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Ramayana, Epic of Rama, Prince of India

An Abbreviated Translation of the Indian Classic, the Ramayana by Romesh Chundar Dutt in 2,000 verses

X. The War in Ceylon -

X. The War in Ceylon - 136 “Shed no tears of sorrow, father!” Indrajit exclaimed in pride, “While thy eldest son surviveth triumph dwells on Ravan’s side, Rama and that stripling Lakshman, I had left them in their gore, Once again I seek their lifeblood, – they shall live to fight no more, [148] Hear my vow, O Lord of Rakshas! ere descends yon radiant sun, Rama’s days and gallant Lakshman’s on this wide earth shall be done, Witness INDRA and VIVASWAT, VISHNU great and RUDRA dire, Witness Sun and Moon and Sadhyas, and the living God of Fire!” Opened wide the gates of Lanka: in the spacious field of war, Indrajit arranged his army, foot and horse and battle car, Then with gifts and sacred mantras bent before the God of Fire, And invoked celestial succour in the battle dread and dire, With his offerings and his garlands, Indrajit with spices rare, Worshipped holy VAISWA-NARA on the altar bright and fair, Spear and mace were ranged in order, dart and bow and shining blade, Sacred fuel, blood-red garments, fragrant flowers were duly laid, Head of goat as black as midnight offered then the warrior brave, And the shooting tongue of red fire omens of a conquest gave, Curling to the right and smokeless, red and bright as molten gold, Tongue of flame received the offering of the hero true and bold! Victory the sign betokens! Bow and dart and shining blade, Sanctified by holy mantras, by the Fire the warrior laid, Then with weapons consecrated, hid in mists as once before, Indrajit on helpless foemen did his fatal arrows pour! Fled the countless Vanar forces, panic-stricken, crushed and slain, And the dead and dying warriors strewed the gory battle plain, Then on Rama, and on Lakshman, from his dark and misty shroud Indrajit discharged his arrows bright as sunbeams through a cloud, Scanning earth and bright sky vainly for his dark and hidden foe, Rama to his brother Lakshman spake in grief and spake in woe:

X. The War in Ceylon - 137 “Once again that wily Raksha, slaying all our Vanar train, From his dark and shadowy shelter doth on us his arrows rain, [149] By the grace of great SWAYAMBHU, Indrajit is lost to sight, Useless is our human weapon ’gainst his gift of magic might, If SWAYAMBHU wills it, Lakshman, we shall face these fatal darts, We shall stand with dauntless patience, we shall die with dauntless hearts!” Weaponless but calm and valiant, from the foeman’s dart and spell Patiently the princes suffered, fearlessly the heroes fell! VI. Indrajit’s Third Battle and Fall Healing herbs from distant mountains Hanuman in safety brought, Rama rose and gallant Lakshman, once again their foemen sought, And when night its sable mantle o’er the earth and ocean drew, Forcing through the gates of Lanka to the frightened city flew! Gallant sons of Kumbha-karna vainly fought to stem the tide, Hanuman and brave Sugriva slew the brothers in their pride, Makaraksha, shark-eyed warrior, vainly struggled with the foe, Rama laid him pierced and lifeless by an arrow from his bow. Indrajit arose in anger for his gallant kinsmen slayed, In his arts and deep devices Sita’s beauteous image made, And he placed the form of beauty on his speeding battle car, With his sword he smote the image in the gory field of war! Rama heard the fatal message which his faithful Vanars gave, And a deathlike trance and tremor fell upon the warrior brave, But Bibhishan deep in wisdom to the anguished Rama came, With his words of consolation spake of Rama’s righteous dame: [150] “Trust me, Rama, trust thy comrade, – for I know our wily house, – Indrajit slays not the woman whom his father seeks as spouse, ’Tis for Sita, impious Ravan meets thee on the battle-field, Stakes his life and throne and empire, but thy Sita will not yield,

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