Preceded by Dasaratha’s wives and others, Vasishta advances to the hermitage of Rama. Kausalya, on the way, shows to her co-wives the balls of Ingudi fruit-pulp offered to the spirits of Dasaratha by Rama on blades of Dabha grass, the raised spikes of which pointed towards the south; along the bank of Mandakini River. Kausalya was stricken with anguish for her deceased husband. Reaching the hermitage, both Rama and Lakshmana hold the feet of the Queens in salutation. Kausalya feels sad at the fate of Seetha in the forest, when the latter touches her feet. Rama holds the feet of his preceptor and takes his seat. Accompanied by his ministers, Bharata also sits nearby.
वसिष्ठः पुरतः कृत्वा दारान् दशरथस्य च |
अभिचक्राम तं देशं रामदर्शनतर्षितः || २-१०४-१
abhichakraama taM deshaM raamadarshanatarShitaH || 2-104-1
Eager to see Rama again, Vasishta approached that place, preceded by Dasaratha’s wives .
राजपत्न्यश्च गच्छन्त्यो मन्दं मन्दाकिनीम् प्रति |
ददृशुस्तत्र तत्तीर्थं रामलक्ष्मणसेवितम् || २-१०४-२
dadR^ishustatra tattiirthaM raamalakShmaNasevitam || 2-104-2
The king’s wives, while moving slowly towards River Mandakini, saw the ford there, being frequented by Rama and Lakshmana .
कौसल्या बाष्पपूर्णेन मुखेन परिशुष्यता |
सुमित्रामब्रवीद्दीना याश्चान्या राजयोषितः || २-१०४-३
sumitraamabraviiddiinaa yaashchaanyaa raajayoShitaH || 2-104-3
With a gloomy and emaciated face, filled with tears, Kausalya spoke to Sumitra and other royal women (as follows): .
इदम् तेषामनाथानाम् क्लिष्टमक्लिष्टकर्मणाम् |
वने प्राक्कलनम्तीर्थम् ये ते निर्विषयीकृताः || २-१०४-४
vane praakkalanamtiirtham ye te nirviShayiikR^itaaH || 2-104-4
“This is the ford, located in the eastern region of the forest, frequented by Seetha, Rama and Lakshmana, banished from the kingdom; those unfortunate persons of illustrious exploits who have no country.” .
इतस्सुमित्रे पुत्रस्ते सदा जलमतन्द्रितः |
स्वयं हरति सौमित्रिर्मम पुत्रस्य कारणात् || २-१०४-५
svayaM harati saumitrirmama putrasya kaaraNaat || 2-104-5
“O, Sumitra! Lakshmana, your son always draws water himself from here unwearyingly for the sake of my son.” .
जघन्यमपि ते पुत्रः कृतवान्न तु गर्हितः |
भ्रातुर्यदर्थसहितं सर्वं तद्विहितम् गुणैः || २-१०४-६
bhraaturyadarthasahitaM sarvaM tadvihitam guNaiH || 2-104-6
“Through engaged in an inferior act (of carrying water), your son is not to be censured because all that service rendered to his brother is enjoined with virtues.” .
अद्यायमपि ते पुत्रः क्लेशानामतथोचितः |
नीचानर्थसमाचारं सज्जं कर्म प्रमुञ्चतु || २-१०४-७
niichaanarthasamaachaaraM sajjaM karma pramuJNchatu || 2-104-7
“Your son too, who is not accustomed to such pains, will indeed be relived now of this mean, wretched and laborious task.” .
दक्षिणाग्रेषु दर्भेषु सा ददर्श महीतले |
पितुरिङ्गुदिपिण्याकम् व्यस्तमायतलोचना || २-१०४-८
pituriN^gudipiNyaakam vyastamaayatalochanaa || 2-104-8
The large-eyed Kausalya observed a ball made of Ingudi pulp, which was placed by Rama in honour of his father on the ground, on aheap of Darbha grass, the raised spikes of which pointed towards the south .
तं भूमौ पितुरार्तेन न्यस्तं रामेण वीक्ष्यसा |
उवाच देवीइ कौसल्या सर्वा दशरथस्त्रियः || २-१०४-९
uvaacha deviii kausalyaa sarvaa dasharathastriyaH || 2-104-9
Seeing that ball of food placed on the ground by the unfortunate Rama for his father, the Queen Kausalya spoke to all those wives of Dasaratha (as follows): .
इदमिक्ष्वाकुनाथस्य राघवस्य महाअत्मनः |
राघवेण पितुर्दत्तम् पश्यतै तद्यथाविधि || २-१०४-१०
raaghaveNa piturdattam pashyatai tadyathaavidhi || 2-104-10
“See this ball of food offered traditionally by Rama in honour of his father, the high-souled Dasaratha the Lord of Ikshvaku race.” .
तस्य देवसमानस्य पार्थिवस्य महात्मनः |
नैतदौपयिकम् मन्ये भुक्तभोगस्य भोजनम् || २-१०४-११
naitadaupayikam manye bhuktabhogasya bhojanam || 2-104-11
“I do not consider this offering as befitting for that great-souled king, who was like unto a God and who lived amidst every pleasure.” .
