The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes narration of the ramayana of a former kalpa which is chapter 116 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the one hundred sixteenth chapter of the Patala-Khanda (Section On The Nether World) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 116 - Narration of the Rāmāyaṇa of a Former Kalpa

Sūta said:

1-4. Rāma said to the sage: “Perform the rite of the (evening) prayer; this sun is setting; this flock of birds is going to the nests.” Having abandoned his conveyance, he himself, desiring to offer his prayers went to the northern direction. Songs were sung by (the gandharvas) Hāhā, Hūḥū. His glory was praised by the chief bards. Rāma went to the bank of Gautamī. His pair of feet was washed by Hanūmat (the son of Vāyu). His hand was supported by Jāmbavat. He reached the excellent river Gautamī. Holding kuśa (i.e. darbha) in both his hands that Rāma went to the excellent quarter of Varuṇa (i.e. the Western direction). Having made a respectful offering to the deity according to the proper rite, Rāma who was delighted, muttered (the hymn) in his mind (i.e. silently).

5-8. Rāma, after having solicited Varuṇa, saluted, in due order, Śambhu and Vasiṣṭha. Being blessed by them, he went to the deity (i.e. reflected upon the deity) in his mind, and after his feet were washed by Hanūmat, he offered oblations into the fires. Then, being praised by bards and panegyrists, he set out. The sky was, as it were, smeared with bright rays of the moon, and was, as it were, a canopy everywhere having the flowers of bright stars. Then he went to the palace. The king (i.e. Rāma) went to the assembly-hall fashioned by the old minister and having many seats. Then that Rāma, having made the sage sit, himself occupied the first seat. The groups of monkeys with large bodies were seated around him in (proper) order.

9-13. Seeing the king comfortably seated, that brāhmaṇa Śambhu then said proper words: “O best king, you, honoured by all, remain here. What is the thing in your heart i.e. what is your desire?” The descendant of Raghu, having heard the brāhmaṇa’s words, desired to hear a story. His clever words were just then heard by all. “I desire to hear a wonderful tale referring to me or telling about the destruction of the demons.” Then the king said this: “The murder of Kumbhakarṇa took place first and Rāvaṇa was killed afterwards. Who is this best brāhmaṇa who, causing ungodliness (to spread) among all the people, narrates it in a different way after having gone to the king’s place? Should he be punished or honoured by me?” Then Jāmbavat spoke to this best of the Raghus about the story. “This is not your Rāmāyaṇa (i.e. not your account as told by Vālmīki). This is recognised as prepared (by someone else). O lord, now I shall tell it in detail. Listen to it. It was formerly heard by me from the son of the lotus-born (Brahma).” Requesting Jāmbavat, Rāmacandra said (these) words:

Śrī Rāma said:

14-18. Narrate that tale of the past. I have curiosity to listen to it. Who propounded it and who knew it?

Then Jāmbavat spoke: Salutation to the Creator (i.e. Brahmā), so also salutation to (Śiva) having the moon as his ornament and to Viṣṇu. Now I shall narrate the ancient Rāmāyaṇa, by listening to which sin committed during the entire existence perishes. King Daśaratha who was equal to ten warriors fighting from chariots, who was full of great wrath, desired to conquer with his great army the city named Sumānasa. He called Vasiṣṭha, the son of the lotus-born (Brahmā), and saluted him. Permitted by the sage, he, mounting upon a horse having a body (white) like the moon, and saluting Viṣṇu, took out the expedition with an army of a hundred akṣauhiṇīs.

19-27. Sādhya (the king of that city), surrounded by his own army, faced Daśaratha to fight with him. The war between the two took place. Having fought for a month, Daśaratha seized that (king) Sādhya. Then, Sādhya’s son Bhūṣaṇa, having a few attendants, fought with Daśaratha. Daśaratha too, observing Sādhya’s son to be the ornament of world, did not desire to fight. (He thought:) ‘How (should) I kill one like this? When he is killed, what will be (the condition of) his father, his mother and dear wife of full-grown youth? On his body are, as it were, seen flowers, having the receptacles of lotuses with fresher petals, due to embraces, kisses and rollings. My son, similar to him in complexion and age, handsome like him, causing great delight, eaten up by a bear (and thus) dead, comes to my recollection (i.e. I remember him). He, as it were, desires to protect me. He changes my mind.’ Thus thinking in his mind, be commenced seizing the boy. That Sādhya also became subservient (to Daśaratha). He too, looking upon the depression due to the defeat as joy, lived happily with the boy.

28-33. Daśaratha also, living there for a month, and observing that pleasure which one gets from seeing the son, thought: ‘Oh! this seeing the face of this (boy) is capable of removing all sorrows. Nourishing a son is equal to my conquering of all countries. It just makes me who remember the separation from (i.e. death of) my son, unhappy. Therefore, I shall ask him how such a son is born.’ Thinking like this, he asked him. Sādhya also showed the entire path of salvation to the king (i.e. to Daśaratha): “(A man) should worship Viṣṇu and Śiva together. He should fast on all the Ekādaśī-days. He should propitiate brāhmaṇas on the Dvādaśī-days. Having justly procured the food, sauce, along with the seasonal fruits and flowers, he should bathe (the image of) Viṣṇu with cow’s milk and besmear it with the powder of kidney-beans. Then he should bathe (the image) with pleasing water, and besmear the entire body (of the image) of the deity with fragrant sandal rubbed by himself, and with excellent musk; then having worshipped (the image) with Tulasī-leaves, and jasmine flowers, karavīra-flowers, blue and other lotuses and red lotuses, with droṇa-flowers, with maruva, damana, girikarṇikā, and ketakī-leaves, as are available, he should propitiate the deity with (the hymn of) twelve syllables, with the Puruṣa-sūkta (hymn) or with the repetition of the deity’s name or with the sixteen requisite articles, should salute (the deity), and after dancing, should apologise to the deity. So also he should practise vows to please Viṣṇu.

34-40. The revered sage, being pleased, gives the desired son. So propitiate him.” Thus he spoke to Daśaratha. He too installed Sādhya there (i.e. on the throne), went to Ayodhyā, and did all like that. When the sacrifice to obtain a male issue was over, the image of the sacrifice having a conch, a disc and a mace in the hands, came up from the Āhavanīya[1] and said to the king: “Ask for a boon.” The king chose (four) sons; he said to (the deity): “Give me four sons who would be very pious, would have a long life, and help the world.” The king had four queens: Kauśalyā, Sumitrā, Surupā and Suveṣā. They said to the king: “O lord, let one son be born to each wife (of you).” Then Kauśalyā said: “If this god is pleased, let him be born of me.

