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Chapter 40: The Departure of Rama

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The Departure of Rama

Summary

The departure of Rama from Ayodhya for his exile is depicted. When they are charioted through the streets of Ayodhya the citizenry wails and weeps for Rama's disposition. In his unsurpassable affection towards Rama, King Dasharatha follows the chariot like a commoner, but fails to go further and falls down.

Chapter [Sarga] 40 in Detail

atha raamah ca siitaa ca laksmanah ca krita anjalih |

upasamgrihya raajaanam cakrur diinaah pradaksinam || 2-40-1

Then, Rama Seetha and Lakshmana, who felt miserable, bowed down by touching the feet of the king and went round him clockwise with joined palms.

tam ca api samanujnaapya dharmajnah siitayaa saha |

raaghavah shoka sammuudho jananiim abhyavaadayat || 2-40-2

After taking leave of Dasaratha, Rama who knew what is right and stood confounded by sorrow, bowed along with Seetha to Kausalya.

anvaksam laksmano bhraatuh kausalyaam abhyavaadayat |

atha maatuh sumitraayaa jagraaha caranau punah || 2-40-3

Immediately following his brother, Lakshmana too bowed to Kausalya, then clasped the feet of his mother Sumitra.

tam vandamaanam rudatii maataa saumitrim abraviit |

hita kaamaa mahaa baahum muurdhni upaaghraaya laksmanam || 2-40-4

Smelling (as a token of affection) the head of Lakshmana mighty armed, who was saluting her, his mother Sumitra who wished well of him, spoke weeping, to that son of her ( as follows)

sristah tvam vana vaasaaya svanuraktah suhrij jane |

raame pramaadam maa kaarsiih putra bhraatari gacchati || 2-40-5

"Highly fond of your kinsman Rama, you have been permitted (by me) to dwell in the forest (with your eldest half-brother). Do not neglect your half-brother). Do not neglect your half-brother Rama, who is going to the forest, my son!"

vyasanii vaa samriddho vaa gatir esa tava anagha |

esa loke sataam dharmah yaj jyestha vashago bhavet || 2-40-6

"Oh, sinless one! Whether in adversity or in riches, he alone is refugee to you. It should become the code of conduct in the world, that younger brother should be subject to the control of his elder brother."

idam hi vrittam ucitam kulasya asya sanaatanam |

daanam diiksaa ca yajnesu tanu tyaago mridhesu ca || 2-40-7

"It is indeed a practice right from ancient times in your race, to make gifts, to dedicate oneself to performance of sacrificial rites and to forsake one's body to fight battles."

laksmanam tvevamktvaa saa samsiddham priyaraaghavam |

sumitraa gachchha gachchheti punah punaruvaacha tam || 2-40-8

Thus speaking to Lakshmana, who was in readiness to leave the forest and who loved Rama dearly, Sumitra repeatedly said to him, "fare forth, fare forth!"

raamam dasharatham viddhi maam viddhi janaka aatmajaam |

ayodhyaam ataviim viddhi gaccha taata yathaa sukham || 2-40-9

"Know Rama to be Dasaratha. Look upon Seetha the daughter of Janaka as myself. Consider the forest as Ayodhya and depart happily, my son!"

tatah sumantrah kaakutstham praanjalir vaakyam abraviit |

viniitah vinayajnah ca maatalir vaasavam yathaa || 2-40-10

Then, Sumantra the humble man, who was aware of humility, joined his palms and spoke these words to Rama even as Matali (charioteer of Indra) would to Indra (the ruler of gods).

ratham aaroha bhadram te raaja putra mahaa yashah |

ksipram tvaam praapayisyaami yatra maam raama vaksyasi || 2-40-11

"Mount the chariot, oh the highly illustrious prince! May all be well with you! I shall take you speedily, wherever you direct me to go."

catur dasha hi varsaani vastavyaani vane tvayaa |

taani upakramitavyaani yaani devyaa asi coditah || 2-40-12

"You have to reside in the forest for fourteen years. Those years, as directed by the queen, are to be considered having commenced."

tam ratham suurya samkaasham siitaa hristena cetasaa |

aaruroha vara aarohaa kritvaa alamkaaram aatmanah || 2-40-13

Having adorned herself, Seetha with her comely buttocks, mounted with a delighted mind, that chariot which was shining like the sun.

tathaiva aayudha jaataani bhraatribhyaam kavacaani ca |

ratha upasthe pratinyasya sacarma kathinam ca tat || 2-40-14

Thereafter, Rama and Lakshmana the brothers quickly mounted that chariot, which was resplendent [shining brilliantly] like fire and decked with gold.

vanavaasam hi samkhyaya vaasaamsyaabharanaani cha |

bhartaaramanugachchhantyai siitaayai shvashuro dadau || 2-40-15

For Seetha who was accompanying with her husband, Dasaratha gave away garments and jewelry, taking into consideration the period for which she had to stay in the forest.