चतुर्न्ताम् महीम् भुक्त्वा महेन्द्रसदृशो विभुः |
कथमिङ्गुदिपिण्याकम् स भुङ्त्के वसुधादिपः || २-१०४-१२
kathamiN^gudipiNyaakam sa bhuN^tke vasudhaadipaH || 2-104-12
“How can that Lord of the earth, Dasartha, equal to the Lord of celestials and a mighty man, having enjoyed the earth with its four quarters, the boundaries of which are the oceans, eat a cake of Ingudi pulp?” .
अतो दुःखतरम् लोके न किंञ्चित्प्रतिभाति मा |
यत्र रामः पितुर्दद्यादिङ्गुदिक्षोदमृद्धिमान् || २-१०४-१३
yatra raamaH piturdadyaadiN^gudikShodamR^iddhimaan || 2-104-13
“I do not consider any thing painful to me on earth than when Rama the man of fortune offering a cake of Ingudi pulp to his father.” .
रामेणेङ्गुदिपिण्याकं पित्तुर्दत्तं समीक्ष्य मे |
कथं दुःखेन हृदयम् न स्पोटति सहस्रधा || २-१०४-१४
kathaM duHkhena hR^idayam na spoTati sahasradhaa || 2-104-14
“Seeing this offering, a cake of Ingudi pulp, of Rama to his father, why does my heart not break into a thousand pieces with anguish?” .
श्रुतिस्तु खल्वियं सत्य लौकिकी प्रतिभाति मा |
यदन्नः पुरुषो भवति तदन्नास्तस्य देवताः || २-१०४-१५
yadannaH puruSho bhavati tadannaastasya devataaH || 2-104-15
“It indeed occurs to me that the saying among men that the food eaten by man is also consumed by his Gods is true.” .
एवमार्तां सपत्न्यस्ता जग्मुराश्वास्य तां तदा |
ददृशुश्चश्रमे रामं स्वर्गच्युतमिवामरम् || २-१०४-१६
dadR^ishushchashrame raamaM svargachyutamivaamaram || 2-104-16
Consoling Kausalya thus afflicted by grief, Kausalya’s companions then proceeded further and saw Rama in his hermitage, who resembled an Immortal driven out of Paradise .
सर्वभोगैः परित्यक्तं रामं सम्प्रेक्ष्य मातरः |
आर्त मुमुचुरश्रुणि सस्वरं शोककर्शताः || २-१०४-१७
aarta mumuchurashruNi sasvaraM shokakarshataaH || 2-104-17
Beholding Rama bereft of all enjoyments, his mothers agonized as they were with grief, emitted cries and allowed tears to flow .
तासां रामः समुत्थाय जग्रह चरणान् शुभान् |
मातृइणां मनुजव्याघ्रः सर्वासां सत्यसंगरः || २-१०४-१८
maatR^iiNaaM manujavyaaghraH sarvaasaaM satyasaMgaraH || 2-104-18
Rama, the tiger among men, true to his promise raised up and took hold of the auspicious feet of all his mothers .
ताह् पाणिभिः सुखस्सर्शैद्वङ्गुलितलैश्शुभैः |
प्रममार्जू रजः पृष्ठाद्रामस्यायतलोचनाः || २-१०४-१९
pramamaarjuu rajaH pR^iShThaadraamasyaayatalochanaaH || 2-104-19
Those large-eyed Queens, by means of their pleasantly touching soft fingers and palms as well as charming hands, wiped the dust from Rama’s back .
सौमित्रिरपि ताः सर्वा मातृईः सम्प्रेक्ष्य दुःखितः |
आभ्यावादयदासक्तं शनैरामादनन्तरम् || २-१०४-२०
aabhyaavaadayadaasaktaM shanairaamaadanantaram || 2-104-20
Seeing all those mothers, the wailing Lakshmana too slowly paid obeisance devotedly to them all by bowing to each in turn, immediately after Rama .
यथा रामे तथा तस्मिन् सर्वा ववृतिरे स्त्रियः |
वृत्तिम् दशरथाज्जाते लक्ष्मणे शुभलक्षणे || २-१०४-२१
vR^ittim dasharathaajjaate lakShmaNe shubhalakShaNe || 2-104-21
All Dasaratha’s wives manifested the same affection towards Lakshmana, who was born of Dasaratha and exceedingly handsome, as they did to Rama .
सीतापि चरणांस्तसामुपसम्गृह्य दुः खिता |
श्वश्रूणामश्रुपूर्णाक्षि सा बभूवाग्रतः स्थिता || २-१०४-२२
shvashruuNaamashrupuurNaakShi saa babhuuvaagrataH sthitaa || 2-104-22
Then, the grief-stricken Seetha, her eyes filed with tears, also touched the feet of her mothers-in-laws and stood before them .
तां परिष्वज्य दुःखार्तां माता दुहितरम् यथा |
वनवासकृशां दीनां कौसल्या वाक्यमब्रवीत् || २-१०४-२३
vanavaasakR^ishaaM diinaaM kausalyaa vaakyamabraviit || 2-104-23
Kausalya embraced the miserable Seetha as a mother her daughter, she who was emaciated because of her stay in the forest and afflicted with grief, and spoke the following words: .
