Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 56

56. Rāma at Chitrakūṭa

[Before they reach Chitrakūṭa, they visit the hermitage of Vālmīki. Later they reach Chitrakūṭa, build a house with dried leaves and start living there.]

After the night came to an end, Rāma who woke up early gently waked up Lakṣmaṇa who was sleeping. 56.1

"Oh son of Sumitrā, please hear the forest birds singing in melodious voice. Oh destroyer of enemies, the time has come for us to set out." 56.2

Lakṣmaṇa, who was awakened by his brother, cast off his sleep though he was drowsy due to the fatigue of the difficult journey. 56.3

Then all of them got up and after touching the peaceful water of the river, they travelled by the path indicated by the sage towards Chitrakūṭa. 56.4

When Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa were setting out along with Sītā who had eyes like lotus petal, Rāma told her. 56.5

"Oh daughter of Videha, see the kimsuka trees in full of flowers all over, making it appear as if they have garlanded the entire tee, at the beginning of the spring season." 56.6

"See the Bhallātaka trees, which is bent due to the load of lot of flowers and fruits, with no men to enjoy them and so we can comfortably live here." 56.7

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa see the honey combs of the size of jars hanging down in all trees which are populated by several honey bees." 56.8

"Hear the screaming of Nathyuha [type of cuckoo] birds which is echoed by the screaming peacocks and also see the delightful forest region matted with forest flowers." 56.9

"See the Chitrakūṭa mountain with its majestic peaks where the flock of melodiously singing birds are following the herds of elephants." 56.10

"We would enjoy this blessed Chitrakūṭa mountains with its forests where there is pretty leveled ground in which various types of trees are growing." 56.11

Then along with Sītā they went on foot to the beautiful, delightful mountain which entertains the mind. 56.12

After reaching the mountain which was occupied by several types of groups of birds and which was pretty and had several fruits and roots and had very tasty water Rāma told Lakṣmaṇa. 56.13

"This very attractive and peaceful mountain containing very many trees and climbers and also having several types of fruits and roots, appears to be a good place for us to live." 56.14

"Very many great sages are living on the top of this mountain, Oh peaceful and so we would settle down and live here." 56.15

Then Sītā, Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa having approached the hermitage of sage Vālmīki, introduced themselves and saluted the sage. 56.16

That very happy sage who is the follower of Dharma welcomed and hospitably treated them and also offered them seats and spoke to them. 56.17

Then the mighty armed lord who was the elder brother of Lakṣmaṇa, having revealed about himself to the sage according to tradition and told Lakṣmaṇa. 56.18

"Oh peaceful Lakṣmaṇa, bring strong logs of good quality and build a home as I am interested in staying here." 56.19

Lakṣmaṇa who was the destroyer of his enemies having heard these words brought logs of food and built a hut with leaves as the roof. 56.20

The good looking Rāma after looking at the firmly built hut, which had mats tied to its walls, told Lakṣmaṇa who was waiting with concentrated mind to serve him. 56.21

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa, since we are going to live here for long, let us satisfy the Vastu, by offering the flesh of black deer in sacrifice to it." 56.22

"Oh good looking Lakṣmaṇa, kill an animal and bring it here speedily. Remembering the tenets of Dharma let us act according to the rule of Śastras and you also recollect about the rituals." 56.23

That slayer of enemies, having understood the order of his brother [lord], carried them out and then Rāma told him again. 56.24

"Oh peaceful one, cook the meat of this deer and then we will perform the sacrifice. Do it speedily as the auspicious Mūhurta is drawing near." 56.25

Then the valorous Lakṣmaṇa after killing the black deer, which is fit for sacrifice, cast it in a well kindled fire. 56.26

After assuring that it is well cooked and roasted well, Lakṣmaṇa drained its blood and then the tiger among men Rāma told him. 56.27

"This black deer is well cooked with all its limbs. As you are an expert, please offer it to the house which is similar to a God." 56.28

That good Rāma who was an expert in Mantras, after having bathed and after controlling his senses, briefly chanted all the Mantras and performed the sacrifice. 56.29

Having worshipped all the desirable gods with proper offering, and becoming pure, that greatly lustrous Rāma entered the house of leaves with great happiness. 56.30

Then after offering sacrifices to Viswedevas, Rudra and Vishnu for appeasing the Vastu Devatā, he performed auspicious tasks according to tradition and chanted Mantras and according to tradition bathed in the river for removing of all sins and offered final sacrifice. 56.31-56.32

Lakṣmaṇa established suitable altars in the hermitage and also constructed the place for worship and other sacred places. 56.33

Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa who possessed auspicious qualities along with Sītā worshipped the [evil] spirits, with flower garlands, fruits, and roots available in the forest and also well cooked meat and water and chanted prayers as specified in the Vedas and also offered Samith [sacrificial sticks] and Kuśa grass in the fire and then entered that auspicious hut. 56.34-56.35

That very attractive residence constructed by wood as well as leaves, suited to that environment and well protected from wind, was entered in to by all of them, which was similar to the entry of all gods, in to the sanctum of good dharma. 56.36

They wandered in to the forest which had several types of animals and birds along with various types of brilliant flower bunches and where the sound of forest animals were echoing. 56.37

Having reached Chitrakūṭa blessed with beauty and with the river Māyāvatī with its very pure water and which had several animals and birds all of them rejoiced and started forgetting about their banishing from Ayodhyā. 56.38

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