Ayodhya-kanda - Doha 152 to 160

Sri Ramcharitmanas is a great Hindu scripture and poetic classic written by Goswami Tulsidas.

Doha -152

"Sending her greeting Sita opened her lips to say something but was overwhelmed with emotion. Her voice failed, her eyes filled with tears and a thrill ran through her body."


"At this moment, in response to a hint from the Chief of Raghus (Sri Rama) the boatman propelled the boat toward the opposite bank. So departed the Crown of Raghu's race while I stood looking on with a heavy load on my heart. How am I to desribe my own anguish in that I came back alive bearing Rama's message?" At this stage Sumantra's speech failed him, overpowered as he was by grief and remorse due to separation from Sri Rama. No sooner had he heard the charioteer's speech than the king dropped the ground, his heart burning with deep anguish His mind being unhinged by excessive infatuation he tossed about like a fish that had been inebriated by sucking the foam of early rain water (which is intoxicating to the fish) All the queens wailed and wept; how can their great misfortune be described? At the sound of their wails sorrow itself was sorrwful and endurance could no longer endure.

Doha - 153

Ayodhya was in great tumult at the sound of the outcry in the royal gynaeceum: it seemed as if a cruel thunderbolt had fallen at night on a large habitat of birds.


The life-breath of the king had now stuck to his throat; he felt uneasy like a serpent robbed of its gem. All his senses were blighted as a cluster of lotuses in a lake that had been left without water. When Kausalya saw the king withered and blasted, she concluded in her mind that the sun of the solar race was about to set. Summoning up courage, therefore, Sri Rama's mother spoke words appropriate to the occasion: "Ponder in your heart, my lord, and reflect that separation from rama is a vast ocean, you are the helmsman and Ayodhya the bark which has been boarded by our near and dear ones as its passengers. We can hope to reach a shore only if you have patience. If not, the whole family will be drowned. If you take heart this entreaty of mine, my beloved lord, we are sure to see Rama, Laksmana and Sita again."

Doha - 154

Hearing these soft words of his beloved queen, the king opened his eyes and looked up like a writhing wrething wrreched fish that had been sprinkled with cold water.


Recovering himself the king got up and sat down. "Tell me, Sumantra, where is my gracious Rama? Where is Laksmana and where my loving Rama? Where is my beloved daughter-in-law. Vaidehi?" The restless monarch wailed in many ways; the night seemed to him like an age and he felt as though it would never end. He was reminded of the blind hermit's curse and he narrated the whole story to Kausalya. He was filled with agony as he related the circumstances Fie on the hope of surviving without Rama. What shall I gain by preserving this body, which has failed to keep my vow of love? O delighter of Raghus, who are dear to me as life, already I have lived too long without you. Ah, Janaka's daughter and Laksmana Ah, Chief of Raghu's line, who gladdened the loving heart of your father as a rain-cloud delights the Cataka bird."

Doha - 155

Crying "Rama, Rama" and again "Rama" and yet again "Rama, Rama, Rama", the king cast off his body in his agony of separation from the Chief of Raghu's line and ascended to the abode gods.


It was King Dasaratha who reaped the reward both of his life and death. His untarnished fame spred through a number of universes; as long as he lived he gazed on Sri Rama moonlike countenance and brought glory to his death by making the separation from Sri Rama his excuse for it. Stricken with grief all the queens wept and praised his comeliness of form, amiable manners, bodily might and majesty. They lamented in a variety of ways throwing themselves upon the ground again and again. Men-servants and maid-servants alike wailed in anguish and there was weeping in every house throughout the city."Today has set the sun of the solar race, the perfection of rightousness, the repository of beauty and virtues." Everyone abused Kaikeyi, who had robbed the world of its very eyes. In this way they wailed till the close of night, when all the great and enlightened hermits arrived.

Doha - 156

Then the sage Vasistha narrated a number of legends befitting the occasion and dispersed the gloom that hung over them all by light of his wisdom.


