Chapter Eleven

                   Lord Ramacandra Rules the World


   This chapter describes how Lord Ramacandra resided in Ayodhya with His younger brothers and performed various sacrifices.

   Lord Ramacandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, performed various sacrifices by which to worship Himself, and at the end of these sacrifices He gave land to the hota, adhvaryu, udgata and brahma priests. He gave them the eastern, western, northern and southern directions respectively, and the balance He gave to the acarya. Lord Ramacandra's faith in the brahmanas and affection for His servants was observed by all the brahmanas, who then offered their prayers to the Lord and returned whatever they had taken from Him. They regarded the enlightenment given to them by the Lord within the core of their hearts as a sufficient contribution. Lord Ramacandra subsequently dressed Himself like an ordinary person and began wandering within the capital to understand what impression the citizens had of Him. By chance, one night He heard a man talking to his wife, who had gone to another man's house. In the course of rebuking his wife, the man spoke suspiciously of the character of Sitadevi. The Lord immediately returned home, and, fearing such rumors, He superficially decided to give up Sitadevi's company. Thus He banished Sitadevi, who was pregnant, to the shelter of Valmiki Muni, where she gave birth to twin sons, named Lava and Kusa. In Ayodhya, Laksmana begot two sons named Angada and Citraketu, Bharata begot two sons named Taksa and Puskala, and Satrughna begot two sons named Subahu and Srutasena. When Bharata went out to conquer various lands on behalf of the emperor, Lord Ramacandra, He fought many millions of Gandharvas. By killing them in the fight, He acquired immense wealth, which He then brought home. Satrughna killed a demon named Lavana at Madhuvana and thus established the capital of Mathura. Meanwhile, Sitadevi placed her two sons in the care of Valmiki Muni and then entered into the earth. Upon hearing of this, Lord Ramacandra was very much aggrieved, and thus He performed sacrifices for thirteen thousand years. After describing the pastimes of Lord Ramacandra's disappearance and establishing that the Lord appears for His pastimes only, Sukadeva Gosvami ends this chapter by describing the results of hearing about the activities of Lord Ramacandra and by describing how the Lord protected His citizens and displayed affection for His brothers.


                                TEXT 1




                            sri-suka uvaca

                        bhagavan atmanatmanam

                        rama uttama-kalpakaih

                        sarva-devamayam devam

                       ije 'thacaryavan makhaih




   sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; atmana--by Himself; atmanam--Himself; ramah--Lord Ramacandra; uttama-kalpakaih--with very opulent paraphernalia; sarva-deva-mayam--the heart and soul of all the demigods; devam--the Supreme Lord Himself; ije--worshiped; atha--thus; acaryavan--under the guidance of an acarya; makhaih--by performing sacrifices.




   Sukadeva Gosvami said: Thereafter, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Ramacandra, accepted an acarya and performed sacrifices [yajnas] with opulent paraphernalia. Thus He Himself worshiped Himself, for He is the Supreme Lord of all demigods.




   Sarvarhanam acyutejya. If Acyuta, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is worshiped, then everyone is worshiped. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (4.31.14):


                     yatha taror mula-nisecanena

                  trpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopasakhah

                    pranopaharac ca yathendriyanam

                    tathaiva sarvarhanam acyutejya


   "As pouring water on the root of a tree nourishes the trunk, branches, twigs and leaves, and as supplying food to the stomach enlivens the senses and limbs of the body, worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead satisfies the demigods, who are part of that Supreme Personality." Performing yajna involves worshiping the Supreme Lord. Here the Supreme Lord worshiped the Supreme Lord. Therefore it is said, bhagavan atmanatmanam ije: the Lord worshiped Himself by Himself. This does not, of course, justify the Mayavada philosophy, by which one thinks himself the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The jiva, the living entity, is always different from the Supreme Lord. The living entities (vibhinnamsa) never become one with the Lord, although Mayavadis sometimes imitate the Lord's worship of Himself. Lord Krsna meditated upon Himself every morning as a grhastha, and similarly Lord Ramacandra performed yajnas to satisfy Himself, but this does not mean that an ordinary living being should imitate the Lord by accepting the process of ahangraha-upasana. Such unauthorized worship is not recommended herein.


                                TEXT 2




                      hotre 'dadad disam pracim

                      brahmane daksinam prabhuh

                        adhvaryave praticim va

                         uttaram samagaya sah




   hotre--unto the hota priest, who offers oblations; adadat--gave; disam--direction; pracim--the whole eastern side; brahmane--unto the brahma priest, who supervises what is done in the sacrificial arena; daksinam--the southern side; prabhuh--Lord Ramacandra; adhvaryave--unto the adhvaryu priest; praticim--the whole western side; va--also; uttaram--the northern side; sama-gaya--unto the udgata priest, who sings the Sama Veda; sah--He (Lord Ramacandra).




   Lord Ramacandra gave the entire east to the hota priest, the entire south to the brahma priest, the west to the adhvaryu priest, and the north to the udgata priest, the reciter of the Sama Veda. In this way, He donated His kingdom.


                                TEXT 3




                         acaryaya dadau sesam

                        yavati bhus tad-antara

                        manyamana idam krtsnam

                      brahmano 'rhati nihsprhah




   acaryaya--unto the acarya, the spiritual master; dadau--gave; sesam--the balance; yavati--whatever; bhuh--land; tat-antara--existing between the east, west, north and south; manyamanah--thinking; idam--all this; krtsnam--wholly; brahmanah--the brahmanas; arhati--deserve to possess; nihsprhah--having no desire.




