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Srimad Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa | Araṇya Kāṇḍa


Aranya Kanda (The Book of the forest) is the third book of the Valmiki Ramayana, which is one of the two great epic poems of India, the other being the Mahabharata. The book consists of 75 sargas (sometimes translated as chapters or cantos) of Sanskrit verse. This describes journey of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana in the forest.

Rama, Sita and Lakshmana journeyed southward along the banks of river Godavari, where they built cottages and lived off the land. At the Panchavati forest they are visited by a rakshasa woman, Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana. She attempts to seduce the brothers and, failing in this, attempts to kill Sita. Lakshmana stops her by cutting off her nose and ears. Hearing of this, her demon brother, Khara, organises an attack against the princes. Rama annihilates Khara and his demons.

When news of these events reaches Ravana, he resolves to destroy Rama by capturing Sita with the aid of the rakshasa Maricha. Maricha, assuming the form of a golden deer, captivates Sita’s attention. Entranced by the beauty of the deer, Sita pleads with Rama to capture it. Lord Rama, aware that this is the play of the demons, is unable to dissuade Sita from her desire and chases the deer into the forest, leaving Sita under Lakshmana’s guard. After some time Sita hears Rama calling out to her; afraid for his life she insists that Lakshmana rush to his aid. Lakshmana tries to assure her that Rama is invincible, and that it is best if he continues to follow Rama’s orders to protect her. On the verge of hysterics Sita insists that it is not she but Rama who needs Lakshmana’s help. He obeys her wish but stipulates that she is not to leave the cottage or entertain any strangers. He draws a chalk outline, the Lakshmana rekha around the cottage and casts a spell on it that prevents anyone from entering the boundary but allows people to exit. Finally with the coast clear, Ravana appears in the guise of an ascetic requesting Sita’s hospitality. Unaware of the devious plan of her guest, Sita is tricked into leaving the rekha and then forcibly carried away by the evil Ravana.

Jatayu, a vulture,tries to rescue Sita, but is mortally wounded. At Lanka Sita is kept under the heavy guard of rakshasis. Ravana demands Sita marry him, but Sita, eternally devoted to Rama, refuses. Rama and Lakshmana learn about Sita’s abduction from Jadayu, and immediately set out to save her. During their search, they meet the demon Kabandha and the ascetic Shabari, who direct them towards Sugriva and Hanuman.

1Chapter 123
2Chapter 226
3Chapter 326
4Chapter 434
5Chapter 543
6Chapter 626
7Chapter 724
8Chapter 820
9Chapter 933
10Chapter 1022
11Chapter 1194
12Chapter 1237
13Chapter 1325
14Chapter 1436
15Chapter 1531
16Chapter 1643
17Chapter 1729
18Chapter 1826
19Chapter 1927
20Chapter 2025
21Chapter 2122
22Chapter 2224
23Chapter 2334
24Chapter 2436
25Chapter 2547
26Chapter 2638
27Chapter 2720
28Chapter 2833
29Chapter 2928
30Chapter 3041
31Chapter 3150
32Chapter 3225
33Chapter 3324
34Chapter 3426
35Chapter 3542
36Chapter 3624
37Chapter 3725
38Chapter 3833
39Chapter 3925
40Chapter 4027
41Chapter 4120
42Chapter 4235
43Chapter 4351
44Chapter 4427
45Chapter 4540
46Chapter 4638
47Chapter 4750
48Chapter 4824
49Chapter 4940
50Chapter 5028
51Chapter 5146
52Chapter 5244
53Chapter 5326
54Chapter 5430
55Chapter 5537
56Chapter 5636
57Chapter 5723
58Chapter 5820
59Chapter 5927
60Chapter 6038
61Chapter 6131
62Chapter 6220
63Chapter 6320
64Chapter 6477
65Chapter 6516
66Chapter 6621
67Chapter 6729
68Chapter 6838
69Chapter 6951
70Chapter 7019
71Chapter 7134
72Chapter 7227
73Chapter 7346
74Chapter 7435
75Chapter 7530

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