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Chapter 37: Sita, Rama and Lakshmana Done Bark Cloth

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Sita, Rama and Lakshmana Done Bark Cloth

Summary

Jute-cloths that are befitting to sages and saints are brought in for the three at the behest of Kaikeyi. Rama and Lakshmana accept and wear them. But Seetha, as a par excellent princess of Mithila, is baffled in wearing them and when she is irksome as how to tie and toggle them, Rama goes to her and demonstrates how to wear them, on her silken robes. Seeing that situation, all the womenfolk in the palace chamber wail for the hardship befallen on Seetha.

Chapter [Sarga] 37

mahaa maatra vacah shrutvaa raamah dasharatham tadaa |

anvabhaasata vaakyam tu vinayajno viniitavat || 2-37-1

Hearing the words of the chief minister, Rama who was well-versed in courtesy, spoke then to Dasaratha as follows:

tyakta bhogasya me raajan vane vanyena jiivatah |

kim kaaryam anuyaatrena tyakta sangasya sarvatah || 2-37-2

"Of what use for me, who have forsaken enjoyments, cast away attachment for everything and am going to live in the forest on nomadic food, Oh king, with an army accompanying me?"

yo hi dattvaa dvipa shrestham kaksyaayaam kurute manah |

rajju snehena kim tasya tyajatah kunjara uttamam || 2-37-3

"Who, after giving away a first-class elephant, will work out his mind on a rope with which it is tied? What use is there for him through attachment to the rope after abandoning the excellent elephant?"

tathaa mama sataam shrestha kim dhvajinyaa jagat pate |

sarvaani eva anujaanaami ciiraani eva aanayantu me || 2-37-4

"Oh, the best among good men! So also, what use is there for me by the army Oh, King, when I am giving away absolutely all. Let the dresses of a mendicant be brought to me.'

khanitra pitake ca ubhe mama aanayata gacchatah |

catur dasha vane vaasam varsaani vasatah mama || 2-37-5

"I am going to reside in the abode of forest for fourteen years. Bring a shoe and a basket both for me."

atha ciiraani kaikeyii svayam aahritya raaghavam |

uvaaca paridhatsva iti jana oghe nirapatrapaa || 2-37-6

Thereupon, Kaikeyi shamelessly bringing personally of men, said to Rama; "Put these on"

sa ciire purusa vyaaghrah kaikeyyaah pratigrihya te |

suuksma vastram avaksipya muni vastraani avasta ha || 2-37-7

Taking those two pieces of bark (as loin cloth and cover) from Kaikeyi and discarding his clothing of fine yarn, Rama put on the garb of ascetics.

laksmanah ca api tatra eva vihaaya vasane shubhe |

taapasaac chaadane caiva jagraaha pitur agratah || 2-37-8

Lakshmana too there itself before his father put on the clothing of ascetics, by discarding his beautiful raiment.

atha aatma paridhaana artham siitaa kausheya vaasinii |

samiiksya ciiram samtrastaa prisatii vaaguraam iva || 2-37-9

Then, Seetha who wore silken clothing, by seeing the piece of bark intended to be worn by her, felt alarming as a deer would on seeing a snare (set for entrapping)

saa vyapatrapamaanaa iva pratigrihya ca durmanaah |

gandharva raaja pratimam bhartaaram idam abraviit || 2-37-10

ashrusampuurnnetraa cha dharmajjnaa dharmadarshinii |

gandharvaraajapratimam bhartaaramidamabraviit || 2-37-11

Feeling abashed while taking the wearing apparel made of Kusa grass and greatly troubled in mind, Seetha who bore auspicious marks knew what is righteousness who was an illustration of righteousness spoke these words with her eyes filled with tears to her husband who looked like Chitraratha (the king of Gandharvas)

katham nu ciiram badhnanti munayo vana vaasinah |

iti hyakushalaa siitaa saamumoha muhurmuhuh || 2-37-12

"How ascetics residing in the forest wear this piece of bark?" Thus saying, Seetha who was not adept in wearing the bark of trees, erred again and again (in her attempt to wear it)

kritvaa kanthe ca saa ciiram ekam aadaaya paaninaa |

tasthau hi akusalaa tatra vriiditaa janaka aatmaja || 2-37-13

Keeping one piece of bark on her neck as well as holding it with her hand, Seetha stood abashed, not adept as she was in wearing it.

