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Chapter 53: Rama Tries to Persuade Lakshmana to Return

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Rama Tries to Persuade Lakshmana to Return

Summary

Rama tries to send Lakshmana back to Ayodhya, apprehending trouble for Kausalya and others in the hands of Kaikeyi. Lakshmana however refuses to return to Ayodhya, pleasing his inability to survive in the absence of Rama. Rama thereafter agrees again for Lakshmana’s stay in the forest with him.

Chapter [Sarga] 53 in Detail

sa tam vriksam samaasaadya samdhyaam anvaasya pashcimaam |

raamah ramayataam shresthaiti ha uvaaca laksmanam || 2-53-1

Rama, the foremost of those affording happiness to others, reached the aforesaid tree, worshipped the western twilight and spoke to Lakshmana as follows:

adya iyam prathamaa raatrir yaataa jana padaat bahih |

yaa sumantrena rahitaa taam na utkanthitum arhasi || 2-53-2

 “This might which has got past us today outside the inhabited territory is the first night which has passed without Sumantra. You ought not repent over it.”

jaagartavyam atandribhyaam adya prabhriti raatrisu |

yoga ksemah hi siitaayaa vartate laksmana aavayoh || 2-53-3

 “Remaining free from lassitude, we must both keep awake during nights, from today Lakshmana! The safety and welfare of Sita indeed depend on us two.”

raatrim kathamcit eva imaam saumitre vartayaamahe |

upaavartaamahe bhuumaav aastiirya svayam aarjitaih || 2-53-4

 “Let us pass this night anyhow, Lakshmana! Let us lie down on the ground, covering it by straw, leaves and so on, and procured by our own hands.”

sa tu samvishya medinyaam mahaa arha shayana ucitah |

imaah saumitraye raamah vyaajahaara kathaah shubhaah || 2-53-5

Stretching himself on the bare ground, Rama, who was accustomed to a luxurious coach, uttered the following suitable words to Lakshmana:

dhruvam adya mahaa raajo duhkham svapiti laksmana |

krita kaamaa tu kaikeyii tustaa bhavitum arhati || 2-53-6

 “Assuredly the emperor is sleeping badly tonight, while Kaikeyi, having realized her ambitions, ought to feel satisfied.”

saa hi devii mahaa raajam kaikeyii raajya kaaranaat |

api na cyaavayet praanaan dristvaa bharatam aagatam || 2-53-7

 “Seeing Bharata returned, queen Kaikeyi, I am afraid, may not expel the lives of the emperor for the sake of kingdom.”

anaathah caiva vriddhah ca mayaa caiva vinaakritah |

kim karisyati kaama aatmaa kaikeyyaa vasham aagatah || 2-53-8

 “Aged and (therefore) helpless, deprived of my presence, what will he do, dominated as he is by his passion for Kaikeyi and who has fallen into the clutches of Kaikeyi.”

idam vyasanam aalokya raajnah ca mati vibhramam |

kaamaeva ardha dharmaabhyaam gariiyaan iti me matih || 2-53-9

 “Reflecting on this misfortune of the king and his mental derangement, I deem that passion alone is greater than early gain and religious merit.”

ko hi avidvaan api pumaan pramadaayaah krite tyajet |

chanda anuvartinam putram taatah maam iva laksmana || 2-53-10

 “what man however deluded, what father on account of a woman, at his own will and pleasure, abandon a son like myself?

sukhii bata sabhaaryah ca bharatah kekayii sutah |

muditaan kosalaan eko yo bhoksyati adhiraajavat || 2-53-11

 “Alas, Kaikeyi’s son Bharata (alone) is happy along with his wife. Like an overlord, he is going to enjoy the prosperous kingdom of Kosala.”

sa hi sarvasya raajyasya mukham ekam bhavisyati |

taate ca vayasaa atiite mayi ca aranyam aashrite || 2-53-12

 “Father is superannuated. I am staying in the forest. Bharata will become the prime head for the entire kingdom.”

artha dharmau parityajya yah kaamam anuvartate |

evam aapadyate ksipram raajaa dasharatho yathaa || 2-53-13

 “He who pursues sensuous pleasures neglecting his real interests and discipline soon comes to distress; in the same way as king Dasaratha has.”

manye dasharatha antaaya mama pravraajanaaya ca |

kaikeyii saumya sampraaptaa raajyaaya bharatasya ca || 2-53-14

 “It seems that Kaikeyi came into our house, oh good brother, to bring about an end to Dasaratha, to send me into exile and to secure kingship for Bharata.”

api idaaniim na kaikeyii saubhaagya mada mohitaa |

kausalyaam ca sumitraam ca samprabaadheta mat krite || 2-53-15

 “Blinded by pride of good fortune, Kaikeyi may even now persecute Kausalya and Sumitra because of their relationship with me.”

maa sma mat kaaranaat devii sumitraa duhkham aavaset |

ayodhyaam itaeva tvam kaale pravisha laksmana || 2-53-16

 “Queen Sumitra is likely to suffer hardship because of her affinity to us. From this very place, you proceed to Ayodhya next morning, oh, Lakshmana!”

aham eko gamisyaami siitayaa saha dandakaan |

anaathaayaa hi naathah tvam kausalyaayaa bhavisyasi || 2-53-17

 “I shall proceed to Dandaka forest alone with Sita, while you will be the protector for Kausalya, who has no defender.”

