Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 1

1. Rāma Enters Daṇḍakāraṇya

[Rāma along with Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa enters the Daṇḍaka forest. The poet then describes the forest as the house of several sages. Those sages receive Rāma, Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā hospitably and seek their protection.]

That Rāma steeped in the knowledge of himself and one who cannot be defeated entered the great Daṇḍakāraṇya and saw several hermitages of saints. 1.1

That place with several cloths made of grass was filled with the aura of Vedic wealth and was like the disc of the sun, difficult to see by the naked eye. 1.2

That place which gave protection to all beings had courtyards filled with many deer and surrounded by flocking birds and was kept very clean. 1.3

Daily being worshipped by dancing groups of celestial maidens, with broad fire places, vessels, hides grass, sticks meant for sacrifice, pots filled with water and fruits and roots for the Yagna that place shined and it was also blessed with huge shining trees. 1.4-1.5

That place was sanctified by auspicious offerings in the fire, filled up with the sound of chanting of Vedas by Brahmins, was with scattered flowers and lotus ponds filled with lotus flowers and surrounded by self-restrained old and great sages living on fruits and roots and dressed in bark garments as well as deer skin." 1.6-1.7

Those great sages who were taking food according to rules were shining with auspiciousness and their hermitages were shining like the abode of Brahma and filled with sound of chanting of Vedas. 1.8

It was shining with venerable Brahmins who were scholars of Vedas and seeing those clusters of hermitages, Rāma, untied his bow and went inside with great lustre. 1.9

Those sages who had divine knowledge after seeing Rāma and Sītā were well pleased and went to receive them. 1.10

Seeing that famous follower of Dharma shining like a moon along with Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā, those saints chanting auspicious greetings went forward to receive them. 1.11-1.12

Those people, who lived in the forest, saw the very pretty Rāma with auspicious features and pretty form with great awe. 1.13

Without battling their eye lashes and with great wonder those people living in the forest saw Rāma, Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā. 1.14

Those great people who were interested in the welfare of all beings, took the guests inside a leaf thatched hut and made them sit comfortably. 1.15

Those great people who can be compared to fire and who were followers of Dharma then extended hospitality to Rāma and offered him water. 1.16

Those followers of Dharma after offering fruits, roots and flowers from the hermitage to the great Rāma, with salutations told him. 1.17

"Sir, you are very famous as the protector of Dharma, and offer protection to those who seek it from you. You are also fit to be worshipped, a gentleman and one who awards punishment." 1.18

"Oh Rāma in this world the king is considered quarter of Indra and so he enjoys pleasures and is respected by people." 1.19

"As we are living in your kingdom, we should be protected by you, whether we stay in the city or in the forest as you are the lord and king of the people." 1.20

"Oh king, we have won over our anger, have control our senses, unarmed and are people whose wealth is their penance and we are like your children and so you should protect us always." 1.21

After telling this, they offered to Rāma along with Lakṣmaṇa with reverence fruits, roots as well as flowers from the forest, as well as different eatables. 1.22

Like that those sages and Sidhas resembling fire and great followers of Dharma and law pleased the god like Rāma in a fitting manner. 1.23

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