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Chapter 119: Entering the Heart of the Dandaka Forest
Entering the Heart of the Dandaka Forest
As the evening twilight approaches, Anasuya sends Seetha to Rama's presence. Seetha approaches Rama and shows him the apparel, jewels and garlands gifted by Anasuya and duly adorned by her, Rama spends the night there along with Seetha Lakshmana. At the onset of dawn, they take leave of the ascetics and advance further into the great forest in the route suggested by the ascetics.
Chapter [Sarga] 119 in Detail
anasuuyaa tu dharmajnaa shrutvaa taam mahatiim kathaam |
paryashvajata baahubhyaam shirasy aaghraaya maithiliim || 2-119-1
Hearing that great story, Anasuya the knower of piety kissed Seetha's forehead and hugged her in her arms.
vyakta akshara padam citram bhaashitam madhuram tvayaa |
yathaa svayam varam vrittam tat sarvam hi shrutam mayaa || 2-119-2
rame aham kathayaa te tu drishdham madhura bhaashini |
"It was narrated sweetly and amazingly by you, in clear words and syllables. It has been indeed heard by me how all that Svayamvara, the process of self-choosing marriage took place. O, the sweet speaking Seetha! I am overjoyed by hearing your story."
ravir astam gatah shriimaan upohya rajaniim shivaam || 2-119-3
divasam prati kiirnaanaam aahaara artham patatrinaam |
samdhyaa kaale niliinaanaam nidraa artham shruuyate dhvanih ||2-119-4
"O, Fortunate One! While the auspicious night drawing near, the sun has sunk below horizon. The twittering of the birds can be heard, who, through the day, have sought their nourishment far and wide and are seeking their shelter for sleep at the time of evening-twilight."
ete ca apy abhisheka aardraa munayah phala shodhanaah |
sahitaa upavartante salila aapluta valkalaah || 2-119-5
"These ascetics too are returning together, their bark-robes drenched from bathing, and with uplifted vessels, wet with sprinkled water on them."
rishiinaam agni hotreshu huteshu vidhi purvakam |
kapota anga aruno dhuumo drishyate pavana uddhatah || 2-119-6
"From the sacred fire kindled by the sages, according to the scriptural ordinance, a column of smoke with the hue of a Pigeon's neck, raised by the wind, is seen there."
alpa parnaa hi taravo ghanii bhuutaah samantatah |
viprakrishte api ye deshe na prakaashanti vai dishah || 2-119-7
"Thought their foliage is sparse, the trees look dense all around. The quarters of the world, by whom the senses are drawn apart, do not shine brilliantly at this place."
rajanii rasa sattvaani pracaranti samantatah |
tapo vana mrigaa hy ete vedi tiirtheshu sherate || 2-119-8
"The animals who wander about at night are ranging everywhere. The deer of the hermitage are sleeping round the sacred altars."
sampravrittaa nishaa siite nakshatra samalamkritaa |
jyotsnaa praavaranah candro drishyate abhyudito ambare || 2-119-9
"O, Seetha! The night richly adorned with stars has set well in motion. The moon encircled with light is seen rising in the sky."
gamyataam anujaanaami raamasya anucarii bhava |
kathayantyaa hi madhuram tvayaa aham paritoshitaa || 2-119-10
"Go now. I give you leave. Be a female companion to Rama. Your sweet conversation has charmed me."
alamkuru ca taavat tvam pratyaksham mama maithili |
priitim janaya me vatsa divya alamkaala shobhinii || 2-119-11
"O, Seetha! O, Dear child! Adorn (with ornaments and apparel gifted by me_ before my eyes and cause delight to me in embellishing yourself with heavenly jewels."
saa tadaa samalamkritya siitaa sura suta upamaa |
pranamya shirasaa tasyai raamam tu abhimukhii yayau || 2-119-12
Then Seetha, adorning herself, resembled the daughter of a god, and making obeisance to the feet of Anasuya, she went forward to meet Rama.
tathaa tu bhuushitaam siitaam dadarsha vadataam varah |
raaghavah priiti daanena tapasvinyaa jaharsha ca || 2-119-13
Rama, the most eloquent one, saw Seetha adorned as aforesaid and felt delighted over the charming gifts of the ascetic.
nyavedayat tatah sarvam siitaa raamaaya maithilii |
priiti daanam tapasvinyaa vasana aabharana srajaam || 2-119-14
Seetha, the daughter of Mithila kingdom then showed to Rama all the apparel, jewels and garlands the affectionate gifts of Anasuya the hermit.
prahrishtah tu abhavad raamo lakshmanah ca mahaa rathah |
maithilyaah satkriyaam drishtvaa maanusheshu sudurlabhaam || 2-119-15
Seeing the respectful treatment, received by Seetha, which was very rare among human beings, Rama and Lakshmana the great car-warrior felt highly rejoiced.
tatah taam sarvariim priitah punyaam shashi nibha aananah |
arcitah taapasaih siddhair uvaasa raghu nandanah || 2-119-16
Thereupon, Rama with his face resembling the moon, having been honored by the holy ascetics, was delighted and spent that auspicious night there.
tasyaam raatryaam vyatiitaayaam abhishicya huta agnikaan |
aaprigccetaam nara vyaaghrau taapasaan vana gocaraan || 2-119-17
While that night passed away, Rama and Lakshmana the tigers among men finished their ablutions and took leave of the ascetics dwelling the forest, who had just poured oblations into the sacred fire.
taau uucuh te vana caraah taapasaa dharma caarinah |
vanasya tasya samcaaram raakshasaih samabhiplutam || 2-119-18
Those ascetics dwelling in the forest and practicing virtue told Rama and Lakshmana about the region of that forest, which was infested with demons (as follows):
raksaamsi purusaadaani naanaaruupaani raaghava! |
vasantyasmin mahaaranye vyaalaashchashcha rudhiraashanaah || 2-119-19
"O, Rama! Various forms of man-eating demons and beasts drinking the blood are living in this great forest."
ucchistam vaa pramattam vaa taapasam dharmachaarinam |
adantyasmin mahaaranye taannivaaraya raaghavah || 2-119-20
"O, Rama! They devour an ascetic or a celibate, who has not rinsed his mouth after finishing his meal or who is inattentive in this great forest. (Pray ward them off!"
esha panthaa maharshiinaam phalaany aaharataam vane |
anena tu vanam durgam gantum raaghava te kshamam || 2-119-21
"O, Rama! Here is the path of the great sages, through which they fetch the fruits in this forest. It is appropriate for you to go by this path in this dangerous forest."
iti iva taih praanjalibhih tapasvibhir
rdvijaih krita svastyayanah param tapah |
vanam sabhaaryah pravivesha raaghavah |
salakshmanah suurya iva abhra mandalam || 2-119-22
Thus addressed by those Brahmanas having great asceticism, who, with joined palms paid obedience to him and blessed his journey, Rama the harasser of his foes entered the forest with his consort along with Lakshmana, as sun enters a mass of clouds.
ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye shriimadvaalmiikiiye chaturvimshatsahasrikaayaam samhitaayaam shriimadayodhyaakaande ekonavimshatyuttarashatatamah sargah
Thus completes 119th Chapter of Ayodhya Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.
K. M. K. Murthy. (1999). Ayodhya Kanda - Book Of Ayodhya.
Merriam-Webster. (2007). At http://www.m-w.com.
Reference.com. (2007). At http://www.reference.com.
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