Rama hears a gigantic clamor of an army nearby and asks Lakshmana to find out what it is. Lakshmana ascends a tree and informs Rama that Bharata's army is approaching towards their hermitage. Lakshmana expresses his apprehension to Rama, saying that Bharata's army may be coming there in order to kill both of them. An enraged Lakshmana says that he will kill both Bharata and Kaikeyi together with the army.
Chapter [Sarga] 96 in Detail
taam tathaa darshayitvaa tu maithiliim girinimnagaam |
nisasaada giriprasthe siitaam maamsena chandayan || 2-96-1
Having shown Mandakini River in that manner to Seetha, the daughter of Mithila, Rama set on the hill-side in order to gratify her appetite with a piece of flesh.
idam medhyamidam svaadu nistaptamidamagninaa |
evamaaste sa dharmaatmaa siitayaa saha raaghavah || 2-96-2
Rama, whose mind was devoted to righteousness stayed there with Seetha, saying; "This meat is fresh; this is savory and roasted in the fire."
tathaa tatra aasatah tasya bharatasya upayaayinah |
sainya renuh ca shabdah ca praadur aastaam nabhah sprishau || 2-96-3
While Rama was thus sitting there the dust and clamour of Bharata's army, which was approaching, ascended into the sky.
etasminn antare trastaah shabdena mahataa tatah |
arditaa yuuthapaa mattaah sayuuthaa dudruvur dishah || 2-96-4
Meanwhile, frightened by that gigantic clamor, the leaders of elephants and other animal - troops, in rut, were tormented and fled in different directions from there.
sa tam sainya samudbhuutam shabdam shushrava raaghavah |
taamh ca vipradrutaan sarvaan yuuthapaan anvavaikshata || 2-96-5
Rama heard that sound generated from the army and also saw all those leaders of the animal-flock, running away from there.
taamh ca vidravato drishtvaa tam ca shrutvaa sa nihsvanam |
uvaaca raamah saumitrim lakshmanam diipta tejasam || 2-96-6
Seeing those animals running away and hearing that clamor, Rama spoke to Lakshmana (son of Sumitra) of burning courage as follows:
hanta lakshmana pashya iha sumitraa suprajaah tvayaa |
bhiima stanita gambhhirah tumulah shruuyate svanah || 2-96-7
"Alas! O, Lakshmana! Sumitra is blessed with a noble son in you. Here is heard a tumultuous sound as terrific as that of a roaring cloud. See what it is."
gajayuuthaani vaaranye mahisaa vaa mahaavane |
vitraasitaa mrigaah simhaih sahasaa pradrutaa dishah 2-96-8
"The lordly elephants in the forest, the buffaloes in the great woods and the wild beasts frightened by lions are suddenly running away in various directions."
raajaa vaa raaja maatro vaa mrigayaam atate vane |
anyad vaa shvaa padam kimcit saumitre jnaatum arhasi || 2-96-9
"O, Lakshmana! You ought to find out whether it is a king or a prince roaming for a hunt or some other savage beast."
sudushcharo girishchaayam paksinaamapi laksmana |
sarvam etad yathaa tattvam aciraaj jnaatum arhasi || 2-96-10
"O, Lakshmana! This mountain is difficult of access even to birds. You ought to find out soon, all this in an accurate manner."
sa lakshmanah samtvaritah saalam aaruhya pushpitam |
prekshamaano dishah sarvaah puurvaam disham avaikshata || 2-96-11
Lakshmana quickly ascended a Sala tree in flowering and looking towards all directions, saw towards eastern side.
udan mukhah prekshamaano dadarsha mahatiim camuum |
ratha ashva gaja sambaadhaam yattair yuktaam padaatibhih || 2-96-12
Looking in northern direction, Lakshmana saw a huge army, full of chariots, steeds and elephants accompanied by smart foot-soldiers.
taam ashva gaja sampuurnaam ratha dhvaja vibhuushitaam |
shashamsa senaam raamaaya vacanam ca idam abraviit || 2-96-13
Lakshmana informed Rama about that army which was full of horses, elephants and chariots decorated with flags and spoke the following words also.
agnim samshamayatu aaryah siitaa ca bhajataam guhaam |
sajyam kurushva caapam ca sharaamh ca kavacam tathaa || 2-96-14
"O, honorable brother! Extinguish the fire. Let Seetha occupy a hiding place. Make your bow ready with a bow-string and arrows. Wear armor."
tam raamah purusha vyaaghro lakshmanam pratyuvaaca ha |
anga avekshasva saumitre kasya etaam manyase camuum || 2-96-15
Rama the tiger among men replied to Lakshmana, saying: "O, Lakshmana! See, whose army do you think is this?"
