by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597
This page is entitled “rama reaches the lake pampa” and represents Chapter 75 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].
When Shabari had ascended to heaven through the merit of her spiritual prowess, Rama with his brother Lakshmana began to ponder over the pious influence of those great ascetics and, reflecting within himself on the divine authority of those holy men, Raghava said to his brother:—
“O Friend, I have now visited the retreat of those magnanimous sages of miraculous deeds, where deer and tigers roam, together with birds of every kind. O Lakshmana, we have performed our ablutions in the sacred waters of these seven seas and have offered oblations to our ancestors. Our evil karma has thereby been destroyed and prosperity made manifest; my heart is filled with peace. Methinks, O Lion among Men, that we shall soon meet with good fortune. Come, let us walk towards the enchanting Lake Pampa! The Rishyamuka Mountain may be seen in the distance; it is there that the four great monkeys with Sugriva, Surya’s son, dwell in constant fear of Bali. I am impatient to see this Lion of the Monkey Tribe, Sugriva, for it is he who will ascertain where Sita can be found.”
Thus did the heroic Rama speak, and Saumitri answered him, saying:—
“Let us repair thither without delay; my heart too reaches out to that place.” Thereupon, issuing from Matanga’s hermitage, the mighty Rama, Lord of Men, accompanied by Lakshmana, proceeded towards lake Pampa.
On every side he saw innumerable trees in full flower and pools where small white cranes nested in the reeds, and peacocks, lapwings and woodpeckers, filling the forest with their cries, as also a multitude of other birds.
Enjoying the trees of varying fragrance and the many ponds, Rama, transported with delight, approached one whose waters, delicious to the taste, were drawn from the Matanga lake. There the two Descendants of Raghu stood in quiet recollection. Thereafter, grief once more invading the heart of Raghu, the son of Dasaratha, he entered the enchanting lake covered with lotuses.
Adorned on all sides with Tilaka, Ashoka, Punnaga, Vakula and Uddalaka trees, which were nourished by its waters, it was framed in charming groves and its waves, pure as crystal, on which hibiscus blooms floated, flowed over fine sand. Fish and turtle abounded there and the banks were embellished by trees intertwined with friendly creepers. Kinneras, Uragas, Gandharvas, Yakshas and Rakshasas frequented it and diverse trees and shrubs cast their shade over it. That lake was verily a jewel with its fresh and limpid waters, its lotuses and water-lilies lending it a coppery sheen, whilst clumps of nymphoae cast silvery reflections and the blue of sapphire was added by other flowers. Aravinda and Utpala blooms abounded round the lake, which was covered with innumerable lotuses, whilst groves of mango in flower lent their shade, and peacocks filled it with their cries.
Rama, the mighty son of Dasaratha, who was accompanied by Lakshmana, seeing the Lake Pampa adorned like a bride with Tilaka, Bijapura, Vata, Lodhra, Sukladruma, Karavira, Punnaga in flower, bushes of Malati and Kunda, Bandira, Nichula, Ashoka, Saptapama, Ketaka, Atimukta and diverse other trees of varying perfume, gave expression to his grief:—
“There stands on the right bank the mountain Rishyamuka, abounding in various metals and famed for the variety of its trees and flowers, spoken of by Kabandha, where the son of the magnanimous Riksharajas, the valiant Sugriva, dwells. ‘O Foremost of Men, seek out the King of the Monkeys were his words.”
Thereafter, Rama spoke to Lakshmana again, saying:—
“O Lakshmana, how will Sita be able to live without me?”
Having spoken thus to Lakshmana, the foremost of the Raghus, tormented by his love, which precluded him from thinking of aught else, entered the marvellous Lake Pampa, having given voice to his sorrow.
Proceeding slowly, observing the forest, Rama, coming to Lake Pampa, surrounded on all sides with enchanting groves, filled with a multitude of birds, entered its waters with Lakshmana.