Misjudges (5)…. in Fun!!

This is an adjunct to Misjudge (4)……..Disastrous

One day in Panchavati ( Rama’s hermitage) Shurpanak comes ( see यदृच्छया= अकस्मात perchance For more For more )She falls in love with [ 3-17-07,08,09]. As this is one of the most important and hilarious moment in Ramayana, Valmiki gives a detailed comparison of Rama and shurpanaka. Shurpanaka, Rama; Facially unpleasant, Pleasant faced; Potbellied, Slim waisted; Wry eyed, broad eyed; Coppery haired, neatly tressed; Ugly featured, Charming featured; brassy voiced, gentle voiced; deplorably oldish, Young; Crooked talker, pleasant talker; ill Mannered, well mannered; uncouth,couth; abominable, amiable. Real contrast between them. It is not clear who is having fun, whether it is Valmiki or Rama because all the ensuing dialogues are hilarious. Some people say she changed into a beautiful woman but there is no such indication. Shurpanaka enquires about the reasons for Rama’s stay in her brothers forest[ 3-17-14]. Rama faithfully starts from his introduction to introduction of Seetha Lakshmana and starts narration[ 3-17-16]. Gives reason for his stay in forest. Then actually praises her and enquires about her, ( seriously? or in jest?) [ 3-17-18]. She declares herself as demoness frightening all[ 3-17-20]. She introduces herself as the sister of Ravana, Kumbakarna and virtuous Vibhishana and also Khara and Dushana. Then boasts she can excel them in bravery and proposes marriage to Rama[ 3-17-24]. She criticizes Seetha ungainly look and claims he should more befitting than her[ 3-17-26]. She asks if she can eat the hollow stomached Seetha and Lakshmana and free Rama from any bondage[ 3-17-27]. The entire conversation has become demonic and should have stopped here. No. The droll continues. Rama chuckled ( काकुत्स्थः प्रहस्य). Rama explain he is married[ 3-18-02] and recommends Lakshmana to her[ 3-18-03] as unmarried (अकृत दारः). Many Rama bhakthas cannot take Rama telling lies even in jest. Givindaraja makes a mess of this word and tries to explain. Srinivasa Shastry rebuts it as unethical as the recipient Shurpanaka does gets cheated. Whether Rama intended it or not. Rama continues jesting ( calls her (वरारोहे = pot-bellied)[ 3-18-04]. She accepts and goes to Lakshmana. Lakshmana smiles at Shurpanaka’s proposal and continues his brothers teasing attitude with Shurpanaka. Lakshmana reminds Shurpanaka that by marrying him she will land up as a servant to Rama [ 3-18-09]. The Lakshmana goes a step further and explains Seetha as disfigured, dishonest, diabolically deleterious old wife with a hallow stomach[ 3-18-11] and no match to his brother. Here again many Rama bhakthas ( Govindaraja, Maheshvara tirtha, et all)have gone out of the way to stretch these words as praising Seetha. Again goes to say no human can prefer a human wife compared to you [ 3-18-12]. Shurpanaka is in deep love and fails to realize the jest and insults and believes everything implicitly[ 3-18-13]. She uses her female instinct and angrily rushes to eat Seetha who is her main competitor[ 3-18-17]. Rama protects Seetha and instructs Lakshmana de face the demon [ 3-18-20]. And thus ends the jest and humorous situation. Woman scorned lead to tragic catastrophe. Everything that happens later makes Rama only cry and it is Shurpanaka who has the last laugh. Misjudges situation and the demoness for a small entertainment.

Part of Rama….. a human character!!!