evam ukktah tu raamena lakshmaano vaakyam abraviit |
didhakshann iva taam senaam rushitah paavako yathaa || 2-96-16
Hearing Rama's words, Lakshmana was irritated like a fire and spoke the following words, as though he was wishing to scorch the army.
sampannam raajyam igccamh tu vyaktam praapya abhishecanam |
aavaam hantum samabhyeti kaikeyyaa bharatah sutah || 2-96-17
"Bharata, Kaikeyi's son, having obtained coronation and desirous of making the kingdom free of enemies, is coming here to kill both of us. It is clear."
esha vai sumahaan shriimaan vitapii samprakaashate |
viraajaty udgata skandhah kovidaara dhvajo rathe || 2-96-18
"The gigantic and glorious tree with superb branches is shining over there prominently. The ensign [a flag that is flown as the symbol] bearing the device of a Kovidara (pomegranate) tree is shining on that chariot."
bhajanty ete yathaa kaamam ashvaan aaruhya shiighragaan |
ete bhraajanti samhrishtaa jagaan aaruhya saadinah || 2-96-19
Among the cavalry, some are cavorting merrily on their swift horses, while others are beaming with delight, mounted on their elephants.
grihiita dhanushau ca aavaam girim viira shrayaavahe |
athavehaiva tisthaavah sannaddhaavudyataayudhau 2-96-20
"O, warrior! Let us take up our bows and ascend the mountain or let us stay here itself, fully prepared with our weapons in our hands."
api nau vasham aagagccet kovidaara dhvajo rane |
api drakshyaami bharatam yat krite vyasanam mahat || 2-96-21
tvayaa raaghava sampraaptam siitayaa ca mayaa tathaa |
"O, Rama! Will that flag with the insignia of a Kovidara tree come into our subjugation? Can we see Bharata, because of whom a great misfortune has occurred to you, to Seetha and to me?"
yan nimittam bhavaan raajyaac cyuto raaghava shaashvatiim |
sampraapto ayam arir viira bharato vadhya eva me || 2-96-22
"O, Rama the warrior! By the reason of whom you were deprived of an eternal kingdom, such Bharata as a foe who is coming here, deserves to be slain by me."
bharatasya vadhe dosham na aham pashyaami raaghava |
puurva apakaarinam hatvaa na hyadharmena yujyate || 2-96-23
"O, Rama! I see no sin in slaying Bharata. None is charged with unlawfulness, if one strikes down an aggressor."
puurvaapakaarii bharatasytaktadharmashcha raaghava |
etasminn nihate kritsnaam anushaadhi vasumdharaam || 2-96-24
"Bharata is the assailant and his death is legitimate. He being dead, you will rule the entire earth."
adya putram hatam samkhye kaikeyii raajya kaamukaa |
mayaa pashyet suduhkha aartaa hasti bhagnam iva drumam || 2-96-25
"Let Kaikeyi, who is craving for the kingdom see, with great sorrow, her son slain by me today in battle, as a tree is crushed down by an elephant."
kaikeyiim ca vadhishyaami saanubandhaam sabaandhavaam |
kalushena adya mahataa medinii parimucyataam || 2-96-26
"I shall kill Kaikeyi too along with her friend the hunch-back and other accomplices. Let the earth today be relieved of a great sinner."
adya imam samyatam krodham asatkaaram ca maanada |
mokshyaami shatru sainyeshu kaksheshu iva huta ashanam || 2-96-27
"O, warrior bestowing an honor! Today in the concentrated fury that injustice has kindled I shall scatter the enemy - battalions as a fire consumes the dry wood."
adya etac citra kuutasya kaananam nishitaih sharaih |
chindan shatru shariiraani karishye shonita ukshitam || 2-96-28
"Today, with my sharpened arrows, I shall slay the bodies of my foes and make this forest of Chitrakuta overflow with blood."
sharair nirbhinna hridayaan kunjaraamh turagaamh tathaa |
shvaapadaah parikarshantu naraah ca nihataan mayaa || 2-96-29
"The elephants and horses whose breasts were laid open with my darts and the men too struck down by me, be dragged about by savage beasts."
sharaanaam dhanushah ca aham anrino asmi mahaa vane |
sasainyam bharatam hatvaa bhavishyaami na samshayah || 2-96-30
"By killing Bharata together with his army in this great forest, I shall discharge my debt to my bow and arrows."
ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye ayodhyaakaande sannavatitamah sargah
Thus completes 96th Chapter of Ayodhya Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.
Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate