Sita: Warrior of MithilaAmish Tripathi
westland publications ltd
Amish is a 1974-born, IIM (Kolkata)-educated, boring banker turned happy author. The success of his debut book, The Immortals of Meluha (Book 1 of the Shiva Trilogy), encouraged him to give up a fourteen-year-old career in financial services to focus on writing. He is passionate about history, mythology and philosophy, finding beauty and meaning in all world religions. Amish’s books have sold more than 4 million copies and have been translated into over 19 languages.
Amish lives in Mumbai with his wife Preeti and son Neel.
Other Titles by Amish
The Immortals of Meluha (Book 1 of the Shiva Trilogy)
1900 BC. The inhabitants of that period know the land of Meluha as a near perfect empire created many centuries earlier by Lord Ram, one of the greatest monarchs that ever lived. Now their primary river Saraswati is drying, and they face terrorist attacks from their enemies from the east. Will their legendary hero, the Neelkanth, emerge to destroy evil?
The Secret of the Nagas (Book 2 of the Shiva Trilogy)
The sinister Naga warrior has killed Brahaspati and now stalks Sati. Shiva, the prophesied destroyer of evil, will not rest till he finds his demonic adversary. Fierce battles will be fought and unbelievable secrets revealed in this second book of the Shiva Trilogy.
The Oath of the Vayuputras (Book 3 of the Shiva Trilogy)
Shiva is gathering his forces. He reaches the Naga capital, Panchavati, and Evil is finally revealed. The Neelkanth prepares for a holy war against his true enemy. Will he succeed? Discover the answer to these mysteries in this concluding part of the bestselling Shiva Trilogy.
Ram Chandra Series
Ram—Scion of Ikshvaku (Book 1 of the Series)
3400 BCE. INDIA
A terrible war has taken its toll and weakened Ayodhya. The damage runs deep. The demon King of Lanka, Raavan, does not impose his rule on the defeated. He, instead, imposes his trade. Money is sucked out of the empire. Through the suffering that people endure, they do not realise that a leader is among them. An ostracised prince. A prince called Ram.
Begin an epic journey with Amish’s Ram Chandra Series.
‘I wish many more would be inspired by Amish Tripathi …’
– Amitabh Bachchan, Indian actor and living legend
‘Amish is India’s Tolkien’
– Business Standard
‘Amish is India’s first literary popstar’
– Shekhar Kapur, renowned filmmaker
‘Amish is … the Paulo Coelho of the east.’
– Business World
‘Amish’s mythical imagination mines the past and taps into the possibilities of the future. His book series, archetypal and stirring, unfolds the deepest recesses of the soul as well as our collective consciousness.’
– Deepak Chopra, world-renowned spiritual guru and bestselling author
‘Amish is a fresh new voice in Indian writing – steeped in myth and history, with a fine eye for detail and a compelling narrative style.’
– Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament and celebrated author
‘… Amish has mastered the art of gathering, interpreting and presenting India’s many myths, folklores and legends, and blending all of that into fast-paced thrillers that change your views about Gods, cultures, histories, demons and heroes, forever.’
– Hi Blitz
‘Amish’s philosophy of tolerance, his understanding of mythology and his avowed admiration for Shiva are evident in his best-selling works.’
‘Tripathi is part of an emerging band of authors who have taken up mythology and history in a big way, translating bare facts into delicious stories.’
– The New Indian Express
‘… one must congratulate Amish on reintroducing Hindu mythology to the youth of this country.’
– First City
Warrior of Mithila
Ram Chandra Series
westland publications ltd
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First e-pub edition: 2017
Published by westland publications ltd 2017
Copyright © Amish Tripathi 2017
All rights reserved
Amish Tripathi asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to any actual person living or dead, events and locales is entirely coincidental.
Cover Concept and Design by Sideways
Illustration by Arthat studio
Inside book formatting and typesetting by SÜRYA, New Delhi
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by any way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the author’s prior written consent, in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser and without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright owner, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews with appropriate citations.
To Himanshu Roy
A man who exemplifies the ancient Indian path of Balance,
A proud Lord Ganesh devotee who also respects
all other faiths,
A sincere Indian patriot,
A man with wisdom, courage, and honour.
Om Namah Shivāya
The universe bows to Lord Shiva.
I bow to Lord Shiva.
From the Adbhuta Rāmāyana
(credited to Maharishi Valmikiji)
Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glanirbhavati suvrata |
Abhyutthānamadharmasya tadā prakrtṛsambhavaḥ ||
O keeper of righteous vows, remember this,
Whenever dharma is in decline,
Or there is an upsurge of adharma;
The Sacred Feminine will incarnate.
She will defend dharma.
She will protect us.
