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Chapter 128: Rama’s Return to Ayodhya and Coronation

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CHAPTER 128

Rama’s Return to Ayodhya and Coronation

Placing His joined palms on His head, Bharata spoke as follows to His elder brother, whose prowess never failed: “This kingdom was given to Me, which greatly satisfied My mother. I return it to You just as You gave it to Me. I cannot bear the heavy weight, any more than could a young bull carry all alone what a strong bull can. I consider this hole in the shape of administration to be very difficult to seal, like a dam leaking when breached by a strong current of water. As a donkey cannot follow the trot of a horse, or a crow the flight of a swan, so I cannot follow in Your footsteps.

“Suppose one planted at tree in a house and it grew to a huge size with a thick trunk and broad branches, becoming thereby difficult to climb. Now if it were to dry up after blooming and the planter were to climb it, the planter would not realize the purpose for which he had planted it. This is an analogy. You can understand the meaning, that this would be the case if You, the master, did not rule over Us, Your servants. Let the world see You blazing with effulgence like the noon-day sun when You are consecrated as king today. May You fall asleep and wake up to the sounds of musical instruments, gold ankle bells and sweet singing. Dedicate Yourself to ruling this world as long as the constellations revolve and the earth exists.”

After hearing Bharata’s words, Rama, the conqueror of enemy cities, accepted the request and sat upon a beautiful seat. At Shatrughna’s command, expert barbers who were nimble-handed surrounded Rama. First Bharata bathed, as did the mighty Lakshmana, Sugreeva, the ruler of the monkeys, and Vibhishana, the ruler of the rakshasas. Rama had His matted hair disentangled, then He was bathed, adorned with gorgeous flower garlands and sandalwood paste, and dressed in costly garments, so that He was blazing with glory. Thus Shatrughna, the promoter of the Ikshvaku Dynasty, had Rama and Lakshmana properly adorned. All of King Dasharatha’s noble-minded wives personally dressed up Sita in a fascinating manner. Then Kausalya, who was very affectionate to Her son, merrily adorned all the wives of the monkeys.

At the command of Shatrughna, the charioteer named Sumantra yoked horses to a chariot that was beautiful in every part, and then came. When the strong-armed Rama saw the chariot parked and shining like the spotless disc of the sun, He got on board. Looking as splendid as Lord Indra with their sparkling earrings and shimmering clothes after bathing, Sugreeva and Hanuman started walking. Adorned with all kinds of jewelry and beautiful earrings, Sugreeva’s wives and Sita set forth, eager as they were to see the city of Ayodhya.

Back in Ayodhya, King Dasharatha’s ministers placed the family priest Vasishta before them and discussed in a practical way the upcoming coronation. With cool heads, Ashoka, Vijaya and Siddhartha discussed among themselves how to enhance Rama’s status and increase the prosperity of the city. Then they instructed their servants: “You should carry out all the preparations for Rama’s coronation in an auspicious manner.” After giving these instructions, the ministers and family priest quickly left the city with their minds set on seeing Rama.

Sitting in a chariot, as Lord Indra would in his chariot drawn by green horses, Rama set out for the fabulous city of Ayodhya. Bharata took the reins, Shatrughna held the parasol and Lakshmana fanned His head. Standing on the other side, Vibhishana, the lord of the rakshasas, held a white hair-whisk as bright as the moon. The sweet sound could be heard of Rama’s being praised by hosts of sages, gods and the Maruts in the sky.

Sugreeva thereupon rode an elephant named Satrunjaya that was as big as a mountain. Assuming human forms and attired with all kinds of ornaments, the monkeys rode on nine thousand elephants. Welcomed with the blasts of conch shells and the beating of drums, Rama, the tiger among men, passed through the city lined with mansions. The people could see Rama, an outstanding chariot warrior, riding in a chariot and shining due to His bodily effulgence. Before Him proceeded an advance party. After Rama wished them well, the people returned the favor to Rama and followed Him. Surrounded by His ministers, as well as by Brahmanas and the ordinary people, Rama shone with splendor like the moon with stars. He drove in the midst of musicians, who were accompanying Him while holding drums and cymbals in their hands and joyfully singing auspicious songs. Cows, virgins, Brahmanas, and people carrying round sweetmeats in their hands or containers of unbroken rice mixed with turmeric powder proceeded ahead of Rama.

Rama informed His ministers about His alliance with Sugreeva, the capability of Hanuman and the deeds of the monkeys. The residents of the city of Ayodhya were amazed to hear about the deeds of the monkeys and the strength of the rakshasas. Then Rama told His ministers about His meeting with Vibhishana. After explaining all this, the splendorous Rama, who was accompanied by the monkeys, entered Ayodhya, which was crowded with happy and well-fed people. The citizens raised pennants on every house. Then Rama reached the charming palace of His father, in which the descendents of the Ikshvaku Dynasty dwelt.

