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Chapter 116: The Ascetics Abandon Citrakuta

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The Ascetics Abandon Chitrakuta

Summary

Rama notices anxiety and perturbation among the sages who live in the vicinity. When an elderly sage among them is asked by Rama about the reason for their anguish, the said sage informs that some demons under the leadership of Khara are molesting the sages and hence the sages wished to leave the place. Rama gives his consent for their leaving. Bidding farewell to them with great respect, Rama retires to his own hermitage.

Chapter [Sarga] 116 in Detail

pratiprayaate bharate vasan raamah tapo vane |

lakshayaam aasa sa udvegam atha autsukyam tapasvinaam || 2-116-1

Bharata having returned (to Ayodhya), Rama who was dwelling in the woods, observed anxiety accompanied by perturbation among the sages.

ye tatra citra kuutasya purastaat taapasa aashrame |

raamam aashritya nirataah taan alakshayad utsukaan || 2-116-2

He saw there those ascetics-who were formerly quite pleased in that hermitage at Chitrakuta depending as they did on Rama- anxious.

nayanair bhrikutiibhih ca raamam nirdishya shankitaah |

anyonyam upajalpantah shanaih cakrur mithah kathaah || 2-116-3

Pointing out to Rama through the movements of their eyes and eye-brows manifesting their anxiety, they whispered among themselves, narrating some legends in secret.

teshaam autsukyam aalakshya raamah tu aatmani shankitah |

krita anjalir uvaaca idam rishim kula patim tatah || 2-116-4

Perceiving their distress, Rama was filled with apprehension about himself and with joined palms spoke the following words to a sage, the leader of that community of ascetics:

na kaccid bhagavan kimcit puurva vrittam idam mayi |

drishyate vikritam yena vikriyante tapasvinah || 2-116-5

"O venerable sage! I fear that the conduct of my forefathers is not seen in me or there is some change for the worse in me, due to which the ascetics feel agitated."

pramaadaac caritam kaccit kimcin na avarajasya me |

lakshmanasya rishibhir drishtam na anuruupam iva aatmanah || 2-116-6

"Has my younger brother, the high-souled Lakshmana, through inadvertence, behaved unworthy of him while the sages were seeing?"

kaccit shushruushamaanaa vah shushruushana paraa mayi |

pramadaa abhyucitaam vrittim siitaa yuktam na vartate || 2-116-7

"I hope that Seetha, who is serving you and who is keen in serving me, does not, I am afraid, behaved properly, according to the conduct suitable for women."

atha rishir jarayaa vriddhah tapasaa ca jaraam gatah |

vepamaana iva uvaaca raamam bhuuta dayaa param || 2-116-8

Then, that grown-up sage, who was elderly both by age and penance, appeared trembling and spoke to Rama, who was ever compassionate to all beings, as follows:

kutah kalyaana sattvaayaah kalyaana abhirateh tathaa |

calanam taata vaidehyaah tapasvishu visheshatah || 2-116-9

"O, dear Rama! What is there for us the ascetics to fear above all from Seetha, who is natural in her disposition and is the follower of virtue?"

tvan nimittam idam taavat taapasaan prati vartate |

rakshobhyah tena samvignaah kathayanti mithah kathaah || 2-116-10

"It is on account of demons, who, through enmity to you, have begun to oppress the sages. Alarmed by it, they discuss with each other how they can best defend themselves."

raavana avarajah kashcit kharo naama iha raakshasah |

utpaatya taapasaan sarvaan jana sthaana niketanaan || 2-116-11

dhrishtah ca jita kaashii ca nrishamsah purusha adakah |

avaliptah ca paapah ca tvaam ca taata na mrishyate || 2-116-12

"O, darling! Here, a demon called Khara, Ravana's younger brother- who is a boaster, victorious in battle, cruel and eater of human flesh, haughty and sinful-having uprooted all the ascetics who dwell in Janasthaana, is unable to endure you also."

tvam yadaa prabhriti hy asminn aashrame taata vartase |

tadaa prabhriti rakshaamsi viprakurvanti taapasaan || 2-116-13

"My darling! From which time you came to dwell in this hermitage, from that time inwards, the demons continue to ill-treat the ascetics."

