Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 77

77. Bhārata Performs Death Rituals

[Bhārata then does all the death rituals and takes purification bath on the 13th day. When he was sorrowing, Vasiṣṭha consoled him by pointing out the inevitability of death.]

After ten days were over, the son of the king purified himself and on the twelfth day started doing Śraddhā [ritual for manes]. 77.1

He gave to Brahmins gems, wealth, food, various types of costly garments and very many types of precious articles. 77.2

That son, while performing the ritual to the king pertaining to other worlds, gave Brahmins, very many white goats, hundreds of cows, male and female servants as well as houses. 77.3

On the thirteenth day morning after reaching the place of rituals for performing the purification ceremony, the very strong Bhārata cried and swooned due to sorrow and in a sad voice coming from a lumped throat lamented the death of his father standing at the foot of the funeral pyre and spoke these words of sorrow. 77.4-77.5

"Oh father, Rāma to whom you have entrusted to take care of me, has been sent to the forest by you and I have been left in this void." 77.6

"Oh king where have you gone making my mother Kauśalya as an orphan, having sent her son who is her only support to the forest." 77.7

Seeing the circular place where his father's bones were burnt being in red colour and also coated with ash, he cried loudly in great sorrow. 77.8

He who was desolate seeing it cried and fell down on the floor, like the flag of Indra when it was being raised. 77.9

After that all his ministers approached him who was observing purification penance like the saints approached king Yayāti when he fell down. 77.10

Seeing Bhārata Śatrughna also was drowned in sorrow and remembering about the king fell senseless on the ground. 77.11

Becoming mad in sorrow he wailed in grief, thinking about the various good characters of his father again and again. 77.12

"Kaikeyi is a horrible crocodile originating from the Mandāra mountain living in this sea of sorrow, who is incapable of being agitated and drowned my father in the form of boons." 77.13

"Where have you gone father, having left this wailing boy Bhārata who is always soft natured?" 77.14

"You used to make us choose out of food, drinks, cloths and ornaments and give them to us? Who will do it now?'" 77.15

"You were a great king of Dharma who was greatly magnanimous. Without your presence, this earth should have broken in to pieces but it is not breaking." 77.16

"My father has gone to heaven and my brother has gone to forest and for what purpose am I living now. I shall enter the fire and die." 77.17

"I will not enter the city of Ayodhyā which was ruled by the Ikshvāku clan as it does not now have my father and brother and I would enter the forest for penance." 77.18

Having heard the wailing of both of them and thinking about the calamity that has befallen on them, their attendants became sadder. 77.19

Those two brothers Bhārata and Śatrughna who were both dejected and Exhausted lay writhing on the floor like a bull whose horn is broken. 77.20

Then the priest of their father, who knew how to cure the nature's ills, rose up Bhārata and spoke to him as follows. 77.21

"Oh lord, this is the thirteenth day after the death of your father and his heap of bones and ashes still remain here. Why this delay in your part?" 77.22

"Without exception three dualities are applicable to all human beings viz. - hunger and thirst, pain and pleasure and birth and death. Since these can never be avoided, it is not proper for you to sorrow like this." 77.23

Sumantra the philosopher raised up Śatrughna, talked him about inevitability of birth and death and consoled him. 77.24

Those two tigers among men who were famous got up and were shining like the flag of Indra which got faded due to exposure to sun and rain. 77.25

The ministers and others hastened the sons who were wiping away their reddened eyes and who were speaking in a depressed way, to complete the funeral rites quickly. 77.26

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