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Chapter 117: Rama Meets the Sage Atri
Rama Meets the Sage Atri
Rama, after due reflection, decides to leave Chitrakuta mountain because of many handicaps. Setting out his journey from Chitrakuta Mountain, he reaches the hermitage of Sage Atri and offers his salutation to him. Introducing his wife Anansuya as a great female ascetic to Rama, Atri urges Rama to send his concert Seetha to Anansuya. Anansuya receives Seetha, who greeted her and gives her instructions on the role and responsibilities of a devoted wife.
Chapter [Sarga] 117 in Detail
raaghavah tu apayaateshu tapasvishu vicintayan |
na tatra arocayad vaasam kaaranair bahubhih tadaa || 2-117-1
Thereafter, when the sages departed, Rama, reflecting again and again, found no pleasure to remain in that place for many reasons.
iha me bharato drishto maatarah ca sanaagaraah |
saa ca me smritir anveti taan nityam anushocatah || 2-117-2
"It is here that Bharata, my mother along with the inhabitants of the city visited me. That memory haunts me, who lament for them daily."
skandha aavaara niveshena tena tasya mahaatmanah |
haya hasti kariishaih ca upamardah krito bhrisham || 2-117-3
"The dry dung of horses and elephants of that high souled Bharata's encamped army caused much spoliation (around here)."
tasmaad anyatra gagccaama iti samcintya raaghavah |
praatishthata sa vaidehyaa lakshmanena ca samgatah || 2-117-4
"We shall, therefore, move elsewhere", pondering thus, Rama along with Seetha and Lakshmana left that place.
so atrer aashramam aasaadya tam vavande mahaa yashaah |
tam ca api bhagavaan atrih putravat pratyapadyata || 2-117-5
On the way, after reaching the hermitage of a sage called Atri, the highly celebrated Rama offered salutation to that sage. The venerable sage, Atri too received him as his own son.
svayam aatithyam aadishya sarvam asya susatkritam |
saumitrim ca mahaa bhaagaam siitaam ca samasaantvayat || 2-117-6
Offering personally, abundant hospitality with full honors to Rama, the sage Atri rendered equal honor to Lakshmana and the highly blessed Seetha too.
patniim ca tam anupraaptaam vriddhaam aamantrya satkritaam |
saantvayaam aasa dharmajnah sarva bhuuta hite ratah || 2-117-7
Atri, who knew righteousness and who was interested in the welfare of all beings, called his aged wife Anasuya who had just come there, she who was revered by all and addressed gently to her.
anasuuyaam mahaa bhaagaam taapasiim dharma caariniim |
pratigrihniishva vaidehiim abraviid rishi sattamah || 2-117-8
raamaaya ca aacacakshe taam taapasiim dharma caariniim |
Atri excellent sage spoke to the illustrious Anasuya, rich in asceticism and who lived a pious life, saying "You welcome Videha's daughter!" and thereafter introduced that virtuous female ascetic to Rama (as follows):
dasha varshaany anaavrishtyaa dagdhe loke nirantaram || 2-117-9
yayaa muula phale srishte jaahnavii ca pravartitaa |
ugrena tapasaa yuktaa niyamaih ca apy alamkritaa || 2-117-10
dasha varsha sahasraani yayaa taptam mahat tapah |
anasuuyaa vrataih taata pratyuuhaah ca nibarhitaah || 2-117-11
deva kaarya nimittam ca yayaa samtvaramaanayaa |
dasha raatram kritvaa raatrih saa iyam maataa iva te anagha || 2-117-12
"O, Irreproachable Rama! When the earth was burnt up by drought without break for ten years, this virtuous woman produced fruit and roots, caused the River Jahnavi to flow here, undergoing a rigid mortification enriched by pious observances, by whom the most severe asceticism was practiced for ten thousand years and obstacles were done away with and by whom for the reason of a divine command, in a great hurry ten nights were reduced to one night. This Anasuya, who has bathed after completion of the vows, is like a mother to you."
taam imaam sarva bhuutaanaam namah kaaryaam yashasviniim |
abhigagccatu vaidehii vriddhaam akrodhanaam sadaa || 2-117-13
"Let Seetha find refuge with that ascetic, who is revered by all the beings, famous as she is and though old is ever free from anger."