The king said:

41. This Viṣṇu is solicited (to give that) which is desired by me: “O Viṣṇu, O lord of gods, O lord of Kamalā, O you holder of a conch, a disc, and a mace, O you fearful one, O you whose couple of feet is saluted by all like the regents of the quarters in the creation, O you eternal one, O Hari, be pleased. My repeated salutations to you.”

The lord, thus praised (by the king), said to the king.

Viṣṇu said:

42-45a. I shall be born as your son on Kauśalyā.

Then Viṣṇu entered the oblation of rice and barley boiled for presentation to the gods and manes. The king divided that oblation into four parts and distributed them among his wives. Then Rāma was born from Kauśalyā, Lakṣmaṇa from Sumitrā, Bharata from Surupā, and Śatrughna from Suveṣā; and a shower of flowers fell from the sky. The four-faced (Brahmā) himself came and performed the ceremonies like those performed at the birth of a child. He named Rāma as Rāma due to his being extremely pleasing in the three worlds; he named the second son Lakṣmaṇa for his being fit due to wealth and qualities like form and valour; (he named the third son) Bharata, since he protected the earth from burden; (he named the fourth one) Śatrughna, since he killed the enemies.

45b-46. Having named them thus Brahmā went home and the children grew. King Daśaratha having seen the boy Rāma who walked, who looked like the young moon, whose lips were like the bimba-fruits, whose nose was high and was like the sesamum-fiower, whose jewelled leaf(-like ornament) moved in front of his crest, from whose ears ear-rings were dangling, the necklace of big pearls on whose chest was dishevelled, whose golden bracelets were bright, whose jewelled bracelets and rings were tinkling, whose girdle was fashioned with gold and gems, whose feet looked charming due to the jingling anklets, whose middle toes were adorned with rings, whose large soles of the feet were adorned with the marks of a diamond-pin, a goad and a lotus, whose shanks were like quivers, whose thighs were like the trunks of elephants, whose hips were large, whose waist was slender, whose navel was round like an eddy and deep, whose chest was large like an emerald-rock, whose neck resembled a conch, whose face was like the orb of the moon, whose forehead was like the half (i.e. crescent) moon, whose hair was dark and curly, who was engaged in playing, who had become grey due to dust (particles), whose eyes were reddish like the petals of a fully blown red lotus, who was dusted as Śiva with the sacred ash, who was naked like Śiva, had his heart full ofjoy, and having embraced and kissed his son, he firmly clasped him against his chest.

47-49. Then the boy also got on his lap from one side, and with his eyes charmingly fixed on him said something. The king, looking at his son asking (for things) here and there and saying, ‘Father, I go; father, I sleep; father, I play’ and thus repeatedly deriving joy from his son, became happy. Then once, when the king had come (to the dining hall) to eat, Rāmacandra, with his mind attached to child-sports, and having many toys in his lotus-like hand, was jumping and running, and taking with his left hand the food from the golden plate, decked with gold, and lying before the king, threw it on the king. This too the king looked upon as pleasure (i.e. even this act of Rāma pleased the king). Rāmacandra did such and other (acts).

50-55. Once when Rāma was playing, a stormy wind knocked him down, and he fell down crying. In the meanwhile the ghost of a brāhmaṇa seized Rāma and he fainted. Then the boy, his companion, crying hither and thither, informed the king of Rāma in that condition. Then the king took Rāma and spoke to Vasiṣṭha. He asked him: “What is this (that has happened) to Rāma?” Then Vasiṣṭha took sacred ash, consecrated it, and got rid of that ghost of the brāhmaṇa. He asked him: “Who are you?” and he said: “I am a brāhmaṇa, proud of (my knowledge of) the Vedas. Having frequently snatched away the wealth of others, I became a Brahma-ghost. Think of my acquittance.”

Vasiṣṭha said:

56-57. From now onwards you will experience demonhood (i.e. will live like a demon), (go to hell,) and then (after having) a bath in Gaṅgā, and having offered a hundred bilva-leaves to Śiva, and then (again) having bathed, you will be free from sin. If you might do (acts of) religious merit like that I shall give you a (good) status, and after that enjoy an excellent position.

Hearing these words of Vasiṣṭha, that ghost of a brāhmaṇa, due to (the acts of) religious merit as advised by Vasiṣṭha, got a divine body, and having saluted (him), he went to heaven.

58-60. Having invested Rāma with the sacred thread at the proper time, Vasiṣṭha taught him the Vedas, the Vedāṅgas, both the Mīmāṃsās, and science of politics; he also taught him archery, the science of medicine, science of music[2] and dramaturgy, and of singing, the science of building houses, of omens[3], and various rules of war. Then Daśaratha who desired to get (Rāma) married, sent his messengers to the kings of various countries.

61-62. Then one messenger quickly came to the king, and said: “O king, the lord of the Vidarbha country is the king Videha by name. His daughter is Vaidehī whom he obtained from a sacrifice. She is like Lakṣmī in beauty; she is endowed with all (good) characteristics. She is proper for Rama. The king is ready to give her (in marriage) to Rama. So go (to that king) quickly.” Then he (i.e. Daśaratha) sent Vasiṣṭha and others. They went there, and having found out an auspicious moment, decided it; (then) they came to Ayodhyā and informed the king; and with Rāma, and with kings, they quicky (went) with many elephants, horses, carts, palanquins, swings.

63. Many ladies came there to celebrate the auspicious ceremony of marriage. They were very beautiful and were skilled in the acts of pleasures and amorous pastimes. They knew the various acts of gandharvas. They were adept in the science of love. Their breasts were soft and hard, and reached their necks. Their lotus-like faces had big and small foreheads and bimba-like lips. Their braids had curly and long hair. They had put on golden ornaments on their ears. Their teeth appeared reddish due to the japā flowers, adorned by the down rising due to the act of bathing. Their eyes were clear and tremulous like the small glittering fish. Their ears were like conches. Their noses were adorned with big pearls resembling the stars. Their cheeks were like mirrors. Their noses were like sesamum flowers. The nipples of their breasts were slightly bent in the middle. The wounds made by the teeth (of the lovers) on their lips resembled the indragopa insect (of red and white colour). Their bodies appeared even and tall. They were round in all parts. They were not very fat. The top knots of their garments were like balls. Their armpits were bent round. The armpits resembled the petals due to the down recently standing up and due their colour like that of turmeric. Their waists were soft, glossy and had fine circles. Their breasts looked charming on account of various jewelled necklaces dangling on the breasts with the neck ornament in between the two breasts, hard and large, and with the nipples slightly sunken in. Their bellies looked beautiful due to the uneven line of the short hair growing on the region round their deep navels, that had secured a foot round their breasts as a result of a series of the glances of the young. Their bellies were adorned with three folds, and their middle (part i.e. waist) could (just) be seized with the fist. Their hip-regions resembled the trunks of elephants. Their knees were soft, glossy, clean and even. The pairs of their thighs were like the plantain trees. Their shanks had the knees slightly sunken in, were round and without fleshy swelling. Their ankles were slightly sunken in. Their feet had fine, glossy short and long toes, and were challenging Cupid with the jingling of the anklets. They were walking like swans and elephants. The ends of their lower garments touched their right toes. Above the hem of the lower garment, they had made folds which they had held in both their hands; their necks were not covered with garments (but) the garments (i.e. the bodices) of the breasts were covered with the upper garments. Their slim bodies were adorned with the fringes oftheir garments (hanging) from their left shoulders to their right sides.

