Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 50

50. Rāma Meets Guha

[After crossing through several villages, they leave the Kosala kingdom and reach the banks of the pretty and auspicious river Ganga. There Rāma is met by his friend Guha, the King of Sringiberipura. Guha offers them food and bed. Rāma refuses and sleeps on bed of grass. Lakṣmaṇa keeps awake and guards him.]

The elder brother of Rāma crossed the very broad and very pretty Kosala kingdom, and that great one facing Ayodhyā and saluting it told. 50.1

"I am taking leave of the great city protected by Kākutstha clan and I know that the gods who live there are protecting it also." 50.2

"Oh king of the world, after repaying the debt of life in the forest, I shall see you again along with my father and mother." 50.3

That one with eyes reddened like the lotus lifted up his right hand and with face full of tears addressed the poor people of the village. 50.4

"You have shown already the compassion and kindness to me. It is sinful to prolong this sorrow and please go back and discharge your duties." 50.5

They saluted that great soul and went around him and then crying out loudly they stood here and there. 50.6

They who cried were not getting satisfied on seeing Rāma and at the night fall, he went away and disappeared from their eyes. 50.7

That Kosala kingdom was blessed with grain and wealth, full of auspicious people who were charitable, was free from fear of any kind, full of pretty temples, full of gardens for sports as well as mango orchards, full of tanks filled with water, full of contented and well nourished people, being served by very good cattle, full of good looking kings and full of the sound of recitation of Vedas. The chariot moved away from that great kingdom. 50.8-50.10

Rāma, endowed with fortitude, travelled through the pleasant and prosperous kingdom, full of very pretty gardens which was fit to be enjoyed by kings. 50.11

He then saw the holy and pretty river Ganga, with three splits full of sacred waters and green moss here and there and which was worshipped by sages. 50.12

Decorated by the divine hermitages situated nearby, the delighted Apsara maidens were playing in the auspicious, deep and broad waters. 50.13

It was shining with the presence of devas, Dānavas, Gandharvas and Kinnaras and that auspicious one [river] was also served by the wives of several Gandharvas. 50.14

That river which was flowing in the sky for the sake of devas, it had hundreds of sporting places and hundreds of pleasure gardens for the devas and was famous as the deva Padminī 50.15

Its flow created loud laughter like sound and also at some places it flowed creating pure smile like foam and in some other places its flow was straight like the braids of the maiden along with shining whirlpools. 50.16

In some places it was deep and silent, at some other places, flowing speedily with sound. It made majestic regal sounds in some places and with horrible fearsome sound in other places. 50.17

The waters in which several deva groups took bath shined like pure blue lotus flowers. Vast sand hills covered the river in some places and in some others, it was spread with white sand. 50.18

The sound of swans and storks echoed together with the cooing calls of Chakravāka birds. Several birds inflamed with passion surrounded that flawless one. 50.19

The trees on the banks of Ganga made it appear as if they have garlanded her. In some places the river was covered with fully open water lilies and in some other places it was covered with crowds of lotus flowers. 50.20

In some places it was decorated by water lilies opening at night as well as their half open buds and it some places it looked as if intoxicated by the heaps of pollen fallen from flowers. 50.21

With all its impurities removed, it looked like a pure gem. The repeated sound of trumpeting of elephants of directions, intoxicated elephants, forest elephants, divine elephants and those fit to carry gods sounded and resounded in the forests as well as banks of the river. 50.22

She looked like a woman who has consciously decorated herself with fruits, flowers tender sprouts, flowering shrubs and birds which surrounded the river side. Small whales, crocodiles and serpents also served her. 50.23-50.24

That divine sinless river which destroys sins flowed from the feet of Lord Vishnu and due to the lustre of the descendants of king Sāgara, was caught in the matted hair of Lord Shiva and latter issued out from there echoing with the sound made by Krauṇcha birds as well as herons reached the ocean. Rāma reached Ganga in a place called Sringiberapuram. 50.25-50.26

Seeing the river blended with tumultuous waves and whirlpools, the great Rāma told Sumantra, "Oh charioteer we would spend the night here itself." 50.27

"Oh Charioteer, not far from here there is a very tall Ingudhi tree [Indian almond], having many flowers and budding leaves and we shall stay there." 50.28

"I am seeing a very great divine river, with water which is fit to be worshipped by devas, Dānavas, Gandharvas, men, animals as well as birds." 50.29

Lakṣmaṇa and Sumantra agreed with Rāma and turned the horses towards the Ingudhi tree and reached it. 50.30

The son of Ikshvāku clan, Rāma reached near the pretty tree, with his wife as well as Lakṣmaṇa and then got down from the Chariot. 50.31

Sumantra also got down and unyoked the best of the horses and stood with reverence before Rāma who has reached below the tree. 50.32

There lived a king of the hunter tribe known as Guha, who was very strong and famous and who was the soul like friend of Rāma. 50.33

Hearing that the tiger among men Rāma has arrived in his region, he surrounded by old people, his ministers and people of his clan reached there to receive him. 50.34

Seeing the king of hunters coming at a distance, Rāma along with Lakṣmaṇa went forwards to receive Guha. 50.35

With great anguish Guha hugged Rāma and said, "Oh Rāma, you can consider this city as your Ayodhyā. What can I do for you now? Oh great one, who can obtain a great guest like you?" 50.36

Thereafter he brought various kinds of good quality eatables like rice as well as various drinks and spoke them as follows. 50.37

"Oh mighty one, welcome to you. This entire land is yours. You are the king and we are your servants and you please rule this kingdom happily." 50.38

"Foods suitable for biting, chewing, drinking and fit for licking, excellent beds for your sleeping and fodder for your horses, all await you." 50.39

To Guha who told like this, Rāma replied, "By Your showing friendliness by coming on foot to meet us, we feel as if we have been worshipped and are greatly pleased." 50.40-50.41

Holding tightly his strong hands and pressing them together, Rāma further told him, "I have seen you Guha without any sickness and along with your relations. Is everything fine with you, your country, your friend and your wealth." 50.42

"All those things which you have given with great love, has to be returned to you as I am unable to accept them." 50.43

"As I have been initiated in Dharma of an ascetic, I have to only wear cloths made of bark and grass and eat only fruits and roots wander in the forest." 50.44

"I would not ask anything more than the fodder for the horses from anyone and if you can provide that I would worship you." 50.45

"These horses are very much liked by my father Daśaratha and if they are well fed, I would feel you have worshipped me." 50.46

Guha immediately ordered his people to give plenty of water and forage to these horses quickly." 50.47

After that wearing upper cloth made of grass, Rāma performed ritual of dusk and drank only water, which was brought by Lakṣmaṇa. 50.48

After Lakṣmaṇa washed their feet, Rāma and his wife laid down to sleep on the ground and Lakṣmaṇa returned to a place of rest below a tree. 50.49

Guha talked along with Sumantra and Lakṣmaṇa and kept guard over Rāma keeping himself awake along with them. 50.50

To Rāma, who had never experienced troubles because he was accustomed to pleasures and who was lying on the ground, the night appeared to be very long. 50.51

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