The Beauty of Rainy Season – Rama Describes to Lakshmana

rain art

If we were to ask people about the rainy season, one may answer:

The rainy season, also known as the wet season, is a period of time characterized by heavy rainfall and wet weather. In many parts of the world, the rainy season occurs during the summer months, such as in Koh Samui, Thailand, where monsoon rains bring about a chance of heavy rainfall. During the dry season, the amount of rainfall is significantly less, leading to a decrease in the availability of water in many areas.

rain art
Rain art (source)

The experts of Hydrology and Meteorology can be more specific, and say:

In South Florida, the rainy season is characterized by daily showers and the occasional severe storm. This is due to the daytime heating that occurs in the southern regions of the state, which creates an environment ripe for the development of thunderstorms and heavy rainfall.

Mountainous regions are especially susceptible to heavy storms, as the terrain can cause clouds to form and release large amounts of rain in a short period of time.

Throughout South America, the rainy season varies depending on the region. In some areas, such as Chiang Mai, Thailand, the wet season brings about heavy rainfall and monsoon rains that can cause flooding.

In other areas, such as the Malabar Coast of India or the Pacific Coast of South West Africa, the rainy season is a favorite feature of the local climate, as it provides plenty of water for national parks and other outdoor activities.

And moreover, people are too judgmental about potential hazards and express as:

While the rainy season can be a period of time filled with bad weather and catastrophic weather events, it can also be a time of year to plan special events, such as a day trip or honeymoon trip to a destination that experiences heavy rainfall or monsoon season rainfall totals. With record time and research on sites like Google Books, travelers can plan their trip accordingly, taking into account the shoulder season and the heaviest rainfall months.

But, here comes the divinity that Lord Rama possesses, the gift of analyzing the true essence of the rainy season, the meaning and connection that a being can feel. This is what the rainy season is, this is how Lord Rama described the rainy season to his brother Lakshmana.

Sri Rama Describing Rainy Season to Lakshmana

Rama and Lakshmana

After the killing of Vali and installation of Sugriva as king, Sri Rama arrived at mountain Malyavan to reside. He said to Lakshmana:

अयं स कालस्सम्प्राप्तस्समयोऽद्य जलागमः।
सम्पश्य त्वं नभो मेघैस्संवृतं गिरिसन्निभैः ।।

Now that the rainy season has started, see the sky covered with mountain-like (huge) clouds.

नवमासधृतं गर्भं भास्करस्य गभस्तिभिः।
पीत्वा रसं समुद्राणां द्यौः प्रसूते रसायनम् ।।

The sky has drained the water from the oceans through the Sun’s rays and has borne it for nine months (from Kartika to Ashara) in its womb. It delivers water which is the base for all juices.

शक्यमम्बरमारुह्य मेघसोपानपङ्क्तिभिः।
कुटजार्जुनमालाभिरलङ्कर्तुं दिवाकरम् ।।

It is possible to climb up to the sky on the stairs formed by the clouds and decorate the Sun god with garlands made of Kutaja and Arjuna flowers.

सन्ध्यारागोत्थितैस्ताम्रैरन्तेष्वधिक पाण्डरैः।
स्निग्धैरभ्रपटच्छेदैर्बद्धव्रणमिवाम्बरम् ।।

The sky looks as though its wounds are dressed with pale white moisture-laden bandage cloths of clouds, red in the border, tinged as they are with the glow of twilight.

मन्दमारुत निश्वासं सन्ध्याचन्दनरञ्जितम् ।
आपाण्डुजलदं भाति कामातुरमिवाम्बरम् ।।

The sky with its gentle winds as its sighs, its ash-colored clouds (suggestive of a pale face) painted with red sandal paste in the form of the glow of twilight appears like a passionate lover.

एषा घर्मपरिक्लिष्टा नववारिपरिप्लुता ।
सीतेव शोकसन्तप्ता मही बाष्पं विमुञ्चति ।।

This earth scorched by the heat and then flooded with fresh rainwater, radiating heat, appears like my Sita shedding tears burning with grief.

