Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 45

45. Lakṣmaṇa in Search of Rāma

[Janaki first requests Lakṣmaṇa to go and help his brother and when he refuses saying that his brother is very strong she tells that Lakṣmaṇa wants to possess her. Wounded by this Lakṣmaṇa decides to go in search of Rāma.]

Hearing the sound of pain which was her husband's voice from the forest Sītā told Lakṣmaṇa, "You go to Rāma and find out what happened." 45.1

"My heart is trembling and my soul is not in place where it should be there after hearing the cry of anguish from the forest requesting for help. You ought to go to protect your brother." 45.2

"You run quickly there as your brother is requesting for help just like a bull which has been caught by a lion." 45.3

As per the instructions of his brother, he did not move from there and seeing that the very angry daughter of Janaka told him. 45.4

"Oh Son of Sumitrā, you are an enemy of your brother in the form of a friend, for in this situation you are not going to help your brother." 45.5

"You desire for the destruction of Rāma for my sake and I know for sure that you are not going to help Rāma because of greed." 45.6

"I think that you do not have any love towards your brother and that is why you are standing here though Rāma with great lustre is not there." 45.7

"You are standing here without attending to the main duty for which you have come by not going there when he is in difficulty and what is the use of my being here?' 45.8

Saying like that Vaidehī stood there drowning in her tears due to great sorrow and Lakṣmaṇa told her, who was shivering like a female deer. 45.9

"Oh Vaidehī, there is no doubt that even devas, Gandharvas asuras, serpents and men cannot win over your husband." 45.10

"Oh auspicious one, Rāma is like Indra in war and cannot be faced by devas, Men, Gandharvas, birds, Rākṣasas, devils, Kinnaras, wild animals and horrible asuras." 45.11-45.12

"Rāma cannot be killed in war and so you should not talk like this and I am not interested to go, leaving you alone here." 45.13

"He cannot be resisted by even mighty strong people or by well-equipped armies and in the three worlds there is no one who can fight with him, even if they are helped by Gods." 45.14

"Relieve your heart and give up your sorrow, your husband would come back quickly after killing that great deer." 45.15

"It is clearly not his voice but one created by illusion by somebody like the city of Gandharvas, possibly by that Rākṣasa." 45.16

"Oh Vaidehī. you have been deposited by Rāma with me for safe keep; I am not willing to leave by leaving you here, oh blessed lady." 45.17

"Oh Vaidehī after we have killed Khara in Janasṭhāna, we have developed enmity with the Rākṣasas." 45.18

"In this great forest Rākṣasas who wander torturing others speak in many voices and so you should not get worried." 45.19

Hearing these words, Sītā became greatly enraged and with her eyes turning blood red, she told these harsh undesirable words to Lakṣmaṇa who was a votary of truth. 45.20

"Oh man of bad conduct, oh cruel one, Oh blot to your clan, I think that the distress of Rāma is pleasing you." 45.21

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa, in spite of seeing the great distress of Rāma you speak such words and if this occurs among rivals it would not be surprising. You seem to be cruel and walking with disguise." 45.22-45.23

"You are bad one who is following Rāma when he is alone, for my sake covering your true intention, possibly instigated by Bhārata." 45.24

"Your or Bharata’s intention will never be fulfilled. Would I leave my husband who is black like a blue lotus, having eyes like a lotus flower and love ordinary men like you?" 45.25

"Oh son of Sumitrā, I would give up my life in your presence now, for without Rāma I do not want to live on this earth even for a second." 45.26

Hearing these harsh and uncivil words of the agitated Sītā, Lakṣmaṇa who has won over his senses told her with folded hands in salutation. 45.27

"You are like a goddess to me and I do not intend to reply you. Oh Maithili such unworthy words coming from a woman is not surprising as, in the world it is well known that ladies exhibit such characters." 45.28-45.29

"Ladies are beyond Dharma, whimsical, inconsistent, sharp tongued capable of wounding others. Oh Vaidehī, who is the daughter of king Janaka, I cannot tolerate such words for they are red hot arrows piercing my ears." 45.30

"I am arguing for justice and so your harsh tone is not justified. Let all those who are in this forest bear witness to what I say." 45.31

"Fie on you. By doubting me you may be ruined by the natural callous conduct of ladies as I am only following my elder brother's words." 45.32

"I am going to see Rāma, Oh blessed one, be safe. Let all the gods of forest protect you, oh broad eyed one." 45.33

"I see dreadful omens before me and I am not sure whether I would be able to see you along with Rāma on my return, Oh Vaidehī, the daughter of Janaka." 45.34-45.35

When Lakṣmaṇa told her like this, the daughter of Janaka started crying and she with tear drenched eyes replied harshly. 45.36

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa, without Rāma I will enter river Godavari and bind myself to death or I will sacrifice this body by falling from difficult terrain." 45.37

"I will drink strong poison or enter raging fire but I will not touch any other male except the son of Raghu clan even by my foot." 45.38

Like this, with great sorrow, Sītā started blaming Lakṣmaṇa, by hitting her belly with her own hands." 45.39

The son of Sumitrā seeing the sad state of that dejected lady who has broad eyes, consoled her but Sītā refused to speak to the brother of her husband. 45.40

Then Lakṣmaṇa, after saluting Sītā and after bending little to show his respect, looked at her thought of various ways to protect her and started to join Rāma. 45.41

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