Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 91

91. Bharadvāja's Hospitality to Bhārata

[Sage Bharadvāja then offers hospitality to Bhārata and his army. He summons several devas and a great feast is arranged. All the members of Bhārata's retinue enjoy that great feast.]

Seeing that the son of Kaikeyi has made up his mind to stay, the sage, invited him to stay there hospitably. 91.1

Bhārata addressing the sage told, "You have already offered us water to wash our feet as also made the welcome offering and so the hospitality suitable for forest has already been extended." 91.2

After that Bharadvāja with a gentle smile told, "I know you are full of love and are satisfied with whatever has been offered." 91.3

"I want to feed you as well as the army, as the form of my love to you, oh best among men." 91.4

"Oh best among men, why did you stop the army away from here? Why did you not approach me along with your army?" 91.5

Bhārata with folded hands addressing the sage whose penance is his wealth told him, "I did not approach you with the army as I was scared of you." 91.6

"Oh God like sage, the king or sons of the king should intentionally avoid the places of the sages." 91.7

"Oh god like sage, good horses, men, rutting mighty elephants, which occupy immense land usually follow me." 91.8

"Fearing that would damage your water source and leafy huts if they come in, I came alone without them." 91.9

When the great sage requested him to bring the army near him, Bhārata ordered the army to advance and come near the sage." 91.10

After entering the house of the fire sacrifice, after sipping water and wiping his body, he invoked Viśvakarma to provide hospitality to the guests. 91.11

"I wish to provide hospitality. I invoke Thwashta who builds homes and Viśvakarma to help me in this matter and make necessary arrangements." 91.12

"I invoke the three guardians of the world lead by Devendra as I would like to provide hospitality and request them to make necessary arrangements." 91.13

"Let all those rivers of the earth which flow towards east and flow towards west and in the sky, may come over here now." 91.14

"Let other rivers flow liquor made of date palm, others the well prepared Sura and yet others cool water tasting like sugarcane juice." 91.15

"I also call upon devas, Gandharvas, Viśvāvasus, Hāhā, Hūhū also goddesses belonging to the Gandharvas and Apsarā clans." 91.16

I also invoke Ghritāchī, Viśvācī, Misrakesi, Alambusa, Nagadantha, Hema and Hima who reside on the mountain." 91.17

"I invoke all the Brahmachāriṇī women who attend on Indra as well as Lord Brahma accompanied by Dumburu along with all their instruments. 91.18

"Let the Kubera’s divine forest in the land of Kurus with leaves serving as cloths and ornaments, which bears fruits in the form of celestial women come here." 91.19

"Let the moon God give me excellent food, many kinds and varieties of eatables and food suitable, for chewing, sucking and licking." 91.20

"Let multi coloured garlands made of flowers freshly fallen from trees, wines and other drinks and meats of different kinds be provided." 91.21

The sage with incomparable lustre in profound meditation and filled with the glow of penance, in conformity with the rules of Vedic chants told like this. 91.22

When the sage, facing east and in deep meditation, was requesting all this with folded palms, those gods summoned by him appeared before them one by one. 91.23

Then the wind after touching the Malaya as well as Durdura mountains and becoming most pleasant, cool and comfortable, the breeze blew cooling the sweat. 91.24

Then the celestial clouds showered rain of flowers. Sounds of the divine drums were being heard from all directions. 91.25

The gentle winds blew, hoards of Apsarā women danced, the divine Gandharvas sang and notes came out from the stringed instrument Vinā. 91.26

The sound with proper modulation and rhythm, which emanated from those musical instruments entered the ears of all being living on earth and the sky. 91.27

When the celestial sound pleasing the ears subsided, the army of Bhārata saw the very pretty creations of Viśvakarma. 91.28

On every side for five yojanas [twenty miles] the ground had been levelled and covered with many grass lawns which resembled the glittering sapphires and cat's eye gems. 91.29

At that place Bilva, wood apple, Jack fruit, citrus, gooseberry and mango trees laden with fruits resembling ornaments had sprang up. 91.30

From the kingdom of Northern Kurus, a divine river, which was the delight of heaven, bordered by very many trees came in to existence. 91.31

A splendid quadrangle of four buildings, stables for horses and elephants, and auspicious arch ways for palaces and mansions suddenly sprung up. 91.32

A royal palace white like the autumn clouds, with splendid archways, decorated by divine garlands, perfumed with divine scents, with a spacious quadrangle, furnished with couches, seats and coaches sprang up there. Several kind of celestial drinks, delicious food in sterling containers, very good dresses and every variety of food, in clean and well-kept vessels was stocked in that palace. Inside seats were arranged for everyone and there were in it magnificent couches with very good spreads. 91.33-91.35

The mighty armed son of Kaikeyi Bhārata, having been permitted by the sage, entered the palace stocked with treasures. 91.36

He was accompanied by the priests and ministers and they were filled with joy on seeing the arrangements made inside. 91.37

There they saw an exquisite throne, fan made of Yak's tail and Parasol an Bhārata and his ministers went round it like kings. 91.38

Bhārata bowed to the throne as if Rāma was seated there and seated himself in the minister's seat fanned the thrown with yak tail fan. 91.39

The ministers and priests occupied their seats in proper order of importance and next to the chief of army, the supervisor of the camp sat. 91.40

As per the order of Bharadvāja, immediately rivers of Pāyasam [Kheer] started flowing towards Bhārata. 91.41

