Ramcharit Charcha CCCXCVII

II Shree Guruvey Namah II

Jai Shri Ram,

II Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram II

II Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram II

II Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram II

पितु बैभव बिलास मैं डीठा। नृप मनि मुकुट मिलित पद पीठा।।
सुखनिधान अस पितु गृह मोरें। पिय बिहीन मन भाव न भोरें।।
ससुर चक्कवइ कोसलराऊ। भुवन चारिदस प्रगट प्रभाऊ।।
आगें होइ जेहि सुरपति लेई। अरध सिंघासन आसनु देई।।
ससुरु एतादृस अवध निवासू। प्रिय परिवारु मातु सम सासू।।
बिनु रघुपति पद पदुम परागा। मोहि केउ सपनेहुँ सुखद न लागा।।
अगम पंथ बनभूमि पहारा। करि केहरि सर सरित अपारा।।
कोल किरात कुरंग बिहंगा। मोहि सब सुखद प्रानपति संगा।।
दो0-सासु ससुर सन मोरि हुँति बिनय करबि परि पायँ।।
मोर सोचु जनि करिअ कछु मैं बन सुखी सुभायँ।।98।।

We covered up to Doha 98 of Ayodhya Kand in Ramcharit Manas of Tulsidas in the last post and learned that Sita, who had begun to address Sumantra though forced by circumstances, explained to him that she knows that she could avail all kinds of comforts at her illustrious father’s place and that her father-in-law can claim to have equal status with the chief of gods besides being a monarch and her mothers-in-law do treat her like their own daughter etc but to live at places where the dust of feet of Shri Ram would not fall, is not possible at all, she would not enjoy any thing a bit at such places. She further told that the jungles along with the trying conditions and dreaded atmosphere there will suit her nicely while the master of her life is with her. She wanted Sumantra to convey her deep regards to in-laws and tell them that she is happy in a natural way (because proximity with and nearness to her own lord Shri Ram is her sole concern).

प्राननाथ प्रिय देवर साथा। बीर धुरीन धरें धनु भाथा।।
नहिं मग श्रमु भ्रमु दुख मन मोरें। मोहि लगि सोचु करिअ जनि भोरें।।
सुनि सुमंत्रु सिय सीतलि बानी। भयउ बिकल जनु फनि मनि हानी।।
नयन सूझ नहिं सुनइ न काना। कहि न सकइ कछु अति अकुलाना।।
राम प्रबोधु कीन्ह बहु भाँति। तदपि होति नहिं सीतलि छाती।।
जतन अनेक साथ हित कीन्हे। उचित उतर रघुनंदन दीन्हे।।
मेटि जाइ नहिं राम रजाई। कठिन करम गति कछु न बसाई।।
राम लखन सिय पद सिरु नाई। फिरेउ बनिक जिमि मूर गवाँई।।
दो0–रथ हाँकेउ हय राम तन हेरि हेरि हिहिनाहिं।
देखि निषाद बिषादबस धुनहिं सीस पछिताहिं।।99।।

She further said to Sumantra by way of an assurance, “My Lord of Life and his younger brother are with me, they are brave and keep bow and quiver all the while with them (hence security is no issue), I would not be tired while treading path in forest nor would feel any distress or be disoriented hence they should not worry at all about me or be doubtful.”

When Sumantra noted Sita’s cool manner of speaking (and that even in such difficult situation she did not complain or blame any person) and this made him so much upset as a snake becomes up on losing its “mani’ (the pearl on its head), his faculties of hearing and seeing became affected (as is the case with the snake after loss of ‘mani’), he could not even speak even a word in response which made him all the more miserable. At this point Shri Ram consoled him and tried to make him see reason but he still could not have any comfort in his heart. Later Sumantra tried to convince Shri Ram in many ways to return back along with him but Shri Ram countered him giving reasonable and proper replies to each of his arguments.

Sumnatra then thought that its not possible to contradict Shri Ram i e its not right to negate the God’s will (he had seen Shri Ram converting in to locks in the morning itself which reflected the depth of his resolve); the effect of ‘karmas’ might be harsh and difficult but none can help it or control it hence he bowed down at feet of Shri Ram, Lakshman and Sita (because coming out of the complex civil atmosphere of Ayodhya had not offered him an opportunity to truly see the divinity of Shri Ram, Lakshman and Sita but in forest where no artificiality existed as distraction, he could really see them in another light and became a devotee) and returned as remorseful as does a businessmen after losing his capital from distant regions to his own place (for Sumantra, Shri Ram, Lakshman and Sita had become most important asset after he realized the truth about them and he had now perforce to return to Ayodhya being still a citizen, householder and one who remains responsible for affairs of state, this is how all of us feel when we discover God in pristine natural surroundings but since we still have not disowned what we left back we return to the same world of contradictions and lose our peace).

