The Ramayana by Valmiki, 2/7

Published Categorised as Adventure, Epic, Fiction, Philosophy, Poetry
Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay
547 min read



When Bharata set out for the home of his maternal uncle, he affectionately took with him the sinless Satrughna ever repressing his passions.101 And there he abode with his brother, being ministered unto in every respect and tended by his maternal uncle, Açwapati, with all the fondness of a father.102 Albeit thus staying, with every ministration extended towards them as much as they could wish, yet those heroic brothers failed not to remember the aged long Daçarātha. And the puissant king also on his part remembered his sons away from home, Bharata and Satrughna, resembling the mighty Indra and Varuna. All those four chiefs of men were dear unto him even as four hands issuing from his own body. Yet among them all, the highly energetic Rāma was the favorite of his sire. He was the foremost of all in every virtue, like unto Sayambhu’s103 self in the esteem of creation. Solicited by the celestials wishing for the destruction of Rāvana, he, who is the eternal Vishnu, was born as Rāma in the world of men. And with that son of immeasurable energy, Kauçalyā looked graceful, even as Aditi, with that foremost of the celestials, the weilder of the thunder-bolt. He was furnished with grace, and possessed of prowess; and he did not seek for defects in others in the midst of virtues. That son of Kauçalyā was incomparable on earth and in worth fully equal to Daçarātha himself. He was aye of quiescent soul; and always preluded his speech with an amiable phrase; and although he might be addressed in a harsh manner, yet he returned no corresponding reply. He was gratified even with a solitary instance of benefit; and from freedom of soul did not remember an hundred injuries. In the intervals of martial exercises, he always discoursed with persons of character, or wise men, or the aged, or the virtuous. He was intelligent, and sweet-speeched, and spoke first (to visitors,) and used grateful words, and was possessed of prowesss, withal not proud of his mighty native virtue. He never spoke an untruth; and he was learned; and he rendered homage unto the aged. He felt kindly towards the subjects; and the subjects on their part held him in dear regard. He was kind to the poor; and he had conquered his anger; and he regarded the Brāhmanas; and he commisserated the wretched; and was versed in morality; and always chastised the wicked; and was pure in spirit; and possessed the thoughts and sentiments of his race; and regarded highly his own Kshatriya duties; and considered that heaven was to be attained through the glory acquired by performing them. He was never engaged in forbidden practices; and never relished improper talk; and argued in chain even like the lord of speech himself. And he was free from ailment; and of young years; and endued with eloquence; and of an excellent person; and versed in season and place; and discerned character,—the one honest person ever created. Endowed with supreme excellence, that son of the monarch was by virtue of his merit dear unto the subjects like their life ranging externally. He had performed his ablutions after having mastered all learning; and was properly versed in the Vedas with their branches. In all weapons either inspired with mantras or otherwise, Bharata’s eldest brother was superior even to his father. And he was the spring of all good; and was saintly; and of undisturbed souls; and truth-telling; and candid; and humble towards the aged twice-born ones congnizant of virtue and interest. He was congnizant of virtue, profit, and interest; had an excellent memory; and was possessed of genius. He was an adept and was well versed in social usages and customs. He was lowly; and of close counsel; and used to keep unto himself his purposes; and was resourceful. Neither his pleasure nor his displeasure went for naught. He knew the season of amassing riches, and of giving them away. And he was ardently reverential; and his wisdom never wavered; and he accepted no improper present; and he used no rough speech. He knew no idleness; and was vigilant; and had a knowledge of his own as well as of others’ failings. He was conversant with the scriptures; and was grateful; and could read the hearts of others. He had sagacity to perceive the seasons for duly showing favor or disfavor. He understood all about the reception of the righteous, the maintenance of family, and the occasion for chastising evil-doers; and he was an expert in collecting dues (from the people); and knew the manner prescribed (by the authorities) for expending money. He had attained proficiency in all the scriptures and literary works composed in both Sanskrit and Prākrit. He sought pleasure wdthout sacrificing either interest or morality; and he was never dilatory in duty. He understood the arts of those who entertained others. He knew the various heads on which wealth was to be expended. He was skilful in riding and training up horses and elephants. He was the foremost of those accomplished in archery; and was acknowledged among men as an Atiratha.104 He led his forces in the direction of the foe; and he slew his enemies; and was accomplished in marshalling the troops. He was incapable of being repressed in fight even by the enraged gods and Asuras. He was not given to carping, and had subdued his anger, and he was never elated, or malicious. He did not disregard any creature; he was no slave to the times. That son of the monarch was furnished with such qualities. And he was liked by the subjects as well as by the three worlds. In forgiveness he was like unto the Earth; and in intelligence like unto Vrihaspati; and in prowess like unto the Sachi’s lord. Furnished with such qualities acceptable to the people as well as gratifying unto his father, Rāma looked beautiful like the effulgent Sun surrounded by his rays. And the Earth desired for her lord even him (Rāma) possessing an excellent character and of prow’ess incapable of being repressed—like unto Lokanātha105 himself.

And finding his son crowmed wdth so many incomparable qualities,that subduer of his enemies, king Daçarātha, thought within himself. The long-lived aged monarch reflected, saying,—“How can Rāma become king, I living; and how can this delight be mine?” And this supreme desire rolled in his heart,—“When shall I behold my beloved son installed106 in the kingdom? Surely he always wisheth for the prosperity of the people; and he showeth kindness to all creatures. And like unto the showering rain-cloudy he is dearer unto the people than myself. He is like unto Yama and Sakra in prowess, and unto Vrihaspati in intelligence; and in forbearance, unto a mountain,—yea, he is far more qualified than myself. Therefore in this age, beholding my son established in (the dominion of) this entire earth, I shall repair unto heaven.” Seeing him (Rāma) thus crowned with all these various as well as other sterling and immeasurable virtues rare among other princes, the king then took counsel with his ministers, and made up his mind to confer upon Rāma the dignity of heir-apparent. And that intelligent (king) mentioned (unto his minister) the dreadful evils portended by appearances and phenomena in heaven and the air and on the earth; and also pointed out the circumstance of decrepitude having taken possession of his person. He therefore gave them to understand that the installation of the high souled Rāma of countenance resembling the full moon would dispell his grief, at the same time that it would be universally hailed by the people. Therefore, influenced by his affection (for his subject,) and with the view of compassing his own as well as their welfare, the righteous monarch urged expedition (upon his counsellors;) and that lord of earth brought together the prime and noble from the Various regions and countries of the earth. Like unto Prajāpati’s self before all creatures, the king appeared before them, who had been received respectfully, and had, as befitted their ranks, various ornaments conferred upon and quarters assigned unto them. But that lord of men did not, on account of haste,bring over either Janaka or the king of the Kekayas, concluding that a little while after they would receive the glad tidings.

Then when the king—that captor of hostile capitals—had sat down there, began to pour in all the princes popular with their subjects—all save (the two afore-mentioned rulers.) Facing and eying the monarch, those kings sat them down on different seats pointed out by the former. Surrounded by those prime and noble of the various provinces, and all those lowly rulers, who had been received honorably and who generally resided at Ayodhyā, the sovereign appeared like unto the adorable thousand-eyed (one) surrounded by the immortals.


Then facing his whole court, that lord of earth, the king, resounding all sides as if with thunder, in a mighty voice, echoing, and solemn, and like unto the sounds of a kettle-drum, spake words fraught with welfare, and capable of creating high rapture,and worthy of the attention of all. And in tones overflowing with royal signs; and mellifluous; and peerless; and surcharged with the sentiment of surprise, the monarch addressed the princes, saying,—“It is known to ye that the (people of this) spacious empire now governed by me was governed like unto children by those sovereigns that were my predecessors. Now it is my intention to bring welfare unto this entire earth worthy of being rendered happy, which had been governed by all those sovereigns, Ikshwāku and the rest. Following the path trod by my predecessors, I have, heedless of my own happiness, to the best of my power, always protected the people. And under the shade of the white umbrella, I effecting the good of the entire community, have brought decrepitude upon my body. Having attained an age extending over many thousands of years, and lived for a long period, desire rest for this decrepit frame. Bearing in the interests of the people the heavy burden of duty incapable of being borne by even those that have controlled their senses, and requiring (in the bearer) right royal qualities, I have become fatigued. I therefore wish for rest, after in the interests of the subjects installing my son, with the permission of all these excellent twice-born ones around me. My worthy son, like unto Purandara himself in prowess—Rāma, the conquerer of hostile cities, hath been born, endowed with all my virtues. Him, like unto the moon while in conjunction with the Pushyā constellation—the foremost of those maintaining righteousness, the chief of men, will I, in the morning with a delighted heart, install as the heir-apparent to the throne. And that auspicious elder brother of Lakshmana107 will make a fit ruler for ye,—yea, the very three worlds might consider themselves as having a lord, by possessing him. Through his agency I shall this day bring about the welfare of the world; and shall renounce my toil by reposing in him the task of government. If what I have devised be meet, and also recommend itself to ye, do ye accord approval to it,— proposing what I am to do besides this, together with the how of effecting it. If I have thought thus solely because I find delight in it, do ye look about any other way to welfare. For different is the thought of the dispassionate; and by friction becomes far more efficacious.”108

As the king had said this, the princes, exceedingly delighted, seconded him even as peacocks dance at sight of a mighty mass of clouds showering down rain. Then there arose a pleasant resonance (from the assembly of the potentates;) and next from the vast concourse inspired with high rapture arose an echo generated by their voices, which seemed to shake the earth. Then being in complete possession of the views of that one (the king) versed in morality and interest, the Brāhmanas and the principal personages of the army, in company with the citizens and the inhabitants of the provinces, took counsel together, and became unanimous,—and, having again revolved the matter individually in their mind, spake unto the aged king Daçarātha, saying,— “O. king, being many thousand years old, thou last become aged. Do thou then install Rāma as the heir-apparent to the throne. We wish to behold the exceedingly Strong and mighty-armed hero among the Raghus, riding a huge elephant, his countenance underneath an umbrella.” Hearing those welcome words .of theirs, the monarch, as if not knowing their minds, asked them, saying,—“Ye have wished for Rāghava, soon as ye have heard my speech. This, ye kings, raiseth my doubts. Do ye, therefore, speak out your minds truly. Why, while I am righteously governing the earth, do ye wish to see the highly powerful Rāma as the heir- apparent?” And those high-souled ones together with the citizens and the inhabitants of the provinces said unto him, —“O king, many are the virtues of thy son, having for their object the welfare of the people. To-day we will recount unto thee in detail the merits making even enemies happy of the meritorious and intelligent (Rāma) resembling a celestial. O monarch, furnished with the choicest qualities, Rāma having truth for prowess is like unto Sakrā’s self; and he towereth above Ikshwāku and all. Rāma is the one excellent person among men; and is true and devoted to truth. And in very Rāma is established morality with prosperity. Touching the good of the subjects, he is like unto the moon, and in the quality of forgiveness, he is like unto the Earth; in intelligence like unto Vrihaspati; and in prowess like Sachi’s lord. He is cognizant of duty, and true in promise,— and honest; and not given to detraction. He is forgiving, and soothing, and sweet-speeched and grateful, and of subdued senses. He is pliable to entreaties and staid, and of agreeable carriage, and uncalumniating. Rāghava speaketh everyone fair, and is of truthful speech. He minstereth unto variously-versed aged Brāhmanas. It is for this that in this world his fame and renown and energy go on increasing. He hath mastered all the weapons that are extant among the gods, the Asuras, and human beings. He hath performed his ablutions after having acquired learning; and knoweth the Vedas with their branches. And Bharata’s elder brother is a proficient in music. He is the home of the good, and is saintly, and hath conquered his grief, and is magnanimous. He is lowly unto those twice born ones that are worthy and are conversant with morality and interest. And when in company with Sumitrā’s son he wendeth to the fight with the view of protecting a city or a province, he cometh not back without conquering the foe. And even as a father enquireth after the welfare of his sons, he, returning from the field on horse or elephant, exhaustively and consecutively enquireth after the weal of the citizens, concerning their sons, or their (sacrificial) fire, or their wives, or their servants, or their disciples. And that tiger- like Rāma always asketh the Brāhmanas,—‘Do your disciples tend you’ and the Kshatriyas—‘Do your disciples always remain mailed?’ When calamity befalleth the people, he experienced excess of sorrow; and on their festal occasions, he rejoiceth ever like their own father. He speaketh the truth, and is a mighty bowman. He ministereth unto the aged, and hath controlled his senses. He. Preludes his speech with a smile, and is established in righteousness with his whole soul. He entirely bringeth about good, and he taketh no delight in bandying words after a quarrel. In reasoning in chain, he is like unto the lord of speech himself. His eye-brows are graceful; and his eyes expansive and coppery; and he is like unto the very Vishnu. Like Kāma he is charming unto all by virtue of his heroism, prowess and might. He is ever engaged in protecting the people: and the desire for the good things of the world cannot perturb his mind. He is capable of bearing the burden even of the three worlds,—what then is this Earth? Neither his pleasure nor his displeasure even goeth for naught. He slayeth those that deserve to be slain; but he is never enraged with those that ought not to be slain (I.e. the unoffending),—with whom, he is pleased, he bestows wealth upon. In virtue of his self-control and other qualities; dear unto the subjects and capable of exciting the delight of mankind, Rāma shineth even like the effulgent Sun surrounded by his rays. And even that Rāma, crowned with such qualities and having truth for his prowess,—like unto a Lokapāla, the Earth wisheth to have for her lord. By our good luck it is that thy son hath acquired competence in the task of administration; and also by thy good luck it is that Rāghava hath been born endowed with sonly qualities, like unto Maricha’s son Kāçyapa. The gods, and the Asuras, and men, with the Gandharvas, and the Uragas, and the inhabitants rural and urban, pray for the strength, health, and long life of self-knowing Rāma. And whether inmates or outsiders, citizens or natives of provinces, everyone speaks high of him. Women, old and young, in both the morning and evening, with intent minds, bow down unto all the gods on behalf of the intelligent Rāma. Let their desire, O worshipful one, be fulfiled, through thy grace. And we would behold the son of the foremost of monarchs, the foe-destroying Rāma dark-blue like a lotus,—installed as the heir-apparent to the kingdom. Therefore, O bestower of boons, it behoveth thee, for the sake of our well-being, with a delighted mind to speedily instal thy son furnished with noble qualities resembling the god of gods, and ever intent upon the welfare of the entire community.”


And when they had raised unto their heads their clasped hands resembling lotuses, the king responding unto them addressed them in welcome words fraught with their good; “Exceedingly pleased am I, and incomparable also is my influence,—because ye wish to behold my dear first born installed as heir-apparent.” Having greeted them thus, the king in their hearing spoke unto Vasishtha, Vāmadeva, and other Brāhmanas saying,—“This is the holy month of Chaitra; and the groves look beautiful with blossoms. Do ye now prepare for the installation of Rāma.” When the king paused, there arose a mighty tumult from the multitude. And when it subsided, that lord of men, the king, addressed that foremost of ascetics, Vasishtha saying,—“It behovcth thee, O worshipful Sir, to order for things, necessary for the installation of Rāma.” Hearing those words of the monarch, Vasishtha—chief of anchorets—ordered the counsellors staying before the king with clasped hands, saying,—“Do ye early in the morning in the Agnihautric ball of the monarch provide and store up- gold, and gems, and articles for worship, and Sarvaushadhi109 and white garlands, and fried paddy, and honey and clarified butter in separate vessels, and cloths fresh from the loom, and a car, every kind of weapons, and the fourfold forces, and an elephant with auspicious marks, and a couple of chowris, and a sceptre and an umbrella, pale colored, and an hundred furnished golden pitchers of water, and a bull with horns plated in gold, and an entire tiger-skin, together with all othet necessary articles. And do ye embellish all the door-ways of the inner apartment as well as those of the entire city with garlands, with sandal paste and fragrant Dhupa. Do ye on the morning of the morrow bestow upon the principal Brāhmanas goodly and refined rice mixed with curds and milk.—so that hundreds of thousands may be fed, and gratified, bestowing on them at the same time clarified butter and curds, and fried paddy, and moire than sufficient Dakshinas. To-morrow as soon as the sun will rise, the Swastivachana110 will be finished. Do ye invite the Brāhmanas, and prepare seats (for them). And do ye set up flags, and water the high ways, and let courtezans whose profession is music, adorning themselves stay in the second apartment of the king’s residence. In the abodes of the gods and under the Chaitya111 trees, should be separately placed fragrant blossoms, together with boiled rice and other edibles, and with Dakshinas. And let the warriors properly arrayed, enter the courtyard of the monarch which is welling up with festal glee mailed, and accoutred with leather fences and long swords.” Having issued these orders, those two Vipras entered upon their work (as priests;) and did what remained to be done after making that known unto the lord of the earth. When everything had been got ready those foremost of the twice- born ones gladly and well-pleased presented themselves before the master of the earth, and said unto him, “Everything as ordered has been done.” Then unto Sumantra, the effulgent monarch spake, saying,—“Do thou speedily bring the virtuous Rāma hither.” Thereupon saying, “so be it,” Sumantra at the mandate of the king brought thither in a car Rāma the foremost of car-warriors. The kings of the North, and the South and the East and the West, together with the Mlechas and the Arya princes, with those inhabiting mountains and forests were then paying homage unto him (Daçarātha) even as the celestials do unto Vāsava. Stationed in his palace, the royal saint Daçarātha in the midst of those princes, like Vāsava in the midst of the Maruts, saw his son, resembling the king of the Gandharvas, approach, gladdening the subjects like a shower, when they were oppressed with the heat of summer—even Rāma of redoubtable prowess among men, long armed, and of mighty strength, and bearing the gait of a mad elephant, “with a countenance fair as the moon, of presence prepossessing to a degree, and captivating men’s sight and hearts by reason of his beauty generosity and other qualities. And as he was approaching, the lord of men eyed him steadily, without experiencing satiety.

Making Rāghava descend from that excellent car, Sumantra followed him with clasped hands as he proceeded to the presence of his father. Accompanied with Sumantra, Rāghava, the descendant of the Raghus, for the purpose of beholding the monarch, began with rapid steps, to ascend the palace resembling a peak of the Kailāsa hill. Rāma humbly approaching his father with clasped hands, and announcing his name bowed low and worshipped his father’s feet. Thereupon seeing Rāma at his side with clasped hands, and in lowly guise, the king took hold of Rāma’s clasped hands, and drawing his beloved son, embraced the latter. Then the king desired Rāma to sit upon a seat prepared expressly for him, excellent, and flaming and garnished with gold and gems. Rāghava shed lustre on that noble seat, as the unclouded sun at his rising lighteth up the Sumeru hill with his rays. That entire assembly looked beautiful in his presence, like the cloudless, autumnal sky crested with stars and planets, in the presence of the moon. The king experienced delight, beholding his dearly beloved son, like unto his own image, richly adorned, reflected on mirror. And even as Kaçyapa addresseth Indra of the celestials, the king—the best of those possessing sons— addressed his son, well seated, in these words, saying. “Born of my eldest wife worthy of myself, thou crowned with the best qualities, art my worthy son, O Rāma dear unto me. Thou hast by thy virtues drawn unto thyself the hearts of the people, therefore do thou during the conjunction of the moon with the Pushyā constellation, receive the office of heir-apparent. Thou art by nature crowned with virtues. Notwithstanding thy great virtues, I will, 0 son, from affection tell thee what is for thy profit. Practicing greater humility, do thou constantly restrain thy senses. Do thou renounce the ills that come through anger and lust. Replenishing thy exchequer and arsenal do thou, acquainting thyself with the state of things personally and otherwise, administer justice and thereby enlist the affection of the courtiers and other subjects; for the friends of him that swayeth the earth, pleasing the people to his satisfaction, rejoice even as did the immortals on obtaining ambrosia. Therefore, do thou, O son, disciplining thyself thus address thee to thy task.” Hearing this, Rāma’s well wishers, ever doing his pleasure, speedily going out, acquainted Kauçalya with everything. Thereupon that foremost of her sex Kauçalya ordered gold and kine and various kinds of gems to be given to the tellers of the glad tidings. Then Rāghava, having been honored by the multitude and saluted the sovereign, ascended a car, and repaired unto his shining residence. And the citizens, hearing those words of the monarch, as if fraught with some speedy good fortune unto them, made their obeisance unto that lord of men, and repairing to their homes, with delighted minds, worshipped the gods.


When the citizens had gone away, the king versed in the time and place of ceremonies, after deliberating with his counsellors fixed the time (of the installation.) And his conclusion was even this: “To-morrow the Pushyā will be in; and to-morrow should my son, Rāma of eyes like lotus-leaves be installed as heir-apparent.” Then entering the inner apartment king Daçarātha said unto the charioteer Sumantra,— “Do thou again bring Rāma hither.” In response to those words, the charioteer again speedily went unto Rāma’s residence,for bringing him thither. His fresh approach having been announced unto Rāma by the warders, the latter, filled with apprehension, became anxious. And bringing Sumantra in, Rāma with eagerness said “Tell me fully the reason of this thy fresh visit.” Thereupon, the charioteer told him,— “The sovereign wisheth to behold thee. Thou hast known the occasion; and now decide whether thou wilt go thither or not.” Hearing the charioteer’s speech, Rāma also in haste repaired unto the king’s palace, with the view of again beholding the lord of men. And on hearing of Rāma’s arrival, king Daçarātha made him enter his own chamber, with the view of communicating unto him something exceedingly agreeable. Aud immediately on entering his father’s residence, the graceful Rāghava seeing his father from a distance, bent low with clasped hands. Thereupon raising Rāma as he was bending down, and embracing him, and pointing out a seat, the protector of the earth again spake unto him,— “O Rāma, enjoying at my will the good things of life, I have grown old; and have attained great age. I have worshipped the deities by celebrating hundreds of sacrifices with numerous Dakshinas and gifts of boiled rice; and incomparable on earth, thou hast been born unto me for a son after my heart. I have given whatever bad been wanted (by others); I have finished my studies, O foremost of men. I have, O hero, acted and enjoyed. I have been emancipated from my obligations unto the celestials and saints, and the Pitris, and the Vipras, and myself.112 And naught now remaineth to be done by me save thy installation. Therefore it behoveth thee to do even what I say unto thee. To-day the subjects in a body have expressed their desire of having thee for their sovereign. Therefore, O son, I shall install thee as the heir-apparent. O Rāghava, to-night I have dreamt inauspicious dreams. Stars with tremendous sounds, shoot by day, accompanied with thunder-claps. The astrologers say that the star of my life hath been invaded by those terrible planets, the Sun, Mars, and Rāhu. It generally happens that when such signs manifest themselves, the king cometh by a terrible calamity, and may meet with death itself. Therefore, O Rāghava, my thoughts change, be thou installed (in the kingdom), for fickle is the mind of all creatures. To-day, before meeting Pushyā, the moon, has entered the Punarvasu asterism; and the astrologers say that to-morrow it will certainly be in conjunction with Pushyā. My heart urgeth me to instal thee during the Pushyā conjunction, so Oh! Afflicter of foes, I shall instal thee to-morrow as heir- apparent. Therefore do thou along with my daughter-in-law commencing from sun-set, serving the prescribed restrictions, and lying down on a bed of Kuça grass, spend the night in fast. And let thy friends vigilantly protect thee all around, for many are the impediments that happen in affairs like this. In my opinion, during the interval that Bharata is away from the city, should thy installation be effected most opportunely; even though thy brother Bharata ever stayeth entirely by the course of the honest; he followeth his elder brother; and is righteous-souled; tender-hearted; and of subdued senses. But in my opinion, the hearts of men are inconstant,—and, O Rāghava, the hearts even of the virtuous change by the action of the natural impulses.” Having been thus addressed in the matter of his coming installation in the next day, Rāma, with the king’s permission embodied in “Go thou,” greeting his father, repaired unto his quarters. And entering his residence in the interests of the installation ordered by the monarch, he immediately issued out, and went to the inner apartment of his mother. There, Rāma found his mother in the temple, clad in silk, adoring the gods, and silently praying for his royal luck. There, hearing of the welcome installation of Rāma, had already come Sumitrā, and Lakshmana and Sitā summoned (by Kauçalyā). Hearing of the installation of his son in the office of heir apparent during the influence of the Pushyā, at that time, tended by Sumitrā and Siti and Lakshmana, there stood Kauçalya, meditating the (triune) person Janārddana, through suspension of breath. Rāma, approaching and saluting her engaged in auspicious observance, addressed her in excellent words, cheering her up,—“O mother, by my father have I been appointed to the task of governing the people. And, agreeably to the desire of my father, to morrow will take place my installation. To-night Sitā will fast along with me. The priests have said thus; and this also hath been declared by my father. Do thou therefore even to-day provide those necessary auspicious things that will be required for myself and Vaidehi on the occasion of the coming installation.”

Hearing of that for which she had ever wished, Kauçalyā, her voice choking with the vapour begot of delight, addressed Rāma, saying,—“Rāma, my child, be thou long lived; and may thy enemies find destruction! Furnished with this good fortune, do thou gladden Sumitrā’s as well as my own relatives. Oh! Thou wast born under an auspicious star: thou hast. O son, by thy virtues gratified thy sire Daçarātha. Ah! Not unfruitful has proved my disinterested observance of vow unto the lotus-eyed Person; for this royal fortune of the Ikshwāku race shall rest upon thee.”

Having been thus addressed by his mother, Rāma looking at his brother (Lakshmana), seated in humble guise with clasped hands, with smile spake unto him, saying,—“O Lakshmana, do thou together with me rule this earth. Thou art my second self; and this good fortune hath taken possession of thee (as well). Do thou, O Sumitrā’s son, enjoy every desirable thing and the privileges pertaining to royalty. My life and this kingdom I covet for thy sake alone.” Having said this unto Lakshmana, and paid reverence unto his mother, Rāma with their permission went with Sitā to his own quarters.


Having given his directions unto Rāma as to his incoming installation on the morrow, the king, summoning his priest, Vasishtha spake unto him, saying,—“O thou, having asceticism for thy wealth, go, unto Kākutstha, and for his welfare and obtaining the kingdom, make him fast along with tny daughter-in-law.” Thereupon, saying, “So be it,” that best of those versed in the Veda, the worshipful Vasistha conversant wdth mantras, that one practicing excellent vows, mounting a Brāhma car, himself went unto the residence of Rāma cognizant of mantras, for the purpose of making him fast. And that foremost of ascetics, having readied Rāma’s sable hued residence resembling a mass of clouds, passed through three several apartments, mounted on the car. With the view of honoring the saint worthy of honor, Rāma swiftly issued out of his abode. And nearing the car of that intelligent one, Rāma, personally taking him by the hand, made him descend. Finding Rāma so humble and dear, the priest addressed him, gratifying and delighting him with words that were acceptable,—“O Rāma thy father hath been well pleased with thee; since thou achievest the kingdom (through him). Do thou to-day fast with Sitā. And in the morning, the king, thy father Daçarātha, will, well-pleased install thee as heir-apparent like Nahusha installing Yayāti.” Having said this, that pure spirited one, observing vows with mantras, made Rāma fast along with Sitā. Then having been duly worshipped by Rāma, and taken Kākutstha’s permission, the spiritual preceptor of the king, went away from Rāma’s residence. Rāma, having passed sometime with sweet-speeched friends, and been honored by them, with their permission entered his apartment. At that time Rāma’s residence was filled with joyous men and women; and it was like unto a lake containing lotuses and graced with maddened birds.

(On the other hand) Vasishtha, issuing from the palace of Rāma like unto the king’s palace itself, found the street filled with people. On all sides, Ayodhyā’s high-ways were crowded with groups of men full of curiosity. The tumult that arose in the high-ways in consequence of the concourse and noise, was like the roaring of the ocean. The streets were cleared and washed and hung with garlands; and that day Ayodhyā had her dwellings furnished with upraised flagstaffs. In the city of Ayodhyā men with women and children eagerly expected the rising of the sun (next day), and Rāma’s installation; and the people burnt to behold in Ayodhyā the august festivity, that was like unto an ornament unto the subjects, and that enhanced the joy of the people. Dividing the crowd thronging the high-way, the priest slowly proceeded to the royal family. And ascending the palace like unto a peak of the Himavat, he met with the lord of men, like Vrihaspati meeting with Sakra. Seeing him come, the king rising up from his royal seat, asked Vasishtha whether his intention had been carried out, whereupon Vasishtha answered that it had. The courtiers who had all along sat with Daçarātha, rose from the seats, for worshipping the priest. Then with the permission of his spiritual guide, leaving that assembly of men, the monarch entered his inner apartment like a lion entering his den. Even as the moon illumineth the firmament crowded with stars, the handsome king entered his mansion, like unto the abode of the mighty Indra, and thronged with females excellently attired,—gracing it (by his presence).


When the priest had gone away, Rāma, having bathed and with a collected mind, began to adore Narayana, in company with his wife having expansive eyes. Then raising the vessel of clarified butter unto his head (by way of paying reverence), he in accordance with the ordinance began to offer oblations unto the flaming fire on behalf of that mighty deity. Then, having partaken of the remaining quantity of the clarified butter, Rāma prayed for his own welfare, and meditated on the god Nārāyana. The son of the best of men with a collected mind, and restraining his speech lay down on a kuça bed together with Vaidehi within the graceful dwelling of Vishnu.

When a single watch only remained of the night, Rāma awoke, and made his residence well decorated. Now he hearing the melodious utterances of genealogists and panegyrists and Brāhmanas versed in the Puranas, Rāma finished devotions for the prior twilight, and with an intent mind began to recite (Sāvatri)113 And clad in a clear silk dress, he with bended head hymned the destroyer of Madhu, and made the regenerate ones perform the Swastivāchana ceremony. Already resounding with the blares of trumpets, Ayodhyā became filled with the sweet and solemn tones of the expression “Holy day” uttered by them. The denizens of Ayodhyā, hearing that Rāghava had fasted with Vaidehi, rejoiced exceedingly.

Then the citizens, hearing of the installation of Rāma, and seeing that the night had departed, fell to adorning the city. Standards with pennons were beautifully reared up in the abodes of the gods resembling a peak, enveloped with white clouds, and at the crossing, and on high-ways; and over the chaitya tree; and edifices; and over the warehouses of merchants abounding in goods and the goodly and prosperous mansions of householders; and over all the council-houses; and conspicuous trees. The multitude then heard the music, soothing unto the ear and heart, of stage managers, dancers and singers chanting. The people began to talk with each other anent the installation of Rāma; and the time for his installation having arrived, on terraces and houses, and doorways boys playing in bodies, conversed with each other concerning the installation of Rāma. On the occasion of the investiture of Rāma, the goodly high-ways were adorned with garlands,and scented with dhupa incense—by the citizens. And fearing lest Rāma should come out over night (to behold the beautified capital), the inhabitants of the city, by way of ornamentation as with the view of beholding Rāma himself, had by the road side reared up lamp-stands in the form of (branched) trees. Eagerly expecting the investiture of Rāma as the heir apparent, all having thus ornamented the city and assembling themselves on terraces and in council-halls, talking with each other, extolled the lord of men, saying,—“Ah high-souled is this king—the perpetuator of the Ikshwāku race; for, knowing himself as old, he will install Rāma in the kingdom. Obliged we have been, since good Rāma capable of reading character, will be the lord of earth, and our protector. He is of a heart devoid of arrogance, and is learned; and righteous-souled; and affectionate to his brothers. Rāghava loveth us even as he doth bis own brothers. May the sinless and pious king Daçarātha live long; for it is through his grace that we shall behold Rāma installed. The inhabitants of the provinces, who having heard the tidings, had come from various regions, heard the citizens conversing thus. Desirous of beholding the installation of Rāma, they coming into the city from various directions, filled Rāma’s city. As the vast concourse entered (the city), there was heard an uproar like unto the roaring of the heaving ocean during the fullness of the moon. Then that city resembling the regions of Indra, being filled on all sides with tumult raised by the dwellers of the provinces who had come to behold (the installation), resembled the ocean when its waters are agitated by the aquatic animals inhabiting it.


A woman, brought up with Kaikeyi, who formerly served as a maid-servant, the family of her maternal uncle, at her own will, ascended the palace resembling the moon. Mantharā beheld from the palace the high-ways of Ayodhyā well watered all round, and strewn with lotuses, and adorned with standards bearing gay pennons; with thoroughfares and roads leading along undulating lands; sprinkled with sandal water, and crowded with men who had performed their ablutions; and echoing with the accents of regenerate ones bearing garlands and sweetmeats in their hands; and having the doorways of the temples painted white; and resounding with the sounds of musical instruments; and filled with many folks; and singing with Veda chantings; and with its horses and elephants delighted, and cows and bulls emitting roars; and with standards displaying flags erected by the exhilarated citizens. Upon seeing Ayodhyā (in such excitement) Mantharā was seized with exceeding surprise, Mantharā, seeing a nurse hard by clad in white silk, with her eyes expanded with delight, asked her, saying,—“What for Rāma’s mother although close-fisted, is cheerfully and with the greatest possible alacrity dispensing wealth unto the people? And what for is the general overflow of joy? And what doth the delighted monarch purpose to do?” Thereupon bursting with very great delight, the nurse communicated unto the hump-backed woman the high fortune awaiting Rāma, saying,—“To-morrow under Pushyā, king Daçarātha will install the sinless Rāghava having his anger under control, as heir-apparent to the throne.” Hearing the words of the nurse, the hump-backed one, speedily growing angry, descended from the edifice resembling a summit of the Kailāça hill. Burning in ire, the sin-seeking Mantharā addressed Kaikeyi, lying down, saying,—“Up, ye senseless one! What for art thou down? A great danger approacheth thee. Thou understandeth not that a mighty grief overfloweth thee. Thou boastest of good fortune while misfortune is thine in the shape of luck. Thy good fortune is surely unstable like the tide of a river during summer. Thus addressed by the sin-seeking hump-backed (hag) in exceedingly harsh language, Kaikeyi became afflicted with great grief. And Kaikeyi said unto the hump-backed one,—“Is any evil present, O Mantharā? I do not find thee with countenance fallen and sore distressed with grief.” The hump-backed Mantharā, skilled in speech, who really sought Kaikeyi’s welfare, hearing the latter’ s sweet-accented words, displaying sorrow greater than Kaikeyi’s own, lamenting, and enlisting Kaikeyi’s feelings against Rāma, uttered words inflamed with anger, saying,—“O worshipful one, an enduring and terrible destruction is imminent unto thee. King Daçarātha will install Rāma as heir-apparent. I have been sunk in a fathomless fear; and am afflicted with grief and heaviness. And as if burning in fire I, seeking, thy welfare, have come unto thee. For, O Kaikeyi, great waxeth my grief on witnessing thy sorrow; and my advancement progresseth along with thine. There is no doubt about this. Born in a race of king thou art the queen of this lord of earth. Why dost not thou then realise the sternness of royal morality. Thy maintainer speaketh most morally; but is crafty for all that: he speaketh blandly, but hath a crooked heart. Him thou takest as of blessed condition; and therefore art gulled. Speaking unto thee soft words bare of substance, he will, his heart on the alert, to-day compass the welfare of Kauçalyā. Having sent Bharata unto the home of thy relatives, that wicked- minded one will establish Rāma in his ancestral kingdom rid of its thorn. Thou,0 girl, in consideration of thy welfare, hast like unto a mother taken unto thy lap a venomous snake in the form of thy husband. Even what is done by an enemy or a serpent left alone, is being done by Daçarātha of wicked ways and false soothing speech, unto thee and thy own son. And, O girl, deserving as thou art of happiness, the king having established Rāma in the kingdom; thou wilt be annihilated along with thy own. The time hath come, O Kaikayi,—do thou on the spur enter upon that which would turn to thy advantage. And, O thou, influenced by surprise, do thou deliver thyself, me and Bharata also.”

Hearing Mantharā’s words, that one of graceful countenance filled with delight, and looking like the autumnal moon-light, rose up from her bed. Inspired with exceeding joy, Kaikeyi, struck with surprise, made unto the hump-backed woman a present of an excellent and elegant ornament. And having given her the ornament, that paragon among the fair Kaikeyi joyfully, addressed Mantharā, saying,—“O Mantharā! Highly welcome is the news that thou hast communicated unto me. And surely thou hast told me what is dear unto my heart, what shall I do for thee? Difference find I none between Rāma and Bharata. Therefore delighted am I that the king purposeth installing Rāma in the kingdom. There is no other ambrosial speech that is excellent and acceptable unto me, compared with the installation of Rāma. Therefore do thou ask of me whatever reward dost thou want and I shall give thee.”


Manthara, making Kaikeyi the object of her wrath, threw off the noble ornament, and spoke these words, in anger and grief,—“Thou senseless girl, wherefore dost thou display thy joy on such an unfit occasion. Thou dost not see that thou art in the bosom of an ocean of grief. Being grieved at heart do I laugh at thee inwardly, O worshipful lady, because thou having met with signal calamity, rejoicest even in what should be lamented. I lament thee for thy perversion of sense. What sensible woman can rejoice in the advancement of a co-wife’s son, like unto death itself? From Bharata proceeds Rāma’s fear concerning the kingdom to which both have an equal claim. Thinking of this, I am pressed down with sorrow, because fear proceeds from the person who fears much. The mighty armed Lakshmana hath for certain in all ways taken refuge in Rāma; and Satrughna like unto Lakshmana hath taken refuge in the Kākutstha, Bharata. With reference to gradation of birth, the probability is in favor of Bharata’s attempting the kingdom; yet by reason (of Rāma’s being the elder) of the two, Bharata hath been thrown off. Anticipating the peril that might spring unto thy son from Rāma, learned and versed in the functions of the Kshatriya, and of quick decision, I tremble. Surely Kauçalyā is of blessed fortune, for to-morrow under Pushyā the foremost of the twice- born ones will install her son as the mighty heir-apparent unto the empire. Thou wilt, with clasped hands, serve as a slave the illustrious Kauçalyā, mistress of the world, and brimming over with joy, with all her foes discomfitted. Thus along with us thou wilt attend her commands, and thy son also will await the pleasure of Rāma. And Rāma’s wives114 together with their hand-maids will be filled with delight; and in consequence of Bharata’s name, thy daughters in-law will be afflicted with sorrow.”

Seeing Mantharā dead set against Rāma, and speaking in this wise, the noble Kaikeyi praised the virtues of Rāma. “Rāma is cognizant of morality, and filled with perfections, and accomplished, and grateful, and endowed with truth, and pure. And as he is the eldest son of the king, he deserveth the kingdom as heir-apparent. That long-lived one shall maintain his brothers and his retainers even like a father. Why then, O hump-backed one, do thou grieve, hearing Rāma’s installation. And for certain, that foremost of men, Bharata also, an hundred years after Rāma, will attain the kingdom bequeathed by his father and grand-father. O Mantharā, thou burnest (with grief) in this auspicious time. Our good fortune will come (after this in the shape of Bharata’s installation); why then dost thou grieve. Surely Rāma is dearer unto me than Bharata; and he also loveth me more than he doth Kauçalyā. And if the kingdom be Rāma’s it will be also Bharata’s at the same time. Rāma regardeth his brothers even as his own self.”

Hearing Kaikeyi’s words, Mantharā exceedingly aggrieved, sighing hot and hard, thus addressed Kaikeyi, saying,— “Regarding that to be evil which is thy good, thou dost not through thy want of understanding know that thou art going to be drowned in a sea of grief and peril. Rāghava will become king, and after Rāghava his son,—so that, O Kaikeyi, Bharata will come to be at once cut off from the royal line. O emotional one, surely all the sons of the king do not obtain the kingdom. And if all were placed on the throne, mighty would be the disturbance therefrom. Therefore it is that kings, O Kaikeyi, lay the task of Government on the eldest son if worthy, or else upon a younger most meritorious. This thy son, O affectionate one, cast off from the royal race, and deprived of happiness, will fare like one forlorn. Thou dost not understand that it is for thee that I am taking such pains; and it is evident that thou dost not understand that I have come to thee for thy good. Thou art conferring on me rewards on the advancement of thy co-wife. For certain, Rāma having attained the kingdom without let, will send Bharata either to a distant land, or to the other world. Bharata is a mere boy, and by thee it is that he hath been sent unto his maternal uncle’s mansion. Even in immobile objects attachment grows by virtue of nearness. Satrughna also ever following Bharata hath gone with him. He is attached unto Bharata as Lakshmana is attached unto Rāma. It is heard that once upon a time the woodmen had intended to cut down a tree; but it was relieved from the high peril because of the proximity of prickly shrubs around it. Sumitrā’s son protects Rāma and Rāghava protects Lakshmana. Their fraternal love like that of the Aswins is celebrated in the world. Therefore Rāma will never do any wrong unto Lakshmana; but he will do wrong unto Bharata, there is no doubt about this. Therefore let that son of Raghu be sent unto the woods from the palace. This pleaseth me; and this also is for thy supreme welfare; and in this wise also will be realised the good of thy relations. But if Bharata can get at his ancestral kingdom by just means, that would also be welcome to thy kindred. That boy deserving of happiness is the natural enemy of Rāma. How can he live under the prosperous Rāma being deprived of all wealth? Therefore it behoveth thee to save Bharata about to be overcome by Rāma, like a lion pursuing the leader of an elephant herd in a forest. Thy co-wife, Rāma’s mother, had formerly through pride and good fortune been slighted by thee. Why will not she upon thee wreak her revenge now? When Rāma will obtain the earth furnished with many oceans and mountains, then, O proud dame, thou rendered forlorn, wilt along with Bharata, sustain sorry discomfiture. And when Rāma will obtain the earth, Bharata will certainly meet with destruction, therefore do thou ponder as to how thou canst place thy son on the throne, and banish thy enemy.”


Thus addressed, Kaikeyi, with her countenance flaming in wrath, sighing hot and hard, spoke unto Mantharā, saying,— “Even this very day will I speedily send Rāma into the forest and without delay install Bharata in the royal heir- apparentship. Do thou now see by what means I can effect this. Bharata must obtain the kingdom and never Rāma.” Thus addressed by the noble one, the. Wicked-minded Mantharā, envious of Rāma’s interest, thus spoke unto Kaikeyi,—“Ah! O Kaikeyi, consider: Listen to my words, telling thee how thy son alone will obtain the kingdom. Dost thou not remember, O Kaikeyi, or concealest although remembering, wishing to hear from me of the means for thy welfare which thou thyself hadst before communicated unto me? If, O dalliance loving damsel, it is thy wish to hear it as told by me, listen thou, I will tell it thee. And having heard it, do thou act accordingly.” Hearing Mantharā’s words, Kaikeyi raised herself a little from her tastefully spread bed, and said,—“Do thou tell me the means. By what means, O Mantharā, Bharata will gain the kingdom, and in no wise Rāma.” Thus addressed by the worshipful one, the wicked- minded Mantharā,—envying Rāma’s interest, thus spoke unto Kaikeyi:—“Formerly during the wars of the gods and Asuras, thy husband taking thee along, went with the royal saints for the purpose of assisting the king of the celestials. O Kaikeyi, in Dandaka, situated towards the south, there is the city known by the name of Vaijayanta, where dwelt Timidhvaja, otherwise called Samvara, —possessed of an hundred conjurations, and a mighty Asura. That unreproved one gave battle unto Sakra accompanied by the celestials. And in that mighty conflict the Rākshasas during the night used to drag by main force persons asleep having their bodies cut all over, and kill them. Then King Daçarātha warred with the Asuras most heroically. And that mighty armed one, O worshipful lady, losing his senses in consequence of wounds received from weapons, was removed from the field by thee. In that imminent danger, thy husband, sadly cut by weapons, was preserved by thee. Thereupon gratified, he, O, thou of gracious presence, granted thee two boons. Whereupon thou didst say,—‘I shall receive from my lord the boon whenever I shall wish.’ Thereupon that high-souled one said,—‘So be it.’ I did not know anything about this, O respected one; and it was thou who didst formerly communicate this (unto me). And it is because I bear affection unto thee that I have not forgotten it. Now do thou forcibly make the monarch desist from installing Rāma; and ask thy husband for these two boons,—the installation of Bharata, and the exile of Rāma into the woods for fourteen years. On Rāma having been banished into the woods for fourteen years, thy son securing the affections of subjects, will be firmly established (on the throne). Entering the anger-chamber to day, do thou, O daughter of Açwapati, clad in soiled garment, lie down on the uncovered floor. Do not look at him, nor speak to him aught. Do thou on beholding the lord of the earth, over-whelmed with grief, weep only. Thou hast always been the favorite wife of thy husband. Of this I have not the least doubt. For thy sake the monarch can enter into a flame. He can never anger thee, nor can he eye thee when angered. For compassing thy pleasure the king can renounce life itself. Therefore the monarch can never set aside thy word. O senseless lady, do thou now reflect upon the strength of thy good fortune. King Daçaratba will offer thee rubies and pearls and gold and gems of various kinds; but do not thou bend thy heart to them. Do thou, exalted dame, bring into Daçarātha’s recollection the two boons which he had granted thee at the time of the war between the gods and Asuras, and thou shalt not fail to achieve thy objects. And when that descendant of Raghu, raising thee will go to bestow the boons, do thou then binding him fast by oath, unfold unto the monarch the boons,saying,— ‘Send Rāma unto the forest for nine and five years, and let Bharata, becoming on earth the foremost of monarchs, carry on the Government.’ And Rāma having been banished for fourteen years, thy son growing (in the interval) firm and fast, will remain (on the throne) during the rest of his life. Do thou, therefore, O worshipful one, demand even the banishment of Rāma; for by this it is, O damsel, all interests will be secured unto thy son. Thus banished Rāma will no longer maintain possession of the hearts of the people; and thy Bharata with his foes put out, will be the king. By the time that Rāma returns from the forest, thy son, thy prudent son along with his friends, securing the hearts of the people externally and internally, will have been firmly established on the throne. Now is the time, I apprehend. Renouncing fear, do thou forcibly make the monarch remove from his mind his intention of installing Rāma.”

Having been thus made to accept that for good which was really evil, Kaikeyi, desirous of obtaining the boons, was filled with delight. And at the words of the hump-backed woman, that exceedingly beautiful Kaikeyi experienced the height of pride, and betook herself to this wrong course, like a mare attached to her young, (springing up after it). And she said to Mantharā,—“O excellent wench, O speaker of things fair, thy wisdom I do not dishonor. In ascertaining the propriety or otherwise of actions, thou art the very first of hump- backed women on earth. And ever intent on my interest, thou seekest my welfare. I had not, O hump-backed one, (ere this) apprehended the endeavours of the king. O hump- backed one, there are many deformed, crooked and unsightly women (on earth); but thou alone down, lookest beautiful like a lotus bent by the breeze. Thy breast weighed down by thy hump, is high near the shoulders; and beneath is thy belly graced with a goodly navel, which hath grown lean from shame (on holding the attitude of thy bust.) Thy buttocks are spacious; and thy breasts are firm. Thy countenance is like the bright moon, Ah! O Mantharā,how lovely dost thou look! Thy hips are smooth, and is decked with chains; and thy thighs and legs are of large proportions. O Mantharā, O thou clad in linen garment, O graceful damsel, with thy pair of spacious humps, thou goest before me like a she- crane. In thy heart reside all those thousand-conjurations belonging to that lord of the Asuras, Samvara; and besides thousands there are many more. Intelligence and policy and conjurations reside in thy elevated hump resembling the nave of a chariot- wheel. When Bharata hath been installed and Rāma gone to the woods, I will, O hump-backed one, furnish thy hump with a garland made, O beautiful one, of well melted gold. And when I shall have attained my object and be happy, I will smear thy hump with sandal paste. O hump-backed one, I will prepare for thy face an excellent tilaka of gold; as well as other ornaments. Wearing elegant apparel, thou wilt go about like a very goddess. With an incomparable countenance challenging the moon himself, thou wilt attain pre-eminence, defying thy foes. Even as thou servest me, other hump-backed women adorned with every ornament will serve thy feet.”

Thus praised by Kaikeyi, as she was lying down on a white bed, like unto fire upon the sacrificial dais, Mantharā addressed her, saying,—“O blessed one, when water has flown out, it is not proper to set up a dyke. Arise. Do thy welfare. Show thyself unto the king.” Puffed up with the pride of good fortune, that noble lady of expansive eyes thus encouraged (by Mantharā), went with her to the anger- chamber. (Having entered the chamber), that exalted lady put off her pearl neck-lace priced at many hundreds and thousands of gold, together with other elegant, beautiful and rich ornaments. Then sitting down upon the ground, Kaikeyi, comparable unto gold, under the influence of Mantharā’s words, spoke unto her, saying—“Do thou, hump-backed one, tell the monarch, that I am dead at this place. On Rāghava having gone to the forest, Bharata will obtain the earth. I do not require gold, or gems, or repasts; this will be the end of my existence if Rāma be installed.”

Again the hump-backed woman addressed Bharata’s mother in exceedingly cruel language fraught with good unto Bharata and evil unto Rāma,—“If Rāghava attaineth the kingdom, thou wilt surely grieve along with thy son. Therefore, O blessed one, do thou strive so that thy son Bharata be installed.”

Thus momentarily pierced by the wordy shafts shot by Mantharā, the queen exceedingly surprised, laying her hand on her bosom, wrathfully broke out,—“Either beholding me gone unto the regions of Death, thou wilt apprize the king of it, or Rāghava repairing unto the forest for a long time, Bharata will attain his desire. If Rāghava doth not repair hence into the forest, I will not desire beds, nor garlands, nor sandal paste, nor colyrium, nor meat, nor drinks, nor life.” Having said these cruel words, and thrown off every ornament, the wrathful dame lay down on the ground having no covering, like a fallen Kinnari. Casting away her excellent garlands and ornaments with her countenance clouded with the gloom of wrath, the King’s wife became sunk in thought looking like a sky enveloped in darkness, with the stars hid.


Thus perversely advised by the exceedingly wicked Mantharā, the noble and sagacious lady, influenced by passion, having completely decided in her mind as to her course, was lying down on the ground like a Kinnari pierced with poisoned shafts, and gradually told everything unto Mantharā. And having made up her mind, that lady wrought up with ire, being under the influence of Mantharā’s words, sighed hot and hard like the daughter of a Naga; and for a while reflected on the way which was to bring her happiness.Then her friend and well-wisher Mantharā, hearing of her resolution, rejoiced exceedingly, as if she had already secured success. And, having fully ascertained her course, that weak one being angry, lay down upon the floor, knitting her eyebrows. The ground was strewn with garlands and excellent ornaments which Kaikeyi had cast away; and they adorned the earth as the stars adorn the welkin. Like an enfeebled Kinnari she clad in a soiled garment, binding fast her braid, lay down in the anger-chamber.

The monarch having issued orders for the installation of Rāma,entered his inner apartment after giving permission to the courtiers to repair to their respective abodes. “To-day it has been fixed to install Rāma, but Kaikeyi has not yet heard of it”—thus thought the monarch. Therefore with the view of communicating the welcome news unto that lady deserving of good, (Kaikeyi), that renowned one of subdued senses entered the inner apartment. Like unto the moon entering the sky covered with white clouds and with Rāhu present in it, that one of high fame entered the excellent apartment of Kaikeyi, having parrots and peacocks and Kraunchas and swans, resounding with the sounds of musical instruments,—containing hump-backed and dwarfish women, graced with houses containing creepers, and pictures, and adorned with ashokas and champakas, furnished with daises composed of ivory and silver and gold, and adorned with trees bearing flowers and fruits always, and tanks, having superb seats made of ivory, silver and gold; rich with various viands and drinks and edibles, with costly ornaments, and resembling heaven itself; and the prosperous monarch having entered his own inner apartment did not see his dear Kaikeyi on the excellent bed. The lord of men not seeing his favorite wife, asked (within himself) and was struck with grief. Never before this that noble lady spent that hour (at any other place); nor had the monarch ever entered the empty apartment. Then the king entering the apartment asked (a sentinel) concerning Kaikeyi, not knowing that that unwise woman was hankering after her self-interest, as on previous occasions not finding her he used to ask. Thereupon hurriedly and with clasped hands, the warder said,— “Worshipful sire, the noble lady exceedingly angry, hath repaired unto the anger chamber.” Hearing the warder’s word, the king exceedingly anxious, with his senses agitated and afflicted, again grieved. There burning with grief, the lord of the earth saw her lying down on the ground in an improper guise. And the sinless aged (monarch) saw on the ground his youthful wife dearer unto him than life itself, cherishing an unrighteous intention,—like a torn creeper, and lying down like a very goddess, resembling a Kinnari fallen from heaven because of sin, like a fallen Apsarā, like unto an illusion spread to take another, and like an ensnared doe, or a she-clcphant that has been pierced with an envenomed shaft shot by a hunter. And himself resembling a mighty elephant in the midst of a forest, the king, exceedingly aggrieved, out of affection, gently passing his hand upon Kaikeyi’s person, thus addressed her furnished with eyes resembling lotus’ petals,—“I do not know why thou hast been angry with me. O noble lady, who has reprimanded thee, or who has offended thee, that, O auspicious one, in this guise thou art lying down in dust enhancing my sorrow? And wherefore art thou down on the ground, I, who seek thy welfare, being yet alive? O thou that afflictest my heart, art like one under the influence of a malignant spirit, I have skilful physicians whom I have completely satisfied with gifts,—they will render thee whole. Do thou, O angry wench, mention thy malady. Whom dost thou wish to please; and whom to displease? Who shall to-day receive an welcome office, and who a highly unwelcome one? Do not conceal thy thoughts, nor, O noble one, afflict thy person. Who, that should not be slain, shall be put to death; and who that should, is to be set at liberty? Who that is poor is to be made rich; and who that is affluent is to be turned into a pauper? I and mine are at thy command. I dare not cross any wish of thine. Tell me thy mind, and I will satisfy thee by laying down life itself. Thou knowest the influence thou hast upon me,—therefore, it behoveth thee not to entertain any apprehension. By all my good deeds I swear that I will compass thy pleasure. The space that is lighted up by the solar disc is mine—the Draviras, and the Sindhus, and the Sauviras, and Shurashtras and the Dakshinapathas, and the Bangas, and the Angas, and the Magadhas, and the Matsyas, and the flourishing Kasis and the Koçalas. In these are produced many things, wealth and corn and animals. Do thou, O Kaikeyi, ask for those things that thy mind may take a fancy to. What,0 timid one, is the use of afflicting thyself thus? O beauteous damsel, arise, arise. Do thou, O Kaikeyi, unfold unto me the cause whence hath proceeded thy fear. On hearing the reason, I will dispell it, even as the sun drieth up the dew.”

Thus addressed and encouraged, she desirous of saying that disagreeable thing with the view of afflicting her lord still more, spoke unto him thus.


Unto that ruler of the earth extremely under the influence of passion, Kaikeyi spoke cruelly, saying,— “O worshipful one, none has wronged or reprimanded me. I have a certain intention, which I wish that you will, carry out. If thou wilt execute that, do thou then promise to that effect, Then only will I express my desire.” Thereupon, by his hands placing Kaikeyi’s head upon his lap, the mighty monarch, under the influence of passion, smiling fairly, addressed her lying on the ground, “O thou that art swollen with the pride of good fortune, thou knowest that foremost of men, Rāma excepted, there liveth not any that is dearer to me than thyself. I swear by that invincible prime of men even the high-souled Rāghava— who is the stay of my existence. Do thou tell me thy heart’s desire. By that Rāma, Kaikeyi, whom if I do not see for a moment, I die for certain, do I swear that whatever thou wilt say I will accomplish. By that Rāma, O Kaikeyi, foremost of men—whom I hold dearer than my other sons, do I swear that, I will accomplish whatever thou wilt say. O gentle one, my heart is in what I say. Do thou, considering this, deliver me from this distress. Taking all this into consideration, do thou, O Kaikeyi, speak out what is in thy mind. Thou seest the power thou wieldest in me, therefore it behoveth thee not to fear. I will do thy pleasure by my good deeds do I swear this.”

Thereat intent upon her own interests, that exalted dame seeing her own wish (almost) attained, assuming an attitude of intercession, being rejoiced, spoke harsh words (unto the monarch). And delighted at the king’s speech, she unfolded that dreadful intention of hers like unto the approaching death.— “Thou swearest repeatedly, and conferrest on me a boon. Let the three and thirty deities headed by Indra, hear this. Let the Sun, and the Moon, and the Sky, and the Planets, and Night, and Day, and the Cardinal points, and the Universe, and the Earth, with the Gandharvas and Rākshasas, and the Rangers of the night, and all Beings, and the house-hold gods residing in dwellings,—together with all other creatures,—know thy utterances. Let all the deities hear that a highly energetic one speaking the truth, and pure, and cognizant of morality, and abiding by his promise, has conferred on me a boon”. Having entreated the monarch thus with a view to prevent him from swerving, and keeping him firm in his promise, she again addressed that mighty bowman, overcome by desire, who was ready to confer on her a boon, “Remember, O king, the incidents that took place formerly in the war between gods and Asuras. Incapable of taking thy life, thy enemy had rendered thee exceedingly feeble. Because, O respected Sir, I tending thee sleeplessly, preserved thee, thou didst grant me two boons. Entrusting the boons then with thee, do I now, O descendant of the Raghus, ask for them (at thy hands), O lord of the earth. If having religiously promised to that effect, thou dost not confer the boon, this very day, will I, coming by this disgrace from thee, renounce my life.”

When the king was completely brought under the influence of Kaikeyi, he was ensnared by her speech for his destruction, like a deer entering into the noose. Thereafter she thus spoke unto the king about to confer a boon, who was under the influence of passion, saying,—“Of the boons that thou hadst then promised me, I shall speak to-day: do thou listen to my words. Preparations are being made for installing Rāghava. Do thou with the provisions made ready install Bharata in the kingdom. O exalted one, the time has also come for thee to confer on me the second boon which thou being pleased had promised in the war of the gods and Asuras. Let the gentle Rāma, clad in deer-skin, lead the life of a mendicant in the Dandaka forest for the space of nine and five years. And let Bharata gain the heir-apparentship rid of thorns, Even this is my prime wish; and I beseech thee but to grant the boon thou hast already promised. Even this very day will I see Rāma despatched to the woods. Do thou by proving true unto thy word, become the king of kings; and preserve thy race, character, and birth. Truthful speech, say the ascetics, is of supreme welfare unto men in the next world.”


Hearing Kaikeyi’s fell speech, the monarch bewailed for a time, and then thought,—“Is this a day-dream unto me or has bewilderment befallen my senses? Is this owing to influence of some evil spirit or has my mind been affected?” Thinking thus, the king could not arrive at the. Origin of (this phenomenon); and then he swooned away. Then regaining his senses, he was filled with grief on recollecting Kaikeyi’s words; and pained and woe-begone, like unto a deer at the sight of a tigress, he fetched a deep sigh, and sat down on the uncover ed ground. Like a venomous snake confined by power of incantation within a circle, the lord of men, in indignation exclaimed, “O fie!” And deprived of his senses by grief, he again swooned away. After a long while, regaining his senses, he extremely aggrieved, wrathfully, and as if burning in energy, addressed Kaikeyi, saying,—“Thou cruel one! Thou of vile ways! Thou destroyer of this race! O wicked woman, what has been done by Rāma unto thee; or what wrong have I done thee? Rāghava ever serveth thee as a mother. Why thou art then bent upon wronging him? It is to bring down destruction upon myself that through ignorance I brought unto this house thee like unto a serpent of virulent poison. When all men show their regard for Rāma’s virtues, for what transgression shall I forsake my dear son? I may renounce Kauçalyā or Sumitrā or the kingdom, or life itself; but Rāma, filled with affection for his father, will I not renounce. I experience supreme delight on beholding my first-born; and when I see him not, I lose my senses. The world may exist without the Sun; and corn without water; but this life doth not exist in this body without Rāma. Do thou then that entertainest unrighteous aims, abandon this intention of thine. I lay my head at thy feet. Be propitious unto me. Why dost thou, O sinful one, cherish in thy mind such a frightful idea? Thou (often) asked me whether I love Bharata or not. Be that which thou hadst formerly told me in favor of that descendant of Raghu. ‘That blessed one is my eldest son, and the most righteous of them all’ even this, with the view of pleasing me, thou sweet speeched one had said. Now hearing of the installation of Rāma, thou thyself filled with grief, art making me exceedingly aggrieved. Or in this empty chamber having been possessed, thou hast come under influence not thy own. And this signal lawlessness, O exalted lady, has befallen the race of the Ikshwākus; the cause of which, 0 Thou versed in moral laws, is thy mental derangement. Thou didst not formerly do unto me aught that was improper or disagreeable; therefore, O thou of expansive eyes, I cannot rely upon thee (as sane). Thou didst, O girl, many a time tell me that Rāma was equal unto thee with the high-souled Bharata. Wherefore then, O bashful one, dost thou like that the illustrious and righteous Rāma, O exalted dame, should reside in the forest for five and nine years? Why dost thou like that the exceedingly tender Rāma with his soul established in virtue, should dwell in the woods, undergoing terrible hardship? Why dost thou, O thou of graceful eyes, wish Rāma, captivating all creatures, and engaged in ministering unto thee, to be banished? Rāma verily serveth thee far more than doth Bharata; and I do not find that Bharata regardeth thee more than Rāma. Who will, save that foremost of men, so devotedly minister unto thee, regard thee, enhance thy influence, and do thy will. Not one of the many thousands of females and the innumerable retainers (in the palace), has been able to fasten reproach upon Rāma for real or false misconduct. Soothing all creatures with a pure heart, that great soul by means of good officers secureth the affections of the inhabitants of the kingdom. He conquers all the twice-born ones by gifts; and that hero conquers his superiors by ministrations; and his enemies by encountering them with the bow. For certain, in Rāghava are truth and charity, and asceticism,and self- renunciation,and friendship, and purity, and sincerity, and learning, and the disposition to tend his superiors. How, O respected one, canst thou ask for this that will bring thee sin, touching Rāma endowed with candour, and energetic like unto a Maharshi, and resembling a celestial? I do not recollect to have heard Rāma, who ever speaks sweet words, to have used any unpleasant speech to any one; how can I then for thy sake unfold this disagreeable matter unto the beloved Rāma? And what stay have I save him in whom abide forgtveness,and asceticism and renunciation, and verity, and righteousness, and gratitude, and harmless towards all creatures. It behoveth thee, O Kaikeyi, to have pity on me, aged and on the verge of death, and afflicted with grief, and distressed, and engaged in lamentations. Whatever can be obtained in this earth bounded by the ocean I will confer on thee—do thou not bring about my death. O Kaikeyi, 1 clasp my palms, I fall at thy feet, be thou the protector of Rāma, so that sin may not taint me.”

When the terrible Kaikeyi in still more terrible language addressed the mighty king, who was burning in grief, and bewailing, and deprived of his senses, and feeling a sensation of whirling, and overwhelmed with woe, and again and again beseeching for crossing this ocean of sorrow, saying. “If, O monarch, having conferred the boon,thou repentest afterwards how, O hero, wilt thou speak of thy righteousness in the world? When,0 thou versed in duty, the Rajarshis assembled around thee, shall ask thee regarding this matter, what wilt thou answer? Wilt thou say, ‘by whose favor do I live and who had tended me, unto that Kaikeyi have I broken my promise?’ Surely, O lord of men, thou wilt bring disgrace unto all the monarchs (of thy line), since having conferred the boons this very day, thou speakest otherwise. Saivya granted his own flesh unto the bird in the matter of the hawk and the pigeon.115 And Alarka, having granted his eyes (unto a blind Brahmin) attained excellent state. And the ocean, having bound himself by promise, never passes beyond his shores. Remembering these old stories render not thy promise nugatory. O thou of perverted understanding, renouncing righteousness, and installing Rāma in the kingdom, thou wishest ever to give thyself up to pleasure with Kauçalyā. Whether what I have proposed be righteous or otherwise, whether thou hast promised truly or falsely, swerve not from thy word. If thou install Raima, this very day drinking poison, I will surely die before thee. If I for a single day behold Rāma’s mother receiving homage rendered with clasped hands, I will consider death even as welcome, O lord of men, by Bharata’s self dear unto me as my own life, I swear that save the exile of Rāma, nothing shall satisfy me.”

