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Chapter 43: Rama Pursues the Stag

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Rama Pursues the Stag


On spotting the deer Seetha calls Rama and Lakshmana to have sight of it. Lakshmana immediately concludes it to be Maareecha, but Seetha, keeping his observation aside asks Rama to fetch it. Rama is also fascinated when he looked at that deer and he explains to Lakshmana as to why that particular deer is to be hunted down.

Chapter [Sarga] 43

saa tam sampreksya sushronii kusumaani vicinvatii |

hema raajata var.hnaabhyaam paarhshvaabhyaam upashobhitam || 3-43-1

prahristaa ca anavadyaangii mrista haataka varninii |

bhartaaram api ca aakranda laksmanam caiva saayudham || 3-43-2

That slender-waist Seetha whose limbs are flawless, whose complexion is like purified gold, and who is presently culling flowers is highly gladdened to observe the Golden Deer that is brightened in one flank with the color of gold and the other is silvery, and she shouted for attention of her husband, and even that of Lakshmana who is presently weaponed. [3-43-1, 2]

aahuuya aahuuya ca punah tam mrigam saadhu viikshate |

aagaccha aagaccha shiighram vai aaryaputra saha anuja || 3-43-3

"Oh, noble prince, come here," thus she called her husband and peered at the deer, and again she called, "really come with your younger brother quickly," and again gazed at the deer, and thus she oftentimes called and oftentimes saw the deer fondly. [3-43-3]

tayaa aahuutau naravyaaghrau vaidehyaa raama laksmanau |

viiksamaanau tu tam desham tadaa dadrishatuh mrigam || 3-43-4

Those manly lions Rama and Lakshmana thus bidden by Vaidehi came there exploring that place and then they saw that Golden Deer. [3-43-4]

shankamaanah tu tam dristvaa laksmano raamam abraviit |

tam eva enam aham manye maariicam raaksasam mrigam || 3-43-5

But Lakshmana became incredulous on seeing it and said to Rama, "I believe this deer to be that Maareecha, the demon." [3-43-5]

caranto mrigayaam hristaah paapena upaadhinaa vane |

anena nihataa raama raajaanah kaama ruupinaa || 3-43-6

"Oh, Rama, when kings engaged in hunting games were delightedly moving in the forest, this Maareecha killed many of them resorting to many disguises, for he is a guise-changer by his wish. [3-43-6]

asya maayaavido maayaa mriga ruupam idam kritam |

bhaanumat purusavyaaghra gandharva pura sa.nnibham || 3-43-7

"Maareecha is an expert in many wiles and he has now assumed the form of this Golden-Deer, oh, manly lion, which is not more than the scintillating city of Gandharva-s, a city of wiles, which any trickster can create to make-believe. [3-43-7]

mrigo hi evam vidho ratna vicitro na asti raaghava |

jagatyaam jagatiinaatha maayaa esaa hi na sa.mshayah || 3-43-8

"Oh, Raghava, this kind of amazing animal with gemlike dapples is nonexistent in the world, isn't it. Hence, oh, lord of the world, this is truly a phantasm. No doubt about it." So said Lakshmana to Rama. [3-43-8]

evam bruvaanam kaakutstham prativaarya shuci smitaa |

uvaaca siitaa sa.nhristaa chadmanaa hrita cetanaa || 3-43-9

While Lakshmana of Kakutstha-s is speaking thus, she who is self-satisfied as her heart is conjured by the cozenage [fraud], such a Seetha of a toothy smile deterred him and spoke. [3-43-9]

aaryaputra abhiraamo asau mrigo harati me manah |

aanaya enam mahaabaaho kriidaartham nah bhavisyati || 3-43-10

"Oh, nobleman's son, that delightful deer is stealing my heart, oh, dexterous one, bring it round, it will be our plaything. [3-43-10]

iha aashrama pade asmaakam bahavah punya darshanaah |

mrigaah caranti sahitaah camaraah srimaraah tathaa || 3-43-11

"Here in the threshold of our hermitage many animals with adorable manifestation are moving about in flocks and herds, say Caamara deer, like that Srimara deer. [3-43-11]

riksaah prisata sanghaah ca vaanaraah kinaraah tathaa |

vicaranti mahaabaaho ruupa shresthaa mahaabalaah || 3-43-12

"Also the animals that are excellent in their form, say monkeys, are moving here. Likewise herds of Kinnara deer, spotted-deer, and even bears of great-might are freely moving here. [3-43-12]