64. Young girls, with their slim bodies purified with lightning (-like) (bright) silken garments, with their breasts adorned with various necklaces (put on) the breasts resembling lotus-buds that had shot up, talking something, and walking quickly (yet) gently (also had come there).

65. Old ladies also had come there. Then in a little wood of mango-trees, at a distance of a krośa (two miles) from Videha, Daśaratha, along with his ministers and family priests, and along with his sons like the lovely Rāma, camped comfortably. The young ones of the deer in it listened to the cooing of the various birds in the extensive regions of many bushes; in it there were various birds in the regions adorned with high and low palaces fashioned with gold; the row of trees there were adorned with the meditation and worship of the hosts of sages who were covered with the garments of campaka-barks, whose bodies were dusted with sacred ash and who had matted hair; which had a lake, the ripples on which were disturbed, being overpowered by the burden of the breasts of many young wives of vidyādharas; in which young men were invited by the young maid-servants who had gathered on the banks of the lake; the entire region of which was made fragrant with the flowers of many colours, in which prostitutes, with a desire to enjoy, had their bodies shining with the unsteady brilliance of their eyes resembling the small glittering fish, and largely exhibited here and there.

66. The king of Videha also decorated the city of Mithilā with many banners, with various palaces, city-gates, gardens and temples; it was crowded with young ladies skilled in sporting with one another; the great supply of water of the city was embellished with sandal; its highways were adorned with people engaged in charming sports; its streets were decorated with various commodities; the places of learning everywhere were graced with the sound of (the recital of) the Vedas; in every house the study of Sāmaveda was done along with explanations of the Mīmāṃsā; where the orchards of the brāhmaṇas were having the fragrance of auspicious oblations and were full of the sacred texts like Sāmaveda recited with accents, and with each word being pronounced in its original form and independently of the phonetic changes and in due order; in which, at the entry of lordly abodes there were rewards like agaru (sandal), saffron and the abodes of the Adhvaryus; in which were ladies graced with bulblike left shoulders looking charming due to the middle region of the breasts that were glossy and round, and that were rubbing against each other, and due to the upper part of the soft, white garment worn round the hips; which was graced with thousands of florists, smiling gently with their teeth resembling many pearl-necklaces and lips (red) like japā flowers; in which were abodes where pleasing spirituous liquors could be had; it had beautiful arches everywhere; its paths were clean; at every place desire-yielding trees were planted; its gates were adorned with plantain trees.

67-72a. The king went out with ladies who carried auspicious articles like turmeric, dūrvā, sacred rice grains, collyrium for the hair, braids, head charming due to parting of the hair, beautiful ornaments for the nose, face, so also articles like ghee, guggalu (a fragrant gum resin) and fruits put in golden pots; and (he was) also (accompanied) by other persons who had adorned themselves. At that time, the auspicious sound of the musical instruments, the sounds of small and big drums and of conches etc. became audible. The singers also sang auspicious (songs). The brāhmaṇas well-versed in the Vedas filled the entire sky with the auspicious Vedic recitals, and the family preceptors filled it with the sound of drums. Then they, accepting one another after giving sacred rice grains (to one another) and being praised by bards and panegyrists, entered the city.

72b-87. Daśaratha entered the abode made in the western part of the city. The rest (of the people) also duly entered the abode. At that time only Nārada had come to Mithilā. King Videha worshipped the divine sage and looking to his reception, fed him, and giving tāmbūla with camphor to the sage who was comfortably seated, said to him with respect: “Tomorrow (is my daughter’s) marriage. Please stay on to get the marriage (-ceremony) performed.”

Nārada said:

Tomorrow the stars such as the solar stars would (only) be seen. The marriage should not be celebrated on that day.

Then the king, having called his astrologer Gārgya, asked him: “Which is the auspicious time for the marriage?” Gārgya said: “Tomorrow”. Then the king looking up at Nārada and Gārgya asked (i.e. said): “Oh, this is so.” Then Nārada spoke to Gārgya: “How can you give the auspicious moment?” Then Gārgya said, “Avoiding the inauspicious time, I shall give (i.e. state) the auspicious moment.” Then Nārada also said to Gārgya, “Do you not know the words of Brahmā?” Gārgya, who was pleased, quoted the faults: “Formerly Brahmā has observed that a meteor, the curse of a brāhmaṇa and causeless trembling lead to the destruction of the entire undertaking.

88-92. Except in the rites of thread ceremony and consecration, in all other (auspicious) rites like the installation (of images), marriages, a man should avoid inauspicious moments. One who performs the rites after (these are avoided) is not at a fault. Afterwards I shall tell about the defect in rites like marriages”. “A meteor would burn the entire family; a brāhmaṇa’s curse would destroy (it); the causeless tremor would lead to death and to the disturbance of the rite.” Having heard (these words) uttered by Nārada, the sage Gārgya became silent. He thought (to himself): ‘Avoiding the Sun, the lord of Planets, and inauspicious time, the marriage should be performed.’

Nārada said:

93. How are the words of the brāhmaṇa? (i.e. what does the brāhmaṇa say)?

The Sun said:

94-95. The arrangement is said to (be based) on the difference in regions. In this country the marriage must be celebrated by avoiding the inauspicious time.

Nārada also consented.

96-98. He said: “The kṣatriya-marriage will take place tomorrow afternoon. So let the kings come for the self-choice marriage. O king, send messengers (to the kings).” Then, having brought all the kings with Daśaratha’s consent, the king thought: ‘How should Vaidehī be given to Rāma, after condemning all (other) kings?’ At night, he though sleepy, did not get sleep.

