Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 5

5. Rāma Meets Sage Sārabhaṅga

[When Rāma approaches hermitage of Sārabhaṅga, he sees Indra talking to him but Indra leaves without meeting Rāma. Sārabhaṅga tells Rāma that Indra offered to take him to the world of Brahma but he refused as he wanted to meet Rāma. He then advises Rāma to go to the hermitage of Sutīkṣṇa and then gives up his body.]

After killing that very strong Rākṣasa Virādha in the forest, after embracing Sītā and comforting her, that Valorous elder brother Rāma told Lakṣmaṇa who had great lustre. 5.1

"Since we are not inhabitants of the forest, life in this impassable forest is difficult and let us go quickly to meet Sārabhaṅga who is rich with penance." 5.2

When Rāghava approached the hermitage of Sārabhaṅga, he could see a great wonder near that divine sage with a purified soul. 5.3-5.4

In the sky he saw Indra the lord of the three worlds, shining like the Sun and the fire, wearing similarly shining ornaments and dressed in spotlessly clean dress mounted on a chariot that was not touching the earth adored and worshipped by many great souls. 5.5-5.6

He saw that Chariot was standing in space and was yoked to horses of green colour, which was shining like a young sun, which was similar to dense white clouds and which was similar to the moon. 5.7-5.8

He saw the very pure Umbrella which was decorated by a multi-colour garland along with fans with golden handles which were fanned by two deva women near the head of Indra. 5.9

That great Indra was being praised by Gandharvas, Sidhas, devas and very many great sages, all of them standing on the sky. 5.10

When Indra was seen to be talking with sage Sārabhaṅga, noticing Indra, Rāma told to Lakṣmaṇa. 5.11

Rāma seeing that Chariot showed it to Lakṣmaṇa "see that shining wonder, Oh Lakṣmaṇa which is the chariot travelling in the sky and shining like a Sun." 5.12-5.13

"Those horses which we are seeing are owned by Devendra, which we have heard travel in the sky and that is really wonderful." 5.14

"Oh tiger among men, Oh son of Sumitrā around the chariot one hundred young men wearing ear studs are standing and each of them are holding a sword in their hands. All of them have very broad chest and they wear red coloured cloths and it is difficult to overpower them as they look like huge tigers. Each of them also wears chains which give out lustre similar to fire and they all appear to be about twenty five years old." 5.15-5.17

"Seeing those men who are among the best, we can presume that they are devas, who do not seem to grow old at all." 5.18

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa, you stay here for a little time along with Vaidehī, and I would go there to find out clearly about who this shining person is." 5.19

Requesting the son of Sumitrā to wait there, the son of Kākutstha clan went towards the hermitage of Sārabhaṅga. 5.20

Then Indra, the husband of Sachi seeing the approaching Rāma, went near the sage Sārabhaṅga and told to him privately as follows. 5.21

"Here comes Rāma and I would not talk to him now as he would be eligible to talk to me only after he completes his mission. I am sure that in another short time he would accomplish his task and that task, which he would succeed, would be impossible for others to complete." 5.22-5.23

Then that Indra, after telling this to that sage and after honouring him, got in to the chariot yoked to the horses and went to the heaven. 5.24

Seeing that Indra was departing Rāma went back and along with his companions went towards Sārabhaṅga who was worshipping the fire. 5.25

Rāma, Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā saluted the feet of that saint and responding to the instruction to sit, occupied a seat. 5.26

Then Rāma asked about the visit of Indra with that sage Sārabhaṅga and he told about it completely to Rāma. 5.27

"Oh Rāma, Since I have done very great penance and attaining that which is very difficult to attain by others, he wanted to take me to the world of Brahma." 5.28

"Oh tiger among men, since I knew that you are very nearby, I did not want to go to the world of Brahma, without seeing you." 5.29

"Oh tiger among men, only after meeting you, who is a great by performance of Dharma, I wanted to go to heaven for being served by Devas." 5.30

"Oh tiger among men, I have conquered the auspicious heavens where the stay never diminishes and there are in the higher planes of Lord Brahma, and you may accept them from me." 5.31

"When told like this by the sage Sārabhaṅga, Rāma, the tiger among men who is an expert in all Śāstras replied like this." 5.32

"Oh great sage, I would earn myself all the worlds myself. I need to a place for stay in the forest and so please guide me." 5.33

When the Rāghava who is equal in strength to Indra told like this, the greatly learned Sārabhaṅga again told like this." 5.34

"Oh Rāma, A soul of Dharma called Sutīkṣṇa who is glorious and a follower of Dharma lives in this forest and you approach him he will guide you in this matter." 5.35

"You go and approach that sage Sutīkṣṇa and he would show you a clean place to stay in this pretty forest and then you can stay there." 5.36

"Oh Rāma, you travel in the opposite direction of Mandākinī which carries flowers in boats and you would reach that place." 5.37

"Oh tiger among men, please for a moment see in this direction and see my body, for I am going to shed off this dilapidated body like a snake sheds its skin." 5.38

Then the great lustrous Sārabhaṅga entered the fire kindled by chanting of Mantras in the sticks of sacrificial fire." 5.39

Then that fire burnt the hair on his body as well as his head and his worn out skin as well as his flesh. 5.40

The great Sārabhaṅga rose from that fire with a youthful form and after emerging out, he looked splendid. 5.41

Then he went out of the world of priests who constantly kindled fire, great sages and after going beyond the world of devas went to the world of Brahma. 5.42

That great Brahmin who did blessed deeds in the world saw Lord Brahma and his people and Lord Brahma also saw that Brahmin and gladly welcomed him. 5.43

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