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Chapter 55: Crossing the Yamuna

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Crossing the Yamuna

Summary

Sage Bharadwaja informs the route by which Rama and Lakshmana can reach Chitrakuta. They cross the River Yamuna by a raft prepared by themselves. Seetha prays the River Yamuna and a fig tree called Syama. The three of them traveled for a couple of miles along the bank of Yamuna, strolling in the charming forest and reach a leveled ground on the bank to take rest for the night.

Chapter [Sarga] 55 in Detail

ushhitvaa rajaniim tatra raajaputraavarimdamau |

maharshhimabhivaadyaatha jagmatustam girim prati || 2-55-1

Having stayed that night there, those princes the annihilators of enemies, thereafter offered salutation to the sage Bharadwaja and proceeded towards that mountain of Chitrakuta.

teshhaam chaiva svastyayanam maharshhih sa chakaara ha |

prasthitaamshchaiva taan prekshyapitaa putraanivaanvagaat || 2-55-2

That great sage Bharadwaja performed a religious rite ensuring a sage journey (scattering boiled rice on the ground and invoking blessing through the repetition of certain sacred texts0 for them. Perceiving them setting out for the journey, the sage accompanied them for a distance, as a father would do for his sons (and daughter-in-law).

tatah prachakrame vaktum vachanam sa mahaamunih |

bhardvaajo mahaatejaa raamam satyaparaakramam || 2-55-3

Bharadwaja the great sage with a remarkable splendor began to speak the following words to Rama the truly brave man.

gagaayamunayoh sandhimaasaadya manujarshhabhau |

kaalindiimanugacchhetaam nadiim pashchaanmukhaashritaam || 2-55-4

 “After approaching Oh, the best of men! The confluence of Ganga and Yamuna, follow the river Yamuna which takes to the direction of west.”

athaasaadya tu kaalinndhiim shiighrasrotasamaapagaam |

tasyaastiirtham pracharitam puraanam prekshya raaghavau || 2-55-5

tatra yuuyam plavam kritvaa tarataamshumatiim nadiim |

 “Reaching the River Yamuna belonging to olden times, having a rapid stream and perceiving in it a passage for descent into the river, which is too much frequented the river, which is too much frequented, you cross the River Yamuna (the daughter of the sun-god) by preparing a raft there, Oh Rama!”

tato nyagrodhamaasaadya mahaantam haritachchhadam || 2-55-6

vivriddham bahubhirvarikshaih shyaamam siddhopasevitam |

tasmai siitaajnjalim kritvaa prayujnjiitaashisah shivaah || 2-55-7

After crossing the river Yamuna and approaching a large banyan tree named Syama (dark-green) having green leaves surrounded by many tress and visited by Siddhas, Seetha should, joining her palms, recite her auspicious prayers to the tree.”

samaasaadya tu tam vriksham vasedvaatikrameta vaa |

kroshamaatram tato gatvaa niilam drakshyatha kaananam || 2-55-8

palaashabadariimishram ramyam vamshaishcha yaamunaih |

 “Having approached that tree, you can stay there or go beyond it. After going only for two miles from there, you will see a beautiful forest blue in color with bamboo trees touching upon Yamuna river and interspersed with Sallaka and jujube trees.”

sa panthaashchitrakuutasya gatah subahusho mayaa || 2-55-9

ramye maardavayuktashcha vanadaavairviparjitah |

 “It is the way to Chitrakuta. I visited that place many times. It is beautiful, endowed with serenity and free from forest-fire.”

iti panthaanamaavedya maharshhh sa nyavartata || 2-55-10

abhivaadya tathetyuktvaa raamena vinivartitah |

Having thus informed the way and ebbing urged by Rama to return after he had paid obeisance to the sage and Rama having replied ‘so be it’, the great sage Bharadwaja returned.

upaavritte munau tasmin raamo lakshmanamabraviit || 2-55-11

kritapunyaah sma saumitre muniryanno.anukampate |

That sage having returned, Rama spoke to Lakshmana as follows: “Oh Lakshmana! We are fortunate that the sage has shown compassion towards us.”

iti tau purusavyaaghrau mantrayitvaa manasvinau || 2-55-12

siitaamevaagratah kritvaa kaalindiim jagmaturnadiim |

Deliberating thus, Rama and Lakshmana the tigers among men who were highly intelligent, headed for the river Yamuna guarding Seetha still in front.

athaa saadya tu kaalindiim shiighrasrotovahaam nadiim || 2-55-13

cintaamaapedire sarve nadiijalatitiirsavah |

Having reached the River Yamuna, running with rapid stream, all of them then plunged into a thought of how to cross those river-waters.

tau kaasthasamghaatamatho chakratustu mahaaplavam || 2-55-14

shuskairvamshaih samaastiirnamuliiraishcha samaavritam |

Then, Rama and Lakshmana prepared a big raft with pieces of timber fastened together, covered with a kind of grass and spread over with dry bamboo canes.

tato vetasashaakhaashcha jambuushaakhaashcha viiryavaan || 2-55-15

chakaara lakshmanashchhitvaa siitaayaah sukhamaasanam |

Thereafter, the valiant Lakshmana made for Seetha a comfortable seat, after chopping branches of reeds and of rose apple tree.

tatra shriyamivaachintyaam raamo daasharathih priyaam || 2-55-16

iistsankahhanaabaan taanagtaarioatat plavam |

Then Rama the son of Dasaratha helped Seetha his beloved consort who was unimaginable like the goddess of fortune and who was feeling shy a little- to mount the raft.