99. At midnight the king, having purified himself mentally thought of Tryambaka who was with Ambā (i.e. Pārvatī), who had worn an auspicious silken garment, whose lotus-1ike feet were being served by all gods led by Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Indra, by the leading sages like Bhṛgu, by gandharvas led by Hāhā, by Tumburu (and others), so also by the sacred texts, the codes of Jaws, historical works and Purāṇas in bodily forms, so also by the hosts of divine mothers, by siddhas, vidyādharas, and by the attendants led by Nandin, who removed all inauspicious things, whose region of the head was being wait ed upon by Gaṅgā of holy water and by the spotless moon, to whom a tāmbūla was being offered by Girijā (i.e. Pārvatī) seated on his left lap, who took it with a smile, willingly and with a glance, who was (fair) like cow’s milk, whose neck was (having the colour) opposite to that of musk, who had arranged his matted hair with soft, fine, glossy, clotted hair, the regions of whose cheeks were graced with pure, golden ear-rings, whose age was twice eight (i.e. sixteen), whose region of the head was wrapped up with a skirt having the colour of large pearls like cow’s milk and of Kausumbha, whose chest was adorned with (ornaments) of gold decked with various jewels, whose body was graced with a very white sacred thread, whose body had become reddish and fragrant due to the saffron (from) Pārvatī’s body touching his body, who was observing and deriding Cupid’s arrow, who resembled a crore of Cupids.

100-102. He (i.e. the king) muttered the Śatarudriya (hymn); with that (hymn) only he offered desired oblations and praised (Śiva) with the Puruṣa-sūkta (hymn). Then the king saluted him and praised him.

The king said:

103. O you, having eight forms (constituted) by earth, water, sky (i.e. ether), air, fire, the sun, the moon (and) the sacrifices, O you of a universal form, O you of the form of the world, O you of the form of the three worlds, O you of the form of the Vedas and the Purāṇas, O you of the form of sacrifice, O you of the form of Nārāyaṇa, O you of the form of all deities, O you full of the three (Vedas), O you the authority on the three (Vedas), O you having eyes in the form of the three (Vedas), O you loving the Sāma (Veda), O you to whom the capital of Kubera is dear, O you who are (easily) accessible to your devotees, O you who are away from those who are not your devotees, O you who like praise, O you who like incense, O you who like a light (to be waved in front of your representation), O you who like ghee and milk, O you to whom droṇa and karavīra are dear, O you who like śrī-leaves, O you to whom lotuses and white lotuses are dear, O you who love Nandin’s curly hair, O you who love bakula, jasmine, kokanada, a watery place in summer, O you who like restraints and curbs, O you to whom one with one’s senses controlled is dear, O you who love muttering of a hymn, O you to whom śrāddha is dear, O you who love singing, O you to whom the Gāyatrī(-hymn) is dear, to whom the five, Brahmā (and others) are dear, O you to whom good conduct is dear, O you whose feet are worshipped by the three, viz. Indra, Brahmā, Viṣṇu, O you who manifested the disc sought for by Viṣṇu and produced from water, O you who give recollection and reasoning, O you who grant auspiciousness when remembered, O you victory on the earth, my repeated salutation to you.

Having heard this hymn of praise Lord Śiva said to the king: “I shall grant (you) a boon. Ask for one.”

The king said:

105-108. O lord, I desire to give my daughter (in marriage) to Rāma. If, in the gathering of all beings like many kings, demons, brāhmaṇas, someone of a superior strength and endowed with (birth in a noble) family, power and energy takes her away then my words would be falsified, and sin will come to me; (and) on the other hand, when Daśaratha capable of destroying the kṣatriyas comes to conquer all these, so also when Rāma (comes), then what will my daughter do? Whom will the king, with a big army and horses and elephants, send? What will he get done? What will he do to me? He may destroy all the three worlds. Moreover, for me of a small energy you alone are the refuge. Tell me the remedy so that it would be helpful to the marriage, and Rāma will be my son-in-law.

Śambhu also said: “I shall do like that. Rāma only will be the husband of Sītā. Today only I shall do auspicious things for Rāma. Take this Ājagava bow (of mine).”

The king said:

109. What is the use of this Ājagava bow? You yourself (should) take (i.e. marry) Sītā to Rāma.

Śaṅkara said:

110-113. Make this pledge: “This bow is not strung. I shall give Sītā (in marriage) to him who will string it.”

Speaking like this, Śiva vanished with his attendants. Even with a great effort the king could not take up the bow. Then calling Ujjvala, having the strength of a thousand elephants, he said to him: “Take (this bow).” He too, saluting his maternal uncle, having laughed loudly, having jumped, raised the bow with his two hands upto his knees. The maternal uncle (of Rāvaṇa), viz. Mārīca, alone put on the garb of a brāhmaṇa, and solicited (king) Videha: “Know me to be a guest who has come at the end of the offering to all deities.”

The king said:

114-117. Welcome to you. O brāhmaṇa, this is the seat. (Please) be seated on it.

The guest also, saying, ‘All right’ sat there. Then the king took water, washed his feet (with it) and after having worshipped him with sandal, flowers and sacred rice grains, and having offered him (the cooked meat of) a big goat, requested him to eat it. He too, as it were looking here and there, saw that food having six flavours and put in a golden plate.

118. At that time only Sītā came there. She had the splendour of lotus-filaments. She had put on a reddish garment. Her forehead was graced with hair which was dark and curly, which was unsteady, which attracted the minds of young men, which spilt up the sight of the seer, thereby as it were showing that ladies’ hearts are like this only. Her eyebrows were like Cupid’s bow. Her eyes were reddish like lotus-petals. Her nose was like the sesamum. Her reddish lips were close to her glossy, hairy cheeks, and resembled rubies. Her teeth were like (the seeds of) a pomegranate. Her lips were reddish like the japā flowers. Her chin was very beautiful. Her ears were like oyster-shells. Her neck was even and long. Her breasts were fleshy. The bud-like breasts were round and raised. She looked beautiful with many necklaces. Her figure was beautiful. Her creeper-like arms were not very fleshy. She was innocent. The tips of her fingers were moderate, even and were dyed with the alaktaka dye. She had put on various jewelled rings. She was holding a white lily. She came in front of Mārīca who was eating.

119-122. Seeing her, he thought: ‘How shall I kidnap her? How shall I embrace her? How shall I do something else?’ Thus (he thought). (But) not getting an opportunity, he just quietly went out. Then the gods strove to string the bow. They stood there competing with one another and disdaining one another. Indra reached that excellent bow. But he was not able to do more than (just) bending the two ends. Then the Sun took the bow, but fell down while bending it. Vāyu, the best among the mighty, seized the Ājagava bow and while lifting it with his own hand, fell down; and the bow fell on him. All laughed at that time.