Referaence of Slokas

Sanskrit English
दीप्तास्यम् च महाबाहुम् पद्म पत्रायत ईक्षणम् |
गज विक्रांत गमनम् जटा मण्दल धारिणम् || ३-१७-७
सुकुमारम् महा सत्त्वम् पार्थिव व्यंजन अन्वितम् |
रामम् इन्दीवर श्यामम् कन्दर्प सदृश प्रभम् || ३-१७-८
बभूव इन्द्रोपमम् दृष्ट्वा राक्षसी काम मोहिता |
He whose face is radiant, arms lengthy, eyes large like lotus petals, stride like that of an elephant, wearing bunches of hair-tufts, delicate yet greatly vigorous, possessor of all kingly aspects, complexion deep-blue like blue lotus, similar to Love-god in brilliance and in simile to Indra, the demoness has seen such a Rama and became lovesick. [3-17-7, 8, 9a] Back
एवम् उक्तः तु राक्षस्या शूर्पणख्या परंतपः |
ऋजु बुद्धितया सर्वम् आख्यातुम् उपचक्रमे || ३-१७-१४
Thus asked by demoness Shuurpanakha that enemy-scorcher Rama started to inform all about it, straightforwardly.
भ्राता अयम् लक्ष्मणो नाम यवीयान् माम् अनुव्रतः |
इयम् भार्या च वैदेही मम सीतेति विश्रुता || ३-१७-१६
“He is Lakshmana by his name, my younger brother and a devoted follower of mine, and she is my wife, daughter of Videha’s king, well-known as Seetha. Back
त्वाम् तु वेदितुम् इच्छ्हामि कस्य त्वम् का असि कस्य वा |
त्वम् हि तावन्मनोज्ञा.ंगी राक्षसी प्रतिभासि मे || ३-१७-१८
“I too wish to know about you. Whose wife are you? What is your name? Or, whose daughter are you? By the way, you are with a most enthralling personality, and then you must be a demoness. Back
श्रूयताम् राम वक्ष्यामि तत्त्वार्थम् वचनम् मम |
अहम् शूर्पणखा नाम राक्षसी कामरूपिणी || ३-१७-२०
अरण्यम् विचरामि इदम् एका सर्व भयंकरा |
“I will tell you truth, Rama, nothing but truth, I am a guise-changing demoness named Shuurpanakha, and I will be freely moving in this forest in a solitary manner and unnerving all. Back
तान् अहम् समतिक्रान्ता राम त्वा पूर्व दर्शनात् |
समुपेता अस्मि भावेन भर्तारम् पुरुषोत्तमम् || ३-१७-२४
“I can excel all of them by my bravery, oh, Rama, and on seeing you for the first time I had a notion that you being the choicest among men you alone are my husband, hence I neared you. Back
विकृता च विरूपा च न सा इयम् सदृशी तव |
अहम् एव अनुरूपा ते भार्या रूपेण पश्य माम् || ३-१७-२६
“Unlovely and unshapely is this one, such as she is, this Seetha is unworthy to be your wife, and I am the lone one worthy to be your wife, hence treat me as your wife.
इमाम् विरूपाम् असतीम् करालाम् निर्णत उदरीम् |
अनेन सह ते भ्रात्रा भक्षयिष्यामि मानुषीम् || ३-१७-२७
“Shall I eat up this disfigured, dishonest, diabolical human female with a hallow stomach along with him, that brother of yours to make you free. Back
कृत दारो अस्मि भवति भार्या इयम् दयिता मम |
त्वत् विधानाम् तु नारीणाम् सुदुःखा ससपत्नता || ३-१८-२
“Oh, honourable one, I am married and this is my dear wife, thus it will be distressing for your sort of females to live with a co-wife. Back
अनुजः तु एष मे भ्राता शीलवान् प्रिय दर्शनः |
श्रीमान् अकृत दारः च लक्ष्मणो नाम वीर्यवान् || ३-१८-३
“He is my younger brother named Lakshmana, he is with a good conduct, good looking, a promising and valiant one, and he is without a wife. Back
अपूर्वी भार्यया च अर्थी तरुणः प्रिय दर्शनः |
अनुरूपः च ते भर्ता रूपस्य अस्य भविष्यति || ३-१८-४
“He is without a wife and in need of a wife he is youthful, good-looking and he can become a fitly husband of yours, fit enough to your kind of features. Back
कथम् दासस्य मे दासी भार्या भवितुम् इच्छ्हसि |
सो अहम् आर्येण परवान् भ्रात्रा कमल वर्णिनी || ३-१८-९
“How you wish to become a female servant, oh, [black] lotus-coloured one, by becoming the wife of a servant like me? I am just a vassal of my adorable brother. Back
एनाम् विरूपाम् असतीम् करालाम् निर्णत उदरीम् |
भार्याम् वृद्धाम् परित्यज्य त्वाम् एव एष भजिष्यति || ३-१८-११
“On discarding her who is disfigured, dishonest, diabolically deleterious old wife with a hallow stomach that Rama will adore you alone. [ Back
को हि रूपम् इदम् श्रेष्ठम् संत्यज्य वरवर्णिनि |
मानुषेषु वरारोहे कुर्यात् भावम् विचक्षणः || ३-१८-१२
“Oh, best complexioned one with best waist, is there any wiseacre to simply discard your kind of best personality, indeed, in preference to human females?” Lakshmana said so to Shuurpanakha. Back
इति सा लक्ष्मणेन उक्ता कराला निर्णतोदरी |
मन्यते तत् वचः सत्यम् परिहास अविचक्षणा || ३-१८-१३
Thus said by Lakshmana that despicable one with slouching stomach Shuurpanakha presumed those words to be truthful, for she is equivocal of that equivoque. [ Back
इति उक्त्वा मृगशावाक्षीम् अलात सदृश ईक्षणा |
अभ्यधावत् सुसंक्रुद्धा महा उल्का रोहिणीम् इव ||३-१८-१७
Speaking that way she that torch-eyed Shuurpanakha dashed towards the deer-eyed Seetha in high exasperation as a great meteor would dash towards Rohini, the brightest star in the sky. Back
इमाम् विरूपाम् असतीम् अतिमत्ताम् महोदरीम् |
राक्षसीम् पुरुषव्याघ्र विरूपयितुम् अर्हसि || ३-१८-२०
“She is freakish, knavish and overtly ruttish, oh, tigerly man, it will be apt of you to deface this paunchy demoness ” Thus Rama said to Lakshmana. [ Back

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