tasyaah tat ksipram aagamya raamah dharmabhritaam varah |

ciiram babandha siitaayaah kausheyasya upari svayam || 2-37-14

Rama, the foremost of those upholding virtue, quickly came and personally fastened that bark over the slid garment of Seetha.

raamam prekshya tu siitaayaah badhnantam chiiramuttamam |

antahpuragataa naaryo mumuchurvaari netrajam || 2-37-15

Seeing the greatest Rama fastening the bark to Seetha in that manner, the women in the gynaeceum shed tears from their eyes.

uchushcha paramaayastaa raamam jvalitatejasam |

vatsa naivam niyukteyam vanavaase manasvinii || 2-37-16

Very much distress as they were, they spoke to Rama of dazzling glory as follows: “Dear child! This Seetha the high souled, was not so commanded to reside in the forest."

piturvaakyaanurodhena gatasya vijanam vanam |

taavaddarshanamasyaa nah saphalam bhavatu prabho || 2-37-17

"When you departed to the forest in seclusion following the words of your father, Oh Rama, let her sight be a reward to us till your return."

lakshmanena sahaayena vanam gachchhasva putraka |

neyamarhati kalyaanii vastum taapasavadvane || 2-37-18

“You go to the forest along with Lakshmana as your companion Oh son! Seetha the beautiful girl is not fit to reside in a forest like an ascetic."

kuru no yaachanaam putra! siitaa tishhthatu bhaaminii |

dharmanityah svayam sthaatum na hiidaaniim tvamichchhasi || 2-37-19

"Accept our prayer, Oh son! Let Seetha the beautiful young lady stay here. Indeed, you the ever righteous in any case do not wish to stay back.

taasaamevamvidhaa vaachah shrinvan dasharathaatmajah |

babandhaiva tadaa chiiram siitayaa tulyashiilayaa || 2-37-20

Even after hearing their words in this manner, Rama fastened that piece of bark to Seetha, who has a well-matched nature.

ciire grihiite tu tayaa samiikshya nripaterguruh |

nivaarya siitaam kaikeyiim vasishhtho vaakyamabraviit || 2-37-21

Seeing Seetha accepting the piece of bark, Vasistha the king's preceptor prevented her and spoke thus to Kaikeyi.

atipravritte durmedhe kaikeyi kulapaamsani |

vajnyitvaa cha raajaanam na pramaane.avatishhthase || 2-37-22

"Oh the evil minded Kaikeyi, who have exceeded your limits, who have brought disgrace to your family! You are not establishing justifiable standard and you misled the king.

na gantavyam vanam devyaa siitayaa shiilavarjite |

anushhthaasyati raamasya siitaa prakritamaasanam || 2-37-23

"Oh, the woman without decorum! Seetha the princess shall not proceed to forest. She will occupy the throne, which was awarded to Rama."

aatmaa hi daaraah sarveshhaam daarasamgrahavartinaam |

aatmeyamiti raamasya paalayishhyati mediniim || 2-37-24

"A wife is very self to all, who constantly care for their wives. As Seetha is Rama's self, she can rule the earth."

atha yaasyati vaidehii vanam raamena samgataa |

vayamapyanuyaasyaamah puram chedam gamishhyati || 2-37-25

"Or rather, if Seetha goes to forest together with Rama, we also will follow suit. This city too will go."

antapaalaashcha yaasyanti sadaaro yatra raaghavah |

sahopajiivyam raashhtram cha puram cha saparichchhadam || 2-37-26

"The frontier- guards and the State including its patrons, as well as this city with its goods and chattels will go wherever Rama and his wife are there."

