Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 48

48. Citizens Lament

[When the citizens return to their homes, their wives chide them for leaving Rāma all alone. They long to be with Rāma, who was unjustly banished by Kaikeyi.]

All of those good people of the town who had gone with Rāma and who had returned back looked like they were afflicted by disease, had their eyes filled with tears, were greatly affected by sorrow and were desiring death, and looked as if their soul is leaving their body. 48.1-48.2

Each of them after reaching their own homes, were surrounded by their wife and sons, covered their faces and shed tears. 48.3

They were not happy nor were delighted, the merchants did not do trade, the market places were not graceful and house holders did not cook food. 48.4

Having lost Rāma, they were not pleased in acquiring great wealth and mother getting her first son did not rejoice. 48.5

In each house when the husband came back, they were reproached by their sad crying wives with words which hurt them like a goad hurts an elephant. 48.6

For those who are not able to see Rāma, what is the use of their house, what is the use of their wives, what is the use of wealth and what is the use of sons and all pleasures? 48.7

"There is only one good person in this world and that is Lakṣmaṇa who went with Sītā and Rāma in to the forest and does service to them." 48.8

"The pure waters in which Rāma bathes himself from rivers, lotus filled tanks, and lakes are indeed greatly blessed." 48.9

"The lustre of the son of Kākutstha clan would be increased by forests with pretty trees, rivers, big lakes, peaks and mountains." 48.10

"Whether Rāma visits a forest or a mountain, he would be received as dear guests and they would not fail extend a suitable hospitality." 48.11

"Various type of flowering trees, each having lot of flower bunches with honey bees circling them, would be seen by Rāma." 48.12

"As and when Rāma visits, even in an off season, the trees will present Rāma with excellent fruits and flowers out of sympathy for Rāma." 48.13

"The mountains will make flow pure water and would show him very picturesque waterfalls." 48.14

"The trees growing on the top of the peaks will enchant Rāma and there would be no cause of failure wherever Rāma goes." 48.15

"That greatly valorous and strong son of Daśaratha has gone away and we should follow him to a long distance." 48.16

"Even the shadow of the feet of that great master makes us happy, as that Lord is the people's ultimate refuge." 48.17

The greatly distressed wives of the citizens told them, "we would serve Sītā and you, please look after Rāma." 48.18

"In the forest Rāma would look after your welfare and Sītā would look after the welfare of the ladies." 48.19

"This place is disagreeable with people choked with great grief and who would be pleased here to live with a shattered mind." 48.20

"If under Kaikeyi, this country becomes an orphan bereft of Vedas, living here would be meaningless, what of our sons and our wealth?" 48.21

"For the sake of wealth she gave up her husband and will that disgrace to her race spare anyone else." 48.22

"We swear that we and our sons will not live as servants of Kaikeyi, as long as she is alive." 48.23

"That Characterless person has banished the son of the king and how can we get pleasure out of this life without Dharma under her who has bad behaviour." 48.24

"This entire kingdom is ruined without a lord to defend it and all actions of Kaikeyi would lead only to destruction." 48.25

"With Rāma having been banished our king would not live long and it is clear that we will live with great sorrow after his death." 48.26

"Without blessed deeds and rushing towards all that is bad, it is better that you drink poison or either, we follow Rāma or go to a place where we are not heard of." 48.27

"Rāma, Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa have been exiled for false reasons and all of us have been delivered to Bhārata like the animals that are delivered to the butcher." 48.28

"Rāma, the elder brother of Lakṣmaṇa has a face like full moon, is black in colour, has hidden collar bones, has long hands touching his thighs and has eyes like the lotus flower. He addresses others first, is sweet, votary of truth, very strong, is soft natured and to all others appears like a moon. He is a tiger among men, is as powerful as an elephant in rut and a great charioteer and while moving about would add lustre to the forest." 48.29-48.31

These were the wailings of the women of the city and they wept due to great sorrow like the death is approaching them. 48.32

Like that when the women were crying about Rāma in their houses, the sun had set and the night had fallen. 48.33

With fires of sacrifices not burning and with divine stories not being related, that town appeared by completely smeared by darkness." 48.34

With markets of traders being closed, without joy, without support, the city of Ayodhyā looked like a sky without stars. 48.35

The ladies were extremely sad for the sake of Rāma and felt as if their sons or brothers have been banished and since to them Rāma was much more than their sons, they lamented and wept. 48.36

With stoppage of singing, celebrations, dance and music, with no joy present, with shops not displaying their ware, that city of Ayodhyā looked like an ocean with diminished waters. 48.37

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