Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 9, Chapter 11, Text 26 titled “Lord Ramachandra didn’t have an iPad” by Prahladananda Swami.
During the reign of Lord Ramacandra, the streets of the capital, Ayodhya, were sprinkled with perfumed water and drops of perfumed liquor, thrown about by elephants from their trunks. When the citizens saw the Lord personally supervising the affairs of the city in such opulence, they appreciated this opulence very much.
We have simply heard about the opulence of Rama-rajya during the reign of Lord Ramacandra. Now, here is one example of the opulence of the Lord’s kingdom. The streets of Ayodhya were not only cleaned but also sprinkled with perfumed water and drops of perfumed liquor, which were distributed by elephants through their trunks. There was no need of sprinkling machines, for the elephant has a natural ability to suck water through its trunk and again throw it out in a shower. We can understand the opulence of the city from this one example: it was actually sprinkled with perfumed water. Moreover, the citizens had the opportunity to see the Lord personally supervising the affairs of the state. He was not a sleeping monarch, as we can understand from His activities in sending His brothers to see to affairs outside the capital and punish anyone who did not obey the emperor’s orders. This is called dig-vijaya. The citizens were all given facilities for peaceful life, and they were also qualified with appropriate attributes according to varnasrama. As we have seen from the previous chapter, varnasrama-gunanvitah: the citizens were trained according to the varnasrama system. A class of men were brahmanas, a class of men were kshatriyas, a class were vaisyas, and a class were sudras. Without this scientific division, there can be no question of good citizenship. The King, being magnanimous and perfect in His duty, performed many sacrifices and treated the citizens as His sons, and the citizens, being trained in the varnasrama system, were obedient and perfectly ordered. The entire monarchy was so opulent and peaceful that the government was even able to sprinkle the street with perfumed water, what to speak of other management. Since the city was sprinkled with perfumed water, we can simply imagine how opulent it was in other respects. Why should the citizens not have felt happy during the reign of Lord Ramacandra.