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Chapter 54: At the Hermitage of Bharadvaja

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At the Hermitage of Bharadvaja

Summary

Rama, Seetha and Lakshmana reach the hermitage of Bharadwaja, situated a the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna rivers. The sage Bharadwaja extends hospitality to them and recommends Chitrakuta as the fittest place for them to sojourn in. Spending the night in discourses on various matters with him, the sage grants him leave early next morning to depart for Chitrakuta.

Chapter [Sarga] 54 in Detail

te tu tasmin mahaa vriksausitvaa rajaniim shivaam |

vimale abhyudite suurye tasmaat deshaat pratasthire || 2-54-1

Having spent the beautiful night under the big tree, Rama, Seetha and Lakshmana started from that place when the immaculate sun had risen.

yatra bhaagiirathii gangaa yamunaam abhivartate |

jagmus tam desham uddishya vigaahya sumahad vanam || 2-54-2

te bhuumim aagaan vividhaan deshaamh ca api mano ramaan |

adrista puurvaan pashyantah tatra tatra yashasvinah || 2-54-3

Having penetrated into a deep forest, they the illustrious trios, while seeing many stretches of land and at some places, attractive scenery never seen before, proceeded in the direction of that region where river Yamuna was flowing forth towards river Ganga, associated with the name of Emperor Bhageeratha.

yathaa ksemena gacchan sa pashyamh ca vividhaan drumaan |

nivritta maatre divase raamah saumitrim abraviit || 2-54-4

Observing various trees while walking at ease, Rama spoke to Lakshmana (as follows) when the day had just receded.

prayaagam abhitah pashya saumitre dhuumam unnatam |

agner bhagavatah ketum manye samnihitah munih || 2-54-5

"Perceive, Oh Lakshmana, the smoke looking prominent as a sign of the glorious god of fire near Prayaga (the confluence of the holy Ganga and Yamuna rivers). I think that sage Bharadwaja is staying nearby."

nuunam praaptaah sma sambhedam gangaa yamunayoh vayam |

tathaa hi shruuyate shambdo vaarinaa vaari ghattitah || 2-54-6

"We have certainly reached the confluence of rivers Ganga and Yamuna. Yes, the noise produced by clashing of waters is heard."

daaruuni paribhinnaani vanajaih upajiivibhih |

bharadvaaja aashrame ca ete drishyante vividhaa drumaah || 2-54-7

"Pieces of timber split up by men who are dependent upon forest-products, as also these trees of various kinds are seen in the hermitage of Bharadwaja."

dhanvinau tau sukham gatvaa lambamaane divaa kare |

gangaa yamunayoh samdhau praapatur nilayam muneh || 2-54-8

Having walked comfortably, Rama and Lakshmana wielding their bows, reached the abode of the sage Bharadwaja, near the confluence of rivers Ganga and Yamuna, while the Sun was falling to the west.

raamah tu aashramam aasaadya traasayan mriga paksinah |

gatvaa muhuurtam adhvaanam bharadvaajam upaagamat || 2-54-9

Having reached the hermitage and scaring the beasts and birds (by his very appearance as a bowman) and having proceeded on the intervening path for a while, Rama approached the vicinity of Bharadwaja.

tatah tu aashramam aasaadya muner darshana kaanksinau |

siitayaa anugatau viirau duuraat eva avatasthatuh || 2-54-10

Arriving at the hermitage, the two valiant princes, who wished to see the sage, accompanied by Seetha, halted at first at some distance off.

sa pravishya mahaatmaanamrishhim shishhyaganairvaritam |

samshitavratamekaagram tapasaa labdhachakshushham || 2-54-11

huta agni hotram dristvaa eva mahaa bhaagam krita anjalih |

raamah saumitrinaa saardham siitayaa ca abhyavaadayat || 2-54-12

Entering the hermitage and beholding the high-souled sage who was austere and contemplative, his glance sharpened through severe meditation, surrounded by a group of disciples, who had kindled sacrificial fire, the highly fortunate man as he was, Rama together with Lakshmana and Seetha greeted him with joined palms.

nyavedayata ca aatmaanam tasmai laksmana puurvajah |

putrau dasharathasya aavaam bhagavan raama laksmanau || 2-54-13

Rama (the elder brother of Lakshmana) introduced himself to the sage as follows: "Oh venerable sage! We both are Rama and Lakshmana the sons of Dasaratha."