   Thereafter, thinking that because the brahmanas have no material desires they should possess the entire world, Lord Ramacandra delivered the land between the east, west, north and south to the acarya.


                                TEXT 4




                        ity ayam tad-alankara-

                         vasobhyam avasesitah

                       tatha rajny api vaidehi





   iti--in this way (after giving everything to the brahmanas); ayam--Lord Ramacandra; tat--His; alankara-vasobhyam--with personal ornaments and garments; avasesitah--remained; tatha--as well as; rajni--the Queen (mother Sita); api--also; vaidehi--the daughter of the King of Videha; saumangalya--with only the nose ring; avasesita--remained.




   After thus giving everything in charity to the brahmanas, Lord Ramacandra retained only His personal garments and ornaments, and similarly the Queen, mother Sita, was left with only her nose ring, and nothing else.


                                TEXT 5




                        te tu brahmana-devasya

                      vatsalyam viksya samstutam

                     pritah klinna-dhiyas tasmai

                       pratyarpyedam babhasire




   te--the hota, brahma and other priests; tu--but; brahmana-devasya--of Lord Ramacandra, who loved the brahmanas so much; vatsalyam--the paternal affection; viksya--after seeing; samstutam--worshiped with prayers; pritah--being very pleased; klinna-dhiyah--with melted hearts; tasmai--unto Him (Lord Ramacandra); pratyarpya--returning; idam--this (all the land given to them); babhasire--spoke.




   All the brahmanas who were engaged in the various activities of the sacrifice were very pleased with Lord Ramacandra, who was greatly affectionate and favorable to the brahmanas. Thus with melted hearts they returned all the property received from Him and spoke as follows.




   In the previous chapter it was said that the prajas, the citizens, strictly followed the system of varnasrama-dharma. The brahmanas acted exactly like brahmanas, the ksatriyas exactly like ksatriyas, and so on. Therefore, when Lord Ramacandra gave everything in charity to the brahmanas, the brahmanas, being qualified, wisely considered that brahmanas are not meant to possess property to make a profit from it. The qualifications of a brahmana are given in Bhagavad-gita (18.42):.


                       samo damas tapah saucam

                        ksantir arjavam eva ca

                       jnanam vijnanam astikyam

                       brahma-karma svabhavajam


   "Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness--these are the qualities by which the brahmanas work." The brahminical character offers no scope for possessing land and ruling citizens; these are the duties of a ksatriya. Therefore, although the brahmanas did not refuse Lord Ramacandra's gift, after accepting it they returned it to the King. The brahmanas were so pleased with Lord Ramacandra's affection toward them that their hearts melted. They saw that Lord Ramacandra, aside from being the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was fully qualified as a ksatriya and was exemplary in character. One of the qualifications of a ksatriya is to be charitable. A ksatriya, or ruler, levies taxes upon the citizens not for his personal sense gratification but to give charity in suitable cases. Danam isvara-bhavah. On one hand, ksatriyas have the propensity to rule, but on the other they are very liberal with charity. When Maharaja Yudhisthira gave charity, he engaged Karna to take charge of distributing it. Karna was very famous as Data Karna. The word data refers to one who gives charity very liberally. The kings always kept a large quantity of food grains in stock, and whenever there was any scarcity of grains, they would distribute grains in charity. A ksatriya's duty is to give charity, and a brahmana's duty is to accept charity, but not more than needed to maintain body and soul together. Therefore, when the brahmanas were given so much land by Lord Ramacandra, they returned it to Him and were not greedy.


                                TEXT 6




                      aprattam nas tvaya kim nu

                        bhagavan bhuvanesvara

                      yan no 'ntar-hrdayam visya

                        tamo hamsi sva-rocisa




   aprattam--not given; nah--unto us; tvaya--by Your Lordship; kim--what; nu--indeed; bhagavan--O Supreme Lord; bhuvana-isvara--O master of the whole universe; yat--because; nah--our; antah-hrdayam--within the core of the heart; visya--entering; tamah--the darkness of ignorance; hamsi--You annihilate; sva-rocisa--by Your own effulgence.




   O Lord, You are the master of the entire universe. What have You not given to us? You have entered the core of our hearts and dissipated the darkness of our ignorance by Your effulgence. This is the supreme gift. We do not need a material donation.




   When Dhruva Maharaja was offered a benediction by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he replied, "O my Lord, I am fully satisfied. I do not need any material benediction." Similarly, when Prahlada Maharaja was offered a benediction by Lord Nrsimhadeva, he also refused to accept it and instead declared that a devotee should not be like a vanik, a mercantile man who gives something in exchange for some profit. One who becomes a devotee for some material profit is not a pure devotee. Brahmanas are always enlightened by the Supreme Personality of Godhead within the heart (sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca). And because the brahmanas and Vaisnavas are always directed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they are not greedy for material wealth. What is absolutely necessary they possess, but they do not want an expanded kingdom. An example of this was given by Vamanadeva. Acting as a brahmacari, Lord Vamanadeva wanted only three paces of land. Aspiring to possess more and more for personal sense gratification is simply ignorance, and this ignorance is conspicuous by its absence from the heart of a brahmana or Vaisnava.


                                TEXT 7




                        namo brahmanya-devaya







   namah--we offer our respectful obeisances; brahmanya-devaya--unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who accepts the brahmanas as His worshipable deity; ramaya--unto Lord Ramacandra; akuntha-medhase--whose memory and knowledge are never disturbed by anxiety; uttamasloka-dhuryaya--the best of very famous persons; nyasta-danda-arpita-anghraye--whose lotus feet are worshiped by sages beyond the jurisdiction of punishment.




