sages and Oh Vaidehi, so it is not proper to break my promise." 10.19

"Oh Sita, you told those words out of love to me and due to your good heart and I am contented and would not tolerate uninterested ones advising me." 10.20

"Oh pretty one, your correct and appropriate words are proper to your heritage, and you are my companion in observing Dharma and dearer to me than my own soul." 10.21

After that great one told these words to dear Sita who was the princess of Mithila, Armed with bow, Rama and Lakshmana went to the pretty forest of penance. 10.22

This is the end of Tenth Sarga of Aranya Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

11. Rama's Life in Dandakaranya

[Rama stayed in various places in Dandakaranya for the first ten years. He happened to see the lake of Five Apsara maidens. Later he goes back to hermitage of sage Sutheeshna. Sutheeshna directs him to go to sage Agasthya's ashram. On the way to the hermitage of brother of Agasthya, Rama tells about how Agasthya destroyed Vatapi and how under his care the southern side of the country prospers. They reach the hermitage of Agasthya.]

Rama proceeding first followed by the very pretty Sita who was in the middle, followed by Lakshmana armed with a bow proceeded further. 11.1

They [Rama and Lakshmana] saw many mountains and forests of diverse types and also saw very pretty rivers along with Sita. 11.2

Seeing those rivers on which cranes and Chakravaka birds moved over the sand banks, they also saw lakes having lotus flowers and water birds. 11.3

They moved watching spotted deer in herds and madly acting large bison as well bear and elephants which were breaking trees. 11.4

They went to a great distance by the time of sun setting and there they saw a charming big lake of one Yojana dimension. It was full of lotus and water lilies and was decorated by large number of elephants and it also had storks, swans and Kadamba water birds. 11.5-11.6

In the enchanting waters of that lake they heard songs played by musical instruments but they were not able to see any one. 11.7

Those great fighters due to curiosity asked about it to the sage called Dharmabrutha who was following them. 11.8

"Oh great sage, after hearing this greatly wonderful music, great inquisitiveness has been created among us and please tell us clearly about it." 11.9

Thus being asked by the soul of Dharma Raghava, that sage, speedily started telling about the greatness of lake. 11.10

"This is an all season lake called "Five Apsaras" built by a sage called Mandakarni by using his power of penance." 11.11

"That great sage Mandakarni did penance for ten thousand years staying in water and consuming air only." 11.12

"Then the worried devas met with each other and with Agni in the lead, started conversing among themselves." 11.13

"That sage is praying for the position of one of us" Thinking like this, all the dwellers of heaven developed a broken mind." 11.14

"So all those devas decided to cause hindrance to the penance of the sage and sent five important Apsara maidens who were like lightning." 11.15

"Then those Apsara maidens, for fulfilling the work of Devas, got that sage who knew about this and the other world, entangled him in the web of passion." 11.16

"Those five Apsara maidens became his wives and then he created this lake and made them live underneath it." 11.17

"When those Apsara maidens were leading a pleasant life there, they gratified the sage, who has assumed youthfulness by the power of penance." 11.18

"This delightful melodies are being heard, due to their playing musical instruments mingled with the sound of ornaments when they are engaged in play." 11.19

"The account of the great sage is indeed wonderful" Said Raghava along with his brother who was very famous. 11.20

When he was talking like this, he saw a group of hermitages circled by cloth made of grass, which was encompassed by solemn chant of Veda and Rama entered in to it along with Lakshmana and Vaidehi. 11.21

Then that son of Kakustha clan stayed in that great cluster of hermitages for some time with pleasure being venerated by saints. Then the great expert in arrows went to visit the sages near whom he had resided earlier, once again. 11.22-11.23

He stayed in one place for ten months, in another place for one year, in another place for four months, somewhere else for five months, yet another place for six months, some other place more than one month, one and half months, three months and eight months in other places. 11.24-11.25

Like that living in hermitages of saints he comfortably lived happily, ten long years elapsed comfortably for him. 11.26

