Dialogue between Śrī Rāma and mother Kausalyā
nava gayaṃdu raghubīra manu rāju alāna samāna.
chūṭa jāni bana gavanu suni ura anaṃdu adhikāna..51.. [2-51]
The mind of Śrī Rāma (the Hero of Raghu’s race) resembled a young elephant (newly caught) with kingship for its chain. When He heard of the proposal for exiling Him to the forest He took Himself as freed and felt overjoyed in His heart.
raghukulatilaka jōri dōu hāthā. mudita mātu pada nāyau māthā..
dīnhi asīsa lāi ura līnhē. bhūṣana basana nichāvari kīnhē.. [2-51-1]
bāra bāra mukha cuṃbati mātā. nayana nēha jalu pulakita gātā..
gōda rākhi puni hṛdayaom lagāē. stravata prēnarasa payada suhāē.. [2-51-2]
prēmu pramōdu na kachu kahi jāī. raṃka dhanada padabī janu pāī..
sādara suṃdara badanu nihārī. bōlī madhura bacana mahatārī.. [2-51-3]
kahahu tāta jananī balihārī. kabahiṃ lagana muda maṃgalakārī..
sukṛta sīla sukha sīvaom suhāī. janama lābha kai avadhi aghāī.. [2-51-4]
The Crown of Raghu’s race, Śrī Rāma, joined both His palms and cheerfully bowed His head at His mother’s feet. She blessed Him and clasped Him to her bosom and scattered jewels and raiment around Him (in order to protect Him from evil). The mother kissed His lips again and again with tears of affection in her eyes and her limbs thrilling over with joy. Seating Him in her lap she pressed Him once more to her heart, while milk flowed from her graceful breasts due to excess of love. Her affection and joy were altogether beyond description; it seemed as if a pauper had attained the position of Kubera (the god of riches). Fondly regarding His lovely countenance the mother spoke to Him in endearing terms; “Tell me, dear child-I beseech you;-when will be that delightful and auspicious hour, the beautiful culmination of piety, virtue and joy and the highest reward of human birth,-“
jēhi cāhata nara nāri saba ati ārata ēhi bhāomti.
jimi cātaka cātaki tṛṣita bṛṣṭi sarada ritu svāti..52.. [2-52]
-“And for which all men and women long as anxiously as a thirsty pair of Cātaka birds for an autumnal shower during the brief period when the sun is in the same longitude as the constellation named Svātī (the Arcturus)?
tāta jāu bali bēgi nahāhū. jō mana bhāva madhura kachu khāhū..
pitu samīpa taba jāēhu bhaiā. bhai baḍai bāra jāi bali maiā.. [2-52-1]
mātu bacana suni ati anukūlā. janu sanēha surataru kē phūlā..
sukha makaraṃda bharē śriyamūlā. nirakhi rāma manu bhavaru na bhūlā.. [2-52-2]
dharama dhurīna dharama gati jānī. kahēu mātu sana ati mṛdu bānī..
pitāom dīnha mōhi kānana rājū. jahaom saba bhāomti mōra baḍa kājū.. [2-52-3]
āyasu dēhi mudita mana mātā. jēhiṃ muda maṃgala kānana jātā..
jani sanēha basa ḍarapasi bhōrēṃ. ānaomdu aṃba anugraha tōrēṃ.. [2-52-4]
“I adjure you, my darling, to bathe quickly and take some sweet dish of your choice. See your father after that, my boy; for I protest it is already too late.” Even on hearing these most agreeable words of His mother, which were blossoms as it were of the celestial tree of affection, laden with the honey of joy and fountains of worldly prosperity, the bee of Śrī Rāma’s mind could not be lured by their charm. A champion of righteousness that He was, He clearly discerned the path of duty and spoke to His mother in exceedingly polite terms. “Father has bestowed on me the kingdom of the forest, where there will be great opportunities for me in everyway. Therefore, grant me leave with a cheerful heart, so that my journey to the forest may be attended with joy and blessing. Be not obsessed with erroneous fears due to affection, dear mother; by your goodwill I shall be ever happy.”
baraṣa cāridasa bipina basi kari pitu bacana pramāna.
