BOOK 7: UTTARA KANDA
Rama having taken his seat there, the experienced councillors encircling him began to dwell upon many amusing stories.
Vijaya, Madhumatta, Kasyapa, Mangala, Kula, Surajni, Kalya, Vadra Dantavakta, Sumagadha alldelightedly began to introduce many amusings talks before the high souled Rama. Thereupon Rama incidentally addressed them saying O Vadra, how do the inhabitants of the city and provinces talk about Sita, Bharata, Lakshmana, Satrughna and the mother Kaikeyi ?The kings, when they deviate from the paths of justice, become objects of censure in the houses of men and even in the forests as well." Rama having said this, Vadra with folded hands replied "O king, the citizens speak many good things about thee; besides they dilate upon many things in their own houses regarding thine conquest acquired by the destruction of the Dasagriva.
Hearing the words of Vadra, Rama said: "Without hiding any thing, do thou relate every thing from the beginning as they are ;what good and bad things have eeen given vent to by the citizens. Hearing the good and bad opinions of the citizens I shall desist from bad actions and engage in good ones. Whatever vicious actions of mine are talked of by subjects in cities and provinces do thou relate unto me conidently and fearlessly.
Hearing the sweet accents of Rama, Vadra, with a quiescent mind and folded palms, said "Hear, O king, I shall relate to thee all those unpleasant things frequently dwelt upon by people in court yards, markets, public roads, forests and, gardens. Indeed Rama hath accomplished a wonderfully hard work; our ancestors, the Devas, the Danavas none heard of constructing a bridge over the ocean Rama? hath slain the irrepressible Ravana with his army and brought over the Vanaras, Rikshas and Rakshasas to his own side. Having discomitted Ravana, in the encounter Rama hath released Sita, but not being the least enraged on account of her being touched by Ravana he hath brought her to his own city.
Ravana did forcibly place Sita on her lap; how can then Rama enjoy delight in her company? Having taken her to the city of Lanka, Ravana did keep her in the Asoka forest and Sita was brought under the control of Rakshasis. Still Rama hath not been worked up with hatered by Sita. From now we shall also brooks the bad conduct of our wives for the subjects always tread the footsteps of their King.
O King, the subjects thus talk of many things in cities and provinces." Hear ings those words of Vadra, Raghava was greatly sorry and asked his friends saying "Do the subjects thus talk about me?" Thereupon lowering their heads and saluting him they all said to Raghava, of a depressed mind "For sooth, the subjects thus talk about." Thereupon Kakutstha, the slayer of enemies, hearing all those words, dismissed his friends.