Rāmāyana |Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa| Chapter 113

113. Bhārata's Return Journey

[Bhārata returns to Ayodhyā with the sandal. On the way he meets sage Bharadvāja and takes his blessings.]

Thereafter Bhārata carrying those sandals on his head joyfully boarded the chariot along with Śatrughna. 113.1

Vasiṣṭha, Vāmadeva and Jābāli who could do great penance and other ministers well known for their sagacious advice proceeded in front of Bhārata. 113.2

Then all of them went round the great Chitrakūṭa mountain ad proceeded towards Mandākinī river travelling eastwards. 113.3

Seeing thousands of pretty minerals, Bhārata travelled by its side along with his army. 113.4

Not very far away from Chitrakūṭa mountain, Bhārata saw the hermitage where sage Bharadvāja lived. 113.5

Then that very intelligent Bhārata, after reaching the hermitage of Bharadvāja, alighted from the chariot and prostrated at the feet of the sage. 113.6

The overjoyed Bharadvāja asked Bhārata, "Oh lad, Have you accomplished the task? Have you met Rāma?" 113.7

When he was liked by the very intelligent sage Bharadvāja, Bhārata who loves Dharma replied to Bharadvāja. 113.8

"When requested by me as well as his Guru Vasiṣṭha, that Rāma with stable prowess being very pleased told sage Vasiṣṭha." 113.9

"I will truly honour the promise given to my father and live in this forest for fourteen years." 113.10

"When he told like this to the greatly intelligent and eloquent Vasiṣṭha, replied to Rāma who was an expert orator using words of great significance." 113.11

"Oh very intelligent one, with pleasure give your sandals decorated by gold, for looking after the welfare of Ayodhyā." 113.12

"When Vasiṣṭha told him like this, Rāma stood facing the east, wore the sandals and removed it and gave it to me for the sake of the kingdom." 113.13

"Taking leave of that great person called Rāma, I am returning and going to Ayodhyā, holding those auspicious sandals." 113.14

Having heard these auspicious words from Bhārata, that great soul sage Bharadvāja replies with words which were more auspicious. 113.15

"Oh tiger among men, you are the best among those who possesses great character and it is not surprising that noble qualities have established in you, like water poured out reaches the lower level land." 113.16

"The greatly valorous Dasaratha has not died because he has son like you who loves Dharma and acts according to Dharma." 113.17

Hearing the suitable words spoken by that great saint Bharadvāja, Bhārata saluted him with folded hands and clasped his feet, took leave from him and commenced on his journey. 113.18

The great Bhārata after going round the sage Bharadvāja, again and again, along with his ministers started towards Ayodhyā. 113.19

The vast army of Bhārata marched ahead of him along with chariots, carts, horses and elephants. again started towards Ayodhyā. 113.20

Then they crossed the river Yamuna, which was wreathed by waves and again beheld the auspicious water of Ganga. 113.21

Bhārata along with his relations and army crossed the river Ganga filled completely with clear and pure water, entered the town of Sringaberipura and from that city beheld the town of Ayodhyā. 113.22

Then seeing the city of Ayodhyā which was not having his father or brothers, Bhārata was filled with grief and told his charioteer. 113.23

"Oh Charioteer see that ruined Ayodhyā which is not shining, is insignificant and is without joy and is desolate and silent." 113.24

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