Sunday, 11 September 2016

389. Sri Rama pattabhishekam.

             Bharata then told Rama "You gave this kingdom to me as desired by my mother. I now return the same to you. I cannot carry this heavy burden anymore than a young ox would sustain a load carried forward by a strong bull all alone.
            "With great difficulty I somehow administrated this kingdom. I cannot match your capability. It is like a donkey trying to follow a galloping horse or a crow a wild goose. 
           "O my mighty bro! Today, let the world see you when crowned, like the sun with its glowing splendor, shining brilliantly at noon. May you relax and wake-up too, to the sounds of an ensemble of musical instruments, the tinkling of ornaments strung with tiny bells and worn around the waist and anklets as well as sweet invocation of songs."
       Rama said with a smile "Be it so". Thereafter, on instructions from Shatrughna, skilled barbers with gentle hands who can do their work with a good speed, encircled Rama all round. Bharata, having bathed first, the mighty Lakshmana, Sugreeva and Vibhishan took bath. Rama had his matted locks disentangled and bathed. He stood there, shining with splendour, adorned with picturesque garlands, smeared with sandal pastes of various colours and clothed in costly and wonderful raiment.
         Shatrughna made arrangements for personal adornment for Rama and Lakshmana. Then, all the widows of Dasharatha themselves personally adorned Seetha beautifully. Thereupon, the delightful Kausalya  adorned with zeal all the wives of the vanaras.
       Later, the charioteer Sumantra came in the chariot which was absolutely beautiful in all respects. Seeing the charming chariot, which emitted immaculate splendour like that of the sun, standing before him,  Rama ascended it.
       Sugreeva and Hanuman, after taking their bath, wore beautiful raiment as well as sparkling ear rings and started. Endowed with all types of ornaments as well as charming ear-rings, the wives of Sugreeva together with Seetha moved out, longing as they were, to see the city.
       In Ayodhya, the ministers of the king, having placed the priest in their front, planned everything correctly.
      Then all those ministers started from the city to where Rama was. Rama, mounting the excellent chariot sallied forth to the city. Bharata took up the reins. Shatrughna held the parasol on Rama's head. Lakshmana winnowed a fan. Vibhishana standing nearby, held a white fan, shining brilliantly like the moon.
    Then, in the sky, groups of sages, devas along with many other divinities praised Rama. The sweet and melodious reverberation of their voice was heard. Sugreeva mounted an elephant named Shatrunjaya  looking like a mountain.
     Assuming human form and adorned with all types of ornaments, vanaras sallied forth, mounting on elephants. Rama accompanied by the sounds of conches buzzing in the ears and sounds of kettle-drums banging in the ears, proceeded to the city of Ayodhya.
     Then, the people of Ayodhya seeing Rama arriving on a chariot, with attendants walking in front were  thrilled to bits. Felicitating Rama and greeted in reciprocation by Rama, they followed Rama, who was surrounded by his brothers. ministers, brahamanas and other citizens, Rama was shining like the moon among the stars.
       Rama moving slowly in his chariot was surrounded by musicians having musical instruments cymbals and Swastika-musical instruments in their hands walking in front and uttering auspicious songs. Men with grains of rice mixed with turmeric making the rice appearing gold in colour, cows, maidens along with brahmanas having balls of sweets in their hands, walked in front of Rama.
       Rama was telling about his friendship established with Sugreeva, the power of Hanuman and the great act of the vanaras to his ministers. This was repeated to their neighbors, who communicated  to their neighbors. In a short time all the citizens of Ayodhya came to know about it and were astonished.
        Rama also explained to his ministers as to how Vibhishana became one of his close friends. 
      Rama entered Ayodhya crowded with happy and rejoiced people, together with the vanaras. Flags were found hoisted in houses. Rama reached the beautiful palace of the Ikshvaku kings.
        On entering the palace, Rama the prince offered salutation to Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi and told Bharata "I want Sugreeva to stay in this palace during his stay here."
        Sugreeva was very much pleased by that honor. He then gave four golden jars encrusted with jewels, to the four leaders of vanaras viz. Jambavan, Hanuman, Vegadarshi and Rishabha, telling them to get these  jars filled with water from the four oceans respectively. It is needless to mention that they did.