मेघोदरविनिर्मुक्ताः कह्लारसुखशीतलाः।
शक्यमञ्जलिभिः पातुं वाताः केतकिगन्धिनः ।।

The winds released from the wombs of clouds, cool as the delicate touch of white lotuses, charged with the fragrance of Ketaka flowers can be inhaled through the hollow of one’s palms.

एष फुल्लार्जुनश्शैलः केतकैरधिवासितः।
सुग्रीव इव शान्तारिर्धाराभिरभिषिच्यते ।।

This mountain scented by the fragrance of Arjuna and Ketaka flowers is bathed in rain water just as Sugriva, tranquil by the destruction of the enemy is consecrated in streams of (sacred) waters.

मेघकृष्णाजिनधरा: धारायज्ञोपवीतिनः।
मारुतापूरितगुहाः प्राधीता इव पर्वताः ।।

The mountains are covered with dark clouds which appear like the hide of the antelope. Streams of rainwater flowing are like the sacred threads hanging down the shoulder and the sounds of wind filling the caves resemble the recitation of Vedas by priests. (These mountains are comparable to the Brahmacharins engaged in the recitation of Vedas wearing antelope skin and sacred threads).

कशाभिरिव हैमीभिर्विद्युद्भिरिवताडितम् ।
अन्तस्त्सतनिर्घोषं सवेदनमिवाम्बरम् ।।

The sky lashed with lightning with whips of gold and emitting groans in the form of peals of thunder, appears as though crying in severe pain.

नीलमेघाश्रिता विद्युत्स्फुरन्ती प्रतिभाति मा ।
स्फुरन्ती रावणस्याङ्के वैदेहीव तपस्विनी ।।

The triggering of lightning in the dark clouds appears to me like austere Vaidehi struggling helplessly to get free from the lap of Ravana.

Jatayu’s wing cut off by Ravana

इमास्ता मन्मथवतां हिताः प्रतिहता दिशः।
अनुलिप्ता इव घनैर्नष्टग्रहनिशाकराः ।।

Smeared as it were with dense clouds and therefore blocked the directions in which planets including the Moon cease to appear and are favorable to lovers. The Moon is said to accentuate the pangs of separation from one’s ladylove. Hence the quarters in which the Moon and the stars are hidden by clouds, have been favorable to the lovelorn.

चिद्बाष्पाभिसंरुद्धान् वर्षागमसमुत्सुकान् ।
कुटजान्पश्य सौमित्रे पुष्पितान्गिरिसानुषु ।।
मम शोकाभिभूतस्य कामसन्दीपनान् स्थितान् ।

O Saumitri looks at the Kutaja flowers on the mountain slopes withered by the heat. They welcome the fresh showers of rain and rekindle the passion in me even though my heart is overwhelmed with grief.

रजः प्रशान्तं सहिमोऽद्य वायु
र्निदाघदोषप्रसराः प्रशान्ताः।
स्थिता हि यात्रा वसुधाधिपानां
प्रवासिनो यान्ति नरास्स्वदेशान् ।।

Now the dust has settled and the wind-carrying mist is cool. The torments of summer have ceased. The expeditions of kings have come to a stop and the travelers return to their native land.

सम्प्रस्थिता मानसवासलुब्धाः
प्रियान्विताः सम्प्रति चक्रवाकाः।
यानानि मार्गेषु न सम्पतन्ति ।।

Desirous of living in Manasa Lake swans have set out on their journey and the Chakravaka birds are now united with their mates. The carts move not on the roads damaged by heavy rains.

क्वचित्प्रकाशं क्वचिदप्रकाशं
नभः प्रकीर्णाम्बुधरं विभाति ।
रूपं यथा शान्तमहार्णवस्य ।।

The sky which is visible here is not visible there due to clouds scattered. It looks bright (blue) here and dulls there. It appears like an unruffled ocean interspersed with hills here and there.

