Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 16

16. Winter Description

[This is a clear and detail description of the climate crops and rituals of the winter season. During the talk when Lakṣmaṇa criticizes Kaikeyi Rāma is not able to tolerate it.]

When the great Rāma was living happily, when the winter season came to an end, the winter season which he liked set in. 16.1

During a day the son of Raghu clan had gone to bathe in the pretty Godavari river at night. 16.2

Along with Sītā, the valorous son of Sumitrā holding the water pot went slightly bent and he told.16.3

Lakṣmaṇa said to the pleasantly speaking Rāma, "the season which is dear to you has arrived, and it appears to be decorated well in this auspicious year." 16.4

"The world is harsh with fog but it will blessed with vegetation and it is difficult to drink water and nice to sit near fire altars." 16.5

"The saints after appeasing the manes by worship during Uttarāyaṇa [Northern Solstice] and after offering oblations at the proper time and performing solstice rituals become free of evils." 16.6

"In this season, the people of rural areas who would be expecting a good crop would get abundant milk from their cows and kings would be thinking of going to conquer other." 16.7

"The sun after serving the direction ruled by God of death steadily, is going to the north inspirited, like a woman without Tilak [red mark on forehead] on her forehead." 16.8

"With the Sun far away, the Snow gets settled hard would make the name of Himalayas as the mountain of snow appropriate." 16.9

"It is pleasant to move about in the afternoon in this season as during day time the sun's rays are very comfortable and during this time, the shade and water are uncomfortable." 16.10

"The sun's rays would be soft during this season with very cold breeze blowing all the time and due to being destroyed by the frost, the forest would be lonely and peaceful." 16.11

"During this time, people do not sleep outside and due to the month of Puṣyā approaching, due to frost the early mornings are filled with frost, and the duration of night with three Yāma increases." 16.12

"With Moon's radiance covered by sun, all round the moon there is a red Aura and like a mirror on which a mouthful of air is blown, the moon is not shining well." 16.13

"Even on a full moon day the moon does not shine as usual due to its being covered by frost, Like Sītā not appearing bright, when she is exposed to torrid sun light." 16.14

"The season by nature is cold because of it being hit by snow and the wind blowing from the westerly direction is doubly cold." 16.15

"The forest is covered by the dew drops and the forest has plenty of crops of barley and wheat and when the sun starts shining the Krauṇcha birds and swans sing sweetly." 16.16

"The rice crop with fully filled up rice and bent with the weight of grain is bent like the flowers of date palms and shines like gold." 16.17

"The extended rays of the sun covered by snow and frost make it look like the moon, when it rises up in the morning." 16.18

"Due to the Sun not fully picking up its strength in the forenoon, it is very pleasant during the afternoon when it shines splendidly on earth being reddish white colour." 16.19

"Due the drop of the dew the grassland is slightly moistened but the forests shine due to the mild heat of the sun settled on it." 16.20

"In the forest the very thirst elephants, after they touch the cold and pure water by their black trunk, withdraw it speedily not able to bear the cold." 16.21

"Like the inefficient army not entering the battle field, the aquatic birds sit on the shore, not plunging in to the water due to fear." 16.22

"Enveloped by the darkness of the forest as well as the darkness of snow, the forest without any flowers appeared to be sleeping with closed eyes." 16.23

"In the waters covered by the tear like dews the existence of swans could be found out only by their sounds and the river banks were completely covered with snow." 16.24

"Due to the fall of snow, due to sun being dim due the cold, the water flowing from the top of the mountain is generally tasty." 16.25

"Lotus flowers in the tanks faded due to their long life with only stalks remaining due to their withered filaments and pericarp having falling down are not good to look at." 16.26

"At this time, oh tiger among men that soul of dharma Bhārata full of sorrow, due to his great devotion to you, is performing penance." 16.27

"Giving up kingdom, self-respect and different type of pleasures, like an ascetic, he takes limited food and sleeps on the floor in this cold." 16.28

"He also, at this time may be going to river Sarayu for taking his bath as usual surrounded by his subjects." 16.29

"How can Bhārata, having been brought up with a pleasure filled life, he who is delicate and deserves comfort, take bath in this latter part of night in river Sarayu." 16.30

"That Bhārata having likes lotus petal, who is heroic, who is black, who has a narrow waist, who is great, who is the speaker of truth, who maintains a low profile, who has control over his sense organs, who speaks lovingly, who is sweet, who has long arms and who is the destroyer of his enemies, after giving up all pleasures is completely dependent only on you." 16.31-16.32

"Our Brother Bhārata who is great is living in the forest and does penance there is following you loyally and has even restrained his wish to go to heaven." 16.33

"He follows his father and proved as false the saying in the world that human beings follow their mother." 16.34

"How did it happen that Kaikeyi who is seen as one with cruel conduct had a husband like Dasaratha and a well behaved son like Bhārata?" 16.35

When Lakṣmaṇa was saying like this due to his love towards Rāma, unable to tolerate the fault finding of his revered mother, Rāma told. 16.36

"Oh lad, do not criticize our middle mother like this but you can speak about Bhārata, the lord of the Ikshvāku clan." 16.37

"Though my mind has taken a firm decision of penance in the forest, due to my being in great love with Bhārata, I waver like a child when I hear things like this." 16.38

"I remember his sweet words soothing my heart, which are equal to the nectar of immortality and they please me." 16.39

"When will I be able to again meet Bhārata who is a great soul and the valorous Śatrughna along with you." 16.40

After wailing like this, they both reach the river Godavari and there that son of Kākutstha clan, took bath along with his younger brother along with Sītā. 16.41

Then they offered water oblations to their manes as well as God and then they prayed to God Surya and sung about that God. 16.42

Accompanied by Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa Rāma completed his bath and Rāma looked like Lord Shiva along with the daughter of the mountain and Nandi. 16.43

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