Going round that knower of Dharma Raghava along with Sita once again reached the great hermitage of sage Sutheeshna. 11.27

After coming to that hermitage, that destroyer of enemies Rama, stayed there for some more time, honoured by the sages there. 11.28

Then one day that son of Kakustha clan with humility said to the great sage Sutheeshna who was sitting nearby. 11.29

"I have heard from narratives of others that the very great and godly sage Agasthya is staying in our forest." 11.30

"Due to the forest being very large I do not find that place. Where is his holy hermitage of the great sage situated?." 11.31

"I want to meet that godly sage for requesting his blessings along with my younger brother and Sita, and wish to approach that sage and introduce myself." 11.32

"To visit that great sage is my desire and keeps on occurring again and again, and I want to serve that great sage myself." 11.33
Hearing these words of Rama that sage Sutheeshna who is the soul of Dharma replied Rama, gladdening his heart. 11.34

"I also desired to tell you that Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana should approach that great sage Agasthya." 11.35

"By luck you yourself have talked to me about this subject and now I will tell you where that great sage lives." 11.36

"After you go four Yojanas [8 miles] from here, on the south you would find the hermitage of the brother of sage Agasthya." 11.37

"When you reach that place you would see a shining forest of Pippali trees, which is full of flowers and fruits and echoes with sound of various type of birds." 11.38

"There are many lakes there with peaceful waters, teeming with partridges and swans and shining with Chakravaka birds. Oh Rama spend one night there and proceed from there next day." 11.39

"Within a Yojana distance from there on the southern direction, on the side of the forest clump is the hermitage of Agasthya." 11.40

"In that pretty forest with many shining trees, you, Lakshmana and Sita would enjoy much, for is it not forest with many trees?" 11.41-11.42

"Suppose you have made up your mind to see the great sage Agasthya, then take a decision to go today itself." 11.43

When Rama heard this, along with his brother he saluted the sage and immediately started to see Agasthya along with his brother and Sita. 11.44

Seeing the pretty forests, cloud like mountains, lakes, rivers and walking along the pathway as per the advice of Sutheeshna travelled comfortably and told Lakshmana the following with great joy. 11.45-11.46

"This is definitely the hermitage of the brother of Agasthya who has done blessed deeds and who is a great soul." 11.47

"I think it because, in the forest by its side, I see thousands of trees which are bending under the weight of flowers and fruits." 11.48

"I perceive that the smell of the fruits of Pippali fruits is wafting from there, as the wind is carrying the sour smell of that fruit." 11.49

"Here and there I see the collection of firewood and I also the snipped Durba shining like a gem." 11.50

"From the middle of the forest, and from the top of the hermitage, I am able to see the tip of the smoke and it looks like, the vertex of a black thick cloud." 11.51

"The Brahmins are taking bath in several sacred waters and then make an offering of flowers using the flowers collected by them." 11.52

"Oh simple one, from the words of Sutheeshna that I heard, this is the hermitage of the brother of Agasthya." 11.53

"Agasthya destroyed the aridity of this region, wishing for the welfare of all and made this place liveable and this hermitage is of his brother." 11.54

"Once upon a time two cruel brothers named Vathapi and Ilwala and they were great asuras who used to kill Brahmins." 11.55

"Ilwala used to dress as a Brahmin and used to speak civilized tongue and he would invite Brahmins without pity saying that it was Sradham [annual ceremony for manes]." 11.56

"Making his brother in to the form of a ram, Ilwala used to cook his brother and feed the Brahmins according to rituals of Sradha." 11.57

"When the Brahmin has eaten that food, Ilwala used to say in a very loud done, "Vathapi come out " 11.58

"Hearing the words of his brother that Vathapi, bleating like a ram, slowly and slowly tearing the body of the Brahmin, used to come out." 11.59

"Those people who could assume any form they want, used to this way killed in thousands, Brahmins, who were greedy for meat." 11.60

"Devas then prayed to the great sage Agasthya and when he was invited, he also ate that great asura." 11.61

