: Åukadeva GosvÄmÄ« said: The son of MahÄrÄja Khaá¹vÄá¹
ga was DÄ«rghabÄhu, and his son was the celebrated MahÄrÄja Raghu. From MahÄrÄja Raghu came Aja, and from Aja was born the great personality MahÄrÄja DaÅaratha.
: Being prayed for by the demigods, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth Himself, directly appeared with His expansion and expansions of the expansion. Their holy names were RÄma, Laká¹£maá¹a, Bharata and Åatrughna. These celebrated incarnations thus appeared in four forms as the sons of MahÄrÄja DaÅaratha.
: O King ParÄ«ká¹£it, the transcendental activities of Lord RÄmacandra have been described by great saintly persons who have seen the truth. Because you have heard again and again about Lord RÄmacandra, the husband of mother SÄ«tÄ, I shall describe these activities only in brief. Please listen.
: To keep the promise of His father intact, Lord RÄmacandra immediately gave up the position of king and, accompanied by His wife, mother SÄ«tÄ, wandered from one forest to another on His lotus feet, which were so delicate that they were unable to bear even the touch of SÄ«tÄâs palms. The Lord was also accompanied by HanumÄn [or by another monkey, SugrÄ«va], king of the monkeys, and by His own younger brother Lord Laká¹£maá¹a, both of whom gave Him relief from the fatigue of wandering in the forest. Having cut off the nose and ears of ÅÅ«rpaá¹akhÄ, thus disfiguring her, the Lord was separated from mother SÄ«tÄ. He therefore became angry, moving His eyebrows and thus frightening the ocean, who then allowed the Lord to construct a bridge to cross the ocean. Subsequently, the Lord entered the kingdom of RÄvaá¹a to kill him, like a fire devouring a forest. May that Supreme Lord, RÄmacandra, give us all protection.
: In the arena of the sacrifice performed by ViÅvÄmitra, Lord RÄmacandra, the King of AyodhyÄ, killed many demons, RÄká¹£asas and uncivilized men who wandered at night in the mode of darkness. May Lord RÄmacandra, who killed these demons in the presence of Laká¹£maá¹a, be kind enough to give us protection.
: O King, the pastimes of Lord RÄmacandra were wonderful, like those of a baby elephant. In the assembly where mother SÄ«tÄ was to choose her husband, in the midst of the heroes of this world, He broke the bow belonging to Lord Åiva. This bow was so heavy that it was carried by three hundred men, but Lord RÄmacandra bent and strung it and broke it in the middle, just as a baby elephant breaks a stick of sugarcane. Thus the Lord achieved the hand of mother SÄ«tÄ, who was equally as endowed with transcendental qualities of form, beauty, behavior, age and nature. Indeed, she was the goddess of fortune who constantly rests on the chest of the Lord. While returning from SÄ«tÄâs home after gaining her at the assembly of competitors, Lord RÄmacandra met ParaÅurÄma. Although ParaÅurÄma was very proud, having rid the earth of the royal order twenty-one times, he was defeated by the Lord, who appeared to be a ká¹£atriya of the royal order.
: Carrying out the order of His father, who was bound by a promise to his wife, Lord RÄmacandra left behind His kingdom, opulence, friends, well-wishers, residence and everything else, just as a liberated soul gives up his life, and went to the forest with SÄ«tÄ.
: While wandering in the forest, where He accepted a life of hardship, carrying His invincible bow and arrows in His hand, Lord RÄmacandra deformed RÄvaá¹aâs sister, who was polluted with lusty desires, by cutting off her nose and ears. He also killed her fourteen thousand RÄká¹£asa friends, headed by Khara, TriÅira and DÅ«á¹£aá¹a.
: O King ParÄ«ká¹£it, when RÄvaá¹a, who had ten heads on his shoulders, heard about the beautiful and attractive features of SÄ«tÄ, his mind was agitated by lusty desires, and he went to kidnap her. To distract Lord RÄmacandra from His ÄÅrama, RÄvaá¹a sent MÄrÄ«ca in the form of a golden deer, and when Lord RÄmacandra saw that wonderful deer, He left His residence and followed it and finally killed it with a sharp arrow, just as Lord Åiva killed Daká¹£a.
: When RÄmacandra entered the forest and Laká¹£maá¹a was also absent, the worst of the RÄká¹£asas, RÄvaá¹a, kidnapped SÄ«tÄdevÄ«, the daughter of the King of Videha, just as a tiger seizes unprotected sheep when the shepherd is absent. Then Lord RÄmacandra wandered in the forest with His brother Laká¹£maá¹a as if very much distressed due to separation from His wife. Thus He showed by His personal example the condition of a person attached to women.
