Sunday, 20 October 2013

91. Rama leaves for the Dandaka Forest.

            Hearing that great story, Anasuya the knower of piety kissed Seetha's forehead and hugged her in her arms. "It was narrated sweetly and amazingly by you, in clear words and syllables. It has been indeed heard by me how all that Svayamvara, the process of self-choosing marriage took place. O, the sweet speaking Seetha! I am overjoyed hearing your story from your mouth. 
           " Oh! It is now dusk! These ascetics are returning. Though their foliage is sparse, the trees look dense all around. The animals which wander about at night are ranging everywhere. The deer of the hermitage are sleeping around the sacred altars. O, Seetha! The night richly adorned with stars has set well in motion. The moon encircled with light is seen rising in the sky. Go now. I give you leave. Be a female companion to Rama. Your sweet conversation has charmed me.
           "O, Seetha! O, Dear child! Adorn the ornaments and apparel gifted by me before my eyes and cause delight to me in embellishing yourself with heavenly jewels."
           Then Seetha, adorning herself, resembled the daughter of a god, and making obeisance to the feet of Anasuya, went forward to meet Rama. Rama, the most eloquent one, saw Seetha adorned as aforesaid and felt delighted over the charming gifts of the ascetic. Seetha then showed Rama all the affectionate gifts of Anasuya.
            Seeing the respectful treatment received by Seetha, which was very rare among human beings, Rama and Lakshmana felt highly rejoiced. Thereupon, Rama with his face resembling the moon, having been honoured by the holy ascetics, was delighted and spent that auspicious night there.
             When that night passed away, Rama and Lakshmana finished their ablutions and took leave of the ascetics who had just poured oblations into the sacred fire. Those ascetics dwelling in the forest and practising virtue told Rama and Lakshmana about the Dhandaka forest to where they were going, which was infested with rakshashas "O, Rama! Various forms of man-eating rakshashas and beasts drinking the blood are living in this great forest. They devour an ascetic or a celibate, who has not rinsed his mouth after finishing his meal or who is inattentive in this great forest. Please ward them off! O, Rama! Here is the path of the great sages, through which they fetch the fruits in this forest. It is appropriate for you to go by this path to this dangerous forest."
             Thus addressed by those Brahmanas having great asceticism, who, with joined palms paid obedience to him and blessed his journey, Rama the harasser of his foes entered the forest with his consort along with Lakshmana, as sun enters a mass of clouds.

                     End of Ayodhya Kanda.


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