Ramayana of Valmiki

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

This page is entitled “ravana’s wrath” and represents Chapter 40 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 40 - Ravana’s Wrath

As one about to die refuses a remedy, so did Ravana repudiate Marica’s judicious and opportune words and, having listened to this salutory discourse, replied in harsh and ill-considered accents, saying:—

“You Wretch, what you have spoken will bear no fruit, as seed that is sown on barren soil comes to nought, nor will it alter my determination to enter into combat with Rama, who is but a witless and insignificant creature.

“In your presence I shall bear away the beloved wife of Rama, the slayer of Khara, who has renounced father, mother, kingdom and friends for a woman of no account. O Marica, my mind is fixed; neither Gods nor titans nor Indra himself can alter my resolve.

“It is proper, when asked, to put forward the advantages and disadvantages of a project and what will best serve or injure a purpose; a wise minister, questioned by his sovereign, seeking his master’s good, will answer with due deference, standing before him with joined palms, in words fitting to the occasion, but a gloomy discourse does not please a monarch, who, having regard to his dignity, is thereby affronted.

“Kings of limitless power represent the five Gods: Agni, Indra, Soma, Yama and Varuna, symbolising ardour, valour, gentleness, retribution and forgiveness; therefore at all times they should be honoured and revered. You, nevertheless, disregarding your duty, dost only manifest arrogance. You to whom I have come as a guest hast treated me as a miscreant. I have not consulted you regarding what is expedient or proper, O Titan, I ask you for your support in this enterprise. Hear how you canst assist me.

“Assuming the form of a golden deer studded with silver, proceed to Rama’s hermitage and pass to and fro before Vaidehi; after captivating her, you canst depart. Seeing you transformed into a deer by your magic power, Vaidehi struck with wonder, will instantly call on Rama to capture you. When Kakutstha is far away, having left the hermitage, do you, imitating his voice, utter such cries as: ‘O Sita! O Lakshmana!’

“At this call, urged on by Sita, Saumitri, in fraternal love, being perturbed, will hastily follow in Rama’s wake. Kakutstha and Lakshmana being both far distant, I shall bear Sita away, as the thousand-eyed God carried off Saci. Having accomplished this according to my design, I shall confer half my kingdom on you, O Titan.

“O Friend, do you pursue the path which leads to the success of this enterprise and I will follow in my chariot. Obtaining possession of Sita without a struggle by deceiving Rama, I shall return to Lanka with you, my purpose fulfilled.

“If you dost not obey me, even against thine inclination, O Marica, I shall slay you instantly! I shall compel you! None can attain happiness and prosperity by opposing his sovereign’s will. Verily by coming before Rama they dost risk your life, but certain death awaits you if you oppose me; therefore reflect carefully on what is most expedient, and do what you deemest proper.”

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