123-128. In the meanwhile, demon Bāṇa having a thousand arms, surrounded by demons with many heads, and accompanied by Prahlāda came there after having mounted upon an excellent horse. Then, making the directions bright with his ornaments, making the gods void of glory by means of his glory, hearing many songs, he was able (to lift it to the height of) two fingers, and gave up. Prahlāda and Bali also ran, but they also stopped. When the demons became quiet, very powerful kings arrived there, were unable to string the bow, (so) went away (i.e. withdrew) and remained (there). Then brāhmaṇas came there. Then Viśvāmitra took the bow, and after stringing it upto the length of a finger, stopped. The others retired.

129-132. And then in the space of the day, when the bow was silent, Rāma came with his brothers, and observing the bow, touched it. Then princes, adorned with all ornaments, came in hundreds. They saw the bow, touched it, but were unable to move it. Then other boys, led by Daśaratha’s (other) sons arrived (there). Then men having canes and drums in their hands came there, and drove away all.

133. Then Rāma holding the hand of Lakṣmaṇa and adorned with all ornaments reached the bow, touched it, saluted it, went round it keeping it to his right. Then he took it, and lifted it.

134-138. When he took it, all laughed and said: “Here (i.e. in the attempt at lifting it) very mighty warriors have failed.” Then that Rāma, bent the place of the string of the bow, and putting his knee on the bow, strung it, raised it with one hand, and bent it at the tip. Seeing the bow strung (by (Rāma) all kept their fingers on the tips of their noses (i.e. were amazed). Rāma also made the twang of the bow. Due to that sound the minds of all were agitated. Everywhere there was the talk; “Rāma has strung the bow”.

139-141. Janaka too gave Sītā to Rāma. Having fought with the kings, and having vanquished them, he came to his own city. Then once Daśaratha consecrated Rāma as the heir-apparent, and became happy. There was a talk among all the subjects that Rāma was liked as a king due to his pleasing the subjects. Then, Suveṣā, the daughter of the king of Kaikeya, not enduring (that) Rāma (was to be) the king, said to the king (i.e. Daśaratha): “This is the time for granting my boons.” The king thought: ‘What should be given (to her)?’

The queen said:

142-144. Let Rāma enter (and live in) a forest for fourteen years. Let Bharata look after the kingdom.

Due to the fear of lying the king somehow accepted (her demand). Then he spoke to Vasiṣṭha about (Rāma’s future): “Rāma is going out to the forest. What will happen to him? Having thought (about it) tell (me) (what is) good and (what is) bad (in his future).”

145-148. Vasiṣṭha thought over (it), and gladly spoke to the king: “Having gone to the forest, he will kill all the brave demons. He will worship Śiva in many ways. Rāma, being angry due to being separated from Sītā, will cross the ocean with the army of the monkeys, and will kill Rāvaṇa. Having come (back to Ayodhyā), Rāma will rule for many years. Having had great fame in the entire world, he will live for a long time with god Śarva (i.e. Śiva). He will be endowed with good sons, will perform many sacrifices; he, the lord, will be superior to all in virtues.”

149-151. Hearing these words of Vasiṣṭha, Daśaratha, remembering the virtues of Rāma, spoke thus: “When Rāma goes out (of my kingdom), it is better for me to die.” Then Rāma, having saluted his mother, father, preceptor Vasiṣṭha, the preceptor’s wife, left for the forest. Then having lived for one day in the park, having arranged the matted hair, having put on a bark-garment, having worn one sacred thread, having cleaned his teeth, having tied his matted hair with one sacred thread, having dusted his entire body with sacred ash and thus looking rough, wearing on his head a rosary in place of a necklace of pearls and jewels, accompanied by Sītā adorned with a few ornaments, and followed by Lakṣmaṇa, entered the interior of the forest.

152-154. Then he killed many demons in it; did everything like you; everything like Sītā’s being kidnapped took place as in your case; then he went to Ṛṣyamūka mountain, to the hermitage of Sugrīva; and having found a mango tree with a dense shadow, put up there a resort with the help of Lakṣmaṇa. He put the two bows on the tree; put his head on Lakṣmaṇa’s lap, and lay on a bed of deer-hide; listened to a known song; observed the fruit of the tree; he (then) saw a monkey, having jewelled ear-rings, tawny like gold, with the girdle of muñja grass firmly tied around his privity, having, a clean sacred thread, being very fickle, taking a fruit and throwing it to himself, scattering flowers and shoots, imitating the song, fanning Rāma with a fan, fanning him, even after having climbed the branch of the tree, having tied only the mango fruits, and said to Lakṣmaṇa: “Lakṣmaṇa, who is this monkey?” Lakṣmaṇa also said: “I do not know”. Then Rāma called (the monkey) and asked him: “To whom do you belong? What is your name?”

155-157. He said, “I am Hanūmat (the servant) of Sugrīva.” Having saluted him (i.e. Sugrīva; he said): “There is a man, who is like another Viṣṇu, who is young, who is dark like a cloud, who has matted hair, whose hands reach his knees, who is extremely glorious, and who is accompanied by another man resembling the sun. The two princes, endowed with all good characteristics are staying in the shade of a tree. They saw me and said to me: ‘Inform Sugrīva.’ Therefore, I have informed you.”

158-161. Then Sugrīva quickly got up, took materials like flowers and water, and having washed their feet etc., having offered fruits, he said respectfully: “Who are you, young men? What have you, ascetic princes, come (here) for?” Having heard (these) words of Sugrīva, Rāma, with Lakṣmaṇa, said: “We two are Daśaratha’s sons, Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa. We have come to the forest for curbing the wicked and protecting the good.” Then Sugrīva said: “It appears that your help is harmful; otherwise you would have come with an army.”

162. Lakṣmaṇa said: “There is another mission. This one’s wife has been kidnapped by someone. We do not know (by whom). We have come to search for her. That is our (main) mission. Other (things) are incidental. For that we would even cross the ocean, we would even enter the nether world, we would even go to heaven, we would even knock down Indra, we would even strike Bali; (in short) we would do anything.”

Sugrīva said:

163-165. I shall show you certain ornaments dropped by a lady who was kidnapped by Rāvaṇa and collected by me. Saying so, and inviting Rāma to his abode, he showed them (to Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa). Rāma too observed them and having decided (that they were Sītā’s ornaments), wept and asked: “Where has that Rāvaṇa gone?” He replied: “He has gone to the southern direction.” Rāma formed friendship with him (i.e. Sugrīva) and asked him: “Why do you remain here without your wife?”

Sugrīva said:

166-173. My very mighty brother Vālin, having snatched away my kingdom and my wife, lives in Kiṣkindhā. I was defeated by him in a battle; all my anxiety is about killing him. If you kill him, then I also, restraining the ocean, will offer you Sītā kindnapped by Rāvaṇa and living in Laṅkā on the other shore (of the ocean).

