Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā K| Chapter 26

26. Rāma Tries to Bid Farewell to Sītā

[Seeing the dejected Rāma, Sītā is upset and worried. Rāma tells her as to what happened and asks her permission for him to go. He tells her as to how she should live after he leaves to the forest.]

After saluting Kauśalya, who did rituals for his welfare, that follower of Dharma Rāma got prepared to go to the forest with a firm resolve. He entered and illuminated the royal avenue crowded with people, captivating the hearts of people by his virtues. 26.1-26.2

The daughter of Videha [Vaidehī], since she was doing penance had not heard about the developments and her mind thought about only consecration of Rāma. 26.3

With a very pleased mind she had done the service [worship] of the devas as she was conversant with the royal Dharma and she was waiting for the prince. 26.4

Rāma entered that well decorated palace from the road which was crowded by joyous people and with his slightly bent head was looking little sad. 26.5

Sītā sprang up from her seat and trembled to see her husband who was sad and was in a greatly agitated state. 26.7

Seeing Rāma with a pale face, heavily perspiring and greatly thoughtful, Sītā became extremely sad and asked him, "Why are you like this?" 26.8

"Today with Brihaspati presiding over star Puṣyā has been declared as auspicious by learned Brahmins and why are with an upset mind?" 26.9

"Your charming face protected by a hundred ribbed Umbrella, which is as white as the foam, does not appear to be shining." 26.10

"Why is it that your face similar to one hundred petal lotus, is not being fanned by chowries, as white and bright as the moon as well as the lotus?" 26.11

"Oh best among men, why is it that eloquent poets singing your praise and bards praising your clan in delightful and auspicious words, are not to be seen?" 26.12

"Why is it that those Brahmins, who are experts in Vedas, after completing your consecration, have not confirmed it by sprinkling honey and curd on your head?" 26.13

"Why are you not surrounded by citizens and why are the chiefs of guilds and citizens of towns and villages not following you?" 26.14

"Why is it that ceremonial golden chariot drawn by four horses which runs with great speed preceding you, while you are coming here?" 26.15

"Oh valorous one, why am I not seeing the auspicious elephant who shines like the dark clouds and resembles a mountain, which is being worshipped properly lead your procession?" 26.16

"Oh valorous one with very pleasant looks, why is it that your attendants are not carrying before you, your throne which is carved in gold?" 26.17

"When all arrangements for the crowning have been made why are you looking like this, with a pale face and with no trace of joy?" 26.18

Seeing her who was wailing like this, that son of Raghu clan replied "Oh Sītā, my father who has a great lustre is banishing me to the forest?" 26.19

"You were born in a great clan and you know and follow Dharma. Please hear, daughter of Sītā, I will tell you how this happened." 26.20

"My father, the king Dasaratha had promised to give my mother two boons at an earlier time." 26.21

"Today when arrangements for my coronation has been made by the king, she had requested for the boons and he had to agree to it because of Dharma." 26.22

"She had asked that I should go to the Dandaka forest for fourteen years and my father should consecrate Bhārata as the Yuvarāja." 26.23

"I have come here to meet you before going to the lonely forest. You should not praise about my qualities in front of Bhārata, because people who are intelligent cannot tolerate the praising of others. Because of this do not mention about my qualities in front of Bhārata." 26.24-26.25

"At any time, you cannot expect any special treatment from Bhārata, but if you talk things favourable to him, you can exist near him." 26.26

"The king has conferred on him the position of hereditary title of Yuvarāja and so you have to keep him well pleased. You also have to keep the king pleased." 26.27

"For fulfilling the oaths given to my father, I am going to the forest immediately, Oh Sītā who has occupied my mind be firm and courageous." 26.28

"Oh faultless and auspicious Sītā, the forest is occupied by sages and here you keep yourself engaged in doing penances and austerities." 26.29

"Get up at dawn and perform worship of Gods as per rules laid out and then you please salute my father Dasaratha who is the king." 26.30

"My mother is an old woman and affected by great sorrow and apart from your duty she deserves your respect." 26.31

"You should daily salute all my mothers and also look after them as from point of view of love, affection and service, they are all equal to me." 26.32

"Bhārata and Śatrughna are as dear as my souls to me and so you have to look at both of them like your brothers and sons." 26.33

"Bhārata is now the king and the lord of our clan as well as country and so you should do no activity which is not liked by him." 26.34

"The kings would be pleased with good conduct as well as good service to them and they would get upset/angry if contrary acts are noticed." 26.35

"And auspicious one, live here being obedient to the king Bhārata and also live here doing the penance of truth and Dharma," 26.36

"Oh darling, I am going to the great forest. Oh pretty one, you live here without causing harm to anybody and I request you to obey these words." 26.37

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