Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 14

14. Coronation Day

[Kaikeyi keeps on tormenting Daśaratha. The day of coronation dawns. Vasiṣṭha wants to see the king and sends Sumantra to announce his arrival. The king is not able to tell anything. Kaikeyi orders Sumantra to bring Rāma immediately.]

That sinner looked at the scion of Ikshvāku clan who had been tortured on account of sorrow regarding his son and who had lost his senses and was writhing on the floor and said. 14.1

"After hearing about the promised boons, why are you acting like a dejected man and lying on the floor as if you have committed a sin? You should maintain your dignity." 14.2

"People who are conversant with Dharma say that telling truth is a great virtue and I have told you, your duty if you are going to depend on truth." 14.3

"Oh king, Saibya the king, kept up his promise to the hawk and gave it his own body and attained the highest state." 14.4

"In the same way, the lustrous Halarka, when a Brahmin who had mastered Vedas, begged from him, plucked his own eyes and gave it to him." 14.5

"The ocean who is the lord of the rivers who follows the truth, even on the days of high tide does not cross the thin boundary at his shore." 14.6

"Truth" is a word that is Brahman, Dharma is installed on truth and "Truth" is the never dying Vedas and only by depending on truth you can attain the highest state. 14.7

"Oh good man, If your brain is fixed firmly on Dharma, follow truth and fulfil the boons given to me. Are you really a boon giver?" 14.8

"As per my requests, for the sake of fulfilling your dharma, Rāma may be exiled to the forest. I am repeating this thrice." 14.9

"Oh husband, at this time, if you do not fulfil my request, it means you have forsaken me and so I will give up my life." 14.10

By the urgings of Kaikeyi done without any hesitation, Daśaratha felt trapped in the noose of his promise like Mahabali got trapped in the noose set by Indra. 14.11

Due to the heart beating fast, his face became ashen and pale and he was like a bullock torturously moving between the yoke and the wheel. 14.12

That king with blurred eyes and a very poor vision, with great difficulty and courage, he found is footing stood up and told Kaikeyi. 14.13

"Oh sinner I married you according to Vedic rituals with fire as the witness and now I will give you up along with your son begotten through me." 14.14

"Oh lady, the night has gone away and the sun is about to rise. My guru and others will now definitely hasten me up to get ready for the coronation of Rāma with the preparations already made." 14.15

"Oh woman of inauspicious practices, if you prevent Rāma's coronation, then you and your son would not be eligible to do water based funeral rites to my dead body." 14.16-14.17

"I am not capable of seeing their cheerless, joyless downcast faces having seen them enjoying pleasures." 14.18

While the great king was talking to her like this the night with moon and stars faded away and the auspicious day time dawned. 14.19

Afterwards that Kaikeyi with sinful behaviour, who was an expert in speech but rendered speechless due to great anger again spoke these harsh words to the king. 14.20

"Oh king, why are you speaking these words of venomous pain? It is proper for you to summon immediately Rāma who has not suffered any pain." 14.21

"Only after crowning my son and banishing Rāma to the forest, and seeing me without any rivals, you would have done your duty." 14.22

Like a well bred horse lashed by the sharp whip, King Daśaratha, was greatly agitated by the words of Kaikeyi and said 14.23

"I am fettered by Dharma and my intelligence has vanished and I want to see my eldest son, who is virtuous and beloved Rāma". 14.24

By that time the night had lifted and gave way to morning and the sun has risen and the auspicious star also had come and sage Vasiṣṭha surrounded by several disciples of good character after assembling the required materials entered the city. 14.25-14.26

The streets of Ayodhyā were swept and sprinkled with water and flowers of different hues were spread on them. The great flags also had been hoisted and decorated with flower garlands. The roads were crowded by people who were in joyous mood and for the sake of coronation of Rāma festivities were being held in various places. The people were anxiously crowding everywhere. Sandalwood and other incense were burnt everywhere and the city resembled the capital city of Indra. Vasiṣṭha who entered the city saw the king's private apartments, which was graced with very learned Brahmins who were experts in rituals relating to the rules of conducting a Yagna, Several assistants and other eminent Brahmins were also present. 14-27-14.30

The great sage Vasiṣṭha, greatly pleased entered the private apartments passed through large number of people. 14.31

