Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 61

61. Initial Search for Sītā

[Rāma is greatly grieving. Lakṣmaṇa consoles him and gives him hope. Both of them search for Sītā all over that place when they are not able to find Sītā, Rāma faints.]

Rāma, the son of Daśaratha finding that the hermitage is empty and devoid of anybody, with seats being disturbed, was not able to see Sītā anywhere, held the radiant and etched shoulders of Lakṣmaṇa and cried bitterly. 61.1-61.2

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa, where is Vaidehī? To which country she has gone? Oh son of Sumitrā, who has killed her? And who has eaten her up." 61.3

"Oh Sītā, if you want to tease and play with me after hiding behind a tree, stop that fun because I am greatly grieving for you." 61.4

"Oh simple Sītā, those trustworthy young deer which used to play with you being separated from you are thinking about you, with eyes full of tears." 61.5

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa, I cannot live without Sītā and due to her abductions, I am feeling extremely sad. And I feel when I go to heaven I will see there, my father who was the king." 61.6

"My father will clearly ask me there, I had taken a vow and sent you to the forest and how came you how come without completing that period, you have come here and you look like one who does what he pleases, not gentlemanly and a liar. Fie on you." 61.7-61.8

"I am helpless, deeply drowned in sorrow, with greatly shattered mind and Oh pretty lady Sītā, where have you gone leaving me like fame deserting a crooked person and oh lady with slender waist, separated from you, I would give up my life." 61.9 -61.10

With a deep desire to see Sītā, Rāma was wailing like this and Sītā who was not able to see Rāma was also drowned in sorrow. 61.11

To Rāma the son of Daśaratha who was not able to see Sītā, like a elephant sinking in a broad marshy land, Lakṣmaṇa spoke these meaningful words consoling him. 61.12-61.13

"Oh greatly valorous Rāma do not grieve, along with me put in efforts to search this big forest full of creepers and trees." 61.14

"Maithili is mad after forests and likes to wander in the forest. She might be staying there seeing the lotus ponds and trees full of flower." 61.15

"Or she must have reached the river which is full of fish and reeds, being desirous of bathing she must be inside the water or she who loves fun may be hiding in the forest." 61.16

Oh bull among men, or she who is interested in scaring us, she must be hiding somewhere in forest, with a view to know our real intentions and so oh noble one, let both of us start searching for her." 61.17

"We both will search the entire forest to find out the whereabouts of the daughter of Janaka and oh son of Kākutstha clan do not grieve." 61.18

By the loving advice of Lakṣmaṇa, Rāma got some what composed and along with Lakṣmaṇa, Rāma started searching for Sītā. 61.19

Both the sons of Daśaratha started searching all over the forests, mountains, rivers and lakes entirely. 61.20

But those sons of Daśaratha were not able to find her on the slopes of mountains, caves and peaks, while they searched for her. 61.21

After searching all the mountains Rāma told Lakṣmaṇa, "I am not able to see Vaidehī on this auspicious mountain, oh son of Sumitrā." 61.22

Then Lakṣmaṇa drowned in sorrow, while wandering in the Daṇḍaka forest told his lustrous brother as follows. 61.23

"Oh greatly wise Rāma, you would definitely get back Vaidehī, the daughter of Janaka, similar to Lord Vishnu getting back the earth after suppressing Bali." 61.24

When Lakṣmaṇa told these words affectionately to Rāma, he with a mind disturbed by sorrow, piteously told the following words. 61.25

"Oh very wise one, I have searched the entire forest full of flowers and blossomed lotus flowers, the slopes of mountains having many caves and mountains and I am not able to find Vaidehī, who is dearer than my life to me." 61.26-61.27

Thus after crying over the abduction of Sītā, Rāma full of sorrow and misery lost his consciousness for a moment. 61.28

Rāma who was grieving, whose limbs were getting weak, and whose sense of judgement and thinking was weak, after breathing hot and heavy reclined for a moment. 61.29

That lotus eyed Rāma took lots of deep breath, Shrieked, "Hey darling" and got choked due to lots of tears. 61.30

The Lakṣmaṇa who loved his relations and was a follower of Dharma, after consoling him various ways humbly offered Rāma his salutations. 61.31

Not caring for the words which came out from the lips of Lakṣmaṇa, being not able to see his darling went on shrieking. 61.32

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