The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 112 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 112

Canto CXII. 
The Sandals.
High wonder mingled with delight

Took the great sages at the sight,

Thrilling their breasts who came to view

The meeting of the peerless two.

The saints and sages' holy train

Departed to their home again.

And high each holy voice was raised,

And thus the glorious brothers praised.

“High fate is his, the sire of two

Most virtuous souls, so brave and true:

With wonder and with joy intense

Our ears have heard their conference.”

Then the great sages, longing all

To see the ten-necked tyrant395 fall,

To Bharat, bravest of the brave,

Their salutary counsel gave:

“O thou of lofty lineage born,

Whom wisdom, conduct, fame adorn,

Thou for thy honoured father's sake

Shouldst Ráma's righteous counsel take.

All debts to Queen Kaikeyí paid,

Thy sire his home in heaven has made,

So virtuous Ráma we would see

From filial obligation free.”

Thus gave each royal sage advice,

High saint, and bard of Paradise;

Then quickly vanishing from view

Each to his proper home withdrew.

Then Ráma's face his rapture showed,

And his full heart with joy o'erflowed,

While, as the sages parted thence,

He paid his humble reverence.

Then Bharat shook in every limb

As suppliant thus he spake to him:

“The duty of a king respect,

Held by our race in high respect:

And O, thy gracious ear incline

To heed my mother's prayer and mine.

The mighty realm to rule and guard

For me alone is task too hard.

No power have I the love to gain

Of noble, citizen, and swain.

All those who know thee, warrior, friend,

On thee their eager glances bend,

As labouring hinds who till the plain

Look fondly for the Lord of Rain.

O wisest Prince, thy realm secure,

And make its firm foundations sure.

Kakutstha's son, thy mighty arm

Can keep the nation free from harm.”

He spoke, and fell in sorrow drowned

At Ráma's feet upon the ground,

And there the hero sued and sighed,

And “Hear me, Raghu's son,” he cried.

Then Ráma raised him up, and pressed

His brother to his loving breast,

And sweetly as a wild swan cried

To Bharat dark and lotus-eyed:

“So just and true thy generous soul,

Thy hand may well this earth control:

But many a sage his aid will lend,

With counsellor, and peer, and friend:

With these advise: their counsel ask,

And so perform thy arduous task.

The moon his beauty may forgo,

The cold forsake the Hills of Snow,

And Ocean o'er his banks may sweep,

But I my father's word will keep.

Now whether love of thee or greed

Thy mother led to plan the deed,

Forth from thy breast the memory throw,

And filial love and reverence show.”

Thus spake Kauśalyá's son: again

Bharat replied in humble strain

To him who matched the sun in might

And lovely as the young moon's light:

“Put, noble brother, I entreat,

These sandals on thy blessed feet:

These, lord of men, with gold bedecked,

The realm and people will protect.”

Then Ráma, as his brother prayed

Beneath his feet the sandals laid,

And these with fond affection gave

To Bharat's hand, the good and brave.

Then Bharat bowed his reverent head

And thus again to Ráma said:

“Through fourteen seasons will I wear

The hermit's dress and matted hair:

With fruit and roots my life sustain,

And still beyond the realm remain,

Longing for thee to come again.

The rule and all affairs of state

I to these shoes will delegate.

And if, O tamer of thy foes,

When fourteen years have reached their close,

I see thee not that day return,

The kindled fire my frame shall burn.”

Then Ráma to his bosom drew

Dear Bharat and Śatrughna too:

“Be never wroth,” he cried, “with her,

Kaikeyí's guardian minister:

This, glory of Ikshváku's line,

Is Sítá's earnest prayer and mine.”

He spoke, and as the big tears fell,

To his dear brother bade farewell.

Round Ráma, Bharat strong and bold

In humble reverence paced,

When the bright sandals wrought with gold

Above his brows were placed.

The royal elephant who led

The glorious pomp he found,

And on the monster's mighty head

Those sandals duly bound.

Then noble Ráma, born to swell

The glories of his race,

To all in order bade farewell

With love and tender grace—

To brothers, counsellers, and peers,—

Still firm, in duty proved,

Firm, as the Lord of Snow uprears

His mountains unremoved.

No queen, for choking sobs and sighs,

Could say her last adieu:

Then Ráma bowed, with flooded eyes,

And to his cot withdrew.