Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 7

7. Rāma Meets Sage Sutīkṣṇa

[Rāma goes to the hermitage of Sutīkṣṇa. The sage advised them to stay there itself as he was preparing to go to heaven.]

Rāma the destroyer of enemies, along with Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā as well as those sages went to the hermitage of Sutīkṣṇa. 7.1

After going with difficulty for a long distance, after crossing many rivers with plenty of pure water, Rāma saw a mountain which looked like a great cloud. 7.2

Then the sons of the Ikshvāku clan along with Sītā entered a forest dense with various trees. 7.3

Then they saw in that the harsh forest which was full of trees with lot of flowers and fruits a lonely hermitage where the bark dresses were hung for drying. 7.4

There they saw a sage of advanced penance Sutīkṣṇa with dirty and soiled matted hair and as per his duty, Rāma spoke to him. 7.5

"Oh God like sage, I am Rāma and I have come to see you a great sage of valour, who is a follower of Dharma and who radiates truth and so please talk to me." 7.6

Then that sage seeing the courageous Rāma, who was the best among those who follow Dharma, hugged him with his hands and told. 7.7

"Oh Rāma, great one of Raghu clan who is observer of truth, welcome to you and with your coming this hermitage has a lord to protect it." 7.8

"Oh valorous one, Without going to heaven after leaving the earth, I am waiting for you who is with great fame, when I heard that you have left your kingdom and reached Chitrakūṭa." 7.9

"Oh son of Ikshvāku clan, Indra who is the king of devas had come here and that great deva who is also the God of devas told me that I have won over all the worlds due to my blessed deeds." 7.10- 7.11

"Those places which have been won by me are desirable even to the divine sages and you along with Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa can move about in those places by my grace. 7.12

To that great sage who had done very great penance and who is the votary of truth, Rāma who had great self-respect replied. 7.13

"Oh great sage, I would myself attain those great places and I desire you to direct me to a place of residence in the forest." 7.14

"You maintain welfare everywhere and are interested in the well-being of all people and you were introduced to me by the sage Sārabhaṅga of Gautama clan." 7.15

When Rāma told like this, that great sage who was famous in all the three worlds spoke these sweet words of happiness coupled with greatness. 7.16

"Oh Rāma, this place where many sages have moved in is a good place and you can move in to this hermitage blessed with fruits and roots." 7.17

"Oh greatly famous one, groups of various animals move about freely in to this hermitage tempting the inmates without any fear." 7.18

"There is no problem in this hermitage except the movement of wild animals and hearing those words Rāma as well as Lakṣmaṇa without any fear lifted their bows and arrows and told these fearless words. 7.19

"Oh great saint, if groups of wild animals come here, we would kill all of them using these sharp edged arrows which are comparable to thunderbolts." 7.20

"Oh sage, you please get ready. Are there any other things more difficult than that? We feel that our stay here would not be long." 7.21

After having spoken that way Rāma, seeing that the dusk has set in, Rāma completed the worship of the dusk facing west and decided to stay there in that delightful hermitage of Sutīkṣṇa along with Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā. 7.22-7.23

After the dusk has passed and night has set in the sage Sutīkṣṇa himself offered pure food to the great among men and also offered them great hospitality. 7.24

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