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Chapter 46: Rama Sneaks Away at Night
Rama Sneaks Away at Night
Having reached the banks of Tamasa river and thinking of the plight of the people of Ayodhya, Rama passes the night on the banks of Tamasa river. Waking up in the meantime, Rama instructs the charioteer to drive the chariot in such a way as to elude the citizens and lead them to think that the chariot had turned back towards Ayodhya instead of proceeding towards the forest. He then ascends the chariot along with Sita and Lakshmana and went ahead to the forest.
Chapter [Sarga] 46 in Detail
tatah tu tamasaa tiiram ramyam aashritya raaghavah |
siitaam udviiksya saumitrim idam vacanam abraviit || 2-46-1
Then Rama taking his position at the banks of Tamasa river and looking at Sita, spoke to Lakshmana as follows:
iyam adya nishaa puurvaa saumitre prasthitaa vanam |
vana vaasasya bhadram te sa na utkanthitum arhasi || 2-46-2
“Oh, Lakshmana! We have been sent to the forest. Today is the first night of our residence in the forest .You ought not feel anxious. May all be well with you!”
pashya shuunyaani aranyaani rudanti iva samantatah |
yathaa nilayam aayadbhir niliinaani mriga dvijaih || 2-46-3
“Look here: As the animals and birds are returning to their respective abodes seeking for shelter, the desolate woods seem to be crying from all sides”
adya ayodhyaa tu nagarii raaja dhaanii pitur mama |
sastrii pumsaa gataan asmaan shocisyati na samshayah || 2-46-4
“Now, the city of Ayodhya the capital of my father with its men and women will lament about us that have departed (to the forest). There is no doubt”
anuraktaa hi manujaa raajaanam bahubhirgunaih |
tvaam cha maam cha naravyaaghra shatraghnabharatau tathaa || 2-46-5
“Oh, tiger among men! The citizens (of Ayodhya) are indeed having affection to the king no less than to you and myself, as also to Bharata and Satrughna, for many of our virtues.”
pitaram chaanushochaami maataram cha yashasviniim |
api vaanaudha bhavetaam tu rudantau taavabhiikshnashah || 2-46-6
“I feel repented for my father and my illustrious mother. I fear whether they will become even blind, by weeping incessantly.”
bharatah khalu dharma aatmaa pitaram maataram ca me |
dharma artha kaama sahitaih vaakyaih aashvaasayisyati ||2-46-7
“Bharata, the virtuous man, can indeed console my father and mother by his kind words.”
bharatasya aanrishamsatvam samcintya aham punah punah |
na anushocaami pitaram maataram ca api laksmana || 2-46-8
“Oh, Lakshmana! Thinking of Bharata’s kindness again and again, I do not grieve for our father and mother”
tvayaa kaaryam nara vyaaghra maam anuvrajataa kritam |
anvestavyaa hi vaidehyaa raksana arthe sahaayataa || 2-46-9
“Oh, Lakshmana, tiger among men! You have done well by accompanying me, as otherwise, a help would have to be sought for by me for protecting Seetha”
adbhir eva tu saumitre vatsyaamy adya nishaam imaam |
etadd hi rocate mahyam vanye api vividhe sati || 2-46-10
“Oh, Lakshmana! I shall live on water alone tonight. Though there are various kinds of wild fruits and roots, this is indeed a liking for me”
evam uktvaa tu saumitram sumantram api raaghavah |
apramattah tvam ashvesu bhava saumya iti uvaaca ha || 2-46-11
Thus telling Lakshmana, Rama spoke also to Sumantra as follows: “Oh, gentle man! Attend to the horses carefully.”
so ashvaan sumantrah samyamya suurye astam samupaagate |
prabhuuta yavasaan kritvaa babhuuva pratyanantarah || 2-46-12
The sun having completely set, Sumantra tied up the horses, supplied them with abundant grass and immediately stood nearest (to Rama).
upaasyatu shivaam samdhyaam dristvaa raatrim upasthitaam |
raamasya shayanam cakre suutah saumitrinaa saha || 2-46-13
Having worshipped the beautiful evening twilight and having seen the night come nearer, Sumantra along with Lakshmana made the bed for Rama.
taam shayyaam tamasaa tiire viiksya vriksa dalaih kritaam |
raamah saumitrinaam saardham sabhaaryah samvivesha ha || 2-46-14
Seeing that bed made of leaves of a tree on the bank of Tamasa river with the help of Lakshmana, Rama along with his wife laid down on it.
sabhaaryam samprasuptam tam bhraataram viiksya laksmanah |
kathayaam aasa suutaaya raamasya vividhaan gunaan || 2-46-15
Seeing that brother sleeping along with his wife, Lakshmana narrated Rama’s various virtues to Sumantra.
jaagratah hi eva taam raatrim saumitrer uditah ravih |
suutasya tamasaa tiire raamasya bruvatah gunaan || 2-46-16
While Lakshmana was thus recounting Rama’s excellences to Sumantra, keeping awake that whole night at the bank of Tamasa River, the sun rose.
go kula aakula tiiraayaah tamasaayaah viduuratah |
avasat tatra taam raatrim raamah prakritibhih saha || 2-46-17
At a good distance from Tamasa River, whose banks were crowded with herds of cows, Rama passed that night there with the citizens.
