In the previous episode we witnessed that Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana reach Chitrakoota according to the directions given by Sage Bharadwaaja and Valmiki Maharishi himself. Interestingly we also discussed at length about the three main locations of Valmiki Maharishi’s ashrams – One at the entrance of Chithrakoota, the second at Bittur (Near Kanpur/Lucknow) and the third one near Naimishaarnyam. Thus we concluded the previous episode by witnessing that Rama, Sita and Lakshmana started to live happily at Chithrakoota – This is one part of the story.
Now let’s leave this part of the story for a while and move to the other part. In movies we commonly say “Change in scene”, isn’t it? Here too, we should change the scene! 🙂 Now let’s see what happened at Ayodhya after Rama’s departure. Back in the palace, King Dasharata couldn’t digest the fact that his beloved son Rama had left him forever! He’s continuously weeping and thus his aged body couldn’t take this sorrow anymore! His health started deteriorating rather quickly! He was not even able to get up from his bed and sit!
It was at this time that Sumanthra comes back to see King Dasharata.
“Guhena saathvam tathraiva chithosmi dhivasaan bahuun!
Aasayaa yathivaa raamaha punasshabdhaabhayetithi!!”
Thus, Sumanthra before coming back to Ayodhya, was waiting at the banks of the river Ganges with a hope that Rama would come change his decision and come back. This is a beautiful sloka. Sumanthra and Guha were talking with each other – Sumanthra says to Guha, “Oh Guha! You’ve dropped Rama, Sita and Lakshmana on the other bank of the river Ganga isn’t it? Just wait and watch! I know Rama very well. I’ve never seen him walk on the ground! I’m the person who has driven the chariot for Rama everytime and wherever he goes! Rama is not used to walk amidst the hard terrain of the forest! His tender feet would start to ache! Hence he would call us for help! At that moment, let’s rush with the chariot and the boat to bring back Rama!” Upon hearing this from Sumanthra, Guha approves his words with tears in his eyes as the two of them keep waiting for Rama’s sound. They wait for three continuous days! Alas! There was no sound or call from Rama! Thus Guha and Sumanthra conclude with sadness and sorrow that Rama had left all of them forever! He’s not going to come back again!
Thus, Sumanthra comes back to Ayodhya with sadness and sorrow written all over his face! King Dasharata is sobbing uncontrollably and Sumanthra comes near his King. He says,
“Vishayethe mahaaraaja mahaavyasana karshithaaha!
Abhivrukshaahaa parimvlaanaaha sapushpaankura koorakaahaa!!”
Sumanthra says to King Dasharata, “Oh Maharaja! I’m going to tell you the news from our kingdom! Because of the separation of Ayodhya from Rama, the entire city is in distress and sorrow! (“Vishayethe mahaaraaja mahaavyasana karshithaaha”!) The extent of sorrow can be felt even with the trees of Ayodhya, wherein they have shed down all their leaves and stopped flowering!” (“Abhivrukshaahaa parimvlaanaaha sapushpaankura koorakaahaa!”)
King Dasharata asks with a doubt.. “Oh Sumanthra! What season is this? Is this autumn? Or, didn’t the gardeners in Ayodhya take good care of the trees? Why did such a thing happen?” Sumanthra replies back, “Oh Dasharata! I know you are completely distressed! But I didn’t know that you’ve forgotten even the “Shabdhas” of Sanskrit because of the distress! What did I say? I said “Abhivrukshaahaa parimvlaanaaha!” Think for a moment and realize the meaning of what I said!”
If we’ve to understand the meaning of the “Vriksha” Shabdha, only those trees wherein atleast half of the tree-trunk is immersed in water are called “Vriksha”. (We all might know that the word “Vriksha” means “Tree” in Sanskrit). For those trees wherein they are not adequately surrounded by water, this “Vriksha” shabdha cannot be employed! This is why I had already mentioned a few episodes before that Sanskrit is quite a complex language. For instance, a tree that has lot of leaves has a separate name, a tree that has no leaves at all has a different name. Like this, for every kind of a tree there is a different usage of the “Shabdha” in Sanskrit. Similarly, we commonly use a word called “Deham”, which can be equated to “Body” or “Shareeram”. But in English or Tamil or any other language, we just have one word to denote this “Deham”, which might be “Body” in English, or “Udal” in Tamil. But in Sanskrit, “Deham” and “Shareeram” has two different meanings – The body that grows is called “Deham” and the body that deteriorates is called “Shareeram”! For instance, if we look at someone and say, “Oh You seem to have gained lot of weight!”, it means that his/her “Deham” has gained weight! Similarly if we look at someone and say, “Oh! You seem to have lost some weight!”, it means that his/her “Shareeram” has lost weight! Thus, we should understand here that in Sanskrit, each Shabdha of the same noun has different usages in different contexts!
Thus Sumanthra says the above and this saddens King Dasharata even more! He cries out loud and says, “Ohhhhh Rama!!! My dearest son!!! I cannot even breathe for a moment and live in this world for a moment without you near me! How did you have the heart to leave your father in this condition?” Valmiki Maharishi captures this scene of King Dasharata’s cry with the following touching sloka!
“Haa Raama! Haa Raamaanuja! Haa haa!! Vaidehi!! Tapasvini!!
Namaam jaaneetha dukhena mriyamaanam anaathamath!!”
King Dasharata cries out loud by saying, “Oh Rama!! Your father is going to die like an orphan! Your father is going to die just like a man who doesn’t have a son to look after him!” Here, in this sloka interestingly there is a Shabdha called “Raamaanuja!”. Here, by this Shabdha, King Dasharata refers to Rama’s brother (Raama – Anuja) Lakshmana! However, the great Raamaanujaachaarya is also considered to be the incarnation of Lakshmana himself in this world! It is said and widely believed that during Thretha Yuga, he was born as Lakshmana (The incarnation of Aadisesha – The divine serpent bed of Bhagawan Vishnu), in the Dwaapara Yuga he again incarnated as Balaraama (The brother of Lord Krishna) and in this Kali Yuga, he incarnated as Raamaanujaachaarya!
Thus, King Dasharata cries, cries and cries! But of no use! Rama had left forever! Unable to digest this hard reality, King Dasharata’s health deteriorates gradually, minute by minute! He’s unable to breathe properly and talk properly! However, there might be a question here: Why is King Dasharata undergoing all these kinds of sorrows of separation of his son from his life? There’s an interesting story behind this. Let’s wait till the next episode to find out!
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