Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 52

52. Rāma Takes Leave of Sumantra and Guha

[When Rāma requests Sumantra to go back, he becomes sad and requests Rāma to permit him to stay in the forest itself. Rāma consoles Sumantra and sends him back. Then using the milk of banyan tree brought by Guha, Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa mat their hair and after bidding farewell to Guha, proceed to the forest.]

After the night was passed, in the morning, the famous and broad chested Rāma told Lakṣmaṇa who has all auspicious characters. 52.1

"The Goddess night has gone out and it is time for the sun rise and very black and dark Cuckoo is singing beautifully." 52.2

"In the forest we are hearing the screaming sounds of peacock and now we have to cross the peaceful Ganges which is flowing towards the ocean." 52.3

"Hearing the words of Rāma, that Sumitrā's son who made his friends happy called Guha as well as Sumantra and stood in front of his brother." 52.4

"That Guha obeying the words of Rāma quickly summoned his ministers and told them." 52.5

"Please get a pretty, strong, auspicious and swift boat which can help us to cross the river here quickly." 52.6

His great ministers responding to the order of Guha swiftly brought a boat to cross the river. 52.7

With folded hand in salutation Guha told Rāma, "Here is a boat that you requested. What else can I do for you?" 52.8

"Oh tiger among men, who is like the son of devas, please get in to the boat to cross the river that is going towards the ocean." 52.9

Then the greatly lustrous Rāma told to Guha, "You have carried out the work that was desired by me" and then he got in to the boat. 52.10

Then Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, wearing their armour and carrying shields, swords and bows along with Sītā went towards Ganga. 52.11

Then that charioteer with folded hands in salutation and with great humbleness asked Rāma, who is the follower of Dharma, "What do you want me to do?" 52.12

Then Rāma told that charioteer Sumantra, touching him affectionately with his right hand "Oh Sumantra, you go back from here quickly, and then look after the king carefully." 52.13

"You have brought me in your chariot this far and from now on I will go to the forest on foot." 52.14

When the charioteer Sumantra was asked to go back, he became emotional and told the tiger among men belonging to the Ikshvāku family. 52.15

"It is natural for you to start residing in the forest along with your brother and wife, but no one in this world can do anything to overcome this difficulty." 52.16

"Oh Rāma, this sorrow has happened to you who is a Brahmachari [one who walks in the path of Brahman], who knows Vedas well and who is compassionate and pure and so I think there is no use of possessing these qualities." 52.17

"You along with your brother as well as Sītā would live in the forest and would acquire a good status here and win over the three worlds." 52.18

"Due to the sinful acts of Kaikeyi, Oh Rāma, we are destroyed and we have also lost you and become partners with grief." 52.19

That Charioteer Sumantra after telling like this and realizing in his mind became extremely sad and cried loudly. 52.20

After shedding tears like this that charioteer drank a sip of water similar to water oblation and Rāma again and again told the Charioteer. 52.21

"There is no other friend like you to the clan of Ikshvāku. Please make king Daśaratha not to think about me and becoming sad." 52.22

"The king besides being old also has his mind filled with sorrow and is also full of the propensity to love and I am telling this to you because of that." 52.23

"That great king orders several small things to make Kaikeyi his wife to be happy." 52.24

"Whatever is in the mind of the king, he would take all efforts to rule the country and this is how a king rules his country." 52.25

"Oh Sumantra, please carry out all the tasks in such a way that the king does not became sad or distressed. Please carry out tasks like that" 52.26

"The king has not seen sorrow and he is an aged gentleman, who has control over his senses. Please tell him on my behalf with salutations." 52.27

"Having been banished from Ayodhyā to live in a forest, I am not sad and also Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa are not sad about it." 52.28

"As soon as the fourteen years is complete, me, Lakṣmaṇa as well as Sītā would see you again and again." 52.29

"Oh Sumantra, again and again tell this to king Daśaratha as well as to my mothers and also to other ladies as well as Kaikeyi. Tell about my health as well as that of Sītā's and Lakṣmaṇa's and our salutations to her feet, to Kausalya." 52.30-52.31

"Request the king to get back Bhārata speedily and on his arrival as per the desire of the king, he can be made the king." 52.32

"Once he embraces Bhārata and makes him the Yuvarāja, his sorrow that was caused by sending us away will not pain him much." 52.33