"Then with ritual was over, Ilwala giving the saint a sip of water at the end, started calling his brother to come out." 11.62

"Then the great one among sages, Agasthya mockingly told that killer of Brahmins who was talking to his brother." 11.63

"Under what power would that Rakshasa who has been digested me, come out, for your brother who took the form of a ram has gone to Yama." 11.64

"Then he after hearing the news of the death of his brother, that night walker started assaulting the sage in great anger." 11.65

"When he rushed towards him, that king of Brahmins, who had the shine of penance, burnt him with the fire in his eyes and thus sent him to death." 11.66

"This hermitage which shines with forests and lakes belongs to the brother of Sage Agasthya, who has performed this impossible act out of compassion to Brahmins. 11.67

When Rama completed his narration to Lakshmana, the sun went down and the dusk was initiated. 11.68

Then according to rules those brothers worshipped the dusk in the west, and then entered in to the hermitage and were greeted by the sage. 11.69

Rama was well received by the sage and they ate fruits and roots and spent one night there in that hermitage. 11.70

After spending the night there, when the rose up, the sons of the Raghu clan took leave from the brother of Agasthya. 11.71

"Oh Godly sage, we salute you. We have spent the night comfortably and we are bidding you farewell because we would like to go to see Agasthya who is your teacher as well as brother." 11.72

When the saint said "you may go", the son of Raghu clan started from there and proceeded through the path indicated earlier by Sutheeshna." 11.73

He travelled further seeing Neevara trees, Jack fruit trees, Sala trees, Asoka trees, lemon trees, Bilwa trees, Madhuka trees and Tinduka trees. 11.74

Rama saw hundreds of flowering trees hit by elephant's trunk, shining with presence of monkeys, with hundreds of lusty birds, fully flowers and enriched by the whirling climbing plants. 11.75-11.76

Then the lotus eyed Rama told to the valorous and glorious Lakshmana who was closely following him. 11.77

"Seeing the trees with velvety leaves and animals and birds which do not look tired, I think that the hermitage of that greatly contemplative saint is not very far from here." 11.78

"I am able to see the hermitage of him who is famous as Agasthya in this world only because of his own deeds and it seems to cure all tiresomeness." 11.79

"It is covered with huge smoke and cloths made of grass are hanging there; it is overcrowded with peaceful deer and overloaded with sounds of birds." 11.80

"Agasthya destroyed the aridity of this region, wishing for the welfare of all and made this place livable and this hermitage is of his brother." 11.81

"Agasthya, by whose association the Rakshasas dare not even see the southern direction or prepared to live there, lives here." 11.82

"From the time that Agasthya of pious deeds started living in the Sothern direction, all those who walk at night remained calm and without enmity." 11.83

"This southern side is also known by the name of saint Agasthya in all the three worlds and people there found it hard to do cruel deeds." 11.84

"The Vindhya mountain which due to its constant growth was preventing Sun God's travel across the globe, obeyed his message and stopped from growing and he is long lived, famous in the world for his great deeds and he is adored by well-behaved animals." 11.85-11.86

"He is worshipped by the world, gentle, takes care of the interests of good people and when we go and meet him, his blessing would be beneficial." 11.87

"Oh Lakshmana, I wish to worship that saint Agasthya, who is a great sage and oh gentle one, I wish to spend our rest of the time in the forest, here." 11.88

"There devas, Gandharwas, Sidhas and great sages would always be worshipping that sage Agasthya, who is self-disciplined and self-regulated." 11.89

"There a liar, a cruel person nor an adamant one nor one who tortures men can live due to the nature of this sage." 11.90

"There devas, Yakshas, serpents and birds live together wishing to worship that personification of Dharma with disciplined food habits." 11.91

"There the great souls and Sidhas, travelling in planes shining like Sun, after leaving their mortal body, blessed by that sage go to heaven." 11.92

"There, to those who worship the sage, gods grant the position of Yakshas or devas or grant them different kingdoms." 11.93

"We have arrived at the hermitage and so Oh son of Sumithra, enter in to it first and tell the sage that me and Sita have arrived." 11.94

This is the end of Eleventh Sarga of Aranya Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

12. Agasthya Gives Vishnu's Bow to Rama

[Rama is hospitably received by sage Agasthya. He gives him Vishnu's Bow, Brahma's arrows and Indra's inexhaustible quivers.]

