Lakshmana sought to know from Sumantra what transpired in the past.
Sumantra proceeded to recount what Durvasa had told Dasharata:
“Lakshmana!” said he, “Once in the past, Durvasa, son of Atri Maharshi, chose to spend four months of austerities in a rainy season in Vashishta Maharshi’s ashram. At that time, your reputed father paid a visit to the ashram to meet Vashishta, his preceptor. As he entered the place of austerities, Dasharata saw the great sage Durvasa looking brilliant like the sun and almost seeming self-effulgent through thapas, seated to Vashishta’s left. At once he offered prostration and paid respects to the thejasic duo. The Maharshis on their part, inviting Dasharata with all courtesies befitting the Maharaja’s stature, gave him fruits and other eatables after offering a seat. Dasharata availed himself of their hospitality while hearing their interesting stories and anecdotes!
“In the midst of one of the sweet stories” Dasharata intervened to ask Durvasa Maharshi about the future of his clan and members of the family.”
“Dasharata Maharaja!” said the great thapasvi Durvasa in reply to the king’s question, “long ago, in a war that ensued between the rakshasas and the devatas, the rakshasas overpowered and crushed by the latter, sought the protection of Bhrigu Maharshi’s consort who assured them freedom from fear. Thereafter, they went on to stay in Bhrigu’s ashram itself fearlessly? But the protection offered by Bhrigu-patni to the rakshasas was a source of grave provocation to Maha Vishnu, the lord of the devatas; in a fit of anger, with his sharp edged chakra, he chopped off her head. Angered by the wife’s death, Bhrigu cursed Maha Vishnu.”
“Janardhana,” said Bhrigu, “Overwhelmed by anger, you have killed my wife not deserving of death, and as a result you will be born in Bhuloka. More than that, for several years, estranged from your life, you will suffer.” Sumantra continued:
“But after Bhrigu hurled the curse on Vishnu, he felt unhappy and repentant. As curses are inexorable in impact, his inner soul prompted Bhrigu to propitiate Vishnu in order to make the curse acceptable to him. The curse given tormented Bhrigu’s mind and as a cleansing process. He started worshipping Vishnu. Pleased by Bhrigu’s unwavering concentration and thapas, Maha Vishnu manifested before Bhrigu.”
“Maharshi!” said Vishnu, “in order to do good to all the worlds. I shall take your curse.”
“It transpired that in accordance with a curse by Bhrigu during the time of Vamana avatar. Maha Vishnu had to be born as Dasharata’s son sporting the name of Rama and attaining fame in the three worlds. Despite the curse as to estrangement with wife for quite a number of years, Sri Rama will be ruling Ayodhya for every long time. His subjects will be extremely happy in a state of plenty and prosperity. Sri Rama will rule the empire for eleven thousand years and go to Brahma loka thereafter. He will install several dynasties. Through Sita he will have a pair of sons.”
“Dasharata then took leave of Vashishta and Durvasa and returned to Ayodhya. I also heard what Durvasa had said. I did not, however, tell anything to anyone. Durvasa’s words can never be falsified. Accordingly, Sri Rama will not crown in Ayodhya the two sons to be born to Sita but elsewhere.”
“When this is the shape of things to come, Lakshmana, build up strong mind. There is no need to feel distressed with Sita’s lot or on account of Sri Rama,” concluded Sumantra
Lakshmana understood the divine currents at work and got over his despondent mood. Where was the need to grieve over seemingly distressing situations but all engendered by divine will and dispensation? Lakshmana indeed complimented Sumantra profusely for enlarging his mental horizons and broadening the perspectives. He was delighted with what Sumantra had said – to diffuse light in Lakshmana’s dark chambers of the mind.
As both Lakshmana and Sumantra proceeded with their interesting conversation as aforesaid on their way, the sun went below the mountainous range in the west. They spent a restful night on the banks of the river Gomathi (Keshini).