Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 64

64. Curse of Saint Couple

[Daśaratha then tells how he told the old people about their son's death. He then narrates about their sorrow and how after cremating their son, they cursed him to suffer the sorrow of parting with his son and died. Daśaratha breaths his last while sleeping.]

That soul of Dharma wailing about the incomparable killing of that great sage Continued telling Kauśalya. 64.1

"I after having done that great sin unintentionally with my senses being agitated, thought with a concentrated mind, how to make it all right." 64.2

"Then I filled the pot with pure water, reached the hermitage holding the pot, walking through the path as directed." 64.3

"There I saw his parents who were very weak, old and fit to be worshipped and who did not have a help to make them walk and who looked like birds whose wings has been cut. Since they were not able to do any work, they were talking about their son, whom I have eliminated and made them both as orphans." 64.4-64.5

"With a mind filled with grief and a palpitating heart due to great fear, I became more sad with apprehension on reaching the hermitage." 64.6

"Hearing the sound of my foot falls that sage told, "Oh son, why this great delay, Give me the water speedily." 64.7

"Whatever may the reason son, for your playing in the water for so long, your mother was greatly worried. Enter the hermitage quickly." 64.8

"Oh son, if me or your mother has done any displeasing act, since you are a sage, do not keep it in mind." 64.9

"You are the only support for us who are like orphans and as we are both without eyes, you are our eyes and you are our soul. Why are you not talking to us?" 64.10

"Having seen that sage, I uttered a few indistinct words, stammering and without proper emphasis on the syllables." 64.11

"Holding up firmly to the strength of my speech, my mind and my action, I related to him with fear the calamity that happened to their son." 64.12

"oh great one, I am not your son but a man of royal lineage named Daśaratha. By action which would be condemned by good people a sorrowful incident has happened." 64.13

"Oh god like person, I had come to bank of Sarayu with my bow and arrow with a desire to kill wild animals and elephants." 64.14

"Then I heard the sound of water entering the pot and I thought that it is an elephant and I shot an arrow to kill it" 64.15

"Then I went to the bank of the river, I saw a sage with an arrow pierced on his chest, lying on the ground and who was dying." 64.16

"Oh God like person, the arrow which I had sent based on the sound to kill an elephant and that arrow has stuck your son." 64.17

"From his words, understanding that he was suffering greatly and as per his advice I pulled out the arrow from his vital parts." 64.18

"When the arrow was drawn out, he died there itself bewailing for you both who are blind." 64.19

"Your son has been killed by me due to my ignorance and great haste and oh sage, please tell me all that I have to do now." 64.20

"Hearing those very cruel words of mine, informing him the bad news, the great saint suffered great anguish and was not knowing what to do." 64.21

"When what highly lustrous sage with his face wet with tears, taking tortured breaths and broken with sorrow Spoke to me who was standing nearby with folded hands." 64.22

"If you had not told me about this inauspicious act of yours, Oh king your head would have broken in to thousand pieces." 64.23

"O king, if a Kshatriya knowingly kills someone especially living in the forest, even if he is Indra, the user of Thunderbolt, he would be thrown out of his position." 64.24

"If knowingly you kill a person of ascetic practices, or one who propounds knowledge of Brahman, his head would split in to seven pieces." 64.25

"You are alive now because you have done it unknowingly otherwise not only you but the entire clan of Ikshvāku would have perished." 64.26

Then he spoke, "Oh king now we would like to see our son and have a last look at his body drenched with blood, with his garment of deer skin lying scattered and which is lying unconscious on the earth and who has gone to the custody of Yama, the God of death." 64.27-64.28

"Then I took both of them who were extremely sorrowing to that place and made the sage and his wife touch their son." 64.29

"Then that miserable couple touched the body of their son and fell on it and that father spoke thus." 64.30

"My dear child, neither are you saluting me, nor do you talk to me. Why are you lying down on the earth? Are you angry?" 64.31

"Oh son who follows Dharma, am I not dear to you. If not see your mother. Why are you not hugging us? Please tell pretty words." 64.32

"From now onwards, late at night whose voice reciting sweetly the book of Śāstras, will I be able to hear?" 64.33

"Oh son, From now on who will salute the dawn after taking bath and offer sacrifices to the fire and after worshipping, talk to me with great confidence when I am afflicted with sorrow and fear?"64.34

"Who will bring roots and fruits and feed me with love like a guest from now on? I will be now sitting without work and without fetching anything as there would be nobody to help me to walk."64.35

"Oh child, you have made this very old and aged mother very sad and how can I support her who is longing for her son?" 64.36

"Oh son, wait, do not go to the city of death today and you can go there tomorrow accompanied by me and your mother." 64.37

"We both having been deserted by you are very sad in this cruel forest and feel like orphans and we also will come to the abode of death quickly." 64.38

"There we would see the God of death and implore him "Oh Lord of Dharma, forgive, Please allow this boy to maintain his parents." 64.39

"That famous God of Dharma, who looks after the world after deciding that my request is suitable to be granted, would grant me a boon to protect me from fear." 64.40