Having said this, Kaikeyi paused; and maintained silence disregarding the bewailing monarch. The king with his senses overwhelmed with grief, hearing Kaikeyi’s exceedingly bitter words, reflected on Rāma’s abode in the woods, and the advancement of Bharata, and being bewildered for a while spoke not unto Kaikeyi; but gazed steadfastly at that exalted dame, his beloved wife, who had uttered disagreeable things. And having heard that speech resembling a thunder-bolt, and unpleasant to the heart, and surcharged with grief, the king was extremely pained. Then recollecting that revered lady’s resolve, and his own terrible oath, he, sighing forth,—“O Rāma,” dropped down like a felled tree. And then that master of the earth being deprived of his sense, was like a mad man, or a patient with his faculties wildered, or a serpent whose energy has been exhausted. In sad and distressful words, he addressed Kaikeyi, saying,—“Who is it that has convinced thee that this exceedingly heinous course is a proper one? Dost thou not feel shame to speak thus unto me, like one whose faculties have been possessed by an evil spirit? I did not know before, when thou wast youthful that thy nature was so perverted; but now I find the very reverse of what I then thought. Whence proceedeth thy fear that thou askest for such a boon—the establishment of Bharata in the kingdom, and the banishment of Rāma into the woods? Do thou cease to urge such a suit that is fraught with evil unto thy wifely virtue, and that will render my word untrue, if thou wishest for the good of thy husband, of the people, and Bharata. O cruel woman; O thou that intendest sinfully, O base wretch, O doer of impious deeds, how have I and Rāma conspired against thy happiness; and what offence dost thou find in us? Bharata will by no means accept the kingdom, depriving Rāma of it, for I consider Bharata a still more grounded in righteousness than Rāma himself. When I shall say,—“Repair unto the forest,” and Rāma’s countenance will fall, like unto the moon overwhelmed by Rāhu, how shall I behold it? How shall I, having in consultation with my friends come to this decision, retract the same, like unto an army defeated by the enemy? And what will the monarchs coming from various quarters say concerning me,— “Alas! How has this puerile descendant of Ikshwāku reigned so long?’ And when many aged folks, endowed with virtues, and accomplished in various lore will ask me concerning Kākutstha, what then shall I sav unto them.—‘Sore pressed by Kaikeyi, have I banished Rāma? Even if I speak this truly, yet none will lend credence to it. And what will Kauçalyā say unto me, when Rāma shall have gone to the forest? Having dpne her this mighty wrong, what shall I say unto her? Kauçalyā serves me at the same time like a slave, and a friend, and wife, and sister, and mother. Ever studious of my welfare, dearly loving her son, and speaking every one fair, that exalted lady, although deserving of homage at my hands, has up to this time not been regarded by me, because of thee. That I have so long sought thy welfare, afflicteth me now, even like rice partaken by a sick person with curries that are unhealthful. Beholding Rāma deprived of his kingdom, and banished unto the forest, why will Sumitrā alarmed believe in me. Ah! Woe to me! Vaidehi will have to hear of two evil events,—my death and Rāma’s journey unto the woods. Alas! My Vaidehi, indulging in grief, will renounce her existence, like a Kinnari on the side of the Himavat, who has been forsaken by her kinnara. When I shall witness Rāma repairing to the mighty forest, and Sitā weeping (in grief) , I shall not hope for a long life; and thou, becoming a widow, will reign along with thy son. Like unto a goodly liquor, which people having partaken it, subsequently find to contain poison, I have found thee, who had passed for a chaste woman, to be now really unchaste. Having soothed me with soft but false words, thou speakest thus. Thou hast killed me like a deer that has been entrapped by a hunter, having been allured into the net through the sound of a song. Surely gentle folks will on the high-way censure me as one lost to gentility,—as one who has sold his son (for buying his wife’s good graces), even like a Brāhmana given to drinking. Alas! Alas! Having promised thee the boon, I have to bear these words of thine; and have come by this grief like unto evil consequent upon misdeeds in a previous existence. Wretch as I am, like a halter set round one’s neck, have I, O vile woman, cherished thee through ignorance. Not knowing thee for my death, I have sported with thee, like an infant dallying in solitude with a venomous snake. Surely, people will be justified in con- demning me wicked-minded that I am, for my son having been deprived of his ancestral kingdom by me; saying,— “Alas! King Daçarātha is foolish and lustful; for he sends his beloved son to the woods for the sake of his wife.” Rāma has grown emaciated by study ng the Vedas, leading the Brahmācharyya mode of life, and serving his preceptors,—- will he again undergo this mighty toil at this time of enjoyment? My son is incapable of uttering a second word unto me; and commissioned, he will repair to the woods, saying, ‘Very well.’ if ordered with ‘Go to the forest,’ Rāghava does not consent, even that would conduce to my pleasure; but he will do nothing of the kind. And Rāghava having gone to the forest, Death will surely summon me away to his abode who am of exceedingly reprehensible character, and who am universally execrated. And I having been dead and that best of men, Rāma, having gone to the woods (I do not know) to what a plight thou wilt bring my kindreds. And if Kauçalyā loses me and Rāma, and Sumitrā loses her two sons and me and Rāma, then tormented with the extreme of grief, those exalted ladies will follow me. Do thou, O Kaikeyi, casting into hell Kauçalyā and Sumitrā and myself with our three sons, attain happiness. Renounced by me as well as Rāma, this lkshwaku line existing from a time immemorial, and ennobled by excellent qualities, and incapable of coming by grief, thou wilt rule, when it shall have been overwhelmed with misfortune. If the banishment of Rāma, be agreeable to Bharata let him not, when I am dead, perform my funeral obsequies. When I am dead, and when that foremost of men has gone to the forest, do thou, a widow, rule the kingdom along with thy son. O daughter of a king, when by chance thou residest in my mansion, I must come by signal infamy and discomfiture in the world, and meet with general disregard, like unto a sinful person. How having always gone on cars and elephants and horses, will dear Rāma range in the forest on foot? How will my son, at the approach of whose meal-time, cooks wearing ear-rings and emulating each other prepare excellent meats and drinks, pass his days, living on fare furnished by the woods, of astringent, or bitter, or pungent taste? How will he, who has always been clad in costly attire, and who has always enjoyed happiness, will dwell on the bare earth, wearing a piece of red cloth? From whom hast thou received this inconceivable and dreadful advice,— Rāma’s journey to the woods and installation of Bharata? Fie upon women, crafty and selfish! But I must not name all women—I mean only the mother of Bharata. O thou that art intent upon doing mischief unto all, O thou addicted to selfishness, O cruel one, has God made thy mind so very vile, only to torment me? What wrong hast thou come by either through me, or Rāma ever engaged in thy welfare? On beholding Rāma plunged in sorrow, fathers will forsake sons, and wives attached unto their husbands will forsake them, and the entire earth will be affected with ill-humour. When I hear him coming, adorned like unto a son of the celestials, I rejoice on casting my eyes on him, and I feel as if I had regained my youth. Men may do without the Sun, and the wielder of the thunder-bolt not raining, but none, I apprehend, can live, on witnessing Rāma repairing hence. I have kept in my mansion, like unto my own death, thee that desirest my destruction, and art intent upon doing me wrong, and art my foe. I have for a long time held thee on my lap, like unto a she-snake of virulent poison; therefore in consequence of my folly, I now meet with destruction. Now dissevered from me, and Rāma together with Lakshmana, let Bharata govern the city and the kingdom along with thee. Destroying thy relatives, do thou enhance the joy of my enemies. O thou cruelly-disposed, O thou bringer on of calamities, since banishing all sense of the relation in which we stand to each other as husband and wife, thou hast spoken thus, why reduced to thousand fragments thy teeth drop not from off thy mouth down to the ground? Rāma has not used any harsh speech towards thee. Indeed Rāma knows no harsh speech; why then dost thou seek to inflict upon Rāma (ever) pleasant spoken, and endowed with agreeable qualities—such wrongs. O thou that renderest infamous the king of the Kekayas, whether thou becomest miserable, or enterest into fire, or killest thyself (by taking poison), or divest into the bowels of the earth opened at a thousand places, I will not execute thy fell intention that is fraught with evil unto me. I do not wish, that thou, like unto a razor, and ever speaking pleasant falsehoods, and possessed of a vile heart, the destroyer of thy own race,—thou that wishest to burn my heart and life, thou unbeautiful one, mayst remain alive. My life itself is in jeopardy,—where then is my happiness? Where is the happiness of parents without their sons? It behoveth thee not, O noble dame, to do evil unto me. I take hold of thy feet; be thou propitious unto me.” As bewailing thus like one forlorn the ruler of earth whose heart was captivated by Kaikeyi on account of her supreme beauty proceeded to take hold of her feet, who having banished all self respect, sat with her legs stretched, he, without being able to come at them, fell down in a swoon, like one enfeebled with disease.


Then as the mighty king was lying down in this unbeseeming and improper guise, like Yayāti dropped from the celestial regions when his religious merit had been exhausted, that lady, personating the ruin of the race, not fearing public odium, who had discerned danger from Rāma unto Bharata, not having attained her wish, again addressed the monarch, concerning the boon he had promised unto her,—Thou describest thyself, O mighty monarch, as speaking the truth and firm in vow. Why then dost thou hesitate to confer this boon on me?” Thus addressed by Kaikeyi king Daçarātha, remaining stupified for a while thus answered her in wrath,—“O ignoble one! O enemy of mine! On my being dead, and that chief of men, Rāma, reparing to the woods, do thou, thine wish attained, become happy. When in heaven, questioning me as to Rāma’s welfare, the celestials, learning of his banishment to the woods, will tax me on this score, how shall I also bear that reproach of theirs? If I shall truthfully say I have sent Rāma to the woods for compassing Kaikeyi’s pleasure, that will count for a falsehood. Sonless first, I have obtained the exceedingly energetic and mighty Rāma by great pain,—how can I then renounce him? How shall I banish Rāma having eyes resembling lotus’ petals, who is heroic, and accomplished and of subdued anger, and forgiving. How shall I dismiss unto Dandaka the charming Rāma of dark blue hue like that of a blue lotus, possessed of mighty arms, and having great strength? How shall I behold the intelligent Rāma in evil plight, who has never known suffering, and has always enjoyed felicity? If without inflicting injury upon Rāma, I meet with death, I shall then attain happiness. O cruel Kaikeyi, O thou of evil purpose, why dost thou do this wrong unto my beloved Rāma having truth for prowess? If I banish Rāma, an unparalleled obloquy will surely darken (my fair fame).

As king Daçarātha was bewailing thus with a heart wrought up with grief, the sun set and night came on. But although crested with the lunar disc, the night failed to bring comfort unto the king, distressed, and indulging in grief. Then the old king Daçarātha, with his eyes fixed at the sky, sighing hot, lamented in this strain—“O night studded with stars, I beseech thee, let not the morning appear. Do thou, O gentle one, do me this kindness. I do thus clasp my hands (by way of supplication). Or do thou speedily repair for I do not wish to see the hated and relentless Kaikeyi, who has brought this calamity upon me”. Having spoken thus, the king conversant with the duties of Sovereigns again endeavoured to propitiate Kaikeyi, saying,—“O noble dame, do thou show favour unto me, who am of honest ways, who am distressed, who have made myself thine, who have finished his life, and who, in especial, am thy king. That I have spoken to thee thus was because, O thou of shapely hips, I had been deprived of my senses (through grief). O girl, do thou show thy favour unto me,—be thou generous,—be thou propitious. Let my Rāma obtain the kingdom in fact conferred by thee. Thereupon, O thou having the outer corner of thy eyes of dark blue hue, thou wilt attain high fame (among men). O thou of well-developed hips, do thou do this act of benefit unto me and Rāma and the people and the superiors, and Bharata”.

Having heard the exceedingly piteous words of her husband, the king of pure sentiment, who was distressed, with his eye rendered coppery and flowing with tears, that wicked minded and merciless woman spoke not. Thereat seeing that his favourite dissatisfied wife persisted in urging the banishment of his son, the king struck with grief, again fell down to the earth, senseless. As the wise king afflicted with sorrow was sighing hot and hard, the night passed away. Then as the eulogists attempted to sing his praises for awakening him, he prohibited them to do so.


Then that sinful woman, seeing the descendant of Ikshwāku distressed on account of his son, and deprived of conciousness, and lying inert on the ground, spoke unto him, saying,—“Having promised to grant me the boon, how distressed dost thou lie on the ground, as if thou didst commit some sin? It behoveth thee to keep untainted thy dignity by performing what thou hast promised. Truth, say persons cognizant of it, is the prime virtue. And it is in the interests of virtue, that I have been exhorting thee. Having promised his own person unto the hawk, that lord of earth, Saivya, having granted the same unto the bird, went the excellent way. In the same manner, Alarka, being asked, plucked out his eyes readily and bestowed them on a certain Brāhmana versed in the Vedas. And the lord of rivers, having promised, even on occasions of Parvas, does not pass over his bounds for the sake of truth. The one syllable (Onkar) signifying Brahmā. Is the truth itself, In truth is established righteousness. Truth is the undecaying Vedas, and through truth people attain the foremost state. If thy mind is established in virtue, do thou then follow truth. Since, O excellent one, thou hast promised the boon, let that boon bear fruit. Do thou, incited by me with the view of maintaining virtue, banish Rāma. Thrice, do I tell thee. If thou dost not fulfil this noble vow, O worshipful Lord, thou hast made unto me, forsaken by thee will I even in thy very presence renounce my life.”

Thus fearlessly urged by Kaikeyi, the king could not take off from himself the noose (of promise), even as Bāli could not take off the noose that had been fixed upon him (by Upendra) at the instance of Indra. Thereupon, the king looked blank, and his heart became agitated, like unto a beast of burden moving tortuously when placed within the yoke and wheels. Then calming himself with a great effort, the king, as if not seeing Kaikeyi, with his haggard eyes, addressed her, saying,—“I do here, wicked wretch, renounce that hand of thine which I had held with mantras before the sacrificial fire, and I do also renounce along with thee own-begotten116 thy son Bharata. O exalted one, the night has departed; and as soon as the Sun rises, the superiors will surely urge me for installing Rāma with the provisions that have been procured for the purpose. But if, O thou of auspicious ways, hinderest the installation of Rāma, Rāma will perform my funeral obsequies, when I am dead,—and not thou accompanied by thy son shalt perform the same. That countenance of Rāma which I have once seen expanded in delight, I shall never be able to behold bereft of joy and cheerfulness, and down, with melancholy clouding it.”

As the high-souled ruler of earth was speaking thus unto her, the night engarlanded with the moon and stars was succeeded by the morning. Then Kaikeyi of vile ways versed in speech, rendered senseless by wrath, again addressed the monarch in harsh language, saying,—“What words, O king, dost thou say, comparable unto poison or painful indispositions. It behoveth thee to summon hither thy son, the energetic Rāma. Having established my son in the kingdom, and rendered Rāma a ranger of the woods and made myself rid of rivals, I shall attain my end.” Thus urged by Kaikeyi, the king like unto an excellent steed stung by a sharp goad, again spoke unto her,—“I have been bound fast by the ties of virtue,—therefore have I lost my senses. I now only wish to behold my beloved eldest son— the righteous Rāma.”

Then when the night had gone by and day broke and the Sun arose, and when the sacred astral hour had arrived, Vasishtha endowed with many virtues, surrounded by his disciples and furnished with the provisions, entered that foremost of cities, whose streets had been swept and watered and which had been decorated with streamers, and which was filled with people rejoicing, and whose stalls overflowed with articles, and which resounded with the noise of festivity, and which was populous with folks eager for the installation of Rāghava, and which was every where scented with sandal and dhupa and aguru. Having entered the city, like unto the metropolis of Purandara himself, he saw the graceful inner apartment decked with innumerable standards, and which was thronged with citizens and the inhabitants of the provinces, and graced with Brāhmanas cognizant of sacrifices, and crowded with highly worshipful assistants at sacrifice, entered the inner apartment and passed by that press. Vasishtha exceedingly delighted, surrounded by great saints, saw at the gate of the charioteer of that great one,—who at the same time was his counseller of gracious looks. Therefore the highly energetic Vasishtha said unto the skilful son of the charioteer,—“Do thou speedily acquaint the mighty monarch that I have come. Here are golden vessels filled with water from the Gangā and the ocean; and for the installation, an excellent udumvara seat, and all kinds of seeds, and scents and various gems, and honey, and curds and clarified butter and fried paddy, and milk, and sacrificial grass, flowers and milk, and eight good-looking maids, and an excellent mad elephant, a car yoked with four horses, and a sword, and an elegant bow, and a carriage containing men, and an umbrella like unto the moon, and two white chowries, and a golden vase, and a pale-colored bull tethered with a golden chain and bearing a hump adorned with ornaments, and a mighty lion—the best of his race—furnished with four teeth, and a throne, and a tiger-skin, and sacrificial fuel, and fire, and all kinds of musical instruments, and courtezans decked out with ornaments, and preceptors and Brāhmanas, and cows, and various kinds of pure animals and birds—have been brought. The foremost citizens and inhabitants of the provinces and the merchants with their retinue,—all these and others, with hearts filled with joy, and mouth speaking pleasant words, stay with the sovereigns to witness the installation of Rāma. Do thou urge expedition upon the mighty monarch, so that this day under the influence of the Pushyā star Rāma may obtain the kingdom.”

Hearing these words of his, the charioteer’s son possessed of mighty strength, eulogizing that powerful monarch, entered his quarters. And advanced in years, he had before this been granted free access everywhere,—so that the warders, loved of the king and seeking his good, could not prevent his entrance. Not knowing the plight that had befallen the king, Sumantra presenting himself before him, endeavoured to gladden the latter with pleasing speech. And having entered the apartment of the king, the charioteer Sumantra with clasped hands, pleasing the monarch as he proceeded, said,—“Do thou please us delightedly and with a glad heart, even as the strong ocean pleases people at the rising of the sun. The charioteer Matuli used to hymn India at this season, and (encouraged by that eulogy) he conquered the Dānavas. Even so do I hymn thee. And even as the Vedas with the Angas and other lore indoctrinate the self-create lord Brahmā, so do I enlighten thee. As the tan in company with the moon enlightens the fair earth containing creatures, so do I to-day enlighten thee. Arise, O foremost of monarchs, clad in excellent attire and decked with ornaments, like unto the sun issuing from the (mount) Meru. All the articles necessary for the installation of Rāma are ready. And the citizens and the inhabitants of the provinces and the merchants stay with clasped hands. And the worshipful Vasishtha stays with the Brāhmanas. Do thou, O king, immediately order the installation of Rāma. Like unto catties without their keeper, like unto an army without its commander, like unto a night without the moon, like unto kines without their bull, is a kingdom without a king.”

Hearing these words of Sumantra, bland and appropriate, the lord of earth was afresh overwhelmed with grief. Then the graceful and virtuous king, waxing disconsolate, on account of his son, and with his eyes reddened with the effect of grief, seeing the charioteer, said,—“This eulogy of thine pains me the more.”

Hearing those sorrowful words and finding the lord of earth aggrieved thus, Sumantra with clasped hands went off a little. Seeing, the king utterly incapable of speaking any thing personally owing to his heavy sorrow, Kaikeyi, the best counsellor in matters like these, addressed Sumantra with the following words :—“Sumantra, being elated with joy on account of Rāma’s installation, the king has kept up the whole night, and being tired therefore, is overpowered with sleep. Go ye therefore speedily, O charioteer, and bring Rāma here, the praiseworthy son of king. This will do you good— do not hesitate in this. “How can I go,” replied Sumantra, “without the permission of the king?”

Hearing these words of the counsellor, the king spoke to him “Sumantra, bring the beautiful Rāma here—I want to see him.” Thinking that some good would accrue to Rāma, he was pleased at heart and away he went speedily delighted at the royal mandate. Being asked again by Kaikeyi to hurry on at the time of departure Sumantra thought within himself— “Evident it is that the Queen has become impatient to sea Rāma’s installation and hence is the hurry—and the king will now take rest.” Thinking this the energetic charioteer with great delight, intent on seeing Rāma, issued out of the city like a lake near the ocean. Having come out of the presence of the king suddenly, he saw the warders, various citizens and great personages sitting at the gate.


The Brāhmana, versed in Veda, the counsellors, the commanders of military forces and the leading merchants, together with the royal priest, all brimming with joy on account of Rāma’s installation, were waiting at the royal gate all night long. On the appearance of the bright Sun, on the approach of the day under the astral influence of Pushyā and on the ascension of Karkata, the presiding star of Rāma’s birth, they brought all articles necessary for the installation and as ordered by the best of Brāhmanas—namely; gold, earthen jar (for preserving water,) well ornamented excellent seats, chariot with a coverlet of splendid tiger-skin, water brought from the sacred confluence of the Ganges and Jamuna, from other holy streams, lakes, wells, ponds and rivers full of water flowing in the East, over mountains, and from the North to the Sooth; and waters brought from all the oceans, honey, curd, clarified butter, fried paddy, sacrificial grass, milk, flowers, eight unmarried girls exquisitely beautiful, a road elephant, gold and silver jars, adorned with fig leaves and lotuses and filled with holy water, a best yellow chowri for Rāma crested with jewels and resembling the bright rays of the moon; a brilliantly ornamented beautiful umbrella of yellow colour, resembling the disc of the moon, and the most important of all the articles necessary for installation; a well adorned yellow ox and horse; and all musical instruments,—bringing these and all other things necessary for the installation of the descendants of Ikshaku, in accordance with the king’s permission, the panegyrists and other persons were assembled there. Not finding the king present there, they began to speak amongst themselves:—“Who will intimate the king of our arrival? The Sua is up and we do not see the king amongst us as yet. All articles necessary for the installation of the intelligent Rāma are ready.” While they were thus conversing, the charioteer Sumantra, well respected by the king, reached there and spoke unto all those persons and the kings the following words. “With the king’s permission I am going to bring Rāma speedily here. Worshipful you are all to the king and specially to Rāma, I shall with your words, ask the king of his sound sleep, and then of the reasons for his not coming here as yet though up from the bed.” Saying thus, Sumantra, versed in legends, arrived at the gate of the royal seraglio. And he entered the palace with its open gates; and having entered the appartment of the lord of earth he went into his sleeping room, and placing himself behind a screen near at hand, addressed the descendant of Raghu thus, pleasing him with blessings fraught with good unto him—“Oh! Kākutstha, may the Moon, Sun, Sivā, Vaisravana, (the god of wealth), Varuna, (the god of water), Agni and Indra grant thee victory. The worshipful night is gone and blessed morn has arrived; arise, Oh! Thou great king, and perform morning ablutions. Brāhmanas,commanders and merchants are assembled at the palace gate, desirous of seeing thee, do thou therefore arise, Oh descendant of Raghu.”

Peiceiving from the voice that it was charioteer Sumantra versed in good counsels, who was thus eulogising, the king rose up from his bed and thus addressed him:—“O Charioteer ‘Bring Rāma here’ was the order I gave thee; what is it that makes thee neglect my command? I am not asleep; go and bring up Rāma here instantly.” Saying this, king Daçarātha despatched Sumantra again.

Hearing the words of the king and bowing him with his head down,he issued out of the king’s residence,thinking that some great good was awaiting. And having reached the public roads adorned with flags and pennons, he, filled with an excess of joy, began to wend his way, casting his look around. There on his way he heard the passers by, all talking about Rāma and his installation, as if brimming with joy on that account. Then proceeding a little, Sumantra saw the beautiful palace of Rāma towering like the Kailaça hill and resembling the abode of Sakra. It was closed with two big pannels at the gate way (of which the trap-door was flung open), and adorned with hundreds of terraces, on its top were many idols made of gold, and arches crested with pearls and diamonds; its colour was white as the autumnal cloud and bright as the golden cave of Sumeru; it was ornamented with highly brilliant jewels set in the garlands of gold flowers and strewn with pearls and diamonds and sprinkled with sandal and Aguru, the fragrance of which captivates the mind like the summit of the hill Dardura; it was graced with the presence of Sarasas and peacocks emitting pleasant sounds; and covered with well-made figures of wolves aud pictures of artistic excellence, the splendour of which captivates the mind and the eye as well; bright as the sun and moon, resembling the abode of Kuvera and the capital of the king of the celestials; filled with brids of various kinds and high as the summit of Sumeru, Sumantra saw the palace filled with people coming from different quarters with clasped hands, and adorned with citizens approaching with various presents and eager (to see the installation of Rāma; and (standing at the gate) being prevented by the warders to enter; resembling a huge cloud, of picturesque situation, spacious, strewn with pearls and diamonds and crowded with servants. That charioteer, in his chariot with its wooden ledge and horses, beautifying the crowded streets and pleasing the citizens, entered the abode of Rāma. There- upon arriving at this abode filled with wealth, and having its beauty greatly intensified with deers and peacocks, moving to and fro, resembling the exqusitely splendid palace of the lord of the celestials,that charioteer was extremely enraptured, having the hairs of the body erect. Then that charioteer entering several apartments, well adorned and resembling the Kailaça hill and the abode of the celestials and passing by many persons, dear unto Rāma and abiding in his purpose, entered the apartment of the ladies. And he became exceedingly pleased on hearing pleasant words, meaning well unto the son of the king, from all persons, engaged in some sort of service for the installation. He saw the pleasant abode of Rāma, resembling that of Mahendra, and filled with deers and birds, having its top high as the summit of Meru and situated well in splendour, and the gateway filled with millions of citizens with clasped hands keeping their conveyances outside and coming from various quarters with presents for Rāma. He saw there a wild elephant by the name of Satrunjaya or the conqueror of foes, having a huge boly resembling a mountain enveloped in dark clouds, beautiful, capable of bearing the goading hook and intended as Rāma’s conveyance. He saw well adorned ministers dear unto the king with horses, chariots and elephants; and leaving them all on either side, entered unprevented, like unto the marine monster Makara entering the ocean containing many pearls and diamonds, the splendid apartment of the ladies, resembling the clouds that hover over the summit of the Hill Himādri, and having a number of beautiful houses comparing with great celestial cars.


Sumantra, well versed in legends, after passing by the gateways crowded with people, reached the solitary apartment (of Rāma), having youthful warders, carrying darts and bows wearing ear-rings, cautious, attentive and devoted, and saw (seated at the gate) several old men, commanding female warders, mindful of duty, wearing red cloths and excellent ornaments, and having rattans in their hands. They all seeing Sumantra, ever wishing good unto Rāma, approach, rose suddenly up from their seats with due respect. The bumble-minded charioteer then said to them:—“Go and speedily communicate unto Rāma that Sumantra is waiting at the gate.” At this the warders, desirous of doing good unto their master, nearing Rāma, speedily comunicated these words unto him who was in the company of his wife. Rāma hearing of the arrival of his father’s charioteer, ordered him to enter into the apartment, having his father’s pleasure in view. He (on entering) saw Rāma resembling Vaisravana, well adorned and seated on a gold sofa, with a beautiful coverlet on; having his body sprinkled with holy and fragrant sandal of the best kind, red as the blood of a hog; and having by him Sitā with a chowri in her hand, like Moon himself in the company of Chitrā.

Whereupon Sumantra, acquainted with decorum, humbly saluted him (Rāma), the conferrer of great boons, and resplendent like the mid-day sun; and he well honored by the king, seeing the king’s son seated on the sleeping sofa with a delighted countenance, spoke these words unto him with clasped hands:—“Oh, Rāma, great son of Kauçalyā, thy father and the queen Kaikeyi want to see thee; so it behoveth thee to go there without delay.” Being pleased with these words the mighty hero of great effulgence, honored his father’s behest and spoke unto Sitā thus,— “Ob, darling, doubt there is none that my father, going to Kaikeyi, is parleying with her regarding my installation. Concieving the king’s intention that clever lady, of dark eyes and desirous of doing good unto the king, that mother, the daughter of the king of Kekaya, pleased and intent upon king’s welfare as well as upon that of mine, is hastening the monarch for my installation. Fortunately for me, the monarch in the company of his Queen has despatched Sumantra, intent upon my welfare. Worthy of the meeting at the inner apartment, the messenger has come, and I doubt not that the monarch shall install me to-day as the heir-apparent of his throne. Therefore I shall speedily go hence and see my father. Do thou remain and enjoy here the company of thy friends.”

Regarded by her husband, Sitā, of dark eyes and intent upon her husband’s welfare, followed him to the entrance and said:—“May the great monarch bestow upon thee first the heir-apparentship, and afterwards the dignity of the Paramount power like Brahmā granting kingdom unto Vāsava. I shall be ministering unto thee, seeing thee initiated, engaged in ceremonies, wearing excellent deer skin for cloth and carrying horns in the hands. May Indra protect thee on the East, may Yāma (Death) protect thee on the South, and Varuna (God of water) on the West and Kuvera (God of wealth) on the North.” Being greeted with benedictory ceremonies, Rāma, bidding farewell to Sitā, issued out of his house like unto a lion, living in the den of a mountain. He saw Lakshmana standing at the gate with clasped hands, and met all his friends assembled at the middle apartment. Then that great son of the king, casting a glance upon them all who were present there to see him and pleasing them with sweet words ascended, like unto the thousand-eyed Indra, the splendid chariot, made of silver and coated with tiger-skin, and bright like the fire itself, making a noise (when going) like the roaring of clouds; defying all obstacles, adorned with jewels, and gold, dazzling the eye-sight and bright like the golden peaks of Sumeru. It had two excellent horses tied to it like unto two young elephants, and was of quick motion, resembling that of Indra’s chariot carried by his horses. Ascending the car, Rāghava, of great effulgence, went speedily on, making (the space)resounded like unto the muttering cloud on the sky. He issued out of his abode like the beautiful moon passing through a huge cloud. And Lakshmana, the younger brother of Rāghava, standing behind him on the car with a splendid Chowri in his hand, began to guard his body. And there was caused a great tumult by the crowd gathering around on the issuing out of Rāma. Then followed in his train many hundreds and thousands of beautiful horses and elephants resembling hills in their appearance; and went before him hundreds of heroes, well accoutered, and having their bodies sprinkled with sandal and Aguru and holding swords and arms in their hands, and other persons uttering benedictions. He heard on the way sounds of musical instruments, eulogy of the panegyrists and lion-like roars of the heroes. Exquisitely beautiful damsels, adorned with various ornaments and dresses, standing by the windows began to shower flowers upon the head of the foe-destroyer Rāma, and those spotless beauties with a view to please Rāma,some standing on the buildings and some on the ground began to praise him:—“Oh thou, delight of thy mother, surely has mother Kauçalyā become exceedingly gratified, on seeing thee of successful journey to accept the heir- apparentship of the throne.” Those ladies thought that Sitā, the captivater of Rāma’s heart was surely the best of all women and for certain had she performed some great austerities in her past life or else she would not have been the companion of Rāma, like unto Rohini, the companion of Moon. That best among men heard these pleasant words from those ladies standing on the buildings and on high-ways. Rāghava then heard the people coming from different quarters and the well-pleased citizens, talking amongst themselves regarding him in the following strain. “This Rāghava going shall obtain through the grace of the king great wealth, and all our desires will be gratified when he will become our governor. It is a great gain to the subjects that he is going to get for ever the entire empire at once; he being the lord of the people, no body shall witness any misfortune or unpleasant thing.” Like unto Vaisravana he began to proceed, being dignified by the horses and elephants going before sending forth great sound, and eulogised in various metres by persons singing his glory, by the panegyrists and by men tracing his noble ancestry. He saw the courtyard thronged with young and old elephants, horses, chariots, and the high-ways crowded all over with people, many pearls and various merchandises.


Rāma, having his friends delighted, ascending the car, and viewing the city adorned with pennons and flags and incensed with Dhupa and Aguru, entered the high way, crowded with people and containing houses coloured as the pale white clouds, and the place between the two rows whereof scented with Dhupa and Aguru. It was a splendidly spacious road decorated with a collection of sandal, Aguru and other fine scents, with silk and red cloth, with pearls holed and other valuable crystals and strewn with various flowers and filled with edibles multiform. Like unto the lord of celestials in heaven he saw this high way and the court-yard covered with curd, clarified butter, fried paddy, Dhupa, Aguru and sandal, and embellished with garlands and other scents. Having heard benedictions uttered by many in the following strain and paying proper respects unto all, he wended his way. “Being installed this day do thou following in the footsteps of thy father and grand-fathers cherish and protect us. Thou taking the reins of government we shall live more happily than what we were under your ancestors. Seek not we earthly comforts or the highest things (in the life to come), if we can only see Rāma installed in the kingdom issuing out from his father’s abode. There is nothing more pleasant to us than the installation of the highly energetic Rāma on the throne.” Rāma, hearing these and other auspicious words from his friends eulogising his own self, went on his way without being moved. Rāghava passed away, but not a single person could withdraw his eyes and mind from that best of men. In fact he who did not see Rāma, and whom Rāma did not see, was looked down by all. And he considered himself contemptible. That righteous one showed mercy unto all, old and young, of the four castes, and hence, thty were all obedient to him. He proceeded leaving on his left side the junctions of four roads, the paths leading to temples, the religious fig trees and altars, and reached after all the family dwelling of the king, with its palatial tops piercing the sky, looking beautiful, resembling mass of clouds, white as the celestial cars and high as the hill Kailaça, and with sporting houses adorned with pearls. And the son of the monarch, shining in beauty, entered into the palace of his father, the best on earth resembling the abode of Mahendra. Daçarātha’s son, the best of men, crossed in his chariot three apartments guarded by warriors with bows in their hands, and other two on foot, and in this way passing by all, and ordering his followers to go back, entered the inner apartment. That son of the king entering into the presence of his father, all were extremely gladdened and were eagerly expecting his return like unto the lord of water expecting the appearance of the moon.


Rāma saw his father, seated on a beautiful sofa with Kaikeyi, looking sorry and poorly and with his countenance dried up. And humbly bowing down at the feet of his father first, he saluted Kaikeyi with due solemnity. Uttering the word “Rāma” only, the poor king with his eyes full of tears could not eye him nor could he speak to him. Seeing this unforeseen and terrible appearance of the king, like unto a serpent trampled under foot, Rāma was exceedingly terrified. He was dejected and pulled down much with sorrow and penitence. He was sighing hot and hard and his heart was greatly pained. His heart was troubled like the wavy ocean agitating though incapable of agitation,and clouded like the Sun possessed by Rāhu, and (that of) an ascetic speaking falsehood. Thinking of this unthought of sorrow of the king he became agitated like unto the ocean during the course of the full-moon. And clever Rāma, intent on bis father’s welfare, thought within himself:—“Why does not the king display joy on my arrival to-day? Angry though, he used to express joy whenever he saw me; then why does his sorrow prevail even seeing me to-day?” Being pressed with sorrow, Rāma of pale countenance, like one miserable, saluting Kaikeyi, spoke unto her the following words. “Is it not that I committed some offence through ignorance that I see my father angry? Do thou propitiate him therefore. Why is his mind so aggrieved who was so kind to me, and why does he look poorly and of pale countenance who used to welcome me always with kind words? Is he subject to any physical or mental disturbance? Oh! Happiness uninterrupted is very dear. Has any evil befallen the good-looking Bharata or high souled Satrughana? Is it not all well with my mothers? Dissatisfying the king, disregarding his words and offending him, I do not want to breathe for a single moment. How can a man disregard him who is god himself seen and felt, and who is looked upon as a cause from whom he has sprung. Oh mother, hast thou spoken any harsh word to my father either through anger or through haughtiness for which his mind is thus pulled down? Oh worshipful one, tell me all this, who am exceedingly anxious to get at the real truth. Why has this unforeseen sorrow overtaken the heart of the lord of men?”

Being thus addressed by the high-souled Rāghava, that exceedingly shameless Kaikeyi spoke unto him the following impudent words, fraught with her self-interest. “Oh Rāma, the monarch is not angry nor has any danger befallen him. He has got something in his mind which he cannot speak out through thy fear. Thou art his most beloved son and word does not proceed from his mouth to speak thee things unpleasant. But it behoveth thee to carry out what the monarch has promised unto me. Formerly regarding me very highly he conferred on me two boons and he now repents for that like a common person. Promising ‘I give thee’ the lord of earth granted me these boons; in vain he wishes to set up a dyke when all the water has passed away. Oh Rāma, it is known to thee that truth is the root of all religion and may he not renounce that for thee, being angry with me. If do thou carry out all that the king will speak to thee, good or evil, then I shall relate unto thee every thing. If what I, with the king’s permission, speak to thee, does not go useless, I shall speak unto the all; thee king will not speak any thing.”

Hearing these words uttered by Kaikeyi, Rāma, pained at heart, spoke unto her in the presence of the king in the following way:—“Oh! Shame to me. May it not please thee, Oh worshipful lady, to speak such words to me. I can at the king’s words jump into the fire. Being ordered by him, who is my father and who is my king especially, I can drink virulent poison and drown into the ocean. Speak thou, Oh worshipful lady, what is the desire of thy king, and know that I shall carry it out—Rāma does not contradict what he has once spoken.” Then that wicked Kaikeyi spoke these highly cruel words unto Rāma, simple and truthful. “Formerly in a great war between the gods and Asuras, thy father, being wounded with shafts was tended by me for which he conferred upon me two boons. Of these two boons I have asked of the king the installation of Bharata, and the departure of Rāghava into the Dandaka forest even this very day. Oh thou, best among men, if do thou wish to keep thy father’s vows as well as thine, hear what I say. Thy father is bound unto me by promise, obeying therefore thy father’s mandate, do thou repair unto the forest for nine years and five. Bharata shall be installed, Oh Rāghava, by all those articles which have been brought by the monarch for thy installation. Forsaking this installation, do thou repair unto Dandaka forest for seven and seven years and wear bark and matted hair. And here in this Koçala let Bharata govern the world, adorned with many pearls and diamonds, with elephants, horses and chariots. The king, filled with pity and having his face marked with the affliction of sorrow, cannot cast a glance upon thee. Oh thou descendant of Raghu, do thou carry out these words of the Lord of men and save him by redeeming these great vows of his.” Hearing these cruel words of her, Rāma was not grieved; but the generous king afflicted with the thought of the approaching separation with his son, was greatly pained.


Hearing these unpleasant words like unto death, Rāma, the destroyer of foes, was not pained, and spoke thus unto Kaikeyi. “Be it what thou sayst; carrying out the promise of the king, I shall repair unto the forest from this place wearing bark and matted hair. Now I want to know only why that lord of the earth, invincible and the conqueror of foes, does not receive me in the same way as he used to do on previous occasions. Be not angry, Oh worshipful one, I speak before thee, be thou propitiated well, and I shall go to the forest wearing bark and matted hair. What is there that I cannot perform, considering it good without suspicion, if I am ordered so by my well-wisher, spiritual leader, father and king, who acknowledges thy service (rendered in time of danger117). But this one sorrow burns my heart, why king did not tell me personally of the installation of Bharata. What of the command of the king, my father, I shall even at thy mandate joyfully make over unto Bharata, my kingdom, Sitā, wealth and even my life, thereby satisfying thee, aad fulfilling my promise. Do thou now console the bashful king; why has he, with his eyes steadily fixed on the ground, been shedding tears slowly? Let messengers, with fast going steeds go to-day at the command of the king to fetch Bharata from his maternal uncle’s house. And I shall, not even judging the propriety of my father’s words, speedily repair unto the forest of Dandaka for fourteen years.” Hearing those words of Rāma, Kaikeyi was pleased, and being certain about his departure, hurried on Rāghava. “Let it be that messengers with fast going steeds shall go to bring Bharata from his maternal uncle’s residence. I do not think it proper for thee, O Rāma, to delay, when thou art so anxious; it behoves thee therefore to depart from this place speedily unto the forest. The king being abashed, does not himself address thee, there is nothing else than this. Do thou, Oh best of men, dispel this wretchedness of his. As long as thou shalt not hurriedly depart froth his presence, Oh Rāma. Thy father shall not bathe, or eat anything.” ‘Oh fie!’ ‘what affliction’ sobbing hard with these words, the monarch, filled with sorrow, swooned away and fell down upon the sofa, embellished with gold. Raising the king up, Rāma, being directed by Kaikeyi, began to hurry on his departure to the forest, like unto a steed struck sharp with a whip. Hearing those cruel and unpleasant words of the wicked Kaikeyi, Rāma, not being distressed, began to address her with the following words. “Oh worshipful one, being addicted to wealth do I not long for living in this world; like unto Rishis, know me, to be well established in pure religion. If I can, even at the sacrifice of my own life, satisfy my worshipful father rest assured it is to be done first in all manner. There is no virtue greater than the serving of the father and carrying out his words. Even though not commanded by him, I shall; for thy words, live in a solitary forest for fourteen years. Oh Kaikeyi, certain it is that thou art not acquainted with my foremost virtues, inasmuch as possessing full authority to rule me, thou hast requested the monarch for this. Excuse me until I ask my mother, and comfort Sitā; even this very day shall I wend my way unto the great forest of Dandaka. It behoves thee to do that by which Bharata may govern the kingdom and tend our father, for this is the virtue eternal.” Hearing these words of Rāma, his father, greatly afflicted and incapable of speaking anything on account of sorrow, began to cry aloud. Worshipping the feet of the king lying insensible, and those of vicious Kaikeyi, that greatly effulgent one went out. And reverentially going round his father and Kaikeyi, and issuing out of the female apartment, Rāma saw his own friends and relatives. Then followed him Lakshmana, the enhancer of Sumitrā’s joy, greatly angry and with his eyes full of tears. Going round with reverence the house of instalation full of necessary articles, not turning away from it his wistful look, Rāma began to proceed slowly. Loss of kingdom could not diminish the great beauty of that beloved of the people on account of its everlasting pleasantness, like unto the wane of the moon. There was manifest in him no change of mind, who was about to fly as an exile to the forest and leave the world, like unto one emancipated while yet living. Leaving aside the excellent umbrella and well adorned chowries, forsaking his relatives, chariot, citizens and other people, calmly bearing the affliction in mind and not manifesting the outward signs of sorrow, Rāma, with a view to communicate this unpleasant news to his mother, entered her abode. All persons, who were present there and who adorned themselves on account of the installation, did not percieve any sign of mental agony on the face of Rāma. Like unto the rays of the fully brilliant autumnal moon, that hero of mighty arms, having control over himself, did not forsake his native cheerfulness. The pious Rāma, having high fame, entered into the presence of his mother, manifesting great regards for the people with sweet speech. Then followed him, the son of Sumitrā, of mighty prowess, of equal accomplishments with his brother, and bearing the mental sorrow. Rāma, entering the abode of his mother, saw it filled with all sorts of amusements; and even though his mind was not agitated with any mental disturbance seeing the impending calamity of loss of wealth, he was anxious lest the lives of his dear relatives might be in danger.


There arose a great uproar of cry in the apartment of the females, when that best of men went out with clasped hands. ‘That Rāma, who used to serve all the females in all matters even without his father’s permission, who was our stay and protector, is going to the forest. Rāghava from his birth pays as much attention to us as to his mother Kauçalyā. He, who being cursed, does not get angry, pacifies the wrathful and studiously avoids words and deeds that excite anger in others, will repair hence this day unto the forest. Senseless is our king, who forsakes Rāghava who is the stay of all people, and thus kills his subjects.” Thus the queens of Daçarātha, like unto the cows that have lost their young ones, began to blame him and cry aloud. Hearing this terrible uproar of cry in the female apartment, that lord of earth, racked with sorrow on account of his son, hid himself in the seat (with head hanging downdards). Rāma too, having control over his own self, experiencing sorrow (for his relatives) and sobbing like an (enchained) elephant, entered into his mother’s apartment together with his brother. He saw a venerable old man, sitting at the gate and many other persons. All those present, seeing Rāma, began to shower benedictions on him, the best of all victorious heroes, saying, “Victory unto thee.” Having passed through the first apartment he saw in the second, many old Brahmins, versed in the Vedas and honored by the king. Having bowed down unto them, Rāma saw in the third apartment, women, boys, and old men, all engaged in watching the gate. The female warders honored Rāma rejoicing, and entering his mother’s apartment, communicated unto her speedily this pleasant news. Worshipful Kauçalyā, seeking her son’s welfare, kept up the whole night being absorbed in meditation, and was, in the morning, worshipping the God Vishnu. Wearing silk-cloth, pleased, and accustomed to the performance of religious rites every day, she, performing benedictory ceremonies, was offering oblation unto the fire. Rāma entering the auspicious abode of his mother beheld her thus engaged in the sacrifice to the fire. The descendant of Raghu saw there, brought for the service of the celestials, curd, grains, clarified butter, sweetmeats, things fit for oblations unto the fire, fried paddy, white garlands, rice boiled in milk and sugar, rice sesamum and pea mixtures, sacrficial fuels and jars full of water. He saw his virtuous mother wearing white silk, pulled down by the austere performance of religious rites, and engaged in propitiating the deities with the offering of water. She seeing her son, ever advancing the joy of his mother, approach, became pleased, and stepped forward like unto a mare beholding her young one. Seeing his mother approach, Rāghava bowed low, and (Kauçalyā) embracing him in her arms smelt his head. Kauçalyā, out of motherly affection, spoke these sweet and beneficient words unto her own invincible son, Rāghava. “Mayst thou obtain the life and fame of the pious, old Rajarshis, and the virtue worthy of thy family. See, Oh Rāghava, how truthful is your father the king! That virtuous- souled one shall install thee this day as the heir-apparent of the throne.” Rāghava, humble by nature, who was offered by his mother a seat and asked by her to eat something, streching forth a little his clasped hands, and with his head downwards with a view to show respects towards his mother, touched the seat, and began to relate unto her the object of his repairing unto the Dandaka forest. “O worshipful one, certain it is that thou knowest not the great impending calamity. It is for the distress of thine, Lakshmana and Vaidehi, that shall I wend my way unto the Dandaka forest. What is the use of a seat to me then? Now is the time come when I deserve a seat made of Kusa grass. I shall live in the forest for fourteen years abstaining from animal food and living on tuberous roots and fruits like unto the ascetics. The king shall confer upon Bharata the heir-apparentship and shall banish me as an ascetic into the forest. And I shall live in that solitary forest for eight and six years, feasting on roots, and fruits and performing the duties of a hermit.” Like unto the stem of a sala tree cut asunder by an axe in a wood, like unto a female celestial fallen down from the abode of the gods, she fell down suddenly (hearing these heart-rending words.) Rāma seeing his mother, who deserved no distress, fall down like a plantain tree and insensible, raised her up, and finding her covered with dust all over her body like unto a mare risen up after rolling on the ground on account of toil of bearing heavy burden wiped oflf (her body) gently with his hand. She, deserving happiness, being racked with the destruction of her delight spoke thus unto Rāghava, that best of men, in the presence of Lakshmana. “Oh! My son, Oh! Rāghava, hadst thou not been born for my grief I would have been sonless only, but would not have been subject to this greater grief. A sonless woman has only one cause of mental affliction. Her only sorrow is “I have no child” and nothing else my son. I have not experienced in my life that blessing and pleasure which women generally feel when their husbands are devoted to them. I have sustained my life so long, O Rāma, only with the hope that I shall witness this and other happiness when I shall have a son. Myself, being the eldest of all the queens, shall have to hear unpleasant and heart-rending words from the co-wives who are all younger than I. There can be no greater misery for women than this my boundless grief and lamentations. Thou being present, they have reduced me to this miserable plight, I do not know what else they will do, thou being away; there is death certain for me, Oh my darling! Being disregarded by my husband I have been greatly insulted—I am equal to the maid-servants of Kaikeyi or even inferior to them. Those who serve me or are obedient unto me, shall not even speak with me when they will see the son of Kaikeyi (installed). She is always of fretful temper, how shall I, reduced to misery (on account of thy exile), eye the face of Kaikeyi, uttering harsh words. I have spent, Oh Rāghava, ten years and seven from thy (second) birth118 expecting a termination of my sorrow. Even though worn out, Oh Rāghava, I shall not be able to suffer this great misery cosequent upon thy unending exile and the contempt of the co-wives. How shall I, of miserable life pass my days in grief not seeing thy face, effulgent like unto the full-moon. Wretched as I am, in vain have I brought thee up with fasts, contemplations and many other toilsome austerities. Surely, I consider my heart is very hard, as it does not rend like unto the bank of a great river in contact with new water in the rainy season. There is no death for me— no vacant place in the abode of Yama; otherwise why does not Death take me away like unto a lion snatching away a weeping hind; certain it is that my heart is made of iron, as it does not rend nor does my body being pressed down with this sorrow and falling) down on earth, break into pieces; verily have I no death before time. This distresses me that all my religious vows, alms givings, self-restraint and austerity, performed with a view of obtaining a son, have been fruitless, like unto the seeds thrown on a barren soil. If any body in this life, being pressed down with some great calamity, could meet with death of his own accord, I would have instantly gone to the abode of dealh, being cut off from thee like unto a cow from her young one. Oh, thou, having a countenance of moon-like splendour, wretched indeed is my life without thee—I shall follow thee to the forest out of great affection, like unto an enfeebled cow following her young one. Kauçalyā like a Kinnari unable to bear this great calamity, anticipating some great misfortune and seeing Rāma bound (with a great vow), began to lament in various ways.


At this time Lakshmana, sorely distressed, addressed the weeping Kauçalyā, the mother of Rāma with the following words suitable to that occasion. “I like it not, Oh worshipful one, that Rāghava, should repair unto the forest, renouncing this grandeur of sovereignty. The king is uxorious, old and therefore of perverted judgment and is addicted to worldly affairs; being under the influence of his wife and passion what could he not speak? I do not see any such fault or sin in Rāma that he should be banished from the kingdom to range in the wood. I do not find any such man in this world, even amongst great enemies, who, forsaken for heinous sins, can cite, even in his absence, any fault of him. Observing what law of righteousness does the monarch, without any cause, renounce such a son who is like unto celestials, simple, well disciplined and beloved even of the enemies? What son, remembering his father’s conduct, shall carry in his heart these words of the king, who has again gone back to childhood? Ere people come to know this proposal of exile, do thou secure the government of the kingdom unto thyself with me. Who can disturb the installation, Oh Rāghava, myself protecting thee by thy side with my bows, like unto Death himself. If any body stands here as an enemy, surely shall I, Oh best of men, depopulate the whole city of Ayodhyā with sharp arrows. I shall immolate all who shall stand by Bharata or wish him well—certainly mildness brings about discomfiture. If father being propitiated and excited by Kaikeyi, turns out to be our enemy, he shall be slain, without any hesitation. Even a spiritual leader deserves chastisement if he is puffed up with pride, and is devoid of the power of judging good actions and bad, and when he is gone astray. Tell me, Oh best of men, by what law of virtue and what reason does he purpose to confer this kingdom upon Kaikeyi, which has devolved upon thee (by the law of inheritance). Who dares conferring on Bharata the kingdom, carrying hostility with me and thee? Oh worshipful one, verily am I attached at heart to my brother. By truth, bow, gifts and things dear unto me, do I swear unto thee; if Rāma shall enter into the wood, know me, Oh worshipful one, to have entered into the fire before that Like unto the sun dispelling darkness, shall I remove thy sorrow by dint of my power; may your worshipful self and Rāghava witness it. Readily shall I despatch my father, whose heart is unduly attached unto Kaikeyi and who is therefore vile and being old contemptibly playing the child.” Hearing these words of the high-souled Lakshmana, Kauçalyā weeping and being pressed with sorrow spoke these words unto Rāma. “You have heard, Oh my son, what your brother Lakshmana said; and if you like, do what seems reasonable unto thee. It does not behove thee, hearing the sinful words given vent to by the co-wife, to repair hence, leaving me who is sore distressed with sorrow. Oh thou pious one, having knowledge of religion, if do thou wish to acquire righteousness, serve me here and continue practising the best of all virtues. Hear, Oh my son, the great ascetic Kasyapa, lived in his house, serving his mother continually and being crowned with best moral merit reached heaven. As the monarch is worshipful unto thee in veneration so am I. I do not permit thee, to repair hence unto the forest. Separated from thee I do not need life or happiness; with thee I would prefer faring on grass. If do thou depart unto the forest leaving me troubled with sorrow, I shall resort to the vow of fasting and shall not be able to sustain my life. And then thou shalt receive the penalty of hell, well known to the people, as did the ocean, the lord of rivers, for like, unrighteousness, suffer the agony of Brahminicide.”119 Whereupon unto his mother Kauçalyā, sorrowful and weeping, spoke Rāma, virtuous-souled, these words of righteousness. “There is no power in me to transgress my father’s behests; bend low I my head unto thee—I want to proceed to the forest. The learned Rishi Kandu, who lived in the forest keeping the word of his father, killed a cow, knowing it to be unrighteousness. In our line the descendants of Sāgara, at the command of their father, met with signal destruction, while digging the earth. Rāma the son of Jāmadagni, at his father’s words, decapitated his mother in the forest. These and other god-like personages, Oh worshipful one, obeyed heroically the orders of their father; and I shall do my father’s welfare therefore. It is not I alone who am carrying out my father’s commands; those whom I have mentioned now, O worshipful one, have done so. I am not introducing some such righteousness, unfavourable unto thee, that has been never practised before. I am simply treading the path, that has been upheld and followed by worthies gone before. Surely shall I accomplish that which is worthy of being performed in this world and nothing else—one going by his father’s behests is not certainly degraded.”

Saying these words unto his mother, that best of men versed in speech and best of archers, again spoke unto Lakshmana all these words. “I know full well, Oh Lakshmana, thy affection towards me and thy power, strength and unconquerable force. Not knowing my settted conviction in regard to truth and peace, my mother, Oh beautiful Lakshmana, is so disturbed with incomparable sorrow. Righteousness is the prime object in this world and in righteousness is established truth, and this excellent utterance of my father is in keeping with righteousness. It does not become them, O hero, who abide in righteousness to fail to carry out the commands of father, mother or a Brahmin. While I have been, Oh warrior, ordered by Kaikeyi at my father’s words, I shall not be able to transgress those behests again. Do thou relinquish therefore this unrighteous purpose of thine consequent to the virtues of the Kshatriyas; do thou abide by righteousness but not cruelty, and follow my decision.” Saying these words unto Lakshmana out of fraternal affection, spoke again Rāma to Kauçalyā with clasped hands and with his head bending low. “I do bind thee with an oath of my life, Oh venerable one, to allow me to wander away hence into the wood. Do thou perform benedictory ceremonies for my welfare. Like unto the royal saint Yayati in the days of yore once falling on earth going again to the abode of celestials, I shall, fulfilling my vows, again return home from the forest. Do thou, Oh mother, assuage thy grief within thy heart; lament not thou, I shall return home again from the wood after making good my father’s words. Myself, Lakshmana, Vaidehi, Sumitrā and thyself shall abide by father’s words, and this is the virtue eternal. Desisting from the ceremonies of installation and allaying thy sorrow in thy heart do thou, Oh my mother, follow my pious decision about retiring to the forest”. Hearing those pious, sober and reasonable words of Rāma, the venerable mother, regaining her sense like unto the dead, and casting her look upon him, spoke to him again the following words. “I am equally worshipful unto thee, Oh my son, with your father, for like him have I brought thee up with pains and like him do I love thee. I shall not allow thee to repair unto the forest and it does not behove thee to go leaving me behind sore distresssd with grief. Without thee, of what avail to me is my life, my relatives, the worship of the manes and the deities and the knowledge of divine truth on this earth? Prefer do I thy company even for a moment to the presence of all creation.” Hearing these sorrowful words of his mother, Rāma was again inflamed with ire, like unto an elephant goaded with a fire-brand, when entering into darkness. He, abiding in righteousness spoke such pious words unto his mother, almost insensible, and unto the son of Sumitrā, bewailing and racked with sorrow, as he was justified to utter on that occasion. “I know, Oh Lakshmana, thy deep respects unto me and thy power. It is not proper for thee to pain me along with my mother, not being cognizant of my intention. Righteousness, wealth, and the objects of desire are looked upon with great esteem in this world of the created but when the occasion for obtaining the result consequent upon the virtuous deeds of a prior life appears, all these three, I have no doubt, are fulfilled in righteousness, as the wife alone, obedient, charming and having a son (fulfils them all). It is not becoming for us to perform all those things where these three do not combine—whence results righteousness that we should resort to. A man seeking wealth becomes despicable, and one subject to desires is not admired by any (when bereft of righteousness). Who of us, having no tendency to wickedness, shall not obey the command of our father knowing it to be righteousness, who is old, our monarch and preceptor in military training, be it an outcome of his desires, anger or joy. For this it is that I am unable to act against my father’s vow—he is our father and therefore can command us both like a master; and he is the husband of this venerable one, therefore her stay and righteousness itself. The righteous monarch is still living and continues in his own path when ready to redeem his vow even by renouncing me—how can this worshipful one accompany me like other insignificant widows? Do thou permit me therefore, to repair unto the forest and perform benedictory ceremonies for me so that I may again return home like unto Yajati regaining heaven by truth. I cannot neglect eminent fame being impelled by avarice for kingdom alone. Life is but of short duration, Oh worshipful one, and as such I do not long for acquiring this nether earth by means unrighteous.” Rāma, that foremost of men, with a view to range into the forest Dandaka after patiently propitiating his mother and instructing fully his younger brother the mysteries of righteousness, went round his mother with reverence and made up his mind to repair unto the forest.


Hereafter holding the equanimity of mind with patience self-possessed Rāma spoke thus unto the son of Sumitrā, his dear brother, and friend, who was greatly sorry, had lost his patience and was pressed down with this misfortune of Rāma, and had his eyes inflated with anger like unto an infuriated elephant;—“Subduing this anger and sorrow, taking recourse to patience only, brooking the insult and resorting to joy, do thou set aside all those things that have been collected here for my installation and make preparations speedily for my repairing to the forest. Oh son of Sumitrā, do thou take that amount of trouble for preventing now the collection of materials for installation, as didst thou take beforehand for collecting them. Do thou act therefore in such a way as will remove the apprehension from the mind of our mother (Kaikeyi), who is troubled at heart so greatly on hearing of my installation. O son of Sumitrā, I cannot neglect for a moment the trouble which hass arisen in her mind on account of this fear. I do not remember to have done on any occasion wilfully or unwilfully any thing that is displeasing onto my father or mothers. My father is of truthful words and vows and he has been greatly terrified by the fear of the next world; may his fear disappear now. If this work of installation be not stopped, my father shall be greatly pained at heart thinking that his vows shall not be fulfilled and his sorrow will also ache me. And it is for this reason, Oh Lakshmana, that I purpose speedily to retire from this city to the forest, renouncing the preparations for my installation. On my wandering away unto the forest to-day, the daughter of Kekaya shall have her ends attained and shall install Bharata on the throne without any disturbance whatsoever. Myself going to the forest, wearing bark, tiger-skin and matted hair, Kaikeyi shall attain the happiness of her mind. That great One, who has inspired Kaikeyi with this mode of mind and has kept it firm, I cannot offend. I shall repair hence without any delay. Do thou regard, Oh Lakshmana, Destiny as the only cause of this transfer of the kingdom, although attained, and of my banishment. Had not Destiny been instrumental in bringing about this determination in Kaikeyi, she would not have been so much persevering in the infliction of misery upon me. Knowest thou, Oh gentle Lakshmana, that I have never made any distinction in my mind between my mothers, nor did Kaikeyi make any such thing before between me and her son; consequently it is Destiny only that has made her press for the prevention of my installation and for my exile with harsh and cruel words, or else why should she, a daughter of a king and possessed of an excellent temper and high accomplishments, speak painful words unto me in the presence of her husband like unto an ordinary woman. That which is above comprehension is Destiny and it is beyond the power of creatures to avert its consequences; and evidently it is through this Destiny that have sprung up this distemper of Kaikeyi and my loss of kingdom. What man dares withstand Oh son of Sumitrā, this (terrible) Destiny hidden from our view until known by the consequences of action. Destiny is the prime source of those inconceivable causes which occur with reference to happiness misery, fear, and anger, profit and loss, birth and deliverance. Seers of great austerity being influenced by this Destiny, succumb to the attack of anger and desire, renouncing all their hard disciplines. The hinderance in this world to the completion of works taken in hand, and the origination of an unthought of event in its stead, is nothing but the action of this Destiny. The mind brought under discipline by this true rationale, there remains no cause of sorrow regarding my installation being put a stop to. Do thou therefore assuage thy grief and follow me and intercept speedily the collection of materials for my installation. The bathing ceremony, necessary before taking the vows of asceticism, shall be performed, O Lakshmana, with all these jars full of water brought for my installation. Or what necessity have I with all these articles of installation; water drawn from the well by myself shall do for entering into the vow of exile. Do not grieve, Oh Lakshmana, for the loss of this kingdom. Of kingdom and exile into the forest, exile is fraught with glorious results. Knowest thou now the mighty power of Destiny and do not blame therefore my younger mother and my father laboring under the influence of Destiny.


Being addressed by Rāma thus, Lakshmana, the mighty hero, hanging down his head with half reluctance, pondered for sometime, and, placed midway between joy and grief, with frown drawn in between his brows, began to sob hot and hard, like unto an angry serpent in a cave belonging to another. No body could eye his face, having terrible frowns, which looked like that of an angry lion. Moving the extremities of his hands like unto the trunk of an elephant, variously altering the altitude of the neck above his frame, glancing a look awry, thus spoke he unto his brother. “To avoid the transgression of righteousness, and the degradation of the people (consequent upon a bad example), thou art eager to repair unto the forest. This thy eagerness is certainly misplaced. Wast not thou under error, how could one like thyself, being heroic among the Kshatriyas, and capable of overcoming Destiny, speak in such a strain as behoves one that is impotent. Why dost thou extol Destiny which is powerless and weak. For what reason dost thou not apprehend (unrighteousness) in those two (Daçarātha and Kaikeyi), addicted to vice. Dost thou not understand that there are many people who feign piety outwardly (to deceive the simple). With a desire to renounce thee by fraud,they simulate piety which is but selfishness. Had they not purposed thus, Oh, Rāghava, things would not have taken such a turn. If this story of the vows be true, then why had it not been declared before. Surely has the monarch engaged in an action hateful to the people, namely the installation of a younger brother neglecting thee (the eldest one). Pray, pardon me, Oh great hero, I cannot brook all this. Even that so called virtue do I loathe, which has, O high-souled one, fascinated thee, and made thy mind run from one extreme to another.120 Why shalt thou, being capable of work, conform these impious and cursed words of thy father, who is sadly under the influence of Kaikeyi. Here lies my sorrow that thou dost not admit that this disturbance of the installation has arisen out of the pretext of boon giving; thy idea of virtue is indeed an object of censure. People will mark this thy forsaking of the kingdom for redeeming the vows of thy father, with opprobrium. Who else, save thee, even thinks of compassing the desires of the monarch and the queen Kaikeyi, who are of unrestrained habits, ever intent on our mischief and are our enemies known by the name of parents. Even if their throwing obstacles in the way of thy installation thou considerest, as the inevitable action of Destiny—pray disregard it, that does not please me. He, who is tremulous, weak and powerless, follows the track of Destiny; they pay no regard to it who are mighty heroes and whose prowess is held in esteem by the people. He, who can avert the consequences of Destiny by dint of his manliness, does not lose heart even in the face of his interest being endangered by it. People shall witness to-day the power of Destiny and manliness; this day shall appear which of them is more powerful. Those who have witnessed before the prevention of thy installation by the evil agency of Destiny, shall see it defeated, even this very day, by my manliness. Thwart shall I that assailing Destiny by my prowess like unto a terrible elephant, freed of its shackles past the restraining power of a goading hook and inflamed with the juice issuing out of its temples. What of the father, not even all the protectors of the regions nor the entire population of the three worlds shall be able to present any obstacle in the way of Rāma’s installation. Those who have, with one voice, Oh king, settled about thy exile unto the forest, shall be banished to day for fourteen years. Burn shall I down that hope of my father and Kaikeyi that they want to place Bharata on the throne by hindering thy installation. Influence of destiny shall not bring my opponents that amount of happiness, as the misery inflicted on them by my terrible prowess. Thyself retiring unto the forest after governing the people for a thousand years, thy sons shall resume the administration. Dwelling into the forest is permitted after making over (the charge of the subjects unto (the hands of the) sons, as did the Rajarshis of old. The monarch changing his mind, the kingdom shall be transferred into another’s hands—dost thou, being afraid of this, want to fly as an exile unto the forest? And is it for this, that thou Oh virtuous souled Rāma, dost not wish to have kingdom for thee? I do promise unto thee, Oh great hero, that I shall protect thy kingdom like unto shore protecting the sea, or else I shall not attain to the region of heroes. Do thou perform the rites of installation with things necessary for benediction—do thou engage in these affairs—myself alone shall be able by force to thwart the opposition of the kings. These hands of mine are not intended for enhancing the beauty of my body—this bow is not meant for an ornament only, this sword is not for binding woods together with, and these arrows are not for carrying the weight of woods—these four belonging to me are for the use of killing the enemies. Never do I desire that I shall not cut them into pieces with sharp edged swords, brilliant as the lightning, whom I do consider as my enemies, though they be redoutable as Indra, the wielder of thunderbolt. Cover thick shall I the field of battle and make it impassable by cutting assunder the trunks of the elephants, thighs of the horses and heads of the infantry. Being beheaded by my swords like unto the flaming fire and besmeared with blood resembling the clouds with lightning, my enemies shall fall down to the ground. Who is there, proud of his own prowess, that shall be able to withstand me when I shall appear at the battle field with bows and leathern fences of fingers. Killing one with a number of arrows, and sometimes many with a single one, I shall drive shafts into the vital organs of men, horses and elephants. To-day shall I display my skill in arms in destroying the supremacy of the monarch and establishing thine. That hand, which is fit for the smearing of the Sandal, for wearing armlets, distributing wealth and maintaining relations, shall be engaged to-day, Oh Rāma, in performing its worthy action—the discomfiture of them who want to throw obstacles in the way of thy installation. Pray tell me now, which of your enemies shall be cut off by me from wealth, life and relatives? I am thy servant: do thou give me instruction that the whole earth may be brought under thy subjection”. That descendant of Raghu, wiping tears off the eyes of Lakshmana and consoling him repeatedly, spoke unto him saying “Oh gentle one, I have thought it to be the best way by all means that I shall abide by my father’s orders.”