tathaivaayudhajaalaani bhraatribhyaam kavachaani cha |

rathopasthe pratinyasya sacharma kathinam cha tat || 2-40-16

siitaa tritiiyaan aaruudhaan dristvaa dhristam acodayat |

sumantrah sammataan ashvaan vaayu vega samaan jave || 2-40-17

Even so for the two brothers, keeping the sets of weapon, an armor of hard make with leather-cover in the midst of the chariot, Sumantra saw the three of whom Seetha constituted the third mounted and quickly drove the horses which were highly admired, with their swiftness resembling the velocity of wind.

prayaate tu mahaa aranyam cira raatraaya raaghave |

babhuuva nagare muurcchaa bala muurcchaa janasya ca || 2-40-18

Rama after departing to the great forest for a long term, unconsciousness prevailed in the city. There was faintness in the strength of people.

tat samaakula sambhraantam matta samkupita dvipam |

haya shinjita nirghosam puram aasiin mahaa svanam || 2-40-19

The city (of Ayodhya) is filled with flurry, with its elephants intoxicated in rut and highly excited and resonant with tinkling of ornaments of horses.

tatah sabaala vriddhaa saa purii parama piiditaa |

raamam eva abhidudraava gharma aartah salilam yathaa || 2-40-20

That city, including the youngsters and the old, stricken with extreme agony, ran towards Rama alone, in the same way as the one afflicted with heat of the sun rushes towards water.

paarshvatah pristhatah ca api lambamaanaah tat unmukhaah |

baaspa puurna mukhaah sarve tam uucur bhrisha duhkhitaah || 2-40-21

Having down towards sides and back of the chariot with their faces turned towards Rama and with their faces filled with tears, all those people said with loud voices to Sumantra thus:

samyaccha vaajinaam rashmiin suuta yaahi shanaih shanaih |

mukham draksyaami raamasya durdarsham no bhavisyati || 2-40-22

"Hold in the reins of the horses and go slowly and slowly, Oh charioteer! We would behold the face of Rama, which would be henceforth difficult to behold for us"

aayasam hridayam nuunam raama maatur asamshayam |

yad deva garbha pratime vanam yaati na bhidyate || 2-40-23

"The heart of Rama's mother (Kausalya) is surely and undoubtedly made of iron, since it does not get broken when Rama resembling an offspring of gods is going to the forest"

krita krityaa hi vaidehii chaayaa iva anugataa patim |

na jahaati rataa dharme merum arka prabhaa yathaa || 2-40-24

"Seetha (the princess of Videha kingdom) has done what ought to be done, by going along with him like a shadow, delighted in virtue as she was and does not leave her husband in the same way as Mount Meru does not leave the effulgence of sun"

aho laksmana siddha arthah satataam priya vaadinam |

bhraataram deva samkaasham yah tvam paricarisyasi || 2-40-25

"Oh, Lakshmana! You are attending ever to your brother who speaks affectionately and is equal to the god. Ah, you are the accomplisher of purpose!"

mahati esaa hi te siddhir esa ca abhyudayo mahaan |

esa svargasya maargah ca yad enam anugacchasi || 2-40-26

"It is an immense fulfillment for you, it is a tremendous good fortune for you, nay, it is even a means to heaven that you are following this Rama"

evam vadantah te sodhum na shekur baaspam aagatam |

atha raajaa vritah striibhir diinaabhir diina cetanah || 2-40-27

Saying so, those people were not able to restrain their tears that come and followed that Rama, their beloved delight of the Ikshvaku’s.

atha raajaa vritah striibhirdiinaabhirdiinachetanah |

nirjagaama priyam putram draksyaami iti bruvan grihaat || 2-40-28

Then, the king with the distressed mind, saying that he would behold his beloved saw, came out of his palace surrounded by women who were too dejected.

shushruve ca agratah striinaam rudantiinaam mahaa svanah |

yathaa naadah karenuunaam baddhe mahati kunjare || 2-40-29

In front of him was heard a huge noise of crying women, echoing like trumpeting of female elephants when a lordly elephant has been pinioned.

pitaa ca raajaa kaakutsthah shriimaan sannah tadaa babhau |

paripuurnah shashii kaale grahena upaplutah yathaa || 2-40-30

At that time, the father of Rama as is well known as a glorious king Dasaratha (a scion of Kakutstha) looked shrunk, like the full moon overshadowed by an eclipse.

sa cha shriimaanachintyaatmaa raamo dasharathaatmajah |

suutam samchodayaamaasa tvaritam vaahyataamiti || 2-40-31

That glorious son of Dasaratha (Rama) of inconceivable courage, directed the charioteer in the words "Let the chariot be driven fast."

raamo yaahiiti suutam tam tishhtheti sa janastadaa |

ubhayam naashakatsuutah kartumadhvani choditah || 2-40-32

Rama commanded that charioteer with the words "Move on!" The people said to him "stop!" Urged on the passage, the charioteer could not do both.

nirgachchhati mahaabaahau raame paurajanaashrubhih |

patitairabhyavahitam prashashaama mahiirajah || 2-40-33

The dust raised on the road due to moving out of mighty armed Rama, was suppressed by the falling tears of the citizens.

