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Chapter 39: Preparations for Exile

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Preparations for Exile


Sumantra arranges for a chariot for the travel of Rama, Seetha, and Lakshmana at the orders of Dasharatha. Kingly ornaments are obtained for Seetha. Rama seeks blessings from his mother Kausalya and others too. Kausalya's parting advises to Seetha.

Chapter [Sarga] 39 in Detail

raamasya tu vacah shrutvaa muni vesa dharam ca tam |

samiiksya saha bhaaryaabhii raajaa vigata cetanah || 2-39-1

na enam duhkhena samtaptah pratyavaiksata raaghavam |

na ca enam abhisampreksya pratyabhaasata durmanaah || 2-39-2

Hearing Rama's words and seeing him clad in a garb of hermit, king Dasaratha with his wives fell unconscious. Consumed by grief, he could not look towards Rama. Troubled in mind as he was, the king could not speak to Rama by seeing into his face.

sa muhuurtam iva asamjno duhkhitah ca mahii patih |

vilalaapa mahaa baahuu raamam eva anucintayan || 2-39-3

The mighty armed Dasaratha was unconscious for some time, distressed and repented in various ways thinking of Rama alone.

manye khalu mayaa puurvam vivatsaa bahavah kritaah |

praanino himsitaa vaa api tasmaat idam upasthitam || 2-39-4

"I think that previously many people were separated from their children by me or in any case many living beings were killed. Hence, this (calamity) has befallen me."

na tu eva anaagate kaale dehaac cyavati jiivitam |

kaikeyyaa klishyamaanasya mrityur mama na vidyate || 2-39-5

mo aham paavaka samkaasham pashyaami puratah sthitam |

vihaaya vasane suuksme taapasa aacchaadam aatmajam || 2-39-6

"life does not decamp from the body surely without the arrival of time. Death does not claim me, even being tormented by Kaikeyi and even though I behold my son, effulgent as fire, standing before me clad in the robes of an ascetic having cast off his fine garments."

ekasyaah khalu kaikeyyaah krite ayam klishyate janah |

sva arthe prayatamaanaayaah samshritya nikritim tvimaam || 2-39-7

"All these people are suffering on account of only Kaikeyi, who sought refuge in chicanery [deception by artful subterfuge], with an implicit intent of selfishness"

evam uktvaa tu vacanam baaspena pihita iiksnaha |

raama iti sakrid eva uktvaa vyaahartum na shashaaka ha || 2-39-8

Having uttered these words and saying "Oh, Rama!" only once, he was not able to speak any more, his organs of voice being choked by tears.

samjnaam tu pratilabhya eva muhuurtaat sa mahii patih |

netraabhyaam ashru puurnaabhyaam sumantram idam abraviit || 2-39-9

Regaining consciousness after a moment, the king, with his eyes filled with tears, spoke these words to Sumantra:

aupavaahyam ratham yuktvaa tvam aayaahi haya uttamaih |

praapaya enam mahaa bhaagam itah jana padaat param || 2-39-10

"You come with a chariot, fit for driving, yoked with excellent horses and take this highly distinguished prince beyond this territory."

evam manye gunavataam gunaanaam phalam ucyate |

pitraa maatraa ca yat saadhur viirah nirvaasyate vanam || 2-39-11

"Since a pious and a valiant son is being sent to exile by father and mother, I think such is said to be the reward of virtues of the virtuous."

raajno vacanam aajnaaya sumantrah shiighra vikramah |

yojayitvaa aayayau tatra ratham ashvaih alamkritam || 2-39-12

Sumantra obeying the words of the king, walked away quickly and arrived there fitted with horses, a chariot duly decorated.

tam ratham raaja putraaya suutah kanaka bhuusitam |

aacacakse anjalim kritvaa yuktam parama vaajibhih || 2-39-13

The charioteer told the prince with joined palms about that chariot decorated by gold, fitted with superb horses.