Seeing Rāma determined upon carrying out his father’s behests, Kauçalyā with her voice choked with vapour begot of tears, spoke unto him the following pious words. “How shall this virtuous-souled one, beloved of people and who has never experienced misfortune before, live on grains gleaned, being born of me to Daçarātha? How shall that Rāma live upon fruits and roots, whose servants and attendants fare on well cooked rice? Who shall believe, or believing who shall not be afraid, that this highly accomplished descendant of Kākuthstha, favourite of the king, is going to be exiled? Certainly Destiny, who crowns or afflicts people with happiness or misery, is the most powerful agency in the world, or why shalt thou, Oh pleasing Rāma, fly as an exile unto the forest? This great and incomparable fire of sorrow issuing from my mind, inflamed by the wind of thy absence, increased by the fuels of lamentation and pain, kindled by hard sobs, obtaining the oblations of tears, vomiting the smoke of vapour begotten of anxious thoughts—the result of counting upon the days of thy return, shall consume me, making greatly lean, when deprived of thy presence, as does the fire burn the dry grass in summer. Like unto a cow following its young one shall I follow thee, Oh my darling, wherever shalt thou go.” Hearing those words of his mother, Rāma that best of men, spoke the following words unto her, who was greatly troubled with sorrow. “The monarch has been duped by Kaikeyi; myself resorting to the forest, surely shall he resign his life, if cast off again by thee. There is nothing more cruel for women than the forsaking of their husbands; it does not behove thee therefore, to think even of this opprobrious action. Do thou serve this descendant of Kākuthstha, my father, and the lord of the earth as long as he lives—know thou this to be the eternal virtue.”

Thus addressed by Rāma, Kauçalya of auspicious looks, being gratified greatly; spoke unto him, the remover of her sorrows. “Truly it is.” Rāma, the foremost amongst religious men, being spoken thus, said to his mother, who was greatly disturbed with sorrow, again in the following strain. “Proper it is both for thee and me to carry out father’s words: he is thy husband, and my best preceptor and the lord and master of all people. With great pleasure shall I abide in thy words after passing these nine and five years in the great forest.” Thus addressed, Kauçalya, bearing great affection for her son, sorely pained and having her eyes full of tears, spoke unto her beloved son the following words. “Oh Rāma, I shall not be able to live amongst these co-wives, if art thou resolved to go to the forest for the discharge of thy father’s behest; do thou take me with thee, Oh Kākuthstha, like unto a wild hind. Rāma, supressing his feeling, spoke unto his mother who was lamenting, thus, saying:—“Husband is the deity and master of the wife as long as she lives; so the monarch being the lord can deal with thee and me in any way he likes. That highly intelligent lord of men living, we should not consider ourselves as without a master. Bharata is also pious and beloved of all people in speech—he, intent on the performance of religious services, shall attend upon thee always. Do thou now take care that on my retiring the monarch does not wear away by the pangs of my separation, that this terrible sorrow may not kill him. Do thou look after the welfare of the old king always. The woman, who serves not her husband being engaged in excellent religious rites and fasts, shall fare wretchedly in the life to come; and a woman gets at the excellent abode of the celestials by serving her husband. Even those who do not worship and bow unto the celestial’s should serve their husbands alone being intent upon their welfare Such is the virtue that should be always pursued by women according to the Vedas and Smritis. Do thou beguile thy time, Oh worshipful one, expecting my return, by worshipping the celestials with flowers and oblations unto the fire and serving well the Brahmins. Engaged in discipline and fasting and devoted to the services of thy husband thou shalt attain thy best desire, on my return, if this foremost of pious men lives then. Being thus accosted by Rāma, Kauçalyā being distressed with the thought of separation from her son spoke unto him with tears in her eyes the following words “Oh my darling! It is beyond my power to dissuade thee from thy firm resolution for going to the forest; it is impossible to avoid this hour of separation. Go thou my son, with an earnest heart; may thou fare well; my anxiety shall be removed on thy return. Attain shall I then great happiness, when thou, Oh great one, shalt return after satisfying your vows and making thyself freed of debts unto thy father. Incomprehensible is the action of Destiny in this world, Oh my son, as it drives thee away unto the forest, Oh Rāghava, neglecting my request. Do thou now repair, Oh mighty hero, and come back in peace, and console me with soul-soothing, tender words. Oh my darling, shall that day ever come, when I shall see thee return from the forest, wearing bark and matted hair.” With great earnestness, the worshipful one began to eye Rāma, determined to go as an exile unto the forest and spoke unto him auspicious words and became desirous of performing benedictory ceremonies.


Kauçalyā subduing her sorrow,and touching holy water, began to perform auspicious ceremonies for Rāma, and spoke unto him saying “Do thou, Oh best amongst the descendants of Raghu, repair now, as I cannot dissuade thee, but do thou return speedily and, follow the footsteps of great ones. Let that virtue, Oh best of Rāghavas, protect thee, which thou hast followed with gladness and self-discipline. Let the deities, whom you worship every day in the temple, together with the Maharshis protect thee in the forest. Let those weapons conferred upon thee by the great Visvāmitra protect thee always, gifted with good qualities. Do thou of mighty hands live forever, being protected by the truth and merit of thy continual services to thy father and mothers. May the holy fuel, sacrificial grass, sanctified altars and court-yards, the sacred ground of medicant Brahmins, mountains, trees great and small, lakes, birds, serpents and lions protect thee. Oh best of men, may Sidhya,121 Bishvadeva,122 Maruta,123 the great ascetics, the sustainer, and the preserver of the creation Pusa,124 Bhaga,125 Aryamā,126 the Lokapālas,127 headed by Indra and others, the six seasons, the months, day, night, moments Srutis,128 Smritis,129 and virtue protect thee, Oh my son, on all sides. May the great deity Skanda, Soma, Vrihaspati, Saptarshi, Narad, Moon and other ascetics protect thee. May the encircled regions with their lords, being pleased with my eulogy, protect thee, Oh my son, always in the forest. When shalt thou repair unto the wood, may the mountains, oceans, Varuna, the heaven, sky, earth, air, things movable and immovable, planets and stars with their presiding deities, day, night, and evening protect thee. May the six seasons, months, years and all the divisions of time confer upon the pleasure always, when thou of great intelligence shalt wander away into the forest in the attire of an ascetic. May the deities and demons ever minister unto thy happiness and may not fear proceed unto thee, Oh my son, from the terrible Rāksashas and Pisāchas intent on committing cruel deeds, and other animals living on flesh. May the apes, scorpions, wild gnats, reptiles and insects make thee no harm; may not the elephants, tigers, terrible looking bears, hogs, buffalos and other horned animals hurt thee. Being worshipped by me from here may the ferocious cannibal races of all kind bring thee no injury. May thy course be crowned with auspiciousness and thy powers with success. Do thou, Oh my son, repair unto the forest, being profusely provided with fruits, roots and other things. May all the creatures of the sky, all those who breathe on this Earth, and all those deities who are hostile unto thee, contribute to thy welfare. May Sukra Soma, Sun, the lord of wealth and Death, protect thee, Oh Rāma, resorting to the forest of Dandaka. May fire, air, smoke and the mantras uttered by the Rishis protect thee, Oh descendant of Raghu, at the time of thy bathing. May the lord of creation, Rishis and all the remaining deities defend thee when dwelling in the forest.

That best of women Kauçalyā, of great renown and having expansive eyes, after propitiating the celestials with garlands, fragrant odours and praises, began to offer oblations unto the fire by the help of eminent Brahmins for the welfare of Rāma, collecting clarified butter, white garlands, religious fig trees and white mustard seeds for this purpose. The spiritual preceptor, after offering oblations unto the fire with due rites for his peace and health, presenting what was then left as offerings unto the lords of the four cardinal points and others,130 and giving the Brahmins a dish of curd, ghee and honey, made them utter benedictory prayers for Rāma who was going unto the forest. Then that renowned mother of Rāma, after conferring upon the Brahmins dakhshinās in accordance with their desires, accosted Rāghava with the following words. “May that blessing crown thee, which was attained by the thousand eyed Indra, honored of all the deities on the occasion of killing the mighty Asura Vetra. May that blessing attend thee, which was invoked in olden times by Vinatā, for that king of birds Garuda, praying for nectar. Do thou attain that blessedness, to which Aditi prayed, on behalf of the weilder of thunder-bolt intent on the discomfiture of the giants at the time of ransacking the ocean for nectar. May that prosperity wait upon thee, Oh Rāma, which crowned the mighty Vishnu, while perambulating with his three steps the heaven earth and the regions as a dwarf. May the Rishis, the great oceans, islands the three worlds, Vedas, the regions, lend their might in the advancement of thy welfare.” Saying this Kauçalyā, the foremost of all women, having expansive eyes, placed the grains on Rāma’s head; sprinkled his body with fragrant substances, and tied to his hands, as amulet, twigs of such auspicious plants as visalyakarani, with due mental repetition of mantras. That excellent one of high renown embracing Rāma and smelling his head, with her voice choked, as if all pleased, though placed under the influence of dire distress in reality, uttered mantras and spoke unto him thus. “Oh my son, Oh Rāma, have thy desires attained—and do thou go, wherever thou likest. I shall see thee, Oh my darling, with great delight, when shalt thou, returning Ayodhyā in excellent health and having all thy ends satisfied, resume the administration of thy kingdom. Myself having sorrows removed and having my face glowing with joy, shall see thee coming from the forest like unto the rising of the full moon. Continually shall I eye thy good self, Oh my son sitting on an auspicious seat, and returning from the forest after making good thy father’s behests. May thou returning from the forest and being dressed with royal robes and ornaments, satisfy the desires of my daughter-in-law. Worshipped have I deities headed by Sivā and others, the great ascetics, the genii and the snakes; may they all and the four cardinal points, Oh Rāghava, contribute to thy welfare, who, art going unto the forest for a long time.” Kauçalyā, having her eyes full of tears, and performing the benedictory ceremonies with due rites, went round Rāghava with solemnity, and seeing him again and again sighed hot and hard. Being gone round by his mother thus, Rāghava, of great fame, and resplendent with the splendour of beauty, proceeded towards the abode of Sitā, after bowing down unto the feet of his mother repeatedly.


Rāma, intent on repairing unto the forest, and treading in pious tracks, after duly saluting Kauçalyā and beautifying the royal road, crowded with people, captivated their hearts by means of his high accomplishments. Vaidehi, ever engaged in ascetic rites, did not hear of all these affairs; there was in her heart only the thought of Rāma’s installation. That daughter of the king, after offering her service unto the deities according to the proper royal rites, was eagerly awaiting the approach of Rāma with a grateful and pleased heart. Entered Rāma this beautiful abode, excellently furnished and filled with people highly delighted, having his head hanging down a little with shame. Sitā, seeing her husband, racked with sorrow and troubled in mind with anxiety, rose up trembling from her seat. Seeing her, that virtuous soulcd Rāghava, could not bear his internal sorrow, which manifested itself by external signs. Finding him with face pale and perspiring, and incapable of containing grief within, Sitā sore distressed with sorrow addressed him, saying, “Oh my lord, why do I perceive such a change in thee? Today the constellation Pushyā is in conjunction with the moon, —and planet Vrihaspati is presiding over this conjunction, this day has been declared as the most auspicious one by the learned Brāhmins, then why do thou cherish such a sorrow in thy mind? Why has not thy charming face been placed under the shade of an umbrella, having hundred ribs and white as a watery foam? Why do not the servants fan thee, having eyes like lotus’ petals, with chowries white as the moon or a goose? I do not see thee, Oh best of men, eulogised with auspicious songs by the panegyrists, encomiasts and family bards. Why do not the Brāhmins, versed in the Vedas, observing the formal rites, sprinkle on thy head honey and curd, after washing it duly? Why are not thy subjects, citizens, urbans, and leading members of society dressed and adorned, willing to follow thee? Why does not that excellent sport-chariot go before thee, having four fast going steeds, adorned with golden ornaments tied unto it? Why does not that excellent elephant precede thee, Oh great hero, which is gifted with auspicious marks and resembles a mass of dark clouds and a mighty hill? Why do not the servants run before thee, Oh mighty hero, with a pretty looking royal seat embroidered with gold? Why do I perceive thy face so pale as never seen before, and why therein is no mark of gladness, when every thing for thy installation has been made ready?” Wereupon spoke unto that weeping Sitā, the descendant of Raghu thus:—“Oh Sitā, Oh thou born of a great family, versed in the knowledge of religion and intent on the performance of religious rites, my father has banished me unto the forest! Do thou hear, Oh daughter of Janaka, how has this calamity befallen me. In the days of yore was granted unto my mother, Kaikeyi two boons by my father, king Daçarātha of truthful vows. When every thing was made ready by my father for my installation, Kaikeyi reminded him of his promise and gained over him for his righteousness. I shall live in the forest of Dandaka for fourteen years and Bharata shall be installed by my father as the heir apparent of the throne. And myself bound to fly as an exile unto the wood, come here to see thee; do thou not praise me ever before Bharata. Those who are crowned with prosperity cannot bear another’s praise; it therefore behoves thee not to extol my virtues in the presence of Bharata. Thou shouldst not extol me even in the company of thy friends; thou shalt be then able to live with Bharata as one favourable to his party. The monarch has granted him this lasting heir apparentship; it is therefore proper for thee, Oh Sitā, to please him specially for he is the king now. To day shall I repair unto the forest for redeeming my father’s vows; do thou, Oh high-minded one, live here in undisturbed mind. Do thou, Oh sinless and auspicious one, live here engaged in religious rites and fasts, when I shall wend my way unto the forest inhabited by the great ascetics. Rising from the bed early in the morning, adore the deities every day, and then bow down unto the feet of my father Daçarātha, the lord of men. My mother Kauçalyā is old and much pressed down with sorrow; do thou show proper respects unto her, considering it to be a pious deed. Thou shouldst then bow down unto my other mothers who all minister unto me, with equal love and affection. Shouldst thou specially regard Bharata and Satrugna like unto thy sons or brothers, who are dearer unto me than my life itself. Thou shouldst not do, Oh Vaidehi, any such thing as might be unpleasant unto Bharata, for he is the king of the land as well as of the family.

The monarchs are always propitiated by being served with assiduity and good temper; they are offended when any thing contrary to it happens. They renonnce even their own son, born of their loins, when they find him bringing about their mischief, and admit into their favour persons devoted to their welfare bearing no relationship whatever. It therefore behoves thee, Oh auspicious one, to live here, abiding by Bharata’s commands and being engaged in religious rites and truthful vows. I am going unto the forest, Oh my darling, and thou shalt live here. Oh excellent lady, abide by my word as didst thou never formerly falsify it.


Being addressed thus, Vaidehi, beloved and sweet speeched, spoke unto her husband the following words, offended as it were on account of her great affection. “Is it that thou speakest me thus, thinking me, no doubt, mean minded? I can not but laugh at thy words, Oh best of men; what thou hast said is not becoming of a mighty prince versed in military arts and is really very opprobrious and infamous. What more, it is not proper even to hear them. Oh dear husband, father, mother, son, brother, daugther-in-law, all of them abide by the consequences of their own actions, it is the wife alone, Oh best of men, that shares the fate of her husband; it therefore that ever along with thee I have been ordered to live in the forest. Neither father, mother, son, friends, nor her ownself is the stay of a woman in this or in after life, it is the husband alone that is her only support. If dost thou repair to-day unto the forest impregnable, I shall go before thee, Oh Rāghava, treading upon the thorns and prickly grass. Confident do thou take me with thee, Oh great hero, renouncing jealousy and indignation, like unto water left after drinking; there exists no sin in me that could justify forsaking. Unto woman is preferable under all circumtances the shade of her husband’s feet to the tops of a palace, the celestial car or excursion in the airy path.131 I have been taught by my father and mother to follow my husband in all conditions of life; and I shall carry out now what I have been taught; I shall not abide by any other counsel. I shall wend my way unto the forest impassable, devoid of men. Inhabited by various deers, tigers and other voracious animals. Happily shall I live there as if in my paternal house, giving no thought upon the prosperity of the three worlds, thinking only of the services that are to be rendered unto my husband. I shall sport with thee, Oh great hero, in that forest impregnated with the fragrance of flowers, tending thee constantly, having my senses subdued, and being engaged in austere performances. Oh great hero, capable art thou to maintain many thousand others in the forest, what of me. Surely shall I go to-day to the forest with thee; there is no doubt about it and thou shalt not be able, Oh great hero, to dissuade me from so doing. Undoubtedly I shall always live upon roots and fruits; living with thee always I shall not bring about thy affliction. Always I shall precede thee when walking, and shall take my repast after thou hast taken it. Willing am I to view mountains, rivulets, lakes and ponds. Being fearless in thy company, Oh my intelligent husband and great hero, I shall behold on all sides ponds filled with wild geese and ducks and beautified with a collection of fullblown lotuses, and shall bathe there every day, pursuing the same vow with thee. And greatly gratified, I shall, Oh thou having expansive eyes, amuse there with thee, in this manner, even for hundred or thousand years. I shall never experience the reverse of fortune, inasmuch as I do not like to live in the abode of celestials, Oh Rāghava, if I am to dwell there without thee; no, it is not pleasing unto me, Oh best of men. I shall go there in that dense forest full of deers, monkeys and elephants and live there as if under my paternal roof cleaving unto thy feet and abiding in thy pleasure. Do thou accept my entreaty whose heart is entirely thine, knows none else, and is ever attached unto thee, and who am resolved to die if forsaken by thee; thus repairing I shall be in no way a burden unto thee”. That best of men, reluctant to take Sitā with him, who had spoken thus and who was greatly attached to virtue, related unto her about the many miseries consequent upon dwelling in the forest, with a view to prevent her from following him.


That lover of virtue, thinking of the miseries of the forest, resolved not to take Sitā with him, who was versed in religious lores and had spoken thus. And consoling her whose eyes were stained with tears, that virtuous-souled one spoke unto her the following words with a view to prevent her from going. “Oh Sitā, thou art born of an illustrious family and ever intent on the performance of religious deeds; do thou practise virtue here as it may conduce to the happiness of my mind. Oh Sitā, Oh thou of the weaker sex, do thou act up to my counsels; there are evils enough in the forest, do thou learn them from me who am about to dwell in it. Renounce therefore. Oh Sitā, thy intention of flying as an exile unto the forest, which for its impenitrableness is said to abound in evils. It is for thy welfare that I give utterance to these words; happiness there is none, it is always covered with miseries. The roarings of the lions living in the caves of mountains, swelling with the sounds of the waterfalls, produce a very painful impression upon the ears; so the wood is full of misery. Animals, all maddened, sporting in solitude, seeing (man), approach to attack him; so the wood is full of misery. The rivers are full of crocodiles, sharks, and other fearful animals, muddy and impassable and always infested with infuriated elephants; the wood is full of misery. There the wayfares are covered with creepers and thorns: they are void of drinking water and ever resounded with the noise of the wild fowls; so the wood is full of misery. 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. 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 Sitā, is full of misery. 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. One has to offer presents of flowers collected by his ownself unto the altars, O Sitā, according to the rites of the ascetics; so the wood is full of misery. Those that dwell in the forest will have to remain content, having practised moderation in food, O Maithili, with whatever edibles are attainable in the forest; so the wood is full of misery. There are always violent winds, darkness, hunger, and great fear; so the wood is full of misery. Reptiles, many and of various kinds, creep there on the path, O excellent lady, with haughtiness; so the wood is full of misery. 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. Birds, scorpions, insects mosquitos and wild gnats, always disturb the dwellers, O fair one of the weaker sex; so the wood is full of misery. 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 of misery. 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. Thou shouldst not therefore go unto the forest—it forebodes no good unto thee. Weighing well, have I concluded that the forest abounds in innumerable evils.” While the high-souled Rāma, resolved thus not to take Sitā with him unto the forest, she, greatly sorry, did not accept his words and spoke unto him in the following way.


Hearing these words of Rāma, Sitā greatly sorry, with tears in her eyes, spoke gently unto him the following words. “The evils, thus enumerated by thee of living in the forest, do thou know, appear as so many good qualities unto me, who have been made forward by thy affection. Deer, lions, elephants, tigers, saravas,132 chamaras,133 srimaras,134 and other animals which have not seen thee before, seeing thee, Rāghava, will stand off, for they all fear thee. I shall follow thee, taking the permission of the respected ones; without thee, O Rāma, I will renounce my life. If I live by thee, O Rāghava, Sakra, the lord of celestials, shall not be able with his mighty power to defeat me. ‘A woman, without her husband, cannot live’; this truth has been pointed out by thee, O Rāma, unto me. Besides, I heard before, thou of great intelligence, in my paternal house from the Brāhmanas that I should live in the forest. I have heard this from the Brāhmanas versed in palmistry, and I have all along been anxious, O mighty hero, to go to the forest; shall therefore obtain permission and go, O dearly beloved, unto the forest with thee; nothing can make it otherwise. I shall secure permission and follow thee; the time has arrived; may the Brāhmanas be of truthful words! I know, O great hero, that there are many evils incident to living in the forest; but they generally befall those men who have not their senses subdued. I heard, when I was a girl, that an ascetic woman of well-disciplined character, came to my mother and apprised her of my future abode in the forest. I had requested thee, O my lord, many times before in this house to take me to the forest with thee for enjoyment, and thou wast pleased to agree. For thy welfare, O Rāghava, having received thy permission to follow thee, I like to serve thee, O great hero, while living in the forest.

O thou, pure-hearted one, surely shall I become sinless if I follow my husband,out of affection; for my husband is my Divinity. I have heard this pious report from the Brāhmanas of great fame that even in after life thy company is greatly beneficial unto me. She, who has been given away as wife by her father to one, with due rites of gift peculiar to each class, touching holy water, shall be his, even in her after life. For what reason then dost thou not wish to take thy wife with thee who is of good character and devoted to her husband? Do thou take me, O Kākuthstha, who am poor in spirit, devoted to my husband, ever given to thy service, and participating equally in thy joy and sorrow. If thou dost not purpose to take me with thee, surely will I do away with my life by drinking poison, entering into fire, or drowning myself in water.” She begged Rāma in these and various other means to take her with him, but that mighty hero did not consent to lead her into the lonely forest. Being accosted thus, Maithili was wrapt up in thought and bathed her breast with tears trickling down from her eyes. And Kākuthstha having control over his ownself, with a view to dissuade her who was angry and engrossed in anxious thoughts, began to console her in divers ways.


Being consoled thus by Rāma, Maithili, the daughter of Janaka, tearing separation, lovingly and haughtily laughed at Rāghava of spacious breast, and spoke unto him, her husband, the following words with a view to follow him to the forest. “What thought of thee, O Rāma, my father, the king of Mithilā, accepting thee as his son-in-law, who was a man in form but (in deeds) a woman? Henceforth if people through ignorance say that the sun has not that burning flood of light which in Rāma does shine forth, woe is them, it is falsehood. Why art thou so dejected and whence is thy fear that thou art willing to leave behind thy wife who has none else but thee? Know me to be perfectly under thy influence like unto Sāvitri, following her husband Satvavān, the son of Dumat Sen. I have not, like one bringing stigma on her line, ever in my life thought of a second person, but of thee whom I must follow into the forest. Dost thou, like unto an ordinary actor, wish to hand me over to others, who am chaste, pure as a virgin, and long held in conjugal affection? O sinless one, do thou become subservient and serviceable to him whose pleasure thou biddst me seek, and for whom thou hast suffered thyself to be impeded (in the installation). It does not behove thee to repair unto the forest without taking me along with thee. Be it the austerity of an ascetic, the forest or heaven, with thee will I be everywhere. No toil shall I suffer on the way, as if lying on a bed of luxury, while following thee in thy footstep. When with thee, the various thorny grasses, the Kusa, the Kāsa, the Sara, and the Ishika, and the thistles and brambles on the way, shall be unto me in touch like unto linen and deer-skin. The dust that will cover me, thrown up by the gush of wind, shall be, O ravisher of my heart, regarded by me as the finest sandal dust. When I shall lie down on the bed of green grass in the forest, it shall appear to me more pleasant than one covered with a colored blanket. Fruits, roots and leaves which thou wilt bring thyself and give me, be they great or small in quantity, shall be to me like unto the ambrosia-juice. I shall never think of my father, mother, or my abode; I shall enjoy fruits and flowers growing in various seasons. Thou shalt not witness any thing disagreeable there; for me thou shalt not experience any sorrow,nor shall I be a burden unto thee; do thou take me with thee, O Rāma, conceiving with pleasure that thy company is a heaven unto me and thy absence a hell. If thou dost not take me unto the forest which I count freed from all evils, surely I shall drink poison and never come under the influence of my enemies. When through affliction I shall not live after separation, better it is, O Lord, that I die immediately at the time of my being forsaken by thee; I cannot bear this grief even for a moment. How shall I be able to live without thee for fourteen years?”

Thus lamenting, Sitā, racked with sorrow, embraced her husband and began to cry aloud. Like unto a she- elephant,she being pierced by the poisonous shafts of Rāma’s words, began to shed tears, long kept off, as an Arani wood emits fire continually. Tears caused by her sorrow and white as the crystal began to trickle down from her eyes, like unto water falling in drops from lotus petals. And that beautiful face having expansive eyes and resembling the full moon in its splendour, with tears became pale and parched, like unto a lotus taken out of its watery bed. Finding her almost insensible with sorrow, Rāma flung his arms round her and reviving her (with consolation) spoke the following words unto her; “I do not long for, O worshipful one, even the abode of celestials gained through thy affliction: fear there is none for me like unto the self-create Brahmā. Not apprised of thy full intention, O thou of beautiful countenance, I could not, though capable of escorting thee, desire thy abode in the forest. When thou art determined O Maithili, to repair unto the forest with me, I cannot leave thee behind, as one possessing self knowledge cannot renounce munificence. O thou, having thighs resembling the trunks of an elephant, I shall resort to that virtue which was exercised by great and good men going before; do thou follow me therefore like Suvarchalā following the Sun. I cannot but go unto the forest, O daughter of Janaka, the truthful word of my father leads me thereto. Obedience unto his parents is the virtue of a son. Disobeying the command of my father I am not eager to live. Why should we with meditations and adorations worship Destiny, which is not cognizable to the worshippers, neglecting our parents, who are ever present to our senses? In the worship of the parents are fulfilled the triple object of religious pursuit, and the adoration of the three regions; there is nothing equal to it, conducing to purity; so do I, O thou of excellent look, resort to it.

Truth, almsgiving, honor, and sacrifices with profuse gifts are not so strengthening (in the life to come) as the services rendered unlo the parents. Heaven, wealth, grains, learning, son, and happiness,—nothing remains inaccessible unto us. Great souls following the desires, and resorting to the service of their parents, get at the abodes of celestials, Gandharvas, the seats of Brahmā and Vishnu, and other excellent regions. Therefore do I desire to follow what my father commands me, treading in the path of truth,— and this is the virtue eternal. My resolution of not taking thee, Sitā, unto the forest of Dandaka is now rent asunder, as thou hast prepared thyself to live in the forest and follow me. Permitted by me, O fair one of exquisite beauty, to repair unto the forest, do thou follow me, O thou timid one, and the partner of my righteousness. Thy determination to follow me, O beautiful one, is very excellent and is in perfect keeping with myself and my family. Do thou address thyself to repairing unto the forest, for without this now even heaven itself does not please me. Do thou give away jewels unto the Brāhmanas and edibles unto the beggars longing for them, and make haste without delay. Confer upon the Brāhmanas, valuable ornaments, excellent clothes, pleasant toys, beds, conveyances and other fine things in thy possession and then what remains do thou distribute amongst the servants.” Convinced that her going to the forest was desired by her husband, Sitā began to distribute them speedily with a delighted heart.


Hearing this conversation, Lakshmana, who had gone there before, with tears in his eyes and being unable to bear this terrible sorrow, took hold of his brother’s feet and spoke thus unto that greatly renowned Sitā and Rāghava. “If thou art resolved to repair unto the forest filled with deer and elephants, I shall accompany thee, always going before with bows in my hands. Thou shalt range with me in that charming part of the forest which resounds with the music of the birds and the humming of the bees. Alienated from thee I do not long for the abode of the celestials, nor for eternal life, nor for the wealth of the three regions.” The son of Sumitrā, who spoke thus and was determined upon going to the forest, being repeatedly requested by Rāma with consoling words to desist from his purpose, spoke unto him the following words. “Formerly thou didst order me to follow thee; and why dost thou prevent me now from accompanying thee to the forest? I want to learn, O sinless one, why thou dost prevent me now from following thee. I entertain a grave doubt in this.” Then the highly effulgent Rāma spoke thus unto that sedate Lakshmana, who stood praying before him with clasped hands. “Thou art sedate, fond of virtue, of peaceful temper, and thou walkest always in the paths of righteousness. I hold thee dear as my life and thou art obedient unto me and art my friend. If thou dost accompany me unto the forest, O son of Sumitrā, who shall serve Kauçalyā and the highly renowned Sumitrā? That highly effulgent lord of earth who will satisfy the world with the fulfillment of its desires like unto rain spreading in showers over the earth, is himself now shackled with desires unto Kaikeyi. That daughter of Açwapati obtaining this kingdom from the monarch, there will be no end of the miseries of these co-wives. Bharata attaining the throne and siding his mother, Kaikeyi will never think of Kauçalyā or Sumitrā sore distressed with grief. Do thou therefore, O son of Sumitrā, live here of thy own accord or by the favour of the monarch, and maintain these worshipful ones. If thou dost act thus, it will be showing thy best regard in me. O thou, versed in the knowledge of religion, real virtue consists in the adoration of superiors. Do this, O son of Sumitrā, for my sake; if we all go away leaving her aside, she will not be happy in any way.”

Accosted thus by Rāma, Lakshmana, well versed in speech, spoke unto him the following humble words. “Be afraid of thy power, O hero, Bharata shall adore Kauçalyā and Sumitrā—there is no doubt about this. If that wicked Bharata obtaining this excellent kingdom, does not maintain and take care of them, being impelled by haughtiness and wicked impulses, surely shall I kill him, that wicked-minded one, though he be assisted by the entire population of the three regions. Besides, that worshipful Kauçalyā, who has made grants of many thousand villages unto her servants, can maintain thousands of people like us, and has enough to maintain herself as well as my mother. Do thou therefore permit me to follow thee; there will be no breach of virtue in this,and I shall have my desires attained and thy interests shall be secured. I shall go before thee pointing out thy course, with stringed bows, a hoe, and a basket in my hands. I shall bring for thee every day various roots and fruits and other things that grow in the forest and which the ascetics use in their sacrifice. Thou shalt amuse thyself with Vaidehi on the sides of the hill, and I shall perform everything for thee whether thou art asleep or awake.”

Being extremely gratified with these words, Rāma spoke unto him, saying,—“Do thou follow me, O son of Sumitrā, obtaining permission from all thy relatives. The high-souled Varuna himself offered two terrible-looking bows of etherial temper, two sets of weapons at the great sacrifice of the royal Janaka—namely, impenetrable mail, two quivers, two inexhaustible arrows, and two swords burnished with gold and bright as the Sun. These things were offered unto me as bridal presents, and I have kept them at the house of my preceptor. Do thou, O Lakshmana, paying homage unto my preceptor, taking all those weapons, swiftly bring them hither. Determined upon going unto the forest, Lakshmana, taking leave of his friends, went to the abode of the spiritual preceptor of the Ikshwākus and took from him those excellent weapons. And that best of princes, the son of Sumitrā, showed Rāma those heavenly arms—worshipped and well adorned with garlands. Seeing Lakshmana arrive there, Rāma, having control over his ownself, greatly pleased, spoke unto him the following words. “Thou hast arrived, O Lakshmana, just when I wanted thee. I want to distribute with thee these my riches amongst the Brāhmauas and the ascetics. There are many excellent Brāhmanas having firm reverence in their preceptor. I want to distribute my wealth amongst them and many other personages who depend upon me for their maintenance. Bring here speedily the worshipful Sujajna, the son of Vasishtha; I want to repair unto the forest after duly adoring him and other excellent Brāhmanas.”


Receiving this pleasant and beneficial mandate of his brother, Lakshmana speedily went unto the abode of Sujajna, and finding that Vipra in the chamber where the sacrificial fire was maintained, worshipped him and addressed him, saying; “Friend, come and behold the abode of that one of arduous deeds (Rāma) renouncing his incoming installation.” Finishing his prayers, Sujajna accompanied Lakshmana and arrived at the splendid mansion of Rāma, filled with riches. No sooner Rāma found that Brāhmana versed in the Veda (Sujajna) arrive there, shining in effulgence like unto the blazing fire, than he rose up from his seat along with Sitā, with clasped hands, and received him as if he had been the sacrificial fire itself, and offered him excellent golden Angadas, shining ear-rings, necklaces of jewels fastened together with golden strings, Keyuras, bracelets, and various other ornaments, and spoke unto him, being desired by Sitā, the following words. “O my gentle friend! Do thou by some servant send unto thy wife this necklace and Hemasutra. And Sitā, the friend of thy wife, also intends to give this Rasanā unto thy wife, And on the eve of her going to the woods, she presents thyself and thy wife with Angadas of curious workmanship and elegant Keyuras. And Vaidehi wishes to present thee with this fine bed-stead with its coverlet studed with various precious jewels. And I offer thee, O great ascetic, with a thousand gold coins, this excellent elephant, called the destroyer of foes, which had been bestowed upon me by my maternal uncle.”

Being addressed thus by Rāma, Sujajna accepted all those offers, and showered benedictions upon Rāma, Sitā, and Lakshmana. Thereupon Rāma spoke unto his beloved, considerate and fair-speaking brother, the son of Sumitrā the following pleasant words, like unto Brahmā addressing the Lord of celestials. “O son of Sumitrā, do thou invite the excellent Brāhmanas, Agastya and Viswāmitra, and adore them, O Rāghava, by conferring upon them gems, as people cherish corn with water. And O mighty armed one, do thou worship them, O Rāghava, with a thousand cows, gold, silver, and various precious jewels. Do thou confer upon that good Brāhmana, the preceptor of the Tittiriya portion of the Vedas, who crowns Kauçalyā with blessings every day, silk cloth, conveyances, maid-servants, and such other things, till the twice-born one is satisfied. Do thou propitiate the worshipful Chitraratha, who is our charioteer and counsellor and of advanced years, with precious jewels clothes, wealth, with all kinds of beasts and a thousand cows. Do thou confer upon those Brāhmanas, O son of Sumitrā, who live under my protection, studying the Kata section of Yayur Veda, with staffs in their hands, a grant of eighty mules loaded with jewels, of a thousand miles of pines, and of a thousand cows, for curd and clarified butter. They are always inactive, being constantly engaged in Vedic studies, and are greatly slothful though having a taste for delicious food, and are always esteemed by great men; to each of all those Brāhmanas, who always come to Kauçalyā, do thou, O Lakshmāna,make a grant of a thousand gold coins, and offer unto them all such gifts as may please my mother.” Thereupon Lakshmana, that best of men, distributed amongst all these Brāhmanas all the entire riches as ordered by Rāma like unto the Lord of wealth. Seeing his dependants in a wretched plight, shedding tears continually, Rāma proferred unto them various articles for their maintenance, and said :—“Do ye occupy in turn until our return my rooms as well as Lakshmana’s.” Having spoken thus unto all those dependants who were racked with great sorrow, Rāma ordered the Treasury officer to bring his riches there. Thereat, the servants brought all his riches and collected them in great heaps. Rāma, the best of men, together with Lakshmana, distributed them amongst the Brāhmanas, boys, the old, and the poor. There lived in that quarter a Brāhmana of a tawny colour, by name Trijatā, descended from the line of Garga, earning his livelihood by digging the earth with spades and ploughs. His young wife with her little children, struggling with poverty, spoke thus unto the old Brāhmana. “Throwing aside thy spades and ploughs, do thou hear my words. Go and see the virtuous-souled Rāma, and thou art sure to get something from him now.” Hearing these words of his wife, Trijatā, shining in effulgence like unto Vrigu and Angira, covering his body with a torn piece of cloth, proceeded towards Rāma’s abode with his wife, and going on in a speedy and uninterrupted course, reached at last the royal abode and spoke unto Rāma thus:—“O mighty son of the king! A poor man am I, having a number of children. I maintain my family by digging the earth; do thou therefore look upon me mercifully. Whereupon Rāma replied laughing:—“I have not distributed as yet even one thousand of my cows. Do thou hurl this rod, and thou art the master of all those cows occupying the space at the extremity of which this rod shall fall.” Upon this, swiftly tightening the cloth around his waist, Trijatā firmly grasping the rod hurled it with a mighty force. The rod, hurled off his hands, fell on the other side of the river Saraju in the midst of many thousand bullocks. Seeing this, the virtuous-souled Rāma despatched to the hermitage of Trijatā all the cows that lay extending up to the banks of the river Saraju, and consoling him afterwards accosted him with the following words. “Be not offended, I acted thus only as a matter of joke. I asked thee to do this only with the object of knowing whether thou hadst the power to hurl this rod. Do thou ask of me now any thing thou likest. Truly do I speak that thou shouldst not hesitate. I am ready to devote my wealth to the services of the Brāhmanas. And the wealth I have earned will conduce to my favour, if. I can apply it to your service.”

Then Trijata, being pleased with the accession of cows, went away along with his wife, showering happiness and joy. Rāma of great manliness afterwards distributed with proper respect and due welcome all his wealth amassed by righteous means amongst the Brāhmanas, friends, servants and the poor, according to the recommendation of his friends.


Having distributed much wealth to the Brāhmanas, the Rāghavas set out with Sitā for the purpose of seeing their father. And the two looked beautiful with a couple of handmaids (following them), taking the weapons that had been decked by Sitā with flowery wreaths. Then crowds of elegantly-attired citizens, mounting on the terraces of three- storied and seven-storied houses, looked on the scene with hearts filled with sorrow. And unable to tread the streets because of a vast concourse, they ascending the terraces of the buildings, eyed Rāghava with woe-begone eyes. And deprived of their senses by grief, the multitudes,135 beholding Rāma proceeding on foot in company with Sitā and his younger brother, said,—“He that used to be followed by the vast body of the four-fold forces, proceeds now along with Sitā, followed by Lakshmana alone. Knowing every kind of enjoyment, that magnanimous one who has tasted of every luxury, for maintaining the dignity of morality, does not wish to falsify (his father’s) word. And that Sitā whom formerly the very rangers of the sky could not see, is to-day beheld by the passers-by. Now summer’s heat and winter’s cold and the rains of the wet season will speedily stain Sitā, whose person is worthy of being dyed, and who used to daub her limbs with red sandal paste. Surely to-day Daçarātha speaks thus, possessed by some evil spirit; for the king ought by no means to banish his beloved son. Who ever exiles his son, albeit he be worthless? And what is to be said concerning a son that has fast secured all men’s hearts by his behavior? Universal benevolence, kindness, learning goodness, the restraint of the senses, and the control of the faculties,—these six qualities adorn that best of men, Rāghava. Therefore the subjects will be afflicted in consequence of his separation, even as aquatic animals are, when summer dries up the waters of a tank. The entire earth is distressed on account of the distress of this lord of the earth, even like a tree bearing blossoms and fruits, when its roots have been severed. Surely this highly effulgent one with virtue for his chief good, is the root of humanity, and the latter represents its flowers, fruits, foliage, and boughs. Therefore, accompanied by our wives and friends will we like Lakshmana follow the departing Rāghava by the same way that he takes. And leaving aside our gardens and fields and abodes, will we, making the righteous Rāma’s happiness and misery our own, follow him. Let Kaikeyi possess herself of our deserted mansions, deprived of their buried treasures, with their unswept courtyards robbed of kine and wealth, and shorn of all substance, filled with dust, and abandoned by the deities, mansions where rats will run from hole to hole, which will neither emit smoke nor contain water, which will not be swept by broomsticks, from which sacrifices, and the slaughter of sacrificial beasts,and the offering of oblations and the recitation of sacred texts, and Yapa, will be absent, and around which will be strewn broken earthenware, as they are on occasions of political commotions or the occurrence of natural calamities. Let the forest to which Rāghava repairs resemble a city, and let this city renounced by us be converted into a wilderness. Inspired by the fear of us, serpents will leave their holes, and beasts and birds the caves of mountain, and elephants and lions the forest. Let them occupy the tracts left behind by us, and let them renounce such abounding in serpents, beasts, and birds, as yield grass, meat, and fruits. Let Kaikeyi (reign in this realm) along with her sons and adherents; we, renouncing homes, will dwell in the forest with Rāghava.”

Rāghava heard various words uttered thus by the populace; and having heard them, he did not suffer his mind to be agitated. And that righteous one of the prowess of a mad elephant, from a distance began to make for the residence of his father resembling in brightness a summit of the Kailāça mountain. Entering the king’s mansion, he drawing nigh found the heroic Sumantra seated in dejected mood. Seeing that well-wisher of his thus depressed, Rāma endeavouring by all means to do his father’s bidding, cheerfully went on, desirous of beholding his sire. And with the view of meeting the aggrieved king before repairing to the forest, the magnanimous son of the Ikshwāku race, seeing Sumantra, stayed there,—so that that noble-minded one might inform his father of his visit. And making up his mind to go to the woods in accordance with the command of his father, Rāghava seeing Sumantra, said unto him; “Do you inform the king of my arrival.”


Then the mighty and incomparable Rāma of eyes resembling lotus-petals said unto the charioteer,—“Do you announce me to my father.” Thus commissoned by Rāma, the charioteer entering the apartment, found the king heaving sighs, his senses overwhelmed with grief. And he saw the monarch like the sun afflicted by Rāhu, or like fire enveloped in ashes, or like a tank deprived of its water. Thereupon concluding that the king agitated by sorrow was bewailing Rāma, the charioteer said with joined hands. And first paying homage unto the king, invoking victory upon him, the charioteer, perplexed with fear, softly and sweetly addressed the monarch thus:—“O foremost of men, your son waits at the entrance, after having distributed wealth to Brāhmanas and his retinue Let that one having truth for prowess, good betide you, see you. Having greeted all his friends,he now wishes to see you. Know that he is about to set out for the mighty forest. Do you, O Lord of earth, see him furnished with every perfection, like the Sun himself surrounded by his rays.” Thereupon, that virtuous and truthful (king) resembling the ocean by virtue of his gravity, and motionless like the welkin, answered Sumantra, saying,—“O Sumantra, do thou bring hither my wives.” Reaching the inner apartment, the charioteer said unto the ladies,—“The worshipful king calls you. Do you come speedily.” Thus addressed by Sumantra at the mandate of the monarch, the ladies in a body, informed of their husband’s command, went to the king’s apartment. And three hundred and fifty females furnished with coppery eyes and observing vows, surrounding Kauçalyā, proceeded slowly. On the females coming there, the monarch seeing this, said unto the charioteer,—“O Sumantra, do you bring hither my son.” Thereat the charioteer taking Rāma, Lākshmana and Mithila’s daughter, speedily came before the lord of earth. The king seeing his son drawing nigh with joined hands, hastily rose up from his seat in company with his wives. And casting his eyes on Rāma, the king rushed towards him, but before reaching his son, the aggrieved monarch fell down to the earth in a swoon. Rāma and that migthy car-warrior Lakshmana swiftly neared the king striken with grief and rendered senseless by sorrow. And there arose in the palace cries of women by thousands of “Ah Rāma,” mingled with the tinkling of ornaments. Then both Rāma and Lakshmana along with Sitā took the king up with their arms, and with tears in their eyes laid him upon the couch. When the lord of the earth oppressed with the vapour begot of grief and overwhelmed with emotion, had regained his senses, Rāma with joined palms said—“I ask you, O mighty monarch, as you are the lord of all. Do you see me safely despatched to the forest of Dandaka. Do you permit Lakshmana, and let Sitā also follow mc to the woods; for although prohibited by me with various reasons, they do not wish to be left behind. Do you, O bestower of honor, permit us all, renouncing sorrow—Lakshmana and Sitā and me,—like Prajāpati permitting his sons.” Seeing Rāghava about to set out for the forest, the lord of earth said unto the calm Rāma waiting for his orders,—“O Rāghava, I have been deprived of my senses in consequence of my having conferred boons on Kaikeyi. Do you therefore confining me to-day become king in Ayodhyā.” Thus addressed by the monarch, Rāma—the best of the righteous—well versed in speech, with joined hands addressed his father thus,—“O king do you rule this earth for a thousand years,—I will reside in the forest. I do not wish for the kingdom. Having spent five and nine years in the woods, I shall again embrace your feet, lord of men, after fulfilling your vow.” Fettered in the net of promise, the king bewailing his beloved son, secretly spurred on by Kaikeyi, said,—“Do you, my darling, with the view of attaining welfare here and hereafter and auspicious fortune, go calmly your fearless way,—so that you may return hither (in time.) I dare not, O descendant of the Raghu race, forbid you who are established in truth and who are bent upon discharging your duty. But, O son, do not by any means depart to-night: beholding you even for a single day, I shall feed with you. Do you, seeing me as well as your mother, stay here to-night. Then ministered unto every way, you will set out to-morrow. O son, O beloved Rāghava difficult is the task that you are going to perform,—for compassing my good in the next world, you are ready to repair to the very woods! But, O Rāghava, I swear unto you, this is anything but agreeable to me, my son. I have been made to swerve from my purpose by the crafty Kaikeyi resembling a fire hidden under ashes. You are going to give effect to the deceit that has been practised upon me by this woman intent upon sullying her line. And as you are my eldest son, it is no wonder, O son, that you should wish to maintain your father’s truth.” Hearing these words of his distressed father, the humble Rāma, along with his brother Lakshmana, said,—“Who will confer on me the merit tomorrow that I shall reap by going to-day? Therefore, I prefer even the journey to the woods to enjoying comforts here. Do you bestow upon Bharata this earth renounced by me— this kingdom abounding in corn and kine and filled with people; my mind determined upon dwelling in the forest, does not waver. Do you, O bestower of boons, grant Kaikeyi everything that you had promised unto her at the time of the war136 (you had waged against the Dānavas), and thereby do you follow truth. Obeying the mandate that you have issued, I will dwell in the forest for fourteen years in the company of the rangers of the woods. Do you without feeling any compunction confer the earth on Bharata. Mine is not the desire to obtain the kingdom for enjoying happiness or attaining any benefit. I will, O descendant of the Raghu race, do your bidding. Banish your grief, and suppress your tears. That lord of streams, the irresistible ocean, never forsakes his own magnanimity. I desire neither dominion, nor happiness, nor the earth,137 nor any object138 of enjoyment, nor heaven, nor life. O foremost of men, all I wish for is that you may not come by falsehood, and abide by truth. I truly and in good sooth swear before you that I cannot, O lord, remain here for a moment longer, O my father. Do you bear this grief. I cannot for certain act contrary to my promise. Directed by Kaikeyi saying,— ‘Do you, O Rāghava, go to the forest,’ I had said,—‘I will go,’—That promise I must accomplish. Do you not, O revered one, feel aggrieved. We will abide in the forest abounding in mild deer and resounding with the notes of various birds. The father is a very God,—even the celestials say this. Therefore will I look upon your word in the light of divinity. And, O best of monarchs, after the fourteen years have been spent, you will see me again by your side,— therefore do you banish this grief. Why do you, O foremost of men, who will suppress other’s grief, undergo this alteration? Do you confer upon Bharata this city and this kingdom and the earth renounced by me. Doing your behest, I will repair to the forest, sojourning there for a long time. Staying at the auspicious frontiers, let Bharata barely rule this earth furnished with watery expanses, cities and forests, when it has been renounced by me. O king, let what you have said be as you wish it. I do not, O king, set my heart upon any great object of desire, nor do I seek my own behoof, as I am bent upon, O you beloved of the good, working out your will. O sinless one, you will not therefore reap any evil on my account. Associating you with untruth, I would not, O sinless one, wish even for your company who are agitated with anxiety,139 or this entire kingdom, or every object of desire, or the earth, or Mithilā’s daughter. Even this is my truthful vow,—let also your vow prove true. Living upon fruits and roots in the forest, and surveying mountains and tanks and streams and graceful trees, I shall be happy on entering the forest, Do you cease to lament.” Thus benetted with calamities and exercised with grief and anguish, the king embraced his son,—and then deprived of his consciousness fell down on the ground and became motionless. Thereat all the queens save that wife of the monarch (Kaikeyi) bewailed together; and crying Sumantra also went into a swoc And the place was filled all around with exclamations “O” and “Alas.”


Then shaking his head and sighing again and again pressing palm upon palm and grinding teeth upon teeth, with eyes reddened in wrath and an altered complexion, and suddenly waxing angry and moved with grief, Sumantra witnessing the mental condition of Daçarātha said, shaking Kaikeyi’s heart with the sharpened shafts of his speech and piercing her mind all over with his harsh words resembling thunderbolts, “O worshipful one, since you have forsaken king Daçarātha, the maintainer of this world and the mobile and the immobile that it contains, there is nothing that is incapable of being done by you. I consider you the murderess of your husband and as one that has finally exterminated one’s line; inasmuch as you have by your act afflicted the monarch invincible like Indra, firm as a hill, and imperturbable like the deep itself. You ought not to bring down your boon-bestowing lord and husband Daçarātha; for surely the wish of a husband to a wife outweighs a koti of sons. The princes will obtain the kingdom one after another according to age;— this custom it is your study to render nugatory even when the lord of the Ikshāwaku race is still alive. Let your son be king; let Bharata rule the earth: we, however, will go where goes Rāma. No Brāhmana will dwell in your dominion —such is the ungracious deed you are going to do. [Surely we will go the way that is wended by Rāma, and what happiness, O revered one, will you,forsaken by friends, Brāhmanas and the saintly, reap by remaining here, allured by the lust of dominion? And you are going to do such an act!]140 A wonder it is that I perceive, viz,—that the earth hid by a character like you is not riven this very day. And why doth not the flaming and dreadful censure uttered by the mighty Brahmārshis destroy you who are bent upon banishing Rāma? Who having hewn a mangoe tree by his axe, tendeth a Nimba? It never turns sweet for him that waters it. Your birth is noble indeed; it is as much so as is your mother’s. They say that sweet is never extracted from Nimba. I remember what I have heard from old men concerning the vicious inclinations of your mother.

Some one intent upon conferring boons conferred an excellent one on your father. In virtue of this, that lord of earth could understand the import of sounds emitted by all beings, and it is in consequence of this that he could understand the speech even of birds and beasts. One day as your father was lying down, he, understanding the thoughts of a gold- hued Jrimbha bird, from its cries, laughed heartily. Thereat your mother getting angry, wishing for the noose of death, said,—‘O king, O placid one, I ask you for the reason of your laughter.’ The king replied,—‘O worshipful lady, if I unfold unto you the reason of my laugh, then I shall without doubt die to-day.’ But that revered one, your mother, again urged Kekaya, saying,—‘Tell it to me, whether you live or die; for (when I have learnt all about it), you will not be able to laugh at me again.’ Thus addressed by his beloved spouse, that lord of earth Kekaya went to the saint that had conferred the boon on him and related unto him everything faithfully. Thereupon that boon-giving saint said unto the kin; “Whether this one kills herself or be destroyed, do you not, O king reveal it.” Hearing these words of his, the king well pleased summarily forsook your mother and began to divert himself like Kuvera. Even in the same way, you, O you that see only evil, staying in an unrighteous count befouling the king’s sense, endeavour to make him commit this wrong. In this connection I remember a saying, viz.,— men take after their fathers, and women their mothers. Do not be so,—do you even accept what the lord of earth says. Doing the will of your lord, do you become the refuge of us all. Do not incited by evil propensities, make your husband the lord of men endued with the prowess of the celestial chief, perpetrate an unrighteous deed. That sinless one will not for certain give practical effect to the promise jestingly made by you. O worshipful one, king Daçarātha is graceful, being furnished with eyes resembling lotuses. Let him install his eldest son, Rāma generous and able, maintaining his own religion—the protector of all men—and endued with might. O revered lady, great is the obloquy that will spread concerning you, if leaving his royal father, Rāma repaireth to the forest. Let therefore Rāghava govern his kingdom; and do you remove your agitation. Surely save Rāghava none residing in the kingdom will prove friendly to you. On Rāma being installed as the heir-apparent, that best of bowmen—king Daçarātha—will depart for the forest, remembering ancient examples.” Thus in presence of the king, Sumantra with clasped palms, with soft yet cutting words endeavoured to strike Kaikeyi with regret. But that noble dame did not feel any compunction, nor was she touched with regret. And the complexion of her countenance remained as it was before.


Then that descendant of Ikshwāku afflicted because of his promise, sighing and his heart filled with the vapour begot of sorrow, again addressed Sumantra, saying,—“O charioteer, do you speedily marshall the army consisting of the four kinds of forces for following Rāghava. And let sweet- speeched courtezans and opulent traders grace the extensive army of the prince. And, giving them immense wealth, do you also send with him those that depend on Rāma, as well as those with whom he delights to wrestle. And let the foremost weapons, and the citizens, and cars, and fowlers well acquainted with the forest go in the wake of Kākutstha. Killing deer and elephants, and drinking wild honey, and beholding various rivers, they will ultimately forget this kingdom. And let our granary and treasury follow Rāma who is to reside in the forest. Performing sacrifices at holy spots, and dispensing the prescribed Dakshinas, let Rāma happily reside in the forest in the company of saints. The mighty- armed Bharata will govern Ayodhyā. Therefore, do you furnish the auspicious Rāma with every object of enjoyment.” When that descendant of Kākutstha said this, Kaikeyi was inspired with apprehension: her countenance became blank, and her utterance was choked. Losing her complexion and agitated with fear, with her countenance fallen, Kaikeyi faced the king and said,—“O righteous one, like unto a liquor whose lees alone have been left, Bharata will not receive the kingdom tasteless and denuded of all substance.” While the shameless Kaikeyi was speaking thus sternly, king Daçarātha said unto that one of expansive eyes,—“O worker of mischief, why having laid the load upon me, do you torment me? O ignoble one, why did you not ask for this, when you did first solicit the boon?” Hearing these wrathful words of the king, that beauteous one, Kaikeyi, waxing doubly wroth, addressed the monarch, saying,—“Even in this line of yours, Sagara deprived his eldest son Asamanja by name of the enjoyment of the kingdom. In this way this one deserves to go to the forest.” Thus addressed, king Daçarātha said,—“O fie!” and all present were afflicted with shame; but Kaikeyi feigned not to understand all this. Then a notable, aged, pure-spirited personage held in high esteem by the monarch, named Siddhārtha, addressed Kaikeyi, saying,—“Asamanja by way of sport catching people on the way, used to throw them into the waters of the Sarayu, and that wicked-minded wretch made merry over the same. Seeing him do so, the citizens in a body, waxing wroth spoke unto the monarch,—‘O enhancer of the kingdom’s prosperity, do you either banish Asamanja or us.’ To them he replied,—‘Whence is this fear of yours?’ Thus asked by the monarch, the subjects said,—‘Through his impudence this one of perverted sense by way of diversion throwing our sons into the Sarayu, finds extreme delight.’ Hearing these words of his subjects, that lord of men, with the intention of doing good to them, forsook that mischievous son of his. Then swiftly causing a car to be yoked, he said unto his men,—This one is to be banished for life in proper garb along with his wife.’ Thereupon that worker of iniquity went to the forest and went about seeing mountain fastnesses. Thus did the virtuous king Sagara renounce his son. But what offence has Rāma committed that he is to be banished? We do not find any fault whatever in Rāghava. Rare is his fault even like the spot on the Moon. Or it may be, O exalted lady, that you perceive some fault in Rāghava,—Do you, if so, unfold it; and then let Rāma be banished. But the renunciation of the honest ever constant in a righteous course, in consequence of its being opposed to virtue, destroys the splendour of Sakra himself. Therefore, O noble one, cease to persevere in this, for what good would the marring of Rāma’s good fortune bring you? And, O you of a fair countenace, you will by such a course escape odium.” Hearing Siddhārtha’ s words, the king, his voice waxing exceedingly feeble, addressed Kaikeyi in words surcharged with emotion,—“O Personation of sin, thou relishest not this speech. Thou knowest not either thy own good or mine. This wicked endeavour of thine, O thou that strivest after harm, which thou puttest forth adopting a narrow path, is surely divorced from the course of the good. Forsaking my kingdom, forsaking happiness and treasures, I will to-day follow Rāma. Do thou with Bharata for the king forever enjoy dominion according to thy heart’s desire,”


HEARING the words of that worthy, Rāma conversant with modesty, humbly addressed Daçarātha, saying,—“What O king, have I, that am renouncing everything and am going to dwell in the forest subsisting on what the forest yields, to do with a following? Of what avail is a person’s attachment for the tether of a goodly elephant, when the elephant itself is renounced by him? Thus it is with me, O foremost of righteous ones. What shall I do with the army, O lord of men? I will confer everything on Bharata. Let them bring me a vesture of bark, and for me who will go to the forest and reside there for fourteen years, bring a hoe and a basket.” Thereupon Kaikeyi herself brought a bark dress and that shameless one said unto Rāghnva in the presence of all,—“Do you wear this.” On this, that foremost of men taking those two pieces of bark from Kaikeyi, left his fine attire and put on the ascetic garb. And Lakshmana also, renouncing his choice raiment, put on the dress of an anchoret before his father. Then Sitā clad in silk apparel, eying the ascetic covering meant for her, became agitated, like a doe at sight of a noose. And afflicted with shame, that one graced with auspicious marks, Jānaki, sorrowfully took from Kaikeyi the Kuça and bark; and with tears flooding her eyes, that one cognizant of virtue and having her gaze ever fixed upon it, thus addressed her lord resembling the king of the Gandharbas,—“How do the ascetics dwelling in the woods put on their dress?” Saying this, Sitā, ill at ease became embrassed. And putting on one piece on her neck and holding the other in her hand, the daughter of Janaka, feeling uneasy, stood overpowered with shame. Thereupon that best of righteous persons, Rāma, speedily coming up to her, fastened the monastic garb over Sitā’s silk attire. Beholding Rāma fastening that goodly garb on Sitā, the females of the inner apartment began to shed tears. And waxing exceedingly aggrieved, they spoke unto Rāma flaming in effulgence:—“Child, do not take this virtuous one to the forest. So long as you will reside in the forest in accordance with the wishes of your father, we shall behold her; and by this means let our lives attain their object, O lord. O son taking Lakshmana for your help, go you to the forest. This auspuious one does not deserve to live in the woods like an ascetic. O son, grant our prayer. Let the fair Sitā remain. Ever steady in virtue, you do not yourself intend to stay here.” Hearing these words, Daçarātha’s son tied the dress on Sitā having a similar character with himself. When she had put on the upper and under garments, the preceptor of the king, Vasistha, his voice choked with the vapour of sorrow, dissuading Sitā, said unto Kaikeyi,—“O thou whose desires outrun thy sense of honor, O thou of perverted understanding O befouler of thy line, deceiving the monarch, thou stayest not within the pale of the promise. O thou bereft of good behavior, that noble lady, Sitā, should not go to the forest. Sitā will occupy Rāma’s seat. Of all those that marry, the wife is the (other) soul. Sitā will govern the earth, as she is Rāma’s self. But if Vaidehi goes to the forest with Rāma, we will follow him, and the inhabitants of the city will also repair thither. And the warders of the inner apartment, and the people of the kingdom and the city taking with them their neccessaries and servants will accompany Rāghava and his wife. And Bharata and Satrughna wearing ascetic clothes and ranging the forest will live like their elder brother resident in the woods. Then alone thou of vile ways and intent upon harming the people wilt govern this empty earth deserted by the inhabitants, along with the trees. That can never be a kingdom where Rāma is not the monarch, and that forest where Rāma will reside will flourish into a monarchy. Bharata never wishes to govern a kingdom that has not been conferred upon him by his father; nor, if he has really been begotten by the monarch, wilt he any further act by you as a son. Even if you leaving the earth fly unto the air, that one cognizant of the character of his ancestry, will never act otherwise. Therefore although intent on advancing your son, you have really brought about his injury. There exists not a person in the world that is not partial to Rāma. O Kaikeyi, do you to-day behold beasts and snakes and birds journeying in the wake of Rāma, and even the trees stand with their heads turned towards him. Do you, O noble lady, removing the ascetic guise, confer elegant ornaments on your daughter-in-law, for such a dress suits not this one.” Saying this Vasistha prevented Kaikeyi. “O daughter of kmg Kekaya, you have asked for the abode of Rāma in the woods; and decked out in ornaments let Sitā daily engaged in adorning herself, reside in the forest with Rāghava. And let the daughter of the King go to the forest, surrounded by excellent cars and servants, and taking with her attires and other necessary things. When you demanded the (fulfilment of the) promise, you had not your eye on Sitā.” When that foremost of* Brāhmanas, that preceptor of the king possessed of unparalelled potency, had said this, Sitā, desirous of serving her beloved lord, did not turn away from the ascetic dress (presented by Kaikeyi.)


WHEN Sitā, having a husband although seeming as if she had none, was putting on the ascetic guise, the people got into a wrath and exclaimed, “O Daāaratha, fie on you!” Aggrieved at the uproar that arose there in consequence, the lord of earth banished from his heart all regard for life, virtue, and fame. And sighing hot, that descendant Ikshwāku spoke onto that wife of his, saying,—“O Kaikeyi, Sitā deserves not to go in a Kuça dress. Tender, and youthful, and worthy of happiness, she is by no means capable of living in the forest. My spiritual guide has spoken the truth. Whom has this one injured that, being the daughter of the foremost of kings, she like a female ascetic, wearing a meagre garb in the presence of all, will (repair to the woods and) remain there like a beggar destitute of everything? Let Janaka’s daughter leave off her ascetic guise. This is not the promise that I had made to you before. Let the princess go to the forest in comfort, furnished with all sorts of gems. My sands run out; by me hath this cruel promise been made with an oath. But this (exile of Sitā) has been thought of by you through your ignorance! Let it not, however, consume you like a bamboo flower destroying the bamboo. If, O wicked woman, Rāma has happened to do thee something unbeautiful, what wrong, O base wretch, has Vaidehi done thee in the world? Of eyes expanded like those of a doe, endued with a mild temperament, and virtuous, what harm has Janaka’s daughter done thee. Surely, O nefarious one, the banishment of Rāma is enough for thee. Why then dost thou bend thy mind to perpetrate these atrocious sins? O noble dame, having heard you asking for the banishment of Rāma, who had at first been intended by me for being installed, and who came here afterwards, I had promised you (his exile alone.) But since, going beyond that promise of mine, you behold Mithāla’s daughter dressed in mendicant garb, surely you wish to find your way to hell.” Thus commissioned to the forest, Rāma who was seated sealing his lips, said,—“O righteous one, this my mother is aged and famous and of a lofty spirit. May she not meet with improper treatment at your hands! It behoves you, O bestower of boons, to show greater honor to her when she shall be deprived of me and be plunged into a sea of grief and afflicted with unprecedented woe. O you comparable unto the mighty Indra, you should so behave with my mother smitten with my separation, that exercised by grief in consequence of my residence in the forest, she may not, renouncing life, repair to the mansions of Yama.”


HEARING Rāma’s words, and seeing him dressed like an ascetic, the king in the midst of his wives was deprived of his senses. And burning in grief, the king could not eye Rāghava, nor seeing him could that one of afflicted mind answer anything. Then remaining unconscious for a while, the mighty-armed lord of earth oppressed by grief began to bewail, thinking of Rāma. “I conclude that formerly I deprived many a cow of her calf, and took the life of many a creature, and it is for this that the present calamity has befallen me. (I infer) that life never departs from the body unless the time comes, for although sore tried by Kaikeyi, my life does not go out of me, and for I can see before me this one resembling fire, clad in the dress of an ascetic, having left his fine vesture. These people are in trouble in consequence of Kaikeyi alone striving by help of this craftiness to secure her interest.” Having said these words, Daçarātha, his semes overpowered by the vapour of sorrow, exclaimed “Rāma!” and could not proceed further. Then soon regaining consciousness, the lord of earth with tearful eyes, addressed Sumuntra, saying,—“Yoking a riding car with excellent horses, do you come hither; and take the exalted one to the south of the kingdom. The virtuous and heroic Rāma is being banished by his father and mother. Even this methinks will be asserted as the fruit of the virtues possessed by the pious.” Receiving the mandate of the sovereign, Sumantra endued with fleet vigour, yoking a car adorned with horses, came there. Then the charioteer with joined hands announced to the prince that the car adorned with gold was ready, yoked with excellent horses. The king, versed in time and place, and pure, speedily summoning his treasurer, said unto him these words firmly,— “Do you without delay bring unto Vaidehi excellent and costly attires and noble ornaments, counting these (ten and four) years.” Thus desired by the foremost of men, that officer repairing to the treasury, procuring all those, speedily presented them to Sitā. Thereupon that pure-sprung one, Vaidehi, ordered to the forest, adorned her goodly limbs with those rare ornaments. And thus decked out, Vaidehi graced that chamber like the effulgence of the Sun irradiating the welkin with his rays. Then embracing with her arms Mithilā’s daughter of noble behaviour, and smelling the crown of her head, Sitā’s mother-in-law said,—“Those women that although having always been carefully tended by their husbands, do not regard them during the incident of adversity, are in this world reckoned as unchaste.—Even this is the nature of women: having formerly tasted happiness (at the hands of their husbands), they, on the accession of an inconsiderable misfortune, take them to task,—nay, forsake them utterly. Those women that are untruthful, unmindful, of evil ways, heartless, intent on unrighteous acts, and whose love is evanescent, are unchaste. Neither lineage, nor benefit, nor learning, nor gift, nor forbearance of faults, can secure the hearts of females,—surely their hearts are unstable. But chaste women of good character, abiding in truth, acting in accordance with the precepts of superiors, and maintaining the dignity of their race, single out their lords as the prime means of compassing their spiritual welfare. Therefore although my son is going to be banished to the woods, you should by no means disregard him. Whether he be wealthy or poor, he is unto you like a god.” Hearing her mother-in- law’s words fraught with virtue and interest, Sitā facing that lady, said with joined palms,—“I will do all that the noble one says. I know how I should act by my husband. I have heard all about that (from my parents.) The worshipful one ought not to place me on the same footing with unrighteous persons. As brightness doth not depart from the moon, so I cannot swerve from virtue. The Vinā without strings does not sound; and the car without wheels does not move,— so although having an hundred sons, a woman without her husband cannot attain happiness. The Father gives in measure, the father and the son give in measure,—but who does not worship that bestower of ‘riches fineless’—the husband? O exalted one, having learnt from my superiors the principal as well the minor duties, shall I disregard (my lord)? A husband is a deity unto the wife.” Hearing Sitā’s words which went directly to the heart, Kauçalyā endued with purity of spirit, out of fulness of bliss and bale suddenly shed tears. Then with joined hands that foremost of virtuous ones addressed his mother, who, duly honored by all, was seated in the midst of his other mothers, saying,—“O mother, without indulging in grief, you should minister unto my father; and the term of my abode in the woods will shortly expire. You will find these five and nine years pass away as if in a sleep. Then again, getting me,you will see me surrounded by my friends and relatives.” Having spoken out his mind unto his mother, Rāma attentively eyed his three hundred and fifty mothers. And with joined hands Daçarātha’s son spake words fraught with virtue unto his mothers afflicted like Kauçalyā herseH “If I have said anything harsh to you in consequence a familiarity, or done any wrong through ignorance, do you forgive the same. I salute you all.” These calm words of Rāghava informed with piety were heard by the ladies overwhelmed with grief. As Rāghava was speaking thus, then arose a loud wail proceeding from those wives of that chief of men, like unto the cries of Kraunchis. And the aboA of Daçarātha which formerly resounded with murajas, panavas, meghas,141 was now filled with cries of distress and lamentations.