        Then, Shatrughna, accompanied by the counselors, reported to Vasishta, their chief priest, about that water intended for Rama's coronation brought by those vanara.
           Vasishta, Vamadeva, Kashyapa, Katyayana, Suyajna, Gautam and Vijaya consecrated Rama with clear and fragrant water.
        Vasishta and others, with much delight got him consecrated first, with brahmanas officiating as priests and by virgins, ministers, warriors, as well as merchants sprinkling the sap of all kinds of medicinal herbs, with the four gods the guardians of the worlds, standing in the air and with all the gods assembled there, sprinkling the sap on Rama.
          Rama was then adorned with the crown adorned by his predecessors. 
       Shatrughna proudly held over his dear brother Rama, a white and charming parasol. Sugreeva the king of vanaras, was holding a white whisk and Vibhishana, another whisk shining like the moon. At the instance of Indra, Vayu presented Rama, a golden garland consisting of a hundred lotuses shining brilliantly, as well as a chain of pearls, adorned with gems and endowed with several types of precious stones.
         On that occasion of the coronation-ceremony the ganddharvas gracefully sang and troupes of Apsaras danced.
        Rama first gave away to Brahmanas, a hundred thousand horses and cows that have lately calved as well as a hundred bulls. He also gave  Brahmanas, thirty crores of gold coins, all kinds of very costly jewels and raiment.
       Rama gave Sugreeva, a beautiful chaplet, studded with plenty of gems, looking like a beam of sun-light. Angada got a bracelet worn on upper arm, conspicuously studded with cat's eye gems and adorned with jewels and gems.
      Seetha was presented an excellent string of pearls, furnished with superior gems, shining like a beam of moon-light and two clean and beautiful raiment and lovely ornaments. Seetha took the string of pearls from her neck with the obvious intention of donating it to someone. Holding he string and looking at Hanuman, she seemed to be pondering as to whom she should present that pearl necklace.
        Guessing correctly the mind of his dear wife, Rama told Seetha fondly  "Dear Seetha! Give the pearl-necklace to a person, with whom you are pleased and who has sharpness, firmness, renown, dexterity, competence, modesty, prudence, virility, prowess and intelligence."
       Seetha then gave that pearl necklace to Hanuman without any more hesitation. Hanuman, by wearing that necklace, which was as white as a heap of moonlight-beams, was shining brilliantly as a mountain covered by a white cloud.
     The king and the queen then honoured all the elder vanaras and others who were foremost among the vanaras,  suitably with raiment and ornaments.
      Rama decided to honour those who, in his assessment are more special than others. He, therefore, specially honored Mainada, Dvivida and Nila  articles according to their inclinations. Rama, then suitably honoured Vibhishana, Sugreeva, Hanuman, Jamabavan and all other eminent vanaras with desired objects and abundant gifts.
       Then Rama,  after ruling the kingdom righteously for quite some time told Lakshmana "O Lakshmana, rule with me this kingdom as Prince Regent"
      Despite his refusal, Lakshmana was appointed to the office of the Prince Regent. Rama then consecrated Bharata. Rama propitiated the gods by performing Paundarika, Ashvamedha, Vajapeya and other Yajnas many times.
    Having enjoyed the kingship for ten thousand years, Rama performed a hundred Ashvamedha yagnas, in which good horses were sacrificed and numerous gifts bestowed. Rama ruled his kingdom with Lakshmana as his companion.
        While Rama was ruling his kingdom, there was not a single widow to lament, nor there was any danger from wild animals, nor any fear of diseases.
     There was not a single thief or robber. No one felt worthless nor did old people perform obsequies concerning youngsters. Every creature felt pleased. Every one was intent on virtue. In the kingdom of Rama all his subjects survived for thousands of years, with thousands of their progeny, all free of illness and grief.
      In the Ramrajya, the talks of the people centered round Rama, Rama and Rama. The world became Rama's world. The trees there were bearing flowers and fruits regularly, without any injury by pests and insects. The clouds were raining in time and the wind was delightful to the touch. Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras were performing their own duties, satisfied with their own work and bereft of any greed. Everyone was intent on virtue and lived without telling lies. In fact all of them forgot the word 'lie'. 
        Each and every citizen was absolutely virtuous. Rama was ruling his kingdom for very many years.