   O Lord, You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who have accepted the brahmanas as Your worshipable deity. Your knowledge and memory are never disturbed by anxiety. You are the chief of all famous persons within this world, and Your lotus feet are worshiped by sages who are beyond the jurisdiction of punishment. O Lord Ramacandra, let us offer our respectful obeisances unto You.


                                TEXT 8




                        kadacil loka-jijnasur

                       gudho ratryam alaksitah

                        caran vaco 'srnod ramo

                       bharyam uddisya kasyacit




   kadacit--once upon a time; loka-jijnasuh--desiring to know about the public; gudhah--hiding Himself by a disguise; ratryam--at night; alaksitah--without being identified by anyone else; caran--walking; vacah--speaking; asrnot--heard; ramah--Lord Ramacandra; bharyam--unto His wife; uddisya--indicating; kasyacit--of someone.




   Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Once while Lord Ramacandra was walking at night incognito, hiding Himself by a disguise to find out the people's opinion of Himself, He heard a man speaking unfavorably about His wife, Sitadevi.


                                TEXT 9




                      naham bibharmi tvam dustam

                        asatim para-vesma-gam

                      straino hi bibhryat sitam

                        ramo naham bhaje punah




   na--not; aham--I; bibharmi--can maintain; tvam--you; dustam--because you are polluted; asatim--unchaste; para-vesma-gam--one who has gone to another man's house and committed adultery; strainah--a person who is henpecked; hi--indeed; bibhryat--can accept; sitam--even Sita; ramah--like Lord Ramacandra; na--not; aham--I; bhaje--shall accept; punah--again.




   [Speaking to his unchaste wife, the man said] You go to another man's house, and therefore you are unchaste and polluted. I shall not maintain you any more. A henpecked husband like Lord Rama may accept a wife like Sita, who went to another man's house, but I am not henpecked like Him, and therefore I shall not accept you again.


                               TEXT 10




                        iti lokad bahu-mukhad

                        duraradhyad asamvidah

                       patya bhitena sa tyakta

                        prapta pracetasasramam




   iti--thus; lokat--from persons; bahu-mukhat--who can talk nonsensically in various ways; duraradhyat--whom it is very difficult to stop; asamvidah--who are without full knowledge; patya--by the husband; bhitena--being afraid; sa--mother Sita; tyakta--was abandoned; prapta--went; pracetasa-asramam--to the hermitage of Pracetasa (Valmiki Muni).




   Sukadeva Gosvami said: Men with a poor fund of knowledge and a heinous character speak nonsensically. Fearing such rascals, Lord Ramacandra abandoned His wife, Sitadevi, although she was pregnant. Thus Sitadevi went to the asrama of Valmiki Muni.


                               TEXT 11




                        antarvatny agate kale

                        yamau sa susuve sutau

                        kuso lava iti khyatau

                       tayos cakre kriya munih




   antarvatni--the pregnant wife; agate--arrived; kale--in due course of time; yamau--twins; sa--Sitadevi; susuve--gave birth to; sutau--two sons; kusah--Kusa; lavah--Lava; iti--thus; khyatau--celebrated; tayoh--of them; cakre--performed; kriyah--the ritualistic ceremonies of birth; munih--the great sage Valmiki.




   When the time came, the pregnant mother Sitadevi gave birth to twin sons, later celebrated as Lava and Kusa. The ritualistic ceremonies for their birth were performed by Valmiki Muni.


                               TEXT 12




                        angadas citraketus ca

                       laksmanasyatmajau smrtau

                       taksah puskala ity astam

                         bharatasya mahipate




   angadah--Angada; citraketuh--Citraketu; ca--also; laksmanasya--of Lord Laksmana; atmajau--two sons; smrtau--were said to be; taksah--Taksa; puskalah--Puskala; iti--thus; astam--were; bharatasya--of Lord Bharata; mahipate--O King Pariksit.




   O Maharaja Pariksit, Lord Laksmana had two sons, named Angada and Citraketu, and Lord Bharata also had two sons, named Taksa and Puskala.


                             TEXTS 13-14




                        subahuh srutasenas ca

                       satrughnasya babhuvatuh

                       gandharvan kotiso jaghne

                         bharato vijaye disam


                         tadiyam dhanam aniya

                       sarvam rajne nyavedayat

                     satrughnas ca madhoh putram

                        lavanam nama raksasam

                        hatva madhuvane cakre

                       mathuram nama vai purim




   subahuh--Subahu; srutasenah--Srutasena; ca--also; satrughnasya--of Lord Satrughna; babhuvatuh--were born; gandharvan--persons related with the Gandharvas, who are mostly pretenders; kotisah--by the tens of millions; jaghne--killed; bharatah--Lord Bharata; vijaye--while conquering; disam--all directions; tadiyam--of the Gandharvas; dhanam--riches; aniya--bringing; sarvam--everything; rajne--unto the King (Lord Ramacandra); nyavedayat--offered; satrughnah--Satrughna; ca--and; madhoh--of Madhu; putram--the son; lavanam--Lavana; nama--by the name; raksasam--a man-eater; hatva--by killing; madhuvane--in the great forest known as Madhuvana; cakre--constructed; mathuram--Mathura; nama--by the name; vai--indeed; purim--a great town.




