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Chapter 51: Lakshmana Passes the Night Talking with Guha

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Lakshmana Passes the Night Talking with Guha

Summary

Guha requests Lakshmana to take rest, duly expressing his readiness to guard Rama and his consort by keeping awake the whole night. Lakshmana expressed his unwillingness to lie down in the presence of his elder brother and sister in law and preferred to remain awake. He spends night talking with Guha, voicing grief for his royal father as well as his affectionate mothers.

Chapter [Sarga] 51 in Detail

tam jaagratam adambhena bhraatur arthaaya laksmanam |

guhah samtaapa samtaptah raaghavam vaakyam abraviit || 2-51-1

Distressed with anguish (to see Rama and Sita lying on the ground) Guha said to Lakshmana, the scion of Raghu, who kept awake, through sincere love, for the protection of his brother Rama.

iyam taata sukhaa shayyaa tvad artham upakalpitaa |

pratyaashvasihi saadhv asyaam raaja putra yathaa sukham || 2-51-2

 “Here is a comfortable bed made for you, my friend! Relax well comfortably on it, Oh, prince!”

ucitah ayam janah sarvah kleshaanaam tvam sukha ucitah |

gupti artham jaagarisyaamah kaakutsthasya vayam nishaam || 2-51-3

 “All of us are habituated to hardships. You are habituated to comforts. We shall keep awake this night, for the protection of Rama”

na hi raamaat priyatarah mama asti bhuvi kashcana |

braviimy etat aham satyam satyena eva ca te shape || 2-51-4

 “For, none is dearer to me than Rama in this world. I speak the truth and swear to you by truth.”

asya prasaadaat aashamse loke asmin sumahad yashah |

dharma avaaptim ca vipulaam artha avaaptim ca kevalaam || 2-51-5

 “I hope to acquire abundant acclaim and supreme merit in this world as also full reward of wealth, by the sole grace of Rama”

so aham priya sakham raamam shayaanam saha siitayaa |

raksisyaami dhanus paanih sarvatah jnaatibhih saha || 2-51-6

 “As such, I along with my kindred, shall protect my dear friend Rama who is reposing with Sita in every way, with bow in hand.”

na hi me aviditam kimcit vane asmimh caratah sadaa |

catur angam hi api balam sumahat prasahemahi || 2-51-7

 “Nothing is indeed unknown in this forest to me, where I wander continually. We can able to withstand even a vast army too, comprising of four parts (elephants, chariots, cavalry, and infantry).”

laksmanah tam tadaa uvaaca raksyamaanaah tvayaa anagha |

na atra bhiitaa vayam sarve dharmam eva anupashyataa || 2-51-8

Then, Lakshmana replied to Guha as follows: “Oh, sinless Guha! Being protected by you, who keep your duty alone in view, all of us are fearless in this land.”

katham daasharathau bhuumau shayaane saha siitayaa |

shakyaa nidraa mayaa labdhum jiivitam vaa sukhaani vaa || 2-51-9

 “When Rama, the son of Dasaratha is lying on the ground with Sita, how is it possible for me to sleep or to enjoy the pleasures of life?”

yo na deva asuraih sarvaih shakyah prasahitum yudhi |

tam pashya sukha samvistam trinesu saha siitayaa || 2-51-10

 “See that Rama, who cannot be vanquished in combat even by the gods and demons combined, now sleeping profoundly on the grass along with Sita.”

yo mantra tapasaa labdho vividhaih ca parishramaih |

eko dasharathasya esa putrah sadrisha laksanah || 2-51-11

asmin pravrajitah raajaa na ciram vartayisyati |

vidhavaa medinii nuunam ksipram eva bhavisyati || 2-51-12

When Rama- who is endowed with similar characteristics as Dasaratha, uniquely beloved, the son obtained by Dasaratha by virtue of his chanting of several sacred texts and austerities and by various undertakings (in the form of sacrificial performances) has gone to exile, the king will not live long and the earth will become surely widowed forthwith.

vinadya sumahaa naadam shramena uparataah striyah |

nirghosa uparatam taata manye raaja niveshanam || 2-51-13

Having cried out in a high-pitched tone, the women having exhausted, will have fallen silent and I am sure that a profound stillness reigns in the palace.