Then exceedingly distressed, Rāma, Sitā and Lakshmana, bowing down unto the king, circumambulated him. Then with the king’s permission, the righteous Rāghava stupified with sorrow, in company with Sitā, paid respect unto his mother. Following his brother, Lakshmana saluted Kauçalyā; then he again took hold of his mother Sumitrā’s feet. As the son of Sumitrā, was thus engaged in honoring his mother, his mother smelling the crown of his head, thus spoke unto the mighty-armed Lakshmana,—“Although attached unto thy friends here, thou hast my permission to go to the forest. When Rāma shall have gone (to the woods), do not, O son, show any negligence unto him. O sinless one, whether in prosperity or in adversity, even this one is thy way. That a younger brother should follow his elder is in this world the duty of the righteous. These are the legitimate duties ever observed by this race—charity, initiation into sacrifice, and renunciation of the body in the field of battle. Do thou consider Rāma as Daçarātha, and Janaka’s own-begotten as myself; do thou regard Ayodhyā as a wilderness,—go my son, at thy sweet pleasure.” Having thus spoken unto that dear descendant of Raghu, who had made up his mind (to journey to the forest), Sumitrā, again and again said unto him,— “Go! Go!” Then like unto Mātali addressing Vāsava, that one understanding humility, Sumantra, with joined hands humbly said unto Kākutstha,—“O illustrious prince, good betide you: do you ascend the car. O Rāma, I will speedily take you to wherever you will tell me. You will have to spend fourteen years in the forest, and your stay must commence from this very day. So the noble lady has ordered.” Then having adorned her person, that best of her sex, Sitā, with a glad heart ascended the car resembling the sun. Counting the term of their stay in the woods, her father-in-law furnished Sitā following her lord with attires and ornaments. And then he placed in front of the car various weapons, coats of mail, a basket bound in hide and a hoe. At length the brothers Rāma and Lakshmana swiftly ascended the flaming car garnished with gold. And seeing them with Sitā for the third, mounted, Sumantra drove the car yoked with goodly horses resembling the wind in celerity. On Rāghava having left for the forest to stay there for a long period, the men and beasts within the city were deprived of their senses (by grief). And in the city there arose a mighty tumult in consequence of the hurrying of people, the elephants waxing mad and furious, and the neighings of horses. And the entire city containing young and old, extremely afflicted, rushed after Rāma, like persons oppressed with the heat of the sun rushing towards water.

At his side and back, the people bending forward with their faces covered with the vapour of grief, and sighing hard, said unto the charioteer,—“O charioteer, rein in the horses,—do thou proceed softly. We will see the countenance of Rāma, which we shall never see again. Surely the heart of Rāma’s mother is made of iron, for it does not burst on witnessing her son resembling Skanda repairing to the forest. Vaidehi, attaining her desire, follows her husband, like a shadow—attached to virtue, she does not forsake him even as the Sun forsakes not meru. O Lakshmana, you are blessed, since you will serve your god-like brother ever speaking fair. This design of yours is great; this is your mighty good fortune; this the way to heaven that you are following him.” Saying this, they could not supress their fears; and the men followed the beloved descendant of Ikshwāku. Then the king, his senses overcome by grief, surrounded by his distressed wives, went out of his house, saying—“I will behold my dear son.” He heard before him a mighty noise proceeding from weeping women, like unto the roars of she-elephants, when a great elephant has been taken captive. Thereupon Rāma’s father, the graceful Kākutstha, became shorn of his splendour, like unto the full-moon enveloped at the appointed time during the eclipse. Then the auspicious son of Daçarātha of soul incapable of being comprehended, ordered the charioteer, saying,—“Do thou proceed more speedily Rāma saying unto the charioteer,—“Go,” and the people,— “Stay,” thus desired on the way, the charioteer could not act both ways at once. As the mighty-armed Rāma proceeded, the dust of the earth raised by the car-wheels were laid by the tears of the citizens showering down. And in consequence of Rāghava’s departure, the entire city filled with despair, and uttering with their senses lost exclamations of “Oh” and “Alas,” became exceedingly afflicted. And the tears begot of heart’s grief that flowed from the eyes of the females, resembled rain-drops scattered around from lotuses shaken by the movements of fish. And beholding the citizens absorbed in one thought, the auspicious monarch fell down in grief like a tree whose roots have been severed. Then seeing the sovereign senseless and stricken with exceeding sorrow, the multitudes at the rear of Rāma broke out into a loud tumult. And seeing the king weeping aloud with the inmates of the inner apartment, some exclaiming “Oh Rāma,” and others, “O Rāma’s mother,” began to bewail. Then turning back, Rāma saw that his sorrow-stricken and bewildered father along with his mother, was following his track. As a colt fastened in a snare cannot see its mother, so Rāma fastened in the bonds of virtue could not look at his mother openly. And seeing his parents deserving of comfort and worthy of going in a carriage, going on foot, Rāma said unto the charioteer,—“Go thou swiftly.” And that foremost of men was incapable of bearing the looks of his father and mother, like unto an elephant afflicted with the hook, (not being able to look at what is placed on its back.)

Rāma’s mother rushed after him like a cow having a calf which has been fettered, rushing towards the fold, for the purpose of seeing it. Rāma beheld his mother Kauçalyā running after the car, bewailing aloud,— “Rāma, Rāma, Ah Sitā, Lakshmana,” shedding tears for Rāma, Lakshmana and Sitā, and appearing as if she had been dancing incessantly. The king exclaimed,—“Stay,” Rāghava said,—“On, On.” Sumantra’s mind vascillated like that of one placed between two hosts burning to encounter each other. Rāma said unto him—“When taxed by the monarch (on your return), you will say, ‘I did not hear you.’ But delay will impart me terrible pain.” Thereupon, doing Rāma’s bidding, the charioteer, telling the people to desist, made the horses already coursing, run faster. The retainers of the king stopped after circumambulating Rāma, but their minds did not turn back. But the others did not return either bodily or mentally. Then the courtiers said unto that mighty monarch, Daçarātha,—“He that is expected back should not be followed far.” Hearing their words, the king endued with every virtue, with his body covered with perspiration and his countenance woe-begone, and exceeding distressed, stopped short and stood along with his wife looking at his son.


When that foremost of men had gone out of the city with joined hands, there arose a chorus of cries proceeding from the females residing in the inner apartment. “Where goeth he that was the stay and refuge of the friendless, the feeble, and the helpless? He that although falsely accused, used not to be moved by anger, who pacified every enraged person by renouncing things calculated to fan anger and who felt equally for all, where goeth he? Where goeth that highly energetic and magnanimous one who conducted himself with us as he did with his mother Kauçalyā? Afflicted by Kaikeyi and commissioned by the monarch unto the woods, where goeth the deliverer of these people—of the entire world? Ah! The senseless monarch is sending to the woods the stay of all creatures—the righteous and truthful Rāma.” Thus all the queens, oppressed with grief, burst out into lamentations like kine bereft of calves, and loud was the sound of their wailing. Hearing the loud tumult of lamentation in the inner apartment, the lord of earth burning in grief for his son was striken with sorrow. And oblations unto the fire had not been offered; and the Sun set; and elephants forsook their forage; and the kine did not suckle their calves. Trisanku, Lohitānga, Vrihashpati, Budha and the other Grahas getting at the Moon, remained with fierce aspects. The stars are shorn of their brightness; the Grahas deprived of sheen; and Viçakhā appeareth enveloped in haze. And clouds driven by the wind resembled the sea mounting the welkin; and the city shook on Rāma having departed for the forest. And the cardinal points are distressed, and appear enveloped in darkness. And no planet or star is to be seen. And all of a sudden the citizens have been striken with poverty: and no one turns his thoughts to eating or drinking. And ceaselessly burning in grief and heaving sighs, the people in Ayodhyā rage at the monarch. And with their faces washed in tears, the wayfarers betoken no delight, but all are being exercised with grief. And the cool air does not blow, and no moon of mild appearance is seen, and no sun heats the world, all the entire Earth is overwhelmed with woe. And sons depend not upon their parents, hurbands on their wives, and brothers on brothers; and all forsaking each other, think of Rāma only. And deprived of sense, and oppressed by the load of sorrow, the friends of Rāma forsook their rest. Like the Earth with her mountains bereft of Purandara, Ayodhyā, bereft of Rāma, shook, agitated by fear and grief; and the citizens with elephants and warriors uttered exclamations of distress.


So long as he could see the dust raised by the car of Rāma setting out for the forest, so long that best of the Ikshwāku race did not turn his eyes from that direction. And so long as the king could discover his exceedingly virtuous and favorite son, so long he raised himself (on his toes) on the earth with the view of beholding him. And when the ruler of earth could no longer perceive even the dust raised by Rāma’s car, then pierced with sorrow, and in heaviness of heart, he fell down to the ground. Then (raising him up), Kauçalyā held his right arm and walked with him, while the slender-waisted Kaikeyi walked by his left. Endowed with a sense of justice and with virtue and humility, the king with afflicted senses steadily eyeing Kaikeyi, thus spake unto her,—“O Kaikeyi, that hast decided for following sin, do thou not touch my person,—nor do I wish to see thee. Thou art no wife of mine—not even a maid-servant of a friend sharing his good graces. I am none to those that subsist on thy favour, nor are they anything to me. I renounce thee who solely seekest thy interest and hast abandoned virtue. I renounce all the advantages pertaining either to this world or the next which I am entitled to by virtue of having obtained thy hand and having made thee circumambulate the sacrifical fire. If Bharata is satisfied with receiving this entire kingdom, let not what he spends on account of my funeral obsequies find its way to me.” Then raising the lord of men covered with dust, the noble Kauçalyā pierced with grief, stopped (along with the monarch). The righteous one remembering Rāghava repented himself, as if he had slain a Brāhmana through inordinate desire, or as if he had placed his hand in fire. And having stopped again and again, the visage of the monarch lamenting on beholding the track of the car, appeared dim like the Moon invaded by Rāhu. And stricken with grief, he lamented, remembering his beloved son; and thinking that by this time he had reached the precincts of the city, he broke out into the following,—“On the way are traced the foot-prints of those foremost of bearers that are carrying my son away; but that magnanimous one I do not find. And that meritorious son of mine, who, doubed with sandal, used to rest his head pleasantly upon a pillow, fanned by beauteous damsels decked in ornaments, will to-day surely take refuge underneath a tree, and lay his head on a wooden plank or a stone. Covered with dust, he heaving sighs will rise from the ground in sad guise, like a leader of she-elephants rising from the side of a mountain. The rangers of the woods will now see the long-armed Rāma resembling the lord himself of the worlds, rising from the ground and going like one forlorn. And that one so dearly loved by Janaka, worthy of being constantly ministered unto with comforts, is to-day going to the forest, fatigued in consequence of having been pierced with thorns. Unacquainted with the forest, she is certainly afflicted with fright on hearing the deep roars of ferocious beasts, capable of making one’s hair stand erect. O Kaikeyi, do thou realize thy desire,—do thou becoming a widow, rule this kingdom. Without that best of men I cannot live.” Thus lamenting, the king surrounded by the multitude, like one that had performed his bath after death, entered that best of cities filled with people enfeebled and smitten with grief, with its streets thined of men and its stalls closed. And beholding that entire city, with his mind fixed upon Rāma, the king lamenting, like unto the sun entering clouds, entered that city like unto an unagitated sea rid of serpents by Suparna,142 the city without Rāma or Lakshmana or Sitā. Then with tears in his eyes, the lord of earth, lamenting, in unintelligible accents said these sad and broken words,—“Do you speedily take me to the room of Rāma’s mother, Kauçalyā; for in no other place shall I find rest for my heart.” When the king had spoken thus, the ushers taking him to Kauçalyā’s chamber, made him lie down in lowly plight. And having entered Kauçalyā’s apartment, the king having laid himself on the bed, was overwhelmed with emotion. And the king surveyed the mansion deprived of his two sons as well as his daughter-in-law, like unto the welkin deprived of the Moon. Beholding this, the puissant sovereign raising up his arm, burst out into lamentations, saying,— “Ah! Rāma, thou forsakest us both! Ah me! Surely those blessed people are happy, who having passed this gap of time, will behold Rāma returned and will embrace him.” Then when the night had come like unto his own fatal night, Daçarātha at mid-night addressed Kauçalyā saying,—“I do not perceive thee, O Kauçalyā. Do thou touch me with thy hand. My sight having followed Rāma doth not return yet.” Then seeing that foremost of men absorbed in the contemplation of Rāma, that noble dame sat by him, and afflicted with greater grief, began to indulge a sorrow,143 sighing heavily.


Then seeing the king lying down stupified with grief Kauçalyā aggrieved for her son, spake unto the lord of earth, saying,—‘O best of men, having vented her venom upon Rāghava, the crooked Kaikeyi will go about like a she- serpent that has cast off her slough. And that fortunate one having by her endeavours attained her end, will frighten me the more like a wicked serpent in one’s house. If Rāma had stayed in this city subsisting himself by alms, or had I made my son as Kaikeyi’s slave, even that would have been preferable (before his retirement to the woods). Like unto the sacrificial share cast unto the Rākshasas by the sacrificers on the occasions of Parvas, that wielder of the bow, the mighty-armed Rāma, gifted with the gait of the prince of elephants, cast off by Kaikeyi, takes refuge in the forest in company with his wife and Lakshmana. Despatched by you to the woods at the command of Kaikeyi, to what a plight will they, not inured to the privations of a forest-life, be reduced! And bereft of elegant apparel, how will they of tender years, exiled in this time of enjoyment, pass their lives in misery, subsisting on fruits and roots! Will such a time present itself now that my grief removed and my desire attained, I shall here behold Rāghava along with his wife and brother? When, hearing that those heroes have come, will Ayodhyā adorned with standards and garlands, attain fame, with her populace filled with joy? When, seeing those foremost of men returned from the forest, will the city overflow with delight, like the ocean on the occasion of a Parva? When will the mighty-armed hero enter the city of Ayodhyā, placing Sitā” before him on the car,—like unto a bull having his bovine mate before him? When will people by thousands shower fried paddy upon my sons on the road, as those repressors of foes will enter the city? When shall I behold those (two) wearing burnished ear-rings, entering Ayodhyā, placing before them their weapons and swords, like unto two hills furnished with their summits? When accepting flowers from girls and fruits from Brāhmanas, will they, filled with delight, go round the palace? When with his intelligence ripened by time, although resembling a celestial in age, will that righteous-souled one come here, rejoicing people like a Trivarsha?144 Doubtless, O hero, formerly of vile ways that I was, I had cut off the paps of kine and thus prevented their calves hungering after their mothers’ milk, from drinking it. And it is for this sin that, O foremost of men, have I, attached to my son, been forcibly deprived of him by Kaikeyi, like a cow deprived of her calf by a lion. Having an only son, I dare not live without him endowed with every virtue and versed in every branch of learning. Not seeing my beloved son and the mighty Lakshmana, I cannot live at all. As in summer the divine Sun furnished with fierce rays burns this earth, even so this raging fire of grief on account of my son consumes me.”


As that best of ladies, Kauçalyā, was thus lamenting, Sumitrā ever abiding in virtue, spake unto her these words consistent with righteousness,—“O worshipful one, your son is crowned with all qualities,—and is the best of men. Why then do you bewail thus, or weep bitterly? Since, O revered one, renouncing the kingdom, your mighty son wendeth (to the woods) with the view of fulfiling the intention of his high- souled and truthful sire, the worthy Rāma staying in the duty that is completely observed by the good and the performance of which always bringeth welfare in the next world, should by no means be lamented. And that sinless one, Lakshmana, kind unto all creatures, will minister unto Rāma in the best way possible,—and this is to the advantage of that high-souled one, And experiencing the hardships that come of living in the forest, Vaidehi deserving of happiness follows your righteous son. And what is wanting unto that maintainer of all, your son of subdued senses, intent upon truth and the observance of vows, who is spreading his banner of fame over the world? Acquainted with Rāma’s manifest purity and high magnanimity, the Sun himself will not dare burn his body with his rays. And issuing from the woods at all hours, the delicious air impregnated with heat and cold will serve Rāghava. And when he will lie down at night, the Moon touching him with his beams and embracing him even like his own father, will gladden his heart. That hero of mighty energy on whom Brahmā had conferred celestial weapons, seeing that foremost of the Dānavas, the son of Timidhwaja, slain in battle,—that tiger-like one, relying on the native strength of his arms, will fearlessly abide in the forest as if in his own home. And why should not the earth remain in the sway of him coming within the range of whose arms enemies find destruction? Considering Rāma’s grace, heroism and auspiciousness, (there cannot be any doubt that) returning from the forest, he will speedily regain his own kingdom. He is the sun of the sun, the lord of the lord,—he is the auspiciousness of prime auspiciousness, the fame of fame, the forbearance of forbearance, the god of the gods,— and the foremost of creatures. What evil qualities, O noble lady, will be perceived in him, whether he remains in the city or in the forest? And that best of men, Rāma, will soon be installed in the kingdom, in company with these three— the Earth, Vaidehi, and the goddess of victory. Although overwhelmed with grief, the people of Ayodhyā, seeing that noble unvanquished one retiring to the woods clad in Kuça and bark, are shedding tears begot of sorrow; yet accompanied by that Lakshmi, what is there that is incapable of being attained by him? And what is there that is incapable of being obtained by him before whom goeth that foremost of bowmen himself bearing arrows, swords and other weapons? You will again see him returned from the forest. O exalted one, chase your grief and sadness, I tell you this truly. O blameless one, you will again, O auspicious lady, see your son, like onto the new-risen moon, paying homage unto your feet with his head. And again seeing him returned and crowned with great auspiciousness, you will speedily shed the dew of delight. O noble lady, do not grieve or lament. Evil cannot touch Rāma. You will soon behold your son along with Siti and Lakshmana. O sinless one, it is for you to console these people. Why then, O revered one, do you suffer your heart to be thus overpowered? O eminent one, you ought not to bewail, inasmuch as Rāghava is your son. In this world there is not another residing in honesty that is superior to Rāma. Beholding your son surrounded by his friends, bowing unto you, you will soon shed blissful tears, even like a rain-cloud. And soon will your son conferring boons, returning (to this place), press your feet with those soft and plump hands of his. And even as a chain of clouds speaks unto a hill, you will speak onto worshipful and heroic son, surrounded by his friends, bowing unto you.” Having thus addressed Rāma’s mother and inspired her with hope in various words, the noble pleasant and blameless Sumitrā, clever in speech, paused. Hearing those words of Lakshmana’s mother, that wife of the best of men, Rāma’s mother, had her sorrow destroyed in her person, even like an autumnal cloud surcharged with slight rain.


The people, who yarned after Rāma having truth for prowess, followed him repairing to the forest Even when the king in the interests of his son had with much ado restrained himself, these, following Rāma’s car, did not desist. That illustrious one crowned with every perfection was unto the inhabitants of Ayodhyā like unto the full moon himself. Although besought by the subjects, the truthful Kākutstha having pledged his word unto his father, kept on going to the forest. And affectionately eying them as if drinking them with his sight, Rāma touchingly addressed those subjects as if they were his own,—“The love and regard which the inhabitants of Ayodhyā have for me, let them, for pleasing me, extend in full measure towards Bharata. That enhancer of Kaikeyi’s delight bearing an auspicious character, will duly compass your happiness and welfare. Aged by virtue of his wisdom, although young in years, and mild albeit furnished with heroic virtue, that remover of fear will make a fit ruler for ye. Crowned with every regal virtue and selected as the heir-apparent (by the monarch), he is more meritorious by far than I am. It behoves ye to obey the order of your master. And seeking my good, it behoves ye to act so that when I shall have gone to the forest, the king may not grieve.” But as Daçarātha’s son was bringing home to the people that their duty lay in obeying the royal mandate, they desired that even Rāma should rule them. And Rāma in company with Sumitrā’s son attracted the inhabitants of the city subdued by his virtues, who stood with tears in their eyes. And the three kinds of the twice born ones, viz., those old by virtue, respectively, of age, wisdom, and ascetic energy, the old folks with their heads shaking through length of years,—cried from a distance,—“O ye fleet coursers boasting of exalted extraction that bear Rāma away, do ye desist,—do not go; do ye do even what is for the good of your master. And more particularly being creatures furnished with ears, do ye, ye horses, knowing our prayer, desist. And pure of spirit and heroic and ever firm in noble promises, that master of yours should in justice be carried (unto the city) and not unto the forest away from it.” Suddenly seeing those old Brāhmanas thus lamenting distressfully, Rāma speedily descended from his car. And along with Lakshmana and Sitā, Rāma bound for the forest, began to walk near them on foot. Endowed with kindness, that friend of the good, Rāma, could not by proceeding on his car bear to part with the Brāhmanas that were following on foot. Seeing him thus going, the Brāhmanas with agitated hearts, and burning in grief, addressed Rāma in these words,—“The Brāhmanas in a body are following thee ever seeking their good, and mounting on the shoulders of the regenerate ones, the (sacrificial) Fires are walking in thy wake. And behold these raised umbrellas of ours got from the Vājapeya sacrifice, that like unto autumnal clouds follow at your back. With these umbrellas got at the Vājapeya sacrifice, we will afford shade unto Rāma destitute of his own white umbrella, when he shall feel the heat of the (solar) rays. That intelligence of ours which ever followeth the Vedic Mantras, is now, O child, ready to follow thee unto the forest in thy interests. That best of treasures, the Vedas, resides in our bosoms; and our wives protected by their chastity abide in our homes. As we have already made up our minds to follow thee, it is useless to fix our hearts afresh. But if thou overlookest virtue, what becomes of abiding by righteousness?145 O thou that art ever firm in virtue, we beseech thee by humbling unto the dust our heads covered with hair white like cranes, do thou desist. These numerous Brāhmanas that have come hither have entered upon many a sacrifice. The completion of these, O child, depends upon thy return. All creatures mobile and immobile cherish thee with high regard. All these beseech thee. Do thou show consideration unto those that regard thee. Tall trees deprived of motion in consequence of being fast rooted to the earth and incapable of following thee, are prohibiting thee by sounding with the wind. And birds staying upon trees and neither manifesting any motion nor seeking for their food, beseech thee to have compassion upon all creatures.” While the Brāhmanas were loudly demanding the return of Rāma, he found the darkness to descend as if forbidding him. Then Sumantra unyoked the fatigued horses from the car, which at once fell to rolling in the dust. And then bathing them and making then drink, he soon as the dusk set in, set fare before them.


Then Rāghava pausing on the banks of the Tamasā, looked at Sitā and spake unto Sumitrā’s son, saying,— “O son of Sumitrā, this is the first night of our exile into the forest. From this day it behoveth thee not, good betide thee, to suffer thy mind to grieve (by dwelling on past joys.) The empty forest resounding with the cries of beasts and birds returned to their abodes, and covered with gloom, seems to weep on all sides. Doubtless to-day the men and women of Ayodhyā, the metropolis of my father, are bewailing us retired to the forest. O foremost of men, the people are attached unto thyself, the monarch, Bliarata, Satrughna, and myself, because of our various good qualities. I bewail our father as well as my illustrious mother. I fear lest lamenting ceaselessly, they become blind. But surely the virtuous Bharata will console our father and mother with words fraught with virtue, interest and profit. Reflecting again and again on Bharata’s sincerity of soul, I do not, O mighty- armed one, bewail either my mother or my father. O foremost of men, that thou hast followed me is what is thy duty. (If thou hadest not done so), I should have to seek elsewhere for the protection of Vaidehi. O Sumitrā’s son, I will spend here this night, subsisting on water alone. Even this recommends itself unto me, although the forest yields various kinds of fruits.” Having said this unto Sumitrā’s son, Rāghava spake unto Sumantra, saying,—“O mild one, do thou now needfully tend the horses.” Then at sunset, fastening the horses, Sumantra fed them plentifully with grass, and then came back. Then seeing the night arrived, the charioteer worshipped the beneficent Sandhyā, and then in company with Sumitrā’s son, prepared Rāma’s bed. And looking at that bed on the shores of the Tamasā surrounded by trees, Rāma along with his wife and the son of Sumitrā, lay down. When Lakshmana found that Rāma afflicted with fatigue had slept together with his spouse, he began to speak unto the charioteer concerning the various qualities of Rāma. As remaining awake in the night, Sumitrā’s son was engaged in expatiating to the charioteer on the virtues of Rāma on the banks of the Tamasā, the sun arose.

Rāma abode that night along with the subjects at some distance from the banks of the Tamasā filled with kine. Rising (from his bed), that highly energetic one, Rāma, viewing the subjects (asleep), addressed his brother Lakshmana graced with auspicious marks,—“O son of Sumitrā, these for our sake have disregarded their own homes, are asleep beneath the trees. These citizens have determined upon making me turn back from the forest,— they would rather renounce their lives than give up their resolve. Let us while they are asleep ascending on our car, swiftly go our way without fear of molestation. Attached to me, the denizons of Ikshwāku’s city will not again indulge in sleep underneath trees. A prince should deliver citizens from the calamity they bring upon themselves; but he should by no means drag them into those which he himself has brought on.” Then Lakshmana spake unto Rāma like unto manifest Virtue on earth,—“O wise one, even this is relished also by me. Do you speedily ascend (the car.)” Rāma said unto the charioteer,—“Do thou at once yoke the car. I will repair to the forest. Do thou, my master, swiftly go hence.” Thereupon the charioteer bestirring himself, yoking the excellent horses unto the car, said unto Rāma with joined hands,— “Here, O mighty-armed one, is your car ready yoked, O foremost of car-warriors. Do you speedily ascend, good betide you, along with Sitā and Lakshmana.” Ascending the car after equipping himself, Rāghava crossed the rapidly- rushing Tamasā abounding in eddies. Having crossed (the stream), the auspicious and mighty-armed one came upon a safe and goodly high way capable of inspiring even timid people with confidence. But with the view of deluding the citizens, Rāma said unto the charioteer.—“0 charioteer, do thou ascending the car proceed northwards; and having proceeded swiftly for a while, do thou turn the car. Do thou carefully act so that the citizens may not perceive this.” Hearing Rāma’s words, the charioteer did accordingly. And having returned said unto Rāma to ascend the car.

Then on those perpetuators of the Raghu race having along with Sitā been seated on the car, the charioteer drove the horses by that road which conducted to the hermitage. Then placing the car with its face northwards for the purpose of invoking auspiciousness on their journey, that mighty charioteer, Daçarātha’s son, established on the vehicle, set out for the forest.


When the night had departed and day dawned, the citizens not finding Rāghava, were overwhelmed with grief and were deprived of their senses. With tears of grief and afflicted with distress, they looked hither and thither, but they could not discover even the dust raised by Rāma’s car. And those intelligent ones, extremely distressed on being deprived of Rāma endowed with understanding, with countenances betokening sorrow, spoke these piteous words,— “Oh! Fie on that sleep through which having been deprived of senses, we shall not to-day behold Rāma of broad chest and mighty arms. How could Rāma of mighty arms, resorting to this undesirable course, has gone into exile as an ascetic, leaving behind those that regard him dearly? Why has that foremost of Raghus, who has always cherished us even as a father cherishes his sons begot by his own loins, forsaking us, betaken himself to the forest? Here will we either renounce our lives, or direct our course to the north to meet death. Of what good are our lives, when we have been deprived of Rāma? There are huge trunks of dry wood to be got here in plenty. Lighting the pile of woods will we all enter the fire. What shall we say (when people ask us?) How can we say,—‘We took hence the mighty-armed, sweet-speeched and unavenging Rāma’? Surely seeing us without Rāghava, the forlorn city with her women, children and grown up folks will be plunged in grid We had issued with that high-souled hero. Deprived of him, how shall we behold that city?” Thus raising up their arms, they stricken with grief, indulged in lamentations, like unto kine deprived of their calves.—Then following for a while the track of the car, they, missing the track, become overwhelmed with woe. And then those intelligent ones came back by the track of the car. “What is this? What shall we do? We have been foiled by some supernatural agency.” Then they returned to the city of Ayodhyā with its good people oppressed with grief, by the self-same way by which they had come. Viewing the city, they with their eyes weighed down with grief, and minds oppressed with woe, shed plentiful tears. “This city deprived of Rāma does not look beautiful, like a lake bereft of its serpent by Garura, or the firmament deprived of the Moon, or the ocean without its waters.” And they disturbed in mind beheld the city sunk in sorrow. And entering their wealthy mansions, they deprived of their senses by grief, could not recognize them for their own, nor could they with their hearts rendered absolutely cheerless, although looking at them minutely, distinguish their own from others.


THEN with depressed spirits, and exceedingly afflicted, with tears flooding their eyes, smitten with mortal grief, the inhabitants of the city went back from Rāma unto the city. And with their lives appearing as ready to go out, those unsteady ones came to their respective homes, and surrounded by their wives and sons, washed their faces with copious tears. And they forgot to rejoice or make merry, and the traders did not spread (their stores), and stalls did not grace the place, and the householders drd not cook, and people did not rejoice on recovering lost property or gaining a profuse accession of wealth, and mothers did not feel any delight on beholding their first-born. And in every home females afflicted with woe, weeping chid their husbands, coming home, with the following words as (drivers) spur elephants with hooks, “Of what use are their houses, and wives, and wealth, and sons, and comforts, to those who see not Rāghava (in their midst?) There is one only good man in this world even Lakshmana, who along with Sitā is following Kākutstha Rāma unto the woods. Those streams, assemblage of lotuses, and pools are blessed, by which bathing in the sacred waters, Kākutstha will pass. And romantic forests and woods, watery expanses of mighty volume, and mountains with flat spaces, will grace Kākutstha. And forests and hills to which will repair Rāma cannot go without paying him homage like unto a welcome guest. And crested with flowers of various hues and putting forth frequent shoots, trees, swarming with bees will show themselves unto Rāghava. And hills from regard will show unto Rāma arrived there the choicest flowers and fruits even out of season; and will supply him with fountains of pure water. And presenting him with many a charming fountain, trees will delight Rāma at the tops of mountains.146 Where Rāma is, there is not fear or failure. That mighty- armed son of Daçarātha is heroic. Let us while he is yet ahead within a short distance of us, follow Rāghava. Even the shadow of the feet of our master, so high-souled, would, bring us happiness. He is the lord of all these—he is the refuge—he is the accomplishment of our religious duties. We and you, will serve Sitā, and Rāghava.” Thus afflicted with grief, the women of the city spake unto their husbands. “In the forest Rāghava will attain for you the unattainable and protect what is attained; and Sitā being a female will do the same for these (women.) Who will take pleasure in residing in a dwelling where the heart dies within itself, which is devoid of delight, where the people are always agitated with anxiety and which is exceedingly disagreeable? If this kingdom devolves on Kaikeyi it will be divested of all virtues and will be like unto one without a master. And of what avail then is our life itself, not to speak of sons and wealth. Whom else will that stainer of her line, Kaikeyi, forsake now, who for the sake of wealth has forsaken her son and her lord? We swear by our sons that so long as Kaikeyi is alive, we living will never stay in her kingdom, although we may be maintained by her. What happiness can be ours by living with that wicked and unrighteous one who lost to every sense of shame is bent upon exiling the son of the foremost of kings? Troubled by disturbances, with all its sacrifices stopped, and having no master over it, the entire (kingdom) will meet with destruction because of Kaikeyi. On Rāma retiring to the forest, the lord of earth will surely not live; and Daçarātha dying, it is evident everything will come to naught. Do you, your virtue exhausted, and oppressed with grief pounding poison, take it or follow Rāghava, or remove to such a place that the very name of Kaikeyi may not reach your ears? Rāma has been deceitfully exiled along with his wife and Lakshmana; and we are bound unto Bharata like unto a (sacrificial,) beast before one that is to slaughter it. Surely that mighty car-warrior, with deepest collar-bones having a countenance resembling the full moon, sable-hued, repressing his foes, with his arms reaching unto his knees and lotus-like eyes—Rāma the elder brother of Lakshmana—always speaking first (to a visitor,) suave, truth-telling, endowed with prowess, amiable unto all men, and lovely like the moon himself, surely that foremost of men gifted with the strength of a mad elephant, will grace the forests, ranging it around.” Thus lamenting in the city, the females thereof burning in grief became distressed like people stricken with panic on the occasion of a plague.

As the women were thus bewailing Rāghava in their homes, the Sun set and night came on. And the city became enveloped in darkness, and the light (of the sacrificial fires) was extinguished, and the sounds of study and edifying discourse ceased. And the shops of the tradesmen being closed, and festive mirth having disappeared, and people becoming defenceless, the city of Ayodhyā resembled the firmament deprived of the stars. And distressed for the sake of Rāma as if it was a son or a brother of theirs that was banished, the women weeping forlorn, lamented with senses lost; and Rāma was to them more than a son. And the voice of song and festal glee and dance and sounds of instruments having died away, and mirth having disappeared, and the shops not displaying their wares, Ayodhyā then resembled the mighty ocean emptied of its waters.


THAT best of men, Rāma, remembering his father’s command cleared a large tract of country before the night terminated. And as he went on, the auspicious night was spent. And then having offered up his devotions unto the beneficent Sandhyā, Rāma entered into another country. And seeing villages having ploughed fields on their skirts, and flowering woods, he by means of those excellent horses, proceeded very fast although seeming to go slowly. And as Rāma proceeded,147 he heard the villagers speaking to each other, saying,—“Fie on king Daçarātha, who has yielded himself up unto lust! Ah! The rebutless, fell and sinful Kaikeyi intent upon impiety, having put by her honor, has resolved upon an exceedingly atrocious deed—she that exiles into the woods such a virtuous son of the monarch, endowed with high wisdom, kind, and having his senses under control.148 Alas! King Daçarātha has no affection for his own son, since he wishes to dismiss from hence Rāma sinless and dear unto the subjects.” Hearing these words of the villagers, that hero, the lord of Koçala, left Koçala behind him. Then crossing the river Vedaçruti of sacred waters, Rāma went in the direction of the quarter in which Agastya resided. (South)

Then proceeding for a good while, he crossed the coolflowing stream Gomati running in the direction of the ocean, with its banks filled with kine and inundating its edge. Having passed the Gomati, Rāghava by means of fleet-coursing horses next crossed over the river Sandika resounding with the cries of cranes and peacocks. Here Rāma showed unto Vaidehi those flourishing regions that had formerly been conferred by king Manu on Ikshwāku, and which teemed with populous tracts. Then frequently addressing the charioteer, saying, “O Suta”, that best of men furnished with grace and endowed with a voice like that of a mad swan, spoke,—“When shall I coming back, range ahunting the blossoming groves of the Sarayu, along with my father and mother? I do not so much long for hunting in the woods of the Sarayu; but a relish (for the pastime) is considered as beyond compare being held in esteem by the Rājarshis. Hunting in the forest was introduced for the recreation of Rāghavas. Yet do I not take beyond measure to the chase which has been followed in season by the descendants of Manu and which is ever coveted by bowmen. Taking this subject, the descendant of Ikshwāku passed the way, addressing sweet words unto the charioteer.


Having passed the extensive and romantic Koçala, the intelligent elder brother of Lakshmana facing Ayodhyā, said with joined hands,—“O best of cities, governed by Kākutstha, I address thee as well as the deities that inhabit and guard thee. Returning from my abode in the woods, I will, freed from my debt unto the lord of earth, behold thee again along with my father and mother.” Then he furnished with graceful coppery eyes raising his right hand, with tears in his eyes and in forlorn guise addressed the people of the provinces, saying,—“Ye have shown due compassion and regret for me. To grieve long is not fit. Do ye therefore repair to look after your interests.” Thereupon, saluting that high-souled one and going round him, bewailing all the while in heaviness of heart, they at times stopped on their way. And as they kept lamenting, unsatiated in beholding him, Rāghava went beyond the range of their sight, like the Sun disappearing at night-fall. Then that powerful one mounted on his car left behind him Koçala bounding in wealth and kine, inhabited by charitable people, auspicious, free from every kind of fear, charming, containing altars and stakes, with gardens and mango groves, furnished with tanks teeming with burly and contepted people, filled with kine, worthy of being protected by monarchs and resounding with the sounds of Vedic recitations. Proceeding at a middling pace, that best of those endowed with fortitude passed through lands smiling cheerfully, prosperous, and crowded with elegant villas,— realms worthy of being coveted by the foremost of kings. Then Rāghava saw the celestial Gangā running in three courses with cool waters free from moss, beautiful to behold, frequented by the sages, adorned with graceful asylums close by, containing sacred watery expanses haunted at the hours of sport by delighted Apsarās, graced with celestials, Dānavas, Gandharbas and Kinnaras, ever holy, attended by the wives of Nāgas and Gandharbas, with hills serving as sporting-places for the celestials—the river surrounded by gardens of the immortals—that for the behoof pf the celestials had ascended heaven, famous, furnished with assemblage of celestial lotuses, with the rocks laughing aloud in consequence of the dashing of water, laughing without blemish with foam, sometimes having her water flowing like a braid and sometimes decked by eddies, sometimes still and deep, and sometimes rushing furiously, sometimes sounding solemnly and sometimes roaring dreadfully, with crowds of deities bathing in its water, embellished with fresh-blown lotuses, having spacious shoals and spots covered with glittering sand, resounding with the cries of cranes of various kinds, graced by Chakravākas, ever resorted to by maddened fowls, without blame, decked by trees on its banks resembling garlands somewhere covered with full-blown lotuses and somewhere containing multitudes of lotuses, at places decked with tracts of lilies, at others with opening buds, rife with the farina of various flowers, sometimes resembling a proud female, removing the dirt of sin, translucent like a gem to the view, with the elephants of the quarters, wild ones, mad ones, as well as those the best of their species, and those carrying the foremost of celestials, roaring in the neighbouring woods, adorned carefully with the choicest ornaments like unto a damsel, crowded with flowers and fruits and bushes as also with birds, flowing from the feet of Vishnu, divine, without sin, capable of destroying it, filled with porpoises, crocodiles and snakes, drawn out from the matted locks of Sankara by the energy of Sagara’s descendant—the queen of the Ocean—resonant with the cries of cranes and kraunchas. The mighty-armed Rāma came to the Gangā near Sringaverapura. And beholding (the river) with her surging eddies, that mighty car-warrior said unto the charioteer, Sumantra, “We will rest here to day. There is hard by the river a gigantic Ingudi tree, bearing a profusion of flowers and fresh leaves. Here, O charioteer, will we stay to-day. I see (before me) the foremost of streams, whose waters are honored (by all) and which is sacred to celestials and men and Gandharbas and beasts and serpents and fowls. Thereupon saying unto Rāghava, “Very well,” Lakshmana and Sumantra with the horses went to the Ingudi tree. And reaching the tree, that desendant of Ikshwāku alighted from the car along with his wife and Lakshmana. Then descending, Sumantra relieved those excellent horses, and with joined hands stood before Rāma seated at the foot of the tree. There lived at the place a king named Guha, a friend unto Rāma, dear as his own self, a Nishāda by birth, powerful and famed as the lord of the Nishādas. Hearing that that foremost of men, Rāma, had arrived at the place, he (Guha) surrounded by his aged counsellors and kindred came unto him. Seeing the lord of the Nishadhas at a distance, Rāma came up unto him in company with Sumitrā’s son. Thereat touched, Guha embracing Rāghava said unto him, “O Rāma, as Ayodhyā this kingdom is unto thee. What shall I do for thee? Who, O might-armed one, receives such a welcome guest?” Then speedily bringing various kinds of sapid rice and Arghyas, he said,—“O mighty -armed one, has thy journey been a pleasant one? This entire earth is thine. We are thy servants; thou art our master. Do thou rule here, accepting the eatables and drinkables and those that are to be sucked and excellent beds and fodder.” When Guha had said this, Rāghava answered him, saying,—“We have been well received by thee and are well pleased with thee, since coming here on foot thou hast shown us affection.” Then pressing Guha hard with his arms, Rāma said, “O Guha, it is by good luck that I see thee whole along with thy friends. Is thy kingdom in peace both as regards thy friends and the forest? The things that thou hast presented me with out of love I accept but cannot enjoy. Do thou know me as assuming an ascetic mode of life in the woods, in which I am to wear Kuça and bark and live upon fruits and roots. So, will the single exception of the food for the horses, things require I none; and these horses being well kept, I shall consider myself as entertained by thee. These are the favorites of my father, Daçarātha, and on these horses being well provided for, I shall be well received. Thereupon Guha on the spot commanded the men, saying, “Let the horses have without delay meats and drinks.” Then putting his sheet over his person, he (Rāma) performed his evening devotions. Having done this, he took as his sustenance the water that had been procured by Lakshmana himself. On Rāma having lain down on the ground along with his wife, Lakshmana washed their feet, and then remained stationed under the tree. Then bow in hand and with his wits about him, conversing with Sumitrā’s son along with the charioteer, Guha remained awake, watching Rāma. Thus the livelong night passed away with that illustrious, intelligent and high-souled son of Daçarātha, unacquainted with troubles and worthy of happiness.


As for the purpose of protecting his brother, Lakshmana was watching him out of sincere affection, Guha burning in grief addressed that descendant of Raghu, saying—“This O child, is the easeful bed that hath been prepared for thee. O prince, do thou as thou listest, lie down upon it. These (foresters) are inured to this hardship; but thou art worthy of ease. We will wake up during the night for guarding Kākutstha. There is none on earth dearer unto me than Rāma. This I tell thee truly and I swear by truth itself. Through his grace I hope in this world to attain high fame, and great religious merit as well as completely secure profit and pleasure. I will bow in hand in company with my kindred adequately guard my dear friend reposing with Sitā. Always ranging in this forest, nothing herein is unknown to me. I shall vanquish even any mighty body of fourfold forces (that may come up against us.)” Thereupon Lakshmana said,— “O sinless one, protected by thee ever having thy sight fixed on virtue, we do not fear to live in this place. But how with Daçarātha’s son lying down on the ground along with Sitā can I indulge in sleep or what is the use of my living and enjoying happiness? Him do thou behold with ease asleep on the grass in company with Sitā, who was incapable of being borne in fight by the gods and the Asuras. Hfm do thou behold, who was obtained by Da$aratha as his son through various kinds of prowess, mantras and asceticism, and who is crowned with virtues beseeming such austerities, etc. Rāma being banished, the king will not live long and the earth will shortly be widowed.” Having bewailed aloud, the women have, methinks, (by this time) ceased through fatigue, and the king’s residence is still. I cannot hope that Kauçalyā, the king, and my mother are yet alive. If they are, it is for this night only. Even if my mother live looking up to Satrughna, yet this is my grief that that mother of a hero, Kauçalyā will breathe her last And that palace filled with people attached unto Rāma and flooded with the light of delight, will, visited with the calamity that will befall the king meet with destruction. How will the life of that high-souled king not seeing his magnanimous son, his eldest son, remain in his body? And the king dying, Kauçalyā will die after him and then my mother will depart this life. Frustrated in his desire, my father, foiled in his endeavours to confer the kingdom on Rāma, will, exclaiming ‘All is lost,’ ‘All is lost,’ give up the ghost. Sirely they are blessed that when the time shall come when the king will die, will perform the funeral rites of that descendant of Raghu. They will happily range the capital of my father, furnished with fairlooking terraces, with its high ways laid out orderly, having lordly edifices and palatial residences, graced with excellent courtezans, abounding with cars, elephants and horses, resounding with the notes of trumpets—the abode of all auspiciousness—filled with portly and contented folks, rich in gardens and villas, and celebrating popular festivities. If Daçarātha live we shall returning from the forest, behold that high-souled one observing noble vows. If we remain in peace, we shall returning from the forest with that one firm in promise, enter Ayodhyā.” As the high-souled son of the king oppressed with grief was thus lamenting sitting up, the day broke. When that son of the foremost of men, intent on the welfare of the subjects had spoken thus truly, Guha, out of extreme affection for (Rāma), shed tears afflicted with grief and hurt like an elephant suffering from fever.


“When the morning broke, that illustrious one having a spacious chest, Rāma, addressed Sumitrā’s son, Lakshmana, graced with auspicious marks,—“This is the time of sunrise: the reverend Night hath departed. O child, this gracefully sable-hued bird, the coel, has begun to warble, and I hear the cries of peacocks uttering notes in the woods. O amiable one, we will cross the Jahnavi, fast rushing to the ocean.” Hearing Rāma’s words, that enhancer of the delight of friends, Sumitrā’s son, conveyed them unto Guha and the charioteer; and then stood before his brother. Hearing of Rāma’s speech and accepting it, that lord of the Nishādas speedily summoning his counsellors spake unto them saying, —“Do ye without delay bring to this bathing-place a strong and elegent boat furnished with a rudder and steered by a helmsman, such as is capable of ferrying (people) comfortably.” Hearing this mandate of Guha. His potent counsellors procuring a goodly boat, informed him of it. Then with joined hands, Guha spake unto Rāghava, saying,—“The boat is ready, worshipful one. What more shall I do in thy behalf? O thou that resemblest the son of a celestial, here is the boat for thee, O foremost of men, to cross over the river that goeth after the ocean. O thou of excellent vows, do thou ascend it.” Thereupon the highly energetic Rāma said unto Guha the following words,—“I have attained my end through thee. Do thou at once get on board the baggage.” Then donning on their mail and equipped with their bows, quivers and swords, the Rāghavas along with Sitā descended unto the Gangā. Then coming forward in humble guise before Rāma cognizant of virtue, the charioteer said with joined hands,—“What shall I do (now)?” Thereupon Daçarātha’s son touching Sumantra by his goodly right hand, said,— “O Sumantra, do thou again repair unto the monarch, but let thy senses be unclouded.” “Do thou” said he unto the charioteer, “turn back. So far I have come (in obedience to the order of the monarch;. Now, renouncing the car, will I repair unto the mighty forest on foot” Finding himself thus commanded, the charioteer, Sumantra grieved at heart spoke unto that best of men, the descendant of Ikshwāku. “That Destiny owing to which you will have to pass your days in the forest like a low person, along with your brother and wife, has in this world been withstood by none. I deem the Brahmācharyya mode of life, or study, or meekness or sincerity as attended with no fruit, since you have come by calamity. O Rāghava, living in the forest with Vaidehi and your brother, you, O Lord, attain a state (of supreme excellence), having, as it were, conquered the three worlds. O Rāma, it is we, wretched that we are, that are undone, as we, deprived of your company, shall come under the sinful Kaikeyi expressing great misery.” Having said this, the charioteer, Sumantra, seeing Rāma intent upon going to a distant land, wept for a long while in heaviness of heart. Then when he had dried up his tears, and sanctified himself by touching the water of the Gangā, Rāma again addressed the charioteer in sweet words, saying,—“I do not find any one that is a friend of the sons of Ikshwāku like unto thee. Do thou so act that king Daçarātha may not grieve (for me). The lord of earth hath been deprived of his senses by grief, hath grown old, and is oppressed by the weight of desires (thwarted). Therefore it is that I tell thee this. Whatever that noble- minded lord of earth commands for the pleasure of Kaikeyi, should by us be done with alacrity. It is for this that those lords of men, kings, govern,—viz., that others may not thwart their purposes. O Sumantra, do thou act so, that the mighty monarch may not come across any thing unpleasant, or be attacked with chagrin through grief. Do thou saluting him for me say these words unto the aged monarch, who has his senses under complete control, and who hath never seen misfortune before. ‘Neither I nor Lakshmana grieve for being ejected out of Ayodhyā, or that we shall have to abide in the forest. After these fourteen years have gone by, you will see Lakshmana, Sitā. And myself come to you speedily.’ Having thus, O Sumantra, in my name again and again spoken to the king, to my mother and to Kaikevi along with the other revered ladies do thou communicate unto Kauçalyā our welfare conveying unto her at the same time Sitā’s and Lakshmana’s salutations to her feet as well those of myself who am her eldest son. Do thou also tell the king,— ‘Do you spedily bring Bharata; and when Bharata has come, let him be invested with royalty. And when you have embraced Bharata and installed him in the kingdom, you no longer be overpowered with grief on our account,’ And tell Bharata,—‘As thou bearest thyself unto the king, so it behoves thee to bear thyself to all thy mothers, without making any distinction at all. As Kaikeyi is unto thee, so without distinction is Sumitrā, and so also without distinction my mother Kauçalyā. Governing the kingdom as the heir- apparent with the view of compassing the pleasure of our father, he will be able to secure happiness both in this world and the next.” Told by Rāma to go back and instructed in this wise, Sumantra having heard everything, addressed Kākutstha from affection, saying,—“It behoves you to forgive what I say plainly from affection, without letting myself be overwhelmed with emotion, and with due reverence for you. How can I, O child, without you return to that city! Which seems as if afflicted with the grief incident to the loss of a son? Having then seen my car with Rāma on it, the hearts of the people and the palace now will in all likelihood burst when they shall see it without Rāma. Surely the city will be distressed on beholding this empty car, like a host seeing a car with its hero slain and the charioteer alone left in the field. Thinking in their minds that you although actually at a great distance from them, are before them, the subjects (not finding you) will renounce food (and thus destroy themselves.) You yourself witnessed how the subjects overwhelmed with grief on your account, conducted themselves when you were being banished unto the woods. They will on seeing me with the car, burst out into lamentations exceeding a hundred times in bitterness those in which they indulged when you set out for the forest. Shall I say unto the worshipful one,—‘I have conveyed your son to the home of his maternal uncle. Do you not grieve’. I will never tell such a lie. Yet how can I speak this truth which is so very unpleasant? And ever abiding by my command and used to carry your friends, how can these excellent horses bear this car without you? Therefore, O sinless one, I shall not be able to go to Ayodhyā without you; and it behoves you to permit me to follow you to the forest. But if you forsake me who beseech you, I will as soon as left by you, enter into fire along with the car. I shall, O Rāghava, by means of this car, withstand all those impediments that shall present themselves against your ascetic austerities in the forest. I have through your favour experienced the pleasure of driving the car. I expect at your hands the pleasure of living in the woods. Be you propitious. It is my wish to remain in the forest with you, and do you say, affectionately—‘Do you remain by my side’. And these horses, O hero, will attain to a supreme state if they serve you during your abode in the forest. Living in the forest, I will serve you with the crown of my head; and I will entirely renounce Ayodhyā or the celestial regions themselves. Even as a doer of evil deeds cannot enter the metropolis of the mighty Indra, I am incapable of entering Ayodhyā without you. And this is my desire that the term of exile over, I may carry you back to the palace on this very car. Remaining with you in the forest the fourteen years will pass away dwindled into a moment, but without you, they shall assume the proportions of an hundred years. O you bearing affection towards your servants, it does not behove you to forsake your servant having regard for you, ever abiding by the way that is wended by the son of his master, and observing the duties of his pesition.” Thereupon Rāma kind towards servants, said these words unto Sumantra as he besought him thus humbly in various ways, “O thou that bearest attachment unto thy master, I know that thou regardest me highly. But do thou listen as to why I send thee to the city from hence. Seeing thee returned to the city, my youngest mother Kaikeyi will believe that Rāma has gone to the woods. Then well pleased on my having repaired to the woods, she will not entertain any apprehension anent the righteous monarch, thinking that he is untruthful. This is my first wish that my youngest mother may obtain her son’s kingdom, properous and well protected by Bharata. Do thou, O Sumantra, bear thyself unto the palace to compass the end of both the king and myself, and do thou communicate in the desired way what I have said unto the respective parties.” Having said this unto the charioteer and consoled him again and again, the energetic Rāma spoke unto Guha the following words fraught with reason, “O Guha, I should not now reside in a forest inhabited by men. I should certainly now abide in an asylum in proper guise. In harmony with the wishes of Sitā and Lakshmana, I, imposing on myself in the interests of my father selfdenial and wearing that ornament of ascetics, a head of matted hair, will go (to the forest). Do thou therefore bring me starch from the banian.” Thereupon Guha speedily brought the starch for the prince; and prepared matted locks for himself, Rāma and Lakshmana. And that mighty- armed chief of men wore matted locks. And those brothers Rāma and Lakshmana dressed as mendicants, and wearing heads of matted hair, appeared like saints. Then entering upon the Vānaprastha mode of life, Rāma along with Lakshmana assuming the vow of that life, observed unto that adherent of his, Guha,—“Do thou, my friend, vigilantly protect the army, the exchequer, the fort and the provinces; for a kingdom demands all the exertions (of the king thereof).” Then taking the permission of Guha, the descendant of Ikshwāku, holding his soul in calmness, set out with his wife and Lakshmana. Seeing a boat at the river-side, that son of Ikshwāku desirous of crossing the swift-coursing Gangā, spoke these words,—“Do thou ascend, gently, O foremost of men, the boat that stayeth here, after the making the virtuous Sitā ascend by taking her by the hand.” Hearing his brother’s command, that strong-willed one, furthering everything, having made Mithilā’s daughter ascend, ascended himself. That energetic elder brother of Lakshmana next ascended himself. Then the lord of the Nishādas, Guha, incited his kinsfolk. Having got on board the boat, the exceedingly puissant Rāghava for securing his welfare, recited mantras fit to be recited by Kshatriyas and Brāhmanas. Then that mighty car-warrior, Lakshmana, sipping water from the river as laid down in the scriptures, bowed down to it along with Sitā in gladness of heart. Then telling Sumantra, Guha, and the forces, Rāma ascending the boat, ordered the boatmen (to proceed). Then the boat decked out by the helmsman, moved by them, and urged on by the pulls of the goodly oars, proceeded apace in the water. Having arrived at the middle of the Bhāgirathi, that blameless one, Vaidehi, with joined hands, addressed the river, saying,—“O Gangā, protected by thee, may the son of the intelligent and mighty monarch, Daçarātha, execute the mandate (of the latter.) Having spent complete fourteen years in the forest, he will return in company with his brother and myself. Then, O worshipful one, O thou of auspicious fortune, having returned safely, I will, O Gangā, worship thee, thou that crownst every desire. O thou that wendst in three ways, O revered one, thou envelopest the regions of Brahmā. Thou appearest in this world as the spouse of the Ocean- king. I will, O respected one, bow down unto thee, O beauteous one, I will hymn thee, when, with good fortune returned, the foremost of men has obtained the kingdom, I will to please thee give away unto Brāhmanas hundreds and thousands of kine, cloths, sapid rice, and vessels of wine by thousands, and pillaos. O worshipful one, I will worship thee on Rāma having returned to the city. And I will worship all the gods that dwell on thy banks, as well as the holy spots and fanes, as soon as, O sinless one, that mighty-armed one without sin will, coming back from his abode in the forest, enter Ayodhyā in company with his brother and myself.” Having thus addressed the Gangā, that blameless one ever obedient unto her husband, swiftly went to the south bank (of the river). Going to the (other) bank of the stream, that best of men, and subduer of foes stood along with his brother and Vaidehi. Then that long-armed one spoke unto the enhancer of Sumitrā’s delight, saying,—“Be thou, whether in society or solitude, intent upon protecting Sitā. Of course it behoves us to protect her in lone places. Do thou, O son of Sumitrā, go ahead; and let Sitā follow thee. I myself will go in your wake, protecting both yourself and Sitā. Surely, O foremost of men, we should now protect each other. We have not yet performed any of the arduous tasks. Today Vaidehi will know the grief of a life in the woods. And today she will enter the forest destitute of the concourse of men, devoid of fields and gardens, uneven, and containing pits, etc.” Hearing Rāma’s words, Lakshmana went ahead; that descendant of Raghu, Rāma, followed Sitā.

On Rāma having speedily crossed the Gangā, the distressed Sumantra who had been gazing at him stedfastly, being no longer able to discern him, turned away his eyes and, overcome with grief, shed tears. And having crossed that mighty river, that high-souled one, that bestower of boons, resembling in prowess a Lokapāla, without delay entered the flourishing and smiling Vatsas crowned with goodly crops. And then the two (brothers) having slain the four kinds of beasts, viz., boars, risyas, prishatas and mahārurus,149 and taking their flesh, in the evening took refuge under a mighty tree, feeling the demands of appetite.


Having taken refuge under the tree and performed his evening devotions, that foremost of those capable of charming others, Rāma, addressed Lakshmana, saying,—“To day is the first night (which we must spend) outside the inhabited tracts without the company of Sumantra. Thou ought not to suffer thy mind to be uneasy on that score. From tonight forth, we shall have to guard her vigilantly; for, O Lakshmana, the preservation of what she has as well as the securing unto her of what she has not, rests with us. We will, O son of Sumitrā, anyhow pass the night; let us ourselves procuring (leaves) and spreading them on the ground, anyhow lie down on it.” Saying this, Rāma lying down on the ground although worthy of a costly bed, spoke these excellent words unto Sumitrā’s son,—“O Lakshmana, surely the king sleeps uneasily to day, and Kaikeyi having attained her end ought to be satisfied. Will not that revered lady, for the purpose of having Bharata established in the kingdom, take the king’s life, when she shall see Bharata arrived? Forlorn and old and deprived of me, I do not know what he will do, his soul possessed by desire, and having come under the influence of Kaikeyi. Viewing this calamity (that has overtaken us) and the disorder that has taken place in the senses of the monarch, I deem even lust as more potent than either virtue or interest. O Lakshmana, what man is there ignorant though he be, who for the sake of a female forsaketh as my father has done me, his son following his foot-steps? Ah! Kaikeyi’s son Bharata with his wife is really happy—he that enjoys the sole sovereignity of the delighted Koçalas. Now that our father has grown old and I have taken refuge in the forest, he will alone experience the supreme felicity in the kingdom. He that renouncing interest and virtue, followes lust, speedily gets himself involved in troubles even like king Daçarātha. O amiable one, I think that Kaikeyi has been born for making an end of Daçarātha, sending me into exile, and conferring the kingdom on Bharata. At present for imparting me pain, Kaikeyi intoxicated by the tide of good fortune, will afflict Kauçalyā and Sumitrā. Thy mother, the revered Sumitrā, will be smitten with grief on our account. Do thou, Lakshmana, tomorrow morning repair unto Ayodhyā: I alone will go unto Dandaka along with Sitā. Thou wilt be the protector of the helpless Kauçalyā. Kaikeyi is surely mean-minded, she perpetrates wrongs from malice. O thou cognizant of virtue, she may administer poison unto my mother. Surely, O child, in a former birth, women were bereft of their sons by my mother, O son of Sumitrā; and it is for this that this misfortune has befallen her. Having been brought up and reared with great pains by Kauçalyā, I have left her at the time when her labors ought to have borne fruit. Fie on me! Let no woman, son of Sumitrā, give birth unto a son like me who have imparted such infinite pain unto my mother. O Lakshmana, I consider my mother’s female parrot as more sharing her affection, since she is heard to say, ‘O Suka, do you bite the foot of the foe?’ What am I, O repressor of foes, now to do for her, bewailing, of slender fortune,—she that hath not profitted in the least by her son, and who stands in no further need of his good offices? Surely my unfortunate mother, Kauçalyā, bereft of me, lies down on the ground, overwhelmed will woe, and plunged in an ocean of grief. O Lakshmana, enraged, I alone, without doubt, can rid Ayodhyā—the Earth herself—by means of my arrows. But improper is the display of prowess for no reason. O sinless one, I am afraid of unrighteousness and of the next life; and for this it is that, O Lakshmana, I do not install myself in the kingdom.”

Having in solitude for a long while piteously bewailed thus and in other ways, Rāma sat silent in the night with tears in his eyes. Thereupon Lakshmana consoled Rāma spent with lamentation, like unto fire deprived of its radiance or the ocean of its tide. “Surely, O Rāma, O foremost of warriors, on your having come out, the city of Ayodhyā is shorn of its splendour like the night deprived of the moon. This is not fit that you should grieve; for thereby, O foremost of men, you make both Sitā and myself grieve. Rāghava, deprived of you neither Sitā nor I can live for a moment, like fish taken out of water : without you, O repressor of foes, I wish to see neither my father, nor Satrughna, nor Sumitrā, nor heaven itself.” Then viewing from where they sat at ease their well-laid bed under the banian, those virtuous ones (Rāma and Sitā) went to it. Hearing Lakshmana’s excellent and appropriate words with which he gladly assumed a life in the woods, that subduer of foes, Rāghava, in the name of righteousness, at once folly granted him the permission to dwell with him for the entire fourteen years. Then like unto a couple of lions dwelling on a mountain-summit, at that lone spot of the extensive forest, those powerful perpetuators of the Raghu race, began to dwell without fear.


Having passed the auspicious night underneath that mighty tree, they, when the sun had risen in unclouded splendour, went away from that place. Then diving into a mighty forest, they proceeded in the direction in which the Bhāgirathi Gangā meets with the Yamunā. And those illustrious ones went on, viewing at intervals various fields and delightful lands which they had never seen before. And going on beholding various kinds of blossoming trees, Rāma when the day had declined, spoke unto Sumitrā’s son, saying, “O son of Sumitrā, do thou behold the beautiful wreath of smoke that rises in front of Prayāga—sign of the worshipful Fire, and I infer some ascetic to be near. For certain we have arrived at the confluence of the Gangā and the Yamunā; and it is for this that we hear the roar of the waters produced by the rushing of them. And all these various trees with their wood hewn away by foresters are seen in the asylums.” Thus having proceeded at ease, those bowmen when the sun stood aslant, arrived in the vicinity of the ascetic’s residence on the delta of the Yamunā and the Gangā. And proceeding awhile on the way, Rāma, in presence of the asylum, came up to Bharadwāja’s place, frightening beasts and birds. And arriving at the hermitage, the heroes desirous of seeing the ascetic, stood at a distance with Sitā behind them. And as soon as entering in, that exalted one saw that high-souled anchoret of accomplished vows, who had attained spiritual insight through austerities, sitting surrounded by his disciples after having finished the Agnihotrā, Rāma with joined hands saluted him along with Sumitrā’s son and Sitā. Then Lakshmana’s elder brother imparted unto Bharadwāja a knowledge of himself. “O worshipful one, we are the sons of Daçarātha, Rāma and Lakshmana. This is my wife, the auspicious daughter of Janaka. This blameless one followeth me unto the solitary forest; and my dear younger brother, the son of Sumitrā too, observing the vow, follows me, who have been exiled by my father. O revered one, commissioned by my father, I will enter the forest of asceticism, and there subsisting on fruits and roots will practise virtue.” Hearing those words of the intelligent prince, that righteous (ascetic) brought a bull150 as well as arghya and water and divers kinds of edibles consisting of wild fruits and roots. And that one of fiery austerities assigned quarters, along with beasts and birds as well as ascetics, for Rāma. Then paying homage unto Rāma as he proceeded by short stages, and asking him,—“Has your journey been a pleasant one?”—the ascetic sat down. And when Rāghava had sat down after receiving the homage, Bharadwāja spoke unto him these words fraught with virtue,— “O Kākutstha, I behold thee come after a long time. I have heard of thy causeless exile. This spot at the meeting of the mighty rivers is lonely, sacred and charming. Do thou dwell here happily.” Thus addressed by Bharadwāja, that descendant of Raghu, Rāma intent on the welfare of all, answered in auspicious words,—“O reverend one, I apprehend that, living hard by, the inhabitants of the city and the provinces, thinking me as easily to be seen, will come to this asylum desirous of beholding me and Vaidehi. It is for this reason that living at this place does not recommend itself unto me. Do thou, O worshipful one, hit upon a retired and agreeable asylum where Janaka’s daughter worthy of happiness, will pass her days pleasantly “ Hearing this auspicious speech of Rāghava, that eminent anchoret Bharadwāja said these words calculated to serve Rāma’s purpose,—“Ten Krosas hence, my child, is the mountain where thou shalt dwell. It is inhabited by maharshis, and is sacred, and picturseque throughout, abounding in Golāngulas, monkeys, and bears,—known by the name of Chitrakuta—resembling Gandhamādana. On beholding the peaks of Chitrakuta, one reaps welfare, and ignorance does not envelope one’s mind. There innumerable saints with the hair of their heads rendered white like skulls, having spent hundreds of years, have through austerities ascended heaven. That solitary spot I deem as one which will make a happy residence for thee. O Rāma, do thou, for living out the term of thy banishment, dwell either here or with me.” Bharadwāja entertained his welcome guest, Rāma, along with his wife and brother by extending towards them every rite of hospitality. And at Prayāga Rāma having obtained the company of that Maharshi, and discoursing on a variety of sacred topics, the night came on. And with Sitā for the third, Kākutstha brought up in luxury, being fatigued, pleasantly spent that night at the romantic hermitage of Bharadwāja. When the night had passed away and day dawned, (Rāma) approached Bharadwāja, and that chief of men addressed that ascetic of flaming energy,—“O reverend sire of truthful character, we have here in thy asylum spent the night. Do thou now permit us to set forward (for Chitrakuta).” On Rāma having passed the night there, Bharadwāja spoke unto him,—“Do thou trace thy steps to Chitrakuta filled with delicious fruits and roots. I deem that, O mighty Rāma, as a fit abode for thee, being, as it is, furnished with various kinds of trees, inhabited by crowds of Kinnaras, resounding with the cries of peacocks, and frequented by gignantic elephants. Do thou repair unto the famed Chitrakuta, holy, fair to the view, and abounding in countless fruits and roots. And in those forests range herds of elephants and deer; and these, O Rāghava, thou wilt behold. And ranging with Sitā rivers and rills and plateaus, caverns and fountains, thy mind will experience delight. Delighted with the notes of joyous Koyastivas and coels, and the cries of deer and countless mad elephants, do thou, arriving at the auspicious mountain, reside at that romantic asylum.”


