Aranya Kanda, Chapter 13
Sage Agastya directs Rama to Panchavati
" I am delighted Rama, safe you be, oh Lakshmana, well-contended I am for you have come to pay respects to me along with Sita.
"The well-worn trail of yours on pathway is strenuousness and painful for you two, and it is evident from the sweat above your necks, even much more for Janaka's daughter, Maithili.
"She is delicate and not discomforted by such distresses earlier, yet motivated by her friendship she came to these highly detrimental forests.
"In which way Sita takes delight in these forests, Rama, that you may ensure to her, for she has done an impossible deed in following you to forests, an impossible deed for womenfolk, in general.
"From the beginning of creation the nature of women is this way only, oh scion of Raghu, they devote themselves to their men in good fortune, but they leave them off in ill fortune.
"With the mercuriality of hundreds of streaks of thunderbolt and with the incisiveness of a weapon, and with the speediness of an eagle or the gusty wind, the women are conformable.
"But she this wife of yours is devoid of all those stigmas, an exemplary and an estimable lady, like Lady Arundhati.
"Where you wish to put up along with Lakshmana and with this Sita, oh, enemy-destroyer Rama, that province shall be glorified." So said Sage Agastya to Rama."
Thus said by the sage, Raghava spoke amiable this sentence adjoining his palms to the sage who is glowing like a ritual-fire.
"I am privileged and blessed as my mentor and the eminent age is well pleased with the virtues of my brother and wife which are non-dissimilar to mine.
"But a place with water and many forests may please be shown, where I can reside happily and self-composedly on erecting a hermitage." Thus Rama asked the Sage Agastya.
Then that eminent sage Agastya on contemplating a while about what Rama has said, that virtuous and confident sage spoke more ideational word to Rama.
"A most prosperous place called Panchavati is there at a distance of two yojana-s from here, oh, dear Rama, which is abundant with tubers, fruits, water, and many deer." Thus Agastya started to tell.
"On your going there along with Saumitri, and on erecting a hermitage you may take delight in there complying the decreed order of your father.
"Indeed all of this episode of yours is known to me, oh, merited one, by the ability of my asceticism, and also by my friendship with Dashratha.
"I am in the know of your heartfelt certitude by my ascesis, thereby I wish to advise you to go to Panchavati, though I said that you may dwell in these ascetic-woods along with me.
"That woodland will be delightful, isn't it Raghava, for it is praiseworthy and not very far off from here, and Sita can take delight in there.
"There Maithili will take delight nearby River Godavari, and it is with abundant tubers, fruits, various are its bird flocks, and it is very reclusive too, oh, great dextrous Rama, further it is meritorious and appealing.
"Even you, Rama, with your good deportment are capable to safeguard the hermits while residing there.
"Oh, brave one, you see this great forest of flower-liquor trees, you have to proceed north of it and advance towards a banyan tree.
"Then on climbing up an upland a mountain is seen, that which is also not far away, and that renowned Panchavati is there in an ever-blooming forest in the valley of that mountain." Said Sage Agastya to Rama.
When thus said by Sage Agastya, Rama along with Soumitri venerated and bade farewell to that truth advocator sage Agastya.
Thus well bidden by Sage Agastya those two Rama and Lakshmana have offered their venerations at the feet of that sage and proceeded to their prospective hermitage at Panchavati along with Sita.
Those princes that are dauntless in war took up their bows and braced up their quivers, and resolutely proceeded to Panchavati on the route apprised by that great sage Agastya.