Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 46

46. Rāma Proceeds

[Near the Tamasā river Rāma, Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā spend that night without taking food. Early morning, before the citizens wake up, they cross the Tamasā river and go further towards the forest.]

Then Rāma after reaching the pretty banks of the Tamasā river, and looking at Sītā as well as Lakṣmaṇa told like this. 46.1

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa, We have been sent to forest and the night has set in today and our forest life would be safe and you should not get worried about it." 46.2

"Please see the forest which appears as if it is crying and the wild birds as well as animals, have concealed themselves in their hide outs in the forest." 46.3

"Today, the city of Ayodhyā, the capital of my father, with all its men and women gone away, without any doubt would be sad." 46.4

"Due to various good qualities that they possess, kings are loved by people. Oh man like tiger, like that people love me, Bhārata, Lakṣmaṇa and Śatrughna." 46.5

"I am sorrowing for our famous father and also the mothers, for by frequent crying they would become blind." 46.6

"Bhārata who is the soul of Dharma would console our father and mother with words confirming to Dharma, Artha and Kāma." 46.7

"I again and again think about Bhārata, who is not evil minded and I do not have any sorrow about our father and mothers." 46.8

"Oh tiger among men, It is good that you are accompanying me as you would be able to assist me in protection of Sītā." 46.9

"Oh son of Sumitrā, I prefer to spent today night by drinking only water, though different things which can be eaten are available in the forest." 46.10

After saying this to Lakṣmaṇa, he told Sumantra "Oh gentle one, please be careful about the horses." 46.11

Seeing the Sun was setting Sumantra, tethered the horses, fed them with plentiful fodder and sat near them. 46.12

When the night came, after doing rituals of the dusk, Sumantra made bed for Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa. 46.13

Seeing the bed made of tree leaves on the banks of Tamasā river, Rāma lay down on it along with Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa. 46.14

Lakṣmaṇa seeing that his brother was asleep along with his wife, told about various good qualities of Rāma to Sumantra. 46.15

Till the sun rose next day, Lakṣmaṇa was talking about virtues of Rāma to Sumantra by keeping himself awake. 46.16

Rāma had spent that night on the banks of Tamasā which was greatly crowded with cattle along with his subjects who stayed far away. 46.17

After waking up that greatly lustrous Rāma, seeing his subjects, told his brother with auspicious qualities. 46.18

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa, son of Sumitrā, these people due to great affection to us, even neglecting their homes are sleeping near the roots of the tree." 46.19

"These people have resolved to make us turn us back and they are prepared to give up anything including their life to make us turn back." 46.20

"While they continue to sleep, let us board the chariot quickly and without any fear, go our own way." 46.21

"These people who are the inhabitants of the town of Ikshvāku clan who love me, are taking rest near the root of a tree and they should never do it again." 46.22

"A prince should remove the sufferings being undergone by the citizens which was brought by themselves and definitely should not cause sufferings to them." 46.23

Lakṣmaṇa then told to Rāma who was great votary of Dharma "I am agreeable to that and let us board the chariot quickly." 46.24

That great Rāma addressing Sumantra told, "Oh lord, Yoke the chariot and let us go to the forest very quickly." 46.25

That Charioteer with speed yoked the chariot and harnessed the splendid horses and with palms in salute, informed Rāma. 46.26

"Oh great one, I have yoked the Chariot, which is the best among the chariots. You along with Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa board the chariot. May you be safe." 46.27

Rāma got in to the chariot along with all the equipment and crossed the rapidly flowing Tamasā river along with its whirlpools. 46.28

He crossed the river without problems and travelled through the great road, without showing any fear and protecting others. 46.29

Rāma with the aim of confusing the citizens told to the charioteer, "Oh charioteer, after mounting the chariot, proceed to the northern direction, for a while and again turn the chariot back speedily. Act with tact so that those citizens do not know which direction I have gone." 46.30-46.31

Hearing the words and after acting according to them and after bringing the chariot to Rāma, he told. 46.32

The sons of Raghu clan along with Sītā after seating in the well yoked chariot, and Sumantra drove them through the forests of penance. 46.33

Then after seeing the auspiciousness of the proper direction of the journey, Rāma along with the charioteer mounted and drove, the great chariot towards northern direction. 46.34

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