Chapter 11 — Consolation of Rama

Vishwamitra said, “If such is the case, you who are intelligent may go at once and persuade that progeny of Raghu to come here, as one deer does others. This stupor of Rama is not caused by any accident or affection. I believe it is the development of that superior intellect which rises from the right reasoning of dispassionate men. Let Rama come here for a while and in a moment we shall dispel his delusion, as wind drives away clouds from mountain tops.”

“After his mental dullness is removed by my reasoning, he will be able to rest in that happy state of mind to which we have arrived. He shall not only attain pure truth and a clear understanding of uninterrupted tranquility, but he will also secure a plumpness and beauty of figure and complexion, as one derives from a potion of ambrosia. He will then fully discharge the proper course of his duties with all his heart and without exception, which will redound to his honor. He will become strong with a knowledge of both worlds, exempt from the states of pleasure and pain. Then he will look upon gold and stones with an indifferent eye.”

After the chief of the sages had spoken in this manner, the king resumed the firmness of his mind and sent messengers after messengers to bring Rama to him. By this time Rama was preparing to rise from his seat in the palace to come over to his father, in the manner that the sun rises from the mountain in the east. 10 Surrounded by a few of his servants, he came with his two brothers to the hallowed hall of his father, resembling the heaven of the king of gods.

11 From a distance he saw his kingly sire seated amidst the assemblage of princes, like Indra surrounded by the gods. 12 He was accompanied on either side by the sages Vasishta and Vishwamitra, and respectfully attended by his staff of ministers, all well versed in the interpretation of all scriptures. 13 He was fanned by charming maidens waving fine flappers in their hands, equaling in beauty the goddesses presiding over the quarters of heaven. 14 Vasishta, Vishwamitra and the other sages, with Dasharata and his chiefs, saw Rama coming at a distance as beautiful as Skanda (Subramanyan) himself.

15 His qualities of mildness and gravity made him resemble the Himalayas, and he was esteemed by all for the depth and clearness of his understanding. 16 He was handsome and well proportioned, auspicious in his look, but humble and magnanimous in his mind. With loveliness and mildness of his person, he was possessed of all manly prowess. 17 He was just developed to youth, yet he was as majestic as an elderly man. He was neither sad nor merry, but seemed to be fully satisfied with himself, as if he had obtained all the objects of his desires. 18 He was a good judge of the world, and possessed of all holy virtues. The purity of his mind attracted all the virtues that met in him. 19 The receptacle of his mind was filled by magnanimity and honorable virtues, and the candor of his conduct showed him in the light of perfection. 20 Endowed with these various virtues and decorated by his necklace and fine apparel, Rama the support of Raghu’s race, approached with a smiling face.

21 He bowed his head to his father with the sparkling jewels trembling in his locks, giving his head the graceful appearance of Mount Sumeru shaken by an earthquake. 22 The lotus-eyed Rama came up to salute the feet of his father, when the lord of the sages, Vishwamitra, was speaking with him. 23 First of all Rama saluted his father, then the two honorable sages. Next he saluted the brahmins, then his relations, and lastly his elders and well wishing friends. 24 Then he received and returned the salutations of the chiefs and princes as they bowed to him with graceful motions of their heads and respectful addresses.

25 Rama, of god-like beauty and equanimity of mind, approached the sacred presence of his father with the blessings of the two sages. 26 During the act of his saluting the feet of his father, the lord of the earth repeatedly kissed his head and face, and embraced him with fondness. 27 At the same time, Rama, the destroyer of his enemies, embraced his brothers Lakshman and Satrughna with an affection as intense as a swan embracing lotus flowers.

28 “My son, be seated upon my lap,” said the king to Rama who, however, took his seat on a fine piece of cloth spread on the floor by his servants. 29 The king then said, “O my son and receptacle of blessings, you have attained the age of discretion, so do not put yourself to that state of self-mortification as the dull-headed do from their crazy understandings. 30 Know that one attains merit by following the course of his elders, guides and brahmins, and not by his persistence in error. 31 So long as we do not allow the seeds of error to have access to us, so long will the train of our misfortunes lie at a distance.”

32 Vasishta said, “O strong armed prince, you are truly heroic to have conquered your worldly appetites, which are as difficult to eradicate as they are fierce in their action. 33 Why do you allow yourself, like the unlearned, to be drowned in this rolling sea of errors causing such dull inactivity in you?”

34 Vishwamitra said, “Why are your eyes so unsteady with doubts like trembling clusters of blue lotuses? You ought to do away with this unsteadiness and tell us what is the sadness in your mind. 35 What are these thoughts? What are their names and natures, their number and causes, that infest your mind like mice undermine a fabric? 36 I am disposed to think that you are not the person to be troubled with those evils and distempers to which the base and vile alone are subject. 37 Tell me the craving of your heart, O sinless Rama! They will be requited in a manner that will prevent them from reoccurring to you.”

38 Rama, the standard of Raghu’s race, having listened to the reasonable and graceful speech of the good-intentioned sage, shook off his sorrow, like a peacock at the roaring of a cloud, in the hope of gaining his object.