Ramayana of Valmiki

by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597

This page is entitled “rama takes up his abode in pancavati” and represents Chapter 15 of the Aranya-kanda of the Ramayana (English translation by Hari Prasad Shastri). The Ramayana narrates the legend of Rama and Sita and her abduction by Ravana, the king of Lanka. It contains 24,000 verses divided into seven sections [viz., Aranya-kanda].

Chapter 15 - Rama takes up his Abode in Pancavati

When he had reached Pancavati, frequented by wild beasts and deer, Rama said to his brother Lakshmana, who was burning with energy:—

“O Dear One, we have reached the place described by the sage, this woodland of flowering trees, the much-loved Pancavati. O You who art full of resource, look about on every side and ascertain in which spot it is fitting for us to construct our hermitage. Let it be in the vicinity of a pool where the charm of the forest and the water adds to its beauty, where you, Sita and I, may dwell in peace, where flowers, fuel and kusha grass abound.”

Hearing the words of Rama, the offspring of Kakutstha, Lakshmana, with joined palms, in the presence of Sita, answered him:—

“Were you to live a hundred years, I should still be your servant, O Kakutstha! Do you select some place favoured by you and command me to build a retreat.”

Well pleased with Lakshmana’s compliance, that illustrious hero, looking here and there, chose a site which combined every advantage, and on that spot, taking the hand of Saumitri in his, said:—

“Here is a level place that is pleasant and surrounded by trees; it is here that I desire you to construct a retreat. Nearby is an enchanting river, rendered beautiful by lotuses, bright as the sun, exhaling a delicious fragrance, as described to me by that Rishi of pure soul, Agastya. This is the delightful river Godaveri, bordered with flowering trees, teeming with swans and waterfowl, geese enhancing its beauty and thronged with herds of deer, neither too near nor too far away, that come here to drink.

“And re-echoing to the cry of peacocks, lovely hills covered with blossoming trees containing many a cave, resembled great elephants with huge howdahs embroidered in gold, silver and copper, that are studded here and there with tiny mirrors.

Sala, Tala, Tamala, Kharjura, Panasa, Nivara, Tinisha and Punnaga trees are their decoration, while Cuta, Ashoka, Tilaka, Ketaka and Champaka entwined with flowering creepers and plants, abound as also Syandana, Chandana, Nipa, Panasa, Lakuka, Dhara, Ashvakarna, Khadira, Shami, Tinduka and Patala trees. In this sacred place, this enchanting spot filled with deer and birds, let us dwell with Jatayu, O Saumitri.”

Thus addressed by his brother Rama, Lakshmana, Slayer of Hostile Warriors, endowed with great energy, built him a retreat there without delay and constructed a spacious hut with walls of mud, supported by strong stakes made of long graceful bamboos, thatched with boughs of the Shami tree.

Creepers, kusha and sarpat grass strengthened it, while reeds and leaves were also used for the roof, its floor being well levelled.

Then the fortunate Lakshmana, having constructed that excellent hut, lovely to behold, went to the river Godaveri, and after bathing, gathered lotuses and fruit, returning to the hermitage to offer the flowers there and perform those traditional rites proper to the peace of that dwelling, thereafter leading Rama to the hut he had set up.

Seeing that charming retreat and the thatched hut, Raghava, who was accompanied by Sita, experienced intense delight.

Highly gratified, he pressed Lakshmana to his heart and in a voice full of tenderness and feeling, said to him:—

“I am pleased with you; you have accomplished a great feat, O My Brother, for which as a token of satisfaction I now embrace you. Whilst you dost still live, with your zeal, your devotion and your virtue, O Lakshmana, our illustrious sire is not dead.”

Having spoken thus to Lakshmana, Raghava, the source of others prosperity, began to dwell happily in that region abounding in fruit. And ministered to by Sita and Lakshmana, that illustrious One lived there with them for some time, like the Gods in heaven.

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