The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 116 in English Spiritual Stories by MB (Official) books and stories PDF | The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 116

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The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 116

116
Canto CXVI. 
The Hermit's Speech.
When Bharat took his homeward road

Still Ráma in the wood abode:

But soon he marked the fear and care

That darkened all the hermits there.

For all who dwelt before the hill

Were sad with dread of coming ill:

Each holy brow was lined by thought,

And Ráma's side they often sought.

With gathering frowns the prince they eyed,

And then withdrew and talked aside.

Then Raghu's son with anxious breast

The leader of the saints addressed:

“Can aught that I have done displease,

O reverend Sage, the devotees?

Why are their loving looks, O say,

Thus sadly changed or turned away?

Has Lakshmaṇ through his want of heed

Offended with unseemly deed?

Or is the gentle Sítá, she

Who loved to honour you and me—

Is she the cause of this offence,

Failing in lowly reverence?”

One sage, o'er whom, exceeding old,

Had many a year of penance rolled,

Trembling in every aged limb

Thus for the rest replied to him:

“How could we, O beloved, blame

Thy lofty-souled Videhan dame,

Who in the good of all delights,

And more than all of anchorites?

But yet through thee a numbing dread

Of fiends among our band has spread;

Obstructed by the demons' art

The trembling hermits talk apart.

For Rávaṇ's brother, overbold,

Named Khara, of gigantic mould,

Vexes with fury fierce and fell

All those in Janasthán399 who dwell.

Resistless in his cruel deeds,

On flesh of men the monster feeds:

Sinful and arrogant is he,

And looks with special hate on thee.

Since thou, beloved son, hast made

Thy home within this holy shade,

The fiends have vexed with wilder rage

The dwellers of the hermitage.

In many a wild and dreadful form

Around the trembling saints they swarm,

With hideous shape and foul disguise

They terrify our holy eyes.

They make our loathing souls endure

Insult and scorn and sights impure,

And flocking round the altars stay

The holy rites we love to pay.

In every spot throughout the grove

With evil thoughts the monsters rove,

Assailing with their secret might

Each unsuspecting anchorite.

Ladle and dish away they fling,

Our fires with floods extinguishing,

And when the sacred flame should burn

They trample on each water-urn.

Now when they see their sacred wood

Plagued by this impious brotherhood,

The troubled saints away would roam

And seek in other shades a home:

Hence will we fly, O Ráma, ere

The cruel fiends our bodies tear.

Not far away a forest lies

Rich in the roots and fruit we prize,

To this will I and all repair

And join the holy hermits there;

Be wise, and with us thither flee

Before this Khara injure thee.

Mighty art thou, O Ráma, yet

Each day with peril is beset.

If with thy consort by thy side

Thou in this wood wilt still abide.”

He ceased: the words the hero spake

The hermit's purpose failed to break:

To Raghu's son farewell he said,

And blessed the chief and comforted;

Then with the rest the holy sage

Departed from the hermitage.

So from the wood the saints withdrew,

And Ráma bidding all adieu

In lowly reverence bent:

Instructed by their friendly speech,

Blest with the gracious love of each,

To his pure home he went.

Nor would the son of Raghu stray

A moment from that grove away

From which the saints had fled.

And many a hermit thither came

Attracted by his saintly fame

And the pure life he led.