utthaaya tu mahaa tejaah prakritiis taa nishaamya ca |
abraviid bhraataram raamah laksmanam punya laksanam || 2-46-18
Getting up from the bed and seeing those citizens, Rama with an extraordinary splendor, spoke to his brother, Lakshmana who was endowed with auspicious bodily marks:
asmad vyapeksaan saumitre nirapeksaan grihesv api |
vriksa muulesu samsuptaan pashya laksmana saampratam || 2-46-19
“Observe, Oh Lakshmana, the citizens full of longing for us, unmindful even of their homes, sleeping together at the roots of trees, Oh, the son of Sumitra!”
yathaa ete niyamam pauraah kurvanti asman nivartane |
api praanaan asisyanti na tu tyaksyanti nishcayam || 2-46-20
“From the way in which these citizens are making coercion to take us back (to Ayodhya), it seems they will even lay down their lives, but in no case would give up their resolve”
yaavad eva tu samsuptaah taavad eva vayam laghu |
ratham aaruhya gacchaamah panthaanam akutah bhayam || 2-46-21
“Till which time the citizens are asleep, within that time, let us quickly mount the chariot and take a route which has no fear from any quarter”
atah bhuuyo api na idaaniim iksvaaku pura vaasinah |
svapeyur anuraktaa maam vriska muulaani samshritaah || 2-46-22
“From this the citizens of Ayodhya (the ancient capital of Ikshvaku), who are longing for me, may not sleep as of now, at the roots of trees again and again”
pauraa hi aatma kritaat duhkhaat vipramocyaa nripa aatmajaih |
na tu khalv aatmanaa yojyaa duhkhena pura vaasinah || 2-46-23
“The residents of city should indeed be made free of their suffering brought about by (citizens) themselves, by the sons of their rulers. The citizens should on no account be burdened with hardship caused by (princes) them selves as is our case.”
abraviil laksmano raamam saaksaat dharmam iva sthitam |
rocate me mahaa praajna ksipram aaruhyataam iti || 2-46-24
Lakshmana replied as follows to Rama, who is standing firm like righteousness personified: “Oh, wise brother! What you say is agreeable to me. (Pray) ascend the chariot quickly”
atha raamo.abraviicchhriimaan sumantram yujyataam rathah |
gamishhyaami tato.aranyam gachchha shriighramitah prabho || 2-46-25
Then, the glorious Rama spoke to the charioteer as follows: “Oh, capable man! Keep the chariot ready. I shall proceed to the forest. Let us go quickly from here.”
suutah tatah samtvaritah syandanam taih haya uttamaih |
yojayitvaa atha raamaaya praanjalih pratyavedayat || 2-46-26
Then, Sumantra quickly fastened the chariot to its excellent horses and thereafter submitted with joined palms to Rama (as follows):
ayam yukto mahaabaaho rathaste rathinaam vara |
tvamaarohasva bhadram te sasiitah sahalakshmanah || 2-46-27
“Oh, mighty armed prince! Your chariot is kept ready. You ascend it along with Sita and with Lakshmana, Oh jewel among car-warriors! May prosperity attend you”
tam syandanamadhishhthaaya raaghavah saparichchhadah |
shiighragaamaakulaavartaam tamasaamatarannadiim || 2-46-28
Rama mounted the chariot with all necessaries (like bow, armor, quiver, spade, basket, and so on) and crossed the swift flowing Tamasa river, thickly set with whirl- pools.
sa samtiirya mahaabaahuh shriimaan shivamakantakam |
praapadyata mahaamaargamabhayam bhayadarshinaam || 2-46-29
Having duly crossed the stream, the glorious Rama the mighty armed reached a great road free from obstacles and safe even for those who are apprehensive of danger.
mohana artham tu pauraanaam suutam raamah abraviid vacah |
udan mukhah prayaahi tvam ratham aasthaaya saarathe || 2-46-30
muhuurtam tvaritam gatvaa nirgataya ratham punah |
yathaa na vidyuh pauraa maam tathaa kuru samaahitah || 2-46-31
In order to elude the citizens, Rama spoke to Sumantra as follows: “Oh, charioteer! You mount the chariot and go northward. Proceed for a while quickly and bring back the chariot again. Remaining careful, do it in such a way that the citizens may not be able to locate me”
raamasya vacanam shrutvaa tathaa cakre sa saarathih |
pratyaagamya ca raamasya syandanam pratyavedayat || 2-46-32
Hearing Rama’s advice, the charioteer made a round of the chariot as he was suggested and on returning, reported to Rama about the arrival of the chariot.
tau samprayuktam tu ratham samaasitthau |
tadaa sasiitau raghavamshavardhanau |
prachodayaamaasa tatasturamgamaan |
sa saarathiryena pathaa tapovanam || 2-46-33
Then, Rama and Lakshmana (the promoters of the race of Raghu) along with Sita ascended the chariot yoked together. The charioteer urged the horses along the route by which they can reach a grove suited to the practice of austerities.
tatah samaasthaaya ratham mahaarathah
sasaarathirdhaasharathirvanam yayau |
udamukham tam tu ratham chakaara sa |
prayaanamaagashyanivitadarshanaat || 2-46-34
However, Sumantra placed that chariot by facing it to the north, for he saw omens auspicious for journey (in that quarter). Rama (son of Dasaratha) the mighty car-warrior, along with the charioteer mounted the chariot and proceeded to the forest.
iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye ayodhya kaande shhtchatvaarimshah sargah
Thus completes the 46th chapter of Ayodhya Kanda in 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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