व्यामिश्रितं सार्जकदम्बपुष्पै
र्नवं जलं पर्वतधातुताम्रम् ।
शैलापगाश्शीघ्रतरं वहन्ति ।।

The mountain streams of rainwater mingled with Sarja and Kadamba flowers carry freshwater swiftly to the ocean along with the deposits of red mineral rocks of the mountain. Hark, the peacock cries.

रसाकुलं षट्पदसन्निकाशं
प्रभुज्यते जम्बुफलं प्रकामम् ।
अनेकवर्णं पवनावधूतं
भूमौ पतत्याम्रफलं विपक्वम् ।।

The black bees like Jambu fruits full of sweet juice. People share them to their heart’s content, while the mango fruits which take multiple colors on getting ripened drop on the ground shaken by the wind.

शैलेन्द्रकूटाकृतिसन्निकाशाः ।
गर्जन्ति मेघाः समुदीर्णनादाः
मत्ता गजेन्द्रा इव संयुगस्थाः ।।

The clouds that resemble high mountain peaks, having their banners of lightning with rows of herons as garlands give out loud peals of thunder like elephants in rut trumpet in battle array.

प्रवृत्तनृत्तोत्सवबर्हिणानि ।
वनानि निर्वृष्टवलाहकानि
पश्यापराह्णेष्वधिकं विभान्ति ।।

The tender green grass of the forest is shining with rainwater, the peacocks are having dance festivals and the forests look more enchanting in the afternoon.

समुद्वहन्त स्सलिलातिभारं
बलाकिनो वारिधरा नदन्तः।
महत्सु शृङ्गेषु महीधराणां
विश्रम्य विश्रम्य पुनः प्रयान्ति ।।

The huge rumbling clouds on the high mountain peaks carry a heavy load of water. Now they rest and now resume their journey accompanied by herons.

मेघाभिकामा परिसम्पतन्ती
सम्मोदिता भाति बलाकपङ्क्तिः।
वातावधूता वरपौण्डरीकी
लम्बेव माला रचिताम्बरस्य ।।

The happy rows of herons flying in the sky to meet the clouds appear like a long garland of choice white lotuses strung together hanging in the sky.

विभाति भूमिर्नवशाद्वलेन ।
गात्रानुपृक्तेन शुकप्रभेण
नारीव लाक्षोक्षितकम्बलेन ।।

The earth shines with fresh-grown, tender grass speckled here and there with small Indragopa insects. It appears like a woman wearing a parrot green veil sprinkled with red lac dye.

निद्रा शनैः केशवमभ्युपैति
द्रुतं नदी सागरमभ्युपैति ।
हृष्टा बलाका घनमभ्युपैति
कान्ता सकामा प्रियमभ्युपैति ।।

Sleep steals over Lord Vishnu. The rivers run swiftly to the sea, the female herons fly to catch the clouds joyfully. The young bride eagerly approaches her dear lord. (It is believed that Lord Vishnu goes to sleep during Chaturmasya, i.e. from Ashara to Kartik.)

Lord Vishnu Yoga Nidra

जाता वनान्ताश्शिखिसम्प्रनृत्ता
जाताः कदम्बाः सकदम्बशाखाः।
जाता वृषा गोषु समानकामा
जाता मही सस्यवनाभिरामा ।।

Peacocks dance in the forest. The branches of the Kadamba trees get filled with flowers. Bulls long for union with the cows. The earth looks beautiful with green crops and trees.

वहन्ति वर्षन्ति नदन्ति भान्ति
ध्यायन्ति नृत्यन्ति समाश्वसन्ति ।
नद्यो घना मत्तगजा वनान्ताः
प्रियाविहीनाश्शिखिनः प्लवङ्गमाः ।।

The clouds are raining. The rivers are flowing. Proud elephants are trumpeting. Those separated from their loved ones are brooding. The monkeys are quiet and the peacocks are dancing.

