Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 34

34. Rāma Seeks Daśaratha's Permission

[Rāma asks permission from Daśaratha to go the forest along with Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā. The king cries, wails and requests Rāma to go next day but Rāma feels that he has to leave that night itself.]

That great one Rāma, with eyes like lotus leaf, who was black and who was matchless told Sumantra the charioteer, "Please inform about my arrival to my father." 34.1

At the request of Rāma with senses overwhelmed with sorrow, quickly entered the inner apartments and saw Daśaratha breathing heavily. 34.2

He saw the king Daśaratha, like an eclipsed son and a fire brand covered with ash and like a dried up tank. 34.3

The intelligent charioteer saw him as being greatly upset and thinking with great sorrow about Rāma and approached him with folded hands. 34.4

That Charioteer after greeting the king by saying, "let victory be yours", trembling with fear he gently told him in a feeble voice. 34.5

"The tiger among men, Your son Rāma is waiting to see you at the door, after giving away all his wealth to Brahmins and the attendants who serve him." 34.6

"Safety to you, please permit Rāma who is truly valorous and who has taken leave of his friends, to see you." 34.7

"Oh Lord of the world, you may see him, who is endowed with al princely virtues and encircled by rays like the sun as he is ready to go the forest." 34.8

That king who is the votary of truth whose soul is Dharma and who resembled the majestic ocean and the pure sky replied. 34.9

"Oh Sumantra, please bring all my wives whosoever are here as I want to see Rāma the soul of Dharma along with all my wives." 34.10

Sumantra then crossed in to the private apartments and told all the women, "Oh great ladies, Daśaratha wants all of you here. Come quickly." 34.11

When the order of the king was thus told by Sumantra, all the ladies went to their husband's palace. 34.12

Then all his three hundred and fifty wives, surrounding Kauśalya, who were steadfast to their marriage vows, with eyes turned red due to sorrow reached that place. 34.13

After having seen that all his wives have arrived, the king told the charioteer to go and bring his son. 34.14

Then that charioteer called Rāma as well as Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā and they went there and stood facing the king. 34.15

The king surrounded by his women seeing from a distance his son coming towards him with folded hands, suddenly got up. 34.16

That king of the world seeing Rāma, ran swiftly towards him, and being tormented by grief fell on the ground unconscious. 34.17

Then Rāma and the great warrior Lakṣmaṇa having seen him falling, speedily reached near the king, who has lost his consciousness. 34.18

Suddenly in the kings palace the sound of thousands of ladies crying "Ha, ha, Rāma" along with the tingling sound of their ornaments was produced. 34.19

The king was hugged in their hands by Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa and with the assistance of Sītā, The king was laid on his bed. All of them were crying at that time. 34.20

After a moment Daśaratha regained consciousness and Rāma being drowned in the ocean of sorrow, spoke to him folded hands. 34.21

"I am taking leave from you king as you are the God of us all, as I am going to Daṇḍaka. I hope to see you all right." 34.22

"Please also give permission to Lakṣmaṇa to go. Sītā is also accompanying me to the forest. Though I have tried to dissuade them by telling many reasons, they both are not agreeable to stay back." 34.23

"Of king with great honour, discard your grief and give leave to me, Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā to depart and behave like Brahma." 34.24

The king seeing the unruffled Rāma waiting for getting his permission to dwell in the forest spoke to him like this. 34.25

"Oh Rāma, I have been enchanted by Kaikeyi to give her the boons. So now you please arrange to arrest me and become the king of Ayodhyā." 34.26

Rāma the best among votaries of Dharma, who was skilled in speech, after being spoken this way, replied to his father with folded palms. 34.27

"Oh king, you will be the lord of this earth for many thousand years more. I shall reside in the forest as you should not act against truth because of me." 34.28

"After wandering in the forest for fourteen years, I will come and grasp your feet again after completing the vow, Oh king." 34.29

The king who was wailing and crying for his son but was tied by the rope of truth was further instigated by Kaikeyi and the king told to Rāma like this. 34.30

