Rāmāyana | Sundara Kaṇḍa | Chapter 23

Chapter: 23
Rākṣasīs Persuasion of Sītā

[After the departure of Rāvaṇa, the Rākṣasīs started advising Sītā about the desirability of her acceding to the request of Rāvaṇa. They point out the positive aspects and also tell her about her being killed, if she does not obey Rāvaṇa.]

The King Rāvaṇa who made his enemies cry went back from there, telling like this to the princess of Mithilā and ordering all Rākṣasīs. 1

After the King of Rākṣasas started and went back to his harem, those terrible looking Rākṣasīs surrounded Sītā. 2

Afterwards the Rākṣasīs forgetting themselves in anger, came near Sītā and faced the daughter of Videha told her these fearsome words: 3

"Hey Sītā, how is it that you do not consider being wife of Rāvaṇa who has ten heads, who was born in the family of Pulastya and who is great as big?" 4

(Pulastya was the son of Brahma and father of Vishravas.)

After this One Rākṣasī called Eka Jata (single haired one) with blood red eyes due to her anger called Sītā who had a belly as soft as the palm and told her thus about this aspect: 5

"The famous Pulastya is the spiritual son of Brahma and among the Prajāpatis (leader of men) and fourth in rank." 6

(Sanaka, Sanatkumāra and Śauṇaka are the others.)

"This Pulastya, who had the spiritual son, who is a very great sage with famed penance and is called by the name of Vishrawas, had the same lustre as Lord Brahma himself." 7

(The Rākṣasīs are trying to convince Sītā that Rāvaṇa was after all a son of a great man in other words born to a man and a Rākṣasī and therefore it is all right for her to become the wife of Rāvaṇa.)

"Hey Broad eyed one, Rāvaṇa who is the chief of Rākṣasas is his son and you better like to become his wife. Hey lady who is all over pretty, are you going to obey, what I advise you or not?" 8

Then a Rākṣasī called Harijata (green haired one) rolled her two very angry eyes and showing her cat like eyes uttered these words: 9

"You better like to become wife of that chief of Rākṣasas who has won over the thirty three deva chieftains as well as their King Indra." 10

At that time a Rākṣasī called Praghasa bullying her forgetting herself in anger and told the following hard words: "Are you going to accept the role of wife of the strong one who is ebbing with heroism, who has never retreated in a battle and who is very strong. That very strong King Rāvaṇa would leave his queen, who needs to be respected and would consider you as the luckiest one among all. Rāvaṇa would desert his harem which is filled by thousands of ladies and which is decorated by gems and come near you." 11-14

 (She is telling her that he would leave his wife and concubines and get attached to her.)

Another Rākṣasī called Vikaṭa asked her thus, "That great one who has won Nagas, Gandharwas and Dānavas in fights and war, is coming in front of you and begging you. Hey lady who is depressed, are you going to agree now itself to become the wife of Rāvaṇa who is a great one with all riches and who is the King of Rākṣasas?" 15-17

(She is emphasizing more on the valour of Rāvaṇa.)

After that a Rākṣasī called Durmukhī (bad faced one) told her the following words, "Hey lady with long eyes, are you not going to come under the control of him, for whose sake the Sun is afraid to emit heat and wind is afraid to blow harshly? Hey pretty one, who has beautiful eye brows, are you going to give your strong consent to be the wife of Rāvaṇa, for whose sake trees shower flowers always and the black clouds pour out rain whenever he chooses? Hey bewitching lady who has a very attractive divine smile, you better be clever and obey this good advice given to you, otherwise you will not be definitely alive." 18-22

(This Rākṣasī harps about how even the divine ones dread Rāvaṇa.)

Thus ends the twenty third chapter of Sundara Kanda in the Rāmāyaṇa which is the first epic written by Vālmīki.

Songs sung of twenty-fourth to forty-seventh chapters of Sundara Kanda by Lava and Kuśa in front of Sri Rāma at the place where Aśvamedha sacrifice was performed on eighteenth day. The total verses sung on that day were 932.