āi pāya puni dēkhihau manu jani karasi malāna..53.. [2-53]
“Spending four years and ten in the forest and having obeyed my father’s commands I will come back and behold your feet again; be not sad at heart.”
bacana binīta madhura raghubara kē. sara sama lagē mātu ura karakē..
sahami sūkhi suni sītali bānī. jimi javāsa parēṃ pāvasa pānī.. [2-53-1]
kahi na jāi kachu hṛdaya biṣādū. manahu mṛgī suni kēhari nādū..
nayana sajala tana thara thara kāompī. mājahi khāi mīna janu māpī.. [2-53-2]
dhari dhīraju suta badanu nihārī. gadagada bacana kahati mahatārī..
tāta pitahi tumha prānapiārē. dēkhi mudita nita carita tumhārē.. [2-53-3]
rāju dēna kahu subha dina sādhā. kahēu jāna bana kēhiṃ aparādhā..
tāta sunāvahu mōhi nidānū. kō dinakara kula bhayau kṛsānū.. [2-53-4]
The gentle and sweet words of Śrī Rāma (the Chief of the Raghus) pierced the mother’s heart and rankled there. Alarmed to hear His serene speech she turned pale in the same way as the Yavāsaka plant is blasted by a shower in the monsoon. The agony of her heart was beyond description like that of a doe that has heard a lion’s roar. Her eyes were wet with tears and her body violently shook like a fish that had got inebriated by sucking the scum raised by the first monsoon shower. Recovering herself and looking her son in the face the mother spoke in faltering accents, “My boy, you are dear as life to your father, to whom it is a constant delight to watch your doings from day to day. He had got an auspicious day fixed for installing you as the prince-regent; for what offence has he asked you to proceed to the woods? Let me know the reason, my darling; who is it that has served as fire to consume the solar race?”
nirakhi rāma rukha sacivasuta kāranu kahēu bujhāi.
suni prasaṃgu rahi mūka jimi dasā barani nahiṃ jāi..54.. [2-54]
Reading in Śrī Rāma’s eyes His tacit consent Sumantra’s son (who had obviously accompanied the Prince) explained the reason. The mother was struck dumb as it were to hear the episode; the state of her mind could not be described in words.
rākhi na sakai na kahi saka jāhū. duhūom bhāomti ura dāruna dāhū..
likhata sudhākara gā likhi rāhū. bidhi gati bāma sadā saba kāhū.. [2-54-1]
dharama sanēha ubhayaom mati ghērī. bhai gati sāompa chuchuṃdari kērī..
rākhau sutahi karau anurōdhū. dharamu jāi aru baṃdhu birōdhū.. [2-54-2]
kahau jāna bana tau baḍai hānī. saṃkaṭa sōca bibasa bhai rānī..
bahuri samujhi tiya dharamu sayānī. rāmu bharatu dōu suta sama jānī.. [2-54-3]
sarala subhāu rāma mahatārī. bōlī bacana dhīra dhari bhārī..
tāta jāu bali kīnhēhu nīkā. pitu āyasu saba dharamaka ṭīkā.. [2-54-4]
She could neither detain her Son nor yet say ‘Go’; she felt terrible agony in her heart in either event. “It seemed as though one was going to write ‘moon’ and wrote ‘Rāhu’ (the demon who is believed by the Hindus to devour the moon during a lunar eclipse) instead through a slip of the pen,” she said to herself. “The ways of the Creator (Brahmā) are always adverse to all,” she concluded. Kausalyā’s judgment was swayed on the one hand by her sense of duty and on the other by her affection. She found herself on the horns of a dilemma like a snake that has caught hold of a musk-rat*. “If I press my son and detain him, the moral code will be violated and bad blood created between brothers. And if I allow him to proceed to the woods, it will be a grievous loss.” The queen thus found herself faced with an embarrassing situation and was overwhelmed with grief. Again, realizing the duty of a woman and remembering that both Rāma and Bharata were equally her sons the prudent Kausalyā (Śrī Rāma’s mother), who had a guileless disposition, spoke as follows with great courage, “You have done well, my child, I swear; a father’s command is the most sacred of all obligations.”
- * It is popularly believed in India that if a snake once catches hold of a musk-rat mistaking it for an ordinary rat and latter discovers its identity, it can neither devour it nor disgorge it. For if it devours it, it is sure to die; and if it disgorges it, it goes blind.
rāju dēna kahi dīnha banu mōhi na sō dukha lēsu.
tumha binu bharatahi bhūpatihi prajahi pracaṃḍa kalēsu..55.. [2-55]
“That having promised to bestow on you the kingdom of Ayodhyā your father has now decided to exile you to the woods does not make me the least sorry. But your absence from our midst will mean a terrible ordeal to Bharata, to the king himself and to the people.”
jauṃ kēvala pitu āyasu tātā. tau jani jāhu jāni baḍai mātā..
jauṃ pitu mātu kahēu bana jānā. tauṃ kānana sata avadha samānā.. [2-55-1]
pitu banadēva mātu banadēvī. khaga mṛga carana sarōruha sēvī..
aṃtahu ucita nṛpahi banabāsū. baya bilōki hiyaom hōi harāomsū.. [2-55-2]
baḍabhāgī banu avadha abhāgī. jō raghubaṃsatilaka tumha tyāgī..
