Rama spots Jataayu, whose wings are hacked and who is breathless, and is in his last moments. On conceding to the suggestion of Lakshmana that they should search for Seetha, they start searching the forest and at certain place the mountainous Jataayu is seen. Mistaking him to be a demon Rama wants to kill and speedily approaches Jataayu, but on listening Jataayu’s words, Rama recognises and laments for his wretched situation.
पूर्वजो अपि उक्त मात्रः तु लक्ष्मणेन सुभाषितम् |
सार ग्राही महासारम् प्रतिजग्राह राघवः || ३-६७-१
saara graahii mahaasaaram pratijagraaha raaghavaH || 3-67-1
Even though Rama is elder to Lakshmana he gleaned the ultimate tenor of Lakshmana’s words when Lakshmana just said them expediently because Raghava is a best gleaner of the gist of advises. [3-67-1]
If the advice is with ideation it can be taken form youngsters… yukti yuktam vaco graahyam baalaat api subhaaShitam | tathaa ca – anena baalot iiritam api yuktam vaco graahyam iti uktam – tathaa ca bhaarate udyoge – viduraH – api unmatta pralaapato baalaacca parisarpitaH | sarvataH saaram aadadyaat ashmabhya iva kaancanam || iti – dk ‘youngsters advices can be taken like gold from the coals…’ .
स निगृह्य महाबाहुः प्रवृद्धम् रोषम् आत्मनः |
अवष्टभ्य धनुः चित्रम् रामो लक्ष्मणम् अब्रवीत् || ३-६७-२
avaShTabhya dhanuH citram raamo lakShmaNam abraviit || 3-67-2
Such as he is that dextrous Rama on controlling his highly heightening fury, propping against his bedazzling bow spoke this to Lakshmana. [3-67-2] .
किम् करिष्यावहे वत्स क्व वा गच्छाव लक्ष्मण |
केन उपायेन पश्येयम् सीताम् इह विचिन्तय || ३-६७-३
kena upaayena pashyeyam siitaam iha vicintaya || 3-67-3
“What is to be done by us, oh, dear boy… or, whereto we might go, or, by which device Seetha is discernable… Lakshmana, now you think of it, clearly… [3-67-3] .
तम् तथा परिताप आर्तम् लक्ष्मणो रामम् अब्रवीत् |
इदम् एव जनस्थानम् त्वम् अन्वेषितुम् अर्हसि || ३-६७-४
राक्षसैः बहुभिः कीर्णम् नाना द्रुम लता आयुतम् |
idam eva janasthaanam tvam anveShitum ar.hhasi || 3-67-4
raakShasaiH bahubhiH kiirNam naanaa druma lataa aayutam |
To such a Rama who is tormented by anguish, Lakshmana said, “it will be apt of you to search this Janasthaana alone which is rife with many demons, and replete with manifold trees and climber-plants… [3-67-4] .
सन्ति इह गिरि दुर्गाणि निर्दराः कंदराणि च || ३-६७-५
गुहाः च विविधा घोरा नाना मृग गण आकुलाः |
आवासाः किन्नराणाम् च गन्धर्व भवनानि च || ३-६७-६
guhaaH ca vividhaa ghoraa naanaa mR^iga gaNa aakulaaH |
aavaasaaH kinnaraaNaam ca gandharva bhavanaani ca || 3-67-6
“Here there are unclimbable mountains, glens and glyphs as well. There are divers and pernicious caverns tumultuous with diverse packs of predators, and here are the mansions of kinnaraa-s and palaces of gandharva-s, as well… [3-67-5b, 6] .
तानि युक्तो मया सार्धम् समन्वेषितुम् अर्हसि |
त्वत् विधा बुद्धि संपन्ना माहात्मानो नरर्षभ || ३-६७-७
आपत्सु न प्रकंपन्ते वायु वेगैः इव अचलाः |
tvat vidhaa buddhi saMpannaa maahaatmaano nararShabha || 3-67-7
aapat.hsu na prakaMpante vaayu vegaiH iva acalaaH |
“It will be apt of you to steadfastly search in them along with me, and oh, best one among men, your sort of literati and clever-souls will be unfluctuating in calamities like the mountains unfluctuating in windstorms…” Lakshmana said so Rama. [3-67-6, 7, 8a] .
इति उक्तः तत् वनम् सर्वम् विचचार स लक्ष्मणः || ३-६७-८
क्रुद्धो रामः शरम् घोरम् संधाय धनुषि क्षुरम् |
kruddho raamaH sharam ghoram sa.ndhaaya dhanuShi kShuram |
When Lakshmana said in this way to that ireful Rama, he roved entire forest along with Lakshmana readying a crescent-shaped razor-sharp deadly arrow on his bow. [3-67-8b, 9a] .
