Meeting with Nisadraj and Kevat

Meeting with Nisadraj and Kevat

Sumantra carried Rama, Sita and Lakshmana in a chariot to the outskirts of the city. But he was not alone. Saddened by the news of Rama’s departure, many denizens of Ayodhya, men and women,

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Sumantra carried Rama, Sita and Lakshmana in a chariot to the outskirts of the city. But he was not alone. Saddened by the news of Rama’s departure, many denizens of Ayodhya, men and women, young and old, followed him on foot, determined to go wherever Rama went.

At night Rama rested by the bank of Tamsa river. The weary citizen also fell asleep wherever they found a place. When all of them were in deep sleep, Rama signaled to Sumantra and the three of them rode away quietly in the chariot. When at dawn the citizens woke up to find Rama gone, they were sad and disappointed and went back to Ayodhya.

Shri Rama meanwhile reached Shrngaverapura by the banks of Ganga. The King, Nishadraj Guha welcomed them and offered them the best of wild berries, fruits and roots. As he had undertaken to live an ascetic life, Rama did not enter any city or village. He made a rough grass bed under a Sheesham tree for reclining and he and Sita slept under the tree.

Nishadraj was sad to see them thus instead of the royal luxuries they were accustomed to in the palace. Then he joined Lakshmana, who sat at a distance, watchful and alert. Both of them sat awake all night on guard.

In the morning Rama and Lakshmana tied their hair into a jata (in a bun) in the manner of ascetics. Rama wanted to cross the Ganga. So Nishadraj called Kevat, a boatman. He said, “I will take you across. But I have heard that the touch of the dust of your feet turned a rock into a woman. I will wash the dust off your feet before I let you set foot on my boat. What if my boat turns into a woman, how will I earn a living and look after my family”. This was an excuse made by him in order to allow him to wash Rama’s feet andpay his respects to him.

Rama allowed Kevat, the boatman to wash his feet and he then happily took them across the river Ganga. Sita made a wish that they return safely and worshipped the river. When they reach across, Rama has no money to pay for the boat ride. So Sita gave her ring to Kevat.

Shri Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Nishadraj went to the ashram of Sage Bhardwaj who gave them a warm welcome. They spent the night in the ashram and in the morning Rama asked Nishadraj to return to his kingdom while he proceeded with Sita and Lakshmana towards the Ashram of Valmiki.

Meeting with Nisadraj and Kevat, Ramayana – The Epic Story

Maharishi Valmiki
Valmiki (Sanskrit: वाल्मीकि, Vālmīki) is celebrated as the harbinger-poet in Sanskrit literature. The epic Ramayana, dated variously from 5th century BCE to first century BCE, is attributed to him, based on the attribution in the text itself. He is revered as Ādi Kavi, the first poet, author of Ramayana, the first epic poem.
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