Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 10

10. Rāma Replies to Sītā

[Rāma tells Sītā that the sages of Daṇḍakāraṇya have been constantly troubled by those Rākṣasas, who prevent them from doing their penances and fire sacrifices. As per their request, he had promised them that he would kill or drive away those Rākṣasas. Since truth is dearer to him than anything else, he cannot desist from that.]

Hearing those words of Vaidehī told because of her devotion to him, That Rāma who was firm on following Dharma replied like this to Janaki. 10.1

"Oh Lady who knows Dharma, Oh daughter of Janaka, You have spoken friendly, pleasing and beneficial words which shows your great heritage." 10.2

"Oh divine lady, what shall I reply to those befitting words, which mentioned that when a Kṣattriya takes the bow, the tears of misery ceases to flow." 10.3

"Oh Sītā, Those suffering sages of Daṇḍakāraṇya who are firm in their resolute penance have themselves approached me for protection." 10.4

"Living always in the forest and subsisting on tubers and fruits, they do not get pleasure due to being scared by the cruel acts of Rākṣasas." 10.5

"The very large Rākṣasas who eat human flesh, eat away the sages living in Daṇḍakāraṇya and those great Brahmins have come to me asking to save them." 10.6

"After I heard the words that fell from their mouth, I consoled them by my words and told them, "Be gracious to me, this is greatly insulting to me as these should have been done by myself without your request." 10.7-10.8

"And then I asked those Brahmins in front of me, "what should I do?" and then all of them together spoke out to me." 10.9

"In Daṇḍakāraṇya there are many Rākṣasas who can assume any form that they want and they torture and trouble us, Rāma and so protect us from that." 10.10

"Oh matchless one, they reach us when we are doing Homa and on full and new moon days and those flesh eating Rākṣasas, who are impossible to resist trouble us." 10.11

"We who are sages who do penance, when troubled by those Rākṣasas, were searching for protection and you are our only ultimate protector." 10.12

"Due to the power of the penance that we have done, we are indeed capable to kill those night farers but we do not want to waste, the power of penance that we have earned in a long time." 10.13

"There are many obstacles for doing our penance and observing penance also has become greatly difficult and so though we are being eaten by them, we do not curse them." 10.14

"Those sages of Daṇḍakāraṇya who were being persecuted by the Rākṣasas said, "since you are the lord of the jungle, along with your brother protect us." 10.15

"Oh, daughter of Janaka, hearing those words, I have given my word for complete protection of those sages of Daṇḍakāraṇya." 10.16

"Having promised like this to the sages, it is not possible for me to change this course, as truth is dear to me, is it not?" 10.17

"Now I am prepared to lose my life and to forfeit even Lakṣmaṇa and you, rather than going back from the promise that I gave to those Brahmins." 10.18

"So Sītā, even If I have not been requested, I have to look after the sages and Oh Vaidehī, so it is not proper to break my promise." 10.19

"Oh Sītā, you told those words out of love to me and due to your good heart and I am contented and would not tolerate uninterested ones advising me." 10.20

"Oh pretty one, your correct and appropriate words are proper to your heritage, and you are my companion in observing Dharma and dearer to me than my own soul." 10.21

After that great one told these words to dear Sītā who was the princess of Mithilā, Armed with bow, Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa went to the pretty forest of penance. 10.22

This is the end of Tenth Sarga of Āraṇya Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.