The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 3 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 3

3

Canto III. 
Dasaratha's Precepts.
The monarch with the prayer complied

Of suppliant hands, on every side

Uplifted like a lotus-bed:

And then these gracious words he said:

“Great joy and mighty fame are mine

Because your loving hearts incline,

In full assembly clearly shown

To place my Ráma on the throne.”

Then to Vaśishṭha, standing near,

And Vámadeva loud and clear

The monarch spoke that all might hear:

“'Tis pure and lovely Chaitra now

When flowers are sweet on every bough;

All needful things with haste prepare

That Ráma be appointed heir.”

Then burst the people's rapture out

In loud acclaim and joyful shout;

And when the tumult slowly ceased

The king addressed the holy priest:

“Give order, Saint, with watchful heed

For what the coming rite will need.

This day let all things ready wait

Mine eldest son to consecrate.”

Best of all men of second birth

Vaśishṭha heard the lord of earth,

And gave commandment to the bands

Of servitors with lifted hands

Who waited on their master's eye:

“Now by to-morrow's dawn supply

Rich gold and herbs and gems of price

And offerings for the sacrifice,

Wreaths of white flowers and roasted rice,

And oil and honey, separate;

New garments and a car of state,

An elephant with lucky signs,

A fourfold host in ordered lines,

The white umbrella, and a pair

Of chowries, and a banner fair;

A hundred vases, row on row,

To shine like fire in splendid glow,

A tiger's mighty skin, a bull

With gilded horns most beautiful.

All these, at dawn of coming day,

Around the royal shrine array,

Where burns the fire's undying ray.

Each palace door, each city gate

With wreaths of sandal decorate.

And with the garlands' fragrant scent

Let clouds of incense-smoke be blent.

Let food of noble kind and taste

Be for a hundred thousand placed;

Fresh curds with streams of milk bedewed

To feed the Bráhman multitude.

With care be all their wants supplied.

And mid the twice-born chiefs divide

Rich largess, with the early morn,

And oil and curds and roasted corn.

Soon as the sun has shown his light

Pronounce the prayer to bless the rite,

And then be all the Bráhmans called

And in their ordered seats installed.

Let all musicians skilled to play,

And dancing-girls in bright array

Stand ready in the second ring

Within the palace of the king.

Each honoured tree, each holy shrine

With leaves and flowery wreaths entwine,

And here and there beneath the shade

Be food prepared and presents laid.

Then brightly clad, in warlike guise,

With long swords girt upon their thighs,

Let soldiers of the nobler sort

March to the monarch's splendid court.”

Thus gave command the twice-born pair

To active servants stationed there.

Then hastened to the king and said

That all their task was duly sped,

The king to wise Sumantra spake:

“Now quick, my lord, thy chariot take,

And hither with thy swiftest speed

My son, my noble Ráma lead.”

Sumantra, ere the word was given,

His chariot from the court had driven,

And Ráma, best of all who ride

In cars, came sitting by his side.

The lords of men had hastened forth

From east and west and south and north,

Áryan and stranger, those who dwell

In the wild wood and on the fell,

And as the Gods to Indra, they

Showed honour to the king that day.

Like Vásav, when his glorious form

Is circled by the Gods of storm,

Girt in his hall by kings he saw

His car-borne Ráma near him draw,

Like him who rules the minstrel band

Of heaven; whose valour filled the land,

Of mighty arm and stately pride

Like a wild elephant in stride,

As fair in face as that fair stone

Dear to the moon, of moonbeams grown,

With noble gifts and grace that took

The hearts of all, and chained each look,

World-cheering as the Lord of Rain

When floods relieve the parching plain.

The father, as the son came nigh,

Gazed with an ever-thirstier eye.

Sumantra helped the prince alight

From the good chariot passing bright,

And as to meet his sire he went

Followed behind him reverent.

Then Ráma clomb, the king to seek

That terrace like Kailása's peak,

And reached the presence of the king,

Sumantra closely following.

Before his father's face he came,

Raised suppliant hands and named his name,

And bowing lowly as is meet

Paid reverence to the monarch's feet.

But soon as Daśaratha viewed

The prince in humble attitude,

He raised him by the hand in haste

And his beloved son embraced,

Then signed him to a glorious throne,

Gem-decked and golden, near his own.

Then Ráma, best of Raghu's line,

Made the fair seat with lustre shine

As when the orient sun upsprings

And his pure beam on Meru flings.

The glory flashed on roof and wall,

And with strange sheen suffused the hall,

As when the moon's pure rays are sent

Through autumn's star-lit firmament.

Then swelled his breast with joy and pride

As his dear son the father eyed,

E'en as himself more fair arrayed

In some clear mirror's face displayed.

The aged monarch gazed awhile,

Then thus addressed him with a smile,

As Kaśyap, whom the worlds revere,

Speaks for the Lord of Gods to hear:

“O thou of all my sons most dear,

In virtue best, thy father's peer,

Child of my consort first in place,

Mine equal in her pride of race,

Because the people's hearts are bound

To thee by graces in thee found,

Be thou in Pushya's favouring hour

Made partner of my royal power.

I know that thou by nature's bent

Both modest art and excellent,

But though thy gifts no counsel need

My love suggests the friendly rede.

Mine own dear son, be modest still,

And rule each sense with earnest will.

Keep thou the evils far away

That spring from love and anger's sway.

Thy noble course alike pursue

In secret as in open view,

And every nerve, the love to gain

Of ministers and subjects, strain.

The happy prince who sees with pride

His thriving people satisfied;

Whose arsenals with arms are stored,

And treasury with golden hoard,—

His friends rejoice as joyed the Blest

When Amrit crowned their eager quest.

So well, my child, thy course maintain,

And from all ill thy soul refrain.”

The friends of Ráma, gathered nigh,

Longing their lord to gratify,

Ran to Kauśalyá's bower to tell

The tidings that would please her well.

She, host of dames, with many a gem,

And gold, and kine rewarded them.

Then Ráma paid the reverence due,

Mounted the chariot, and withdrew,

And to his splendid dwelling drove

While crowds to show him honour strove.

The people, when the monarch's speech

Their willing ears had heard,

Were wild with joy as though on each

Great gifts had been conferred.

With meek and low salute each man

Turned to his home away,

And there with happy heart began

To all the Gods to pray.