Chapter 4 — Rama’s Return from Pilgrimage

Valmiki speaking:—

Covered with flowers thrown by people by the handful, Rama entered the palace, just like when the beautiful Jayanta, the son of Indra, enters his celestial abode. On his arrival, Rama first bowed reverently before his father, then before Vasishta, before his brothers, his friends, the brahmins, and the elderly members of the family. Repeatedly embraced as he was by friends, his father, mothers and brahmins, the son of Raghu bowed his head down to them with joy. The assembled people, after their familiar conversation with Rama in the palace, strolled about on all sides highly delighted with his speech that resembled the music of a flute. Thus eight days passed in festive mirth after Rama’s return, and the elated multitude gave shouts of joy.

Thereafter, Raghava continued to dwell happily at home, describing to his friends the different customs and manners of the countries he had visited on all sides. He rose early in the morning and performed his morning worship according to law. Then he visited his father, seated like Indra in his council. He next passed a fourth part of the day in company with Vasishta and other sages, and was greatly edified by their conversations which were full of instruction. For sport, he also used to go to the forests full of boars and buffaloes surrounded by a large number of troops as ordered by his father. 10 Then, after returning home and performing his bath and other rites with his friends, he took his meal with them and passed the night in company with his beloved companions. 11 In these and similar activities he passed his days with his brothers at his father’s house, after returning from pilgrimage.

12 O sinless Bharadwaja, with his conduct becoming a prince, Rama passed his days giving delight to the good men that surrounded him, like the moon that gladdens mankind with his soothing ambrosial beams.