Having spent the night there, those princes—repressors of their foes— after paying their obeisance unto the Maharshi, set out for the mountain. And seeing them about to set forth, that Maharshi performed a propitiatory ceremony for them, even as a father does on behalf of the sons begot from his own loins. And that mighty ascetic, Bharadwāja having truth for his prowess, addressed them, saying,—“O best of men, do you coming to the confluence of the Gangā and the Yamunā proceed along the Kālindi river flowing westwards. Arriving at the Kālindi running in a contrary direction, you will, O Rāghava, behold a goodly bathing place well-worn by foot-passengers. There constructing a raft, do you cross over the river who is the daughter of the Sun. Next coming to a gigantic banian tree with green foliage, named Syāma, surrounded by various trees and inhabited by ascetics of accomplished purposes, let Sitā with joined hands offer humble supplications to it. Having come to the tree and, whether staying under it or proceeding along, after passing only a Krosa, you will, O Rāma, see a wood abounding in Sallakis, Vadaris, and other wild trees belonging unto the Yamunā. I went to Chitrakuta many a time by that road, which is beautiful, sandy, and free from forest-fire.” Having directed the way, the Maharshi paused. Thereupon Rāma, saying,—“So be it” asked him to stop. On the ascetic turning away, Rāma spoke unto Lakshmana, “We had surely acquired religious merit, good betide you, since, the ascetic has shown compassion unto us.” Having thus conversed with each other, those foremost of men endowed with intelligence, placing Sitā in their front, proceeded towards the river Kālindi. And having arrived at the Kālindi of rapid currents, they desirous of crossing over, began I think (as to the means). Then with heaps of dry wild wood covered with grass, they constructed a large raft. And the puissant Lakshmana tearing twigs from the ratan and the rose-apple, made a comfortable seat for Sitā. Then Daçarātha’s son, Rāma, made his bashful wife (in power) inconceivable like unto Sree herself, ascend the raft, and carefully laid beside Vaidehi her attires and ornaments as well as the hoe and the basket. And first having placed Sitā on the raft, those sons of Daçarātha ascended themselves, and with glad hearts began carefully to cross (the stream). Having come near the middle of the Kālindi, Sitā prayed unto her, saying, —“Hail to thee, O goddess! I cross thee. If my husband can successfully perform his vow, I will worship thee with a thousand cows and an hundred vessels of wine, hail unto thee, upon Rāma’s return to the city ruled by Ikshwāku.” Having thus prayed to Kālindi with joined hands, that virtuous lady, Sitā, reached the southern bank thereof. And by means of that raft they crossed that fleet-coursing daughter of the Sun, heaving with billows—the river Yamunā with her banks abounding with innumerable trees. Then renouncing the raft, and passing by the woods adjoining the Yamunā, they came upon a banian Syamā by name, of cool shade and verdant foliage. On coming to the banian, Vaidehi saluted it saying,—“O mighty tree, I bow unto thee. May my husband fulfil his vow; and may we behold Kauçalyā and the illustrious Sumitrā.” Having thus prayed with joined hands, the intelligent Sitā went away. Seeing the blameless and beloved Sitā ever conducting herself properly,—praying, Rāma said unto Lakshmana, “Do thou, O younger brother of Bharata, taking Sitā with thee, go forward. O best of men, furnished with weapons, I will go in thy wake. Do thou procure Vaidehi with whatever fruits or flowers may please her and she may wish to have.” Seeing every tree and shrub crowned with blossoms unseen before, that one belonging to the softer sex questioned Rāma about it. And hearing Sitā’s words, Lakshmana brought unto her (fruits and flowers) of beautiful and flower-scattering trees of divers kinds. And beholding streams with water flowing over glittering sands and resounding with cranes of various kinds, the daughter of king Janaka felt exceeding delight. And having proceeded just a Krosa, those brothers, Rāma and Lakshmana, having killed many a sacred deer, began to range in the woods of the Yamunā. And having disported in the beautiful woods resounding with multitudes of peacocks and inhabited by elephants and monkeys, they looking as lively as ever, coming to the level banks of the river, took up their quarters there.


When the night had been spent, that best of Raghus gently awakened Lakshmana from his light sleep. “O Sumitra’s son, do thou hear the dulcet notes of the birds in the woods. Let us proceed. O repressor of foes, the time of our departure is present.” Awakened at the proper time, Rāma’s brother left off sleep and drowsiness and clinging fatigue. Then they all arising touched the sacred waters of the river, and began to proceed on the way to Chitrakuta inhabited by ascetics. Setting out in season with Sumitrā’s son, he of eyes resembling lotus-petals spoke these words unto Sitā,—“O Vaidehi, behold these flowering trees, the Kinsukas in spring appearing engarlanded with their own flowers, and as if flaming.—Do thou behold the Bhallātakas and Vilwas bending beneath their fruits and flowers, with no man to enjoy them. Surely, we shall be able to live here. Behold, O Lakshmana, these honeycombs measuring about a Drona have been hung up on trees by the bees. In the charming woods overarched by flowers, the Dātyuha cries, and is responded to by the peacock. Do thou behold Chitrakuta frequented by mad elephants and resonant with the voice of multitudes of birds—the mountain with its towering summits. O child, we will disport in the sacred woods of Chitrakuta with fine level plains,and covered with divers trees.” Then they proceeding on foot along with Sitā, arrived at the charming and beautiful mountain Chitrakuta. And arriving at the mountain inhabited by birds of various kinds, abounding in fruits and roots, and furnished with watery expanses, (Rāma) said, “O amiable one, methinks this beautiful hill furnished with innumerable fruits and roots, is fraught with subsistence. And the hill is inhabited by high-souled ascetics. Let this, O child, be our abode. We will dwell here.” Then Rāma, Lakshmana and Sitā with joined hands presented themselves at the asylum of Valmiki and saluted him. Thereat the Maharshi cognizant of morality said unto them, “Be seated!” and addressed Rāma, saying,—“Has thy journey been a pleasant one?” Then having duly acquainted the saint with matters pertaining to himself, that lord, the mighty- armed elder brother of Lakshmana, said unto the latter, “O Lakshmana, bring thou wood good and strong. O amiable one, construct a dwelling. My mind is set upon staying here.” Hearing his words, Sumitrā’s son procured wood of various descriptions, and then that subduer of foes reared a cottage thatched with leaves. Beholding that goodly dwelling walled with wood and furnished with doors, Rāma addressed these words unto Lakshmana, intent upon ministering unto his brother. “Procuring meat, we will worship the deity presiding over this dwelling. O Sumitrā’s son, those who wish to live long, should pacify the household gods. O Lakshmana graced with auspicious eyes, do thou killing deer, swiftly bring it here. It behoves us to observe the rules prescribed by the scriptures. Do thou follow the ordinance.” Acquainted with the words of his brother, Lakshmana, slayer of hostile heroes, did as he was told. Thereupon Rāma addressed him again, “Do thou cook this meat. We will worship the presiding deities of this mansion. Bestir thyself,—the moment is mild and the day is styled Dhruva.” Then Lakshmana the son of Sumitrā endowed with vigor, having slain a sacred black deer, threw it into flaming fire. And seeing it well scorched and hot and free from blood, Lakshmana spoke unto that foremost of men, Rāghava, saying,—“Here is the entire black deer roasted by me, capable of serving any purpose. Do you, O you that resemble a celestial, worship the gods.” Having performed his ablutions, Rāma conversant with the ritual and possessing a knowledge of Japa, restraining his senses, performed all the mantras that are necessary for completing a sacrifice; and having in a pure spirit communed with all the deities, entered the habitation. And (this having been done), Rāma of immeasurable energy rejoiced exceedingly. And sacrificing unto Vaicya, Rudra and Vishnu, he performed some ceremonies for removing malign influences from the abode. And having duly performed Japa and bathed in consonance with the ordinance, Rāma made an excellent sacrifice for removing sin. And then Rāghava established a dais, and a chaitya proportionate to the abode.151 And as the celestials enter the hall entitled Sudharmā, they together with the view of dwelling in it, entered the mansion beautiful to behold, thatched with the leaves of trees, built at a convenient site, well-made, and keeping out the wind.152 And having come to the charming Chitrakuta and the river Mālyavati furnished with excellent bathing places, and haunted by beasts and fowls, they rejoiced with glad hearts, and forsook the grief incident to their exile from the city.


Having for a long time conversed with Sumantra, Guha distressed at heart on Rāma reaching the southern bank, retraced his steps homewards. Learning from envoys at (Sringaverapura) all about Rāma’s visit to Bharadwāja at Prayāga and his reception (at Bharadwāja’s place) as well as their destined journey (to Chitrakuta), Sumantra, taking the permission (of Guha), yoked those excellent horses and with a heavy heart directed his course to the city of Ayodhyā. And beholding perfumed woods and rivers and watery expanses and towns and villages, he eagerly proceeded on his way. And on the third day at dusk the charioteer arriving at Ayodhyā saw it bereft of happiness. And beholding it empty and still, Sumantra afflicted with exceeding sorrow, and overwhelmed with grief, thought, “Perhaps the city with her elephants and horses and men and king has been consumed by the fire of grief on account of Rāma.” Having thus reflected, the charioteer drawing up to the city- gate by means of those fleet-coursing horses, speedily entered the city. Thereupon, people by hundreds and thousands rushed after the charioteer, Sumantra, asking, “Where is Rāma?” To them he replied,—“Having asked Rāghava on the Gangā and being permitted by him, I have been sent away by that high-souled righteous one.” Learning that they (Rāma and the rest) had crossed over (the Gangā), the men with tears in their eyes, sighed forth “O fie!” and began to bewail, exclaiming, “Ah Rāma.” And he heard crowds exclaim,—“Not seeing Rāma in the car, we cease to exist. We shall no longer see the righteous Rāma in the midst of mighty assemblies engaged in charity, sacrifice or nuptial rites. What was necessary for this body? What was dear to them and what did they delight in?—(constantly revolving all this in his mind), Rāma ruled this city even as, a father. Then proceeding past the stalls, Sumantra heard the lamentations of females at windows, burning in grief for Rāma. With his face muffled, Sumantra proceeded on the highway towards the palace of Daçarātha. Swiftly alighting from the car and entering the royal residence, he went past seven apartments thronged with people. And beholding Sumantra returned to the city crowned with edifices, seven- storied houses, and palatial mansions, the women, stricken with the absence of Rāma, set up a cry of “Oh” and “Alas.” And waxing still more aggrieved, the females looked at each other with their expansive and transparent eyes fast flooded with tears. And then he heard the talk, as toned down it proceeded from the royal mansions, of the wives of Daçarātha afflicted with grief for Rāma. “Going in company with Rāma, and returning without him, what will the charioteer answer Kauçalyā bewailing (for her son)? Surely life is miserable, yet is incapable of being renounced, since, although her son leaving (the installation) hath gone away, yet Kauçalyā still liveth.” Having heard those words of the queens, fraught with truth, Sumantra burning as it were in grief, at once entered the (next) apartment. And entering the eighth apartment he beheld in a gloomy chamber the king distressed and in a pitiable plight, woe-begone for grief for his son. Thereupon presenting himself before the monarch, Sumantra saluted him and then conveyed unto the king the words of Rāma as he had uttered them. Hearing them silently, the monarch with his mind exceedingly wrought, dropped down to the ground in a swoon, afflicted with grief for Rāma. On the lord of earth swooning away and falling to the ground, the inmates of the inner apartment raising their arms burst into lamentations. Kauçalyā availing herself of the aid of Sumantra, raised up her fallen lord and addressed him, saying, “This, O eminently virtuous one! If the envoy of that one of an exceedingly arduous achievement, returned from the forest. Why do you not accost him? O descendant of Raghu, you are ashamed to-day, having done this wrong. Do you rise: merit be yours (arising from this act.) Let not your adherents come to naught (because of your sorrow). O worshipful one, she from fear of whom you do not speak to the charioteer, Kaikeyi, is not here. Do you therefore speak to him without fear.” Having said this unto the monarch, Kauçalyā overwhelmed with grief, with her voice oppressed with the vapour begot of emotion, all on a sudden fell to the earth. Beholding Kauçalyā fallen on the ground bewailing, as also their husband, the ladies seated around, began to lament. Hearing the sounds of wailing arise from the inner apartment, old and young as well as females, set up lamentations all round; and the city was again filled with them.


When having been ministered unto and when his senses had returned after the swoon, the king summoned Sumantra for hearing tidings of Rāma. Thereupon the charitoteer with joined hands spoke unto the mighty monarch, lamenting for Rāma, influenced by grief and sorrow, aged, burning in grief, like a newly-taken elephant, sighing heavily, plunged in thought, and resembling an elephant that is indisposed. Then the king like one exceedingly distressed, spoke unto the charioteer, who had presented himself, covered over with dust, with tears starting from his eyes, and in pitiable guise, “Where stayeth that righteous one, taking refuge under a tree? Lapped in luxury, what, O charioteer, will Rāghava feed on? Unworthy of privations, and worthy of excellent beds, how, O Sumantra, a king’s son, he is sleeping on the ground like one forlorn? How is Rāma passing his days in the lone forest—he who when he went out used to be followed by foot-men and elephants? How are the princes in company with Vaidehi, living in the woods, ranged by serpents and beasts and inhabited by black snakes? How, O Sumantra, having descended from the car, the princes along with the tender and unfortunate Sitā are proceeding on foot? O charioteer, surely thou art blessed, for thou hast beheld my sons enter the forest, like the Açwins entering the Mandara hill. And what did Rāma say? And what did Lakshmana? And, O Sumantra, arriving at the forest what did Mithilā’s daughter? Do thou, O charioteer, describe unto me what Rāma lives on and where he lies down. Hearing this, I shall live, like Yayati in the midst of saints.” Thus urged by the king, the charioteer spoke unto the king with his voice faltering and suppressed with the vapour of grief, “O mighty monarch observing morality, Rāghava with joined hands and bowing down his head, said, ‘O charioteer, do thou in my name salute with thy head the feet of my high-soulded sire worthy of being saluted, and famed (in the world). And, O charioteer, do thou in my name as each deserves salute the ladies of the inner apartment and communicate to them tidings of my health. And having saluted my mother Kauçalyā and conveyed unto her news of my welfare, as well as of my unswerving adherence to morality, do thou tell her the words,— Do you remaining steady in virtue, at the proper hour bestir yourself in behalf of the chamber of sacrificial fire. And, O revered one, do you minister unto the feet of that worshipful one, (the king), as if they were very deities. And banishing pride and self-love, do you bear yourself towards my mothers. And, O mother, do you show respect unto Kaikeyi, who is followed by the king himself. And you should behave towards Bharata as one should towards one’s king. Kings (although juvenile), are really senior by virtue of their royalty; and do you remember the duties touching sovereigns.’—Do thou communicate unto Bharata news of my welfare and say in my name,—Do you behave properly with all your mothers.—And unto that delight of the Ikswhāku line do thou further say,—Having been installed as the heir-apparent, be you, looking upon the king as the supreme authority in the state, obedient to him. Do you not deprive the king of authority, as he has grown old. O Prince, do you grant him satisfaction in the kingdom and do you proclaim his mandates.— And shedding copious tears, he again addressed me, saying,—Do thou look upon my mother as on thy own proud of her son.—Having said this, the mighty-armed and illustrious Rāma furnished with eyes resembling lotus-petals, shed plenteous tears. Thereupon Lakshmana waxing wroth, breathing hard, said,—For what fault of his has the Prince been banished? Observing the worthless command of Kaikeyi, whether the king has done well or ill, we have been exceedingly pained thereby. Whether Rāma has been exiled through Kaikeyi’s lust for dominion or through the exigencies of the bestowal of the boon, there cannot be any doubt that the king has acted most unrighteously. Even if this hath been done in harmony with the wish of the Lord, I do not perceive any reason for the banishment of Rāma. The king through lack of sense has done heedlessly what is opposed to morality; and this banishment of Rāma will but bring upon him woe here and hereafter. Fatherhood find I none in the monarch. My brother and feeder and friend and father is even Rāghava. Renouncing one that is universally dear, and that is ever engaged in the good of all, how by such an act will the king please the people? And how by banishing the righteous Rāma dear unto all the subjects, and thus withstanding the wishes of all, will he retain his royalty?—And, O mighty monarch, Janaki also, unfortunate that she is, sighing heavily, stood wildered like one that had been possessed. And not having experienced any calamity before, the famed princess weeping because of this misfortune, told me nothing. And looking up to her lord with a blank countenance, she suddenly let fail tears, perceiving the destruction of the subjects. And thus said Rāma ministered unto by Lakshmana, with a tearful countenance; and thus stood the unfortunate and weeping Sitā beholding the royal car and myself.”


“On Rāma having gone to the forest, my horses as I turned away, did not proceed vigorously on the way, and shed warm tears. And having (done homage) unto both the princes by joining my hands, I turned my back, bearing best I could that load of sorrow. Indulging in the hope that Rāma might again summon me by any of the envoys (of Guha left there), I stayed there with Guha for many days. In thy dominions, O monarch, exercised by the calamity that has befallen Rāma, even trees bearing blossoms and buds and sprouts look sad; the rivers and pools and liquid lapses have their waters dried up; and the woods and groves have their foliage withered. Creatures do not move and beasts of prey cease to range about; and the forest appears to be dumb, stupified by grief on account of Rāma. And streams containing lotuses with their leaves shriveled, have their waters stained; and lotuses have their leaves burnt; and fishes and (aquatic) birds have grown lean. And flowers both on land and water have been deprived of their freshness and fragrance; and they no longer retain their former condition. And the gardens are idle with their birds drooping. And, O best of men, I do not find the bowers beautiful (as before). And when I entered Ayodhyā, none greeted me. And not seeing Rāma, the people sigh momentarily. And, O revered one, seeing the royal car returned hither without Rāma, the people on the highways from grief appear with tearful countenances. And from mansions, cars, and lorldly edifices, ladies seeing the car come back, set up a chorus of ‘Ah’ and ‘Alas,’ afflicted with the absence of Rāma. And becoming more distressed than ever, the fair sex with their expansive and clear eyes filled with tears, began to eye each other indistinctly. And in consequence of the general grief that prevailed, I could not perceive any difference between friends and foes and persons indifferent. O mighty monarch, distressed in consequence of the exile of Rāma, men appear sunk in dejection, and elephants and horses are spiritless; and seized with cheerlessness, they utter doleful sounds and heave profound sighs. Ayodhyā appeareth unto me joyless like Kauçalyā deprived of her son.” Hearing the words of the charioteer, the king like one exceedingly forlorn, addressed the former in words lost in the vapour of sorrow, “Exhorted by Kaikeyi of a sinful country, born in a sinful race and cherishing sinful designs, I did not take counsel with aged people capable of offering advice. Without consulting with friends or courtiers or persons versed in the Vedas, I have in the interests of a woman rashly done this thing through ignorance. Meseems, O charioteer, for the purpose of destroying this line entirely, this mighty disaster hath surely befallen us through the influence of Destiny. O charioteer, if I have ever done thee any good, do thou immediately take me to Rāma: my life urges me on (in this direction). Or let my command make Rāghava turn back. I cannot live for a moment without Rāma. But if that mighty-armed one has proceeded far, do thou placing me on a car speedily show me unto Rāma. Where is that elder brother of Lakshmana of a mighty bow, furnished with teeth resembling Kunda flowers? If I live so long, I will behold him in company with Sitā. What can be sadder than this, that reduced to such a pass, I cannot see here that descendant of Ikshwāku, Rāghava? Ah Rāma! Ah thou younger brother of Rāma! Ah thou unfortunate Vaidehi! You do not know that I am through grief lamenting like one deserted.” Deprived of his consciousness through that sorrow of his, the king said, “I have plunged myself into this ocean of woe hard to cross, with grief for Rāma as its mighty tide; separation from Sitā, its other shore; sighs heaved, its furious billows and whirlpools; tears, rivers that rush into it; tossing of the arms, its fishes; lamentations its roar; my hair flung about, its moss; Kaikeyi, its submarine fire; my fast-flowing tears, its current; the words of the hump-backed one, its terrific ravenous animals; the boon, its continents; and the exile of Rāma, its expanse. And, O Kauçalyā, without Rāghava, I shall sink in this ocean. O exalted dame, living, it is hard for me to cross over this ocean. It is surely owing to my sin that today wishing to behold Rāghava and Lakshmana, I do not get them (before me).” Having thus lamented, the illustrious king all of a sudden dropped to the earth in a swoon. On the king swooning away lamenting, that exalted lady, Rāma’s mother, hearing his words doubly bitter and more piteous than eti uttered for Rāma, was seized with fresh apprehension.


Then like one possessed by an evil spirit, and trembling again and again, Kauçalyā lying down on the ground like one dead, spoke unto the charioteer, saying, “Do thou take me where Kākutstha is and Sitā and Lakshmana: without them, I cannot live for a moment. Do thou without delay turn the car. Do thou take me also unto Dandaka. If I do not follow them, I shall repair to the mansion of Yama.” Thereat the charioteer with joined hands comforted that exalted lady with ready words faltering and choked with rising vapour, “Do you leave grief and sorrow and the violent emotion. Renouncing grief, Rāghava is living in the woods. And in the forest, the righteous Lakshmana, having his senses under control, is ministering unto Rāma’s feet and is thus adoring the gods for happiness in the next world. And even in the lonely woods, Sitā as if remaining at home, having fixed her thoughts on Rāma, is living a life of love. And there appears not the least trace of any distress afflicting her; and Vaidehi seems to me as if she were meant (by Nature) for a life away from home. And as formerly going unto urban villas she disported, she disports now even in the lonely forest. And although living in the lone forest, that one of a countenance resembling the infant moon, sports merrily like a girl, in the garden represented by Rāma’s self. Ayodhyā without Rāma would have seemed a wilderness to her whose heart is fixed on him and whose very life depends upon him. Vaidehi is now asking (Rāma) concerning the villages and towns (in their way); and observing various trees and the courses of the rivers, Jānaki, asking Rāma or Lakshmana (for information), is learning all about them. And Sitā sports as she used to do in arbours stationed at the distance of only one krosa from Ayodhyā. This only I remember; but all that she had from sudden impulse communicated unto me concerning Kaikeyi, does not rise into consciousness.” Suppressing this topic which had come up through heedlessness, the charioteer spoke sweet words cheering up that noble lady. “Neither through the fatigue of travel, nor the influence of the wind, nor excitement, nor the sun, hath Vaidehi’s lustre resembling the lunar light suffered any diminution. The countenance of that fair-speaking one resembling the lotus and comparable unto the full moon in splendour, hath not waxed pale. Her feet now without the dye of the liquid lac, but naturally furnished with the roseate hue of the same, are gorgeous like lotus buds. Still Vaidehi decked in ornaments from affection for Rāma, goes gracefully, rebuking with her bangles the wavy gait (of cranes). Supporting herself on Rāma’s arm, Sitā arrived at the forest, is not inspired with fear on beholding either an elephant, or a lion, or a tiger. Therefore they are not to be bewailed, nor your own self, nor the lord of men. This history of Rāma will endure for ever in this world. Renouncing grief and with cheerful hearts, well established in the life led by the Maharshis, they living in the forest on wild fruits as their sustenance, are maintaining the noble promise of their sire.” Consoled by the truth-telling yet sweeet- speeched charioteer, that lady oppressed with grief for her son, ceased not to wail loudly—“My beloved,” “My son,” “Rāghava.”


On that foremost of those capable of charming people, the righteous Rāma, repairing to the forest, Kauçalyā crying in grief said unto her husband, “Your great fame has spread over the three worlds; and the descendant of Raghu is kind, munificent and fair-speaking. Why then have you forsaken those foremost of men along with Sitā? Brought up in happiness, and now brought to misery, how can they bear it? And how can the youthful daughter of Mithilā of slender make, tender, and deserving of happiness, bear heat and cold? Having formerly partaken of (excellent) rice with curries, how will Sitā feed on wild rice? Having heard excellent vocal and instrumental music, how will Sitā hear the frightful cries of carnivorous lions? Resembling the gonfalon of the great Indra, where sleepeth the mighty-armed and exceedingly powerful Rāma, making his arm like unto a mace his pillow? When shall I behold Rāma’s countenance hued like the lotus, with his hair ending beautifully (in curls), and his breath impregnated with the fine perfume of the lotus, and his eyes resembling lotus leaves? Surely my heart, without doubt, is made of the essence of the thunderbolt, since not beholding him, it is not cracked in a thousand fragments. It is because of your sad act that mine own, being thwarted, although worthy of happiness, are miserably ranging the wilderness. If after the expiration of the five and ten years, Rāghava does return, it does not appear likely that Bharata will renounce the kingdom and the exchequer. Some on the occasions of the Srāddha (first) feast their own friends, and having done this, they mind the choice Brāhmanas. But those twice-born ones that are meritorious, learned, and like unto celestials, do not at the last moment regard even viands resembling ambrosia. Brāhmanas of high respectibility endowed with wisdom never bear being entertained after the other twice- born ones have been feasted, even as bulls never quietly bear to have their horns cut off. Why will not an elder brother and one who has sterling merits, O monarch, disregard a kingdom which hath been thus enjoyed by his younger brother? A tiger doth not like to feed on food procured by others. Even so that tiger-like personage does not regard anything that has come to be tasted by another. Clarified butter, sacrificial cakes, Kuça, stakes of catechu having been used in one sacrifice cannot be used in another,—even so this kingdom which hath been already enjoyed, like unto liquor deprived of its essence or a sacrifice whose soma hath been eaten, cannot be accepted by Rāma. Such an ill treatment Rāghava will not put up with, even as a powerful tiger cannot bear the rubbing of its tail (by another). This world aided by the gods fear to encounter him in high conflict; but he restrains himself, thinking any such action on his part as unrighteous. Indeed, that righteous one brings back people to morality. Surely, that mighty-armed one endowed with exceeding prowess, can with his golden shafts burn all creatures and the oceans, like the Day at the dissolution of all. But such a man of men, possessed of leonine strength, and graced with the eyes of a bull, has been destroyed by his father, like a fish destroying his offspring. If you had believed in the morality prescribed in the scriptures, and which is followed by the twice-born ones, you would not have banished your son. But disregarding such morality, you have banished your virtuous son. One of the refuges of a woman is her husband, a second is her son, and a third is her relatives; and a fourth she has none. But you cease to be mine; and Rāma has been sent to the woods. I do not like to go into the forest; so I am entirely undone by you. This kingdom, your own kingdom, has been destroyed by you; destroyed are; along with the counsellors; destroyed am I with my son; and destroyed are the citizens: your son and your wife are alone delighted.” Hearing these words uttered in heart-rending accents, Daçarātha exceedingly distressed, became senseless. And being afflicted with grief, he again remembered his evil act.


Thus harshly addressed by the indignant mother of Rāma, the king aggrieved was plunged in thought. Having thought for a long while, that repressor of foes, the king, who had lost his senses through grief, regained consciousness. And having regained his senses, he sighing hot and hard, seeing Kauçalyā beside him, was again lost in thought. As he was thinking, the sinful act which he had through ignorance formerly committed by means of the shaft which hits by sound, rose up (in his recollection). Afflicted with this grief as well as that on account of Rāma, that lord, the king, burned in these two several griefs. Burning in grief and distressed, he trembling and with joined hands, with his head hanging down, addressed Kauçalyā, with the view of pacifying her, “I deprecate thy displeasure, O Kauçalyā, with joined hands. Thou art ever affectionate and dost not treat harshly even enemies. Verily unto women cognizant of virtue, a husband, whether he has any merits or not, is a very deity. Ever virtuous, thou, that hast seen both the virtuous and the vicious, although aggrieved, ought not to say anything unpleasant unto me who am weighed down with woe.” Having heard these piteous words of the distressed king, Kauçalyā uttered words even as a water-way lets out fresh accession of rain. And weeping, she drew on her head the joined hands of the king resembling lotuses; and then flurried spoke these words hurriedly informed with extreme affection, “Be thou propitious; I beseech with (bended) head. I bow unto thee, falling on the ground. O reverend one, besought by thee, I shall be undone. I do not deserve to be forgiven by thee. She cannot be reckoned a gentlewoman, who is propitiated by her intelligent husband, worthy of being extolled in both the worlds. I know duty, O righteous one; I know that thou art truth-telling. And it is because I was exceedingly distressed on account of my son that I spoke harshly to thee. Sorrow destroys patience, sorrow destroys knowledge of the scriptures, sorrow destroys every thing; there is no enemy like unto sorrow. One can falling down bear beating from an enemy; but one cannot falling down bear ever so little sorrow. This is the fifth night of the banishment of Rāma, as calculated by me; and to me rendered cheerless by sorrow, this interval has assumed the proportions of five years. And fostered by thought on my part, this grief increases in my bosom, like the mighty waters of the ocean increased by the vehement discharge of rivers.” As Kauçalyā was thus speaking auspiciously, the rays of the sun grew milder, and the night arrived. Cheered up by the words of Kauçalyā, the king overcome by grief, felt the influence of sleep.


Starting in a moment from sleep, king Daçarātha deprived (almost) of his consciousness by grief, (again) became a prey to thought. And in consequence of the exile of Rāma and Lakshmana, the king resembling Vāsava was overpowered by grief, like the darkness of Rāhu enveloping the sun. Then on Rāma’s having gone along with his wife, the lord of the Koçalas, remembering his own misdeed, felt anxious to communicate himself to that lady having her eyes furnished with dark outer corners. And on the sixth night after Rāma had repaired to the forest, the king Daçarātha, when it was midnight, remembered his own unrighteous act. And then unto Kauçalyā aggrieved on account of her son, he spoke these words, “As are the actions of one, O auspicious one—whether good or otherwise— are the consequences, O gentle lady, reaped by the doer of them. He that on the eve of beginning an action either relating to this world or the next, does not take into consideration the fact that actions entail consequences light or grave, disagreeable (or otherwise), is styled a child. He that cutting down a mango grove, waters Palāsa trees, beholding the flowers (blooming), will covet fruits; and grieve when their season arrives. The person that without apprehending (the principle of causation) rushes to action, grieves at the season of fruits, even like him that watereth kinsuka trees (hewing down his mango grove). And in this way, I fool that I am having hewn down my grove of mangos and watered Palāças,—having renounced Rāma in the season of fruit, is grieving in the end. Having, O Kauçalyā, earned the expression—‘The Prince can pierce his aim by sound alone,’—I, a prince and bowman, did this offence. Therefore, O noble dame, I have myself brought this misfortune on me. Like a child who has eaten poison through ignorance. And even like another person fascinated by the sight of some Palāsa trees (and doing as mentioned above), I (did this act) not foreknowing the consequence that would follow my shooting by sound. O lady, thou wert then unwedded; and I was a youthful prince. And it was at this time that the rainy season increasing my desire set in. Drawing moisture from the ground and heated the earth by his rays, the Sun goes to the dreadful quarter whither repair the dead. The heat was immediately dispelled, and the gelid clouds showed themselves; and frogs and Sārangas and peacocks began to rejoice; and, finding it unpleasant, the feathered ones bathed and with the surface of their plumage shrunk up from the wet, took refuge in trees shaken by the wind and rain. And the hill graced by maddened Sārangas, covered by showers falling simultaneously looked like a mass of waters. And the waters although unstained, being mixed up with mineral substances and ashes from the mountain, flowed in serpentine torrents black and red. At such a sweet hour, I intent upon taking exercise, taking my bow and arrows and mounted on my car, sallied out for the river Sarayu, with the intention that I with my senses under control, should in the watery expense slay any bufifelo, elephant, or any other beast that might have come there in the night. And (coming there) while it was so dark that nothing could be discovered, I heard sounds of a filling pitcher proceeding from the waters; resembling the roars of an elephant. Thereupon raising up my shaft flaming and like unto a serpent of virulent poison, I desirous of hunting the (imaginary) elephant, let fly my shaft in the direction of the sound. Thereupon from the spot whereto the sharpened shaft resembling a poisonous snake had been discharged by me in the twilight, proceeded cries of ‘Oh’ and ‘Alas’ uttered by a forester pierced to the quick by the arrow, and falling into the water. And when he had dropped down, words spoken by a human being became audible. ‘Why doth the weapon light upon me? I had come to this lone stream for procuring water. By whom have I been wounded by this arrow? To whom have I done wrong? And how can the slaying of one like me bearing a load of matted locks, and wearing bark and deer-skin, who subsists on what the forest yields and never injures others, be sanctioned by the scriptures? Who can serve any purpose by slaying me? And how can I have injured such an one? Such a purposeless act cannot but end in evil. This can never be reckoned as righteous; even like unto violating the chastity of a preceptor’s wife. I do not so much lament my end as I lament it on account of my father and mother. To what will the old couple, who have ever been maintained by me, betake themselves when I am gone? My father and mother are old, and I their only son am slain. What boy is it of uncontrolled senses that has killed us all?”

“Hearing his piteous words, I ever anxious to follow virtue, was exceedingly pained, and the bow with its arrow fixed fell down from my hand to the earth. Hearing in the night, the pathetic words of the saint thus lamenting, I became frightened, and was deprived of my senses through excess of grief. And coming to the quarter, I exceedingly unnerved and with an excited mind, discovered on the banks of the Sarayu an ascetic wounded with a shaft, with his matted locks scattered about, his pitcher of water lying by, his body smeared with blood and dust and afflicted by the dart. Gazing with his eyes at me who was extremely agitated and ill at ease, he said these words sternly, as if consuming me with his energy, ‘What wrong, O monarch, had I residing in the woods done thee, that coming to procure water for my parents, I have been thus afflicted by thee? By piercing my marrow with a shaft, thou hast slain both my aged and blind father and mother. Surely, they feeble and blind, who afflicted by thirst are remaining in expectation of me, will now bear (the stress and tension of) the expectation as well as the parching thirst. Surely asceticism and study carry no fruit with them, since I lying low on the ground, my father knows nothing about it. And what could he do, even if he knew it, being as he is incapable and unable to go about? One tree cannot rescue another that is being batttered (by the winds). Do thou, O descendant of Raghu, thyself going to my father, speedily inform of him this that has occurred. But take care that like a fire waxing furious consuming a wood, he in his ire do not burn thee. This narrow way, O king, will lead thee unto my father’s dwelling. Do thou going there, pacify him, so that getting wroth he may not curse thee. Do thou (now), O king, take out the arrow. Thy sharpened shaft afflicts my marrow, like the tide of a river wearing away a hollow-heaving sand bank.’ But touching the extracting of the arrow, this thought perplexed me: ‘If the arrow is left alone, it pains; if extracted, death ensues.’ As I was distressed, aggrieved and inflicted with sorrow, the son of the ascetic perceived my anxiety. Thereupon that one well versed in the scriptures sinking motionless, with his eyes rolling upwards, and waxing extremely weak, said with difficulty, ‘Restraining sorrow, I by dint of patience become calm. Do thou remove from thy mind the grief caused by the consciousness of having slain a Brāhmana. O king, I belong not to the twice-born race: let not thy mind be pained. O lord of the foremost men, I was begot by a Vaicya on a Sudra woman.’ As he, his vitals afflicted with the shaft, his eyes rolling, inert and trembling on the ground, with his limbs drawn in, was speaking with difficulty, I drew out the arrow. Thereupon, looking at me, the ascetic, growing affrighted, gave up the ghost. On beholding him with his body dripping with water, and mortally wounded, and breathing hard without respite, after he had bewailed his mortal wound, lying on the banks of the Sarayu, I lamented him and was, O gentle lady, greatly aggrieved.”


Remembering the extraordinary death of the Maharshi, that righteous descendant of Raghu, lamenting his son, thus spoke unto Kauçalyā, “Having unwittingly commited that great sin, I, with my senses oppressed through grief, thought within myself as to how I could mend it. Then taking up the pitcher filled with excellent water, I went by the way mentioned and (at last) reached the asylum. There I found his aged, infirm, forlorn, parents, without a one to help them in moving about,—like unto birds whose wings have been severed, keeping up a talk about (their son) without experiencing any fatigue, and like helpless ones feeding on a hope which had been blasted by me. My senses overpowered by grief, and my consciousness almost lost through apprehension, I, arrived at the hermitage, was again overwhelmed with sorrow. Hearing my footsteps, the ascetic said, ‘Why, my son, delayest thou? Bring the drink at once. Thy mother, O child, was exceedingly anxious in consequence of thy sporting in the waters. Do thou speedily enter the asylum. O child, it behoveth thee not to take to heart any unkind action that, O son, may have been done unto thee of high fame either by thy mother or myself. Thou art the resource of these helpless ones; thou art the eyes of these bereft of their sight. Our lives are bound up with thee. Why dost not answer?’ Seeing the ascetic with a choked utterance indistinctly speaking thus with the letters not articulated clearly, I, dashed in spirits, yet concealing the real state of my mind by assuming a doughty tongue, communicated unto him the danger that had beffallen him in consequence of the calamity of his son: ‘I am a Kshatria, Daçarātha (by name), and no son of thine, O magnanimous one. I have come by a misfortune in consequence of an act blamed by the good. O revered one, desirous of killing some beast of prey, an elephant (or some other), come to the waters, I went to the banks of the Sarayu bow in hand. Then hearing sounds from the water of a filling pitcher, I thought,—This must be an elephant.—I wounded it with a shaft. Next coming to the edge of the river, I saw an ascetic lying down on the ground almost deprived of life, with his heart pierced with an arrow. Then coming forward, I in accordance with the direction given by him as he lay in agony, suddenly extracted the arrow from his vitals. And as soon as the arrow had been extracted, he ascended heaven, O reverend sir, lamenting and bewailing you, both grown old. It is through ignorance that I suddenly wounded your son. This having been past, do you favor me with telling me what is now to be done, O ascetic.’ Having heard these cruel words, the worshipful ascetic could well by his curse consume me to ashes. With eyes flooded with tears, and well nigh deprived of his senses by grief, that highly energetic one said unto me standing with joined hands, ‘If, O king, thou hadst not of thyself immediately communicated unto us this unpleasant news, thy head would have been reduced to a thousand flaws. Not to speak of Kshatriyas, I can even drag the very weilder of the thunderbolt himself from his position, if he knowingly kills one, in especial, that has assumed the Vanaprastha mode of life. Thy head would have been severed in seven, if thou hadst discharged the weapon knowingly at such an asectic staying in austerities and versed in the Vedas. It is because thou hast done this through ignorance that thou (still) livest, else the race itself of the Rāghavas should be not,—and where art thou?’ He then said, ‘Do thou, O king, take us to the scene. To day will we look our last on our son besmeared with blood, his deer-skin garb falling off (from his body), lying senseless on the earth, and come under the subjection of the lord of righteousness.’ Thereupon I alone taking them exceedingly disconsolate to the spot, made the ascetic and his wife touch their son. And having approached their son and touched him, those ascetics fell on his person, and then his father addressed him thus, ‘Thou salutest me not to-day, nor dost thou speak to me. Why, my child, dost thou lie down on the ground? Art thou angry (with us)? If, my son, thou dost not feel kindly to me, do thou look up to thy virtuous mother. And why, O son, dost thou not embrace me? Do a thou speak tender words. At the small hours, from whom engaged in study, shall I hear the scriptures sweetly read in a way coming home to the listener’s mind? Who, having performed his daily devotions and offered oblations unto the sacrificial fire, will bathe me, afflicted with grief for my son? And who procuring Kandas, fruits and roots, will feed me like an welcome guest, incapable of doing anything and furnishing provisions, and without any one to take care of myself? And, my son, how will I maintain this blind ascetic mother of thine, proud of her son, who is passing her days in misery? Do thou stay, my son, in my behalf. Tomorrow thou wilt go to Yama’s mansion with me and thy mother. Distressed with grief and rendered miserable in the forest, both of us deprived of thee shall soon repair to the abode of Yama. Seeing Vivaswata’s son, I will say unto him,—Do thou, O lord of justice, forgive me, and let this my son continue to maintain us, his parents. It behoves thee, O righteous and illustrious guardian of the worlds, to confer on me reduced to such a pass this one enduring dakshinā capable of removing our fear.— Thou, my son, art sinless, although slain by this one who has done an unrighteous act; and by the force of this truth, do thou repair to the world of warriors. Do thou, O son, go the supreme way that is gone by heroes who without turning back from the fight, are slain in open encounter. Do thou, O son, go the way that has been gone by Sagara and Saivya and Dilipa and Janamejaya and Nahusa and Dhundumāra. Do thou, O son, go the way that is gone by all creatures! Even by ascetics engaged in the study of the Veda, by bestowers of lands, by those performing fire-sacrifices, by individuals each devoted to a single wife, men giving away a thousand kine, persons tending their preceptors, and individuals renouncing lives by fasting. He that is born in such a race cannot come by any evil case. Such a condition be his that has taken the life of thee, my friend.’

“Having thus piteously wept, he along with his wife set about performing the watery rites on behalf of his son. Thereupon speedily assuming a celestial shape, the virtuous son of the ascetic by his own actions ascended heaven in company with Sakra. Then (returning) along with Sakra, the ascetic comforting his aged parents, addressed them, saying, ‘I have attained a high state in consequence of having served you. Do you also without delay come unto me.’ Having said this, the ascetic’s son of restrained senses ascended heaven by means of an excellent and commodious car. Having performed the watery rites, the highly energetic ascetic along with his wife speedily said unto me staying with joined hands, ‘Do thou, O monarch, slay me on the instant. I do not grieve to die’—thou hast by thy shaft rendered me who had an only son, absolutely sonless. Since this sorrow arising from the calamity that has befallen my son, is at present mine (through thy instrumentality), I curse thee,—thou shalt even in this way find thy death from grief for thy son. As thou a Kshatriya hast through ignorance slain an ascetic, the sin, O lord of men, of slaying a Brāhmana will not envelope thee speedily; but thou shalt shortly come by this dreadful and mortal condition, like a donor of Dakshinās (coming by the things given away).’ Having thus inflicted on me the curse and piteously lamented long, the couple ascended the funeral pile and went to heaven. O noble dame, the crime that I hitting by help of sound, had committed in my boyhood, has reverted to my recollection in course of thought. And, O exalted lady, even as a disease generated by one’s taking rice with unhealthy curry, this danger is imminent in consequence of that act. O gentle one, the words of that noble- minded person are about to be verified in me.” Having said this and weeping, the king said to his wife, “I shall renounce life through grief for my son. And I shall no more behold thee with my eyes. Do thou, O Kauçalyā, touch me. People going to the mansion of Yama no more behold (their friends). If Rāma touch me directly or otherwise, obtain the exchequer, and be installed as the heir-apparent, meseems, I may yet live. O noble lady, what I have done unto Rāghava is not surely like myself; but what (on the other hand) he has done by me is worthy of him. What sensible man forsaketh his son, albeit he may be wicked? And what son being banished, does not bear ill will towards his father? But I do not see thee with my eyes, and my memory fails. These envoys of Vivaswata’s son, O Kauçalyā, urge speed upon me. What can be an object of greater regret than, that I during my last moments cannot behold the righteous Rāma having truth for prowess? Even as the sun drieth up a drop of water, grief for not seeing my son of incomparable acts drieth my spirits. Those are not men—those are gods who in the fifteenth year shall again behold Rāma’s countenance graced with elegent and burnished ear-rings. O thou of graceful eye-brows, blessed are they who shall behold Rāma’s countenance furnished with eyes resembling lotus-petals, with excellent teeth and a shapely nose, like unto the lord of the stars himself. Blessed are they that shall behold that fragrant face of his like unto the autumnal moon, or the full-blown lotus. Thrice-blessed they who with delighted hearts, shall behold Rāma returned from the forest and come back to Ayodhyā, like unto Sukra crowning the zenith? O Kauçalyā, my heart is weighed down with grief; and I do not perceive objects of hearing, feeling, or taste. My senses are growing dim in consequence of the mental stupor, like the rays of a lamp reduced to smoke, becoming dim when the oil has been exhausted. As the violence of a river wears away its banks. My grief occasioned through my own agency is destroying me, who am helpless and insensible. O mighty-armed Rāghava! O thou remover of my troubles! O thou that dost delight in thy father! Thou art my stay, O my son, that hast gone away. O Kauçalyā, I do not see. O wretched Sumitrā! O cruel one, thou enemy of mine, thou Kaikeyi, who hast befouled thy line!” Having thus lamented in presence of Rāma’s mother and Sumitrā, king Daçaratha breathed his last.

Thus that distressed lord of men, smitten with the exile of his beloved son, that one possessed of a gracious presence, when the night had been half spent, wrought up with the violence of his emotion, departed this life.


When the night had gone away, on the morning of the next day, eulogists, accomplished bards, genealogists skilled in reciting, and singers versed in musical permutation, presenting themselves at the place of the sovereign, began to perform separately. And as they eulogized the monarch with benedictions loudly uttered, the palace resounded with the sounds of the eulogies. And as the bards hymned the monarch, palm-players celebrating the deeds of the kings of the Raghu race, began to play with their palms. And awakened by those sounds, birds on boughs and in cages worthy of the royal race, uttered notes. And the sacred words uttered (by these), the notes of Vinās, and the valedictory songs of singers filled that mansion. And as on former occasions, men practising purity and well up in serving, with numerous women and eunuchs entered appearance. Persons acquainted with the ceremonials connected with bath, according to the ordinance and in due time, in golden vessels brought water impregnated with hari- sandal powder. Pure females together with many virgins brought kine &c, which were to be touched, Ganges water for sipping, mirrors, cloths, ornaments and other articles. All the things that were procured (for presentation unto the monarch) were worshipped in accordance with prescription, were furnished with auspicious marks, and were of excellent virtues and possessed of auspiciousness. As long as the sun did not rise, all these people remained expecting the presence of the king; but then they were alarmed as to what had occurred.

Those ladies that were beside the bed of the lord of Koçala, were consoling their husband. And engaged in tending the monarch with mild and pliant words, those females knowing the condition of sleep, feeling him as he lay in his bed, did not perceive any action in the ever-moving pulse. Thereupon apprehensive for the king’s life, they began to tremble like a blade of grass on a torrent. Filled with doubts at sight of the king, the ladies at last concluded that what had been apprehended (by the monarch) had certainly taken place. Overcome by grief for their sons, Sumitrā and Kauçalyā were sleeping as if they were dead, and had not yet awaked. Deprived of lustre, pallid, stricken by sorrow, and lying with her limbs contracted, Kauçalyā looked like a star enveloped in darkness. And after Kauçalyā, the king, and after him, Sumitrā; and with her countenance faded from grief, this noble lady did not look particularly lovely. Finding these two ladies asleep and the king seeming as if sleeping, the inmates of the inner apartment showed themselves as if their lives had departed out of them. Thereupon exceedingly distressed, those paragons of their sex, like she-elephants in the forest deprived of their leader of the herd, broke out into wailing. At the sounds of their lamentations, bpth Kauçalyā and Sumitrā suddenly regaining consciousness, awoke from their sleep. And Kauçalyā and Sumitrā looking at the king and feeling him, felt down to the earth, exclaiming, “Ah lord.” As the daughter of Koçala’s lord rolled on the ground, she covered with dust did not appear in all her loveliness, like a star fallen from the sky to the earth below. And when the king had departed this life, the women saw Kauçalyā fallen on the earth like the slain mate of an elephant. Then all the wives of the monarch headed by Kaikeyi, burning with grief and weeping, were well nigh rendered senseless. And the loud sounds emitted by these, mingling with those (who had been lamenting before them), attained greater proportions and filled the hall. And the mansion of the king became filled with people exceedingly excited and frightened, eager to know all about the matter,—became filled with lamentations, with friends afflicted with distress, its joy instantaneously vanished—a scene of distress and dole. Knowing that the lord of earth had departed, his wives surrounding that illustrious one, smitten with excess of sorrow and weeping bitterly and piteously, holding the king’s hands indulged in lamentations, like forlorn ones.


Seeing the king had ascended heaven., like unto a fire that has cooled, or an ocean deprived of its waters, or the sun shorn of his splendour, Kauçalyā afflicted with woe, taking on her lap the head of the king, with tears in her eyes, said, “O Kaikeyi, attain thou thy wishes: do thou enjoy this kingdom rid of thy thorn. O cruel one, O thou of wicked ways, thou that forsaking the king had set thy heart (on having thy son crowned), Rāma had gone away, forsaking me; and now my lord has ascended heaven. I can too longer bear to live, like one left lone in a wilderness by her companions. What other woman except Kaikeyi lost to righteousness, having lost her deity, her lord, wishes to carry on existence in another’s kingdom? As a covetuous person taking poison (through anger or some other passion), does not consider himself guilty, (so Kaikeyi) having done this evil through Mantharā’s incitement, does not bring her guilt home to her mind. It is through the instrumentality of the hump-backed woman that this race of the Rāghavas has been destroyed by Kaikeyi. Hearing that the king being made to do an unrighteous action, has banished Rāma together with his wife, king Janaka will be filled with grief as I have been. That virtuous one does not know that to-day I have become helpless and been widowed. Rāma of eyes resembling lotus-petals has living been removed from my sight. The fair daughter of Videha’s king unworthy of hardship, in ascetic guise is leading a life of trouble and terror in the woods. Hearing at night the dreadful roars of birds and beasts crying, she exceedingly frightened takes shelter with Rāghava. Old and having an only daughter, he revolving in his mind thoughts of Vaidehi, shall, smitten with grief, surely renounce his life. I ever faithful to my lord will die this very day, embracing this body; I will enter fire.” As embracing the (dead) body, that unfortunate lady was bewailing, the courtiers had the distressed (queen) removed from there. Then placing the corpse of the king in a (capacious) pan with oil, the courtiers performed the mourning rites of the monarch. But well versed in every thing, the counsellors, in the absence of his son, did not perform the funeral obsequies of the king; and therefore they placed his body stretched in the pan of oil. Alas! At length concluding it for certain that the king was dead, the ladies burst out into lamentations. And raising their arms, with tears trickling down their faces, they in dire affliction and extremely exercised with grief, lamented, “O monarch, why do you forsake us, who have been already deprived of Rāma ever speaking fair and firm in promise? Renounced by Rāma, how shall ye, rendered widows, stay with the wicked Kaikeyi, co-wife with us? That one of free soul is our master, as he is the lord of yourself. Rāma has gone to the woods, forsaking regal dignity. Deprived of you as well as that hero, and overwhelmed with misfortune, how shall we live reprimanded by Kaikeyi? She that has renounced the king, Rāma, and Lakshmana along with Sitā— whom can such a one not renounce?” Thus with tears in their eyes, the wives of that descendant of Raghu, joyless and convulsed with a huge passion, displayed signs of sorrow. Like a night without stars, like a fair one forsaken by her husband, the city of Ayodhyā without the magnanimous monarch did not appear delightful as it had done before, with the populace filled with tears, the ladies uttering exclamations of distress, and the terraces and courts deserted. On the lord of men having ascended heaven from grief, and the wives of the king remaining on the earth, the sun, his journey done, set, and the night began her course. The idea of consuming the king’s corpse in the absence of his son did not recommend itself to the assembled adherents (of the departed). Thinking this, they in that way laid the king endowed with an inconceivably dignified presence. And with her terraces overflowing with tears that flooded the throats of the mourners, the city appeared like the welkin without its splendour in the absence of the sun, or the night with the stars enveloped. And on the demise of that illustrious personage, in the city men and women in multitudes, censuring Bharata’s mother, became extremely distressed, and did not attain peace of mind.


AT length the weary night in Ayodhyā. Rendered cheerless by lamentations, and populous with men with voice choked with tears, was spent. And when the night departed and the sun had arisen, those officers of the royal house-hold belonging to the twice-born order, Mārkandeya, Maudgalya, Vāmadeva, Kāçyapa, Kātyāyana, Gautama, and the highly famous Jāvāli, assembled together along with the the counsellors, spoke each on different topics. Then facing the royal priest, the eminent Vasistha, they said, “That night that had appeared like unto an hundred years has at last been painfully passed. The king racked by sorrow for his son has breathed his last, the mighty monarch has ascended heaven, Rāma has taken refuge in the woods, the energetic Lakshmana has gone with Rāma, and both Bharata and Satrugna— repressors of foes—are staying in Kekaya in pleasant Rajagriha, the abode of their maternal grandfather. Do you select some one this very day from the descendants of Ikshwāku, be king here. Verily doth a kingdom go to ruin, when without a king. He that goes garlanded with lightning, and has a mighty voice, even the cloud—doth not with skyey shower drench the Earth in a kingdom without a king. In a kingless kingdom no one sows corn. In a kingless kingdom the son does not obey his sire, or the wife her husband. A kingless kingdom possesses no wealth, and wives are hard to keep in such a place. This great fear attends a kingless country. And where is other morality (besides that detailed above) to be found at such a place? In a kingless country men do not form themselves into associations, nor do they, inspired with cheerfulness, make elegant gardens or sacred edifices. In a kingless country, the twice-born ones do not celebrate sacrifices. In a kingless country, in mighty sacrifices wealthy Brāhmanas do not confer (on the officiating priests) the dakshinās (which they receive according to the ordinance), In a kingless country, neither social gatherings, nor festivities characterised by the presence of merry theatrical managers and performers, increase. In a kingless country disputants cannot decide their point; nor are persons given to hearing Purānic recitations pleased by those delighting in the practice. In a kingless country, bevies of virgins decked in gold do not repair to gardens for purposes of sport. In a kingless country, the wealthy are not well protected; nor do shepherds and cultivators sleep with their doors open. In a kingless country pleasure-seeking people do not in company with females go to the woods by means of swift vehicles, In a kingless country long-tusked elephants sixty years old, bearing bells on their necks, do not walk the highway. In a kingless country one hears not the clappings of persons engaged in shooting arrows constantly. In a kingless country traders coming from distant lands, loaded with various kinds of merchandise, do not with safety go along the roads. In a kingless country the ascetic with his subdued senses, himself his sole protector, who makes his quarters wherever evening overtakes him, cannot walk contemplating the Deity. In a kingless country, one cannot protect what one has, or procure what one has not. In a kingless country, the forces cannot bear the onslaught of the foe. In a kingless country men cannot at will go on excellent and high-mettled horses and ornamented cars. In a kingless country persons well versed in learning can not engage in controversy, repairing to woods and groves. In a kingless country, persons with intent hearts do not offer garlands, sweets, and dakshinās, for worshipping the gods. In a kingless country, princes smeared with sandal and aguru, do not look graceful like trees in spring. Even as a river without water, a wood without grass, a herd of kine without a keeper, is a kingdom without a king. The sign of a car is its pennon, of fire is smoke, and our banner the king, has gone to heaven. In a kingless country a person hardly preserves his life; and like fishes people eat up one another. Even those heretics who having disregarded the dignity of social morality had met with chastisement at the hands of the king, their fear removed—give themselves airs. As the sight is engaged in the welfare of the body, the king—that fountain of truth and religion—is engaged in compassing the good of the kingdom. The king is truth, the king is morality, the king is the racial dignity of those possessed of the same, the king is the father, the king is the mother—the king compasseth the welfare of men. By virtue of magnanimity of character, a king surpasses Yama and Vaiçravana and Sakra and Varuna endowed with mighty strength. If there were not a king in this world to adjudge fair and foul, darkness would overspread (the face of the earth) and people could not distinguish anything whatever. As the ocean keepeth within its continent, we even while the monarch lived, did not disregard your words. Do you, O best of Brāhmanas, beholding our acts rendered nugatory, and this empire become a wilderness for want of a king, install that descendant of Ikshwāku or any other as king of this realm.”


Hearing their words, Vasishtha said unto the Brāhmanas and the adherents and counsellors (of the king), “Bharata, on whom the king has conferred the kingdom, along with his brother Satrughna, is living happily in the house of his maternal uncle. Let envoys by means of fleet couriers speedily repair thither and bring those heroic brothers. What shall we decide?” “Let them go”—said all unto Vasishtha. Hearing their words, Vasishtha spake unto them, saying,— “Come here, thou Siddhārtha, and Vijaya, and Jayanta, and Açokanandana. Do ye hear. I will tell you what ye are to do. First going speedily to the royal residence by means of swift horses, do you, renouncing grief, by my order speak these words of mine unto Bharata, ‘The priest as well as the counsellors have enquired after your welfare. Do you at once set out. A business is at hand that brooketh no delay on your part.’ But ye must on no account communicate unto him the exile of Rāma, or the demise of the monarch, or the destruction that hath befallen the Raghu race through this occasion. Do ye, speedily taking silk apparel and excellent ornaments for king Bharata, set off.” Thereupon, having been furnished with the necessaries for the journey, they bound for Kekaya went to their respective abodes, mounted on goodly horses. Then having supplied themselves with the necessaries of the journey, the envoys in consonance with Vasistha’s injunction, speedily went away. Having proceeded by the west of Aparatāla, they in the middle crossed the Mālini, and went towards the north of Pralamva. Then crossing the Gangā at Hastinapura, and arriving at Pānchāla, they proceeded westward through Kurujāngala. And beholding watery expanses filled with blown blossoms, and rivers containing pellucid waters, the envoys proceeded apace on account of the errand they had on hand. And they darted past the Saradanda overflowing with delightful water, beautiful, and haunted by fowls of various kinds. Then on the western bank of the stream, coming upon a tree called Satyapayāchana presided by a deity, and bowing down unto the tree and going round it, they entered the city of Kulinga. And having passed Teyobibhabana and arrived at Abhikāla, they crossed the sacred stream Ikshumati belonging to the Ikshwākus for generations. Beholding here Brāhmanas versed in the Vedas drinking water with their joined hands, they went through Vāhllika towards the mount Sudāmān. There seeing the foot-print of Vishnu, they, desirous of doing the bidding of their master, proceeded a long way, viewing the Vipāçā and the Sālmali and rivers and tanks and pools and ponds and sheets of water and various kinds of lions and tigers and deer and elephants. And with their vehicles fatigued, the ambassadors, on account of the great distance of the way, speedily reached that best of cities, Girivraja. And for pleasing their master, for the preservation of the people, and enabling Bharata to assume the reins of government, those envoys, casting aside negligence, swiftly entered the city in the night.


The very same night that the envoys entered the city, Bharata saw an evil dream. And seeing that evil dream during the short hours, the son of that king of kings exceedingly burned in grief. And rinding him aggrieved, his sweet speeched associates, endeavouring to chase the heaviness, began to converse on a variety of subjects. Some played on instruments; some for the purpose of pacifying his mind, danced (the courtezans); others performed scenes variously fraught with the sentiment of mirth. But although his friends intending to allay his agitation set about enacting passages calculated to amuse family circles, that magnanimous descendant of Raghu did not indulge in laughter. Then a dear friend addressed Bharata, as he sat surrounded by his friends, “Surrounded by your friends, why do you not, my friend, join in the mirth?” Thus asked by his friend, Bharata answered, “Listen why this depression has overtaken me. In a dream I beheld my father, pale, with his hair loosely flowing about, plunging from the summit of a mountain into a dirty pool filled with cow-dung. And I saw him floating on a sink of cow-dung, and yet with a momentary laugh drinking oil by means of his joined hands. Then feeding on rice mixed with sessame, he again and again hanging his head down, dives into oil with his limbs rubbed with oil. And in my dream I saw the ocean dried up, and the moon fallen on the earth, and the earth as if invaded by enfolding darkness, and the tusk of the elephant on which the monarch rides falling in fragments, and flaming fire suddenly extinguished, and the earth rent, and the trees withered, and all the mountains befching smoke. . And I saw the king seated on a sable seat of iron, clad in a sable garb; and women black and yellow beating him. And bearing a garland of red flowers, with his body daubed with red sandal, he was fast proceeding to the south in a car yoked with asses. And women clad in red garment were laughing at him, and a grim-visaged Rākshasa was seen by me as dragging him. This was the dream that I saw this terrible night. Either I, or Rāma, or the king, or Lakshmana is to breathe our last. The smoke of the funeral pyre of him will be shortly visible that goes in the car yoked with asses. It is for this reason that I am poor of spirit, and that I do not respond to your words. Further, my throat is parched, and my mind ill at ease. Ground of fear find I none, yet am I subject to fear. My voice is untuned, and my grace fled, and I begin to despise my life, nor know I the reason why. Bringing to mind this various-looking dream which I had not thought of before, and remembering the king of incomprehensible presence, this fear goeth not from my heart.”


Bharata was speaking thus when the envoys with their vehicles fatigued, entered the splendid royal residence surrounded by a strong rampart. Presenting themselves before the king, they, well received by him as well as the prince, bowed down unto the feet of the monarch. Then they addressed Bharata, saying,—‘The priest and the counsellors have enquired after your welfare. Do you set out speedily. A business is on hand that brooketh no delay on your part. And, O you of expansive eyes, do you take these costly raiments and ornaments, and present them unto your maternal uncle and grand-father. Twenty Kotis are intended for the king and complete ten for your maternal uncle, O son of the monarch.” Taking all these, Bharata attached to his relatives, made the articles over unto them; and receiving the envoys with goodly gifts, spoke unto them, “Is my father, king Daçarātha, well? And is it well with Rāma and the high-souled Lakshmana? And is the mother of the intelligent Rāma, the revered Kauçalyā, conversant with virtue and ever practising it, well? Is the virtuous Sumitrā.—mother of Lakshmana and of the heroic Satrughna—well? And that wrathful one ever intent on her interest and setting immense store by her wisdom, my mother Kaikeyi—is it also well with her?” Thus addressed by the magnanimous Bharata, the envoys spoke unto him these humble and brief words, “Those of whose welfare you are enquiring after, are, O foremost of men, all well. Sree seated on the lotus asks for you. Let your car be yoked.” Thus addressed, Bharata said unto the envoys, “Let me tell the king that the envoys are urging speed on me.” Having said this, that son of the king. Bharata, communicated unto his maternal grand-father what the envoys had told him. “Asked by the envoys, I shall, O monarch, go to my father. I shall come again whenever you will remember me.” Thus accosted by Bharata, his maternal grand-father, the king, smelling Bharata’s head, spoke these auspicious words unto that descendant of Raghu, “Go, my child; I permit thee. Kaikeyi is mother of a worthy son through thee. Do thou, O subduer of foes, communicate our welfare unto both thy father and thy mother. Do thou likewise communicate the same unto the priest and the other principal Brāhmanas; as also, my child, unto those mighty bowmen, the brothers Rāma and Lakshmana.” Then honoring Bharata, king Kekaya conferred on Bharata wealth consisting of choice elephants maintained (at the palace) and woolen sheets and deerskins. And the king presented him with dogs brought up in the inner apartment, resembling tigers in strength and prowess, furnished with teeth representing weapons, and large of body. And honoring the son of Kaikeyi, Kekaya gave him two thousand nishkas and six hundred horses. And for following Bharata, Açwapati without delay assigned a number of goodly, trustworthy, and qualified courtiers. And Bharata’s maternal uncle conferred on Bharata wealth in the shape of graceful elephants sprung in the Irāvat mountain and the country called Indraçirā; as well as fleet and well-broken horses. But owing to the hurry of his departure, Bharata the son of Kaikeyi did not appear to be so very much gratified with the gifts. Owing to his having seen the dream and the post haste speed of the envoys, a mighty anxiety was present in his heart. Then issuing from his abode, that one possessed of exceeding grace passed the goodly thoroughfare thronged with men, horses, and elephants. Having left it behind, Bharata saw (before him) the inner apartment (of the king); and thereupon the handsome Bharata entered it without let. Then after speaking with his maternal grandfather and uncle, Yudhājit, Bharata ascending a car, set out with Satrughna. Thereat servants by means of an hundred cars, furnished with circular wheels, and yoked with camels, oxen, horses, and asses, followed Bharata. Protected by the forces and the courtiers of his material grandfather dear unto him like his ownself, the magnanimous Bharata who had his foes removed, taking with him his brother, Satrughna, departed from the abode (of the king), like a Siddha issuing from the regions of Indra.


