Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 46

46. Rāvaṇa as Mendicant

[As soon as Lakṣmaṇa goes away Rāvaṇa takes the form of a mendicant and approaches Janaki. He praises her beauty and without any suspicions, Janaki receives him inside the hermitage hospitably.]

When she spoke thus rudely to him, the younger brother got very angry, and wanted to see Rāma and started from there with speed. 46.1

Then immediately Rāvaṇa assumed a form of a Sannyāsī and taking advantage of the opportunity approached Vaidehī. 46.2

Wearing good quality ochre cloths, with hair knotted, holding umbrella, wearing sandals, with auspicious staff and water pot hanging over his left shoulder, looking like a mendicant Rāvaṇa approached Vaidehī. 46.3

In the forest, when both brothers who were like the Sun and Moon were absent, Rāvaṇa who was very strong at the time of dusk, when the darkness starts to spread. 46.4

Then the exceedingly cruel Rāvaṇa saw the young lady who was wife of Rāma and who was famous, like a sinister planet looks at Rohiṇī when the moon was absent. 46.5

The trees of Janasṭhāna seeing him of greatly fierce actions started shaking and wind ceased to blow. 46.6

The fast flowing river Godavari seeing him with red blood shot eyes, out of great fear started flowing steadily. 46.7

Waiting for the time when Rāma would be absent, seeing that a chance has come, the ten headed Rākṣasa, Rāvaṇa in the form of a mendicant reached near Vaidehī. 46.8

That evil on in the form of a good mendicant went near the lady who was worried about her husband like the planet Saturn moving towards the "Chitrā" star. 46.9

That sinner looking like one having humility like a deep well-being hidden by grass stood looking at Vaidehī, the wife of Rāma who was famous. 46.10

The wicked Rākṣasa with a cruel mind seeing that auspicious lady who had pretty lips and teeth, who was resembling a full moon, who was sitting in her hermitage affected by sorrow and tears, who was having eyes like lotus leaf like eyes and who was dressed in yellow silk cloth went near her. 46.11-46.12

That king of Rākṣasas being wounded by the arrows of God of love came chanting Vedas spoke these humble words. 46.13

That Rāvaṇa praised her, "among the greatest ladies of the world your body is shining brightly like the Goddess Lakshmi without the lotus flower." 46.14

"Who are you with the golden colour, who has worn the yellow silk cloth and an auspicious lotus garland, looks like the lotus pond itself?" 46.15

"Oh blessed one, oh lady with a pretty face, are you, "Hrī", or the goddess of shyness, or Kīrti, or the goddess of fame, or goddess of auspiciousness, or goddess of wealth, or Lakshmi, or Apsarās or goddess of fortune or Rathi the goddess of love, who is freely moving about?" 46.16

"You have white and very pretty teeth which are evenly placed and you have clear and broad eyes with black eye balls and with a reddish tinge in the corner." 46.17

"You have broad hips, stout thighs like the trunk of an elephant, you have pretty round heavy breasts decorated by gems, which droop slightly due to its weight, with the nipples projecting out, which are shining and delightful like two palm fruits." 46.18-46.19

"Oh Lady with a pretty smile who has pretty teeth, oh lovely lady with very pretty eyes, you are stealing my mind like the water of the river steals its bank, your slender waist can be caught within the fist of the hand and have pretty hair and compact chest." 46.20-46.21

"Oh Lady, I have not seen such a beauty as yours in the earth or among gods or among Gandharvas or among Kinnaras or among Yakṣīs." 46.22

"With unmatched beauty in this world and with delicate youthfulness, you are living in this forest and this is maddening my heart." 46.23

"Move away from here as this forest, where horrible Rākṣasas who can change their form at will reside, is not a proper place for you to reside." 46.24

"You deserve to stroll in terraces of palaces, pretty gardens in towns which are both luxurious and fragrant." 46.25

"Oh pretty one, you deserve the choicest garlands, food as well as cloths and also the choicest husband would only be suitable to you." 46.26

"Oh blessed lady do you belong to the Rudras, or Maruts or Vasus for you appear to me to be one among Devas." 46.27

"Devas, Kinnaras and Gandharvas do not come to this place, since only Rākṣasas live here. How did you happen to come here?" 46.28

"Monkeys, lions, panthers bears, Hyenas and wild Kanka birds only live here, and are you not frightened by them?" 46.29

"In this great forest powerful and horrifying animals like the elephants in rut move about and being alone are you not scared by them." 46.30

"Oh auspicious one, who are your people? Where do you come from? Why are you moving about in this Daṇḍaka, where horrible Rākṣasas live?" 46.31

When that Rāvaṇa who was a bad soul but has come in the form of a Brahmin praised her like this that Maithili received that Rāvaṇa like a honoured guest and worshipped him. 46.32

That pleasant looking lady first offered him who looked like a sage, a seat and then offered him water for drinking and told him, "everything is ready." 46.33

That Maithili seeing him in the form of a Brahmin holding a begging bowl made of pumpkin shell, without having any doubt about his bad intentions, invited that Brahmin. 46.34

"Oh Brahmin, here is the seat for you. Sit on that freely. Here is water for drinking, please take it. Here is the best food prepared out of forest products kept ready for you. Please take it without any hesitation." 46.35

Rāvaṇa who was being invited with words of cordiality, looked at Maithili, who was the wife of a king and decided to abduct her away with force without knowing that he was inviting his own death. 46.36

Sītā anxiously awaited her husband gone for hunting as also Lakṣmaṇa but she saw only greens everywhere in the forest but she did not see Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa. 46.37

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