ततः पर्वत कूट आभम् महा भागम् द्विज उत्तमम् || ३-६७-९
ददर्श पतितम् भूमौ क्षतज आर्द्रम् जटायुषम् |
dadarsha patitam bhuumau kShataja aardram jaTaayuSham |
Then Rama beheld Jataayu who is akin to a mountaintop in his gleam, and a best beatific brave bird among all the birds, but bloodstained and buckling on earth. [3-67-9b, 10a] .
तम् दृष्ट्वा गिरि शृंग आभम् रामो लक्ष्मणम् अब्रवीत् || ३-६७-१०
अनेन सीता वैदेही भक्षिता न अत्र संशयः |
anena siitaa vaidehii bhakShitaa na atra saMshayaH |
On beholding him who is like a mountaintop in his gleam, Rama said to Lakshmana, “This one has gluttonised Seetha, the princess from Vaidehi, there is no doubt about it… [3-67-10b, 11a]
Comment: ‘Here is Valmiki’s blatant attempt to add too many words for one Seetha…’ so some may say them as: ‘Stock epithets for Sita are only three in Ayodhya kaanda, but increase in Aranya kaanda and later, all relating to her being Janaka’s daughter and belonging to Mithila and Videha…’ in some book called ‘ Epic Threads ‘ — John Brockington on the Sanskrit Epics, by Greg Bailey & Mary Brockington, 366 pages, paperback, New Delhi: Oxford Univ. Press 2000; Reviewed by Pradip Bhattacharya. But we are told by tradition that these are neither stock epithets nor metre fillers, but each has its own significance. Here the word ‘Seetha’ is for the recollected wife Seetha, and ‘Vaidehi’ is for the reminisced Videha king. In the same numbered sarga of Bala Kanda 67, and even in Bala 66, Janaka harps on that ‘Seetha is a valour’s bounty… Seetha is a valour’s bounty…’ And as a son-in-law, if Rama were to face Janaka later, should he be shamefaced in not protecting Seetha… or shall Rama simply tell Janaka that ‘a demon took away or ate away your daughter…’ If he says so, what happens to his innumerable epithets – will be the collateral question. This is what Rama said “Oh, kind Lakshmana, this Godavari is talking to me anything but a reply, and on coming across Vaidehi’s father Janaka, also thus Vaidehi’s mother-in-law and my mother Kausalya, really what is that unpleasant word that I have to say to them, in the absence of Vaidehi…’ at 3-64-11, 12a. Again, these are often-repeated epithets of Seetha by Rama after the abduction of Seetha.
Seetha is given to Rama presuming Rama to be a true valiant and befitting husband and the saviour of Seetha, as Rama established his superpower in breaking a non-liftable bow, in any dire situation. But reversed are situations in Aranya as she is likely to be abducted in its early chapters, and really abducted in later chapters. Now Rama has actually not protected Seetha, though capable enough. Leave Rama and Valmiki alone for a while in giving so many epithets to Seetha, can any self-respecting son-in-law, a protective husband, more so, a semi-super power on earth, can possibly face his father-in-law and say smilingly, ‘your daughter is lost…’ Hence, these ‘so many epithets… that too, as Vaidehi, in particular, in this particular Aranya…’ have their own meanings and subtexts, which can be known only through commentaries, unlike reading a novel. Ramayana is a dhvani kaavya ‘ epic with allusions…’ and which word has which allusiveness is to be known first, before theorising the craft of Valmiki or the crafty interpolators. ‘If the interpolators have interpolated unwittingly, will the Sanskrit grammarians and linguists keep quiet, or wage a war, until it is changed…’ is the pursuant exclamation. Hence we appeal to the near extinct species called Sanskrit pundits to record somewhere as which epithet functions in which way. .
गृध्र रूपम् इदम् व्यक्तम् रक्षो भ्रमति काननम् || ३-६७-११
भक्षयित्वा विशालाक्षीम् आस्ते सीताम् यथा सुखम् |
एनम् वधिष्ये दीप्त अग्रैः घोरैः बाणैः अजिह्मगैः || ३-६७-१२
bhakShayitvaa vishaalaakShiim aaste siitaam yathaa sukham |
enam vadhiShye diipta agraiH ghoraiH baaNaiH ajihmagaiH || 3-67-12
“It is apparent that this demon skulks in the forest in the semblance of an eagle, and having gluttonised that wide-eyed Seetha he is now reposing comfortably. I will eliminate him with deadly arrows, whose arrowheads blaze away and which shoot off straightly…” Thus Rama declared. [3-67-11b, 12] .