   Satrughna had two sons, named Subahu and Srutasena. When Lord Bharata went to conquer all directions, He had to kill many millions of Gandharvas, who are generally pretenders. Taking all their wealth, He offered it to Lord Ramacandra. Satrughna also killed a Raksasa named Lavana, who was the son of Madhu Raksasa. Thus He established in the great forest known as Madhuvana the town known as Mathura.


                               TEXT 15




                        munau niksipya tanayau

                        sita bhartra vivasita

                        dhyayanti rama-caranau

                         vivaram pravivesa ha




   munau--unto the great sage Valmiki; niksipya--giving in charge; tanayau--the two sons Lava and Kusa; sita--mother Sitadevi; bhartra--by her husband; vivasita--banished; dhyayanti--meditating upon; rama-caranau--the lotus feet of Lord Ramacandra; vivaram--within the earth; pravivesa--she entered; ha--indeed.




   Being forsaken by her husband, Sitadevi entrusted her two sons to the care of Valmiki Muni. Then, meditating upon the lotus feet of Lord Ramacandra, she entered into the earth.




   It was impossible for Sitadevi to live in separation from Lord Ramacandra. Therefore, after entrusting her two sons to the care of Valmiki Muni, she entered into the earth.


                               TEXT 16




                      tac chrutva bhagavan ramo

                       rundhann api dhiya sucah

                    smarams tasya gunams tams tan

                       nasaknod roddhum isvarah




   tat--this (the news of Sitadevi's entering the earth); srutva--hearing; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ramah--Lord Ramacandra; rundhan--trying to reject; api--although; dhiya--by intelligence; sucah--grief; smaran--remembering; tasyah--of her; gunan--qualities; tan tan--under different circumstances; na--not; asaknot--was able; roddhum--to check; isvarah--although the supreme controller.




   After hearing the news of mother Sita's entering the earth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was certainly aggrieved. Although He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, upon remembering the exalted qualities of mother Sita, He could not check His grief in transcendental love.




   Lord Ramacandra's grief at the news of Sitadevi's entering the earth is not to be considered material. In the spiritual world also there are feelings of separation, but such feelings are considered spiritual bliss. Grief in separation exists even in the Absolute, but such feelings of separation in the spiritual world are transcendentally blissful. Such feelings are a sign of tasya prema-vasyatva-svabhava, being under the influence of hladini-sakti and being controlled by love. In the material world such feelings of separation are only a perverted reflection.


                               TEXT 17




                       stri-pum-prasanga etadrk

                        sarvatra trasam-avahah

                         apisvaranam kim uta

                        gramyasya grha-cetasah




   stri-pum-prasangah--attraction between husband and wife, or man and woman; etadrk--like this; sarvatra--everywhere; trasam-avahah--the cause of fear; api--even; isvaranam--of controllers; kim uta--and what to speak of; gramyasya--of ordinary men of this material world; grha-cetasah--who are attached to materialistic household life.




   The attraction between man and woman, or male and female, always exists everywhere, making everyone always fearful. Such feelings are present even among the controllers like Brahma and Lord Siva and is the cause of fear for them, what to speak of others who are attached to household life in this material world.




   As explained above, when the feelings of love and transcendental bliss from the spiritual world are pervertedly reflected in this material world, they are certainly the cause of bondage. As long as men feel attracted to women in this material world and women feel attracted to men, the bondage of repeated birth and death will continue. But in the spiritual world, where there is no fear of birth and death, such feelings of separation are the cause of transcendental bliss. In the absolute reality there are varieties of feeling, but all of them are of the same quality of transcendental bliss.


                               TEXT 18




                      tata urdhvam brahmacaryam

                       dharyann ajuhot prabhuh


                        agnihotram akhanditam




   tatah--thereafter; urdhvam--after mother Sita's going into the earth; brahmacaryam--complete celibacy; dharayan--observing; ajuhot--performed a ritualistic ceremony and sacrifice; prabhuh--Lord Ramacandra; trayodasa-abda-sahasram--for thirteen thousand years; agnihotram--the sacrifice known as Agnihotra-yajna; akhanditam--without ceasing.




   After mother Sita entered the earth, Lord Ramacandra observed complete celibacy and performed an uninterrupted Agnihotra-yajna for thirteen thousand years.


                               TEXT 19




                        smaratam hrdi vinyasya

                      viddham dandaka-kantakaih

                        sva-pada-pallavam rama

                        atma-jyotir agat tatah




   smaratam--of persons who always think of Him; hrdi--in the core of the heart; vinyasya--placing; viddham--pierced; dandaka-kantakaih--by thorns in the forest of Dandakaranya (while Lord Ramacandra was living there); sva-pada-pallavam--the petals of Mis lotus feet; ramah--Lord Ramacandra; atma-jyotih--the rays of His bodily luster, known as the brahmajyoti; agat--entered; tatah--beyond the brahmajyoti, or in His own Vaikuntha planet.




   After completing the sacrifice, Lord Ramacandra, whose lotus feet were sometimes pierced by thorns when He lived in Dandakaranya, placed those lotus feet in the hearts of those who always think of Him. Then He entered His own abode, the Vaikuntha planet beyond the brahmajyoti.