    With this the glorious Epic Ramayana of Valmiki is      concluded.


Friday, 9 September 2016

388. Bharata receives Rama at the airport.

                Bharata then sent for Shatrughna and told him the happy news. Then he told him to inform the queen moms and other important people to get ready to go and receive Rama at the airport. 
      Shatrughna did all the things his dear bro told him. In addition he ordered the persons responsible for it "Get the cavities, if any, on the path from Nandigram to Ayodhya filled. The road should be made absolutely smooth and flat. Ensure that the entire ground is sprinkled with ice-cold water. The entire path from Nandhigram to Ayodhya should be strewn with parched grains and flowers.
       "All the streets in Ayodhya should be lined with flags. All the dwellings on the road-side should be decorated. Let hundreds of men sprinkle on the main royal highway with five fragrant colors and with rows of garlands as well as loose flowers."
          As the orders of Shatrughna were for receiving Rama,  the officials viz. Dhrushti, Jayanta, Vijaya, Siddhartha, Arthasadhaka, Ashoka, Mantrapala and Sumantra started to execute the orders with utmost enthusiasm, promptitude,eagerness and joy.
     A grand march-past of warriors and officers in thousands,  on selected horses, bearing banners and pennants, carrying javelins, spears and nooses, as also surrounded by thousands of foot-soldiers was arranged. Then, all the queens of the late Dasharatha, placing Kausalya and Sumitra in front of them, mounting their vehicles, started to receive their dear Rama and Lakshmana. All of them, including Kaikeyi, reached Nandigrama.
     Keeping the wooden sandals of his brother Rama on his head and taking the white parasol intended for Rama, which was adorned with white garlands and two white whisks decorated with gold, eminently worthy of kings, accompanied by the foremost of Brahmanas, leaders of the guilds of traders and artisans, including the mercantile class, surrounded by the counselors with garlands and bell-shaped sweets in their hands, cheered by the blast of conches and kettle-drums, duly praised by panegyrists, Bharata, for his part, whose mind was set on righteousness, who was well-versed with the secret of virtue, who was emaciated through fasting, who felt miserable, was clad in the bark of trees and the skin of a black antelope, who experienced joy for the first time after about fourteen years in hearing the news of the arrival of his brother then went in advance, along with his ministers, to meet Rama.
        The earth seemed to be  shaking with the sound of the horse hooves, the rattling of the rims of the chariot-wheels as well as by the tumults of the conches and the kettle-drums. The entire population of the city of Ayodhya reached Nandigrama. Bharata expected that by the time he reached the airport in the Nandhigrama, he would, at least be  hearing the buzzing sound of the viman by which Rama was said to be coming. As he did not see or hear anything in this respect he asked Hanuman whether he played a joke on him like a monkey, he was.
             Hanuman, without showing the hurt he felt on the remark of Bharata, said politely "Sir, please listen now. Don't you hear the roar of the rejoiced vanarass? It is obvious they are coming over here by walk and while coming they must have noticed all the trees on their way were heavy with fruit, flowing with honey which is being drunk by bees, making reverberant humming sounds. This apparent miracle is  due to the grace of the sage Bharadwaja.
