The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 111 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 111

Canto CXI. 
Counsel To Bharat.
Thus said Vaśishṭha, and again

To Ráma spake in duteous strain:

“All men the light of life who see

With high respect should look on three:

High honour ne'er must be denied

To father, mother, holy guide.

First to their sires their birth they owe,

Nursed with maternal love they grow:

Their holy guides fair knowledge teach:

So men should love and honour each.

Thy sire and thou have learned of me,

The sacred guide of him and thee,

And if my word thou wilt obey

Thou still wilt keep the virtuous way.

See, with the chiefs of every guild

And all thy friends, this place is filled:

All these, as duty bids, protect;

So still the righteous path respect.

O, for thine aged mother feel,

Nor spurn the virtuous dame's appeal:

Obey, O Prince, thy mother dear,

And still to virtue's path adhere.

Yield thou to Bharat's fond request,

With earnest supplication pressed,

So wilt thou to thyself be true,

And faith and duty still pursue.”

Thus by his saintly guide addressed

With pleas in sweetest tones expressed,

The lord of men in turn replied

To wise Vaśishṭha by his side:

“The fondest son's observance ne'er

Repays the sire and mother's care:

The constant love that food provides,

And dress, and every need besides:

Their pleasant words still soft and mild,

Their nurture of the helpless child:

The words which Daśaratha spake,

My king and sire, I ne'er will break.”

Then Bharat of the ample chest

The wise Sumantra thus addressed;

“Bring sacred grass, O charioteer,

And strew it on the level here.

For I will sit and watch his face

Until I win my brother's grace.

Like a robbed Bráhman will I lie,

Nor taste of food nor turn my eye,

In front of Ráma's leafy cot,

And till he yield will leave him not.”

When Bharat saw Sumantra's eye

Looked up to Ráma for reply,

The Prince himself in eager haste

The sacred grass in order placed.

Him great and mighty Ráma, best

Of royal saints, in turn addressed:

“What, Bharat, have I done, that thou

Besiegest me,394 a suppliant now?

Thus streched, to force redress for wrongs

To men of Bráhman birth belongs,

Not those upon whose kingly head

The consecrating drops are shed.

Up, lord of men! arise, and quit

This fearful vow for thee unfit.

Go, brother, seek Ayodhyá's town,

Fair city of supreme renown.”

But Bharat, as his seat he took,

Cast all around an eager look:

“O people, join your prayers with mine,

And so his stubborn heart incline.”

And all the people answered thus:

“Full well is Ráma known to us.

Right is the word he speaks and he

Is faithful to his sire's decree:

Nor can we rashly venture now

To turn him from his purposed vow.”

Then Ráma spoke: “O Bharat, heed

Thy virtuous friends, and mark their rede.

Mark well what I and these advise,

And duty view with clearer eyes.

Thy hand on mine, O hero, place,

Touch water, and thy sin efface.”

Then Bharat rose: his hand he dipped,

And purifying water sipped:

“Each citizen,” he cried, “give ear,

Attend, each counsellor and peer.

My mother planned, by me untaught,

To win the sway I never sought:

Ne'er Raghu's son could I despise,

In duty's lore supremely wise.

Now if obedience to our sire

This dwelling in the woods require,

I, till the destined years be spent,

Will dwell alone in banishment.”

The virtuous Ráma, wonder-stirred,

The faithful speech of Bharat heard,

And thus the hero's feelings found

Due utterance, as he gazed around:

“Still to my father's word I hold,

Whate'er he bought, or pledged, or sold:

Ne'er shall his living promise be

Annulled by Bharat or by me.

Not thus my task will I evade,

My exile on another laid:

Most wise was Queen Kaikeyí's rede,

And just and good my father's deed.

Dear Bharat's patient soul I know,

How reverence due he loves to show;

In him, high-souled and faithful found,

Must each auspicious grace abound.

When from the woods I turn again

I with his aid shall nobly reign,

With one so good, of peerless worth,

A glorious lord of happy earth.

Her boon Kaikeyí sought and won.

I, as my father swore, have done:

And O, do thou, my brother dear,

The monarch's name from falsehood clear.