Ayodhya Kanda: Chapter 28

स एवं ब्रुवती सीतां धर्मज्ञा धर्मवत्सलः। न नेतुं कुरुते बुद्धिं वने दुःखानि चिन्तयन्॥
That lover of virtue, thinking of the miseries of the forest, resolved no to take Sītā with him, who was versed in religious lore's and had spoken thus.

सान्त्वयित्वा ततस्तां तु बाष्पदूषितलोचनाम्। निवर्तनार्थे धर्मात्मा वाक्यमेतदुवाच ह॥
And consoling her whose eyes were stained with tears, that virtuous-souled one spoke to her the following words with a view to prevent her from going.

सीते महाकुलीनासि धर्मे च निरता सदा। इहाचरस्व धर्मं त्वं यथा मे मनसः सुखम्॥
Oh Sītā, you are born of an illustrious family and ever intent on the performance of religious deeds; do you practise virtue here as it may conduce to the happiness of my mind.

सीते यथा त्वां वक्ष्यामि तथा कार्यं त्वयाबले। वने दोषा हि बहवो वसतस्तान् निबोध मे॥
Oh Sītā, Oh you of the weaker sex, Do you act up to my counsels; there are evils enough in the forest, do you learn them from me who am about to dwell in it.

सीते विमुच्यतामेषा वनवासकृता मतिः। बहुदोषं हि कान्तारं वनमित्यभिधीयते॥
Renounce therefore, Oh Sītă, your intention of flying as an exile to the forest, which for its impenetrableness is said to abound in evils.

हितबुद्ध्या खलु वचो मयैतदभिधीयते। सदा सुखं न जानामि दुःखमेव सदा वनम्॥
It is for your welfare that I give utterance to these words; happiness there is none, it is always covered with miseries.

गिरिनिर्झरसम्भूता गिरिनिर्दरिवासिनाम्। सिंहानां निनदा दुःखाः श्रोतुं दुःखमतोवनम्॥
The roarings of the lions living in the caves of mountains, swelling with the sounds of the water-falls, produce a very painful impression upon the ears; so the wood is full of misery.

क्रीडमानाश्च विस्रब्धामत्ताः शून्ये तथा मृगाः। दृष्ट्वा समभिवर्तन्ते सीते दुःखमतो वनम्॥
Animals, all maddened, sporting in solitude, seeing (man), approach to attack him; so the wood is full of misery.

सग्राहाः सरितश्चैव पङ्कवत्यस्तु दुस्तराः। मत्तैरपि गजैर्नित्यमतो दुःखतरं वनम् ॥
The rivers are full of crocodiles, sharks, and other fearful animals, muddy and impassable and always infested with infuriated elephants; so the wood is full of misery.

लताकण्टकसंकीर्णाः कृकवाकूपनादिताः। निरपाश्च सुदुःखाश्च मार्गा दुःखमतो वनम्॥
There the wayfarers are covered with creepers and thorns they are void of drinking water ever resounded with the noise of the wild fowls, so the wood is full of misery.

सुप्यते पर्णशय्यासु स्वयंभग्नासु भूतले। रात्रिषु श्रमखिन्नेन तस्माद् दुःखमतो वनम्॥
Being exhausted with the toil of the day, the dwellers of the wood have to sleep in night on the bed made of leaves fallen from the trees on the surface of the ground; so the wood is full of misery.

अहोरात्रं च संतोषः कर्तव्यो नियतात्मना। फलैर्वृक्षावपतितैः सीते दुःखमतो वनम्॥
With the (supply of) fruits that have fallen from the trees man of self discipline must content himself morning and evening; so the wood, O Sītă, is full of misery.

उपवासश्च कर्तव्यो यथा प्राणेन मैथिलि। जटाभारश्च कर्तव्यो वल्कलाम्बरधारणम्॥ देवतानां पितृणां च कर्तव्यं विधिपूर्वकम्। प्राप्तानामतिथीनां च नित्यशः प्रतिपूजनम्॥ कार्यस्त्रिरभिषेकश्च काले काले च नित्यशः। चरतां नियमेनैव तस्माद् दुःखतरं वनम्॥
One has to fast, O Maithili, according to his might, to wear matted hair and bark, to adore the deities and his ancestors according to due rites, every day to serve the guests that come to him, and observing the rules of asceticism, to bathe every day thrice, namely, in the morning, in the mid-day and in the evening; so the wood is full of misery.

उपहारश्च कर्तव्यः कुसुमैः स्वयमाहतैः। आर्षेण विधिना वेद्यां सीते दुःखमतो वनम्॥
One has to offer presents of flowers collected by his ownself to the altars, O Sītā, according to the rites of the ascetics; so the wood is full of misery.

यथालब्धेन कर्तव्यः संतोषस्तेन मैथिलि। यताहारैर्वनचरैः सीते दुःखमतो वनम्॥
Those that dwell in the forest will have to remain content, having practised moderation in food, O Maithill, with whatever edibles are attainable in the forest; so the wood is full of misery.

अतीव वातस्तिमिरं बुभुक्षा चास्ति नित्यशः। भयानि च महान्त्यत्र अतो दु:खतरं वनम्॥
There are always violent winds, darkness hunger, and great fear; so the wood is full of misery.

सरीसृपाश्च बहवो बहुरूपाश्च भामिनि। चरन्ति पथि ते दात्ततो दुःखतरं वनम्॥
Reptiles, many and of various kinds, creep there on the path, O excellent lady, with haughtiness; so the wood is full of misery.

नदीनिलयनाः सर्पा नदीकुटिलगामिनः। तिष्ठन्त्यावृत्य पन्थानमतो दुःखतरं वनम्॥
And snakes living in the rivers and of crooked course like them, always await the wayfarers, hindering the passers-by: so the wood is full of misery.

पतङ्गा वृश्चिकाः कीटा दंशाश्च मशकैः सह। बाधन्ते नित्यमबले सर्वं दुःखमतो वनम्॥
Birds, scorpions, insects mosquito's and wild gnats, always disturb the dwellers, O fair one' of the weaker sex; so the wood is full misery.

दुमाः कण्टकिनश्चैव कुशाः काशाश्च भामिनि। वने व्याकुलशाखाग्रास्तेन दुःखमतो वनम्॥
There are trees full of thorns, having their branches moving to and fro, and the kusa and kāsa grasses with thorny blades constantly undulating; so the wood is full misery.

कायक्लेशाश्च बहवो भयानि विविधानि च। अरण्यवासे वसतो दुःखमेव सदा वनम्॥ क्रोधलोभौ विमोक्तव्यौ कर्तव्या तपसे मतिः। न भेतव्यं च भेतव्ये दुःखं नित्यमतो वनम्॥
There are various physical afflictions and divers fears and great misery consequent upon living in the forest. Anger and desires are to be renounced, the heart is to be set on ascetic austerities, fear in the fearful objects is to be cast off; so the wood is full of misery.

तदलं ते वनं गत्वा क्षेमं नहि वनं तव। विमृशनिव पश्यामि बहुदोषकरं वनम्॥
You should not therefore go to the forest, it forebodes no good to you. Weighing well, have I concluded that the forest abounds in innumerable evils.

वनं तु नेतुं न कृता मतिर्यदा बभूव रामेण तदा महात्मना। न तस्य सीता वचनं चकार तं ततोऽब्रवीद् राममिदं सुदुःखिता॥
While the high-souled Rāma, resolved thus not to take Sītā with him to the forest, she, greatly sorry, did not accept his words and spoke to him in the following way.