"The King's duty from which he may not fail without sin is to protect his
subjects. Just as householders pay taxes, a share of the merit of our penances goes to the
King's benefit. You are radiant like Indra, king of the gods. Protect us from this
persecution of the raakshasas. You are our only refuge."
Raama answered: "I am bound, O great
ones, to obey your command. I gave up kingship and came to the forest in obedience to my
father's wish. If in discharging my duty as a son I can also serve you and do some good, I
shall count myself twice blessed.
"I shall stay in the forest and
destroy the raakshasas and free you from trouble. Shed your fear."
Raama's promise of help gave relief and joy
to the rishis. Raama, Lakshmana and Seeta then proceeded towards the aashrama of
Suteekshna. They came to a big hill surrounded by a thick forest which they entered. There
they saw bark garments drying in the sun and a little later came upon the old rishi him