Sunday, 17 November 2013

103. Rama settles down at Panchavadi.

            On reaching Panchavati they found that that place was infested with serpents and predators. They were not scared or alarmed of them, of course. Rama told his brother "Dear Lakshmana! We have arrived at the place suggested by the sage. As you have now become an expert in such matters, please survey the area and decide which place will be suitable to construct an hermitage of our liking.
            "It is needless for me to say, but I just cannot help mentioning that Vaidehi, you and me take delight where the woodland is scenic and the water is pleasurable, and where a water lake, ritual-firewood, flowers, and the sacred grass are available in proximity."
              Lakshmana was somewhat disconcerted to hear the words of Rama. "Dear Bro! I am but a dependent. As long as you are there, even if it is for innumerable years, I am your adherent. Therefore you yourself tell me where to build the hermitage, after locating such a delightful place."
              On hearing such a response from Lakshmana, Rama smiled and nodded. And he just looked around and found such a place that was comprised of all the desired attributes. Affectionately taking Lakshmana's hand, Rama paced that beautiful place selected for the construction of hermitage up and down and told Lakshmana "This is on an evenly made ground and also a propitious place surrounded with flowered trees and it is apt of you to erect the hermitage here, traditionally. This pleasing lake is seen here adjacently, beaming forth with its lotuses that are similar to sun in resplendence, and that are scented fragrantly.
             "River Godavari is also seen from here, surrounded by blooming trees, spread over with swans, and beautified with kaarandava, and chakravaaka birds, as that contemplated soul maharishi Agastya had said. Those soaring mountains are appearing beautiful with many caves, surrounded by flowered trees, flurried by animal herds, sounded by peacocks, and they are neither far-off nor very nearby.
              "Here and there are the golden, silvery and coppery ores on the mountains, and they are shining forth like cow-eye ventilators on walls and also like the superb paintings on elephants.
Comment. The literal translation of the sanskrit word 'gava aksha' is cow-eye.  What it means here is the cow-eye shaped ventilators of walls. The bhakti is the name for coloured graphical drawings on the body of elephants. Apart from the howdah and other ornamentations, the elephants are richly painted in colours during ceremonial occasions, even today. As such Rama is visualising the ore deposits on the mountains as cow-eye like ventilators on walls, and as superb streaks of paintings on the bodies of elephants.
End Comment.
         "These mountains are bright with trees of Saala, Palmyra, Tamaala, Date Palms, Jackfruit and also with Punnaagaa. With Chuuta - Sweet Mango, Ashoka, Tialaka, Ketaka, Champaka, Syandana, Sandalwood, Niipa, Paarnasa, Lakuch, dhava, Ashwakarna, Khadira, Shamii, Kimshuka and Paatala. They are all entwined with flowered shrubs, and along with climbers, and thus they brighten the mountains. This place looks holy and delightful. And it is with many animals and birds. Dear bro, let us reside here along with this bird Jatayu." 
                 Lakshmana constructed a very spacious straw-cottage there leveling and raising the clay for raised floor of the cottage, strongly pillared with long bamboos, thereupon on those pillars excellent rafters were made, and the branches of Shamii trees were spread out, twined firmly with twines of jute strands, and with the cross-laid bamboos for thatching, and over that blades of Kusha grass and leaves of Kaasha were spread and well over-covered for the roof, and thus that very competent Lakshmana made that best and very spacious straw-cottage with a leveled surface for them. 
                Then with lotuses and fruits Lakshmana made flowery offerings and peace-invocations etc. Then he invited his brother and his sister-in-law to have a look at the hermitage. Rama was immensely pleased with the cottage. He then told Lakshmana "Oh, masterful one, I am very happy about what you have done. Now I am going to give you something special 'a big hugging'. When I am with you I feel that I am with my father."
                 The trio then moved into the hermitage and settled down in it.

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