BOOK 7: UTTARA KANDA
The princes were all waiting with a poorly heat when Rama, with a dried countenance, addressed them, saying: May good betide you do not act against my desire. Hear, that the citizens have been talking about me and Sita. The citizens as well as the inhabitants of provinces have been" howering censures upon me.
I have been pierced to the very vitals by those accusations. I have been born in the illustrious family of the high souled Ikshwakus. Sita hath beeh born also in the holy family of the great Janaka; gentle Lakshmana, hou knowest how in the solitary forest of Dandaka, Sita was stolen away by Ravana and how have I slain him.
At that time even I was stricken with anxiety regarding Sita hat how I could take her home since she had resided in the house of the Rakshasas. To secure my confidence, Sita, in your very presence, entered fire, At that time, O Saumitri, fire, carrying sacrificial oblations and the wind of the sky declared Sita s innocence before the Devas. In the precence of all the Rishis and gods, the Sun and Moon announced the innocence of the daughter of Janaka.
Indra, he king of the Devas, himself handed over the chaste Sita unto me in the island of Lanka. My mind knoweth Sita as chaste for ever. So, at that time, I came back to Ayodhya with Sita.
But now a great sorrow consequent upon the censure of the citizens and villagers hath pierced ny heart. He, who is notorious on this earth and as long as that notoriety remains current, is classed amongst the vile. Even the Devas speak ill of bad name whereas fame is adored in all the regions.
Therefore the high souled exert their best to acquire reputation. O foremost of men, what to speak of the daughter of Janaka I can even renounce my life and yourselves in fear of a bad name. Do ye therefore perceive into what great abyss of sorrow and ill fame I have fallen.
Up to this time I have never experienced such a mighty grief. Do thou, O Lakshmana, next morning, ascending the car driven by Sumantra, take away Sita to another country. There is a picturesque hermitage of the high souled Valmiki situate on the Tamasa on the other side of the river Ganges.
Do thou, O delight of Raghus, soon come back, leaving behind Sita in that lovely place; Do thou carry out my words. Do thou not speak anything regarding Sita s banishment, O Saumitri, if dost thou request me to desist from this, it shall be the more unpleasant unto me. For my life and arms, do ye not proffer any request unto me regarding this.
If so, you shall only endanger my well being and I shall ever regard you as my enemies. If you obey my behests; do ye honor my words now. Do ye take away Sita from here.
Ere this Sita had communicated her intention of beholding the hermitages of ascetics on the banks of the Ganges. Let that desire of hers be now satisfied." While saying this, the eyes of the virtubus souled Rama were covered with tears.
Sighing hard like unto an elephant, he, with a heart stricken with grief, departed to his own quarter in the company of his brothers.