Ramayana

Sunder Kand in Hindi, English And Sanskrit

Sunder Kand Doha 11

English

Then they all dispersed in various directions and Sita anxiously thought within Herself: “At the end of a long month this vile monster will slay me.”*

With joined palms She said to Trijata, “Mother, you are my only companion in adversity. Therefore, quickly devise some means whereby I may be enabled to cast off this body; for this desolation, which is so hard to bear, can no longer be endured. Bring some wood and put up a pyre; and then, my mother, set fire to it. Thus prove the genuineness of my love for the Lord, O wise lady. Who will stand Ravana’s words, that pierce the ear like a shaft?” On hearing these words she clasped Sita’s feet and comforted Her by recounting the majesty, might and glory of Her lord. “Listen, O tender lady: no fire can be had at night.” So saying she left for her residence. Sita said (to Herself) “Heaven itself has turned hostile to me; there is no fire to be had and I cannot be cured of my agony otherwise. Sparks offire are visibly seen in the heavens; but not a single star drops to the earth. The moon, though all fire, refuses to rain sparks, as if conscious of my wretchedness. Hear my prayer, O Asoka tree: take away my sorrow and answer to your name**. Your fresh and tender leaves bear the colour of flames; therefore, supply me with fire and do not aggravate my agony beyond limits.” The moment seemed like an age† to Hanuman as he beheld Sita extremely distressed due to Her separation from Her lord.

* As appears from what follows, it is not death that Sita dreads, but the long interval of a month which as to elapse before Her threatened death.
** The word ‘Asoka’ literally means that which ends sorrow.
† Literally speaking, the word ‘Kalpa’ denotes the span of life of the universe, which has been calculated to cover 4,32,00,000 years.

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