The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 56 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 56

56
Canto LVI. 
Chitrakúta
Then Ráma, when the morning rose,

Called Lakshmaṇ gently from repose:

“Awake, the pleasant voices hear

Of forest birds that warble near.

Scourge of thy foes, no longer stay;

The hour is come to speed away.”

The slumbering prince unclosed his eyes

When thus his brother bade him rise,

Compelling, at the timely cry,

Fatigue, and sleep, and rest to fly.

The brothers rose and Sítá too;

Pure water from the stream they drew,

Paid morning rites, then followed still

The road to Chitrakúṭa's hill.

Then Ráma as he took the road

With Lakshmaṇ, while the morning, glowed,

To the Videhan lady cried,

Sítá the fair, the lotus-eyed:

“Look round thee, dear; each flowery tree

Touched with the fire of morning see:

The Kinśuk, now the Frosts are fled,—

How glorious with his wreaths of red!

The Bel-trees see, so loved of men,

Hanging their boughs in every glen.

O'erburthened with their fruit and flowers:

A plenteous store of food is ours.

See, Lakshmaṇ, in the leafy trees,

Where'er they make their home.

Down hangs, the work of labouring bees

The ponderous honeycomb.

In the fair wood before us spread

The startled wild-cock cries:

Hark, where the flowers are soft to tread,

The peacock's voice replies.

Where elephants are roaming free,

And sweet birds' songs are loud,

The glorious Chitrakúṭa see:

His peaks are in the cloud.

On fair smooth ground he stands displayed,

Begirt by many a tree:

O brother, in that holy shade

How happy shall we be!”331

Then Ráma, Lakshmaṇ, Sítá, each

Spoke raising suppliant hands this speech

To him, in woodland dwelling met,

Válmíki, ancient anchoret:

“O Saint, this mountain takes the mind,

With creepers, trees of every kind,

With fruit and roots abounding thus,

A pleasant life it offers us:

Here for a while we fain would stay,

And pass a season blithe and gay.”

Then the great saint, in duty trained,

With honour gladly entertained:

He gave his guests a welcome fair,

And bade them sit and rest them there,

Ráma of mighty arm and chest

His faithful Lakshmaṇ then addressed:

“Brother, bring hither from the wood

Selected timber strong and good,

And build therewith a little cot;

My heart rejoices in the spot

That lies beneath the mountain's side,

Remote, with water well supplied.”

Sumitrá's son his words obeyed,

Brought many a tree, and deftly made,

With branches in the forest cut,

As Ráma bade, a leafy hut.

Then Ráma, when the cottage stood

Fair, firmly built, and walled with wood,

To Lakshmaṇ spake, whose eager mind

To do his brother's will inclined:

“Now, Lakshmaṇ as our cot is made,

Must sacrifice be duly paid

By us, for lengthened life who hope,

With venison of the antelope.

Away, O bright-eyed Lakshmaṇ, speed:

Struck by thy bow a deer must bleed:

As Scripture bids, we must not slight

The duty that commands the rite.”

Lakshmaṇ, the chief whose arrows laid

His foemen low, his word obeyed;

And Ráma thus again addressed

The swift performer of his hest:

“Prepare the venison thou hast shot,

To sacrifice for this our cot.

Haste, brother dear, for this the hour,

And this the day of certain power.”

Then glorious Lakshmaṇ took the buck

His arrow in the wood had struck;

Bearing his mighty load he came,

And laid it in the kindled flame.

Soon as he saw the meat was done,

And that the juices ceased to run

From the broiled carcass, Lakshmaṇ then

Spoke thus to Ráma best of men:

“The carcass of the buck, entire,

Is ready dressed upon the fire.

Now be the sacred rites begun

To please the God, thou godlike one.”

Ráma the good, in ritual trained,

Pure from the bath, with thoughts restrained,

Hasted those verses to repeat

Which make the sacrifice complete.

The hosts celestial came in view,

And Ráma to the cot withdrew,

While a sweet sense of rapture stole

Through the unequalled hero's soul.

He paid the Viśvedevas332 due.

And Rudra's right, and Vishṇu's too,

Nor wonted blessings, to protect

Their new-built home, did he neglect.

With voice repressed he breathed the prayer,

Bathed duly in the river fair,

And gave good offerings that remove

The stain of sin, as texts approve.

And many an altar there he made,

And shrines, to suit the holy shade,

All decked with woodland chaplets sweet,

And fruit and roots and roasted meat,

With muttered prayer, as texts require,

Water, and grass and wood and fire.

So Ráma, Lakshmaṇ, Sítá paid

Their offerings to each God and shade,

And entered then their pleasant cot

That bore fair signs of happy lot.

They entered, the illustrious three,

The well-set cottage, fair to see,

Roofed with the leaves of many a tree,

And fenced from wind and rain:

So, at their Father Brahmá's call,

The Gods of heaven, assembling all,

To their own glorious council hall

Advance in shining train.

So, resting on that lovely hill,

Near the fair lily-covered rill,

The happy prince forgot,

Surrounded by the birds and deer,

The woe, the longing, and the fear

That gloom the exile's lot.