Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 14

14. Rāma Meets Jatāyu

[On the way to Pañchavaṭī Rāma meets Jatāyu who is the friend of Dasaratha and son of Aruṇā, Jatāyu tells Rāma about the origin of different type of animals and beings in this world. Since he lived near Pañchavaṭī, he undertakes to protect Sītā when both of them are absent.]

While the son of the Raghu clan was going to Pañchavaṭī, in the mid-way he saw an eagle with a big body and who was greatly valorous. 14.1

Those great Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa on seeing it in the forest, suspecting it as a Rākṣasa asked him, "Who are you?" 14.2

He replied them sweetly and in a soft tone, as if to please them "Oh lad, I am a friend of your father." 14.3

Rāma knowing him as his father's friend respected him and Rāma asked him about his clan as well as his name." 14.4

Hearing Rāma's word asking about his clan and about him, that bird told him about the genesis of all beings. 14.5

"Oh Rāma hear, In the olden times there existed lords of the people and please hear me about all of them." 14.6

"The first among them was Kardhama Prajāpati, who was followed by Vikrutha and later Śeṣa and still later Samsarya who had many valorous sons. He was followed in that order by Sthāṇu, Marīchi, Atri, The very strong Krathu, Pulastya, Aangeera, Prachetha, Pulaha, Dakṣa, Vivasvān and Ariṣṭanemi. Oh Rāma, after him the greatly lustrous Kaśyapa was born at the end". 14.7-14.9

"Oh very famous Rāma, we hear that Dakṣa Prajāpati had sixty very famous daughters. "14.10

"Kaśyapa accepted eight of those daughters who had slender waist. They were Āditi, Diti, Dhanu, Kaalaka, Tāmra, Krodhavasaa, Manu and Amalā." 14.11

"Kashyapa who was in love with those eight maids told in turn to them, "please give birth to sons who are lords of the three world similar to me.." 14.12

"Oh intelligent Rāma, Āditi, Diti, Kaalaaka and Dhanu agreed with his proposal while others did not give heed to it." 14.13

"Oh destroyer of the enemies, Āditi gave birth to devas called Ādityas [12], Vāsus [8], Rudras [11] and Aśvīns [2], a total of 33 of them. 14.14

"Oh lad, Diti gave birth to the famous Daityas and this earth with its forests, oceans, belonged to them earlier." 14.15

"Oh destroyer of enemies, Dhanu gave birth to Aswagreeva [Hayagrīva] Kaalaaka gave birth to Kalaka and Naraka." 14.16

"But Thaamraa gave birth to five world famous girls Krounchi, Bhaasi, Sayeani, Drutharashtri and Sukhee." 14.17

"Krounchi gave birth to owls, Bhaasi gave birth to Vultures, Sayeani gave birth to greatly shining eagles and Vulcans, Drutharashtri gave birth to swans and also other water birds." 14.18-14.19

"Drutharashtri also gave birth to Chakravāka birds; let them be safe, Shuki gave birth to Nata and her daughter was Kadru." 14.20

"Oh, Rāma, Krodhavasa gave birth to ten of her self-same daughters namely Mrigi, Mriga Maṇḍa, Hari, Bhadra Maṇḍa, Mātangī, Sharduulii, Shweta, Surabhī, and like that to Surasa, who is embodied with all giftedness, and even to Kadruva." 14.21-14.22

"The children of Mrugee were all the types of deer, Mrigamandhas children were bears and Srimaras and Yaak and oxen." 14.23

"Bhadra Maṇḍa gave birth to Irāvatī and she gave birth to the elephant Airāvata, who is the elephant which is the lord of the earth." 14.24

"Hari's offspring are lions and mighty as well as monkeys and Sarduli gave birth to baboons and tigers." 14.25

"Oh Rāma Mātangī's children were elephants and Shwetha gave birth to eight elephants which are guardians of eight directions." 14.26

"Oh Rāma then Surabhi gave birth to two daughters, the very famous Rohiṇī and Gandharvī, May you be safe." 14.27

"Rohiṇī produced cows, Gandharvī gave birth to sons who were horses, Surasr gave birth to serpents and Kadru gave birth to ordinary snakes." 14.28

"For the great soul Kaśyapa lady Manu produced Manuṣya [Men] consisting of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Śūdras." 14.29

"From the Vedas we hear that Brahmins were born out of face, Kshatriyas from the chest, Vaisyas from the two thighs And Śūdras from the two feet." 14.30

"Amalā gave birth to trees bearing all fruits and I will tell you about Vinatā, the daughter's daughter of Shuki and about Kadru, the sister of Surasā." 14.31

"Kadru gave birth to a thousand headed serpent who bears the earth, and Vinatā gave birth to Garuda and Aruṇā." 14.32

"Oh destroyer of enemies, I was born out of Aruṇā and Sampattī is my elder brother and so know me as Jatāyu son of Syeni." 14.33

"If you wish I can help you out during your stay here, for this impassable forest is full of wild animals and Rākṣasas and I can protect Sītā, when you or Lakṣmaṇa go out." 14.34

Rāghava honoured Jatāyu by gladly hugging him and bowing to him and that kind hearted Rāma recognizing Jatāyu’s friendship with his father, Rāma spoke again and again to Jatāyu. 14.35

Then Rāma taking Sītā, the princess of Mithilā along with the very powerful bird went to Pañchavaṭī in the company of Lakṣmaṇa with a view to destroy the enemies like fire destroys the butterflies. 14.36

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