Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 68

68. Messengers to Bhārata

[Vasiṣṭha decides to send messengers to call Bhārata. He tells them not to reveal anything to Bhārata. Swiftly travelling they reach the city where Bhārata lives.]

After hearing their words Vasiṣṭha replied to the friends and ministers of the king as well as the Brahmins. 68.1

"That Bhārata on whom the king has conferred his kingdom accompanied by his Shatrugna is living extremely happily in the home of his maternal uncle. So let us send swift messengers on high speed horses to bring them back. What is there for us to deliberate in this matter?" 68.2-68.3

And all of them addressed Vasiṣṭha then told, "Let them go" and on hearing their words, Vasiṣṭha said. 68.4

"Oh Siddhartha, Oh Vijaya, Oh Jayanta, Oh Asoka, Oh Nandana, I am addressing all of you and telling you. Let it be heard." 68.5

"Go swiftly to the city of Rajagriha on horses and having gone there hide your sorrow and this order should be told to Bhārata." 68.6

"The priest and all the ministers wish you welfare. Please return back urgently as a very urgent task awaits you." 68.7

"All of you after going there, do not tell him anything about Rāma's exile to the forest or the death of his father or the disaster that has fallen on Raghu clan." 68.8

"Take along with you silk garments and precious ornaments, give them quickly to the king of Kekaya and depart quickly with Bhārata." 68.9

Those messengers who were going to the Kekaya kingdom, went to their homes, collected necessary things for the journey and mounting on excellent horses went. 68.10

After that those messengers after doing necessary arrangements, went on their journey after taking permission from Vasiṣṭha. 68.11

Those messengers reached Apartala Mountains travelling west, then they travelled North towards Pralamba mountains along the banks of river Malinī which flows in between them. 68.12

Those messengers crossed river Ganga near Hastināpura and travelled towards west through the middle of Kurujangala and reached the country of Pañcālas with lakes full of water and rivers with crystal clear waters. They travelled with great speed so that their mission could be completed quickly." 68.13-68.14

Then they crossed the divine Saradanda River with its calm waters frequented by various type of fowls and filled with people and they speedily travelled further. 68.15

Then they worshipped the divine Sathhyopayachana [wish giving tree] tree growing on the banks and after saluting it entered the city of Kālinga. 68.16

They then reached the city of Abhikala and then crossed Ikshumathi river flowing from Bodhibhavana mountains which were once ruled by the father and ancestors of Daśaratha. 68.17

There having seen Brahmins who were drinking water from their own cupped hands and who were well versed in Vedas, they travelled through the middle of Bhallika country and went to the mountain called Sudāmā. 68.18

After seeing Vishnu's feet, Vipāśā river, Śalmalī tree, rivers, deep wells with steps, lakes, ponds, large tanks, different type of lions, tigers and elephants, they undertook a very long journey to fulfil the commands of their master. 68.19-68.20

After a prolonged journey on their tired horses, those messengers swiftly went towards and reached the great city of Girirāja. 68.21

To please their lord and for protecting the clan of Ikshvāku and for the sake of upholding the greatness of the clan of their master, without any negligence and with great speed they reached the town that night. 68.22

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