Issuing from the palace, the blazing Bharata endowed with prowess went in an easterly direction, and seeing before him the river called Sudāma, crossed it. Then the auspicious descendant of Ikshwāku crossed the broad Hrādini coursing westwards, as also the river Satadru. Then crossing a river at Eladhāna,153 and coming to Aparaparvata,154 he crossed the Silā155 and the Akurvati, and arrived at Agneya156 and Salyakarshanam. And having purified himself and seen Silāvaha,157 that one of truthful purposes passed the Mahāçailas,158 and entered the forest of Chaitraratha. Then coming upon the confluence of the Gangā. And the Saraswati, Bharata entered the forest of Vārunda lyingto the north159 of Virāmatsya. Next crossing the rapid river Kulingā and the Hrādini surrounded by hills, as Well as the Yamunā, he ordered the forces to halt. Then cooling the limbs of the fatigued horses (with water) and refreshing them, Bharata himself bathed there and drank of the water; and then resumed the march, furnished with the water. Then the gentle prince by means of an excellent car, like unto the wind-god himself, entered the mighty forest inhabited by various races of men. Seeing that the mighty river Gangā was hard to cross at Ancudhāna, Bharata speedily went to the famous city of Prāgvata. And having crossed the Gangā at Prāgvata, he went over to the Kutikoshtikā. Having with his forces crossed that river, he proceeded to Dharmavarddhana. Then proceeding by ie south of Torana, he came to Jamvuprastha. Then Daçarātha’s son went to the beautiful village of Varutha. Having for a while stayed at that romantic wood, he proceeded eastwards, and presented himself at the villa of Ujjihāyana, where abound trees (called) Priyaka. Coming to the Priyakas, Bharata speedily yoking the horses, set out without delay, issuing his orders to the forces. Then sojourning at Sarvatirtha and crossing the river there flowing northwards as well as others abounding in various kinds of mountainous horses, Bharata arrived at Hastiprishthaka. And at Lohitya that foremost of men crossed the Kapivati, at Ekasala, the Sthānumati, and at Vinaya, the Gomati. And Bharata arriving at a forest of Sala trees in the city of Kalinga, speedily passed it with his forces way-worn. And having passed the forest swiftly over night, he at sunrise saw Ayodhyā built by king Manu. Having spent seven nights on the journey, that chief of men beheld Ayodhyā before him and thus addressed the charioteer, “O charioteer, from the distance Ayodhyā seemeth like a mass of black earth, albeit she boasts of sacrificial priests crowned with every virtue, Brāhmanas versed in the Vedas and opulent people, and albeit she is maintained by Rājarshis. Formerly one could hear a great and mighty tumult all round Ayodhyā proceeding from men and women; but I do not hear this to-day. The gardens wherefrom persons having sported in the evening used to rush out (at day break) wear a different aspect now. Forsaken by the pleasure-seekers, the gardens appear to weep. And, O charioteer, the city appears to me like a wilderness. And I do not as formerly behold the flower of the city leaving or entering her on cars or elephants or horses. Gardens which, frequented by people inebriated with the honey of love, met together for purposes of sport, looked charmingly blooming, I find as utterly void of cheerfulness, with the trees as if lamenting with tremulous leaves. Still do I not hear the inarticulate though sweet and delicious voice of beasts and birds crying in chorus.160 Why, as before, doth not the blameless161 and bland wind blow mixed with (the perfume of sandal and faint with dhupa? And why, again, have the sounds of Vinas and Mridangas developed by beating sticks, which continually flew in a never-ceasing vigorous course, ceased to-day? And I witness various evil, unsightly, and unpleasant162 omens, and hence my mind is depressed. O charioteer, complete good fortune with my friends is hardly to be realised. Bui although no apparent cause exists for my depression of spirits, yet my heart droopeth.” Then Bharata depressed and cast down and with his senses afflicted, speedily entered the city ruled by Ikshwāku. And Bharata having his vehicles fatigued, entered by the Vaijayanta163 gate, and went on, followed by the gate-keepers, who enquired after his welfare. Then courteously telling the warders to desist, he with an agitated heart spoke unto the tired charioteer of Açwapati, “0 sinless one, why have I been brought in this haste without any (adequate) reason? My heart apprehendeth some evil; and my disposition gives way. O charioteer, I see around me all those signs which I had heard told as occurring on the occasion of the deaths of monarchs. I behold the houses of the citizens unswept and unsightly with the doors flung open,—and destitute of grace, without sacrifices and other religious ceremonies, without the incense of dhupa, the citizens fasting, and the people appearing with faded countenances, displaying no flags, etc. The abodes of the deities are not decorated with garlands, and their courts are unclean; and remaining vacant, they look no longer beautiful as formerly. And the images are not worshipped; and the places of sacrifice are in a like condition. And garlands are not displayed in the shops where they are sold. And traders looking anxious, with their business stopped, do not look as before. And in temples and Chaityas birds and beasts appear dispirited. And in the city I behold men and women pale and woe-begone and emaciated and anxious, with tears filling their eyes.” Having said this unto the charioteer, Bharata, beholding these inauspicious sights, entered the palace of the king with a depressed heart. Beholding the city resembling the city of Indra, with her crossings and houses and roads void of people, and the doors and hinges covered with dust, Bharata was filled with greater grief. And witnessing many unpleasant things which he had never seen during the life of the monarch, that high-souled one entered the mansion of his father, bending his head, depressed in spirits, and with his mind extremely aggrieved.


Not having seen his father in his father’s quarters,164 Bharata went to his mother’s apartment for seeing her. On seeing her son before her after his sojourn from home, Kaikeyi delighted, rose up from her golden seat. On entering his own quarter which he found deprived of grace, the virtuous Bharata took hold of his mother’s auspicious feet. Then smelling the crown of his head and embracing him and taking that illustrious one on her lap, Kaikeyi addressed him, saying, “How many days hence did you leave the residence of the revered one? Hast thou felt any fatigue on the way incident to the car proceeding swiftly? And is the revered one well, and thy maternal uncle, Yudhājit? And, my son, hast thou passed thy time pleasantly during thy sojourn? It behoves thee to tell me all this.” Thus asked, that son of the king, Bharata, furnished with eyes resembling lotuses told his mother that all was well. “Seven nights hence I took leave of that revered one’s residence. My mother’s sire is well, as also my maternal uncle, Yudhājit. My vehicles had got tired in consequence of bearing the wealth and jewels which that subduer of foes, the king, had bestowed on me. And it is for this reason that I have come in advance of them. Urged by the royal emissaries, I have come here so swiftly. But it behoves my mother to tell me what I wish to ask. This sleeping bedstead of yours adorned with gold is empty. I do not see the race of Ikshwāku in their usual good spirits. The king generally remains in this apartment of my mother. But coming here with the desire of seeing him, I do not today find him at this place. I would take the feet of my father. Do you tell me who ask you. Is he in the apartment of my eldest mother, Kauçalyā?” Blinded by the lust of dominion, and looking upon that as desirable (unto Bharata) which was exceedingly disagreeable (to him), Kaikeyi replied unto him, who did not know what had transpired, “That high-souled and energetic one ever engaged in sacrifice—the refuge of the good—thy father, the king, has come by the state which pertains to all creatures.” Hearing these words, Bharata of pure ways sprung from a righteous race, smit with the vehemence of sorrow on account of his father, suddenly fell down to the earth. And exclaiming in the anguish of spirit and in the excess of grief, the words, “Ah me! I am undone!” that mighty-armed one endowed with prowess, fell down, tossing about his arms. Then, overwhelmed with sorrow and distressed at the death of his father, that highly energetic one, with his senses distracted, indulged in lamentations, “This bed of my father used to look like the speckless welkin at night crowned with the moon, after the clouds have gone off. But to-day, deprived of that intelligent one, it ceases to shine, like the firmament without the moon or the sea devoid of its waters.” Exclaiming with tears trickling down, that foremost of victorious ones, extremely afflicted at heart, wept, muffling his graceful countenance. Seeing that one resembling a celestial fallen to the earth, striken with sorrow, like unto a bough of the Sāla that had been severed in the wood by an axe, his mother raising up his distressed son like a mad elephant or the sun or the moon, addressed him, “Arise, arise. Why dost thou lie down, O illustrious son of the king? Persons like thee having their senses under perfect control, and approved by men of culture, do not grieve. O thou endowed with understanding, like the halo of the Sun in the solar disc, thy sense, entitled to dispensing gifts and celebrating sacrifices, ever follows morals, the Sruti, and asceticism.”

Having wept for a long while with his body rolling on the earth, Bharata. Afflicted with manifold grief, answered his mother, saying, “The king will install Rāma and celebrate a sacrifice’ concluding this for certain, I had joyfully gone from hence. But it has fallen out otherwise. That I do not behold my father ever engaged in the dear welfare (of his subjects) cleaves my heart, mother. Of what ailment hath the king breathed his last during my absence? Blessed are Rāma and others who have personally performed my sire’s last rites. Surely the renowned monarch doth not know that I have come. (If he had done so), pressing down my head, my father would at once have smelt it. Where is now the soft hand of that energetic one which used to rub my person when it was covered with dust? Do you now without delay convey the news of my arrival unto the vigorous Rāma, who is at once my father, brother and friend, and whose beloved servant I am. The eldest brother of one that is noble and cognisant of morality, becomes his father. I shall take hold of his feet: he is now my refuge. And, noble lady, what did that virtuous one cognizant of virtue, that pre-eminently pious one, firm in his vow, and having truth for prowess—even my father, say? I wish to hear news concerning us relative to the last moments of the monarch.” Thus asked, Kaikeyi related all as it had happened, saying, “Bewailing ‘Ah Rāma!’ ‘Ah Sitā!’ ‘Ah Lakshmana!’ that magnanimous one, the foremost of those that have attained to excellent state (after death), has gone to the next world coming under the law of time. Thy father like a mighty elephant fast bound with a cord, said unto me these words during his last moments,—‘Blessed are they that shall see Rāma and the mighty-armed Lakshmana returned along with Sitā.’” Hearing this, Bharata apprehending a second misfortune was deeply moved; and with a sad countenance, he again asked his mother, “Where hath gone that righteous* souled one, the enhancer of Kauçalyā’s joy, along with Lakshmana and Sitā?” Thus questioned, his mother at the same time duly said in words. Which although highly unwelcome, she took as agreeable to Bharata, “O son, that son of the king wearing bark has repaired to the forest of Dandaka, along with Vaidehi and followed by Lakshmana.” Hearing this, Bharata apprehending some moral lapse on the part of his brother from the dignity of his race, asked in agitation, “Has Rāma deprived any Brāhmana of his wealth? Or has he wronged any innocent person, whether rich or poor? Has the fancy of the prince gone after the wife of another? For what reason hath brother Rāma been banished?” Thereat his volatile mother, influenced by her feminine nature, related faithfully unto him her own doings, Thus asked by the magnanimous Bharata, Kaikeyi vainly turning herself on her wisdom, joyfully said, “Rāma has deprived no Brāhmana of his property, nor hath any innocent person rich or otherwise been wronged by him,— nor doth he ever with his eyes look at the wife of another. O son, as soon as I heard of Rāma’s (coming) installation, I asked for the kingdom to be conferred on thee, and Rāma to be banished. Thereupon, he, staying by his promise, did accordingly: Rāma hath been banished along with Sumitrā’s son and Sitā.’ Not seeing his beloved son, the illustrious lord of earth, stricken by grief on his account, has breathed his last. Do thou now, O thou cognizant of duty, take charge of the kingdom. I have done all this in thy interests. Do not give way to sorrow. O son, assume patience. This city is subject to thee, as well as this peaceful kingdom. Having with the help of the principal Brāhmanas headed by Vasishtha, duly performed the funeral obsequies of the king, do thou, without suffering thy energy to depart, install thyself in the kingdom.”


Hearing of his father’s death and the exile of his brothers, Bharata burning in grief, said these words, “Deprived of my father as well as my brother like unto a father, what shall I bewailing them and undone by thee do with the kingdom? Thou, like one throwing alkali on a sore, hast, by bringing about the death of the king and making Rāma an ascetic, heaped grief on grief. Thou hast come like the fatal night for the destruction of this race. Not understanding it, my father embraced live coal. O thou that hast thy gaze fixed on sin, it is through thee that my sovereign has come by death; and that, O stainer of the line, this race has by thy infatuation been deprived of its happiness. Having got thee, my illustrious sire intent upon truth, king Daçarātha, afflicted by extreme sorrow, has departed this life. Why hath the king, my father, ever loving virtue, been deprived of life? Why hath Rāma been banished; and wherefore hath he gone to the woods? Afflicted with grief for their son, even if Kauçalyā and Sumitrā live, it will be hard for them to do so in the presence of thee, my mother. Surely the noble and virtuous Rāma, well knowing his duties towards his superiors, regards thee as highly as he doth his own mother. In the same way, my eldest mother, the far-sighted Kauçalyā, doing her duties by thee, bears herself like a sister. Why, O sinful one, having sent to the woods her magnanimous son, clad in bark, dost thou not grieve? Having exiled the famous and heroic Rāma seeing no sin, clad in bark, what benefit dost thou perceive as thine? I deem that thou didst not know how very highly I regarded Rāghava; and therefore it is that thou hast brought this mighty calamity. Not seeing those chiefs of men, Rāma and Lakshmana, by virtue of whose energy can I venture to rule the kingdom? The monarch was ever protected by that powerful one possessed of mighty energy, as Meru is protected by its forest. Like a calf burdened with a load capable of being borne by a mighty ox, by what energy shall I bear this burthen which was borne by an exceedingly strong person? And even if this strength be mine through yoga or vigor of intellect, I will not crown with success the hopes of thee, proud of thy son. Nor, had Rāma not always regarded thee as his mother, would I hesitate to renounce thee, whose heart hath been set on sin. O thou that viewest unrighteousness, O thou who hast fallen off from the way of the good, how could such thoughts unworthy of our line, arise in thy mind? In this race, the eldest brother of all is installed in the kingdom: the other brothers remain under him. O fell one, thou dost not, I think, know the morality of kings, or the consequence that attends its faithful observance. Of all the princes, the eldest is always installed as the king. Even this is the accepted principle of all sovereigns—specially the descendants of Ikswāku. But to-day the pride of character of those whose virtue was their sole concern,165 and who shone in the character of their line, has been humbled through thy instrumentality. And how, O highly exalted lady, O thou that wast born in a royal race, could such reprehensible fatuity take possession of thy senses? But, O thou bent upon sin, I will by no means fulfil the wish of thee by whom hath been brought in the first instance this calamity calculated to end my existence. Further, O sinless one, I will do this at present to displease thee: I will bring from the forest my brother dear unto his relatives. And having brought back Rāma, I will in a perfectly contented spirit, become the slave of that one of flaming energy.” The high-souled Bharata afflicted (his mother) with multitudes of words causing pain; and distressed with grief, emitted sounds like unto a lion in the cave of Mandara.


Having thus reproved his mother in great wrath, Bharata said again, “Do thou bear thyself from this kingdom, O heartless and wicked Kaikeyi. Having been lost to righteousness, do not thou lament me dead. What qualities of thine were taxed by the king or the exceedingly virtuous Rāma, that both of them simultaneously have come by death and exile respectively through thy agency? O Kaikeyi, thou hast been guilty of homicide in consequence of the destruction of this race. Do thou go to hell, never to the world attained by my father; since, renouncing Rāma dear unto all, thou hast committed this sin by thy grim act and brought me into fear. Through thee hath my father met with his end, and Rāma hath taken refuge in the woods; and it is through thee that I have come to ignominy among all creatures. O thou enemy of mine in the guise of a mother! O fell one! O thou that covetest the kingdom! Do thou not speak to me, O wicked wretch! O slayer of thy husband! It is because of thee, stainer of thy race, that Kauçalyā, Sumitrā, and other mothers of mine have been overwhelmed with a mighty sorrow. Thou art never the daughter of the pious and intelligent Açwapati, thou art a Rākshasi born in that race, thou that hast destroyed my father’s race, inasmuch as the virtuous and heroic Rāma ever observing truth hath been sent to the woods and my father hath ascended heaven through thy agency; inasmuch as thou that hast perpetrated this arch offence, hast laid this sin on me, who have been forsaken by my sire, renounced by my brothers, and come by universal disfavor. O thou of sinful ways, having separated the virtuous Kauçalyā (from her son), what world, O thou that repairest to hell, shall be thy portion? Dost thou not, O tortuous one, know that that one sprung from Kauçalyā’s, self, my eldest brother Rāma, who is like a father unto me, has ever been the refuge of his friends? A son born from all the limbs of his mother, comes out from her heart; and therefore it is that he is far dearer unto his mother, albeit her friends are dear to her.166 Once on a time, it is related by persons cognizant of morality, Surabhi regarded by the celestials, beheld two of her sons toiling on earth and seeming to be deprived of their senses. And, when the day had been half spent, seeing her sons fatigued on earth, she stricken with grief for them, began to weep with tears flooding her eyes. And it came to pass that as the magnanimous sovereign of the celestials was passing below, her fine and fragrant tear-drops fell on his person. Turning his eyes up, Sakra found Surabhi stationed in the sky, distressed and weeping in extreme anguish of spirit. Seeing that illustrious one burning in grief, the wielder of the thunder-bolt, Indra the lord of the celestials, waxing anxious, with joined hands said, ‘Is there any great danger in any quarter? Do thou, O thou that art intent on the welfare of all, say, whence is this grief of thine?’ Thus addressed by the intelligent king of the celestials, that one well skilled in speech, the sedate Surabhi answered, ‘Auspiciousness, O lord of celestials! No sin is yours. But I mourn my sons fallen into evil plight, having seen them lean, distressed, and burnt by the rays of the sun— Valivarddhas afflicted by the wicked-minded ploughman. Seeing those that have been born of my body, cast down and in trouble, I grieve: there is none that is dear like unto a son.’ Seeing her the whole earth is filled with whose sons by thousands, weeping, Indra understood that none is an object of greater affection than a son. And that lord, Indra, also considered Surabhi of a person breathing a sacred odour, whose tears had dropped on his body, as the foremost being on earth. Even that one yeilding whatever is asked, auspicious, crowned with the choicest virtues, although having all natural functions, showing equal kindness unto all, and of unequalled character, who maintaineth all creatures, she who hath a thousand sons, grieves (for her sons). How can then Kauçalyā carry on existence without Rāma? Chaste and having an only son, that lady has through thee been separated from her son, (like a cow separated from her calf). For this, thou wilt always have to suffer misery alike in this world and the next I shall for my part completely minister unto my brother and father; and shall, without doubt, increase my fame. Bringing hither the mighty-armed lord of Koçala endowed with immense strength, I myself will repair to the forest inhabited by ascetics. O thou that hast delivered thyself over to iniquity! I, looked at by the citizens with their throats oppressed with the vapour of grief, cannot bear this (burden of) sin heaped on me by thee. Do thou enter fire, or dive into Dandaka, or wound a cord round thy neck: other desirable way there is none for thee. On Rāma having truth for prowess, obtaining the earth, I, my disgrace removed, shall be blest.” Grieving thus, Bharata, like an elephant in the forest afflicted with a tomara or ankusa,167 fell to the earth sighing like an enraged snake. With his eyes reddened, and his cloth falling off, and his ornaments cast away, that subduer of foes, the king’s son fallen on the earth, resembled a banner of Sakra after the festival is over.


Arising after a long while when he had regained his consciousness, Bharata endowed with prowess, regarding his distressed mother with eyes filled with tears, began to tax her in the midst of the courtiers: “I had never desired the kingdom. I had never consulted my mother. Nor did I know the installation that had been thought of by the monarch. I was then living in a far country in company with Satrughna. I did not know the banishment of the magnanimous Rāma to the woods, or the exile of Sumitrā’s son; nor did I know how Sitā came to be banished.” As the high-souled Bharata was thus wailing, Kauçalyā recognizing his voice spoke unto Sumitrā, “Come is Bharata, the son of that one of crooked ways. I am desirous of seeing the far-sighted Bharata.” Having said this unto Sumitrā, that one emaciated and with a pallid countenance, trembling and almost deprived of sensation, went to where Bharata was. And it came to pass that the king’s son, Bharata, along with Satrughna had just then by the way that led to the same, been proceeding to Kauçalyā’s quarter. Then Satrughna and Bharata seeing the aggrieved Kauçalyā, embraced the stricken and fallen lady well nigh deprived of her senses. Thereupon, weeping from grief, the noble and intelligent Kauçalyā exceedingly afflicted, embracing them as they indulged in sorrow, said unto Bharata, “Thus hast thou, that hadst desired the kingdom, received it rid of its thorn. Alas! It has been speedily obtained through the crooked act of Kaikeyi. What is the good that is perceived by Kaikeyi of tortuous sight in sending away my son clad in bark to the woods? It behoveth Kaikeyi to send me also speedily to where is staying my illustrious son furnished with a gold-gleaming navel. Or first performing the fire-sacrifice, I followed by Sumitrā, will myself happily seek the way by which Rāghava (has gone to the woods). Or it behoveth thee to thyself bring me unto the place where that foremost of men, my son, is performing austerities. This spacious kingdom abounding in corn and wealth, and filled with elephants, horses, and cars, is thine, having been conferred on thee (by Kaikeyi).” Thus reproached by many a harsh word, the sinless Bharata felt exceeding pain like unto that produced by pricking a sore with a needle. Exceedingly agitated, he fell at Kauçalyā’s feet, lamenting much, and well nigh deprived of his senses. Bharata then regained his consciousness, and with joined hands answered Kauçalyā lamenting thus and overcome with excess of sorrow, saying,—“O noble lady, what for dost thou censure me who am without sin and who know nothing of this? Thou knowest that profuse is my delight in Rāghava. May the sense of him never follow scripture, that had approved the exile into the woods of that foremost of the good, the noble Rāma intent on truth! May such a person as had approved the exile unto the woods of the noble one undergo servitude at the hands of the sinful, answer the calls of nature facing the Sun, and kick a sleeping cow with his feet! May he that had approved the exile of the noble one into the woods come by the sin that is reaped by a master who withholds salary from servants after the ceremony is over! May that one that had approved the exile of the noble Rāma to the woods, be guilty of the sin that is his that injures a sovereign engaged in ruling his subjects like sons! May the person that had approved the exile of the noble one to the woods, reap the sin of his that having taken a sixth part of their incomes, does not protect his subjects! May he that had approved the exile of the noble one to the woods, come by the demerit that is his that denies dakshinās unto ascetics in a sacrifice, after having promised them the same! May he that had approved the exile into the woods of the noble one, never discharge the duty of the good in the field thronged with elephants and horses and cars, and bristling with arms! May the wicked wight that had approved the exile of the noble one to the woods bring to naught the subtle scriptural knowledge which has been carefully taught him by his intelligent preceptor! May that one that had approved the exile of the noble (Rāma) to the woods never behold the long-armed and broad-shouldered (Rāghava) resembling the Sun and the Moon in energy seated (on the throne)! May that one void of aversion, that had approved of the exile of the noble one to the woods feed on Payāca, Krisara, and goat’s flesh, which have not been offered in sacrifice; and may he insult his spiritual preceptor! May he that had approved the exile of the noble one to the woods touch a cow with his feet, revile his superiors, and injure his friends! May that one of wicked soul that had approved of the exile of the noble one into the woods divulge any defects (of another’s character) that have been communicated to him in strict confidence! May he that had approved the exile of Rāma to the woods, never repay any good act, be ungrateful abandoned by all,— the object of universal execration! May he that had approved of the exile into the woods of the noble one, eat alone in his home, although surrounded by sons and wives and servitors! May he that had approved of the exile of the noble one, die without obtaining wives worthy of him, without sons, without any good works performed! May he that had approved the exile of the noble one into the woods, never see his own offspring, and not attaining ripe age, may he mourn his wives! And may he come by the sin that is reaped by slaying a king, a woman, a boy, or an old man, or by renouncing those who have claims on his maintenance! May he that had approved the exile of the noble one into the woods always feed his family with lac, honey, meat, iron, and poison! May that one that had approved the exile of the noble one into the woods, while flying from the engagement while it is waxing furious with the foe, come to be killed! May he that had approved of the exile of the noble one into the woods, clad in tatters with a skull in hand, like a madman range the earth abegging! May he that had approved the exile of the noble one into the woods, be always addicted to wine, to women, and to dice; and may he be swayed by lust, anger, &c! May he that had approved of the exile of that noble one into the woods, never relish virtue, and go after unrighteousness; and may he shower his wealth on the unworthy! May he that had approved the exile of the noble one into the woods, have his various accumulated riches by thousands carried off by robbers! May he that had approved of the exile into the woods of that noble one, come by the demerit that is his who sleepeth during both the twilights! May he reap the sin that is reaped by an incendiary or him that lieth with his preceptor’s wife; or him that wrongs his friend! May he that had approved the exile of that noble one into the woods, never serve the gods or the manes of the ancestors or his father and mother! May he that had approved the exile of that noble one into the woods, be speedily shot out from the world of the good, from their fame, and from their acts! May he that had approved the exile of that long armed and broad breasted one, renouncing the ministration of his mother, turn his thoughts to evil! May he that had approved the exile of the noble one, becoming impoverished yet having to support a large family, and suffering from fever, be always miserable! May he that had approved the exile of that noble one render fruitless the hopes of poor people cherishing them and looking up (wistfully)! May he that had approved the exile into the woods of the noble one remaining (always) wicked, cruel and impure, leading an unrighteous life and being in (continual) fear of his sovereign, maintain himself by deceit for ever and a day! May that wicked person that had approved the exile into the woods of the noble one disregard his chaste wife remaining near, after she has performed her ablutions at the end of her season. May his that had approved the banishment into the woods of that noble one be the sin that is incurred by a Brāhmana that has rendered himself sonless. May that one of befouled senses that had approved of the exile into the woods of that noble one disturb the worship of Brāhmana and milch a cow that has a calf. May that foolish person that had approved the exile of that noble one forsaking all pleasure in virtue, seek others wives, renouncing his own wedded with sacred rites! May he that had approved the exile into the woods of that noble one come by the sin that attaches to a wine biber or one that administers poison to another! May he that had approved of the exile into the woods of the noble one bear the sin that is his that serves a thirsty soul with deceit. May he that had approved the exile into the woods of that noble one reap the demerit of them that from devotion to their respective faiths wrangle from their own points of view, as well as that of them that listen to the disputation!” Having thus consoled Kauçalyā bereft of her son and husband, the prince afflicted with distress fell down. Then Kauçalyā addressed the aggrieved Bharata (well nigh) deprived of his senses, swearing strong oaths, saying “O son, it grieves me more that thou art afflicting my heart by taking oaths. Lucky it is that graced with auspicious marks, thou swervest not from virtue. My child, for this reason thou wilt attain the regions of pious persons. Saying this, Kauçalyā overpowered with emotion, drawing into her lap Bharata attached to his brother, and embracing the mighty armed one, gave way to grief. And bewailing thus, the mind of the high souled (Bharata) wrought with sorrow, was overcome with the burden of grief. And fallen on the ground, lamenting, senseless, with his intellect overpowered, and momentarily heaving sighs, Bharata passed away night in grief.


As Bharata, the son of Kaikeyi was thus burning in grief, that foremost of those skilled in speech, the saint Vasishtha, endowed with excellence of language, said, “Do not weep, good betide thee, O illustrious prince. Do thou perform the funereal rites of the departed king.” Hearing Vasishtha’s words, Bharata cognisant of duty, bowed down to the ground and despatched the ministers for performing the last rites. And raising from under the oil the body of the king with a sallow countenance, and appearing to be asleep, Bharata placed it on the ground upon a couch in front adorned with various gems. Then overwhelmed with grief, Daçarātha’s son bewailed him thus, “O king, what was it that thou hadst intended to do, I absent and away from home, by banishing righteous Rāma and the powerful Lakshmana? Whither wendest thou, O mighty monarch, forsaking these aggrieved people, who have already been deprived of the lion like Rāma energetic in action? O father, thou having ascended heaven and Rāma having taken refuge in the woods, who now in this city of thine shall protect what the people possess and secure unto them what they have not? Widowed in consequence of losing thee, this earth does not look graceful. The city appeareth unto me like the night deprived of the Moon.” As Bharata was lamenting thus in dejected mood, the mighty ascetic Vasishtha again addressed him, saying, “O mighty armed one, do thou without indulging in any reflections, perform those funeral ceremonies of the monarch which ought to be performed.” Thereupon honoring his words by saying, “So be it,” he urged speed upon all the Ritwigas, priests, and Achāryas. And then those that had brought the king’s corpse outside from the fire chamber, instructed by the Ritwigas and priests according to the ordinance began to offer oblations into the fire. Next placing the king deprived of life on a car, the servants with their throats oppressed with vapour and with their minds weighed down with dejection carried him. And scattering gold and silver and various kinds of cloth, on the way, people went in front of the king. Others procuring sandal, aguru and other resinous incenses, sarala, padmaka and devaduru, cast it (on the earth). And drawing near the king there, Ritwigas laid various other fragrant substances on the funeral pile. Then offering oblations into the fire, the Ritwigas began to recite japa; and as laid down in the scriptures, Sāma singers chanted Sāmas. And by means of litters and other conveyances, each mounted according to her rank, the wives of the king went out from the city, surrounded by aged men. And Ritwijas went round the corpse of the king who performed many sacrifices leaving it on the left side. And kindling with grief, the females also headed by Kauçalyā, (circumambulated the pyre). And then there was heard the wail of women distressed with grief weeping piteously by thousands like unto Kraunchis. Weeping again and again with their sense lost, the wives of the king alighted from the car on the banks of the Sarayu. Having performed the watery rites, the wives of the monarch as well as the counsellors and priests, in company with Bharata entering the city with tears in their eyes, spent ten days168 in mourning lying down on the ground.


When the ten days had gone by, the king’s son, his uncleanness (consequent on the demise of his father) removed, performed the srāddha on the twelfth day. On the occasion of the ceremonies for the welfare of the departed spirit, the son of the king conferred on Brāhmanas wealth and gems, and rice in abudance, and herds of goats, and silver in profusion, and countless kine, and maid-servants and man-servants, and vehicles and spacious mansions. And on the thirteenth day, the long armed Bharata, overwhelmed with grief, burst into lamentation. And coming to the foot of the funeral pyre for gathering the bones of the departed, he overcome with grief, with his throat obstructed with the sounds of lamentation, said, “my father, on brother Rāma, to whom I had been consigned by thee, having gone to the forest, I have been cast by thee into vacancy. My father, forsaking forlorn mother Kauçalyā, whose stay her son, had gone to the forest, where hast thou gone, O king?” And seeing the spot where lay the bones of his father mixed with ashes and embers, Bharata looking at the place where occurred the dissolution of his father’s frame, carried away by emotion, indulged in sorrow. And seeing this, he exceedingly distressed, crying fell down to the ground. And raised up (by others) he looked like an uplifted banner of Sakra bound to an engine. And his counsellors rushed towards that one of pure vows, like the saints making towards Jayati as he was falling on the extinction of his merit. Seeing Bharata plunged in grief, Satrughna remembering the king, fell down to the ground deprived of consciousness. And devoid of sense and like a madman, he in grief of heart began to lament remembering all the virtues of his father again and again. “This terrible sea of grief owing its origin to Mantharā, containing its ferocious aquatic animal in the shape of Kaikeyi, and incapable of being disturbed in consequence of the bestowal of the boon drowns (us). O father, where hast thou gone, leaving the tender and youthful Bharata fondled by thee, to lament (thy loss). Thou didst use to confer on us eatables and drinkables and attires and ornaments. Who will now do so? Deprived of thee, the high souled king cognisant of duty, the earth albeit her time of riving is come, is not yet riven. My father having gone to heaven and Rāma having sought the woods, how can I live? I will enter fire. Bereft of my brother and sire, I will not enter the empty Ayodhyā governed by the Ikshwākus. I will repair to the forest of asceticism.” Hearing his lamentations and seeing that disaster, all the followers became all the more distressed. Then depressed and exhausted, both Satrughna and Bharata rolled on the earth like two bulls with their horns fractured. Then the all-knowing priest of their father possessed of sterling worth, Vasishtha, raising Bharata, said unto him, “O Lord this is the thirteenth day since the cremation of thy sire. Why dost thou delay, when thou hast to collect the bones? Three couples169 pertain in especial to all creatures and these being inevitable, thou ought not to bear yourself thus. And Sumantra also versed in the nature of things, raising up Satrughna and pacifying him, discoursed the birth and death of all beings. Being raised up, those renowned chiefs of men looked like Indra’s banner stained by shine and shower. And as the princes stood there shedding tears, with reddened eyes, and speaking sadly, the courtiers urged them on in behalf of the rites that remained.


Then Satrughna, the younger brother of Lakshmana spoke unto Bharata burning in grief as he was revolving in his mind the (intended) journey (to Rāma), “Need it be said that Rāma is the refuge both of himself and all creatures in trouble? That Rāma possessed of strength hath been exiled into the woods by a woman! And powerful and having prowess, why did not Lakshmana deliver Rāma by checking our father? The king bent upon following an unrighteous course through the influence of a woman, should, the justice or otherwise of the measure being fully weighed, at the very outset have been checked.” As Lakshmana’s younger brother Satrughna was speaking thus, appeared there at the door in front the hump-backed one adorned with every kind of ornament, with her body besmeared with sandal paste, wearing regal apparel, and variously decked out with a variety of ornaments. And adorned with elegant cones, and divers other superb ornaments, she looked like a female monkey tethered with a rope. At that time seeing that one of horrible misdeeds, (Bharata) who stood near the door, seizing the hump backed one ruthlessly, took her unto Satrughna, and said, “That one through whom Rāma has gone to the wood and our father has renounced his body this is that wicked and remorseless one. Do thou deal with her as thou likest.” At Bharata’s command Satrughna observing vows waxing exceedingly aggrieved, addressed all the inmates of the inner apartment, saying, “This one has occasioned intense misery unto my father and brothers. Let her now take the fruit of her fell deed.” Having said this, he furiously fell upon the hump backed one surrounded by her maids. Thereupon she with her cries made the chamber resound. Concluding Satrughna fired with rage, her associates extremely pained, fled away in all directions. Then her companions in a body took counsel of each other, saying, “considering the way in which he has entered upon it, he will annihilate us quite. Let us therefore seek the protection of the tender hearted generous, pious and illustrious Kauçalyā. Even she is our sure refuge. Overpowered with rage, that chastiser of foes, Satrughna, dragged the shrieking hump-backed one to the ground. As Mantharā was pushed this way and that, her various ornaments were scattered over the floor. Aad strewn with those ornaments, the graceful chamber of the palace looked like the autumnal firmament. And that foremost of men possessed of strength holding her, began to reprove Kaikeyi with harsh speech. Extremely hurt by those rough words, Kaikeyi terrified on account of Satrughna, took refuge with her son. Thereupon casting his eyes on Satrughna, Bharata said, “A woman is incapable of being slain by any. Do thou therefore excuse her. I myself would have slain this wicked Kaikeyi of impious deeds, if the righteous Rāma should not be displeased with me on account of my slaying my mother. And if Rāghava knows that the hump-backed one hath been slain, he surely will speak neither with thee nor me.” Hearing Bharata’s words, Satrughna, younger brother unto Lakshmana, refrained from that wrong and set free the hump-backed woman in a swoon. Thereat, sighing hard in exceeding grief, Mantharā flung herself at Kaikeyi’s feet, weeping piteously. Seeing the hump-backed one deprived of her senses in consequence of the pushing she had received at the hands of Satrughna, Bhjarata’s mother consoled that distressed woman, who appeared like a Kraunchi that had been entrapped.


Then on the morning of the fourteenth day, the ministers of the king assembled addressed Bharata in the following words, “Having exiled his eldest son and the exceedingly strong Lakshmana, Daçarātha who was the superior of our superiors hath gone to heaven. Do thou, therefore, O illustrious prince, become our king. Having been permitted by the king, thou wilt commit no fault (by doing so), as this kingdom is without a master. O Rāghava, having procured all these necessaries for the installation, the counsellors and others as well as the citizens wait, O king’s son. Do thou, O Bharata, take charge of this secure kingdom bequeathed by thy father and grandfather. Do thou, O foremost of men, have thyself sprinkled, and rule over us.” Thereupon, having gone round all the things procured for the sprinkling Bharata firm in his vows addressed those persons, saying, “In our line it is ever fit for the first-born alone to perform the task of government. It doth not behove ye who are wise to say so unto me. Certainly Rāma our eldest brother shall become the king; and I will abide in the forest for five and nine years. Do ye array the grand and mighty army consisting of fourfold forces. I will bring back from the forest my eldest brother Rāghava. And taking all these necessaries for the investiture in front, I will go in the direction of the forest for Rāma. And sprinkling that chief of men on the spot, I will placing him in our front, bring Rāma back, like unto fire brought in from the sacrifice. I will never fulfil the desire of this lady proud of her son. I will inhabit the impracticable woods, and Rāma shall become the monarch. Let workmen lay out level roads in uneven tracts; and let those men that are adepts in threading places difficult to pass through, follow us.” When the prince had spoken thus in behalf of Rāma, all those persons answered him in these excellent words, “For saying this, may Lakshmi seated on the lotus remain at thy side; inasmuch as thou wishest to confer the earth on the eldest son of the monarch!” Hearing that graceful speech of the king’s son, tear-drops, begot of delight began to trickle from their eyes and adorned those noble countenances. And their grief removed, with cheerful hearts, the counsellors, courtiers, and others hearing that speech (of the prince), said, “O best of men, according to thy order, artizans as well as people cherishing a high regard for thee have been directed to lay out a road.”


Then set out in advance persons having a knowledge of the humidity or otherwise of the soil, men skilled in making tents, brave delvers engaged in their proper work; those capable of constructing canals and water courses, people on pay, car-makers, men preparing machines, carpenters, those intended to guard the ways, pioneers, cooks, perfumers, makers of wicker-ware and able guides. And as the mighty throng began to proceed, it resembled the swell of the sea on the occasion of a parva. And numbers of men skilled in road-constructing went before furnished with various implements. And hewing away boughs, and plants and shrubs and woody projections, stones, and diverse trees, they went on preparing a road. And they set up trees where there were none, and at places they felled trees by means of axes, tankas, and daos, others possessed of greater strength and more powerful, with their hands uprooted masses of Virana and here and there leveled a rising ground. And others filled up with dust wells and capacious hollows, and speedily leveled deep places air around. And those men threw bridges wherever they became necessary, and broke the earth wherever such a process was required, and excavated whenever it was necessary. In a short time, they made places poor of water overflow with many and various expanses resembling the ocean. And in tracts void of water, they digged divers receptacles of water, decorated with daises. And the way of the army, furnished with pavements of bricks and clay, with trees bearing blosoms, eloquent with the tunes of birds, decorated with pennons, sprinkled with sandal showers, and garnished with flowers of various kinds, looked exceedingly beautiful, like unto the way of the celestials. Then having received the command of Bharata, the men that were in charge of the tents, ordered (the workmen) to pitch the tents, and when they had been pitched at a romantic spot filled with tasteful fruits, in consonance with the injunction of the high-souled Bharata, the men decorated splendidly the tents which themselves were like the ornaments of the road. And under an auspicious statf and at a favorable hour, men well up in the work set the encampment of the high-souled Bharata. And the tenfs surrounded by an entrenchment paved with dust, containing images made of sapphires, graced with goodly thoroughfares, lined with edifices, encircled by towers and walls, decorated with streamers, having well-made high-ways, and appearing like celestial daises and containing stately mansions with dove-cotes, resembled the metropolis of Sakra himself. And passing by the Jahnavi abounding in various trees and woods, of cool and crystal waters, and filled with mighty fishes, that way of the chief of men constructed by artizans, looked more and more lovely as it proceeded, as the unclouded sky looks beautiful at night, adorned with inumerable stars.


Then seeing that the night in which had been performed the auspicious preliminary ceremonies, was about to be spent, eulogists and genealogists hymned Bharata with consecrated hymns. And then sounded the kettle-drum, beaten by a golden stick, announcing the departure of the night; and people sounded conchs and other instruments by hundreds furnished with soft and loud sounds. And as if fillihg the heavens, those powerful blasts of the trumpet repeatedly rendered Bharata burning in grief the more aggrieved. Then awaking and silencing those sounds with saying—“I am not the king,” he said unto Satrughna, “Behold, O Satrughna, in what a mighty wrong the people are engaged, on account of Kaikeyi. The king Daçarātha has gone away throwing down on me (the burden of) this misery. The royal grace founded in righteousness of that magnanimous and virtuous monarch is wandering even like a boat on water having no helmsman. And he who is our mighty master hath been banished into the woods by this mother of mine! Who had (in doing so) renounced virtue.” Seeing Bharata lamenting thus senseless, the ladies afflicted with sorrow began to wail in winsome accents. As Bharata Was mourning thus, the highly famous and virtuous Vasishtha accompanied by his disciples entered the court of the Ikshwāku king: built of entire gold, charming, dazzling with gems and gold: like unto Sudharmā itself. Sitting down on a golden seat furnished with an elegant cover, that one versed in all the Vedas commanded the envoys, saying,—“Do ye speedily with collected minds bring hither Brāhmanas and Kshatriyas and warriors and counsellors and generals of forces and Satrughna with the other princes, and the famous Bharata and Yudhājit170 and Sumantra and others that are engaged in our welfare.” Then there arose a mighty hubbub occasioned by people coming up in cars, horses and elephants. And when Bharata arrived, the subjects rejoiced as they used to rejoice on Daçarātha’s arrival; and as rejoiced the immortals on the arrival of him of an hundred sacrifices. And then the court resembling a moveless ocean containing whales and serpents,171 and gems and conchs and gold-mines, being graced with the presence of Daçarātha’s son, looked splendid as it formerly did with that of Daçarātha himself.


And then the intelligent Bharata surveyed that assembly filled with noble, and worthy personages, resembling the night of the full moon. And that august assembly was ablaze with the brilliant hues proceeding from the attires of the honorable persons seated according to rank. And that splendid assembly filled with learned people looked like the night of the full moon after the clouds have dispersed. And seeing all the subjects of the sovereign gathered together the priest cognizant of virtue soflty spoke unto Bharata, “My child, leaving unto thee this prosperous earth abounding in corn and wealth, king Daçarātha having performed his duties, hath gone to heaven. And Rāma of truthful character observing the virtue of the righteous hath not set aside his father’s commands, even as the risen moon doth not renounce the moonlight. Loved by the courtiers, do thou, having been installed, enjoy this kingdom conferred on thee by thy father and mother, rid of its thorn. Let princes throned as well as those without thrones, from east, and west, north and south, and also persons ranging the sea, procure countless gems for presenting them unto thee.” Hearing this speech, Bharata cognizant of virtue, filled with sorrow, mentally repaired to Rāma desirous of reaping merit. Then in words choked with the melodious voice of a swan, lamented and taxed the priest, in the midst of the assembly, “Who like myself ever deprives one that hath led a Brahmācharyya mode of life, that is endowed with understanding and performed his bath after having acquired learning, and that is always intent on righteousness, of one’s kingdom? How begot of Daçarātha, shall I deprive Rāma of his kingdom. It behoveth thee to speak righteousness before this assembly. First-born, and foremost in merit, righteous-souled, and comparable unto Dilipa and Nahusha, Kākutstha deserves the kingdom, just as Daçarātha did. If I commit myself to this sin dishonorable and calculated to bring me to perdition, I shall in this world bring disgrace on the race of the Ikshwākus. I do not at all relish the sin that has been committed by my mother. Remaining here with joined hands I bow down unto Rāma gone to the forest fastness. I will follow Rāma. That best of men is the king. Rāghava deserves the dominion of the three worlds themselves.” Hearing those words informed with righteousness, the entire assembly with their minds intent upon Rāma, from joy shed tears. “If I fail to bring back the noble one from the forest, I will like the exalted Lakshmana remain even in that forest, I will in presence of this mixed assembly of pious and honorable persons following every perfection, adopt every expedient to bring back Rāma. I have already despatched beforehand persons serving for love as well as those for money, and layers of roads and their keepers; and I intend setting out now.” Having said this, the virtuous Bharata attached unto his brother spoke to Sumantra skilled in counsel, who was by, saying, “Up, and go, O Sumantra, at my command. Do thou make known this journey and bring the forces.” Thus accosted by the magnanimous Bharata, Sumantra with a cheerful heart issued orders concerning everything desirable as he was ordered. Hearing that the army had been ordered to march forth for bringing back Rāma, the subjects as well as the generals of the forces became exceedingly delighted. Hearing of the journey to Rāma, for bringing him back the wives of the soldiers apprised of the order that had been issued to the latter, being exceedingly delighted, hurried on. And the generals expeditiously despatched their forces with warriors by means of horses and carts and cars fleet as the mind. Seeing those forces marshalled, Bharata staying near his preceptor, said unto Sumantra who was at his side, “Do thou speedily bring my car.” In obedience to the mandate of Bharata, Sumantra exceedingly rejoiced, appeared with the car yoked with superb steeds. Then that powerful descendant of Raghu of truthful character, and having unswerving truth for his prowess, Bharata, having said what was fit, spoke words calculated to gladden his illustrious superior gone to the mighty forest, “0 Sumantra, arise thou speedily and, thy desire fully attained, go by my command, and tell the chiefs of the army, and our principal adherents to array the forces.” Thereat rising, Rāyanyas and Vaiçyas, and Vrishalas; and Vipras in every house began to yoke camels and cars and mules and elephants and excellent steeds.


Rising with the morrow, Bharata anxious to behold Rāma, speedily set out ascending an excellent car. Before him went the councellors and priests, ascending cars resembling that of the Sun yoked with steeds. And a thousand elephants duly consecrated went in the wake of that son of the Ikshwāku line as he was proceeding. And six thousand cars with bow-men furnished with various weapons followed the illustrious prince Bharata as he was proceeding. And a hundred thousand horses mounted (by riders) went in the wake of that descendant of Raghu intent upon truth and having his senses under control. And Kaikeyi and Sumitrā and the highly famous Kauçalyā rejoicing at the prospect of the bringing of Rāma, went in an effulgent car. And the honorable persons (belonging to all the three orders) went with the object of beholding Rāma in company with Lakshmana. And they with glad hearts variously conversed with each other, “When shall we see the mighty armed Rāma sable like unto a cloud, of steady strength, firm in vows, the remover of the world’s grief? As soon as we shall see him, Rāghava will remove our sorrow; even as the Sun arising dispells the darkness of the entire world.” Thus cheerfully carrying on an auspicious talk, the citizens embracing each other went a!ong. And all others, and the foremost merchants as well as all the principal classes, joyfully went in quest of Rāma. And a number of gem-cutters, and goodly potters, weavers, and armourers, and peacock-dancers, sawers, and perforators of gems, glass-makers, and workers in ivory, cooks, incense-sellers, well-known goldsmiths, and wool-manufacturers, bathers in tepid water, shampooers, physicians, makers of Dhupas, and wine-sellers, washermen, and tailors, and actors in numbers with females, and Kaivartas, and persons versed in Vedas having their minds in control, and Brāhmanas of reputed character, and persons well dressed and attired in pure habits, with their bodies daubed with coppery unguents, by thousands followed Bharata on carts. All these gradually followed Bharata by means of excellent vehicles. And the army delighted and in high spirits went in the wake of Kaikeyi’s son attached unto his brother, going to bring back his brother. Going far by means of cars, vehicles, elephants, and horses, they arrived at the Gangā near Sringaverapura, where was peacefully staying that friend of Rāma, the heroic Guha, surrounded by his relatives, ruling the realm. Having come to the banks of the Gangā graced with Chakravākas, the army which was following Bharata halted. Seeing the army inactive as well as the Gangā, of sacred waters, Bharata versed in speech spoke unto the courtiers, “Do you communicating unto all our intentions, encamp the army. Having been fatigued, we shall cross the ocean-going Gangā, on the morrow. Having crossed the stream, I am anxious to offer its water unto the monarch, who has gone to heaven, in behalf of his spiritual body.” When he had said this, the courtiers with collected minds saying, “Be it so,” disposed their forces, each according to his wish. Having on the mighty stream, Gangā, quartered his forces furnished with all appliances for the journey, Bharata remained there, revolving the means of making the high-souled Rāma turn back.


Seeing the forces with banners flying quartered on the banks of the river Gangā, and engaged in various occupations, the lord of the Nishādas, Guha, said unto his relatives ranged around, “This mighty host here appeareth like an ocean. I do not find its end even by thinking of it in my mind. Surely the foolish Bharata hath come hither himself: on his car appears the huge Kovidara, banner. Belike, he will either bind us by nooses or slay us and next Daçarātha’s son Rāma banished from the kingdom by his sire. Desirous of taking complete possession of the rare regal fortune of that sovereign (Rāma), Kaikeyi’s son, Bharata, comes to destroy him. Rāma the son of Daçarātha is both my maintainer and friend. Do ye in his interests, donning on your mail, wait on the banks of the river. And stationed on the river Gangā, let my powerful retainers subsisting on fruits and roots and meat, be prepared for opposing Bharata’s passage over the river. And let hundreds upon hundreds of Kaivarta youths accoutred in mail remain in each of five hundred barks.”—Guha issued this order. “But if Bharata be well disposed towards Rāma, this host shall today safely cross the Gangā.” Having said this, the lord of the Nishādas, Guha, taking a present of flesh, fish and honey, went out for interviewing Bharata. Seeing Guha approaching, the powerful son of the charioteer knowing season, humbly informed Bharata of it, saying, “This lord (that approaches) surrounded by his relatives, is very potent in Dandaka and is an old friend of your brother. Therefore let Guha, the lord of the Nishidas, see you, O Kākutstha. He indubitably knows where Rāma and Lakshmana are.” Hearing these wise words of Sumantra, Bharata at once said,—“Let Guha see me.” Receiving permission, Guha, right glad, appeared before Bharata, bending low, and said, “This place is thy home. But thou hast stolen a march over us. We dedicate all this unto thee. Do thou reside in the abode of thy servant. Here are fruits and roots gathered by the Nishādas and meat dry and moist and various other produces of the forest. I pray that entertained in various ways and heartily partaking of meats and drinks, this army may spend the night here. Tomorrow morning, thou wilt go along with thy forces.”


Thus addressed, the exceedingly wise Bharata answered the lord of the Nishādas, in words fraught with sense and reason, “Thy great desire, O friend of my superior, is surely as good as attained; since thou of mighty energy hast set thy heart on entertaining my army.” Having said these fair words unto Guha, the graceful and highly energetic Bharata again addressed the lord of Nishādas, “By what way shall I go to Bharadwāja’s hermitage? These lands watered by the Gangft are dense and hard to track.” Hearing these words of the intelligent son of the king, Guha well acquainted with the forest, said with joined hands, “My servant well acquainted with the place shall attentively follow thee; and, O prince possessed of mighty strength, I myself will also walk in thy wake. But dost thou go after Rāma of energetic acts with some evil intention? This vast force of thine raiseth my apprehension.” When Guha had asked this, Bharata with a presence unclouded like the sky, spoke unto Guha these sweet words, “May a time never come when I shall do wrong onto Rāghava! It behoveth thee not to fear me. Rāghava is my eldest brother dear unto me even as my sire himself. I go to make Kākutstha dwelling in the woods, turn back. Other intention cherish I none. O Guha, this I tell thee truly.” Having heard Bharata’s speech, Guha with a countenance lighted up with delight, again cheerfully addressed Bharata, saying, “Blessed art thou! Thy like find I none on earth, inasmuch as thou wishest to resign a kingdom that comes to thee without search. Thy eternal fame will certainly range this world, since thou wishest to bring back Rāma passing through misfortune.” As Guha was speaking thus unto Bharata, the Sun became shorn of his splendour and night fell. Thereupon, having disposed his troops, the auspicious Bharata gratified by Guha, went to bed along with Satrughna. Then arose thoughts of Rāma in the mind of the magnanimous Bharata ever having his gaze fixed on virtue and undeserving (of hardship). Then even as a tree already heated by a forest-fire burns with a fire hidden in its cavity, that descendant of Raghu began to burn with the fire of grief inflamed in his heart. And perspiration produced by the fire of sorrow issued out of all his limbs, as the Himavat heated by the solar warmth generates water. And Kaikeyi’s son was overpowered and drowned by the mountain of grief, having thoughts (of Rāma) for its entire crags, sighs for its mineral substance, disgust with the avocations of life, for its trees, mental feebleness through grief for its summits, stupor for the animals inhabiting it, and burning for its annual shrubs and bamboos. And sighing heavily with a heart oppressed with sorrow, well nigh deprived of consciousness, and involved in high peril, that best of men, oppressed by the fever of his heart, like unto a mighty leader of a herd, separated from it, did not attain peace of mind. Meeting with Guha, the magnanimous Bharata accompanied by his people, engrossed with the thoughts of Rāma, became oppressed with grief. (Seeing this), Guha by and by encouraged Bharata concerning his elder brother.


Guha, acquainted with the forest, described unto Bharata of immeasurable prowess the regard the high-souled Lakshmana bore unto Rāma. “To Lakshmana crowned with every virtue, waking up, holding the bow with the arrow fixed on it for the purpose of guarding well his brother, I said, ‘This easeful bed has been prepared for thee, my child. O son of Raghu’s descendant, cheer up! Do thou lie down at ease. All these people can bear hardship; but thou art meant for comfort. For protecting him religiously, we shall wake. To me also there is none that is dearer on earth than Rāma. Do not be anxious. This I tell thee truly, through his grace I expect high fame among men, and immense religious merit, and interest and desire in entirety. Bow in hand I shall along with my kin protect Rāma lying down with Sitā. To me always ranging in this forest, nothing whatever is unknown. I can even cope in battle with an army of four- fold forces.’ Thus accosted by us, the magnanimous Lakshmana with his gaze ever fixed on virtue, humbly observed, ‘How, Daçarātha’s son sleeping on the earth with Sitā, can I attain sleep, or life, or happiness? How see him who is capable of bearing in battle the onslaught of the gods and the Asuras combined, sleeping in a cave on grass? It is by virtue of mighty austerities and uncommon exertions that Daçarātha has obtained this son of his crowned with every auspicious sign. He being banished, the king shall not live long; and the Earth shall certainly be widowed soon. Having bewailed aloud, by this time have the women got exhausted; and surely the king’s mansion is to-day still. I do not expect that either Kauçalyā or the king or my mother is alive. If they live, it can be for this night only. Even if my mother live seeing Satrughna, that mother of a hero, the afflicted Kauçalyā, will (surely) resign her existence. Saying—All is lost,—All is lost,—with his desire unattained, my father having failed to install Rāma in the kingdom, will resign his existence. Blessed are they that when the time shall come for the same, shall perform the funeral ceremonies of the king my deceased sire. Then shall they with happy hearts range the metropolis of my father, furnished with fair-looking terraces, with the highways laid out orderly, crowned with lordly edifices, adorned with various gems, crowded by cars and elephants and horses, resounding with the notes of trumpets, abounding in auspicious things, filled with fat and contented people, having gardens and pleasure-houses, and possessed of divers classes of men indulging festal mirth. Shall we, on the occasion of Rāma’s return, with glad hearts peacefully enter the city in company with that one firm in his promise? As the magnanimous son of the king was thus lamenting, the night passed away. In the morning, with an unclouded sun, both, having made matted locks on the banks of the Bhāgirathi, crossed the river along with me. Wearing matted locks and clad in barks of trees, those persons possessed of mighty strength, like unto leaders of elephant-herds, equipped with excellent arrows and quivers and bows—those repressors of foes, expecting (their return from exile), departed with Sitā.”


Hearing the words of Guha, exceedingly unpleasant, Bharata as soon as he heard them, became plunged in thought. And then taking heart for a while, that tender-framed one possessed of immense strength, gifted with leonine shoulders and length of arms, having expansive eyes resembling white lotuses, young in years, and endowed with a handsome presence, affected with great grief, was overpowered, like an elephant wounded in the heart with a goad. Seeing Bharata deprived of his senses with his countenance covered with pallor, Guha became exceedingly agitated, like a tree during an earthquake. Seeing Bharata in that condition, Satrughna who was near, taking the former on his lap, began to cry, almost deprived of his senses and oppressed with grief. Thereat, all the mothers of Bharata, fasting, undergoing distress, and afflicted with the calamity that had befallen their lord, came forward, and surrounding Bharata, began to lament him fallen on the ground. And the distressed Kausalya drawing nigh embraced him like a cow approaching her calf; and weeping from excess of grief, spoke unto Bharata, saying, “My son, doth any malady afflict thy body? Now the life of this royal race is, without doubt, in thy hands. Rāma having gone away along with his brother, I shall, O son, live, seeing thee. King Daçarātha having departed this life, thou alone art our lord. Hast thou, my son, heard anything unpleasant concerning Lakshmana; or the son of that one having an only son,172 who has gone to the forest along with his wife?” Having taken comfort for a while, that one of high fame weeping, and solacing Kauçalyā, spoke unto Guha, saying, “Where did my brother pass the night? And where did Sitā? And where did, again, Lakshmana? And in what bed did he sleep, and what did he previously partake of? Do thou, O Guha, tell me this.” Thereat, well pleased, Guha, the lord of Nishādas, related unto Bharata how he had acted in respect of Rāma, his dear guest, studious of his welfare. “I procured for Rāma’s use rice and fruits and roots and various kinds of food. All these Rāma having truth for his prowess accepted, but observing Kshatriya morality, he did not take them. ‘O friend, we ought not to take anything: ours is always to give.’ Thus did that magnanimous one beseech us. On the high-souled Lakshmana bringing water, Righava having drunk it, fasted along with Sitā. Then Lakshmana drank up the water that remained. Then the three with fixed minds silently performed their adorations unto the Twilight. After that, Sumitrā’s son prepared a goodly bed for Rāghava, himself bringing Kuça grass. And in that bed lay down Rāma in company with Sitā. Next washing their feet, Lakshmana turned away. This is the foot of the Ingudi, and this that grass. On it both Rāma and Sitā lay down that night Fastening on his back a pair of quivers filled with arrows, furnished with finger-fences, and taking his mighty bow, Lakshmana all night kept watch around. I also taking an excellent bow, remained where remained Lakshmana and surrounded by my kindred who stayed there vigilantly, equipped with bows, guarded him that resembled the mighty Indra.”


Having heard everything, Bharata in company with the counsellors went to the foot of the Ingudi tree and saw the bed of Rāma. And he said unto his mothers, “That high- souled one lay down here on the ground during the night and his limbs pressed this spot. Begot of that foremost of monarchs, the exalted and intelligent Daçarātha, Rāma does not deserve to sleep on the earth. How can that chief of men having reposed in beds furnished with pillows made of deer-skins and having superb cloths, have lain down on the earth? Always reposing in mansions and in upper apartments paved with silver and gold and supplied with excellent bed-cloths, decked with heaps of flowers, perfumed with sandal and aguru, hued like unto pale clouds, resonant with the notes of many parrots,—in palaces going before the choicest of their class, ringing with music, and perfumed— like unto Meru itself, with their bases composed of gold, Rāma used to be awakened with vocal and instrumental music, the tinklings of elegant ornaments and the peals of goodly mridangas—that subduer of foes being in due season hymned by the eulogists, and friends, bards and genealogists, with worthy ballads and penegerycs. (This assertion of Rāma’s lying down on the ground) appears to me incredible: it doth by no means look unto me like truth. Forsooth, I am amazed. I take it, this is a vision. Verily, no destiny is superior to Time, since Daçarātha’s son, Rāma himself, had to repose on the earth,—and the beauteous beloved daughter of Videha’s king, and the daughter-in-law of Daçarātha, had to lie down on the ground. This was the bed of my brother; on this hard spot did he turn his lovely limbs, and this grass was pressed by them. I think that the graceful Sitā adorned with ornaments slept in this bed, for here and there are scattered particles of gold. It is clear that Sitā had spread her sheet at this spot,—hence it is that fibres of silk are discoverable here. I deem that the bed of her lord appeareth agreeable unto a wife, since a girl tender and in affliction, the chaste daughter of Mithilā experienced no inconvenience (in sleeping in one such). Ah, I am undone! Baleful am I, for it is on my account that Rāghava along with his wife, lay down in such a bed, like one forlorn. Born in the imperial race, and capable of conferring happiness on all, the bringer-about of all good, why did Rāghava of dark blue hue like that Of a lotus, graceful, and crowned with red eyes, the inheriter of happiness and undeserving of misery,—having left his dear consummate kingdom, lie down on the ground? Surely the mighty-armed Lakshmana graced with auspicious marks is blessed,—he who in the time of dire adversity followeth his brother Rāma. And blessed is Videha’s daughter who followeth her husband into the woods. Bereft of that magnanimous one, we have all been brought into jeopardy. The Earth without her helmsman seemeth me quite empty, on Daçarātha having ascended the celestial regions and Rāma taken refuge in the wilderness. On Rāma having set up his dwelling in the forest, one (like me) doth not even mentally covet this earth which had been protected by the immense prowess (of Rāghava). With her walls undefended, her horses and elephants unrestrained, and her gates left open, the defenceless metropolis deprived of her power, placed in peril and without any protection, is surely not regarded by the enemies, like food mixed with poison. From this day forth I will lie down on the ground, or on the grass, daily subsisting on fruits and roots, and bearing matted locks and a cloth of bark. And for his sake I will in future live happily in the woods. (By my doing so), the promise of that high-minded one shall not be rendered null. Me residing in the forest in the interests of my brother, Satrughna shall bear company; while my noble one will rule Ayodhyā assisted by Lakshmana. The twice-born ones will sprinkle Kākutstha in Ayodhyā. May the deities realize this desire of mine! Propitiated by me personally in various ways with bent head, if he do not consent, then shall I ever stay with Rāghava in the woods. Surely he cannot long persist in putting me off.”


Having spent the night there on the banks of the Gangā, that descendant of Raghu rising early in the morning, said these words unto Satrughna, “O Satrughna, arise! Why sleepest thou? Bring thou at once that lord of the Nishādhas, Guha. Good betide thee! He will take the army (over the stream).” Thus urged by his brother, Satrughna said, “Thinking of that noble one (Rāma), I have not slept, but have remained awake in a like manner.”173 As those chiefs of men were thus conversing with each other, Guha appearing in time with joined hands, remarked, “O Kākutstha, hast thou spent the night happily on the banks of the river? And is it continuous good fortune with thee along with thy forces?” Hearing Guhā’s speech fraught with affection, Bharata ever obedient unto Rāiria, spoke on his part, saying, “Happily have we spent the night; and we have also been well received by thee. Now let thy servants take us over by means of many boats.” Thereat, bearing Bharata’s mandate, Guha, bestirring himself, re-entered the city and addressed his kinsfolk, saying, “Arise ye! Awake! May good always attend you! Do ye draw up the boats; I shall ferry the forces over.” Thus asked, they arising and bestirring themselves in consequence of the king’s command, brought up five hundred boats around. Others also known by the name of Swastika, bearing large bells on their prows, and banners, well decked out, furnished with oars, and manned by bargemen, with their joints firmly constructed, (were brought up). And Guha himself brought a graceful barge called Swastika, covered with pale woolen cloth, and resounding with music. On this boat ascended Bharata, the mighty Satrughna, Kauçalyā, Sumitrā, and other wives of the king. The priests, and preceptors belonging unto the Brāhmana order, had already ascended. After (Bharata and others had got up), ascended the wives of auxiliary princes, and cars and provisions were got on board. And the uproar consequent on the troops burning down dwellings, pressing down descents unto the river, and loading goods, spread on all sides. Then those boats hung with pennons, managed by the kinsfolk (of Guha), set off at speed with the teeming folks that had got on board. And some of these were filled with women, and some with horses, and some conveyed cars and cattle of great value. And going to the other bank and landing the crowds on the store, the friends and slaves (of Guha) while returning, displayed various movements (of the boats). And elephants graced with flags being spurred on by their riders, began to cross the stream, appearing like (so many) winged hills. Others ascended boats, and others crossed on rafts, others crossed by means of reversed pitchers, and others by their arms alone. Ferried over the Gangā by the servants (of Guha), that beautiful army graced with streamers, at the third muhurta arrived at the romantic woods of Prayāga. Having made the army take rest at its ease, and encamped it (at the woods of Prayāga), that magnanimous one, Bharata, for the purpose of seeing the asylum of the ascetic Bharadwāja, went thither, accompanied by Ritwijas and Sadasyas.


