Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 20

20. Kauśalya Laments

[Rāma tells Kauśalya about his father's decision. She is greatly upset and is sad that he is going away and afraid of bad treatment by her co-wives. She tells Rāma that she will accompany him.]

While Rāma, the tiger among men was leaving, from the ladies of the private apartment great wailing arose. 20.1

"Rāma without being recommended by his father has been by his private acts, our refuge and is the protector of the private apartments and he is going on exile." 20.2

"Right from his birth Rāma was devoted to his mother Kauśalya, and he is now conducting in the same way towards all of us." 20.3

"He never got angry even with all those who accused him and he avoids all deeds causing anger, and he used to make those who get angry soft and that Rāma is going to the forest on exile." 20.4

"Without brain, Daśaratha is giving up Rāma who is the protective source of all beings and by doing so he is destroying the world of living beings" 20.5

Like this all the wives of the king felt like a cow separated from their calves and they cried loudly accusing their husband. 20.6

Hearing loud sound of cries of distress from his private apartments the king was tormented by sorrow on account of his son and Daśaratha sank down on his seat. 20.7

However the troubled Rāma who had control over his senses, heaving sighs like an elephant, along with his brother went to the private apartment of his mother. 20.8

There he saw a greatly honoured old man seated at the entrance while many people were standing. 20.9

Seeing that Rāma all of them stood up and said, "Victory to the best among the victors, let your wealth increase." 20.10

After crossing the first courtyard, he saw the second courtyard and there he saw elderly Brahmins greatly learned in Vedas and honoured by the king." 20.11

After Rāma saluted those Brahmins, he saw the third courtyard being guarded by old people, women and young children." 20.12

Seeing him with increased joy those women entered and informed mother of Rāma about his arrival. 20.13

That lady Kauśalya after waking up the entire night, in the morning was worshipping Lord Vishnu for the welfare of her son. 20.14

That lady clad in silk cloths in great delight, observed several penances and after performing the ritual of auspiciousness and was offering oblations to the fire. 20.15

Rāma entered the auspicious private apartments of his mother and there he saw his mother asking priests to offer oblations in the fire. 20.16

Rāma saw the materials like curd, Akshata Rice coated with turmeric], ghee, sweets and savouries, and things required for oblation in fire like Puffed grain, white flowers, rice cooked in milk, Gingerly and rice cooked together and things like incense sticks, and vessels filled with sacred water, which were kept ready for religious rituals. 20.17-20.18

He saw her Wearing white silk, thin due to penances observed, engaged in making the gods happy and looking like a deva lady. 20.19

Seeing her son after a long time, the mother was filled with a great joy, and she with great joy went towards him as if he was a young child. 20.20

Rāma saluted his mother and his mother came near him and hugged him tightly and smelled his head. 20.21

She spoke to the invincible Rāma who was her soul like son and that Kauśalya due to the affection to her son spoke the following affectionate words. 20.22

"Suitable to your clan, have long life and attain fame like old people protecting Dharma and royal sages who were great people." 20.23

"Oh Rāma go and see your father who greatly values truth and that votary of Dharma will consecrate you as Yuvarāja." 20.24

Rāma, who was invited to take food by his mother, after touching the seat and saluted with folded hands which were slightly raised. 20.25

Rāma who had innate humility with seriousness, devotion and with humbleness commenced to tell about his intended departure to Daṇḍakāraṇya. 20.26

"Oh goddess like lady, perhaps you do not know that a greatly fearful thing has happened and it will cause sorrow to you, Vaidehī and Lakṣmaṇa." 20.27

"I am going to Daṇḍakāraṇya and this seat is of no use to me, for the time has come for me to sit on a mat weaved with grass." 20.28

"For fourteen years I would be living in the forest without people and I will be eating honey, fruits and roots like sages and avoid meat." 20.29

"The king is giving the position of Yuvarāja to Bhārata and I will be living in Daṇḍakāraṇya like a sage." 20.30

"For fourteen years I would live in a people less forest and I would live there eating fruits and roots." 20.31

Then that god like lady fell down like a branch of Sal tree cut by an axe in the forest and like a Deva from heaven falling on earth. 20.32

Seeing her affected by sorrow and falling like a Banana tree, he lifted up his mother, who has lost her consciousness. 20.33

Like a mare which rolled on the ground due to the heavy burden, all her body was covered with dust and he slowly caressed her. 20.34

That Rāghava sat near her who deserved happiness but was sick due to its absence and she addressed that tiger like man and spoke, with Lakṣmaṇa listening to it. 20.35

"Oh son, Rāghava, why were your born to me? Had I been childless, I would not be experiencing the sorrow as great as this." 20.36

"Oh my son, a barren woman would have only one pain in the mind of not having a child and she does not have any other sorrow." 20.37

"When my husband was ruling over me, I never experienced any auspicious pleasure and I was holding to my life hoping for it from you, Rāma." 20.38

"I being the eldest queen would hear, unpleasant and heart breaking words from my co-wives, who are younger to me." 20.39

"Nothing more sorrowful than these can happen to a lady, than these unending wails and crying." 20.40

"Even Though you were near me, I used to be neglected, and with you being away, death is certain to me." 20.41

"Treating me as equal to the attendants of Kaikeyi and not giving me any independence, my husband used to restrain me." 20.42

"Those who were serving me or following me. after seeing the son of Kaikeyi will not even talk to me." 20.43

"Oh son, will it be possible for me now to look at the face of Kaikeyi, who used to talk harsh words to me due to being very angry at me." 20.44

"Oh Rāma after you completed seventeen years after birth, I always longed for my sorrows to come to an end." 20.45

"Oh Rāma, having grown old and having suffered this unending sorrow, I do not desire to be insulted by my co-wives." 20.46

"Without seeing your face, which shines like the full moon, how can I continue this pitiful existence." 20.47

"Doing great effort like fasting and doing Yoga, with great sorrow, I have brought you up in vain." 20.48

"My heart does not break after hearing the news, like the banks of the river does not break due to flood water after a fresh rain." 20.49

"Definitely death will not occur to me and there is no place for me in the world of the god of death, and so the god of death will not drag me like a lion dragging away a deer." 20.50

"It is definite that my heart is made of steel, for it does not break, even if earth falls over it. Though my body has surrendered to many great sorrows, untimely death does not occur to it." 20.51

"I am sad that all my mortifications, penances and charities have gone in vain. Even my body which was hot due to severe penances practiced for getting progeny, did not lead to results like a seed sown on a barren land." 20.52

"If any one suffering from great sorrow can realize untimely death any time, since I am like a cow without a calf, I would have gone to the region of dead people now itself." 20.53

"Oh Rāma, without seeing you with a face like full moon, what is the meaning of continuing this life without meaning. Like a enfeebled cow following its calf, I shall follow you to the forest, now itself." 20.54

She filled with unbearable pain, and great anger and was crying a lot and also seeing Rāma, with greatly added sorrow, she looked like a kinnara woman whose son is imprisoned. 20.55

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