Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 70

70. Bhārata's Journey

[The messengers did not inform Bhārata of the real facts. After giving present to his grandfather and uncle and getting several return gifts, Bhārata started on his return journey.]

When Bhārata was narrating about his dreams, those messengers with very tired steeds, reached the lovely city of Rajagriha which was surrounded by a moat which was very difficult to cross. They met the king of Kekaya and his son Yudhājit and they touched their feet and were honoured in return and then addressing Bhārata they told. 70.1-70.2

"Your family priest as well as all the ministers enquired about your welfare. They requested you to return in haste as you have matter to attend to, which is difficult. 70.3

"Oh broad eyed Bhārata, please take these very expensive dresses and precious ornaments. These may be accepted by you and be given to your maternal uncle. 70.4

"Oh son of the king out of these twenty crores are intended for the king and the complete ten crores is to be given to your maternal uncle." 70.5

Bhārata who is affectionate towards his friends, received them and in return honoured those messengers, enquired about their needs and asked them. 70.6

"Is my father doing well and are my brothers Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa doing all right and in good health." 70.7

"I hope venerable Kauśalya the mother of Rāma, devoted to Dharma, an expert on Dharma, one who follows Dharma and who is sagacious is free of all sickness." 70.8

"I hope Sumitrā the mother of Lakṣmaṇa the brother of valorous Śatrughna and who is an expert in Dharma observes all rituals and is keeping good health." 70.9

"Is my mother Kaikeyi who loves me, who is adamant, short tempered and who is proud of her intelligence, free of all illness and what did she say?" 70.10

When the great soul Bhārata uttered these words, the messengers addressed Bhārata respectfully and told. 70.11

"Oh tiger among men Bhārata, All those whose welfare you have enquired are keeping on all right. The Goddess of wealth and prosperity is awaiting you there. Let the chariot be yoked." 70.12

After being replied to like this by the messengers, he told the messengers, "I would take leave from the king of Kekaya and inform him that you are hastening me up." 70.13

That son of the king Bhārata after telling like to this to those messengers, addressed his maternal grandfather and said. 70.14

"Oh king, as urged by these messengers, I shall go to the proximity of my father and whenever you remember me, I shall come instantly." 70.15

Thus urged by him, the king of Kekaya who was the maternal grandfather of Bhārata, kissed him on his forehead, smelt him on his head and spoke these auspicious words. 70.16

"Oh child, I permit you to go. You are the very dear son of Kaikeyi and so inform her about my welfare, and also with your father, oh slayer of enemies." 70.17

"Oh child, Please enquire about welfare from the chief priest as well as other great Brahmins and also from the great archers Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa who are your brothers." 70.18

The king after bestowing honours to Bhārata presented him with, well-bred elephants. Blankets with different type of designs, antelope skins and riches." 70.19

The king of Kekaya after honouring the son of Kaikeyi gave him two thousand gold coins and sixteen hundred horses as wealth. 70.20

Similarly Aśwapatī who is his maternal uncle gave Bhārata several estimable, trustworthy and virtuous ministers to accompany him on his return journey. 70.21

His maternal uncle also gave him several great elephants born in Airāvata and Indraśirā, mountains and several pretty looking, swift moving and well trained donkeys which can be yoked easily and he also gave riches. 70.22

He also gave him well raised dogs of huge size, whose fangs are their weapons and which had great courage to guard his private apartments. 70.23

The son of Kaikeyi, Bhārata who was in a great hurry to depart was not delighted by the wealthy presents given by king of Kekaya. 70.24

His heart was full of extremely great worries due to the haste shown by the messengers as well as the dream that he saw earlier. 70.25

After he left his residence, he passed through the incomparable royal high way crowded by men, elephants and horses. 70.26

Then the very charitable Bhārata left the royal high way, saw the private apartments of the king far away and entered that apartment without any restriction. 70.27

Then after taking leave of his maternal grandfather and Yudhājit who was his uncle, along with Śatrughna, he got in to the chariot. 70.28

Several hundred of chariots with round wheels joined him and camels, oxen and horses also followed him. 70.29

Strongly protected that great Bhārata, who was not having any enemies along with Śatrughna and several ministers who were similar to him left the house of his grandfather which was like a Siddha leaving the court of Indra. 70.30

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