The sage caused a boat to be filled with oil and had the king's body placed in it (to guard against decomposition); he then summoned envoys and spoke to them thus, "Run quickly and to to Bharata; but break not the news about the king to anyone at any place. Approaching Bharata tell him only this much:" "The preceptor has sent for you two brothers." Hearing the sage's orders the couriers rushed along with a speed that would put an excellent steed to shame. Ever since things to take vicious turn in Ayodhya evil omens occurred before Bharata. He saw fearful dreams at night and on waking indulged in all sorts of unpleasant. He would feast Brahmanas daily and bestow gifts on them. With elaborate ritual he would sprinkle water over an image of Bhagavan Siva and invoking the great Lord in his heart, begged of Him the welfare of his parents, family and half-brothers.

Doha - 157

While Bharata was thus passing an anxious time the couriers arrived. And hearing the Guru's commands he proceeded with an invocation to Lord Ganesh.


Urging the horses to run as fast as the wind he went on his journey crossing difficult streams, hills and forests. There was such a great anxiety in his heart that nothing would please him. He thought to himself, "Would that I could fly home." Every moment jung heavy like an year, In this way Bharata drew near to the city. Evil omens occurred to him as he entered the city. Crows cawed in an mominous way at undesirable places. Donkeys and jackals gave a cry that foreboded evil , and which pierced Bharata to the heart as he listened to it. Lakes and rivers, groves and gardens had lost thier charm; while the city wore a particulary dismal look . Birds and fawns, horses and elephants were too wretched to look at, undone by the fell disease of separation from Rama. The people of the city, both men and women, were extremely miserable as though all of them had lost everything they had in their possession.

Doha - 158

The citizens met him spoke not a word; made obeisance and quietly passed on. Bharata too could enquire after welfare, his mind being obsessed with fear and grief.


The bazars and the streets repelled the sight as though a wild conflagration had broken out in the city on all sides. Kaikeyi, who was to the solar race what the moon is to the lotuses, was rejoiced to hear of her son's apprach. Preparing lights for waving round his head, she sprang up and ran glad at heart, and meeting him at the very door conducted him into her aparments. Bharata saw with wonder that while the household wore a wretched appearance like a bed of lotuess blasted by frost, Kaikeyi was as happy as a Bhila woman who had set a whole forest ablaze. Seeing her son melancholy and depressed in spirits, she asked him: "Is all well in my mother's house?" Bharata assured her that everything was well and then enquired after the health and welfare of his own family: "Tell me, where is my father and where all mothers, and where is Sita and my beloved brothers, Sri Rama and Laksman?"

Doha - 159

On hearing her son's affectionate words the sinful woman brought crocodile tears to her eyes and spoke words that pierced his ears and soul as so many shafts.


"I have accomplished everything for you, my son; and poor Manthara has been of great help to me. Only God has marred our plans a little before they could be completed; the king has departed to Indra's paradise." As soon as he heard this, Bharata was overcome with grief as an elephant who is terrified at the roar of a lion. Cryign "Father,father, Ah my father!" he fell to the ground much agitated." I could not see you before you left, nor didi you, my father, entrust me to the care of Sri Rama" Then collecting himself he got up with some effort and said, "tell me, mother, the cause of my father's demise." Hearing the words of her son she replied as one who had cut a vital part and inserted poison into it. With a glad heart the cruel and wicked woman recounted from the very beginning all that she had done.

Doha - 160

Hearing of Sri Rama's exile to the forest Bharata forgot his father's death; and realizing his heart that he was at the root of it he remained mute and stupefied.


Observing his son's distress she comforted fim like one who applied salt to a burn. "The king my son, is not fit for lamentation. He not only reaped a rich harvest of merit and renown but enjoyed life also. During his life-time he obtained all the rewards of human existence and in the end ascended to the abode of Indra (the lord of immortals). Pondering thus cease sorrowing and rule the kingdom with all its limbs (such as the army the exchequer , the ministers and so on)" The prince was utterly dismanyed to hear these words as though a festering sore had been touched by a live coal. recovering himself he heaved a deep sigh and said, "O wicked woman, you have brought complete ruin to our family. If you bore such deep malice, why did you not kill me as soon as I was born? Cutting down the tree you have watered a leaf and you have drained the pond for keeping the fish alive.


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Last Updated : February 17, 2011

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