Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 28

28. Rāma's Advice to Sītā

[Rāma then tells large number of realistic reasons which would make life in forest difficult for a lady and says, he will not take her with him.]

That expert in Dharma who liked Dharma spoke to Sītā, thinking about the difficulties in the forest and not willing to take her there. 28.1

That Soul of Dharma seeing her eyes made dirty by the copious tears, having consoled her, told the following to dissuade her again. 28.2

"Oh Sītā, you belong to a very noble family and you are engaged in duties protecting Dharma. If you practice your ritualistic dharma staying here, I would be happy." 28.3

"Oh Sītā, Oh weak lady, please do as I tell you. There are many problems in the forest and I shall tell them about them and so please listen." 28.4

"Oh Sītā, leave out the idea of living in forest from your brain. It is impenetrable and has many great hardships." 28.5

"I am telling these words with your welfare in your mind. I do not know that it is full of pleasures but is full of very many sufferings." 28.6

"It is fearful and a source of pain to hear the sound of water falling from a mountain along with the roar of a lion from within the cave." 28.7

"Mad animals moving about freely in deserted places in the forest would attack men on seeing them, Oh Sītā, this is another great source of danger." 28.8

"The rivers filled with mud and infested with crocodiles are difficult to be crossed by even a mad elephant and such things life in forest dangerous." 28.9

"With places with no water and pathways covered with creepers having thorns, echoing with the sounds of water fouls make the life in the forest dangerous." 28.10

"You should sleep when you are exhausted on a bed of leaves spread on the self-broken earth and these make the life in a forest dangerous." 28.11

"Oh Sītā, after restraining oneself at night we have to get satisfied by eating fruits fallen from trees, and these make the life of forest dangerous." 28.12

"Oh daughter of Mithilā, sometimes we have to fast due to non-availability of food, and we have to wear a heavy matted hair and also wear dress made of bark." 28.13

"We have to worship devas and manes as per prescribed rituals and hospitably receive and treat guests arriving unexpectedly." 28.14

"We have to wander in the forest observing prescribed rituals and take bath three times a day, and this makes life in a forest difficult." 28.15

"Oh young girl, you should make offerings with flowers which are collected by your own hands according to the rules of the learned and this makes life in the forest difficult." 28.16

"The people who live in the forest should be satisfied with whatever food they get there and this becomes our happy duty and this makes life in forest difficult." 28.17

"Wind and darkness are extremely great in the forest and daily there will be great hunger as well as fear, and this makes life in forest difficult." 28.18

"Oh pretty lady, various types of reptiles crawl in the ground of the forest and this makes life in forest difficult." 28.19

"The serpents which live in rivers move crookedly like rivers and obstruct our path, and this makes life in forest difficult." 28.20

"Frail lady, butterflies, scorpions, insects, mosquitoes and flies would trouble us daily, and this makes life in forest difficult." 28.21

"Oh pretty lady, With thorny trees with their branches interlaced on the top and Kuśa grass and reeds below, obstruct the way, and this makes life in forest difficult." 28.22

"Those who live in the forest suffer various illnesses and fears of various types, and this makes life in forest difficult." 28.23

"Giving up anger and avarice and doing activities like a sage and mind should not be scared in scary situations, and this makes life in forest difficult." 28.24

"Therefore forest life is not suitable to you and so you are not going to the forest and when I rethink, I find many more problems." 28.25

"When the great Rāma took a negative decision regarding taking her to the forest, and did not follow the words of Sītā, with great sorrow, she told again." 28.26

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