"Tell Bhārata also that he should treat all his mothers in the same way, without any difference, just like the way he treats the king." 52.34

"You should treat my mother Kausalya in the same manner that you would treat Kaikeyi and Sumitrā." 52.35

"You would become the Yuvarāja as per the loving desire of our father and you would provide pleasure in both worlds to him." 52.36

When Rāma wanted to send him back, Sumantra became extremely sad and after hearing all the loving words of Rāma, he told. 52.37

"Out of friendship and courtesy as well as without any fear, I am telling you these words like a devotee. I hope you will excuse and pardon me." 52.38

"How can I go back to the city after leaving you here, for I will feel your absence like a father feels the absence of his son?" 52.39

"The people who have seen this Chariot with Rāma, would become broken hearted when they see this chariot without Rāma." 52.40

"The city would be pitiable when they see this empty chariot with only charioteer and would feel like seeing their own army entering the city after being defeated." 52.41

"When they know that you who stay in front of the heart of the people, is staying far-far away. thinking of you the people would stop taking food." 52.42

"Having seen you, when they realize that you have gone away, their mind would be completely filled with sorrow and agony." 52.43

'The people seeing the empty chariot would wail hundred times more than what they did, when they saw you go." 52.44

"What should I tell the god like lady" Shall I tell her that I have left your son at his uncle's house and console her?" 52.45

"I cannot tell a lie like that to her and how will I be able to say the very unpleasant truth?" 52.46

"I used to carry your relatives in this chariot under your orders, and I am not sure these great horses would draw this chariot without you in it." 52.47

"Oh sinless one, I am not in a position to go to Ayodhyā without you and so please order me to accompany you during your life in the forest." 52.48

"If you do not consent for my begging request, as soon as you forsake me, I shall enter the fire along with this chariot." 52.49

"By staying the forest with you, I would chase all those animals that create obstacles during your penance and drive them out." 52.50

"You gave me by great pleasure by allowing me to drive the chariot to bring you here and I desire that you permit me further to happily live in the forest with you." 52.51

"Be pleased to permit me to stay in the forest in your neighbourhood and I desire to hear, you to say the pleasing words "Stay with me." 52.52

"Oh valorous one, if these horses are able to serve you, while you are in forest, they would do that and attain divine salvation." 52.53

"I would live in the forest and do service to you with a bent head and I would altogether relinquish Ayodhyā as well as the world of Gods." 52.54

"Like a person who does evil deeds cannot enter the capital of Indra, I would not be able to enter Ayodhyā without you." 52.55

"I have dream in my mind to take you back in this chariot to Ayodhyā, at the end of the period of your stay in forest." 52.56

"If I accompany to you to the forest the fourteen years would pass like a second, otherwise it will appear to be one hundred years." 52.57

"Oh Rāma who loves his servants, Oh my master's son, I stand on your path as your devotee and as your servant and so please do not forsake me." 52.58

After being requested pitiably again and again, Rāma who was partial to his attendants told Sumantra like this. 52.59

"Oh Sumantra who likes his master, I know about your great devotion, please hear as to why I am sending back to Ayodhyā." 52.60

"When my younger mother Kaikeyi sees you after you return to Ayodhyā, then only she will believe that I have truly gone to the forest." 52.61

"If she is happy and convinced that I have gone to the forest, she will not have any doubt about the Dharma of king And would believe that he is not a liar." 52.62

"It is my first requirement that my younger mother is prosperous in the kingdom ruled by her son Bhārata." 52.63

"For my sake, return back to the city along with the chariot and deliver messages to all as instructed by me." 52.64

After telling these words to the Charioteer, he consoled him again and again and Rāma told the following manly and reasonable words. 52.65

"This forest populated by people is not fit for my living as I have to live in a hermitage and do prescribed acts according to rules." 52.66

"I would now wear the dress of an ascetic, aimed at the welfare of my father, Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa and I am going to make hair matted by use of the milk of Banyan tree." 52.67

Guha speedily fetched the milk of the banyan tree and gave it to Rāma, who matted his hair as well as that of Lakṣmaṇa with it. 52.68

The tigers of men, who had long arms, twisted and matted their hair and then put on the robes of tree bark. With the crown of their matted hair, the brothers Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa resembled sages and shined with great lustre. 52.69-52.70

