Tuesday, June 7, 2011

From Ayodhya-Kanda Verses 89 - 93

When Laksmana perceived that his lord had fallen asleep, he rose and asked the minister in soft accents to retire. As for himself he got ready his bow and arrows and sitting at some distance in the posture of a hero he kept watch. Guha called his trusted watchmen and stationed them at different points with great love; while he himself went and took his seat beside Laksmana with a quiver fastened to his waist and an arrow fitted to his bow. When the Nishada Chief (Guha) saw his lord lying on a bed of grass and leaves, he felt great sorrow in his heart due to excess of love; the hair on his body bristled, tears flowed from his eyes and he addressed the following affectionate words to Laksmana:

"The king's palace is naturally charming; even Indra's residence can hardly stand comparison with it. Its beautiful attics are built of precious gems and are so lovely as though the god of love has constructed them with his own hands. Free from impurities, exceedingly marvelous of design, abounding in exquisite luxuries and scented with the fragrance of flowers, they are furnished with lovely beds and lighted with gems and are full of amenities of every description. Again they are equipped with coverlets and sheets, pillows and cushions of various kinds - all soft, white and charming as the froth of milk. It is in such attics that Sita and Rama used to sleep at night and humbled by their beauty the pride of Rati and her consort, the god of love. Those very Sita and Rama are now lying on a pallet, exhausted and uncovered, a sight one cannot bear to see. The same Lord Rama whom his father and mother, his own family and the people of the city, his good-natured companions, men-servants and maid-servants, all cherished as their own life, sleeps on the ground! Nay, Sita, whose father Janaka is famed throughout the world, whose father and whose spouse is Ramacandra, is lying on the ground! An adverse fate spares none. Do Sita and the Hero of Raghu's race deserve to be exiled to the woods? They rightly say: 'Fate is supreme.' The foolish daughter of Kekaya has wrought a cruel mischief in that she has brought trouble on Sita and the Delighter of Raghu's race at a time of enjoyment. The wicked woman has played the axe in felling the tree of the solar race and plunged the whole universe in woe."

The Nishada chief was sore distressed to see Rama and Sita sleeping on the ground. Laksmana spoke to him sweet and gentle words imbued with the nectar of wisdom, dispassion and devotion:

"No one is a source of delight or pain to another; everyone reaps the fruit of one's own actions, brother. Union and separation, pleasurable and painful experiences, friends, foes and neutrals - snares of delusion are these. Even so birth and death, prosperity and adversity, destiny and time and all the illusion of the world; lands, houses, wealth, town and family, heaven and hell, and all the phenomena of the world; nay, whatever is seen, heard or thought of with the mind has its root in ignorance: nothing exists in reality. Suppose in a dream a beggar is crowned king or the lord of paradise is reduced to the state of a pauper; on waking, the one does not gain nor does the other lose anything. So must you look upon this world. Reasoning thus be not angry nor blame anyone in vain. Everyone is slumbering in the night of delusion, and while asleep one sees dreams of various kinds. In this night of mundane existence it is Yogis (mystics) alone who keep awake - Yogis who are in quest of the highest truth and remain aloof from the world. A soul should be deemed as having awoke from the night of the world only when he develops an aversion for the enjoyments of the world of sense. It is only when right understanding comes that the error of delusion disappears and then alone one develops love for the feet of Sri Rama, the Lord of Raghus. O friend, the highest spiritual goal is this: to be devoted to the feet of Sri Rama in thought, word and deed. Sri Rama is no other than Brahma (God), the supreme Reality, unknown, imperceptible, beginningless, incomparable, free from all change and beyond all diversity. The Vedas ever speak of Him in negative terms (not this). For the sake of His devotees, Earth, the Brahmanas, cows and gods, the gracious Lord takes the form of a man and performs actions by hearing of which the snares of the world are broken asunder. Realizing this, O friend, shed all infatuation and be devoted to the feet of Sita and the Hero of Raghu's race."

While Laksmana was yet recounting Sri Rama's virtues, the day dawned and the Joy and Delighter of the world woke up. After finishing all purificatory acts Sri Rama, who was all pure and wise, performed His ablutions and sent for some milk of the banyan tree. He as well as His brother then matted the hair on their heads, a sight which filled the eyes of Sumantra with tears. 


  1. So beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes.
    Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Jai Ram!