The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 1 - 2 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 1 - 2

Canto II.Brahmá's Visit

Válmíki,graceful speaker,heard,

To highest admiration stirred.

To him whose fame the tale rehearsed

He paid his mental worship first;

Then with his pupil humbly bent

Before the saint most eloquent.

Thus honoured and dismissed the seer

Departed to his heavenly sphere.

Then from his cot Válmíki hied

To Tamasá's44sequestered side,

Not far remote from Gangá's tide.

He stood and saw the ripples roll

Pellucid o'er a pebbly shoal.

To Bharadvája45by his side

He turned in ecstasy,and cried:

“See,pupil dear,this lovely sight,

The smooth-floored shallow,pure and bright,

With not a speck or shade to mar,

And clear as good men's bosoms are.

Here on the brink thy pitcher lay,

And bring my zone of bark,I pray.

Here will I bathe:the rill has not,

To lave the limbs,a fairer spot.

Do quickly as I bid,nor waste

The precious time;away,and haste.”

Obedient to his master's hest

Quick from the cot he brought the vest;

The hermit took it from his hand,

And tightened round his waist the band;

Then duly dipped and bathed him there,

And muttered low his secret prayer.

To spirits and to Gods he made

Libation of the stream,and strayed

Viewing the forest deep and wide

That spread its shade on every side.

Close by the bank he saw a pair

Of curlews sporting fearless there.

But suddenly with evil mind

An outcast fowler stole behind,

And,with an aim too sure and true,

The male bird near the hermit slew.

The wretched hen in wild despair

With fluttering pinions beat the air,

And shrieked a long and bitter cry

When low on earth she saw him lie,

Her loved companion,quivering,dead,

His dear wings with his lifeblood red;

And for her golden crested mate

She mourned,and was disconsolate.

The hermit saw the slaughtered bird,

And all his heart with ruth was stirred.

The fowler's impious deed distressed

His gentle sympathetic breast,

And while the curlew's sad cries rang

Within his ears,the hermit sang:

“No fame be thine for endless time,

Because,base outcast,of thy crime,

Whose cruel hand was fain to slay

One of this gentle pair at play!”

E'en as he spoke his bosom wrought

And laboured with the wondering thought

What was the speech his ready tongue

Had uttered when his heart was wrung.

He pondered long upon the speech,

Recalled the words and measured each,

And thus exclaimed the saintly guide

To Bharadvája by his side:

“With equal lines of even feet,

With rhythm and time and tone complete,

The measured form of words I spoke

In shock of grief be termed aśloke.”46

And Bharadvája,nothing slow

His faithful love and zeal to show,

Answered those words of wisdom,“Be

The name,my lord,as pleases thee.”

As rules prescribe the hermit took

Some lustral water from the brook.

But still on this his constant thought

Kept brooding,as his home he sought;

While Bharadvája paced behind,

A pupil sage of lowly mind,

And in his hand a pitcher bore

With pure fresh water brimming o'er.

Soon as they reached their calm retreat

The holy hermit took his seat;

His mind from worldly cares recalled,

And mused in deepest thought enthralled.

Then glorious Brahmá,47Lord Most High,

Creator of the earth and sky,

The four-faced God,to meet the sage

Came to Válmíki's hermitage.

Soon as the mighty God he saw,

Up sprang the saint in wondering awe.

Mute,with clasped hands,his head he bent,

And stood before him reverent.

His honoured guest he greeted well,

Who bade him of his welfare tell;

Gave water for his blessed feet,

Brought offerings,48and prepared a seat.

In honoured place the God Most High

Sate down,and bade the saint sit nigh.

There sate before Válmíki's eyes

The Father of the earth and skies;

But still the hermit's thoughts were bent

On one thing only,all intent

On that poor curlew's mournful fate

Lamenting for her slaughtered mate;

And still his lips,in absent mood,

The verse that told his grief,renewed:

“Woe to the fowler's impious hand

That did the deed that folly planned;

That could to needless death devote

The curlew of the tuneful throat!”

The heavenly Father smiled in glee,

And said,“O best of hermits,see,

A verse,unconscious,thou hast made;

No longer be the task delayed.

Seek not to trace,with labour vain,

The unpremeditated strain.

The tuneful lines thy lips rehearsed

Spontaneous from thy bosom burst.

Then come,O best of seers,relate

The life of Ráma good and great,

The tale that saintly Nárad told,

In all its glorious length unfold.

Of all the deeds his arm has done

Upon this earth,omit not one,

And thus the noble life record

Of that wise,brave,and virtuous lord.

His every act to day displayed,

His secret life to none betrayed:

How Lakshmaṇ,how the giants fought;

With high emprise and hidden thought:

And all that Janak's child49befell

Where all could see,where none could tell.

The whole of this shall truly be

Made known,O best of saints,to thee.

In all thy poem,through my grace,

No word of falsehood shall have place.

Begin the story,and rehearse

The tale divine in charming verse.

As long as in this firm-set land

The streams shall flow,the mountains stand,

So long throughout the world,be sure,

The great Rámáyan shall endure.50

While the Rámáyan's ancient strain

Shall glorious in the earth remain,

To higher spheres shalt thou arise

And dwell with me above the skies.”

He spoke,and vanished into air,

And left Válmíki wondering there.

The pupils of the holy man,

Moved by their love of him,began

To chant that verse,and ever more

They marvelled as they sang it o'er:

“Behold,the four-lined balanced rime,

Repeated over many a time,

In words that from the hermit broke

In shock of grief,becomes aśloke.”

This measure now Válmíki chose

Wherein his story to compose.

In hundreds of such verses,sweet

With equal lines and even feet,

The saintly poet,lofty-souled,

The glorious deeds of Ráma told.