Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 55

55. Rāma Crosses Kālindī River [Yamuna]

[As per the instruction of sage Bharadvāja, the three cross Kālindī on a raft built by them. After reaching the other shore they travel towards Chitrakūṭa mountain.]

After spending the night there, those two princes who are destroyer of enemies, after saluting the great sage then went towards the mountain. 55.1

That great sage chanting greetings for their welfare and followed them like a father follows his children. 55.2

That great sage Bharadvāja with a great lustre started telling the following to Rāma, who was a valorous teller of truth. 55.3

"Oh great men, after reaching the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna, proceed along the Kalindhi river flowing westwards." 55.4

"Oh sons of Raghu clan, after having reached the rapidly flowing Kālindī river, you would reach an ancient spot in the river bank, which is served by many. There you construct a raft and cross that river who is the daughter of Sun God." 55.5

"There you would find a banyan tree with lot of lush green leaves and also several densely growing dark trees served by great sages and let Sītā salute them with folded hands and then should offer them invocations." 55.6-55.7

"After reaching that tree you can either stay there or proceed further. If you go one Kroṣa [two miles] from there, you would see a dark forest of mostly of Palāsa and Badari trees growing on the banks of Yamuna." 55.8

"That is the path leading to Chitrakūṭa and I have travelled through that path several times. It is pretty, soft and free from forest fires." 55.9

After that great sage who travels in the path of truth, described that path and Rāma saluted him and requested him to go back to his hermitage. 55.10

After the great sage left, Rāma told Lakṣmaṇa, "We appear to be blessed since the sage showed this great compassion on us." 55.11

Like this when the tiger among men talked with each other, keeping the very pleasant minded Sītā in front and proceeded towards Kālindī. 55.12

After they reached the fast flowing Kālindī, they started thinking about how to cross the river. 55.13

They constructed a big float tying together wooden planks and dried Bamboo sticks and spread on it fragrant roots of Uśīra plants. 55.14

That valorous Lakṣmaṇa using cut stems of reeds and branches of Jamoon tree, made a comfortable seat for Sītā. 55.15

That lady who resembled Goddess Lakshmi and who was the darling of the son of Daśaratha felt little shy to climb on the float and was helped by Rāma to climb on the float. 55.16

On one side of Sītā Rāma placed her cloths and ornaments and also kept the spade, basket and weapons. 55.17

First Sītā climbed, when the float was kept stable by the sons of Daśaratha, who climbed on to it later and attentively ferrying it they crossed the river. 55.18

When Sītā reached the middle of Kālindī, she saluted the river and said, "oh Goddess, I pray for safety while crossing. Let my husband fulfil his vows. After I return to the town ruled by the Ikshvāku clan, I will worship you with one thousand cows and hundred pots of Sura. 55.19-55.20

After the lady with a blessed colour begged the river with folded hands, they reached the southern bank of the river. 55.21

Thus on the float they crossed the swift flowing Yamuna who is daughter of Sun God, which was crowned with waves and which had trees growing thick on her banks. 55.22

After crossing they got down from the plank they went in the forest adjoining the river Yamuna which was blessed with greenery and reached the cool dark banyan tree. 55.23

When they reached the Banyan tree Sītā told, "I salute you great tree. Please protect us and may my husband fulfil his vow. Let me able to see Kauśalya and the famous Sumitrā after my return." After praying like this they went round that Lord of the forest. 55.24-55.25

Seeing the blemish less and his beloved Sītā requesting for blessings Rāma told Lakṣmaṇa. 55.26

"Oh best walker, oh brother of Bhārata, you go in the front with Sītā and I shall follow you armed with weapons." 55.27

"Whatever flower or fruit is requested by Sītā, the daughter of Janaka, you get that so that the mind of Vaidehī is pleased." 55.28

When Sītā was walking in between them, she appeared like a she elephant walking between two he elephants. 55.29

That gentle lady, one by one pointed out trees and shrubs which are completely laden with flowers and which she has not seen before or a creeper that she has not seen and asked Rāma about them. 55.30

Lakṣmaṇa excited by the interest of Sītā, without any effort brought pretty bunches of flowers and trees of every kind. 55.31

Then Sītā seeing the river Yamuna with its peculiar coloured water and glittering sand and hearing the echoing sounds made by swans and cranes was greatly excited. 55.32

After walking for one more Kroṣa [Two miles] those brothers Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa saw many deer suitable for sacrifice and after killing them in Yamuna forest ate them. 55.33

Appearing in high spirits after having seen several peacocks, several monkeys and elephants and roaming about in the lovely forest, they reached a comfortable level place on the banks of the river and stayed there for the night. 55.34

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