Shatashloki 48: Rama, Lakshmana and Seeta proceed into the Dandakāranya forests

Gatetu bharate śrimān satyasandho jitendriya

Rāmastu punarālakṣyaa nagarasya janasya ca

Tatrāgamana mekāgro daṇḍakān praviveśa ha


After the departure of Bharata, Rama, who was self-controlled and truthful, proceeded deep into the Dandakaranya forests, with a view of preventing the citizens of Ayodhya from approaching him.

After the departure of Bharata, Rama continued to live in Chitrakuta. One day, he noticed some ascetics looking at his direction and whispering something amongst themselves. He noticed the anxiety and distress in their actions. He approached them, joined his palms and politely and asked, “Respected sirs, have I or my family members committed any deed that has harmed you in any way?”

An aged and senior ascetic stepped forward and replied, “Rama, we are not speaking about you. We are discussing about the demon Khara, who is the younger brother of demon Ravana. He has come to know that you are living here. He is not happy at your arrival here. Therefore, from the time you have arrived he has been sending his supporters, who are ruthlessly torturing the saints here.

Khara is a terrible demon who is merciless, cruel and sinful. He is haughty and fiendish. He enjoys eating human flesh. He will arrive here any moment now. He will then ill-treat and harm us.  Hence, these ascetics are in a hurry to leave this place and move to a safer place. In the process, they are hurrying me up. Since you are living here, one day you too will have to face his brutal attacks”.

Saying this, the old ascetic hurried away from there. Rama tried his best to instill courage and confidence amongst those saints, but it was of no avail. All the saints vacated their hermitages and very soon the entire place was deserted.

The desertion caused by the departure of the saints and the increased memories caused due to the recent visit of Bharata, the citizens and the ministers drained from Rama all the pleasures of Chitrakuta. Again and again the forlorn faces of his mothers flashed before his eyes. The memories of his brother and of Ayodhya began to cause worry and pain to him.

Rama reflected deeply and decided that it would be wiser to move away from this place. Having decided thus, the three of them left their hut and began walking deeper into the forests.

After some time, they reached the hermitage of Sage Atri. Rama stepped into this hermitage and sought the blessings of Sage Atri and his wife Anasuya. Atri received them very warmly. Maharishi Atri explained to Rama the spiritual greatness and achievements of his ascetic wife Anasuya.  Rama, Lakshmana and Seeta received the blessings of Mother Anasuya.

Seeta paid reverential respects to Anasuya and enquired about her wellbeing. Anasuya very lovingly treated Seeta and preached to her, “My dear daughter, do not deviate from the path of dharma under any circumstances. Always follow the footsteps of your husband”. Anasuya then brought and gifted Seeta with floral garlands that would never fade, apparel that would never get soiled, and jewellery. Thereafter, she enquired from Seeta and heard from her the entire story of Seeta’s marriage with Rama.

How lucky Anasuya was! She could hear directly from Seeta, in complete detail, the glory of the Seeta-Rama Kalyana (wedding). Atri and Anasuya experienced great thrill as they listened to the events of the marriage.

Mother Anasuya then asked Seeta to wear the clothing and jewellery gifted by her. Seeta duly adorned herself and brought great delight to Anasuya. She prostrated to Mother Anasuya. Seeta then approached Rama and showed him all the gifts received. Rama was also delighted. Having spent the night there, Rama, Lakshmana and Seeta resumed their journey early next morning.

As they were departing, Maharishi Atri said to Rama, “You need to be extremely vigilant in Dandakaranaya. The demons who inhabit this place are treacherous, wicked and exceptionally cruel. They are bloodthirsty demons who enjoy human flesh. Even a slight negligence, can turn the person into their fodder. This is the path that the Maharishis walk when they go to Dandakaranya to fetch the flowers and fruits. It will be safer to proceed on this path”.

Rama, along with Lakshmana and Seeta entered the Dandakaranaya forest.

With this the Ayodhya Kanda of Ramayana comes to an end.


Om Seeta Ramabhayam namaha

Permanent link to this article:


Forgot Password?

Join Us

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.