प्रहर्षिताः केतकपुष्पगन्ध
माघ्राय हृष्टा वननिर्झरेष ।
प्रपातशब्दाकुलिता गजेन्द्रा
स्सार्धं मयूरै स्समदा नदन्ति ।।

The lordly elephants get intoxicated with the fragrance of Ketaki flowers, the noise of waterfalls, and the cackle of peacocks and they give out a shrill trumpet.

कदम्बशाखासु विलम्बमानाः।
क्षणार्जितं पुष्परसावगाढं
शनैर्मदं षट्चरणास्त्यजन्ति ।।

Having sucked honey from the flower cups filled with honey, the bees are shedding their drunkenness slowly and hanging on the branches of Kadamba trees, smitten with showers.

जम्बूद्रुमाणां प्रविभान्ति शाखाः
निलीयमाना इव षट्पदौघैः ।।

The branches of Jambu trees profusely filled with fruits appear like piled-up balls of charcoal, while swarms of bees rest on the branches of the Jambu trees.

मुदीर्णगम्भीरमहारवाणाम् ।
विभान्ति रूपाणि बलाहकानां
रणोद्यतानामिव वानरणानाम् ।।

The rainclouds decorated with banners of lightning and giving out peals of thunder shine like elephants in rut trumpeting, eager to fight in battle.

सम्प्रस्थितो मेघरवं निशम्य ।
युद्धाभिकामः प्रतिनादशङ्की
मत्तो गजेन्द्रः प्रतिसन्निवृत्तः ।।

Intoxicated elephants on their march along the mountain in the forest, hear the thundering sounds of clouds, and suspect it to be the call of proud elephants to fight to turn back.

क्वचित्प्रगीता इव षट्पदौघैः
क्वचित्प्रनृत्ता इव नीलकण्ठैः।
क्वचित्प्रमत्ता इव वारणेन्द्रै
र्विभान्त्यनेकाश्रयिणो वनान्ताः ।।

Swarms of bees hum here. Peacocks dance there. Intoxicated elephants sport in water in other places. (Thus) the forest shows its many features.

रापानभूमिप्रतिमा विभाति ।।

The forest region with its various types of trees like Kadamba, Sarja, and Arjuna trees and full of fresh water shines like a tavern where girls in the form of peahens dance in excitement.

मुक्तासकाशं सलिलं पतद्वै
सुनिर्मलं पत्रपुटेषु लग्नम् ।
हृष्टा विवर्णच्छदना विहङ्गा
स्सुरेन्द्रदत्तं तृषिताः पिबन्ति ।।

Thirsty birds rejoice in drinking exceedingly pure water held in leaf cups offered by Indra (in the form of rain), which looks like pearls collected in the leaf cups. As the drops fall on them the hue of their wings seems to change (fade).

प्लवङ्गमोदीरितकण्ठतालम् ।
आविष्कृतं मेघमृदङ्गनादै
र्वनेषु सङ्गीतमिव प्रवृत्तम् ।।

The sweet humming of bees like the music of string instruments (Vina), the croaking of frogs, and the rumbling of clouds sounding like the beating of drums make it appear as if a musical concert has started in the forest.

क्वचित्प्रनृत्तै: क्वचिदुन्नदद्भिः
क्वचिच्च वृक्षाग्रनिषण्णकायैः।
र्वनेषु सङ्गीतमिव प्रवृत्तम् ।।

Here the peacocks are dancing and there they are singing. Elsewhere they are reclining on treetops with their big plumage hanging down. It appears as though the peacocks have started a musical concert in the forest.

Beautiful Dandakaranya forest where Rama, Sita and Lakshmana resided

स्वनैर्घनानां प्लवगाः प्रबुद्धाः
विहाय निद्रां चिरसन्निरुद्धाम् ।
नवाम्बुधाराभिहता नदन्ति ।।

Frogs of different forms, colors, and sounds are croaking, awakened from their long sleep by the thunders of clouds and the flow of fresh rainwater.