paarshve cha tatra vaidehyaa vasane chuusnaani cha || 2-55-17

plave kathinakaajam cha raamashchakre sahaayudhaih |

Rama kept the two robes the jewelry, a shovel and a basket by the side of Seetha in the raft there, along with weapons.

aaropya prathamam siitaam samghaatam pratigrihya tau || 2-55-18

tatah prateraturya ttau viirau dasharathaatmajau |

Those valiant sons of Dasaratha firmly held that raft, firstly helped Seetha to ascend it and then ferried across the river watchfully.

kaalindiimadhyamaayaataa siitaa tvenaamavandata || 2-55-19

svasti devi taraami tvaam paaryenme patirvatam |

yakshye tvaam gonahasrena suraaghatashatena cha || 2-55-20

svasti pratyaagate raame puriimikshvaakupaalitaam |

Having arrived at the middle of Yamuna river, Seetha offered salutation to the river and prayed as follows: “Oh, goddess of Yamuna! Adieu! I am crossing you! May my husband complete his vow! When Rama safely comes back again towards the city of Ayodhya, ruled by Ikshvaku kings I shall propitiate you by offering a thousand cows and a hundred drinking vessels.”

kaalindiimatha siitaa tu yaacamaanaa kritaajnjalih || 2-55-21

tiiramevaabhisampraaptaa dakshinam varavarninii |

Seetha of excellent complexion thus praying with joined palms to Yamuna River, forthwith reached the southern side of the river.

tatah plavenaamshumatiim shiighragaamuurmimaaliniim || 2-55-22

tiirajairbahubhirvrikshaih samteruryamunaam nadiim |

Thus, by the raft, Seetha Rama and Lakshmana crossed the River Yamuna, which flows briskly, wreathed with waves, with many trees born on its bank and having rays for it reflection.

te tiirnaah plavamutsrijya prasthaaya yamunaavanaat || 2-55-23

shyaamam nyagrodhamaaseduh shiitalam haritachchhadam |

They, who have crossed the river, abandoned the raft and march through the river-forest of Yamuna and reached a cool banyan tree called Syama having green leaves.

nygrodham tamupaagamya vaidehi vaakyamabraviit || 2-55-24

namaste.antu mahaavriksha paarayenme patirvatam |

kausalyaam caiva pashyeyam sumitraam ca yashasviniim || 2-55-25

iti siitaajnjalim kritvaa paryagachchhadvanaspatim |

Having approached that banyan tree, Seetha spoke these words, “Oh, great tree! Obeisance to you! Let my husband complete his vow! Let me see again Kausalya and the illustrious Sumitra.” Thus speaking, Seetha circumambulated that tree with joined palms.

avalokya tatah siitaamaayaacantiimaninditaam || 2-55-26

dayitaam ca vidheyam ca raamo lakshmanamabraviit |

Seeing the irreproachable Seetha, who was beloved and obedient to him thus praying, Rama spoke to Lakshmana as follows:

siitaamaadaaya gachchha tvamagrato bharataanuja || 2-55-27

pristhato.aham gamisyaami saayudho dvipadaam vara |

 “Oh, Lakshmana, the excellent of men! You take Seetha and proceed in the front. I, along with weapons, will follow you behind.”

yadyatphalam praarthayate puspam vaa janakaatmajaa || 2-55-28

tattatpradadyaa vaidehyaa yatraasya ramate manah |

 “Give to Seetha whatever fruit or flower she desires it and wherever this Seetha’s mind finds delight.”

gachchatostu tayormadhye babhuuva janakaatmajaa || 2-55-29

maatagayormadyagataa shubhaa naagavadhuuriva |

Seetha who was walking in the middle of both of them was like an auspicious female elephant in the middle of two elephants.

ekaikam paadapam gulmam lataam vaa puspashaaliniim || 2-55-30

adristapuurvaam pashyantii raamam paprachchha saa.abalaa |

That Seetha asked Rama whenever she saw the one or the other tree or a bush or a creeper shining with flowers which was not seen earlier.

ramaniiyaan bahuvidhaan paadapaan kusumotkataan || 2-55-31

siitaavachanasamrabda anayaamaasa laksmanah |

Duly grasping Seetha’s words; Lakshmana brought to her many kinds of beautiful twigs of trees, full of flowers.

vicitravaalukajalaam hasasaarasanaaditaam || 2-55-32

reme janakaraajasya tadaa prekshya sutaa nadiim |

Then Seetha the daughter of King Janaka was please to see the River Yamuna with wonderful sands and waters re-echoing to the cry of swans and cranes.

kroshamaatram tato gatvaa bhraatarau raamalakshmanau || 2-55-33

bahuunmedhyaan mrigaan hatvaa ceraturyamunaavane |

Thereafter having traveled only a couple of miles the two brothers Rama and Lakshmana killed many consecrated deer and ate in the river-forest of Yamuna.

vihritya te barhinapuuganaadite |

shubhe vane vaanaravaaranaayute |

samam nadiivapramupetya sammatam |

nivaasamaajagmu radiinadarshanaah || || 2-55-34

Having strolled in the charming forest, made noisy by a number of peacocks and which was inhabited by elephants and monkeys and reaching an agreeable level ground at the bank of the river wearing an dejected look finally sought for an abode for the night.

ityaarse shrimadraamaayane aadikaavye ayodhyakaande pajncaashah sargah

Thus completes 55th 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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