Speaking like this, and taking an oath, he invited (i.e. challenged) Vālin for a fight, and fought with him. Then Rāma too, not being certain (about the identity of Vālin), did not kill him. Then Sugrīva fled, and said these (words) to Rāma: “Not knowing (what was in) your mind, I set out to die” Rāma also (said): “Not having particular knowledge about you two, I kept quiet. Having observed (i.e. recognised) you who would have a mark, I shall kill him.” Then Sugrīva making a mark (on his person), invited (i.e. challenged) Vālin for a fight. Tārā said to Vālin: “It appears Sugrīva has some companion. Otherwise he would not challenge like this. Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, Daśaratha’s sons, and portions of Viṣṇu, who have come to lessen down the burden of the earth, have become his companions.”

Vālin said:

174-179. I have heard that Rāma has political wisdom. A man like him would not leave a strong man and resort to a weak one. Let Rāma come. He will be frightened after taking the one who has approached him as superior. If Rāma himself comes to fight, then fight has to be gone through.

Having said so and honoured Tārā, he went out to fight with Sugrīva. Then between the two a fight of fist took place. Rāma too struck Vālin; Valin fell down. He said (to Rāma): “You have struck (me) with an arrow in a fight without weapons.” His entire body was full of blood. Then Tārā and Aṅgada came (there) and were afflicted. Then the monkeys came to Rāma, fell near Vālin, and wept.

180-184. Then Tārā said to Rāma: “Formerly the descendents of Raghu were well-versed in sacred texts, brave and righteous. How is it, O Rāma, that you have committed a sin? You do not know the way of the life of a kṣatriya, which is followed by hosts of kings. In a fight (between two warriors) fighting with each other, victory or death would take place. The one who kills the other one (not fighting) is called the killer of a brāhmaṇa. Have you killed Vālin due to enmity or with a desire for (eating) the flesh of a monkey? The flesh of a monkey is not to be eaten. If you think that others are like that (i.e. like you) because of the absence of happiness (i.e. unhappiness) of you, or if you, through infatuation, have done this to take me (away), then (you have to remember that) you have the vow of having one wife (only).

185-187. If you have done this for (getting) Sugrīva’s help to bring (back) Sītā kidnapped by Rāvaṇa, then there is a great difference (between Vālin and Sugrīva). Your mission would succeed when Vālin, rich in might, able to bring (back) Sītā in a day, able to give (you) Rāvaṇa (just) when you remember him, and having fifty parārdhas of the army of monkeys and bears, is there. Then what is the use of Sugrīva, the monkey who is the general of seven parārdhas (of army), who has little might? What mission of you who keep your promise, would succeed” “O! what you have said and which is auspicious to all is understood (by me).” Rāma says, “By me who am a king, curbing of the wicked and the protection of the good is to be done. Vālin took away Sugrīva’s wife Rūmā and his kingdom also. Therefore, there is no sin in killing one like him.”

Tārā said:

188. Then Sugrīva also should be killed. Vālin, fighting with Dundubhi, entered a cave, and remained there for a year. In the meantime, Sugrīva kidnapped me and ruled (over Vālin’s kingdom). Therefore kill him first, then him (i.e. Vālin).

Rāma said:

189. Tell me before which time this took place.

Tārā said:

190-193. In the eightieth year before sixty thousand years Sugrīva took away the kingdom in a battle with the demons. Then when a year was over Vālin made Sugrīva flee. He took away his wife and kingdom also. On that day only the consecration of your father Daśaratha (as a king) took place.

Rāghava said:

194-196. By the order of my father and due to the custom of not transgressing the words of elders, I curbed the wicked in his kingdom. At the time of her being kindnapped, he who was the king, did not act (properly). Or the beasts are free. Valin, one of the two beasts, is killed. Beasts tear off one another and dislike one another. Say, since my hunting is of the beasts that are moving, stationary or bound, or of those moving away, getting confused and having fled, when I parted company (with the king), I had given up hunting.

197-199. I have executed this hunting according to the rules of the science of hunting—(sometimes) running, and (sometimes) not running. The spot higher than a creeping plant in case of those belonging to the same family, is pierced through (obscure). Hunting without eating the flesh (of the animal killed) is the rule in the hunting done by a king.

Having heard Rāma’s words, all nodded their heads.

200-205. Having put the hollow made by his palms on his head, Vālin said to Rāma: “I salute you, O Rāma; listen to my words. I have heard that you are actually Viṣṇu himself having in his hands a conch, a disc, and a mace, wearing a yellow garment, and the master of the world. The meditating saints think of you (only). The sacrificers offer sacrifices to you. You alone enjoy the oblations to deities and dead ancestors. You take up the form of the deities and the manes. The salvation of him who thinks about you at the time of his death, is not far away. That you, O Rāma, is (today) seen by me. My sins have perished. O you descendant of Kakutstha, take your arrow. I am very much afflicted.” Then, Rāma, saying, ‘All right’, took an arrow and said to Vālin, “Tell (me) what desired thing should be given (to you).”

The monkey (i.e. Vālin) said:

206-209. If the revered one is pleased, then give me beatitude. Thus, Sugrīva should be protected by you, so also Aṅgada, and Tārā (also should be protected). I, a sinner had committed a sin; I have experienced its fruit.

Then looking at Rāma, Vālin died and went to heaven. Then (Rāma), having consecrated Sugrīva as the king, entered the forest.

210-212. Then, Rāma, with him as his companion, went near the ocean, and said to Sugrīva: “Where is Lanka? Where is Sītā? Where is the enemy?” Then Hanūmat said: “May the lord order whether after having entered Lanka, having looked for Sītā, and having known the full truth, truce or war should be made. What suggestion do you make for crossing the ocean?” Then Rāma said to Sugrīva: “How can this take place?”

The monkey (i.e. Sugrīva) said:

213-214. I have crores of monkeys led by bears. Having appointed one (of them), and having known the whole (truth), what is proper should be done.

Then Jāmbavat said:

215-217. Let Hanūmat alone go and know (i.e. find out all about) Lanka.

Then Hanūmat went to the city of Laṅkā, looked for Sītā seated in the Aśoka-grove, talked to her, secured her confidence, devastated the grove and baffled the demons. He was bound by the demon (Rāvaṇa); he burnt Laṅkā, went to the northern shore, saw Rāma, told him the account, and remained silent.

