Aranya Kanda, Chapter 1
Rama Enters Dandaka Forest
On entering the impenetrable Dandaka forest that courageous and unassailable Rama saw a clusters of hermitages of sages.
Overspread with Darbha, the sacred grass, and jute clothing, well pervaded with Vedic splendour and well glowing like the un-seeable solar arena in the sky, with naked eye.
Those hermitages have well-tidied thresholds on all sides, dense with many deer and teemed with many groups of birds, and they are the recourse for all living beings.
Those hermitages are always adored by groups of apsarasa-s with their continued dancing, their Holy Fireplaces are very broad, and are with oblation items, vessels, deerskins and sacred grass, and they are beaming forth with gigantic trees that yield sacred and palatable fruits, and with ritual fuels, and water vessels, tubers and fruits.
Those hermitages are sacrosanct for Ritual fire is being worshiped with fire-oblations and sacrifices to the reverberating Vedic sounds, and they are enwrapped with lotus ponds with lotuses, and even with flowers of forest.
They have age-old saints with controlled senses who are clad in jute cloths and deerskin, and who subsist on fruits and tubers alone, ye their resplendence is like that that of the Sun-god or the Fire-god.
Rama has seen such a cluster of hermitages that is glistening forth just by the presence of holy saints whose sustenance is constrained, and that hermitage is distinctive like Brahma's abode, reverberating with the sounds of that Brahma's Vedic chants alone.
That glorious and great resplendent Rama on seeing those precincts of hermitage that is graced with highly blest Brahmans, the knowers of Brahma, neared it, unstringing the bowstring of his great bow.
Those great sages, the possessors of divine knowledge, are gladdened on seeing Rama and illustrious Sita, and they moved towards them welcomingly.
But those sages who are austerely committed to vows, on their seeing Rama, the treader on the path of rectitude, and who is now arising like moon, and at Lakshmana and at glorious Sita as well, rendered Vedic blessings and welcomed the trio.
Those forest-dwelling sages saw the physical built, its augustness and gracefulness, and his fine attire remaining in astonished postures.
The forest-dwellers saw Sita, Lakshmana and Rama, without a wink on their own eyes, as that trio is causing surprise with their arrival.
Those august sages that are interested in the well being of all beings have indeed accommodated Rama in that hermitage, as Rama is their guest a priori.
Then those august sages who are similar to sacred fire in glow have procedurally accorded guestship to Rama, and fetched water for him.
On sounding out Vedic blessings those virtuous sages have offered flowers, fruits and tubers, and even the entire hermitage to that great soul Rama, and then with their palms adjoined.
"The king will have great renown for he is the ruler of the righteousness of these people, a protector, a respectable and adorable one, and as he wields the sceptre of justice, he is a revered one too...
"The fourth part of Indra is the protector of people, called the king, and hence Oh! Raghava, the king is hailed, and hence he enjoys best and delightful fortune...
"You alone have to protect us as we are the subjects living in your kingdom..May you be in the capital... or in the forest...you are our king...
"We gave-up punishments, either physically or by the power of curses, conquered are our anger and senses, and our ascesis is the only wealth of ours, thus oh! King, we are to be protected by you, like the foetus inside a womb...
Thus saying they worshipped Raghava along with Lakshmana, on giving fruits, tubers, flowers and other varieties of forest foods.
Thus other saints and sages who are the followers of the virtue, and similar to the Sacred Fire adored Rama, the king, according to the wont of custom.