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78                       Ramavijaya.

with grief, and replied, " I am unfortunate. For nothing
you have taken trouble for me. For nothing you have
given trouble to all the monkeys. If you do not like to
admit me into your house, take your sword and cut off
my head. I have led a pious and moral life, and I shall
presently satisfy you about it.*' Having addressed these
words to Kama,,she requested all the monkeys to arrange
a pile of wood and set fire to it. All the monkeys ac-
cordingly arranged a pile and set fire to it. Sita went
near it and loudly exclaimed in the presence of all the
monkeys and demons, " All know that I was carried off
and detained by Ravana. I say that I led a pious and
moral life during the time I was in the kingdom of the
demon. There is the fire ready to receive me. I shall now
throw myself into it; and if what I say is false, I shall be
burnt in it. And if what I say is true, I shall eome out
of the fire unhurt.'* So saying Sita threw herself into
the fire and disappeared for about three hours. Rama,
Lakshuman, and all the monkeys grieved for her and
stood near the pile bewildered. But, in the meantime,
the god of fire brought her out of it, well decorated with
ornaments, and gave her in charge of Rama, who heartily
embraced her.

Shortly after, Kama set out for Ayodya in a beauti-
ful viman.* Sugriva, Yibhishan, all the monkeys, and
demons were seated in it. On the road Rama visited the
Rishis and his other friends, who had supported him in the
forest, and directly came to ISTandigram, where he alighted
from the viman and saw his brother, Bharat, who
heartily embraced him with tears of joy. Kama then sent
the viman back and stayed in the forest of "Nandigram,
with Sugriva; Yibhishan,, all the monkeys and demons.
In the meantime, Shatrughna and Sumant came to the

* A chariot of the gods serving as a throne or as & cPA-
veyance through the skieSj  self-directed   ai\d