Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 19

19. Rāma's Preparations for Forest Travel

[Rāma is upset because Daśaratha was sad but Kaikeyi was particular that he should go to the forest immediately. He goes to take leave from his mother Kausalya. Lakṣmaṇa also accompanies him.]

That killer of enemies Rāma hearing the unpleasant words, which were like death itself, was not distressed and told Kaikeyi. 19.1

"Let it be so. I shall go to the forest and live there wearing a matted hair and cloths made of bark, so that I would keep up the oath of my father." 19.2

"But I would like to know why the king, why the king who is the subduer of enemies, did not greet me like previous occasions." 19.3

"Oh great lady, do not be sorry because of this incident. For I tell you that I shall go to the forest wearing matted hair and robe made of barks. Be happy." 19.4

"Seeking the well-being of the king who is my father and who is my guru also as a grateful person, I will obey his orders without hesitation. Would I not do that which pleases him?" 19.5

"My heart is burning with displeasure, because the king did not tell me himself about the crowning of Bhārata." 19.6

"Without being urged by any one, as I am greatly pleased by my brother Bhārata, I would myself give him, my soul, this kingdom, the beloved people, all the wealth and even Sītā." 19.7

"Having been ordered by my father who is the king and for fulfilling your desire I would keep up the promise." 19.8

"For that reason, please console the king. Why is it that the king with his eyes staring on earth is shedding tears?" 19.9

"As per the order of the king, let messengers go, riding on quick paced horses, to the home of the uncle of Bhārata to bring him." 19.10

"I am speedily going to the Daṇḍakāraṇya forest and as per the words of my father I will stay there for fourteen years." 19.11

That Kaikeyi after hearing those words of Rāma became happy and believing in the words of Rāma, she wanted to hasten it up. 19.12

"Let it happen that way. To bring back Bhārata from his uncle's home messengers would go on horses with great speed." 19.13

"Since you are eager to go to the forest, it is not appropriate for any further delay and Oh Rāma because of that you should speedily go to the forest." 19.14

"Oh best among men, the king is not talking to you because he is greatly ashamed and there is nothing else. So do not get distressed." 19.15

"As long as you do not go from the city to the forest oh Rāma, Your father would neither bathe nor eat." 19.16

The king who was drowned in sorrow said, "What a calamity?" took tortured breath and afterwards fainted and fell down on the couch decorated with gold and fell down. 19.17

Rāma rose up the king and then Rāma was urged by Kaikeyi to depart to the forest like beating the horse with whip. 19.18

Rāma hearing the unpleasant words of bad consequence of that ungentle lady who did not seem to have any sorrow told. 19.19

"Oh lady, I am not interested in wealth like the people of the world, who strive for it. Know that I am equal to the sages who stand only in Dharma." 19.20

"If I can do anything little which would please my father, please inform me, so that I will do it even sacrificing my life." 19.21

"There is no Dharma that is greater than doing service to him and carrying out his orders." 19.22

"Though not having been directly told by this venerable one, due to your words, I would live in the solitary forest for fourteen years." 19.23

"Oh Kaikeyi, though you can rule over me as you are god like to me, you have spoken to the king instead of me, which shows that you did not trust me." 19.24

"I will take leave of my mother as well as Sītā, will console them and today itself go the Daṇḍaka forest". 19.25

"It is your duty to see that Bhārata should rule the kingdom and also look after my father and this is the law which is beginning less." 19.26

Hearing the words of Rāma his father was struck with sorrow and was not able to speak but cried loudly. 19.27

Rāma with great lustre after paying homage to the feet of his swooned father and to the feet of ungentle Kaikeyi came out. 19.28

After going round his father as well as Kaikeyi Rāma came out from the private apartment and saw his friends. 19.29

With eyes full of tears, his brother Lakṣmaṇa, son of Sumitrā, who was greatly angry walked behind him. 19.30

Rāma went round the materials collected for the consecration, steadily looking at those with reverence and later Rāma slowly moved away. 19.31

Loss of kingdom did not affect the wealth and great looks of the beloved one of the people of the kingdom, just like darkness of night cannot diminish the light of the moon. 19.32

Though having decided to leave the kingdom and go to the forest, no change of stance could be seen in that one who is beyond the comforts of the world. 19.33

Abandoning the auspicious umbrella, decorated fans and chariot and after taking leave of his own friends as well as citizens, holding back his sorrow of his in his mind, controlling his senses, he entered his mother's home to tell the unpalatable news to her. 19.34-19.35

All the glorious people around him did not notice any change in the countenance of the dignified Rāma who always spoke truth. 19.36

Rāma did not leave his usual happy looks like the autumnal moon which never leaves its usual brilliance. 19.37

The courageous and famous Rāma honoured all people waiting there with his sweet speech and entered his mother's place. 19.38

His brother the extra ordinarily brave Lakṣmaṇa who was equal to him in virtues held back the sorrow in his mind and followed him. 19.39

Rāma entered the palace with great happiness and seeing his friends there, did not show the great adversity that has befallen him, so that they will not get distressed. 19.40

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