Having arrived at (the neighbourhood of) Bharadwāja, asylum, that foremost of men while it was a kroca (to the destination), left his forces behind and went thither, accompanied by his counsellors alone. And leaving his attire and arms, and clad in a silk cloth, that pious one placing the priest in front, went on foot. Then with the view of seeing Bharadwāja, that descendent of Raghu leaving behind the counsellors also, went in the wake of the priest. As soon as Bharadwāja of rigid austerities saw Vasishtha, he at once rose from his seat, saying unto his disciples “Arghya!” On being called upon by Vasishtha, that highly energetic one understood that it was Daçarātha’s son. Having offered them (the guests) water to wash their feet and arghya, as well as fruits subsequently, that virtuous one (Bharadwāja) successively enquired after the welfare of their (respective) homes; and after that, of the forces, exchequer, friends and counsellors in Ayodhyā. And knowing that Daçarātha had departed this life, he did not ask anything relating to the monarch. Then Vasishtha and Bharata questioned him as to his welfare in relation to the body, the (sacrificial) fire, the trees, the beasts and the birds (of the hermitage). To all this returning “So it is,” the illustrious Bharadwāja from affection for Rāghava said unto Bharata, “What is the use of thy visit here, seeing that thou art engaged in the task of governing the kingdom? Do thou relate all this unto me; my mind is ill at ease. That slayer of foes, and perpetuator of his race who hath been borne by Kauçalyā, and who along with his wife and brother hath been banished to the woods for a long term—that illustrious one who enjoined by his sire in the interests of a woman, hath become an inhabitant of the woods for fourteen years— dost thou, desirous of securely enjoying the kingdom belonging to him as well to his younger brother, intend to do any harm unto that sinless one?” Thus accosted, Bharata replied unto Bharadwāja with tears filling his eyes and his words choked with grief, “Undone am I if the reverend one also deems me so. Do not apprehend any wrong from me; and do thou not reproach me thus. Whatever my mother has said in relation to me, does not express my wish. I am not satisfied with that, nor do I endorse her speech. I, intending to pacify him, am going to that chief of men, with the view of taking him unto Ayodhyā and of paying homage unto his feet. Thinking me as already gone, thou shouldst show thy favor unto me. O reverened Sir, tell me where stayeth at present Rāma, lord of the earth.” Besought by Vasishtha and the other Ritwijas, the venerable Bharadwāja well pleased, spoke unto Bharata, “O foremost men, even this is worthy of thee. Serving superiors, restraint of the senses, and following the pious, are ever found in one sprung in the Rāghava line. I know that even this is thy intention; but for the purpose of making thy mind all the firmer, I had asked thee in this wise; so that thy fame might greatly increase. I also know the righteous Rāma with Sitā and Lakshmana. This brother of thine at present stays at the mighty mountain Chitrakuta. On the morrow thou wilt set out for that reigon. Do thou to-day sojourn here along with thy counsellors. O wise one, do this at thy pleasure, O thou understanding interest and desire.” Thereat the gentle-looking and highly famous one said, “Be it so;” and the king’s son made up his mind to spend the night in the great hermitage (of the saint).


Then the ascetic asked Bharata, the son of Kaikeyi, when he had decided for staying there, to receive his hospitality. Thereat Bharata said, “Thou hast for certain done this,— (hast offered me) water for washing my feet, Arghya, and hospitality with what can be procured in the forest.” Then Bharadwāja as if in jest, said unto Bharata, “I know thee to be of a complacent disposition; and that thou art pleased with anything and everything. But I wish to feast thy forces. And, O best of men, it behoves thee to act in harmony with my desire. Why didst thou coming hither, leave thy army at a distance? And, thou man of men, why didst thou not come accompanied with thy forces?” Bharata replied unto him, saying, “ I had not come accompanied with my forces, from fear of thee, O reverend Sir. O worshipful one, kings and their sons should always carefully avoid the regions of ascetics. Choice steeds, men, and mad elephants of the best kind, covering a spacious tract of country, come in my train, respected Sir. That these might not injure trees or water or the grounds of the cottages partaining to the asylums, have I come hither alone.” “Bring the forces here,”—thus desired by the mighty ascetic, Bharata accordingly caused the troops to be brought in.

Then entering the chamber of the sacrificial fire, (Bharadwāja) having sipped water and rubbed his lips therewith, invoked Viçwakarmā for the purpose of entertaining his guest, “I invoke Viçwakarmā; even Twastri himself. I wish to entertain guests. Let him accomplish this for me. I invoke the three guardians of the worlds—gods headed by Sakra. I wish to entertain guests. Let them accomplish this for me. Let those rivers that flow westwards, and those that move tortuously on the earth and in the sky, come hither in a body. And let others run Maireya, and others refined wine, and others again cool waters resembling the juice of the sugarcane. I invoke the celestials and the Gandharbas and Viçwāvaçu and Haha and Huhu and also the divine Apsarās and Gandharbis all; and Ghritāchi, Viçwāchi, Miçrakeçi and Alamvusha; and Nāgadatta and Hemā and Somā, residing in the mountain; and those ladies that attend Sakra, and those that attend Brahmā. I invoke all these females well attired, in company with Tumvuru. And let that beautiful forest of Kuvera in the north Kuru, having its foliage resembling attires and ornaments, and its fruits debonair damsels, exist even at this very spot. And here let the worshipful Somā yield me excellent viands of diverse kinds in plenty; things that may be eaten or enjoyed, sucked or licked; and variegated blossoms growing in the trees, and wines and (other) drinks, and meats of various kinds.” Thus, furnished with unrivalled ascetic energy, did that anchoret observing excellent vows, express himself orthoepically in consonance with Sikshā. And as he sat with joined hands facing the west with a rapt mind, there came separately all those deities. And then touching Malaya and Dardura, and laden (with perfumes), a delicious and welcome wind began to blow delightfully, removing sweat. And the clouds poured down a pleasant shower of blossoms; and from all sides were heard sounds of celestial kettle-drums. And a rare breeze set in, and the multitudes of Apsarās danced; and the celestials and the Gandharbas sang, and the vinās let out their notes. And the dulcet sounds high and low furnished with Sama and measure, entered the Earth and the firmanent and the ears of all creatures. When that celestial symphony, delightful unto the ears of men, had thus developed itself, Bharata’s forces saw the workmanship of Viçwakarmā. That spot widening into a level plain measuring five Yoyanas was covered with thick grass resembling blue lapises. And on it stood Vilwas, and Kapithwas, Panasas, citrons, and Amalakas, and mangos, embellished with fruits. From the north Kuru had spread a wood capable of conferring every enjoyment; and a beautiful river coursed through bordered by many a tree. And there had arisen white edifices having four divisions; and stables for horses and elephants; and grand gateways belonging unto palaces and mansions; and royal residences with graceful gates, resembling white clouds, bearing white garlands and washed with fragrant waters, having four corners, and spacious, fitted up with beds, seats, and vehicles, having every kind of excellent sapid food, stocked with excellent edibles and apparels, having every variety of food, possessing washed and bright vessels, with every description of seats, graceful, and accommodated with choice beds with coverlets. Permitted by the Maharshi, Kaikeyi’s son, Bharata, entered that mansion abounding in gems. And he was followed by the counsellors and the priests; and the latter beholding the arrangements of the palace, were filled with delight. And Bharata in company with the counsellors there went round the august royal seat, the chowri and the umbrella, worthy of a king. And having bowed down unto Rāma, he worshipped that seat. And then holding the chowri of hair, he sat down on the seat of a minister. Then the counsellors and priests seated themselves according to rank. And thereafter the general and the protector of the encampment (got themselves seated). Then at Bharadwāja’s command, came into being near Bharata streams having payaca for their slime. And at the pleasure of the Brāhmana, on both their banks arose charming dwellings, covered with pale clay. And at that very moment there came twenty thousand women commissioned by Brahmā, adorned with divine ornaments. And there came also twenty thousand females sent by Kuvera, decked out in gold and gems, pearls and corals. The sight of these was capable of filling men’s minds with enchanting ravishment. And there came from Nandana twenty thousand damsels; and Nirada and Tumvuru and Gopa, resembling the sun in splendour. The Gandharba kings began to sing before Bharata. And Alamvusha, and Migrakesi, and Pundarikā, and Vāmana danced before Bharata, at the command of Bharadwāja. And those blossoms that are in the celestial regions, and that bloom in the forest of Chaitraratha, became visible in Prayāga at the energy of Bharadwāja. And Vilwas did the office of players on the Mridanga, and Vibhitakas, that of keepers of Soma, and Açwaththas became dancers, at the energy of Bharadwāja. And Saralas, Tālas, Tilakas, and Tamālas, being delighted, became hump-backed ones and dwarfs. And Sinsapas, Amalakis, Jamvus and other plants of the forest, wearing the forms of females, stood at the mansion of Bharadwāja. “Let wine-drinkers drink wine, the hungry eat Pāyaça, and those that are inclined to it, feed on clean meat.” And every seven or eight females taking a man, bathed him on the lovely banks of the rivers. And damsels furnished with expansive eyes, having wiped the persons (of the bathers), pressed their legs, and those magnificent women made them drink (wine). And the keepers duly fed excellent horses, elephants, camels and Suravi’s sons (oxen), with their (proper) food. And some persons possessed of mighty strength, being directed thereto, fed the bearers of the foremost Ikshwāku warriors with suger-canes, honey, and fried paddy. And the groom forgot his horse, and the elephant-keeper his elephant: that army there became transported with wine and exhilaration. And sumptuously entertained with every enjoyment, with their bodies decked with red sandal, the soldiery in the company of bevies of Apsarās, exclaimed, “To Ayodhyā will we not go, nor yet to Dandaka. Peace be unto Bharata, and may Rāma reap happiness”! Thus did footmen and the riders and keepers of elephants and horses, as well as others, having experienced such a state, utter words. And men by thousands, exceedingly delighted, sent up shouts. And saying, “This is heaven” the retinue of Bharata—the soldiers—began to dance and laugh and sing; and bearing garlands, they on all sides rushed by thousands. And beholding the inviting viands resembling ambrosia, they, although already fed, became desirous of eating once again. And wearing new clothes, all the serrante, and maids, and females of the household, became exceedingly well pleased. And elephants, and asses, camels, kine and horses, and beasts and birds, being fed their fill, did not hunger after anything else. And there appeared no one who wore a soiled habit, or who was hungry, or melancholy, or whose hair was covered with dust. And the people with wonder beheld before them vessels of precious metals by thousands graced with chaplets of flowers, filled with essences of fruits and fragrant soups and curries and the flesh of goats and bears, and white rice. And there were on the skirts of the wood wells having Pāyaça for their slime; and the kine yeilded whatever was asked; and all the trees dropped honey. And the tanks were filled with Maireya as well as with clean hot meat of deer, peacocks, and cocks, dressed in pans. And there were rice-holders by thousands, and curry-pots by hundred thousands, and golden vessels by Arvudas. And there were pitchers and water-pots and cleaned vessels for churning curd, filled with the same. And there were tanks of savoury and yellow butter-milk, well-tempered. And there were tanks filled with Rasāla;174 and others filled with milk, and with sugar. And men saw sediments, acrid powders and various others things in vessels, (or the purpose of bath, on the terraces of tanks; and tooth-cleaning sticks of Ançumān and other (trees); and white sandal paste lying before; and cleaned mirrors; and lots of cloths; and sandals; and shoes in pairs by thousands; and collyrium-pots; and combs; and brushes; and bows at some places; and mail; and various kinds of seats and beds. And they saw reservoirs for asses, camels, elephants, and horses, with easy descents, filled with water to assist their digestion; and pools furnished with lotuses, of the hue of the firmament, with transparent water, comfortable for ablutions; and tender (plots of) grass all around colored like blue lapises, to serve as pasture for beasts. Witnessing the wonderful hospitality provided by the Maharshi Bharadwāja, like unto a vision, the men marvelled. Thus entertained like unto celestials in Nandana, they passed the night at the hermitage of Bharadwāja. Then taking the permission of Bharadwāja, all the Gandharbas as well as the superb damsels went away as they had come. And the men remained intoxicated and highly inebriate with the liquor, their persons daubed with goodly aguru and sandal; and the various elegant garlands beautiful to behold, lay by themselves all around, crushed by the people.


Having passed that night, Bharata having been entertained along with his family, appeared before Bharadwāja, desirous (of seeing Rāma). Seeing that foremost of men (standing) with joined hands, Bharadwāja, who had just finished his fire-sacrifice, said, “Hast thou passed the night pleasantly at our place? And have all thy men been pleased with our hospitality? Do thou tell me this, O sinless one.” Thereupon, Bharata bowing down, with joined hands said unto that ascetic of excellent energy, as he had issued out of his hermitage, “O reverend Sire, I along with all my forces and vehicles have passed (the night) happily. I have been full well entertained by thee, O worshipful one possessed of power. And with our languor and heat removed, we all sumptuously feasted and comfortably quartered, have passed (the night) agreeably along with our servants. Now, O best of ascetics, I beseech thee to look with a propitious eye on me who am bound for my brother’s place. And tell me, O thou cognizant of morality, how far is it unto that high-souled righteous one’s asylum, and by what way (shall I reach there)?” When Bharata eager to see his brother had asked thus, the highly energetic Bharadwāja of rigid austerities answered, “O Bharata, two and a half Yojanas hence, embosomed in a tenantless wood is the mountain Chitrakuta, charming with rocks and woods. On its northern border flows the river Mandākini, covered with flowering trees and with blossoming woods. Beyond the stream is the mountain Chitrakuta. There is their thatched cottage, my child; there they abide for certain. Proceeding by the southern way, do thou with thy forces composed of elephants and horses, O master of the army, turn to the left, O exalted one, and go southwards. By doing so, thou wilt be able to see Rāghava.” Hearing of their departure, the wives of that king of kings, leaving their cars, albeit worthy of them, gathered round the Brāmana. Lean and trembling and in woful guise, Kauçalyā along with the noble Sumitrā, with her hands took the feet of the ascetic. Despised universally because of her unrighteous desire, Kaikeyi also bashfully took hold of his feet, and, having circumambulated the mighty and venerable anchoret, stood near Bharata in dejection of spirits. Then the mighty ascetic Bharadwāja asked Bharata, “O descendant of Raghu, I wish to know particularly about thy mothers.” Thus accosted by Bharadwāja, the pious Bharata deft in speech said with joined hands, “O reverend sir, she whom thou beholdest depressed and emaciated through grief and fasting—resembling a very goddess—is the noble Queen of my father. This one, Kauçalyā, it is that gave birth unto that chief of men, having the powerful gait of a lion, Rāma, even as Aditi gave birth to Dhātā. She that stands at her left hand, in dejected guise, is the noble Sumitrā afflicted with sorrow, the second wife of the monarch—like a Karnikāra bough in a forest, with all its blossoms shrivelled up. The sons of this exalted lady are the youthful and heroic Lakshmana and Satrughna, having truth for their prowess, and resembling celestials in shape. And her in consequence of whose act those foremost of men have come by crushing misfortune, and the king Daçarātha hath gone to heaven, deprived of his son,—wrathful and proud of her good fortune, setting her heart on wealth—Kaikeyi, dishonorable, although endowed with the semblance of honor, do thou know this wicked one intent on sin as my mother. In her do I perceive the root of my mighty misfortune.” Having said this, with his words choked with emotion, that best of men with his eyes reddened, sighed like an enraged serpent. As Bharata was speaking thus, the great ascetic Bharadwāja gifted with high understanding and knowing interest, answered Bharata, saying, “O Bharata, thou ought not to cast any blame on Kaikeyi. This banishment of the king (Rāma), shall be for the good (of all). The banishment of Rāma shall surely be for the welfare of the gods and the Asuras and sages of concentrated souls.” Thus blest, Bharata saluted the ascetic and went round him, and then summoning the soldiery, said, “Yoke.” Thereupon, getting ready excellent steeds and cars decked with gold, many people mounted, with the intention of departing. And male and female elephants with golden chains round their necks, and furnished with banners, with the sounds (of bells), proceeded, like clouds at the end of the summer season. And then proceeded various kinds of cars great and light of movement and of high value; and the infantry went on foot. And on a magnificent car went the ladies headed by Kauçalyā, with delighted hearts, eager to see Rāghava. And ascending an elegant car resembling the infant sun or moon, driven by charioteers, went the graceful Bharata well attired. And that mighty host abounding with horses and elephants proceeded, blocking up the southern quarter, like a oolossal cloud arisen (in the sky), leaving behind on the other bank of the Gangā woods inhabited by birds and beast* and coursing by rivers and. Mountains. And composed of numbers of elephants and horses in high spirits, that army of Bharata, frightening multitudes of beasts and birds, dived into that mighty forest.


Afflicted by the mighty force on its way with banners (displayed), those inhabitants of the woods, leaders of elephant-herds, took to their heels in company with the herds themselves. And bears and Prishatas and Rurus were on all sides seen in the forest-ways, and on hills and rivers. And that virtuous son of Daçarātha with a glad heart held on his way, surrounded by that vast army consisting of fourfold forces, raising a tremendous upoar. And that army of the high-souled Bharata resembling the waves of the ocean, covered the earth quite, as clouds in the rainy season cover the welkin. And filled with steeds and mighty elephants, the earth at that time for a long while remained invisible. And having proceeded a long way, the graceful Bharata, with his bearers extremely tired, said these words unto that foremost of counsellors, Vasishtha, “From appearances, and from what I had heard, it is evident that we have arrived at that region which Bharadwāja had told us of. This is the mountain Chitrakuta and that the river Mandākini. And from a distance this forest appeareth like dark clouds. And now our elephants resembling hills afflict the romantic sides of Chitrakuta. And the trees scatter blossoms over the sides of the mountain, even as after summer sable clouds pour down showers. O Satrughna, behold the realms inhabited by Kinnaras, scattered with steeds, like the main with makaras. And these herds of deer furnished with celerity, being urged on, roam about like masses of clouds in the sky in autumn, propelled by the winds. And like the people of the south, these warriors bearing shields resembling clouds, are adorning their heads with ornaments of perfumed blossoms. And this forest, although void of men and dreadful in appearance, at present appeareth unto me like Ayodhyā, teeming with people. The dust raised by the hoofs (of horses) stands covering the sky: anon the wind bearing it away, compasses my pleasure. And, O Satrughna, see how fast these cars yoked with steeds and driven by skilful charioteers, are proceeding in the forest. And behold these beauteous peacocks, which, being frightened, take refuge in the mountain —the home of feathered tribes. This country appears to me exceedingly lovely. This abode of the ascetics is like onto the way to heaven itself. Male and female deer and Prishatas in the forest, beautiful to look at, appear as if variegated with flowers. Now let the soldiers go advisedly and search this forest, so that they light upon those chiefs of men, Rāma and Lakshmana.” Hearing Bharata’s speech, persons with weapons in their hands, plunged into the forest, and those heroes presently discovered the top of a (column of) smoke. Having seen the top of the (column of) smoke, they came before Bharata and said, “Fire cannot exist where there is no man present. Therefore it is evident that even here are those descendants of Raghu. But if those foremost of men, those subduers of their enemies, the princes, be not here, there are others, being ascetics, resembling Rāma.” Hearing their words acceptable unto the pious, that afflicter of hostile ranks, Bharata, said unto the entire army, “Do ye carefully stay here: do not proceed further. I myself will go, and Sumantra and Dhriti.” Thus desired, the troops remained all about that place. Bharata went away, keeping his gaze fixed in the direction of the top of (the column of) smoke. Desired by Bharata to halt, that army, looking in the direction of the smoke, rejoiced soon on learning that the beloved Rāma had arrived (at that place).


Having spent a long time in that mountain, that lover of hills and woods, Daçarātha’s son resembling an immortal, anxious to pleasure Vaidehi as well as to please his own mind, showed the variegated Chitrakuta unto his wife, like Purandara unto Sachi. “O gentle one, neither deprivation of the kingdom nor separation from friends afflicts my mind on beholding this romantic mountain. My gentle one, look  but at the hill abounding with flocks of various birds, adorned with summits cleaving the welkin and teeming with mineral substances. And some parts of this monarch of mountains  are like silver, and some are blood-red, and some yellow like the hue of Manjisthā, and some lustrous like sapphires, and some shining like blossoms or crystal or Ketakas, and some blazing like stars or mercury, and some dight in mineral substances. And the mountain shines, being filled with divers beasts and multitudes of innocuous tigers, hyenas and bears, and thronged with innumerable birds. And overspread with mangos, rose-apples, and Asanas, and Lodhras,175 Piyālas, jacks, Ankolas, and Bhavyatiniças, and Vilwas, and Tindukas, and bamboos, Kaçmaris, Arishtas, and Varanas, and Madhukas, sesames, and jujubes, and Amalakas, Nipas, canes, Dhanwanas, and citrons—all in full flower, and bearing fruits, umbrageous and charming,—the mountain attains an accession of loveliness. And, thou gentle one, on the picturesque plateau of the hill behold these intelligent couples of Kinnaras engaged in sport at spots yeilding every enjoyment; and look at their swords hung up on the boughs. And see the gorgeous apparel of Vidyādharis, as well as the charming regions in which they sport. And like an elephant dropping the temporal juice, this hill appeareth beautiful with cascades, fountains and rillets, flowing here and there. Whom doth not the breeze laden with the perfumes of many a flower, soothing the sense of smell, fill with delight? If, O blameless one, I dwell (here) for many years with thee as well as Lakshmana, grief cannot overcome me. O damsel, I take delight in this picturesque peak abounding in flowers and fruits, and frequented by various birds. By this banishment of mine, I have gained two things—my father has maintained his truth in religion, and Bharata has obtained his dear interest. O daughter of Videha, art thou being pleased on viewing along with me on Chitrakuta, various objects grateful unto mind, speech and body? O queen, this abode in the forest like unto ambrosia hath been declared by those royal saints, my ancestors, as working out one’s emancipation after death. The giant crags of the mountain grace the place all round by hundreds; many and various-hued, blue and yellow aad pale and red. In the night, the annual herbs by thousands growing on this foremost of hills, shine and become visible by their own lustre, like flames of fire. And, O lady, some parts of the mountain appear like dwellings, and some like gardens, and some, again, consist of single rocks (capable of accommodating numbers of men). And Chitrakuta looks as if it had arisen, riving the earth; and the fair front of Chitrakuta can be perceived from every point. Behold the beds of pleasure-seekers, consisting of the petals of lotuses, with Sthagaras, Panagas and Bhuryapatras for their coverlets. And, my wife, behold these lotus-garlands have been crushed and scattered; and the various fruits have been partaken of. The mountain Chitrakuta abounding in fruits and roots and waters, surpasses Kuvera’s capital or Sakra’s city or the north Kurus. My wife, O Sitā, if in consonance with my own excellent rules, I can, remaining in the path of the pious, pleasantly pass this time along with thyself and Lakshmana, then I shall attain the happiness resulting from observing the duties of one’s race.”


Then going out of the mountain, the Lord of Koçala showed unto Mithilā’s daughter the charming stream Mandākini of excellent waters. And Rāma, furnished with eyes resembling lotuses, addressed the daughter of king Videha, transcendentally beautiful, with a countenance like the fair moon, saying, “Behold the river Mandākini, having variegated islets beautiful; frequented by ducks and cranes; and filled with flowers; covered with diverse trees bearing fruits and flowers; and looking graceful all round like Saugandhikā herself of Kuvera. And the waters rendered muddy in consequence of herds of deer drinking of them, as well as the graceful descents unto the river, fill me with pleasure. And, my beloved, sages wearing matted locks and deer-skins, with barks for their sheets, are in season performing their ablutions in the river Mandākini. And observing rules, persons raising up their arms, are worshipping the sun, and, O thou of expansive eyes, after these appear ascetics following vows, (engaged in Japa). And the hill seems to dance on the wind swaying the tops of trees; and on both sides of the river, the trees are crowned with flowers and leaves. And behold the river Mandākini, somewhere with its waters resembling pearls, and somewhere with islets, and somewhere filled with persons who have attained emancipation. O thou of slender waist, behold these hosts of flowers spreading along, and others dipping themselves (in the stream). And, O auspicious one, behold these sweet-throated birds, the Chakravākas, getting upon the islets, uttering pleasant notes. Methinks, O beauteous one, the sight of Chitrakuta and of Mandākini is even more delightful than life in the metropolis, or the sight of thy own self. Do thou like unto her companion perform thy bath with me in this stream, whose waters are perpetually stirred by emancipated ones, furnished with asceticism, self-restraint, and control over the senses, who have had their sins removed. Do thou, O Sitā, perform thy ablutions in the Mandākini, scattering at the same time, O girl, red and white lotuses. Do thou, my wife, always consider the wild animals as citizens, the mountain as Ayodhyā, and this stream as the Sarayu. The virtuous Lakshmana is ever obedient to my commands; and, O Videha’s daughter, thou also art favourable to me. This causes delight in my heart. Bathing thrice (in this river), and living on tasteful fruits and roots, I in thy company do not today wish either for Ayodhyā or royalty. Bathing in this beauteous stream agitated by herds of elephants, whose waters are drunk by elephants, lions and monkeys,—which is graced with flowers, and which is decked with multitudes of blossoms, there is no one who has not his fatigue removed, and who does not feel exhilarated.” Having thus along with his beloved one, spoken variously regarding the stream, that perpetuator of the Raghu race, Rāma, began to range the charming Chitrakata, resembling the collyrium in hue.


Having showed unto Mithilā’s daughter the river belonging to the mountain, Rāma sat down on its table-land and, gratifying Sitā with meat, said unto her, “This clean meat tastes sweet, having been roasted in fire.” The righteous Rāghava was thus seated in company with Sitā, when Bharata’s followers came there. And filling the heavens, there arose clouds of dust raised by the army as well as an uproar. And at this time mad leaders of elephant-herds accompanied by the latter, scared by the terrible tumult, scudded on all sides. And Rāghava heard the noise raised by the army; and also saw all those leaders of elephant-herds scampering away. And having seen them running away and heard that hubbub, Rāma spoke unto Sumitrā’s son, Lakshmana of flaming energy, “Ha! Lakshmana, in whom Sumitrā has been blest with a worthy son, hark! A tremendous and dreadful uproar resembling the rumbling of cloulds is being heard; and in the woods and mighty forest, deer and buffalos and herds of elephants being accompanied by lions are suddenly scampering away in all directions. O Sumitrā’s son, it behoves thee to learn whether any king or prince is hunting in the forest, or any ferocious beast is (ravaging the woods). O Lakshmana, this mountain is even incapable of being frequented by fowls. Therefore it behoves thee to learn all about it, as has actually been the case.”—Thereat, hurriedly ascending a flowering Sāla tree, Lakshmana surveying all sides, fixed his gaze on the east. And viewing the east, he discovered a mighty army, abounding with elephants, horses and cars, and consisting of equipped infantry. Thereupon, Lakshmana communicated unto Rāma tidings concerning that army filled with elephants and steeds, and decked with cars and streamers; and spoke unto Rāma, saying, “O noble one, do you put out the fire; and let Sitā go into the cave. And do you string your bow and make ready the arrows and don on your mail.” Thereat, Rāma—chief of men—answered Lakshmana, saying, “O son of Sumitrā, do thou (first) ascertain whom this host belongs to.” Thus accosted by Rāma, Lakshmana, as if consuming that army by his wrath resembling, fire, said, “Having got himself installed, Kaikeyi’s son, Bharata, anxious to render his royalty perfectly safe, is coming hither for the purpose of slaying us both. Yonder is seen the graceful tree. By the same appeareth on the car the Kovidāra standard, having a shining top. And men riding swift coursers are at their pleasure making for this place; and elephant-riders, riding on elephants, are also cheerfully directing their course hither. Let us, O hero, taking our bows, station ourselves on this hill. I will (to day) see Bharata, for whom we have come by this mighty misfortune. Or let us rather remain where we are accoutred in mail and with our arms ready. Shall he of the Kovidāra banner in conflict come under our sway? O hero, we have met with that foe of ours for whom, O Rāghava, you, Sitā and myself have (experienced such misery), for whom, O Rāghava, you have been cast off from the entire kingdom. Surely, Bharata should be slain by me. O Rāghava, fault find I none in slaying Bharata; slaying a former wronger, one doth not reap unrighteousness. O Rāghava, there is religious merit to be reaped by slaying Bharata, who had formerly done us wrong. On this one being slain, you will rule the entire earth. To day shall Kaikeyi lusting after the kingdom, with grief behold her son slain in battle by me, like a tree riven by an elephant. I will also kill Kaikeyi along (with the hump-backed one), and her friends. Let the earth today be freed from foul sins. To day will I, O bestower of honor, vent my restrained ire and bad blood upon the hostile hosts, like fire set to a heap of hay. To-day with sharpened shafts will I cut the bodies of the hostile hosts and drench the woods of Chitrakuta with their blood. The ferocious beasts shall drag away elephants and steeds and men slaughtered by me with arrows penetrating into their hearts. I will, without doubt, in this forest pay the debt I owe to my bow aid arrows, by slaying Bharata together with all his forces.”


Pacifying Sumitrā’s son, Lakshmana, transported with rage and eager for encounter, Rāma addressed him, saying, “When the mighty Bharata possessed of high spirits has himself come here, what is the use of the bow or the sword or the shield? Having promised to maintain my father’s truth, what, O Lakshmana, shall I, having slain Bharata in battle, do with the kingdom with a stain attached unto it? That thing which falls to my lot on the destruction of friends and adherents I never accept, even like food mixed with poison. I swear unto thee, I wish for the (possession of) righteousness, interest, desire and the earth, in your interests alone, O Lakshmana. O Lakshmana, I swear by my weapon that it is for the maintenance and happiness of my brothers that I wish for the kingdom. O mild one, this Earth herself is not difficult of being attained by me; but, O Lakshmana, I do not through unrighteousness wish to possess myself of Sakra’s state.—May fire reduce to ashes any happiness of mine that, O bestower of honor, happens to be dissevered from Bharata, or thyself, or Satrughna. I think Bharata attached unto his brothers had come to Ayodhyā; and then, allowing the morality regulating the race, that one dearer unto me than life, hearing of me banished, bearing matted locks- and bark, together with Jānaki, O hero, and thyself, thou foremost of men, has, with his heart surcharged with reflection, and his senses overwhelmed by grief, come hither for seeing us. He cannot have come on any other account, And having got wroth with Kaikeyi, and given her rough speech, that auspicious one, having gratified my sire, has come hither to make the kingdom over unto me. And the season being fit, meet it is that Bharata should see us. He does not even in thought act against us. Hath ere this Bharata done thee any bad turn? Or did he tell thee any thing so harming that today thou standest in fear of him? Certainly thou ought not to say cruel or unpleasant words in relation to Bharata,—if wrong be done unto Bharata, I shall consider myself as wronged. Do sons, in times of peril, ever slay their father, or brothers their brother like unto their life, O son of Sumitrā? If thou speakest thus for the sake of the monarchy, on seeing Bharata, I will say unto him, ‘Make over the kingdom unto this one.’ Earnestly exhorted by me, saying, ‘Do thou place the kingdom in his hands’,—he will say, ‘Very well.”

Thus addressed by his brother of a virtuous disposition, Lakshmana ever engaged in Rāma’s good, from shame seemed to enter into his body. And hearing those words, Lakshmana affected by shame, answered, “I conceive our father Daçarātha himself hath come to see you.” And finding Lakshmana overcome with shame, Rāghava replied, “I think that mighty-armed one has come hither to see us; or I take it for certain that, considering that we are fit for ease only, and taking our banishment to heart, he will take us home. Or it may be that graceful descendant of Raghu, my father, will go away, taking from the forest Videha’s daughter wrought up in the lap of luxury. There are seen these graceful and well-bred steeds, courageous, swift, and furnished with the speed of the wind—the best of horses. And this huge elephant belonging to our aged sire, named Satrunjaya, proceedeth in the van of the army. But, thou exalted one, I do not see the splendid white umbrella of our father known among men. Therefore, doubts arise in my mind. Do thou descend from the top of the tree, O Lakshmana. Do my bidding.” Thus did the righteous Rāma accost Sumitrā’s son. Descending from the top of the sāla tree, that conqueror in battles, Lakshmana, stood by Rāma with joined hands. Commanded by Bharata, “Let not (Rāma’s asylum) be trampled by the forces,” the army took up its quarters at a distance from the hill. And the Ikshwāku host filled with elephants and steeds covering half a yojana, encamped at the side of the mountain. And keeping morality in their fore-boot, and renouncing pride, the disciplined forces schooled by Bharata in view of pleasing that descendant of Raghu (Rāma) stayed in Chitrakuta.


Having stationed his troops, that best of men, the master, became anxious to go on foot to the Kākutstha honoring his superiors. And the forces having with humility took up the quarters assigned, Bharata addressed his brother, Satrughna, saying, “O mild one, it behoves thee at once to search this forest all round in company with a large body of men as well as these Nishādas. And let Guha himself accompanied by a thousand of his kindred bearing in their hands arrows and bows and scimitars, also search for the Kākutstha in this forest. Accompanied by counsellors, citizens, preceptors and twice-born ones, I will on foot range every direction. So long as I do not see Rāma, or the mighty Lakshmana, or the highly exalted daughter of Videha, I shall not attain peace of mind. And so long as I do not see that face of his fair as the moon, with eyes expansive like lotuses, I shall not attain peace of mind. Surely, Sumitrā’s son, Lakshmana, who beholds Rāma’s countenance like the stainless moon, with eyes resembling lotuses, and beaming in effulgence, is blessed. So long as I do not take on my head those feet of my brother bearing royal marks, I shall not attain peace of mind. So long as established in the kingdom of his father and grandfather, that one worthy of the monarchy is not sprinkled with the water of installation, I shall not attain peace of mind. Blessed is Vaidehi, the eminently virtuous daughter of Janaka, who followeth the lord of this Earth bounded by the seas. And this Chitrakuta is fortunate—this hill like unto the monarch of mountains— in which resides Kākutstha, like Kuvera in Nandana. And blessed is this deep forest inhabited by ferocious animals, where abideth the great king Rāma, the foremost of those bearing arms.” Having said this, that best of men, the mighty-armed and highly energetic Bharata, on foot entered the vast forest. And that best of speakers went over the mountain-side through ranks of blossoming trees. Then swiftly ascending a Sāla on Chitrakuta, he descried the high column of smoke belonging unto Rāma’s asylum. Having seen this, like one that has crossed over the ocean, the graceful Bharata, concluding that Rāma was there, rejoiced exceedingly along with his friends. Having heard that Rāma’s asylum containing pious people lay in Chitrakuta, that high-souled one again stationing his forces, speedily went (in that direction), accompanied by Guha.


Having quartered his forces, Bharata eager (to go to Rāma’s place), went to see his brother, showing unto Satrughna the signs of Rāma’s abode being in the vicinity. And having desired Vasistha, saying, “Bring my mothers without delay,” that one attached to his superiors went before. And eager to see Rāma even like Bharata himself, Sumantra followed Bharata at a short distance. And as Bharata passed on, he observed a neat cottage of leaves stationed among the asylums of anchorets, furnished with a portion having a wall with a door. And before the cottage, Bharata saw fuel broken up, and flowers gathered. And he saw at places signs of Kuça and bark set up on trees when Rāma and Lakshmana (first) arrived at their asylum. And in that habitation, Bharata saw great heaps of dry dung of deer and buffalos, gathered for preventing cold. As he proceeded, the intelligent and mighty-armed Bharata with a cheerful heart remarked unto Satrughna and all the courtiers, “I conceive, we have reached the tract that was mentioned by Bharadwāja. Hard by this spot, I fancy, is the river Mandākini. On high are barks set up by Lakshmana. Having to pass by the way at unusual hours, (Lakshmana) has marked it with signs. On the side of the hill is the way by which long-tusked elephants pass to and fro with vehemence, roaring at each other. Here is seen the dense and dark smoke of that which the anchorets are ever anxious to preserve in the forest—fire. Even here shall I with a delighted heart see that foremost of men, the noble Rāghava resembling a Maharshi, ever engaged in serving his superiors.” Then going to Chitrakuta, that descendant of Raghu, coming to the Mandākini, said unto the men, “That foremost of men in all the world, the lord of all, coming into seclusion, is in his yoga posture. O fie upon my birth and my life! For me, having come by misfortune, and renounced every comfort, the effulgent lord of men, Rāghava, is dwelling in the woods. I shall be taxed of men on the score. To-day (first) pacifying him, I will fall at the feet of Rāma as well as of Sitā and Lakshmana.” Having thus bewailed, Daçarātha’s son saw a splendid, charming, and holy dwelling in that forest, composed of leaves. And Bharata beheld in Rāma’s habitation a sacred structure made of leaves, covered with a profusion of Sāla, palm, and Açwakarna leaves; spread with soft Kuça, like a dais in a sacrifice; adorned with bows resembling the iris, plaited on the back with gold, of mighty force, and capable of achieving arduous feets and destroying foes; and garnished with arrows in quivers, seeming like the rays of the sun, with flaming mouths,—like unto the Bhogavati with serpents; and exceedingly beautified with golden sheaths and scimitars and shields spangled with gold and nice guana finger-fences decked with gold; inaccessible unto foes like a lions’s den unto deer; and furnished with a spacious dais inclined on the north-east, with a fire flaming on it. And looking around, anon Bharata saw his superior Rāma seated in the cottage bearing a head of matted locks, clad in a black deer-skin, and having tattered cloth and bark for his garment. And he saw Rāma seated like unto a flame—with leonine shoulders, mighty arms, and eyes resembling lotuses—the righteous lord of this world bounded by the seas—saw the mighty-armed one like unto the eternal Brahmā, seated on a skin-seat on the ground along with Sitā and Lakshmana. And seeing him, overwhelmed with grief and affliction, the righteous and graceful son of Kaikeyi, Bharata, rushed (towards him). And soon as Bharata saw Rāma, he, exceedingly distressed,broke out into lamentations in words choked with sorrow. And incapable of holding himself in patience, he said, “That elder brother of mine, who (seated) in court should be surrounded by the subjects intent upon paying him homage, is now surrounded by wild deer. He that used to adorn his person with attire worth many thousands (of things), engaged in observing morality, is clad in deer-skin. Why doth he that always wore variegated blossoms, Rāghava, beareth this burthen of matted locks? He who is worthy of acquiring religious merit by celebrating sacrifices according to the ordinance, is now following morality by afflicting his person. How is the person of that one whose body used to be daubed with costly sandal, covered with dust? It is for me that Rāma, although deserving of comfort, has come by this misfortune. Wicked that I am, fie upon my life despised of men!” Thus lamenting in woful guise, with the lotus of his countenance covered with sweat, Bharata coming at Rāma’s feet, fell at them bewailing. And inflamed with grief, the exceedingly powerful prince Bharata, having in distress of spirit uttered, “O noble one,” again said nothing. And beholding the illustrious Rāma, Bharata with his utterance choked with emotion, exclaimed, “O noble one,” and was unable to say anything further. Then Satrughna also weeping paid homage unto the feet of Rāma. And shedding tears, Rāma embraced them both. Then as in the sky, the Sun and the Moon meet with Sukra and Vrihashpati, those two princes (Rāma and Lakshmana) met with Sumantra and Guha in the forest. And beholding those kings resembling leaders of elephant-herds met together in that mighty forest, the dwellers in the woods, resigning their cheerfulness, began to shed tears.


Then Rāma cast his eyes on (Bharata) as clad in bark and wearing matted locks he lay on the earth with joined hands, incapable of being gazed at, like the Sun at the time of the universal dissolution. Then recognizing him a little, he took by the hand his brother Bharata, lean, with a pallid countenance. And smelling the crown of his head, and embracing that descendant of Raghu, Rāma took Bharata on his lap and asked him affectionately, “Where was thy father, child, that thou hast come to the forest? It certainly behoves thee not to come unto the forest while he is living. Ah! I see thee come from far after a long time. Why, my child, hast thou come unto this gloomy forest? Is the king alive, my child, seeing that thou hast come hither; or, afficted with grief, hath he suddenly gone to the other world? And, O mild one, child that thou art, thy kingdom ever thine hath not been wrested from thee? And, O thou having truth for prowess, dost thou, my child, minister unto our sire? And is that truthful one, that performer of Rajasuya and Açwamedha, ever devoted to righteousness, king Daçarātha, well? And, my child, is that exceedingly effulgent and learned Brāhmana ever steady in morality, the priest of the Ikshwākus, duly honored? And, my child, are Kauçalyā, and Sumitrā having a son, in happiness? And is the noble Kaikeyi in spirits? And is that one, sprung from a mighty line, humble and versed in various lore, thy priest, who performeth every ceremony, who beareth no ill will, and whose gaze is ever fixed upon our welfare,—honored? And do intelligent and sincere people cognizant of the rules, look after the sacrificial fire? And do they regularly inform thee of the proper seasons for performing the fire-sacrifice? A dost thou regard the deities, the ancestral manes, the preceptors like unto predecessors, the physicians, the Brāhmanas, and the servants? And dost not disregard the preceptor Sudhanwā, versed in excellent arms whether inspired with mantras or not, and accomplished in the knowledge of polity? And, my child, hast thou employed as thy concillors, persons, heroic, learned, self-controlled, well-born, and understanding signs, who are like thy own self? O descendant of Raghu, counsel well kept by clever councillors versed in lore, is the root of victory with kings. And thou hast not come under the sway of sleep? And thou awakest at the proper hour? And dost thou during the short hours revolve the means of acquiring wealth? And thou dost not take counsel either with thyself alone, or (on the other hand) with a multiplicity of counsellors? And thy counsel doth not range the kingdom (I. e. doth not take air)? And, O descendant of Raghu, having determined upon a course costing small effort but fraught with a mighty result, thou setst about it sharply and delayest not? And do the (auxiliary) kings know only those acts of thine that have been accomplished or those that are well nigh so, and not those that thou intendest to set thine hand to? And do others through inference or appearances come at a knowledge of thy counsels, although undivulged to others by thyself or thy counsellors; and (do thou and thy ministers) attain to a knowledge of others’ counsels? And passing by a thousand dunces, dost thou set thy heart on having a single wise man? In times of pecuniary stress, a wise man stands in excellent stead. And although a king might be surrounded by a thousand or ten thousand fools, yet he can count upon no assistance (at their hands). And a single able counsellor, intelligent, heroic, and sagacious, bringeth great prosperity upon a king or a prince. And, my child, dost thou employ the best servants upon the best offices, the middling upon middling, and the worst upon the worst? And dost thou employ upon the most worthy offices counsellors who are above bribery, who have served thy father and grand-father, and who are pure? And do the subjects visited with condign punishment, as well as the ministers, disregard thee, O son of Kaikeyi? And do the priests scorn thee like a fallen one, even as females do those lascivious folks who use force towards the former? He that doth not slay a physician skilled in ways and means, a servant given to enlisting the sympathies of his fellow-servants against his master, or a hero that covets riches, is slain (by them). And hast thou chosen for thy general one that is confident, is endowed with intelligence and fortitude, sprung in a respectable race, and attached and able? And dost thou practically honor thy foremost warriors possessed of prowess, who have already given evidence of their manliness? And dost thou at the proper time grant thy soldiers what thou shouldst—provision and pay; and dost not delay in doing this? If the proper time for granting provision and pay be passed, the servants get wroth with their master and tax him; and great is the evil that springs herefrom. And are the principal descendants of our race attached unto thee; and are they, when enlisted on thy side with concentrated minds, ready to lay down their lives? And, O Bharata, are thy spies persons coming from the provinces, and learned, upright, endowed with presence of mind, representing the truth, and possessed of wisdom? And dost thou acquire intelligence of the expedients, eighteen176 in respect of others, and fifteen in respect of thy own self,—by means of every three spies appointed in connection with each of these expedients—men quite ignorant of each other’s counsels? And dost thou not contemn those weak ones that, O destroyer of thy foes, having been expelled, have come again (unto thee)? And, my child, thou dost not minister unto atheistical Brāhmanas? These childish persons proud of their learning are only fit for bringing evils upon others. While there are excellent scriptures, these people of subtle intellects, having acquired a knowledge of dialectics, speak vanities. And, my child, dost thou protect the prosperous and renowned Ayodhyā, inhabited formerly by our heroic predecessors; bearing a true name; having strong gates; filled with elephants, steeds, and cars; thronged by thousands; with noble Brāhmanas, Kshatriyas and Vaiçyas breathing high spirits, and with their senses controlled, each engaged in his own task; abounding in people learned in the Veda; and surrounded with palatial mansions of various shapes? And, O descendant of Raghu, are the flourishing provinces marked with hundreds of Chaityas, filled with prosperous people, graced with abodes of deities, places for distributing water, and tanks, with men and women in happy mood, gay with meetings and festivities, having their outskirts well furrowed, provided with beasts, void of ill feelings, depending on tanks for their water supply, charming, renounced by fierce animals, free from all kinds of fear, decked with mines, left by unrighteous people, and well governed by my predecessors,— having a good time of it? And do agriculturists and cowherds find favor in thy sight? And remaining in their respective vocations, do they enjoy happiness? And dost thou maintain them by securing unto them what they wish for and removing from them what they wish away? All the dwellers in his dominions should be protected by the king. And dost thou conciliate the females; and are they well protected by thee? And dost thou not regard them; and dost thou not open unto them thy mind? And are the woods where elephants breed, kept by thee; and hast thou kine? And dost thou not foster mares and female-elephants? And dost thou show thyself daily in the court, well robed? And rising in the morning, dost thou show thyself in the high-ways? And do thy servants boldly present themselves before thee; or do they all keep away? A middle course contributes to their good fortune. And are all the forts furnished with wealth, corn, arms, water, machines, artizans, and bowmen? And are thy incomings great and outgoings slender? And, Raghu’s descendant, thou dost not give away thy coffers unto the undeserving? And dost thou spend thy wealth in the interests of the deities, or the pitrtis, or the Brāhmanas who have come unto thee, or warriors, or friends? If any respectable, pure-spirited and clean person happen to be accused by some one of theft or other crimes, dost thou from covetuousness punish him without first having him tried by persons versed in scripture? And, O best of men, is a thief, that hath been caught, interrogated (as to his guilt), and found with the stolen property on his person, set free (by thy men) from motives of gain? And do thy counsellors, O descendant of Raghu, accomplished in various lore, uninfluenced by greed, consider the conduct of both the rich and the poor involved in peril? O son of the Raghu race, the tears of those who have been falsely charged with any offence, (and who have failed to obtain justice), dropping, destroy the sons as well as the beasts of the ruler that minds his own comfort only. And dost thou with these three—gifts, mind and word—try to win over aged people, boys, physicians, and the principal ones? And dost thou salute spiritual preceptors, aged persons, ascetics, gods, guests, Chaityas, emancipated ones, and Brāhmanas? And thou dost not oppose righteousness by interest, or interest by virtue, or both by desire, intent on gratifying the senses? And, O foremost of conquerors, dost thou, O thou cognisant of time, in season resorting to interest, desire, and virtue respectively, attain them, O bestower of boons? And do Brāhmanas versed in all religious lore and knowing interest, together with the citizens and the inhabitants of the provinces wish for thy happiness, O highly wise one? Atheism, untruthfulness, inattention, anger, procrastination, companionship with evil persons, indolence, gratification of the senses, consultation with a single person concerning the needs of a kingdom, taking counsel with those that are cognisant of evils alone, omission to take in hand a task that hath been decided upon, divulgence of counsel, noncommencement of a course in the morning, and marching against all the foes at one and the same time,— hast thou eschewed these ten and four faults? And, O descendant of Raghu, truly understanding the tenth,177 fifth,178 fourth179 and seventh180 classes as well as the eighth,181 and third ones,182 and the three kinds of learning,183 and victory over the senses, and the evils human and superhuman, six attributes,184 and the (peculiar) duties (of royalty), and the twenty classes,185 and the kinds of Prakritis186 and Mandala,187 and Yatrā,188 chastisement, and war and peace having each two sources; dost thou with due order observe all these? And, O wise one, dost thou, as laid down in the ordinance, take counsel, severally and in a body with three or four men? And dost thou observe the Vedas? And dost thou perceive the fruit of thy acts? And have thy wives borne children? And has thy knowledge of scripture borne fruit? And, descendant of Raghu, is thy intellect going the way that I have indicated above? This course is conducive to long life, and fame; and virtue, desire and interest. And, O child, art thou following the course that was followed by our ancestors? And art thou maintaining the conduct that is excellent and passes along pious ways? And, O son of Raghu, thou dost not alone partake of sapid meats thyself alone? And dost thou share them with those friends who expect it? The learned king ruling (all) righteously—that chastiser of the subjects—the monarch attaining duly the entire earth, going away from hence, acquires the celestial regions.”


Knowing Bharata as devoted to his superior Rāma along with his brother Lakshmana, asked him, “What for is this (visit of thine unto the woods)? I wish to hear as clearly related by thee the reason why clad in black deerskin and wearing matted locks, thou, leaving thy kingdom, hast come to these regions. It behoveth thee to tell me all this.” Thus accosted by the high-souled Kākutstha, Kaikeyi’s son, suppressing his grief by a strong effort, with joined hands said, “O noble one, forsaking us all, our father possessed of mighty arms, having performed this terrible task, in consequence of being urged by a woman, my mother Kaikeyi, hath gone to heaven afflicted with grief on account of his son, O repressor of foes. And she hath committed a signal sin capable of destroying her fame. And without obtaining the kingdom which she had coveted as the fruit of her action, a widow tried with grief, my mother will fall into a terrible hell. Now it behoves thee to extend thy favor unto me who have become thy slave. Do thou this very day get thyself installed in the kingdom, like unto Indra himself. All these subjects and our widowed mothers have come unto thee. It behoves thee to show thy favor unto them. Thou art the first-born; and meet it is that thou shouldst get thyself installed, O bestower of honor. Therefore do thou receive the kingdom righteously and fulfil the desire of thy friends. And like the autumnal Night on having the unclouded moon, let the entire Earth cease to be a widow on having thee, her lord. With bent head I beseech thee along with these counsellors. It behoves thee to show thy favor unto thy brother, disciple, and slave. Therefore, O chief of men, thou ought not to pass by this honored band of ancestral ministers, who have always been serving this race.” Having said this, with tears flooding his eyes, the mighty-armed son of Kaikeyi, Bharata, again took Rāma’s feet on his head. Thereupon Rāma embracing his brother Bharata resembling a mad elephant, and sighing again and again, said, “Of a high race, possessed of strength, endowed with energy, and vowed unto sterling worth of character, how can one like me commit sin for the sake of dominion? Fault find I none ever so small in thee, thou destroyer of foes. Nor doth it become thee from puerility to tax thy mother, O exceedingly wise one, O thou that art sinless, superiors may act as they list in relation to those wives and sons of theirs that are after their heart. And this also thou shouldst learn that wives, sons and disciples should always be obedient as has been held by the emancipated ones. O mild one, the monarch is competent to make me stay in the woods clad in black deer-skin, as to establish me in the monarchy. And, O thou conversant with morality, O foremost of those observing righteousness, in respect of virtuous conduct, a mother should be as much regarded (by a son) as a father is. How can I, O descendant of Raghu, having been told by my righteous father and mother—‘Go to the woods’—act otherwise? Thou ought to receive the kingdom, Ayodhyā, honored of men; and I ought to dwell in Dandaka dressed in bark. Having made this division of duties in the presence of all, and also enjoined this, the mighty monarch, Daçarātha, hath ascended heaven. That superior of all, even the virtuous king, is thy evidence. It behoves thee to enjoy that which hath been assigned unto thee by thy sire. And, O mild one, taking refuge in the forest of Dandaka for fourteen years, I will act the part that hath been set apart for me by my magnanimous father. What hath been assigned to me by that one respected by all men, my high-souled father resembling the lord of celestials himself, is my prime good; the masterdom of all the worlds I would decline (should it be opposed to the will of my sire).”


Hearing Rāma’s words, Bharata answered, “Deprived of the kingdom in consequence of my posteriority in point of birth, what doth regard for morality avail me? O best of men, even this morality has ever been established with reference to us, viz., that the eldest son of the king existing, a younger one cannot be the king. Do thou, therefore, O Rāghava go along with me to the prosperous Ayodhyā; and get thyself installed there for the behoof of our race. Although a king observing interest and virtue, and who towers above average humanity, hath been called a mortal, yet to me he is a very deity. While I was in Kekaya and thou wast in the forest, that intelligent monarch honored of the good, given to celebrating sacrifices, ascended heaven. As soon as thou hadst set out (for the forest) along with Sitā and Lakshmana, the king borne down by grief and chagrin, went to heaven. O foremost of men, do thou arise, and offer water unto the spirit of our sire. Satrughna and I have ere this offered water unto (the departed). O Rāghava, anything offered onto the (manes of the) ancestors by a beloved descendant, conduces to their eternal behoof; and thou wast the favorite of our father. Mourning thee and exceedingly desirous of seeing thee, his mind being fastened on thee and incapable of being turned away, deprived of thee, and smitten with grief on thy account, thy father departed this life, remembering thee.”


Hearing those piteous words uttered by Bharata in connection with the demise of their father, Rāghava was deprived of his senses. And on that thunder-bolt of a speech being uttered by Bharata, like unto a (real) thunderbolt hurled in battle by the enemy of the Dānavas (Indra), that subduer of foes, Rāma, stretching his arms, fell down to the earth, like a blossoming tree that hath been hewn by an axe. Seeing that lord of the world and mighty bowman, Rāma, fallen, like a sleeping elephant fatigued with turning up earth with its tusks, his brothers exercised with sorrow, broke out into lamentations, and along with Videha’s daughter began to sprinkle water (on his face). Then regaining his consciousness, Kākutstha shedding tears from his eyes, distressfully addressed himself to speech. And hearing that lord of earth, his sire, had gone to heaven, that righteous one said unto Bharata words fraught with virtue and interest, “What shall I do with Ayodhyā, my sire having gone the way ordained by the gods? And who will govern her, now that she hath been deprived of that foremost of monarchs? Of fruitless birth that I am, what can I do for that magnanimous one? And of him that renounced his life from grief on my account. I have not even performed the last rites. Ah! Bharata, thou, O sinless one, art blessed, since by thee as well as by Satrughna have been performed all the funeral rites of the king. To Ayodhyā, bereft of the monarch, having none to preside over her destinies, and many rulers, will I not return even when the term of my abode in the woods has been passed. My father having gone to the other world, who, O subduer of enemies, will again counsel me when, my stay in the forest being over, I shall have returned unto Ayodhyā? And from whom shall I hear those words grateful unto the ear, which my father gratifying me used to speak unto me when I happened to do something well?” Having thus addressed Bharata, Rāghava burning in grief, spoke unto his wife, with her countenance resembling the full moon, saying, “O Sitā, thy father-in-law is dead and, O Lakshmana, thou art fatherless. Bharata has communicated unto me the sad intelligence that our father hath ascended heaven.” When Kākutstha had said this, tears began to shower forth from the eyes of the renowned princes. Then all those brothers pacifying as best they could Rāma stricken with sorrow, said unto him, “Do thou perform the watery rites of that lord of the earth, our sire.” Having heard that her father-in-law, the king, had gone to the celestial regions. Sitā with her eyes filled with tears, could not see her beloved. Thereupon, pacifying the weeping daughter of Janaka, Rāma moved with grief, spoke unto the distressed Lakshmana, saying, “Do thou bring Ingudi fruits as well as a piece of new bark. I will go to perform the watery rites of our high-souled sire. Let Sitā go first. Do thou follow her. I shall go last. Even this is the course of those in mourning.” Then that magnanimous one, having a knowledge of the soul, mild, graceful, capable of controlling his senses, steady in his regard for Rāma, and ever following him—Sumantra—in company with those sons of the king, having cheered up Rāghava, brought him to the auspicious river, Mandākini. Then those illustrious ones, having in distress arrived at the river Mandākini, having convenient descents, charming, ever furnished with blossoming woods, and of rapid currents; and approached its descents, goodly and void of mud, offered water unto the monarch, uttering, “May this be so!” And the protector of the earth (Rāma), holding water with his joined hands, facing the south, said weeping, “O foremost of monarchs, may this clear water knowing no deterioration, reach thee, who hast gone to the world of the ancestral manes!” Then drawing nigh unto the marge of the Mandākini, the energetic Rāghava along with his brothers, offered the Pinda unto his father. And placing the Ingudi Pinda mixed with juyube on a bed of darbha Rāma crying in distress, said, “O mighty monarch, do thou well pleased feed on this, which we also live upon. That which is the fare of an individual, is also the fare of his divinities.” Then that foremost of men ascending the bank of the stream by the self-same way, got up on the charming side of the hill. And having arrived at the gate of the cottage of leaves, that lord of the earth held both Bharata and Lakshmana with his hands. And there the hill reverberated at the sounds raised by the brothers wailing along with Vaidehi, like unto lions roaring. And perceiving the loud uproar of those mighty ones engaged in offering water unto their sire, indulging in lamentations, the army of Bharata became agitated. And they said, “For certain Bharata hath met with Rāma; and this mighty noise proceeds from them, as they are bitterly mourning their deceased sire.” Thereat leaving aside their vehicles, they with one mind, rushed towards the spot wherefrom proceeded the uproar. And of those that were tender, some went on horses, and some on elephants, and some on ornamented chariots, while others went on foot. And eager to behold Rāma staying away for a short time, though seeming to do so for a long period, all the men at once went to the hermitage. And desirous of witnessing the meeting of the brothers (with Rāma), they with all despatch proceeded by means of various vehicles consisting of beasts and cars. And the ground trodden by the wheels of innumerable cars, emitted loud sounds, like those emitted by the sky on clouds gathering. And frightened by the uproar, elephants accompanied by female ones, perfuming all sides (by the fragrance of temporal juice), went to another forest. And boars, and deer, and lions, and buffalos, and Srimaras, and tigers, and Gokarnas, Gayals and Prishatas were striken with panic. And wild with alarm, Chakravākas and swans, and Natyuhas, and Plavas, and Karandavas, and male coels, and Kraunchas, fled away in all directions. And the welkin was enveloped by birds frightened by the noise, as the earth was covered by men, and both the sky and the land then gave out great effulgence. As the people suddenly saw that foremost of men, the sinless and illustrious Rāma seated on the ground, accusing Kaikeyi as well as the vile Mantharā, the people approached Rāma, with their countenances discovering tears. Seeing those men oppressed with grief with their eyes filled with tears, that one cognizant of virtue like fathers and mothers, embraced those that deserved it And he embraced some persons; and some offered him salutations. And the king’s son, as each deserved, properly received them along with their friends and equals in age. And the sounds, produced by those high souled persons lamenting, resounding the earth and the sky, and the mountain-caverns, and all the cardinal points, were heard like peals of Mridangas.


Desirous of seeing Rāma, Vasishtha, taking before him the wives of Daçarātha, proceeded towards the hermitage. And as the wives of the king were going slowly by the Mandākini, they discovered the landing-place which was used by Rāma and Lakshmana. Thereupon Kauçalyā, with her eyes filled with tears and her countenance rendered pale, observed unto the forlorn Sumitrā as well as the other wives of the king, “Sacred like unto a first wife, in this forest this is the landing-place of those unfortunate ones of untiring energy, who had been deprived of the kingdom. From here, O Sumitrā, doth thy son, Saumitri, ever vigilant, personally procure water for my son. Although thy son performeth a servile office, yet he is not to blame: (the performance of) that alone which serves no purpose of his brother possessed of many perfections, could bring blame upon him. To day let thy son, who doth not deserve such toilsome work, cease to perform that office which is fraught with hardships fit only for the base.” That lady of expansive eyes happened to see on the earth the Ingudi pinda, which had been placed by Rāma for his sire on the darbha with their tops pointing southwards. Seeing this, which had been placed on the ground by Rāma disconsolate for his sire, the noble Kauçalyā addressed all the wives of Daçarātha, saying, “Do ye behold this that hath been duly offered to the high-souled descendant of Raghu—lord of the Ikshvāku race—by Rāghava. I do not deem this as fit fare for that magnanimous monarch resembling a celestial, who had enjoyed every luxury (in life). Having enjoyed this earth bounded by the four seas, how can that lord of the world, resembling on earth the mighty Indra, feed on this Ingudi pinda? Nothing appeareth to me more deplorable in this world than this that the auspicious Rāma hath offered an Ingudi cake unto his father. Seeing the Ingudi pinda offered by Rāma unto his father, why doth not my heart break into a thousand shivers? Now the tradition in vogue among men, appearth to be true, viz., that “the fare that is partaken by a person, is also partaken by his deity.” Then those that were co-wives with her, consoled the distressed Kauçalyā; and, (entering the asylum), beheld Rāma like an immortal dropped from the celestial regions. Seeing Rāma, who had been deprived of every comfort, his mothers, overwhehhed with grief and distress, began to shed tears, lamenting. Raising his mothers, that foremost of men, Rāma, true to his promise, took hold of those lotus feet of theirs. And those ones furnished with expansive eyes, (on their turn) by means of their fair hands of delicious feel furnished with soft fingers and palms, fell to rubbing the dust off Rāma’s back. After Rāma had done, Sumitrā’s son also, seeing all his mothers, with sorrow gently paid his reverence unto them with affection. Thereat, as they had treated Rāma, all the ladies treated that one sprung from Daçarātha, Lakshmana, graced with auspicious marks. Sitā also with her eyes filled with tears, having taken hold of the feet of her mothers-in- law, stood before them in distressful guise. Embracing that woeful one in banishment, even as a mother doth her daughter, Kauçalyā, smitten with grief, said, “The daughter of Videha’s King, and the daughter-in-law of Daçarātha, and the wife of Rāma himself—why doth such a lady undergo misery in the lone forest? O Vaidehi, beholding thy face like unto a lotus heated under the sun, or a lily that hath been crushed, or like unto gold covered with dust, or the moon enveloped by clouds, grief begot of this vortex of disaster that is in my mind, fiercely burneth me, as fire consumeth a structure.” As his wretched mother was thus speaking, Bharata’s elder brother, Rāghava, approaching, took the feet of Vasishtha. Having taken hold of the feet of the priest resembling a flame, and of accumulated energy,—like unto that lord of the immortals, Indra, taking the feet of Vrihaspati, Rāghava sat down with him. Then behind them (Rāma and Vasishtha), along with his own counsellors, and principal citizens, and generals, and persons of eminent piety,—sat the virtuous Bharata in the presence of his elder brother. Seeing Rāghava in the guise of an ascetic, flaming in grace, the exceedingly powerful Bharata with joined palms sat down in company with his brother, like the great Indra of controlled faculties in presence of Prajapāti. “What will Bharata, having bowed unto Rāghava and paid him homage, will say to him?” —this intense curiosity arose in (the minds of) all the noble persons present there. And Rāghava having truth and forbearance, and Laksmana endowed with magnanimity, and Bharata possessed of righteousness, surrounded by their friends, appeared (there) like unto the three fires surrounded by Sadasyas.


As those foremost of persons surrounded by their friends indulged in lamentations, the night passed away in grief. On the night being succeeded by an auspicious morning, those brothers surrounded by their friends, having performed Homa and Japa on the Mandākini, returned unto Rāma. And sitting silent, no one said anything. Then Bharata addressed Rāma in the midst of those friends, saying, “My mother was (first) pacified (by grant of the kingdom.) The kingdom is (now) mine. I grant the same unto thee. Do thou enjoy the kingdom rid of its thorns. Like unto a dyke forced by a torrent during the rains, this mighty monarchy is difficult of being protected save by thee. As a mule is incapable of imitating the course of a horse, or as birds, that of Tarkshya, I, O Lord of earth, lack the strength to imitate thee. O Rāma, ever happy is the life of him that others depend upon for subsistence: unhappy is the life of the person that depends upon others for support. As a tree planted by a person, and by him made to increase, (until at last), sending out branches, a mighty tree, it is incapable of being got up by a dwarf; and then, if, flowering, it show no fruits, it cannot contribute to the satisfaction of htm for whom it hath been planted. O mighty- armed one, this comparison is meant for thee. This189 it behoves thee to apprehend, inasmuch as thou art our excellent lord, and thou dost not teach us who depend upon thee for support. Let the principal orders, O monarch, behold thee, represser of foes—established in the kingdom, like the powerful sun himself. O Kākustha, let mad elephants roar, with the view of following thee; and let the women of the inner apartments with concentrated minds utter jubilation.” On hearing the words of Bharata, who was beseeching Rāma, many of the citizens expressed their approbation by exclaiming, “Excellent well!” Seeing the illustrious Bharata aggrieved and engaged in lamentation, the calm and considerate Rāma consoled him, saying, “No creature is endowed wth the power of exercising any control over the course of events,—man has no independent status (in nature). The Destoyer draws him both here and hereafter. Those that increase, are destined to deteriorate; those that go upward, ultimately fall, those that come together, separate in the end; and life at length meets with death. As a ripe fruit hath no other fear than fall, so man who is born, hath no other fear than death. Even as a stout-pillared edifice, getting dilapidated, waxes weak, so men coming under the sway of decrepitude and death, get enfeebled. A night that hath gone by, doth not return, as the full Jamunā, when she hath entered the ocean, doth not come back. In this world, days and nights pass away with creatures, and speedily impair their lives, even as in summer the rays (of the sun) (dry up) the waters. Do thou therefore deplore thyself. Why dost thou lament any thing else? Every one’s life is decreasing, whether he sits or moves. Death goeth with one, sitteth down with one, and, after having gone a long way, returneth with one. The person is filled with folds in the skin, the hair hath grown hoary, the individual is enfeebled because of age,— by doing what, can he prevent this? People rejoice on the rising of the sun; they feel delighted at the approach of night,—but they do not understand that their lives have (meanwhile) been shortened. People are exhilarated at the commencement of a new season in novel fashion; creatures get their lives shortened at the change of seasons. As on the mighty ocean, one piece of wood comes in contact with another; so, a person, having been in association with another, is seperated from him in time. In this way, wives and sons and kindred and wealth, having been in association, go away; their separation is certain. There exists not one in this world that can change one’s nature as received. A person lamenting a dead individual, hath no power to prevent his own death. As, while one is proceeding on a road, another stationed by the way, says, ‘I too will go in thy wake’, even so, the way that hath been followed by our predecessors, (must be followed as well by us.) Why should people mourn (for deceased relatives), when they are themselves subject to the fate that knoweth no turning? (Perceiving the destruction of) life declining, like unto a current that never turneth back, one should engage his soul in happiness; for all men are said to be born for the same. My child, our righteous sire, who, after having performed excellent and entire sacrifices, accompanied with dakshinās, hath repaired to heaven, honored of the good, should not be mourned.190 Having renounced his human frame wasted and worn out with age, our father hath attained celestial state, which exists in the regions of Brahmā. Such an one should never be mourned by any wise person like thee or myself, accomplished in learning and more than ordinarily intelligent. Such manifold grief and mourning and lamentation should be renounced by intelligent and firm persons in all conditions in life. Do thou cast off this grief: let not sorrow overpower thee. Going thither, stay in that city. And, O best of speakers, this was also enjoined by our sire of controlled senses. I also must do my noble father’s will as to whatever that one of pious acts has laid upon me. O subduer of foes, it is not proper for me to pass by his orders. So thay are also worthy of being honored by thee. He is our friend and father. O descendant of Raghu, that mandate of our righteous father, acceptable unto me, will I obey by abiding in the woods. O foremost of men, (good in) the next world is capable of being attained by an honest and pious person crowned with sterling virtues, ever following his superiors. O best of men, thinking that our father Daçarātha has attained excellent state, do thou, resorting to all noble qualities, seek thy welfare in the next world.” Having said these significant words unto his younger brother, with the view of making him obey the injunctions of their father, that lord, the magnanimous Rāma, paused.


