Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 92

92. Bhārata's Chitrakūṭa Journey

[Bhārata enquires the sage about where Rāma is staying. The saint tells him about Chitrakūṭa and gives him directions to reach there. Bhārata introduces his mothers to the sage and later they all leave towards Chitrakūṭa.]

Thereafter greatly satisfied with the hospitality Bhārata and his men and after spending the night approached sage Bharadvāja with a desire to know about Rāma. 92.1

The sage who had completed the morning fire ritual saw the tiger among men who had arrived with folded hands and asked him. 92.2

"Oh sinless Bhārata, At our place did you pass the night pleasantly? Please tell me whether you and your men were satisfied with the hospitality." 92.3

Bhārata with folded hands saluted and prostrating that sage with matchless powers who has emerged out of his hermitage said. 92.4

"Oh God like sage, I along with all my ministers with the entire army as well as beasts are satisfied and fulfilled all our desires." 92.5

"All of us including even our servants freed from fatigue and heat were well nourished and well housed, we passed the night comfortably." 92.6

"Oh God like sage, oh great sage, I will take leave of you with love. And I am going to see my brother. Please look at me with friendly eyes." 92.7

"Oh follower of Dharma, please tell me the location of the hermitage of my brother who is magnanimous and steeped in Dharma. How far is it from here and how to reach that place?" 92.8

Enquired like this by Bhārata, who desired to see his brother, the greatly lustrous Bharadvāja who has done great penance replied. 92.9

"Oh Bhārata, about seven miles from here, through the lonely forest with charming forests and wood lands is Chitrakūṭa mountain." 92.10

"Once you reach its northern side of the forest you will see the Mandākinī river covered flowering trees and lovely blossoming woods." 92.11

"Oh dear child, beyond that river is Chitrakūṭa mountain, and on it there is a leafy hut and it certain that both of them are living there." 92.12

"Oh chief of the army, Oh great one, if you take your army consisting of horses, elephants and chariots to the southerly direction to the south west through this path, you will find Rāma soon there." 92.13

Having heard of the particulars of their journey, the wives of the king of kings Daśaratha got down from their chariots and stood around that Brahmin, Bharadvāja. 92.14

Kauśalya who was thin, trembling, and depressed along with Sumitrā with her hands caught the feet of that great sage. 92.15

Kaikeyi with unfulfilled desire and being despised by the entire world, overcome with great shame also caught his feet. 92.16

Then she with reverence went round with a depressed heart, that great sage and stood not far away from Bhārata. 92.17

Bharadvāja who was very firm in his penance asked Bhārata, "I would like to know in detail, individually about your mothers." 92.18

Hearing these words of the sagacious Bharadvāja, Bhārata who was an expert in speech answered with folded hands. 92.19

"Oh God like sage, this is the goddess Kauśalya the principal queen of my father looking desolate and emaciated due to sorrow and fasting. Similar to Āditi bearing Data, she gave birth to Rāma, the best among men who walks like lion." 92.20-92.21

"This lady with a sorrowing mind who resembles the branch of Karṇikā tree which is with withered blossoms in the middle of forest, Who leans on the left arm of Kauśalya is Sumitrā and Lakṣmaṇa and Śatrughna who resemble the devas in beauty and who are greatly valorous are her sons." 92.22- 92.23

'She is one who lead to the destruction of life of the tiger among men and due to her King Daśaratha went to heaven, without his son by his side. She gets angry, does not know how to discriminate between good and bad, proud about her beauty, desires for wealth, is not lady like but is in the guise of a lady. She is my mother who is wicked, determined to do sinful deeds and only due to her, I am seeing this sorrow." 92.24-92.26

Saying this, the tiger among men with reddish eyes and angry like a serpent, spoke words hissing like a serpent, choked with rears and took laboured breath. 92.27

When Bhārata told like this to the great saint Bharadvāja, that man with great intelligence replied to him thus. 92.28

"Oh Bhārata, you should not impute these faults on Kaikeyi, for Rāma's travel would lead to great pleasure in the future." 92.29

"Due to travel of Rāma, only good will come to devas, asuras, sages and purified souls." 92.30

Bhārata after saluting him, went round him and summoned the army and ordered them to get ready. 92.31

Afterwards different type of people getting ready for the journey harnessed excellent horse chariots plated with gold. 92.32

Wearing golden chains and flags both the he and she elephants started on their journey making sounds like thunder clouds at end of summer. 92.33

Carriages small and big of various kinds and of great value started on their journey and infantry started walking. 92.34

Thereafter Kauśalya and other distinguished ladies travelled with joy in great carriages with a view to see Rāma. 92.35

Bhārata started his journey in an auspicious palanquin shining like the morning sun as well as the full moon which was kept ready, with attendants preceding him. 92.36

The collection of horses, elephants and chariots and the vast army travelled towards south spreading like a huge cloud that has arisen in the sky going through forests visited by birds and animals and passed through mountains and streams on to the other side of Ganga. 92.37-92.38

With soldiers, horses and elephants in high spirits frightening birds and beasts Bhārata's army entered the great forest and looked splendid. 92.39

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