Chapter 5 — Rama’s Self-Dejection & Its Cause

Valmiki said:—

Afterwards Rama attained the fifteenth year of his age, and Satrughna and Lakshman, who followed Rama in age, also attained the same age. Bharata continued to dwell with joy at the house of his maternal grandfather, and King Dasharata ruled the whole earth as usual.

The most wise King Dasharata consulted his ministers day after day about the marriage of his sons. But as Rama remained at home after his return from pilgrimage, he began to decay day by day like a clear lake in autumn. His blooming face, with its out-stretched eyes, assumed a paleness by degrees like that of the withering petals of the white lotus beset by a swarm of bees. He sat silent and motionless, his legs folded in full lotus position (padmasana), absorbed in thought with his palm placed under his cheek and neck. Being emaciated in person and growing thoughtful, sad and distracted in his mind, he remained speechless like a mute figure in a painting. His family had to repeatedly ask him to perform his daily rites and when he did, he discharged them with a sad face.

Seeing the accomplished Rama, the mine of merits, in such a plight, all his brothers likewise were reduced to the same condition with him.

10 The king of the earth, seeing all his three sons dejected and lean, became anxious, as did all his queens. 11 Dasharata asked Rama repeatedly in a gentle voice what his anxiety was and what was the cause of his thoughtfulness, but Rama returned no answer. 12 Then being taken up in his father’s lap, the lotus-eyed Rama replied that he had no anxiety whatever and held his silence.

13 Afterwards King Dasharata asked Vasishta, the best of speakers and well informed in all matters, as to why Rama was so sorrowful. 14 Sage Vasishta thought over the matter and said, “There is, O king, a cause for Rama’s sadness, but you need not be anxious about it. 15 Wise men never entertain the fluctuations of anger or grief, or a lengthened delight from frivolous causes, just as the great elements of the world do not change their states unless it were for the sake of some new production.”