be brought before her, addressed him in these words,
“Dasaratha hath gone to heaven and both Rama
and Lakshmana are in the forest! Take thou this
kingdom which is so extensive and whose peace there
is no rival to disturb.” Thereupon the
virtuous Bharata replied unto her saying, “Thou
hast done a wicked deed, having slain thy husband
and exterminated this family from lust of wealth alone!
Heaping infamy on my head, O accursed woman of our
race, thou hast, O mother, attained this, thy object!”
And having said these words, the prince wept aloud.
And having proved his innocence before all the subjects
of that realm he set out in the wake of Rama, desiring
to bring him back. And placing Kausalya and Sumitra
and Kaikeyi in the vehicles at the van of his train,
he proceeded with a heavy heart, in company with Satrughna.
And he was accompanied by Vasishtha and Vamadeva,
and other Brahmanas by thousands and by the people
of the cities and the provinces, desiring to bring
back Rama. And he saw Rama with Lakshmana, living
on the mountains of Chitrakuta with bow in hand and
decked with the ornaments of ascetics. Bharata,
however, was dismissed by Rama, who was determined
to act according to the words of his father.
And returning, Bharata ruled at Nandigrama, keeping
before him, his brother’s wooden sandals.
And Rama fearing a repetition of intrusion by the
people of Ayodhya, entered into the great forest towards
the asylum of Sarabhanga. And having paid his
respects to Sarabhanga, he entered the forest of Dandaka
and took up his abode on the banks of beautiful river
Godavari. And while living there, Rama was inveigled
into hostilities with Khara, then dwelling in Janasthana,
on account of Surpanakha. And for the protection
of the ascetics the virtuous scion of Raghu’s
race slew fourteen thousand Rakshasas on earth, and
having slain those mighty Rakshasas, Khara and Dushana,
the wise descendant of Raghu once more made that sacred
forest free from danger.
“’And after these Rakshasas had been slain,
Surpanakha with mutilated nose and lips, repaired
to Lanka—the abode of her brother (Ravana).
And when that Rakshasa woman, senseless with grief
and with dry blood-stains on her face, appeared before
Ravana, she fell down at his feet. And beholding
her so horribly mutilated, Ravana became senseless
with wrath and grinding his teeth sprung up from his
seat. And dismissing his ministers, he enquired
of her in private, saying, “Blessed sister, who
hath made thee so, forgetting and disregarding me?
Who is he that having got a sharp-pointed spear hath
rubbed his body with it? Who is he that sleepeth
in happiness and security, after placing a fire close
to his head? Who is he that hath trodden upon
a revengeful snake of virulent poison? Who indeed,
is that person who standeth with his hand thrust into
the mouth of the maned lion!” Then flames of
wrath burst forth from his body, like those that are
emitted at night from the hollows of a tree on fire.