By the side of the river, Sarayu,
by Rajaram Ramachandran
The ruler of Solar dynasty, Manu
Built up the kingdom of Kosala,
With its capital city, Ayodhya.
With all its natural beauty,
The well planned Ayodhya City,
Was twelve yojanas in length,
And three yojanas in width.
Its royal roads well formed,
And many highroads ramified,
Colorful with flowers strewn,
Had their daily water-wash clean.
Its majestic arched gateways,
Strengthened by stubborn doorways,
And its giant boundary walls tall,
Made it a fortified city well.
Encircled by a wide-deep moat,
It kept its access more difficult,
Besides its posse of elephants, horses,
And camels for its defense purposes.
The market place, ever busy,
With all sorts of trees shady,
And the plays of troupe-dancers,
Made the city more populous.
The stone mansions, like mountain,
The houses built of faultless design,
Each one with a balcony and an attic,
Made it look like Indralok.
Surrounded by rich rice fields green,
And copious water, like of sugar cane,
Kept the lands fertile around the year,
The word scarcity none could hear.
The sounds of tomtoms, kettledrums,
And the resonance of lutes and drums,
The gentle winds carried through,
Wide across the city, as they blew.
The citizens lived happy and gay,
Each one had his own share to pay
For the City of “Heaven on the Earth”,
To keep it neat and free from filth.
The kingdom ruled by Dasaratha,
With its capital city, Ayodhya,
Was protected by a mighty army,
From any surprise attack by enemy.
He had several top ministers,
To advise and execute his orders,
And also other great sages of vision
To guide and act in his mission.
His rule kept everyone happy,
But never was he happy,
For he had no heir to his throne,
Despite his long prayers for one.
Under his wise council’s advice,
To perform a horse-sacrifice,
And that to get a male progeny,
Preparations were got ready.
In the Heaven, by that time,
To demon Ravan's crime,
Devas drew Vishnu's attention,
With their humble mercy petition.
He was protected by Brahma’s boon,
That he be not killed by any one
Of Devas, Asuras, Gandharvas,
Nor by any such higher beings.
Never did he fear death
From anyone of mankind on earth,
Nor, one such, it occured to him
Could endanger his life any time.
Brahma made this known to Vishnu,
Who became happy and flew
To take His birth as a man,
And kill this wild demon.
In Dasaratha's sacrificial fire,
There came a majestic figure,
Holding a glittering golden bowl
With a sweet drink in the vessel.
This sweet sacred beverage was
Shared by his three Queens,
Half the bowl to Kausalya,
Half of the rest to Sumitra.
To Kaikeyi, the remaining portion,
And to Sumitra, the leftover again,
Thus the sweet beverage from fire,
Every one of them had her share.
Expectant mothers they all became,
By God’s grace, in course of time,
Dasaratha’s four sons were born,
By the date due, one fine morn.
Ram was born to mother Kausalya,
And to mother Kaikeyi, son Bharata,
While Sumitra delivered Lakshman,
With his twin brother Satrughun.
What a festive occasion it was
For every being in the Universe,
When Vishnu as Ram, the Savior,
Came to this earth at the right hour!
Yes, when the virtue subsides
And the vice prevails,
The mankind, God saves
From the hands of devils!
God’s Avatars, more than ten,
This world of virtue has seen!
To kill Ravan, the avatar of Ram
Was on the topmost this time.
One Yojana = 8 miles; Avatars = Appearance on the earth
God Vishnu - Protector of the Universe; God Brahma - the Creator
Devas, Asuras, Gandharvas - Heavenly Bodies;
Indralok = The Land of Lord Indra