Oh son, you are sinless and killed by a person of sinful deeds and therefore you will go to world of heroes killed truly by weapons." 64.41

"Oh son, please attain that great state of warriors who were killed in a battle due to their not retreating when facing an enemy." 64.42

"Oh son attain that state which Sāgara, Saibya, Dileepa, Janamejaya, Nahuṣa and Dhundumāra, have attained." 64.43

Oh little son, you will attain the same state as that attained by Virtuous people who were ascetics and who studied Vedas, as that attained by givers of land in charity as also that attained by those who did worship of fire, as that attained by people who lived with only one wife, as that attained by people who gave thousands of cows in charity, as that attained by people who worshipped their elders and that attained by people who laid their body voluntarily. 64.44-64.45

"All those who are born in our clan will not attain any state of suffering, which would be attained by the one who killed you." 64.46

"Like this those two went on crying again and again and then he along with his wife commenced doing funeral rites to his son." 64.47

"That son of the sage who was an expert in Dharma, due to his own meritorious deeds assumed a celestial form and ascended to the heavens along with Indra." 64.48

"That sage along with Indra addressed those aged ones for a moment and told these words of consolation." 64.49

"By doing service to you, I have attained a great supreme state and t you both also would come and join me soon." 64.50

"That son of the sage who had controlled his senses, after saying this ascended the pretty divine chariot and went to heaven." 64.51

"That saint along with his wife completed the funerals libations immediately and told me who was standing by his side with folded hands." 64.52

"Oh king, since you have killed my only son with an arrow, you have made me childless and so I request you to kill me also and I will not be pained by it." 64.53

"Since you have killed my pure hearted son though unintentionally, I will give you a very cruel curse which would make you sad." 64.54

"Oh king, Similar to the sorrow that I am now suffering due to the death of my son, you will also suffer a sorrow caused by your son and would die after that." 64.55

"Oh king, though being a Kshatriya you have killed a saint unknowingly, the sin of killing a Brahmin would not get attached to you." 64.56

"Soon you will face a fatal condition causing you a dreadful death and this incident would follow you like the alms following the giver of alms." 64.57

"After giving this curse to me, those two people cried for some time and gave up their life lying on the funeral pyre and went to heaven." 64.58

"Oh Kauśalya after recollecting this incident of my childish act in sending an arrow based on sound and killing a saint has recoiled on me." 64.59

"Oh lady, my present state is due to the consequence of my previous deed and it is like suffering health problems when you take food not conducive to health." 64.60

"Oh auspicious lady, now the words of that great sage has come true today and I would soon give up my life due to the sorrow caused by parting with my son." 64.61

"Oh Kauśalya, I am not able to see you, please touch me with your holy hands" said the king to his wife crying all along. 64.62

"Oh Lady, the act of banishing to forest a son like Rāma can possibly be done only by me and the act done by Rāma in response to my word can only be done by Rāma." 64.63

"In this world, which discriminating man will abandon his son, even if he is ill behaved and which son will not become angry with his father when he is being banished?" 64.64

"Would Rāma touch me once now and will he come to my bedside? For after one reaches the land of Yama they cannot see their relations." 64.65

"Oh Kauśalya, I am not able to see you and my memory is fading and the messengers of God of death are hastening me up." 64.66

"At this time when my life is fading I am not in a position to see Rāma, who is a follower of Dharma and also valorous in truth." 64.67

"The sorrow arising out of not being able to see my son is drying away my life, similar to heat drying up a small pool of water." 64.68

"Those men who are able to see the pretty Rāma wearing ear globes, during the fifteenth year are not men but are devas." 64.69

"Those men are blessed who would be able to see Rāma with eyes like lotus petals, pretty eyebrows, good teeth, pretty nose and who resembles the moon, the lord of the stars." 64.70

"Those men are blessed indeed who would be able to see my son who has a face like the autumnal moon a fully opened lotus flower and who is fragrant." 64.71

"Those who see Rāma after he completes and comes back to Ayodhya are indeed lucky and would be seeing him like planet Śukra moving forward on his course." 64.72

"Oh Kauśalya, due to my numbed senses my heart is sinking and I am not able to differentiate the senses of look, hearing and smell." 64.73

"With the sinking of my perception, all my sense organs are sinking, like the rays of light are going away in a lamp in which oil is exhausted." 64.74

"This sorrow arising within me makes me helpless and senseless, like the current of the river destroying its bank." 64.75

"Oh Rāma, Oh very strong one, Oh son destroying all my tiredness, Oh darling of the father, oh my lord, Where have you gone now." 64.76

"Oh Kauśalya, Oh sage like Sumitrā, oh Kaikeyi who is cruel and who is my enemy, oh destroyer of my clan, I am being destroyed." 64.77

That Daśaratha who was crying in distress in the presence of mother of Rāma and Sumitrā, reached the end of his life. 64.78

"That very generous king, deeply hurt by the exile of his son went on pitiably narrating all this past midnight and afflicted with great sorrow breathed his last." 64.79

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