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 - 82 Bowing to the great Agastya, Rama left the mighty sage, Bowing to each saint and hermit, Lakshman left the hermitage, And the princes tall and stately marched where Panchavati lay, Soft-eyed Sita followed meekly where her Rama led the way! III. The Forest of Panchavati Godavari’s limpid waters in her gloomy gorges strayed, Unseen rangers of the jungle nestled in the darksome shade! “Mark the woodlands,” uttered Rama, “by the Saint Agastya told, Panchavati’s lonesome forest with its blossoms red and gold, Skilled to scan the wood and jungle, Lakshman, cast thy eye around, For our humble home and dwelling seek a low and level ground, Where the river laves its margin with a soft and gentle kiss, Where my sweet and soft-eyed Sita may repose in sylvan bliss, Where the lawn is fresh and verdant and the kusa young and bright, And the creeper yields her blossoms for our sacrificial rite.” “Little can I help thee, brother,” did the duteous Lakshman say, “Thou art prompt to judge and fathom, Lakshman listens to obey!” “Mark this spot,” so answered Rama, leading Lakshman by the hand, “Soft the lawn of verdant kusa, beauteous blossoms light the land, Mark the smiling lake of lotus gleaming with a radiance fair, Wafting fresh and gentle fragrance o’er the rich and laden air, Mark each scented shrub and creeper bending o’er the lucid wave, Where the bank with soft caresses Godavari’s waters lave! [84] Tuneful ducks frequent this margin, Chakravakas breathe of low, And the timid deer of jungle browse within the shady grove, And the valleys are resonant with the peacock’s clarion cry, And the trees with budding blossoms glitter on the mountains high, And the rocks in well-marked strata in their glittering lines appear, Like the streaks of white and crimson painted on our tuskers fair!

V. On the Banks of the Godavari - 83 Stately Sal and feathered palm-tree guard this darksome forest-land, Golden date and dowering mango stretch afar on either hand, Asok thrives and blazing Kinsuk, Chandan wafts a fragrance rare, Aswa-karna and Khadira by the Sami dark and fair, Beauteous spot for hermit-dwelling joyous with the voice of song, Haunted by the timid wild deer and by black buck fleet and strong!” Foe-compelling faithful Lakshman heard the words his elder said, And by sturdy toil and labour stately home and dwelling made, Spacious was the leafy cottage walled with moistened earth and soft, Pillared with the stately bamboo holding high the roof aloft, Interlacing twigs and branches, corded from the ridge to eaves, Held the thatch of reed and branches and of jungle grass and leaves, And the door was pressed and levelled and the toilsome task was done, And the structure rose in beauty for the righteous Raghu’s son! To the river for ablutions Lakshman went of warlike fame, With a store of fragrant lotus and of luscious berries came, Sacrificing to the Bright Gods sacred hymns and mantras said, Proudly then unto his elder shewed the home his hand had made, In her soft and grateful accents gentle Sita praised his skill, Praised a brother’s loving labour, praised a hero’s dauntless will, Rama clasped his faithful Lakshman in a brother’s fond embrace, Spake in sweet and kindly accents with an elder’s loving grace: [85] “How can Rama, homeless wand’rer, priceless love like thine requite, Let him hold thee in his bosom, soul of love and arm of might, And our father good and gracious, in a righteous son like thee, Lives again and treads the bright earth, from the bonds of YAMA free!” Thus spake Rama, and with Lakshman and with Sita child of love, Dwelt in Panchavati’s cottage as the Bright Gods dwell above!

Mahabharata, Epic of the Bharatas