Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 83

83. Bhārata's Forest Journey

[Bhārata starts to meet Rāma along with a huge army and a teeming population of people belonging to various castes and trades. They reach the town of Guha and take rest there.]

Waking up early morning Bhārata boarded excellent chariot and set out with a desire to see Rāma swiftly. 83.1

All the ministers and priests went ahead in chariots resembling the chariot of the sun, which were yoked to horses. 83.2

Nine thousand elephants arranged in proper fashion, followed Bhārata who was the delight of the clan of Ikshvāku. 83.3

Sixty thousand elephants and well-armed archers followed behind Bhārata who was a famous prince. 83.4

One hundred thousand horses mounted by their riders followed Bhārata who was truthful, who had control over his sense organs and who belonged to the clan of Raghu. 83.5

Kaikeyi, Sumithra and the famous Kauśalya joyful at the thought of bringing back Rāma went in chariots which were shining. 83.6

Groups of gentlemen who were delighted in their hearts by the spectacular achievements of Rāma were travelling to see Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa. 83.7

"When will be able to see Rāma who is like a black cloud, very strong, had remarkable courage and steadfast in penance who can destroy all sorrows of the world." 83.8

"As soon as we see Rāma, all our sorrow will vanish, like the darkness vanishing on seeing the Sun." 83.9

The people of the town on their way narrated to each other achievements of Rāma and also hugged each other. 83.10

Those others who were close to the family of the king, merchants as well as other citizens went along with delight to see Rāma. 83.11

Polishers of gems and ornaments, potters capable of making ornamental pottery, manufacturers of weapons, weavers, People who make show pieces using peacock feathers, people who saw wood, makers of cheap ornaments, perforators of shell as well as ornaments, artisans on ivory, people who plaster, merchants of fragrant essences, famous goldsmiths, blanket cleaners, bath attendants, doctors, vintners, merchants of perfumes, washer men, tailors, chiefs of villages, actors along with their wives, fishermen joined the group. 83.12-83.15

Thousands of Brahmins who were expert in Vedas, who had a composed mind and who were famous for their Dharma followed Bhārata riding on bullock carts. 83.16

Properly dressed up in clean cloths, wearing red sandal paste in groups riding on various vehicles people slowly followed Bhārata. 83.17

The very cheerful army followed the son of Kaikeyi Bhārata who loved his brother and was going to bring back his brother. 83.18

Travelling on chariots, carts, elephants and horse for a long distance with great difficulty, they reached near Sringaberipura which was near the Ganges river, which was a city ruled vigilantly by Rāma's friend the valiant Guha who was living there with his relatives. 83.19-83.20

The army accompanying Bhārata reached the river Ganga frequented by Chakravāka birds and halted on its banks. 83.21

After inspecting the army that followed him as well as the sacred waters of the river Ganga, Bhārata, who was an expert in speech addressed his ministers. 83.22

"I am of the opinion that the army can halt here and after taking further rest, we will cross the river tomorrow." 83.23

"Meanwhile I desire to give ablations with water in the river to my father who has gone to heaven, for ensuring him good life in that world." 83.24

When Bhārata spoke like this to the ministers, each of them agreed with this and with composed minds, each of them allowed the army with them to relax. 83.25

Bhārata made adequate arrangements for camping his great army on the banks of the mighty river Ganga and thought over the problem of bringing back Rāma and took up his dwelling there. 83.26

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