List of Characters and Important Tribes
Note on the Narrative Structure
/> Chapter 31
Other Titles by Amish
List of Characters and Important Tribes
(In Alphabetic Order)
Arishtanemi: Military chief of the Malayaputras; right-hand man of Vishwamitra
Ashwapati: King of the northwestern kingdom of Kekaya; father of Kaikeyi and a loyal ally of Dashrath
Bharat: Ram’s half-brother; son of Dashrath and Kaikeyi
Dashrath: Chakravarti king of Kosala and emperor of the Sapt Sindhu; husband of Kaushalya, Kaikeyi, and Sumitra; father of Ram, Bharat, Lakshman and Shatrughan
Hanuman: Radhika’s cousin; son of Vayu Kesari; a Naga and a member of the Vayuputra tribe
Janak: King of Mithila; father of Sita and Urmila
Jatayu: A captain of the Malayaputra tribe; Naga friend of Sita and Ram
Kaikeyi: Daughter of King Ashwapati of Kekaya; the second and favourite wife of Dashrath; mother of Bharat
Kaushalya: Daughter of King Bhanuman of South Kosala and his wife Maheshwari; the eldest queen of Dashrath; mother of Ram
Kumbhakarna: Raavan’s brother; also a Naga
Kushadhwaj: King of Sankashya; younger brother of Janak
Lakshman: One of the twin sons of Dashrath; born to Sumitra; faithful to Ram; later married to Urmila
Malayaputras: The tribe left behind by Lord Parshu Ram, the sixth Vishnu
Manthara: The richest merchant of the Sapt Sindhu
Mara: An independent assassin for hire
Naarad: A trader from Lothal; Hanuman’s friend
Nagas: Human beings born with deformities
Raavan: King of Lanka; brother of Vibhishan, Shurpanakha and Kumbhakarna
Radhika: Sita’s friend; Hanuman’s cousin
Ram: Son of Emperor Dashrath of Ayodhya (capital city of Kosala) and his eldest wife Kaushalya; eldest of four brothers, later married to Sita
Samichi: Police and protocol chief of Mithila
Shatrughan: Twin brother of Lakshman; son of Dashrath and Sumitra
Shurpanakha: Half-sister of Raavan
Shvetaketu: Sita’s teacher
Sita: Adopted daughter of King Janak and Queen Sunaina of Mithila; also the prime minister of Mithila; later married to Ram
Sumitra: Daughter of the king of Kashi; the third wife of Dashrath; mother of the twins Lakshman and Shatrughan
Sunaina: Queen of Mithila; mother of Sita and Urmila
Vali: The king of Kishkindha
Varun Ratnakar: Radhika’s father; chief of the Valmikis
Vashishtha: Raj guru, the royal priest of Ayodhya; teacher of the four Ayodhya princes
Vayu Kesari: Hanuman’s father; Radhika’s uncle
Vayuputras: The tribe left behind by Lord Rudra, the previous Mahadev
Vibhishan: Half-brother of Raavan
Vishwamitra: Chief of the Malayaputras, the tribe left behind by Lord Parshu Ram, the sixth Vishnu; also temporary guru of Ram and Lakshman
Urmila: Younger sister of Sita; blood-daughter of Janak and Sunaina; later married to Lakshman
Note on the Narrative Structure
Thank you for picking up this book and giving me the most important thing you can share: your time.
I know this book has taken long to release, and for that I offer my apologies. But when I tell you the narrative structure of the Ram Chandra Series, perhaps you will understand why it took so long.
I have been inspired by a storytelling technique called hyperlink, which some call the multilinear narrative. In such a narrative, there are many characters; and a connection brings them all together. The three main characters in the Ram Chandra Series are Ram, Sita, and Raavan. Each character has life experiences which mould who they are and their stories converge with the kidnapping of Sita. And each has their own adventure and riveting back-story.
So, while the first book explored the tale of Ram, the second and third will offer a glimpse into the adventures of Sita and then Raavan respectively, before all three stories merge from the fourth book onwards into a single story.
I knew it would be a complicated and time consuming affair, but I must confess, it was thoroughly exciting. I hope this will be as rewarding and thrilling an experience for you as it was for me. Understanding Sita and Raavan as characters helped me inhabit their worlds and explore the maze of plots and stories that make this epic come alive. I feel truly blessed for this.
Since this was the plan, I had left clues in the first book (Ram – Scion of Ikshvaku) which will tie up with the stories in the second and third books. Needless to say, there are surprises and twists in store for you in books 2 and 3 as well!
In fact, there was a very big clue in the last paragraph of Ram – Scion of Ikshvaku. Some had caught on to it. And for those who didn’t, a big revelation awaits you in the first chapter of the second book, Sita – Warrior of Mithila.