Rāma along with Lakṣmaṇa adopting the rules as laid by the Vaikhasana Agama took religious vows and then addressed Guha. 52.71

"Oh Guha, you must be greatly alert about the common people, the fort, the army as well as the treasury. The elders say that it is only with great difficulty that the country can be protected." 52.72

Then after giving leave to Guha, that son of Ikshvāku clan, went along with Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā. 52.73

The son of the Ikshvāku clan seeing the boat on the banks of the river Ganga with its very swiftly flowing waters told Lakṣmaṇa. 52.74

"Oh tiger among men, please get in to the boat slowly and then holding the beam help Sītā, who is a sensitive one to ascend it." 52.75

The self-respecting Lakṣmaṇa, hearing the command of his brother, helped Sītā get in to the boat and then he himself got in to it, without acting contrary to his brother's wishes. 52.76

Then the greatly lustrous Rāma who was the elder brother of Lakṣmaṇa ascended the boat and then the king of Niṣādas ordered his clan's people to row the boat. 52.77

The greatly lustrous Rāma, after getting in to the boat chanted Mantras suitable for Brahmins and Kshatriyas for the safety of his journey." 52.78

The greatly lustrous Rāma along with as per shastras, with great pleasure, did Āchamana [inner cleansing] with the waters of river Ganges and saluted the river and Lakṣmaṇa also did the same. 52.79

Rāma then permitted, Sumantra, his army as well as Guha to go and then having seated gave directions to the boat man. 52.80

Then that boat driven well by the oarsmen swiftly and safely crossed the river, propelled by strong oars. 52.81

When the boat reached the middle of Bhagirathi river, the blameless Sītā, with hands folded in salute told. 52.82

"The son of the great king Daśaratha would fulfil the orders of his father under your protection. After completing fourteen years of life in the forest, he would come back along with me and his brother. Oh pretty Goddess, after coming back safely, and after fulfilling my desires, I shall worship you." 52.83- 52.85

"Oh Goddess, you have three portions and you flow through the land of Brahma and in this world you appear as the wife of the ocean." 52.86

"Oh Goddess, Oh pretty one, I praise and salute you. After returning to the city safely with the tiger among men, I would offer you one hundred thousand cows, cloths as well as very delicious food to the Brahmins, with an intention of pleasing you." 52.87-52.88

"Oh Goddess, after I return and get purified, I would offer you one thousand pots of Sura and food in the form of meat and satisfy you." 52.89

"I would also please the various Gods who live on your banks and also worship all the temples and sacred waters there." 52.90

"Oh Goddess, Oh spot less one, please make me along with the great warrior Rāma and his brother enter Ayodhyā after living in the forest." 52.91

When Sītā was thus conversing the blemish less Ganga, they all speedily reached the southern bank of the river. 52.92

When the boat reached the other shore, that great man Rāma got out of it, and proceeded further along with Sītā and his brother. 52.93

Then the very strong one told Lakṣmaṇa, who increases the happiness of Sumitrā., "We have to be ready for protection, whether the place is populated or lonely." 52.94

"In this lonely forest, which we are not familiar, protection needs to be given to Sītā and so Oh Lakṣmaṇa, go in the front and Sītā would follow you." 52.95

"Protecting you and Sītā, I would walk behind you both and we would protect each other as it is the duty of valorous men." 52.96

"From now on, it would not be possible to correct any action which goes out of our hands and also Sītā would now on realize the sorrow of forest life." 52.97

"We will now enter the forest which is devoid of people, farms and gardens, which is difficult with its deep pits." 52.98

Hearing these words, Lakṣmaṇa started walking in the front and after wards went Sītā, who was followed by Rāma of the Raghu clan. 52.99

Sumantra with great sorrow was continuously watching Rāma, till he reached the other side of the river and when he could not see him due to long distance, he turned away his gaze and shed tears. 52.100

That great Rāma, who bestowed boons and who had a lustre like a king, after having crossed the big river Ganga, reached the highly prosperous country of Vatsa inhabited by happy people. 52.101

Being very hungry they killed four animals i.e. a boar, a white antelope, spotted deer and a great deer and quickly ate the meat of these animals and by evening reached below a tree to take rest. 52.102

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