        "See the cloud of dust, shooting froths towards the grove of Sala trees. I presume that the vanaras are shaking the beautiful grove of Sala trees. Now I could see in distance, that very famous aerial car, shining brightly like the moon, the wonderful aerial car Pushpaka.
       "This wonderful aerial car, with unimaginable speed belongs to Kubera."
      Suddenly the shouts of 'Here comes Rama' were heard. Rama seated in the aerial car was visible to all those who were waiting to receive him..
      The over-joyed Bharata with his joined palms, looking at Rama, worshiped and welcomed him in a befitting way. Rama, with his long and large eyes, seated in the aerial car created by Viswakarma, shining like another Indra.
       Bent low in reverence, Bharata saluted Rama, who was standing in the forepart of the aerial car and shining like the sun appearing on Mount Meru.
     As directed mentally by Rama, that aerial car landed on the ground. 
    Getting down from the viman, Rama delightfully embraced Bharata. Thereafter, the jubilant Bharata, approaching Lakshmana and Seetha saluted them in reverence and also announced his name.
Then, Bharata embraced Sugreeva, Jambavan, Angada, Mainda, Dvivida, Neela and Rishabha. He also embraced Sushena, Nala, Gavaksha, Gandhamadana, Sharabha, Panasa and the surrounding vanaras. Then, those vanaras, who can change their form at will, assumed the form of humans and rejoicingly inquired about the welfare of Bharata.
      Bharata, once again embracing Sugreeva said "You are a fifth brother, for all the four of us, O Sugreeva! You are a friend born of affection. And you are a friend in need as well as as a friend in deed."
      Bharata then told Vibhishan: "Thank heaven! A very difficult task was accomplished by you, as a companion of Rama."
    Then Shatrughna offered his salutation to Rama, along with Lakshmana and offered his reverential salutation to Seetha's feet, by bowing in humility.
     Going to his mother, who became pale and emaciated due to her grief, Rama, by bowing, seized her feet in salutation, making his mother's heart delighted. Offering salutation to Sumatra, the illustrious Kaikeyi and all his mothers, Rama then went to Vasishta the priest and offered his salutation in reverence.
    With joined palms, all the citizens of Ayodhya looking at Rama shouted in chorus "Welcome to you, O the great-armed! O the enhancer of Kausala's delight!"
       Taking those wooden sandals of Rama, Bharata personally placed them below the feet of Rama. He then told Rama "This entire sovereignty of yours, kept with me as a deposit, is being returned to you, by me.
       "My life has accomplished its purpose today and my wish too stands fulfilled, in that I see you, its king, come back to Ayodhya. You review your treasury, granary, palace etc. You will find that everything has been enhanced tenfold by me."
    When everyone got down from the viman, Rama mentally asked that viman to go back to its master, Kubera.
    Affectionately pressing the feet of Vasishta, his well-wisher and royal priest, like Indra would press the feet of Brihaspati, the valiant Rama sat by his side, on a separate seat.