   The lotus feet of the Lord are always a subject matter for meditation for devotees. Sometimes when Lord Ramacandra wandered in the forest of Dandakaranya, thorns pricked His lotus feet. The devotees, upon thinking of this, would faint. The Lord does not feel pain or pleasure from any action or reaction of this material world, but the devotees cannot tolerate even the pricking of the Lord's lotus feet by a thorn. This was the attitude of the gopis when they thought of Krsna wandering in the forest, with pebbles and grains of sand pricking His lotus feet. This tribulation in the heart of a devotee cannot be understood by karmis, jnanis or yogis. The devotees, who could not tolerate even thinking of the Lord's lotus feet being pricked by a thorn, were again put into tribulation by thinking of the Lord's disappearance, for the Lord had to return to His abode after finishing His pastimes in this material world.

   The word atma-jyotih is significant. The brahmajyoti, which is greatly appreciated by jnanis, or monistic philosophers who desire to enter it for liberation, is nothing but the rays of the Lord's body.


               yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti-

                kotisv asesa-vasudhadi-vibhuti-bhinnam

               tad brahma niskalam anantam asesa-bhutam

                govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami


   "I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is endowed with great power. The glowing effulgence of His transcendental form is the impersonal Brahman, which is absolute, complete and unlimited and which displays the varieties of countless planets, with their different opulences, in millions and millions of universes." (Brahma-samhita 5.40) The brahmajyoti is the beginning of the spiritual world, and beyond the brahmajyoti are the Vaikuntha planets. In other words, the brahmajyoti stays outside the Vaikuntha planets, just as the sunshine stays outside the sun. To enter the sun planet, one must go through the sunshine. Similarly, when the Lord or His devotees enter the Vaikuntha planets, they go through the brahmajyoti. The jnanis, or monistic philosophers, because of their impersonal conception of the Lord, cannot enter the Vaikuntha planets, but they also cannot stay eternally in the brahmajyoti. Thus after some time they fall again to this material world. Aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adho 'nadrta-yusmad-anghrayah (Bhag. 10.2.32). The Vaikuntha planets are covered by the brahmajyoti, and therefore one cannot properly understand what those Vaikuntha planets are unless one is a pure devotee.


                               TEXT 20




                nedam yaso raghupateh sura-yacnayatta-

               lila-tanor adhika-samya-vimukta-dhamnah

              rakso-vadho jaladhi-bandhanam astra-pugaih

                kim tasya satru-hanane kapayah sahayah




   na--not; idam--all these; yasah--fame; raghu-pateh--of Lord Ramacandra; sura-yacnaya--by the prayers of the demigods; atta-lila-tanoh--whose spiritual body is always engaged in various pastimes; adhika-samya-vimukta-dhamnah--no one is greater than or equal to Him; raksah-vadhah--killing the Raksasa (Ravana); jaladhi-bandhanam--bridging the ocean; astra-pugaih--with bow and arrows; kim--whether; tasya--His; satru-hanane--in killing the enemies; kapayah--the monkeys; sahayah--assistants.




   Lord Ramacandra's reputation for having killed Ravana with showers of arrows at the request of the demigods and for having built a bridge over the ocean does not constitute the factual glory of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Ramacandra, whose spiritual body is always engaged in various pastimes. Lord Ramacandra has no equal or superior, and therefore He had no need to take help from the monkeys to gain victory over Ravana.




   As stated in the Vedas (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.8):


                  na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate

                 na tat-samas cabhyadhikas ca drsyate

                  parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate

                    svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca


   "The Supreme Lord has nothing to do, and no one is found to be equal to or greater than Him, for everything is done naturally and systematically by His multifarious energies." The Lord has nothing to do (na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate); whatever He does is His pastime. The Lord has no duty to perform to oblige anyone. Nonetheless, He appears to act to protect His devotees or kill His enemies. Of course, no one can be the Lord's enemy, since who could be more powerful than the Lord? There is actually no question of anyone's being His enemy, but when the Lord wants to take pleasure in pastimes, He comes down to this material world and acts like a human being, thus showing His wonderful, glorious activities to please the devotees. His devotees always want to see the Lord victorious in varied activities, and therefore, to please Himself and them, the Lord sometimes agrees to act as a human being and perform wonderful, uncommon pastimes for the satisfaction of the devotees.


                               TEXT 21




                yasyamalam nrpa-sadahsu yaso 'dhunapi

             gayanty agha-ghnam rsayo dig-ibhendra-pattam

                 tam nakapala-vasupala-kirita-justa-

                padambujam raghupatim saranam prapadye




   yasya--whose (Lord Ramacandra's); amalam--spotless, free from material qualities; nrpa-sadahsu--in the assembly of great emperors like Maharaja Yudhisthira; yasah--famous glories; adhuna api--even today; gayanti--glorify; agha-ghnam--which vanquish all sinful reactions; rsayah--great saintly persons like Markandeya; dik-ibha-indra-pattam--as the ornamental cloth covering the elephant that conquers the directions; tam--that; naka-pala--of heavenly demigods; vasu-pala--of earthly kings; kirita--by the helmets; justa--are worshiped; pada-ambujam--whose lotus feet; raghu-patim--unto Lord Ramacandra; saranam--surrender; prapadye--I offer.




   Lord Ramacandra's spotless name and fame, which vanquish all sinful reactions, are celebrated in all directions, like the ornamental cloth of the victorious elephant that conquers all directions. Great saintly persons like Markandeya Rsi still glorify His characteristics in the assemblies of great emperors like Maharaja Yudhisthira. Similarly, all the saintly kings and all the demigods, including Lord Siva and Lord Brahma, worship the Lord by bowing down with their helmets. Let me offer my obeisances unto His lotus feet.