I hope you like reading Sita – Warrior of Mithila. Do tell me what you think of it, by sending me messages on my Facebook or Twitter accounts listed below.
When one writes, one pours one’s soul out on paper. They say it takes courage to do that. They also say that courage comes only when one knows that many stand with him. I’d like to acknowledge those who stand with me: Who give me courage: Who make me realise that I am not alone.
Neel, my 8-year-old son, my pride and joy. He reads a lot already. I can’t wait for him to read my books!
Preeti, my wife; Bhavna, my sister; Himanshu, my brother-in-law; Anish and Ashish, my brothers, for all their inputs to the story. They read the first draft, usually as each chapter is written. And I discuss many of the philosophies with them in detail. I also wrote much of this book in Anish and Meeta’s house in Delhi. I must have done something good in my previous life to be blessed with these relationships.
The rest of my family: Usha, Vinay, Meeta, Donetta, Shernaz, Smita, Anuj, Ruta. For their consistent faith and love.
Sharvani, my editor. She is as committed to my stories as I am. She is as stubborn as I am. She reads a lot, just like I do. She’s as technologically-challenged as I am. We must have been siblings in a previous life!
Gautam, Krishnakumar, Neha, Deepthi, Satish, Sanghamitra, Jayanthi, Sudha, Vipin, Srivats, Shatrughan, Sarita, Arunima, Raju, Sanyog, Naveen, Jaisankar, Sateesh, Divya, Madhu, Sathya Sridhar, Christina, Preeti and the fantastic team at Westland, my publisher. In my humble opinion, they are the best publisher in India.
Anuj, my agent. A friend and a partner from the very beginning.
Abhijeet, an old friend and senior corporate executive, who worked with Westland to drive the marketing efforts for this book. The man is brilliant!
Mohan and Mehul, my personal managers, who manage everything so that I can have the time to write.
Abhijit, Sonali, Shruti, Roy, Kassandra, Joshua, Purva, Nalin, Nivedita, Neha, Nehal, and the team at Sideways, an exceptional company that applies creativity across all aspects of a business. Sideways helped formulate the business and marketing strategy for the book. They’ve also made most of the marketing material, including the cover. Which I think is one of the best covers I have ever seen. They were helped in the cover design by the Arthat team (Jitendra, Deval, Johnson) who are thoroughly outstanding designers.
Mayank, Priyanka Jain, Deepika, Naresh, Vishaal, Danish and the Moe’s Art team, who have driven media relations and marketing alliances for the book. They have been strong partners and among the best agencies I have worked with.
Hemal, Neha and the Oktobuzz team, who have helped manage many of the social media activities for the book. Hardworking, super smart and intensely committed. They are an asset to any team.
Mrunalini and Vrushali, Sanskrit scholars, who work with me on research. My discussions with them are enlightening. What I learn from them helps me develop many theories which go into the books.
And last, but certainly not the least, you, the reader. It is only due to your support that I have been given the privilege of living the kind of life I do; where I can do what I love and actually earn my living from it. I can never thank you enough!
3400 BCE, somewhere near the Godavari River, India
Sita cut quickly and efficiently, slicing through the thick leaf stems with her sharp knife. The dwarf banana trees were as tall as she was. She did not need to stretch. She stopped and looked at her handiwork. Then she cast a look at Makrant, the Malayaputra soldier, a short distance away. He had cut down perhaps half the number of leaves that Sita had.
The weather was calm. Just a little while ago, the wind had been howling through this part of the forest. Unseasonal rain had lashed the area. Sita and Makrant had stood under a thick canopy of trees to save themselves from the rain. The winds had been so loud that it had been almost impossible for them to talk to each other. And just as suddenly, calm had descended. The rain and winds had vanished. They’d quickly headed to a patch of the woods with an abundance of dwarf banana trees. For the entire purpose of the excursion was to find these leaves.
‘That’s enough, Makrant,’ said Sita.
Makrant turned around. The wetness had made it hard to cut the leaf stems. Under the circumstances, he had thought that he had done a good job. Now, he looked at the stack of leaves by Sita’s side. And then down at his own much smaller pile. He smiled sheepishly.
Sita smiled broadly in return. ‘That’s more than enough. Let’s go back to the camp. Ram and Lakshman should be returning from their hunt soon. Hopefully, they would have found something.’
Sita, along with her husband Prince Ram of Ayodhya and her brother-in-law Lakshman, had been racing through the Dandakaranya, or forest of Dandak, to escape the expected vengeance of the demon-king of Lanka, Raavan. Captain Jatayu, leading a small company of the Malayaputra tribe, had sworn to protect the three Ayodhya royals. He had strongly advised that flight was the only available course of action. Raavan would certainly send troops to avenge his sister, Princess Shurpanakha, who had been injured by Lakshman.