bhaaryaa mama iyam vaidehii kalyaanii janaka aatmajaa |

maam ca anuyaataa vijanam tapo vanam aninditaa || 2-54-14

"Here is my blessed and irreproachable wife Seetha, daughter of Janaka who has accompanied me to the lonely forest suitable for religious austerities."

pitraa pravraajyamaanam maam saumitrir anujah priyah |

ayam anvagamad bhraataa vanam eva dridha vratah || 2-54-15

"While I was being sent to exile by my father, my young and beloved brother Lakshmana (son of Sumitra) of firm vows has also followed me to the forest."

pitraa niyuktaa bhagavan pravesyaamah tapo vanam |

dharmam eva aacarisyaamah tatra muula phala ashanaah || 2-54-16

"Oh, Venerable sage! Commanded by our father, we are entering a lonely forest to practice asceticism, living on roots and fruits."

tasya tat vacanam shrutvaa raaja putrasya dhiimatah |

upaanayata dharma aatmaa gaam arghyam udakam tatah || 2-54-17

Hearing the words of that virtuous prince (Rama), the pious minded sage Bharadwaja then offered Madhuparka as well as water to wash his hands with.

naanaavidhaanannarasaan vanyamuulaphalaashrayaan |

tebhyo dadau taptatapaa vaasam chaivaabhyakalpayat || 2-54-18

The sage, who had practiced austerities, gave them various kinds of delicacies prepared from wild roots and fruits and also arranged accommodation for them.

mriga paksibhir aasiino munibhih ca samantatah |

raamam aagatam abhyarcya svaagatena aaha tam munih || 2-54-19

Honoring with words of welcome, the sage Bharadwaja seated, being surrounded on all sides with beasts, birds and hermits, spoke thus to Rama.

pratigrihya ca taam arcaam upavistam sa raaghavam |

bharadvaajo abraviid vaakyam dharma yuktam idam tadaa || 2-54-20

Bharadwaja then said these endowed with righteousness to Rama, who had since taken his seat after accepting the aforesaid hospitality:

cirasya khalu kaakutstha pashyaami tvaam iha aagatam |

shrutam tava mayaa ca idam vivaasanam akaaranam || 2-54-21

"In fact, I am seeing you, arriving here after a long time, Oh scion of Kakutstha! And I have heard of your unjust banishment."

avakaasho viviktah ayam mahaa nadyoh samaagame |

punyah ca ramaniiyah ca vasatu iha bhagaan sukham || 2-54-22

"This holy place at the confluence of the two rivers is secluded and delightful. You stay here comfortably."

evam uktah tu vacanam bharadvaajena raaghavah |

pratyuvaaca shubham vaakyam raamah sarva hite ratah || 2-54-23

Addressed in these words by Bharadwaja, Rama, born in Raghu dynasty, for his part, interested in the welfare of all, replied in the following pleasant words.

bhagavann itaaasannah paura jaanapado janah |

sudarshamiha maam prekshya manye.aha mimamaashramam || 2-54-24

aagamisyati vaidehiim maam ca api preksako janah |

anena kaaranena aham iha vaasam na rocaye || 2-54-25

"The people of the city and the rural folks Oh venerable sir, are nearer to this place. Finding me easy to see at this place, people keen to see Seetha and myself, I presume, will make their appearance at this hermitage. For this reason, I do not wish to stay here."

eka ante pashya bhagavann aashrama sthaanam uttamam |

ramate yatra vaidehii sukha arhaa janaka aatmajaa || 2-54-26

 “See some excellent Seetha suitable for a hermitage in some lonely place, Oh venerable sir, where Seetha, the daughter of Janaka, who is worthy of every comfort, may find delight in it.”

etat shrutvaa shubham vaakyam bharadvaajo mahaa munih |

raaghavasya tatah vaakyam artha graahakam abraviit || 2-54-27

Hearing these auspicious words of Rama, Bharadwaja the great sage then for his part spoke these suggestive words.

dasha kroshaitah taata girir yasmin nivatsyasi |

maharsi sevitah punyah sarvatah sukha darshanah || 2-54-28

go laanguula anucaritah vaanara riska nisevitah |

citra kuutaiti khyaatah gandha maadana samnibhah || 2-54-29

“Sixty miles from here, dear son, lies a sacred mountain on which you may takeup your dwelling, which region is inhabited by great sages, is charming to look at from all sides, infested by the black species of monkeys with a long tail, haunted by apes and bears, known by the name of Chitrakuta and which closely resembles Gandha maadana mountain.”