When Sumantra began to drive away his chariot, the horses began to look in the direction of Shri Ram and began to make noises (by neighing and whining even the horses showed that they did not want to part with Shri Ram, the divinity attracts even the animals) and when Guha, the Nishad, watched it he too became overwhelmed and badly anguished and displayed his resentment and disenchantment by striking his hand over his head.

We have now covered up to Doha 99 of Ayodhya Kand.

जासु बियोग बिकल पसु ऐसे। प्रजा मातु पितु जिइहहिं कैसें।।
बरबस राम सुमंत्रु पठाए। सुरसरि तीर आपु तब आए।।
मागी नाव न केवटु आना। कहइ तुम्हार मरमु मैं जाना।।
चरन कमल रज कहुँ सबु कहई। मानुष करनि मूरि कछु अहई।।
छुअत सिला भइ नारि सुहाई। पाहन तें न काठ कठिनाई।।
तरनिउ मुनि घरिनि होइ जाई। बाट परइ मोरि नाव उड़ाई।।
एहिं प्रतिपालउँ सबु परिवारू। नहिं जानउँ कछु अउर कबारू।।
जौ प्रभु पार अवसि गा चहहू। मोहि पद पदुम पखारन कहहू।।
छं0-पद कमल धोइ चढ़ाइ नाव न नाथ उतराई चहौं।
मोहि राम राउरि आन दसरथ सपथ सब साची कहौं।।
बरु तीर मारहुँ लखनु पै जब लगि न पाय पखारिहौं।
तब लगि न तुलसीदास नाथ कृपाल पारु उतारिहौं।।
सो0-सुनि केबट के बैन प्रेम लपेटे अटपटे।
बिहसे करुनाऐन चितइ जानकी लखन तन।।100।।

Losing company of whom even the animals get so upset and distracted how then after separation with Him would it be possible for His own father, mother and the subjects of Ayodhya to live on Tulsi wonders.

Shri Ram then prevailed on Sumantra to leave for Ayodhya and left there Himself alongwith Sita and Lakshman to return back to the banks of Ganga. Since now the river Ganges was to be crossed for going in the jungles Shri Ram hailed Kavat, the boatman, to bring his boat. Kevat refused to bring his boat and replied to Shri Ram saying, “I know who you really are, that intricate knowledge is already with me; the dust of Your feet has some special effect like some medicinal root which converts the JaDD i e the inanimate in to humans (JaDD also means somebody who has little thinking power, with touch of dust of the path tread by Shri Ram the ability to reflect like intelligent human who seek the Lord returns), all know that a rock was converted in to a perfect lady and its a common knowledge not my own imagination (Kevat referred to Ahalya’s salvation while Shri Ram was on way to Janakpur with Muni Vishwamitra).

“My boat is made of wood, wood in any case is softer than stone hence my boat also would convert in to the consort of a Muni (like Ahalya), in this way a great difficulty would be at hand because my boat would disappear. I look after my family by making living through my boat; this is my sole means of living, I do not know any other trade.

“However if my Lord needs to be ferried across the river then there is one way out, I must have Your consent to wash Your feet before taking You on board my boat (so that the dust is washed off and the risk is eliminated).”

Kevat continued and said, “After I have washed Your lotus feet and have taken You on the boat and have taken You across, I do not even look for my wages for it. I commit to You O Ram and swear in name of King Dashrath that unless I have washed Your feet I would not ferry You across. I mean what I just said to You and would not deter even if Laksman readies to release an arrow to kill me for saying it, O Merciful Lord (who is also the Lord of Tulsidas, the poet).”

Listening to the words of Kevat which were laced with his affection for Shri Ram however some what incoherent and incongruous, Shri Ram, the abundantly merciful one, smiled in a special way and looked towards Janki Sita and brother Lakshman with a view to convey to them that that He wasn’t offended rather was ready to be game for what Kevat wanted.

(Kevat is said to be a seeker and devotee in his earlier life but had missed to serve the Lord Supreme to his satisfaction, he lived now, only waiting to have that opportunity, as an ordinary boatman on the banks of river Ganga but had deep spiritual knowledge and could recognize the Lord when He appeared before him as son of Dashrath. By taking him across the river only after serving Him to his own satisfaction, he meant to oblige the Lord to make himself also cross over the ocean of life and death. He was intensely in love with Shri Ram and hence he poured his heart out before Him unmindful of apparent absurdity of his arguments but which also had rich philosophy behind them. The dialogue between devotees and the Lord are sometimes like this and do carry the message, only insightful people can understand it.)

We have now covered up to Doha 99 of Ayodhya Kand.

Bhavani Shankar ki Jai!
Shri jankivallabho Vijayatey!
Sant Samaj ko Pranam!
Goswami Tulsidas Ki Jai!

HaiOm,
Krishna Khandelwal

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