Rama eliminates Maareecha when he is escaping beyond reach in the form of Golden Deer. He sports with that deer for a long time and when it is leading him away and afar from the hermitage, he is vexed with the trickery of the deer and kills it. At the time of his death Maareecha shouts out for Seetha and Lakshmana, as demanded by Ravana. Rama is perplexed at this oddity of Maareecha and presumes that some danger is immanent and then returns to hermitage.
तथा तु तम् समादिश्य भ्रातरम् रघुनंदनः |
बबन्ध असिम् महातेजा जांबूनदमयः त्सरुम् || ३-४४-१
1. mahaatejaa raghu nandanaH = highly resplendent, Raghu's, scion of - Rama; bhraataram tam tathaa = brother, him [Lakshmana,] in that way; sam aadishya = on clearly instructing; jaambuunadamayaH tsarum asim = having golden, handle, sword; ba bandha = securely, tied - at his waist.
Rama, the great-resplendent scion of Raghu, on instructing his brother Lakshmana in that way securely fastened his sword with golden handle to his waist. [3-44-1]
ततः त्रि विनतम् चापम् आदाय आत्म विभूषणम् |
आबध्य च कलापौ द्वौ जगाम उदग्र विक्रमः || ३-४४-२
2. tataH = then; udagra [ut agra] vikramaH = one with - up, risen - escalating, valour - Rama; tri vinatam = three-way, bent - arched; aatma vibhuuSaNam = his own, decoration [insignia]; caapam = bow; aadaaya = on taking; dvau kalaapau ca = two, quivers, also; aabadhya = on binding - on back; jagaama = proceeded.
Rama whose valour is escalating then took his own insignia, the three-way arched bow called kodanDa, and fastened two quivers and proceeded. [3-44-2]
तम् वंचयानो राजेन्द्रम् आपतन्तम् निरीक्ष्य वै |
बभूव अंतर्हितः त्रासात् पुनः संदर्शने अभवत् || ३-४४-३
बद्ध असिः धनुः आदाय प्रदुद्राव यतो मृगः |
3. mR^igaH = Golden Deer; aa patantam = who is coming, falling - coming down on it; raaja indram = among kings, peerless one; tam = him, Rama; niriikSya vai = on peering at, indeed; vancayaanaH = to beguile him; traasaat = owing to fear [as if]; antarhitaH babhuuva = disappeared, it became; punaH = again; sam darshane abhavat = in clear visibility, it became; raamaH = Rama; baddha asiH dhanuH aadaaya = [securely] grit, sword, bow, on taking [firmly handled]; yataH mR^igaH = from where, deer [has gone]; [tataH = to that place of disappearance]; pra dudraava = speedily, spurted.
On peering at the peerless one among kings, namely Rama, who is indeed coming down on him, that Golden Deer disappeared as if with fear and even to beguile him, and again it came into clear visibility. And Rama speedily spurted to that place from where the Golden Deer has firstly disappeared with securely grit sword and firmly handled bow. [3-44-3]
तम् स्म पश्यति रूपेण द्योतमानम् इव अग्रतः || ३-४४-४
अवेक्ष्य अवेक्ष्य धावन्तम् धनुष् पाणिः महावने |
अतिवृत्तम् इषोः पातात् लोभयानम् कदाचन || ३-४४-५
शंकितम् तु समुद् भ्रान्तम् उत्पतन्तम् इव अंबरे |
दृअश्यमानम् अदृश्यम् च वन उद्देशेषु केषुचित् || ३-४४-६
चिन्न अभ्रैः इव संवीतम् शारदम् चन्द्र मण्डलम् |
4b, 5, 6, 7a. dhanuS paaNiH = bow, one handling - wielder, Rama; avekSya avekSya = on observing, on observing - deer repeatedly observing the hunter, Rama; mahaavane dhaavantam tam = in deep, forest, running away, that - deer; ruupeNa agrataH = with its [marvellous] form, in forefront; dyotamaanam iva = effulgent, as though; pashyati sma = beholding, he [the hunter] remained - kept on; kadaacana = at times; iSoH paataat = from arrow's, falling of; ati vR^ittam = too far, going [circumventing]; lobhayaanam = while tantalising - Rama; he saw such a deer; shankitam tu = in wariness, but; sam ud bhraantam = very, highly, perplexed; ambare = to skies; ut patantam iva = to upside, falling [springing,] as though; he saw such a deer; chinna abhraiH = with splintered, clouds; samviitam iva = imbricated - overlaid, as if; shaaradam candra maNDalam = autumnal, moon, orb; keSucit vana uddesheSu = somewhere, in forest, thickets; dR^iashyamaanam = is appearing; a dR^ishyam ca = not, appearing, also.
