BOOK 7: UTTARA KANDA
And then, O King, the mighty armed Ravana ranging the earth, came to Himavan and began to go round it. And it came to pass that there he saw a damsel wearing a dark deer skin and matted locks, leading the life of a saint, and flaming like a celestial.
And seeing the girl observing high vows, endowed with beauty, he, with his soul overwhelmed with lust asked her, laughing. How is it, O amiable one", that thou actest thus contrary to thy youth ?This course of life surely doth not beit thy beauty. Thy loveliness, O timid one, is peerless, capable of maddening folk with desire.
It doth not behove thee to lead an ascetic mode of life, this would suit an old person. Whose daughter art thou, O gentle lady ?And what is this (vow) that thou practisest ?And O fair faced wrench, who is thy husband? He who hath thee for his wife, is, O timorous one, hath religious merit on earth. Tell all about this to me who ask for it.
For whom dost thou put thyself to trouble Thus accosted by Ravana, that illustious girl, having asceticism for wealth, having received him hospitably in due form, said, My sire is named Kusadwaja a Brahmarshi of immeasurable energy, son unto Brihaspati, endowed with grace, and like unto Brihaspati himself in intelligence. And while that high sould one was engaged in the daily study of the Vedas, I was born as his word impregnated daughter, named Vedavati When the gods and the Gandharvas and the Yakshas, Rakshasas, and Pannagas, coming to my sire asked for me, O foremost of Rakshasas, my father did not bestow me on any one of them. And I shall tell thee the reason thereof; listen, O long armed one.
My father s intended son in law was even Vishnu sovereign of the Devas, and the lord of the triune world ;and my father would not bestow me on any other. And hearing this, a certain king of the Daityas, named Sumbhu proud, of his prowess was wrought up with wrath, and one night as my sire was on bed, that wicked one slew him. Thereat my forlorn mother, of exalted righteousness embracing my father s body entered into fire.
Then wishing to realize my father s wish touching Narayana, I have fixed my heat even upon him. Having made this promise, I have deen carrying on rigid austerities. Thus, O foremost of Rakshasas, I have related unto thee everything.
Narayana is my husband, and not any one else than that best of male beings; and desirous of having Narayana I have adopted severe restraints. I know thee, O king. Go thou, O son of Paulastya.
By virtue of my asceticism I know all that takes place in these three regions. Thereat descending from the front of his car, Ravana, afflicted with the shafts of Kandarpa, again addressed that girl, observant of a mighty vow, O thou of shapely hips, in as much as such is thy intent, thou must be very proud". O thou having the eyes of a young antelope, accumulation of religeous merit suits old people.
Thou, furnished with every perfection, should not talk thus. Thou at the paragon in these three worlds. Thy youth waxeth away.
I am the lord of Lanka, O gentle lady, known as Dasagriva.. Be thou my wife, and enjoy pleasures according to thy desire.
Who is he whom thou callest Vishnu ?O mild one, neither in prowess, nor in asceticism, nor in enjoyment, nor in strength, is he my equal, whom, O damsel, thou seekest. Thus accosted, Vedavati said unto the night ranger Do not say so in respect of Vishnu, lord of this triune sphere, bowed down unto by all creatures. Save and except thee alone, who, that is intellegent, crieth down Narayana(), O King of Rakshasas.
Thus addressed there by Vedavati, the night ranger seized the girl by the hair. Thereat Vedavati, wroth, cut of her hair with her hand transformed into a sword. And then, flaming up in fire and as if consuming the night ranger, she, preparing a funeral pyre, hastened to make away with herself.
"Thou abject, having been outraged by thee I wish not to live. Therefore, O Raksha, I will enter into fire in thy very presence. And as I have in this world been dishonored by thee thou at nefarious.
I shall again be born to compass thy destruction. It lieth not in a female to slay a male intent on sin ;and if I utter a curse, it shall cost my asceticism. But if I have done anything, given away any thing, offered obtations unto the fire, then I shall be the chaste daughter of some virtous person, albeit unborn of any female vessel.
Having delevered herself thus, she entered into the flaming fire ;and thereat a celestial shower of blossoms rained all around from heaven. O Lord, this is she that hath been born as the daughter of king Janaka, thy wife, O mighty armed one. Thou are the eternal Vishnu.
The enemy, endowed with the splendour of a hill, formerly that had been slain through the wrath (of Vedavati), hath now been slain by her, by help of thine superhuman prowess. And this one of eminent righteousnesss would again spring up on earth like a flame from a field furrowed by the plough. This one named Vedavati was born in the Krita age; and in the Treta age, for compassing the destruction of that Raksha, she was born in the Maithila line of the high souled Janaka.