Then Lakshmana the younger brother of Rama entered the hermitage, met a disciple of sage Agasthya and told him. 12.1

"There was a king called Dasaratha and he had a very strong [dynamic] son and that Rama along with his wife has reached here to see the sage." 12.2

"My name is Lakshmana and I am his dedicated brother who is his obedient devotee. Possibly you have heard about us?" 12.3

"We have come to this very severe forest as per the order of our father, Please tell the god like sage that we wish to see him." 12.4

When that sage rich in penance heard the words of Lakshmana, he assented and entered in the room where fire is kept to inform the sage. 12.5

That dear disciple of Agasthya speedily approached sage, saluted him and told the sage who has done very difficult penance, and told him exactly similar to what Lakshmana told that Rama has come. 12.6

"The sons of Dasaratha called Rama and Lakshmana have arrived at the gate of the hermitage along with their wife Sita." 12.7

"Those destroyers of enemies have come to see you and then serve you and please tell me what I should do." 12.8

Having heard from the disciple that Rama and Lakshmana have come along with Vaidehi that great one told the following. 12.9

"I was having a great desire in my mind to see Rama for a long time and providentially, he himself has come to see me." 12.10

"Go and hospitably receive Rama along with his wife and Lakshmana and bring them near me. Why have you not brought him already?" 12.11

When the great sage who was expert in Dharma told like this that disciple saluted and told him, "As you say." 12.12

That very jittery disciple went out and told Lakshmana, "Where is Rama? He may enter and see the sage on his own." 12.13

Then Lakshmana along with that disciple went to the gate of the hermitage and saw the son of Kakustha clan and the daughter of Janaka. 12.14

Then the disciple told the words as told by Agasthya and made him, showing him the hospitality that suits him. 12.15
Then Rama entered the hermitage along with Sita and Lakshmana and looking over it saw a docile deer there. 12.16

Rama entered inside the hermitage and saw therein the altars of Brahma, Agni [fire God], Vishnu, Indra, Sun, Moon, Bhaga [Goddess of fortune], Khubera, Dhatha, Vidatha, Swayambhuva Manu, Vayu [wind god], the great Varuna who wields the noose, Gayathri, the Vasus, the king of serpents, Garuda, Lord Karthikeya [Subrahmanya] and the god of death. 12.17-12.20

Then the sage surrounded by his disciples came out and Rama saw him glowing in luster greater than all others. 12.21

Then Rama told Lakshmana who increased auspiciousness, "the God like sage Agasthya is coming out and I understand that in the matter of penance he is greater than all other sages." 12.22-12.23

After saying this, that great son of Raghu clan, fell at the feet of Agasthya who shined like Sun and touched his feet. 12.24

After introducing himself to that soul of Dharma that attractive Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana stood with saluting hands. 12.25

After receiving the son of Kakustha clan and after offering him seat as well as water and after enquiring about his welfare he asked him to sit. 12.26

After worshipping the fire and offering water to it and after having worshipped the guests, he offered them food as per Dharma of a Vanaprastha. 12.27

After sitting himself first, that great sage who was a follower of Dharma and spoke to Rama who was sitting with folded hands. 12.28

"Oh son of Kakustha clan, If a sage does not worship fire, offer sacrificial water, worship the guests, then he is a false sage and in the hell we would be made to eat his own flesh." 12.29

"You are the king of the world treading through the path of Dharma and a great warrior. You, being fit to be worshipped and respectable, have become my dear guest." 12.30

After saying this Agasthya offered fruits, roots, flowers and so many other things to Rama and worshipped him as per his desire and told Rama. 12.31

