This article is part of “Sundara Kandam of Sage Valmiki”

Twenty fourth 24th Chapter

Bullying by the Rakshasis

(This chapter describes the various ways, the Rakshasis tried to bully Sita)

After this the ugly looking hard hearted Rakshasa ladies came near Sita and told the following harsh and undesirable words:  1

Hey Sita, why are you not consenting to the life in Harem which is liked by all beings and which has very special beds?  2

You think a human lady should only be the wife of another human being but that is not going to happen to you and so drag away your mind from Sri Rama.  3

Accept being the wife of Ravana who enjoys the greatest pleasures in all the three worlds and engage in pleasant love play. 4

It is strange for you who is a lucky human being without any defects, wanting to rejoin Rama who has been driven away from his kingdom, who is dejected and who is suffering because of sorrow. 5

Sita who had eyes similar to the lotus , after hearing the words of Rakshasis . with tear- filled eyes, told the following words: 6

All the words told by you jointly are against the percepts of the world and are sinful and is not acceptable to me. 7

A human lady should not become the wife of a Rakshasa, Even if all of you are going to eat me away, I am not going to listen to your words. 8

Though my husband has been driven away from his kingdom and though he is in dire straits, he is always one who is respected by me and like the Lady Suvarchala is always with the Sun God, I will always be with him.  9

( This simile is strange , because Suvarchala being hurt by Sun’s harsh rays, left her shadow instead of her to be his wife.)

I would never part from my husband Rama who is the prince of Ikshuvaku clan, like the very lucky Lady Sachi devi from Indra, like Arundathi from Vasishta, Rohini from the moon god, Lopamudhra from Sage Agasthya, Sukanya from Sage Chyavana, Savithri from Prince Sathyavan, Madayanthi from Soudasa, Kesini from Sagara and the great Bhima princess Damayanthi from the great King Nala. 10-12

(here she lists the various great virtuous ladies of her time. Since each couple represents a famous well known story, they are not related here. She also indicates that like Damayanthi and Madayanthi, she will also rejoin her husband.)

Those Rakshasis appointed by Ravana, hearing the words of Sita, became livid with anger and uttered the following harsh words and bullied her. 13

Hanuman the monkey who was silently hiding atop the Simshuba tree carefully watched Sita and those Rakshasis. 14

Those angry women surrounded her who was trembling by fear on all the four sides licked and bit their dry and elongated lips. 15

They who were very angry took the white axe in their hands and told, This lady does not deserve to be  the wife of Ravana who is the king of Rakshasas. 16

(Till this time, the Rakshasis were trying to convince Sita logically.)

Terrorized by the hateful Rakshasis, she who had a pleasant face wiped away her tears and reached the Simshuba tree. 17

Surrounded by the Rakshasis that broad eyed Sita drowned in her sorrow reached the Simshuba tree and stood there. 18

Those Rakshasis surrounded on all sides Sita who was thin, who had a faded face and who wore dirty cloths and started bullying her. 19

Then a Rakshasi called Vinatha who was having all signs of being angry, who was having a hateful look, who was having a pot belly and who was ugly to look at addressing Sita told: 20

Madam Sita, you have till now shown that you love your husband sufficiently and doing anything more than this necessary leads to sorrow. 21

Hey princess of Mithila, I am very much satisfied by your proper observation of the duty of human beings and let all good come to you . Be pleased to obey me who is telling you what is good for you. 22-23

You please accept Ravana who is the king of all Rakshasas, who is handsome, who is valorous, who is like Indra, the king of devas, who is powerful, who has the sense of sacrifice and who tells sweet things to every one as your husband. 24

Hey pretty lady who is the daughter of Videha, leave the poor unstable Rama and accept Ravana as husband and from today wear very costly make up and ornaments and become a queen of the three worlds. You would be then like Sachi Devi to Indra and Swaha Devi for the God of fire. 25-26

(Swaha is the wife of Agni, the god of fire)

Hey daughter of Videha, what is the use of your having the mortal Rama who does not have any support whatsoever? If you are not going to obey these words of mine to you, immediately all of us would eat you completely . 27

Then A Rakshasi called Vikata who was having stooping breasts became very angry and with fists held up roared and told the following words to Sita. 28

Hey very ignorant princess of Mithila, We have been tolerating several of your illogical words due to mercy towards and because of our peaceful nature. 29

You are not obeying our words which are the only suitable ones to the present circumstances. 30

Hey princess of Mithila you have been brought to the other shore of the ocean which cannot be crossed by any one and you have also come in to the horror filled harem of Ravana. 31

Stop those tears and give away your sorrow which is going to cause problems to you. 32

Leave out this permanent bad feeling and take as your share yourself happiness and love.  33

Hey Sita, enjoy yourselves by passionate love with the king of Rakshasas. 34

Hey, coward, you seem not to know that the youth in ladies is not a permanent and so it is necessary to enjoy all pleasures till youth is there with you. 35

Hey, lady with a pretty eye, along with the king of Rakshasa see many flower gardens  and mountain parks. 36

Hey pretty one, under your control there would be seven thousand ladies to obey you. 37

Hey princess of Mithila, if you do not act according to my words, I would definitely tear open your heart and eat it. 38

After that a Rakshasi called Chandodhari with cruel looks and rotating a huge spear, told her the following words:- 39

Seeing this lady who was abducted by Ravana, who is having with shaking breasts due to fear and who has doe like eyes, I am getting a great desire. 40

It is my wish to bite away and eat her liver. Pancreas, the fleshy part above that, her fleshy bones, heart , intestines, and head. 41

Alas, after that a Rakshasi called Praghasa told, Why are we keeping quiet? Let us strangle this bad lady’s neck and tell our king that that human lady is no more. Then he will tell us” You can eat her” and “I do not have any doubt about his telling like this. 42-43

Then another Rakshasi called Ajaamukhi(sheep headed one) told Let us cut her in to small pieces and divide them equally among us and let us all take part in that. I do not like to go on arguing with her without doing this. Go and swiftly bring several type of drinks and several chutneys. 44-45

Then a Rakshasi called Surpanaka (lady having very broad nails) told, I am in agreement with what Ajamukhi has told us .Go bring wine which makes us forget all sorrows. Let us eat the human flesh and dance in the grounds of Nikumbila. 46-47

(Nikumbila is the ground outside the city where Ravana used to carry out his fire sacrifices.)

Terribly bullied thus by all the Rakshasis, Sita who is like a divine lady lost her courage and started crying. 48

Thus ends the twenty-fourth chapter of Sundara Kanda which is in the Ramayana which is the first epic written by Valmiki.

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