Rāmāyana |Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa| Chapter 103

103. Kauśalya and others Meet Rāma

[Kauśalya and other mothers of Rāma along with Vasiṣṭha went to meet Rāma. On the way they see the piṇḍa made of Ingudi cake. Kauśalya is upset and then all of them go and meet Rāma. Rāma, Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa salute them.]

The wives of Daśaratha followed by sage Vasiṣṭha on foot with an intense desire to see Rāma. 103.1

The wives of the king, when they were slowly proceeding towards river Mandākinī, saw the bathing place of Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa. 103.2

Kauśalya who was an emaciated face with eyes full of tears addressing Sumitrā and other wives told. 103.3

"This is a sacred place of the river which is east of the forest where those orphans who are expelled from the country are doing tireless deeds in spite of difficulties." 103.4

"Oh Sumitrā from here your son Lakṣmaṇa carries water for the sake of my son without any laziness." 103.5

"Though your son is engaged in such manual tasks like bringing water, it should not be looked down because all the tasks he does his brother are with Dharma." 103.6

"Your son who is not accustomed to hardship, if he stops this service, it would be greatly distressing." 103.7

Then Kauśalya with very broad eyes saw the Ingudhi Piṇḍas kept on Dharbha spread on earth pointing towards the south. 103.8

After seeing those Piṇḍas kept on earth by the distressed Rāma, Kauśalya addressing the wives of king Daśaratha told. 103.9

"Please see these Piṇḍas kept by Rāma for the sake of his father great Daśaratha, the lord of Ikshvāku race." 103.10

"I do not think that this is a proper food for the great king, who was like God and one who enjoyed good food." 103.11

"How can he eat the cake made of pulp of Ingudi, as he was a great king resembling Indra, who has enjoyed food of all the four corners of the earth?" 103.12

"There is nothing more sad in the world than, the once rich Rāma had to offer his father the cake make of Ingudi pulp." 103.13

"Seeing that Rāma has offered his father the cake made of Ingudi pulp, I wonder why my heart is not breaking in sorrow?" 103.14

"There is a well-known saying in the world that man offers what he eats only to the God and it appears to me truthful in this case." 103.15

The distressed co-wives after having consoled Kauśalya were distressed went in to the hermitage and saw Rāma who looked like a God fallen from heaven. 103.16

Those mothers who were emaciated with grief, seeing Rāma who has given up all luxuries were overcome with sorrow and loudly cried. 103.17

Rāma, the tiger among men, true to his valour in war, after standing up touched the feet of all his mothers. 103.18

Those broad eyed queens with soft hands and fingers, with their auspicious hands wiped away the dust from the back of Rāma. 103.19

After seeing those mothers, the son of Sumitrā also became sad following Rāma bowed in reverence to them. 103.20

Those ladies of Daśaratha loved Lakṣmaṇa, who was the son of Daśaratha who was blessed with auspicious qualities, just like Rāma. 103.21

Sītā also with great sorrow caught the feet of those mothers and stood before them with tear filled eyes. 103.22

Like a mother embracing her daughter, Kauśalya embraced the grief stricken Sītā who was looking haggard due to living in the forest. 103.23

"How is it that the daughter of the king of Videha and the daughter in law of king Daśaratha and also wife of Rāma, has fallen in to this sorrow in this uninhabited forest?" 103.24

"Oh Vaidehī, seeing your face which is like a lotus flower withered in heat, a faded water lily, dust defiled gold, moon hidden by clouds, the fire of sorrow produced by the firewood of calamities is greatly burning my mind." 103.25-103.26

While his mother was talking these words of anguish, the elder brother of Bhārata, Rāma clasped the feet of sage Vasiṣṭha." 103.27

Then Rāma clasped the feet of his family priest who was exceedingly lustrous like a burning fire, like the king of devas clasping the feet of Brihaspati, and sat down with him. 103.28

When they sat down along with the ministers, important citizens and along with soldiers, Bhārata an expert in Dharma also sat along with his elder brother. 103.29

The valorous Bhārata looked at the greatly lustrous and majestic Rāma, dressed like a sage and sat down near him, like Indra after purification sits near Lord Brahma. 103.30

Among the gentlemen assembled there great curiosity arose as to what greatly persuasive words Bhārata is going to speak after saluting and honouring Rāma. 103.31

Rāma was shining in truth, the great Lakṣmaṇa and Bhārata the expert in Dharma surrounded by his friends were looking like three sacrificial fires surrounded by the priests. 103.32

This is the end of One Hundred and Third Sarga of Ayodhyā Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.