The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 5 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 5

5
Canto V. 
Ráma's Fast.
Then Saint Vaśishṭha to the king

Came ready at his summoning.

“Now go,” exclaimed the monarch, “thou

Enriched by fervent rite and vow,

For Ráma and his wife ordain

The fast, that joy may bless his reign.”

The best of those who Scripture know

Said to the king, “My lord, I go.”

To Ráma's house Vaśishṭha hied,

The hero's fast by rule to guide,

And skilled in sacred texts to tell

Each step to him instructed well.

Straight to Prince Ráma's high abode,

That like a cloud pale-tinted showed,

Borne in his priestly car he rode.

Two courts he passed, and in the third

He stayed his car. Then Ráma heard

The holy sage was come, and flew

To honour him with honour due.

He hastened to the car and lent

His hand to aid the priest's descent.

Then spoke Vaśishṭha words like these,

Pleased with his reverent courtesies,

With pleasant things his heart to cheer

Who best deserved glad news to hear:

“Prince, thou hast won thy father's grace,

And thine will be the Regent's place:

Now with thy Sítá, as is right,

In strictest fasting spend the night,

For when the morrow's dawn is fair

The king will consecrate his heir:

So Nahush, as the wise relate,

Yayáti joyed to consecrate.”

Thus having said, Vaśishṭha next

Ordained the fast by rule and text,

For Ráma faithful to his vows

And the Videhan dame his spouse.

Then from the prince's house he hied

With courteous honours gratified.

Round Ráma gathered every friend

In pleasant talk a while to spend.

He bade good night to all at last,

And to his inner chamber passed.

Then Ráma's house shone bright and gay

With men and maids in glad array,

As in the morning some fair lake

When all her lotuses awake,

And every bird that loves the flood

Flits joyous round each opening bud.

Forth from the house Vaśishṭha drove,

That with the king's in splendour strove,

And all the royal street he viewed

Filled with a mighty multitude

The eager concourse blocked each square,

Each road and lane and thoroughfare,

And joyous shouts on every side

Rose like the roar of Ocean's tide,

As streams of men together came

With loud huzza and glad acclaim.

The ways were watered, swept and clean,

And decked with flowers and garlands green

And all Ayodhyá shone arrayed

With banners on the roofs that played.

Men, women, boys with eager eyes,

Expecting when the sun should rise,

Stood longing for the herald ray

Of Ráma's consecration day,

To see, a source of joy to all,

The people-honoured festival.

The priest advancing slowly through

The mighty crowd he cleft in two,

Near to the monarch's palace drew.

He sought the terrace, by the stair,

Like a white cloud-peak high in air,

The reverend king of men to meet

Who sate upon his splendid seat:

Thus will Vṛihaspati arise

To meet the monarch of the skies.

But when the king his coming knew,

He left his throne and near him drew

Questioned by him Vaśishṭha said

That all his task was duly sped.

Then all who sate there, honouring

Vaśishṭha, rose as rose the king.

Vaśishṭha bade his lord adieu,

And all the peers, dismissed, withdrew.

Then as a royal lion seeks

His cave beneath the rocky peaks,

So to the chambers where abode

His consorts Daśaratha strode.

Full-thronged were those delightful bowers

With women richly dressed,

And splendid as the radiant towers

Where Indra loves to rest.

Then brighter flashed a thousand eyes

With the light his presence lent,

As, when the moon begins to rise

The star thronged firmament.