Rama Prepares to Return to Ayodhya

When Rama had woken comfortably from the previous night’s rest, Vibhishana wished Him victory with joined palms and said: “Different kinds of baths, cosmetics, garments, ornaments, sandalwood paste and celestial flower garlands are ready. These women with eyes like lotuses are expert in decorating. They are at Your service to bath You as required, O descendent of the Raghu Dynasty.”

When addressed in this way, Rama replied to Vibhishana: “Invite the monkeys headed by Sugreeva to bathe. The mighty-armed Prince Bharata, who is the shelter of truth and righteous. Though deserving of comforts, He is suffering on My account. Without Bharata, who is practicing virtue, I do not think much of bathing, garments and ornaments. Find out how we can quickly return to the city of Ayodhya, for the path to Ayodhya is very difficult to walk.”

After hearing this request, Vibhishana replied as follows: “O prince, I shall get You to the capital in one day. Bless You! There is an excellent airship as bright as the sun called Pushpaka. It belongs to my half-brother Kuvera and was confiscated by the powerful Ravana after defeating the former in combat. It goes where one wishes. I have kept it here for You. That airship which resembles a cloud is waiting now. With this vehicle You will reach Ayodhya without any difficulty. If You find favor with me and remember my good qualities, and if You harbor friendship for me, then stay here for some time, O wise one, along with Your brother Lakshmana and Your wife Sita. When You have been entertained with all kinds of delights, You may go, O Rama. In the meantime, please accept with Your army and host of friends my hospitality arranged with affection. I seek this favor out of affection and great respect and with feelings of friendship. I am Your servant. I am not ordering You.”

When spoken to in this way, Rama replied to Vibhishana, as all the rakshasas and monkeys listened: “I am honored by you, O valiant warrior, by your fine counsel, by your whole-hearted efforts and by your utmost friendliness. I dare not give in to your request, O lord of the rakshasas. Yet My mind is in a hurry to see My brother Bharata. When He came to Chitrakuta to bring Me back to Ayodhya, imploring Me with a bowed head, I did not heed him. I also long to see Kausalya, Sumitra, the illustrious Kaikeyi, My friend Guha, the citizens of Ayodhya and the inhabitants of the outlying region. Grant Me permission to leave. My dear Vibhishana, I have been honored by you. There is no need to be angry. I beg you, O friend.”

Thereafter Vibhishana hastily summoned the airship. It was as brilliant as the sun. Its parts were adorned with gold. I had platforms made of vaidurya gems. It had many upper compartments and shone all over with silver. It was nicely decorated with pale yellow flags and pennants. It had golden chambers adorned with gold lotuses. It was hung with strings of small bells and had screens inlaid with pearls. There were strands of bells hanging all about that made a sweet sound. It resembled Mount Meru and was manufactured by Vishvakarma, It was graced with spacious compartments adorned with peals and silver. Their floors were inlaid with sparkling crystals. They had expensive seats inlaid with vaidurya gems and upholstered with costly cloth, and were supplied with great treasures. It could not be assaulted and was as swift as the mind. Announcing that it was ready, Vibhishana stood before Rama.

Thus completes 121st Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate