Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 124

124. Rāma at Sage Bharadvāja’s Hermitage

[Rāma decides to go to the hermitage of sage Bharadvāja before going to Ayodhyā. He requests the sage for information about welfare of the city. The sage assures him that things are okay. He says that he knew all the activities of Rāma by his divine power. Rāma requests him to make all the trees up to Ayodhyā fully laden with fruits and flowers. The sage blesses that it would be like that.]

The fourteen years had been completed and it was the fifth phase of the moon and the elder brother of Lakṣmaṇa reached the hermitage of Bharadvāja and saluted the sage as per the rules. 124.1

After saluting the sage Bharadvāja, who has a rich asset of penance, he enquired, "Oh God like sage, have you heard of abundance of food in the city of Ayodhyā and is the city free from disease? Is Bhārata ruling it with attention? Are all my mothers alive?" 124.2

When sage Bharadvāja heard these words of Rāma, he with a joyful disposition and a smile replied that chief of Raghu clan. 124.3

"Bhārata, who lives smearing mud on his limbs and has matted locks, places your sandals before him and is looking forward to your arrival. In your city and home all are safe." 124.4

"Oh Rāma who is victorious in battles, previously, on seeing you going deep into the great forest on foot, with the sole intention of practicing Dharma, clad in pieces of bark, going away from kingship, sacrificing all sort of enjoyments, like an Deva fallen from heaven, having renounced all your possessions, along with your spouse as the third one of your party, resolving to carry out the behest of your father and intent on implementing the pledge given to Kaikeyi and living on wild roots and fruits, pity arose in me." 124.5-124.7

"But on seeing you now I am feeling very happy as you have fulfilled your promise, conquered all your enemies and have returned accompanied by hosts of friends and relatives." 124.8

"Oh Rāghava I very well know completely all the pleasures and sorrow that happened to you, due to your having to live in Janasṭhāna." 124.9

"While you were busy protecting all the Brahmins as per the request of all ascetics, the stainless wife of yours was abducted by Rāvaṇa." 124.10

"Oh Rāma, who is devoted to Dharma, even the appearance of Mārīcha, the abduction of Sītā by Rāvaṇa, the sight of Kabandha, your arrival at the Pampa lake, your alliance with Sugrīva, as to how Vali was killed by you, the search-operation for Sītā, the exploit of Hanuman in the tracing of Sītā, how the bridge Nalasetu was constructed, how the City of Lanka was set fire by the rejoiced monkey-chiefs, how that Rāvaṇa who was the thorn in the side of gods who was arrogant of his strength was killed in battle, with his sons kinsfolk and his ministers and how a boon was conferred by them on you by Gods - all this is known to me by my asceticism. My disciples, who were accustomed to report to me the news, used to go to Ayodhyā City from here." 124.11-124.16

"Friends, riches and grains are thought as great by people., but mother and mother land are considered much greater than even heaven." 124.17

"Bowing with head bent bow to this statement as he was greatly attracted by it, the great prince requested the sage for the following boon." 124.18

"Oh God like sage, Let all the trees on the way to Ayodhyā from here, bear fruit even in the off- season and flow with honey. Let abundant fruits of various kinds, emitting the fragrance of nectar, appear on them." 124.19

When the sage said, "So be it", all the trees there grew closely like the trees of heaven." 124.20

Then for three Yojanas on their way to Ayodhyā in the direction of their travel, the trees which were never bearing fruits, were completely filled with fruits, and those which had stopped flowering were full of flower and all the withered trees were clothed with leaves and started flowing with honey." 124.21-124.22

The very highly pleased monkeys seeing very many divine fruits, felt as if they have conquered heaven and consumed in thousands those very divine fruits. 124.23

This is the end of One Hundred and Twenty Fourth Sarga of Yuddha Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.