                               TEXT 22




                     sa yaih sprsto 'bhidrsto va

                       samvisto 'nugato 'pi va

                       kosalas te yayuh sthanam

                       yatra gacchanti yoginah




   sah--He, Lord Ramacandra; yaih--by which persons; sprstah--touched; abhidrstah--seen; va--either; samvistah--eating together, lying together; anugatah--followed as servants; api va--even; kosalah--all those inhabitants of Kosala; te--they; yayuh--departed; sthanam--to the place; yatra--wherein; gacchanti--they go; yoginah--all the bhakti-yogis.




   Lord Ramacandra returned to His abode, to which bhakti-yogis are promoted. This is the place to which all the inhabitants of Ayodhya went after they served the Lord in His manifest pastimes by offering Him obeisances, touching His lotus feet, fully observing Him as a fatherlike King, sitting or lying down with Him like equals, or even just accompanying Him.




   The Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (4.9):


                       janma karma ca me divyam

                       evam yo vetti tattvatah

                      tyaktva deham punar janma

                       naiti mam eti so 'rjuna


   "One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna." Here this is confirmed. All the inhabitants of Ayodhya who saw Lord Ramacandra as citizens, served Him as servants, sat and talked with Him as friends or were somehow or other present during His reign went back home, back to Godhead. After giving up the body, the devotee who becomes perfect in devotional service enters that particular universe where Lord Ramacandra or Lord Krsna is engaged in His pastimes. Then, after being trained to serve the Lord in various capacities in that prakata-lila, the devotee is finally promoted to sanatana-dhama, the supreme abode in the spiritual world. This sanatana-dhama is also mentioned in Bhagavad-gita (paras tasmat tu bhavo 'nyo'vyakto'vyaktat sanatanah). One who enters the transcendental pastimes of the Lord is called nitya-lila-pravista. To understand clearly why Lord Ramacandra returned, it is mentioned herewith that the Lord went to that particular place where the bhakti-yogis go. The impersonalists misunderstand the statements of Srimad-Bhagavatam to mean that the Lord entered His own effulgence and therefore become impersonal. But the Lord is a person, and His devotees are persons. Indeed, the living entities, like the Lord, were persons in the past, they are persons in the present, and they will continue to be persons even after giving up the body. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita.


                               TEXT 23




                         puruso rama-caritam

                        sravanair upadharayan

                         anrsamsya-paro rajan

                       karma-bandhair vimucyate




   purusah--any person; rama-caritam--the narration concerning the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Ramacandra; sravanaih--by aural reception; upadharayan--simply by this process of hearing; anrsamsya-parah--becomes completely free from envy; rajan--O King Pariksit; karma-bandhaih--by the bondage of fruitive activities; vimucyate--one becomes liberated.




   O King Pariksit, anyone who aurally receives the narrations concerning the characteristics of Lord Ramacandra's pastimes will ultimately be freed from the disease of envy and thus be liberated from the bondage of fruitive activities.




   Here in this material world, everyone is envious of someone else. Even in religious life, it is sometimes found that if one devotee has advanced in spiritual activities, other devotees are envious of him. Such envious devotees are not completely freed from the bondage of birth and death. As long as one is not completely free from the cause of birth and death, one cannot enter the sanatana-dhama or the eternal pastimes of the Lord. One becomes envious because of being influenced by the designations of the body, but the liberated devotee has nothing to do with the body, and therefore he is completely on the transcendental platform. A devotee is never envious of anyone, even his enemy. Because the devotee knows that the Lord is his supreme protector, he thinks, "What harm can the so-called enemy do?" Thus a devotee is confident about his protection. The Lord says, ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham: "According to the proportion of one's surrender unto Me, I respond accordingly." A devotee must therefore be completely free from envy, especially of other devotees. To envy other devotees is a great offense, a vaisnava-aparadha. A devotee who constantly engages in hearing and chanting (sravana-kirtana) is certainly freed from the disease of envy, and thus he becomes eligible to go back home, back to Godhead.


                               TEXT 24





                       katham sa bhagavan ramo

                      bhratrn va svayam atmanah

                      tasmin va te 'nvavartanta

                       prajah pauras ca isvare




   sri-raja uvaca--Maharaja Pariksit inquired; katham--how; sah--He, the Lord; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ramah--Lord Ramacandra; bhratrn--unto the brothers (Laksmana, Bharata and Satrughna); va--either; svayam--personally; atmanah--expansions of His person; tasmin--unto the Lord; va--either; te--they (all the inhabitants and the brothers); anvavartanta--behaved; prajah--all the inhabitants; paurah--the citizens; ca--and; isvare--unto the Supreme Lord.




   Maharaja Pariksit inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami: How did the Lord conduct Himself, and how did He behave in relationship with His brothers, who were expansions of His own self? And how did His brothers and the inhabitants of Ayodhya treat Him?


                               TEXT 25




                        sri-badarayanir uvaca

                         athadisad dig-vijaye

                      bhratrms tri-bhuvanesvarah

                       atmanam darsayan svanam

                        purim aiksata sanugah




   sri-badarayanih uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; atha--hereafter (when the Lord accepted the throne on the request of Bharata); adisat--ordered; dik-vijaye--to conquer all the world; bhratrn--His younger brothers; tri-bhuvana-isvarah--the Lord of the universe; atmanam--personally, Himself; darsayan--giving audience; svanam--to the family members and the citizens; purim--the city; aiksata--supervised; sa-anugah--with other assistants.




   Sukadeva Gosvami replied: After accepting the throne of the government by the fervent request of His younger brother Bharata, Lord Ramacandra ordered His younger brothers to go out and conquer the entire world, while He personally remained in the capital to give audience to all the citizens and residents of the palace and supervise the governmental affairs with His other assistants.




