Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 15

15. Lakṣmaṇa Builds Hermitage in Pañchavaṭī

[After Rāma chose the proper place for living, Lakṣmaṇa built a strong hermitage there, in Pañchavaṭī.]

After reaching Pañchavaṭī filled with various types of animals and snakes, Rāma told Lakṣmaṇa who was shining like fire. 15.1

"Oh good natured one, as directed by the sage we have come to this place called Pañchavaṭī full of flowering trees." 15.2

"You being an expert on building hermitages, please see all the directions of this forest and decide on the place very suitable for our hermitage." 15.3

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa, look for a place where Maithili can entertain herself along with you and me, where you can see a water source nearby, where the forest beauty enhances the beauty of the location, and where plenty to sticks for sacrifice and flowers for worship are available." 15.4-15.5

When Rāma told him like this Lakṣmaṇa with folded hands in salute in front of Sītā, told the son of Kākutstha clan. 15.6

"Oh son of Kākutstha clan, even I live for one hundred years, I would be dependent on you, so you only choose the place and I would act as per your wish." 15.7

That great Rāma was greatly pleased by the words of Lakṣmaṇa and he thought and checked all aspects and chose a place which has all the good aspects. 15.8

After choosing a very pretty place to build the hermitage, Rāma held the hands of son of Sumitrā and told. 15.9

"Oh gentle one, surrounded by trees which are fully bloomed and without any ups and downs, this place is very suitable to build a hermitage." 15.10

"This place with a tank nearby with fully opened lotus flowers of great fragrance shining like Sun is pretty." 15.11

"As indicated by the supreme soul sage Agastya, the river Godavari which is surrounded by flowering trees with swans, ducks, and Chakravāka birds." 15.12

"Oh pleasing one, not far from here, you can hear deer making love and peacocks making sound while eating grains and you can also see innumerable caves and sandy beaches." 15.13-15.14

"These mountains which look like huge mountains have ores of gold, silver and copper, and they look like windows on the mountains." 15.15

"The place is full of Sāla and palm trees growing densely and not allowing light inside. There are also Thamala trees, date palms, Jack fruit trees, plants of wild rice, Thimisa trees, Pongamia trees, mango trees which make the place shine, Asoka trees, Tilakā trees Champaka trees, Kāṭhaka trees, climbing plants on trees with flowers emitting fragrance, Sandalwood trees, Kadamba trees, leafy plants which creep and cover the ground, Aśvakarṇa and Khadira plants and Sami and Kimśuka and Paṭala trees which provide fire wood." 15.16-15.18

"This is holy. This is sacred. This has many types of animals and oh son of Sumitrā we will stay with the bird Jatāyu." 15.19

When Rāma told like this to Lakṣmaṇa, who is the destroyer of his enemies, that powerful one built a hermitage for his brother speedily." 15.20

Lakṣmaṇa built a very spacious cottage made of grass after levelling and raising the earth for raised floor for the cottage. He built strong pillars with long bamboos and on those pillars he made excellent rafters, and the branches of Shamli trees were spread out, twined firmly with twines of grass strands, and with the cross-laid bamboos for thatching, and over that blades of Kuśa grass and leaves of Kaasha are spread and well over-covered for the roof, and thus that very great mighty Lakṣmaṇa made that best and very spacious leaf-cottage with a level surface for residence of Rāghava and that worthy residence was a feast to the eye. 15.21-15.23

Immediately that Lakṣmaṇa went to the river Godavari, took bath and after finishing the good task of picking lotus flowers came back. 15.24

After making the offering of flowers, he invoked peace as per ritualistic rules, he showed Rāma the hermitage constructed by him. 15.25

After seeing that peaceful hermitage along with Sītā, expressed happiness with the hermitage with roof of leaves. 15.26

With great happiness Rāma hugged Lakṣmaṇa with his hands tightly and very affectionately and told him. 15.27

"Oh Lord, by your great act, I am very much pleased and I have given this hug, for the sake of what you have done." 15.28

"My righteous father was not aware of your capacity to understand feelings of others, your feelings of gratefulness, your expertise in Dharma of you who were his son. 15.29

That Rāma who was increaser of auspiciousness, after saying like this to Lakṣmaṇa resided in that place prosperously. 15.30

That Soul of Dharma along with Sītā and served by Lakṣmaṇa lived there for some time, like Devas living in heaven. 15.31

This is the end of Fifteenth Sarga of Āraṇya Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.