Sage Vasiṣṭha saw at the entrance of those apartments of Daśaratha, the tiger among men, the very pleasing Sumantra who was a minster as well as the charioteer. 14.32

The sage Vasiṣṭha who had great lustre told that son of a charioteer "please announce my arrival to the king." 14.33

"Here are pots of Ganga water and also golden pots with water of the ocean. Here is the auspicious seat made of Uḍumbara wood for the installation ceremony. All kinds of seeds and perfumes, gems, honey, curd, ghee, puffed rice, Durba, flowers, milk, eight pretty maids, the elephant in rut, a luxurious chariot drawn by four horses, sword, good bow, Vehicle accompanied by men resembling moon, umbrella, white fans, golden vessel tied with golden ropes, a pale coloured bull, a good strong horse with four teeth, throne, tiger skin, samith [sticks for fire sacrifice], fire, all kinds of musical instruments, courtesans, well decorated woman, priests, Brahmins, cows, sacred animals and birds, inhabitants of towns and villages along with their societies and merchants, and many others speaking sweet words and also kings who are here for Rāma's coronation. 14.34-14.41

Please bring the king here with haste since Rāma has to be installed soon when there is Puṣyā Nakṣatra. 14.42

Hearing these words the great son of the charioteer, entered the palace praising the tiger among the kings. 14.43

The guards of the door being desirous of king's interests were not competent to stop the old Sumantra who was liked by the king. 14.44

Going nearer the king but not knowing his state of mind, he started praising him in very complementary pleasing words. 14.45

Then that charioteer entered the apartment of the king and with folded hands showered praises on the king which were appropriate. 14.46

"Like the splendid ocean rises along with the rise of the Sun, be pleased to get up with a happy frame of mind." 14.47

"Just as Mathali, the charioteer wakes up Indra, who is the conqueror of all asuras at the present time, I also wake you up." 14.48

"Like Vedas along with Vedāngas wakes up the self-born Brahma, in the same way I am awakening you now." 14.49

"Like the sun and moon support the life of all beings of earth, in the same manner, I am awakening you." 14.50

"Oh great king, clad in auspicious cloths suitable to the occasion, please get up like the sun coming out of the Meru mountain." 14.51

"Oh son of Kākutstha clan, let the sun and the moon, Shiva and Kubera, Varuṇa, Agni and also Indra bless you with prosperity." 14.52

"Oh great king the goddess night has passed by. After acquainting yourself with tasks which have been done so far, do whatever is necessary to the coronation of Rāma." 14.53-14.54

All the citizens of your kingdom have arrived saluting you and the great sage Vasiṣṭha who is a god like Brahmin is waiting for you at the gate." 14.55

"Ok king quickly give the order for the coronation of Rāma. Like the cow without the keeper, the army without the commander, night without moon cows without bull, would be the kingdom, if it does not see its king." 14.56-14.57

The king hearing these meaningful and appeasing words, again was completely pervaded with great grief. 14.58

That virtuous and glorious king, with destroyed pleasure and reddish eyes due to great sorrow looked up to the charioteer and said, "With words you are piercing my important parts of the body." 14.59

Having heard those words of sorrow and having seen the pitiable king, Sumantra moved away from the place with folded hands. 14.60

Due to his very miserable state the king could not speak anything but the very diplomatic Kaikeyi said to Sumantra. 14.61

"Oh Sumantra, excited by happiness due to the thought of Rāma, the king could not sleep all through the night and is very tired as he is very sleepy." 14.62

"And so oh charioteer, rush out and bring illustrious prince Rāma without any hesitation and delay. Please be safe." 14.63

He thinking of that auspicious event felt happy with the king's order and quickly went away. 14.64

Sumantra thought that summoned by Kaikeyi, Rāma the follower of Dharma would definitely come here for the purpose of the crowning. 14.65

Deciding like this, that charioteer with great joy came out of palace with an idea of going and meeting the great Rāma. 14.66

Sumantra having left the auspicious private apartment which was like an ocean, he saw ahead of him crowds of people thronging the entrance. 14.67

Then immediately moving and after reaching the entrance, he saw several kings standing at the door and he also saw kings, wealthy people and citizens who had already come and waiting there. 14.68

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