HC10. LEFT THE CITY AYODHYA

a poem by Rajaram Ramachandran, India - poetry writer, author, poet

HARICHANDRAN

Harichandran had to leave
Ayodhya once he gave
All his wealth to the Sage
To cool him from his rage

He gave up his throne,
Took his wife and son,
Moved out of the palace
To an unknown place.

Aloud the people wept,
Beating their faces, chests,
To show their distress,
As they were helpless.

The three went in bear foot,
On the route that was hot.
The people couldn’t bear it,
And felt very much hurt.

“The King was liberal
In giving charity to all.
Why a noble soul is driven
To this sad situation?”

“The Sage is so merciless
Not even a small house
He gave to this family
To stay here comfortably.”

“Can we believe the Sage,
Who’s ever in a fit of rage,
That he’ll take care of us
In the King’s absence.”

Like this, people were talking,
As the three were walking,
With their heads down
To a destination unknown.

In the west the sun set,
As if it was quite upset
With their bear foot
Minding not its heat.

What all people said,
Secretly the Sage heard,
To know their reaction
On his cunning action.

Tears the ministers shed
When the King said,
“Here I’ll never return
To the land that is given.”

Openly some shouted out,
“We’ll throw the Sage out.
Oh King, we want you here.”
They said this with tears.

“How can a Sage handle
A spear in a battle?
As he cannot fight,
He’s fit to live in forest.”

From the hiding spot,
The Sage came out,
The King fell on his feet
With due humble respect.

The Sage said, “I’ll give
Back what all you gave.
If you don’t take them
You’ll cause me harm.”

He replied, “Once given,
The kingdom is not mine.
Oh Sage, I’ll never take,
Even if you give it back.”

For all the tricks played
The King never yielded.
Yet, the sage did his best
And continued his test.

The Sage said, “I doubt
How you’ll now treat
Your previous tall promise
Of help for my fire sacrifice?”

The King fell at his feet
And said, “I’ll send it
Thro’ your messenger.
I’ll cheat you never.”

The Sage sent Sukran
Behind Harichandran,
To collect the dues
In the next few days.

He also told Sukran
“You take your commission
From this Harichandran
Besides the dues of mine.”

“If he fails within time
You just make him
Tell a lie, at least one,
And leave him then.”

Saying this, the Sage left.
The King made a request
To the guards and ministers,
“Don’t fail in your duties.”

“You serve the Sage well.
Take care of the people.
Now, go to your place
And live in peace.”

Tears Minister Sathyakeerthi shed.
With folded hands he said,
“Let me also come with you
And serve as I served you.”

Saying this, he fainted.
His loyalty, it showed.
The King felt for him
And agreed to take him.

Chandramathi shed tears
Before leaving the borders
Of the great Ayodhya City
While the people felt pity.

Their life became tough.
The paths were rough.
The heat of the desert
Scorched their bear foot.

On the way, rain or sun,
They had to run
For shelter in caves
Or under giant trees.

Sathyakeerthi carried the son
O’er his shoulders in the sun
When walking in desert
That burnt his tender foot.

Chandramathi refused
When the King offered
Just to carry her
O’er his shoulder.

She said, “It is a sin,
To cause you pain,
And when you suffer
Let me also suffer.”

Poisonous Cobras
Besides scorpions
Crossed their paths
Nights and days.

For Chandramathi,
It was so uneasy
To see them on the way
Almost every day.

River Gomathi, they crossed.
In the sands they rested.
Sathyakeerthi brought
Some fresh fruits to eat.

For the dues, Sukran asked.
To go further, he refused.
The King then promised
Soon, the dues would be paid.

HC09. THE NEXT PLAN
KING HARICHANDRA
HC11. LEFT THE CITY AYODHYA (PART II)

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