Scene 1

(Rama, Lakshmana and Sita return to Ayodhya after they have been in exile for fourteen years. Bharata receives them with boundless joy and love. There is a long procession as every person in the kingdom comes to receive them. The whole kingdom is in the seventh Heaven of delight.)

BHARATA: Rama, you have come back. You have kept your promise. If you had not kept your promise, if you had broken your pledge, you would not have seen me here on earth in the land of the living. (Touches Rama’s feet.) Here is your kingdom, Brother. Now, as before, I shall be your loving brother and slave. I submit totally to your will.

RAMA: Bharata, you have shown your heart’s magnanimity and your soul’s nobility. You could have easily kept this kingdom for yourself. You were the King, in accordance with Father’s wish.

BHARATA (interrupting): No, never! Father’s wish was that you would be King, not I. You fulfilled Father’s promise to my undivine, hostile mother. Her undivine desire compelled you to suffer much. It doomed you to fourteen years of misery, and I suffered as well. Now the darkest night is over; it is all day. The light of joy, the light of progress and achievement has dawned at last. O Rama, you have come to fulfil Father’s dream. Father’s lofty hopes for you will now be manifested in this kingdom on earth.

(The members of the royal family are all around. Urmila, the wife of Lakshmana, bows down to Rama and Sita, and then to her husband. While touching Lakshmana’s feet, she sheds tears.)

LAKSHMANA: Urmila, why do you weep? I have come back to you. Today should be a day of enormous joy.

URMILA: My Lord, I am not weeping tears of sorrow. I am shedding tears of joy. Your body left me, but not your soul. Your soul stayed inside my heart. Now I have your body and soul together with me again.

(Urmila sings.)

Nayane nayane gopane gopane
shayane swapane madhu jagarane
jibaner dole maraner kole
taba prema-lila amar bhubane

(In secrecy supreme I see You.
You live in my eyes,
In my sleep, in my dreams,
In my sweet wakefulness.
In the stupendous mirth of life,
In the abysmal lap of death,
You I behold.
Your love-play is my world.)

URMILA: If you had remained here at the palace you would have done your human duty to me. But your soul wanted you to do your divine duty, which was to serve your dearest brother, Rama. He is all Divinity. He is the incarnation of dharma. You left me to be of service to him. You have come back again only to be of service to him. But your presence gives me enormous joy. I shall have you around me. I shall be with you. When it is a matter of serving, the Divine comes first and foremost. You did the right thing. You are doing the right thing. And in your sacrifice my glory looms large. In your feeling of oneness with the divine Rama, my oneness with the divine Rama shines.

RAMA: Urmila, your silence when we left for the forest was deeply appreciated and admired by me. You sacrificed your husband in silence. Your life of silent sacrifice has touched the very depths of my heart. Your sacrifice springs from your divine wisdom. Your soul-stirring philosophy is absolutely correct. The Divine comes first, and not the human. I see your life of oneness with your husband, your life of inner wisdom. You are all for the cause of my divine manifestation on earth. Urmila, feel my heart’s enormous delight and my soul’s transcendental pride.