Uttara Kanda: Chapter 49

सीतां तु रुदतीं दृष्ट्वा ते तत्र मुनिदारकाः। प्राद्रवन्यत्र भगवानास्ते वाल्मीकिरुनधीः॥ अभिवाद्यः मुनेः पादौ मुनिपुत्रा महर्षये। सर्वे निवेदयामासुस्तस्यास्तु रुदितस्वनम्॥
Beholding Sītā thus wailing, the sons of the Rşis there speedily approached the great Vālmīki, well-established in asceticism. And saluting him they all communicated to him Sītā's bewailing and said.

अदृष्टपूर्वा भगवन्कस्याप्येषा महात्मनः। पत्नी श्रीरिव संमोहाद्विरौति विकृतानना॥
O great Rşi, we do not know the wife of what great man, beautiful like the very Lakşmī, and not seen before, is crying aloud very poorly?

भगवन्साधु पश्येस्त्वं देवतामिव खाच्च्युताम्। नद्यास्तु तीरे भगवन्वरस्त्री कापि दुःखिता॥
It is better that you should see her once. That beautiful damsel, like a goddess failing from heaven being bewildered, is waiting on the banks of the river.

दृष्टास्माभिः प्ररुदिता दृढं शोकपरायणा। अनर्हा दुःखशोकाभ्यामेका दीना अनाथवत्॥
We saw her alone crying aloud being overwhelmed with sorrow and grief as if she had none to look after her. A damsel like her should not be subject to such a condition.

तां सीतां शोकभाराता वाल्मीकिर्मुनिपुङ्गवः। उवाच मधुरां वाणी ह्लादयन्निव तेजसा॥
Having gladdened a little the aggrieved Sītā by virtue of his own effulgence of the great ascetic Vālmīki addressed her in following sweet ascents. She did not appear to us to be a woman. Do you receive her duly. She is near the hermitage and so has come to seek your shelter.

स्नुषा दशरथस्य त्वं रामस्य महिषी प्रिया। जनकस्य सुता राज्ञः स्वागतं ते पतिव्रते॥
O chaste damsel, you at the daughter-in-law of Dasaratha, the beloved wife of Rāma and the daughter of Janaka; your coming here is auspicious. O illustrious Sir, she is on the look out for a protector-do you protect her.” The pious Vālmīki could perceive everything by virtue of his asceticism: and ascertaining the truth of the words of the Rși boys by the power of his understanding, he, with quick steps, approached Sita.

आयान्ती चासि विज्ञाता मया धर्मसमाधिना। कारणं चैव सर्वं मे हृदयेनोपलक्षितम्॥ तव चैव महाभागे विदितं मम तत्त्वतः। सर्वं च विदितं मह्यं त्रैलोक्ये यद्धिवर्तते॥
I am apprised, by virtue of asceticism and meditation, of the object of your coming here. O great lady, I am also fully aware that you are by all means chaste. In fact I am conscious of all the incidents in the three worlds. And the disciple followed that high-minded ascetic. Thereupon proceeding a little on foot with Arghya in his hands, the wise Vālmiki reached the banks of the river and saw that Rāghava's spouse was bewailing like a helpless woman.

अपापां वेद्मि सीते ते तपोलब्धेन चक्षुषा। विस्रब्धा भव वैदेहि सांप्रतं मयि वर्तसे॥
By the eyes of asceticism, I perceive, O daughter of Janaka, that you are innocent. You have come under my shelter, O Vaidehi-to be you consoled.

आश्रमस्याविदूरे मे तापस्यस्तपसि स्थिताः। तास्त्वां वत्से यथा वत्सं पालयिष्यन्ति नित्यशः।।११
O child, the pious ascetics live around my hermitage. They shall daily take care of you as their daughter.

इदमऱ्या प्रतीच्छ त्वं विस्रब्धा विगतज्वरा। यथा स्वगृहमभ्येत्य विषादं चैव मा कृथाः॥ श्रुत्वा तु भाषितं सीता मुनेः परममद्भुतम्। शिरसा वन्द्य चरणौ तथेत्याह कृताञ्जलिः॥
Do you accept this Arghya now, and confiding in me do you remove your grief. Be not sorry for anything; consider that you have come to your own home. Hearing the wonderful words of the great ascetic, Sītā humbly touched his feet and said Your desire shall be fulfilled.

तं प्रयान्तं मुनिं सीता प्राञ्जलिः पृष्ठतोऽन्वगात्। तं दृष्ट्वा मुनिमायान्तं वैदेह्या मुनिपत्नयः। उपाजग्मुर्मुदा युक्ता वचनं चेदमब्रुवन्॥ स्वागतं ते मुनिश्रेष्ठ चिरस्यागमनं च ते। अभिवादयामस्त्वां सर्वा उच्यतां किं च कुर्महे ॥
Saying this, She with folded hands, followed the ascetic. Beholding the great ascetic and Sītā approach, the wives, of the Rsis, delighted neared them and said. “Do you come, O foremost of Rșis, you have arrived here after a long time. We all bow to you-do you order what we shall do."

तासां तद्वचनं श्रुत्वा वाल्मीकिरिदमब्रवीत्। सीतेयं समनुप्राप्ता पत्नी रामस्य धीमतः॥ स्नुषा दशरथस्यैषा जनकस्य सुता सती। अपापा पतिना त्यक्ता परिपाल्या मया सदा॥
Hearing their words the great Vālmīki replied in worthy accents-"This Sītā is the wife of the intelligent Rāma, the daughter-in-law of Daśaratha and the daughter of Janaka. She has now come to our hermitage. She is chaste and innocent, still her husband has renounced her. So we should all protect her.

इमां भवत्यः पश्यन्तु स्नेहेन परमेण हि। गौरवान्मम वाक्याच्च पूज्या वोऽस्तु विशेषतः॥
She is worthy of your reverence specially while such is order of mine-your preceptor. So. do you all, take care of her with great affection.

मुहुर्मुहुश्च वैदेही परिदाय महायशाः। स्वमाश्रमं शिष्यवृतः पुनरायान्महातपाः॥
Having consigned the charge of Sītā to the hands of the female ascetics, the great and illustrious ascetic Vālmīki, followed by his disciples, speedily proceeded towards his holy hermitage.