स्तटानि शीर्णान्यपवाहयित्वा ।
दृप्ता नवप्राभृतपूर्णभोगाः
द्रुतं स्वभर्तारमुपोपयान्ति ।।

Washing away their broken banks which obstruct their way to the sea, the bloated rivers like proud young ladies with Chakravaka birds borne on their surface, which look like protuberant breasts, rush swiftly to meet their lord, the sea, chosen for full enjoyment with the gifts of flowers.

नीलेषु नीला: प्रविभान्ति सक्ताः
मेघेषु मेघा नववारिपूर्णाः।
दवाग्निदग्धेषु दवाग्निदग्धा
श्शैलेषु शैला इव बद्धमूलाः ।।

Dark clouds filled with fresh water, leaning on dark clouds appear like boulders of rock, scorched with wildfire with their bases yet firmly rooted shining.

सशक्रगोपाकुलशाद्वलानि ।
चरन्ति नीपार्जुनवासितानि
गजास्सुरम्याणि वनान्तराणि ।।

Elephants roam the forestland inhabited by peacocks making noise out of joy, where the grassy land is filled with crawling Indragopa insects and the fragrance of Kadamba and Arjuna blossoms.

द्रुतं परित्यज्य सरोरुहाणि ।
कदम्बपुष्पाणि सकेसराणि
नवानि हृष्टा भ्रमराः पतन्तिः ।।

The bees have quit the lotus filaments destroyed by the rain and happily move quickly towards fresh filaments of Kadamba flowers.

मत्ता गजेन्द्रा मुदिता गवेन्द्रा
वनेषु विश्रान्ततरा मृगेन्द्रा ।
रम्या नगेन्द्रा निभृता नरेन्द्राः
प्रक्रीडितो वारिधरैस्सुरेन्द्रः ।।

Intoxicated elephants roam the forest. Mighty bulls rejoice. Kings of Beasts (lions) lounge. The mountains look beautiful. Kings relax. While Indra, lord of the gods, sports with clouds.

नदीस्तटाकानि सरांसि वापी
र्महीं च कृत्स्नामपवाहयन्ति ।।

With their big torrents, clouds hanging over the sky, drowning the roar of the sea, make the rivers, ponds, lakes, and tanks overflow and flood the entire earth.

वर्षप्रवेगा विपुलाः पतन्ति
प्रवान्ति वातास्समुदीर्णघोषाः।
प्रणष्टकूलाः प्रवहन्ति शीघ्रं
नद्योजलैर्विप्रतिपन्नमार्गाः ।।

Torrents of rain pour at great speed. Winds roar. Rivers flow swiftly changing their direction due to beaches on the banks.

नरैर्नरेन्द्रा इव पर्वतेन्द्रा
स्सुरेन्द्रदत्तै: पवनोपनीतैः।
रूपं श्रियं स्वामिव दर्शयन्ति ।।

The mountains are consecrated with water pitchers of clouds brought by the winds, offered by Lord Indra. Just as kings, consecrated by men, display their majesty, the mountains exhibit their form and glory. (Clouds are compared with water pots).

घनोपगूढं गगनं सतारं
न भास्करो दर्शनमभ्युपैति ।
नवैर्जलौघैर्धरणी विसृप्ता
तमो विलिप्ता न दिशः प्रकाशाः ।।

Enveloped by clouds, the Sun and stars are not visible. The earth glides with the flow of fresh waters. The directions are not clear, covered by darkness.

महान्ति कूटानि महीधराणां
धाराभिधौतान्यधिकं विभान्ति ।
महाप्रमाणैर्विपुलैः प्रपातै
र्मुक्ताकलापैरिव लम्बमानैः ।।

The huge mountain peaks are washed by the heavy downpour of rain which looks like long strings of pearls hanging.

श्शैलोत्तमानां विपुलाः प्रपाताः।
गुहासु सन्नादितबर्हिणासु
हारा विकीर्यन्त इवावभान्ति ।।

The waterfalls rushing down the rocks on the huge mountains and flowing through caves, and peacocks singing create an image of broken and scattered chains of pearls.

