by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597
This page is entitled “ravana reveals his project to the demon marica” and represents Chapter 36 of the Aranya-kanda of the Ramayana (English translation by Hari Prasad Shastri). The Ramayana narrates the legend of Rama and Sita and her abduction by Ravana, the king of Lanka. It contains 24,000 verses divided into seven sections [viz., Aranya-kanda].
“O Marica, listen to me as I relate everything to you! O My Child, I am deeply afflicted and you alone canst temper my distress!
“You are conversant with Janasthana, it was there that my brother Khara, the long-armed Dushana, my sister Shurpanakha and the powerful Trishiras and other flesh-eating titans, prowlers of the night, had at my command taken up their residence, in order to harass the sages in that vast forest, who were engaged in their austerities.
“Fourteen thousand titans of terrible deeds, full of courage and supremely skilled, dwelt in Janasthana under the leadership of Khara. These powerful warriors assembled there, met with Rama in the field. Furnished with every kind of weapon, clad in mail, and headed by Khara, they were assailed by the infuriated Rama, without a single provocative word having been uttered, who directed the arrows of his bow against them, and under the fiery darts of a mere mortal, fighting single-handed and on foot, those fourteen thousand titans of great prowess fell; Khara perished in that struggle and Dushana was laid low with Trishiras also; peace was thus established in the Dandaka Forest.
“Having been exiled to the forest with his wife by an outraged sire, that insignificant mortal, Rama, the obloquy of the warrior class, a man without moral principle, ruthless, passionate, fanatical, acquisitive and a slave to his senses, dwells in his hermitage, having forsworn his duty. Essentially unjust, seeking to harm others without cause, depending on his own strength alone, he has mutilated my sister by cutting off her ears and nose.
“I have resolved to carry off his consort, Sita, by force, who resembles a daughter of the Gods, and I now solicit thine aid in this undertaking. O Hero, I with my brothers have nothing to fear from the Gods, therefore do you accompany me as a loyal ally; O Titan; you have no equal in pride and courage in battle and in strategy; you are also a master, being versed in the laws of magic.
“Learn from me how you canst best assist me! Assuming the form of a golden deer, flecked with silver, do you pass to and fro near Rama’s hermitage in the presence of Sita. Seeing that lovely doe, assuredly Sita will say to her lord and Lakshmana:—‘Do you capture it!’
“When they are far distant and, by good fortune, Sita is left alone, I shall bear her away without hindrance, as Rahu devours the splendour of the moon. The abduction of his consort will cause Rama to die of grief, and I shall regain my happiness and security in a heart wholly satisfied!”
Hearing these words concerning Sita, the benevolent features of Marica wilted with terror and, passing his tongue over his dry lips, with a fixed gaze like unto one dead, he regarded Ravana. Filled with dread, knowing well the defence of the forest to be valiantly upheld by Rama, with joined palms Marica addressed Ravana in words tending to his welfare:—