||Sundarakanda ||

|| Sarga 24||(Summary in English)


|| om tat sat||
ततस्सीतामुपागम्य राक्षस्यो विकृताननः।
परुषं परुषा नार्य ऊचुस्तां वाक्यमप्रियम् ॥1||
स॥राक्षस्यः विकृताननः ततः सीतां उपागम्य अनार्य परुषं परुष अप्रियं वाक्यं तां ऊचुः ॥
The hideous Rakshasa women then approached Sita and they spoke in unbecoming words.

Sarga 24

Ordered by Ravana, the king of Rakshasas, to persuade Sita by any means, the Rakshasa women continued their efforts.

The hideous Rakshasa women then approached Sita and they spoke in unbecoming words.

'Oh Sita! Pleasing to look at for all, why do you not accept to reside in the harem with well-furnished beds. You being a woman if you continue to hold human form only in high esteem, then withdraw your mind from Rama. You do not deserve to live. Oh Sita! Uniting yourself with the king of Rakshasas, who enjoys the wealth of the three worlds, live with pleasure as you please. Oh Charming lady! Blameless one! Why do you want only Rama who is a dethroned king, an unsuccessful one and a distressed human being too'.

Sita with eyes like that of lotus petals, hearing those words of the Rakshasa women, spoke the following words with eyes filled with tears.

'The words addressed by all of you joined together are not acceptable to the world. Your words do not appeal to me. A human being cannot be the wife of a Rakshasa. All of you can eat me freely. I will not do what you told me. My husband, even if he is a dejected one or one who lost kingdom, he is my master. I will follow him always like Suvarchala is devoted to Sun. Like the noble Sachi following Indra, Arundhati following Vasishta and Rohini following the Moon, like Lopamudra following Agastya, Sukanya following Chyavanam, Savitri following Satyvantam and Srimati following Kapila, I will follow Rama. Like Madayanti followed Saudasa, Kesini followed Sagara, Bhima's daughter Damayanti followed Nala, the king of Naishadha, I will follow the Ikshwaku leader and my husband Rama'.

Hearing those words of Sita, the Rakshasa women, ordered by Ravana to persuade her, overtaken by anger, threaten Sita again with harsh statements. Hanuman, the Vanara hidden in the branches of Simsupa tree, heard the threats employed by the Rakshasa women against Sita. The angry and glowing Rakshasa women were licking their lips again and again, surrounding Sita who was trembling in fear,

The Rakshasis enraged with anger took their axes and spoke. "She is unfit to have the king of Rakshasas as her husband'. Being threatened by the fearsome Rakshasis, Sita the best among women moved towards the Simsupa tree with eyes filled with tears. Then the wide eyed Sita having reached the Simsupa tree, still surrounded by the Rakshasa women stayed there, very much drowned in a sea of sorrow. The Rakshasis surrounded Sita and started abusing her. Sita was looking dejected, famished, and wearing soiled clothes .

Then one fearsome looking Rakshasi by name Vinata with loathsome appearance addressed Sita. 'Oh Sita! You have shown your love for your husband. To that extent it is good. Everywhere excess leads to adversity. Maithili I am happy. You have done your duty as a human being. Good for you. You follow my words also. Ravana is the Lord of all Rakshasas, courageous, handsome, Lord of gods too like Indra, generous one, sacrificing one, pleasing in appearance. You accept him as your husband. Leaving Rama the pitiable human being seek refuge in Ravana. Oh Vaidehi ! From today adorned with celestial jewels, with celestial unguents applied to your limbs, become the queen of all people. You will be like the Svaha of Agni and Sachi of Indra. Why do you want the pitiable Rama, whose lifespan is ending? If you do not follow the words I have spoken, then this very moment we will eat you up'.

One other Rakshasi named Vikata who has long drooping breasts, spoke to Sita with raised clinched fists. 'Oh Wicked Maithili ! Many unpleasant words of yours were put up with, more out of kindness and softness towards you. Maithili, this timely words of good advice from others is not acceptable to you. You have been brought here crossing the impossible ocean. You are in the inaccessible inner palaces of Ravana. You are in Ravana's palace protected by us. It is not possible even for Indra to rescue you from here. Maithili ! You follow the words of a well-wisher like me. Enough of shedding tears. Give up useless sorrow. Leave this pitiable state forever. Enjoy love and happiness. Oh Sita sport and enjoy with the king of Rakshasas. Oh Timid one! You know that youth is uncertain for women. Before it is over enjoy all pleasures. Oh Lady of intoxicating eyes! Going around delightful gardens, and the gardens around the mountains with the king of Rakshasas enjoy yourself. Oh beautiful one, seven thousand women will be under your control. Accept the Lord of all Rakshasas. Maithili! If you do not accept the words spoken by me, your heart will be plucked and eaten by me'.

Then a Rakshasi by name Chandodari over powered with anger, twirling her spear spoke the following words. 'Seeing you with eyes flashing like a doe and with breasts heaving in distress, I have developed a desire in my heart. I thought of eating your spleen and liver, along with the heart and the intestines as well as the head.

Then a Rakshasi by name Praghasa said the following. 'We will twist the head of this heartless one. Why are we waiting. Then we will tell the King that the human is dead! Then he will say eat her. There is no doubt about that.

Then Rakshasi by name Ajamukhi said the following. 'Let us all cut her in equal pieces. Then we will divide. I do not like arguments. Go quickly bring drinks and food. Bring all types food that can be licked'.

Then a Rakshasi by name Surpanakha said the following. 'I like whatever is said by Ajamukhi only. Quickly get the wine which is destroyer of all sorrows. After relishing the human flesh we will start Nikumbha dance'.

Thus being threatened by the dreadful Rakshasis, Sita who is like the daughter of gods cried giving up courage.

Thus ends the twenty fourth Sarga of Sundarakanda in Ramayana the first ever poem composed in Sanskrit by the first poet sage Valmiki.

|| om tat sat||
एवं संभर्त्स्यमाना सा सीता सुरसुतोपमा।
राक्षसीभिः सुघोराभि र्धैर्यमुत्सृज्य रोदिति॥48||
स॥ सुघोराभिः राक्षसीभिः एवं संभर्त्स्यमाना सुरसुतोपमा सा सीता धैर्यं उत्सृज्य रोदिति॥
Thus being threatened by the dreadful Rakshasis, Sita who is like the daughter of gods cried giving up courage.
|| om tat sat||