na ca asya sadrisho raajan drista puurvo mrigah mayaa |

tejasaa ksamayaa diiptyaa yathaa ayam mriga sattamah || 3-43-13

"As to how this extraordinary deer is appearing, oh, king, by way of its brilliance, tameness, or by the luster of its skin, I have not so far seen any coequal to this. [3-43-13]

naanaa varna vicitra ratna bhuuto mama agratah |

dyotayan vanam avyagram shobhate shashi sa.nnibhah || 3-43-14

"Diversely colored, amazingly limbed, and spotted with gemlike dapples it is shining forth like a deer that is completely gemmy, and while nonchalantly moving before me it is enlivening the forest like the moon. [3-43-14]

aho ruupam aho laksmiih svara sampat ca shobhanaa |

mrigo adbhuto hridayam harati iva me || 3-43-15

"Ah, what a form, ah, what a brilliance, what a beautiful bleat! This amazingly limbed deer is wonderful, and this is stealing my heart, as it were. [3-43-15]

yadi grahanam abhyeti jiivan eva mrigah tava |

aashcarya bhuutam bhavati vismayam janayisyati || 3-43-16

"It will be surprising if this deer draws into your capture alive and well, as it creates astonishment to one and all. [3-43-16]

samaapta vana vaasaanaam raajya sthaanaam ca nah punah |

a.ntahpure vibhuusaartho mriga esa bhavisyati || 3-43-17

"When we return to kingdom on completing our dwelling in forest this deer becomes a masterpiece in palace-chambers for us. [3-43-17]

bharatasya aaryaputrasya shvashruunaam mama ca prabho |

mriga ruupam idam divyam vismayam janayisyati || 3-43-18

"Oh, lord, the form of this deer creates an excellent jubilation to Bharata, to you the son of the nobleman, to my mothers-in-law, and also to me in palace-chambers. [3-43-18]

jiivan na yadi te abhyeti grahanam mriga sattamah |

ajinam narashaarduula ruciram tu bhavisyati || 3-43-19

"Else if that best deer does not come into you capture while alive, oh tigerly-man, at the least its gorgeous deerskin will be remnant of it. [3-43-19]

nihatasya asya sattvasya jaa.mbuunadamaya tvaci |

shaspa brisyaam viniitaayaam icchaami aham upaasitum || 3-43-20

"I wish to sit along with you on its golden deerskin, overlaying it on a seat of tender Darbha grass-blades, in case the deer is felled. [3-43-20]

kaamavrittam idam raudram striinaam asadrisham matam |

vapusaa tu asya sattvasya vismayo janito mama || 3-43-21

"Tradition says that this sort of unruly self-seeking is unbefitting to women, yet that deer's beautiful body is inducing curiosity in me." Seetha said so to Rama and remained waiting for his reply. [3-43-21]

tena kaancana romnaa tu mani pravara shri.nginaa |

taruna aaditya varnena naksatra patha varcasaa || 3-43-22

babhuuva raaghavasya api mano vismayam aagatam |

As for that deer's horns they vie with excellent sapphires, its golden coat with the glitter of tender sun, and its ambience with silver spots on coat with a milk way containing twinkling stars, and by that reason even Raghava's heart is awestruck when he saw it. [3-43-22, 23a]

evam siitaa vacah shrutvaa dristvaa ca mrigam adbhutam || 3-43-23

lobitah tena ruupena siitaayaa ca pracoditah |

uvaaca raaghavo hristo bhraataram laksmanam vacah || 3-43-24

In this way, hearing the words of Seetha and observing that wondrous deer Raghava is also amused by its form, and even motivated by Seetha in fetching it, he delightedly spoke this word to his brother Lakshmana. [3-43-23b, 24]

pashya laksmana vaidehyaah sprihaam ullasitaam imaam |

ruupa shresthatayaa hi esa mrigo adya na bhavisyati || 3-43-25

na vane na.ndanoddeshe na caitraratha sa.mshraye |

kutah prithivyaam saumitre yo asya kashcit samo mrigah || 3-43-26

"Lakshmana, behold this enthusiastic delight of Vaidehi. Oh, Saumitri, presently no other deer indeed with such an excellent form exists in this forest. Or else, does it exist in Nandana Gardens of Indra - no, it cannot be there; in the adjoins of Caitraratha Gardens of Kubera - no, it will not be there, then how can there be some deer on earth which is similar to this! [3-43-25, 26]

