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VALMIKI RAMAYANA

By Dr. Saroja Ramanujam, M.A.,Ph.D , siromani

Aranyakanda

19. Jatayumoksha

Ravana took Seetha to Lanka and tried to tempt her with his riches and also
tried to convince her of his superiority over Rama and impossibility of Rama
arriving there to save her. But seeing Seetha determined and abusive he placed
her in asokavana surrounded with rakshasis and gave her twelve months to
accept him or else he said he would kill her and eat her.
Back in dandakaranya Rama was hurrying with fear that Lakshmana and Seetha
would have been misled by the shout of Mareecha and would become worried
about him when he saw Lakshmana coming towards him sad and forlorn.
Knowing the reason for his leaving Seetha and coming towards him Rama chided
him for having disobeyed his command, heeding the words a woman in anger.
Then Rama reached the asrama and not finding Seetha there became grief
stricken and feared that she was killed and eaten by rakshasas,. They searched
everywhere and Seetha was not to be seen. Rama in his desperation asked the

including the Sun and the Moon. Then Lakshmana understood that they were trying to tell them the direction in which Seetha has gone and told Rama that they could proceed towards south where the rakhsasas were known to inhabit. naraa na loke seedhanthi karmasu athi Valmiki says that the river Godavari. . They saw the blood stains and Rama became convinced that she was either taken away by the rakshasas or was killed and eaten by them.uthsaahavantho dhushkareshu. stood up and looking towards the south started to run in that direction. But Lakshmana pacified him saying that it was obvious that Seetha was carried away by one man from the evidence of a fight there and it is not proper to destroy the whole world for the wrong done by one man. Lakshmana tried to pacify him by saying that men with firm resolve will not lose hope and disheartened in their task however difficult. dry up the river and destroy all the worlds if devas . RaavaNasya cha thadroopam karmaaNi cha dhuraathmanaH Dhyaathvaa bhayaath thu vaidheheem saa nadhee na SaSamsa thaam The deer when addressed by Rama to tell him the whereabouts of Seetha. he said .trees . All beings . Rama even said that even dharma of Seetha did not protect her and the world and even the devas must have underestimated his valour because of his patience in accepting his fate and coming to the forest. In the end Lakshmana said no one was fit enough to advise . face difficulties but for the good. out of fear from Ravana thinking about his fierce form and acts. gandharvas and others do not show him where Seetha was . out of ignorance Karthaaram api lokaanaam Sooram karunavedhinam ajnaanaath avamanyeran sarvabhoothaani lakshmaNa Rama said that he was going to give up his mercy and would show anger and pulvarize the mountain . they go away quickly. Without knowing definitely what had happened to Seetha it was not advisable to get desperate or angry. Going towards south they came across the flowers that fell from the hair of Seetha and the chariot. Even one who is able to create the whole world and most valiant is treated with disrespect because of his mercy by all beings. the mountain and the animals and river Godavari whether they have seen Seetha. bow and arrmour on the ground and the mules which were drawing the chariot of Ravana and the charioteer lying dead. kept quiet not giving information to Rama. Rama became angry and vowed that he would destroy all the rakshasas completely.

But Lakshmana told him that since there was the flag of marked by Veena. (Kundalam) and swords and crowns Rama wondered whether there were many who fought for Seetha. Jatayu regaining consciousness informed Rama that Ravana carried Seetha off. showing that the devotees of the Lord who do bhagavat kainakrya are above all caste restrictions. Rama in Kamban never suspected him but fell on his feet seeing him unconscious thinking that he was dead. Valmiki implies through the words of Lakshmana . Jatayu told him that it was Ravana who had carried Seetha towards south but before he could say where Ravana lived he breathed his last. and one chariot. In Kamabaramyana there are some differences regarding this episode. The mere bird was cremated according to the vedic rites performed by brahmanas for the deceased. Rama lamented that on his account Dasaratha died first and now Jatayu and denounce his own valour that while he was alive jatayu was killed. Ambu izai varivil senkai aiyanmeer aayum kaalai Umpizai enbadhu allal ulagam sei pizaiyum undO . Jatayu attained moksha because the Lord Himself did his last rites. Then they came across Jatayu who was in his death bed just struggling to keep alive in order to inform Rama what happened. that the mental turbulence of Rama was assumed and nor real who was just enacting his part. Jatayu was blessed by Rama to reach the regions of the meritorious. Rama told Lakshmana that he was more grieved than losing his own father. Seeing Jatayu. Rama did his last rites which even Dasaratha was not fortunate to receive from him. armour and sword etc. But Jatayu pacified him saying that the whole world including devas were under the control of Ravana and basically it was the fault of Rama in listening to the words of Seetha and going after the deer and of Lakshmana leaving her alone and there is no use the use of blaming the world. it must be Ravana with ten heads who fought. It was only then Rama got angry and said that when a helpless woman was being abducted and a mere bird was fighting to save her the whole universe was watching and he would destroy them all including the devas who never interfered.Rama including the devaguru Brhaspathi and the mind of Rama could not be gauged by anyone. Seeing many earrings . Rama suspected him at first thinking that he was the rakshasa who had killed and eaten Seetha but Jatayu told him what happened and Rama was filled with pity and grief. along with the ground she stood on. The words of Rama that he would reach the best of the lokas were only uttered in his role as a human being and not as the Lord.

