Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 16

16. Rāma Goes to Meet Daśaratha

[Sumantra informs Rāma that his father and queen Kaikeyi want to see him. With great expectations he takes leave from Sītā and goes in Sumantra’s chariot. Lakṣmaṇa also travels with him. The people express their expectation from Rāma and their great admiration. Rāma reaches the palace of Daśaratha.]

Sumantra who was conversant with epics having entered through the door, which was crowded with lot of peoples reached the sparsely populated courtyard which was being guarded with alertness, attentive young men who were devoted to king and who were wearing shining ear studs. 16.1-16.2

There he also saw well ornamented old people wearing ochre robes, holding a staff in their hands and appointed to guard the entrances of the apartments of ladies. 16.3

On seeing him all those guards who were interested in the welfare of Rāma, with great haste stood from their seats. 16.4

That humble minded son of the charioteer courteously informed them, "Please tell Rāma quickly that Sumantra is waiting at the entrance." 16.5

They who were always interested in doing good to the master, went and met Rāma who was in the company of Sītā and informed him accordingly. 16.6

When Rāma was informed by them that the charioteer who was a close friend of his father has arrived, he ordered them to bring him inside so that he himself will have the pleasure of seeing him. 16.7

That charioteer saw Rāma who resembled the god of wealth, completely decorated sitting on a richly covered golden seat. He was well adorned and anointed with red perfumed sandal paste resembling in colour the red blood of a boar. With Sītā by his side fanning him with a fan of yak tails in her hand he resembled the moon along with the star Chitrā. 16.8-16.10

Sumantra well known for his humility and modesty saluted Rāma who had natural lustre like the sun, the giver of boons. 16.11

Sumantra who is honoured by Daśaratha having seen the son of a king with pleasant looks sitting on an easy chair with saluting hands said. 16.12

"Oh great son of Kausalya, your father along with queen Kaikeyi wants to see you and so please go there without any delay." 16.13

When thus spoken the lustrous lion among men was greatly pleased and after honouring Sumantra told Sītā, 16.14

"It is certain that the king and queen after meeting and discussing about the coronation, are thinking about some important aspect." 16.15

"Having an opinion, that dark eyed, skilled queen who is interested in general welfare, is urging the king in my favour." 16.16

"My mother, who is the daughter of the king of Kekaya, who follows the wishes of the king perhaps wants to do something in my interest." 16.17

"It is fortunate that the king and his dear wife who is the queen, has sent Sumantra who desires my earning of Artha and Kama as their messenger." 16.18

"As per the opinion of the council, a befitting messenger has arrived and it is certain that the king will consecrate me as Yuvarāja today." 16.19

"Sure, I will go to the king immediately from here, meanwhile you entertain yourself along with the attendants." 16.20

That black eyed Sītā, greatly recognized by her husband thinking over the coming auspicious events, followed him up to the entrance. 16.21

"The king will give you the kingdom served by Brahmins, who are worthy of helping one to conduct Rājasūya sacrifice, like Lord Brahma gave the deva loka to Indra." 16.22

"I would like to see you observing the rituals, after completing the penance, wearing the excellent purified deer skin and carrying the horns of antelope." 16.23

"Let Indra protect you from east, Yama protect you from south, Varuṇa protect you from west and Kubera protect you from north." 16.24

After taking leave from Sītā, wearing auspicious ornaments, Rāma left the palace along with Sumantra. 16.25

Having come out of the palace like a lion coming out of the mountain cave Rāma, saw Lakṣmaṇa standing at the entrance who bowed and saluted him. 16.26

Then that son of the king who was tiger among the men met his friends in the middle courtyard. He approached and greeted all of them who were interested in seeing him and later he clad in a tiger skin and resembling a fire entered the chariot. 16.27-16.28

That Rāma whose brilliance matched the thousand eyed Indra, mounted in to that spacious and well harnessed chariot decorated with gold and precious gems, which was dazzling the eye due to its great lustre equal to that of the sun, drawn by excellent swift moving horses which looked like young elephants and which was moving creating sound like thunder and sped away swiftly. 16.29-16.30

That chariot moved making sounds like thunder like a dark rich cloud emerged from the house like moon emerging from behind the cloud. 16.31

Lakṣmaṇa the younger brother of Rāma holding in his hands a fan and an umbrella mounted at the rear of the chariot to guard his brother. 16.32

Then from the multitude of people who were gathered the sound of applauds emanated. 16.33

Chiefs of soldiers in hundreds and thousands riding on best horses and mountain like elephants followed him. 16.34

Well prepared heroic men applying sandal and aguru in their bodies holding swords and bows, greeting Rāma went ahead of him. 16.35

Then on the way musical instruments were played and poems flattering him were being sung by poets along with lion like roaring by warriors. 16.36

Well dressed women standing on balconies of their houses all the way showered heaps of flowers from all sides on the tamer of his enemies. 16.37

Women with faultless body standing on the top of the houses as well as on the ground were praising Rāma with sweet words aiming to please him. 16.38

"Oh Rāma who gives joy to his mother, since you have got the kingdom of your father, you must be seeing that your mother is greatly delighted." 16.39

Those women considered Sītā as greater than all women, because she was dear to the heart of Rāma. 16.40

"There is no doubt that, Sītā like, Rohiṇī joining with moon, was united with Rāma, because of the great penance done by her formerly." 16.41

When the great man Rāma was going through the royal avenue heard the conversation between woman standing on the top of their homes. 16.42-16.43

Then that Rāma heard the words of admiration, from those very happy citizens concerning himself using different words. 16.44

"Due to the grace of the king Rāma is going to receive this kingdom and its wealth. Because he is going to protect us, all our desires would be fulfilled." 16.45

"If Rāma looks after our kingdom for a long time it will bring benefit for all the people. If he looks after us, nothing that we do not like will happen and there would be no sorrow." 16.46

Rāma proceeded further like Kubera and was preceded by elephants and horses and his praise was sung about by great poets, while very sweet music was also being played. 16.47

Rāma thronged by he and she elephants as well as horses and the road junctions were filled with great number of people. The highway which looked splendid was also filled lot of merchandise and lot of gems for sale. 16.48

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