   The Supreme Personality of Godhead does not allow any of His devotees or assistants to be engaged in sense gratification. The younger brothers of Lord Ramacandra were at home enjoying the personal presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the Lord ordered Them to go out and achieve victory all over the world. It was the custom (and this custom, in some places, is still current) that all other kings would have to accept the supremacy of the emperor. If the king of a small state did not accept the emperor's supremacy, there would be a fight, and the king of the small state would be obliged to accept the emperor as supreme; otherwise, it would not be possible for the emperor to rule the country.

   Lord Ramacandra showed His favor to His brothers by ordering Them to go out. Many of the Lord's devotees residing in Vrndavana have taken the vow not to leave Vrndavana to preach Krsna consciousness. But the Lord says that Krsna consciousness should be spread all over the world, in every village and every town. This is the open order of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.


                  prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama

                   sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama


   A pure devotee, therefore, must execute the order of the Lord and must not gratify his senses by remaining stagnant in one place, falsely proud, thinking that because he does not leave Vrndavana but chants in a solitary place he has become a great devotee. A devotee must carry out the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, yare dekha, tare kaha 'krsna'-upadesa. Every devotee, therefore, should spread Krsna consciousness by preaching, asking whomever he meets to accept the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: "Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me." This is the order of the Lord, who speaks as the supreme emperor. Everyone should be induced to accept this order, for this is victory (dig-vijaya). And it is the duty of the soldier, the devotee, to impress upon everyone this philosophy of life.

   Of course, those who are kanistha-adhikaris do not preach, but the Lord shows mercy to them also, as He did by staying personally in Ayodhya to give audience to the people in general. One should not mistakenly think that the Lord asked His younger brothers to leave Ayodhya because He especially favored the citizens. The Lord is merciful to everyone, and He knows how to show His favor to each individual person according to his capacity. One who abides by the order of the Lord is a pure devotee.


                               TEXT 26




                       asikta-margam gandhodaih

                        karinam mada-sikaraih

                       svaminam praptam alokya

                        mattam va sutaram iva




   asikta-margam--the streets were sprinkled; gandha-udaih--with perfumed water; karinam--of elephants; mada-sikaraih--with particles of perfumed liquor; svaminam--the master or proprietor; praptam--present; alokya--seeing personally; mattam--very opulent; va--either; sutaram--highly; iva--as if.




   During the reign of Lord Ramacandra, the streets of the capital, Ayodhya, were sprinkled with perfumed water and drops of perfumed liquor, thrown about by elephants from their trunks. When the citizens saw the Lord personally supervising the affairs of the city in such opulence, they appreciated this opulence very much.




   We have simply heard about the opulence of Rama-rajya during the reign of Lord Ramacandra. Now, here is one example of the opulence of the Lord's kingdom. The streets of Ayodhya were not only cleaned but also sprinkled with perfumed water and drops of perfumed liquor, which were distributed by elephants through their trunks. There was no need of sprinkling machines, for the elephant has a natural ability to suck water through its trunk and again throw it out in a shower. We can understand the opulence of the city from this one example: it was actually sprinkled with perfumed water. Moreover, the citizens had the opportunity to see the Lord personally supervising the affairs of the state. He was not a sleeping monarch, as we can understand from His activities in sending His brothers to see to affairs outside the capital and punish anyone who did not obey the emperor's orders. This is called dig-vijaya. The citizens were all given facilities for peaceful life, and they were also qualified with appropriate attributes according to varnasrama. As we have seen from the previous chapter, varnasrama-gunanvitah: the citizens were trained according to the varnasrama system. A class of men were brahmanas, a class of men were ksatriyas, a class were vaisyas, and a class were sudras. Without this scientific division, there can be no question of good citizenship. The King, being magnanimous and perfect in His duty, performed many sacrifices and treated the citizens as His sons, and the citizens, being trained in the varnasrama system, were obedient and perfectly ordered. The entire monarchy was so opulent and peaceful that the government was even able to sprinkle the street with perfumed water, what to speak of other management. Since the city was sprinkled with perfumed water, we can simply imagine how opulent it was in other respects. Why should the citizens not have felt happy during the reign of Lord Ramacandra.


                               TEXT 27







                        patakabhis ca manditam




   prasada--in palaces; gopura--palace gates; sabha--assembly houses; caitya--raised platforms; deva-grha--temples wherein deities are worshiped; adisu--and so on; vinyasta--placed; hema-kalasaih--with golden waterpots; patakabhih--by flags; ca--also; manditam--bedecked.




   The palaces, the palace gates, the assembly houses, the platforms for meeting places, the temples and all such places were decorated with golden waterpots and bedecked with various types of flags.


                               TEXT 28




                      pugaih savrntai rambhabhih

                        pattikabhih suvasasam

                      adarsair amsukaih sragbhih





   pugaih--by trees of betel nut; sa-vrntaih--with bunches of flowers and fruits; rambhabhih--with banana trees; pattikabhih--with flags; su-vasasam--decorated with colorful cloth; adarsaih--with mirrors; amsukaih--with cloths; sragbhih--with garlands; krta-kautuka--made auspicious; toranam--possessing reception gates.




   Wherever Lord Ramacandra visited, auspicious welcome gates were constructed, with banana trees and betel nut trees, full of flowers and fruits. The gates were decorated with various flags made of colorful cloth and with tapestries, mirrors and garlands.