387. Hanuman tells Bharata what happened to Rama in the forest.

          Bharata continued  "I am extremely delighted hearing the news of the return of my dear brother and lord, who proceeded to the forest so many years ago. Please tell me how they were spending their time in the forest. Hope nothing untoward thing happened."
           Hanuman, who was seated in a very comfortable seat next to Bharata started his tale about Rama's exploits and misfortunes and how he overcame them "I think I better tell you what happened to Rama after you left him carrying his sandals.
       "As the animals and birds seemed to be frightened to see strangers i.e. Rama, Lakshmana and Seetha, they left that forest Chitrakuta. They then they started to move over to a large, terrific and solitary forest Dandaka, which had been trampled by elephants and extensive with lions, tigers and deer.
        "When they were entering deep into that forest, Viradha, a rakshash, suddenly appeared before them. They fought with him and pushing him into a pit killed him.
        "They then reached the beautiful hermitage of Sharbhanga in that evening. After that sage Sharabhanga ascended to heaven, our triple left for Janasthana.
       "Thereafter, a rakshashi called Surpanakha solicited the hand of Rama in marriage which was, of course declined. Assuming Seetha was the reason for her rejection, she tried to kill Seetha. Lakshmana intervened and chopped off her ears and nose with his sword. This caused fourteen thousand rakshashas to try to kill Rama, but Rama killed them. All the ascetics were quite happy as these rakshashas were causing obstacles to their austerity.
     "The rakshashas who were killed include Khara, their leader, Dushana and Trishira, the brothers of Khara.
       "Surpanakha then rushed to Ravana, her brother and convinced him that he should make Seetha his wife.   Disguised in the form of a deer studded with precious stones, a rakshash by name, Maricha, a relative of Ravana, allured Seetha.
     "Seetha, on seeing it, told Rama to get it for her. Thereupon, Rama tried to get hold of that deer. Rama was angered to see that it was eluding him. As he was not able to get hold of it, he killed  it with an arrow.
       "While Rama was away chasing the deer, Lakshmana was also cleverly manoeuvred to leave the hermitage and Seetha was there alone without any protection. Ravana forthwith entered the hermitage and seized Seetha. Having killed a vulture named Jatayu, who sought to deliver her, Ravana went away with Seetha.
   "Ravana taking Seetha in his aerial car was seen by the vanaras. On reaching Lanka Ravana proposed to Seetha. Seetha rejected him outright. She was then kept in the Ashoka vana and a horde of rakshashis employed to guard her and also to make her agree to marry him.
      "Having killed that deer, Rama, on his way back to the hermitage saw his dear bro Lakshmana who was sent by Seetha to ensure that he (Rama) was safe. On returning to the hermitage, they found Seetha missing. While searching for her they chanced upon the vulture, Jatayu lying mortally hurt. They learnt from that bird that Seetha was abducted by the rakshash Ravana.
      "While searching for Seetha, they were entangled in the looooong hands of the rakshash Kabandha whom they killed. Before dying, Kabandha advised Rama to approach Sugreeva, living in the Mount Rishyamuka for his help in finding Seetha.
        “Rama and Sugreeva became close friends. It was agreed between them that Rama will kill Vali, the brother of Sugreeva and Sugreeva then will help Rama in finding Seetha and also to rescue her.
      "Rama killed Vali and made Sugreeva the king. As agreed to, Sugreeva sent his his vanaras to all directions to locate Seetha.
     "I was in the team sent to the south. We reached Vindhya, the foremost of mountain-ranges but we could not locate Seetha.
     "While we were discussing inter se our hard luck,  the brother of Jatayu, Sampati who chanced to hear our conversation, precisely communicated to us where Seetha was held by Ravana.
    "As commanded by our leader, Angada, I went to Lanka and saw Seetha kept in the Ashoka vana, clad in a soiled silk-saree, looking cheerless, but unflinching in her vow. I met her and gave her a ring with the name, Rama engraved on it, as a proof of my authenticity.
   "Receiving in return from her, a jewel  from her head, I came back to the northern shore, successful as I was in my undertaking. On my return, I gave Rama that brilliant and valuable jewel as a proof of my meeting Seetha.
        "Then, on reaching the ocean, he got a bridge constructed by Nala and through that bridge, the army of the valiant vanaras crossed the ocean. Neela killed Prahasta. Ram killed Kumbhakarna and Ravana. Lakshmana killed Indrajit, the son of Ravana.
      "When Rama killed all the rakshashas in Lanka, Indra, Yama, Varuna, Maheshvara, Brahma as also Dasharatha, your deceased father came from heaven and bestowed boons to Rama.
     "Vibhishana was kind enough to spare the Pushpaka Viman for our journey back. Rama and all others are staying in the hermitage of the sage Bharadwaja."
       Bharata thanked Hanuman for the information

