Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 6

6. Sages Meet Rāma

[Many great sages of the forest meet Rāma and tell him, how they are troubled and killed by Rākṣasas. They request him to protect them. Rāma promises to do that and goes in search of hermitage of Sutīkṣṇa.]

When Sārabhaṅga reached heaven, many groups of sages came together and approached Rāma who was having great lustre and is the son of the Kākutstha clan. 6.1

Vaikasanas, Vālakhilyas, who washed their bodies frequently, Marichakas, Asmakutas, saints who eat leaves as food, saints who de husk grains with their teeth and eat them, saints who keep only the head above the water, saints who only use their limbs as bed, saints who do not lie down, saints who live out in the open, saints who take liquid food, saints who live only on air, saints who are seated on top of trees, saints who sleep on bare ground, those who observe penance of fast, saints who have restrained all emotions, saints who always wear wet cloths, sages who meditate always, sages who do penance surrounded by fire beneath the sun and many other saint met Rāma in the hermitage of Sārabhaṅga along with Brahmins who were practicing steadfast yoga. 6.2-6.6

Those groups of sages who were experts in Dharma having reached there, met Rāma, the greatest among practitioners of Dharma and told him. 6.7

"You are the very heroic one of earth belonging to the clan of Ikshvāku and one of their important lords and similar to Indra among devas." 6.8

"You are well known in all the three worlds, for your valour, devotion to your father, steadfast adherence to truth and Dharma." 6.9

"We have come to you oh great one, who is an expert in Dharma as well as lover of Dharma and we are telling you about our need and we deserve your pardon for that." 6.10

"Oh lord, that king would not be doing an act as Dharma if he collects one sixth of the income from all but fails to protect them." 6.11

"He who loves all the people of his country more than his life and considers them equal to his children and protects all of them in a proper manner forever, would get fame for a very long time and attain the world of Brahma and would remain there and will be appreciated there also." 6.12-6.13

"Out of the benefits got by sages and saints living on roots and fruits by their observing the divine Dharma, one fourth of it would go to the king." 6.14

"Oh Rāma, most of those who observe Vānaprastha stage of life are Brahmins and in spite of their having a ruler like you, they are tortured and killed like orphans." 6.15

"Come in to the forest and see for yourself the bodies of those sages who were meditating on God but were killed by the Rākṣasas by the fierce Rākṣasas," 6.16

"A war was waged between those who live on the Chitrakūṭa and those living near Pampa river which is near river Mandākinī." 6.17

"We are not able to tolerate the greatly treacherous acts of those very horrible Rākṣasas in the forest." 6.18

"So we have come seeking protection by you because you are the one capable of protecting us and since we are being killed by the Rākṣasas, protect us from them." 6.19

"Oh valorous one, we cannot find any other person in the world who can protect us and so Oh prince protect us from all those Rākṣasas." 6.20

Hearing this from the sages, that son of Kākutstha clan who was an expert in Dharma told those sages like this. 6.21

"It is not fitting for you to entreat like this to me but as sages you should have ordered me as I am entering this forest for a personal purpose." 6.22

"For I have entered this forest as per the orders of my father and also to ward off, the evil acts of the Rākṣasas against you all." 6.23

"Just be chance I came to this forest to fulfil your task and so my stay in the forest surely would lead to good results." 6.24

"I desire to kill those Rākṣasas who trouble you sages in a war and oh sages who have earned the treasure of penance, you are going to see the valour of my brother and myself." 6.25

After promising protection to the sages rich in penance that man who was firm in Dharma along with his brother Lakṣmaṇa and those great ascetics started to meet Sutīkṣṇa who deserves to be respected. 6.26

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