शीघ्रप्रवेगा विपुलाः प्रपाताः
निर्धौतशृङ्गोपतला गिरीणाम् ।
मुक्ताकलापप्रतिमाः पतन्तो
महागुहोत्सङ्गतलैर्ध्रियन्ते ।।

The fast flow of waterfalls spread over vast areas completely wash the surroundings of the mountain peaks. It appears like chains of pearls collected in the lap of huge caves.

पतन्ति चातुला दिक्षु तोयधारास्समन्तत: ।।

The strings of incomparable waterfalls all over the mountain appear as though pearls from the chains of sexually indulgent celestial women are dropping down from heaven, broken through physical friction.

निलीयमानैर्विहगैर्निमीलद्भिश्च पङ्कजैः।
विकसन्त्या च मालत्या गतोऽस्तं ज्ञायते रविः ।।

The time of the setting Sun (as he remains invisible the whole day) is known only by the birds reaching out to their dwellings for rest, and by the closing of lotuses and blossoming jasmines.

वृत्ता यात्रा नरेन्द्राणां सेना प्रतिनिवर्तते ।
वैराणि चैव मार्गाश्च सलिलेन समीकृताः ।।

Expeditions by kings come to a stop. The army returns. The flow of water blocks the roads. It suspends enmity (between states).

मासि प्रोष्ठपदे ब्रह्म ब्राह्मणानां विवक्षताम् ।
अयमध्यायसमयस्सामगानामुपस्थितः ।।

The month of Bhadrapada meant for the recitation of the Vedas by Brahmins and for those desirous of singing Sama Veda has started.

निवृत्तकर्मायतनो नूनं सञ्चितसञ्चयः।
आषाढीमभ्युपगतो भरतः कोसलाधिपः ।।

Surely Bharata, king of Kosala, would have completed the collection of all his requirement before the commencement of the month of Ashara.

नूनमापूर्यमाणायास्सर्वव्या वर्धते रयः।
मां समीक्ष्य समायान्तमयोध्याया इव स्वनः ।।

Just as the cheerful voices of the people of Ayodhya rise as soon as they see me returning, certainly the speed of river Sarayu is rising, filled with rainwater.

इमास्फीतगुणा वर्षास्सुग्रीवस्सुखमश्नुते।
विजितारिः सदारश्च राज्ये महति च स्थितः ।।

Having defeated his enemy, Sugriva with his wife during the rainy season is well established in the kingdom, abounding in merits.

अहं तु हृतदारश्च राज्याच्य महतश्च्युतः।
नदीकूलमिव क्लिन्नमवसीदामि लक्ष्मण ।।

O Lakshmana I have lost my wife. I have been dethroned from the mighty kingdom. I am sinking like a river bank overflowed.

Sita's abduction
Sita’s abduction

शोकश्च मम विस्तीर्णो वर्षाश्च भृशदुर्गमाः।
रावणश्च महान् शत्रुरपारं प्रतिभाति मे ।।

My sorrow increases, the rains which make it hard to cover distances, and Ravana the great enemy all these appear difficult to conquer.

From the calming sound of raindrops to the cleansing effect of rainfall, rain for Sri Rama is a reflector of human experiences and emotions. Rain is a symbol of renewal and rebirth, which washes away the dirt and grime of the world, bringing forth new life and fresh beginnings.

Rain for Sri Rama is a sign of sadness and melancholy. The sound of raindrops tapping against the windowpane evokes feelings of loneliness and longing, reminding us of the fleeting nature of time and the impermanence of all things.

A depiction of life’s struggles and challenges that can be unpredictable and full of unexpected twists and turns. But just as plants and flowers can thrive after a rainstorm, we, like Lord Rama, can find strength and resilience in the face of adversity.

These Slokas are from Valmiki Ramayana, KishKinda Kanda, Sarga 28. Special thanks to Valmiki Ramayana maintained and developed by IIT Kanpur for translation. Jay Shree Rama!