BOOK 7: UTTARA KANDA
Having thus addressed his both brothers, Rama, the descendant of Kakuthstha of unmitigated prowess, again said to Lakshmana, in words pregnant with morality "O Lakshmana, having invited Vasishta, the foremost of twice born ones, conversant with all the rites of Asvamedha, Vamadeva, Javali, and Kashyapa and consulted with them duly I shall set free a horse gifted with all marks." Hearing the words of Rama, Lakshmana, of unmitigated prowess, invited all those Brahmanas and approached Rama. Seeing them, Rama saluted them touching their feet.
And the Brahmanas too, beholding the irrepressible celestial, like Raghava, welcomed him with blessings. Thereupon Rama, with folded hands, asked of those leading twice born ones, questions regarding the Asvamedha sacrifice. And hearing the words of Rama, they, too, saluting the deity Rudra, began to speak highly of the ceremony of horse sacrifice.
And being informed from the Brahmanas of many unheard of virtues of Ashwamedha, Rama was greatly delighted. And according to their desire he said to Lakshmana "O thou having long arms, do thou soon send an emissary to the high souled Sugriva, communicating unto him Do thou come here to enjoy festivities in the company of all those highly powerful Vanaras and bears, under thee ;may good betide thee. See that Vibhishana of unequalled prowess, the king of Rakshasas, encircled by his followers, coursing at will, may be present at the horse sacrifice.
Let the great kings, wishing my welfare with their followers, be present at the sacrific. O Lakshmana, do thou also invite carefully, for witnessing the ceremony, other pious foreign kings who are friendly unto me. O thou having long arms, do thou also invite the Rishis, having asceticism for their wealth and other pious Brahmanas living in various provinces.
Do thou also invite actors and songsters. Do thou order that a spacious, sacrificial ground may be made on the banks of the river Gomati in the Naimisha forest. O thou having long arms, that part of the country is best suited and holy.
And let ceremonies, invoking peace, be celebrated everywhere. O thou conversant with piety, do thou soon invite hundreds of subjects, so that they all, having witnessed the ceremony in the Naimisha forest, may return delighted and honored. O thou having long arms, let Bharata go before with a million of beasts carrying rice, sessamun seed, Kindneybean, Chickpea, pulse, Masha (a sort of Kindney bean) salt, oil, clarified butter and a hundred Koti of Silver and golden coins.
Let merchants, to set up shops on the way, actors, dancers, cooks, and many youthful females follow Bharata. Let soldiers go before him. And let the highly illustious Bharata, with children, old men, Brahmanas, citizens, servants, cashiers, mothers, wives and the golden image of my wife to be initiated at the sacrifice, go before.
According to the command of Rama, Bharata, with Satrughna, made arrangements for highly valuable quarters, food, drink and clothes. And the highly powerful Vanaras with Sugriva and Brahmanas engaged in the work of distribution. And Vibhishana, surrounded by various Rakshas and females, engaged in the service of the high souled Rishis intent on hard penances.