While looking at Ayodhya, Rama reflected a bit and said to Hanuman: “Find out if the people in the royal palace are well. When you reach Sringaverapura, tell the forest-dweller Guha, ruler of the Nishadas, on My behalf that I am well. When he hears that I am well, healthy and free from anxiety, He will be very pleased. He is my friend, as good as Myself. Being pleased, Guha, the ruler of the Nishadas, will show you the way to Ayodhya and offer you news about Bharata. You should tell Bharata about My well-being in My name. Tell Him that I have accomplished My goal with My wife and Lakshmana. Tell Him about the abduction of Sita by the mighty Ravana, how I talked with Sugreeva and killed Vali on the battlefield, the search for Sita, and how you found Her after jumping across the great and boundless ocean. Also tell Him how I approached the ocean and the ocean appeared before Me personally, how I had a bridge built and how Ravana was killed, how Indra, Brahma and Varuna granted Me boons and how I met My father by the grace of Lord Shiva. Also tell Him that I have arrived along with Vibhishana, the lord of the rakshasas, and Sugreeva, the ruler of the monkeys. Tell Him: ‘Having killed hordes of enemies, Rama has achieved the greatest glory. Having accomplished His goals, He is arriving with his friends and army.’
“You should carefully note all of Bharata’s reactions and gestures by the color of His face, the look in His eyes and how He talks. Indeed, whose mind would not be attracted to an ancestral kingdom abounding in all desirable things and crowded with elephants, horses and chariots? If by contact with it, the glorious Bharata desires the kingdom for Himself, let Him rule the entire earth. Ascertaining His mind and resolve, you should return quickly before we have gone far.”
When commanded in this way, Hanuman, the son of the wind-god, assumed a human form and hurried off to Ayodhya. Hanuman jumped forward with great speed like Garuda trying to catch an exceptional snake. Jumping across the sky, which is the lovely abode of birds, he reached the formidable confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers. After reaching Sringaverapura and meeting Guha, Hanuman joyfully spoke the following sweet words: “Your friend Rama, the descendent of Kakutstha, along with Sita and Lakshmana, inquires about your well-being. After spending the night of the fifth day of the waxing moon of the month of Ashwin at the hermitage of the Bharadvaja, you will today see Rama when He leaves with the permission of the sage.”
The spirited Hanuman, without hesitation, jumped into the air, his hair raised due to exhilaration. He saw the bathing place sacred to Lord Parashurama, as well as the rivers Valukini, Varuthi, Gomati and the formidable forest of Shaala trees. He then saw many thousands of citizens of the kingdom of Kosala and the outlying prosperous regions. Having proceeded with haste over a long distance, that best of monkeys reached the blossoming trees growing near Nandigrama. The trees were just like those that grow in Lord Indra’s Nandana Garden or in Kuvera’s Citraratha Garden. They were frequented by well-dressed women accompanied by their sons or grandsons.
At a distance of one krosha from Ayodhya he saw the forlorn Bharata. He was dressed in tree bark cloth and the skin of a black antelope. He was emaciated and residing in a hermitage. His hair was matted and His limbs were dirty from not bathing. He was stricken with anguish over His brother’s difficulty. He was eating only fruits and roots. Was self-controlled, austere and observant of acts of piety. His matted hair was pilled up on top of His head and He wore cloth made from the bark of trees and deer skins. He was self-restrained and self-realized. He had the effulgence of a Brahmana sage. Before Him He kept Rama’s sandals for ruling over the earth. He was protecting the four social orders from all danger and was attended by His ministers, as well as by holy priests and wise army generals clad in saffron robes. Indeed, seeing the prince dress in tree bark cloth and the skin of a black antelope, the citizens of Ayodhya, being lovers of piety, never cared to enjoy. With joined palms, Hanuman spoke to that prince familiar with righteousness and who resembled righteousness itself bound in a body:
“That descendent of Kakutstha who was living in the Dandaka Forest wearing tree bark cloth and matted hair for whose sake You are lamenting, has inquired about Your welfare. I bring You good news. Abandon Your dreadful grief! Within one hour You will be reunited with Your brother Rama. Having killed Ravana and regained Sita, Rama is arriving with His friends and troops. The splendid Lakshmana is coming. The illustrious Sita is also coming along with Rama, as Shaci would come accompanied by Lord Indra.”
When spoken to in that way by Hanuman, Bharata suddenly fainted from delight and fell over. Then, after regaining consciousness and getting up a moment latter, Bharata inquired from Hanuman, who had brought Him good news: “Embracing Hanuman unexpectedly, the glorious Bharata bathed him with profuse tear drops born of joy and not of grief: “Whether you are a god or a human being, you have come here out of compassion. To you who have brought Me such good news I give one hundred thousand cows and one hundred excellent villages. I shall also give you as wives sixteen well-behaved virgins born in good families, adorned with gold earrings and all kinds of ornaments, as well as golden complexions, beautiful noses and thighs, and faces shining like the moon.”
Hearing from that best of monkeys about Prince Rama’s miraculous return, Bharata was overjoyed by the desire to see Rama and therefore happily said the following words.
Thus completes 125th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.
Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate