BOOK 7: UTTARA KANDA
The night being over, Lakshmana, with a poor heart and died countenance, addressed Sumantra, saying: O chaioteer, do thou soon yoke quick coursing steeds to an excellent chariot, and for Sita place an excellent seat on the car. At the command of the King, I shall take Sita to the hermitage of the ascetics ever engaged in pious actions.
Do thou soon bring the chariot here." Obeying the mandate, and bringing a beautiful and holy car drawn by first rate steeds and having excellent seats, he said to Saumitri, the enhancer of friends honor "O lord, here is the chaiot ready do thou now satisfy thine desire.
Heaing the words of Sumantra, Lakshmana, the foremost of men, approached Sita in the inner apartment and said "O queen, thou didst request the king to show thee the hermitage the king too did promise he hath now commanded me to take thee there. Do thou therefore follow me, at the command of the king. I shall, at his behest, take thee to the forest where dwell many an ascetic.
Hearing the words of the high souled Lakshmana, Janaki attained to excessive delight and became anxious to go. Taking various jewels and costly clothes she said to Lakshmana. on the eve of her departure "I shall confer these ornaments, these costly clothes and riches on the female ascetics.
Saying we shall do the same he made Sita ascend the car and remembering Rama s command proceeded, being carried by quick coursing steeds. Thereupon Sita said to Lakshmana, the enhancer of prosperity "O descendent of Raghu, I behold many inauspicious omens. My right eye and body are trembling.
My mind is growing depressed. It is stricken with anxiety and I have accordingly grown restless. I behold the earth as void of all happiness.
O thou fond of brothers hath thy brother met with any calamity ?Are all my mothers in law and subjets well ?"Saying this Sita, with folded hands, began to pray unto gods. Heaing this Lakshmana bowed unto her touching the ground with his crown, and though greatly sorry, said as if delighted "All well." Thereupon having arrived at the hermitage situate on the banks of Gomati Lakshmana spent the night there.
Thereupon at dawn he rose up and asked the charioteer to get the chariot ready, saying, "Like unto the powerful Mahadeva we shall hold the waters of the Bhagirathi on our head." There upon Sumantra yoked the horses, gifted with the fleet course of the mind, to the chariot and with folded hands said to Sita "Do thou ascend the car." According to the request of the intelligent charioteer, Sita, with Lakshmana, ascended that excellent conveyance.
In no time the daughter of Janaka having expansive eyes, arrived at the banks of the Ganges removing all sins. Reaching the currents of Bhagirathi before noon Lakshmana, on beholding her, cried aloud. Thereupon beholding Lakshmana thus distressed, Sita, conversant with piety, waxing anxious said.
"Why art thou weeping, Lakshmana ?I have reached the banks of Janhavi, for which I have so long desired. So this is the time for rejoicing and do not give me pain at this time. O foremost of men, thou dost spend thine days and nights in the company of Rama, Thou hast left him for two days only at thou sorry for this Lakshmana? Rama is also dearer than my life but I am not so sorry do thou not be therefore overwhelmed with grief.
Do thou take me to the other side of the Ganges so that I may behold the ascetics and cqnfer upon them clothes and ornaments. Thereupon saluting them duly and spending a night we shall return to the capital. I am also anxious to see Rama, having eyes like lotus petals, breast like that of a lion and foremost of men.
Hearing the words of Sita and wiping his beautiful eyes, Lakshmana, the slayer of enemies, sent for boatmen. As soon as they were called, with folded hands they said. "The boat is ready.
Having then brought a boat to cross the holy Ganges Lakshmana, with a quiescent mind, took her to the other side.