: Lord RÄmacandra, whose lotus feet are worshiped by Lord BrahmÄ and Lord Åiva, had assumed the form of a human being. Thus He performed the funeral ceremony of Jaá¹Äyu, who was killed by RÄvaá¹a. The Lord then killed the demon named Kabandha, and after making friends with the monkey chiefs, killing VÄli and arranging for the deliverance of mother SÄ«tÄ, He went to the beach of the ocean.
: After reaching the beach, Lord RÄmacandra fasted for three days, awaiting the arrival of the ocean personified. When the ocean did not come, the Lord exhibited His pastimes of anger, and simply by His glancing over the ocean, all the living entities within it, including the crocodiles and sharks, were agitated by fear. Then the personified ocean fearfully approached Lord RÄmacandra, taking all paraphernalia to worship Him. Falling at the Lordâs lotus feet, the personified ocean spoke as follows.
: O all-pervading Supreme Person, we are dull-minded and did not understand who You are, but now we understand that You are the Supreme Person, the master of the entire universe, the unchanging and original Personality of Godhead. The demigods are infatuated with the mode of goodness, the PrajÄpatis with the mode of passion, and the lord of ghosts with the mode of ignorance, but You are the master of all these qualities.
: My Lord, You may use my water as You like. Indeed, You may cross it and go to the abode of RÄvaá¹a, who is the great source of disturbance and crying for the three worlds. He is the son of ViÅravÄ, but is condemned like urine. Please go kill him and thus regain Your wife, SÄ«tÄdevÄ«. O great hero, although my water presents no impediment to Your going to Laá¹
kÄ, please construct a bridge over it to spread Your transcendental fame. Upon seeing this wonderfully uncommon deed of Your Lordship, all the great heroes and kings in the future will glorify You.
: Åukadeva GosvÄmÄ« said: After constructing a bridge over the ocean by throwing into the water the peaks of mountains whose trees and other vegetation had been shaken by the hands of great monkeys, Lord RÄmacandra went to Laá¹
kÄ to release SÄ«tÄdevÄ« from the clutches of RÄvaá¹a. With the direction and help of VibhÄ«á¹£aá¹a, RÄvaá¹aâs brother, the Lord, along with the monkey soldiers, headed by SugrÄ«va, NÄ«la and HanumÄn, entered RÄvaá¹aâs kingdom, Laá¹
kÄ, which had previously been burnt by HanumÄn.
: After entering Laá¹
kÄ, the monkey soldiers, led by chiefs like SugrÄ«va, NÄ«la and HanumÄn, occupied all the sporting houses, granaries, treasuries, palace doorways, city gates, assembly houses, palace frontages and even the resting houses of the pigeons. When the cityâs crossroads, platforms, flags and golden waterpots on its domes were all destroyed, the entire city of Laá¹
kÄ appeared like a river disturbed by a herd of elephants.
: When RÄvaá¹a, the master of the RÄká¹£asas, saw the disturbances created by the monkey soldiers, he called for Nikumbha, Kumbha, DhÅ«mrÄká¹£a, Durmukha, SurÄntaka, NarÄntaka and other RÄká¹£asas and also his son Indrajit. Thereafter he called for Prahasta, AtikÄya, Vikampana and finally Kumbhakará¹a. Then he induced all his followers to fight against the enemies.
: Lord RÄmacandra, surrounded by Laká¹£maá¹a and monkey soldiers like SugrÄ«va, HanumÄn, GandhamÄda, NÄ«la, Aá¹
gada, JÄmbavÄn and Panasa, attacked the soldiers of the RÄká¹£asas, who were fully equipped with various invincible weapons like swords, lances, bows, prÄsas, á¹á¹£á¹is, Åakti arrows, khaá¸gas and tomaras.
gada and the other commanders of the soldiers of RÄmacandra faced the elephants, infantry, horses and chariots of the enemy and hurled against them big trees, mountain peaks, clubs and arrows. Thus the soldiers of Lord RÄmacandra killed RÄvaá¹aâs soldiers, who had lost all good fortune because RÄvaá¹a had been condemned by the anger of mother SÄ«tÄ.
: Thereafter, when RÄvaá¹a, the king of the RÄká¹£asas, observed that his soldiers had been lost, he was extremely angry. Thus he mounted his airplane, which was decorated with flowers, and proceeded toward Lord RÄmacandra, who sat on the effulgent chariot brought by MÄtali, the chariot driver of Indra. Then RÄvaá¹a struck Lord RÄmacandra with sharp arrows.
