Nityaraamasmaranam Aranya Kaanda - Ch. 224

Enter Shoorpanakha

Let us restart our journey of Nityaraamasmaranam, with an episode that marks an important turn in the Epic. For, let us see Shoorpanakha, ten-headed Ravana’s sister, change the course of the story.

Read the previous chapter here, before scrolling further!

Shri Rama returned along with Mata Sita and Lakshmana after a bath in the Godavari and completed his early morning Sandhya rituals. Then sitting for a while with the Rishis, Shri Rama narrated many tales, all the while shining like the Chitra Nakshatra.

Suddenly, someone arrived. Someone, who was soon about to disturb all the peace in Panchavati. Yes, she was none other than Shoorpanakha, the sharp-nailed sister of the ten-headed Ravana. She stood there, admiring Shri Rama, and what a contrast the two were…

Rama looked a King, with his lotus eyes, deep blue complexion, long arms, slim waist and a walk like an elephant. He looked like a second Kaamadeva and as glorious as Indra, making Shoorpanakha lovesick. She on the other hand, looked ugly, with her pot belly, copper hair, jarring voice and hideous form.

Still she approached Shri Rama and said, “Handsome one, look like an ascetic, yet you have a wife. What are you doing in this dark forest of the demons?”

Shri Rama replied, “Enchanting lady! I am the eldest son of Raja Dasharatha, my name is Rama. This godlike lady, Sita, the daughter of Raja Janaka, is my wife, and here this young man is my devoted brother Lakshmana. Tell us a bit about yourself too. Who are you? Whose daughter are you? With your enthralling personality, you seem a demoness.”

“Shoorpanakha smiled, “I am Shoorpanakha, a Rakshasi. I can change my form at will and roam these woods freely. My brother is the mighty, ten-headed Ravana, Lord of Lanka, son of Sage Vishravasa. Kumbhakarna, the huge giant who sleeps for ever is my other brother and so is that Dharma-loving Vibheeshana, though he never behaves like a demon.”

I have two more brothers, Khara and Dooshana, brave warriors, but I am braver. The moment I saw you Rama, I desired you alone as my husband. Be my Lord forever. How can this ugly Sita be your wife? I am alone worthy of being your consort, so take me.”