Ramayana of Valmiki
by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597
This page is entitled “the death of the queens” and represents Chapter 99 of the Uttara-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., Uttara-kanda].
Chapter 99 - The Death of the Queens
When night had given way to dawn, Rama called together the great ascetics and said to his two sons:—
“Now sing without anxiety,” and when those great and magnanimous Sages were seated, Kusha and Lava sang the epilogue to the ‘Ramayana.’
Sita, having re-entered the earth, thus proving her fidelity, and the sacrifice being completed, Rama, in the extremity of grief, not beholding Vaidehi, regarded the world as a desert, and he dismissed the kings, bears, monkeys and titans and the host of leading brahmins, having loaded them with treasure.
Taking leave of them, the lotus-eyed Rama, who was ever absorbed in the thought of Sita, returned to Ayodhya. The Joy of the House of Raghu never sought another consort but, in every sacrifice, he set up a golden image of Janaki in her stead. For ten thousand years, Rama performed the Vajamedha Sacrifice and the Vajapeya, ten times more, distributing quantities of gold, and that fortunate One also performed the Agnisthoma, Atiratra and Gosava Sacrifices, giving away abundant charity.
For a long time, the magnanimous Raghava occupied the throne, his heart fixed in his duty; bears, monkeys and titans were subject to his rule and monarchs came daily to pay him homage. Parjanya sent rains in the proper season and it was abundant, the skies were clear, the regions sinless, the city and country abounding in cheerful and satisfied people. None died prematurely nor was there any disease, and in Rama’s reign, none were destitute.
After many years however, Rama’s aged mother, surrounded by her sons and grandsons, passed away and she was followed by Sumitra and the renowned Kaikeyi, who having performed many righteous acts went to the celestial region, where those happy Ones were re-united with Dasaratha and received the fruit of their merit in heaven.
From time to time, in memory of his mother, Raghava distributed gifts to the brahmins vowed to asceticism, and the virtuous Rama offered up obsequies accompanied by gifts of gems to the Sages and performed incomparable austerities in honour of his ancestors.
Thus thousands of years passed happily during which, with the aid of sacrifices, that prince promoted the execution of duty in all its aspects.