The Agni Purana

by N. Gangadharan | 1954 | 360,691 words | ISBN-10: 8120803590 | ISBN-13: 9788120803596

This page describes Manifestation of Vishnu as Rama (part 3) which is chapter 7 of the English translation of the Agni Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas dealing with all topics concerning ancient Indian culture, tradition and sciences. Containing roughly 15,000 Sanskrit metrical verses, subjects contained in the Agni-Purana include cosmology, philosophy, architecture, iconography, economics, diplomacy, pilgrimage guides, ancient geography, gemology, ayurveda, etc.

Chapter 7 - Manifestation of Viṣṇu as Rāma (part 3)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Nārada said:

1-2. Rāma bowed to Vasiṣṭha, the mothers, (sage) Atri and his wife Anasūyā, (sages) Śarabhaṅga[1] and Sutīkṣṇa, the brother of Agastya and Agastya and reached the Daṇḍaka forest having obtained the bow and sword by the grace of (Agastya).

3. He was staying at Pañcavaṭī in the Janasthāna on the banks of the (river) Godāvarī. The awful (demoness) Śūrpaṇakhā[2] came there to devour them all.

4-5. Seeing the beautiful form of Rāma, that lustful (woman) said to him, “Who are you? Whence have you come? You become my husband being entreated by me. I shall eat these two.” So saying to him she approached them. On the words of Rāma, Lakṣmaṇa cut off her nose and ears.

6-7. She returned to her brother Khara with blood oozing out (and) said, “I shall die without a nose. I would live, O Khara! only when you would make me drink the hot blood of Sītā, the wife of Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, his brother.

8. Khara said to her that he will do so and went there with Dūṣaṇa, Triśiras and 14000 demons in order to fight (with. Rāma).

9-10. Rāma also fought well and killed the demons with his. arrows and led the army consisting of the elephants, cavalry,. chariots and infantry together with the fighting Triśiras, Khara and Dūṣaṇa[3] to death. Śūrpaṇakhā went to Laṅkā and fell down, on the earth in front of Rāvaṇa.

11-13. (And) said to Rāvaṇa angrily, “You are neither a king, nor a protector. You abduct Sītā, the wife of Rāma, the killer of Khara and others. I will live only after drinking the blood of Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa and not by anything else.” Having heard her Rāvaṇa also said yes and said to Mārīca, “You move in front of Sītā in the form of a golden deer drawing Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa away. I will carry her away. Otherwise you will be dead.”

14-15. Mārīca[4] said to Rāvaṇa, “Rāma with his bow is verily the god of death himself.” “Either I have to die at the hands of Rāvaṇa or at the hands of Rāghava (Rāma). If I have to die, it is better (to die at the hands of) Rāma than Rāvaṇa. Having thought so (Mārīca) became a deer and roamed in front of Sītā again and again.

16. Being entreated by Sītā, Rāma (ran after that deer and) then killed that with an arrow. As it was dying, the deer said "O Sītā and O Lakṣmaṇa.”[5]

17-20. Then Saumitri (Lakṣmaṇa) being told inconsistent (words) by Sītā went (in search) of Rāma. Rāvaṇa also abducted Sītā, having wounded the vulture Jaṭāyu,[6] and being wounded by Jaṭāyu, carrying Sītā on the lap reached Laṅkā, kept (her) guarded in the Aśoka (grove) and said (to her), “You become my wife. You will be kept as the foremost.” Having killed Mārīca, Rāma saw Lakṣmaṇa and said (to him), “O Saumitri! this is a phantom deer. By the time you had come here, Sītā would have been taken away certainly.” Then he did not find her as he returned (to that place).

21. He lamented with grief (and said), “Where have you (Sītā) gone discarding me?” Being comforted by Lakṣmaṇa, Rama began to search for Jānaki (Sītā).

22. Having seen him, Jaṭāyu told that Rāvaṇa had carried her away. He (Jaṭāyu) then died. (Rāma) performed his obsequies. He then killed (the demon) Kabandha.[7] Getting free from a curse, he (Kabandha) said to Rāma, “You go to Sugrīva.”

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Śarabhaṅga was a sage who entered the fire in the presence of Rāma and ascended heavens with a glowing body by the merits of his austerities. On his advice Rāma met another sage Sutīkṣṇa. Rām. III. v. and vii.

[2]:

Śūrpaṇakhā was the sister of Rāvaṇa, the king ofLaṅkā and of Khara, the ruler of Janasthāna.

[3]:

Dūṣaṇa and Triśiras were the commanders of Khara.

[4]:

Mārīca remembered his past miserable experience at the sacrificial site of Viśvāmitra. See V. 8 above.

[5]:

Mārica imitated the voice of Rāma while crying aloud.

[6]:

Jaṭāyu, the vulture was an intimate friend of king Daśaratha. He obstructed the path of Rāvaṇa on hearing the wails of Sītā, and was fatally wounded and died after being seen by Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa.

[7]:

Kabandha was a heavenly being at first and was later cursed by the sage Sthūlaśiras and Indra to become an ugly-shaped demon as he tormented the other ascetics and was told that he would regain his original form after he met Rāma and died at his hands. See Rām. III. lxxi. 1-16.

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