The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 105 in English Spiritual Stories by MB (Official) books and stories PDF | The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 105

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The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 105

105
Canto CV. 
Ráma's Speech.
A while they sat, each lip compressed,

Then Bharat thus his chief addressed:

“My mother here was made content;

To me was given the government.

This now, my lord, I yield to thee:

Enjoy it, from all trouble free.

Like a great bridge the floods have rent,

Impetuous in their wild descent,

All other hands but thine in vain

Would strive the burthen to maintain.

In vain the ass with steeds would vie,

With Tárkshya,381 birds that wing the sky;

So, lord of men, my power is slight

To rival thine imperial might.

Great joys his happy days attend

On whom the hopes of men depend,

But wretched is the life he leads

Who still the aid of others needs.

And if the seed a man has sown,

With care and kindly nurture grown,

Rear its huge trunk and spring in time

Too bulky for a dwarf to climb,

Yet, with perpetual blossom gay,

No fruit upon its boughs display,

Ne'er can that tree, thus nursed in vain,

Approval of the virtuous gain.

The simile is meant to be

Applied, O mighty-armed, to thee,

Because, our lord and leader, thou

Protectest not thy people now.

O, be the longing wish fulfilled

Of every chief of house and guild,

To see again their sun-bright lord

Victorious to his realm restored!

As thou returnest through the crowd

Let roars of elephants be loud.

And each fair woman lift her voice

And in her new-found king rejoice.”

The people all with longing moved,

The words that Bharat spoke approved,

And crowding near to Ráma pressed

The hero with the same request.

The steadfast Ráma, when he viewed

His glorious brother's mournful mood,

With each ambitious thought controlled,

Thus the lamenting prince consoled:

“I cannot do the things I will,

For Ráma is but mortal still.

Fate with supreme, resistless law

This way and that its slave will draw,

All gathered heaps must waste away,

All lofty lore and powers decay.

Death is the end of life, and all,

Now firmly joined, apart must fall.

One fear the ripened fruit must know,

To fall upon the earth below;

So every man who draws his breath

Must fear inevitable death.

The pillared mansion, high, compact,

Must fall by Time's strong hand attacked;

So mortal men, the gradual prey

Of old and ruthless death, decay.

The night that flies no more returns:

Yamuná for the Ocean yearns:

Swift her impetuous waters flee,

But roll not backward from the sea.

The days and nights pass swiftly by

And steal our moments as they fly,

E'en as the sun's unpitying rays

Drink up the floods in summer blaze.

Then for thyself lament and leave

For death of other men to grieve,

For if thou go or if thou stay,

Thy life is shorter day by day.

Death travels with us; death attends

Our steps until our journey ends,

Death, when the traveller wins the goal,

Returns with the returning soul.

The flowing hair grows white and thin,

And wrinkles mark the altered skin.

The ills of age man's strength assail:

Ah, what can mortal power avail?

Men joy to see the sun arise,

They watch him set with joyful eyes:

But ne'er reflect, too blind to see,

How fast their own brief moments flee.

With lovely change for ever new

The seasons' sweet return they view,

Nor think with heedless hearts the while

That lives decay as seasons smile.

As haply on the boundless main

Meet drifting logs and part again,

So wives and children, friends and gold,

Ours for a little time we hold:

Soon by resistless laws of fate

To meet no more we separate.

In all this changing world not one

The common lot of all can shun:

Then why with useless tears deplore

The dead whom tears can bring no more?

As one might stand upon the way

And to a troop of travellers say:

“If ye allow it, sirs, I too

Will travel on the road with you:”

So why should mortal man lament

When on that path his feet are bent

Which all men living needs must tread,

Where sire and ancestors have led?

Life flies as torrents downward fall

Speeding away without recall,

So virtue should our thoughts engage,

For bliss is mortals' heritage.

By ceaseless care and earnest zeal

For servants and for people's weal,

By gifts, by duty nobly done,

Our glorious sire the skies has won.

Our lord the king, o'er earth who reigned,

A blissful home in heaven has gained

By wealth in ample largess spent,

And many a rite magnificent:

With constant joy from first to last

A long and noble life he passed,

Praised by the good, no tears should dim

Our eyes, O brother dear, for him.

His human body, worn and tried

By length of days, he cast aside,

And gained the godlike bliss to stray

In Brahmá's heavenly home for aye.

For such the wise as we are, deep

In Veda lore, should never weep.

Those who are firm and ever wise

Spurn vain lament and idle sighs.

Be self-possessed: thy grief restrain:

Go, in that city dwell again.

Return, O best of men, and be

Obedient to our sire's decree,

While I with every care fulfil

Our holy father's righteous will,

Observing in the lonely wood

His charge approved by all the good.”

Thus Ráma of the lofty mind

To Bharat spoke his righteous speech,

By every argument designed

Obedience to his sire to teach.