yaavataa citra kuutasya narah shringaani aveksate |

kalyaanaani samaadhatte na paape kurute manah || 2-54-30

 “As long as a man observes the peaks of Chitrakuta mountain, he will perform virtuous deeds and will never set his mind on a sin.”

risayah tatra bahavo vihritya sharadaam shatam |

tapasaa divam aaruudhaah kapaala shirasaa saha || 2-54-31

 “On that mountain, many sages having spent hundred years in austerities as though in sport , ascended to heaven, duly attaining their final emancipation.”

praviviktam aham manye tam vaasam bhavatah sukham |

iha vaa vana vaasaaya vasa raama mayaa saha || 2-54-32

 “I consider that mountain to be a very lonely and comfortable place for you to live in. Or else stay with m here itself, during the period of your exile, Oh Rama!”

sa raamam sarva kaamaiah tam bharadvaajah priya atithim |

sabhaaryam saha ca bhraatraa pratijagraaha dharmavit || 2-54-33

The pious sage Bharadwaja fulfilled all desires of Rama; who was his beloved guest and who was accompanied by his consort, Seetha and his brother, Lakshmana.

tasya prayaage raamasya tam maharsim upeyusah |

prapannaa rajanii punyaa citraah kathayatah kathaah || 2-54-34

While Rama, having approached that great sage at Prayaga (the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna), was discoursing on various topics, the auspicious night arrived.

siitaatritiiya kaakutsthah parishraantah sukhochitah |

bharadvaajaashrame ramye taam raatri mavastsukham || 2-54-35

Greatly fatigued, Rama (Scion of Kakutstha) accompanied by Seetha as the third (Lakshmana being the second) who was accustomed [used] to all comforts, happily spent that night at the lovely hermitage of Bharadwaja.

prabhaataayaam rajanyaam tu bharadvaajam upaagamat |

uvaaca nara shaarduulo munim jvalita tejasam || 2-54-36

When the night was gleaming into a dawn, Rama the lion among men approached the sage Bharadwaja, who was gleaming with resplendence and spoke as follows:

sharvariim bhavanann adya satya shiila tava aashrame |

usitaah sma iha vasatim anujaanaatu no bhavaan || 2-54-37

 “We have lodged in your hermitage tonight, Oh venerable sir! (Pray) you give us permission for fixing our residence now, Oh sage practicing truthfulness!”

raatryaam tu tasyaam vyustaayaam bharadvaajo abraviid idam |

madhu muula phala upetam citra kuutam vraja iti ha || 2-54-38

That night having come to an end, Bharadwaja replied for his part, as follows: “Proceed to Chitrakuta, rich in honey, tubers and fruits.”

vaasamaupayikam manye tava raama mahaabala |

naanaanagaganopetah kinnaroragasevitah || 2-54-39

mayuuranaadaabhiruto gajaraajanishhevitah |

gamyataam bhavataa shailashchitrakuutah sa vishrutah || 2-54-40

punyashcha ramaniiyashcha bahumuulaphalaayutah |

 “I consider the abode of Chitrakuta as the right place for you to stay, Oh Rama, possessed of great strength! You set off for that well-known, sacred and lovely mountain, Chitrakuta which is adorned with clusters of trees of every description, frequented by Kinnaras and Nagas, is rendered charming by the cried of peacocks and infested with lordly elephants and bountiful with tubers and fruits.”

tatra kunjara yuuthaani mriga yuuthaani ca abhitah || 2-54-41

vicaranti vana antesu taani draksyasi raaghava |

 “Since herds of elephants and troops of deer wander all around in the woodlands there, you will visibly notice them Oh Rama!”

saritprasravanaprasthaan dariikandharanirgharaan || 2-54-42

charatah siitayaa saardham nandishhyati manastava |

 “Roaming about with Seetha, your mind will be delighted to see rivers, cascades, peaks of mountains, fissures in rocks, caves and rivulets.”

prahrista koyastika kokila svanaih |

rvinaaditam tam vasudhaa dharam shivam |

mrigaih ca mattaih bahubhih ca kunjaraih |

suramyam aasaadya samaavasa aashramam || 2-54-43

 “After reaching the auspicious and absolutely beautiful Chitrakuta mountain, reverberant in all direction with the notes of small white cranes and cuckoo birds as well as with many kinds of deer and elephants in rut, settle down there in a hermitage.”

ityaarshhe shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye ayodhyaakaande chatuhpamchaashah sargah

Thus completes 54th Chapter 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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