The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 55 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 55

55
Canto LV. 
The Passage Of Yamuná.
The princely tamers of their foes

Thus passed the night in calm repose,

Then to the hermit having bent

With reverence, on their way they went.

High favour Bharadvája showed,

And blessed them ready for the road.

With such fond looks as fathers throw

On their own sons, before they go.

Then spake the saint with glory bright

To Ráma peerless in his might:

“First, lords of men, direct your feet

Where Yamuná and Gangá meet;

Then to the swift Kálindí go,

Whose westward waves to Gangá flow.

When thou shalt see her lovely shore

Worn by their feet who hasten o'er,

Then, Raghu's son, a raft prepare,

And cross the Sun born river there.

Upon her farther bank a tree,

Near to the landing wilt thou see.

The blessed source of varied gifts,

There her green boughs that Fig-tree lifts:

A tree where countless birds abide,

By Śyáma's name known far and wide.

Sítá, revere that holy shade:

There be thy prayers for blessing prayed.

Thence for a league your way pursue,

And a dark wood shall meet your view,

Where tall bamboos their foliage show,

The Gum-tree and the Jujube grow.

To Chitrakúṭa have I oft

Trodden that path so smooth and soft,

Where burning woods no traveller scare,

But all is pleasant, green, and fair.”

When thus the guests their road had learned,

Back to his cot the hermit turned,

And Ráma, Lakshmaṇ, Sítá paid

Their reverent thanks for courteous aid.

Thus Ráma spake to Lakshmaṇ, when

The saint had left the lords of men:

“Great store of bliss in sooth is ours

On whom his love the hermit showers.”

As each to other wisely talked,

The lion lords together walked

On to Kálindí's woody shore;

And gentle Sítá went before.

They reached that flood, whose waters flee

With rapid current to the sea;

Their minds a while to thought they gave

And counselled how to cross the wave.

At length, with logs together laid,

A mighty raft the brothers made.

Then dry bamboos across were tied,

And grass was spread from side to side.

And the great hero Lakshmaṇ brought

Cane and Rose-Apple boughs and wrought,

Trimming the branches smooth and neat,

For Sítá's use a pleasant seat.

And Ráma placed thereon his dame

Touched with a momentary shame,

Resembling in her glorious mien

All-thought-surpassing Fortune's Queen.

Then Ráma hastened to dispose,

Each in its place, the skins and bows,

And by the fair Videhan laid

The coats, the ornaments, and spade.

When Sítá thus was set on board,

And all their gear was duly stored,

The heroes each with vigorous hand,

Pushed off the raft and left the land.

When half its way the raft had made,

Thus Sítá to Kálindí prayed:

“Goddess, whose flood I traverse now,

Grant that my lord may keep his vow.

For thee shall bleed a thousand kine,

A hundred jars shall pour their wine,

When Ráma sees that town again

Where old Ikshváku's children reign.”

Thus to Kálindí's stream she sued

And prayed in suppliant attitude.

Then to the river's bank the dame,

Fervent in supplication, came.

They left the raft that brought them o'er,

And the thick wood that clothed the shore,

And to the Fig-tree Śyáma made

Their way, so cool with verdant shade.

Then Sítá viewed that best of trees,

And reverent spake in words like these:

“Hail, hail, O mighty tree! Allow

My husband to complete his vow;

Let us returning, I entreat,

Kauśalyá and Sumitrá meet.”

Then with her hands together placed

Around the tree she duly paced.

When Ráma saw his blameless spouse

A suppliant under holy boughs,

The gentle darling of his heart,

He thus to Lakshmaṇ spake apart:

“Brother, by thee our way be led;

Let Sítá close behind thee tread:

I, best of men, will grasp my bow,

And hindmost of the three will go.

What fruits soe'er her fancy take,

Or flowers half hidden in the brake,

For Janak's child forget not thou

To gather from the brake or bough.”

Thus on they fared. The tender dame

Asked Ráma, as they walked, the name

Of every shrub that blossoms bore,

Creeper, and tree unseen before:

And Lakshmaṇ fetched, at Sítá's prayer,

Boughs of each tree with clusters fair.

Then Janak's daughter joyed to see

The sand-discoloured river flee,

Where the glad cry of many a bird,

The sáras and the swan, was heard.

A league the brothers travelled through

The forest noble game they slew:

Beneath the trees their meal they dressed

And sat them down to eat and rest.

A while in that delightful shade

Where elephants unnumbered strayed,

Where peacocks screamed and monkeys played,

They wandered with delight.

Then by the river's side they found

A pleasant spot of level ground,

Where all was smooth and fair around,

Their lodging for the night.