Ramayana of Valmiki

by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597

This page is entitled “marica again seeks to dissuade ravana from pursuing his design” and represents Chapter 39 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].

Chapter 39 - Marica again seeks to dissuade Ravana from pursuing his Design

“O Ravana I have told you how my life was spared; now hear what happened further.

“I was in no way daunted by this event and, accompanied by two demons, I entered the forest of Dandaka disguised as a deer. There I roamed about living on the flesh of ascetics, visiting the sacred retreats, the sacrificial fires and places of worship, sowing terror amongst the sages, whom I persecuted. Growing exceedingly rapacious, I slew those ascetics, drinking their blood and devouring their flesh, my cruelty rendering me the terror of all the inhabitants of the forest.

“As I roamed here and there throwing obstacles in the way of the religious rites, I encountered Rama living a life of asceticism with the blessed Sita and the mighty Lakshmana, engaged in pious practices and devoted to the welfare of all.

“Filled with contempt for the mighty Rama, who had retired to the forest, and reflecting: ‘So he has now become an ascetic,’ I, remembering my former defeat, filled with anger, rushed at him with lowered horns, in my folly desiring to kill him. But he, swift as Suparna or Anila, drawing his great bow, loosed three sharp and deadly arrows, and these dread shafts with burnished points resembling lightning, flew off as one, thirsting for blood.

“Knowing Rama’s skill and prowess from former times and recognising the peril in which I stood, I ran away and escaped, but the two titans who accompanied me were slain. Having with supreme difficulty evaded Rama’s arrows thus preserving my life, I retired to this place, adopting the path of an ascetic and practising Yoga. From that day, I behold Rama, clothed in bark, wearing a black antelope skin, bearing his bow, in every tree, like unto the God of Death himself carrying his noose! In my terror, I see thousands of Ramas, O Ravana! The whole forest assumes the form of Rama and even in deserted places I behold him ! O Chief of the Titans, in sleep also he appear to me and I start up in fear. Such is the terror he inspires in me, that even those words beginning with the syllable ‘Ra’, such as ‘Ratna’ and ‘Ratha’, fill me with alarm.

“Having recognized the prowess of that descendant of Raghu, I am persuaded that you are not able to withstand him in combat, when even Bali and Namuchi succumbed to him. Whether you dost enter into conflict with him or makest your peace, do not speak his name to me, if you wouldst see me live!

“In this world, there are countless virtuous souls engaged in the practice of Yoga, fulfilling their every duty, who yet perish with those about them through another’s fault. I too, therefore, should be doomed to die for another’s misdeeds! O Ranger of the Night, do what you deemest to be right, but follow you I will not. Truly Rama, who is full of zeal, courage and prowess, will prove to be the destroyer of the titans of this world. Though the wicked-minded Khara of Janasthana was slain by him on account of Shurpanakha, how, in truth, is he to blame for that?

“I have uttered these words for your good and the good of your kinsmen; if you disregards them, you and your people will assuredly perish in combat with Rama!”

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