No Atheists in Ayodhya!!


Written by London Swaminathan
Post No. 1161; Dated 9th July 2014.

Valmiki Ramayana gives very interesting details about the kingdom of Koshala and its capital Ayodhya. It gives us an idea of values they upheld and of an ideal kingdom, what was popularised later as Ram Rajya by leaders like Mahatma Gandhi.

“Ayodhya was founded by Manu, a lord among men.
The city’s thoroughfares extended for sixty miles. It had massive gates and numerous markets.
It’s fortifications were planned by skilful engineers and artificers.
Its inhabitants were rich and had spacious houses with high arched porticos decorated with flags and banners.
The capital was filled with extensive buildings and beautiful gardens and surrounded by mango groves, tall trees enhancing the outskirts, giving it the appearance of a lovely girl wearing a girdle of greenery.
It was enclosed by strong fortifications and a deep moat which no enemy, by any expedient whatsoever, could penetrate.
Countless elephants, horses, cattle, camels and mules were to be seen in the city.

Innumerable ambassadors dwelt there and people from many lands traded peacefully within its walls.
Ayodhya, like Indra’s city Amaravati, was resplendent with gilded palaces, the walls of which were set with precious stones, the domes resembling mountain peaks.
The dwellings of the artisans were so constructed that no space was left between them, and the ground on which they stood was perfectly levelled.

ram green


All were abundantly stocked with rice and the juice of the sugarcane was employed instead of water.
The inhabitants were said only to eat Shali Rice (that is rice produced in the cold season which is accounted the best).
None ate impure food; none allowed his neighbour to suffer from hunger.
Those who dwelt there worshipped Gods and the uninvited guest; they were both magnanimous and charitable.

On every side, the sound of trumpets, bugles, lutes and gongs was constantly heard.
The city had no rival on earth but resembled the abode of the gods attained through austerities.

The city was inhabited by the noblest of men, those who did not slay a fleeing foe or one without defence, warriors who were skilled archers, able to pierce opponent by sound alone, who with sharp arrows loosed by their strong arms had singlehandedly slain lions, tigers and infuriated boars in the forest.
Hosts of illustrious Brahmins performing the fire ceremony were also to be seen there, who were endowed with the virtues of their caste, versed in the Vedas and the six branches of learning, who increased the offerings immeasurably, magnanimous sages, who sought their pleasure in the welfare of others and resembled Divine Rishis.
——Balakandam Chapter 5


The people were happy, virtuous, learned, experienced, each satisfied with his state, practising his own calling, without avarice and of truthful speech.
None was indigent or dwelt in a mean habitation, all lived happily with their families, possessing wealth, grain, cattle and horses.
None was a miser or a swindler, none was mean spirited, proud, rash, worthless or an atheist.
None denied the existence of God, none uttered falsehood or were enamoured of worldly pleasure and none were guilty of slander.

None lacked earrings, coronets or necklaces.
They bathed daily and rubbed their bodies with oil, using attar of roses and sandal paste.
All possessed ornaments and gold, and there was none who not learnt to subdue his mind.
The marvellous city where gold abounded and beautiful women wandered about in groups, rich in jewels of every kind, was adorned with luxurious palaces and mansions.

ram profile

No one was mean, impious or failed to discharge his duties.
The Brahmins were devoted to their respective duties, firm in self control and authorized to accept gifts.
No Brahmin was unversed in the six systems of philosophy nor did neglect to fast at the full moon at the appointed days.

There were no thieves and none were born of mixed castes.
There were none who suffered from mental or physical infirmities and none were unhappy in that city.
Men and women were of righteous conduct, fully self controlled, and in their pure and chaste behaviour, they equalled the great sages.

Among the inhabitants of Ayodhya, there was no man or woman who was not endowed with beauty and wealth and non who were not devoted to the king and the state.

All attained to a ripe age as virtuous and truth-loving people, their homes were filled with children, grand children and virtuous women.
The warriors were subject to the learned Brahmins and the merchants to the warrior castes; in accordance with their caste the people served the Brahmins, the warriors and the merchants.

ram gem

Ayodhya abounded in warriors undefeated in battle, fearless and skilled in the use of arms, resembling lions guarding their mountain caves.
The city was full of excellent horses and mighty elephants.

In the next chapter Valmiki described the virtues of Dasaratha, the emperor and his ministers.

THE RAMAYANA OF VALMIKI, Volume 1, Translated by Hari Prasad Shastri.

(I have slightly jumbled the paragraphs to put them under respective group headings:swami)