kausalyaa caiva raajaa ca tathaiva jananii mama |

na aashamse yadi jiivanti sarve te sharvariim imaam || 2-51-14

 “I do not expect Kausalya, Dasaratha and my mother all of them to remain alive for this night.”

jiived api hi me maataa shatrughnasya anvaveksayaa |

tat duhkham yat tu kausalyaa viirasuur vinashisyati || 2-51-15

 “By looking forward to meet Satrughna, my mother might even stay alive. But it will be painful if Kausalya who has given birth to a heroic son, dies.”

anurakta jana aakiirnaa sukha aaloka priya aavahaa |

raaja vyasana samsristaa saa purii vinashisyati || 2-51-16

That city of Ayodhya, filled with devoted people, hitherto a source of joy and which brought pleasure to the world, when seized with agony over the king’s death, will perish.

katham putram mahaatmaanam jyeshhtham priyamapasyatah |

shariiram dhaarayushhyaanti praanaa raajjno mahaatmanah || 2-51-17

 “How, in the absence of his magnanimous and the first born son, will the vital airs in the body of the generous king be maintained?”

vinashhte nripatau pashchaatkausalyaa vinashishhyati |

anantaram cha maataa.api mama naashamupaishhyati || 2-51-18

 “After the death of king, Kausalya will die. My mother also will die thereafter.

atikraantam atikraantam anavaapya manoratham |

raajye raamam aniksipya pitaa me vinashisyati || 2-51-19

 “Having failed to install Rama in the kingdom, failed forever, which was the most cherished wish of his heart, my father will leave this world.

siddha arthaah pitaram vrittam tasmin kaale hi upasthite |

preta kaaryesu sarvesu samskarisyanti bhuumipam || 2-51-20

 “Those who are fortunate will consecrate our deceased father and the king in the course of all funeral rites, when the hour has struck.

ramya catvara samsthaanaam suvibhakta mahaa pathaam |

harmya prasaada sampannaam ganikaa vara shobhitaam || 2-51-21

ratha ashva gaja sambaadhaam tuurya naada vinaaditaam |

sarva kalyaana sampuurnaam hrista pusta jana aakulaam || 2-51-22

aaraama udyaana sampannaam samaaja utsava shaaliniim |

sukhitaa vicarisyanti raaja dhaaniim pitur mama || 2-51-23

People will joyfully move in the capital belonging to my father and the city with its quadrangular places allocated at lovely sites, and well- aligned roads, rich in mansions of well-to-do men, temples and royal palaces adorned with the foremost of courtesans, its chariots horses and elephants that obstruct the roads, the musical instruments that resound there- full of all blessings and crowded with merry and well fed men, well- provided with gardens and royal parks and bright with festivities carried on under the patronage of associations.

api jiiveddhasharatho vanavaasaatpunarvayam |

pratyaagamya mahaatmaanamapi pashyema suvratam || 2-51-24

Will Dasaratha remain alive? After returning from exile, can we see the high-soled king Dasaratha of noble vows again?

api satya pratijnena saardham kushalinaa vayam |

nivritte vana vaase asminn ayodhyaam pravishemahi || 2-51-25

Can we safely return to Ayodhya, after completion of the exile in the forest along with Rama who is faithful to his promises?

paridevayamaanasya duhkha aartasya mahaatmanah |

tisthatah raaja putrasya sharvarii saa atyavartata || 2-51-26

While the high-soled Lakshmana thus lamenting, stood on ground, afflicted with anguish as he was, that night rolled away.

tathaa hi satyam bruvati prajaa hite |

nara indra putre guru sauhridaat guhah |

mumoca baaspam vyasana abhipiiditah |

jvaraa aaturah naagaiva vyathaa aaturah || 2-51-27

While Lakshmana (son of Dasaratha), who was concerned with the welfare of the people; was thus speaking the truth out of his affection for his elder brother (Rama), Guha, overcome with agony and oppressed with adversity shed tears like an elephant tormented with fever.

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye ayodhya kaande ekapamchaashah sargah

Thus completes 51st 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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