ruditaashruparidyuunam haahaakritamachetanam |

prayaane raaghavasyaasiitpuram paramapiiditam || 2-40-34

With full of wailing tears, the citizens of after making loud cries became unconscious with deep agony, at the time of departure of Rama.

susraava nayanaih striinaamasramaayaasasambhavam |

miinasamkshobhachalitaih salilam pakajairiva || 2-40-35

Tears born of anguish flowed from the eyes of women like (drops of) water falling from lotuses by the commotion of fish.

drishhtvaa tu nripatih shriimaanekachittagatam puram |

nipapaataiva duhkhena hatamuula iva drumah || 2-40-36

Seeing the city with singleness of mind, the glorious monarch Dasaratha fell down with agony, like a tree slain at its root.

tatao hala halaa shabdo jajne raamasya pristhatah |

naraanaam preksya raajaanam siidantam bhrisha duhkhitam || 2-40-37

Thereafter, seeing the king becoming feeble and much distressed, the outcry of the people rose from the rear of Rama.

haa raama iti janaah kecit raama maataa iti ca apare |

antah puram samriddham ca kroshantam paryadevayan || 2-40-38

Some people crying "Oh, Rama!" and some others crying "Oh, Rama's mother!", made the entire women in the gynaeceum to weep.

anviiksamaano raamah tu visannam bhraanta cetasam |

raajaanam maataram caiva dadarsha anugatau pathi || 2-40-39

Looking back, Rama saw the king sorrowful and perplexed in mind, as well as his mother following (him) on the road.

sa baddha iva paashena kishoro maataram yathaa |

dharmapaashena samkshiptah prakaasham naabhudaikshata || 2-40-40

Rama, bound by the chord of righteousness, could not gaze openly at his parents, as a foal caught in a snare would not properly look at its dam.

padaatinau ca yaana arhaav aduhkha arhau sukha ucitau |

dristvaa samcodayaam aasa shiighram yaahi iti saarathim || 2-40-41

Seeing them coming by foot, though worthy of a chariot, habituated to comfort and unworthy of suffering, Rama commanded the charioteer with words: "Drive fast!"

na hi tat purusa vyaaghrah duhkhadam darshanam pituh |

maatuh ca sahitum shaktah totra arditaiva dvipah || 2-40-42

Rama the tiger among men, feeling pained, as an elephant being pricked by a good, indeed was not able to bear that plight of his father and his mother.

pratyagaaramivaayaantii vatsalaa vatsakaaranaat |

baddhavatsaa yathaa dhenuu raamamaataabhyaadhaavata || 2-40-43

Rama's mother (Kausalya) ran towards her son, as a cow fond of her calf and whose calf is tied (in a stall), runs home for her calf.

tathaa rudantiim kausalyaam ratham tam anudhaavatiim |

kroshantiim raama raama iti haa siite laksmana iti ca || 2-40-44

raamalakshmanasiitaartham sravantiim vaari netrajam |

asakrit praiksata tadaa nrityantiim iva maataram || 2-40-45

Rama again and again saw that Kausalya, his mother who was crying thus, running after that chariot as though dancing, shouting "Oh, Rama, Rama!" "Oh, Seetha!" and "Oh, Lakshmana!" trickling tears descending from her eyes for the sake of Rama Lakshmana and Seetha.

tistha iti raajaa cukrosa yaahi yaahi iti raaghavah |

sumantrasya babhuuva aatmaa cakrayoh iva ca antaraa || 2-40-46

Dasaratha exclaimed saying "Stop!" while Rama called out "Go on, proceed!" (In that way) Sumantra's mind became confused, as in between two (opposing) whirl pools.

na ashrausam iti raajaanam upaalabdho api vaksyasi |

ciram duhkhasya paapistham iti raamah tam abraviit || 2-40-47

Rama said to him: "You can say to the king that you did not hear (his call), even when scolded (later). Seeing their grief for a long time is quite unbearable."

raamasya sa vacah kurvann anujnaapya ca tam janam |

vrajatah api hayaan shiighram codayaam aasa saarathih || 2-40-48

The charioteer, doing as per Rama's words, took leave of those citizens and drive the horses more speedily even while they are going.

nyavartata jano raajno raamam kritvaa pradaksinam |

manasaa api ashru vegaih ca na nyavartata maanusam || 2-40-49

The king's people returned after (mentally) going round Rama. Their minds did not return. Their impulse of tears also did not get reduced.

yam icchet punar aayaantam na enam duuram anuvrajet |

iti amaatyaa mahaa raajam uucur dasharatham vacah || 2-40-50

The ministers spoke to king Dasaratha as follows:" We should not follow to a long distance him whom we wish to see come back."

tesaam vacah sarva guna upapannam |

prasvinna gaatrah pravisanna ruupah |

nishamya raajaa kripanah sabhaaryo |

vyavasthitah tam sutam iiksamaanah || 2-40-51

Hearing their words, which were befitting with all virtues, the king Dasaratha felt miserable, stopped short, gazing along with his wife, at his son Rama, with his whole body perspiring and wearing a dejected look.

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye ayodhya kaande catvaari.mshah sargah

Thus completes 40th chapter in the 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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