On the two banks of the river, celestial and charming houses appeared by the grace of Lord Brahma. 91.42

Within no time, twenty thousand well decorated and well ornamented women came there by the grace of Lord Brahma. 91.43

Shining in gold ornaments, gems, corals and pearls twenty thousand women sent by Kubera came. 91.44

Twenty thousand pretty Apsarā women, who would make men who take them in to hands delirious with passion came from Nandana. 91.45

Thereafter the distinguished Nārada, Tumburu and Gopa and the kings of Gandharvas who were shining like the sun started singing in the presence of Bhārata. 91.46

As per the orders of Bharadvāja, Alambusā, Misrakesi, Puṇḍarīka and Vāmana danced the Bhāratanatya. 91.47

As per the orders of Bharadvāja, those garlands of devas as well as that of Chaitraratha gardens were found in Prayāga. 91.48

As per the command of Bharadvāja Bilva trees started playing drums, palm trees started playing cymbal and Peepul trees started dancing. 91.49

Thereafter Pine and Palmyra trees, even great Tilaka trees, Naktha trees that bear flowers at night, became short and were transformed in to hunchbacks and they all moved, here and there. 91.50

Asoka trees and Gooseberry trees from the forest and creepers like jasmine, Mallikā, Jaaji and all others took the form of women came to the hermitage of Bharadvāja and said. 91.51

"Oh people who drink Sura drink as much as Sura as you want, and all those who are hungry eat Pāyasam [Kheer] and meat offered in fire sacrifices." 91.52-91.53

Seven or eight woman, one by one rubbed the body of each man, bathed them in the banks of that river and they were greatly delighted. 91.54

Some women with sparkling eyes speedily approached them for massaging and some other chosen ladies wiped away water from their bodies and gave each other wine to drink. 91.55

The attendants of vehicles fed meals to horses, elephants, donkeys, camels, calves of cows as per their need as and as per the rule. 91.56

Those energetic people who were warriors of Ikshvāku kings, made the animals that pull the vehicles, eat more and more and made them eat parched grain, with sugarcane and honey. 91.57

The horse riders were not able to recognize their horses, the mahout did not recognize his elephant and the whole army which was fully drunk forgot everything and shined. 91.58

After gratifying all their desires and after applying red sandal paste all over the body and surrounded by Apsarā ladies, those army men exclaimed. 91.59

"We will not go to Ayodhyā nor will we go to Daṇḍaka. Welfare to Bhārata and Rāma have a pleasant life." 91.60

The soldiers of Infantry and cavalry, who after enjoying the hospitality of Bharadvāja, no longer recognizing their leaders also made such utterances. 91.61

Those men who were followers of Bhārata who were in thousands highly delighted shouted "This is heaven" 91.62

Those soldiers danced, laughed as well as sang and ran about all over wearing thousands of garlands. 91.63

Those who had already eaten that nectar like food, when saw that divine food again, wanted to eat once more. 91.64

Thousands of servants, slave girls, female attendants, army attendants dressed in matchless dresses were greatly proud of themselves. 91.65

There the elephants, donkeys, camels, cows, horses, beasts and birds were well fed, and each of them did not trouble the other. 91.66

No one in the army was wearing dirty dresses or themselves dirty or hungry and no one was having dust on their body or with unkempt hair. 91.67

There the men were surprised to see goat meat, boar meat, choicest condiments, various fragrant and tasty fruit juices, soups, white rice, in thousands of metal containers. 91.68-91.69

Along the border of the forest wells were filled with Pāyasam and there were wish fulfilling cows and honey dripping trees. 91.70

Other wells were filled with date palm liquor, surrounded by pots of well cooked meat of peacock, chicken and deer. 91.71

There were vessels in thousands, plates and tumblers in lakhs, golden vessels, cups and well cleaned pots made of earth and jars with wide mouth. 91.72

Tanks were filled with sweet curds of good flavour with the colour of wood apple which were blended with spices, some more tanks filled with Pāyasam and some filled with sweet prepared out of barley powder. 91.73 -91.74

The army men saw in bathing Ghats of rivers bathing powders and powder extracts in containers and different kind of bathing requisites. 91.75

There the soldiers saw on all sides stacks of tooth cleaning sticks, white and bristled, white lumps of sandal wood paste placed in dishes made of leaves, well cleaned mirrors, collection of clothes, several pairs of foot wear, collyrium boxes, combs, brushes for cleaning moustaches, weapons, parasoles, bows and shining armour, different kinds of couches, and seats. There were pools of drinking water for donkeys, camels, elephants and horses and excellent landing places filled with flowering lotuses and water lilies. The lakes were of transparent waters resembling the hue of the sky and easy, comfortable for swimming. There they saw soft hears of grass as green as sapphire and Nipa trees for the animals to refresh. 91.76-91.80

Those men were surprised by the great hospitality extended by sage Bharadvāja to Bhārata and felt as if they were in the world of dreams. 91.81

When they were enjoying like this like devas in garden of Indra, in the pretty hermitage of Bharadvāja, the night passed away. 91.82

Those rivers reverted back to the normal state, Gandharvas and those lovely women returned back after taking leave from saint Bharadvāja. 91.83

Those men were greatly intoxicated by the liquor and were smeared with divine Aguru and sandal paste, petals of flowers from the crushed divine garlands were strewn helter-skelter. 91.84

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