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immediately bring them here." " There is a lake called
Btahmasarovar near Ayodya," continued Yalmika, " but
a number of warriors are posted by Rama to watch it.
Those kamals are used by Rama for the worship of Siva.'*
" Pooh!" said the boys, " We shall immediately bring those '
kamals. Let there be hundreds of brave warriors to watch
the lake, we shall punish them and even capture Rama.5'
So saying they hastened to the lake. Kusha went and
plucked all the kamals, when the warriors came upon him;
but Lahu killed many of them. Those who had escaped,
went and informed Rama of what the boys had done.
Rama was greatly surprised, and praised the valour of the
boys. Lahu and Kusha brought the kamals and worship-
ped Siva as directed by Yalmika> and thus they were freed
from the sin they had committed in killing the Brahman.
One day, while both the boys were shampooing the feet of
their mother, Kusha asked her, " In what country we were
born- ? What is the name of the country and what is our
race and who is our father ?" "Rama, Lakshuman, Bharat
and Shatrughna" replied Sita, " are sons of Dasbaratha,
who was the king of Ayodya and belonged to the solar
race. Rama, the eldest son of the king, is your father.
I am left in this forest alone, because a washerman scan-
dalized your father on my account." So saying she shed
tears, when both the boys got much enraged at Rama and
consoled their mother. Owing to the injustice done by
Rama to Sita there was a terrible famine in Ayodya for
twelve years. The people and animals suffered much. The
rain fell in torrents. Rama was alarmed and asked the
Rishi, Yashista, what the cause of the famine, was, when
the latter replied, u You have unjustly left Sita in ths
forest, although she is a paragon of virtue ; and this i*
the cause of the famine. In order to put it down yoit
must celebrate an ,Ashwamedha *." Whereupon Earn*,
* With, a Tiew to be an emperor or to free himself from 'sin