Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 45

45. Citizens Follow Rāma

[Large number of Ayodhyā Citizens follow Rāma. Seeing some old and feeble Brahmins following him, Rāma, Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa get down from Chariot and walk like all of them. They all plead Rāma to return.]

Those people who loved Rāma, accompanied the great Rāma, the votary of truth, when he went to dwell in the forest. 45.1

Though the king and his friends were sent back compulsorily, they did not return back from the chariot of Rāma. 45.2

That most famous among men living in Ayodhyā with all good qualities, become dear to the people like the full moon. 45.3

In spite of being begged to stay by the citizens, that son of Kākutstha clan, for making the words of his father truthful, proceeded to the forest. 45.4

Seeing them with love as if he was drinking them and considering them all as his own sons, he told them. 45.5

"Oh my residents of Ayodhyā, show the same love and respect that you show to me, to Bhārata and that will endear all of you to me." 45.6

"That Bhārata, who adds joy to Kaikeyi is one having auspicious character, would do those things enjoined by rules, to you, which is for your benefit." 45.7

"Though he is young, he is old in his intelligence and has soft and valorous nature and do not be afraid as he would make a very good king." 45.8

"Since he has all the qualities of a king, he is recognized as Yuvarāja and he should be recognized as a king by me and others." 45.9

"Please do not make the king sad after my going to the forest and that would only please me." 45.10

As and when the son of Daśaratha showed his attachment to Dharma, the people started loving him more progressively. 45.11

That poor Rāma hiding his tears and along with Lakṣmaṇa got attracted towards the citizens who were weeping. 45.12

Those Brahmins who were old in age, wisdom and spirituality, shaking due to old age, from a distance spoke to him. 45.13

"Oh horses of good breed, you who are taking Rāma, please turn back and do good service to your master Rāma." 45.14

"The hearing power of all animals are good especially the horses and so having heard our request, please do turn back." 45.15

"Your master steeped in Dharma, who is pure soul, and who does auspicious penances should not be taken out of city to the forest." 45.16

When those extremely sorrowful and old Brahmins who were piteously crying like this, were seen by Rāma, he immediately got down from the chariot. 45.17

Then he along with Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa started walking towards the forest and he walked with his foot and that too taking slow steps. 45.18

Rāma. who liked good virtues and who was compassionate, started walking on foot as he did not like the Brahmins to be left behind. 45.19

With a highly agitated mind on seeing Rāma go to the forest, those Brahmins with great distress told him. 45.20

"The entire group of Brahmins along with their Brahmins, who are carrying the sacrificial fires on their shoulders are following you." 45.21

"Please see the umbrellas obtained by us while performing Vājapeya Sacrifice following you like the clouds in the end of rainy season." 45.22

"Since you are not having the ornamental Umbrella and are scorched by the sun, we would prevent those scorching rays by our umbrellas." 45.23

"Oh Child, normally our minds always follow the study of Vedas, but now for your sake, we are seeking for life in the forest." 45.24

"Vedas are our greatest wealth and reside in our mind and our wives protected by their matrimonial virtue would stay at home." 45.25

"Your mind being well set, you would not take a decision to return as you are on the side of Dharma and firmly located on path of Dharma." 45.26

"Oh Lord who is firm on doing your duty, we request with a bent head having hairs of the colour of the swan and soiled by dust of earth, you to return back." 45.27

"Many of the Brahmins who have arrived here, have commenced doing sacrifices and Oh child, their proper termination depends on your return." 45.28

"All these devoted beings, who are movable or immovable are begging you Rāma, and you show your devotion to those devotees." 45.29

"The trees who were uplifted by the wind wanted to follow you but were prevented by their roots, which held them back and they seem to be weeping." 45.30

"The birds without any movement as well as not taking any food are sitting on the top of the trees and they are requesting you who is greatly compassionate to all beings, not to go." 45.31

"When all those Brahmins were crying like this, they saw Tamasā river, preventing the path of Rāma." 45.32

Then Sumantra unyoked the tired horses from the chariot, allowing them to roll and relax, bathed them in water and offered water for them to drink and released them for grazing not far away from the river. 45.33

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