Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 23 Aug 2011 12:01 and updated at 23 Aug 2011 12:01
BOOK 7: UTTARA KANDA
Hearing the sweet words of the celestial saint Narada Rama was greatly delighted and addressing Lakshmana said "O gentle one, do thou console that foremost of twice born ones and place the dead body of the boy in a jar full of oil. Let this body be protected by sweet scented oil so that it might not be soiled by any means. See that it is not disigured, its joints are not loosened and the hairs do not fall off.
The highly illustrious Rama, the descendant of Ikshwakus, thus commanded Lakshmana, gifted with auspicious marks, and thought of his car and desired it to come soon. Understanding his intention the golden car appeared before him in no time and saluting him said: "O thou of long arms, thine chariot hath come." Hearing the sweet words of Pushpaka the king Rama saluted the great ascetics, ascended the car with his burning bow, quiver and dagger and left Bharata and Lakshmana in charge of the city.
And searching that Sudra devotee here and there Raghava proceeded towards the west. And not beholding him there he went to the North bounded by the Himalayas. And even there he did not espy the Sudra ascetic and even the smallest iniquity was not seen there.
Thereupon returning from that quarter the king journeyed the whole of east. And having sat on the Pushpaka car he saw that the eastern quarter was transparent like a looking glass and there was not the best touch of sin. From the east Raghava proceeded towards the south and espied a big tank by the side of the Saivala mountain.
On the banks of that pond one ascetic was performing the most austere penances with his legs upwards and head downwards. Thereupon approaching him, Rama said O thou of good vows, blessed art thou; I do ask thee, now, O thou highly effulgent and grown old in asceticism, in what Varna thou art born. I put this question out of curiosity.
I am the son of king Dasaratha and my name is Rama. For what art thou going through such hard austerities ?Is it heaven or anything else that thou prayest for ?O ascetic, I wish to hear, of the purpose for which thou art performing such hard penances. At thou a Brahman, or an irrepresible Kshatriya or the third caste Vaisya or a Sudra? Do thou speak the truth and thou shalt be crowned with auspiciousness.
Hearing the words of Rama, the ascetic, whose face was downwards, gave out his degraded birth and communicated unto him for what he was performing ascetic observances.