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

386. Hanuman was sent to Guha and Bharata to inform about the return of Rama.

              Rama did not doubt the words of the sage. However, he wanted to be absolutely sure that everything was quite okay at Ayodhya. The best way to do that was to send someone there to verify. The obvious choice was Hanuman, of course. He, therefore told Hanuman “O my dear chap! I wanna ensure that the the people in Ayodhya are safe in general and in the royal palace in particular. First go to Shrigaverapuram, meet Guha, the king there. Guha, a friend of mine will be pleased to hear about me, as being safe, healthy and free from trouble.
           “Feeling pleased, Guha, the lord of Nishadas, will tell the way to Ayodhya and the news about Bharata. Then go to Ayodhya meet Bharata. After ensuring all are okay there, tell him that I have returned with my consort and Lakshmana on completion of the period of vanvasa.
      “Tell him about the abduction of Seetha by the mighty Ravana, my association  with Sugreeva and the killing of Vali. And also about the search for Seetha and how she was traced out by you, after crossing the never-diminishing ocean, having extensive waters.
      “Tell him also how we reached Lanka and killed that Rakshash Ravana and his army.
 “Inform Bharata that I am in the proximity of Ayodhya, along with Vibhishana and Sugreeva. Also tell him that the army of vanaras and bears has come with me, too.
    “Observe his face closely for his reaction on hearing the news about me.
   “In case you feel that, by his facial expression, Bharata is longing for  the kingdom himself, let him rule the entire kingdom in one piece. O Hanuman! After gauging his mind and perception, you return quickly."
         Hanuman taking the form of a human started at once. Leaping into the sky above he landed Shrigaverapuram. Being Hanuman, he had no difficulty in finding Guha. He told him “Hi! Sir! I have been sent by Rama. He has asked me to inform you that he, along with Seetha and Lakshmana, has returned from his exile. They are now staying at the hermitage of the sage Bharadwaja. Most probably they will be coming over here to see you today itself."
           After taking directions from Guha for reaching Bharata quickly, Hanuman left him. As usual he leaped up to the sky and landed near Nandigrama where Bharata was staying.
        Hanuaman saw Bharata, living in a hermitage. He was subsisting on roots and fruits, with his senses subdued, engaged in austerities, protecting virtue, covering his body with the bark of trees and a deer skin, disciplined, whose thoughts were fixed on the Supreme Spirit, with a splendour equaling that of a Brahman sage, ruling the earth after placing the wooden sandals of Rama before him, protecting the people belonging to all the four grades viz. BrahmanKshatriyas, Vaisyas and Shudras from all peril and attended by the upright ministers, priests and by clever troop-commanders, all clad in saffron robes.
        Going to Bharata Hanuman said "Rama whose emissary I am, has sent me to you to inform that he has returned form his exile and now is staying at the hermitage of the sage Bharadwaja. He, along with his wife Seetha and brother Lakshmana will be coming over here to see you."
       Hearing the glad news, Bharata felt so delighted and  fainted through joy. Getting up in a short while Bharata embraced Hanuman for bringing such a good news. He then asked Hanuman "O! My dear fellow! Who are you? Are you a divine being or a human being, who has come here out of compassion? To you, who has conveyed this happy news to me, I  give in return a hundred thousand cows, a hundred best villages, and for wives, sixteen golden complexioned virgin girls of good conduct, decked with ear-rings, having beautiful noses and thighs, adorned with all kinds of jewels, with charming countenances as delightful as the moon and born in a noble family."