darshayanti hi biibhatsaih kruurair bhiishanakair api |

naanaa ruupair viruupaih ca ruupair asukha darshanaih || 2-116-14

"They appear in grotesque and harmful forms, filling them with terror, in diverse forms and possessing ugly and unnatural demeanor."

aprashastair ashucibhih samprayojya ca taapasaan |

pratighnanty aparaan kshipram anaaryaah puratah sthitah || 2-116-15

"Flinging filthy and inauspicious objects on some of the ascetics, the wicked demons stand in front of them and kill some ascetics too."

teshu teshu aashramasthaaneshu abuddham avaliiya ca |

ramante taapasaamh tatra naashayanto alpa cetasah || 2-116-16

"Having themselves in those hermitages unnoticed, those evil-minded demons delight themselves in destroying the ascetics there."

apakshipanti srug bhaandaan agniin sincanti vaarinaa |

kalashaamh ca pramridnanti havane samupasthite || 2-116-17

"At the time of pouring oblations into the sacred fire, they scatter the sacrificial vessels, sprinkle the fires with water and break the water-pots."

tair duraatmabhir aavishtaan aashramaan prajihaasavah |

gamanaaya anya deshasya codayanty rishayo adya maam || 2-116-18

"Resolved to leave these retreats that have been invaded by evil spirits, the ascetics today are urging me to go to another area."

tat puraa raama shaariiraam upahimsaam tapasvishu |

darshayati hi dushtaah te tyakshyaama imam aashramam || 2-116-19

"O, Rama! Before those wicked beings indeed show bodily injury to the ascetics, we are abandoning this hermitage."

bahu muula phalam citram aviduuraad ito vanam |

puraana aashramam eva aham shrayishye saganah punah || 2-116-20

"Not far from here, there is a colorful grove yielding many roots and fruits. I will take shelter again in that previous hermitage itself, along with an assembly of sages."

kharah tvayy api ca ayuktam puraa taata pravartate |

saha asmaabhir ito gagcca yadi buddhih pravartate || 2-116-21

"O, darling! Khara, the demon will behave unjustly with you in the same way. If your mind feels so inclined, come along with us from here."

sakalatrasya samdeho nityam yat tasya raaghava |

samarthasya api hi sato vaaso duhkha iha adya te || 2-116-22

"O, Rama! To you, who live with your wife, though you are competent and ever watchful, there is a danger. Your stay here is conduced with misery now."

ity uktavantam raamah tam raaja putrah tapasvinam |

na shashaaka uttarair vaakyair avaroddhum samutsukam || 2-116-23

Rama the prince could not with his responsive words desist the said sage when he had spoken as aforesaid, eager as he was to leave the place.

abhinandya samaaprigccya samaadhaaya ca raaghavam |

sa jagaama aashramam tyaktvaa kulaih kula patih saha || 2-116-24

Having greeted, bidding farewell and justifying his statement to Rama, that leader of the community departed, leaving the hermitage, along with a host of sages.

raamah samsaadhya tu rishi ganam anugamanaa |

deshaat tasmaaccit kula patim abhivaadya rishim |

samyak priitaih tair anumata upadishta arthah |

punyam vaasaaya sva nilayam upasampede || 2-116-25

Accompanying them for a distance from that place, bidding farewell to that group of sages, offering his salutation to that ascetic, the leader of the community and taking leave of them, who were well-pleased and having received their counsel, Rama returned to his dwelling, which was sacred to reside.

aashramam tu rishi virahitam prabhuh |

kshanam api na jahau sa raaghavah |

raaghavam hi satatam anugataah |

staapasaah ca rishi carita dhrita gunaah || 2-116-26

That Rama, the lord, did not leave even for a moment that hermitage that had been deserted by the sages. But some ascetics among them who had fixed their mind on Rama (who followed the conduct of the sages) constantly followed Rama.

ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye ayodhyaakaande sodashottarashatatamah sargah

Thus completes 116th Chapter of Ayodhya Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate

 

References

 

K. M. K. Murthy. (1999). Ayodhya Kanda - Book Of Ayodhya.

 

Merriam-Webster. (2007). At http://www.m-w.com.

 

Reference.com. (2007). At http://www.reference.com.

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