: Lord RÄmacandra said to RÄvaá¹a: You are the most abominable of the man-eaters. Indeed, you are like their stool. You resemble a dog, for as a dog steals eatables from the kitchen in the absence of the householder, in My absence you kidnapped My wife, SÄ«tÄdevÄ«. Therefore as YamarÄja punishes sinful men, I shall also punish you. You are most abominable, sinful and shameless. Today, therefore, I, whose attempt never fails, shall punish you.
: After thus rebuking RÄvaá¹a, Lord RÄmacandra fixed an arrow to His bow, aimed at RÄvaá¹a, and released the arrow, which pierced RÄvaá¹aâs heart like a thunderbolt. Upon seeing this, RÄvaá¹aâs followers raised a tumultuous sound, crying, âAlas! Alas! What has happened? What has happened?â as RÄvaá¹a, vomiting blood from his ten mouths, fell from his airplane, just as a pious man falls to earth from the heavenly planets when the results of his pious activities are exhausted.
: Thereafter, all the women whose husbands had fallen in the battle, headed by MandodarÄ«, the wife of RÄvaá¹a, came out of Laá¹
kÄ. Continuously crying, they approached the dead bodies of RÄvaá¹a and the other RÄká¹£asas.
: Striking their breasts in affliction because their husbands had been killed by the arrows of Laká¹£maá¹a, the women embraced their respective husbands and cried piteously in voices appealing to everyone.
: O my lord, O master! You epitomized trouble for others, and therefore you were called RÄvaá¹a. But now that you have been defeated, we also are defeated, for without you the state of Laá¹
kÄ has been conquered by the enemy. To whom will it go for shelter?
: O greatly fortunate one, you came under the influence of lusty desires, and therefore you could not understand the influence of mother SÄ«tÄ. Now, because of her curse, you have been reduced to this state, having been killed by Lord RÄmacandra.
: O pleasure of the RÄká¹£asa dynasty, because of you the state of Laá¹
kÄ and also we ourselves now have no protector. By your deeds you have made your body fit to be eaten by vultures and your soul fit to go to hell.
: ÅrÄ« Åukadeva GosvÄmÄ« said: VibhÄ«á¹£aá¹a, the pious brother of RÄvaá¹a and devotee of Lord RÄmacandra, received approval from Lord RÄmacandra, the King of Kosala. Then he performed the prescribed funeral ceremonies for his family members to save them from the path to hell.
: Thereafter, Lord RÄmacandra found SÄ«tÄdevÄ« sitting in a small cottage beneath the tree named Siá¹ÅapÄ in a forest of AÅoka trees. She was lean and thin, being aggrieved because of separation from Him.
: Seeing His wife in that condition, Lord RÄmacandra was very compassionate. When RÄmacandra came before her, she was exceedingly happy to see her beloved, and her lotuslike mouth showed her joy.
: After giving VibhÄ«á¹£aá¹a the power to rule the RÄká¹£asa population of Laá¹
kÄ for the duration of one kalpa, Lord RÄmacandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead [BhagavÄn], placed SÄ«tÄdevÄ« on an airplane decorated with flowers and then got on the plane Himself. The period for His living in the forest having ended, the Lord returned to AyodhyÄ, accompanied by HanumÄn, SugrÄ«va and His brother Laká¹£maá¹a.
: When Lord RÄmacandra returned to His capital, AyodhyÄ, He was greeted on the road by the princely order, who showered His body with beautiful, fragrant flowers, while great personalities like Lord BrahmÄ and other demigods glorified the activities of the Lord in great jubilation.
: Upon reaching AyodhyÄ, Lord RÄmacandra heard that in His absence His brother Bharata was eating barley cooked in the urine of a cow, covering His body with the bark of trees, wearing matted locks of hair, and lying on a mattress of kuÅa. The most merciful Lord very much lamented this.
: When Lord Bharata understood that Lord RÄmacandra was returning to the capital, AyodhyÄ, He immediately took upon His own head Lord RÄmacandraâs wooden shoes and came out from His camp at NandigrÄma. Lord Bharata was accompanied by ministers, priests and other respectable citizens, by professional musicians vibrating pleasing musical sounds, and by learned brÄhmaá¹as loudly chanting Vedic hymns. Following in the procession were chariots drawn by beautiful horses with harnesses of golden rope. These chariots were decorated by flags with golden embroidery and by other flags of various sizes and patterns. There were soldiers bedecked with golden armor, servants bearing betel nut, and many well-known and beautiful prostitutes. Many servants followed on foot, bearing an umbrella, whisks, different grades of precious jewels, and other paraphernalia befitting a royal reception. Accompanied in this way, Lord Bharata, His heart softened in ecstasy and His eyes full of tears, approached Lord RÄmacandra and fell at His lotus feet with great ecstatic love.