After entering His father’s palace and greeting Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi, Prince Rama sweetly spoke the following benevolent words to the Bharata, the best of those practicing virtue: “Offer to Sugreeva My great palace inlaid with pearls and vaidurya gems and an attached Ashoka garden.” When Bharata heard this instruction, He took Sugreeva by the hand and entered the palace. Taking oil lamps and coverlets for the couches, the servants ordered by Shatrughna hurriedly entered.

Rama’s younger brother Bharata said to Sugreeva: “O lord, send couriers to fetch water for Rama’s coronation!” Sugreeva at once gave four golden pots studded with all kinds of gems to four monkey chieftains and said: “Act in such a way so that you are waiting at sunrise with pots filled with water from the four oceans.” When ordered in this way, the huge monkeys, who resembled elephants, jumped into the air like swift-flying eagles. Jambavan, Hanuman Gavaya and Rishabha shortly thereafter brought back the pots full of water. Five hundred monkeys brought pots of water from five hundred rivers. The energetic Jambavan brought a gem-encrusted pot filled with water from the eastern ocean. Rishabha quickly brought a pot smeared with red sandalwood paste that was filled with water from the southern ocean. Gavaya brought cool water from the great western ocean in a large pot studded with gems. And Hanuman, who was like both Garuda and the wind in prowess and endowed with all good qualities, quickly brought water from the northern ocean.

Seeing that the water had been brought by those fine monkeys, Shatrughna and His ministers delivered it to the family priest Vasishta for Rama’s coronation ceremony. Accompanied by Brahmanas, the elderly and ritually pure Vasishta had Rama and Sita sit on a throne made with gems. Vasishta, Vamadeva, Jabali, Kashyapa, Kaatyayana, Suyajna, Gautama and Vijaya bathed Rama with pleasant scented water, as the Vasus did to Lord Indra. He was showered by sages, Brahmanas, virgins, ministers, overjoyed warriors and merchants. Then the four gods who protect the world, as well as all the gods hovering in the sky, showered Rama with water infused with a special blend of herbs called sarvaushadhi.

There was a dazzling crown fashioned by Lord Brahma that was used in the past for the coronation of Manu and was worn by all the kings in that line for their coronation. Later Rama, who was dressed in costly garments and different kinds of jewelry, was properly consecrated with that crown by the great Vasishta and other sages on a sparkling throne made of many gems in a bright assembly hall adorned with gold. Shatrughna held a beautiful white parasol and Sugreeva, the ruler of the monkeys, a while hair-whisk. Vibhishana, the lord of the rakshasas, held another hair-whisk that was as bright as the moon.

Under the direction of Lord Indra, Vayu presented a shining golden garland of one hundred lotuses to Rama. Under Indra’s direction, Vayu presented a necklace of pearls interspersed with gems to Rama. Under Indra’s direction, gandharvas sang and Apsaras danced during the coronation of the honorable Rama. The earth was covered with ripe crops, trees bore fruits, and flowers emitted their fragrance during the festivities of Rama’s coronation.

On that occasion, Rama, the best of men, gave away in charity one hundred thousand horses and milking cows and one hundred bulls to the Brahmanas. Rama also gave away many kinds of expensive garments and ornaments. King Rama gave to Sugreeva a gold garland decorated with jewels that was as brilliant as the sun. To Angada, Rama gave a pair of armbands made from sparkling vaidurya gems that were adorned with diamonds. Rama gave Sita the pearl necklace given by Vayu, which was interspersed with exquisite jewels and as brilliant as moonbeams. He also gave Her a pair of spotless shimmering robes and beautiful ornaments.

Taking into consideration his service, Sita decided to give a gift to Hanuman. Taking off Her necklace, the delight of King Janaka repeatedly looked at all the monkeys and Her husband. Looking at Her, Rama, who know how to read other’s minds by their expressions, said the following: “O blessed lady, give the necklace to whomever You are pleased with.” The dark-eyed lady then gave the necklace to the son of the wind-god, for he always possessed the qualities of energy, steadiness, fame, dexterity, competence, modesty, prudence, manliness, prowess and intelligence. With that necklace, Hanuman shone like a mountain with a white cloud resembling the golden brilliance of the moon.

