Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 71

71. Bhārata at Ayodhyā

[Bhārata travelled for six days and reached Ayodhyā. The city was full of sorrow and no sign of happiness is seen anywhere. Greatly upset, Bhārata drives towards his house suspecting some thing is seriously amiss.]

The glorious and auspicious prince of the Ikshvāku clan Bhārata started from Rajagriha, travelled eastward and having crossed the river Sudāmā observing its course. Then he crossed Hladhaneeya River and then crossed the very wide Sathadru River which was flowing in the western directions. 71.1-71.2

The ever truthful, pure and blessed Bhārata at Aiyladhana crossed the river Shatdru River and reached Aparaparpatana region and then crossed the stone attracting Shilavaha River and then crossed Agneya and Salyakarsha regions and passed beyond the mountains and started travelling towards the Chaithraratha forest. 71.3-71.4

After reaching the confluence of Ganga and Saraswatī rivers, they went to Vīra Matsya region and from there entered the Bheruṇḍā forest. 71.5

Then they crossed the swift flowing Kālinga River which was pleasing to the mind and bound by hills and reached the Yamuna River, where the army took rest for the night. 71.6

After cooling their body and after refreshing the tired horses, they bathed in the river and set out taking them stored water for their journey. 71.7

Then that son of the king passed through safely the uninhabited great forest in their chariot like a wind passing through the sky. 71.8

Bhārata the son of Raghu clan knowing that the wide Bhagirathi cannot be crossed in a place called Anshudhna, quickly reached a town known as Pragvata. 71.9

After crossing river Ganga in the city of Pragvata, they reached the Kutikoshti River and crossed it along with his army and reached a village called Dharmavardhana. 71.10

The son of Daśaratha after crossing Thorana village, travelled towards south reached Jambuprastha village and reached the pleasant Varutha village. 71.11

There after taking rest in the charming forest they travelled eastwards and reached Ujjihana garden which had lots of Priyaka trees. 71.12

After reaching the Sāla and Priyaka trees, Bhārata asked his people to yoke fresh and speedy horses to his chariot, ordering his army to follow him." 71.13

That tiger among men after taking rest in a place called Sarva tīrtha Crossed Uthanika and several such rivers and crossed the mountain on a horse and crossed the Kuthika river riding on an elephant and crossed the river Kapivathi near Lauhithya. 71.14-71.15

After crossing Sthanumathi river in Yekasala, he crossed the Gomatī river at Vinatha village and as his horses were extremely tired he took rest in Sala forest near the Kālinga Nāgara. 71.16

At night after crossing the forest at dawn, he could see the city built by Manu. 71.17

Having spent seven nights on the way that tiger among men saw the town of Ayodhyā, he told his charioteer. 71.18

"Oh Charioteer, I am not able to see Ayodhyā, the famous city of gardens from here. At a distance I am able to see Ayodhyā made of white clay filled in plenty with Brahmins who are virtuous and learned in Vedas and ruled by royal sages." 71.19-71.20

"In earlier times I would hear the tumultuous sound created by men and women and now I am not able to hear that." 71.21

"In the evening the gardens used to be crowded with people who play with great desire but I do not see any such shine in the early morning." 71.22

"Oh charioteer, with passionate people seen to avoid the gardens, the city appears to me as a forest devoid of people." 71.23

"I am not seeing chiefs of men, who have ascended the elephant or a horse, coming out of or entering the city." 71.24

"Earlier the gardens used to be full with the sweet songs of birds and people used to engage in love play with women of great character there." 71.25

"I am seeing all those gardens devoid of happiness and the dried up leaves have covered all paths making it appear as if the garden is crying." 71.26

"I am also not able to hear the exuberant melodious songs of birds, which are freely moving about on the reeds." 71.27

"Why does not the wind blowing out of the city not carrying the sweet incense of sandal and Agaru, that use to fill our nostrils?" 71.28

"Why is that the sweet sound of Drum, Mṛdaṅga and Vinā and various other musical instruments are not heard from the city and why is the city with melancholy?" 71.29

"Oh charioteer, I am seeing many sins and many undesirable sights in the city and the ill-fated omens seen there are filling my mind with remorse. It does not seem true that all my relations are living with welfare and so my mind is filled with grief." 71.30-71.31

Bhārata who had a peace less mind filled with fear and with a depressed heart entered the city ruled by Ikshvāku. 71.32

Riding on a very tired horses, he entered the city through the gate called Vejayanta. The gate keepers stood up, wished him victory and accompanied him. 71.33

Bhārata whose disturbed mind was travelling in several directions greeted the gate keepers and addressed the exhausted charioteers who were master of the horses. 71.34

"Oh faultless one, why have I been brought back here, in a hurry without any reason? I have lost my usual mind, suspecting many evil happenings here." 71.35

"Oh charioteer, in earlier occasions we used to hear of several signs of the death of the king and I am now able to see all those signs here." 71.36

"I see the homes of householders as not being swept and repulsive to look at. There is no auspicious look to all those homes and their doors have not been closed. No fire sacrifices seem to have been done in them and there is no smoke of incense coming out from there. The people look like they have not taken food and they do not look bright or auspiciousness. Altogether I see all the homes lack an auspicious look." 71.37-71.39

"The temples are bereft of the splendour of garlands and the floors and courtyards are not smeared and they look deserted and devoid of splendour." 71.40

"The offerings to the deities seem to have been thrown away and there are no groups performing sacrifices and in the markets of garlands, no saleable garlands seem to be there." 71.41

"I am not able see even traders like earlier as them seem to be restrained by losses and with dispirited by a worried heart." 71.42

"The multitude birds frequenting the temples seem to be dispirited in the city. Both men and women in the city wear dirty cloths and their throats seems to be choked and eyes filled with tears, They seem to be engaged in distressing thoughts and seem to emaciated." 71.43-71.44

Bhārata after having told the charioteer all this with a depressed mind, after seeing undesirable sights in Ayodhyā, proceeded to the palace of the king. 71.45

He became greatly drowned in sorrow seeing the highways, crossroads and houses deserted and with iron nuts, nails and bars and locks covered with dust, the city which once looked like the city of Indra. 71.46

Seeing many things which are not desirable, which he had never seen before, with head bowed down and with depressed sorrowing mind, he entered the palace of Kaikeyi. 71.47

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