bharatashcha sashatrughnashchiiravaasaa vanecharah |

vane vasantam kaakutthsamanuvatsyati puurvajam || 2-37-27

"Wearing pieces of bark, Bharata along with Shatrughna will live along with Rama their brother residing in the forest and moving in the forest."

tatah shuunyaam gatajanaam vasudhaam paadapaih saha |

tvamekaa shaadhi durvrittaa prajaanaamahite sthitaa || 2-37-28

Thereafter, singly you alone with bad conduct hurt to people, rule this earth which is bereft of people and desolate, with its trees alone remaining.

na hi tadbhavitaa raashhtram yatra raamo na bhuupatih |

tadvanam bhavitaa raashhtram yatra raamo nivatsyati || 2-37-29

"Where Rama is not a king, that place will not indeed become on kingdom. That forest, where Rama will be living, can become a kingdom."

na hyadattaam mahiim pitraa bharatah shaastumarhati |

tvayi vaa putravadvastum yadi jaato mahiipateh || 2-37-30

"If Bharata is born to king Dasaratha, he is not fit either to rule the earth that is not being offered by his father nor to live as a son in your case."

yadyapi tvam kshititalaadgaganam chotpatishhyasi |

piturvmshacharitrajjnah so.anyathaa na karishhyati ||2-37-31

"Even if you can jump from the surface of the earth to the sky, Bharata who knows the record of his father's dynasty will not do as you wish him to do"

tattvayaa putragardhinyaa putrasya kritamapriyam |

loke hi sa na vidyeta yo na raamamanuvratah || 2-37-32

"Therefore, an unfriendly act (alone) has been done by you, even though you are covet [to desire (what belongs to another) inordinately or culpably] towards his well-being. There is none indeed in this world who is not devoted to Rama"

drakshyasyadyaiva kaikeyi pashuvyaalamrigadvijaan |

gachchhatah saha raamena paadapaamshcha tadunmukhaan || 2-37-33

"Oh, Kaikeyi! You will see now itself that beasts, elephants, deer’s and birds going with Rama and trees also turning their faces towards Rama."

athottamaanyaabharanaani devi |

dehi snushhaayai vyapaniiya chiiram |

na chiiramasyaah pravidhiiyateti |

nyavaarayat tadvasanam vasishhthah || 2-37-34

"Moreover, putting aside the bark of trees, give excellent jewelry to your daughter-in-law, Oh, Kaikeyi! the bark of trees is not ordained for her" Thus saying so, Vasishta prevented that wearing of garment by Seetha.

ekasya raamasya vane nivaasa |

stvayaa vritah kekayaraajaputri |

vibhuushhiteyam pratikarmanityaa |

vasatvaranye saha raaghavena || 2-37-35

"Oh, Kaikeyi! It was solicited by you, the dwelling in the forest of Rama only. Let Seetha, to be decorated daily, be adorned with ornaments and live in the forest along with Rama."

yaanaishcha mukhyaih parichaarakaishcha |

susamvritaa gachchhatu raajaputrii |

vasraishcha sarvaih sahitairvidhaanai |

rneyam vritaa te varasampradaane || 2-37-36

"Let Seetha go with excellent conveyances, well accompanied by attendants, with all costumes and useful accessories. Her exile was not indeed solicited by you, while asking for boons"

tasmimstathaa jalpati vipramukhye |

gurau nripasyaapratimaprabhaave |

naiva sma siitaa vinivrittabhaavaa |

priyasya bhartuh pratikaarakaamaa || 2-37-37

Even though Vasista, the preceptor of the king, who had an influence beyond compare and the best of Brahmanas, was speaking as above, Seetha did not turn away here resolution to follow the ways of her beloved husband.

iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye ayodhya kaaNDe sapta tri.mshaH sargaH

Thus completes thirty seventh chapter of ayodhya Kanda in glorious Valmiki Ramayana, 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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