All the elderly monkeys and others who were outstanding among them were honored with valuable ornaments as they deserved. Vibhishana, Sugreeva, Hanuman, Jambavan and all the other outstanding monkeys were honored by Rama with many desirable gifts and jewels as they deserved. Delighted in mind, they all returned home as they had come. Then, examining the quality of all the remaining gifts, Lord Rama gave them to Dvivida, Mainda and Nila. After seeing the coronation ceremony, those eminent monkeys were given permission to leave by Lord Rama, and they thereupon returned to Kishkindha. After Sugreeva witnessed Rama’s coronation, he was honored by Rama and then entered his city of Kishkindha. Having inherited the kingdom of Lanka, the righteous Vibhishana left for the city of Lanka along with the rakshasas.

Ruling over His whole kingdom after having slain His enemies, Rama earned great fame for Himself. Rama was most munificent and ruled with extreme pleasure. Lord Rama, who loved righteousness, said to Lakshmana: “O knower of what is duty, assist Me in ruling over this earth which was formerly protected by kings with an army. Bear the burden of Prince Regent and carry the responsibilities of Our forefathers as I am doing.” When Lakshmana did not accept even when repeatedly requested by Rama with all His heart, Rama entrusted the position to the great soul Bharata and installed Him as Prince Regent over the earth.

Lord Rama performed the pundarika, ashwamedha and vajapeya sacrifices several times, along with other kinds of sacrifice. Rama ruled the earth for eleven thousand years, during which time He performed one hundred ashwamedha sacrifices with excellent horses and abundant remunerations. With Lakshmana as His follower, Rama, whose arms reached His knees and was very energetic, ruled the earth. With His friends, relatives and kinfolk, the righteous Rama, who had achieved an unparalleled kingdom, performed many kinds of sacrifice.

While Rama ruled over the earth, no one suffered widowhood, nor was there any danger from snakes or beasts of prey, nor fear arising from disease. The world became free from thieves, and no one met with disaster. The elderly did not have to perform funerals for their children. Everyone was happy. Everyone was devoted to righteousness. Looking to Rama, people did not harm one another. As long as Rama ruled the kingdom, people lived for one thousand years, had thousands of sons and were free from disease and anxiety. As long as Rama ruled the kingdom, the citizens were talking about Rama, Rama and only Rama. Indeed, the earth became conscious of nothing but Rama. The trees there were always firmly rooted and always bore fruits and flowers. Clouds poured down rain at the appropriate times and delightful breezes blew. The Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras were free from greed and engaged in their own duties. While Rama ruled, the citizens were devoted to piety and did not tell lies. Everyone had auspicious characteristics and everyone was engaged in religious activities. With His brothers, the glorious Rama ruled for eleven thousand years.

One who listens regularly to this ancient epic composed in the past by the sage Valmiki becomes free from sin in this world. It bestows piety, fame, longevity and victory to kings. One who listens to the narration about the coronation of Rama achieves sons if one desires sons and wealth if one seeks wealth. A king conquers the earth and subdues his enemies. As Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi had living sons in Rama, Lakshmana and Bharata, so women who hear this story will be blessed with sons and grandsons. One who listens to this Ramayana, and particularly about Rama’s victory, will enjoy a long life. One who, having conquered anger, listens with faith to this epic composed in the past by Valmiki, overcomes all difficulties.

Those who listen to this epic composed in the past by Valmiki will be reunited with their relatives at the end of their absence from home and will enjoy with them. They will receive from Rama all the boons which they seek. All the gods are pleased with one who listens to this epic. All obstacles are removed from a house in which a copy of this epic is kept. By listening to it, a king will conquer the earth, a traveler will fare well and pregnant women will bear fine sons. One who worships and reads this ancient history becomes free from all sins and attains a long life. With bowed heads, the Kshatriyas should listen to this Ramayana every day from twice-born Brahmanas, thus they will achieve opulence and sons without a doubt. Rama is ever-pleased with one who hears or reads the entire Ramayana regularly, for Rama is the eternal Lord Vishnu. Rama, the best of the Raghu Dynasty, is directly the primeval Godhead Lord Narayana, and Lakshmana is said to be Ananta-shesha.

By listening to this auspicious epic full of great import, one’s family waxes with an increase in wealth, food grains, outstanding women and ultimate happiness, as well as the achievement of all one’s goals in this world. Thus is this ancient historical narrative. Blessings upon you! Repeat it with faith. May Lord Vishnu’s greatness increase! By accepting and listening to this story, all the gods become satisfied. By listening to the Ramayana, all the forefathers are satisfied. Those who copy with devotion this composition by the sage Valmiki about Lord Rama will achieve residence in heaven.

Thus completes 128th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate

References

Biggs, Robert. (2005). Yuddha-kanda – The Conquest of Lanka.

Merriam-Webster. (2007). At http://www.m-w.com.

Reference.com. (2007). At http://www.reference.com.

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