The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 92 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 92

Canto XCII. 
Bharat's Farewell.
So Bharat with his army spent

The watches of the night content,

And gladly, with the morning's light

Drew near his host the anchorite.

When Bharadvája saw him stand

With hand in reverence joined to hand,

When fires of worship had been fed,

He looked upon the prince and said:

“O blameless son, I pray thee tell,

Did the past night content thee well?

Say if the feast my care supplied

Thy host of followers gratified.”

His hands he joined, his head he bent

And spoke in answer reverent

To the most high and radiant sage

Who issued from his hermitage:

“Well have I passed the night: thy feast

Gave joy to every man and beast;

And I, great lord, and every peer

Were satisfied with sumptuous cheer,

Thy banquet has delighted all

From highest chief to meanest thrall,

And rich attire and drink and meat

Banished the thought of toil and heat.

And now, O Hermit good and great,

A boon of thee I supplicate.

To Ráma's side my steps I bend:

Do thou with friendly eye commend.

O tell me how to guide my feet

To virtuous Ráma's lone retreat:

Great Hermit, I entreat thee, say

How far from here and which the way.”

Thus by fraternal love inspired

The chieftain of the saint inquired:

Then thus replied the glorious seer

Of matchless might, of vows austere:

“Ere the fourth league from here be passed,

Amid a forest wild and vast,

Stands Chitrakúṭa's mountain tall,

Lovely with wood and waterfall.

North of the mountain thou wilt see

The beauteous stream Mandákiní,

Where swarm the waterfowl below,

And gay trees on the margin grow.

Then will a leafy cot between

The river and the hill be seen:

'Tis Ráma's, and the princely pair

Of brothers live for certain there.

Hence to the south thine army lead,

And then more southward still proceed,

So shalt thou find his lone retreat,

And there the son of Raghu meet.”

Soon as the ordered march they knew,

The widows of the monarch flew,

Leaving their cars, most meet to ride,

And flocked to Bharadvája's side.

There with the good Sumitrá Queen

Kauśalyá, sad and worn, was seen,

Caressing, still with sorrow faint,

The feet of that illustrious saint,

Kaikeyí too, her longings crossed,

Reproached of all, her object lost,

Before the famous hermit came,

And clasped his feet, o'erwhelmed with shame.

With circling steps she humbly went

Around the saint preëminent,

And stood not far from Bharat's side

With heart oppressed, and heavy-eyed.

Then the great seer, who never broke

One holy vow, to Bharat spoke:

“Speak, Raghu's son: I fain would learn

The story of each queen in turn.”

Obedient to the high request

By Bharadvája thus addressed,

His reverent hands together laid,

He, skilled in speech, his answer made:

“She whom, O Saint, thou seest here

A Goddess in her form appear,

Was the chief consort of the king,

Now worn with fast and sorrowing.

As Aditi in days of yore

The all-preserving Vishṇu bore,

Kauśalyá bore with happy fate

Lord Ráma of the lion's gait.

She who, transfixed with torturing pangs,

On her left arm so fondly hangs,

As when her withering leaves decay

Droops by the wood the Cassia spray,

Sumitrá, pained with woe, is she,

The consort second of the three:

Two princely sons the lady bare,

Fair as the Gods in heaven are fair.

And she, the wicked dame through whom

My brothers' lives are wrapped in gloom,

And mourning for his offspring dear,

The king has sought his heavenly sphere,—

Proud, foolish-hearted, swift to ire,

Self-fancied darling of my sire,

Kaikeyí, most ambitious queen,

Unlovely with her lovely mien,

My mother she, whose impious will

Is ever bent on deeds of ill,

In whom the root and spring I see

Of all this woe which crushes me.”

Quick breathing like a furious snake,

With tears and sobs the hero spake,

With reddened eyes aglow with rage.

And Bharadvája, mighty sage,

Supreme in wisdom, calm and grave,

In words like these good counsel gave:

“O Bharat, hear the words I say;

On her the fault thou must not lay:

For many a blessing yet will spring

From banished Ráma's wandering.”

And Bharat, with that promise cheered,

Went circling round that saint revered,

He humbly bade farewell, and then

Gave orders to collect his men.

Prompt at the summons thousands flew

To cars which noble coursers drew,

Bright-gleaming, glorious to behold,

Adorned with wealth of burnished gold.

Then female elephants and male,

Gold-girthed, with flags that wooed the gale,

Marched with their bright bells' tinkling chime

Like clouds when ends the summer time:

Some cars were huge and some were light,

For heavy draught or rapid flight,

Of costly price, of every kind,

With clouds of infantry behind.

The dames, Kauśalyá at their head,

Were in the noblest chariots led,

And every gentle bosom beat

With hope the banished prince to meet.

The royal Bharat, glory-crowned,

With all his retinue around,

Borne in a beauteous litter rode,

Like the young moon and sun that glowed.

The army as it streamed along,

Cars, elephants, in endless throng,

Showed, marching on its southward way,

Like autumn clouds in long array.