jauṃ suta kahau saṃga mōhi lēhū. tumharē hṛdayaom hōi saṃdēhū.. [2-55-3]
pūta parama priya tumha sabahī kē. prāna prāna kē jīvana jī kē..
tē tumha kahahu mātu bana jāūom. maiṃ suni bacana baiṭhi pachitāūom.. [2-55-4]
“In any case if it be your father’s command alone, my boy, then go not, remembering that a mother ranks higher than one’s father. If, on the other hand, both father and mother have asked you to proceed to the woods then, of course, the forest will equal a hundred cities like Ayodhyā, with the sylvan gods for your father, the sylvan goddesses for your mother and the birds and beasts to wait upon your lotus feet. At all events it is but proper for a king to dwell in a forest in the evening of his life; it is your tender age which fills my heart with agony. How blessed is the forest and how luckless Ayodhyā, that will be deserted by you, O crown of Raghu’s line! If I ask you, my boy, to take me with you, your mind will be filled with doubt. You are supremely dear to all, my child; you are the life of our life, the vitality of our soul. As such you say, “Mother, I go to the forest!” while I remain rooted to my seat even on hearing these words and repent.
yaha bicāri nahiṃ karau haṭha jhūṭha sanēhu baḍhaāi.
māni mātu kara nāta bali surati bisari jani jāi..56.. [2-56]
Realizing this I do not press my suit exaggerating my false love. I only pray that remembering me as a mother you should not allow me to slip out of your mind.
dēva pitara saba tunhahi gōsāī. rākhahu palaka nayana kī nāī..
avadhi aṃbu priya parijana mīnā. tumha karunākara dharama dhurīnā.. [2-56-1]
asa bicāri sōi karahu upāī. sabahi jiata jēhiṃ bhēṃṭēhu āī..
jāhu sukhēna banahi bali jāūom. kari anātha jana parijana gāūom.. [2-56-2]
saba kara āju sukṛta phala bītā. bhayau karāla kālu biparītā..
bahubidhi bilapi carana lapaṭānī. parama abhāgini āpuhi jānī.. [2-56-3]
dāruna dusaha dāhu ura byāpā. barani na jāhiṃ bilāpa kalāpā..
rāma uṭhāi mātu ura lāī. kahi mṛdu bacana bahuri samujhāī.. [2-56-4]
May all the gods and manes protect you, O lord of the earth, as the eyelids protect the eyes. The term of exile is like water, while your near and dear ones resemble the fish that live on it; as for yourself you are a fountain of mercy and a champion of virtue. Remembering this please devise some means to see that you come back in time to find them all alive. I adjure you to proceed to the woods in good cheer abandoning your servants, family and the whole city. The fruit of everyone’s meritorious deeds is exhausted today and the tide of fortune has turned against us, assuming a sullen aspect.” Thus wailing in many ways mother Kausalyā clung to Śrī Rāma’s feet accounting herself the most unlucky woman. Her heart was filled with terrible and deep agony and the profusion of wailings was beyond all description. Śrī Rāma lifted His mother and pressed her to His bosom, and then comforted her with soothing words.
samācāra tēhi samaya suni sīya uṭhī akulāi.
jāi sāsu pada kamala juga baṃdi baiṭhi siru nāi..57.. [2-57]
That very moment Sītā heard the news and rose in great agitation. She approached Her mother-in-law, reverenced her lotus feet and sat down bowing Her head.
dīnhi asīsa sāsu mṛdu bānī. ati sukumāri dēkhi akulānī..
baiṭhi namitamukha sōcati sītā. rūpa rāsi pati prēma punītā.. [2-57-1]
calana cahata bana jīvananāthū. kēhi sukṛtī sana hōihi sāthū..
kī tanu prāna ki kēvala prānā. bidhi karatabu kachu jāi na jānā.. [2-57-2]
cāru carana nakha lēkhati dharanī. nūpura mukhara madhura kabi baranī..
manahu prēma basa binatī karahīṃ. hamahi sīya pada jani pariharahīṃ.. [2-57-3]
maṃju bilōcana mōcati bārī. bōlī dēkhi rāma mahatārī..
tāta sunahu siya ati sukumārī. sāsu sasura parijanahi piārī.. [2-57-4]
The mother-in-law blessed Her in gentle accents and felt distressed when she regarded Her most delicate frame. With Her head bent low Sītā, who was beauty personified and cherished unalloyed love towards Her Lord, sat reflecting, “The lord of my life would depart to the forest; it has yet to be seen who will have the good fortune to accompany Him-my body and soul together or my soul alone. What God intends to do cannot be foreseen even partly.” As She scratched the ground with the lovely nails of Her toes, Her anklets produced a musical sound, af if-so declare the poets- they lovingly prayed that Sītā’s feet may never abandon them. Seeing Her shed tears from Her charming eyes, Śrī Rāma’s mother broke the silence: “Listen, my dear child: Sītā is exceedingly delicate and the pet of her father-in-law and mothers-in-law and the whole family.”