"Let your fame increase my child, go now for returning after fourteen years. May your path be without sorrow and be without fear from any quarter." 34.31

"Oh Child, you are devoted to truth and Dharma and so it is not possible to dissuade you from your resolve." 34.32

"Oh son, whatever may be do not go tonight, for at least for one day I would be able to see you and move about." 34.33

"For tonight, you stay with me and your mother and start and with all your desires fulfilled you can start tomorrow at dawn." 34.34

"Oh Rāma, you are doing a job that is difficult to be done and for the sake of my desire, you are leaving out all dear ones and going to the forest." 34.35

"Oh Son, Oh Rāghava, I am swearing that this does not in any way pleases me but I have been deceived by a woman hidden with deceit like a woman hidden by ashes." 34.36

"I have been instigated by this Kaikeyi who is the breaker of penance of others and you want me to ignore this deceit." 34.37

"Oh son, being my eldest and your ensuring that my words should not become untruthful, is greatly surprising." 34.38

Then after hearing these distressing words of his father, Rāma along with Lakṣmaṇa with great sorrow spoke. 34.39

"I would be getting more great things by going today rather than tomorrow and I so I would prefer to go to forest today itself." 34.40

"I am giving up this earth, with different countries, with its different people along with its wealth and grains, I am giving to Bhārata." 34.41

"I will not waver from my decision to live in the forest. Oh Father who blesses, this would make the boons that were given to Kaikeyi with joy remain truthful." 34.42

"I would obey the commands as told by you and would live in the forest for fourteen years along with the people who move about in forests." 34.43

"Do not revise your opinion, please give away the kingdom to Bhārata, for I do not have and desire for the kingdom or the pleasures that come from it but I love to obey your orders, oh son of the Raghu clan [Daśaratha]." 34.44-34.45

"Please put an end to your sorrow and let not your eye be filled with tears for you are like the ocean, which is the lord of rivers which never gets perturbed." 34.46

"I do not have desire this kingdom or this earth and nor all the desires in this earth or in heaven." 34.47

"Oh great man I want you to uphold your truth and that you should not become a person of falsehood and I am taking an oath in your presence based on all the merits that you have done." 34.48

"Oh father, it is not possible for me to stay here even for a moment, so bear the grief as there is no change in my decision." 34.49

I have been asked by Kaikeyi "Rāma, go to the forest " and as I have promised her that "I will go", I will uphold my promise. 34.50

"Oh god like father, do not have worry in your mind as we will enjoy our life in the forest, with calm deer which move about and echoing with music and sound of birds." 34.51

"Father, even for devas, as told in the scriptures, father is their god and treating my father as God, I am going to the forest." 34.52

"Oh best among men, after spending fourteen years, I would return back and at that time, you can see me and so you should give up this sorrow." 34.53

"Oh tiger among men, when you are one who used to pacify people choking with tears, why this change has occurred in you?" 34.54

"These cities, kingdom and the entire earth, may be conferred on Bhārata and I, obeying your commands am going to the forest and dwell there." 34.55

"Ok king, I am giving away to Bhārata this earth with its mountain ranges, along with cities and peaceful forests along with well laid boundaries, so that he alone can rule over them, the way that you have told me." 34.56

"Oh sinless one, My mind is not interested in great pleasures or doing things liked by it but it is interested in carrying out of your orders, which is assented by the opinion of great people." 34.57

"Oh sinless one, because of that I do not desire for the eternal kingdom, or fulfilment of all my desires, pleasures or Sītā herself or even life itself and my only wish is that your words should not become a lie." 34.58

"After entering the forest I would eat fruits as well as roots of various kinds of trees, I will see the mountains, rivers and lakes and become happy and so please do not be sad." 34.59

Then that king enfolded in sorrow and distressed by sadness and grief, embraced his son and lost his consciousness, fell on the ground and remained without movement. 34.60

Except the wife of the god like king all other ladies loudly wailed together and even Sumantra wailed and fainted and everyone was shouting alas, alas. 34.61

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