BOOK 7: UTTARA KANDA
Beholding Sita thus wailing, the sons of the Rishis re speedily approached the great Valmiki, well established asceticism. And saluting him they all communicated to him Sita s bewrailings and said, "O great sir, we do not know the wife of what great man, beautiful as the very Lakshmi, and not seen before, is crying aloud why poorly ?It is better that thou shouldst see her once, this beautiful damsel, like a goddess falling from heaven being bewildered, is waiting on the banks of the river.
We saw her alone crying aloud being overwhelmed with sorrow ad grief as if she had none to look after her. A damsel like her should not be subject to such a condition.She did not appear to us to be a woman.
Do you receive her duly. She is near the hermitage and hath come to seek thy shelter. O illustrious Sir, she on the look out for a protector do thou protect her.
The pious Valmiki could perceive every thing by vitue his asceticism; and ascertaining the truth of the words the Rishi boys by the power of his understanding, he, with quick steps, approached Sita. And the disciples showed that high minded ascetic. Thereupon proceeding a little on foot with Arghya in his hands, the wise Valmiki reached the banks of the river and saw that Raghava s spouse was bewailing like a helpless woman, Having gladdened a little the aggrieved Sita by virtue his own effulgence the great ascetic Valmiki addressed in following sweet accents "O chaste damsel, thou the daughter in law of Dasaratha, the beloved wife Rama and the daughter of Janaka; thy coming here is auspicious.
I am apprized, by virtue of asceticism and meditation, of the object of thy coming here. O great lady, I am also fully aware that thou art by all means chaste. In fact I am conscious of all the incidents in the three worlds.
By the eyes of asceticism, I perceive, O daughter of Janaka, that thou art innocent. Thou hast come under my shelter, O Vaidehi be thou consoled. O child, the pious ascetics live around my hermitage.
They shall daily take care of thee as their daughter. Do thou accept this Arghya now, and confiding in me do thou remove thy grief. Be not sorry for anything; consider that thou hast come to thy own home.
Hearing the wonderful words of the great ascetic, Sita humbly touched his feet and said "Thy desire shall be fulilled." Saying this, she, with folded hands, followed the ascetic. Beholding the great ascetic and Sita approach, the wives, of the Rishis, delighted neared them and said: Do thou come, O foremost of Rishis, thou hast arrived here after a long lime.
We all bow unto thee do thou order what we shall do." Hearing their words the great Valmiki replied in worthy accents "This Sita is the wife of the intelligent Rama, the daughter in law of Dasaratha and the daughter of Janaka. She has now come to our hermitage.
She is chaste and innocent, still her husband hath renounced her. So we should all protect her. She is wothy of your reverence specially while such is the order of mine your preceptor.
So, do ye all take care of her with great afection." Having consigned the charge of Sita unto the hands of the female ascetics, the great and illustrious ascetic Valmiki, followed by his deisciples, speedily proceeded towards his holy hermitage.