Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 57

57. Sumantra Reaches Back Ayodhyā

[With a heavy heart, Sumantra enters back the city which was sad. All people seeing the empty chariot become sad. Sumantra goes and meets Daśaratha. When Daśaratha does not reply, Kauśalya becomes sad and falls down fainted.]

After seeing that Rāma has reached the southern bank of the river, Guha talked with Sumantra for a while with sorrow and pain and went back to his home. 57.1

The people waiting there heard about Rāma's going to hermitage of Bharadvāja, their stay in the hermitage with him and his going to the mountain. 57.2

Sumantra, who has been permitted to leave, yoked the great horses to the chariot, with a very heavy heart started on his journey to Ayodhyā. 57.3

Seeing on his way, the scented forests, rivers, lakes, villages and towns, he travelled with great speed. 57.4

That charioteer reached Ayodhyā on the third day evening and saw the town bereft of happiness. 57.5

It looked empty and silent with great grief and Sumantra became thoughtful, due to his tormented by violent sorrow. 57.6

"Is this the same place, which had elephants, horses, people and rulers of people? The city seemed to have been burnt by the fire of sorrow caused due to separation with Rāma." 57.7

Engaged with these thoughts that charioteer, pulled by the swift running horses, arrived at the entrance of the city and quickly entered. 57.8

Hundreds and thousands of people, rushed towards Sumantra who was moving to the city, asking "Where is Rāma?" 57.9

"Taking leave from that great Rāma who was a votary of Dharma, on the banks of river Ganga I have returned", he said. 57.10

Knowing that he has crossed Ganga, the people with their faces drenched with tears, shouted "Fie upon you", and taking a deep breath wailed loudly "Oh Rāma." 57.11

From the people who were standing scattered in groups, Sumantra heard, "we are lost, as we will not be able to see, Rāma." 57.12

"We will not be able to see Rāma in our midst, during charities, sacrifices, weddings and great assemblies of the society." 57.13

"What a great benefit for ordinary people? What a great love? What pleasures he gave?" like this the people were talking about Rāma who looked them after like a father. 57.14

The women, burning with sorrow due to Rāma's exile, were looking through windows in the stalls and loud bewailing was heard. 57.15

In the middle f the royal avenue Sumantra proceeded with a hidden face and reached the palace of the king. 57.16

After alighting quickly from the chariot, he entered the palace of the king and crossed the seven courtyards, each of them crowded with people. 57.17

The ladies who had assembled on towers, palaces and multi storey buildings with a wish to see Rāma, cried "Alas, alas", when they did not see Rāma." 57.18

Women with their very large, clear eyes, filled and drenched with tears, were not able to clearly see each other. 57.19

Here and there in the palace, the wives of Daśaratha who were sorrowing because of exile of Rāma were speaking among themselves and this was heard by Sumantra. 57.20

"He went with Rāma but has come back with Rāma and what will that charioteer say to Kauśalya who is greatly sorrowing?" 57.21

"Having seen that her son going away from her forcibly, I think it is difficult for Kauśalya to survive and even if she survives, it would be a bad life." 57.22

After hearing these truthful words of the women of the king, he entered the house which seemed to be burning due to sorrow. 57.23

When he entered the eighth courtyard, in a pale white room, he saw the king sorrowing and withered due to the separation from his son. 57.24

Going near the king who was seated and after saluting him, Sumantra told him the words of Rāma as it was told to him. 57.25

Hearing those words silently, the mind of the king was greatly disturbed and affected by sorrow due to the absence of Rāma, he lost his senses and fell on the ground. 57.26

After the king fell to the ground unconscious, the women of the inner apartment seeing him on the ground, raised their arms and wailed loudly. 57.27

Kauśalya along with Sumitrā lifted her husband who has fallen down and told him these words. 57.28

"Oh great one, why are you not talking to this messenger, who has returned from the forest home of Rāma, who did difficult task." 57.29

"Oh son of the Raghu clan, having done an unjustifiable act, you are ashamed but rise up as the good act done by you of having fulfilled your word may help you to get out of this sorrow." 57.30

"Oh God like person, you are not enquiring out of fear, for which there is no need, as Kaikeyi is not here and so you can speak." 57.31

That Kauśalya whose voice got choked due to tears who was absorbed in her sorrow, after having addressed the king, fell down on the earth. 57.32

After seeing Kauśalya cry out loudly this way and later falling to the ground and also seeing their husband, all those women wailed loudly. 57.33

Having heard the great noise of wailing from the private apartment of the king, all the young and old people as well as women of the city, screamed and again the city was again filled with confusion. 57.34

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