218-220. Then Rāma had consultations with all. Jāmbavat said: “I was told by Nārada that Rāma will destroy Laṅka through the monkeys. So we should strive to cross the ocean.” Then Rāma propitiated Śaṅkara, and told him: “I shall do whatever is told by you.” Uttering these words, having worshipped Śiva and having saluted him, he said (to him) respectfully:

221. “O great god, O you who swllow great beings, O you the cause of the great deluge, O you having ornaments of the great serpents, O Mahārudra, O Śaṅkara, O highest god, O Virūpākṣa, O you having the serpent as your sacred thread, O you having the garment of an elephant’s, hide O you having the ornament of the string of skulls, O you having the ornaments of the demon’s bones, O you to whom ash is dear, O you who love Nārāyaṇa, O you of an auspicious conduct, O you the god of the five like Brahmā etc., O you who are known by the five-faced one, the four-faced one, and the Vedas, O you who are easily accessible to your devotees and difficult to be obtained by non-devotees, O you who are great joy and knowledge, O you who knocked the teeth of the great Pūṣa, O you who cut off Dakṣa’s head, O you who removed the fifth head of Brahmā, O you dear to Pārvatī, O you whose auspicious life (-story) is sung by Nārada, O Śarva, O you having three eyes, O you trident-holder, O you having the bow (called Pināka) in your hand, O you having matted hair, O you having many forms, O you having the bull (viz. Nandin) as your vehicle, O you resembling a clear crystal, O you having four hands, O you having many weapons, O Dakṣiṇāmūrti, O lord, O god, O lord, O you having Gaṅgā (on your head), O you conqueror of Tripura, O you having your abode on Śrīśaila, O Kāśīnātha, O you the ornament of Kedāreśvara, O Siddheśvara, O Gokarṇeśvara, O Kanakhaleśvara, O Pārvatīśvara, O giver of the disc, O you who removed the worry of Bāṇa, O you whose lotus-like feet are worshipped by the conqueror of Mura, O Soma, O you, having the moon as your ornament, O you omniscient one, O you full of lustre, O you full of the world, salutation, salutation to you.”

222. Before Rāma who was praising like this, an image, full of lustre, and remaining in the Phallus, appeared. He granted fearlessness also.

223-225. Rāma saw the lord who was seated in the posture called padmāsana, who had Pārvatī on his lap, who had tied (i.e. put on) all ornaments, whose crown was very bright, who touched the waist of the daughter of Himavat, granting a boon of fearlessness with both hands, full of lustre due to many wavy directions, whose face was smiling, whose face was pleased; with his palms joined he saluted the highest lord, and again fell (i.e. prostrated before him) like a staff. Then the lord also said to Rāma: “You ask for a boon; I am the giver of boons.”

Rāma said:

226. I shall go to Laṅkā. O Śambhu, give (i.e. show) me a way to cross the ocean.

Śambhu said:

227-233. I have the Ājagava bow; it becomes (i.e. changes itself) according to the time and has no alternative. Having got on it, having crossed the ocean, reach Lankā.

Rāma, saying, ‘All right’, remembered the Ājagava (bow). The bow came (there). Rāma then worshipped it. Then Śiva took the bow and gave it to Rāma. Rāma too dropped it into the ocean. All the monkeys and Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa also got upon it; when the sixty parārdhas of monkeys mounted upon it, it reached the (other) shore according to (Rāma’s) desire. Then the monkeys also having gone (here and) there, observed.

234-237. Then a demon named Atikāya saw the army of the monkeys and said to (i.e. told) Rāvaṇa (about) it. Rāvaṇa too said: “Has our food fortunately come through the monkeys, or through the human beings—Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa?” Then, when the sun went to the west (i.e. when the sun was setting), Sugrīva, along with innumerable very strong monkeys of large bodies like Hanūmat, Jāmbavat etc., went to the side of (i.e. near) Laṅkā, entered the park, ate various fruits, drank water, made the demons guarding the park flee, seized the entire forest (by seizing the trees) one by one, and ran away. Then he went to Lankā, the city-gate, climbed the palace, shattered it, took every pillar and fought with the demons. Some broke to pieces the hall, pounded the houses, killed all the young and the old and women etc.

238-246. Then having known that one rampart was acquired by conquest, Rāvaṇa ordered Indrajit The monkeys also fought with Indrajit, were frightened and ran away. Then Hanūmat having come to know that all had gone out, so also knowing Rāvaṇa, and calling the monkeys and having considered Rāvaṇa, was delighted. Then Indrajit, remaining in the sky (i.e. air) only fought, and the monkeys did not notice him. Then Hanūmat and Jāmbavat jumped into the sky and struck Indrajit with the peaks of mountains. Then he fell on the ground, and Lakṣmaṇa made him go to the world of Yama. Then Atikāya and Mahākāya struck the army of the monkeys in various ways, harassed Lakṣmaṇa, fought with Rāma, hurt Sugrīva, fought with Hanūmat and Jāmbavat. The two (i.e. Hanūmat and Jāmbavat) defeated them, and capturing the two warriors, took them near Rāma, and reported to him. Rāma said to Atikāya: “Tell (us) about the war between me and Rāvaṇa and other very fearful ministers.”

Atikāya said.

247-248. Having divided the army, we shall first certainly have war (with you). There is a demon by name Vidyunmālin. He is very mighty. He is a strange fighter. He is visible or invisible when he fights. He alone will fight with all monkeys. Many other strong, great (warriors) who have been taught (the use of) weapons, have come. We two also shall fight with you. Having got into the Puṣpaka, from the other side Rāvaṇa shall kill you only.

249-253. Other demons like Kumbhakarṇa also, taking their own forms, will surround and seize you; then they will show you to Sītā and kill you near her only.

Rāma said: “Oh, what cannot be accomplished by the powerful! The way of destiny is crooked.” Sugrīva, getting very much enraged, looked angrily at Rāma and said to him: “These two should be killed. They should not be released”. Rāma said: “They should not be killed; they should be released. Bring garments and ornaments”. As soon as he said these (words), Hanūmat brought them, and Rāma gave them to the two (demons). Having saluted Rāma, (they said): “Śukra has said that when the wood bent at five places, which is seen at the gate of Laṅkā, is broken, Rāvaṇa will be killed.

254-260. The order stated by Bhārgava written down is: ‘Immediately after the cutting of the wood, he should go to the nether world.’ Therefore, cut off this wood in one effort by dropping your arrow into the five parts. Then, knowing your power, we shall have a very close fight.” Then knowing the words of Bhārgava, Rāma strung the bow just by touching the first end of it, and fixing the arrow on the bow, and just while making the demons and Hanūmat hear (the stringing of the bow), discharged an arrow. The arrow left the bow. The two demons marked the path of the arrow. The wood was cut off into five parts by the arrow. Seeing this they requested Rāma: “Our children should be protected by you.” Rāma said: “All right.” The demons entered Laṅkā. Then the monkeys went to fight at the rampart; everywhere they covered it with their hips, feet, knees, hands and backs and made it level, and then went to another rampart. Then that Rāvaṇa came (there), and made them flee by (striking them with) his arrows, and as he followed them, he went to Rāma. He struck Rāma also with five arrows. Then Rāma wounded Rāvaṇa with ten arrows.