                               TEXT 29




                        tam upeyus tatra tatra

                         paura arhana-panayah

                          asiso yuyujur deva

                      pahimam prak tvayoddhrtam




   tam--unto Him, Lord Ramacandra; upeyuh--approached; tatra tatra--wherever He visited; paurah--the inhabitants of the neighborhood; arhana-panayah--carrying paraphernalia to worship the Lord; asisah--blessings from the Lord; yuyujuh--came down; deva--O my Lord; pahi--just maintain; imam--this land; prak--as before; tvaya--by You; uddhrtam--rescued (from the bottom of the sea in Your incarnation as Varaha).




   Wherever Lord Ramacandra visited, the people approached Him with paraphernalia of worship and begged the Lord's blessings. "O Lord," they said, "as You rescued the earth from the bottom of the sea in Your incarnation as a boar, may You now maintain it. Thus we beg Your blessings."


                               TEXT 30




                  tatah praja viksya patim ciragatam

                  didrksayotsrsta-grhah striyo narah

                   aruhya harmyany aravinda-locanam

                   atrpta-netrah kusumair avakiran




   tatah--thereafter; prajah--the citizens; viksya--by seeing; patim--the King; cira-agatam--returned after a long time; didrksaya--desiring to see; utsrsta-grhah--vacating their respective residences; striyah--the women; narah--the men; aruhya--getting on top of; harmyani--great palaces; aravinda-locanam--Lord Ramacandra, whose eyes are like the petals of a lotus; atrpta-netrah--whose eyes were not fully satisfied; kusumaih--by flowers; avakiran--showered the Lord.




   Thereafter, not having seen the Lord for a long time, the citizens, both men and women, being very eager to see Him, left their homes and got up on the roofs of the palaces. Being incompletely satiated with seeing the face of the lotus-eyed Lord Ramacandra, they showered flowers upon Him.


                             TEXTS 31-34




                       atha pravistah sva-grham

                     justam svaih purva-rajabhih






                    sthalair marakataih svacchair



                      citra-sragbhih pattikabhir


                      mukta-phalais cid-ullasaih



                       dhupa-dipaih surabhibhir

                       manditam puspa-mandanaih

                     stri-pumbhih sura-sankasair

                       justam bhusana-bhusanaih




   atha--thereafter; pravistah--He entered; sva-grham--His own palace; justam--occupied; svaih--by His own family members; purva-rajabhih--by the previous members of the royal family; ananta--unlimited; akhila--everywhere; kosa--treasury; adhyam--prosperous; anarghya--priceless; uru--high; paricchadam--paraphernalia; vidruma--of coral; udumbara-dvaraih--with the two sides of the doors; vaidurya-stambha--with pillars of vaidurya-mani; panktibhih--in a line; sthalaih--with floors; marakataih--made of marakata stone; svacchaih--very cleanly polished; bhrajat--dazzling; sphatika--marble; bhittibhih--foundations; citra-sragbhih--with varieties of flower garlands; pattikabhih--with flags; vasah--clothing; mani-gana-amsukaih--by various effulgent and valuable stones; mukta-phalaih--with pearls; cit-ullasaih--increasing celestial pleasure; kanta-kama--fulfilling one's desires; upapattibhih--by such paraphernalia; dhupa-dipaih--with incense and lamps; surabhibhih--very fragrant; manditam--decorated; puspa-mandanaih--by bunches of various flowers; stri-pumbhih--by men and women; sura-sankasaih--appearing like the demigods; justam--full of; bhusana-bhusanaih--whose bodies beautified their ornaments.




   Thereafter, Lord Ramacandra entered the palace of His forefathers. Within the palace were various treasures and valuable wardrobes. The sitting places on the two sides of the entrance door were made of coral, the yards were surrounded by pillars of vaidurya-mani, the floor was made of highly polished marakata-mani, and the foundation was made of marble. The entire palace was decorated with flags and garlands and bedecked with valuable stones, shining with a celestial effulgence. The palace was fully decorated with pearls and surrounded by lamps and incense. The men and women within the palace all resembled demigods and were decorated with various ornaments, which seemed beautiful because of being placed on their bodies.


                               TEXT 35




                       tasmin sa bhagavan ramah

                        snigdhaya priyayestaya

                        reme svarama-dhiranam

                         rsabhah sitaya kila




   tasmin--in that celestial palace; sah--He; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ramah--Lord Ramacandra; snigdhaya--always pleased by her behavior; priyaya istaya--with His dearmost wife; reme--enjoyed; sva-arama--personal pleasure; dhiranam--of the greatest learned persons; rsabhah--the chief; sitaya--with mother Sita; kila--indeed.




   Lord Ramacandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, chief of the best learned scholars, resided in that palace with His pleasure potency, mother Sita, and enjoyed complete peace.


                               TEXT 36




                        bubhuje ca yatha-kalam

                        kaman dharmam apidayan

                       varsa-pugan bahun nrnam





   bubhuje--He enjoyed; ca--also; yatha-kalam--as long as required; kaman--all enjoyment; dharmam--religious principles; apidayan--without transgressing; varsa-pugan--duration of years; bahun--many; nrnam--of the people in general; abhidhyata--being meditated upon; anghri-pallavah--His lotus feet.




   Without transgressing the religious principles, Lord Ramacandra, whose lotus feet are worshiped by devotees in meditation, enjoyed with all the paraphernalia of transcendental pleasure for as long as needed.


Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Ninth Canto, Eleventh Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Lord Ramacandra Rules the World."

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