Rama the wielder of bow kept on beholding that Golden Deer which is observing him over and over and running away into deep of the forest. In the next moment he has seen it right in front of him as though effulgent with its marvellous form. At times he has seen it running away as though to circumvent the fall of arrow, and at times stopping only to tantalise him. Sometimes it appeared to be springing as though to skies in very highly perplexity of wariness. It is disappearing somewhere in the thickets of forest, and it is putting in an appearance elsewhere in those thickets, like the autumnal orb of the moon under the fly front of splintered clouds. [3-44-4b, 5, 6, 7a]
मुहूर्तात् एव ददृशे मुहुर् दूरात् प्रकाशते || ३-४४-७
दर्शन अदर्शनेन एव सः अपाकर्षत राघवम् |
सुदूरम् आश्रमस्य अस्य मारिचो मृगताम् गतः || ३-४४-८
7b, 8. mR^igataam gataH = deer-hood, who went into - who is animalised; saH maaricaH = he that, Maareecha; muhuurtaat eva = for a moment, thus - in a wink; [samiipe = close by]; dadR^ishe = seen [by Rama]; muhuH = again; in a flash; duuraat prakaashate = from distance, shone forth - appeared; darshana a darshanena [adarshanaat] eva = by revealing, not, revealing [concealing himself, hide and seek game] only; raaghavam = Raghava is; asya aashramasya = his own, from his hermitage; su duuram = very, far; apa aakarSata = to side, attracted - sidetracked, drawn off.
In a wink Rama could proximately see that Maareecha who transformed himself into the Golden Deer, and again in a flash he appeared distantly. Thus that deer/demon has drawn off Raghava very far from his hermitage in this hide and seek game. [3-44-7b, 8]
आसीत् क्रुद्धः तु काकुत्स्थो विवशः तेन मोहितः |
अथ अवतस्थे सुश्रान्तः च्छायाम् आश्रित्य शाद्वले || ३-४४-९
9. tena [ruupeNa] mohitaH = by its [form,] spellbound, kaakutsthaH tu = Kakutstha, but; vi vashaH = kutuuhala paravashaH = 1]out of, control - slippery, 2] fascinated; kruddhaH = incensed; aasiit = he became - Rama; atha = then; su shraantaH = verily, tired; cChaayaam aashritya shaadvale avatasthe = shade [of tree,] taking shelter, on pasture, he stayed on.
Rama of Kakutstha is incensed as its form is spellbinding but its capture slippery, and then verily tired as he is he stayed on a pasture taking shelter of a tree shade. [3-44-9]
स तम् उन्मादयामास मृगरूपो निशाचर |
मृगैः परिवृतो अथ वन्यैः अदूरात् प्रत्यदृश्यत || ३-४४-१०
10. mR^iga ruupaH saH nishaa cara = in guise, he that Maareecha, night-walker; tam unmaadayaamaasa = him - Rama, started to madden; atha = then; vanyaiH mR^igaiH parivR^itaH = of forest, with [other] animals, surrounded; a duuraat pratyadR^ishyata = not, from faraway [close-by,] reappeared.
Nightwalker Maareecha has further maddened Rama in the guise of Golden Deer by reappearing in his close-by, surrounded with other animals of the forest. [3-44-10]
ग्रहीतु कामम् दृष्ट्वा तम् पुनः एव अभ्यधावत |
तत् क्षणात् एव संत्रासात् पुनर् अंतर्हितो अभवत् || ३-४४-११
11. grahiitu kaamam = to catch, desirous of - he who is stalking; tam dR^iSTvaa = at him - at Rama on seeing; punaH eva abhyadhaavata = again, thus, [deer] towards [Rama,] ran; tat kshaNaat eva = at that, moment, only; punaH = again; sam traasaat = owing to extreme fear; antarhitaH abhavat = vanished, it became.
Again on seeing Rama who is stalking his catch that deer ran towards him as though to impress with its guilelessness, and just at that moment it vanished again as if with extreme fear. [3-44-11]
पुनर् एव ततो दूरात् वृक्ष खण्डात् विनिःसृतः |
दृष्ट्वा रामो महातेजाः तम् हन्तुम् कृत निश्चयः || ३-४४-१२
12. tataH = then; mahaatejaaH raamaH = the great-resplendent one, Rama; punaaH eva = again, thus; duuraat vR^iksha khaNDaat = distantly, from trees, thicket of; vi niH sR^itaH = well, out, emerged - issued forth; tam = it - deer; dR^iSTvaa = on seeing; hantum kR^ita nishcayaH = to kill, firmed up, his decision.