The demoness caught hold of Lakshmana and said that she was a rakshasi called Ayomukhi and she wanted to live with Lakshmana for the rest of her life. so called because he had only kabanDha. Then he did penance towards Brahma who gave him long life and arrogant with the power he fought with . Rama reassured him and in the meanwhile KabanDha spoke to them in a voice like thunder. He caught them with his arms. headless trunk.Thus Rama got angry not before seeing Jatayu and was pacifird by Lakshmana as in Valmiki but only after seeing the plight of Jatayu. Rama and Lakshman cut off his arms with their swords. Lakshmana observed many ill omens and cautioned Rama to be careful. He was obstructing the way of Rama and Lakshmana. KabanDha remembered the command of Indra and realized that the end of his curse was near and told them about himself. 20. Then the brothers went deeper in to the forest. KabanDha said that he had a handsome body and used to take a terrifying body and torment the rishis in the forest and was cursed by a rshi named sThoola Siras to have the terrible form permanently. The episode of Ayomukhi and KabanDha Rama and Lakshmana went westward in order to proceed to the southern direction and came to the Krouncha forest and saw a cave there and nearby that cave there was a demoness eating the wild beasts. Lakshman asked Kabandha about his headless state as a kabanDha with mouth and eye in his stomach. took his sword and cut off her limbs and she ran away shouting with pain. Seeing that there was no escape since he was grasping them tightly with his arms. He was KabanDha. He had arms 8 miles long spread wide and was grasping many animals in them. KabanDha armless fell to the ground shouting and realized that they were great personages and asked them their identity whereupon Lakshmana told him the details about themselves and the reason why they were wandering in that forest. Though Rama was not perturbed at all Lakshmana was agitated to see Rama getting into trouble and told Rama to leave him as a prey to the demon and escape. Lakshmana. quick to anger. When they went near. He also asked them the purpose for which they had come to that forest. Then they saw a rakshasa with very big body who had no head or neck but had only big stomach with a mouth and an eye in his chest. He said that since the two of them had come to him they could not escape but will be eaten by him.

and to the Mathangasrama. . the aged female disciple of Mathanga was waiting to get liberation by meeting Rama. he was freed from curse. Indra told him that when he would catch Rama and Lakshmana he would be freed from his curse. Then Rama and Lakshmana started towards Rsysmooka parvatha where Sugreeva was.Indra who struck him with his vajrayudha on his head and his head along with his legs went inside the trunk. In kamba Ramayana KabanDha got back his previous form even with out his kabanDha body being burnt. They did as he said and KabanDha told them about Sugreeva who would help them to find Seetha and also told Rama the way to got to Mathanga asRama where Sabari . Kamban says by the grace of the touch of Rama when his arms were cut off. not necessarily for eating them but in order not to miss Rama and Lakshmana. KabanDha then told Rama and Lakshmana to dig a pit and burn his body when he would get back his original form and then he would have the power to tell them the way to search for Seetha. He prayed to Indra to show him a means of getting food as he was blessed to have long life and Indra gave him an eye and the mouth in his stomach and also long arms to catch his food. Hence KabanDha said that he used to catch every being that came within the region of his arms. The prayed of kabanDha in Kamban is really beautiful which we shall see next.