evam bruvaanam tam rishim tathaa ity uktvaa sa raaghavah |
siitaam uvaaca dharmajnaam idam vacanam uttamam || 2-117-14
Saying "Be it so" to the aforesaid sage, who was speaking thus, Rama spoke to the virtuous Seetha, the following excellent words:
raaja putri shrutam tu etan muner asya samiiritam |
shreyo artham aatmanah shiighram abhigagcca tapasviniim || 2-117-15
"O, princess! You have heard what the sage has said. For your own good, approach the saintly Anansuya without delay."
siitaa tu etad vacah shrutvaa raaghavasya hita eshinii |
taam atri patniim dharmajnaam abhicakraama maithilii || 2-117-16
Hearing these words of Rama, who is desirous of her welfare, Seetha the daughter of Mithila circumambulated around Anasuya, Atri's wife, who knows piety.
shithilaam valitaam vriddhaam jaraa paandura muurdhajaam |
satatam vepamaana angiim pravaate kadalii yathaa || 2-117-17
taam tu siitaa mahaa bhaagaam anasuuyaam pati vrataam |
abhyavaadayad avyagraa svam naama samudaaharat || 2-117-18
Seetha coolly and reverently paid homage to that fortunate Anasuya, a devoted and virtuous wife, who was feeble, wrinkled, aged, with her hair turned grey due to old age, and whose frame constantly shook like a banana tree in a storm. Seetha introduced herself, by announcing her name to Anansuya.
abhivaadya ca vaidehii taapasiim taam aninditaam |
baddha anjali putaa hrishtaa paryaprigccad anaamayam || 2-117-19
Saluting the irreproachable ascetic the rejoiced Seetha with joined palms enquired about he well-being.
tatah siitaam mahaa bhaagaam drishtvaa taam dharma caariniim |
saantvayanty abraviidd hrishtaa dishtyaa dharmam avekshase || 2-117-20
Then, comforting that celebrated Seetha, engaged in righteous acts, Anasuya rejoicing spoke as follows: "Luckily enough, you are attending to righteousness."
tyaktvaa jnaati janam siite maanam riddhim ca maanini |
avaruddham vane raamam dishtyaa tvam anugagccasi || 2-117-21
"O, Seetha the beautiful lady! Thank heaven! Leaving your relatives, honor and prosperity, you are accompanying Rama, who is expelled into a forest."
nagarastho vanastho vaa paapo vaa yadi vaa ashubhah |
yaasaam striinaam priyo bhartaa taasaam lokaa mahaa udayaah || 2-117-22
"Highly fortunate worlds await those women, await those women, to whom their husband is dear no matter whether he lives in a city or in a forest; whether he is sinful or virtuous."
duhshiilah kaama vritto vaa dhanair vaa parivarjitah |
striinaam aarya svabhaavaanaam paramam daivatam patih || 2-117-23
"To women of noble nature, the husband is the highest deity no mater whether he is ill-behaved or licentious or devoid of riches."
na ato vishishtam pashyaami baandhavam vimrishanty aham |
sarvatra yogyam vaidehi tapah kritam iva avyayam || 2-117-24
"O, Seetha! On a reflection, I perceive none who is a better friend than a husband, who protects his wife in all circumstances, like the imperishable fruit of one's austerities."
na tu evam avagagccanti guna dosham asat striyah |
kaama vaktavya hridayaa bhartri naathaah caranti yaah || 2-117-25
"Those evil women, whose hearts follow their passions and conduct themselves dominating their husband, having no understanding of virtue and vice, do not follow him in the aforesaid manner."
praapnuvanty ayashah caiva dharma bhramsham ca maithili |
akaarya vasham aapannaah striyo yaah khalu tad vidhaah || 2-117-26
"O, Seetha! Surely, those evil women, who get into an improper act of authority over their husbands, reap infamy and decline in righteousness."
tvad vidhaah tu gunair yuktaa drishta loka para avaraah |
striyah svarge carishyanti yathaa punya kritah tathaa || 2-117-27
"Women, like you, on the other hand who are endowed with virtues, who look with detachment on prosperity and adversity in this world, therefore dwell in heaven as those who performed meritorious deeds."
tadevamenam tvamanucrataa satii |
pativrataanaam samayaanuvartinii |
bhava svabhartuh sahadharmachaarinii |
yashshcha dharmam cha tatah samaapsyasi || 2-117-28
"Thus devoted to your lord, loyal to your husband, following established rules, you become an honest wife to your husband and obtain merit and renown."
ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye ayodhyaakaande saptadashottarashatatamah sargah
Thus completes 117th Chapter of Ayodhya Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.
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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