261-275. Then a very fierce fight took place between the two. Rāvaṇa struck (Rāma) with ten arrows. Then the demon, with his body wounded by Rāma’s arrows, became intent upon running (away). The monkeys and Lakṣmaṇa killed crores of demons. Then the next day, Bibhīṣaṇa discussing (this) with Rāvaṇa, said these words to Rāvaṇa: “This is the time (to use) the third means of success against the enemy. Do not think of the fourth. The fourth one, which is wrong, is not recommended for one who acts according to (the rules of) material welfare. Knowing the power of the enemy and of his own, and if his own power is superior, then war is recommended. The opposite would be destructive. You who are weak should not fight with the strong Rāma. He killed Vālin with (only) one arrow; and you have known Vālin before. He (killed) Mārīca with one arrow; and you too have fled. The brave demons are killed. Your son Indrajit also is killed. The excellent triad is broken; (so) do not fight with him. Accept his service after having given (back) Sītā to him. The wood at the city-gate, crooked at five places, was cut off by Rāma with one arrow. Therefore, Rāma will kill you. For your sake many have perished; and many others will perish. O my brother, justice alone leads to happiness and not folly. Dismiss the loyal human wife who is embracing death, of the strong (Rāma) after honouring her. There will be a series of calamities if you unite with her when she is unwilling. The union with a woman accompanied by stinking filth is censured. If there is detachment, then doing what is prohibited leads to unhappiness. If you love her, then there would follow your death, and then (you will go to) hell.

276-28la. In vain will you die today if you unite with her; and, O dear one, you will either abandon your religiously wedded wife, or she might also die. There will be this and other sin. I shall make to you another suggestion dear to and beneficial for all. Going to Rāma and saluting and praising him say to him respectfully: ‘O Rāma, loving those who have sought your refuge, forgive me. We all are vicious demons and are great sinners. Giving up (i.e. making us absolved of) the sin of kidnapping Sītā, protect our sons. O Rāma, we depend upon you. Protect or kill us as you wish.’ O Rāvaṇa, we who, after having spoken like this, stand before that Rāma, will have a stable life, and a stable kingdom.”

28lb-283. Then Ravaṇa said (these) words: “Oh! you are not a demon, you are not brave; you do not know the eternal way of life of a king. The best way of life for the brave-and not for the impotent ones like you, is by means of resorting to another man’s wife, another man’s wealth, and another man’s kingdom. O prince, if you desire, join the enemy’s side; get out.”

284-288. Then Bibhīṣaṇa, having (first) gone to his abode, (and then) near Rāma, sought his refuge. Then Ravaṇa went out of his city and fought with Rama. The (other) demons also fought with Lakṣmaṇa and the monkeys. Rāma was unable to kill Rāvaṇa of a great might. Then he looked at Bibhīṣaṇa’s face, and struck with his arrow the spot with a mark as told by Bibhīṣaṇa. Then Kumbhakarṇa took a great mace, brought about everything, swallowed many monkeys, and struck on the head of Rāma with (his) mace. Then with a hundred sharp arrows Rāma struck him. Kumbhakarṇa died.

289. Then Rāma made Bibhīṣaṇa perform the śrāddha ceremony etc. of Rāvaṇa and others; he got a Śiva-temple erected in his name; he consecrated just that Bibhīṣaṇa only on the kingdom (i.e. as the king) of Laṅkā. He made Sītā, purified by means of her entering the fire, salute Śiva and Pārvatī; be who was given by the conqueror of (Tri-)pura full nectar-like power and life, got into the Puṣpaka, crossed the ocean, settled his army on the other side, installed (a representation of) Śiva there, and being honoured by sages and gods went to Ayodhyā.

290-291. Then accompanied by Bharata and others, and honoured by the citizens, Vasiṣṭha and (other) sages, he went home. He honoured gods like Indra who had come to him by offering them seats; having well honoured the monkeys, and having untied his matted hair, he was consecrated on the kingdom. Gods delighted by the elimination of Rāvaṇa, said to Rāma:

292. “You have put us back on our kingdoms (i.e. thrones); always protect us; you are the first (man) Viṣṇu; you have descended (on the earth) for curbing the wicked. By killing Rāvaṇa along with his relatives, you have become the protector of the three worlds. Be happy with Lakṣmī.” Saying so, they went to heaven.

293-298. Then the residents of Ayodhyā, being very much delighted, said to Rāma: “You have come (back) after having killed your enemies. You saw and met Śiva. Rāma, fortunately you shine; fortunately you are protecting the subjects. You will perform sacrifices; youwillcause righteousness to grow.” Hearing these (words) of his citizens, Rāma, having lotus-like eyes, honoured all the citizens with (i.e. by giving them) garments etc. Worshipping the sages along with all people, the righteous one said to them: “I hope your penance is prospering; I hope your sacrifices are performed well. I hope you are devoted to your wives. I hope you worship the lord. I hope your wives bring forth good progeny. I hope you (enjoy) all excellent pleasures.”

The sages said:

299. O descendant of Kakutstha, everything about the ascetics is well-settled. From here we (shall now) go home. Or, O king, what do you think?

Rāma said:

300-305. Śamḥbu is pleased with him with whom brāhmaṇas are pleased. He with whom Śiva is pleased, becomes happy. Therefore, please go after taking food here.

Saying, “All right”, the hosts of sages ate excellent food, and congratulating him with blessings, and being delighted, they went to their respective abodes. Rāma also, along with wife and younger brothers, was very much pleased. He who was dear to all people ruled over the kingdom free from bad elements. Even if a sinner listens to this episode, he becomes free from all sins, and reaches the highest Brahman. The man who would remember this (episode) would not meet with a calamity; so also the same is said about him who would narrate this episode.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Āhavanīya—A consecrated fire taken from the householder’s perpetual fire, the eastern fire; the other two fires being: (i) Gārhapatya—one of the three fires perpetually maintained by a householder, which he receives from his father and transmits to his descendants and from which fires for sacrificial purposes are lighted, and (ii) Dakṣiṇa—the southern fire.

[2]:

Bharata—Science of music and dramaturgy.

[3]:

Śakuna—Science of omens.

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