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Chapter 57: Sumantra Reaches Ayodhya
Sumantra Reaches Ayodhya
Sumantra takes leave from Guha, who learns from his spies that Rama departed for Chitrakuta. Sumantra drives back to Ayodhya. Entering the royal gynaeceum, he submits to the emperor what he earlier reported to the citizens who followed his chariot. Dasaratha and Kausalya fall into a faint to hear about Rama’s departure for Chitrakuta. All the inmates of gynaeceum weep loudly in anguish.
Chapter [Sarga] 57 in Detail
kathayitvaa suduhkha aartah sumantrena ciram saha |
raame daksina kuulasthe jagaama sva griham guhah || 2-57-1
While Rama landed upon the southern shore, Guha conversed for a long time with Sumantra and with much distress, went to his house.
bharadvaajaabhigamanam prayaage ca sahaasanam |
aagirergamanam tesaam tatrasthairabhilakshitam || 2-57-2
It was gathered by those who were there (Guha and others) about Seetha, Rama and Lakshmana coming to sage Bharadwaja, their staying with him in Prayaga and their departure to Chitrakuta Mountain.
anujnaatah sumantrah atha yojayitvaa haya uttamaan |
ayodhyaam eva nagariim prayayau gaadha durmanaah || 2-57-3
Sumantra, being allowed to depart by Rama, tied excellent horses to the chariot and with intense anguish, rode towards the very city of Ayodhya.
sa vanaani sugandhiini saritah ca saraamsi ca |
pashyann atiyayau shiighram graamaani nagaraani ca || 2-57-4
Sumantra, seeing the sweet-smelling woods, rivers, lakes, villages and towns on the way, soon crossed them.
tatah saaya ahna samaye tritiiye ahani saarathih |
ayodhyaam samanupraapya niraanandaam dadarsha ha || 2-57-5
Reaching Ayodhya in the evening time of the third day Sumantra saw that city, joyless.
sa shuunyaam iva nihshabdaam dristvaa parama durmanaah |
sumantrah cintayaam aasa shoka vega samaahatah || 2-57-6
Beholding Ayodhya as if deserted in silence, Sumantra becoming very much distressed in mind and having afflicted with intense anguish, surmised as follows:
kaccin na sagajaa saashvaa sajanaa sajana adhipaa |
raama samtaapa duhkhena dagdhaa shoka agninaa purii || 2-57-7
“I hope the city of Ayodhya with its elephants, horses, people and the kings was not burnt away by a fire of sorrow and blazing grief towards Rama.
iti cintaa parah suutah vaajibhih shriighrapaatibhih |
nagaradvaaramaasaadya tvaritah pravivesha ha || 2-57-8
Sumantra, thus lost in thought, reaching the city-gate through the fast-running horses, entered the city quickly.
sumantram abhiyaantam tam shatasho atha sahasrashah |
kva raamaiti pricchantah suutam abhyadravan naraah || 2-57-9
Meanwhile, seeing Sumantra the charioteer approaching, hundreds and thousands of people ran towards him asking, “Where is Rama?”
tesaam shashamsa gagaayaam aham aapricchya raaghavam |
anujnaatah nivrittah asmi dhaarmikena mahaatmanaa || 2-57-10
He replied them thus: “Bidding farewell to Rama at the shore of Ganga when sent back by that virtuous and high-souled Rama, I returned here.”
te tiirnaaiti vijnaaya baaspa puurna mukhaa janaah |
aho dhig iti nishshvasya haa raama iti ca cukrushuh || 2-57-11
Hearing that Seetha, Rama and Lakshmana had crossed River Ganga, the people with their faces filled with tears sighed, “Oh, fie upon us! And cried aloud, “Alas, Rama!”
shushraava ca vacah tesaam brindam brindam ca tisthataam |
hataah sma khalu ye na iha pashyaamaiti raaghavam || 2-57-12
Sumantra also heard the words of those people standing in groups and telling, “Lost indeed are we, who do not see Rama here!”
daana yajna vivaahesu samaajesu mahatsu ca |
na draksyaamah punar jaatu dhaarmikam raamam antaraa || 2-57-13
“Never again can we see the pious Rama on the occasions of bestowing gifts, sacrificial performances or marriages or in large meetings.
kim samartham janasya asya kim priyam kim sukha aavaham |
iti raamena nagaram pitrivat paripaalitam || 2-57-14
The city of Ayodhya was protected by Rama, as by a father, with due regard to what was appropriate, what was congenial and what brought happiness to its people.
vaata ayana gataanaam ca striinaam anvantara aapanam |
raama shoka abhitaptaanaam shushraava paridevanam || 2-57-15
While driving through bazaars, Sumantra heard the sounds of lamentation of women, coming forth from windows, consumed by anguish on account of Rama’s exile.
sa raaja maarga madhyena sumantrah pihita aananah |
yatra raajaa dasharathah tat eva upayayau griham || 2-57-16
Going through the middle of the royal highway, Sumantra by covering his face, reached the house of Dasaratha.
so avatiirya rathaat shiighram raaja veshma pravishya ca |
kaksyaah sapta abhicakraama mahaa jana samaakulaah || 2-57-17
Sumantra descended from the chariot, entered quickly the royal palace and traversed the seven inner apartments of the palace, filled with a large number of people.
