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Chapter 89: Bharata’s Army Crosses the Ganges

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Bharata’s Army Crosses the Ganges

Summary

Having passed the night on the banks of Ganga, Bharata asks Guha to make arrangements for their troops to cross the river by boats. Accordingly, Guha has kept ready five hundred boat with their ferry-men for the purpose. All of them reach the opposite shore of the river. Encamping the army at the shore in the magnificent woods of Prayaga, Bharata along with the priests and king's counselors, approach the hermitage of Bharadwaja.

Chapter [Sarga] 89 in Detail

vyushya raatrim tu tatra eva gangaa kuule sa raaghavah |

bharatah kaalyam utthaaya shatrughnam idam abraviit || 2-89-1

Bharata, born in Raghu race, having passed the night in that place on the banks of Ganga, rising at dawn, said to Shatrughna as follows:

shatrugha uttishtha kim sheshe nishaada adhipatim guham |

shiighram aanaya bhadram te taarayishyati vaahiniim || 2-89-2

"O, Shatrughna! wake up! Why sleep longer/ Bring Guha the king of Nishadas quickly and be happy. Let him convey the army across the river."

jaagarmi na aham svapimi tathaiva aaryam vicintayan |

ity evam abraviid bhraatraa shatrughno api pracoditah || 2-89-3

Thus urged by Bharata, his brother Shatrughna said, "I am not sleeping. Thinking of that Rama alone, I have been wakeful."

iti samvadator evam anyonyam nara simhayoh |

aagamya praanjalih kaale guho bharatam abraviit || 2-89-4

While those two lions among men were talking themselves with each other thus, Guha came in time and with joined palms, addressed Bharata saying:

kaccit sukham nadii tiire avaatsiih kaakutstha sharvariim |

kaccic ca saha sainyasya tava sarvam anaamayam || 2-89-5

"O, Bharata! Did you pass the night happily on the banks of the river? I hope all is well with your army."

guhasya tat tu vacanam shrutvaa snehaad udiiritam |

raamasya anuvasho vaakyam bharato api idam abraviit || 2-89-6

Hearing those words of Guha spoken with affection, Bharata also in his devotion to Rama replied as follows:

sukhaa nah sharvarii raajan puujitaah ca api te vayam |

gangaam tu naubhir bahviibhir daashaah samtaarayantu nah || 2-89-7

"O, king! The night passed pleasantly for us. We were treated hospitably by you. Let your fisher-men ferry us across Ganga River on your courtless boats."

tato guhah samtvaritah shrutvaa bharata shaasanam |

pratipravishya nagaram tam jnaati janam abraviit || 2-89-8

Hearing Bharata's command, Guha returned to the city in all haste and spoke to those multitudes of his people (as follows):

uttishthata prabudhyadhvam bhadram astu hi vah sadaa |

naavah samanukarshadhvam taarayishyaama vaahiniim || 2-89-9

"Rise, awake and may prosperity ever attend you! Duly haul the boats to the bank. Let us carry the army across the river."

te tathaa uktaah samutthaaya tvaritaah raaja shaasanaat |

panca naavaam shataany eva samaaninyuh samantatah || 2-89-10

Rising immediately on hearing the command of their king, they quickly brought together five hundred boats from every quarter.

anyaah svastika vijneyaa mahaa ghandaa dharaa varaah |

shobhamaanaah pataakinyo yukta vaataah susamhataah || 2-89-11

Some excellent boats, possessing large bells were marked with Swastika, well-kept together with appropriate sails and adorned with flags.

tatah svastika vijneyaam paandu kambala samvritaam |

sanandi ghoshaam kalyaaniim guho naavam upaaharat || 2-89-12

Then, Guha brought there one boat also adorned with Swastika, was covered with white canvas, re-echoing with acclamations and which was beautiful.

taam aaruroha bharatah shatrughnah ca mahaa balah |

kausalyaa ca sumitraa ca yaah ca anyaa raaja yoshitah || 2-89-13

purohitah ca tat puurvam gurave braahmanaah ca ye |

anantaram raaja daaraah tathaiva shakata aapanaah || 2-89-14

Vasishta, the royal priest and whatever elderly Brahmanas were present there ascended the boats, even before Bharata, Shatrughna, Kausalya, Sumitra. Whatever royal women were present also took their seats. Thereafter followed the king's wives a well as bullock- carts and provisions.

aavaasam aadiipayataam tiirtham ca apy avagaahataam |

bhaandaani ca aadadaanaanaam ghoshah tridivam asprishat || 2-89-15

The sound of men setting fire to the huts, of those who were descending the steps leading to the boat and those who were transporting their effects touched the sky.

pataakinyah tu taa naavah svayam daashair adhishthitaah |

vahantyo janam aaruudham tadaa sampetur aashugaah || 2-89-16

Thos boats, adorned with flags, steered by fisher-men themselves ran speedily, duly carrying those passengers.

naariinaam abhipuurnaah tu kaashcit kaashcit tu vaajinaam |

kashcit tatra vahanti sma yaana yugyam mahaa dhanam || 2-89-17

Some were filled with women. Some were loaded with horses and some of them ferried animals of draught of great value.

taah sma gatvaa param tiiram avaropya ca tam janam |

nivrittaah kaanda citraani kriyante daasha bandhubhih || 2-89-18

Having reached the opposite shore, those boats cleared those people and on the return journey, the kinsfolk of Guha plied them as easily as toy- boats made of bamboo.

savaijayantaah tu gajaa gaja aarohaih pracoditaah |

tarantah sma prakaashante sadhvajaa iva parvataah || 2-89-19

Goaded on by their mahouts, elephants adorned with their flags, swimming across the river, looked life winged mountains.

naavah ca aaruruhuh tu anye plavaih teruh tathaa apare |

anye kumbha ghataih terur anye teruh ca baahubhih || 2-89-20

Some ascended boats. Some others crossed the river by rafts in the same manner. Some others swam across with the help of big and small earthen vessels. The rest swam with arms.

saa punyaa dhvajinii gangaam daashaih samtaaritaa svayam |

maitre muhuurte prayayau prayaaga vanam uttamam || 2-89-21

Having made to cross River Ganga by the fisher-men themselves, that holy army reached the magnificent woods of Prayaga at the hour of Maitra.

aashvaasayitvaa ca camuum mahaatmaa |

niveshayitvaa ca yathaa upajosham |

drashtum bharadvaajam rishi pravaryam |

ritvig vritah san bharatah pratasthe || 2-89-22

The high-souled Bharata made the army to rest, by encamping it according to its inclination and set out along with the priests and king's counselors to meet Bharadwaja, the foremost of sages.

sa braahmanasyaashramamabhyupetya |

mahaatmano devapurohitasya |

dadarsha ramyotajavriksasandam |

mahadvanam vipravarasya ramyam || 2-89-23

Approaching the hermitage of that high-souled Brahmana and the family priest of gods, Bharata saw an extensive and enchanting grove with its leafy huts and tress the chief of ascetics.

ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye ayodhyaakaande ekonanavatitamah sargah

Thus completes 89th 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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