: After offering the wooden shoes before Lord RÄmacandra, Lord Bharata stood with folded hands, His eyes full of tears, and Lord RÄmacandra bathed Bharata with tears while embracing Him with both arms for a long time. Accompanied by mother SÄ«tÄ and Laká¹£maá¹a, Lord RÄmacandra then offered His respectful obeisances unto the learned brÄhmaá¹as and the elderly persons in the family, and all the citizens of AyodhyÄ offered their respectful obeisances unto the Lord.
: The citizens of AyodhyÄ, upon seeing their King return after a long absence, offered Him flower garlands, waved their upper cloths, and danced in great jubilation.
: O King, Lord Bharata carried Lord RÄmacandraâs wooden shoes, SugrÄ«va and VibhÄ«á¹£aá¹a carried a whisk and an excellent fan, HanumÄn carried a white umbrella, Åatrughna carried a bow and two quivers, and SÄ«tÄdevÄ« carried a waterpot filled with water from holy places. Aá¹
gada carried a sword, and JÄmbavÄn, King of the á¹ká¹£as, carried a golden shield.
: O King ParÄ«ká¹£it, as the Lord sat on His airplane of flowers, with women offering Him prayers and reciters chanting about His characteristics, He appeared like the moon with the stars and planets.
: Thereafter, having been welcomed by His brother Bharata, Lord RÄmacandra entered the city of AyodhyÄ in the midst of a festival. When He entered the palace, He offered obeisances to all the mothers, including KaikeyÄ« and the other wives of MahÄrÄja DaÅaratha, and especially His own mother, KauÅalyÄ. He also offered obeisances to the spiritual preceptors, such as Vasiá¹£á¹ha. Friends of His own age and younger friends worshiped Him, and He returned their respectful obeisances, as did Laká¹£maá¹a and mother SÄ«tÄ. In this way they all entered the palace.
: Upon seeing their sons, the mothers of RÄma, Laká¹£maá¹a, Bharata and Åatrughna immediately arose, like unconscious bodies returning to consciousness. The mothers placed their sons on their laps and bathed Them with tears, thus relieving themselves of the grief of long separation.
: The family priest or spiritual master, Vasiá¹£á¹ha, had Lord RÄmacandra cleanly shaved, freeing Him from His matted locks of hair. Then, with the cooperation of the elderly members of the family, he performed the bathing ceremony [abhiá¹£eka] for Lord RÄmacandra with the water of the four seas and with other substances, just as it was performed for King Indra.
: Lord RÄmacandra, fully bathed and His head clean-shaven, dressed Himself very nicely and was decorated with a garland and ornaments. Thus He shone brightly, surrounded by His brothers and wife, who were similarly dressed and ornamented.
: Being pleased by the full surrender and submission of Lord Bharata, Lord RÄmacandra then accepted the throne of the state. He cared for the citizens exactly like a father, and the citizens, being fully engaged in their occupational duties of vará¹a and ÄÅrama, accepted Him as their father.
: Lord RÄmacandra became King during TretÄ-yuga, but because of His good government, the age was like Satya-yuga. Everyone was religious and completely happy.
: O MahÄrÄja ParÄ«ká¹£it, best of the Bharata dynasty, during the reign of Lord RÄmacandra the forests, the rivers, the hills and mountains, the states, the seven islands and the seven seas were all favorable in supplying the necessities of life for all living beings.
: When Lord RÄmacandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was the King of this world, all bodily and mental suffering, disease, old age, bereavement, lamentation, distress, fear and fatigue were completely absent. There was even no death for those who did not want it.
: Lord RÄmacandra took a vow to accept only one wife and have no connection with any other women. He was a saintly king, and everything in His character was good, untinged by qualities like anger. He taught good behavior for everyone, especially for householders, in terms of vará¹ÄÅrama-dharma. Thus He taught the general public by His personal activities.
: Mother SÄ«tÄ was very submissive, faithful, shy and chaste, always understanding the attitude of her husband. Thus by her character and her love and service she completely attracted the mind of the Lord.