harmyairvimaanaih praasaadairavekshyaatha samaagatam |
haahaakaarakritaa naaryo raamadarshanakarshitaah || 2-57-18
Then, finding the forthcoming Sumantra from their large mansions, from seven-storied buildings and from royal palaces, the women who had been emaciated in not being able to see Rama, cried “Alas! Alas”.
anyonyamabhiviikshante.avyaktamaartataraah striiyah || 2-57-19
Those women, extremely confounded with grief with their long and bright eyes filled with a stream of tears, looked at each other imperceptibly.
tatah dasharatha striinaam praasaadebhyah tatah tatah |
raama shoka abhitaptaanaam mandam shushraava jalpitam || 2-57-20
Sumantra also heard the feeble conversation of Dasaratha’s wives absorbed in anguish on account of Rama’s exile, from their respective inner apartments.
saha raamena niryaatah vinaa raamam iha aagatah |
suutah kim naama kausalyaam shocantiim prati vaksyati || 2-57-21
“What Sumantra will reply to the lamenting Kausalya, when he now returns here without Rama while he formerly went out with Rama?”
yathaa ca manye durjiivam evam na sukaram dhruvam |
aacchidya putre niryaate kausalyaa yatra jiivati || 2-57-22
“In spite of her son (Rama) having left Ayodhya, Kausalya continues to survive. I think that surely it is difficult thus to live and it is not so easy to preserve it too!”
satya ruupam tu tat vaakyam raajnah striinaam nishaamayan |
pradiiptam iva shokena vivesha sahasaa griham || 2-57-23
Hearing those credible words of Dasaratha’s wives, Sumantra all at once entered the house, that appeared to be set ablaze with grief.
sa pravishya astamiim kaksyaam raajaanam diinam aatulam |
putra shoka parimlaanam apashyat paandure grihe || 2-57-24
Sumantra entered the eighth inner apartment and saw in that white house, King Dasaratha the miserable the sick and the exhausted man on account of the exhausted man on account of the grief for his son.
abhigamya tam aasiinam nara indram abhivaadya ca |
sumantrah raama vacanam yathaa uktam pratyavedayat || 2-57-25
Sumantra approached that king who was seated, offered his salutation and presented Rama’s message as told.
sa tuusniim eva tat shrutvaa raajaa vibhraanta cetanah |
muurchitah nyapatat bhuumau raama shoka abhipiiditah || 2-57-26
That king heard silently the message of Rama, was bewildered, afflicted by grief, for his son, became fainted and fell on the ground.
tatah antah puram aaviddham muurchite prithivii patau |
uddhritya baahuu cukrosha nripatau patite ksitau || 2-57-27
The king thus having fainted, the gynaeceum was hurt. While the king was falling on the ground, the inmates of gynaeceum wept, raising their hands in distress.
sumitrayaa tu sahitaa kausalyaa patitam patim |
utthaapayaam aasa tadaa vacanam ca idam abraviit || 2-57-28
Kausalya along with Sumitra lifted up their husband, who fell on the ground. Kausalya also spoke these words to Dasaratha.
imam tasya mahaa bhaaga duutam duskara kaarinah |
vana vaasaat anupraaptam kasmaan na pratibhaasase || 2-57-29
“Oh, illustrious king! Why are you not speaking to this Rama’s messenger who came from the forest and who has done difficult things?”
adya imam anayam kritvaa vyapatrapasi raaghava |
uttistha sukritam te astu shoke na syaat sahaayataa || 2-57-30
“Oh, Dasaratha! After doing an evil act, you are now feeling shameful. Rise up! Let it be a meritorious act for you. You cannot get a help, when you weep like this.”
deva yasyaa bhayaat raamam na anupricchasi saarathim |
na iha tisthati kaikeyii vishrabdham pratibhaasyataam || 2-57-31
“Oh, king! On whose fear, you are not enquiring with Sumantra about the welfare of Rama, that Kaikeyi is not here. Speak fearlessly.”
saa tathaa uktvaa mahaa raajam kausalyaa shoka laalasaa |
dharanyaam nipapaata aashu baaspa vipluta bhaasinii || 2-57-32
Kausalya, speaking excitedly in tears and entirely given up to anguish uttered thus to the monarch and soon fell to the ground.
evam vilapatiim dristvaa kausalyaam patitaam bhuvi |
patim ca aveksya taah sarvaah susvaram ruruduh striyah || 2-57-33
All those women cried in loud voice, seeing Kausalya fallen on the ground weeping as aforesaid and gazing their husband too (lying unconscious).
tatah tam antah pura naadam utthitam |
samiiksya vriddhaah tarunaah ca maanavaah |
striyah ca sarvaa ruruduh samantatah |
puram tadaa aasiit punar eva samkulam || 2-57-34
Hearing that crying sound raised in gynaeceum, all aged and young men and women on all sides gathered around weeping. The city then again became disturbed.
ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye ayodhyaakaande saptapajnchashah sargah
Thus completes 57th Chapter of Ayodhya Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.
K. M. K. Murthy. (1999). Ayodhya Kanda - Book Of Ayodhya.
Merriam-Webster. (2007). At http://www.m-w.com.
Reference.com. (2007). At http://www.reference.com.
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