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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

XII. Sacrifice

XII. Sacrifice of the Horse - 160 “Be it so,” thus Rama answered, but the hours of day were o’er, And Valmiki’s youthful pupils to their cottage came once more. Rama with his guests and courtiers slowly left the royal hall, Eager was his heart to listen, eager were the monarchs all, And the voice of song and music thus was lifted day to day, And from day to day they listened to Valmiki’s deathless Lay! IV. Lava and Kusa Recognised Flashed upon the contrite Rama glimpses of the dawning truth, And with tears of love paternal Rama clasped each minstrel youth, Yearned his sorrow-stricken bosom for his pure and peerless dame, Sita banished to the forest, stainless in her righteous fame! [177] In his tears repentant Rama to Valmiki message sent, That his heart with eager longing sought her from her banishment: “Pure in soul! before these monarchs may she yet her virtue prove, Grace once more my throne and kingdom, share my unforgotten love, Pure in soul! before my subjects may her truth and virtue shine, Queen of Rama’s heart and empire may she once again be mine!” V. Sita Lost Morning dawned; and with Valmiki, Sita to the gathering came, Banished wife and weeping mother, sorrow-stricken, suffering dame, Pure in thought and deed, Valmiki, gave his troth and plighted word, – Faithful still the banished Sita in her bosom held her lord! “Mighty Saint,” so Rama answered as he bowed his humbled head, “Listening world will hear thy mandate and the word that thou hast said, Never in his bosom Rama questioned Sita’s faithful love, And the God of Fire incarnate did her stainless virtue prove! Pardon, if the voice of rumour drove me to a deed of shame, Bowing to my people’s wishes I disowned my sinless dame, Pardon, if to please my subjects I have bade my Sita roam, Tore her from my throne and empire, tore her from my heart and home!

XII. Sacrifice of the Horse - 161 In the dark and dreary forest was my Sita left to mourn, In the lone and gloomy jungle were my royal children born, Help me, Gods, to wipe this error and this deed of sinful pride, May my Sita prove her virtue, be again my loving bride!” [178] Gods and Spirits, bright Immortals to that royal Yajna came, Men of every race and nation, kings and chiefs of righteous fame, Softly through the halls of splendour cool and scented breezes blew, Fragrance of celestial blossoms o’er the royal chambers flew. Sita saw the bright Celestials, monarchs gathered from afar, Saw her royal lord and husband bright as heaven-ascending star, Saw her sons as hermit-minstrels beaming with a radiance high, Milk of love suffused her bosom, tear of sorrow filled her eye! Rama’s queen and Janak’s daughter, will she stoop her cause to plead, Witness of her truth and virtue can a loving woman need? Oh! her woman’s heart is bursting, and her day on earth is done, And she pressed her heaving bosom, slow and sadly thus begun: “If unstained in thought and action l have lived from day of birth, Spare a daughter’s shame and anguish and receive her, Mother Earth: If in duty and devotion I have laboured undefiled, Mother Earth! who bore this woman, once again receive thy child! If in truth unto my husband I have proved a faithful wife, Mother Earth! relieve thy Sita from the burden of this life!” Then the earth was rent and parted, and a golden throne arose, Held aloft by jewelled Nagas as the leaves enfold the rose, And the Mother in embraces held her spotless sinless Child, Saintly Janak’s saintly daughter, pure and true and undefiled, Gods and men proclaim her virtue! But fair Sita is no more, Lone is Rama’s loveless bosom and his days of bliss are o’er!

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