On Rāma having stopped after speaking these pregnant words, the virtuous Bharata addressed the righteous Rāma attached unto his subjects in an excellent speech on the banks of the Mandākini, saying, “O vanquisher of foes, who is there in this world like unto thee? Pain doth not afflict thee, nor doth pleasure exhilarate. Thyself the exemplar of even aged people, thou referrest to them on doubtful points (of morality). ‘Living like unto dead and existing like unto non-existing’—what shall make a person that hath attained this intellectual state, grieve? O lord of men, he that like unto thee understands the nature of the soul and its environment coming by any calamity, ought not to despond. Thou resemblest, O Rāghava, the god in strength, and art magnanimous, and truthful in promise! And knowest every thing and art endued with intelligence. Calamity, however unbearable it may be, should not overpower a person like thyself furnished with such virtues and cognizant of life and death. The sin that in my absence from home hath been perpetrated by my mean-minded mother doth not find favor in my sight. Be thou therefore propitous to me. I am bound by the fetters of religion. For this it is that I do not by a severe penalty slay my wicked mother deserving of chastisement. How having sprung from Daçarātha of righteous deeds and born of immaculate race, and knowing virtue and vice, can I commit such a reprehensible action? Daçarātha is our superior, of meritorious acts, aged our king, a departed spirit, and our father, it is on account of this that I do not censure our father who is a deity unto us. O cognizant of virtue, what virtuous person conversant in morality, should, seeking the pleasure of his wife, commit such a sinful act devoid of both righteousness and interest? ‘Creatures, as their end approaches, lose their sense’ this ancient adage has been illustrated in the world by the course the king has taken. Do thou, intent upon bringing about good, redeem the wrong that hath been done by our sire through anger, ignorance and recklessness. The son that repaireth the wrong done by his father by acting contrary to the latter is in this world considered really a son; but not he that acteth otherwise. Be thou that (real) son (of the monarch). Do thou not approve the action of thy father, since what he has done is divorced from righteousness and is blameworthy. Do thou rescue all these— Kaikeyi, myself, my father, our friends and adherents, and the whole body of the citizens as well as the inhabitants of the provinces. Where is the forest? And where is Kshatriya morality? Where are matted locks? And where is thy government of the country? It behoves thee not to act in such an untoward way. Even this is the first duty of a Kshatriya, viz.,—getting oneself installed,—by means of which, O highly wise one, he can compass the government of the people. What base Kshatriya setting aside this indubitable morality, resorts to a dubious and inaupicious course, which should be followed by the old alone? But if thou be bent upon practising this austere morality, do thou undergo this trouble, after having righteously ruled the four orders. O thou cognizant of morality, those versed in duty say that of the four modes of life, the life of the householder is the foremost. Why then dost thou wish to renounce the same? I am inferior to thee in learning, in position, and in birth. How can I then govern the earth, thou existing? Void of sense and quality, a boy, and inferior to thee in point of years, I, deprived of thee, can not live. O thou cognizant of morality, do thou, along with thy friends, according to thy proper morality rule this entire ancestral kingdom rid of its thorns and enjoying tranquillity. Even here, O thou cognizant of the Mantras, let all the subjects and the Ritwijas with Vasishtha, versed in the Mantras, install thee. Having been installed, go to Ayodhyā, for the purpose of governing it, having with our assistance conquered thy enemies by thy strength, like Vāsava conquering (his foes) with the help of the Maruts. Having freed thyself from thy threefold debts, do thou govern me, repressing thy foes, and propitiating thy friends with every gratification. O noble one, to-day let thy friends rejoice in consequence of thy coronation. To day let those that intend to do thee harm, being frightened, fly to the ten cardinal points. O foremost of men, wiping out the disgrace of my mother, do thou emancipate our sire from sin. I beseech thee with bent head. Be thou merciful unto me, unto all our friends, and, O great lord, unto all creatures in general. But, if disregarding my solicitations, thou wend from here to the forest, I shall go along with thee.” Although thus besought and propitiated by Bharata with bent head, that lord of the earth, Rāma, possessed of strength, established in the words of his father, did not decide for going. Witnessing that wonderful firmness in Rāghava, the people were at one and the same time delighted and depressed. They were aggrieved because he would not go to Ayodhyā; they rejoiced on seeing his firm resolution. Then the Ritwijas, the citizens, and their leaders, and the mothers with their senses lost and with tears in their eyes, extolled Bharata as he was speaking thus; and, bowing down unto Rāma, they directed their solicitations together.


As Bharata was again speaking in this strain, his graceful elder brother, having been highly honored, answered Bharata in the midst of his relatives, saying, “Having been born as a son unto Daçarātha—foremost of monarchs—by Kaikeyi, this speech of thine is worthy of thee. O brother, formerly when our father espoused the hand of thy mother, he promised her the kingdom as her marriage portion. Then on the occasion of the war between the gods and the Asuras, that master, the king, well pleased (with her), being besought, granted her a boon. Having been thus promised, that virtuous lady, thy illustrious mother, O foremost of men, asked for two boons (of the king),—viz., thy enthronement, O best of men, and my banishment Thus besought by her, the king conferred on her the boon. And, thou foremost of men, I have been enjoined by my sire to stay in the woods for fourteen years, in consequence of his having granted her the boon. And, having, in company with Lakshmana and Sitā, come to the lone forest, I in humble guise am staying in the truthful speech of my father. Thou too, thou foremost of kings, shouldst in the same way speedily render our father truthful, by getting thyself installed. O Bharata, for my sake, do thou free that lord, the king, from his debts. Do thou, O thou cognizant of morality, deliver our father and gladden thy mother. O child, we hear that in Gayā, formerly the famous Gaya, engaged in a sacrifice, chaunted this Vaidika hymn, for pleasing his departed an- cestors : ‘Since a son delivereth his sire from the hell named Put, a son goeth by the appellation of putra, he protecting his (departed) ancestors in every way. One should wish for many sons crowned with qualities and versed in various lore, for the chance is that one at least of these may repair to Gayā.’ O son of the Raghu race, the Rājarshis have delivered their decision on the point. Therefore, thou foremost of men, do thou, O lord, rescue thy sire from hell. O Bharata, go to Ayodhyā, and please the subjects, in company with Satrughna, O hero, and all the regenerate ones. I also, O hero, without delay shall have to enter the forest of Dandaka in company with Lakshmana and Sitā. O Bharata, be thou thyself the monarch of men, I shall become the king of kings of deer. Go thou to that foremost of. Cities with a glad heart: with a glad heart will I enter Dandaka. O Bharata, let the umbrella barring out the rays of the sun, afford cool shade unto thy head: I shall happily seek the dense shade of these forest trees. Satrughna endued with cleverness is thy helper: Sumitrā’s son is well known as my best friend. We four worthy sons of that foremost of monarchs will keep him established in truth, O Bharata. Let not thy mind despond.”


As Rāma cognizant of righteousness was thus encouraging Bharata, Javali—best of Brāhmanas—addressed him in words divorced from morality, saying, “O Rāghava, endowed with a noble understanding and leading a life of asceticism, do not suffer thy intellect to entertain inanities, like any low person. Who is whose friend? And to what is one entitled and by virtue of what relation? And who is such? Since a creature is born alone and dies alone, a person that cherishes his father and mother with affection, must, O Rāma, be looked upon as a madman. No individual hath any one (in this world). As on the eve of setting out for another country, a person stays somewhere (outside the village he lives in), and the next day goes away, renouncing that abode, even such are a man’s father and mother, house and wealth. O Kākutshta, worthy people never bear affection towards a mere abode. Therefore, O best of men, leaving thy ancestral kingdom, thou ought not to abide in the disagreeable forest filled with dangers and difficulties. Do thou get thyself sprinkled in the prosperous Ayodhyā. The city expects thee wearing a single woven braid. O king’s son, enjoying costly regal pleasures, do thou sport in Ayodhyā, like Sakra in the celestial regions. Daçarātha is none unto thee, and thou too art none unto Daçarātha: He is quite other than thy sire; and thou hast no connection with him. Therefore, do thou act as I tell thee. A father is merely an instrumental cause (touching the generation of his child). A father’s semen coming in contact with a mother’s blood, at the time befitting conception, a person is brought into being. The king hath gone the way he should. This is the nature of all creatures. But thou for naught denyest thyself (the manliness of monarchal power). Those that disregarding interest are devoted to virtue, do I mourn—and not others; for having suffered misery here, they in the end meet with extinction. People engage in Ashtaka191 in behalf of ancestors and deities. Behold the waste of edibles. Doth any dead person feed? If food partaken by one is transferred to the body of another, offer Srāddha unto one going to a distant land, and that shall serve for his provender on the way. Works (on morality) enjoining—‘Worship,’ ‘Give away,’ ‘Be initiated,’ ‘Observe rites,’ ‘Renounce’,—have been composed by intelligent persons, for inducing people to be charitable. O magnanimous one, assure thyself there is no hereafter. Do thou remain grounded in the evident, turning thy back on what is beyond our ken. Placing in front the intellect of the good, and approved by all, do thou, propitiated by Bharata, accept the monarchy.”


Hearing Javali’s words, Rāma having truth for prowess, by help of an exceedingly subtle intellect uninfluenced (under the exhortations of that sage), said, “What thou, wishing for my welfare, hast dwelt upon, though wearing the guise of a good action, is really not such; and though appearing to be beneficent, is really calculaled to entail misery. The person that with his sinful acts sticking to him, walketh astray, as well as he that holdeth up (unto others) different patterns of character (from those recommended by scripture), doth not win honor with the good. One’s character (fashioned according to scripture) shows whether one is high-born or base, heroic or vainly priding himself on his manliness, pure or impure. (But by adopting the code of conduct inculcated by thee), a mean character may appear as a noble one, one bereft of purity may appear pure, an inauspicious individual may seem auspicious, and one of vile ways may appear honest. If I adopt this unrighteous course, calculated to produce confusion of castes, and do acts not recognised by scripture, I shall, renouncing good, have to reap only evil. Then what man possessed of consciousness and capable of discriminating between right and wrong, shall honor me, given to wicked ways and deserving of universal reprehension? Whose is this course (that thou askest me to follow)? And by what way shall I attain heaven, by following the present course, which would make me give up my vow? When I have (first) myself set up desire as my standard of action, the entire body of the people shall follow me: subjects take to the ways that have been adopted by their sovereigns. This eternal regal morality founded in kindness towards the subjects, is verily true. Hence a kingdom is essentially based upon truth; and this world itself is established in truth. Saints and celestials for certain regard truth alone. In this world a truthful person attains the regions of Brahmā. Untruthful persons harass people as much as serpents. In this world virtue, which is said to be the root of everything, is itself established in truth. In this world, truth is the Lord; in truth is established righteousness. Everything hath truth for its basis. No condition is superior to truth. The Veda, which inculcates gift, sacrifice, homa, and asceticism, is based on truth. One protects men, another his family; one is plunged in hell,—another is honored in heaven. Why should I not then obey the mandate of my father? My father was of truthful promise and of righteous ways; and with the object of observing his promise, he laid on me this (for faithful performance). Having promised to my superior with an oath, I shall never through covetuousness or forgetfulness or pride rive the bridge of truth. We have heard that the gods and the Pitris do not accept offerings from one inclined to untruth, or who is unsteady and of volatile faculties. This duty of maintaining truth, whose influence radiates all over one’s soul, I certainly find to be the prime one; and this burthen hath (ere this) been borne by worthy people. And it is for this that I reverence the same. I abjure that Kshatriya morality which, wearing the garb of righteousness, is in fact impiety, and which is pursued by the low-minded, or the wicked, or the covetuous, or the sinful. A person commits a sin by means of his physique, but after he hath accurately cast it in his mind; and he hath also spoken an untruth with his tongue. Thus a sin is threefold. The earth and fame and renown and auspiciousness pay court unto the truthful person. The good follow truth,—therefore even truth is to be sought (by all). Therefore the seemingly excellent thing that thou, after having well ascertained it, hast said unto me in words informed with reason—‘Thou hadst rather do this’—appears to me wanting in nobility. How, after having promised unto my superior this exile of mine, shall I act up to Bharata’s words, setting aside those of my superior? I having remained firm in the promise I had made unto my superior, that noble lady, Kaikeyi, became excceedingly delighted. Living in the forest, pure, with regulated fare, I shall, propitiating the gods and the Pitris with fruits, flowers and roots, (fulfil my vow). Satisfying the five classes,192 I shall, retaining my simplicity and my religious faith, and being able to distinguish between right and wrong, pass away the term (of banishment). Having come to this scene of action, one should do that which is proper. Even Agni and Vāyu and Soma reap the fruits of their own acts. Having acquired the appellation of Satakratu, the sovereign of the celestials hath gone to heaven; and, having performed rigid austerities, the Maharshis have attained the celestial regions.” Having heard of the reasons couched in that atheistical speech which he could not allow to pass without stricture, that one of fierce energy, the king’s son, censuring what Jāvāli had said, again spoke, “Truth, righteousness, prowess, kindness to creatures, fair spokenness, and worship of the twice-born ones, gods and guests, these have by the pious been styled the ways to heaven. Having duly heard that these are capable of conferring the summum bonum, and also come to the same conclusion by reasoning, Vipras, adequately and competely observing morality with the utmost care, are eagerly desirous of attaining those regions. I blame this act of my father’s, viz.— that he took (for his priest) one of perverse understanding, who rangeth by help of such an intellect—who is frightfully atheistic, and who hath swerved from the path of righteousness. As a thief is, so is a Buddha, and know that in this matter, an atheist is in a like predicament. Therefore, such an one, when capable of being punished like a thief for the good of the people, should be punished like a thief; and let no Brahmāna ever speak with an atheist. Other Brāhmanas than thyself, superior to thee, have, serving this world as well as the next, performed various exellent acts. Therefore those Brahmānas, amen, who have spared life and in other ways practised morality, and have also given away in charity, performed austerities and served others, (perform sacrifices in consonance with Vedas). And principal ascetics engaged in religion, surrounded by the good, possessed of energy, having charity for their foremost attribute, void of envy, and their hearts free from all stain,— are honored in this world.” When the magnanimous Rāma of undiminished strength had wrathfully said this, that Vipra with supplications again spoke words fraught with morality and high spiritual truth. I do not speak the language of atheists; nor am I an atheist; nor yet is it true that there is nothing (hereafter). On the occasion of things having reference to the next world being performed, I am again a believer; and on the occasion of things’ connection with this world being taken in hand, I am an atheist once again. O Rāma, the time has gradually drawn nigh when for the purpose of making thee turn back, it is necessary that I should speak the language of atheism. But pacifying thee, I have (again) spoken this (I.e. I am a believer).


Knowing that Rāma was wroth, Vasishtha said, “Jāvāli knoweth the departure of creatures to the next world and their return thence. Anxious of making thee turn back, he had spoken thus. Do thou now, O lord of the world, learn the genesis of creatures from me. Water was everywhere. The earth was constructed therein. Then sprang the self-create Brāhma along with all the celestials. Having become a boar, he raised up the earth, and along with his sons of subdued souls created everything. Brahmā eternal, existing through all time and incapable of decay, sprang from the sky. From him Marichi came into being, and Kaçyapa is Marichi’s son. Vivaswat drew his birth from Kaçyapa, and Manu from Vivaswat. Manu was formerly known as Prajāpati. Ikshwāku is son unto Manu; and this world was first conferred upon Ikshwāku by Manu. Do thou know Ikshwāku as the first king in Ayodhyā. The graceful Kukshi is known as the son of Ikshwāku. And, O hero, Kukshi’s son was Vikukshi. Vikukshi had the powerful Vāna possessed of exceeding energy for his son. Vāna had the mighty-armed Anaranya of high austerities for his son. During the time of that foremost of righteous persons, the monarch Anaranya, drouth or famine did not occur (in Ayodhyā); nor were there any thieves at that time. O mighty king, from Anaranya sprang king Prithu. From Prithu sprang Trisanku of mighty energy. This hero by virtue of his truth telling went to heaven in person. Trisanku had the famous Dhundumāra for his son; and from Dhundumāra Juvanāsya was born. Juvanāsya’s son was the handsome Māndhata; and from Māndhāta Susandhi came into being. Susandhi had two sons; Dhruvasandhi and Prasenajit. Dhruvasandhi had the illustrious Bharata, destroyer of foes (for his son) From Bharata sprang Asita—to whom sprang these hostile kings as foes, Harhayas, Tālajanghas and Sasavindus—heroes all. Having engaged with them in battle, the king was excited (by them). And on the romantic Himavat, he became engaged in asceticism. It is said that at the time, his two wives were gone with child. There one of the exalted ladies having eyes resembling lotus petals saluted Bhrigu’s son furnished with the splendour of a celestial, desirous of having an excellent son. Another administered poison unto the other for destroying her foetus. Bhrigu’s son named Chyavana was at that time staying in Himavat. Appearing before the sage, Kālindi saluted him. Thereupon he returned the greeting that had been made by that lady anxious to secure a boon for the birth of a son. “Thou, shalt, O lady get a son of mighty soul, who shall be celebrated among men; and who shall be pious and powerful—the perpetuator of his race and destroyer of enemies” Hearing this, that noble lady having gone round him and paid in respect unto the ascetic went to her home and gave birth to a son furnished with eyes resembling lotus-petals, and of sheen like that of the inside of a lotus. And because her co wife, had given her poison for destroying her foetus, and as in consequence of this, he had come in contact with poison, he came to be called Sagara. The name of that king is Sāgara, who having been initiated in a sacrifice excavated the ocean, frightening the people with the vehemence of his operations. Asamanja is known to have been the son of Sāgara. This wicked man while yet in life, was banished by his father. Asamanja’s son was the puissant Ançumat. Dilipa is the son of Ançumat and Dilipa’s son is Bhagirtha. From Bhagiratha sprang Kākustha; from whom the Kākusthas came to be well known. Kākutstha had Raghu for his son; after whom have been named the Rāghavas. Raghu’s son is the energetic Pravirda, who ate human beings. He is known on earth under such names as Kalmāshapāda, Saudāsa. We have heard that Kalmāshapāda’s son was Sankhana, who having been endowed with prowess, found destruction along with his forces. Sankhana’s son was the beautiful and heroic Sudarçana. Sudarçana’s son was Agnivarna and Agnivarna’s, Sighraga; Sighraga’s son was Maru, and Maru’s Praçuçruva’s. Praçuçruva’s son was the magnanimous Amvarisha. Amvarisha’s son was Nahusha having truth for his prowess. Nahusha’s son was the exceedingly Virtuous Nābhāga. Nābhāga had two sons,—Aja and Suvrata. Aja’s son was the virtuous king Daçarātha. His eldest son art thou celebrated under the name of Rāma. Do thou receive thy own kingdom and look after the world. Among the Ikshwākus, the first born becomes the sovereign. The first born existing, an inferior son cannot be installed in the kingdom. It therefore doth not today behove thee to depart from the ever existing morality of the descendants of Raghu. Do thou rule this earth filled with gems, and furnished with high fame, do thou like unto a father govern her containing many kingdoms.”


Having thus addressed Rāma, the royal priest Vasishtha again spoke unto him words fraught with righteousness, saying, “Unto a man born there are three superiors, viz, the preceptor, O Kākutstha, and father and mother, O Rāghava. O foremost of men, the father begets a person, the preceptor imparts wisdom and therefore is he called a superior. I, O subduer of foes, have been the preceptor of both thyself and thy father. By doing what I say, thou wilt not lose the state of the righteous. These courtiers of thine—these relatives, and these kings;—by protecting them virtuously thou wilt not lose the state of the righteous. It doth not behove thee to disregard the words of thy aged and virtuous mother. By doing her bidding thou wilt not lose the state of the righteous. O Rāghava, by acting as Bharata, who is soliciting thee, says, thou having the morality of truth for thy prowess, wilt not be frustrated of the state of the pious.” Thus sweetly addressed by his preceptor personally, that foremost of men, Rāghava, replied unto Vasishtha, seated with him, saying, “What his father and mother always do in behalf of their son, and what they effect by way of provision and sleep and clothing and constant swest speech, and sport, is difficult of being repaid. Therefore, what my father, king Daçarātha hath commanded me to do, must not be falsified.” Rāma having said this, the broad-breasted Bharata, extremely depressed spoke unto the charioteer who was by, saying, “O charioteer, do thou speedily spread Kuça on the ground here. I will remain near the noble one until he be kindly disposed (towards me). Even as a twice born one deprived of his wealth lieth down (at the door of an unrighteous person), eschewing food and in darkness, will I lie down in front of this cottage, until he betakes himself back (to Ayodhyā)” Then with a dispirited heart finding Sumantra looking up to Rāma, Bharata himself spread Kuça and lay down upon it. To him spoke that foremost of Rājarshis, the highly energetic Rāma, “O Bharata, my dear brother, what have I done that thou hast down by me? It is a Brāhmana who alone can obstruct a person by lying down beside him; but there is no rule by which a member of the military class193 can lie down (in this wise). O best of men, arise, renouncing this difficult vow; and, O descendant of Raghu, do thou from hence take thyself unto that best of cities, Ayodhyā.” Being seated, Bharata, eying the citizens and the inhabitants of of the provinces, remarked, “What for do ye not solicit the noble one?” Thereupon the citizens and the dwellers of the provinces answered that high-souled one, saying, “We perceive that the descendant of Raghu says unto Kākutstha what is fit; and this exceedingly virtuous one stayeth by the words of his sire. Therefore we are incapable of suddenly saying anything.” Hearing their speech, Rāma said, “Listen to the words of these friends having morality for their vision. And, O scion of the Raghu race, hearing their utterances as regards both thyself and me, do thou decide. Arise, thou mighty-armed one. Touch me and then water.” Thereat arising, Bharata, having touched water, said, “Ye courtiers, and ye ministers, listen to me! I did not wish for my paternal kingdom; nor did I sway my mother (towards obtaining the same); nor did I know that the exceedingly righteous Rāghava was to seek the woods. But if he must dwell here, and thus act out the mandate of our father, I also will abide in the forest for fourteen years.” Astonished at the determination of Bharata, the righteous Rāma eying the citizens and the inhabitants of the provinces, said, “Neither Bharata nor I can annual any sale or pledge or purchase effected by our father during his life. Therefore I ought not to accept any substitute for living in the woods, who can but contribute to my censure. Kaikeyi hath spoken what is proper; and my father hath acted well. I know Bharata to be forgiving, and given to serving superiors. Everything in that high-souled one intent on truth appeareth beneficial. Having returned from the forest, I will in company with this brother of virtuous character, become the worthy master of this earth. The king having been made by Kaikeyi to consent (to her proposal), I have done as she told me. Do thou by acting in the way calculated to free that lord of the earth, our father (from the debt of promise), do so.”


Observing the meeting of the two brothers of unparalleled energy, capable of making one’s hair stand on end, the Maharshis struck with surprise came to the scene. And remaining invisible, the ascetics, Sidhas and prime saints admired those brothers, the virtuous Kākutsthas. “Blessed is he whose sons these, two cognizant of virtue and having truth for prowess are. Having heard their converse, we are delighted.” Then the saints, desirous of the destruction of the ten-headed one, having become unanimous, speedily addressed that foremost of monarchs, Bharata, saying, “Born in an illustrious line, endeued with high wisdom, of high character and high fame, thou shouldst accept Rāma’s words, if thou hast a care for the happiness of thy sire. We wish that Rāma may always act truthfully in respect of his father. By virtue of his truth connected with Kaikeyi, Daçarātha hath gone to heaven.” Having said this, the Gandharbhas, Maharshis, and Rājarshis each went to his proper quarter. Having paid homage unto those saints, Rāma possessed of a gracious presence, hearing their words, was filled with joy, and looked lovely with his delightful countenance. But with his frame agitated (with emotion), Bharata with joined hands again addressed Rāghava in words faltering (with feeling), “O Rāma, taking into account the morality of this race, it behoves thee to act in accordance with the solicitations of my mother (and thine). I do not venture to govern this vast kingdom alone, or please the citizens and the inhabitants of the provinces attached unto thee. And as husbandmen remain expecting rain, our kindred, and wariors and friends and adherents wait in expectation of thee. O exceedingly wise one, accepting the kingdom, do thou place it in the hands of some person. O Kākutstha, whomsoever thou wilt chose for performing this office, will surely prove strong enough to govern the people.” Having said this, Bharata fell at his brother’s feet; and sweetly addressing him—“O Rāghava”, solicited him once again. Takjng on his lap that sable-hued one furnished with eyes resembling lotus-leaves, Rāma with a voice like that of a mad swan, spoke unto (Bharata), “Thou hast at length attained the mental attitude that is natural and that also comes of the training one receives at the hands of his preceptor. And, brother thou venturest greatly to protect the earth. Taking counsel with courtiers, adherents and intelligent ministers, do thou achieve grand tasks. Even if beauty forsaketh the moon, or Himavat his snow, or the ocean overleaps its shores, I shall not forsake the promise of my sire. And, my brother, thou ought not to cherish in thy mind what thy mother incited by covetuousness or affection for thee hath done; and thou should act by her as one should by one’s mother,” When Rāma resembling the sun in energy and like the moon of Pratipat in appearance, had said this, Bharata said unto the son of Kauçalyā, “O noble one, do thou take off thy feet thy sandals adorned with gold. These shall protect what the people have got and secure unto thee what they lack.” Thereupon taking off his sandals, that highly energetic one gave them to the magnanimous Bharata. Bharata, bowing down unto the sandals, said, “O hero, for four and ten years shall I, wearing matted locks and bark, and subsisting upon fruits and roots, O scion of the Raghu race, expecting thy arrival, remain outside the city, having, O subduer of foes, made over the task of government unto thy sandals. And, foremost of Raghus, if after the completion of the fourteen years, I do not see thee, I shall enter into fire. Promising, “So be it” and affectionately embracing Bharata, and also embracing Satrughna, Rāma said, “Do thou protect thy mother Kaikeyi. Do not be angry with her. Both Janaki and I conjure thee to do this, O descendant of Raghu.” Having said this, he forsook his brother, with tears in his eyes. Then accepting those burnished and garnished sandals, Bharata versed in morality circumabulated Rāghava, and placed the sandals on the head of an excellent elephant. Then having one by one honored that assembly, and his preceptor and the counsellors, and the subjects and his younger brothers, perpetuator of the Raghu race, steady in his own duty like Himavat itself, took leave of them. His mothers with their throats invaded by the vapour of grief could not from distress of heart say aught unto him. And Rāma also having paid homage unto all of them, weeping entered his own cottage.


Then taking the pair of sandals on his head, Bharata in company with Satrughna well pleased, ascended the car. And Vasishtha, and Vāmadeva and Jāvali steady in his vow, as well as the ministers, honored on account of their counsels, went before. And going round the charming Mandākini, thy went eastwards, circumambulating (at the same time) the mighty hill, Chitrakuta. And beholding various kinds of beautiful minerels by thousands. Bharata accompanied by his army went by the side (of the hill). At a short distance from Chitrakuta, Bharata beheld the spot where the ascetic Bharadwāja had built his habitation. Approaching the asylum, the puissant Bharata descended from the car, and the son of Raghu then paid homage unto the saint’s feet. Thereat Bharadwāja well pleased said, “Hast thou, my child, on meeting with Rāma, done what it behoved thee to do?” Thus addressed by the intelligent Bharadwāja, Bharata attached to righteousness answered the former, saying, “Solicited by our preceptor as well as by myself, Rāghava of steady prowess highly pleased spoke unto Vasishtha, ‘I would faithfully perform my father’s promise for fourteen years; for even this is the promise of my father.’ Thus accosted, the eminently wise Vasishtha skilled in speech replied unto Rlghava in these pregnant words, ‘Do thou well pleased confer (on Bharata) thy sandals decked in gold. Thereby, O exceedingly wise one, thou wilt be able to protect what the people have and secure unto them what they have not.’ Thus addressed by Vasishtha, Rāghava facing the east, conferred on me his sandals decked in gold, in order that I might carry on the government of the kingdom. Commanded by the magnanimous Rāma, I retrace my steps. I will go to Ayodhyā, taking the sandals along with me.” Hearing these auspicious words of the high- souled Bharata, the ascetic Bharadwāja said unto Bharata, “It is no wonder that Rāma hath acted nobly by thee, foremost among men and possessed of an (excellent) character and disposition, even as water poured out, floweth downwards. Thy father Daçarātha hath become freed from his debts, since he hath a son like unto thee, righteous and attached to virtue”. When the ascetic had said this, Bharata with joined palms paid his respects unto that highly wise one, by taking hold of his feet. And after having again and again gone round Bharadwāja, the graceful Bharata went to Ayodhyā accompaniad by his counsellors. And returning by means of cars and carts, horses and elephants, that army marching in the wake of Bharata, spread wide. And after having crossed the beautiful river Yamunā flowing in waves, they again beheld the river Gangā of auspicious waters. And having along with his friend crossed over that river filled with beautiful waters, Bharata together with his army entered the charming city of Sringava. And from the city of Sringava he went to Ayodhyā and again beheld it. And seeing Ayodhyā bereft of his father and mother, Bharata burning in grief, said unto the charioteer, “O charioteer, behold that Ayodhyā, which shorn of its splendour and decorations, and plunged in grief, forlorn and silent, doth not appear delightful.”


Arriving by means of a car emitting a low and solemn sound, that lord, the highly famous Bharata speedily entered Ayodhyā, ranged by cats and owls, with the doors of the people’s dwellings remaining closed; like a night enveloped in darkness; gloomy; and invisible; resembling the beloved wife of Rāhu’s enemy, Rohini, brilliant with the lustre of the latter, when she is forlorn in consequence of her lover being afflicted by that planet; like unto a mountain stream shrunk up, having its waters turbid and slightly heated, and its fowls burning in the heat; and with its fishes, alligators and other aquatic animals rendered lean; resembling a flame of fire devoid of smoke and streaming up in golden splendour, next sprinkled with clarified butter, and lastly appearing with its crest extinguished; with armour scattered all round, and sick elephants and horses and cars and standards,—and heroes lying dead,—in distress; like unto an army in a mighty encounter; resembling the silent ripples of the ocean raised by the gentle breeze, which ere now (in the shapes of surges) were heaving, brimming over with foam and sending forth roars; like a silent dais after the sacrifice is over, without the sacrificial appurtenances, without worthy priests; like unto the wife of a youthful ox, exercised with anxiety on having been forsaken by her favorite ox, staying in distress in a pen, abstaining from fresh grass; like unto a string of new pearls divorced from noble, mild-gleaming rubies and other excellent gems; like a star on the expiration of its virtue, moving from its’ place, and dislodged from heaven, dropping to the earth with its brightness contracted; like a blossoming creeper at the end of spring with maddened Bhramaras194 suddenly rendered nerveless in consequence of being caught by a forest fire; with her merchants plunged in grief, and her shops and stalls closed; like the welkin covered with clouds, and having its moon and stars hid; like an unclean, uncovered spot used for drinking, with all the wine drained, and scattered with broken bowls, and with the tipplers lying dead; like unto a reservoir with its terrace riven, filled with broken pots, and lying with its pillars crushed; like a long strong bow-string fixed on a bow furnished with nooses, falling off the bow to the ground, being snapped in consequence of the pressure of the arrow; like a mare, suddenly urged on by a rider skilled in battle, lying (on the ground), having been slain by the hostile forces.

That son of Daçarātha, the beauteous Bharata, while proceeding on his car, addressed the charioteer as he drove that best of cars, saying, “Why do I not hear as formerly the solemn sounds of song and instrumental music spreading on all sides in Ayodhyā? And there doth not breathe around the aroma of liquor, or the perfume of garlands, or the incense of aguru and sandal. And on Rāma being banished, in this city is not heard the mild neighing of steeds, the rattle of vehicles, the roar of mad elephants, or the mighty clatter of arms. And on Rāma having repaired to the forest, youthful folk stricken with sorrow do not enjoy the incense of aguru and sandal, or costly fresh chaplets. And persons bearing variegated garlands do not walk abroad; and no festivities are celebrated in the city stricken with grief on account of Rāma. Surely, the grace of the city hath gone away with my brother. Surely, that Ayodhyā doth not look beautiful like an autumnal night with showers pouring down. When shall my brother, coming hither like a carnival, gladden all hearts in Ayodhyā like rain in summer? And the highways shall be graced with young people elegantly attired and bearing themselves bravely in Ayodhyā.” Having said this in grief, Bharata in company with the charioteer entered Ayodhyā and immediately went to the residence of his father, bereft of that foremost of men, like a cavern bereft of its lion. Seeing the inner apartment shorn of its splendour, like a day deprived of the sun, mourned by the deities, and everywhere unclean, the self-possessed Bharata, mowed by grief, began to drop tears.


Having placed his mothers in Ayodhyā, Bharata steady in his vow, kindling in grief, said unto his preceptors, “I shall go to Nandigrāma, and therefore greet you all. There I shall suffer all this grief on account of Rāma’s absence. The king hath gone to heaven, and my superior is staying in the woods. I shall remain in expectation of Rāma, assuming the reins of government. Verily that illustrious one is the king.” Hearing this excellent speech of the high- souled Bharata, the counsellors as well as the priest Vasishtha said, “What, O Bharata, influenced by affection for thy brother thou sayst, is worthy of thee and is highly commendable. Who will not endorse what hath fallen from thee, ever engaged in serving thy friends, established in fraternal love, and who hast entered upon a noble course?” Having heard the words of the counsellors acceptable and welcome, Bharata said unto the charioteer, “Do thou yoke my car.” Then with a cheerful countenance having spoken to his mothers, that graceful one ascended the car in company with Satrughna. Having swiftly ascended the car, both Satrughna and Bharata, right glad at heart, set out, surrounded by counsellors and priests. And going ahead, all the preceptors headed by Vasishtha proceeded eastwards, in which direction lay Nandigrāma. And the forces, filled with elephants and horses and cars, although not called, set out on Bharata proceeding, as well as all the citizens. And ascending the car, the virtuous Bharata attached unto his brother, speedily went to Nandigrāma, holding the sandals (of Rāma) on his head. Then entering Nandigrāma in a short time, Bharata swiftly alighted from the car and addressed his preceptors, saying, “This monarchy hath been consigned unto me as a trust; and these gold-decked sandals shall carry on the work of government, protecting what the people have and securing unto them what they have not.” Then bowing unto the sandals which represented the trust, Bharata burning in grief addressed the entire body of the subjects, saying, “Do ye speedily hold the umbrella (over these sandals). These represent the dear feet of the exalted one. Through these sandals of my superior, will be established the regal morality (of the kingdom). This kingdom from love hath been conferred on me as a trust; therefore I shall govern it until Rāghava comes. Again speedily putting these sandals on Rāghava’s feet, I shall behold them with the sandals on. On Rāghava coming (back), I shall, my burden being cast upon him, making over the kingdom unto him, engage myself in serving my superior. And having rendered unto Rāghava the trust in the shape of these sandals, this kingdom, and Ayodhyā, I shall be washed from my sin.” Henceforth wearing bark and matted locks, and in the guise of an ascetic, the heroic Bharata dwelt in Nandigrāma along with his forces. Having consigned all rule unto the sandals, Bharata himself held the umbrella and the chowri furnished with hair. And the graceful Bharata, having installed the sandals of the noble one, always carried on the government in subordination to them.


On Bharata having returned, while Rāma was dwelling in the woods, he noticed affright among the ascetics, added to a desire to remove to another place. And those ascetics that were living happily in the asylum in Chitrakuta, relying upon Rāma (for their protection), he found to be wrought up with anxiety. And by means of signs by the eye and contractions of the brow, they, afflicted with fear, were, alluding to Rāma, slowly speaking to each other. Perceiving their anxiety, Rāma apprehensive of himself, with joined hands addressed the patriarchal ascetic, saying, “0 reverned one, do ye find me deviating from the path of former sovereigns, or acting contrary to their practice,— which hath perplexed (the minds of) these ascetics? Have the sages seen my younger (brother), the high-souled Lakshmana, do anything from inadvertance that is unworthy of him? Doth not Sitā engaged in serving you, having to serve me, now minister unto you as a woman should?” Thereat a certain aged and decrepit ascetic, with his frame trembling, said upto Rāma ever kind towards creatures, “Where is the falling-off of that one of excellent character, engaged in offices of beneficence,—more specially with reference to ascetics? This fear arising from Rākshasas afflicts the ascetics because of thee and they, extremely agitated, converse with each other (on the subject). A Rākshasa named Khara, a younger brother of Rāvana, hath been harassing the ascetics dwelling in Janasthāna. And Dhrishta also a fearless and wicked Rākshasa feeding on human beings,—and the unrighteous Avalipta, cannot bear thee, my child. As long, my child, as thou hast been residing in this asylum, the Rākshasas have been plaguing the ascetics. And they show themselves sometimes in disgusting shapes, sometimes in horrible and dreadful ones,—in various frightful forms capable of frightening folks. And they throw execrable and unclean things among the anchorets, and torment those that happen to come before them. And they take delight in approaching asylums unperceived, and slaughtering ascetics, after having bound them by means of their arms. And on the occasion of sacrifices, they throw away the vessels containing sacrificial articles, pour water on the sacrificial fire and break vessels containing water. Eager to renounce this asylum infested by those wicked ones, and removing to another place, the sages today have been exhorting me (on the subject). And, O Rāma, ere this, those wicked ones have slain ascetics. Therefore we would renounce this asylum. Not far from here is a picturesque wood abounding in fruits and roots. Thither shall I betake myself together with my own folks. Khara shall also annoy thee. If thou think it proper, go hence in company with us. O Rāghava, although thou art vigilant, able, and in all ways capable, it would be unpleasant for thee to dwell here now in doubt.”

When the anxious ascetic had said this, Rāma could not console him by his words. Then having paid homage unto Rāma, and spoken to him and encouraged Rāghava, the patriach ascetic renouncing the asylum, went away along with his own people. And Rāma having (for a time) followed the sage who was departing from that place, and having paid him respects, being permitted by them, well-pleased, and advised (as to what it behoved him to do), came to his quarters reposing there. (Thenceforth) Rāghava never for a moment left that asylum forsaken by the sages.—Rāghava having such qualities in his character as were likely to stand the sages in stead, the ascetics (that remained behind) ever followed Rāghava.


“When the ascetics had gone away, Rāghava reflected (as to his stay at that place); and from diverse reasons, he did not relish remaining there any further. “Here have I seen Bharata and my mother in company with the citizens. Overwhelmed with grief on my account, they ever recur to my memory. And in consequence of the troops of that high- souled one having quartered here as well as the dung discharged by his elephants and horses, this place has got exceedingly dirty. Therefore will I go to another quarter.” Having settled this in his mind, Rāghava departed along with Videha’s daughter and Lakshmana. And having arrived at Atri’s asylum, that renowned one paid obeisance (unto the sage); and the reverend Atri also on his part received Rāma as a son. And having personally given Rāma respectful reception and entertainment, the ascetic regarded the exalted Lakshmana and Sitā with a gracious eye. And his aged wife having come there, Atri greeted her; and after she had been paid homage, the sage cognizant of virtue ever engaged in the good of all creatures, gladdened her (by presenting Sitā unto her.) And that best of sages said unto the pious fetnale ascetic, Anasuyā, engaged in offices of virtue, “Do thou accept Videha’s daughter.” And Atri related unto Rāma matters connected with the female ascetic, engaged in offices of virtue, “The people were ceaselessly burning in consequence of a drouth extending over ten years. O sinless one, that one resembling thy mother is this, by whom furnished with rigid asceticsim and adorned with voluntary penances, were created fruits and roots and the Jāhnavi was made to flow through the asylum; by whom were performed mighty austerities for ten thousand years,—in virtue of whose penances, disturbances to the asceticism of the sages ceased,— by whom ten nights were brought within the compass of a single one. Let Vaidehi always resort to this aged ascetic devoid of anger, who is worthy of being bowed down to by all creatures.” When the saint had spoken thus, Rāghava saying, “So be it,” turned his eyes to Sitā, and thus spoke unto that one knowing morality, “O princess, thou hast heard what hath been uttered by the ascetic. For the sake of thy own welfare, do thou speedily resort to the female anchoret. Do thou without delay resort unto the ascetic Anasuyā, who is worthy of being associated with, and who hath by virtue of her acts attained renown among men.” Hearing these words of Rāghava, Mithila’s daughter, the illustrious Sitā, drew near the righteous wife of Atri. Thereupon Sitā, announcing her name, saluted the pious and chaste Anasuyā, old, with slackened joints, with folds all over her skin, and her hair hoary from age, whose frame shook perpetually, like a plantain-leaf in the wind. Having paid homage unto that ascetic with her senses subdued, Vaidehi glad at heart, with joined hands, enquired after her welfare. Seeing the virtuous Sitā engaged in righteous acts, the old lady consoling her, said “By luck it is that thou regardest righteousness. O Sitā, having left thy kindred, and banishing pride, thou hast, O honored lady, followed Rāma staying in the woods. They that love their husbands, whether living in the city or the forest, whether well or ill disposed towards them, attain great state. Wicked, or libidinous, or indigent, a husband is a supreme deity unto a wife of noble character. Than the husband a greater friend find I none, O Vaidehi, who is worthy of being served both in this world and the next, and who is like imperishable asceticism. But bad women whose hearts hunger after carnality, and who lord over their husbands, do not get acquainted with the virtues and demerits (of their husbands); and range at their will. Mithila’s daughter, surely women of this sort who are given to doing evil acts, reap infamy and fall off from righteousness. But worthy women like thee furnished with excellences, see a superior and better world, and range the celestial regions, like pious people. Therefore following this one, and adopting the course of chaste women, do thou prove the associate in virtue of thy husband,—and then shalt thou attain both fame and religious merit.”


Thus addressed by Anasuyā, Vaidehi devoid of malice, honoring her words, began, “That thou shouldst instruct me is no wonder in thee. I know that a woman’s spiritual guide is her husband. Even if a husband should be poor and of a disreputable character, he should be ungrudgingly obeyed by the like of me. And to be said of one that is crowned with qualities, kind, self-controlled, of steady affection, righteous-souled, and who is dear as a father or a mother? The exceedingly strong Rāma beareth himself towards the other wives of the monarch as he doth towards Kauçalyā herself. Renouncing sense of self-importance, that heroic one conversant with righteousness, devoted to his king, regardeth as his mothers those on whom the monarch once cast his eyes. What my mother-in-law instructed me at the time that I was leaving for the lonely and fearful forest, is constantly present in my mind. And what also my mother taught me in presence of fire on the occasion of the bestowal of my hand, is also remembered by me. And, O thou engaged in acts of righteousness, I have not forgotten the words that my relatives said unto me, viz, the asceticism of a woman is ministering unto her husband. They did not teach any thing else. Having served her lord, Sāvitri is highly honored in heaven; and thou also, following the same course, by virtue of having served thy husband, hath secured heaven. And this foremost of females, this goddess of heaven, Rohini, is not seen for a moment without the moon. And prime women of this sort, firm in their husbands, are highly respected in the celestial regions by virtue of their pious acts.” Hearing Sitā’s words, Anasuyā, exceedingly delighted, smelling her head, spoke thus, pleasing Maithili, “By observing restrictions, I have earned great asceticism. By resorting to that energy, I would, O Sitā, confer a boon upon thee, O thou of pure vows. O Maithili, thy words are just and proper. I am well pleased (with thee). Tell me, O Sitā, what good shall I do thee?” Hearing her words, Sitā, surprized, said with a smile, unto that lady equipped with ascetic strength, “All this hath been done by thee.” Thus accosted, that one cognizant of virtue, was still more pleased, and said, “I am exceedingly pleased (with thy words). I will attain a desire of mine. This noble and grand garland, this apparel, these ornaments, and this precious paste for adorning the person, presented by me— let these, O Sitā, grace thy person. These, worthy of thee will never be tarnished. O daughter of Janaka, daubing thy person with this excellent paint, thou wilt grace thy husband even as Sree doth the undeteriorating Vishnu.” Thereupon Mithilā’s daughter accepted those things presented unto her out of love, viz., the apparel, the paint, the ornaments and the garland. Having accepted those presents conferred on her from love, that illustrious one, Sitā, quietly sat beside the female ascetic with joined hands. Then as Sitā was sitting, Anasuyā firm in vow asked her concerning a thing that was near her heart, saying, “I have heard, O Sitā, that thou wert won by the renowned Rāghava on the occasion of a self-choice. O Maithili, that story I should like to hear, related at length. It therefore behoves thee to relate that unto me in detail.” Thus addressed, Sitā, saying unto the ascetic engaged in pious acts, “Listen!” began to tell the story. “Mithilā’s lord, the heroic Janaka, justly ruleth the earth, engaged in observing the duties of Kshatriyas. As he was ploughing a plain intended for a sacrifice, I rose from under the earth; and (in this sense) I am the daughter of that king. Tending me, with my body covered with dust, Janaka, engaged in throwing handfuls of dust (to level hollow spots), was struck with amazement. Being childless, he took me on his lap from affection, and saying—‘This is my daughter’, conceived affection for me. Then there were uttered words in the welkin, resembling those of a human being,—‘O king, in all righteousness, this is thy daughter.’ Then well-pleased, my righteous father,the king, lord of Mithilā, receiving me, attained mighty good fortune. Consigned unto the pious eldest noble one (queen), desirous of having offspring, I was brought up by that mild lady, with the tenderness of a mother. (In time) seeing me fit for the company of a husband, my father in distress was plunged in thought, like a poor man that hath lost his wealth. Even if the father of a girl be like unto Sakra himself on earth, he reapeth odium at the hands of his equals and inferiors. Perceiving this obloquy at a short distance, the king was plunged in a sea of anxiety, but could not cross it, like one that hath no raft. Knowing me as unborn from any female vessel, the lord of earth reflecting upon it, could not come upon a suitable and fit husband for me. Then as he reflected, this thought occurred to him ‘I will righteously celebrate the self-choice of my daughters’. In the great sacrifice of Daksha, the high-souled Varuna had well-pleased conferred on Devarāta an excellent bow with inexhaustible arrows and a couple of quivers. Incapable of being moved on account of its weight, the kings could not even dream of bending the bow. Having obtained the bow, my truthful father said, ‘No fear!’ inviting at the same time the kings to an assembly of sovereigns. ‘He that, raising the bow, shall string it, shall doubtless receive my daughter for his wife.’ Seeing that best of bows in weight resembling a hill, the kings saluting it, go away, unable to move it. And it came to pass that after a long time, this highly effulgent Rāghava came to witness the sacrifice in company with Viçwāmitra. And Rāma having truth for his prowess, and the righteous Viçwāmitra were respectfully received by my sire. Then Viçwāmitra said unto my father, ‘The descendants of Raghu, sons of Daçarātha, Rāma and Lakshmana, are anxious to behold the bow.’ Thus accosted by the Vipra, my father brought the bow, and showed that celestial bow unto the princes. Thereupon, in the twinkling of an eye, bending it, the powerful (Rāghava) stringed the bow and drew it. And is he drew it vehemently, it broke in the middle in twain. And the sound of it was dreadful like unto the bursting of a thunder-bolt. Then raising an excellent vessel of water, my truthful father prepared to bestow me on Rāghava. And bestowed on Rāghava, I was accepted of him, after he had consulted the wish of his father, that lord, the master of Ayodhyā. And inviting my father-in-law, the old king Daçarātha, my father bestowed me on Rāma, having a knowledge of self. And my father bestowed on Lakshmana for his wife, my younger sister, the beauteous and chaste Urmilā. Thus was I bestowed on Rāma on the occasion of that self-choice. And ever since I have been devoted unto my husband, the foremost of those possessing prowess.”


Having heard this grand story, Anasuyā cognizant of righteousness, smelling the head of Mithilā’s daughter, embraced Sitā with her arms. “I have heard all that thou, describing the self-choice, hast spoken sweetly and beautifully in articulated letters and feet. O sweet-speeched one, I have been delighted with thy narration. But ushering in the auspicious night, the graceful Sun hath set. And there are heard the notes of feathered ones, which, after having gone about in search of food are resting now for the purpose of sleeping. And these ascetics having bathed, are wending their way in a body, carrying water-pitchers, their barks drenched with water. And the smoke arising from the fire-sacrifice duly performed by the ascetics,—reddish like the hue of the pigeon’s neck, is seen, wafted by the wind. And trees of spare foliage appear dense (on all sides); and distance is no longer perceptible. And animals ranging in the night are going about all round; and those deer of the asylum are reposing on the daises. O Sitā, the night crested by the stars hath arrived; and, veiled in moonlight, appeareth the moon in the heavens. Go thou; I permit thee. Do thou seek the society of Rāma. I have been pleased with thy sweet converse. And, O daughter of Mithilā, do thou deck thyself before me. Do thou thus please me, my child, thou that lookest beautiful with excellent ornaments.” Thereat, having adorned herself, Sitā, resembling the daughter of a celestial, bowing down to the feet (of the female ascetic), directed her steps towards Rāma. And that best of speakers, Rāghava, saw Sitā, decked with the ornaments affectionately presented by the ascetic; and he rejoiced thereat. Then Mithilā’s daughter, Sitā, related unto Rāma all about her having been affectionately presented by the ascetic with attire, ornaments and the garland. Thereupon, witnessing the honor that had been accorded unto Maithili,— rare among men, Rāma became well pleased,—as also that mighty car-warrior, Lakshmana. Then Raghu’s son, ministered unto by the ascetic, happily spent the delightful night there, with her face resembling the moon. On the night having passed away, those foremost of men, after performing their ablutions, enquired of the ascetics performing fire-sacrifices, who lived in the forest. Thereat the righteous ascetics ranging the forest said that all the sides of the forest were infested by Rākshasas. “Ferocious beasts feasting on blood, and Rākshasas, O Rāghava, living on human beings,—wearing various shapes, abide in this mighty forest. These eat up ascetics leading the Brahmācharya mode of life, who happen to be unclean or heedless. Do thou, therefore, O Rāghava, let them. This is the path of the Maharshis, who procure fruits in the forest. By this way thou wilt be able to enter the impracticable wild, O Rāghava.” Thus addressed by the ascetic twice-born ones, and having been blessed by them, that repressor of foes, Rāghava, entered the forest in company with his wife and Lakshmana, like the sun entering a mass of clouds.

End of Ayodhyākandam.

[101] The adjectival epithet is nityasatrughnah. In rendering it I follow the commentator, who is presumably learned in the peculiar associations of the literature. But the literal meaning may do as well: ever vanquishing his foes—T.

[102] Lit. with the fondness shown to a son.—T.

[103] Brahmā.—T.

[104] He who alone vanquishes an innumerable host of warriors is called an Atiratha.—T

[105] Vishnu.—T

[106] The Sanskrit abhishikta literally means sprinkled. But such a rendering would sound outlandish.—T.

[107] There is an alliterative beauty here in the original Lakshmivān Lakshmanagraja; which of course is impossible to be retained in the translation.—T.

[108] This is Mill’s principle of free and equal discussion so lucidly upheld in his Liberty. The meaning in the text is obscurely expressed. The thought of the disspassionate is different from that of the passionate; and truth comes out from the friction of the two opposite forces.—T.

[109] Consists of Murā Valerian and such like drugs.—T.

[110] A religious rite, preparatory to any important ceremony, in which the Brāhmanas strew boiled rice on the ground, and invoke the blessings of the gods on the rites about to commence.—T.

[111] The religious fig.—T.

[112] Sacrifice, study, son, gift, enjoyment are the five means of clearing the debts one owes to the celestials, the saints the pitris, the vipras and self.—T.

[113] The celebrated hymn to the sun, the most sacred thing in all the Vedas.—T.

[114] Historically Rāma had but one wife. Mantharā here anticipated that Rāma would marry many wives like his father after the installation.—T.

[115] The story goes that desirous of testing the charity of Saivya, Indra and Agni assuming the forms of a hawk and a pigeon respectively, went to the king, the former pursuing the latter. The pigeon in a fright asked the protection of the monarch, whereon he granted it. But the hawk urged, ‘why dost thou retain the food that has been appointed by Providence?’ But the king declined, and cut off his own flesh and gave it unto the hawk.— T.

[116] This is a new coinage rendered necessary for the exegencies of translation. If ‘first-born’ is justifiable, ‘own-begotten,’ is also such.— T.

[117] The epithet Kritajnena may as well be rendered into general terms; such as ‘who acknowledges services rendered onto him.’ Here in translation I have followed the commentator who has restricted it to the special sense suitable to the occasion.— T.

[118] Here the commentators differ in fixing the age of Rāma at the time of his going to the forest. Rāma’s age was under sixteen at the time of marriage, and after he was married to Sica he enjoyed her company for twelve years, when the proposal of installation was made. This makes totally an age of twenty-seven. In the text ‘dasa saptacha’ (ten and seven) ten years fall short which are to be made up by taking into account the age of ten being left out, preceding Rāma’s entering into the second birth which begins at maunji-bandhana or initiation into the mysteries of the Vedic literature. Following the example of Bhashyakara Patanjali, the commentator, Rāmanuju has in the sentence ‘dasa saptacha’ supplied another (dasa) (ten) by means of ellipsis, thus giving an age of twenty-seven. This, however, contradicts the statement of Sitā to Rāvana in guise of an anchorite, informing him of the age of her husband being twenty-five. A modern annotator with great ingenuity has devised ways to make up this discrepancy. The age of Rāma was under sixteen, when Visvamitra asked his assistance in destroying Tārakā. ‘Under sixteen’ may mean fifteen or twelve as well. After marriage at twelve, Rāma enjoyed twelve years more the pleasure of home. This giving in total twenty-four, it is to be supposed that when he was exiled he stepped at twenty-five. The text ‘dasa saptacha’ is correct, considering the age of eight being left out preceding his second birth at the initiation into the mysteries of the Veda.

[119] The text has been here a little freely translated to make it compatible with the legend to which it refers. The ocean, thus goes the story, caused the grief of his mother. Upon which, Maharshi Pippyalada, through magical power, subjected him to agony of hell. This agony the mother of Rāma relates as the same that follows the sin of Brahminicide.

[120] Formerly the mind was for accepting the kingdom, and now for going to the forest as an exile. These are the two extremes here meant.—T.

[121] An inferior deity or demigod.—T.

[122] Deities of a particular class in which ten are enumerated; their names are Vasu, Satya, and so forth.—T.

[123] A deity personifying wind.—T.

[124] The sun.—T.

[125] The moon.—T.

[126] A class of manes or deified progenitors.—T.

[127] Those deities who protect the regions, vis., the son, moon, fire, wind, Indra, Yuma, Varuna, Kuvera.—T.

[128] The Vedas severally or collectively.—T.

[129] The body of laws as delivered by Manu or others.—T.

[130] The Garhyastabali or the daily offering of the householder, meant here, may be thus explained. After the performance of oblation unto the fire, the householder should present offerings to the lords of the four cardinal points.—Indra, Yama, Varuna, Soma and to their retinue. The offering for the Marutas should be placed on the threshold; for the presiding deities of the water in water; for the lords of the forest unto the wooden pestle arid mortar; for Sri and Bhadrakali on the grounds adjacent to the beddings on the side of the head and that of the feet respectively; for Brahmānspati and Vastupati on the site of the habitation; for Visvadeva and for day and night thrown in the air of the house, for Sarvatmabhuta scattered on the terrace. After offering to all these what remains should be thrown on the south for the manes. The offerings to the dogs, the fallen, the dregs of the people, the lepers, the crows and the worms and the insects should be placed on uncovered ground.

[131] It was generally believed that by certain processes of Yoga one acquired power to fly in the air.—T.

[132] A fabulous animal supposed to have eight legs and to inhabit particularly the snowy mountains.— T.

[133] A kind of deer, or rather the Bos Gruriniens erroneously classed by the Hindu writers amongst the deer.—T.

[134] A young deer.— T.

[135] Another reading is,—Beholding Rāma without his umbrella and walking afoot.— T.

[136] Another reading is,—The boon that you had well-pleased conferred.—T.

[137] Another reading,—Nor Mithilā’s daughter.—T.

[138] Another reading is,—Nor any of these worlds.—T.

[139] Some texts—Living.—T.

[140] The North West Provinces text omits the lines inclosed within brackets.

[141] Musical instruments.

[142] Lit, fair-feathered, a name of Garura.—r.

[143] Another text reads vinisvasantan, joining it to narendram—foremopst of men.—T.

[144] Three consecutive showers, favourable to the crops.—T.

[145] Another reading is; What becomes of the virtue that we expect at thy hands?— T.

[146] The meaning is,—Trees will please Rāghava by spreading for him a bed of leaves and flowers.—T.

[147] The N. W. P. text has an additional couplet:—How will that exalted lady, Janaka’s daughter, ever engaged in enjoyment, bear misery?—T.

[148] The N. W. P. text has an additional line:—And of the reprehensible Kaikeyi intent upon cruel deeds.—T.

[149] Varieties of deer.— T.

[150] When an eminent guest came to a person’s house, he offered madhuparka, with a bull which was killed for his entertainment.—T.

[151] The N. W. P. text reads:—“And in that romantic forest abounding in various kinds of beasts and birds, with trees bearing a profusion of variegated flowers, and resounding with the roars of beasts and serpents, those ones and, who had conquered their senses, began to live happily.”— T.

[152] Another reading is:—“And having with garlands made of wild flowers, fruits, roots, meat cooked according to the ordinance, water, Japa as prescribed by the Veda, grass, and faggot, worshipped the spirits, those descendants of Raghu, the auspicious Rāma and Lakshmana, in company with Sitā entered the graceful mansion.”— T.

[153] Some read Eladhāni.—T.

[154] Some read Apharaparyatā.

[155] The river, according to some, is so named because it transforms the surrounding objects to stone.—T.

[156] Some make agneya an epithet to Salyakarshana, meaning, relating to the south-east.—T.

[157] According to Tirtha. Silāvahā is a stream having Agneya on one side and Salyakarshana on the other.—T.

[158] Lit., mighty mountains.—T.

[159] Uttaram, lit. north. Some texts read uttaran. It would mean countries lying to the north of Virāmatsya.—T.

[160] Some texts read muhus—momentarily.

[161] Some texts read atula in place of amala,—incomparable.

[162] The commentator renders amognani, inauspicious. I venture to differ from him.—T.

[163] Vaijayantena. Another meaning is, By the gate resembling that of Indra’s palace.—T.

[164] The text is evidently corrupt. From the sequel it appears that Bharata had not seen the king at that time. The commentator, however, passes over the point in silence, which is to be accounted for by the slovenliness of the way of thought characterizing the Sanskrit commentators in general. An English commentator would have considered the matter as of very great importance, but his Hindu brother takes it quietly, and passes on with indifference.—T.

[165] Another interpretation is;—Whose virtue is their sole protector.—T.

[166] Angapratyangaja: lit., born from the limbs principal and minor. The commentator recounts the face, the breast, the abdomen, the hands and the feet as constituting the former; and eyes, fingers, &c., as the latter.

[167] Names of instruments.

[168] The Smriti lays down twelve days of mourning for kings, and sixteen for Ksbatriyas. Parasara, however, fixes ten days for Kshatriyas in general.—T.

[169] Hunger and thirst, ignorance and grief, sickness and death.

[170] One of the counsellors.—T.

[171] Nāga may also mean hypopotamus.—T.

[172] Meaning herself.—T.

[173] I.e. as thou hast done.—T.

[174] A preparation of butter-milk.

[175] Symplocos racemosa.—T.

[176] 1 Minister. 2 Priest. 3 Heir-apparent. 4 General. 5 Warder. 6 Gatekeeper of the inner-apartment. 7 Jailor. 8 Treasurer. 9 Conveyer of the royal orders. 10 Pleaders. 11 Judges. 12 Members of the council. 13 Distributer of pay and provision to the army. 14 Journeymen. 15 Justice of the peace. 16 Protector of the frontiers of the kingdom. 17 Magistrate. 18 Guards of rivers, hills, forests, and fortresses.

[177] Hunting, gambling, sleeping in the day, calumny, addiction to women, wine, dancing, singing, playing, and roving without purpose.— T.

[178] Five kinds of fortresses.—T.

[179] Four kinds of means adopted for the governing and maintaining of a kingdom.—T.

[180] Seven pillars of a kingdom including the sovereign, counsellors &c.— T.

[181] Eight kinds of manifestation of anger.—T.

[182] Interest, desire and virtue.—T.

[183] The Vedas; agriculture and commerce āc. Politics.—T.

[184] Peace, war. Marching, halting, sowing dissensions, seeking protection.—T.

[185] Twenty classes of men with whom peace should not be contracted.— T.

[186] These five are called Prakritis,—minister, treasure, territory, fortress, chastisement.—T.

[187] Twelve classes of kings, who are ready to enter into a treaty, declare war or continue in a state of indifference.—T.

[188] A fivefold marching out for war.

[189] The import of the image.— T.

[190] The N. W. P. text has seven additional lines here, wanting in the other texts:—“That lord of the earth, our father Daçarātha, hath gone to heaven. On account of having adequately maintained his servants and governed his subjects, and virtuously given away wealth, our sire hath gone to heaven. And by virtue of supremely excellent and desirable acts, and sacrifices accompanied with dakshinas, that master of this world, our father Daçarātha, hath ascended heaven. And having celebrated many sacrifices and enjoyed luxuries, that lord of the earth, having attained a goodly age, hath gone to heaven.”— T.

[191] The lunar days and months for propitiating the manes.

[192] Parākramam—The commentator says that the word means, Chandrāyana and other rites.—T.

[193] Murdhābhisikta—Murdhā, the head; Abhisikta, sprinkled; kings being consecrated by having poured on their heads, while seated on a throne, prepared for the purpose, water from some sacred stream, mixed with honey, clarified butter, and spirituous liquor, as well as two sorts of grass and sprouts of corn; the term applies to the Kshetriya as identified with the king, the duties of royalty belonging specially to the military caste.

[194] Black bees.

About the Author

Manmatha Nath Dutt was a Bengali writer, scholar of Sanskrit and Pali, served as rector in educational institutions (Keshab Academy and Serampore College), and is described as India’s most prolific translator of Hindu epics and scriptures. Later known as Manmatha Nath Shastri after getting that degree.

[Excerpt from Wikisource (, retrieved August 24th, 2020]

One cannot ignore the massive contribution of Manamathanatha Datta who translated virtually every important Indian epic between the late-19th and early-20th century.

Little is available in the public domain of Datta’s life story. Most of his works describe him as a Rector at the Keshab Academy in Kolkata for several years. In a review of Professor P Lal’s verse by verse translation of Mahabharat, Datta is also described as having been a Rector at the Serampore College between 1895 and 1905. The closest thing to a biography of Datta can be found on a German language website on the Ramayana. The website describes his educational background as an MA and MRAS while going on to speculate on what was likely a marathon few decades of effort spent on translations.

[Excerpt from Narkive Newsgroup Archive (, retrieved August 24th, 2020]

About this Edition

This edition is based on the original 1891 publication by Deva Press, Calcutta. All works by the author are in the public domain.