Thursday, 1 September 2016

385. Rama landed at the hermitage of Bharadwaja.

             Rama, on second thoughts decided to see and pay homage to the the sage Bharadwaja. Accordingly he ordered the plane to land in front of that great sage.
           Rama and all others got down from the plane and walked to the hermitage of the sage Bharadwaja.  While all others were waiting outside the hermitage, Rama entered the hermitage and offered his salutation to the sage.
      After offering his obeisance to Bharadwaja, Rama enquired him about the city of Ayodhya as to whether it continues to have an abundance of food and free from disease and whether Bharata was attentive in his rule and about his mothers.
        The great sage Bharadwaja smilingly replied "Bharata, placing your wooden-sandals before him, is looking forward for your arrival. All are safe at your home and in the city.
       "I am highly delighted to see you now. That joy and sorrow experienced by you in abundance while residing in Janasthana forest is completely known to me.
      "While you were busy in protecting all the ascetics who prayed you for safeguarding the interests of  Brahmanas, this irreproachable wife of yours was taken away by Ravana.
      "O Rama! I am quite aware of what happened to you during your stay in the forest by virtue of my asceticism.  My disciples go to the Ayodhya city now and then. They report to me the news about Ayodhya. Everything is quite okay there."
      Rama then requested the sage "O Your Holiness! I request a boon from you. Let all the trees on the way, as one flies to Ayodhya, bear fruit and flow with honey, even in the off-season. Let abundant fruits of various kinds, emitting the fragrance of nectar, appear on them."
        The boon sought by Rama was granted by that sage with a smile. Before the lips of the sage went back to their normal position, the trees there grew to be closely like the heavenly trees. Then, for an area of about forty kilometers radius from the hermitage of the sage, the trees that no longer bore fruit, were laden with fruit and those which had ceased to blossom looked charming with blossom. The withered trees were fully clothed with foliage and further began to flow with honey.
                     The vanaras and bears enjoyed the fruits etc.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

384. Rama told and showed Seetha this and that.

            From the sky above in that viman, Rama looked down and heaved a sigh of relief. He then turning to his dear wife told her “O Seetha! Look at the City of Lanka,  built by Viswakarmaresting firmly on the mount of Trikuta, looking like the peak of Mount Kailasa . Look at this great battle-field, covered with a mud of flesh and blood of the rakshashas and vanaras.

       “O my sweetheart! This battle field has now become very renowned. Ravana, the king of rakshasas, on whom boons were conferred by Brahma and who was killed here by me for your sake. Almost all valiant and very competent rakshashas like  Kumbhakarna, Prahasta, Dhumraksha  Indrajit were killed here by me or Lakshmana or one of the valiant vanaras and bears.        

      "Here, surrounded by more than a thousand other wives, Ravana's prime wife, Mandodari lamented for Ravana.

