|AFTER Raama left his father's presence
with these words, the stricken King lay prostrated in speechless sorrow, and it was some
time before he could muster his faculties sufficiently even to think.
When he recovered some strength, he
muttered half unconsciously: "Surely I must in a previous birth have inflicted
hideous suffering to loving hearts. I must have torn calves
from their mothers, children from their parents, husbands from their wives. How else could
I suffer thus? And death does not come when we want it. And I have to endure the torture
of always having be fore my mind's eye my godlike son deprived of his birthright and
forced into the bark-garments of a hermit. O life, how bitterly you cling to those who
would be rid of you! Raama has gone into exile and yet I do not die! Raama
Have you gone?