the Prince said: "My name is Raama, O holy sage. I have come to have darshan of you.
I pray for your blessing."
sage rose and embraced him. "Welcome, defender of dharma. My aashrama is fit up by
your presence. It is now yours. When I heard you had left Ayodhya and taken up your abode
at Chitrakoota, I knew you would come here, and have lived in hope of seeing you. Else I
would have long ago given up this body.
"The merit I have accumulated I now
pass on to you. Take it for yourself, your brother and the princess." The sage's face
was bright with the light of long holy life.
It was the custom of the rishis thus to
offer their acquired merit to those who came as their guests. From Raama's answer, we can
see how such courtesies were to be received.