Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 58

58. Sumantra Delivers Rāma's Message

[Daśaratha asks about what was told by Rāma. Sumantra tells that Rāma had told him to look after the kingdom properly. He also wanted Bhārata to be respected by the queens due to his position. Lakṣmaṇa is furious on Daśaratha and Sītā only wept.]

After the king was consoled, he regained consciousness and then he called the charioteer and asked him about Rāma. 58.1

Then the charioteer saluted the king who was thinking of only Rāma, who was drowned in grief and sorrow, who was old, burning in grief like a newly captured elephant, who was taking deep breath and who was worried like a sick elephant. 58.2-58.3

The king in great grief, seeing the dust coated and dejected charioteer, whose face was bathed in tears and who was near, asked him. 58.4

"Would Rāma, the follower of Dharma, having taken refuge in the, foot of the tree, live. Oh charioteer, having lived a life of luxury, what that Rāma, will eat now?" 58.5

"That son of the king is not accustomed to sorrow and is accustomed to sleep in proper couches and how will he sleep on bare ground?" 58.6

"Wherever he goes he would be followed by men, chariots, horses and elephants and how can that Rāma live in a lonely forest?" 58.7

"How can my sons accompanied by Sītā live in a forest, where wild elephants and black cobras move about?" 58.8

"Oh Sumantra, how did the princes, along with Sītā who is delicate and in the garb of a lady sage enter the forest on foot after alighting from the chariot?" 58.9

"Oh Charioteer, you are indeed blessed for you have seen my sons entering the forest like Aśvīni devatās entering Mandāra mountains." 58.10

"After reaching the forest, what did Rāma say? What did Lakṣmaṇa say and what did the daughter of Mithilā say?" 58.11

"Oh Charioteer, describe how Rāma sat, ate and sleep? I would now live as a saint like Yayāti." 58.12

When the king questioned like this to the charioteer, he with a faltering voice told the king, with his face being made wet with tears. 58.13

"Oh king, Rāma, who observes Dharma, with a folded hand in salutation and with bent head told." 58.14

"Oh Charioteer, tell my very wise father, that I told this with a bent head and touching his feet, which is fit to be worshipped." 58.15

"Oh Sumantra, tell that I told all the residents of the private apartments without any distinction, news about my well-being and salutations according to their status." 58.16

"Tell my mother Kauśalya, the news of my well-being as well as my salutations and request to hear these words with alertness." 58.17

"Oh god like mother, Do all your daily activities with Dharma and perform appropriate rituals based on fire in your chamber and serve the godly feet of my god like father." 58.18

"Leaving out the feeling of self as well as pride and the thought that you are the principal queen conduct yourself with all mothers and Oh mother, mould Kaikeyi in such a way that she is favourable to the king." 58.19

"Though Bhārata is your son, behave to him like that of a king and remember that the position of a king grants him a senior position." 58.20

"You have to tell that I wanted to enquire about his welfare and request him to honour equally all his mothers." 58.21

"You have to tell the powerful son of Ikshvāku clan Bhārata, that he should obey the king as a Yuvarāja of the kingdom." 58.22

"As the king is in advanced age, do not put restrictions on him, since you live as Yuvarāja in his kingdom, you have to obey him." 58.23

Seeing me while he was shedding tears, "Look after my mother who may be more attached to me, as your own mother." 58.24

"Oh king this is what was told by him who has great fame and that Rāma who has eyes like red lotus was shedding excessive tears while he was talking." 58.25

"But Lakṣmaṇa was greatly angry and while breathing deeply he told, "For what crime was this prince banished?" 58.26

"The king being influenced by the command of the hateful Kaikeyi has done this unworthy forbidden act by which we are all suffering." 58.27

"Whether the banishing of Rāma was done out of avarice or due to the boon given earlier, it is an unworthy act." 58.28

"This has been done by the free will of the king with God like powers as I do not see any logic or reason for him being banished." 58.29

"The act of banishing of Rāma has been done without proper thought, is contrary to justice and has been done without intelligence and will only produce great sorrow." 58.30

"I do not consider the great king as my father and my Rāma not only is my brother, king as well as father as well as my relation." 58.31

"After sacrificing one who is loved by the entire world and disregarding the interest of every one, how can you please everyone with this act?" 58.32

"After banishing, the follower of Dharma, Rāma who is liked by all and going against the will of all people, how can you continue as the king?" 58.33

"As for the very pleasant Janaki, she stood there taking deep breaths and was weeping due to great sorrow, and did not tell anything to me." 58.34

"That very famous princess, who has never seen such a great sorrow, was weeping out of her sorrow and so could not tell me anything." 58.35

"Seeing her husband with dried up mouth, at seeing me leaving, suddenly she burst in to tears." 58.36

"Rāma with face wet by tears and hands saluting in reverence and supported by the arm of Lakṣmaṇa stood there and in the same way the pitiable Sītā with a weeping face was staring at me and the chariot." 58.37

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