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Chapter 47: The Citizens Return to Ayodhya

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The Citizens Return to Ayodhya

Summary

The multitude that had caused Rama in his journey to the forest wake up to find Rama and his associates gone. They begin to rebuke themselves. Overwhelmed with grief, they hunt up to tracks of Rama’s chariot. Being unable to find the tracks, they helplessly return to Ayodhya in sheer despair.

Chapter [Sarga] 47 in Detail

prabhaataayaam tu sharvaryaam pauraah te raaghavo vinaa |

shoka upahata nishcestaa babhuuvur hata cetasah || 2-47-1

As the night was beginning to become dawn, those citizens relinquished by Raghava were perplexed with grief and became motionless.

shokaja ashru paridyuunaa viiksamaanaah tatah tatah |

aalokam api raamasya na pashyanti sma duhkhitaah || 2-47-2

Made miserable with tears born of anguish and agony, they could not notice even a glimmer of Rama, though casting their eyes everywhere.

te vishhaadaartavadanaa rahitaastena dhimataa |

kripanaah karunaa vaacho vadanti sma manasvinah || 2-47-3

Their faces distorted with sorrow, deprived as they were of sagacious Rama and therefore non-pulsed, the citizens broke into piteous exclamations, saying:-

dhigastu khalu nidraam taam yayaapahritachetasah |

naadya pashyaamahe raamam prithuuraskam mahaabhujam || 2-47-4

 “Cursed be to that slumber, rendered unconscious, by which we could not behold today that mighty armed Rama with a broad chest.”

katham naama mahaabaahuh sa tathaa.avitathakriyah |

bhaktam janam parityajya pravaasam raaghavo gatah || 2-47-5

 “How that Rama the strong armed, whose actions are never ineffectual, leave for exile, abandoning his devoted citizens?”

yo nah sadaa paalayati pitaa putraanivaurasaan |

katham raghuunaam sa shreshhthastyaktvaa no vipinam gatah || 2-47-6

 “How did the chief of Raghu’s, who protected us ever, like a father the children born of his loins, could proceed to the forest, leaving us?”

ihaiva nidhanam yaamo mahaaprasthaanameva vaa |

raamena rahitaanaam hi kimartham jiivitam hi nah || 2-47-7

 “Let us have recourse to death here itself, or definitely set out for a grand journey ( to the north with a resolve to die). For what purpose can life be good for us, separated as we are from Rama?”

santi shushhkaani kaashhthaani prabhuutaani mahaanti cha |

taih prajvaalya chitaam sarve pravishaamo.atha paavakam || 2-47-8

 “Or there are a number of big dry logs of wood here. Lighting a funeral fire out of them let us all enter the fire.”

kim vkhsyaamo mahaabaahuranasuuyah priyamvada |

niitah sa raaghavoasmaabhirti vaktum katham kshamam || 2-47-9

 “What shall we say to our fellow citizens? ‘The great armed Rama who is free from egoism and who speaks kindly (to all) has been conveyed to the forest by us!’ How can we say so?”

saa nuunam nagarii diinaa drishhtvaa.asmaan raaghavam vinaa |

bhavishhyati niraanandaa sastriibaalavayodhikaa || 2-47-10

 “Seeing us returning without Rama, that city of Ayodhya, already desolate, will with its women, children and the aged, become even deeply cheerless.”

niryaataastena viirena saha nityam jitaatmanaa |

vihinaastena cha punah katham pashyaama taam puriim || 2-47-11

 “Having left the city thus with that hero, the conqueror of one’s own self, how can we look on that city again without him?”

itiiva bahudhaa vaacho baahumudyamya te janaah |

vilapantisma duhkhartaa vivatsaa iva dhenavah || 2-47-12

Uplifting their arms, those men stricken with anguish, like cows bereft of their calves, lamented in various ways as above.

tatah maarga anusaarena gatvaa kimcit ksanam punah

maarga naashaat visaadena mahataa samabhiplutah || 2-47-13

Then, proceeding to some distance along the tracks for a while, they were overwhelmed with great despair again due to sudden disappearance of tracks.

rathasya maarga naashena nyavartanta manasvinah |

kim idam kim karisyaamah daivena upahataaiti || 2-47-14

The good-natured citizens, due to disappearance of the tracks of the chariot, returned to Ayodhya, saying thus, “How is it? What shall we do? We are afflicted by providence”

tatah yathaa aagatena eva maargena klaanta cetasah |

ayodhyaam agaman sarve puriim vyathita sajjanaam || 2-47-15

Thereafter, all of them with aggrieved hearts went to the city of Ayodhya, which comprised of virtuous people with distress, by the same path on which they had come.

aalokya nagariim taam cha kshayavyaakulamaanasaah |

aavartayanta t.ashruuni nayanaih shokapiiditaih || 2-47-16

Beholding the city, they shed tears through their eyes stricken as they were in grief , their minds distressed through cheerlessness.

eshhaa raamena nagarii rahitaa naatishobhate |

aapagaa garudeneva hradaaduddhritapannagaa || 2-47-17

Bereft of Rama, the aforesaid city of Ayodhya was not any more enchanting than a river whose snakes were uplifted from its pool by Garuda.

chandrahiinamivaakaasham toyahiinamivaarnavam |

apashyannihataanandam nagaram te vichetasah || 2-47-18

As the sky without the moon or the sea without the water, these disconcerted men beheld the city from which all joy had fled.

te taani veshmaani mahaadhanaani |

duhkhena duhkhopahataa vishantah |

naiva prajajjnuh svajanam janam vaa |

niriikshamaanaah pravinashhtaharshhaah || 2-47-19

Entering their houses full of abundant riches with uneasiness, the citizens could not distinguish between their own people and others, even though being looked at, stricken as they were with grief, their joy having altogether extinguished.

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye ayodhya kaande ekachatvaarimshah sargah

Thus completes the 47th chapter of Ayodhya Kanda in 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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