Then that deer has again emerged out of the thick of trees, and on spotting it the great-resplendent Rama has firmed up his decision to fell it. [3-44-12]
भूयः तु शरम् उद्धृत्य कुपितः तत्र राघवः |
सूर्य रश्मि प्रतीकाशम् ज्वलंतम् अरि मर्दनम् || ३-४४-१३
संधाय सुदृढे चापे विकृष्य बलवत् बली |
तम् एव मृगम् उद्दिश्य श्वसंतम् इव पन्नगम् || ३-४४-१४
मुमोच ज्वलितम् दीप्तम् अस्त्रम् ब्रह्म विनिर्मितम् |
13, 14, 15a. tatra = at that time; bhuuyaH kupitaH = highly, infuriated; balii raaghavaH = forceful one, Raghava; suurya rashmi pratiikaasham = sun, shine [flare,] similar in shine; jvalantam = holocaustic ari ardanam = enemy, subjugating; sharam uddhR^itya = arrow, bringing up - unholstered; su dR^iDhe caape sandhaaya = very, sturdy, in bow, tautened, taking aim; balavat = forcefully; vi kR^iSya = out, stretched - bowstring; shvasantam pannagam iva = exhaling [hissing,] snake, as with; jvalitam diiptam = fierily, blazing; brahma vinirmitam = by Brahma, carefully, created; astram = missile - arrow; tam mR^igam eva uddishya = that, deer, only, on aiming - on targeting; mumoca = released.
At that instant Raghava became highly infuriated and unholstered a holocaustic, enemy-subjugating arrow that is similar to the flare of the sun, tautening it on his very sturdy bow that forceful Rama forcefully outstretched the bowstring with arrow targeting the Golden Deer alone, and released that fierily blazing arrow-missile which is carefully created by Brahma and which is hissing like a snake. [3-44-13, 14, 15a]
शरीरम् मृग रूपस्य विनिर्भिद्य शरोत्तमः || ३-४४-१५
मारीचस्य एव हृदयम् विभेद अशनि संनिभः |
15b, 16a. ashani sannibhaH = thunderbolt, similar; shara uttamaH = arrow, the superb; mR^iga ruupasya shariiram = in deer's, form, body; vi nir bhidya = on very, profoundly, impaling; maariicasya hR^idayam eva = Maareecha's, heart, alone; vibheda = severed.
On very profoundly impaling the body of deer's form that superb arrow which is similar to a thunderbolt has severed the heart of Maareecha in the core of deer's body. [3-44-15b, 16a]
ताल मात्रम् अथ उत्प्लुत्य न्यपतत् स भृश आतुरः || ३-४४-१६
व्यनदत् भैरवम् नादम् धरण्याम् अल्प जीवितः |
16b, 17a. atha = then; saH = he - that Maareecha; bhR^isha aaturaH = highly, frenzied; alpa jiivitaH = minimized, lifespan; bhairavam naadam vyanadat = a blaring, shriek, blared; taala maatram = palm-tree, measure of [height of]; ut plutya = up, vaulted; dharaNyaam nyapatat = onto ground fell down.
Then Maareecha is highly frenzied as his lifespan is minimised, blared a blaring shriek, vaulted up to a height of palm-tree, and fell down onto the ground. [3-44-16b, 17a]
म्रियमाणः तु मारीचो जहौ ताम् कृत्रिमाम् तनुम् || ३-४४-१७
स्मृत्वा तत् वचनम् रक्षो दध्यौ केन तु लक्ष्मणम् |
इह प्रस्थापयेत् सीता ताम् शून्ये रावणे हरेत् || ३-४४-१८
17b, 18. mriyamaaNaH tu maariicaH = when dyeing, on his part, Maareecha; kR^itrimaam taam tanum jahau = artificial, that [deer's,], body, abandoned; rakshaH demon Maareecha; [mriyamaaNaH tu = while dying]; tat vacanam = that, sentence [of Ravana]; smR^itvaa = while remembering; dadhyau = thought of it; siitaa = Seetha; kena lakshmaNam iha prasthaapayet = by what, Lakshmana, will be hastening; shuunye = in a void place; taam raavaNe haret = Ravana, her, will be abducting.
