Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 39

39. Rāma Takes Leave of his Mothers

[Daśaratha unable to bear the parting of Rāma, further chastises Kaikeyī. He instructs Sumantra to drop Rāma outside the city in a chariot. Rāma and Sītā take leave of Kauśalya and other mothers.]

After the king heard the words of Rāma along with his wives, when he saw Rāma in the dress of ascetic, his senses were deprived because of grief, and he was tormented, he could not lift his eyes to see Rāma and speak to him due to great sorrow. 39.1-39.2

That great king fainted due to great sorrow and that great one wailed because he was only thinking of Rāma. 39.3

"Earlier I might have separated several children from their families and I might have troubled human beings, because of that this hardship might have come to me." 39.4

"Without the proper time nearing, the soul will not leave this body and possibly because of that even after my son removing the fine cloths he was wearing and changing in to ascetic garb and even after standing in front me and also after Kaikeyi tormented me, my soul is not leaving me." 39.5-39.6

"It is because of only Kaikeyi, who practiced deception to meet her selfish ends that all these people are suffering." 39.7

After telling all and having uttered with sorrow once "Rāma", his eyesight was blanked out by tears and he was not able to speak. 39.8

That king after regaining his senses after a moment, with eye full of tears he addressed Sumantra. 39.9

"After taking a suitable chariot and having harnessed good horses to it, you shall leave this accomplished one in the forest outside the city." 39.10

"I consider that, this is said to be the reward of good people for doing good acts like this one where the mother and father are seeing their heroic and pious son being banished." 39.11

As per the order of the king, Sumantra of swift steps brought a decorated chariot yoked with horses, to that place. 39.12

That charioteer with folded hands, informed that a golden chariot, harnessed with good horses has been brought for use of princes. 39.13

The king who was expert in the affairs of time and space, summoned an officer of the treasury, who was firm and honest and told him. 39.14

"After calculating the number of years, that Sītā will live in the forest, bring highly valuable apparels and dresses for her which would be sufficient for her." 39.15

Hearing the words of the great king, that officer went back to the treasury and brought all those things that were needed by Sītā and gave them to her. 39.16

That high born, pretty Sītā, started to depart to the forest after wearing sparkling ornaments on her pretty limbs. 39.17

That well adorned Sītā lighted that palace, like the sun rising at dawn illuminating the sky. 39.18

Queen Kauśalya hugged her daughter in law and kissing on her forehead told the following words to her, who was acting on a manner not evoking pity from others. 39.19

"In this world the untruthful women, though greatly honoured by their husbands, never follow their husbands when they fall in to misfortune." 39.20

"It is the characteristic of women, that though they have experienced pleasure earlier, on experiencing even a little discomfort they censure their husband or even abandon them." 39.21

"The young ladies who have decided to do sin are untruthful, perverted and have a mind difficult to comprehend and in an instant they become devoid of affection." 39.22

"The heart of a lady does not get attracted by noble birth, knowledge, gifts, help received or even by accumulated wealth as their mind is very unstable." 39.23

"But the mind of virtuous ladies is fixed in good character, truth, scriptures and peace and to them only their husband is greatly sacred." 39.24

"During your travel outside [banishment], you should not feel disdain towards my son, for whether he is poor or rich, he is your God." 39.25

Understanding perfectly those words along with its Dharma and Artha, facing her mother in law with folded hands Sītā said. 39.26

"I would do all these as instructed by the gentle lady. I already know as to how I should behave towards my husband." 39.27

"I am not fit to be equated with bad people by the venerable lady for I will not at any time waver from the path of Dharma, like the light never leaving the moon." 39.28

"You cannot play a Vinā without strings and you cannot run a chariot without wheels and like that a woman cannot happiness without her husband even though she has one hundred sons." 39.29

"Limited happiness is given by father, mother and sons but the husband gives unlimited joy and so should be worshipped." 39.30

"Oh great lady, since I have been instructed in obligations to Dharma by an eminent woman, how can I insult my husband, for to me he is really God." 39.31

"When Kauśalya heard these heart stirring words of Sītā, that lady's pure mind was filled by sorrow as well as joy burst in to tears of joy." 39.32

Rāma after hearing the words of his mother who was a great follower of Dharma, with hands folded in salute went near her and spoke. 39.33

"Mother, do not be sad and look after my father well. My stay in the forest would come to an end quickly." 39.34

"These fourteen years would pass quickly like a night's sleep and you will see me here back safely surrounded by my friends." 39.35

After Rāma spoke these words embedded with sense, to his mother, he looked at his other three hundred and fifty mothers. 39.36

That son of Daśaratha seeing that all mothers also were greatly distressed, with folded hands spoke these words of Dharma. 39.37

"If by virtue of company or out of ignorance, if I have committed, even a little harsh deeds towards you, please forgive me and I am taking your leave." 39.38

All those ladies with their mind shattered by grief heard these well balanced words which were according to Dharma. 39.39

When Rāma were talking like this, those wives of the king wailed like a flock of geese. 39.40

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