pratiloma anulomaah ca ruciraa roma raajayah |

shobhante mrigam aashritya citraah kanaka bindubhih || 3-43-27

"Amazing are its hairlines with hair upturned at some places and down-turned at other, and the golden spots embedded on the coat of the deer are glittery. [3-43-27]

pashya asya jri.mbhamaanasya diiptaam agni shikhopamaam |

jihvaam mukhaat nihsarantiim meghaat iva shata hradaam || 3-43-28

"See at its tongue that is exerting from its mouth while it is yawning, which is similar to the flaring tongue of fire and to the lightning from a cloud. [3-43-28]

masaara galvarka mukhah sha.nkha muktaa nibha udarah |

kasya naama aniruupyah asau na mano lobhayet mrigah || 3-43-29

"Its face is like a mug made up of sapphires, its paunch [the belly] is pearly and conchoidal [having elevations or depressions shape], and whose heart is it that will not lured for this deer with an inexplicable beauty. [3-43-29]

kasya ruupam idam dristvaa jaa.mbuunadamaya prabham |

naanaa ratnamayam divyam na mano vismayam vrajet || 3-43-30

"On seeing at this astounding look of the deer which is golden in glitter and bejeweled numerously as it were, whose heart is it that will not be transported into astonishment. [3-43-30]

maamsa hetoh api mrigaan vihaaraartham ca dhanvinah |

ghnanti laksmana raajaano mrigayaayaam mahaavane || 3-43-31

"Kings pursuing games of hunting in great forests, oh, Lakshmana, will be felling deer either for the sake of flesh, or just for the purpose of sporting archery. [3-43-31]

dhanaani vyavasaayena viciiyante mahaavane |

dhaatavo vividhaah ca api mani ratna suvarninah || 3-43-32

"And exerting themselves in great forests they by far amass forest produce, ores, jewels, gemstones and the gravel of gold. [3-43-32]

tat saaram akhilam nrinaam dhanam nicaya vardhanam |

manasaa cintitam sarvam yathaa shukrasya laksmana || 3-43-33

"Everything of that wealth from forest produce will be filling the treasuries of kings, like the speculated objects filling the entire treasury of Shukra just by his thinking of them in his mind. [3-43-33]

arthii yena artha krityena sa.mvrajati avicaarayan |

tam artham artha shaastrajnah praahuh arthyaah ca laksmana || 3-43-34

"The financial experts and the other financially well-off people say that with which aspirational [ambition] activity an aspirant unhesitatingly scurries [to move around in an agitated, confused, or fluttering manner] and achieves it, that achieved target alone is lauded to be worthwhile or, as real wealth. [3-43-34]

etasya mriga ratnasya paraardhye kaa.ncana tvaci |

upaveksyati vaidehii mayaa saha sumadhyamaa || 3-43-35

"This comely Vaidehi will be sitting on that invaluable golden skin of that gem of a deer along with me. [3-43-35]

na kaadalii na priyakii na pravenii na ca avikii |

bhavet etasya sadrishii sparhshanena iti me matih || 3-43-36

"I think the skin of Kadali deer, or of Priyaki deer, or of Praveni deer, or as a matter of fact the skins of best breed of deer or sheep will not be match to the deerskin of this deer, insofar as the soft-touch is concerned. [3-43-36]

esa caiva mrigah shriimaan yah ca divyo nabhah carah |

ubhau etau mrigau divyau taaraamriga mahiimrigau || 3-43-37

"Only two divine deer are there, this magnificent deer on earth, and the other that moves in skies remaining in stellar region. [3-43-37]

yadi vaa ayam tathaa yat maam bhavet vadasi laksmana |

maayaa esaa raaksasasya iti kartavyo asya vadho mayaa || 3-43-38

"You are telling me that 'this is the wizardry of the demon.' Even then, Lakshmana, if this results in that way as a demon's wizardry, my duty also results in the elimination of that deer. [3-43-38]

etena hi nrisha.msena maariicena akrita aatmanaa |

vane vicarataa puurvam hi.msitaa muni pu.ngavaah || 3-43-39

"If this deer is Maareecha, this heinous and vicious-souled demon has indeed tortured many eminent sages earlier when was on the prowl in the forests, thus he is eliminable. [3-43-39]