          "O Seetha! The beach there is where we spent that night we crossed the ocean.  Do you see the bridge down there. It was build by the vanara army of Sugreeva.  It was engineered by the vanara called Nala. I hereby name it as 'Nala Setu'. It was very difficult one to be built there by anyone other than Nala.
       "O Seetha! See the golden mountain called Mainaka  provided rest and relaxation to Hanuman while he was crossing the ocean in search of you.
       "See that island  in the middle of the ocean. This is where my troops were stationed. At this place, the lord Shiva bestowed his grace on me.
       "Now we have almost crossed the ocean. See the beach down there. It is called Setubandha, adored in all the three worlds. This is very much a sacred spot, capable of washing away all sins. At this very place, Vibhishana met me.
      "O Seetha! See down there. It is the city called Kishkindha, which is full of colourful groves. It was earlier ruled by Vali, whom I killed. Now Sugreeva is the ruler of that city."
       Seetha looked at Rama and told “O king! I wish to land Ayodhya with you, accompanied by the wives of other vanara-chiefs along with Tara and other wives of Sugreeva."
        Rama readily agreed and caused the viman to land at Kiskindha. He also communicated the desire of Seetha to Sugreeva. When everyone emplaned the vimam, it zoomed up.
         After sometime, Rama told Seetha "O Seetha! See down there the lovely mountain. It is called Rishyamuka, endowed with layers of gold and looking like a cloud with lightning.
        "O Seetha! This is where I  met Sugreeva the first time.
        "Here is seen Pampa-river, abounding in lotuses and edged with colourful groves, where I was lamenting with great pain, your loss.
       "The virtuous Shabari was seen by me at the bank of this river. Here we killed Kabandha, who was having arms a Yojana (eight miles) long and over there is seen in the forest of Janasthana. O Seetha, we found Jatayu under that tree. He was mortally wounded by Ravana, during the fight with that rakshash to rescue you.
      "O My dear! What we now see down below is called Panchavati. It is called so because it consists of five banyan trees. This area is where Khara, the rakshash was killed by me along with his brothers, Dushana and the mighty Trishira. See the  enchanting leaf-hut where we lived and from where you were forcibly taken away by Ravana.
       "The river below is the the auspicious and charming river Godavari. The hermitage surrounded with banana-groves is that of Agastya. You can see also the shining hermitage of Sutikshna, the great sage. And over there is seen the hermitage of Sharabhanga, whom the thousand-eyed Indra, came to visit.
       "The hermitage you see now is that of Atri and his sishyas. The place you are seeing now is where  that rakshash Viradha was killed by me. Don't you remember that incident? O Seetha! What you see now is where you met Anusuya, the ascetic lady and the wife of the sage, Atri.
      "Now we are flying over Chitrakuta, the excellent mountain, shining. Bharata came here and requested me to return to Ayodhya.
     "Now we are crossing the beautiful river Yamuna, surrounded by colourful groves. The hermitage you see yonder is that of the Sage Bharadwaja.
     "Now we are over the holy River Ganga, which wends its way through the three worlds heaven, the earth and the subterranean world, whose banks are crowded with flocks of birds and which is lined with trees in full-flowering.
     "We now are over the town of Shringaverapuram, where Guha my friend stays.
    "O Seetha! See the city of my father. Having duly returned, offer your salutation to Ayodhya."

Monday, 22 August 2016

383. Rama and others get into the Pushpaka Viman.

               Vibhishana then addressed Rama “Dear Rama! The Pushpaka Viman is ready for your journey back to Ayodhya. Please command me if you want me to do anything else."
       After some circumspection, Rama replied “Since you are asking me that, I would feel very happy if you could do what I want you to. You very well know that all these vanaras and bears have helped me tremendously, caring little for getting hurt or killed, in vanquishing Ravana to get back Seetha. I want to honour them suitably. Now I am as good as a pauper. 
     "However, as Lanka has been conquered by you with the help of these vanaras and bears, ignoring all risk to their lives, you may honour them suitably. I would like you to reward them with gifts of gold and precious stones. They will be very much pleased and happy."
          As desired by Rama, Vibhishana honoured all those vanaras and bears, by dispersing precious stones and gold to them. Thereafter, Rama got into that excellent aerial car carrying Seetha in his arms and followed by Lakshmana
         From the viman Rama addressed the vanaras and bears “I could not have achieved this without your help. Now all of you may go wherever you desire to. O Sugreeva! All that which ought to be done by an affectionate and service-minded friend, has been done for your part by you. Accompanied by your army, proceed to Kishkindha .”
      He then turning to Vibhishana said “O Vibhishana! Settle down in your kingdom at Lanka, conferred by me. Even the celestials including Indra shall not be able to attack you. I am going to Ayodhya, the seat of the government of my father. I bid adieu to you and wish to take leave of you all.”
       Vibhishana and Sugreeva told Rama in unison “We too wish to proceed to Ayodhya. Please take all of us there, where we will range the gardens and groves there with rejoice. After witnessing you drenched with ablution in the coronation ceremony and offering our salutations to Kausalya, we shall return to our homes.”
    Rama agreed readily with a smile. Thereupon, Sugreeva along with his army ascended that Pushpaka, the aerial car. Vibhishana together with his counselors got into it, too.
       When everyone was comfortably seated in that viman, Rama ordered it to move and it zoomed up to the sky above. Feeling greatly rejoiced and satisfied Rama was shining like Kubera.