विदेहराजस्य सुता स्नुषा दशरथस्य च |
रामपत्नी कथं दुःखं सम्प्राप्ता निर्जने वने || २-१०४-२४
raamapatnii kathaM duHkhaM sampraaptaa nirjane vane || 2-104-24
“How has the daughter of King Janaka, the daughter-in-law of King Dasaratha and Rama’s wife, fallen into such a wretched plight that she is living in a desolate forest?” .
पद्ममातपसन्तप्तं परिक्लिष्टमिवोत्पलम् |
काञ्चनं रजसा ध्वस्तम् क्स्लिष्टं चन्द्रमिवाम्बुदैः || २-१०४-२५
मुखम् ते प्रेक्ष्य माम् शोको दहत्यग्निरिवाश्रयम् |
भृशम् मनसि वैदेहि व्यसनारणिसम्भवः || २-१०४-२६
kaaJNchanaM rajasaa dhvastam ksliShTaM chandramivaambudaiH || 2-104-25
mukham te prekShya maam shoko dahatyagnirivaashrayam |
bhR^isham manasi vaidehi vyasanaaraNisambhavaH || 2-104-26
“O, Seetha! Seeing your face, like a lotus withered with heart or a faded lily or gold defiled with dust or a moon hidden by the clouds, the fire of grief produced by the firewood of adversity and existing in my mind burns me severely.” .
ब्रुवन्त्यमेवमार्तायां जनन्यां भरताग्रजः |
पादावासाद्य जग्राह वसिष्टस्य च राघवः || २-१०४-२७
paadaavaasaadya jagraaha vasiShTasya cha raaghavaH || 2-104-27
While the sorrowful mother was speaking thus, Rama the elder brother of Bharata approached Vasishta and took hold of his feet in salutation .
पुरोहितस्यग्नि समस्य वै तदा |
प्रगृह्य पादौ सुसमृद्धतेजसः |
सहैव तेनोपनिवेश राघवः || २-१०४-२८
pragR^ihya paadau susamR^iddhatejasaH |
sahaiva tenopanivesha raaghavaH || 2-104-28
Then, Rama holding the feet of that priest, who was equal of Agni the fire and endowed with very great splendour, even as Indra the Lord of celestials would clasp the feet of Brihaspati, sat down by his side .
ततो जघन्यं सहितैः समन्त्रिभिः |
पुरप्रधानैश्च सहैव सैनिकैः |
जनेन धर्मज्ञतमेन धर्मवा |
नुपोपविष्टो भरतस्तदाग्रजम् || २-१०४-२९
purapradhaanaishcha sahaiva sainikaiH |
janena dharmajJNatamena dharmavaa |
nupopaviShTo bharatastadaagrajam || 2-104-29
Then, after Rama and Vasishta sat, Bharata the pious man along with his counsellors, the leading citizens, warriors and virtuous people seated himself at a lowel level at a proximity to Rama .
उपोपविष्टस्तु तदा स वीर्यवां |
स्तपस्विवेषेण समीक्ष्य राघवम् |
श्रिया ज्वलन्तं भरतः कृताञ्जलि |
र्यथा महेन्द्रः प्रयतः प्रजापतिम् || २-१०४-३०
stapasviveSheNa samiikShya raaghavam |
shriyaa jvalantaM bharataH kR^itaaJNjali |
ryathaa mahendraH prayataH prajaapatim || 2-104-30
Seeing Rama in the garb of an ascetic, radiant in majesty, the extremely powerful Bharata, paying obeisance to him with joined palms, then took his place in his presence, as the devoted Indra the Lord of celestials sits before Brahma the Lord of creation .
किमेष वाक्यम् भरतो.द्य राघवं |
प्रणम्य स्त्कृत्य च साधु वक्ष्यति |
इतीव तस्यार्यजनस्य तत्त्वतो |
बभूव कौतूहलमुत्तमम् तदा || २-१०४-३१
praNamya stkR^itya cha saadhu vakShyati |
itiiva tasyaaryajanasya tattvato |
babhuuva kautuuhalamuttamam tadaa || 2-104-31
A highest curiosity arose in the minds of those worthy men (assembled there) as to what persuasive words Bharata at that moment would utter, while addressing Rama, having offered salutation and homage to him .
स राघवः सत्यधृतिश्च लक्ष्मणो |
महानुभावो भरतश्च धार्मिकः |
वृताः सुहृद्भिश्च विरेजुरध्वरे |
यथा सद्स्यः सहितास्त्रयोऽग्नयः || २-१०४-३२
mahaanubhaavo bharatashcha dhaarmikaH |
vR^itaaH suhR^idbhishcha virejuradhvare |
yathaa sadsyaH sahitaastrayo.agnayaH || 2-104-32
That Rama endowed with truth and forbearance with Lakshmana who was bestowed with magnanimity and the pious Bharata, surrounded by his companions, were as resplendent as the three sacrificial Fires (known by the names of Garhapatya, Ahavamiya and Dakshina), accompanied by the superintending priests .