ksudra karmaa hi kaikeyii dvesaat anyaayyam aacaret |

paridadyaa hi dharmajne bharate mama maataram || 2-53-18

 “Kaikeyi of base deeds may resort to unjustified means to be disliked. Give (for protection) my mother to Bharata, oh virtuous Prince!”

nuunam jaati antare kasmims striyah putraih viyojitaah |

jananyaa mama saumitre tat api etat upasthitam || 2-53-19

 “In some other (past) birth, women must have been deprived of their sons by my mother (Kausalya), oh, Lakshmana! For that reason this has arisen certainly.”

mayaa hi cira pustena duhkha samvardhitena ca |

vipraayujyata kausalyaa phala kaale dhig astu maam || 2-53-20

 “At a time when Kausalya should have obtained benefits for her labors repaid by me, she has been deprived of my company by me, who was nurtured by her for a long time and brought up with great pains. Woe to me.”

maa sma siimantinii kaacij janayet putram iidrisham |

saumitre yo aham ambaayaa dadmi shokam anantakam || 2-53-21

 “Let no woman ever give birth to such a son as myself, who have caused perpetual grief to my mother, oh, Lakshmana!”

manye priiti vishistaa saa mattah laksmana saarikaa |

yasyaah tat shruuyate vaakyam shuka paadam arer dasha || 2-53-22

 “Oh, Lakshmana! I think that myna (which is kept as a pet by mother Kausalya) is more affectionate than I, since her are heard the words, “Bite, oh parrot, the foot of the enemy.”

shocantyaah ca alpa bhaagyaayaa na kimcit upakurvataa |

purtrena kim aputraayaa mayaa kaaryam arim dama || 2-53-23

 “What can be done by me, her son, who cannot go to her aid even a little to her, my mother, who is weeping, who is unfortunate and who has no son, oh conqueror of foes?”

alpa bhaagyaa hi me maataa kausalyaa rahitaa mayaa |

shete parama duhkha aartaa patitaa shoka saagare || 2-53-24

 “Kausalya my mother of poor luck indeed, bereft of me, is stricken with great melancholy and lies plunged in a sea of grief”

eko hi aham ayodhyaam ca prithiviim ca api laksmana |

tareyam isubhih kruddho nanu viiryam akaaranam || 2-53-25

 “Enraged, I can subdue with my arrows single handed not only Ayodhya but also the earth. But it is not a question of valor here.”

adharma bhaya bhiitah ca para lokasya ca anagha |

tena laksmana na adya aham aatmaanam abhisecaye || 2-53-26

 “Oh, the sinless Lakshmana! I am terribly concerned of doing wrong and of ruining my prospects in the other world. Hence, I do not allow myself to be crowned.”

etat anyac ca karunam vilapya vijane bahu |

ashru puurna mukho raamah nishi tuusniim upaavishat || 2-53-27

Rama during the night in that lonely forest, wailed piteously thus and in so many other ways and sat quite, his face full of tears.

vilapya uparatam raamam gata arcisam iva analam |

samudram iva nirvegam aashvaasayata laksmanah || 2-53-28

 “The city of Ayodhya, now that you have come away from it, has certainly been divested of its splendor and resembles a night without the moon, Oh, Rama the jewel among armed warriors!”

dhruvam adya purii raamaayodhyaa yudhinaam vara |

nisprabhaa tvayi niskraante gata candraa iva sharvarii || 2-53-29

 “The city of Ayodhya, now that you have come away from it, has certainly been divested of its splendor and resembles a night without the moon, Oh, Rama the jewel among armed warriors!”

na etat aupayikam raama yad idam paritapyase |

visaadayasi siitaam ca maam caiva purusa risabha || 2-53-30

 “It is not proper, oh Rama, that you should grieve in this way. You cause distress to Sita and me too, oh jewel among men!”

na ca siitaa tvayaa hiinaa na ca aham api raaghava |

muhuurtam api jiivaavo jalaan matsyaav iva uddhritau || 2-53-31

 “Oh, Rama! Bereft [deprived of] of you, neither Sita nor I will not survive even for a moment, like fish pulled out of water.”

na hi taatam na shatrughnam na sumitraam param tapa |

drastum iccheyam adya aham svargam vaa api tvayaa vinaa || 2-53-32

 “Oh, Rama causing pain to the foes! Without you, I do not wish to see either our father or Satrughna or Sumitra or even the heaven.”

tatastatra sukhaasiine naatiduure niriikshya taam |

nyagrodhe sukritaam shayyaam bhejaate dharmavatsalau || 2-53-33

Then Rama and Lakshmana the lovers of piety, sitting comfortably there and on seeing a bed well- prepared under a banyan tree, sought for the bed.

sa laksmanasya uttama puskalam vaco |

nishamya ca evam vana vaasam aadaraat |

samaah samastaa vidadhe param tapah |

prapadya dharmam suciraaya raaghavah || 2-53-34

Attentively hearing Lakshmana’s words which were excellent and holistic and adopting for a fairly long period the course of conduct prescribed for hermits, Rama resolved to spend all the fourteen years in exile with Lakshmana.

tatastu tasmin vijane vane tadaa |

mahaabalau raaghavavamshavardhanau |

na tau bhayam sambhramamabhyupeyatu |

ryathaiva simhau girisaanugocharau || 2-53-35

Thence forward, those two powerful offspring of the Raghu race (Rama and Lakshmana) never admitted fear or agitation (while dwelling) in that vast and lonely forest any more than a couple of lions on the slopes of a mountain.

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye ayodhya kaande tripajnchashah sargah

Thus completes canto fifty-three of 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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