utthaaya bahavo anena mrigayaayaam janaadhipaah |

nihataah parama isvaasaah tasmaat vadhyah tu ayam mrigah || 3-43-40

"He rebelliously killed many kings who are excellent archers while they were in hunting games, at least for that reason this bestial monster is eradicable. [3-43-40]

purastaat iha vaataapih paribhuuya tapasvinah |

udarastho dvijaan hanti sva garbho ashvatariim iva || 3-43-41

"Demon Vaataapi who held ascetics in contempt was here earlier, and staying in the stomachs of Brahmans he used to come out by ripping their stomachs open and thus he was killing Brahmans, like a mare-calf killing its own mother at its time of birth by ripping the womb of its own mother. [3-43-41]

sa kadaacit ciraat lobhaat aasasaada mahaamunim |

agastyam tejasaa yuktam bhaksyah tasya babhuuva ha || 3-43-42

"On one occasion after some time, that Vaataapi avariciously obtained that great-saint and the one who is endowed with effulgent, namely Agastya, as an eatable, but actually that demon has became an eatable to the sage. [3-43-42]

samutthaane ca tat ruupam kartu kaamam samiiksya tam |

utsmayitvaa tu bhagavaan vaataapim idam abraviit || 3-43-43

"On observing the demon Vaataapi who is trying to assume his original form of demon in order to come out of his stomach, that godly saint Agastya spoke this to Vaataapi with a scornful smile. [3-43-43]

tvayaa aviganya vaataape paribhuutaah ca tejasaa |

jiiva loke dvija shresthaah tasmaat asi jaraam gatah || 3-43-44

“‘Oh, Vaataapi, you have irreverently eradicated the best Brahmans in this world owing to your might, therefore I have assimilated you.' So said sage Agastya to Vaataapi. [3-43-44]

tat etat na bhavet rakso vaataapih iva laksmana |

mat vidham yo atimanyeta dharma nityam jitendriyam || 3-43-45

bhavet hato ayam vaataapih agastyena iva maa gatah |

"Lakshmana, such a demon who is like Vaataapi will not be there any more. He who disregards someone of my kind, who always abides in righteousness and who is self-controlled, such a demon will be eliminated as sage Agastya has eliminated demon Vaataapi, if that demon happens to get at me. [3-43-45, 46a]

iha tvam bhava sa.mnaddho ya.ntrito raksa maithiliim || 3-43-46

asyaam aayattam asmaakam yat krityam raghuna.ndana |

"Oh, Lakshmana, the descendent of Raghu, you stay here in all preparedness and guard Maithili steadfastly, whatever enterprise of ours is there that is founded in her. [3-43-46b, 47a]

aham enam vadhisyaami grahiisyaami athavaa mrigam || 3-43-47

yaavat gacchaami saumitre mrigam aanayitum drutam |

"I wish to catch this deer, Saumitri, if not I will kill it, and I will be going forthwith to fetch the deer. [3-43-47b, 48a]

pashya laksmana vaidehiim mriga tvaci gataam sprihaam || 3-43-48

tvacaa pradhaanayaa hi esa mrigo adya na bhavisyati |

"Lakshmana, see how Vaidehi's percept is overtaken by deerskin. Indeed by the strangeness of its skin that deer must be a mysterious being, hence, it will not survive now. [3-43-48]

apramattena te bhaavyam aashramasthena siitayaa || 3-43-49

yaavat prisatam ekena saayakena nihanmi aham |

hatvaa etat carma ca aadaaya shiighram esyaami laksmana || 3-43-50

"Oh, Lakshmana, apply yourself vigilantly while staying in hermitage along with Seetha. So soon as I go I will be felling that spotted deer with one arrow and returning quickly. [3-43-49b, 50]

pradaksinena atibalena paksinaa

jataayusaa buddhimataa ca laksmana |

bhava apramattah pratigrihya maithiliim

prati ksanam sarvata eva shankitah || 3-43-51

"Oh, Lakshmana, you be here taking care of Maithili along with the forthright, formidable and fatherly bird Jataayu, and be watchful and suspicious from everywhere and every split-second." Thus Rama spoke to Lakshmana and started to go after the deer [3-43-51]

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye aranya kaande tri catvaari.mshah sargah

Thus, this is the 43rd chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate




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


Merriam-Webster. (2007). At (2007). At

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