इति उक्त्वा अभ्यपतत् गृध्रम् सन्धाय धनुषि क्षुरम् |
क्रुद्धो रामः समुद्र अन्ताम् चालयन् इव मेदिनीम् || ३-६७-१३
kruddho raamaH samudra antaam caalayan iva mediniim || 3-67-13
On saying thus and on readying a crescent-shaped razor-sharp deadly arrow on his bow, that ireful Rama rushed towards the eagle, as though to a-tremble the whole of the earth that which is within the perimeter of oceans. [3-67-13] .
तम् दीन दीनया वाचा स फेनम् रुधिरम् वमन् |
अभ्यभाषत पक्षी तु रामम् दशरथ आत्मजम् || ३-६७-१४
abhyabhaaShata pakShii tu raamam dasharatha aatmajam || 3-67-14
But that bird spewing up frothy blood pathetically appealed to such an ireful son of Dasharatha, namely Rama, in a pathetic tone. [3-67-14]
Jataayu is firstly recollecting his friend Dasharatha on his deathbed, then he recounts this Rama as that Dasharatha’s son, and hence, the epithet to Rama is non-non-essential. .
याम् ओषधिम् इव आयुष्मन् अन्वेषसि महा वने |
सा देवी मम च प्राणा रावणेन उभयम् हृतम् || ३-६७-१५
saa devii mama ca praaNaa raavaNena ubhayam hR^itam || 3-67-15
“Oh, boy Rama, blest is your eternality, for whom you are searching as with the search of a rejuvenescent herb in the vast of forest, Ravana stole that lady and my lives, too… [3-67-15] .
त्वया विरहिता देवी लक्ष्मणेन च राघव |
ह्रियमाणा मया दृष्टा रावणेन बलीयसा || ३-६७-१६
hriyamaaNaa mayaa dR^iShTaa raavaNena baliiyasaa || 3-67-16
“I have seen that lady while being stolen by brute-forced Ravana when you and even Lakshmana absented from her… [3-67-16] .
सीताम् अभ्यवपन्नो अहम् रावणः च रणे मया |
विध्वंसित रथः च अत्र पातितो धरणी तले || ३-६७-१७
vidhva.nsita rathaH ca atra paatito dharaNii tale || 3-67-17
“I outreached to rescue Seetha… and in a combat Ravana is rendered as one with utterly battered chariot… and I felled him and that chariot there… onto earth’s surface… [3-67-17]
Some mms use Chatram ‘parasol…’ for the word atra for ‘there…’ and prabho ‘oh, lord…’ for mayaa ‘by me…’ .
एतत् अस्य धनुः भग्नम् एतत् अस्य शरावरम् |
अयम् अस्य रणे राम भग्नः सांग्रामिको रथः || ३-६७-१८
ayam asya raNe raama bhagnaH saaMgraamiko rathaH || 3-67-18
“This one is his fragmented bow and this is his fragmented armour… oh, Rama, this is his combat-chariot… which, in combat shattered by me… [3-67-18]
Some mms use prabho ‘oh, lord…’ for etat and sharaaH tathaa ‘arrows like that’ for sharaavaram ‘armour…’ .
अयम् तु सारथिः तस्य मत् पक्ष निहतो भुविः |
परिश्रान्तस्य मे पक्षौ छित्त्वा खड्गेन रावणः || ३-६७-१९
सीताम् आदाय वैदेहीम् उत्पपात विहायसम् |
रक्षसा निहतम् पूर्वम् न माम् हन्तुम् त्वम् अर्हसि || ३-६७-२०
parishraantasya me pakShau chhittvaa khaDgena raavaNaH || 3-67-19
siitaam aadaaya vaidehiim utpapaata vihaayasam |
rakShasaa nihatam puurvam na maam hantum tvam ar.hhasi || 3-67-20
“This is his charioteer drop dead onto earth by my wings… when I am overtired Ravana gashed my wings and flew skyward taking Seetha of Videha kingdom with him, and it will be inapt of you to kill me who am already killed by the demon…” Thus Jataayu appealed to Rama. [3-67-19, 20] .
रामः तस्य तु विज्ञाय सीता सक्ताम् प्रियाम् कथाम् |
गृध्र राजम् परिष्वज्य परित्यज्य महत् धनुः || ३-६७-२१
gR^idhra raajam pariShvajya parityajya mahat dhanuH || 3-67-21
Rama jettisoned his forceful bow when he heard the much desired news about Seetha while hugging that kingly eagle Jataayu. [3-67-21].