Maareecha on his part abandoned the body of Golden Deer when he is dying. But remembering the words of Ravana that demon gave a thought, 'how best will Seetha hasten Lakshmana to this place, and how best Ravana can abduct Seetha in a place void of people.' [3-44-17b, 18]
Maareecha would have died without yelling for Lakshmana or Seetha as tutored by Ravana because Maareecha is no real alley of Ravana. But it is said that he 'recollected Ravana's words and thought about it.' What he really thought is the causation of death to that one who caused his own death, namely Ravana. Ravana can do nothing to Maareecha now as Maareecha is breathing his last. Whatever is to be done now it has t become a self-ruinous act to Ravana. Hence, it is better to do as said by Ravana for the elimination of Ravana. So thought Maareecha.
स प्राप्त कालम् अज्ञाय चकार च ततः स्वरम् |
सदृशम् राघवस्य एव हा सीते लक्ष्मण इति च || ३-४४-१९
19. tataH = then; saH = he, Maareecha; praapta kaalam aj~naaya = chanced, time, perceptive of; raaghavasya sadR^isham eva = Raghava's [voice], soundalike, only; haa siite = ha, Seetha; ha lakSmaNa iti ca = Lakshmana, thus, also; svaram cakaara ca = voice, made, also.
Perceptive of the time that chanced bearing his death, and wishful of the death of Ravana too, then made a voice that is a soundalike to Raghava's voice and yelled 'ha, Seetha...' also thus 'ha Lakshmana...' [3-44-19]
तेन मर्मणि निर्विद्धम् शरेण अनुपमेन हि |
मृग रूपम् तु तत् त्यक्त्वा राक्षसम् रूपम् आस्थितः || ३-४४-२०
चक्रे स सुमहा कायम् मारीचो जीवितम् त्यजन् |
20, 21a. saH maariicaH = he, Maareecha; tena = by him - by Rama; an upamena = not, comparable; shareNa = with arrow; marmaNi nir viddham hi; = in crucial [organ, heart,] utterly shattered, indeed; tat mR^iga ruupam tu tyaktvaa = that, deer's, form, but, on abandoning; raakSasam ruupam aasthitaH = demon's, body, on assuming; jiivitam tyajan = life, while forsaking; su mahaa kaayam = very, massive, physique; cakre = done [assumed.]
When Rama's incomparable arrow has indeed shattered his crucial organ, namely the heart, in a downright manner, then Maareecha assumed a very massive physique of a demon, abandoning the form of Golden Deer. [3-44-20, 21a]
Though Maareecha assumed the form of a deer he has to retain his heart and brain of a demon. This is the yogic way of para kaaya praveshanam 'entering other bodies.' These assumed artificial bodies do not hold ground in nidraa, surata, maraNa dasheSu 'in sleep, copulation and death states,' where the mind, if distracted to these states, cannot concentrate or hold the body that is assumed by mental powers of yoga. Here no supernal god or deity is involved to grant such a capacity but one's own practise achieves it. Whereas in other case like Ravana, gods have bestowed boons, so he need not practise such yoga etc., as he is blessed to be above these mortal's practises and thus can change his form and can rejoice in any state with that body or form. This is how he abducts Seetha changing his semblances instantaneously.
तम् दृष्ट्वा पतितम् भूमौ राक्षसम् भीम दर्शनम् || ३-४४-२१
रामो रुधिर सिक्त अंगम् चेष्टमानम् महीतले |
जगाम मनसा सीताम् लक्ष्मणस्य वचः स्मरन् || ३-४४-२२
21b, 22. raamaH = Rama; bhuumau patitam = on earth, fallen; bhiima darshanam = fiendish, in look; rudhira sikta angam = in blood, steeped, with limbs; mahiitale ceSTamaanam = on earth's plane, weltering; tam raakSasam dR^iSTvaa = at him, demon, on seeing; lakSmaNasya vacaH smaran = Lakshmana's, words, reminiscing; siitaam manasaa jagaama = to Seetha, by heart, went - emotionally took flight to Seetha.
On seeing that demon with a fiendish look, who has fallen to earth with limbs steeped in blood, and who is weltering on the surface of earth, Rama emotionally took flight to Seetha reminiscing Lakshmana's words. [3-44-21b, 22]
मारीचस्य तु माय एषा पूर्व उक्तम् लक्ष्मणेन तु |
तत् तदा हि अभवत् च अद्य मारीचो अयम् मया हतः || ३-४४-२३
23. eSaa maariicasya tu maaya = this is, Maareecha's, but, trickery; lakshmaNena puurva uktam tu = by Lakshmana, earlier, vouchsafed, but; tat tadaa abhavat hi = that, that way, happened, indeed; adya mayaa hataH = now, by me, [who is] killed; ayam maariicaH = he is, Maareecha.