raajaa satvaram aahuuya vyaapritam vitta samcaye |

uvaaca desha kaalajno nishcitam sarvatah shuci || 2-39-14

The king, who knew what should be done at a proper place and time and was clear by all means, quickly called an officer placed in charge of the treasury and spoke in a decisive tone (as follows);-

vaasaamsi ca mahaa arhaani bhuusanaani varaani ca |

varsaani etaani samkhyaaya vaidehyaah ksipram aanaya || 2-39-15

"Quickly bring for Seetha, clothing’s of great worth and ornaments of high quality, taking into consideration all these years (that Seetha has to spend in exile)

nara indrena evam uktah tu gatvaa kosha griham tatah |

praayacchat sarvam aahritya siitaayai ksipram eva tat || 2-39-16

After thus spoken by the king, the officer went to the treasury, brought all that in a lot and gave to Seetha.

saa sujaataa sujaataani vaidehii prasthitaa vanam |

bhuusayaam aasa gaatraani taih vicitraih vibhuusanaih || 2-39-17

Setting out as she was to the forest, Seetha of noble birth adorned her beautiful limbs with those wonderful jewels.

vyaraajayata vaidehii veshma tat suvibhuusitaa |

udyatah amshumatah kaale kham prabhaa iva vivasvatah || 2-39-18

Seetha, beautifully adorned as she was, illumined that palace, as the sky in a morning is illuminated by a rising sun.

taam bhujaabhyaam parisvajya shvashruur vacanam abraviit |

anaacarantiim kripanam muudhni upaaghraaya maithiliim || 2-39-19

Embracing in her arms that princess of Mithila, who never behaved in self-pity, and smelling her head (as a token of affection), her mother-in-law (Kausalya) spoke as follows:

asatyah sarva loke asmin satatam satkritaah priyaih |

bhartaaram na anumanyante vinipaata gatam striyah || 2-39-20

"Dishonest women, even though adored all the time by their husbands, cease to esteem their husband who has come to pass into evil days, throughout this world."

eshha svabhaavo naariinaamanubhuuya puraa sukham |

alpaamapyaapadam praapya dushhyanti prajahatyapi || 2-39-21

"Having enjoyed happiness in the past, they become spoiled and even desert their husband, on obtaining even the least misfortune: such is the nature of (bad) women."

asatyashiilaa vikritaa durrgaahyaahridayaastathaa |

yuvatyah paapasamkalpaah kshanamaatraadviraaginah || 2-39-22

"Young women, who are evil-minded, are untruthful in their disposition, are affected by passion and their essence, incomprehensible. They get aversion within a moment."

na kulam na kritam vidyaa na dattam naapi samgrahah |

striinaam grihnaati hridayamanityahridayaa hi taah || 2-39-23

Neither a noble descent, nor an accomplishment, nor learning, nor a gift nor even entertainment can capture the heart of women. They are unstable of their heart indeed!"

saadhviinaam hi sthitaanaam tu shiile satye shrute shame |

striinaam pavitram paramam patireko vishishhyate || 2-39-24

"But, for women established in good conduct, truthfulness, sacred learning and mental quietness, their husband alone is the most sacred entity, the best of all."

sa tvayaa na avamantavyah putrah pravraajitah mama |

tava daivatam astu esa nirdhanah sadhano api vaa || 2-39-25

"My son who is being sent to the forest should not be despised by you. Even if he is invested with riches or without riches, let him be a deity to you."

vijnaaya vacanam siitaa tasyaa dharma artha samhitam |

krita anjalir uvaaca idam shvashruum abhimukhe sthitaa || 2-39-26

perceiving her words, endowed with essence of righteousness and joining her palms, Seetha replied to her mother-in-law standing in front of her, as follows:-

karisye sarvam eva aham aaryaa yad anushaasti maam |

abhijnaa asmi yathaa bhartur vartitavyam shrutam ca me || 2-39-27

"I shall do just all that, as your venerable self instructs me. I know how I should behave towards my husband. I have also heard about it earlier."