निपपात अवशो भूमौ रुरोद सह लक्ष्मण |
द्विगुणीकृत ताप आर्तो रामो धीरतरो अपि सन् || ३-६७-२२
dviguNiikR^ita taapa aarto raamo dhiirataro api san || 3-67-22
Even though Rama is comparatively a bold person he involuntarily fell down to ground, as the onefold scorch of anguish for Seetha is doubled by this predicament of Jataayu, and he wept over Jataayu. [3-67-22]
Rama’s weeping is real or unreal, is a haunted notion for commentators. Here also he is weeping over. For this Maheshvara Tiirtha says that he weeps and bewails when his adherents are ill at ease. In Ayodhya vyasaneShu manuShyaaNaa~N bhR^isha~N bhavati duHkhitaH || utsaveShu ca sarveShu piteva parituShyati | 2-2-40 ‘Rama feels very sad towards afflictions of men, and feels delighted in all functions celebrated by people on the occasions of child birth and the like, just as their own father does…’ So, it must be true in respect of Seetha, even. This is agreeable to Govindaraja, too. .
एकम् एक अयने कृच्छ्रे निःश्वसन्तम् मुहुर् मुहुः |
समीक्ष्य दुःखितो रामः सौमित्रिम् इदम् अब्रवीत् || ३-६७-२३
samiikShya duHkhito raamaH saumitrim idam abraviit || 3-67-23
Jataayu is supine on a single-strait passable for a single-person and he is suspiring for several times, and on seeing such Jataayu Rama became anguished and spoke this to Soumitri. [3-67-23]
Here the words ekaayane kR^irChre may mean differently. kR^iChre ‘difficultly…’ ekaayane ‘one-way breathing, breathing in, inhaling difficultly…’ and this way of juxtaposing words, ‘Jataayu is struggling for a breath…’ would mean more near to the scene, than a single-strait, or a narrow pathway, which are not uncommon in forests. .
राज्यम् भ्रष्टम् वने वासः सीता नष्टा मृते द्विजः |
ईदृशी इयम् मम अलक्ष्मीः दहेत् अपि पावकम् || ३-६७-२४
iidR^ishii iyam mama alakShmiiH dahet api paavakam || 3-67-24
“Mislaid is my kingdom and I am mislocated into forests, Seetha is misplaced and now this mischance of death on this bird… this kind of misfortune of mine incinerates even Agni, the Divine-Incinerator… [3-67-24] .
संपूर्णम् अपि चेत् अद्य प्रतरेयम् महोदधिम् |
सो अपि नूनम् मम अलक्ष्म्या विशुष्येत् सरिताम् पतिः || ३-६७-२५
so api nuunam mama alakShmyaa vishuShyet saritaam patiH || 3-67-25
“Even if it were to be a plethoric and limitless ocean, and now if I were to enter it, or take a swim to the other shore of blissfulness, even that Lord of Rivers runs completely dry, owing to my misfortune, it is definite… [3-67-25] .
न अस्ति अभाग्यतरो लोके मत्तो अस्मिन् स चराचरे |
येन इयम् महती प्राप्ता मया व्यसन वागुरा || ३-६७-२६
yena iyam mahatii praaptaa mayaa vyasana vaaguraa || 3-67-26
“There will not be any greater unfortunate being in this world than me, even if all the sessile and mobile beings are put together, by whom such a complicated catastrophic enmeshment as this is derived… [3-67-26] .
अयम् पितृ वयस्यो मे गृध्र राजो जरा अन्वितः |
शेते विनिहतो भूमौ मम भाग्य विपर्ययात् || ३-६७-२७
shete vinihato bhuumau mama bhaagya viparyayaat || 3-67-27
“This decrepit kingly eagle is the friend of my father who is terminally gashed and recumbent on the floor owing only to the backlash of my fortune…” So lamented Rama for the wounded eagle Jataayu. [3-67-27]
Some mms use the word mahaa balaH ‘great mighty’ eagle king, while others use jaraanvita ‘old aged, decrepit…’ for a pathetic touch. .
इति एवम् उक्त्वा बहुशो राघवः सह लक्ष्मणः |
जटायुषम् च पस्पर्श पितृ स्नेहम् निदर्शयन् || ३-६७-२८
jaTaayuSham ca pasparsha pitR^i sneham nidarshayan || 3-67-28
Thus, lamenting in that way for many times Raghava patted the body of Jataayu along with Lakshmana instancing his parental regard. [3-67-28] .
निकृत्त पक्षम् रुधिर अवसिक्तम्
तम् गृध्र राजम् परिरभ्य रामः |
क्व मैथिलि प्राण समा मम इति
विमुच्य वाचम् निपपात भूमौ || ३-६७-२९
tam gR^idhra raajam parirabhya raamaH |
kva maithili praaNa samaa mama iti
vimucya vaacam nipapaata bhuumau || 3-67-29
On hugging that kingly eagle whose wings are hacked off and who is bloodstained, and on uttering this much, “she who is identical with my lives,… where is that Maithili…” Rama collapsed to earth. [3-67-29] .