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Story of Guha, the Boatman in the Ramayana

Guha is the king of fisher folk and it is he who ferries Bhagavan Sri Ram, Mata Sita and Lakshman across the river on the first day of their exile period in the Ramayana. Guha, the boatman, who heard about the exile immediately, asked Sri Ram to stay with him. But Bhagavan told him that during exile period he cannot stay in a human settlement.

Guha then offered to cook some food. But Sri Ram told him that he cannot eat cooked food as during exile he can only eat what he gets from forest.

Guha then asked to take him as a servant. This was also denied as hermits they cannot have servants.
Finally, Guha took out his boat into the waters. He ferried them across to the other side to the starting of Dandaka forest.

Bhagavan then instructed Guha not to ferry anyone else across the river for the rest of the day. He did not want anyone to follow them into the forest.

Guha is an important character in Bhakti literature. Bhagavan Sri Ram treated him as a friend and with respect.