"This is the trickery of Maareecha which Lakshmana vouchsafed earlier, that has indeed happened in that way alone, and the one whom I have killed now is none other than Maareecha. [3-44-23]
हा सीते लक्ष्मण इति एवम् आक्रुश्य तु महा स्वनम् |
ममार राक्षसः सो अयम् श्रुत्वा सीता कथम् भवेत् || ३-४४-२४
लक्ष्मणः च महाबाहुः काम् अवस्थाम् गमिष्यति |
इति संचिन्त्य धर्माअत्मा रामो हृष्ट तनू रुहः || ३-४४-२५
24. saH = he; ayam = this; raakSasaH = demon; haa siite = ha, Seetha; lakSmaNa iti evam tu = Lakshmana, thus, that way, but; mahaa svanam aakrushya = with blatant, voice, crying out; mamaara = dead; shrutvaa siitaa katham bhavet = on hearing, Seetha, how, she will be; mahaabaahuH lakSmaNaH ca = dextrous one, Lakshmana, also; kaam avasthaam gamiSyati = in which, plight, he enters; so Rama thought; dharmaaatmaa raamaH = righteous-souled, Rama; iti samcintya = thus, on thinking over; hR^iSTa tanuu ruhaH = surprise, body, born [hair, hair-raising, frightened]; [babhuuva = Rama became.]
"This demon died while crying out with a blatant voice 'ha, Seetha... ha, Lakshmana...' And on hearing this how Seetha will be? And what will be the plight of dextrous Lakshmana?" Thus on thinking over them that righteous-souled Rama remained in a hair-raising predicament. [3-44-24]
तत्र रामम् भयम् तीव्रम् आविवेश विषादजम् |
राक्षसम् मृग रूपम् तम् हत्वा श्रुत्वा च तत् स्वनम् || ३-४४-२६
26. mR^iga ruupam tam raakSasam hatvaa = in deer's, form, that, demon, on killing; tat svanam shrutvaa ca = his, yelling [of demon,] on hearing, also; tatra = in that matter; raamam = to Rama; viSaada jam tiivram bhayam = by gloom, caused, frantic, fear; aavivesha = ensorcelled.
On killing that demon in the form of Golden Deer, and also on hearing his yelling, Rama is ensorcelled with a frantic fear caused by his own gloom. [3-44-26]
निहत्य पृषतम् च अन्यम् मांसम् आदाय राघवः |
त्वरमाणो जनस्थानम् ससार अभिमुखः तदा || ३-४४-२७
27. tadaa = then; raaghavaH = Raghava; anyam = another one; pR^iSatam nihatya ca = spotted deer, on killing, also; maamsam aadaaya = its flesh, on taking; tvaramaaNaH = hurrying himself; janasthaanam abhimukhaH sasaara = to Janasthaana, towards, he drifted, proceeded.
Raghava then on killing another spotted deer and on taking its flesh, he hurried himself towards Janasthaana. [3-44-27]
Fruits of listening Maareecha's legend
As with any other demon's death Maareecha's death also is eulogised as a merited one and reading or listening this is said to bring merit. Though these results are not said in Ramayana proper, its collateral scripts like skaanda purana, aadhyaatma raamaayaNa etc., say them. For the elimination of Maareecha aadhyaatma raamaayaNa says:
tat dehaat uddhitam tejaH sarva lokasya pashyataH |
raamam eva aavishat devaaH vismayam paramam jaguH ||
kim karma kR^itvaa kim praaptaH paatakii muni himsakaH |
athavaa raaghavasya ayam mahimaa na atra sa~NshayaH ||
dvijo vaa raakShaso vaa api paapii vaa dhaarmiko vaa |
tyajan kalebaram raamam smR^itvaa yaati paramam padam ||
From that body of Maareecha a divine aureole risen while all the world is seeing... that merged into Rama alone, causing very great astonishment... this is the marvel of Rama, nothing else..' So the divine beings thought seeing from heavens, and said 'a Brahman or a demon, or a sinner or meritorious one who cites the name of Rama at the time of leaving his body, he attains the Ultimate Threshold...' Blessing so, the divine beings returned to their abodes on seeing the salvation of Maareecha's soul in Rama.' aadhyaatma raamaayaNa, aranya , seventh sarga/chapter.
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इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदि काव्ये अरण्य काण्डे चतुः चत्वारिंशः सर्गः
© Oct, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : September 04]