11 months ago

Ramayana, Epic of Rama, Prince of India

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

V. On the Banks

V. On the Banks of the Godavari - 78 Brightly blazed the sacred altar, vase and ladle stood around, Fruit and blossom, skin and faggot, sanctified the holy ground. From the broad and bending branches ripening fruits in clusters hung, And with gifts and rich libations hermits raised the ancient song, Lotus and the virgin lily danced upon the rippling rill, And the golden sunlight glittered on the greenwoods calm and still, And the consecrated woodland by the holy hermits trod, Shone like BRAHMA’S sky in lustre, hallowed by the grace of God! Rama loosened there his bow-string and the peaceful scene surveyed, And the holy sages welcomed wanderers in the forest shade, Rama bright as Lord of Midnight, Sita with her saintly face, Lakshman young and true and valiant, decked with warrior’s peerless grace! [79] Leafy hut the holy sages to the royal guests assigned, Brought them fruit and forest blossoms, blessed them with their blessings kind, “Raghu’s son,” thus spake the sages, “helper of each holy rite, Portion of the royal INDRA, fount of justice and of might, On thy throne or in the forest, king of nations, lord of men, Grant to us thy kind protection in this hermit’s lonely den!” Homely fare and jungle produce were before the princes laid, And the toil-worn, tender Sita slumbered in the asram’s shade. Thus from grove to grove they wandered, to each haunt of holy sage, Sarabhanga’s sacred dwelling and Sutikshna’s hermitage, Till they met the Saint Agastya, mightiest Saint of olden time, Harbinger of holy culture in the wilds of Southern clime! “Eldest born of Dasa-ratha, long and far hath Rama strayed,” – Thus to pupil of Agastya young and gallant Lakshman said, – “With his faithful consort Sita in these wilds he wanders still, I am righteous Rama’s younger, duteous to his royal will, And we pass these years of exile to our father’s mandate true, Fain to mighty Saint Agastya we would render homage due!”

V. On the Banks of the Godavari - 79 Listening to his words the hermit sought the shrine of Sacred Fire, Spake the message of the princes to the Saint and ancient Sire: “Righteous Rama, valiant Lakshman, saintly Sita seek this shade, And to see thee, radiant rishi, have in humble accents prayed.” “Hath he come,” so spake Agastya, “Rama prince of Raghu’s race, Youth for whom this heart hath thirsted, youth endued with righteous grace, Hath he come with wife and brother to accept our greetings kind, Wherefore came ye for permission, wherefore linger they behind?” [80] Rama and the soft-eyed Sita were with gallant Lakshman led, Where the dun deer free and fearless roamed within the holy shade, Where the shrines of great Immortals stood in order thick and close, And by bright and blazing altars chanted songs and hymns arose. BRAHMA and the flaming AGNI, VISHNU lord of heavenly light, INDRA and benign VIVASAT ruler of the azure height, SOMA and the radiant BHAGA, and KUVERA lord of gold, And VIDHATRI great Creator worshipped by the saints of old, VAYU breath of living creatures, YAMA monarch of the dead, And VARUNA with his fetters which the trembling sinners dread, Holy Spirit of GAYATRI goddess of the morning prayer, VASUS and the hooded NAGAS, golden-winged GARUDA fair, KARTIKEYA heavenly leader strong to conquer and to bless, DHARMA god of human duty and of human righteousness, Shrines of all these bright Immortals ruling in the skies above, Filled the pure and peaceful forest with a calm and holy love! Girt by hermits righteous-hearted then the Saint Agastya came, Rich in wealth of pious penance, rich in learning and in fame, Mighty-arméd Rama marked him radiant like the midday sun, Bowed and rendered due obeisance with each act of homage done, Valiant Lakshman tall and stately to the great Agastya bent, With a woman’s soft devotion Sita bowed unto the saint.

Mahabharata, Epic of the Bharatas