Wednesday, 12 August 2015

293. Seetha's sorrow, lamentation and despair..

           Seetha did see the illusory head and bow. She heard Ravana narrating about Rama's friendly relationship with Sugreeva, as earlier apprised by Hanuman. She truly believed that that head was that of her dear husband. The eyes were her husband's eyes, facial complexion, hair, expanse of his forehead and the beautiful jewel worn on the top of his head did not seem to be different. She naturally was  very much afflicted with sorrow, cried and abused Kaikeyi who was responsible for her present calamity saying (I believe she was crying, too) "Kaikeyi! So you now got what you were craving for! This my dear Rama, causing a joy to the family, has been slain. The entire race has been destroyed by you, a squabbling woman. You gave clothes made of bark to the venerable Rama and sent him on exile to the forest. What harm has he done to you? ........"
       Thus letting out her grief, Seetha the miserable lady was trembling and fell on the ground like a plantain tree that was cut off. The wide eyed Seetha, regaining consciousness after sometime, approached that illusory head and resumed her laments "O, the long armed Rama! The pursuer of a strong will! Alas, you have been killed! I have become a witness to your last fate. I have been made a widow. It is said that the early death of a husband is the misfortune of the wife. You, having good conduct, have preceded me in death. Even you who were actually intent on protecting me, fallen in great affliction and immersed in an ocean of grief, have been killed by the evildoers. My mother-in-law, Kausalya who cherished you tenderly has been left without a son like a cow that has lost its calf. It was mentioned by astrologers that your life span was very lengthy. Their words are proved wrong. You are short lived. It seems your prudence took a vacation. Despite the fact that you were sagacious, Time, the master of all beings has brought you to an end. How is it possible that you, who knew the doctrine of political ethics is destined for an unforeseen premature death?
             "The night of destroying time which was very much cruel and terrible thus has encircled you, embezzled you and snatched you away from me. Leaving me miserable, you lie down here, embracing the earth as your beloved. Here is your bow which was decorated with gold, dear to me and worshiped diligently by you with sandal paste and wreath of flowers. Surely, you must have met in heaven your father and my father-in-law Dasharatha as well as all the multitude of your manes. You have abandoned your own pious lineage of royal sages but you performed a great act, which will surely illuminate the heaven like a luminary.
         "O, prince! Why don't you look at me? Why don't you reply me, your dear wife who lived with you together since the time of obtaining me as a girl by you as a boy. Remember your solemn promise at the time of our marriage 'I shall have righteous conduct with you' Take me also with you, wretched as I am. Why have you gone away, leaving me like this? Leaving me, the miserable woman, why have you gone to the other world from this world? This beautiful body, which was cuddled by me with great love, will now be dragged about by wild beasts. Why are you not securing the privilege of being cremated with a sacrificial fire, even though you have worshiped the Lord through sacrificial performances such as Agnishtoma (mantra or kalpa connected with the agniSToma, or praise of god of fire) duly furnished with abundant gifts?
        "Kausalya absorbed as she was with grief can now see Lakshmana only returned out of the exiled trio. He will narrate surely to her about your slaughter as also the killing of the army of your allies, by the rakshashas at night. Hearing that you were killed while sleeping and that I was kept captive by the king of  rakshashas, she will surely give up her life. The strong and faultless prince Rama was killed in a small puddle, after crossing the ocean, for the cause of me, an unworthy woman. I, the disgrace of my race, was wedded by Rama. Thus, a wife herself has eventually proved to be the cause for the death of Rama, an honorable man. Even though I was the wife of Rama who showed hospitality to all, it is I, that very person, who is weeping here and now, because without doubt, in a previous existence, an excellent gift was refused by me to someone, who was most eligible for the same. O! God! Unite the wife with the husband without delay. Arrange to kill me right now. Thus, you will perform an admirable and auspicious act. Join my head with his head and my body with his body. I shall go along the path of my magnanimous Lord. ......"
        While Seetha was lamenting thus, a rakshash royal guard came and told Ravana "Your Majesy! Prahasta, the army chief asked me to inform you that he need to see you immediately. "
              Hearing that Ravana left the Ashoka garden.            Soon after the departure of Ravana, the illusory head and bow vanished!
                Prahasta, the army chief informed Ravana the information he gathered about the army of Rama.
            He, Ravana deliberated with his ministers as to what action in its entirety to be pursued and entered the council-chamber and issued his commands in accordance with the knowledge he possessed of Rama's forces.
           Ravana ordered his generals  "By the sound of the drum beaten loudly with a drum stick, immediately summon all my forces. Do not tell them the reason for it."
        In a short time a huge army gathered.

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