pitā janaka bhūpāla mani sasura bhānukula bhānu.
pati rabikula kairava bipina bidhu guna rūpa nidhānu..58.. [2-58]
She has for her father Janaka, the jewel among princes, while her father-in-law is no other than the sun of the solar race (your father); as for her lord (yourself), he is a veritable moon for the lily-like progeny of the sun-god and a repository of goodness and beauty.”
maiṃ puni putrabadhū priya pāī. rūpa rāsi guna sīla suhāī..
nayana putari kari prīti baḍhaāī. rākhēu prāna jānikihiṃ lāī.. [2-58-1]
kalapabēli jimi bahubidhi lālī. sīṃci sanēha salila pratipālī..
phūlata phalata bhayau bidhi bāmā. jāni na jāi kāha parināmā.. [2-58-2]
palaomga pīṭha taji gōda hiṃḍaōrā. siyaom na dīnha pagu avani kaṭhōrā..
jianamūri jimi jōgavata rahaūom. dīpa bāti nahiṃ ṭārana kahaūom.. [2-58-3]
sōi siya calana cahati bana sāthā. āyasu kāha hōi raghunāthā.
caṃda kirana rasa rasika cakōrī. rabi rukha nayana sakai kimi jōrī.. [2-58-4]
Again I have found in her a beloved daughter-in-law, who is amiable and accomplished, and beauty personified. I have treated her as the very apple of my eye and loved her ever more; nay, my very life is centred in Jānakī. I have fostered her in many ways as a celestial creeper and nourished her by feeding her with the water of affection. Just when the creeper was about to blossom and bear fruit God turned against me and there is no knowing what will be the consequence. Borne invariably on a bedstead, seat, swing or my own lap Sītā has never set her foot on hard ground. I have been tending her like a life-giving herb and never ask her even to stir the wick of a lamp. The same Sītā would accompany you to the woods, and awaits your orders, O Lord of the Raghus! How can a female Cakora bird, who loves to feed on the nectar borne on the rays of the moon, bear to fix her gaze on the sun?”
kari kēhari nisicara carahiṃ duṣṭa jaṃtu bana bhūri.
biṣa bāṭikāom ki sōha suta subhaga sajīvani mūri..59.. [2-59]
Hosts of wild elephants, lions, demons and other fell creatures roam about in the woods. Can a beautiful life-giving herb fit in with a poison-wood, my boy?”
bana hita kōla kirāta kisōrī. racīṃ biraṃci biṣaya sukha bhōrī..
pāina kṛmi jimi kaṭhina subhāū. tinhahi kalēsu na kānana kāū.. [2-59-1]
kai tāpasa tiya kānana jōgū. jinha tapa hētu tajā saba bhōgū..
siya bana basihi tāta kēhi bhāomtī. citralikhita kapi dēkhi ḍērātī.. [2-59-2]
surasara subhaga banaja bana cārī. ḍābara jōgu ki haṃsakumārī..
asa bicāri jasa āyasu hōī. maiṃ sikha dēu jānakihi sōī.. [2-59-3]
jauṃ siya bhavana rahai kaha aṃbā. mōhi kahaom hōi bahuta avalaṃbā..
suni raghubīra mātu priya bānī. sīla sanēha sudhāom janu sānī.. [2-59-4]
For residing in the forest God has created Kola and Kirāta girls, who are foreign to sensuous pleasures. Adamantine by nature like the insect living on stone, they never experience any hardship in the woods. Another class fit for the forest is the hermit woman, who has renounced all pleasures for the sake of penance. But how, my son, will Sītā live in the forest;-she who is frightened to see even the picture of a monkey? Is a female cygnet, who disports in the lovely lotus-beds of the Mānasa lake, fit for a muddy puddle? First ponder this; then as you order I will instruct Janaka’s daughter. “If she stays at home,” the mother continued, “that will mean a great solace to me.” When Śrī Rāma (the Hero of Raghu’s race) heard this endearing speech of His mother, imbued as it were with the nectar of grace and affection-
- * The names of two well-known hilly tribes.
kahi priya bacana bibēkamaya kīnhi mātu paritōṣa.
lagē prabōdhana jānakihi pragaṭi bipina guna dōṣa..60.. [2-60]
He comforted her by addressing tender and wise words to her; and then He started admonishing Jānakī by disclosing to Her the advantages and disadvantages of forest life.