na maam asaj janena aaryaa samaanayitum arhati |

dharmaat vicalitum na aham alam candraat iva prabhaa || 2-39-28

"Your venerable self is not worthy of equating me with evil women. I am unable to deviate from virtue, even as a moon from the moonlight"

na atantrii vaadyate viinaa na acakrah vartate rathah |

na apatih sukham edhate yaa syaat api shata aatmajaa || 2-39-29

"Veena (Indian lute) does not resonate without chords. Chariot does not move without wheels. Now can a wife bereft of her husband, even if blessed with hundred children, will not lie happily in comfort."

mitam dadaati hi pitaa mitam maataa mitam sutah |

amitasya hi daataaram bhartaaram kaa na puujayet || 2-39-30

"A father indeed gives a limited extent, a mother in a limited measure and a son in moderation. Which woman, then, would not adore her husband, the bestower of unlimited-ness!"

saa aham evam gataa shresthaa shruta dharma para avaraa |

aarye kim avamanyeyam striinaam bhartaa hi daivatam || 2-39-31

"Having heard about the special and ordinary duties of a wife from the most excellent women, how can I, as such, despise my husband, Oh venerable lady? Husband is indeed a deity to women."

siitaayaa vacanam shrutvaa kausalyaa hridayam gamam |

shuddha sattvaa mumoca ashru sahasaa duhkha harsajam || 2-39-32

Hearing Seetha's words, which touched her heart, Kausalya of pure mind suddenly started shedding tears born of agony and delight.

taam praanjalir abhikramya maatri madhye atisatkritaam |

raamah parama dharmajno maataram vaakyam abraviit || 2-39-33

Rama, the most virtuous man, joining his palms, approached and spoke these words to his mother, who is highly respected among all his mothers:

amba maa duhkhitaa bhuus tvam pashya tvam pitaram mama |

ksayo hi vana vaasasya ksipram eva bhavisyati || 2-39-34

"Oh, mother! You do not grieve. You look after my father. The end of exile will come rather soon."

suptaayaah te gamisyanti nava varsaani panca ca |

saa samagram iha praaptam maam draksyasi suhrid vritam || 2-39-35

"Fourteen years will elapse, while you are asleep. you as such, will see me, duly arrived here in my entire being, surrounded by my well-wishers."

etaavad abhiniita artham uktvaa sa jananiim vacah |

trayah shata shata ardhaa hi dadarsha aveksya maatarah || 2-39-36

Uttering the aforesaid words of such quality and appropriate meaning to his mother, Rama thought once again and gazed at his three hundred and fifty step-mothers.

taah ca api sa tathaiva aartaa maatririr dasharatha aatmajah |

dharma yuktam idam vaakyam nijagaada krita anjalih || 2-39-37

Rama joined his palms and saluted those step mothers also, who were too distressed in the same way and spoke these words which were in consonance with the spirit of righteousness.

samvaasaat parusam kimcit ajnaanaat vaa api yat kritam |

tan me samanujaaniita sarvaah ca aamantrayaami vah || 2-39-38

"Please excuse me, if I have done any mistake either because of our living together or due to ignorance on my part. I now take leave of you all."

vachanam raaghavasyaitaddharmayuktam samaahitam |

shushruvu staah striyam sarvaah shokopahatachetasah || 2-39-39

All those women, whose mind was overpowered with grief, heard the aforesaid cool submission of Rama, which was in consonance with righteousness.

jajne atha taasaam samnaadah kraunciinaam iva nihsvanah |

maanava indrasya bhaaryaanaam evam vadati raaghave || 2-39-40

While Rama was speaking thus, an outcry, resembling the wail of female cranes arose from those wives of Dasaratha.

muraja panava megha ghosava |

ddasharatha veshma babhuuva yat puraa |

vilapita paridevana aakulam |

vyasana gatam tat abhuut suduhkhitam || 2-39-41

Dasaratha' s palace, which was earlier resounding with tom-toms, large drums and Meghas ( musical instruments which sound like rumbling of clouds) was now filled with wails and cries and fallen on evil days.

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye ayodhya kaande eko na catvaari.mshah sargah

Thus completes 39th chapter of Ayodhya Kanda in glorious Valmiki Ramayana, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate




K. M. K. Murthy. (1999). Ayodhya Kanda - Book Of Ayodhya.


Merriam-Webster. (2007). At (2007). At

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