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Valmiki Ramayana - Ayodhya Kanda in Prose Sarga 108

A Brahmana named Jabali tries to persuade Rama to accept the kingdom by advocating the theory of Nastikas (non-believers), saying that he need not get attached to his father's words and remain in the troublesome. Jabali requests Rama to enjoy the royal luxuries, by accepting the crown.

 

A Brahmana called Jabali spoke the following unrighteous words to Rama, who knew righteousness and who was assuaging Bharata as aforesaid. "Enough, O Rama! Let not your wisdom be rendered void like a common man, you who are distinguished for your intelligence and virtue. Who is related to whom? What is there to be obtained by anything and by whom? Every creature is born alone and dies alone. O, Rama! He who clings to another, saying, 'This is my father, this is my mother, he should be known as one who has lost his wits. There is none who belongs to another."

"O, Rama! As one who passes the a strange village spends the night the and the next day leaves that place and continues his journey, so are mother, father, home and possessions to a man; they are but a resting place. The wise do not become attached to them. O, chief of men! You as such should not abandon your father's kingdom in order to dwell in a lonely forest, that is excruciating hard to traverse and full of thorny thickets. Get yourself crowned in the prosperous kingdom of Ayodhya. That city is waiting for you, with your locks duly unfound."

"O, prince! Enjoy the royal luxuries worthy of you. Move around in Ayodhya as Indra the Lord of celestials does in heaven! Dasaratha is none to you nor you in anyway to him. That king is another and your are another. Hence, do what is told by me? The father is only the seed of a being. The sperm and the ovum blend at the right time in the mother's womb, so that a human being is born in this world. The king has gone, where he had to go. This is the fate of all being unnecessarily, you are still frustrated over the matter. I pity all those whosoever, devoted to wealth and religious merit, not other (who are devoted to sense-enjoyment), for, they, having undergone suffering in this life, have met with extermination after death."

"These people say, 'The eighth day should be given up to sacrifices for the spirits of our ancestors.' See the waste of food. What will a dead man eat? If food eaten by one here, reaches another's body, then let a sacrifice be offered for those who are setting out on a distant journey. Will it not become a food on their path? Perform sacrifices, distribute gifts, consecrate yourselves, practise austerity and renunciation' - These writings are composed by learned men for the sake of inducing others to give. O, the highly wise! Arrive at a conclusion, therefore, that there is nothing beyond this Universe. Give precedence to that which meets the eye and turn your back on what is beyond our knowledge. Honour the judgment of the wise and regarding that which is approved by all, accept the kingdom as propitiated by Bharata."

 

Thus completes 108th Chapter of Ayodhya Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

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August 2005, K. M. K. Murthy