"Here is the divine bow ornamented in gold, which was made by Viswakarma for the use of Lord Vishnu, the tiger among males and here is the sun like arrows which never get over and which belonged to Lord Brahma," 12.32

Here are the quivers belong to Indra which can never be exhausted which is completely filled with arrows which shine like fire and here is the sword decorated by gold in excellent golden sheath." 12.33-12.34

"Oh Rama once using this bow Lord Vishnu killed very many great asuras and brought back the luster to the occupants of heavens." 12.35

"Oh Rama who treasures respect, take this bow, arrows, quiver and the sword and wield them and achieve victory like Indra did with Vajrayudha." 12.36

After telling this that greatly resplendent sage gave all those weapons to Rama and then Agasthya again spoke. 12.37

This is the end of Twelfth Sarga of Aranya Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

13. Agasthya Directs Rama to Panchavati

[When Rama asks for a suitable place to stay, Agasthya indicates that he should stay in Panchavati. Rama immediately agrees to that advice and proceeds to Panchavati.]

"Rama, I am happy, safety to you. Lakshmana, I am happy, for your coming along with Sita to pay your respect." 13.1

"The pathway that you have taken is full of strain and painful for you two, as evident by the sweat above the neck and it is also clear on seeing Sita, the daughter of Janaka." 13.2

"She is pretty and delicate and had not undergone this type of suffering earlier and has come to this treacherous forest due to her love towards you." 13.3

"Oh Rama, see whatever you do, would keep her entertained for she has followed you to the forest in an impossible act." 13.4

"Oh Son of Raghu clan this is the nature of women ever since the creation started, they would be with husband when things are fine but would leave him in difficult times." 13.5

"Women are mercurial like hundred streaks of lightning, as sharp as weapons and with speed of Garuda or the wind." 13.6

"But this, wife of yours is free of all such defects and she like lady Arundathi merits appreciation and is exemplary." 13.7

"That particular place you want to stay along with Lakshmana and Vaidehi, Oh Rama is indeed blessed, Oh destroyer of enemies." 13.8

When the sage told like this, Rama with folded hands in salutation spoke these amiable words to the sage who was shining like fire. 13.9

"Oh great sage, I am blessed and I am privileged due to the virtue of my brother and wife and also due to my Guru being pleased with me." 13.10

"But please direct me to a big forest with plenty of water, so that I can erect hermitage there and live happily." 13.11

Hearing the words of Rama that great courageous sage, who is the follower of Dharma replied, after thinking for some time and told him these courageous words. 13.12

"Oh lad, two yojanas from here there is a place well known as Panchavati, which has lot of water, fruits as well as roots and very many deer." 13.13

"When you go there along with son of Sumithra and erect a hermitage there, you would be happy that you are following the words of your father." 13.14

"Oh matchless one, I know about all that happened to you due to the power of my penance as well as my friendship with your father Dasaratha." 13.15

"I know that in your mind you have decided to stay with me by my power of penance that you want to stay in this forest of mine with me but I am advising you to go to Panchavati." 13.16

"That place is praiseworthy and not very far from here but I am sure that Sita would find that pretty forest and enjoy herself there." 13.17

"Maithili would feel happy in that place near Godavari with plenty of roots, fruits and is blessed with various types of birds and oh great one, it is blessed as well as pretty." 13.18-13.19

"You being one observing good ritualistic behaviour are also capable of providing protection to the many sages living there." 13.20

"Oh valorous one, don't you see a forest of flower liquor trees in that great forest. If you go north of that you would go near a banyan tree." 13.21

"If you climb up to a mountain there, not far away is the famous Panchavati with its forest flowering daily." 13.22

When Agasthya told like this, Rama along with son of Sumithra saluted that sage and took leave from the sage who was teller of truth. 13.23

After he permitted them to go they saluted his feet and left that hermitage to Panchavati along with Sita. 13.24

Those sons of the king wearing the bow, with braced up quivers went resolutely and without agitation towards Panchavati following the path indicated by the sage. 13.25

This is the end of Thirteenth Sarga of Aranya Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

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